Sunday, November 28, 2010

Expectation and Waiting ~ Be Alert and Ready!

If you give a mouse a cookie....are you familiar with these children's books?? Well if not, each of the books in this series is about giving a character one thing and it leading to another thing and another thing and another. How this worked out in my life began several years ago when Rachel Landolt introduced me to an author, Ruth Hailey Barton. She has put together an organization called The Transforming Center and I receive their eReflections email. (You can sign up for free, too.) This weeks eRelection email newsletter is about Staying Awake Spiritually.

The Transforming Center puts out a schedule of verses to read during the time called Advent. I have not really known much about Advent. But I enjoy anything that might be used as a tool to enhance my experience with God, His Son and Spirit. So Daniel and I enjoyed reading the first verses this morning. There are a set for each of the four Sundays before Christmas, some for Christmas Eve and some for Christmas Day. The Transforming Center encourages the process of reading, lectio divina, and I will let you investigate that. Very interesting and very helpful in our spiritual formation. It is all a process and don't let it overwhelm you. Take it a little at a time and enjoy all that God has for you.

Mattew 24:44...the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Enjoy this time on earth as we all expect and wait for Jesus to return and reflect on when He was here in the likeness of men.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Spiral

After listening and taking notes on my second lesson about the Holy Spirit I have wanted to take the spiral everywhere I go so I can share what I have learned. The lesson mainly dealt with the fact that the Holy Spirit has been here from the very beginning and then took a front seat in our lives as He was sent to each of us.

After writing this post three times, I have had a hard time really explaining what were new thoughts and why it spoke to me. So I will try once more and see what comes. I had read the verses about the glory of the Lord filling the tabernacle, Exodus 40:34, and about the glory of the Lord filling the house of the Lord (temple) in I Kings 8:11. The insight that when we come to Christ that the Holy Spirit lives in me was a teaching that seems to have come way back in college probably. But to think that at one time the plan was for God's presence to be in tabernacles and temples and that NOW the Spirit fills us as His temple was just refreshing. What a powerful thought, God's Spirit, the Holy Spirit doesn't want to be in a bldg. He wants to be in such close contact with me, He dwells within me. WOW!!

Again, I have thought about how powerful Jesus is and yet not noticed that the Spirit was mentioned in scripture so much as Jesus lived here as man!

  • Jesus is anointed with the Spirit and with power by God, Acts 10:38
  • Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit Luke 1:35
  • Jesus begins to baptize with the Holy Spirit Matt 3:11
  • Jesus' blood through the Holy Spirit offers Himself to God so we can be cleansed Hebrews 9:14
  • Jesus was raised by the Holy Spirit from the dead, Romans 8:11
  • Jesus gave orders to the apostles by the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:1-2

    Chris Seidman mentions that "we get that Jesus makes me whole and forgives me and I get to go to Heaven, but do we understand and act on the fact that the Spirit comes before we die and is transforming us NOW, before we go to Heaven." He points out that the big deal in Acts 2:38 isn't Heaven, it is the forgiveness of sin and the promise of the HOLY SPIRIT. We are distinguished as His people because we have the Spirit.
  • Thursday, November 4, 2010


    Revelation 22:17
    "The Spirit and the bride say, "Come " And let the one who hears say, "Come " And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost."

    I'm listening to Chris Seidman's lessons on the Holy Spirit and I love listening to some new thoughts and seeing verses new as if I have never seen them before. This verse in Revelation, I had never noticed the Spirit along with the Bride (us, the church) both say COME!

    Do you think of the Spirit being God manifested on earth at this time? What we think of the Spirit will effect how powerful He will work in our life. Jesus did leave and when he left he said, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:16-18

    As we become Christians we receive the Spirit. The Spirit was there in the beginning Genesis 1:1-2, the name for God in verse one is Elohim - a plural form of God, meaning the Father, Son, and Spirit were there. I had understood that but beyond the story of creation I had not really noticed that the Spirit was mentioned as "US". Two examples of "US" are in Genesis 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8. Of course in the NT the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are mentioned in Matt 28:19. So the concept of there being three in one is a teaching in the Bible. We may see it as a mystery and some use the word Trinity (although that word isn't in the Bible). God's ways are different than ours and we only know impart at this time.

    Chris Seidman encourages his student to not think of the Spirit as God's intern or a step down on the ladder from God. The Holy Spirit is God. He uses these verse:
    Colosians 2:9 "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (all 3).

    I Corinthian 6:19 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"

    Ephesians 2:22 "in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit"

    I John 3:24 "The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."

    Acts 5:3-4 "But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit ... You have not lied to men but to God." They are referred to as the same.

    All of these tell how God is relating to us now through the Spirit. The Father and Son are present, but right now on earth God relates to us through the Spirit who lives in His people.

    The Holy Spirit will always lead us closer to Jesus and the Father.

    The Holy Spirit will lead us to unity. In my past there were times I felt that some people wanted to speak of the Spirit and some wanted to only use the name of God or Jesus. Satan wants us to not speak of the Spirit. Understanding the difference between His power and the person that the Spirit is will help me grow. There is no division of the Father, the Son and the Spirit. The Spirit will draw us closer to one another as we share who the Spirit is, it's like talking about God, He is God!!

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Daily Activities

    Cailyn wakes up each morning and wants to know what "activity" are we going to do after breakfast!! Her breakfast is cheerios almost every morning and Corban will pretty much eat anything you give him (strawberries, blueberries, banana, apple sauce, toast, yogurt)!! We head out to the library on Tues. mornings and she loves the read along time even though she only sits or stands on her colored square instead of participating in all of the movements. She is very much into obversing and not performing. She picks out some books and does some of the puzzles and we are on our way. In the meantime we start out encouraging Corban to listen to the stories and end up giving him a "nack" as he says it so he will sit still. We have enjoyed many different activities.

    Cooking chocolate pudding ~ even Corban got in on this activity!!

    We have moved on to lower case "a", working through the letters in her name. We read this book and she did a great job of making an apple. She would sit and let you read to her almost every minute of the day!!

    Daddy O has lots of practice with tea time with little girls. Cailyn thinks it is so funny that Daniel wants to do "her activity"

    Before the night ends we have learned to play dominoes and of course our singing time with Daddy O. Yes, she wanted to wear her glasses and Baby Lima wanted to sit and enjoy our singing time. She sang full voice that night ~ her favorite song, Our God is an Awesome God!!

    Thursday, October 21, 2010


    As i ran today the word "changes" came to me. My mind was flooded with changes!
  • a new house being built since I was last on this street
  • our house is lived in now, not as it was when it was first built
  • the girls have both married
  • I have starting running
  • grandchildren are here in the states
  • there are friends I don't talk to as often anymore
  • there are other friends who I keep up with more these days

    These were some of the first that popped into my mind. The constant I most enjoy is that God walks with us, He is always on this journey with me, actually me with Him. I take comfort in this idea. I have been going back through the Experiencing God study and I'm on the chapters about God speaking to us. I love the process of listening and then realizing I have read scripture that I've read many times but now a new thought is there. I love to just think on those new thoughts and wonder what am I suppose to learn. I try to journal my thoughts so I don't lose them.

    October 22nd was my mom's b-day. Many memories flashed in my mind. I had a friend ask me if I remembered my time with mom after I was married and even after I had children. Good question. I remember much, it was a great exercise as I am now the "momma" with adult married children and married children with their own children. Relationships with your married children is precious. I love to watch Alison still giggle as Justin teases her or listen to her jokes toward him. Watching Alison and Justin parent has made me very proud of their selflessness that is required. Daniel and I recently were able to be hosted by Hannah and Jason in their first home. They were so gracious as they shared their home and let us in on some prayer requests as they begin this season. I loved to watch them as they walked hand in hand on the water front they live near. Our relationship with our parents is such a process. I could only thank God a million times over as He took my mom to be with Him in 2000. So if she were here I would still want her advice on how to handle these ever growing relationships with the girls as they have married and grow into adulthood. She was a great example and God helped me work through her weak areas in order to show me she was human. So helpful!!

    So changes, I don't want to be afraid of what God has around the corner. I want to be content with today and excited about tomorrow!! Changes, what changes are happening in your life??
  • Monday, October 11, 2010

    We are having TOO MUCH FUN!!

    Probably my favorite activity with the girls when they were little was going to the library and getting specific books to talk about whatever subject we were into at the time!! I have found a great site that gives ideas for art work and books reviews about certain subjects. Cailyn and I did the Upper Case "C" last week. We enjoyed the cutest book entitled Bob and Otto - about a caterpillar and a worm!! We have carried that book in the car all week. Baking cupcakes was also part of our time of talking about "C".

    Cailyn doesn't like carrots and so we made up a song about "i don't like carrots..." (much laughter!!) We are going to talk about leaves this week. Can't wait to do some leaf rubbings and read some books about leaves!! Cupcakes on the front porch were enjoyed by ALL!!

    Another activity we have enjoyed is a couple of trips to the children's museum. This is the museum Hannah and Jason got married in and so every time we go we have sweet memories. There is a tot spot activity on the first Friday of the month and it is a time for 3-5 year olds to visit the museum and to participate in an art project. It was all about doing art with metals last week. Cailyn was proud of her artwork!!
    Fun on the pretend ambulance,and Corban is running the lights for a Broadway Show while Cailyn is saying, "Honey, you go, I'm getting dressed up!!

    The ACU Homecoming Carnival was fun this year in a whole new way for Daniel and I since we were able to share it with Corban and Cailyn. As you can see the FULL FACE PAINTING was the first thing Cailyn wanted to do. Of course immediately her nose itched but she did a great job of leaving it on until bath time later. There were lots of joy jumps, joy slides, a great petting zoo!

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Cool weather, Relaxing, Games, Laughter,and Eating!!!

    As soon as I got on the airplane to come home from DC, I began to journal -- I didn't want to forget my reflections of our trip to see Hannah and Jason. Since then I have tried to think of words that would describe the time. We totally enjoyed a hug and just being in Hannah and Jason's presence. Our love for them made them the main attraction and not the sites in DC. If the Lord wills, there will be other trips to DC, but we wanted to relax and enjoy our kids!!

    We took two games -- Bocce Ball, I got a set for them at Target on sale for 15.00. It was a great set, the brand and weight of balls I was looking for. So, yes, we took it in our suitcase which made it very heavy. The second game, you know, our favorite right now -- Settlers of Catan. They liked it so much we played two different nights.

    We also went to a great pizza place -- Vapiano, located in Chinatown. This was an upscale, somewhat eclectic place. No servers/waiters, just cooks behind a counter. Each client receives a plastic card that is scanned by the cooks as you order. The seating was a mixture of family style, long tables and another section more along the lines of a sports bar. It was really loud and colorful and full of energy. Of course we raised the median age by a few years! The food was good and we had a great time. Our picture kinda wraps up the night at Vapianos!

    I made "Thanksgiving" dinner since we will not see them at Thanksgiving. Complete with dressing, turkey from the deli, green bean casserole, rolls, and pie for dessert -- apple, Hannah's favorite, and pumpkin, Jason's favorite. We actually all loved it!!

    One of the fun things was that we were able to get our eyes on Hannah's school. She is a speech pathologist working with mostly 18-22 yr. olds. The architecture of the building is quite unique. Each section of the building has different ages and activities. They even had a really neat garden that the students work with. All of the students are disabled in some way.

    We also were able to attend the church they are part of. Daniel and I are reading a book that their preacher, Mark Batterson, has written entitle In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. It is challenging us to ask ourselves whether we are a people who run from our fears or are we a "lion chaser" -- people who face our fears, as hard as it may be. Are we praying bold prayers or do we just want life to be easy?

    So, our trip felt wonderful as we were able to know where they are and what it looks like.

    Thank you, Father for the time with our kids.

    As Daniel and I leave on the metro -- Our last glimpse

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    I Know You've Heard!!

    Yes, the GRANDbabies are here!! We have totally enjoyed each moment!! The first treasured moment that Daniel has described to many was when they first arrived. Daniel was not at the house, but pulled up about 3 minutes after they arrived. Cailyn came barreling out of the back door and ran as fast as she could jumping into Daddy O's arms!! It was precious!! Our hearts are content with the relationship that God has provided us with Cailyn and Corban.

    Cailyn sleeps on my side of the bed on a pallet on the floor. She wakes up about 7:00 am ready to play. Corban is soon awake and so breakfast begins. Corban has learned the word "puppy" since being here and he wants to spend every minute out in the back with the sand box, slide or pool. He has a love/scared relationship with Cele, our dog. We have enjoyed his smiles and friendly personality. He has warmed up to us very fast and I have even been able to put him down at night and naps. He puts himself to sleep very easily!! I have tried to teach him where his nose is and he has responded by wrinkling up his nose when I mention it!! Corban is in motion at all times although yesterday when we were at the library he was willing to sit and read books as he fed himself grapes!! He eats really well!!

    Today, Cailyn and I had the morning to ourselves and she played with the playdough - we pretended to make pancakes with butter, broccoli, and a volcano with lava flowing out of the top.

    We took a walk down our street, chased a butterfly, enjoyed the shade, admired the flowers in other people's yards, and put acorns in our pockets.

    They both take their naps around 1:00 so Alison and I enjoy talking or quiet time, which is nice. Cailyn loves books and so she has a pile in the living room and in her bed. Last night Alison walked into the room as Cailyn held a book up reading, "In my Father's house there are many mansions...." She loves to joke like her mom and her favorite joke is to call you a long string of silly names, like Honey yogurt juicy apple, she just laughs and laughs!! Right before Hannah and Jason's wedding Cailyn decided to call Jason, Uncle Juicy Apple, and she of course thinks this is funny too!! Jason has decided he will accept the name!! He is such a good sport!!

    Justin has done a wonderful job of connecting with churches as he is seeking funds for the family to return to Peru. We all have no doubts that God wants them in Lima as we watch all of the activity that the Spirit is doing among the Peruivans they have met. Please join us in asking God for support to come to them so they can return to their home and live out what God has for them!! Justin celebrates his 30th birthday in the states on Friday!!

    Alison and I have enjoyed conversation, playing with the kids together, and a fun night at Dittos for Kids - a resale event for children items!! We have introduced Settlers of Catan to Alison and Justin and we have played nearly every night since. Alison and Justin have won every time!!

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    The Simple Things

    There are a few new things in our daily lives that have been fun to discover. We would like to tell you about them.

    First, food....a new snack...

    Pepperidge Farm, Goldfish, Baked graham snack, made with whole grain, cinnamon flavor. There are 300 goldfish in the package and 50 is a serving. 5g of total fat, 7g of sugar. Slip them in a baggie and hit the road!!

    Lipton Diet Green Tea, buy them in a 12pack, contains no juice, sugar free. We both enjoy these.

    Food for the spirit -- Blessing Your Spirit by Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk


    Daniel and I find our spirits need to be refreshed. We are partners and it is God's will that we refresh one another. We have begun practicing what this book offers. Each day there is a blessing (actually there are several to pick from)and you choose which one you want to bless one another with. We do it usually as we go to bed. I will give you an example below. Look at the Bible and see how the "spirit of man" is described.

    in anguish - Job 7:11, willing - Mark 14:38, different - Numbers 14:24, stubborn - Deuteronomy 2:30, sorrowful - I Samuel 1:15, passed to someone else - II Kings 2:9, moved - John 11:33, watched over - Job 10:12, patient - Ecclesiates 7:8....there are so many examples. Very interesting study.

    We always sit close and put our hand on one another and bless one another. Wow, it is powerful to be blessed....

    Day 4 God Fights for You
    ____________, I bless you with being led by the Spirit to respond to problems with faith, not as a slave out of a victim mindset of avoidance, blame-shifting, or rationalization. I bless you with perseverance, not a spirit of fainting and giving up. I bless you with embracing problems, viewing them as challenges, and as opportunities for faith, as new ways to see the many facets of God and how He will work in them and through them to work things out in His plan.

    Day 6 God's Presence
    "Ps. 16:7 says "even at night, my heart instructs me" I bless you______________, with fullness of joy in the night watches as the Spirit of God ministers to your spirit. The nighttime is the first-fruits of God's creation; therefor it is holy. I reject and break off of you every claim of the enemy to the night hours. I proclaim that it is God's holy time when He delights to visit you and to minister to you. I bless you with experiencing His presence in the night watches as your subconscious mind and your spirit are open to the Spirit of God, so He can minister to your spirit while your conscious mind is not cluttering up the works.

    Blessings on you!

    Friday, August 27, 2010


    Every once in a while I enjoy turning to a book in my Bible and just moving from one underlined verse to another. These would be verses God has brought me before in my study or as I have listened to some teaching. It jogs my memory and is very rich. Last night I did this with the book of Ecclesiastes. Enjoy where I have been and I'm sure many of you have been in this book about life.

    "under the sun"


    2:13 "And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness", that is an interesting contrast. truth.

    2:25 "For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?

    3:11 "He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart.."

    4:9 One of my favorite verses -- "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up."

    5:1-2 "Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few."

    5:20 "For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of hi heart." This tells me to be content!!

    7:13-14 "Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider - God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him." (his future)

    10:4"If the ruler's anger rises against you, don't leave your place,
    for calmness puts great offenses to rest." Man, that sounds like a great relational tip!!

    11:1-2 "Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days. Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth."
    11:5-6 "Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good." SERVE!!!

    12:13-14 "...fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. Because God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    We Said Good-Bye

    Deanna Meredith came to Hope church of Christ one Wednesday night and we met. She has a smile that is very contagious!! It's been a couple of years now and God has moved her on this morning to the next season in life. She was called by God when she was 18 to go to a foreign country to teach about God's Son, Jesus!! What an exciting purpose she feels. She has been a wonderful addition at Hope and she will now move on to the Church of Christ in Falls Church , her supporting church. She will be added to this page soon, I'm sure. Her home congregation will also be supporting her, Grace Crossing, A Community Church of Christ. I know it is a JOY for them to have one of their own to help as she follows the call on her life.

    We were able to have Deanna live with us for only one month but it was fun, and comfortable. Such peace is in her young heart and such purity of desire in her walk. She will touch people as she steps into VA., Houston and then on to Chile in Jan. 2011. Begin today to pray for Deanna and her team mates.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Blinn Reunion

    We left last Thursday and went on a short trip. When we pulled into our garage on Sunday night we had driven 1,000 miles. We spent one night in Bastrop with Daniel's folks and enjoyed a time of sharing pictures on the computer with them. We even Skyped with Alison and the kids for a bit. We headed to College Station and each met with a few friends for lunch and then drove on down to Houston. Friday and Saturday night we enjoyed great conversation and laughter with several friends from our Blinn College days in Brenham(1974-76). Daniel and I met there and our dating days began. Two of the groomsmen at the wedding were in attendance and you will notice the guys still look the same, hahaha. Troy Nicar and Clent Hood

    On our return trip from Houston we drove through San Antonio and stopped to see Jason and Lindy's (our niece who lived with us for 3 years) new baby, Elias. Helen (Daniel's sister) and Randy were there, beaming as grandparents for a 2nd time. Shelly and Ryan were also there(Lindy's sister and brother, our niece and nephew). A special part of the trip for Daniel was driving 80mph out on I-10 between Kerrville and Junction - definitely a guy thing!

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Learning to Love Well!!

    Isaiah 58:5 -11 (God has brought this section to me in 3 different situations in one week, none were related -- think the Spirit is speaking!!)

    Isn't the fast I choose:
    To break the chains of wickedness,
    to untie the ropes of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free,
    and to tear off every yoke?

    Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
    to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
    to clothe the naked when you see him,
    and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?

    Then your light will appear like the dawn,
    and your recovery will come quickly.
    Your righteousness will go before you,
    and the LORD's glory will be your rear guard.

    At that time, when you call, the LORD will answer;
    when you cry out, He will say: Here I am.
    If you get rid of the yoke from those around you,
    the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,

    and if you offer yourself to the hungry,
    and satisfy the afflicted one,
    then your light will shine in the darkness,
    and your night will be like noonday.

    The LORD will always lead you,
    satisfy you in a parched land,
    and strengthen your bones.
    You will be like a watered garden
    and like a spring whose waters never run dry.

    Deuteronomy 15:7-11
    "If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your gates in the land the LORD your God is giving you, you must not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. Be careful that there isn't this wicked thought in your heart, The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near, and you are stingy toward your poor brother and give him [nothing]. He will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty. Give to him, and don't have a stingy heart when you give, and because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do. For there will never cease to be poor people in the land;that is why I am commanding you,You must willingly open your hand to your afflicted and poor brother in your land."

    The weekend of July 17-18 the Hope shepherds and wives had a retreat together. We all pitched in and organized to have a speaker and food and the Mills hosted our gathering in their home. Daniel put together some structure for us to benefit from prayer and discussion time. We also went through the Hope member directory and caught each other up on what is happening in their lives. We are all prayerful about each one of the sheep and it was refreshing to be able to speak of each member to each other!!

    Mark Hewitt of Love and Care Ministry in Abilene spoke to us. After spending the morning with Mark, I continue to pray that I never look at a homeless or poor person the same. I really want to work on having a snack pack available in our car at all times to hand out. Just this week I was reminded by my niece that my parents' love for her is what makes her know there is a God. Our love toward the homeless and poor may have the same impact. The Lima Team has been using a phrase that keeps coming back to me - you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you (John Bunyon). I have even thought of this as I have been reading The Hiding Place. We have so many opportunities to love others well. Daniel and I have so enjoyed the others God has put us with to shepherd our group in Abilene.

    Daniel and Cathie, Mark, Laura and KB, and Mitzi and Foy.

    On Friday night, July 23, we enjoyed a party celebrating our sweet friend, Kelli Bryant. She is currently studying at Oxford University. but came through Abilene with her parents. Many from Hope gathered to hug and listen to her stories, eat and laugh!!

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Of Course, I Cried

    Many of you have followed the Lima Team in their Frazalatera. The funds came in very fast and they were so encouraged. Thank you so much!! Daniel and I didn't even get our funds there before their goal was met. We will act faster next time!!

    As I watched the video on John Mark and Tara Davidson's blog, of course, I cried. I hope you will enjoy it as well. Continue to pray for the future of this community. They will be having a medical mission week with these same families in late July. Several from the states will be helping out with this. We are so blessed to watch God's hand in so many ways.

    Monday, June 28, 2010

    Cathie asked me to share from some of my reading, so here it is.

    your little red wagon - a conversation on approaching God
    Alex Himaya - The Church at BattleCreek, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Heard Himaya refer to his book while visiting their congregation during a visit to Hannah.

    Many of us have great memories of pulling our red Radio Flyer wagon around behind us as kids and all the adventures that centered around the treasures we were hauling or the adventures we were headed toward. While those memories are good one the author talks about another imaginary wagon we continue to pull around behind us. The ones with all the baggage we cant or wont let go of. More often than not this baggage is bad stuff that we allow to continue to haunt us even into our adult years. Sadly, even after we have been cleansed by the power of Jesus’ blood, we continue to pull that heavy load of forgotten (at least by God) garbage. Himaya asks a stark question of all of us wagon pullers, could it be that God is more concerned with us than what is in our wagons? Reconciliation (being made compatible with God) is the theme. The author relates this to the process of having one key open all the locks in a house. To do this they took the key to one lock that was staying in the house to a locksmith who them matched all the rest of the locks to fit with the one key. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “All this is from God who reconciled us to himself…

    A good 100 page read.

    The FEAST by Joshua Graves.
    There is a question brought out by this book that is almost haunting - what if Jesus really meant the stuff he said? Sounds almost comical to ask, but based on the way we tend to practice religion (or as Foree Grove, A&M church pulpit minister, likes to call it - high church), you would think we would answer the question with our own question - Do you think he really meant all that stuff he said?

    Graves leads us to think about our being a spiritual movement rather than an institutional religion. Believers are referred to as followers of the Way, but sometimes we appear to be leaders of my way (our way if we think we are part of a group who all think/act the same way). So thinking about how to be followers of Jesus is the adventure The Feast takes you on.

    In the chapter entitled Wrestling with the Real Jesus, Graves uses Heb 13:11-14 to make a point. In particular, the last part of this passage, Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Quoting from Charles Campbell’s The Word on the Street: Performing the Scriptures in the Urban Context, we read, “it is not that we good Christians take God outside the camp, outside the walls of the church. We go outside because God is already there.” To often, for me at least, it seems that I wait impatiently for seekers to walk into the doors of our churches so we can lead them to the good news. It is even better if they know how to behave as Christians do because that speeds up the process of getting to believing! So much for the go into all the world admonishment in Matthew. I am in need of a daily reminder that ALL THE WORLD is ALL AROUND ME.

    A great read if you really want to be challenged to consider if you are practicing a system of beliefs or living a way of life.

    Letters from Dad by Greg Vaughn is my current read. A number of years ago Vaughn began meeting with a few guy friends and encouraged them to write letters to their family members. Very intriguing, convicting, and challenging so far.

    MY FICTION world has included over the past couple of years books written by Clive Cussler, founder in 1979 of National Underwater and Marine Agency. Many of his books are adventure stories based on the history behind the ships and other lost artifacts that they have gone hunting for. If you watched the movie Sahara, then you have experienced one of Cussler’s books turned movie. I follow his writings from a website called Cusslermen. These are my easy reading so I have been able to get through 15 or so of his NUMA and Oregon series in 2 years. Recently, I completed Sea Hunters, which is part fiction and non-fiction. It is the historical story of a number of sunken vessels and the actual story of NUMA’s search for them.

    So, there you have it.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Concepts from God's Way of Life

    Recently I have started back on my building up to my running plan. I don't listen to any music while I run, but I have recently asked God to bring to my mind some of His concepts for life as I run. It has been fun and fascinating.

    This morning ~ I will try to lay out the trail of my mind.

  • As I ran down one street a woman crossed in front of me and had a big dog on a leash. I decided to turn left there - it occurred to me, we each take different paths.
  • As I continued to run it began to get harder. I thought, life is hard, you have to work at it.
  • There were many flowers and a few cars that were red. Of course the blood of Christ came to mind and the more I ran, the more I saw of red. It was everywhere.
  • There were birds singing and I thought, there are times that we sing and then times we just need and want to be quiet.
  • There was a moving truck and I thought about the seasons in life, moving not only physically from place to place, but emotionally from A to Z.
  • I saw a bird fly to the top of the tree, and I thought I know there are times that we are at the top of something in life, but in general God wants us to give our seat up.
  • Our neighborhood is known for rattlesnakes and so I'm always on the look out for snakes especially in the empty fields that are at the end of the street. That, of course makes me think of Satan, such a sneaky one, lying in wait for an attack on God's people.
  • As I run on my street to get home, for some reason I always think of cows....I know that sounds funny. I'm not thinking of myself as a cow, but I do think of how cows come home to eat at the end of the day. I'm glad to get home when I arrive!!
  • When I get home I am ready for some water. I pray that I never get tired of Living Water from God. He is my refreshment!!

    Running really isn't something I love, but I enjoy it more now than I have in the past.
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010

    New Things in Our Lives

    Tried a new sugar cookie recipe and I would like to recommend it!! I didn't put the sprinkles on them, but I really enjoyed them.

    New game in our closet!! Settlers of Catan. Rachel and Sean Landolt drove through and spent the night and taught us how to play. We are hooked now and so when you come, you will have to play!!

    New Blackberry phones in our hands ~ ~ mine is the RED one. Our phones were exactly alike before May 1 (for the past 2 years) and they were very easy to get mixed up. Matter of fact twice we have been at the Pope's house and mixed our phones with hers. I kept calling Daniel and would get Beth Pope on the phone and kept wondering what the deal was!! Life is wild anytime you are with Beth Pope!! Since my new phone came in the middle of the wedding details I really am daily learning new things about it. I have enjoyed it!!

    The best newness that we have in our life is a person - Jason Lee Grassie!! Our new son-in-love!! What should I tell you about him? Well, for starters he had enough wisdom to go slow in the beginning of his time with Hannah, to come and sit in our living room and ask Daniel --"Is there anything I need to know as I begin to date Hannah?" That is just the beginning of his humbleness!! Jason is a person who is good at making decisions and he is also totally confident enough to ask for advice before making his final decision. Jason is a very hard worker and if something doesn't work one way, he will try another way!! Remembering names is another gift that he has. Very personable when he meets you and is a great listener. He is a seeker of God's Word and has insightful questions. Well, I think you get the idea, We are totally in love with him and impressed with how God has fashioned his life. He is a grad student at GWU and works full-time with Frank Lucas, an Oklahoma representative. DC is the first home for Hannah and Jason and they are off to a fabulous start!!

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Recap in Pictures

    Hannah and I picked up Alison, Cailyn and Corban on Fri., April 30th. We had a rough drive because Corban wasn't really enjoying his seat. He was very happy to be in Abilene. Cailyn slept on a mat of blankets on the floor of on my side of the bed. We were able to sing and read and pray each night. What a JOY!! Corban slept in the room with Alison ~ he had a harder time getting use to a place other than his own bedroom. I pray his weeks back home can be settled back into a routine for his sake and Alison and Justin. We tried to keep the kids bed schedule for the most part. During the day we had "adventures"!!

    The Grace Museum

    Friday, April 23, 2010


    Written April 23rd
    ....Coming home with a new child or being a new bride ~~ these roles can put you in a season of vulnerability. I do remember questioning my mom about getting from raising a newborn to having such a loving relationship with her and getting to know God as I grew up. How was I going to repeat that experience with Alison, our first born? It would be easy to have an ABC plan and it also would be easy to give into the fear that is quick to come.

    The years that our girls have dated and married (Hannah's sweet day is quickly approaching) have helped me see our marriage as new when we actually have been married over 30 years. It is helpful to see how the guys have pursued them - flowers, notes of endearment, laughing. Watching them has reminded me what we can lose or forget along the way. Fear can enter in and we become vulnerable and give up on this relationship that can at times be so hard.

    This week, I heard that Do Not Be Afraid is the most frequent command in the Bible. I need to go check that out on Bible Gateway. The next chapter in Sacred Parenting sites verse after verse about fear and what God wants for us as parents. Satan is constantly trying to convince us to give in to fear and vulnerability, which can lead to robbing our children of experiences needed for their growth. The author reminds us, "Courage doesn't always get rewarded with success...through sacred parenting we learn to act courageously, regardless of how afraid we may feel. And when we step out in faith, we allow God to shape our souls in ways that will develop us far beyond the parenting part of our lives."

    I am finally finishing up this post today, May 23rd. As you know much has been happening in our lives even when I wrote this back in April. I did not finish the book, Sacred Parenting before Alison and Justin left to return to Lima, so let me know if you have purchased it and are reading it and what you think.

    Many pictures will follow about our wonderful time with Alison/Justin and the grandkids and also of the great experience of Hannah and Jason's covenant with God and one another. Blessings to all!!

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Listening and JOY

    A couple of weeks ago I experienced a time of more intense listening. The idea of listening as a spiritual discipline came to mind. I found it very hard to hold back, I so enjoy talking and I certainly have to pray against pride. Listening is fun, though, when it is intentional. I spend time with one of our precious girls at Hope and we had a time of reading the Bible and praying together. Our reading time was mainly reading and letting her comment - I told her I only wanted to listen. She is very wise for her age and I totally loved some of her comments. When we prayed we enjoyed just some silence. We were sitting at Jacob's Dream on ACU campus and we could hear the sound of the water and the birds. It was wonderful and a great memory we now share. The same week I read the next chapter in Sacred Parenting entitled Seizing Heaven - How Raising Children Teaches us to Listen to God. Not an accident that something on listening came my way. I love the way God puts experiences together for us.

    Verses shared in this chapter include:
  • Listen and understand. (Matthew 15:10)
  • He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:9)
  • Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone and understand this.’(Mark 7:14)
  • Consider carefully how you listen. (Luke 8:18)
  • Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you, (Luke 9:44)
  • My sheep listen to my voice. (John 10:27)

    Gary L. Thomas says, "Listening to God provides the true test of our humility. Humble people listen; prideful people never seem to have the time to wait on God."

    The next chapter is on JOY. It taught a lesson that I also learned from Calm My Anxious Heart. Think about the two most often requests you have for your children -- Protect them and Change them .... is that true in your prayer life? Well, Gary Thomas suggest a third request. Prayers of thankfulness. They have a way of putting life in perspective. Praying for only protection and change has the emphasis on fear and their weakness. As we put into practice thanking God for His work in their lives, thanking Him for the progress they are making, thanking Him for who our children are (their strengths) then the mind set is very different.

    This whole chapter is about JOY and how God wants us to not be so serious. I love the sense of humor Daniel has added to our family. I'm way to serious and need too read the verses about JOY more often!!
  • Friday, March 26, 2010


    The third chapter in Sacred Parenting is about guilt. Something that just comes along with our fallen humanity!!

    William Sullivan ~
    "There is in repentance this great mystery--that we may fly fastest home on broken wing."

    Psalm 38:4 My guilt overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.

    Gary L.Thomas, the author points out how Samuel was a faithful servant and yet had sons who did not walk with God, and then he also points out Kings Ahaz and Asa who fell from God's favor and yet had sons, Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah, who were faithful servants. He reminds us we are "not raising robots; we are shepherding image bearers of the Creator God who live with freedom of choice, their own wills, and a personal responsibility of their own."

    There are some good things about guilt if we will allow God to work in our lives.
    1. Guilt can point us to God
    2. Guilt can motivate us to do better
    3. Guilt can remind us of God's providence
    4. Guilt can teach us to love mercy (my favorite)
    5. Guilt has a positive "hidden agenda"

    The picture of God that Gary Thomas gives at the end of the chapter was precious and reminded me that my picture of how God parents me affects how I look at my own parenting. That picture of who God is becomes so important as we live out our lives in the Way!!

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Sacred Parenting

    Walking around at a local flea market I stumbled across a book I have been wanting to purchase. Sacred Parenting by Gary L. Thomas. I read one of his other books, Sacred Marriage awhile back. This author really makes me think.

    As I read the first chapter, I asked Daniel, "Why did we decide to have children?" We laughed because we weren't really trying to have a child when Alison came around so Daniel's reply was, "We didn't, God put all of that in motion!" So why did we have another child?? As I read this first chapter, Gary L. Thomas says as God's people he feels having children is not about us but all about Him. He goes on to say, "We are called to bear and raise children for the glory of God." Now if you believe that statement, then it really makes a difference when parenting gets difficult.

    The context of II Corinthians 7:1 isn't parenting, but Thomas thinks it is helpful in parenting.

    "Dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

    Thomas continues, "Christian parenting is truly a sacred journey. It invites us parents to purify ourselves, to use the process of raising kids to perfect holiness, and to do this consistently, every day, out of reverence for God. If we enter it armed with this understanding, each segment will gain new meaning and purpose -- even the difficult ones."

    You may ask yourself why do you do all that you do for your child? If the answer is just for the joy or for the proud moments in our children's lives then that will not last for long. Another Thomas quote that I pondered and talked with Daniel about was this...."to pin our hope and joy on the response of a sinner (our children)in his or her toddler years or teen years is to beg for disillusionment and to risk waking up in despair." We must have a higher calling than our own hope or joy, it must be out of reverence for God. Good read and that was just the first chapter.

    Chapter 2 - The Hardest Hurt of All..."Sunshine without rain is the recipe for a desert."

    Raising children teaches so much. We build character and we hit serving dead in the face. Letting our children struggle through challenges forms and matures them. It is just so hard, though, to watch. Many times we step ahead and fix it and our children lose out on the experience God has meant to shape them for the future He has planned for them. We make the journey harder when we are chasing our tail trying to make it easier. A good question for us to ask is what do we want for our children as they grow up -- comfort or character. This book is helping me see we must choose service and character over the pain-free life. Do you really think we are helping our children when we coddle them and let them avoid hard experiences? It has been so very hard for Daniel and I to watch the girls struggle with things, but we have mentors that have helped us, encouraged us to let them walk through disappointments. I have never wanted my immaturity to handicap them, although I know I have struggled with this. God has been very merciful to them and us!! I do believe that God sees His kingdom more important than our children's personal comfort. The author encourages you to ask your children as they grow, "What do you think your daddy and mommy feel most passionate about?" They serve as our heart's mirror in a way, Gary Thomas suggests. As we become parents it is interesting to ask what would God do as a parent in this situation? God let His Son suffer because there was a bigger picture. There are some values that are more important than our happiness and comfort.

    At the end of chapter 2, the author says, "Sacred parenting calls me to accept the hardest hurt of all -- for the sake of God's kingdom and for the sake of our children's own development. I need to allow my kids to face challenges, failure, rejection and pain, and then teach them to use these seemingly negative events to fuel their sense of mission and to foster their dependence on God."

    Saturday, February 27, 2010


    I think it gets in your blood!!! Well, there is just an excitement to hear about the next mission team that the A&M church of Christ is supporting during their training year. Joy for Daniel and I that we are in Abilene now that the mission teams train with the Halbert Institute located at ACU.

    The Concepcion Team (Deanna Meredith, Wesley and Ellen Shutt, Sara and Chad Lukkason) came over last night minus one of the couples (Reid and Meredith Overall). We talked from 6:30pm-10:00pm at least. We love hearing their thoughts and know from having Alison and Justin's experiences that they will learn so much about themselves and about God through this journey.

    They will train until January 2011 and Lord willing will fly to their new homes in Chile. They are each looking for support so as you pray remember them. This is a faith-building experience as you contact congregations and talk with people about supporting your financial needs. If any of you out there have a missions committee looking for missionaries to support, contact this group.

    We are doing well. I enjoyed a few days in Tulsa with Hannah. She will really miss Tulsa when she moves. She has made a home for herself there in the two years she has attended University of Tulsa. On Monday, Mar 1, she begins her last seven weeks of interning in a rehab center. She is thinking this is the direction she will begin to look for a job in DC. She has been with a school district since January. Can't wait -- I know she will be a beautiful bride, God has blessed her in so many ways!!

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Abilene Snow

    Isn't this what everyone in Abilene is doing? Downloading their snow pictures and posting them!! We were in Lima when the last snow came to Abilene so today was fun for us.

    Daniel got to come home around noon and we have totally enjoyed a day of relaxation. We are ready for this everyday!! Having Daniel home everyday not the snow...

    Cele enjoyed the snow!! We also had a special visit from Phil Grassie, Jason's dad. Phil and Patti live in New Mexico so it was quite a treat to be able to sit and visit. They were missionaries in Brazil and so we were able to listen to some missionary stories!! Great fun!! We love getting to know the parents of the young man who will be Hannah's life partner. God is just so good!!

    Looking out our front door!!