Thanking God For……..

JR baptism

Matthew F baptism

JR and Matthew were both baptized in Jesus’ name this month. We are excited and very thankful for what the Lord is doing among us!

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An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

 

Dear autumn time brings splendid holiday
in lovely shades of ginger and saffron.
Bright leaves announce Thanksgiving’s on its way.
Our crimson blessings we reflect upon.
With pies of pumpkin and amber chiffon,
cinnamon sentiments filling the air;
sweet loved ones and friends have gathered so near.

There’s frolic, feasting till the evening tide.
Of food and fellowship we’ve had our fill.
The umber sky, sun’s fire does now hide.
Our hearts are filled with gladness and good will
which does not dissipate with autumn’s chill.
And though Thanksgiving Day has come and gone,
the many colored memories live on.

9/9/17

Much Needed Wind

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I’ve watched the societal winds of change
blowing all my life.
The transformations they’ve brought about,
to say the least, are rife.

I know of many who once served God
back in the days of old,
but contrary winds blew on their souls
causing that love to grow cold.

In the days of my childhood
marriage was a sustaining force.
Headstrong breezes blasted the family;
made it popular to get a divorce.

I remember when children were cherished by parents.
They were nurtured, loved and protected.
With the adverse winds of promiscuity
we’ve a crop of kids abused and neglected.

God was once a part of public education.
Against Him there was no rule,
until a liberal gale stirred up a storm
and blew Him right out of school.

Kids grew up reading in my day.
Now with books, they’re less and less seen.
With the advent of technological typhoons,
they’re usually glued to a screen.

So many wayward winds are blowing these days.
Much virtue and character we’ve lost.
We need a revival of the wind
that blew on the day of Pentecost.

The wind of God blew on that inaugural day.
They were filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
The gospel that truly sets men free,
with boldness, they did declare it.

Although some did not like this wind
and persecution did abound,
through the power of God that changed them,
they turned their world upside down.

Oh, for that wind to blow today.
What blessing it does impart.
It brings the change that every man needs,
and it starts within the heart!

8/31/17

Acts 2:1-4  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 17:1-6  Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

I’ve Got The River!

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Refreshing current, first time upon me broke
when God’s Spirit indwelt me, in tongues I spoke.
I’ve got the river!

 

Sometimes it is a peaceful ride
with still pure water on the inside.
I’ve got the river!

 

On occasion it bubbles up merrily
and truly I know, verily, verily,
I’ve got the river!

 

Some days the waters wind and turn.
Perhaps there’s a lesson for me to learn.
I’ve got the river!

 

Other times it’s wild and exciting
Those spiritual rapids, I am riding.
I’ve got the river!

 

When I yield myself to its full control
the waves and billows sweep over my soul.
I’ve got the river!

 

This life giving water is for all to receive
if according to the Scriptures, you will believe.
You can have the river!

 

9/22/17

John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

Act 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 10:44-48 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

 

 

God Hearkens To The Voice Of A Man

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God hearkens to the voice of a man

in unprecedented manner right then,

for the Israelites, dark was the hour.

Mighty God, He showed forth His power.

 

Sky lights on 24 hour ban.

God hearkens to the voice of a man.

Through Joshua’s faith in God’s authority

His people won a miraculous victory.

 

The Lord’s great power is still the same

when we call on His glorious name.

God hearkens to the voice of a man

who prays according to His plan.

 

Petitions of the righteous do avail

when in supplication one does prevail.

As prayer’s fiery sparks, a soul does fan

God hearkens to the voice of a man!

 

9/7/17

 

Joshua 10:12-14  Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 

And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. 

 

James 5:16-18  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 

And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 

 

Luke 11:9-13  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Second Trip To Peru

Recently I wrote the following for a just for fun poetry contest. The theme to write on was a trip that you’ve been on, and the form to be used is called a haibun(a combination of prose and haiku). I didn’t place in the contest, but I truly enjoyed writing this and reliving the memories. Missions trips are the best!

 

 

In 2014 my family and I were privileged to be able to go on our second missions trip to Peru. The year before we had gone down with a group of 12 from our church, comprised of mostly young people, but this year it would be just my husband, 2 grown children and I. After about 10 hours of flying, we landed at the airport in Lima. We were greeted by the missionary and his helpers, loaded our luggage into a couple of vehicles and began our trip to the missionary’s home. Lima, which is the capitol of Peru has a population of over 12 million people and driving in this city can be a hair raising adventure, to say the least.

In Lima’s traffic
a person can learn to pray
for their survival.

 

On our first trip, we had spent all our time in Lima and her surrounding suburbs, but on this trip we had plans to visit Iquitos, a city in the Amazon jungle region and Cusco, a city and area of high elevation and home of the legendary Machu Picchu. Our first stop was to Iquitos, the largest city in the world that is only accessible by plane or boat. Cars are pretty scarce in Iquitos. The most used method of transportation is the rickshaw, which is basically a motorcycle with a cart behind it in which passengers sit. This open air form of transportation was a new and fun experience for us.

 

Hailing a rickshaw
negotiating the fare
and then we take off.

 

My husband was scheduled to preach a crusade that they were having at one of the churches in Iquitos. The people greeted us warmly, the worship was exuberant and it was very hot. None of the churches there have air conditioning.

 

Sweating a river
in jungle sanctuary
we praise God anyhow.

 

I told myself I would do my best not to use the restroom while we were at church. It’s just not the same as it is in America. However, there was one service where I just had to go.

 

Primitive toilets
sometimes do not have a seat.
Bring your own tp.

 

We enjoyed our time in services with the Peruvians, and after the crusade was over, we had occasion to do some sightseeing. We paid to take a trip down the dirty Amazon River to a small wildlife refuge. It was a peaceful ride down the river, and after about half an hour, we pulled up to the shore where there was a rickety wooden stairway that leads up to a small wildlife refuge. As we exited the boat, we saw several small monkeys coming down the side rails of the stairway. Much to my son’s delight, one of the monkeys came and jumped right onto his shoulder. These monkeys seemed truly happy and anxious to see who their visitors were. We found out that these monkeys, as cute as they are, also can be full of mischief. One of the little guys pulled a chopstick out of my daughter’s hair and tried to run off with it, but we were able to apprehend him and retrieve the article. I had my own encounter with a small imp.

 

Fresh little monkey
trying to lift up my skirt.
Missionary laughs.

 

As we made our way through the refuge, there were several animals that we were allowed to hold in our hands if we so desired. We all took turns holding a giant turtle, a toucan and a colorful parrot sitting on a limb. All of the animals there have been thoroughly cleaned up and have had parasites removed from them. I also held a sloth. It was not what I was expecting.

 

Stiff, sanitized sloth
much like a furry backpack
held near in my arms.

 

Before we returned to the city area of Iquitos, we planned to make one more stop. The missionary told us that there were groups of native people that live along the river that ran around very scantily clad or sometimes naked. We weren’t at all interested in seeing that, but the tour guide on the boat told the missionary he knew of some native people that were not like that, and he could show us where they were. He took us to the spot, we got off the boat and started walking towards a large hut that was in the distance. For some reason, my son was ahead of everybody else in a group, and when he reached the hut, he went inside. That tour guide must have fibbed. My son was mortified.

 

A primeval hut
filled with half naked women
he quickly exists.

 

Once we had returned to Iquitos we took a walk through an open air market. Just one look at the filthy hands of most of the merchants let us know that we would be playing Russian roulette with our health by eating anything here. We came to one particular vendor where we just stopped and stared for a few minutes.

 

Grub worm on a stick
regional delicacy
I think I will pass.

 

Near the end of our Peruvian trip we boarded another plane for our flight to Cusco. Cusco is a region of Peru, and there is also a city by the same name. We were told that where we were landing the elevation was 11,000 feet. . As soon as our plane was on the ground, I could feel the difference.

 

Landing in Cusco
one thought dominates my mind.
I need oxygen!

 

The next morning a taxi that was scheduled to pick us up came and dropped us off at the train station. The train ride to Machu Picchu was about an hour long, but it was scenic and pleasant. After exiting the train, we got on a nice, spacious tour bus which would take us the rest of the way there. All I can say is that Machu Picchu is absolutely breathtaking. I can certainly see why it is now named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

 

Oh my, what splendor
Machu Picchu in person
Photos can’t compare!

 

I might mention that the elevation is around 7,000 feet at Machu Picchu, so I had no problems breathing during our visit. There is so much more that I could say, but I will end my recollections by saying that this was a trip of a lifetime, and I was so blessed to be able to experience this with my family. I will never be the same!

 

The people, the sights
of our journey to Peru
live within my heart.

7/27/17

Wake Up Calls

Blood pressure measuring studio shot

The date was May 30, 2017. I was sitting in the waiting area of the doctor’s office before being called in for my appointment. I had what was most likely an infection in my body and would probably need an antibiotic. Going to the doctor always makes me a little nervous, so I had prayed that Jessica would be there. She is one of my doctor’s assistants and a genuinely caring person that has the type of positive, happy go lucky, friendly attitude that helps put people at ease. After a few minutes the door opened, and Jessica was there calling my name. She had me step onto the scale, and I inwardly cringed when I saw my weight. We happily chatted as we went into the examination room. It is a routine procedure to have your blood pressure checked at doctor’s visits, so I didn’t think anything of it when she put the cuff around my arm and began the procedure. I was watching Jessica performing her duty when I noticed the calm expression on her face turn to a look of concern. Then she mentioned that my blood pressure was kind of high. 178/108 to be exact.

I was not expecting this, and to be honest, it scared the liver out of me. I am unaware of anybody in my family with a history of high blood pressure, although my dad could have had it. He died of a massive heart attack at 56. My doctor did gave me an antibiotic, gave me some information on diet recommendations(lowering sodium intake mostly)and wanted to see me the next day for another blood pressure check.

I left the doctor’s office that day feeling like I had received a wake up call. How long had I had high blood pressure and was not even aware of it? I could have had a heart attack or stroke and died. I decided right then that I was going to change my diet and try to do what I could to get my blood pressure back to normal. My blood pressure was a little lower the following day but still well above normal. My doctor decided to treat the infection first, and then we would focus on the blood pressure. In the meantime, I was praying and doing what I could do diet wise to try to avoid going on blood pressure medication. After another week, I returned for a follow up visit with blood pressure that was still high. My doctor decided to put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication. To make a long story short, my blood pressure is pretty much back in normal range. My doctor decreased my medication dose, and I am praying and believing when I go back for a physical next month that I will get off the medication entirely.

As I was thinking of this whole scenario I saw how this could apply to a person spiritually. Sometimes God will allow things to happen in the life of a sinner or someone who has fallen away from Him to get their attention, so that they will turn to Him. Years ago there was a young man named Clint that came and visited one of our services. I found out later that he had been raised in church but had fallen away from God as a teenager. A few days before coming to our church, he had been involved in a horrible motorcycle accident, which had left him with a broken leg and a lot of bruises. Clint came several times to church, and I remember a time when after a service a group of us were standing around conversing, with Clint among us. He mentioned that he felt like his accident was a wake up call from God. He could have been killed, but God spared his life. He also stated that once his leg was healed up he would be shouting and running the aisles with the rest of us.

Unfortunately, we never saw that day come. I’m not sure what happened, but he did not continue coming to church. Is it possible that the fear he had when he first had his wreck wore off? As his physical condition improved did he let the cares of life, responsibilities or pleasures that this world offers hinder him from continuing to walk with God and serve Him?  I have seen many come to church that have had a near death experience or some kind of crisis in their life that caused them to realize that they need God. This is really the mercy of God reaching for a soul, and the Bible speaks about this in Psalm 107.

Psalm 107:8-15  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

 

It is truly a tragic thing though when the crisis is past, God has come through and helped the individual, to see the fear they had seemingly wear off and they walk out on God and return to the way they were living before. Perhaps there is someone reading this who has had a spiritual wake up call. God has allowed a crisis to happen in your life to help you realize your need of Him. I want to encourage you to seek God in true repentance. Let that fear that brought you to Him cause you to turn to Him with all your heart and not just to seek Him for a temporary fix. He wants to do so much more than that. Let Him work in your life and change you so that you will be ready to go to heaven. He wants to see you saved through all eternity!