God Stretches Our Faith

Over the last four weeks God has truly been stretching my faith and teaching me to trust Him more. On May 21, 2020, Steve and I took our one-year old dog, Roxy, into the veterinarian to have her spade. Roxy is a mixture of Terrier, Dachshund, and Snauzer. She is usually extremely active, jumping up and down on the furniture. She manages to sit on the back of our sofa and watch out the window to see who is passing by. When people pass by she barks but when other dogs go by, she whines because she wants to go out and meet them.

On May 21st, when we picked Roxy up at the Veterinary Clinic, we were instructed not to let her jump up and down from furniture and not to let her free run. Roxy also had a cone over her head so she couldn’t lick or bite at the stitches. I don’t know if you have gone through a similar situation, but keeping Roxy down and quiet took both Steve and I together. Steve and I would take turns watching our dog. When I had to do something, Steve would watch her and when he needed to do something, I would watch her. She frequently tried to jump onto the furniture or down to the ground to follow one of us.

In addition to our 24 hour guard duty, Steve had to carry her out our front door and set her down in the grass to relieve herself. He took her out during some rainy, cold days. Though Roxy is only about 17 lbs. of weight, I have a bad right shoulder and my left hand is in need of surgery. When I tried to take her out, she squirmed about and I was afraid of dropping her. 

Now the cone on her head was another great challenge. She hated it and would not even try to eat or drink. I tried everything, even her favorite foods, and she would not eat. We called the vet and they told us to go ahead and remove the cone when it was time for her to eat but to keep a good watch so she didn’t tear the stitches loose. Even with the cone removed from her head, Roxy would not eat or drink much of anything. I was so frustrated that tears came to my eyes because of fear that she would not recover.

In desperation, at about 10 p.m. one night, I called a friend who trains dogs for the deaf and told her what was going on. My friend said she thought my dog had an “attitude” because she wasn’t getting her way. My friend suggested letting Roxy continue her “attitude” for a few more days because she thought the dog would eventually get hungry and thirsty and finally decide to cooperate. My friend was right! The following afternoon Roxy finally decided to take nourishment but she made sure we knew she didn’t like that cone on her head.

One day, after her two weeks of inactivity, I let Roxy go outside in our back yard. She had the cone on her head. When she came back into the house, the cone was gone and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Roxy apparently figured out a way to lose it–and to nip at her stitches. I think she may have tore a couple of the stitches because I saw fluid on the surface of her wound. I found a gauze bandage and some peroxide and an ace bandage. I cleaned the wound, put the gauze bandage over the wound, and wrapped the ace bandage completely around Roxy’s thin body several times, covering the bandage so she couldn’t bite it again. Roxy seemed proud of herself for getting free from the cone but she didn’t bother trying to chew or lick her wound much. I was thankful for that!

Not too long after the incident with Roxy, on May 30th about 1:30 a. m. I had to rush my husband, Steve, over to the emergency room at our local hospital. Steve had been coughing really bad for about five days. That morning when I went to bed, Steve was having bad chills and coughing so much that he nearly choked. When he asked for another quilt to cover him up, I knew something was wrong. Steve is usually too hot and even wears shorts in the winter time. He rarely even gets cold. So I told Steve to get up and get ready because I was taking him to the hospital (because of his disability, he can’t drive). He felt so bad that he didn’t even argue with me about going.

When we got to the hospital, they took his temperature and because he had taken a sip of my ice-water, the temperature didn’t register high on the thermometer. However, the one taking Steve’s temperature believed me about his sickness and they put him in a room in the isolation ward. I found out later that Steve had a fever and had sepsis and pneumonia, caused by a strept bacteria. I couldn’t visit Steve in the hospital so I had to call in periodically and check on his condition. Steve’s temperature was high (103) for a while and he was not coherent. At one point, they were not sure he was going to pull through. Consequently, I prayed and put Steve on the prayer chain. Some friends put him on their church’s prayer chain and my family in Arizona has a neighbor who put Steve on the prayer chain for her church. 

Several days went by and I prayed and waited to find out if my husband was going to pull through. Gradually the doctors’ reports indicated Steve was getting slowly better each day. Finally on Saturday, June 6th I got to take a bag of clothing, etc. up to where Steve was in the hospital and talk with him briefly. I was relieved when I saw him sitting up in a wheel chair and he began talking to me. Finally Steve got well enough to transfer to our local Life Care Center where he could still me monitored and finish up his intravenous antibiotics and get some additional therapy to help strengthen him. During this time, Steve’s said his shoulder was really painful. Days went by and Steve’s shoulder didn’t seem to get better. Finally I asked his doctor to check it out.

This morning the doctor looked at Steve’s shoulder and checked him out. We found out his pain is not in the shoulder but it’s all the way across his upper back area. The doctor is doing some tests and will let me know the results. Now Steve is is Life Care and I am home taking care of business and praying (along with a lot of others) for God to heal my husband. I am learning to trust God more in the midst of these great trials. Though I don’t enjoy struggles, I know God has His purpose for allowing us to go through them. Yet I look forward to the day when my husband can come home and be with us again!

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2:6-8 NIV)

Hidden Treasures: A Collection of Writings by William Curtis Harvard is now Available on Amazon.com

April 7, 2020

Late this evening my latest book project became a reality. Hidden Treasures: A Collection of Writings by William Curtis Harvard was completed and can now be purchased exclusively on Amazon.com. William Curtis Harvard is listed as the main author and I am also listed as an author. Several others have also contributed to this book. Hidden Treasures has been a challenging project that my husband, Steve, and I began in 2012. It has been a challenge and many hours were spent researching quotes and other information Curt retrieved from reading magazine articles and news publications. These quotes, etc. needed to be researched so proper credit could be given to the originator and the copyright law could also be observed. Also, scripture verses had to be changed from the New King James version of the Bible to the King James version which is now public domain. Though the task of compiling these articles was an overwhelming challenge, God got us through it.

I hope you all enjoy reading the heart-warming stories and wisdom literature contained in the pages of Hidden Treasures! The treasures you will find in this book are mainly unseen as they originate with the Holy Spirit who works through Curt to share. Among the treasures are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the mercy and grace of God, and the precious pearl–Jesus Christ. You will find many other treasures as you read through the pages of this book.

Hidden Treasures! was also meant to be a legacy and remembrance of brother Curt Harvard. Curt was an Elder at Sandpoint Christian Center for several years as well as a teacher at Bonner Gospel Mission. He is missed by many who still walk their pilgrimage with the Lord while Curt has gone home to heaven. Thank you, God, for the time we had with brother William Curtis Harvard!

Apartment Living

Living in an apartment can be a real challenge. Many times there are circumstances brought about by landlords and neighbors that cannot be changed by the individual(s) living in that place. Since people cannot change other people or several circumstances, the problems of life can appear to be giants and cause great distress. This became apparent when a friend and brother-in-Christ began telling us about his situation at his apartment complex.

Our friend was renting an upstairs, one-bedroom apartment where he lived for about twelve years. However, a couple of years ago a man who was also related to our friends landlord, moved into the apartment next door to our friend. Air vents, which looked somewhat like dryer vents, were connecting the apartments to help provide more airflow in the rooms. However, these air vents picked up every little sound made and the sound waves carried it to the neighbor’s apartment. As a result, if our friend turned a page in a book or if he rolled over in bed and the box springs squeezed, this new neighbor would pound on the apartment walls and begin hollering. This became a continual problem, oppressing our friend so much that he couldn’t move about, even quietly, to do what was needed in his own apartment.

A few other renters commented that they were either searching for other places to live or were moving out already. Someone mentioned the possibility of persecution of Christians but I don’t know if this is really the case.

With multiple health issues of our own, my husband, Steve, and I worked to help our friend and brother-in-Christ move into a bedroom in our home. We began, with help from our Pastor and a friend, clearing out and moving items in our home to free up a room for our friend and to get rid of clutter. This project took a few months and will continue on even after our friend is moved in.

As we helped our friend pack up and move his belongings, I noticed a strong smell of tobacco, possibly even pot, permeated the air in the hallway and my friends apartment–though my friend does not smoke. I prayed that God would help me so that the smoke would not trigger an asthma attack and result in breathing problems and coughing for months. I don’t know how my friend could stand breathing in that bad air for so long.

We are getting near the end of this moving task. Only a few large items remain to be moved. Our friend had lined up some people from his church to come and move the larger items on Tuesday. Lord willing, our friend will be moved before the end of October.

During this transition period we have faced some challenges. The door knob on our friend’s room will not latch and our dog, Roxy, keeps going in his room. She is still a puppy who likes to chew on things. She apparently got up on the bed and got one of our friend’s hearing aids. Now we will have to pay for the repair. We will keep the door barricaded until Monday when someone is coming over to fix the door knob. We may also have to fix an electric heater in my friend’s room. In spite of the challenges, I thank the Lord that we could make room for our friend in our home and get him out of that dreadful, apartment-living situation.

I’m Blessed to Have Opportunities to Share

On Friday, October 5th, Steve and I were blessed to be able to share God’s word with a man whom we disciple each Friday morning. We have been going through the book of proverbs and learning some of the wisdom of Solomon and others who contributed to that book of the Bible. Proverbs has many nuggets of wisdom on a multitude of issues we all deal with on a daily basis. It is a great book for those who want wisdom to help them on their journey through life.

After our Bible study we went to our area Walmart to pick up a couple of items. As we entered the parking lot we saw a homeless woman with a sign asking for help. I have learned over the years that giving homeless people money is not always the answer. It may provide them with a meal (if they spend it wisely) but frequently the homeless are looking for money for alcohol or other wants. Therefore it is wiser to buy them food or help them get connected to churches and/or other organizations that can truly meet their needs. So I gave this woman the contact information for an organization in our area that helps people in need deal with their true issues. I also referred the woman to an organization that provides shelter for the homeless in our county.

I don’t know if the woman followed up and connected with the organizations that can help her, but that is between her and God. At least I tried to reach out and demonstrate the love of God with someone in need. If I were homeless, I would hope someone would reach out and show me the love of God and direct me to those who can truly help. How can I do anything less?