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