Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
In our faithfulness to God, we are able to wait for His plan to unfold and not force things to move at our pace, but boy I find that hard at times. I keep asking God through my actions and my words..."NOW Lord? Is it time now?" Like an small child waiting for Christmas morning, who continually asks her parents..."Is it Christmas yet?", I go to God daily and ask...."Is it time yet?".
During the Advent season we learn the meaning of waiting ~ waiting for the right time for our Savior. Waiting for the birth of a baby that would save the world. Waiting for Christmas. With this in mind, I can apply the same process to our future. Waiting for the right time...the right place. Joyce Meyer spoke today about being faithful and trusting God to tell us when it is time to go and time to stay and I am so glad I opened my eyes early to listen. In faithfulness I can trust our Lord with today...and tomorrow. He loved us so much he sent His son to die for our sins, His love never ends and neither will His guidance.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
This time of year I wait with anticipation for the mail to arrive. I love getting cards and newsletters at Christmas! Having moved over 20 times in 42 yrs, and with Joel having served several congregations, we have connected with many people and love to hear how they are doing. We oooh and ahhh over how kids have grown up, and enjoy seeing wedding photos, and the pictures of grandkids that are so eagerly shared. We catch up on what is new in each household and learn of their joys and sorrows. I love these special connections with friends, don't you?
It came to my mind to ask myself if I connect with God enough, and have the same excitement when I open His letters to us? The Bible is like one long inspirational newsletter. The only thing missing is the family photo!
As I open the cards and newsletters that arrive on my doorstep this year, I pray I will be reminded to open up God's newsletter with the same anticipation and joy, and read the good news He has for me every day!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Do you remember the song "Sunrise, Sunset" in the movie, Fiddler On The Roof? It is such a beautiful song! When our second oldest daughter was married, Joel officiated at the service and during the sermon his friend sang this song. There was not a dry eye in the church!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
We had our usual Thanksgiving fare, although one turkey was done too soon and the other took an hour longer than we had planned. We still managed to eat a good meal and save room for pie and ice cream. Thursday evening the grandkids performed their annual Christmas play and then they opened Christmas presents from Grandma Na and Papa Joel. We even managed a family photo using a tripod and timer. It only took 4 takes to get a good one!
Staying in a hotel made it possible for the kids to swim and the adults to stay up late visiting. It also made it possible for Joel and I to rest and get a good nights sleep to prepare us for the activities to come. Joel and I did the planning, but little of the cooking or clean up. We still managed one-two rests/naps a day. Lyme and CFS are unforgiving when it comes to pushing over our limits.
We are so grateful for the time we had together...lots of laughter, visiting, hugs, a few cribbage games, a touch football game, and great food filled the days. At first it took awhile for us to adjust to all the noise twenty people make...and then it took us awhile to adjust to the silence after everyone left!
As we spend extra time resting and restoring our energy, we cannot but help but smile as we remember our family gathering. We are blessed with a beautiful family~ inside and out!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tomorrow our children start arriving from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Southern Iowa. Please pray for them as they travel~ it is a busy day on the roads and we are expecting to see freezing rain, sleet, and snow in all of these areas!
We will eat our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday and celebrate Christmas Thursday night! We look forward to having everyone under one roof again. With the kids, in-loves, grandchildren, and us, we total 20 this year.
We have so much to be thankful for. Family, fun, fellowship, freedom to worship, and an abundance of food will grace our lives in the coming days. We pray the same for you.
God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week here the USA, I have been remembering Thanksgivings past, and one that stands out for me took place when we lived in The Philippine Islands from 1974-76. The month of November in the P.I. is in the middle of typhoon season and we had a week of them our first Thanksgiving on the island. We decided to go ahead and cook a traditional meal, even though a typhoon was predicted to hit with over 120mph winds and a torrential rain. We had stored up on candles, water and food, and thought we had done all we could to protect our home. What we had not checked on was our natural gas supply.....so when we ran out of gas while cooking, we ended up eating half-baked turkey along with jello, rolls, and potato chips for our big feast! The kids thought it was great. Right after our unique dinner Joel left for work, as he was a meteorologist in the Air Force and was working the mid shift. The kids and I, and our live-in maid stayed in our home. When the lights went out we lit candles, and when the water came into the house under the front door like someone had put a hose up to it, we used our brooms to sweep it back out and kept up as well as we could. Our home, like most others the military lived in, were made of cement blocks which were then filled with wet cement. The roof could have gone, but not the house itself! We spent a lot of time sweeping water and praying that day. Joel spent a lot of time at work sitting helplessly before a wall of equipment that was not working due to no electricity! We gave thanks quite often for keeping us safe that day. Needless to say it is one Thanksgiving we will always remember ~ and quite fondly!
This year we will celebrate with our family, sharing a feast and fellowship with the crew and enjoying all the hugs we can get from our grandchildren. There will be no typhoons to worry about, but plenty to be thankful for!
May God richly bless each of you as we give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
Join Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays to read or link up inspirational posts.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I wrote a post a few days ago for Spiritual Sundays that spoke about the mystery behind suffering, and the many comments I received gave me new insights into this topic and affirmed some of my own. The comment shared by my friend Dominique from "4 Walls and a View" gave me pause and an important piece to this puzzle I have been putting together.
I had been reading and talking to others about the many ideas surrounding the subject of suffering. Does God use our suffering? Is it sometimes part of His plan or assignment for us? Does God want every person to be healed and well? What are the causes behind suffering? Can we solve this mystery? Should we even try?
Dominique shared, "Maybe we were never meant to figure it all out. Maybe this is just part of our journey that is called faith." I had to chuckle when I read this. My practitioner tells me I like to have "all my ducks in a row". I do not like surprises and I like to have all pieces of the puzzle in place! Like that ever happens in real life! Dominique is soooo right.....we will never figure it all out. We are not meant to. God is God and we are not!
This journey of discovery I have been on has expanded and deepened my faith and helped me realize that I can find acceptance and comfort in living with all the mysteries of God. I know that God will use us as we are and where we are today. It is my desire to serve Him whether I am healed or not. It is not about me. It is about putting the spotlight on God...His glory....His desire to further His kingdom. Dominique's words helped remind me that I can trust God, and not lean on my own understanding. Trusting and leaning on God ~Not a bad place to be.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
My need to learn more intensifed when I joined a conference-call prayer group, where the leader believes strongly that God wants all of us well and healthy. She states that Christ's death on the cross was in part so that we do not need to suffer. He already suffered for us. I felt challenged by these beliefs and my pondering turned into a time of struggling and growing.
I have read a couple of books by well known authors on the subject of healing~ there are many on this topic! There is more than one TV evangelist who tells us if we would just "believe" we would get well. God's favor is there for the asking, and our faith or that of a faith healer will heal us. One person I am close to has asked me, "Do you really want to get well? Is there something emotional inside of you that is keeping you from getting well? Some hidden benefits?" In Max Lucado's book, "It's Not About Us" he states that a season of suffering can be a part of God's calling for us ~ He says, "Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume on God's song." Yet another school of thought is that we live in a fallen world and we are going to have suffering because of sin.
I have looked at all the above and more, reflecting on my own beliefs while reading about those of others. What I came to realize is that there is scripture to back them all! There is great mystery in all of this for me....we have seen a close friend on death's door with terminal cancer who was miraculously healed and is living a full life years later. We have seen others who believed with their whole heart that God would heal them here on earth...and He did not. I have also observed others who have not asked for healing but did use their suffering to glorify God, and we all understand that a sinful world brings suffering to many. There are as many answers as there are questions on the enigma of suffering.
I believe there are mysteries we will never fully understand, and one of them is the mystery behind suffering. Researching this subject left me open to God's desires for our lives in all areas, including healing. I have come before God asking for healing in accordance with His will, hopeful for full health here on earth, while also asking God to use our season of suffering to His glory. I know that God answers our prayer requests with what He sees as best for us, and that He loves us....deeply and unconditionally. In His omnipotence there is mystery and will be until God welcomes us into Heaven. And I am okay with that. I don't have all the answers on the suffering people experience, but I do know I can trust my Lord in every season of my life.
Stop over and visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays to read inspirational posts or link up with your own. www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com
Friday, November 5, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Our van has around 200,000 miles on it and was needing to be repaired more and more often, so for over a year we had been talking about how we were going to buy a newer van. As time passed we continued to thank God for our van continuing to be trustworthy, while praying about finding a different one. We figured we could make a payment if we were really careful, but a trade in would be impossible. Why? Well, because I have something called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. I react badly to chemicals of all kinds and gas, wood smoke, fragrances....and more. When you buy a used van it has always been detailed and has a smell most people like, but my body finds dangerous. When you buy a van from a private owner you are never sure of what you are getting. When you buy a new van, it has all the smells of new plastic, formaldehyde, foam, etc. This is not something that goes away in a month...or even six. We would have to keep both vans until I could safely ride in the newer one. It was going to be a challenge and when you add to that our health issues, just having the energy to look for a van would be difficult. We began to pray.
Little did we know that our oldest son and his wife were looking at trading in their van for a different kind of vehicle. They knew our van was getting old and that we were talking about getting a new one, and they were willing to sell us their van and not use it for a trade in. They called us one day and asked us if we were interested in purchasing their van, which we could finance through our son's credit union at his job, which we discovered would give us the lowest interest rates. We were definitely interested, so our son drove it up here and Joel drove it and checked it out to see if it would work for us. It is the same kind as we drive, but was only one year old, with few miles, and sporting some of the gadgets he likes such as temp. direction, etc.!! Exciting!
Just like that our prayers were answered. We were able to purchase a van from private owners whom we know very well and could trust (smile), and it did not take any real effort on our part to find it. We still have our old van for me to ride in until the newer van "outgasses" enough for me to travel safely, and Joel has a new vehicle for getting to work and when he travels without me! God took care of it all. it could have been a long, stressful journey to find a new vehicle to drive, but God had it all worked out. And our gracious son and daughter-in-love were the instruments God used to answer our prayers!
I am going to put a match box van in our Memorial Box to remind us of how God took care of all the details without us having to buy a "detailed" van!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
One of my favorite books is by Gracia Burnham entitled,"To Fly Again". It is a sequel to her book, "In The Presence Of Mine Enemies" which is the true story about the year she and her husband spent as hostages with a terrorist group in the Philippine Islands where they were missionaries at the time. Her husband Martin is killed during their rescue and her second books covers her life after his death, and how God's love and grace continues to bless her and her family.
In her second book she uses a phrase that is more like a prayer. "Grace me again, Lord." As Gracia's life slowly moved forward she realized that her life was not over. God still wanted to use her to further His kingdom. She trusted God to still make something more of her....to grace her again with His blessings and guidance.
This phrase really resonates with me, and I use it when I find myself in a number of different circumstances. It is one we can all keep close to our heart. When life feels burdensome....grace me again, Lord....when illness or death strikes....grace me again, Lord.......when we are confused about what is going on today, struggling with our past, or worried about our future....grace me again, Lord.....when fear or discouragement come calling....grace me again, Lord......when we need His strength to carry us....grace me again, Lord...when we need encouragement....grace me again, Lord.
If you look in the concordance of your Bible, you will find countless verses on grace. They confirm over and over again how much God loves us. God's grace never ends!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
My illnesses slowly changed our lives over the years, but things went down hill when I became homebound six years ago. The spinning only got worse when Joel was also diagnosed with Lyme and coinfections 16 months ago and was put on disability. His ministry was put on hold until he took a less than part time job as an interim in a town nearby. This job was a blessing we were not expecting! Even with the interim job, thoughts of retirement are at the forefront.
Thus, we find ourselves in the midst of a transition. For the first time ever I hear my husband say, "I don't want to do this anymore. I am exhausted and I need to rest."
Today I am actually thankful for this time of transition. Oh, I am not thankful we are sick, but I am truly thankful we have the option to live on the permanent disability he has been given and for the option of early retirement. I am thankful that we have God in the center of all the decisions we need to make. I am thankful for the progress we have made in our treatments and the wonderful doctor who works with us to lead us towards better health. I am thankful for God's promises in His word that give us the hope we need. I am thankful that God is leading the way in the wheres, hows, and whens of this new and unexpected journey. I am so thankful that He loves us and wants the best for us.
Reading another blog today, I heard the words ~ I decided to look at my glass as half-full instead of half-empty~. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, there are plenty of blessings to keep our glass half full. I am thankful today for our half-full glass and the hope I have that some day soon we will be saying, "Our cup runneth over!".
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Today's story is not about us, but about friends who experienced a miracle in their lives. We grew to be friends with Marilyn and Leon when we moved to their small town and Joel served as Pastor to their congregation for six and one half years. A few years after we moved to another church, we got a phone call telling us Leon had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer from asbestos. He had been exposed to the asbestos while in the military and quite often it resulted in this type of cancer. Many people began praying for Leon as he moved forward on this difficult journey.
When they had exhausted all treatment options and Leon realized he was going to die, they called and asked Joel to come back and officiate at his upcoming funeral. It was a sad time for all and especially his family as the large tumor began to block his ability to breath or swallow. Even though his time was near, he hoped to live through Christmas to be with his whole family, and he did.
As January arrived we waited for the phone call telling us of his death....but it did not come....and did not come. We began to wonder what was happening. A phone call eventually did come and instead of tears of sadness, we all had tears of joy! Leon began to feel better after Christmas, and when he went in to his doctor for a check up they did a CT to check on the tumor...but they could not find it! The tumor had disappeared. More tests gave them the same results.....the cancer was gone. One of his doctors had a scientific name for this....spontaneous remission.....BUT we ALL know why the cancer was gone. GOD is HIS power and love granted Leon more life. He alone healed Leon of the cancer!
More than six years later Leon is still doing well and living a full life. Let us never forget God's healing power and what He can and WILL do in our lives!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our Salvation.
Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing Psalms of praise to him,
For the Lord is a great God.
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land too....
Come let us worship and bow down
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over
the flock under his care.
This past week was a bit challenging with another CT Scan to rule out lymphoma on Monday and an appointment with the oncologist on Thursday. As each day passed I found myself fluxuating between peace and anxiety, assurance I was fine and worry that the cancer had returned. My faith in God did not waver, but my peace of mind did. It turns out my report was good, and there is no lymphoma to be seen. All is well...all is well. Praise God!
Looking back on my times of worry, the above verses sang out to me today. They reminded me that no matter what the results would have shown, God would still be God and all creation would still be His! He is my Rock, the one sure thing in my life. Through trials, tribulations or death, I would be watched over and kept in His care.
I belong to a conference call prayer group of "Lymies" ~ People battling Lyme Disease. We gather by phone every two weeks and pray for over 250 people. When I hear about all the suffering people are going through just in this group requesting prayer, I bend my knees and plead for God's mercy. It would be easy to be discouraged or feel overwhelmed...
When we open our Bible and pour over the scriptures our eyes focus on our Lord and our hope rises! The scriptures fill us with the promises of God, and as Psalm 95 tells us~
We ARE the people God watches over...the flock under His care. No matter what any of us are facing today, no matter what changes come for us ~ God is our Rock! "Come let us worship and bow down!"
Stop over and visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays and post a link or read inspirational posts. www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com
Monday, October 11, 2010
Today, after praying about what to post, I am sharing about when God protected Joel and our family from harm, watching over us and providing the help needed to get through a very stressful time.
When my husband was serving a congregation in Zimmerman MN he would often hug all the people when they left church. One day he hugged an elderly lady and this changed our lives forever. Her husband, who we found out later was a violent alcoholic, became enraged by this and decided Joel and his 70 yr old wife were having an affair. He made plans to kill my husband. Unbeknown to us he would have his wife call our home and instruct her to tell Joel she needed him to come over and he planned to " shoot and gut the pastor" when he arrived. Several times we received phone calls, but he would have her hang up before she spoke.
One night the phone rang at 10:30pm and the police were on the line telling us that this man had just shot up his brother-in-law's house where his wife was staying and then left there on his way to come kill "the pastor". They told us they were on their way and to sit tight. Needless to say we were worried, as the split-level parsonage where we lived had big windows at basement level where some of the kids slept and also throughout the house. We woke all of our kids and had them lay on our bedroom floor upstairs. Having grown up hunting and also spending 8 yrs in the Air Force, Joel was an expert markman, and he loaded his rifle and stood by the front door watching out the window there, while I stood at the upstairs window peeking out to watch the road several hundred yards away. We prayed and stood watch while periodically I checked in on the kids, trying to reassure them that they would be okay. Protecting our family was utmost on our mind.
Soon, 4 police cars arrived at our home. The police decided we needed to leave town so we contacted my sister and her husband and let them know we were coming and to pray for our safety. Then an officer took our oldest daughter, age 14, around the house collecting clothing for the kids while we got them ready to leave. We were taken under armed guard out into the garage and the kids were told to lay down in the car, and then two of the police vehicles escorted us out of town and drove with us for over a half hour towards our destination.
The man did not get to our home, the police went searching for this man and arrested him. We had no clue all the plans he had made to "kill the pastor", but learned of them later. He continued to have a personal vendetta with Joel and even called our home from jail to threaten us again. Eventually this man was let out of jail because his wife would not testify against him and as a pastor, Joel could not share what the wife had told both of us the day after her husband was arrested because it was said "in confidence". They also could not prosecute BECAUSE HE DID NOT SUCCEED IN HARMING US!
Our ordeal did not end with his arrest...He had a restraining order to be a certain amount of space away from Joel so he would drive up and sit on the road and watch our home. After a while he called and threatened me and our children and then assaulted a police officer so he was arrested again, but eventually let out. Our older children did not want to move and after a lot of prayer asking for God's plan, we made a difficult but obedient decision to stay in this congregation for 4 more years, learning to do what we needed to protect ourselves while trusting God to care for our family. W e never left our children alone without an adult in our home for over a year, and the schools and congregation were aware of this situation. Even after we left there and moved three hours away we would get hang up calls that we believed were from this man. God continued to protect us until the time of his death.
After this occurred we contacted our synod which was at that time part of the Mpls/St. Paul ELCA synod. We asked for help, but were not really given any. The synod president at that time actually said to us, " Gosh, be careful, this guy is dangerous.." or something to that affect. By God's guidance we were led to the president of the seminary Joel had graduated from 4 years earlier, and he took us under his wing ~ counseling with us and getting us a lawyer free of charge to consult with. The president of the sem became a good friend and walked with us through this journey. Another blessing from God.
So how is this a good memory? Much of it is NOT, but the way God protected us is! IF the wife of this man would have told Joel he needed her help he would have immediately gone there to help. I believe God stopped her and her husband every single time. We were protected from harm the night the police came. We were protected the following 4 yrs. and learned to trust God and stay where he wanted us to stay and leave when He told us to leave.
Honestly, this effected our whole family for years. It changed how we had to live, and took away our children's sense of security in their own home for a long time. It took years for all of us to completely heal......but God was with us. He went ahead of us....He walked beside us....He walked behind us. And he still does.....
I think I will add a picture of a gun to our Memory Box along with a cross. We were protected and God in His amazing love and faithfulness brought us through to the other side of this journey. In fact, when we heard years later that this man had died....and his funeral was at the same church he had been banned from by police while we lived there.......we were thankful that he had gone back to church. Maybe, he had changed his ways....Maybe he allowed God's grace and love to enter into his life too.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The past couple of days I have been very crabby, and have let my hubby know how much I hate being here alone. You see, he has had the privilege of going 5 1/2 hours north of here to visit his mom, brothers, and extended family while also staying at the home of our daughter and her family. I was resentful and I was angry because I cannot travel and had to stay home. I have not been back in that area for 14 years, and I have not been able to travel and stay at someone else's home in 6 years but for some reason it hit me hard this time around and I was making sure everyone knew I was unhappy.
This was not an easy trip for Joel due to his health problems. He stopped every 1 1/2 -2 hrs on the way up to sleep for an hour just so he could get up there. Then he scheduled his visits to include naps and early bedtime. Driving home will be the same thing. We have talked 2-3 times a day and have had devotions over the phone together each morning. He has shared all the joy he has felt seeing everyone and being back "home" in an area of the country he loves. I have been very happy for him, but it has been clouded with feeling sorry for myself!
So, how is that working for you Renee? Ummmmm not so well. And God let me know today through the ministry of Joyce Meyer. I have a choice here...to enjoy the days alone or to grumble and complain. Starting today I am enjoying every day and plan to keep working on enjoying every single minute of my life ~ I have so much to be thankful for!
Thank you God that Joel is able to reconnect with his family, spend time with his 93 yr old mother, and give those MN grandbabies some hugs. Thank you Lord for a loving husband who wants to share each of these moments with me, and who misses me as much as I miss him. Thank you Lord that he will be home soon.....Thank you God for having a nice home to live in with our dog Levi for company. Thank you for cell phones, Internet, and TV to help pass the time. Thank you that I feel good enough to be up and about the house and take care of myself. Thank you Lord for loving me enough to bring my negative attitude to my attention. Thank you Lord for forgiveness......
Thank you Lord for a beautiful fall "Indian Summer" day! Let me rejoice in it!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
We decided to pray about where God wants us to "retire". We have always followed His guidance for our lives, and see no reason not to now. But, after months of prayer, He has not led us to one area yet. I want answers...yesterday. We seem to be spending a long time in a "waiting" mode. I have looked at houses in several different towns and more than one state...trying to figure out the where part of this equation. There seems to be so much to worry about ~ what would be best for our health ~ do we need more outdoor space....less indoor space....is it safe for me with all my allergies....It does not take long to work myself into a stressful state of mind.
Today as I prayed once again for God's guidance in this matter, Psalms 37:9 came up in our daily devotional "Those who wait upon the Lord with inherit the land." There is that word again!
Reading Joan's post today at Reflections, I heard God's voice in her words...."Do you trust me?" Yes, Lord I trust you, but.... " I seem to end a lot of my answers to God with the word "but".
I need to keep reminding myself that God knows what He is doing. God knows what is best for us...the place....the time....the right house. I don't have to worry, I can leave it all in His hands! We have asked and He will answer. What is required from us is trust.
One of my favorite verses comes to mind: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5,6
I expect I will need to revisit this again, but hopefully each time I do I will learn more about trusting God with our future....and about waiting for His perfect timing.
To read inspirational posts, stop over and visit Ginger and Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays. http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. He eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food he arrived home to find his hut in flames, with smoke rolling up into the sky. The worst had happened, and now everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out to God, "How could you do this to me?" He eventually fell into an exhausted sleep.
Early the next morning he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him! When the rescuers came ashore he asked how they knew he was here. "We saw your smoke signal" they said.
The moral of the story: It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we need not lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be the smoke signal God is using to rescue you!
To read or share inspirational posts, please visit Ginger and Charlotte over at Spiritual Sundays. http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
There are many who talk about the journey of life being in our control. The New Age mantras talk of the Law of Attraction and the "fact" that we create our own destiny. We make ourselves sick and we can make ourselves well. There are evangelists and pastors who preach the gospel of prosperity, and tell us that if we desire it, we can have it because God's favor is upon His children. Just think positive! Just believe. There are others who say it is an honor to "suffer" for God. They may see God in His kitchen, dumping a quart of sorrow, a cup or two of trials, and a few drops of joy into His big blender in the sky~ when it is all blended together, out pours our life. If you get the mixture with more sorrow than others, be thankful. You are blessed to suffer for God. My husband, among others, believes that mostly because we live in a fallen world, there is suffering. The question might not be, "Why me?"...but... "Why not me."
More than likely in some degree or another, the reasons for our trials and sorrows lie in all the above. Sometimes our choices cause us undo suffering, sometimes the fallen world dumps junk on us, and some of our trials are to teach us and glorify God. I don't believe God mixes up a blender full for each life, but He does allow suffering to occur in our lives. I don't understand all the whys, and am not sure I ever will or need to while here on earth. Trusting God means we don't need to have all the answers.
What we can do during times of trials is talk to God about them, sharing our honest feelings, praying for healing, for release, and for understanding. We can spend our time focusing on His love for us, His promises given in Scriptures, and deliberately search out and identify all the joys of each and every day. We can wake up each day and say, "Good morning Lord!" or we can say, "Good Lord, it's morning!" That is a choice we do have control over.
Yes, life is pretty much a blend of sorrows, trials, and joys. Along the way we are blessed not to be on this journey alone, for God often says in His Word,
Stop over and visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays to read inspirational posts or share one. http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
"For the beauty of the earth....
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Today, I ask anyone who reads this post to pray for the orphans and for the families who desire to bring them home. And I ask that if you are unable to bring home an orphan, that you would be willing to open your hearts and pocketbooks, and find an organization that supports them.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
On August 16, 2010 Rev. David Simonson died at his home in Arusha Tanzania, with his wife Eunice holding him in her arms. He was 80 years old. His death has caused merely a ripple in the world at large, but for his family and loved ones, the Massai people, Tanzania, and Africa as a whole, they are grieving the loss of a great man of God. We have followed their lives closely, not only because it was our dream to be missionaries in Africa, but because David was my husband Joel's second cousin.
David and Eunice were missionaries in Africa for nearly 50 years, and retired there on land given to them by the Massai tribe out of their great love for them. They worked hard to bring the tribal people to Christ, establishing churches, a clinic/hospital, and many schools for the Massai boys, and the first schools for the Massai girls too! Operation Bootstrap began that work in 1995 and continues today. They strongly believed that meeting the needs of the people was part of their calling along with proclaiming Christ as Savior.
David was a large, robust man, a character who sometimes was like a bull to be reckoned with. It served him well on the mission field. His "first" task as a missionary gave him the opportunity to be welcomed into the villages he evangelized. And what was that task? To kill a man-eating lion that was "rogue" and killing cattle and people alike. You can read about their lives in Tanzania in Jim Klobuchar's book, The Cross Under The Acacia Tree. A fascinating read.
The missionaries who serve our world are servants of God called to a special task. As Christians we are all called by God to serve in special ways. If you have a passion that God has placed in your heart, and it is according to His plan for your life, He will give you the strength to fullfill it, just as he did for David and Eunice Simonson.
Join Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays to read inspirational posts and share your own too! www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com is waiting for you to visit.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It was such a blessing to see them again after 8 months. We packed a lot of hugs, game playing, visiting, and food fellowship into those 24 hours! I am so grateful today for being able to connect with them once again. And I am so grateful for their willingness to drive over 5 hours one way to see us and turn right around the next day and drive home. We are blessed.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sometimes we are like this flowering plant. We look good and have beauty we share, but we need a lot of nuturing to grow deep roots and sturdy shoots and leaves before we blossom. When we take the time to delve deep into God's Word and become stronger in our faith through time, learning, and experience, we are able to blossom~ established and rooted in love, and glorifying God in ways we never thought possible! We, too, are able to be our best with God's help!
Monday, August 23, 2010
What we did not realize is that the rocky area they were playing on was the top of an underwater cliff, and the water was very deep. I kept an eye on the kids as we talked, so I was the one who saw Matt fall in the water. I jumped up immediately and ran over to grab him, but when I got there he was hardly visible and was being pulled under the cliff top by a strong current. I reached down into the water and came in contact with Matt's hair. His hair was very long and curly...so long people thought he was a girl, but I had been reluctant to cut it. That long hair saved his life that day! I kept a firm grip onto his long hair and pulled him back out from under the cliff and into my arms.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Recently I joined a conference call prayer group consisting of several people with Lyme disease who gather by phone twice a month to pray. I love this opportunity to pray as a group once again.
The online homes of bloggers have given me the blessing of many new friends, a ton of information, and the joy of expanding my world.
Isn't it all just amazing?! Today I am giving thanks for all the technology that has opened my world to online blogger friends, prayer groups, and "seeing" our loved ones with Skype. It is all a good thing!