Thursday, November 29, 2007

Within three hours of last night's post, I was awakened by my husband's violent coughing. I got up to check on him and found out he was having trouble breathing and having chest pain. He does not like hospitals, so when I told him we needed to go to the E.R. he wasn't pleased. He wheezed out the words, "let's wait an hour". I quickly dressed and planted myself in the bedroom chair and when he told me to go back to bed I replied "hmmmm, NO."
When I stressed to him that the longer he labored to breathe the more likely he was to put his heart back into Atrial Fibrillation, among other things, he shortly thereafter agreed to go. We were in the emergency room by 2:30 this morning and were very thankful for nurses who so quickly assessed his problems, got a doctor in the room and began medical treatment. He was admitted to the hospital but was so improved by mid-afternoon they let him come home. He will be on medications & breathing treatments here and will see his internist next week; a lung specialist on Dec. 19. He shall, Lord willing, spend the remainder of this week and this week-end resting and recuperating.
How quickly things can change in this life. You go to sleep at 10 pm and by 2:30 am you're in an emergency room with the man who's been your other half for 40 years. He's a big man and has always been the one to take care of me. Today that role was reversed and for the first time I saw frailness and fear in him.
"This getting old isn't a good thing Louise" were his words to me in the examining room. No, in our human-ness, getting old doesn't seem a 'good' thing. But when we look at that in light of God's providence for His children, it's a very necessary thing for many of us. A gift actually. Many die so very young. I have a sister who was just 4 years old when God called her home. That, we would say, is way too young; but, who are we to judge our times and the plans God has for us?
Good night my friends and God bless each of you with a sweet night's rest.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord."they are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lights out...

Our electricity was out for over two hours tonight. Nothing to do but light some candles, turn on the fireplace, cover up with a blanket and wait. As I did I found myself staring at the candle in our front room and asking the question "How many people in this world live only by candle-light? How many don't have the luxuries that we do?" More people than I know about live like that right now. How thankful we need to be for electricity and the other blessings of life in America ... natural gas and safe drinking water and food in our cupboards. Stores to shop in within walking distance for many of us. The safety of neighborhoods where people know one another and are willing to help you when it's needed.

My Fred and I also spent some time talking about child-hood memories. Grandparents in Kentucky who had coal stoves and fire-places to heat with; kerosene lamps for light ... no indoor plumbing ... they grew many of their vegetables and then canned them for winter use ... washed clothes on a washboard ... women made quilts out of whatever fabric they had and the quilts were used in the winter-time to keep warm. Families were together at the end of the day ... they ate together and then went to bed because day-light came awfully early and would come with chores to fill that day.

So much has changed since my Grandparents were my age. I wonder what they'd think if they saw the world now? Would they be impressed with all the technology, or would they be embarrassed and ashamed at what's taking place? Would they want to be a part of our world, or would they want to go back to theirs?

I don't think I'd want to go back and live as my Grandparents did. Not exactly anyway. But I sure wish things were simpler. I wish morality was something people strived for and not a word few people seem to know the meaning of. I wish you could trust the person in the car ahead of you in traffic. I wish our children could play outside without wondering who might be watching them in a harmful manner. I wish all unborn babies were wanted, and were given the chance for life God that meant them to have. I wish people would see the beauty of this world and have a desire to praise God for giving it to us to care for. I wish people would read the Bible and know that it means just what is says. I wish all people told the truth all the time.

My wish list could go on and on and on, but wishes don't change a thing. I can pray and seek God's will in my life and lift those I love to Him, but wishing doesn't do a thing but make me sad that things aren't what they could be. Yet.

One day, the God we serve and the God so many deny even exists, is going to turn this world upside down and inside out and set it ablaze with a fire that will do away with all the sadness and badness it currently holds. One day, we will live on a new earth and have a new heaven and there I'll no longer have to wish for things to be other than they are because all those wishes will have come true.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. Rev. 22:20

Monday, November 26, 2007

Leaving ....

This short sermon speaks eloquently of the symbolism of the Christian's home-going. Not long ago, it was read at the funeral of a friend's brother and then her husband who died within months of each other. May it bring comfort to those who read it today.

“I’m standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She’s an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with each other.

And then I hear someone at my side saying, “There, she’s gone.”

“Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her."

“And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There, she is gone” there are other eyes watching her coming, and there are other voices ready to take up glad shout,

“Here she comes!”

Written by 19th century clergyman Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him
Who brings good news, good news
Announcing peace proclaiming news of happiness
Our God reigns, our God reigns

Our God reigns, our God reigns!
Our God reigns, our God reigns!

He had no stately form, He had no majesty
That we should be drawn to Him
He was despised and we took no account of Him
Yet now He reigns with the Most High

Our God reigns, our God reigns!
Our God reigns, our reigns!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just so you know....

I did not join the maddening crowds of shoppers at 4:00 this morning. At that time of the morning I was sound asleep and thankful to be so. I did not join the crowds at 6:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. either. I have kept myself in the house, doing a bit of Christmas decorating, a bit of laundry, a bit of inside window washing and a bit of resting. All in all this has been a wonderfully normal day and for that I am thankful to Almighty God. I have however, thought of Pat and her family, and prayed for them and for others who are having a difficult time.

This may sound overly simple to many of you, but it dawned on me last evening that sometimes all I can do to help people is pray for them. I so want things to be better for those I love but I cannot make that happen; only God has that power. The thought then came to me: Am I expecting Him to use that power when He answers my prayers? Am I expecting Him to answer as He sees fit and according to His will in the matter? Am I willing to patiently wait for Him ... to trust Him explicitly to move in the hearts and lives of people? I want to! And beginning today, Lord willing, I will do just that. Tell Him what's bothering me; tell Him what He already knows about the folks I love and, as Sara said recently in a post, ask Him to "fix them". Only He can do what needs doing in the lives of people. Only He knows what holds them in bondage and only He is the bondage breaker. I am to ask, seek and knock and look to Him to give answer, let us find Him, and open doors.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving to All

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thinking of Pat

As I begin my daily routine for a Wednesday, my thoughts are with Pat and her family as her Mom is to be taken home from the hospital today. It is sheer God-goodness and grace that He allows us to be in one place and yet possess the ability to pray for others when they are miles away. Thankfully, God isn't limited to anything and I know He is with those who are hurting. We serve an awesome Saviour and He is good, all the time. Even in our pain and distress He brings peace and calm. His precious Holy Spirit lives within His children and He is our Comforter.
Father, I come to You and I lift to You my sisters and brothers in Christ ... Pat & Hal; Sara & Dean & their sons; Amy & Rob; Trish & Tom & their girls, and others I've not met ... Lord, You know just what they're thinking and feeling this day. Let them know that You are with them ... that You knew of this day years before any of them were born and You will graciously walk with them through whatever the days may hold. You are an awesomely good and gracious God and nothing is too hard for You. Be their Peace. Their Comfort. Their Calm. Draw them close into You and allow them to weep there. Give them assurance that this is but a Home-going for one who has been loved and who loved deeply those You gave to her. Allow them to rejoice that they will live with her for Eternity!
For those of us who know and love these people, let us, as we go about about our day, think of them often and lift their names to You in precious prayer. Thank You that they are as close as our thoughts and You span the miles between us. Thank You that we can come to You and ask all these things in the mighty, precious Name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank You!

I thank You O Lord, for the gift of life and re-birth.
I thank You that from the depths of sin You reached down and pulled me to safety in You.
I thank You that nothing surpasses Your mighty wisdom and knowledge.
I thank You that at any place and at any time, Your people have the awesome privilege of coming to You.
I thank You that You are mighty to save, no one is beyond Your grasp.
I thank You for mercy that is new every morning.
I thank You that we are given the opportunity to lift our voices and give you praise.
I thank You that You hear us even when words are not spoken.
I thank You that You order the steps of Your children and You direct our paths.
I thank You that You've given us brothers and sisters to walk with while on this earth.
I thank You for the unblemished, Holy Word of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword.
I thank You that You will not leave us to ourselves.
I thank You for creating all things for Your glory.
I thank You that You allow mere human beings to partake of Your glory.
I thank You for the ability to speak and to write and to understand.
I thank You that Your thoughts are higher than man's.
I thank You that You sent Your Son to take the wrath of sin upon Himself and in so doing, allowed me the freedom to live in Your presence.
I thank You for a grateful heart ... You put it within me, it was none of my doing.
I thank You that You are everywhere present, none can hide from You.
I thank You that You are the same, yesterday, today and forever.
I thank You for what awaits me in heaven and on the new earth.
I thank You for the many provisions and blessings You've given me here!
I thank You that You trust me to invest what You've me into the lives of others.
I thank You for trusting me to be a steward of my time, talents and all possessions.
I thank You that every good gift comes from You.
I thank You for grace. What a blessed word ... Grace. Thank You!
I thank You for wisdom and discernment, it is mine for the asking.
I thank You for the fruits of the Spirit ... may they flourish in my life to honor the Giver.
I thank You for the gifts of Your Spirit ... may they be used to edify others and to glorify You.
I thank You for redeeming my life and making it useful to Your kingdom.
I thank You for peace that passes understanding.
I thank You for joy that no one can take from me.
I thank You for contentment that is only found in Christ Jesus.
I thank You for allowing me to come to You this morning ... just to thank You.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Today Fred & I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. And 'they' said it wouldn't last!

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul

Thursday, November 15, 2007


As I sit in the relative safety of my home this evening I realize that there is a world of pain and discomfort just outside my door.

Just outside a friend has brought her Mother to her home to care for her in what might be her final days on this earth. Comfort her Lord and provide all she needs as she cares for the woman who, through Your providence, gave her life.

Just outside, somewhere, my nephew wanders in the world of drugs. He's been there such a long, long time and I find myself much time does he have left? His Dad is heart-broken and only God can heal. Father, touch my brother with hands of peace and comfort. Draw my nephew into new life. Give him the ability to come to faith in Christ. Deliver him from the evils that hold him.

Just outside, a friend's grandson has had surgery to hopefully correct serious problems with his legs. May it be so Lord, let him be healed and made whole for Your glory and his good.

Just outside, my Mom cares for her brother. It's been a long summer and things have not gone as she expected. He's a different man than we assumed him to be. Oh, not a bad person, just not the one we had pictured in our minds. How often that proves true in life. Father, give my Mom patience and strength to care for her brother. Give him the resolve to do what he can do for himself and the willingness to want to change.

Just outside I have family members who haven't spoken to one another in over 7 years. What a waste of God-given time and family life. Seven years that can't be relived. Time that has been spent in anger and pain and confusion without resolve. Fix them Lord. That's all I know to say ... fix them while there's time.

Just outside there are hungry babies. There are teenagers wandering aimlessly around as if there will be no tomorrow. There are homeless people sleeping somewhere in my town ... and in yours. They will walk the streets again tomorrow and return to their hidden places to sleep again tomorrow night.

Just outside there are Christians being tortured and persecuted for their faith in Jesus. They are cold and hungry and need fresh water. Who will give it?

Just outside there's a woman on a doctor's table, waiting for him to take the life of her unborn child. Have mercy O God!

Just outside there is a life-style of sin and immorality whose activities shouldn't be tolerated but we've given it a name and accepted it as an Alternative Life-Style.

With all this and so much more going on, I also realize that there is One who knows all of this and more. I wonder how He tolerates it all and am reminded that He sees us through the blood of His Son. His mercy is greater than I can comprehend and His grace is extended to people I wouldn't want to associate with.

He reminds me that I am to be a friend to the hurting; a shoulder for my brother to lean on; a prayer-partner for my friends; a hands-on helper to my Mom; an intercessor for the babies and the abortionists and the homosexual. I am to pray and send money to help the persecuted church. I am to continue to pray and encourage my family members as often as I can. I am not to get so comfortable inside my home that I lose sight of all that's going on ... just outside.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Galatians 6:9

"And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Dear Pat, you are loved and you are in our thoughts and our prayers.
Father in heaven, I come to You this evening, asking You to give Pat all she needs in caring for her Mom. Give them both rest and strength. Give them times of remembrance and laughter and joy. Make the work easier, mentally and physically. Lift the burdens and allow Pat to cast them all upon You because You care for her and her Mom. Give them sleep and time to refresh to face a new day. Thank You that her Mom wasn't seriously hurt when she fell, ease the soreness and enable her to get around safely from this point forward. Be with Pat dear God, in a special, special way, be with her. Remind us to pray for her, to lift her to You and allow us to help in whatever way we can.
In Your Name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I love trees...

On the street where
we live .... took these
photos about 2:00 this afternoon while taking a walk.

This tree is in front of our home. I hope you're all enjoying this beautiful weather.


Monday, November 12, 2007

For Thara...

I have decided that today is officially "Thara Day!" A blogging/family/friend who is wise beyond her years whether she realizes it or not. A lady who is not a'skeered to speak her mind or travel to Greektown in the Big D area of our state.

Yes, indeedy, this day is proclaimed "Thara Day!"

Dear Sara, I want you to know how much your posts have meant to me. Words don't adequately express the joy and wisdom I've received from reading what you write. You are gifted in ways I don't think you even comprehend. Maybe you do and you're just too humble to admit it. If so, that too is a gift. I have wept and smiled and chuckled and laughed at loud when I've read your posts. I have stopped to pray for you or pray for others as I've read what you've written. I admire you for your forthrightness and boldness. I praise God that He created you and put you on this earth at the same time I'd be here.

You, Ms. Thara, are one of God's gifts to me and to others and to this Earth! May you come to know how wonderful you are in my eyes and in the eyes of our Father.

Dear God in heaven, bless my friend today with Your presence. Meet each need and fill her to over-flowing with Your precious Spirit. Give her wisdom and discernment in each aspect of her day. Guide her steps and direct her path. Let her see herself as You see her: Cherished Child of God; Unblemished; Untarnished; Sanctified; Righteous in Christ Jesus; Wholly Yours; Elected and Predestined to belong to Your family. Fulfill Your purpose in her life. Give her joy unspeakable and allow her to rest under the shadow of Your wings. Amen.

I love you Thara.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Day to Remember

My Fred was drafted in 1967. On Dec. 7, 1967, he left for Fort Knox, Ky. As he said in church this morning, between the ages of 18 - 25 during the 1960's all young men had a pretty good chance of serving in the military. Letters came to the home saying "Greetings ... Uncle Sam wants you!" And usually, you had to go.

Fred & I had been married just 14 days when his draft notice came, and 7 days after that he left for Ft. Knox. I remember literally screaming "NO!" and running from the room when he read what it said. This notice was too much of a reminder of someone I had known before I met Fred. A young man who was drafted and went to Vietnam, only to be killed three weeks later. He told us that if he had to go he would die there and young as I was, I simply thought he was being overly dramatic. Looking back after all these years I see he somehow knew he would meet death in that country.

I somehow thought that if that young man died, what would save my husband? I didn't know about the grace of God as neither of us were Christians. However, that did not stop God from protecting my Fred and seeing to it he came home. His plans were far greater than any I knew about when I was just 20 years old.

My Fred came home but he had changed. Being shot at and killing people does that to a person. For a time I seriously wondered if our marriage had been a mistake. We had only known one another for 7 months when we got married and many said it wouldn't last. How could it? they said, they're just kids who don't know each other. "I'll give it a year" one person said.

Well, next Sunday we'll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We showed those nay-sayers, didn't we? We've gone through some trials and struggles, but then again, what married couple hasn't? If you're married and you're breathing there will be hard times.

As my Fred spoke in church this morning about Veteran's Day and the sacrifices men and women have made for years, I thought of my Dad ... he served during WWII in the South Pacific and was in Hiroshima after the bombing. Dad died in 2000 and was laid to rest with a military funeral service. I miss him!

I also thought of my Uncle, the man my Mom is caring for right now. He was in the Korean conflict and we learned just months ago in going through his discharge papers that he received three Bronze stars ... he had never told us about them. We never said anything to him either. If he wants us to know, he'll tell us.

Then I remembered Fred's leaving the states after finishing basic training. He had orders for Vietnam and at the last minute they changed them ... he was going to Korea instead! I rejoiced, not realizing the dangers that were in that part of the world too. Dangers that exist to this day. Did you know we still have military personnel in Korea? If not for our men there now, North Korea would try (and likely succeed) in over-taking South Korea. And we do not want this to happen. The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong II is an evil, evil man.

We have men and women all over the globe serving to protect the peoples of this world. They deserve more respect than they're usually given and we need to honor our Veterans. Fred said this morning that "if you see a young man or young woman in uniform, go up and introduce yourself and then thank them for their service to our country." Few too many simply walk on by, not realizing that that person in uniform is serving you and me in ways we cannot or won't serve ourselves. They are risking life and limb for our safety.

This has indeed been a day to remember ...

Bless you all!

Veteran's Day

We remember....
The men and women who have served in our country's military:

The Military Oath:
I do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America; that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies whomsoever; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

"Someone has said, To be born free is a privilege, to die free is an awesome responsibility. Yet freedom is never free. It is always purchased at a great cost."

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." ~G.K. Chesterton

"God, who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever."
---Thomas Jefferson

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thank you!

A big, heart-felt Thank You to all who prayed. I feel so much better today. I slept really, really well and woke refreshed and ready to take on the day. There is still some blood when I cough, but not the amount nor the frequency as yesterday.
My hematologist called this morning with blood-work results; all is well and he said that should I need him over the week-end to call his pager number. I've never met a doctor like this man ... he's a Christian which makes our patient-doctor relationship very special.

It is such a blessing to know I have friends whom I can call upon and know they'll pray. It is more of a blessing to know we serve a living God who knows before we even ask what we need and provides answers that will be for our good and His glory.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Praise God the Father who's the source;
Praise God the Son who is the course;
Praise God the Spirit who's the flow;
Praise God, our portion here below!