Participants: Donna Willey
Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000016A
00:34 Thank you so much especially,
00:36 Angela - you know she left one part out
00:38 of my little CB, my little bio...
00:42 I am an ordinary sinner, make no mistake about it.
00:47 An ordinary sinner just like each of you in this room,
00:51 and it's just a bunch of beggars gathered here together
00:55 to encourage one another.
00:58 Let us pray...
01:00 Father, As we open Your word,
01:02 we just plead again for Your Spirit - for we know
01:05 in and of ourselves, we can do nothing.
01:08 At this moment, I just want to rededicate my life
01:11 ... it is all to Jesus I surrender,
01:14 and all to Him I freely give. Amen...
01:20 I want to give a real special, special welcome to the men
01:23 in our audience today.
01:25 I am so impressed that you're here.
01:27 We're so glad you're here because we, as women,
01:31 we need you!
01:33 And as much as we love to be together as girls,
01:36 we love to come home to you, so we're so glad you're here,
01:40 and we hope that you are blessed as well.
01:43 Last night we talked a little bit about what it means
01:46 to be filled at the table.
01:49 And, I shared a little bit of my story - kind of some things
01:52 that had happened in life, some tragedies actually,
01:56 and just asking God for just a few more souls
02:00 that would fall from His table.
02:02 And God listened and God heard,
02:05 but God was silent for some time.
02:08 Today, we're going to pick up that story...
02:10 and the title of our message is, "Filled at the Throne of Grace"
02:15 This is it!
02:18 This is the real stuff!
02:19 The Throne of Grace... Have you been there today?
02:23 Come on people, have you been there today?
02:27 Because if we're missing that, it doesn't matter
02:30 what the building is like that we come to
02:32 or what the backdrop is like, or what the people are like.
02:36 What matters is - have we been
02:38 to the Throne of Grace this morning?
02:42 I was a P.O.W. for some time, a prisoner of war,
02:51 and I'm talking about the spiritual war...
02:53 you know that invisible battle that goes on
02:56 that you and I know about.
02:58 It's the battle between good and evil...
03:00 It's the enemy saying lies and many of us victims are bleeding.
03:08 That's the P.O.W. camp I'm talking about.
03:11 Often when we go through empty seasons,
03:15 we go through loss, we go through times when
03:17 things happen that we don't understand.
03:19 We go through misunderstandings, relationships suffer.
03:23 We find ourselves behind these bars and often our anger
03:28 is directed right at God... that's how it was for me.
03:33 I mean, I did everything a girl could do to have a healthy baby,
03:37 and all I had from that was injustice.
03:41 I did everything a girl could do,
03:43 there was nothing that I missed, ladies, nothing.
03:46 I planned for this... my mother taught me!
03:49 She had 10, I figured she'd be a
03:51 pretty good teacher, don't you think?
03:54 There was nothing that was missed and God said, "No,
04:00 you're not going to have a child today,
04:01 and you're not ever going to ever have a child."
04:03 And I found myself in this camp, empty.
04:09 Just this void, I mean, we as women, we're created
04:13 to be nurturers and I wanted something more than a
04:16 dog or a cat, but a child.
04:23 The wisest man, the most influential man,
04:29 the most powerful man that ever lived...
04:33 if he was standing here today,
04:34 this is what he would say to you...
04:40 I've seen families, large families;
04:43 I've seen people with all the money they need;
04:46 I've seen barns that are full and running over;
04:49 I've seen it all and I'm here to tell you today...
04:52 it's all empty.
04:56 Vanity, vanity - it's all empty.
04:59 Without God, it's empty.
05:01 Well you see, I thought all I needed was a baby
05:03 and I'd be full - that's all I needed to be filled was a baby.
05:08 God has to take us through these times
05:11 where He develops our faith and He trains us,
05:15 and He teaches us what's really important and the important
05:18 things have everything to do with eternity...
05:21 And if eternity isn't in the picture, we're wasting our time!
05:25 Whether it's our career, whether it's our education,
05:27 whatever it is, we are wasting our time
05:30 if it doesn't hold us and seal us for eternity.
05:36 Well after I lost the baby, people began to say...
05:39 "Donna, Donna, you gotta get on the list,
05:43 you know that adoption list, because healthy babies
05:46 are hard to come by - so get on the list.
05:49 It could take you 10 years, on that list,
05:51 before you could get through it."
05:52 And I just hung my head and I said, "I can't do it."
05:55 My husband began to nudge me, "Honey, why don't you do
05:58 the paperwork - let's get through the paperwork
06:01 so we could move forward with our dream to have a family."
06:04 I just pushed back, I can't do it, I can't DO IT.
06:09 It's like here's the catalog, open it up, point to a picture,
06:15 call it a family.
06:19 It's like applicant number 6-billion-22
06:22 goes to baby number 6-billion-22 and I came to the point,
06:27 I said, "NO, I can't do it, I'm going do the
06:30 Hannah-thing, okay honey?
06:32 I just want to do the Hannah-thing, that's all."
06:37 If we're going to be a family, it's not something we can do.
06:42 It's only something God can do,
06:43 and I want to tell you here today...
06:45 Whatever you're striving for in life, whatever that is,
06:49 if God is not directing it, it will fail.
06:54 Or, it will be just a little stream - when He has a whole
06:59 flood, a whole flood of joy and fulfillment waiting for you.
07:04 Don't go it alone, don't go it alone.
07:07 Ask Him to take you.
07:11 Seven years passed, I'm doing the Hannah-thing...
07:17 My husband is not understanding, my friends aren't understanding.
07:23 I'm doing the Hannah-thing and I'm as empty as can be,
07:27 and I want to share this with you - I shared it last night,
07:30 but I want to share it again...
07:33 When empty people sit in your congregation,
07:37 they often will sit in the back row.
07:40 They'll sit close to the door to ensure there's an easy,
07:43 fast escape because their tears will shame them to a point
07:47 that they got to get out of the room fast...
07:51 And it may not have anything to do with a baby,
07:53 it may be a different failure in life, but sometimes
07:57 it's so hard to come here and sit among God's people
08:01 because the ones that are hurting seems they're
08:05 the only ones hurting and we often forget that we are
08:11 all in the same boat.
08:13 We're all sitting on the same Titanic ship - all of us,
08:19 and it is sinking.
08:21 Praise God!
08:22 Seven years went by, we got a phone call and on
08:25 the other line they said, "Rod, Donna, we got a baby for you."
08:28 I said, "Yeah, I finally got this, God heard me."
08:31 And we named her "Nikki Marie" and I loved that little girl.
08:33 It took all of 3 seconds from the time I saw her...
08:36 No doubt she's mine, she's got my eyes,
08:40 she's got Rod's hair... she didn't have any of us.
08:43 But I thought she had it all because God had chosen
08:47 this little girl for us.
08:49 My line was so... I was FILLED!
08:53 I was just thrilled what God was doing in our life.
08:57 I was talking about Him, I was praising His name,
09:00 I didn't sit in the front of the church anymore,
09:02 I was in the front for 10 weeks.
09:05 We held this little girl, we called her our own.
09:08 We moved from our little apartment to a house.
09:11 We had a nursery, everything was done that needed to be done.
09:15 We were now a family and 10 weeks later,
09:17 that phone call came that no one wants to have come...
09:20 And the birth mother said, "I've changed my mind,
09:22 I want the baby back."
09:24 "And wait a minute, wait a minute...
09:26 This isn't the way it's supposed to go.
09:30 You're gonna take that baby back - God gave me this baby,
09:35 not you - you can't take this baby.
09:37 The law said I can have this baby - I'm taking this baby."
09:39 And I'll never forget standing in our home...
09:44 and she wanted to meet me somewhere - I said, "No."
09:47 No, the only right I have right now is to name
09:50 the time and the place of the exchange.
09:55 So we're going to do it at my house,
09:57 and we're going to do it on the Sabbath,
09:58 and I'll see you at 4 o'clock, here's the address.
10:04 And at 4 o'clock, the doorbell rang and Nikki was in my arms
10:08 where she was every day for those 10 weeks.
10:11 And that birth mother came in with no apologies,
10:15 words were not shared, our eyes didn't even meet.
10:18 She reached down, she took the baby and she walked out.
10:24 Now, I'm back to the P.O.W. camp.
10:28 And my husband - and this is why I'm so glad you men are here
10:31 because often we think that when tragedies happen,
10:34 when something goes down,
10:36 it's the woman alone that's suffering.
10:37 I want you to know my husband suffered greatly.
10:40 He went to the backyard and he had it out with God.
10:45 "Who do You think You are if You are God?"
10:48 As he is shaking his fist, "If you are God,
10:50 how did you allow this to happen;
10:53 how could You stand by and watch this happen?"
10:56 And I'm inside and I'm just filled with anger.
11:00 You know, none of this makes sense.
11:02 Everything I grew to love and know was now ripped out
11:07 from under me and that's what happens when you go through
11:12 an empty season.
11:15 You know, I can say it now, I didn't then,
11:20 I stand here ashamed that I couldn't say it then,
11:23 but I'm gonna say it now, "God was in control
11:29 of everything that went on in my life," I didn't see it,
11:33 I didn't know it, I certainly didn't admit it,
11:35 and I'm sharing it with you because He has no favorites.
11:40 That's one of the great things about God, no favorites.
11:43 What He's going to do for me, He's going to do for you.
11:45 What He's going to do for John, He's gonna do for you.
11:46 What He's going to do for anyone in this room,
11:49 He is willing to do for all of us because
11:51 that's what makes God God.
11:54 It's a love that overflows that we don't understand
11:57 because we have boundaries, we have restrictions
12:00 in our relationships, not God.
12:04 And as my anger continued to beat down on God,
12:09 my silent God began to speak to me,
12:13 this is what He said very clearly...
12:17 "Okay Donna, you wanna talk about this, let's talk about it.
12:22 Where were you when I created the world?
12:25 If you think you know everything that's supposed
12:28 to happen and how life is supposed to go,
12:30 where were you?
12:49 Tell Me Donna... If you have all the answers
12:52 tell Me.
13:10 And then Job answered... And this was my answer too.
13:29 No purpose of Yours can be withheld from me,
13:42 and I will hush and I will learn to grow
13:46 in Your will and not my own, okay?
13:52 So for those here today, let this be your story.
13:57 God is saying, "I want to ask you a few questions.
14:02 I want to draw you in, I want to help you understand
14:06 that I am God and I'm gonna take care of you."
14:11 In order to experience a flood instead of a stream,
14:16 we have some preparation to do.
14:20 We went through some of those preparations last night,
14:22 and today I want to bring another one to you.
14:24 To prepare for a flood that God has for you,
14:27 to really prepare for a flood, surrender.
14:36 We sing about it, we talk about it,
14:38 we hear sermons about it, but I'm sharing this
14:40 with you today - until you give that complete surrender,
14:43 you will not experience what God has in store for you.
14:48 I didn't.
14:50 I had to understand that where they take it apart
14:52 and put it back together.
14:53 I had to understand that in ways I never knew before...
14:56 surrender, surrender.
15:04 At the Pool of Bethesda, thousands wait
15:09 for the magic show.
15:11 The myths that are around that pool are almost unbelievable
15:16 to us today, but you see, it was all about magic.
15:19 There were five porches and I could remember walking around
15:23 that pool and it's just the story going through my mind
15:26 when we were in Jerusalem.
15:29 And there they lie, they lie there weak and dying.
15:36 It is the hospice of the day.
15:38 They lie on moldy, rotten cloth.
15:43 They lie there on concrete and dirt that means nothing.
15:48 Day and night, they wait.
15:51 They're waiting for the water to move, the magic water
15:54 to move and out of that, someone is going to be healed.
15:59 That emptiness is going to be filled.
16:02 The stream is going to turn into a flood.
16:04 So the lies go... but on this one particular day,
16:10 there is no ordinary stranger that comes to the pool.
16:16 No ordinary stranger.
16:19 And as I was standing at the Pool of Bethesda,
16:23 in my mind, I saw the picture.
16:26 I saw the man that had been crippled for 38 years,
16:29 and here I was sobbing because it had only been 7 years.
16:32 I saw him laying there, I smelled the rotten clothes
16:37 he was wearing.
16:39 I smelled the stench of death all around that pool.
16:43 And this stranger lays there, the cripple lays there,
16:50 and a stranger appears.
16:52 And though no one else may have known the cripple's name,
16:55 the Bible doesn't give us a name,
16:57 it just refers to him as a cripple,
16:59 though no one else knew that, Jesus knew his name.
17:04 And he comes over, he is blind to the things
17:08 that would have made me nauseous.
17:12 Blind - He doesn't smell it, He doesn't see it.
17:17 He goes to the cripple and He takes a knee beside him,
17:23 and He looks him right in the eye and He says,
17:27 "Do you want to get well?"
17:31 "Do you want to change?"
17:37 Now look it... I don't know how many people were
17:39 there at that pool, but there was something
17:41 about this one man that Jesus focused on.
17:45 He knew the face of this man and He went to him.
17:50 You wanna prepare for a flood?
17:55 I think Jesus is asking you the same question today.
18:00 Are you satisfied with where you are?
18:02 Are you really satisfied?
18:05 Or... or do you want to change?
18:11 That's the all-powerful God, the One that just spoke and
18:16 everything came into existence.
18:20 That's the all-powerful God asking you that question.
18:23 Are you satisfied with where you are or do you
18:27 really want to change?
18:30 And the man looks at him and he says,
18:31 "Sir, I can never make it into the magic water in time,
18:38 someone else always beats me to it."
18:42 And Jesus is still right beside him.
18:46 You want to get ready for a flood?
18:47 Here we go...
18:49 If we try to make changes on our own, we will fail every time.
18:56 If you're not happy where you are... Praise God.
19:02 The Holy Spirit is speaking to you, but don't you dare
19:05 leave this room today and try to make changes on your own,
19:08 only God can help you through those changes.
19:10 And Jesus looks at him and He said, "Okay, then rise,
19:16 take up your bed and walk."
19:21 Look at all the birds in there, "Take up your bed and walk."
19:25 How long had this man been laying on that bed? 38 years
19:31 For 38 years, those knees didn't move.
19:34 For 38 years, his feet didn't walk, for 38 years,
19:40 and God just says, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."
19:45 And he did it.
19:48 Are you kidding me...? He did it!
19:54 Because God told him too and he wasn't satisfied where he was.
19:59 As I read through that story, let me tell you,
20:01 when you are down, when you are empty,
20:06 when you've lost that job, when the marriage has broken up,
20:11 when the teenagers are doing what teenagers do,
20:14 when all of that stuff is going on - head to the Bible
20:19 because there's a story there for you...
20:21 there's a story with your name on it.
20:22 Do not cut yourself short by just using the name
20:27 that's in Scripture - put your own there.
20:29 This cripple was me and what Jesus asked the cripple,
20:36 He was asking me...
20:38 "Donna, take up your cross, and follow Me."
20:47 I want you to rise from your knees right now,
20:50 take UP your cross and follow Me,
20:53 and follow Me into the Garden.
20:56 Now remember, I've been going to church my whole life.
21:00 I read my Bible, I had all this Adventist education,
21:08 but at the end of the day, Jesus was asking me to
21:11 take up my cross and follow Him into the Garden.
21:16 Think about it, friends, think about it...
21:18 Without the Garden of Eden, we wouldn't have Calvary.
21:25 There wouldn't have been a cross,
21:26 it wouldn't have happened.
21:29 It's the Garden that prepared Jesus for what was before Him.
21:33 I can remember that cool day... I got out of the bus,
21:39 and I stood on the Mt. of Olives...
21:44 I was not prepared, I was not prepared.
21:49 As I stood on the Mt. of Olives, I looked to the right,
21:53 and there is the Garden of Gethsemane.
21:55 I looked straight ahead of me and there's the Kidron Valley.
21:59 and from there is Jerusalem, the Eastern Gate...
22:03 And I stood there and it just overwhelmed me.
22:09 I began weeping - I couldn't control because the whole
22:15 story, finally I saw.
22:19 You know, Job says to God, "I always heard of You
22:24 with my ears, but now I see You with my eyes...
22:29 And that's what that was like for me at that moment.
22:32 I saw the Garden, I saw the city, I saw the gate,
22:35 the Kidron Valley, the caskets stacked 5-8 tall in that
22:40 Kidron Valley to give a message, and the Eastern Gate
22:43 is completely blocked shut with cement and the message is...
22:47 "Jesus Christ, you're not coming through here."
22:51 And I tasted, I felt the hate in that moment,
22:56 and I just wept knowing what all He did for us
23:01 in the Garden of Gethsemane... knowing what was going to
23:04 happen and what is going to happen in the near future.
23:07 In the Garden, the stakes are high.
23:10 When you go to the Garden of Gethsemane,
23:12 this is not a casual prayer. Uh uh
23:15 This isn't even family prayer. Uh uh
23:18 The stakes are high.
23:20 When you're coming before the Throne of Grace,
23:23 the stakes are high.
23:25 Here's the deal... If Satan failed here,
23:29 now remember, he failed 3 years prior to this
23:32 with the temptation and now he is going to redouble his
23:38 If Satan fails here in the Garden of Gethsemane,
23:41 his hope of mastery would be lost.
23:47 The earth would become his kingdom and the human race
23:49 would be forever in his power, unbelievable.
23:54 And what was going on there?
23:56 Jesus had brought three of His closest disciples...
23:58 He said, "Hey, guys... pray for Me, I'm going to go
24:02 talk to My Father - stay awake and pray for Me."
24:08 And He comes back and they're sleeping.
24:12 Laodicea right outside of the Garden of Eden... right there!
24:18 And He wakes them - "Can you just pray, wait, watch, pray?"
24:21 And He comes back a second time, He comes back a third time.
24:24 And do you know why Jesus was doing that?
24:26 Do you know why He kept going back?
24:28 He kept going back because He was looking for encouragement.
24:31 He kept going back because He needed to know
24:34 that He wasn't ALONE!
24:39 When you're having a Garden of Gethsemane time in your life,
24:43 you need people praying for you and encouraging you,
24:49 and that's how it was for me.
24:50 The Garden of Gethsemane is a place of...
25:07 It is in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus said,
25:14 ... and this isn't theologically correct but it's the
25:19 way I take it... it is in that Garden of
25:22 Gethsemane that Jesus said, "It is finished."
25:24 He repeated it on the cross, I get it.
25:26 But it is at that point, he said, "It is finished,"
25:28 because He said, "Not My will but Your will be done."
25:32 And once we give it over to God, it's over!
25:34 Satan loses! Come on!
25:40 He's outta here! He LOSES!
25:42 And that's what we're looking for... You got it... it's over!
25:49 I surrendered my bucket list to God.
25:57 And the world has us convinced
26:00 that it's all about having a bucket list...
26:03 All of our dreams, all of our plans,
26:05 all of our goals, things we're going to do in this life,
26:07 you only live once, let me tell you what...
26:08 That bucket list has nothing to do with
26:12 God's will for you and me.
26:15 My bucket list looked like this...
26:16 You know what? I want 4 newborn babies, Lord.
26:19 And make sure they're all healthy.
26:21 I want them all to be Caucasian.
26:23 I want them all to have dark hair and dark eyes just like me.
26:26 That's my bucket list!
26:29 I want to bring them home from the hospital.
26:32 Just as though I had given birth - maybe then
26:34 they'll be some justice to all the injustice
26:36 that was done to me.
26:40 God says, "I want you to give up your bucket list,
26:44 and trust Me with My will in your life, okay?"
26:49 That's what God is really like.
26:51 Let me tell ya - my heart just, I just plead for words to
26:55 share with you because week after week, I stand before a
27:00 congregation and I see it, I see it in their eyes,
27:06 I see it in your eyes...
27:08 We think we're just trapped in this world...
27:11 We're just like a hamster in a cage going around and around.
27:16 We think that and it's only because we haven't given
27:22 our will to Him and said, "Lord, not my will,
27:25 but Your will be done.
27:26 I gotta tell ya, I'm doing a Bible study with someone
27:30 that I have fallen in love with.
27:32 She's a stripper at the local club and I've never been
27:39 to the club - if she invited me, I would go,
27:41 but I've never been to the club.
27:45 And when she comes and she shares with me what it's like,
27:48 my heart breaks and it should break your heart too.
27:54 The reason why is because she doesn't think there's any hope.
27:58 The reason why is because she's listening to the lies,
28:01 the lies that say, "You're worth nothing."
28:06 And when we go into these empty seasons,
28:08 that's often what we listen to because we're not
28:11 spending time in the Garden, because it's in the garden that
28:15 we trade in our bucket list.
28:17 She wants to be beautiful, she wants to feel accepted,
28:19 she wants to feel loved and it's never gonna happen on the pole.
28:24 That's not where it going to take place.
28:28 It's going to happen in that secret Garden place.
28:31 All right, let's prepare for a flood...
28:35 If you're looking for more than a stream of joy in your life,
28:38 if you're here today, you're looking for more than just a
28:40 little bit of hope, you're looking for just a
28:43 little bit of happiness and you really want a flood,
28:45 you need to surrender.
28:49 Surrender precedes the flood. Say that with me...
28:54 Surrender precedes the flood. Louder...
28:58 The surrender precedes the flood. That's what it's like.
29:04 All right... the years are going by.
29:08 It's two weeks before Christmas, I get a phone call.
29:12 Donna, Donna - we got a baby for you!
29:15 And I'm in complete neutral. Why?
29:19 Because it's not my will that matters anymore - it's His will.
29:24 Donna, we got a baby for you, this is a newborn.
29:27 Oh, this is going to be a beautiful baby - a perfect baby.
29:30 When can we meet?
29:33 And I said, "Well, I tell you what - you know,
29:35 um, my husband, he's not here right now,
29:38 give us a couple of days to really pray through this,
29:41 and discuss it and I'll call you back."
29:45 Emotions are intact - ladies that's a big thing for us.
29:50 Emotions are intact.
29:55 The next day, I get a call again.
29:59 They said, "Donna, we're just really anxious
30:01 for you to meet the birth mother."
30:03 I said, "Well you know, Rod and I, we're just trying to
30:06 work our way through, you know, give us a little more time,
30:09 and I will call you."
30:11 The next day, the birth mother called me!
30:14 And she says, "Hey, you don't know me, but I know your story,
30:18 and I know you and I just really believe that you're to be
30:25 the mother for this baby."
30:28 And I looked at Rod and I said, "Rod, I think we need to
30:31 meet - let's go meet this lady."
30:35 It was on a Sabbath afternoon, we drove down to their house.
30:37 Here's their story... They had three little girls
30:40 and they separated, the husband and wife.
30:44 He went to live with another woman and she went
30:46 to live with another man.
30:48 Someone, someone knocked on the door where the husband
30:55 was staying and said, "I'd like to offer you Bible studies,
30:58 are you interested?"
31:00 He said, "Yeah, I'll take those Bible studies." "What, what?"
31:04 "Yeah, I'll take those Bible studies."
31:05 Okay, we're going to get studying and at the end of the
31:09 studies, he took them to church with him and there he met
31:14 his Seventh-day Adventist family.
31:18 And then he went to the pastor and he said, "You know, I'm in a
31:20 situation - I'm living with someone and my wife and
31:27 three children are in another place."
31:30 And the man of God said, "You need to reconcile
31:33 with your wife."
31:35 He went back to reconcile with his wife and he went back
31:37 to be with her... she's pregnant with another child,
31:39 someone else's child.
31:42 And through prayer and study, they decided the very best
31:45 thing for that child - because they already had three,
31:47 the very best thing for that child would be to find
31:49 a home where she could be adopted and loved forever.
31:55 And that's when we got the call.
31:57 So on New Year's Day, January 1, we arrived at the hospital,
32:02 just in time - to see this little bundle going from
32:06 delivery room to nursery room and I'm telling ya,
32:10 you want to see a walking miracle?
32:13 Do you want to see that? Say "yes." YES!
32:16 "Tonya," my daughter, would you stand up please.
32:26 There she is... there she is.
32:30 Incredible! My line was full, I tell ya!
32:32 I was just so overjoyed... now it's like
32:34 God, You are alive, You're real!
32:37 We did it Your way for a change.
32:41 Three months later, we're driving home from church,
32:44 and we pull in our driveway, I mentioned to my husband,
32:47 I said, "I think this car is following us,
32:50 we're being stalked."
32:52 And we pull in the driveway and we get out of the car,
32:57 and here's a doctor - he says, "Rod, Donna, you guys moved.
33:00 I've been looking all over for you."
33:01 I said, "Yeah, we moved."
33:03 He said, "Listen, I've got a baby for you."
33:05 I said, "We got a baby!"
33:06 He said, "Now you guys need another baby!" Laughter
33:11 And God said...
33:29 Don't even try to imagine what God has in store for you.
33:38 Three months later, we're in the hospital - just in time
33:43 to see the baby going from the delivery room to the nursery
33:46 and this is Tyler Rodney. It's just incredible!
33:51 And now, our life is full, totally completely full.
33:56 What God has done for us, we're so satisfied,
34:00 we're so excited!
34:02 Five years later... hold on to yourselves, I know you guys,
34:06 don't get ahead of the story.
34:07 Five years later, laughter, you got it all figured out!
34:12 Five years later, it's Christmastime and I'm
34:16 sitting in bed - Tonya is on one side, Tyler is on the
34:19 other side - we're going through the little Christmas story,
34:21 and Tonya says, "Mommy, were we born in a barn too?"
34:30 And I said, "No, no, no Tonya... You see, we always knew
34:35 we would tell them about adoption,
34:36 we just didn't know when the time was right.
34:39 Well the time was right.
34:40 She wanted to know if she was born in a barn,
34:42 that's an open-ended question for an adoptive mom.
34:46 And I shot up a prayer, "God, what am I going to tell
34:51 Your daughter, Tonya?"
34:53 And I looked at her and I said, "Honey, you weren't born
34:56 in a barn, you were born under my heart and you were
35:00 born the same way the King of the universe was born."
35:06 "We prayed for you and God brought you to us."
35:11 To Him be the honor and glory.
35:15 Gave them a kiss, tucked them in, stepped out into the hall,
35:17 shhoo - made it through that without Rod.
35:20 Where are you when I need you most!
35:24 And I heard some noise in the room, I go back up,
35:29 and here's 5-year-old Tonya and Tyler - they're kneeling
35:32 beside their bed and this is what they're saying...
35:35 "Jesus, if you'll give us a baby brother,
35:39 mom and dad will help us take care of him." Laughter
35:45 I'm like - how do I explain this to these kids, you know?
35:49 We haven't even talked about the birds and the bees yet!
35:51 How am I gonna get through this?
35:54 Well, 15 months later, the phone rang.
36:01 The doctor said, "Rod, Donna, I got a baby for you."
36:05 "A what?" "Yeah, yeah, I got a baby
36:08 for you." "How did this come about?"
36:09 "Well, he's a part of a group, there are five obstetricians
36:12 in this group - he was not on call this night,
36:14 the phone rings and they say, "Listen, we've got someone here
36:17 you really need to come in and see - he said, "No, I'm not
36:19 on call - call someone else." Hangs up the phone.
36:22 It's like - I just felt impressed, I needed to go...
36:27 He goes to the hospital, walks in and this woman is
36:30 in abdominal pain, takes her right into delivery,
36:34 delivers that baby and she looks up at him and she
36:36 says, "Doc, do you know of anyone
36:39 that would take this baby?"
36:41 He said, "Well yes, I do, I do!"
36:43 And he picked up the phone and he called us.
36:46 And we were on a plane within 2 hours with some really
36:50 important people - Tonya and Tyler, little bit of luggage,
36:54 and off we were going to get their little brother.
36:57 A miracle! A miracle!
37:00 The Garden of Eden is holy ground.
37:05 That's where you go when you're wanting to know
37:08 what God has in store for you, it's holy ground.
37:13 Well, what's the title here?
37:17 "Why Settle for a Stream When You Can Have a Flood"
37:22 Our lives were full, we were just flowing over.
37:27 So thankful for what God was doing,
37:30 but God wasn't done.
37:32 Remember that tent thing? "Don't limit your
37:35 imaginations," remember that?
37:37 It's real. It's real.
37:40 We thought all was well until the phone rang...
37:44 And you know, at some point, you gotta stop
37:46 answering the phone. Laughter
37:48 But not yet... The phone rang, "Rod, Donna,
37:52 we got a baby for you!"
37:55 I want to introduce you to Bryce Robert.
38:00 And now, the line is full...
38:01 I want to share with you our family. Aww
38:04 This was last Christmas.
38:07 You know, I'm so glad that God gave us a family
38:15 on this side of heaven; however, had He chosen
38:22 to give us that family on the other side of heaven,
38:25 it was the faithfulness that mattered to Him.
38:28 It wasn't the number of children.
38:30 It wasn't all the little miracles.
38:32 What really mattered to Him is, "Will you be faithful to Me
38:36 regardless of how things work out,
38:38 regardless of your bucket list, will you be faithful to Me?"
38:43 If you're looking for a flood, you gotta prepare for it folks,
38:46 you gotta get ready for it.
38:56 Don't limit your imagination!
38:59 Reset the stakes, stretch out your tent.
39:02 God wants to deliver some mighty, mighty
39:04 things for you and that is where you will find Him
39:09 at the Throne of Grace.
39:12 Now before I leave, I love this story,
39:14 it's exciting, but there's a seriousness I want to
39:18 leave you with today... Okay? Are you ready?
39:21 Here's what's going on, the great controversy
39:25 between heaven, between Christ and Satan
39:28 is soon going to close and Satan redoubles his efforts
39:38 to defeat the work of Christ in man's behalf...
39:43 And to fasten souls with doubt, with frustration, with anger,
39:48 with disappoint - that's what Satan is in the
39:51 business of doing.
39:52 He's going to fasten people to him, to his snares,
39:57 and he's going to hold them there.
40:00 This is a real enemy, you guys, a real enemy.
40:05 His only goal is to hold us in disappointment and
40:08 hurt and pain and in darkness and in impenitence
40:16 until Jesus stands up and He says, "It is finished."
40:22 And there is no longer a sacrifice for sin,
40:24 and without a sacrifice for sin, there's no more hope.
40:31 This is the object which he seeks to accomplish.
40:38 My guess is - there are people here today that have
40:42 stories about how God has worked in their life
40:45 much more exciting than my story - that's my guess.
40:49 The real thing, the real reason we're here today
40:54 is to recognize that time is short.
40:57 Look, I know what it's like to be tired at the end of the day.
41:03 I know what it's like to work 40+ hours and then
41:08 work with my church, and then my family,
41:11 and now my little granddaughters...
41:13 I know what all of that is like, but in the middle of that,
41:16 God is saying, "There's a stripper that I need you
41:20 to talk to."
41:26 In the middle of my mother's aging years,
41:30 she is my hero.
41:32 In the middle of her aging years and she's tired,
41:36 and I see her hands and they're a little gnarly,
41:39 and in the middle of that, you know what she does?
41:42 I call her Sunday morning, "Mom, where are you?"
41:44 "Well, I'm down at the church."
41:46 Of course, you know, I don't know why we don't have a
41:48 bed there for her yet.
41:49 "Well I'm down at the church." "Mom, what are you doing today?"
41:51 "Well, you know, honey, I just thought we needed to plant
41:54 some flowers out front, it could encourage somebody
41:56 that's driving by." Okay? Okay? - picture.
42:02 We are all busy and I just want to share with you,
42:07 there are people in this neighborhood,
42:08 there's people in the grocery line,
42:10 there's people that you work with,
42:11 there's people that your kids go to school with...
42:13 All of this is around you and God is saying,
42:16 "I want to use you to enlarge My kingdom."
42:20 And He can't do it until we get to the Garden.
42:25 Come to the Garden, come to the Garden and sense
42:30 and hear that soft whisper in your ear...
42:34 "I want you to do this, I want you to go here."
42:37 "There's someone waiting."
42:40 Be that... be that... maybe it's the Ethiopian.
42:47 And he's saying - you know, "Will you teach me,
42:50 because if you don't teach me, who will?"
42:52 And that's what God is calling us for today.
42:57 It's great to have "Women's Ministry Weekend."
43:00 I think women have a lot of needs.
43:02 I think men have a lot of needs.
43:03 I think teenagers have a lot of needs... we all do.
43:05 What's important is what we leave here with.
43:08 And what we leave here with is... God's got a flood!
43:12 He's got a flood planned for us.
43:15 And we can experience it on this side of heaven.
43:20 In closing, I want to re-invite you to this afternoon.
43:27 Don, would you please take a stand - Don and Lisa,
43:30 would you stand please.
43:31 Lisa is going to be presenting, "Filled at the Well Today"
43:36 And what I didn't realize is the powerhouse
43:40 that's beside her... this is Don and Don has
43:43 a lot to say to men in this world today.
43:46 Come and listen to them.
43:48 Nicole, can you stand...
43:50 Nicole is another incredible young woman and you know what?
43:54 She's going to present this afternoon, "Filled at the Altar"
43:58 If you miss it, I'm sorry.
44:03 Thank you, Nicole.
44:04 I want to extend a warm invitation to you
44:07 to come because God has a whole lot more
44:10 that He wants to fill our lives with.
44:12 We have been filled at the table.
44:14 We've been filled at the Throne of Grace,
44:16 and He's not done, so why should you be!
44:20 Come this afternoon, we look forward to seeing you
44:23 and getting to know you, let us pray.
44:25 Father, We stand in awe at Your
44:30 mercy, at Your omnipotent power.
44:34 We stand humbly before Your Throne of Grace knowing that
44:40 without the sacrifice that You and Your Son and all of heaven
44:45 has made for us, we would be lost.
44:48 We would be left for the enemy to do with us what he pleases.
44:52 Thank You for rescuing us.
44:54 Lord, thank You for Your invitation to re-create us.
44:59 We don't have to stay and remain where we are,
45:02 we can change.
45:03 Thank you Father for asking each of us to take up our
45:07 cross, whatever that may be and follow You
45:11 into the Garden.
45:12 We love you, Lord.
45:14 We long to see You face-to-face.
45:17 We are so excited about the bride becoming
45:21 the wife and until that day, Lord, hold on to us we pray...
45:26 In the name of Jesus... Amen