Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday morning to you from our corner of Iowa.  It has been another humid week with plenty of rain mixed in.  The land is rejoicing!  We had a couple of cold days, I mean long pant days and since I was fighting a virus of some kind, I was also wearing a hooded sweatshirt while trying to get warm.  The colder weather and the cold I was fighting have passed and things are pretty much back to normal.

Speaking of normal, just what is normal?  I think it differs for everyone, don't you? When we first started studying Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, some things did not appear normal to us.  As Lutherans it was all so new......... ...and for the most part exciting.  I just love it when God stretches us into that something more than we could ever imagine.  He is good about that!  Ask, and He delivers!  This week we went to a prayer meeting.  We thought it was a prayer service, but it was a meeting of intercessors who were praying for churches, city, and communities.  They were loud intercessors.  Very. loud.  It took us out of our comfort zone, which I am sure Holy Spirit thought was very humorous!  Another adventure!
Well, our house in on the market.  We are trying to sell it ourselves, but after 2.5 days, nothing yet.  Can you tell that I am impatient?  Lots of lookers online, but no one coming to the house.  One realtor has a family who want to live in our area so he hopes to bring them by.  We have said all along, when it sells will be in God's timing.  Now I just need to trust and stand on what we are saying.  It is in your hands, God.
It was a lot of work to get the house looking so well for showing, only because we needed to get rid of a lot of "stuff".  All family photos stored away, minimalizing furniture so house looks bigger, garage put back together from when the bomb when off in there. Oh, that's bomb, just years of being too sick to do anything but store or toss in there what we did not have energy to take care of.  Our two car garage only fit one car with all Joel's tools and the "stuff".  It is looking good now after days of Joel spending his time sorting, purging, and running things to the Habitat Re-store and Goodwill.  The new driveway is done and looks so good, and yesterday the cement guy came back and put fresh black dirt around the driveway.  Joel will plant grass this weekend. 

We have been walking all week in the association or down by the river.  Managing 1.5 miles some days now.  Joel has not had any time to bike, which is too bad.  He enjoys that so much. 

I have been pondering what we will miss in Arizona besides our family and friends.  Deeply.
I think I will miss the sound of the wind blowing in our trees, especially the maple in the backyard.  We will miss all the green.  We will miss the change of seasons, especially favorite time of year!  We won't miss winter or the humidity. 

We are reading a book together entitled, "Spirit Wars" which is very interesting.  We watched a little re=run TV and a couple of teachings, but mostly too tired at night to do anything but watch our new favorite show....'Tiny House Living" on HGTV. 

Until next time............

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finding Your People

Recently we were watching a teaching from Bethel Church and the pastor spoke about what we need to fulfill our destiny............our God given purpose for our time here on earth.  One key component In fulfilling our destiny is to "find your people".  The pastor went on to say that we are not in this alone.  We are created for relationships.   A relationship with the Trinity and relationships with people.  We need each other.  We depend on each other and God.  We need support and encouragement from others and their willingness to hold us accountable.  It's really a Biblical principle.

I thought a great deal about this "finding our people" concept.  I reflected on the lives of our children, our family, our friends, and community.  Where we live and breath.  With "our people". Our community has always been defined by the church due to Joel being a pastor.  We lived mostly in a fish bowl~ parsonages  ~and we walked into a church with the people knowing a great deal about us.  Finding friends was not always easy, but fellowship was.  We did not really need to find our people, God said go and we went.  The people were there to welcome us when we arrived.  Our kids had the added component of new schools and seeking friends among their peers..  It was always difficult to change schools.  They did so bravely, and we are grateful and humbled by that.

At this time in our lives, we are seeking a new purpose in a new land.  We are going where God leads but not sure why He is leading us there!  There will be no built in church community or a parsonage to live in.  No one will know us as pastor and pastor's wife.  That is both exciting and scary.  We are heading into the desert and will need to mostly start over "finding our people".  We will need to seek out a church family that can hold us accountable, encourage us, and support us as we move forward in God's purpose for this season of our lives.  One thing in this adventure remains the same.  God has said go and we are going.  He will have people, our people, our community in place.  We need only trust Him as we walk in obedience. 

Finding our people.  It is a great concept.  Some find their people at the hockey arena.  Some find them at the local bar.  Some find them on the Internet.  (I am blessed this way, too) Some find them in their home towns where roots run deep.  Some find them in church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.  Some find them in a variety of arenas.  Where do you "find your people"?  Hopefully. wherever you find them it is God doing the leading and it is centered on His purpose for your life.  In God's family.   It seems like a good place to take refuge.  In the midst of those who seek what we all seek.....a sense of belonging, and a  close relationship with God and His purpose for our lives.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you from corn country where the heat and humidity have helped the corn grow, but definitely wilted us humans!  Ugh......The desert is inviting us to a dryer heat.  Okay, okay, it is 113 there today, but it is dryer!

Our friends, and Bethany's Godparents came by yesterday...they left Iowa just a few years ago and will be a short distance from us in a Phoenix subdivision.  Jim says, "It is a dryer heat........but 115 is still 115 and hot."  They live there year round and declare that you can't survive without a pool.....We have had others tell us the same thing.  They gave us some good information for when we house hunt.

Well, the inside of the house is ready, the driveway will be ready Monday and Joel will begin in the garage when the heat goes down.  We know of a couple of people who want to look at the house so will see if that pans out.  It is not on yet.  

We won a basket of fresh produce at the Farmer's Market yesterday.  Last Friday I had signed up for a drawing, filling out one paper.....while watching another woman fill out 5 plus of the same.  I remembered thinking it would be funny if I fill out only one and win.  I did and I won!  We were very surprised when we picked up our prize.  A cantaloupe, zucchini, bunch of potatoes and green beans, green pepper, 4 ears of corn, and a couple of baked goodies.  Wow!  How great!  Of course we stopped by our favorite vender and picked up strawberries, a cucumber, and another apricot/almond scone to share. 

Last night we watched the movie, "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith among others. The first one was much better, but we enjoyed it very much. 

Last Sunday we went to Praise Community Church and found it delightful!  Great music, good sermon and friendly congregation!  We will go back tomorrow.  We ran into a couple there that Joel knew and they told us they were moving to Mesa in two weeks, so we had them over Monday night for a visit.  It was good to hear more info on house buying and shopping.

I watched a Healing conference out at Charis Bible College this past week.  We had visited there last February.  Would have loved to go, but we are a bit busy.......Joel took in a couple of the teachings also and we managed a bit of re-run TV and also some porch sitting before the humidity returned.  Still walking daily along the river or in the Association.

Nice visiting with you is everything in your corner of the world?

Until next time.....................

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Defending God In The Dirt

A couple of days ago the men doing our driveway spoke to Joel about a "problem" they discovered.  It seems the water pipe was bent and the shut off valve was damaged.  More than likely it needed to be the cost of $800.  The cement guy said, "If you are moving I could just cover it back up and leave it."  Joel told them no, it was our responsibility, so, they called their fix-it guy, and he came over to take a look. 

Joel was outside observing because he loves watching the process take place.  In fact he acts just like a kid watching these men at work.  We both were amazed to watch them dig up our driveway in just 12 minutes, piles of cement everywhere!  Then they hauled it away....and then the "problem" showed up.  So as he stood outside watching them dig deep down into the dirt below where the cement had been to check out the pipe,  the digger was continually using the name of Jesus in vain.  None stop.  Joel turned to Him and said, "I am a preacher, and I use the name of Jesus often as a minister.  You are using the same name as I do.  The guy replied, "God has never done anything but kick my ass!" (excuse my language)  My never-swears nor gets-angry hubby said back to  him firmly, "No, that is not God!  God is a good God.  You are kicking your own ass!" 

The cement guy who is a non-stop talker and who seems to have a fear of God and a respect for the cowboy preacher was dead silent during the whole exchange.  The other two workers were watching.

My first thought was, "We just spent $800 defending our Lord while this guy was digging out 7 feet of dirt...........  And........... that is okay."  Sure enough, it needed to be professionally fixed to the tune of $800.  But when the using-God's- name man excavated and got to the source of the issue 7 feet down, he discovered that this was caused by either the energy company or the city water crew,  so he called them both, telling them  to come out.  They did, and they agreed it was their problem, and now the bill will be sent to the energy company.  Yay God!!

Lately I have been receiving two words...."planting seeds" over and over.  Planting seeds of the Word in ourselves, planting seeds in others.  And watching these seeds multiply.  I am praying that Joel's exchange with this man planted seeds.  Seeds in the digger, in the men standing around listening.  When the city men showed up the digger told them, "This guy is a preacher and he chewed me out for swearing."  And later on.....the digger guy came over and sat with Joel and they shared some quiet words together.  Planting seeds while defending God in the dirt!  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday to you from our corner of the world where the weather cannot make up it's mind.  We have a couple of dry days and then the humidity comes back full force.  Then the dry weather returns.  Temperatures remain the same but the dew point and humidity fluxuate greatly.  I don't like it.   Just sayin.

While walking this week we took a couple pictures of the original farmstead here.  Asbury Farm was turned into an subdivision, but the original home and farm still stands with several modifications.  A doctor here in town lives there now and they have put in a manmade pond and other things.  We enjoy seeing the old silo along with the new pagoda on the property. 

The weather lately is not unlike our lives, I expect.  Lately we have been saying, "Life is what happens while you are making other plans..."  and "We make plans and God laughs".    If you read my post Best Laid Plans, you know that our plan to put the house on the market has gone from Plan A to Plan D...and now it is at Plan E.  The cement guys did not come and will not arrive until next week.  The new driveway was delayed last year and then came into fruition right when we were going to put the house on the market.  Then the delay to start digging up the old cement has continued on.  It is what it is.  We have prayed all along that if we are NOT to move to Gold Canyon, God would shut the doors........we are not thinking this is a door shutting, but definitely a bit of a delay in our timing.  Not a surprise to God.

Our oven is finally fixed and we are happy as can be.  Funny how often you want to use your oven in a week.  It is nice to have it back.  AND now we have learned our 2 year old microwave is also acting us and needs a new "megatrone"  Don't ask me what that really is, but I can tell you it definitely needs to be replaced or become a safety hazard.  We are hoping the fridge and dishwasher keep going!

Today as we were walking we met a golden-doodle named Carlie.  She is 4 months old and such a cutie.  Pretty good behavior and so far has only chewed on toilet paper and newspaper.  It makes us long for a dog again, but for now we are keeping those emotions in check.  We also have seen a few deer and a woodchuck this week.  It is amazing to us that we can go north into MN and not see as many deer in the country as we do here in our association or the city. They are unafraid, too, as they are so domesticated. 

Last Saturday we went to a campground to visit some friends who had an open house for their 5th wheel with three pull outs.  It is big and beautiful inside!  They hope to become "full-timers" in the RV world in just a few years.  What adventures they will have!

Sunday we headed to outdoor services at a Lutheran church here in town.  Tomorrow we are heading to a church on the opposite end of the scale from Lutheran traditions.  Should be interesting!  We like checking out new churches and experiencing the many ways people worship.

Yesterday we went to Farmer's Market and picked up some strawberries and a delicious apricot/almond scone that our favorite market venders made.  Delish!

Joel spent one whole day digging up interlocking pavers to be replaced with cement out front.  Then several hours the next day taking apart the porch railing and taking the steps off so we can get new sidewalk laid.  All that physical work, and he was just a little stiff from it.  Amazing for an old guy!  Speaking of old guy.....he never thinks like he is nor speaks of himself like he this is the last time you will hear it from me.  And if you catch me saying we are old again?  Let me know!

I watched the Women's Conference at Bethel Church this week.   It was awesome.  One interesting thing happened that let me know God was speaking to me when the speaker, Lisa Bevere shared her message on being a Lioness.  I go into the garden of my heart when I meditate, and God gives me images and videos of what He wants to share with or say to me.  This week when I went to go into the "garden gate" of my heart, I had a narrow, long shiny rod like object in the backpack I was wearing and it was laying horizontal so I could not get through the gate.  It kept me from entering because it hit the sides of the gate when I tried to walk through.  That same day I watched the taped session of Lisa Bevere and she brought out this long narrow shiny rod like object and released from it a narrow sword.  She said,  "THIS is the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, and today we are going to learn how to wield it!"  It was the same object I was trying to take into the garden and immediately I heard, "You need to know how to use your sword (the Word of God) to wield it in your life!"  Powerful!  I expect I will write more on it as God speaks to me more, but it was just what I needed to hear that day.  One of our daughters says I have a "church crush", and I do.  I have been "Bethelized"!

A friend wanted to borrow a couple books on Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues, and it going through what we have, I began re-reading one titled, "Nine O'clock In The Morning" by Dennis Bennett that I had read 3 years ago.  Being we are now farther along on our journey with Holy Spirit, I have found it very enlightening.  Great book!  Besides reading, we have listened to the conference and watched some TV reruns.  I'm ready for the fall line-up to begin!

Until next time............

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Best Laid Plans

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans...."

Plan A:  It was our plan to have the house on the market by the middle of June.  Families like to buy homes in the summer so they can be settled before school starts and it is the best time to sell.  It did not happen.  Joel was busy and I had news from the eye doctor that put everything on hold for awhile.

Plan B: We moved our goal ahead to mid-July, right after Joel finished work, but he was so busy the last month that he did not get into the garage or his office to sort, purge, and do what realtors call.....stage the rooms for buyers.  We got a lot done, but the more we did, the more we found to do.

 Plan C:  We planned to have it on the market by August 5th.  Today.  And how is that working for us?  Monday the driveway guys stopped by to tell us they were coming this week to tear up our driveway and lay new cement.  It was to be done last year, but did not happen .  Then this Spring we were undecided on whether to go ahead or not, but everyone encouraged us to do so.  So, now we are having to hold off putting the house on the market a third time!  Joel has spent the past two days taking out pavers and removing the steps and railing off the porch so new cement can be laid.  Instead of staining the porch....he took it apart!  Office and garage are still on hold and I cannot do either without his help as a laborer and consultant! 

Plan D: We are hoping to have the house on the market at the end of next week.  If the garage is done.....if the office is done......IF the driveway is done and porch put back together!  We definitely are not writing out our plans in ink anymore, but we are hopeful!

We have thought all along we would try to sell the house ourselves.  If that did not work, we would get a realtor.  Two days ago Joel ran into a guy from a former parish and they talked about us putting the house on the market and moving south.  Yesterday this guy calls us....seems he is a realtor and Joel forgot that bit of info when they were visiting.  He came over and gave us some valuable insights for selling the house ourselves.  Info we definitely needed before attempting this feat.  We are thinking God is walking ahead as we prepare to sell.....with info....with a realtor.......with His timing.  It will sell when it sells and in the mean time we are working hard to get it ready.  Stuff keeps coming up, there are not enough hours in the day, and Joel and I both are hearing from bodies that are weary and sore.  We have come to the conclusion that God is in control here, and He will work it all out together in His timing.  We still feel God has the doors open for us moving to Gold Canyon, but it is not going to be as fast as we thought.  Time will tell.  In the mean time, we are enjoying a very clean house, clear of clutter (except for the office and garage), and soon a new driveway. 

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord,
plans for good and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Authenticity is such a big word, and lately it is one of those buzz words that we hear roll off peoples tongues.  That being said, I am going to reflect on it today. 

Sunday night Joel and I listened to a teaching by Kris Vallotton at Bethel in CA and Kris shared a statement that resonated ~~

"Authenticity is the ability to let go of who we
think we should be, to be who we really are."

Why can it be so hard to be who we really are?  Do we have the "need to please" disease?  Does the past whisper a list of "shoulds" in our ears?   Or do we feel we are not enough for others or ourselves?

Kris went on to say that when he is not being authentic, he feels like he is lying. We are also rejecting the person God created us  be.  He also mentioned that many people believe that "if people get to know me they won't like me", that they are "not enough" as their authentic selves.  Been there........said that.......believed it too.  Just being honest.

Being authentic does not mean we are free to cause pain or harm, nor hurt others feelings, but it does mean we become okay with who we are.  We come to a place where we do not worry about what others think of us as much as we focus on what God thinks of us.  We always have the goal to be more Christ-like, but we also can have the goal to be okay when we look in the mirror, believing that we are enough.  Believing that others will like us when they get to know us.  Cuz, God does not make junk!

My hubby is one of the most authentic people I know.  He knows who He is and Whose he is.  He does not care if we are in NY, Iowa, Arizona, or Montana, he dresses for himself and still wears his boots and hat.  He has had people look down at him, mock him or stare and does not affect him because he is comfortable with who he is.  He also shares Jesus and his healing story with people open to hearing it.  A friend and colleague has said of Joel, "What you see is what you get!"  That is a compliment in my book!

Do you, like me, struggle at times to live with authenticity?  Dressing for others instead of yourself?  Is it difficult to share the love of Jesus as God tells us to do?  Do you feel you are not enough?  Do you let others define you? I think we all find ourselves visiting there at times, but lets not live there.  Let's be who God created us to be.  Authentic!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday morning to you from our corner of the world.  It has been beautiful here since we returned home on Thursday night, warm, but low humidity.  While we were gone over 5 inches of rain fell, including 4 inches in one day.  It is definitely August now, and the grass is not growing quite so fast as before.  Most flowers are doing well, but some are fading. 

Being "up North" in Minnesota, we noticed that the sun does not set until around 10pm while here it closer to 9.  We were either up in lake country with hills and valleys, or on the prairie, and both were enjoyable.  Joel took one day and drove to his home town, then biked 10 miles on a great biking trail before turning around and riding back to where he left the car...first having lunch with his cousin and then having coffee when he returned.  Lots of time to visit! 

We loved sitting on the porch in the silence that only the country provides.  We always say we live in such a quiet area.......and we do.......but on the farm?  We definitely could "hear" the silence speaking.   Loved that.  AND no TV for 7 days was really relaxing.  I did go through nightly news withdraw, but soon adjusted.  In fact when we came back and watched the news, we discovered it to be loud, stressful, and negative.  Our visit with family was soooooo great, and an afternoon visit with a couple of friends was fun!  Joel's reconnection with the people and the church he grew up in was wonderful!  He had such a good time!

We have now been without an oven for 9 days.  Joel and I totally goofed up when we forgot we had a convection oven and put an aluminum tray in the bottom of our one year old stove to keep it clean as we sell the house.  When we turned the oven on, it melted to the bottom of the stove and there is no way to remove it.  So, we have ordered a new heating element/bottom to the stove and a guy will come install it next week when it arrives.  We beat ourselves up for a while, and then just decided....stuff happens....move on.  Sigh.....We use our oven a lot, so we are being creative in finding meals.  Thankfully, it is summer and we can grill.....but not baking bread, or snacks, or our favorite roasted veggies has made us realize how blessed we are!

Today we headed out to a campground around 10 miles from here to visit with friends Mary Lou and Keith and "tour" their new 5th wheel.  Saw a couple of others from our former congregation too.  Fun.  Wow, what a nice home on wheels Mary Lou and Keith have.  We had a nice visit before heading home to more getting-ready-to-sell work. 

I have watched a couple of teachings since Thursday and we havc read a bit, but today our hearts and minds are still back on the prairie, relaxing on the farm porch, and enjoying the family.