Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

We were able to have a short but sweet visit with our oldest daughter, son-in-love, and two grandchildren this week. They drove 5 hours one way to visit with us for 24 hours and then headed back home. We are so thankful they were willing to make the trip! We played games, ate a hearty fall meal, and had a "candle" campfire on our porch. Grandpa lite his lantern and several votive candles. Everyone gathered round and told stories. Before they left we were being silly and took this photo with the grandkids.

We usually see our children and their families only a couple of times a year, making the memories of when our children and grandchildren visit extra precious. Those memories stay with us, bringing us joy whenever we return to those special times in our minds. Can you feel the smile on my face??!!

I Thessalonians 5:16 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Joy! There are 216 verses in the KJB that have the word joy in them! Seems like God is sending us a message about how important joy is to have in our lives! It is there for us to embrace ~ whether in a candle campfire, a silly picture or the many other blessings God anoints us with on a daily basis! What brings you a bursting-at-the-seams kind of joy?

Have a joy-full Spiritual Sunday!!
For more inspirational posts visit Ginger and Charlotte at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Today I am giving thanks that our oldest daughter, our SIL, and two grandchildren are coming for a will be a 24 hour visit....short, but so sweet! They are traveling a long distance to visit us~! Just being able to see them.... Yahoo!!!

Which brings me to the many blessings our children and grandchildren bring into our lives. What joy! Our four oldest and their families all have good jobs, nice homes, loving families, and are active in their communities and their churches. What more can we ask for????

Praising God on this Thankful Thursday that our children love the Lord and each other!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

For The Beauty Of The Earth

I love everything about Fall. The sounds, the smells, and God's paintbrush sharing with us rusts, golds, oranges, and greens. Beautiful! This tree is at the end of our cul-de-sac and graces us with it's vivid colors every year. How can anyone look at this proud, sturdy, vibrant creation and not believe in God!

As I look out my living room window over a blanket of colorful leaves on the ground, I see bushes and trees painting a picture without a canvas, and I can faintly hear the sound of geese honking as they fly overhead, heading back from the nearby river. Squirrels are scurrying around preparing for winter, and the wind speaks of colder days ahead. There is so much to enjoy about autumn.

If we just take the time to really see our surroundings, we can only bow down on bended knee, lifting our arms in praise! The hymn "For The Beauty Of The Earth" comes to mind.

For the beauty of the earth

For the glory of the skies

For the love from which our birth

Over and around us lies

Lord of all to Him we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise!

For other inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Another Thankful Thursday is here!

Today I feel led to tell you a story about when we adopted two of our children from The Philippines. We were living there at the time, as Joel was stationed at Clark Air Force Base. It was getting close to our departure date for leaving the country and we needed the courts approval to be able to finalize the adoption of our two babies and bring them home with us. Some of the legal system at that time was very dishonest, and the lawyers wanted us to pay them money under the table to get the signed legal papers that were necessary for us to leave.

About a week before we were to leave for the States, I went to my weekly inter-denominational prayer meeting. It happened to be at the base commander's home and I asked for prayers about this situation. After everyone shared their requests and praises, we began to pray. At this time the base commander's wife came over and motioned for me to go with her into the other room. She told me she wanted to help us, and handed me the phone. As I said hello, I found myself talking to the Ambassador at the embassey in Manila about our situation! Then I was connected to the Mayor of Angeles City, where we lived near the base. I shared my story once again and he told me not to worry. Just a few hours later my husband received a call from the lawyer apologizing to us and telling us we could have our papers that afternoon. He kept saying, "I did not know you knew the mayor....I did not know you knew the mayor."

God intervened! He answered our prayers in a "to God be the glory" kind of way, and we were able to bring our whole family back home to the USA just a few days later. At that time we were only the second couple to ever be able to adopt two children from the P.I. while serving in the military.

Today I am giving thanks for our two precious miracle babies who are now wonderful Christian adults with children of their own. I am giving thanks for a mountain moving God who loves His children beyond our own imagining. Praise His Holy name!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Happiest People In The World

Today I watched the Oprah show where she went to Denmark to interview several woman and their families because research shows that Denmark has the happiest people in the world. I know that Scandinavian countries are known to take care of everyone in their native lands and that family is the number one priority....but I found this fact about Denmark disturbing for one reason only ~ The majority of the country does not believe in God or a "Higher Power". This is stunning and it gives me pause. Does it give you pause, too?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dangerous Surrender

I have been reading Kay Warren's book, "Dangerous Surrender" and find I cannot put it down. Kay Warren is married to Pastor Rick Warren and they live in California where he is pastor of Saddleback Church. I really don't think there are too many people left who has not heard of Rick Warren and his book, "The Purpose Driven Life". I watch services online from Saddleback every Sunday morning, and I confess that had a preconceived idea of their life in Orange County.

"Dangerous Surrender" gave me a deep respect for Kay Warren because of all she has gone through in her life. She is very honest about the abuse she suffered as a young child, and the consequences of that abuse in her adult life. She talks about her struggle with breast cancer and how the chemo and radiation treatments damaged her body, and she shares with her readers how devastating it was to be diagnosed with Melanoma just two years later. The book is not about her health issues, though. It is about her desire to serve God as best she can with the time she has been given, and the amazing results of her surrender to God when He guided her to help those with HIV/AIDS. The courage she has, and her willingness to follow Jesus on a daily basis no matter where he sends her ~ this is what has inspired me.

This book has challenged me to serve God in spite of or because of my circumstances, and to do what I can to fulfill God's purposes for me in the time I have been given. It has me asking myself the following questions: Have I said YES to God before He shares His requests of me? Do I live a life of courage and obedience? Am I helping the "least of these"? What is God's purpose for my life as it is? In what ways am I rearranging my life so I can interact with those God loves? The answers just may change my life......and yours.

If you wish to read more inspirational posts, please visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays. Be prepared to be blessed!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Giving thanks this Thursday for my warm wool comforter, soft PJ's, and heated rice socks as I spend time recovering from a "crash". (Sometimes the Lyme and Co infections like to be heard, and this week has been one of those times. )

Giving thanks for the privilege and gift of reading. Oh, how I love to read and cannot remember a time I did not! I can remember reading Trixie Belden mysteries as an 11 yr old and to this day enjoy a good light mystery.

Giving thanks today for silly shows on TV that make me laugh. For having the ability to laugh at myself too! Laughter is really such good medicine.

Giving thanks today for a warm home, large windows and a view that brings nature inside. Just to be able to own our home is a gift most people in our world can never imagine. How blessed I am.

Giving thanks for homemade chicken soup, hot herbal tea, and gluten free muffins from scratch. Nothing like comfort food to soothe us.

Giving thanks for God's wisdom shared with us all through His Word, and the words of His servants. We are so privileged to have the freedom to worship and adore!! Praise God!
Have a blessed Thankful Thursday.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Very Own Life Jacket

While living in The Philippines from 1974-76, we planned a trip with a group of friends from the Christian Servicemen’s Center located near Clark Air Force Base. Part of our trip was a tour of Corregidor Island, where the US fought during WW II. As we prepared to go across the ocean channel to the island, I realized we were going to be traveling in a small native bunka boat! Bunka boats are very narrow with outriggers to balance the boat in the water. They are run by a very small motor, and are just big enough to hold a couple of people and the person guiding the boat. Because of my anxiety around water I grabbed a life jacket before getting in the boat. Our guide could not speak any English and looked to be about 16 yrs. old, but Joel reassured me that with everyone around us, we would be fine.

Our trip over was uneventful, and we were able to see where important events in history took place, but on the way home the motor on our bunka boat quit, we began drifting, and the boat started taking on water. Soon we were taking old cans kept in the bottom of the boat, and bailing out water as fast as we could while we watched the other boats move farther and farther away. I was very grateful for my life jacket as Joel and I prayed and bailed and prayed and bailed, while the young man tried to restart the motor. After about 10 minutes we looked up to see a boat coming back for us. Our boats were tied together by rope, and we were towed back to shore as we continued to bail water. What a relief to put our feet back on sandy soil again!

The other day I was thinking about Joel’s and my 41 years together and this story came to mind. I remembered just how many times God, Himself, has been our “life jacket”. He has brought us through many trials, and with His help we have been able to bail ourselves out of many ”sinking” situations. Often I have panicked like I did that day in the bunka boat, and I have desperately prayed for God to save us. Panic did nothing to help me then, but certainly God did. Panic does not help me in my daily life now either. It does not help any of us.

It is a comfort to know we each have our own life jacket to wear no matter where we find ourselves. God is always with us. He provides us with the strength we need to “bail” ourselves out of deep water. More than that, He often rescues us before we get into “sinking” situations, and we have no idea at the time! How blessed we are to be able to put our trust and security in Him as our “life jacket”. Trusting God replaces our panic with His everlasting peace.

***Please visit Charlotte and Ginger at to read more inspirational posts.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thinking

Okay, first of all, I know it is not's Friday, but I have been wanting to start posting what I am thankful for and missed the day so with determination I am following through with Thankful Thursday thoughts on Friday :-).

Giving thanks for sunshine after a long week of dreary grey days.
Giving thanks for Joel being home.
Giving thanks for Joel getting disability even though it is not something we ever thought would be necessary!
Giving thanks for a warm wool comforter ~ my Woolie~ on crisp fall and winter days
Giving thanks for rice socks I can warm in the microwave to ease my aches and pains.
Giving thanks for talking to our oldest son on the phone nearly every day for the past month and seeing him twice and our DIL once.
Giving thanks for our family.
Giving thanks for a loving God who gently reminds me to not focus on the problem but on the PROVIDER!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Work of the Gardener

Isaiah 58:11 "You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring who waters never fail."

Most days I try to walk around our yard deadheading the flowers in our flower pots and small garden. Once in awhile I am able to water the plants and pull a weed or two, but mostly I leave that to my husband. We are blessed to be able to enjoy pansies, geraniums, day lilies, petunias, Mexican Wedding plants, mums, and more! In the more shaded areas we have pots full of pink, white, and coral impatiens.

The flowers do not bloom as well if left on their own. A lot of work goes into the care of the soil, because if it is not tilled, fertilized, and watered the plants will whither and die. In late Fall we cover the garden with leaves to protect the soil and perennial roots, and when Spring arrives the leaves are removed, the soil is turned over once again, and nourishment is added to prepare for the summer blossoms.

In our own lives God is the Gardener, and in love He prepares, nourishes, weeds, and gently cares for us. Often the soil (soul) needs to be stirred up and tilled, and sometimes transplanted. God knows what care we need to become more and more like Him. As our soil (soul) is tended, weeded, and nourished, we start to grow beautiful flowers (gifts to share with others), becoming more and more of the person God desires us to be.

A garden that is left untended soon becomes covered with weeds that smother the flowering plants. So it is in our lives also. If we do not turn to God in prayer, if we do not read His Word and nourish our soil (soul) we will produce more weeds than flowers, and eventually whither and die.

Let us open our hearts to God’s wisdom in tending to our souls. He is the Master Gardener and He has a Master Plan for each of us. With much nourishment and care, we,too, can grow to bloom into a beautiful garden.

To read more inspirational posts go to where Ginger and Charlotte host Spiritual Sundays.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mountain Moving Miracles

I read Linny's blog, "A Place of Simplicity" and she speaks often of God as being a
"miracle-working, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring gasp-giving God!" While reading her blog I have been reminded over and over again of what God is capable of doing, and wants to do in the lives of His children. This mantra has touched me deeply and found a home within my soul.
I have started looking for mountain-moving miracles in our own lives, and I have not been disappointed!

My husband and I are "Partners in Lyme". We are fighting a difficult battle, but we know God is walking with us. Joel has had to apply for disability as he is presently unable to work. For two months our congregation paid what is called a medical leave salary for his position as Senior Pastor. He filled out paperwork a month ago and sent it off to the people who needed to also fill it out and send it off to our ELCA so that they could have their own insurance company look it over and decide if he was eligible or not. Unfortunately, our doctor was unable to fill it out and send it off when she received it, as it was put in his medical file when it arrived. Three weeks later we called the ELCA and were told they were waiting on the paperwork from our doctor, so after a phone call, things were set into motion and nearly a month later than expected, the necessary papers were sent off to the insurance company. We were told it could take another month to be approved. Joel had understood that he would continue to receive money from his employer for accumulated sick days and vacation days, but yesterday Joel was told that due to his application for disability, his position had been terminated and he no longer was employed by our congregation! What to do? We needed money for the mortgage, bills, and food. Our out of pocket medical costs for treating Lyme are unbelievable and we don't want to give up treatment. We know we are two of the "lucky" ones because we have options....but I must be honest and say we were pretty stressed out by this turn of events. We did not have to be.

It seems God had a mountain-moving miracle planned for us. Early this morning we received a phone call from the insurance company saying they had just received the paperwork and they were giving us a verbal approval for disability! Wow! No long period of waiting, no wondering if he would be approved, no worry, no scrambling to find money for our daily needs. God is a miracle-moving God and we experienced this today.

Another miracle is in the making in our lives too. A crisis that I choose not to speak about, has been causing our family a lot of stress and worry. Prayers have been raised for God to step in and perform a miracle in the lives of two little ones we love and care about. Today we saw a glimpse of that miracle God is working out. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart to feel His love and see the "mountain" beginning to move. We are praising God for the miracle we know is coming!

I am forever grateful for the mountain-moving, miracle-making, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving God that Linny reminded me of. In my battle with chronic illness, I had forgotten the great power of our loving God. Do you have awe-inspiring stories of our mountain-moving God? I know you do! How blessed we all are and may we never forget the miracles God is waiting to perform in our lives!