Good morning to you from our corner of the arctic where we continue to wait for winter to come to it's senses. It was 35 degrees on Friday while Thursday's high was in the negative digits. And Wednesday night? Wind chills -40 I heard. Up then down....up then down.....Now we are under a blizzard watch and a high Monday of -8. How far away is March?
Needless to say, we have been walking in the mall. We usually go around 10am but sometimes late afternoon depending on Joel's schedule now that he is working. Yesterday was the two year anniversary of his overnight healing and when we left to go walking, I asked God to send us someone to share Joel's story with.......He did not disappoint. We ran into two people we knew, but the one had not heard anything of Joel's and my stories and he asked about our health when he saw I was no longer homebound. Yes! A few minutes later a man passed us and then slowed down and asked, "Do I know you?" Joel replied, "Well I am a local pastor so maybe from a church?" The guy said, "I bet that it is it. What church are you with?" Joel told him he was retired due to Lyme Disease but then was healed overnight so was working part time. He told Joel where he was from, and Joel shared he had filled in at the Lutheran church there for over a month quite a while ago. That was their connection! The man took off walking and then turned around and came back saying, "You know, I have this friend who has an infection in his blood that doctors cannot seem to kill off with antibiotics. I think he should go to Mayo Clinic but.........." Thus began a half hour discussion on healing including Joel's story. It ended with this man giving Joel his address and phone number. Only God. Only God! Later Joel ended up sharing his story and praying for healing with a person who is struggling physically. My prayer was definitely answered! God loves it when we glorify Him.
Speaking of God's healing touch, I must share the story of our daughter's surgery this week. Our youngest has had difficulties with hormones since she was a very young child. As an adult those years of struggle and medication and doctors working with a rare condition turned into many issues with endometriosis and ovarian cysts. This past Wednesday she was scheduled for a partial or full hysterectomy depending on what the doctor found when he looked inside. He was hoping to do a laproscopic surgery but warned Sarah that it could end up being much more. As many of you know I am leading the Knee Team for Linny over at an A Place Called Simplicity, and before her surgery I felt compelled to ask them for prayer. Along with the family, we were lifting her up for the surgery to go quickly and perfectly, and that they could save one ovary so she would not have to go on hormones at her young age. The doctor came out after surgery and told us he was happy that it went so well, and he could save an ovary too. Then Thursday morning he said, "It went gloriously well. I expected trouble but everything went smoothly." Thank you Jesus! Let us not grow weary of praying for others or underestimate the power of prayer....
Our trip to Arizona and Colorado has been postponed for now, due to Joel's new job as support staff pastor here in town. He is enjoying the work very much and looking forward to preaching tomorrow. We were thinking about all the churches he has worked with in the area. He served as pastor at one for 10 years, has been an Interim at two positions involving 5 churches, and has filled in or preached at 3 here in town, and at least 7 churches in surrounding towns. A colleague's wife was telling her husband that she thought she had heard Joel preaching on the radio last Sunday ~ a station in north Iowa....Her husband's reply? Yes, that was him. He does get around doesn't he!" We had to laugh, but after thinking about it I am no longer surprised that so many people stop us in the mall while walking. My cowboy preacher does get around after all!
Joel and I have been watching.........I can't believe I am saying it..........American Idol! We turned to it one night when surfing and before we knew it we were laughing at Harry Connick Jr's sense of humor and how well he, Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez interact. Much better than the others who have sat in their chairs. There is some potty mouth language that comes up that is bleeped out, but otherwise it seems to be a pretty clean show. It has also been great to watch Downton Abby once again.
Joel and I have been reading The Jesus Book by Michael Koulianos aloud with each other, and I have been catching up on magazines this week. What is going on in your corner of the world?