Tuesday, December 30, 2014

When the Preacher is Sick Who Do You Call?

Image found on Google Images

Last week, Christmas week, the Preacher was running a fever, he was nauseous, he felt weak and just wanted to lay in bed and sleep. On Monday he went to our local clinic and he was diagnosed with the influenza. 

Our son, the PK, had returned from Basics the Friday before and I know the Preacher hated the fact he was down in bed sick. We had not finished our Christmas shopping and we had a Christmas Eve Service to prepare. The PK and I were able to purchase the final gifts, but what to do about the church service?

Our Christmas Eve Service is a very laid back, family oriented service. We always ask people to come and tell their favorite Christmas stories, play and/or sing a Christmas song. We close the service singing "Silent Night" while lighting candles and then each family takes communion together.

The Preacher leads the congregational singing, puts together the program and then directs everyone, letting them know when they are to come up on stage. This year he was not able to do any of these things nor was he even able to attend.

We discussed who we could get to take over the Preacher's role. We decided to call a gentleman from our church, to see if he would help out and he agreed, so we began making plans for the evening. This gentleman then found someone to read the Christmas story from the book of Luke and he also found someone to lead the singing. He did a great job leading the people, letting them know when it was their turn to sing or play a song.

Also, before the service began someone else came to me to let me know that if ever this happens again, they would be more than willing to help the Preacher in anyway they could. 

The service was wonderful, every seat in the building was taken and everyone did a great job!

In the last 9 and a half years there has not been very many days that the Preacher has had to ask for help, but when it did, there was always someone there to step in to help. I remember one time we woke up on a Sunday morning and the Preacher, the PK and I were sick with a stomach bug. The Preacher called our neighbor who attends the church and explained that we were not able to be at church that day. This person then began making calls and the Sunday morning service went smoothly.

What I am trying to say is that I want to thank all those who step in and help the Preacher and I when we are too ill or not capable to fulfill our duties on any given day. We have men and women who are so willing to help. You don't know what that means to us. We want to serve you but there are so many times that you serve us and we love you for that!

Thank You and Love from the Preacher and I

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Small Town Christmas

Not a day goes by that I see an article in a Facebook feed or on the news, a story about how a school has announced that a Christmas tree will not be placed in their classrooms or a place of business is telling their employees that they must say 'Happy Holidays', not the salutation of "Have a Merry Christmas". They are even calling children's programs Holiday Programs instead of Christmas programs.

In this blog post I want to brag on our little community here in the high plains of Colorado. 

Every year the city puts out this nativity scene and, as you can see, a big 'Merry Christmas' greeting.

This year the City put lights all around the lake that is in the center of town, as well as some old Christmas decorations that they had used in years past. Among them is this nativity scene. So that makes two nativity scenes placed in the community by the City! 

(Sorry for the quality of the pictures)

Last Sunday night we had a Community Christmas Program that is hosted by various churches. Each church has a few people/groups that come and present a special song for the event. This year we had everything from a Trombone Quartet to a young girl singing 'Noel'. Each year the program is held at the High School Auditorium.

The schools are decorated with Christmas trees, you hear people greeting each other with Merry Christmas. In some of the schools the Christmas story is told in Christmas pageants. Our teachers and those in the administration attend churches and believe in the Christmas miracle of the Son of God being born to a virgin.

I want to thank our community, our small town, for remembering and celebrating the birth of our Savior. We may not have big department stores, franchised restaurants or malls but what we do have is a town who comes together when times get tough. We have Faith and we Believe in more than a Santa Claus and good cheer. We believe that Jesus Christ was born to save the world!

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Preacher and I

Friday, December 5, 2014

"...and she loved a little boy."

"There once was a tree and she loved a little boy."- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Have you read this book? I love this book! It is one of my favorites.
All week I've been thinking about the tender story of the tree who gives everything to a 
boy that she loves.

This past week, we here in our small community, suffered a tragic loss of a young man. He was 16 years old and died from a horrible accident. I didn't know the boy but I know of his family. I have friends who are very close to the family and it just breaks my heart to think of the suffering that his family is going through, as well as all who did know him personally.
Then two days later we learned of another young man, who lived in the town just east of us,  he was found dead from suicide. Another young life gone. Again, I didn't know this boy but a close friend of mine knew him through the school where he attended. 

Last Monday the Preacher was called to go to our high school to help with counseling the kids. He called other ministers to come and help too. Then on Wednesday the Preacher was called again to go to our neighboring community to counsel the kids in the high school there. The kids were lost, they just didn't know what to do. There seemed to be a heaviness in both of our communities.

My heart has been breaking for these mothers. 
In my life I have been working through not being able to see my son since he left for the Army, but this, this I could not even imagine living through this nightmare. 
How, how can a mother endure this?

Just like the Giving Tree, we as mothers give our sons and daughters everything that we possibly can. From the moment that they are conceived our bodies begin giving them nourishment and life. After they are born we continue to give of ourselves, we give them a home to be warm and secure, we give them clothes, we give them food, we give them protection. I think as mothers we live to give our all to our children.

I also think that there is something special about the bond between a mother and a son.
I don't know exactly why or how but it's there, we can feel it.
So when that child is ripped out of your life how can you survive?
I don't know. 

I know that a lot of prayers have gone up to the Lord on behalf of these two mothers. I don't know if there is anything else that really can be done. 
Of course, if you are close to the families, you need to be there as a shoulder to cry on. 
The tears will not end soon.
The Lord is grieving right along side of these mothers. Remember that He too lost a son.

Mothers, if you have sons, or daughters, still at home, cherish every single moment with them. Stop wishing for the day when you will no longer have to change a diaper, stop wishing for the day when they will walk on their own, stop wishing for the day when they can do their own laundry, stop wishing for the day when the house is quiet and you might have some time alone. All of these things will come to past and it will come faster
than you will ever want them to. 

Love them now in whatever stage they are in. Hold them close, be sure to kiss them goodnight and to say prayers with them every night.

And most of all, don't ever stop telling them that YOU LOVE THEM!

Love and Prayers from the Preacher and I

Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Things I Am Thankful For

Today begins our Thanksgiving Week and I thought I would share 10 things that I am thankful for. 

These are not put into any particular order.

  1.  My Husband - the Preacher: I thank God everyday for this man. He is my best friend. I don't know what I would do without him.
  2. My Son: I am so proud of the man that he has become. He has been my joy ever since he was born. I am so proud that he has chosen to join the military and defend his country.
  3. My Family: We live far away from our families, 4 states separate us, and yet I know that they would be here for us if we should ever need them. We have been through good times and the bad times together and we always stay strong together. Unfortunately we don't get to see each other or talk with each other as often as we should but I pray that they know that we love them.
  4. My Church: The Preacher and I love our church family here in Colorado. They are special people. The same for our families is true with the people here, they are our family in Christ and we know that they are here for us. 
  5. My Friends: The one good thing that comes out of moving to different locations is that you now have friends from all over. We have loved all of the people that have become our friends over the years. They have been so good to us and we have enjoyed so many special and precious memories with them.
  6. My Home: It doesn't matter where we live, I am thankful for the homes that the Preacher, our son and I have lived in. When the Preacher and I first married we didn't have a place to call home and we lived in a tent for 3 months until we were able to stay in a room at the stables where we worked at the time. Since then we have lived in different apartments, a house in Florida and now our beautiful log home here in Colorado. Every where we have lived the Lord has provided a roof over our head and kept us safe and warm. 
  7. Travel: I am thankful that the Preacher and I are able to travel. We love to discover new places. At this time in our lives we're not able to travel as much as we would like but we love to get away on our 'weekends' and go and see the beautiful sites here in Colorado. Every once in awhile we both look at each other and say, "It's time for a road trip!"
  8. Facebook: I know this may sound silly to some, but this year Facebook has connected me to friends that I haven't heard from in quite some time. Also, since our son joined the military, we have discovered that his Company has a Facebook page and we are able to experience just a fraction of what his daily life is like, not to mention the occasional picture he might just be in. It has helped us both to feel better about his being so far away from us. (Just a side note - a woman was telling us that when her husband was in Vietnam, even though she may receive a letter from him, she wasn't sure if he had been killed or not until she received the next letter. So you see why Facebook is a wonderful tool for the military families to have in today's technical world.)
  9. Prayer: I'm thankful that I can go to my Father and talk with Him. He is always there to talk to and it is a comfort to know that I can go to Him at any time.
  10. My Savior: Maybe I shouldn't put this last, but like the saying goes, 'last but not least'. I am thankful that we have a Lord and Savior who by His grace makes us new every day. I am thankful that He saved me and that one day I will be with Him and those that I love who have gone before me.
There are so many more things that I am thankful for (like Starbucks Iced Chai and pasta, any kind of pasta).

What are you thankful for this year? 
Don't miss out on letting the people in your life know that you are thankful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Preacher and I

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When Satan Attacks

Last week the Preacher's sermon was from Luke 22:31-71. Verse 31 reads:
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
After the service was completed a friend of mine came to me and told me that she was traveling that next week to go back to her hometown to visit her mom for Thanksgiving. She asked that the Preacher and I be in prayer for her, her family and her mother. She then asked about our son. I asked that she keep us in her prayers, pray that we would have the financial means to be able to meet him for his Christmas leave.

She must have begun praying right away because Satan began his attack on our finances! 

On Monday morning I received a phone call from our insurance agent. She explained that our mortgage company had not paid the correct amount for our home owner's insurance so she was letting me know that she had contacted them and they were going to over-night a new check to our insurance company. This new check would be $1,000.00+.

Later that day, I received an email explaining that our health insurance would be increasing by $400.00 per month beginning January 1, 2015.

On Tuesday, the Preacher took our Jeep into the dealer to have them look into any possible reasons why one of our tires was wearing so badly - much faster than the other three tires. It is wearing so badly that the Preacher believes that we'll have to replace all four tires now - approximately $500.00 for four new tires.

The Jeep dealer sent us to a body shop to test the axle/frame to see if it is bent. This diagnostic test cost us $112.00. We needed this test in order to prove to Chrysler that we did not wreck the vehicle so they will pay for the cost of fixing the camber (I think this is how you spell this.) If Chrysler doesn't pay then this will cost us approximately $225.00.

Jesus gave Peter a hint that he would overcome. He said in verse 31, "And when you have turned again...." Did you hear that? He said "when" not "if". Jesus prayed for Peter and knew that Peter would be victorious. The testing still had to come, but in the end, because of prayer, Peter came out even stronger than before.

The Preacher and I have been praying. I know my friend has been praying. I know that these prayers will be heard. I'm not saying we may not have to pay any money at all for any of these things, what I am saying is that we will be victorious because of our faith. And when we come out of this time of sifting, we will be here to 'strengthen our brothers' and to pray for whoever may ask.

Will you come together with us and pray, not only for the Preacher and I, but for anyone you may know that is going through a time of "sifting".

Love from the Preacher and I

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jury Duty

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge 
is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
--------Albert Einstein

A few months ago I received a summons to appear for Jury Duty at our County's Courthouse. I thought to myself that I really didn't want to do this. I have received two Jury Duty summons in the past and I did not have to appear for those, so I was hoping that would happen again. 

Upon entering the courtroom I saw that every seat was taken and my expectations of not being called were raised. Surely out of all of these people I won't be called, the odds, I thought, were in my favor. 

The first 13 people were called. They were asked a series of questions - "Will you be able to judge fairly?", "Do you have a problem with judging someone?", "Do you know the defendant?", "Will you be able to separate any information you may have heard from the actual facts?". After answering these questions, three people were removed from the jury box. Now the Clerk of the Court called three more names. My name was among those called.

I stepped into the jury box and took my seat. I raised my hand and took the oath to tell the truth and then I was asked all of the same questions. After a few minutes the prosecuting and defense lawyers made their final decision in the jury selecting process......I was on the jury. 

It was a little daunting knowing that I was going to be one of six people who would be giving this person a label of guilty or innocent.

We listened to all of the details of the case. We looked over the evidence that was entered into the trial and it was all very interesting, seeing how the court and a trial works. Once in awhile I would look at the defendant, she looked so nervous. I'm sure she just wanted all of this to be over as soon as possible.

After a day and a half we were asked to go back to the jury room and deliberate and make our decision. Is this defendant guilty or innocent?

Sitting in that jury box I thought about just how many times do I judge someone on a daily basis. Then I remembered something I read in the book, "The Shack" by Wm Paul Young. 
Mack is asked to judge The Judge and he replies, "What? Me? I'd rather not, I don't have the ability to judge." And the Judge replies, "Oh, that is not true. You have already proven yourself very capable. You have judged many throughout your life. You have judged the actions and even the motivations of others, as if you somehow knew that those were in truth. You have judged the color of skin and body language and body odor. You have judged history and relationships. You have even judged the value of a person's life by the quality of your concept of beauty. By all accounts, you are quite well-practiced in the activity."
 I was also reminded of the passage of scripture in Revelation 20:12  
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done."
I understand that the Law of our Land says that a person shall be judged by their peers if that person has presumably committed an offense against someone. 

By being on this jury it brought to light the importance of not judging anyone outside of a courtroom. God is my judge and who am I that I should be the judge of any one. I pray that the Lord forgives me for thinking otherwise. 

Have you ever been on a jury? Did it make you think twice the next time you were quick to draw a conclusion about someone?

Love from the Preacher and I

P.S.  Just in case you were wondering, we found the defendant 'not guilty'.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This Is When You Rely On Your Faith

The son of the Preacher and I raised his right arm and took the oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. He pledged that he would obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of his officers. The oath ends in "So help me God".

The day began with our son being driven in an Army bus from his hotel and arriving at the MEPS office very, very early in the morning. We arrived around 8:00 in the morning. His recruiters had told us to be sure to get there early because you never knew when he would be sworn in.

We arrived and were told to have a seat in the Family Lounge. Our son was in another area waiting for his instructions. We were able to see him and talk with him off and on through out the day. He would be moved from one office to another getting all of the proper paperwork ready. 

While sitting in the Family Lounge you would see other families come in and take a seat. Upon their arrival you would talk with each other, crack a few jokes, ask questions about each other's sons or daughters, the mood was lighthearted. As the day progressed and as these sons and daughters were then sworn in and the families would leave, the mood of the room took a drastic change. No longer were we cracking jokes and telling lighthearted stories. All of the mothers had the same look on their face. It all became so real.

We had been waiting from 8:00 in the morning and now it was close to 3:00 in the afternoon. You wonder when, when will they ever finish up all of the red tape that our son has to go through, but then I remember thinking 'why am I anxious for it to be over?' 'Why do I want this day to end?' I didn't want it to end. I might have been uncomfortable there in that sterile building but at least once in awhile I could look up and see my son walking down the hallway. I could see him sitting in one of the rooms that they put the boys in while they waited. 

And then the waiting came to an end. They called the families in. Let us stand along a wall, told us we could take pictures, thanked us for the sacrifice we were making. They asked the boys to raise their right hand and confirm their acknowledgement of the oath. You then are asked to wait down by the elevators for your sons to go through one more line and then they can come and say their good-byes. 

And just like that he's gone. You no longer will be the one making sure their clothes are laundered, they are eating right, they get enough rest. They are not in your care any longer. 

The tears flowed, I didn't know that my body would feel like someone ripped out my stomach and my heart all at the same time.

We got a phone call late last night. The one where they are allowed to call for 60 seconds just to let you know they arrived okay. Our son sounded so tired. He wasn't allowed to say very much. Most of the conversation was coming from our side of the phone. And then again, he says I have to go, the line goes dead, and he's gone.

This is the hardest thing his father and I have had to go through in all of his life. This is the time where your faith is tested, where you know that your faith in God is the only thing that keeps you going. You have to pray and believe that your son will be okay and that, with the Lord's help, he will get through this. With the Lord's help we will get through this.

I ask all who read this that you pray for our son. Pray for his safety, pray that he finds other boys who love the Lord, pray that he remains strong in his faith. I also ask you to pray for the Preacher and I. Thank you.

Love from the Preacher and I

Friday, October 31, 2014

With Much Appreciation to the Preacher

Today is the last day of October. Today is Reformation Day commemorating the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church doors. It is also Halloween which is probably what this day is most known for.

But today I wanted to take the time to say Thank You to my Preacher because this is the last day of Pastor Appreciation Month. My appreciation and love for him won't stop after today, I just wanted to include mine here in October with all of the others who have shown their appreciation to their Pastors.

Our congregation has done a wonderful job of showing their appreciation through their kind words and by the work that was done on our house while we were away in Tennessee. 

The first time I heard my Preacher teach I knew there was something different about him. He taught in such a way that you could understand the scripture, he brought the scriptures out of this lofty King James setting and brought them down to our level. We who heard these teachings understood that the scriptures were for us, for the lives we live right now.

I then heard him preach from the pulpit and again there he placed the scriptures and their message right before me so that I and everyone else who was hearing them, could understand that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was also the God for us. No longer were we beat down with the fire and brimstone preaching of the past but he showed us that God is the God of love and grace. 

(I also loved the fact that he didn't like to stay behind that pulpit. He needed to come out from behind there to feel like he was more accessible to those who were in the church that day.) 

I love the fact that through his studying and preaching he has tried his very best to show that love and grace to his congregation. No matter what church we have served in, he truly loves the people and wants to be a part of their lives showing them the love of Christ.

He has been my rock through the bad times and has been, and still is, my very best friend. We have been a team from the day we married 30 years ago. He has been the best father he knows how to be. He loves our son so much and has always tried to teach him a foundation that he can rely on.

There have been awesome, wonderful times in leading a church congregation but there also have been those days that you doubt that you can still hear the Lord's calling. Through all of that he is still strong in the Lord. He loves the Lord, he loves the inerrant word of God and I know that is what I love most about him. He is our spiritual leader here in his own household. I couldn't imagine living without him.

Thank you to my love, my best friend and to my preacher!

Love from the Preacher's wife

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Women of Faith

This past weekend I went to the Women of Faith Conference in Denver along with three ladies from my church.

It has been several years since I have gone to the WOF Conference. I chose not to attend or even try to put together a group from my church to attend for a few reasons.

One of the reasons is -- that years ago, one of the last times I attended, was when I was in such a depressed state. I had so many negative thoughts running through my mind. I felt that year maybe if I would attend the conference with a few women from my church, I would hear the amazing speakers and find how to have positive thoughts again. Maybe I could feel good about myself again. During that conference I purchased a necklace at the WOF booth. It is silver with a pink flower on one side and the word "celebrate" on the other. The theme that year was "Celebrate Joy" and I knew that I needed joy, His joy. Unfortunately that weekend did not end the way that I had hoped. I think I was even worse than I had been before attending. I continued to wear the necklace though. I would feel it around my neck and I would pray that the Lord would help me remember that true joy comes from Him.

When I would think of attending in the years after that, my mind would bring back those memories and feelings. I just couldn't get myself to get excited about attending.

 But this year I decided to go. Three women at church came to me and asked if I wanted to go so I decided "let's do it!"  I found myself looking forward to being with these women, I was looking forward to the conference.

Friday evening arrived and we found our seats. The music began and I found myself raising my hands in praise. The speakers on Friday and Saturday were awesome. Many of them were new to me and at first I was disappointed the speakers from past conferences were not there but I began to realize that just as the Women of Faith team had changed....so have I!

I'm not the same person I was all those years ago. Through the years, through the pain, through the depression, I began to find Jesus and his joy.  I began to have a more personal relationship with him.

All of this made the weekend even more special. I was able to listen with new hearing and learn so much more.

I still wear my "celebrate" necklace, even though the original leather chain has long since disintegrated, I have put it on new chain and ever so often I rub it between my fingers to help me, on the hard days, to remember to look for God's joy.

I want to thank these ladies for asking me to go with them. Thank you for helping me remember the joy of being with my Christian sisters and praising our Lord together by singing and by hearing His word alongside 6,996 other Women of Faith!

Love from the Preacher and I

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Goodbye Tennessee, Hello Colorado

While I was laying on my cot inside of our tent on the last night we were to be in Tennessee, this thought came to me. In years past, on the last night, I would become very sad, knowing that it was over. 

The National Storytelling Festival would come to an end on the next day and after the last story was told, while the chairs were being packed away and the tents were being taken down, we would pack up our truck and start the long trip back to South Florida, where we used to live. 

On that last night I knew that I did not want to leave those Smoky Mountains, I didn't want to leave the slow pace that the people of Tennessee seem to have down to a science. I didn't want to return to the fast-paced lifestyle that South Florida thrives on. I yearned to stay, I dreamed of the day we could move to the Appalachian hills that were so beautiful during the autumn season.

This year, this trip, I did not have those desires. I realized on that last night, while laying on that cot, I did     not yearn to stay. The Smokey Mountains did not have the same pull on my heart strings that it had in the past.

I'm not quite sure why. Am I finally content here in the slow-paced, northeast corner of Colorado? 

I believe so.

Love from the Preacher and I

Thursday, October 16, 2014

National Storytelling Festival

We began coming to this place 19 years ago. Our son was just 5 months old when we discovered Jonesborough, Tennessee. We have returned here some 14 years now. This is the place our son discovered a tradition.

In this place, in this little town, the oldest town in Tennessee, is where thousands of people come together during the first weekend of October every year. Between the storytellers and the people who come to hear their story's, the entire world can be represented here. And through these people, through these story's, we come together as one.

We are transported to the Choctaw Nation where a little Choctaw girl saves a little slave boy; to the country of Wales to see 'Jack' saving the Squire's daughter from a dragon; to South Carolina to hear about a school principal who knew the name of every child in his school and helped them have the best experience during their elementary years; we ride along on boxcars with the hobos. We are excited to hear the next storyteller, we ask ourselves, "Where will they take us next?"

Tim Tingle
On Friday, the first storyteller was Tim Tingle. Tim was the one who taught the preacher how to play the Native American Flute and helped him develop his storytelling skills. Tim started us off with the Choctaw National Anthem. He asked us to sing it along with him. This was the song that the Choctaw Indians learned from Methodist Missionaries and sang while walking on the Trail of Tears. This song is Amazing Grace. He said he prayed that it would be a blessing for the entire weekend. 

Tim's story's will draw you in, they will make you laugh, then cry and then laugh again.
All of the storytellers will do this to you. No matter what kind of story the tellers tell, no matter if you laugh or cry, there will always be a moral to the story. You will leave knowing that you learned some kind of truth.  Like Tim said in one of his stories, "The path to freedom is always there, even if you don't see it."

We gather in large tents, some placed over pavement, some placed upon grass. The chairs sitting so close to each other that you touch your neighbor's elbow. There could be 600+ people placed under these tents, these storytelling tents, but when the story begins, you forget all of that. You are transported into the story with everyone else. You are on this journey together. Together you laugh, cry, gasp, and sigh all in unison.

There is no place on earth that we have found, that can do this. You are lifted up to another plane. When the weekend ends with the Sacred Stories on Sunday, everyone goes back to their cars and we all know that we have experienced something special. You know that there is no where else that you could have found what you just experienced.

On your way home you savor all of the stories you have heard. You retell your favorites. Then those stories begin to remind you of stories of your own childhood, your own travels, your own school days. There, in the stories, you remember and you begin to tell, there is the end result of the weekend, the lesson the tellers were hoping you would learn.

As much fun as this one weekend is, this is not where we were meant to stay. This weekend is to teach us to never stop telling our own stories, to pass them on to our children, and then to their children. The lesson  was the importance of learning from our ancestors and continuing in these traditions.

So the preacher and I hope that you too, will catch a hold of this truth and go and transport your children to a land far, far away.

Love from the Preacher and I

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Somewhere Safe for 30 Years

Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person:
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, 
but to pour them out.
Just as they are -- chaff and grain together, knowing
that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath
of kindness, blow the rest away.

   -- Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik, 1826-1887

"To be somewhere safe with somebody good....to be safe with 
you is grace beyond measure"

-- Cynthia / from the book "Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good" Jan Karon

Happy Anniversary to the one I will love forever!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Laughter Left Her Face But....

While we were in Tennessee last week, we were able to get
together with some very good friends. 

Bill & Melody worked side by side with the preacher and I in the ministry 
here in Colorado before they moved to Tennessee. They actually moved to
the town where the Storytelling Festival is held.
We love them to death and miss them terribly, but we believe that the Lord
has a plan for their lives and we are sure that they have touched
many lives and have shown the Lord's love through the
work they are doing.

We also were able to meet with Alvaro & Dennisse and their boys. 
They are very special people. In Florida we worshiped together, 
we went camping together, we loved going to Cici's Pizza on 
Sunday's for Church After Church. It was so great to get to seem them.
They have purchased an investment property there in Tennessee and were 
getting it ready for renters. We were able to spend just a few hours
with them eating Dennisse's awesome food. She is an amazing 
cook. She and Alvaro love to cook for the preacher and of course
the preacher is in heaven when we get together and break bread together.

There was a line in a story that Tim Tingle told, 
"The laughter left her face but the friendship stayed."
This is how I feel when we get together with these amazing friends.
This is how I felt when we had to say good-bye to our friends.

It is so amazing how the Lord brings us together.
I believe that when you build relationships through the love of Christ
those friendships never die. 

I did a word search and there are many scriptures that talk about 
friendship, but the one that I found fitting is John 15:12-15.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his live for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." (ESV)
Jesus understands friendships. He wants us to have deep friendships with one 
another, but even better than that, He wants to have a deep relationship
with us. He calls us friend! Just like the song, "I Am a Friend of God" by Israel Houghton
says, "God Almighty, Lord of Glory, You have called me friend."

Think about the friendships in your life. Do you have deep friendships?
Now think about your relationship with Jesus.
Do you call Him your friend? 
Is your friendship with Him a deep relationship?
He wants to have that kind of friendship with you.

He calls you friend!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Road Trip!

The preacher, our son and I went on a road trip to Jonesborough, TN last week. 

It's was that time of the year again, time for the National Storytelling Festival!

We had not been to the Festival in 3 to 4 years and since this is our last time 
our son will be able to attend with us (at least for a few years), 
we decided to go this year. 

This was also the preacher's "conference" for the year.
We have an amazing church leadership that encourages the preacher 
to go and to continue his education by attending conferences and seminars each year.

The preacher decided to drive straight through in order to get there within 20 hours.

When we were younger and newly married, we worked for a harness racing stable.
We would be in New Jersey in the summer and then move to Florida for the winter. 
When we left from one stable we had to be at the next stable BEFORE 
the horses arrived. The horse trailers drove straight through 
so we too had to drive straight through.

We were young - no problem!

Now 30 years later we are not young anymore. 
Driving straight through is not as easy as it once was. Even with 3 drivers it is not easy.
Our son helped with the driving and he was a big help!

On our last leg of the trip, as we got closer and closer to Jonesborough, 
we were all so excited to be back in Tennessee. 
Excited to hear some amazing storytellers, excited to see the preacher's mentor, Tim Tingle. Excited to learn new stories, hear new tellers, and to learn new storytelling techniques.
(I will talk more about the Festival in another post.)

We were not disappointed. We loved every bit of our trip.
Storytellers did not disappoint. In fact we were thinking this year might 
have been one of the best years.

On our way home we decided to stop and get a hotel room for the night. 
It was nice to be able to stop and rest. The next day driving 8-9 hours, 
we thought we just might not make it. 
The last 3 hours seemed like it took forever.

It was wonderful to spend time with the preacher all to myself.
It was wonderful having this time with our son.

If you have not been able to take a road trip, I highly recommend it! 
Jump in the car with the ones you love and drive!

Road trips can be a such a special time.

Love from the Preacher and I

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Even The Rocks Will Praise Him!

In May of this year, the preacher and i took a week's vacation and visited the
Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.
This place is full of rocks/boulders, of all shapes and sizes.
I couldn't help but to think about this park during the preacher's sermon today.

Today the preacher's message was from Luke 19:28-48. This passage is where
Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. While he is coming into the city,
the people are lining the streets and they are rejoicing and praising him, shouting, 
"Blessed is the King!"

The Pharisees, the religious leaders who ruled over the people and the temple/church,
told Jesus to tell the people to be quiet.
Do you know what his response was?
"I tell you, if these (people) were silent, the very stones would cry out!"  (vs 40)

Remember when Jesus taught the disciples how to pray?  (Luke 11:1-4)
He said, "Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven."
This is an example of what He was talking about.
You can't stop his praise. If we don't praise him

the earth, the rocks, the trees, ALL of the earth, WILL praise Him, and IS praising Him!

Won't you join the rocks in their praise?
Lift up your voice and praise with a loud voice!
"Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Love from the preacher and i!