Friday, January 15, 2021

heritage

 "and this is the part where you find out who you are"


                                                                                                                 May 29, 1954






Saturday, January 9, 2021

christmas cards

I was cleaning the house today, putting away the last of the Christmas decorations and I gathered up the Christmas cards that the Preacher and I had received during the holidays. As I was going through them one last time before packing them away, I began to think about how great it was that people still mail out Christmas blessings. 

In today's time of social media it is very easy to just send out Christmas wishes through our social platforms. And while I type this I am really talking to myself. Every year for the last several years, I have said that this year I will sit down and write out Christmas greetings to all of my family and friends. Then the days move on fast and I feel defeated that I didn't get it done.

Christmas cards were special during the years of my growing up. We enjoyed going out to the mailbox and seeing how many cards we would receive. The most special card for my mother and I was the card that she would receive from her pen pal who lived in England. The fact that our family who was living in the middle of Indiana would receive a card from across the world was exciting. 

The amount of cards that we receive has diminished over the years but I have some family that sends them out faithfully every year and if they stopped sending the cards I think that would make me sad. We also receive cards from old friends and it is good to see pictures of their children growing and knowing that they are doing well.

So through this post we want to say thank you to those who sent us Christmas blessings.

We love you all!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

brave

 


One day last week, the Preacher and I were in our office discussing the things that we needed to do before our Sunday's worship service. The Preacher became silent and I could tell he had something on his mind. He then said, "In order to keep church going through these crazy times, you have to be brave. I can forgo the restaurants--that's not worth the risk, but church, it's worth the risk."

Brave? I never thought of that word being associated with opening the church doors on a Sunday morning. 

The mainstream media had told us that if we went outside and touched another person or breathed the air, air that someone else has breathed, we could potentially die, people had panicked. We went from joking about hoarding toilet paper to actually hiding in our houses. The world, our world, shut down. So the church had to change the status quo as to how the Word was preached.

We continued our discussion for a while and then we went on to our daily duties. As the week went on the word 'brave' kept repeating in my mind. I began hearing Nicole Nordeman's song, "Brave", running through my head.
"The gate is wide, the road is paved in moderation  The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in  Welcome to the middle ground  You're safe and sound and until now it's where I've been.

'Cause it's been fear  That ties me down to everything  But it's been love, Your love  That cuts the strings

So long status quo, I think I just let go  You make me wanna be brave  The way it always was is no longer good enough  You make me wanna be brave" 

And then, as the Lord always does when He wants to teach me something, two articles came across my computer screen. 

Susie Hawkins from namb.net writes

"(1) Bravery is faith fearlessness, (2) Bravery demonstrates trust, (3) Bravery takes risks.   C.S. Lewis said, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point...a chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky". And as he points out, kingdom-minded lives require us to be brave in living out all biblical principles, even challenging conditions. In fact that is exactly where "true bravery" occurs. 

 Laura Stephens Reed, from laurastephensreed.com writes:

"Prior to the pandemic, a number of clergy were working under unrealistic expectations, whether those came from their congregations or from their own internal "shoulds". And then in March they had to change the ways they did nearly everything and fast. They became not just preachers but tech experts with all that entails: recording, editing, sound mixing, lighting, inviting people to and teaching them how to participate in and managing online meetings, exploring the most accessible social media platforms, and monitoring cyber security. They spend many hours trying to get all of this right because worship and Bible study and fellowship are so critical, not knowing that they'd have to continue all that they started beyond a few weeks, often without much help from others. The effects of all these difficulties are taking their toll. They have deepened pre-existing fault lines and created new ones. Clergy who already had some sense of discontent now have one foot out the door, and some who were happy are seriously questioning whether their current context is still a good fit. The result, I predict, is going to be a tidal wave of pastoral departures once churches re-gather, and maybe sooner depending on how long the pandemic rages on. Church folks, this time is hard for everyone, It's hard for you and it's hard for your pastor." 

 Yes it has been hard and tiring. There were some days when the Preacher and I were very tired from trying to keep it all going as if there was nothing wrong. 

But brave? Did we feel brave? No.

The Preacher has taken precautions due to some breathing issues but he loves the Word of God and loves his congregation. So he will continue to be brave for the Word and for you.



 

 


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

out of the stump

Five years ago we were searching for a new home. We came across a nice 2-story house and while walking through the house with the previous owner, she took us outside to show us her flower gardens and she turned to one of the trees in the yard. Actually it was just a stump. She explained that it had not flourished and had begun to die so her husband decided to cut out the dead limbs but left the last main stump of what was once a pretty tree.

After purchasing the home we thought about going ahead and cutting the tree stump completely down. But with the busyness of moving in and with everyday life and work we forgot about our plans of cutting it down.

So the stump sat there during the long, cold winter just waiting for the spring. And in the spring we began to notice that there was new life coming up out of that old stump. So we decided to leave it and see what might come of the once dead stump.


Now after these five years all that is left of the stump is a dried, dead log. You can see what is left in the above picture. But as you can see, there is a healthy tree surrounding that stump. New life came back from the dead.

Sometimes we may feel cut off and cut out. But you can't stop God. He is there waiting to make you new again.

You were made by Him in His image as His child. He has been waiting for you since the beginning of time to grow and to look up to Him. Just as the trees and the flowers reach up to the sun for its rays to give them life, so should we look up to the Son. 

You can begin again, anew, in His love. Let His love help you to have hope again. Be still and wait. If your heart is in a place where it feels like a long, cold winter just be still and know that He is there working for you to help you grow into who He always knew you could be.



 

Friday, July 3, 2020

my house


AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE

WE WILL 
         love
          serve
           honor
            magnify
             praise
              worship
               fear
                obey
                 follow
                   trust
                         THE LORD

 Joshua 24:15





Inspired by @christinecaine IG post
                 
                                            

Thursday, April 16, 2020

lies that i tell myself


The Preacher has begun looking at some ideas for new sermon series for the rest of the year. He needed something that would tie into Mother's Day and Father's Day.

I had purchased this book last year thinking that he might be able to use it for Mother's Day but he went in a different direction.

So this year when he and I were discussing his sermon plans, I reminded him of this book. He asked me to look over the chapter headings and let him know out of all of the chapters what were the topics that I thought women would want to know the truth about.

The book deals with the lies that we as women tell ourselves and the author then tells you what truths the Lord wants you to hear.

So I looked them over and this is what I saw:
"About God" the lie is that God doesn't love me.
"About Themselves" the lie is that I'm not worth anything and physical beauty matters more than inner beauty.
"About Sin" the lie is that my sin isn't really that bad.
"About Priorities" the lie is that I don't have time to do everything I'm supposed to do.
"About Marriage" the lie is that it is my job to change my mate.
"About Children" the lie is that I can't control/can control the way my children turn out and that I'm not a good mother.
"About Emotions" the lie is that if I feel something it must be true.
"About Circumstances" the lie is that I just can't take any more.

We need the truth told by the Lord so that we will not believe these lies anymore.

There are several more "lies" that we tell ourselves that are discussed in the book. These are just a few that I pointed out to him that he could possibly use for his series.

I would encourage you to pick up the book and read it. There might just be a lie that you have been telling yourself that the author has put in the book. 

There is also this book for men

The preacher will be discussing a few of the lies that men tell themselves when he starts this sermon series. 

Maybe you and your husband/boyfriend/fiance' might want to pick both of them up and read them together as a devotional. There are a few topics/lies that do overlap.

The funny thing is, is that the women's book just happens to have a few more pages than the men's book. I don't know but maybe that says something about us women.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

faith

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.                                                                                                      Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) 
Before the new year began I saw a few Pinterest sites and Facebook posts asking what would you would choose to be your 'word' for 2020.

I thought about this and decided that my word for 2020 would be the same that it was in 2018 and 2019 -- FAITH.

When I was a little girl my mom and dad took us to church every Sunday. I learned all the Bible stories and all of Jesus' parables. The one that fascinated me is in the book of Matthew, chapter 17, verse 20, where Jesus tells his disciples that if they have the faith as small as a mustard seed, that they can move a mountain.

My mother had a necklace that had a clear round ball on the end of the chain, and inside of that ball was a tiny mustard seed. I remember just barely being tall enough to see above her dresser and playing with her jewelry. This necklace intrigued me. How did they get that little seed inside of that ball. I knew the story it represented but it didn't make any sense.

How can you move a mountain with a faith as small as that seed?  

In April of 2018 through January 2019, I became fully aware of how a figurative mountain can be moved with a faith the size of a seed.

My faith throughout that year wavered, I will admit it. But I held onto His promises and as of January 9, 2019, He showed us just how powerful faith in Him can be. 

I didn't want to ever lose that knowledge that a faith as small as a mustard seed can overcome. I also didn't want to ever forget just what the Lord did for our family throughout that year. So back in April of last year I went and had a tattoo with the word 'faith' placed on my arm. 

It is small and it is there just for me. I didn't get it to make a big show. I got it so that I am reminded of His power. And if anyone noticed it and asked why, I would be able to tell them of His power and His love.



Before going into a nursing home my mother asked if I wanted any of her jewelry and I was excited to see that she still had her mustard seed necklace. So now it is mine. 

Just a side note here, but if you are interested in a tattoo, I highly recommend Faith Tattoo in Golden, Colorado. And yes I feel like the Lord directed me to this tattoo shop because of the name.

Monday, October 14, 2019

only one person


At some point you're going to realize there's only one person
whose name alone can make your day better.
Only one person you look for when you enter a room.
One person that makes you the best you.

And when you realize that, your life will never be the same again.

(author unknown)


Happy Anniversary to my one and only!

 

Friday, September 20, 2019

crochet


When I was young, my mother taught me how to sew, embroider and crochet. I tried my best to enjoy sewing. I remember making a purse out of old jeans and I had to make a skirt for Home Economics class, which I hated every minute of sewing that skirt. I just couldn't get the hang of it. I enjoyed embroidery and crocheting more than sewing. I enjoyed most of all learning the things that made my mother happy and it felt good to be with her.

But over the years those skills faded and I didn't follow my mother's desire to make blankets and baby clothes and sweaters, scarfs and hats.

Several weeks ago I began to feel the urge to start crocheting again but I didn't know if I could do it. I didn't know where to begin. But then I remembered that a friend of mine crochets baby clothes and sells them at craft shows. So I asked this friend if she would help me renew my skills and desire. She gave me some advice, some instructions and told me that I could find tutorials YouTube. I got excited and started to believe that I could crochet again. 

Unfortunately my mother is not able to crochet anymore. But with the memory of my mother's instructions, the help of a friend and the help of YouTube tutorials, I am excited to learn anew this old hobby.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

are you a geographer or an explorer?

"I am a geographer," said the old gentleman. "What is a geographer?" asked the little prince. "A geographer is a scholar who knows the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts."
Idaho Springs, CO
He cast a look around him at the planet of the geographer. It was the most magnificent and stately planet that he had ever seen.

view from Mt. Evans
"Your planet is very beautiful," he said. "Has it any oceans?" "I couldn't tell you," said the geographer. "Has it any mountains?" I couldn't tell you," said the geographer. "And towns, and rivers, and deserts?" "I couldn't tell you that, either." "But you are a geographer!" "Exactly," the geographer said. "But I am not an explorer."

dirt road that goes up to old mines

remnants of an old mining camp



Echo Lake

views while driving to the summit

Mt. Evans Scenic By-Way -- Mt. Evans Scenic Byway increases in elevation to an impressive 7,000 feet in just 28 miles. Mt. Evans Byway is the highest paved highway in North America, reaching an altitude of 14,264 feet.

Crest House Ruins at the Summit
 Here is a picture of the Crest House when it was in operation. The Crest House was a restaurant, gift shop and observation point, built in 1939-1941. It was a popular tourist destination until it was destroyed in December, 1979 by a propane gas explosion.
1970 postcard of the Crest House


"It is not the geographer who goes out to count the towns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans, and the deserts. The geographer is much to important to go loafing about. He does not leave his desk. But he receives the explorers in his study. He asks them questions, and he notes down what they recall of their travels"  ~ The Little Prince, written by Antoine de Saint Exupery
Pictures taken while we were exploring the Idaho Springs, and Mt. Evans area.

Who are you? The geographer or the explorer?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

new memories in estes park, colorado


Last week the Preacher and I took a few days off and went to Estes Park, here in Colorado. We stayed at the Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort, which is becoming one of our favorite campgrounds. It isn't near the downtown area so you will have to drive to and from the shops and restaurants, but by it not being near any of the tourist areas, you are left in a relatively quiet area.

The views from the campground are breath-taking. The picture of the Preacher and of our camper show Long's Peak in the background.

When driving up the Big Thompson Canyon, Highway 34, on our way up to Estes Park, we always have memories that seem to coming flooding back. I first visited Estes Park when I was 14 or 15 years old. 


My family came to Colorado for a family vacation and I remember walking around the town visiting the shops. I took this picture of my ice cream cone because while sitting in front of the ice cream shop, I noticed they were advertising taffy. Taffy was one of my dad's favorite. He would always buy a box of taffy in various flavors.

The Preacher and I vacationed with the Preacher's mother a couple of times, and with our son. Those memories are the freshest, of course. We remember the Preacher's mother's favorite restaurants and her stories of when she and the Preacher's father came to Estes Park on their family vacations. We remember the hikes that we took with our son - Old Man Mountain, the Twin Sisters, Long's Peak, and so many more. 

I was laying in bed on the second day of our trip, again remembering all of the good times that we have had in and around this mountain town. I began wondering how many more memories are there to be made?


Later that day the Preacher and I decided to take a small hike up to the Birch rock cabin. It sits up on a knoll that overlooks the town. Albert Birch, City Editor for the Denver Post, built the cabin in the early 1900's, and then it burned down in December of 1907. The shell of the cabin and the fireplace still stand. A piece of history and a new memory!


This is the view from the rock cabin, overlooking Estes Park
On the day before we were to travel back home, the Preacher got up early to take our dog, Porter, out for a morning walk. He left and then came right back in and asked me why was the driver's door on the truck open. I, of course, had no clue. Upon further inspection we found out why. A bear had visited our campsite the night before and had opened the truck door and proceeded to climb in and walk around the front seats. Thankfully we did not have any food in the truck and the door had not shut back on him, because we were told later, that that is why the bears will tear up cars...they can't get out. 
The bear paw print where he placed his paw on the door when opening it.



Bear snot, where he was smelling the back seat where our Porter dog sits
This definitely is a new memory!

We look forward to many more memories in one of our favorite mountain towns here in Colorado...Estes Park!



heritage

 "and this is the part where you find out who you are"                                                                            ...