Carol's Journey
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 Extended Benefit Claim
In October, renewal for my unemployment was due
So I applied online for an extended benefit claim too
The State website soon reflected an updated amount
I did not anticipate there was a dispute on my account

The end of March, I accepted a four day temp assignment
Wages I received went over my weekly benefit allotment
I was temporarily booted off the system and had to reapply
Then the State asked me some questions and reasons why

I explained the job ended as it was short-term temporary
The State determined I was free and clear of any penalty
Now, for unknown reasons I may never fully understand
Another name for the same agency brought it all up again

Upon later email inquiry about the status of claim benefits
I was informed of a pending issue involving voluntary quit
Carrying with it a potential thirteen week penalty pay-back
Weekly benefits, with past due amount, had a 4-6 week track

A State claims representative would be contacting me by phone
The next day when he called God gave me His peace I know
I calmly answered his questions for all information he did seek
He said a letter would be sent and past due amount paid next week

I followed up after that time frame and received this response today
My claim was completed today and they apologized for the delay
Weekly benefits will be received by next Tuesday to the present time
God also has the power to drop any penalty charges without any fine

Abba Father, I claim Your promises recorded in Your Word indeed
Thank You for this answer to prayer and for supplying all my needs
You are always with me, oh what a comfort on my job search journey
So many reminding stones You give to further prepare me for eternity

Carol S. 11/3/11

NOTE:   The following are two excerpts from a one-year devotional
I recently started meditating on each day called Lifetime Daily
Devotions from by Anabel Gillham.  Both she
and her husband Bill are now home with the Lord, but what a
powerful legacy they have left behind for future generations
of God's faithfulness.

Loving Reminders

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen,
and named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12

A stone commemorating God's intervention
in very difficult circumstances. Samuel set it there
to be a reminder to him of the presence of God
IN his circumstances.

Lord, I should have some "Ebenezers" stacked around.

How far You have come with me 'have led me 'have helped me.
How I thank You for Your lovingkindness, Your compassion,
Your patience, Your design for my life.

When I look back over the years, Lord, it is absolutely
incomprehensible to imagine where I would be if You had not
been there to bring me through those difficult circumstances,
those stress-filled days.

Yes, I need an Ebenezer so that when I'm thinking the way is
too difficult and I just won't make it, I can turn around and
look ... a rock to remind me: "Thus far the Lord has helped me."
Why should I think He has reached a point where He isn't going to
be there any longer?

I'm sorry, dear Lord. I want to learn.
Excuse me, please. I have to go find a stone.

NOTE:  Here is the second partial excerpt from a devotional from
the same series called Close to the Father

Romans 8:15
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into
fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by
whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

He was traveling on a bus in Israel and, as would be expected,
his comprehension of the conversations going on all around him
was limited, to say the least. And then a man boarded with his son.

He was a little child, and he crawled up into his daddy's lap for
the ride. They started laughing and playing together. And then the
little boy reached up, took hold of his daddy's beard, and started
shaking it kind of like a wet dog shakes, and he was saying, "Abba
Abba Abba" -- a word our friend understood.

Do you know what Abba means? It's the Greek word for "Father." It
"approximates to a personal name," kind of like "Papa." It is "the
word framed by the lips of infants" and by older children "expressing
[their] love and intelligent confidence" in their father.*

How we have structured and formalized (and, in so doing, ostracized)
the Father that Jesus wanted us to know! For our conversation with Him
to be "pleasing," we have been told we must "look just right," assume
just the right posture, be in the right place at the right time, say
just the right things, use the prerequisite Thee's and Thou's -- and
that only then will He really consider honoring our prayers.

Oh, God! Dear heavenly Father. That we would build such ominous barriers
separating us from You, making You into the untouchable God of Eli and
Jeremiah. You are our Father. You love us. You care for us. You don't
want to see us hurt. You have given us everything that we need to live
here in this world of godlessness. A world that has no use for You. A
world where evil and cruel people hurt and maim and kill. A world where
Your creation is crying out for release from the bondage of sin.

Jesus didn't approach You as "Almighty God," though that is who You are.
He didn't approach You as El Elyon, the Most High, though that is who You
are. He didn't approach You as Jehovah Jireh, though that is who You are.
He approached You as Your Son, Your beloved Child. And He called You ... Abba.

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