Volume 3, Number 1
Issue No. 9
Fall  2015
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"God is Here"
Join a Garlands of Grace Bible study. For more information about studies in your area, please contact the National Office at 423.237.3623 or go to the  Conversations in the Word     page.

Come, be a Garland Girl and learn to lead by learning to know the God you serve.  Women of all faiths, nationalities and ages are invited.
Thursday
September 10, 2015
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
PASTORS' COALITION
BIBLE STUDIES
PRESTONWOOD CHOIR & ORCHESTRA
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86,000 SHOES AND SMILES
. . .  AND COUNTNG 
by Olivia Wright
SAFELY HOME: A BOOK RECOMMENDATION
by Marcia Nelson
THE MIND CHANGES THE BRAIN
by Dr. Caroline Leaf
BEING A WELL-ROUNDED SQUARE
by Pastor Arne Walker
Joann Jordan's book selections for Fall include:

 Switch on Your Brain
by Dr. Caroline Leaf

The Mended Heart
by Suzanne Eller

After The Leaves Fall
by Nicole Baart
That thy way may be known upon earth, Thy salvation among all nations.  Psalm  67:2 (ASV)
YOUR ETERNAL LIFE
The most important decision you will ever make is to receive Christ as your Saviour!

Confessing to God that you are a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross and was raised for your justification.

The following scriptures are your assurance as a believer.

Romans 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved

John 5:24
Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

I John 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

John 20:31
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name,

- Bibles are placed by The Gideons International all over the world.
. . . 
Autumn in East Tennessee is so beautiful.  The mountains proclaim His majesty!  If deciduous trees are in your area then you have learned to appreciate leaves turning magical colors of gold, orange red and deep purple.  It’s also a season to enjoy crisp, cooler days.
Please welcome our young writers in this new edition, living with Panache!  Their perspectives and activities make our future seem a little brighter.  It is our goal to bring you fresh ideas and spiritual authors to encourage your growth in Christ Jesus.  We ask you to come back time and again and share your thoughts on our Guest Books.

The theme scripture for the Fall Edition is from Jeremiah 3:13: 
"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'" (NKJV)   As always, it is my response to you.

See you in the magazine.
Blessings,

Joann Jordan
​President & Founder
Garlands of Grace Ministries International
In this Fall edition, we are thrilled to tell you - our devoted readers from all over the world - that we have now become an international ministry!  Our Christian e-magazine is reaching over 81 countries, including India, China, Philippines, Sweden and beyond.  We have seen God open people's hearts to read our e-magazine designed for the Christian home.
We were cleaning out our storage building a few days ago, and we discovered a tote full of my husband’s clothes.  Immediately, I remembered why they were there.  When he gained weight, we thought we should hang onto the smaller sizes, just in case he became sick again.  Timmy and I gladly gave them away now as an act of faith.  We are choosing to believe God that the leukemia will not return.

Getting rid of those clothes was easy now, but I lacked complete trust in God when we were going through the ordeal.  Women lose their husbands all the time.  Why would I be any different?

I knew it was bad news the day Timmy knelt in front of me as I sat on the sofa.  He explained that the doctor’s diagnosis was leukemia (CML).  We weren’t even engaged at the time.  A wave of panic washed over me as I cried.  The thought of a bone marrow transplant as a cure was not comforting either.

We attended church that night, as usual, asking the church to pray.  A soloist sang “Jesus is Faithful.”  That memory is still vivid.  I am so glad that Jesus is faithful, even when our faith is weak.

Months passed, we were engaged and then married.  The men of the church had laid hands on Timmy, praying for healing, and we were going to believe.  Wedding plans kept me busy, and we felt confident that healing was on the way.

The day finally arrived when we saw a transplant specialist.  It had just been two weeks after our wedding; only two weeks into our new life of marital bliss.  We were hopeful, but our hopes were soon dashed when we heard the horrible details of a transplant.  You have to consider that this was 1998, and this hospital was not up-to-date.  The procedure included pumping his body full of chemo and radiation, trying to kill everything.  After infusing he with the new marrow Timmy’s bed would be surrounded in a plastic bubble hopefully preventing bacteria from making contact, which could result in death.  There was the risk of his body rejecting the new bone marrow, another deadly consequence. 

My faith didn’t hold up very well. I was scared to trust God because I was afraid that God’s will may include Timmy’s death.   He had refused the transplant because he had no peace about it.   Timmy felt hopeful, but I was closer to hopelessness, hiding my tears and fears from him.

Another door opened at Duke Medical Center. T heir modern equipment made a transplant sound more humane.   However, the only match in the National Bone Marrow Registry was just a half match.   A closer match would increase his chances of survival.

Therefore, the doctor wanted to try a different medication which could slow down the cancerous cells until a better match was found.   Timmy had to give himself an injection every night which made him sick most of the time . His local oncologist was monitoring him, but we were faced with the worse news of all when we returned to Duke. His counts were extremely high, and the local doctor had never told us nor had he increased the meds.   Not only was the disease progressing, but we couldn’t trust the local doctor.

Again, a hopeful day turned hopeless.   We came home from Duke with the name of a new local doctor and a death sentence for Timmy.   Without a transplant, Timmy had 12 to 18 months to live.   He was adamant about not having the transplant despite my attempts to persuade him otherwise.

Sometimes God runs us right into a brick wall only to turn us in a different direction.   We had hit our brick wall, and now God’s miracles were going to begin.
We told no one about our news from Duke.  We were trying to enjoy precious time together.  Within days, a friend called to tell us about something she had seen on TV.   An experimental drug was putting patients with CML in remission.  We found the details online, and we made some inquiries.  The nearest clinical trial was at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore Maryland, over four hours away.

One miracle after another began to happen.  First, Timmy was the last person placed on the trial which only had 30 spots.  Prior to beginning the new drug, he had to stop taking the medications which kept his blood counts low.  Miracle number two occurred while he was off the meds as his counts remained stable. 

He began the new drug with little side effects.  CML has three levels of remission.  He reached the first one within weeks.  The next one followed several months later, and then finally, the day arrived when the leukemia was barely detectable.

It was a story of miracles.  I wish I could say that I kept the faith throughout the entire time, like Timmy did. I spent most of my time reassuring myself that no matter what, God was in control, and “All things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).  My fears kept me from wholeheartedly trusting God the way I should have trusted Him.  The way I trust Him now.

Timmy handled it better than me.  If he was scared, he didn’t show it.  He definitely had God’s grace.  It was our first major trial as Christians.  It was the first storm that we traversed as husband and wife.  Yes, Jesus was faithful!  He still is because He never changes.

Perhaps you have hit your brick wall recently.  Remember, it is not there to stop you, but to turn you in a different direction.  Christian, have faith, because Jesus is faithful.


~ About the Author

Read Carolyn’s encouraging devotions at 
http://amountainoffaith.wordpress.com/

Carolyn has a free gift for you.  Download her devotional e-book, “In The Storm” FREE on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FOAAIIA 

Other formats:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/
view/364036
AN ACT
OF
by Carolyn Dale Newell
GROWING IN CHRIST
by Sheree R. (New Jersey)
AND THE GREATEST OF
THESE IS LOVE
by Sara Cox
A SUMMER TO REMEMBER
by Rachel Buchanan
AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
by Elyse Casimir
FANNY CROSBY: A LIFE OF HYMNS AND HOPE
by Darlene Neptune
Sheree
R.
Doha, Qatar
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KEEP TRACK OF THE 2016 CANDIDATES
For more information, click here or  go to the Pastors' Coalition page.
The 2016 Presidential election is over a year away, but it is never too early to learn about the candidates.  Click here or go to the People and Places page for a list and links.
FOR THE LOVE OF QUILTS
by Jo Hurst
A GOLDEN HARVEST
by Brenda Golden
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BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 14TH
Joann Jordan will lead a study on Cynthia Heald's book, Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough.

Mondays at 2 pm
Beginning September 14
(until the book is finished)
United Methodist Church
Gatlinburg, TN

Women from all faiths are invited to attend.
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