Author Daneille Snowden

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When I was 7 years old I was born again! Five years later, the Lord filled me with His Holy Spirit and called me out to serve in full time service in the ministry. My heart is missions and a longing to love people into God's Kingdom.
I love to teach God's Word, pray with people and write. 
Soon, we are hoping our Jesus opens amazing doors to walk into mission endeavors.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Controlling God Out of Our Sense of Panic

Controlling God Out of Our Sense of Panic
                 by Daneille Gray Snowden

Recently as my children were listening to Adventures in Odyssey; good old Whit was asking  one of his prodigy's  if she was, "Controlling God out of her sense of panic?" Perhaps children received a portion of what Whit was  trying to convey. But, I sure can tell you that for me, it was one of those 2x4 slams on the noggin! 

  
    Ah the topic of Panic brings us to the different types of crises' we have faced in our lives. Panic is a SUDDEN overwhelming fear. From it comes irrational behavior, and sometimes spreads to many others as well. I am one that has difficulty with most surprises. I like to know what to expect and when. How about my readers; are you like I am and want all your ducks lined in a perfect row? I like it when life flows smoothly. 

     This reminds me, almost a couple of years ago my family and I joined another to go rafting. I haven't been in years. Though I have always been a strong swimmer and was once a life guard; what I experienced that day took me to a place mentally and physically I just couldn't handle. I was the only one in a round raft (more of those real thin cheaper ones) - as the waters started to flow a bit faster I started going around and around. Of course I wasn't too thrilled about it but chose to deal with it...UNTIL: the major currents came!  I happened to look at my then 12 year old daughter and discovered her raft was deflating as she began to sink, causing my heart to POUND! We finally got her situated, when my raft started spinning in circles constantly and I was finding a great deal of the jagged rocks along the way.  I was not in control. We decided to tie my mini dinghy to my husband's nice big little boat raft; that is when panic had it's way. He would go one way and I another. Large peering rocks seemingly popped up and  came between us countless times. One time I was floating backwards when my husband (who never screams) screams; "duck". Come to find out there was a copperhead right above mine! PANIC! Irrational behavior poured from within my in most being!!!

       I did survive; I cut myself loose from my husband and got out at the first boat ramp I could find. Of course my legs were shaking so much I fell strait back and hit my head pretty bad. 

      When life currents suddenly spins us; this is not the time to make life altering decisions. Yes, it is a time to cry out to Jesus as Peter did during the storm that threatened all the disciples lives. What was the response of our Lord towards Peter; when he started to PANIC? Let's read:
Matthew 14:24-32
But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the wind was against them.
25 And in the fourth watch [between 3:00—6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright.
27 But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!
28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.
29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.
30 But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]!
31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.


       Our Lord's response first and foremost is compassion revealing His wondrous Love! He did not hesitate when Peter decided to focus more on the storm to not only reach out His hand but hold him close. 

       Too many of God's children make crucial decisions in the time of crises. Because panic has tormented them; fear being in control- life altering decisions are made that can take us down a path of confusion and dismay. 

       We know that a storm could come at anytime as it did on the Sea of Galilee. "The Sea of Galilee is small, and these winds may descend directly to the center of the lake with violent results. When the contrasting air masses meet, a storm can arise quickly and without warning. Small boats caught out on the sea are in immediate danger." [http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/ednk-seaofgalilee.html] 

        Is it possible right now that you are facing danger, the torrents are all around? Oh please know that by all means that JESUS is right there in the midst of it all. He will hold You; He will calm the seas. May I encourage you right now, if you are facing a time be it a financial storm, emotional, marital, something with your children. Be Still and Know Than He is God! (Ps. 46:10) When we know Him we come into Him--safe from the Gales that blow!

          In this; ask God to help you as I do for myself to NOT try to control Him out of our sense of panic. He has everything under control (if we let Him). 


                     

                          Luke 8 Storm Video


Monday, February 25, 2013

Treasures Of Darkness

(c)daneillegraysnowden
Treasures Of Darkness  
  by Daneille Gray Snowden

Isaiah 45:3
"And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.

  The treasure is the DARKNESS! If we are to choose any of us would choose to pursue the riches of life with spunk, and an illumination of fun! Frankly though, that type of riches is found at the mall or a theme park such as Six Flags. 

   No one chooses to be in the darkness of life; this finding themselves in need, pain and loneliness. Yet, no matter who we are and where we live it comes--those long, difficult dark days inch into the paths of our lives. 


  Deep calls to deep (Ps. 42:7); can easily be said as darkness calls to darkness. Those deep places in life in oft times are dark. It's where we cry out from the deepest depths of our souls to God; longing to obtain the lasting treasures that bring us to that height of fulfillment & freedom. 


   In the Hebrew (Owtsar); Treasures are what has been laid (stored) up, a provision, it is what has been saved, they are priceless. 

   The key to obtaining this treasure of darkness is to have been and continue to be before the Light.  If we are absorbed by the Glory of God the darkness that comes will not overcome us. 

Yet! If we are just wearing the name tag ‘Christian’; and still yet are not living in God’s Presence; (not being truly sold out in surrender to Him) then when darkness comes, a person will face this as though he/she feels alone and not learn or receive any treasures from these moments in life. The opposite will come. He or she will gain nothing!


    Isaiah was born into an influential family, and was likely  related to Uzziah as a cousin. Isaiah's occupation was that of a Scribe/Reporter of the social plus political aspects of the Kingdom of Judah. This of course means that he spent much time with the King. [http://bible.org/article/introduction-isaiah]

   Uzziah was a good King of Judah, that loved and worshiped God faithfully.  He was also one of the Kings in the genealogy of Jesus, who reigned for 52 years until he was struck with leprosy and died. 

   Isaiah 6:1  "In the year that King Uzziah died, [in a vision] I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirts of His train filled the [most holy part of the] temple." 
Isaiah’s time of darkness came…in a time of grief as well as being troubled about what he see’s ahead for Judah.  In this time of darkness…He Saw the Lord.  The treasure for Isaiah was vast!
  In this vision, God revealed to  Him that He Still Reigns, and still is on the Throne! He experienced the powerful authority of God accompanied with overflowing richness of His Glory.

      "...the treasures found in times of affliction are always of greater value; they are weighty with meaning; they are not easily forgotten."  [Kimberly Wagner]

   150 years later after Isaiah prophesied in Is. 45:1-3 ; the children of Israel were in bondage to their enemies. God here in this passage,  is actually speaking to a man who did not serve Him but was led by Him. [God’s Ways are higher than ours.] "Cyrus the Great became a popular ruler and brought down many unjust governments. His reputation of- 'Just Treatment' (to his captives) allowed him to take over even the great Babylon, in part because the citizens of Babylon were sick and tired of being treated so poorly."  Cyrus' Persian Empire, extended from India to the Mediterranean Sea and was the most powerful state in the world until its conquest two centuries later by Alexander the Great."
He was used to rescue & free more than 40,000 enslaved Jews and allowing them to return to Palestine.  [Info. from http://bible.org/question/what-does-isaiah-453-mean-%E2%80%9Ci-will-give-you-treasures-darkness%E2%80%9D]  

    During this time the  children of God were in captivity. Under a dark ruler. Their home lands laid in ruins; this truly was a time of darkness. This is the period of Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and on. Coming forth through them were great prophecies for many to see and know Who God is, that delivered hope to the present and future generations.  
   
   God promised Cyrus in verse 3, as Israel’s God;  that He the Lord would give Cyrus possession of the- “Treasures of darkness.”  This referred to the wealth of the vanquished pagan nations which was customarily concealed in subterranean vaults. 
   "Cyrus did not receive these treasures as a result of his own suffering but as a result of a divine conquest."  [Kimberly Wagner]

     "OF" [In Is.45:3]; indicates an origin, or source & contents of something or someone.  My mind travels to think of a gold, diamond and even a coal mine. Their all there, not just in the darkness but a part of it. Yet, God said HE will give the treasures OF the darkness. 
   Darkness came to:
   * Abraham when he stood waiting for God to accept his sacrifice (Gen. 15:12b-"..and a horror; a terror, a shuddering fear of great darkness assailed and oppressed him..")
   * Moses on the mountain; in the "thick darkness" where God was..." (Deut. 5:22) 
   * Job:"looked for good" and "evil came" (Job 30:26).  
   * Prophets as they wept. 
   *Jacob was left alone" in the darkness and "a man wrestled with him until daybreak." (Gen. 32:24)
    *Jesus

     Darkness in the Hebrew is 'choshek’ which is an underground prison. This darkness does come even when God's people are living wholly to His Word, seeking Him and doing His Will.
Tozer called it;"The ministry of the night."   Spurgeon  preached about; "The child of light walking in darkness." 

     Many of us have been on road trips either in a car or train. As we all have road along in the brightness of day; sometimes we are taken through a pitch black tunnel. This last for just minutes till...'boom' we hit light again.

       Children of God do have those 'tunnel-times'. Once we were living in hope, joy and anticipation of great things to happen (in the Light); then the dark tunnels steals the light. We find ourselves grasping to the walls barely taking steps forward. We are still breathing, though we feel abandoned.  Thoughts of a future cannot even been entertained. Yet, the treasures are being cemented to our spirits. This is where we see that we are weak and undone; but we still have my Shepherd to pull me through. Psalms 139:12 "Even the darkness hides nothing from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You." 

Psalms 23:4 "Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me."

      The rod represents God's Strength, Power & Authority.  The Staff is what draws the sheep close to the Shepherd to guide it (them) the RIGHT way. Both are true treasures!

     I recall George Mueller upon the death of his first wife. This was his tunnel of darkness. Not hiding this from anyone he faced a pit of pain quite intense. Yet, he continued to grasp the walls all around, through this tunnel his faith we have seen that it only strengthened him more. He experienced intense wisdom and guidance as he was used to have the most impressive orphanage in all of England.  http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/pierson/muellerofbristol/chapter16.htm

       “The Psalmist said that sometimes our walk would take us through the valley of the shadow of death, and that God would be there. There are treasures to be found even in the dark places if you have eyes to see and ears to hear…” [Bill Britton]

     Some of the treasures that are found in the dark places are: 
1-Our own helplessness     2-Our own emptiness.     3-  Our need of God  

   
While we are in the darkness:
a.) Remember what God has already done. 
b.)  Remember what His character is like.
c.) Keep moving on bit by bit if that is possible-keep living.
 [http://www.lastdaysministries.org/Mobile/default.aspx?group_id=1000040822&article_id=1000008637 W. Pratney]

      Ezekiel means; "God will strengthen' and at the age of 25, he was among the 3,000 upper class Jews who were exiled to Babylon. He and his wife dwelled on the bank of the Chebar River [Chebar means Mound of Deluge.]  His wife died rather young, in the ninth year of exile, when Ezekiel was 34 years of age."  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezekiel] 

      Ezekiel 1:1 “Now [when I was] in [my] thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was in the midst of captivity beside the river Chebar [in Babylonia], the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” 

   In this sad location (the mound of deluge), Ezekiel being one of the captive with his people: 
        He was the ONE man who raised his head to God as the others were bowed low. Right here  in the greatest darkness of his life. 

     "A saint of God is not raised on a bed of roses or developed in a hot house. A saint of God is developed in the fires of tribulation, in the testing , trails and darkness." [B.Britton]


     When we are seeking for answers to the difficulties that surround us-it is quite common thing to ask or look around-right? When we find what is needed; then no big deal; we then move on with life.  BUT...when we are facing the hardships that come and we proceed to do the same general procedure as before; sadly there are no answers  No grab and go! Then what...(well hopefully)....
     We see God all high and lifted up--in the Light of His glory the treasures that were in darkness as well as the hidden riches in the secret places are revealed!

     There is no 'grab & go'! There is falling on our face, as well as a melting away of fear, frustrations and need. For we are in the Presence of the great 'I AM'! He Who will and does supply all our needs; in ways that supersedes all human understanding is right there HIGH AND LIFTED UP. As with the Staff depicted in Ps. 23:4 as we are His, He faithfully pulls us up close to Him thus we walk in  the right path. Our treasure & reward is simply: Jesus!

Isaiah 50:10
10 Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.

Treasures:
*Reliance On         *Trusting In     *Confidence In      *Leaning On 
*Supported By 
     As we live and mature, this is what a person needs more than anything else!
Treasures are priceless. For example a special relic from a loved one, cannot be sold. No money could equal what it is worth to us.
Riches do have a price tag on them.
God is not only offering but promising both. As we KNOW Him and Hear His Glorious, Loving and Powerful Voice call out our name!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A LIFE CHANGINING ADOPTION STORY

 Bobby, Crysti, Joseph, Carissa, Hosanna, Daniel & Noah
Children from oldest to youngest.
Crystal Dethlefs is the Youth Ministry Director for Dunnellon 1st Assembly of God in Florida. She has been married for over 25 years and has 7 wonderful children. 


Two month old Noah & I during Kangaroo Care.


This is an amazing testimony of adoption. Read and expect God to take you into a deep place of perspective and hope. 






 

Daniel at 3 days old. 1 lb /11 oz.

Chapter 1
 
After my 3rd child was born I had my tubes tied after a LOT of pressure from my doctor. There were no health concerns, she just pressured me because we were broke! I was a stay at home mom with no insurance and pregnant with my 3rd baby in 5 years...which isn't a big deal when I think of it now!!  But reluctantly, Mike and I had it done. I regretted it immediately. Five years later, we took a step of faith and had the tubal ligation reversed. In the first year after that I was pregnant, I miscarried 3 times in 12 months. It was very difficult on us all.
  I had wanted for a long time to adopt from Haiti, or maybe Sierra Leone. The cost was just too much for us. So I called my friend at a local crisis pregnancy center to ask a few questions. She put us in touch with an adoption agency that was working with our state foster system. Florida had just 'privatized' foster care. I told them we felt strongly led to adopt, not foster. The director told me that many of their families go on to adopt infants through fostering. So we got started!
  It wasn't the easiest thing in the world. We had several babies that came to us but then left, taking pieces of our hearts with them. We also had a failed adoptive placement, meaning we had 1 & 3 year old boys that were ours to adopt, but the placement broke down and we had to release them back to the agency, by our own choice. To this day that decision stabs me in the heart. The boys went on to a Christian family that was able to help them in ways we couldn't at the time. So my logical brain understands my place in Gods plan for the boys. But my mother's heart feels like another person that broke a promise to children who desperately needed a mom and dad.
  But after some time I got a call saying there was an African American baby girl that was in a Tampa hospital, and would we be interested. I said; "When can we get her?!?!?!!?" I was elated! I called Mike, we had been trying to make plans on how to spend his next day off. I called and told him I had figured out what we should do. He replied;  "Oh yeah, what?" I said; "How would you like to spend the day rocking our brand new baby girl?" He almost cried!
  She was expected to be a quick adoption, but the state still considered her to be in foster care. There was once when it looked like they might move her. But God intervened. She had become our daughter the moment I knew she existed. I even did adoptive breast feeding with her!! I used the Lact-Aid system
, so she got formula as she nursed; as my own body eventually made some milk, too!  But the bonding was unbelievable and precious. Her adoption was finalized just before her 1st birthday.
  I was in worship one day in June at church. I suddenly saw two little brown hands raised to Jesus against a bright blue sky. I heard in my heart: "Her name is Hosanna". I didn't know who 'she' was yet. I was running errands with my eldest son in July, when a friend called me to ask where I was. She said everyone in Tampa was trying to find me, because Carissa's sister had been born and was about to be released from the hospital! If we didn't call right away she'd go to someone else. I was in full Momma Bear mode at that point and fought to be given time to get to Tampa. We didn't even know she was coming! When people ask about her name, I tell them that Jesus named her. Her middle name is Isabella. Together it means "A life of praise, consecrated to God".
Daniel at 3 days old. 1 lb /11 ozChapter 2
  The Vosberg's (who are my pastor's) triplets were born in March of '05; I  was in the nicu with them one day, when I became overwhelmed with this sudden thought from God. I looked at Shauna and said; "Oh my goodness. We're going to have another baby, a boy, and he's going to be in the nicu!". In May of that same year, when Hosanna was less than 10 months old, we were told their bother had been born. He was tiny, and not expected to live. He was born at 26 weeks and weighed 1 lb / 11 oz. They assured me we had no obligation to take him if he did live. I talked to my husband Mike,    then we told them to tell our baby boy that we'd be there soon and to hold on!!! He had many set backs and almost did die a couple of times. They expected him to be fed through an IV all of his life, which could be less than 8 years max. They kept asking us if we were certain we wanted to continue the process to adopt him. We never had a doubt! He was our baby and we were NOT walking away. After 4 1/2 months in the NICU we brought him home and he has gone on to have a full recovery, praise God!! You can look up Necrotizing Enterocolitis when you have time. It's an awful, awful illness. Mostbabies die from it. He had a colostomy bag for 2 months. They didn't think he'd ever have a normal diet. But they don't know our God!!!!!! When he was coming out of surgery to reverse the colostomy; I had this sudden "knowing". A look came over my face, and my sister said; "oh no, what is it??" I said; "Daniel's going to have a brother!" It's still amazing to me how God prepared us for their births!! I had no clue that Daniel would be so tiny, but God has prepared us for both boys.
  In 2006, a social worker came for one of our monthly home visits. Carissa and Hosanna's adoptions were both finalized, but Daniel was still considered to be in foster care. Only by the state, NOT by us. She came in and saw everyone, then asked how the baby was doing. I asked if she meant Daniel, she said; "No, I mean baby Sam". Then she looked closer at the paperwork and called out; "Oh! He was only born yesterday." Turns out our newest baby was only 1lb. / 6 oz and already 24 weeks. I was so terrified! I knew how hard Daniel had fought to live. And for an instant I was filled with grief, thinking our newest baby didn't have a chance of surviving. I dropped my face into my hands and wept. It's amazing, because these babies have been 100% completely ours from the moment we knew they existed. All I could think of is that I needed to get to the hospital to give him comfort and care until he passed. I went right away to see him. He was so tiny!! But SO feisty!
Chapter 3
  Ok, so back to our babies. By the way, Daniel is name Daniel Aaron Andre. Mike chose the name Daniel, & together we chose Aaron, which is Joseph Vosberg's middle name. Andre was his legal name given by his birth mom. In the past we've always given the children our own names. But I felt led to look up what Andre means. It knocked my so is off! It means 'strong and courageous'. Knowing that, and how courageously he had been fighting to survive, we knew Andre was HIS name. And I love the sound of it, Daniel Aaron Andre. Makes me happy. 
Daniel's 1st day home!! Carissa
 was singing a lullaby. He's 4 1/2 months old.

On to baby 'Sam'. We named him Noah James. He was so much smaller than Daniel, and was born a full 2 weeks earlier, right on the border for what they consider a preterm baby to be viable. Because of the illness Daniel had gotten (necrotizing enterocolitis) I told them not to feed him anything until I could get banked milk there for him. When Daniel was born the hospital policy didn't allow banked or donated milk to be given to the babies. But I fought hard to get that changed, and eventually it was! So Tampa General Hospital now allows banked milk because of Daniel! It really saved his life. So that's why I told the staff not to feed Noah until we could get milk there. I had actually saved back some of Daniel's milk 'just in case', so I was able to deliver it within hours. Formula is very harsh on preemie babies intestines. When a preemie is born everyone knows their lungs aren't fully developed to breathe on their own. It's the same with their intestines. They aren't fully developed and so formula can actually cause that awful infection.
My 1st look at Noah. I don't know if you can
 see how tiny he was. But his facial features,
mouth to eyebrows,
would have fit onto a silver dollar.

When Noah was a few weeks old he crashed a few times in just a few hours time. They did an ultrasound of his tiny head and found he had a Grade 3 brain bleed. They are scored on a scale of 1 being the mildest, to 4 being the most severe and causes death. A grade 3 bleed can cause death in 50% of babies, and the ones who survive are badly disabled. I was devastated. I called Mike crying and asking him what we should do. He was so confident. He told me to just calm down, that God would take care of this. I had to fight feeling like he just didn't understand how much I loved our baby, or how serious this was. Foolish girl!! We prayed and prayed!! Our church was praying. The next day they repeated the ultrasound to see if it had gotten worse. The results were so shocking to them, that they called in a Pediatric Radiologist Specialist from a different hospital to come check him. The bleed had suddenly gone from a Grade 3 down to a Grade 1, there is no logical explanation, bleeds just don't do that. The specialist told me "I'm sorry, I don't know what to tell you, but somehow this has resolved itself". So I said "well.....I can tell you this, there's a whole church praying for him around the clock!" The doctor happily said to tell them to keep it up, because its working!! 
Real skin to skin Kangaroo Care with Daniel.

 
He also had a hole in his heart, but that resolved itself too, and he really didn't have any other set backs. He went home at two months. He had to stay on an apnea monitor and would turn grey when I fed him, scared me so much. I was the only one who could feed him, because I could revive him if he lost consciousness. But he finally outgrew that. I was so happy to be allowed to do Kangaroo Care with both of the boys during their whole stay. There was one that Noah was tucked in my shirt, skin to skin, his ventilator tubing taped to me to keep it from moving, and he crashed while laying against my chest! It was so scary.
  So both the boys adoptions were finalized together. They've outgrown many challenges, but they're still medically needy children, and when they were babies they took a great deal of care and hospital stays. I had this feeling that we weren't going to have anymore children. I was worried what I would say when the state called us to say another sibling had been born. In the past, Mike and I both immediately felt that the newest sibling was our baby. It felt as if someone called you, to say your son has a baby sister in Tampa. Well, that would make that baby YOUR baby. So I didn't know how I would be able to say no. Funny thing is, that burden to adopt lifted at the same time that our birth mom stopped having children. We've never had another call again! God is so amazing how He guides His people.


This is Noah as I sat next to him. I had
 bathed him and gotten him settled. With the
 nurses help, because he's
 still on the ventilator. Then I sat next to him and he
 looked into my eyes like thisfor 45 min until he fell asleep.
One of my most treasures memories of that time.



 


 


   I feel a stirring in my spirit even to use our story to encourage Christians to do more on the abortion front. In Casting Crowns song, 'Jesus Friend of Sinners'; there's a line in the 2nd verse that says; "Nobody knows what we're for, only what we're against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines & loved like You did?"
   It's just resonating inside of me. Christians say a lot about pro life issues, but are we willing to really 'do' something about it?  So many thoughts swirling in my mind. Excited to see how God may use it!!

This is something I wrote and taped to Noah's isolette (incubator). It was important to me for everyone to understand how precious he was. I used to hang different quotes from Winnie the Pooh & family pictures on Daniel's isolette.
I; Crystal, am a homeschool AND public school (temporary - ha,ha) mom. My oldest; Bobby & Crysti have graduated, Joe is a Sr this year. Our Homeschool Vision is for our children to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Also, that they easily will hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit and will be quick to obey Him, plus to be prepared academically for whatever God has planned for them to do. My education is high school & District School of Ministry with the AG.