Mission Trip Realized

In the last blog, I mentioned writing smaller pieces more often because of an upcoming busy season. What I didn’t know-there would be no internet in many places I stayed at.

                I went south for a wedding and the day after Thanksgiving got on a plane to Europe. My husband texted, “Enjoy your life long dream of going on a mission’s trip.”

                After a layover in Paris, France which thrilled me, off we went to the airport in Budapest, Hungary and afterwards a four-hour trip to BeliefinMotion.org mission for eight days. What a privilege to meet godly leaders and staff, and to pitch in to help where I could.

                On our way home, we got to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City and it was the least impressive of the four airports we visited. We stopped in Rome on our way back.

                We distributed gifts to people in poor villages in Romania and told them Merry Christmas in their language. I am still in jet lag status, so I’ll sign off. I hope to include a photo or two.

                May God bless you!

What to Believe

Last night, as I lay in bed, one of my legs started hurting. I said, “Lord, what’s going on?”

Now, whether it was my thought, imagination, the enemy of our souls-which I doubt, or the One and Only Great God, I felt as if a gruff voice impressed on my mind, “Feed My sheep.”

What do you think of that? So, tonight just past my bedtime, I’m sitting in a recliner under a crocheted afghan I made well over 20 years ago, a Granny square pattern, with a dim light on my right and a hand-cranked flashlight losing power over lined paper so I don’t overstimulate my senses and stay awake too late. I’ll type this in the morning, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” as my mom used to say back in the day.

I’ve been blogging less often because of life’s pressures and a little burn out. I’m reading the Psalms in the Old Testament and First Corinthians in the New Testament. No matter how many interesting books I read, none nourish my spirit like the Bible.

I read 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV), a favorite verse of mine: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Speaking of temptation, the last time I blogged I mentioned my granddaughter saying something about an unfortunate substance being on her ear and contacting my kiss. The next morning, on speaker phone I heard her mom say, “What did I read in Grandma’s blog about your ear and a booger?”

My young granddaughter said, “Oh, I just played a trick on her.”

She lied! I thought it was unlikely that she would have a booger on her ear, but then, I thought, maybe it got on her pillow case and transferred over. She’s got brothers and she’s athletic but I didn’t think she’d ignore something on her ear. I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

This photo is from gettyimage.com and I found it on Google.com.

The next time something is suspicious with her, I’ll consider she might be tricking me again, or telling a fib. She’s never lied to me in matters of importance, but in kidding around, she felt a temptation to say something that would gross me out, and she went with it. That’s what I like about temptation, the only thing I like about temptation. I have moments or longer to consider if I’ll fall if the opportunity comes my way. I can choose to lie or steal or cheat, etc. or not. And 1 Corinthians 10:13 says God gives me a way to escape any temptation that comes my way. What a relief. All I have to do is ask God to make it clear to me what I should do to avoid sin, and He’ll provide a way out.

Another reason I like this verse is that it’s reassuring that I’m not the only one in the world to get tempted. Yet, it’s not a sin to get tempted. It’s only a sin when I act on the temptation. Do you believe this verse?

May God bless you!

Open House

Last week, my grandkids came down from up north just a few days before we hosted three folks from Mexico. So, I told my grandson I haven’t had time to blog lately.

“Write about us making s’mores in the backyard,” he said.

This picture is from istockphoto.com.

All the family left except for my grandson. The next day the married couple and one of their children’s godmother came to stay for six days. What did I discover? My grandson has been learning Spanish since kindergarten. What a delight!

My sister came over one day and she used her faltering Spanish so the ladies began using their less than perfect English. The man spoke more fluently than they did.

I learned hambre means hungry and hombre with a long o sound means man. I picked up a little of the language and before I knew it, they were off to their own country before Fall hit. I missed them when they left.

They departed just in time, because it feels like autumn is in a hurry to send chilly breezes this year. The married lady really felt the cold and it’s gone down a few more degrees in the short time they’ve been gone. My grandson visited when the rain stayed, so he only got a day or two to enjoy the outdoors. His siblings got more sun and opportunity to enjoy the playground and one took a walk in a creek.

So, last week because we weren’t sure if our town allowed a fire pit, we put charcoal in a family-sized grill with papers for kindling. The kids broke sticks in the middle to help the fire along. They’d gathered long sticks from trees and from those that fell to the ground.

My daughter brought chocolate candy bars, large marshmallows and graham crackers to make our s’mores. S’mores is short for “some more” because one makes you want two.

I taught my grandkids to use patience and hold their stick impaled marshmallow well above the fire so it would toast brown instead of being a black cylinder, burning hot-some encased in flames. Except for the middle child, he wanted a burnt one.

Their attempt to eat a marshmallow fresh off the grill burnt one of the kids before they comprehended the warning.

Now, another grandchild is staying with us for a few days for Grandpa time. She asked my husband to buy flowers for me, and so he did. I let her try her hand at pouring pancake batter and then flipping them when it was time.

Each grandchild brought their unique personalities and interests to enliven our summer. My husband took each child out for a meal to a local restaurant and her turn is tomorrow.

Tonight, my husband told me she wanted to invite me to come along. She’s an early riser, so she told me I’d have to get up before my normal time. I said, “I can do that.”

When we prayed after she got tucked into bed, I went to give her a kiss on the cheek, just as she turned her head. “Grandma, you got my ear!”

“That’s gross,” I said.

“I know it; it had a booger on it.”

Kids, you gotta love ‘em.

May God bless you.  

A Summer with Babysitting

I’m back North for a second stint of babysitting for my four grandchildren. The first day we readjusted to each other-a little testing on their part, me determining how strict to be.

Four Square fun https://www.playworks.org/game-library/4-square-switch-2/

            The last time I was here, in June we played four square with a red rubber ball. If some pushing or other roughhousing kept going on, I’d step in and tell the offender to sit on the porch and count to 120 while they composed themselves.

A few days later, the oldest came running in and said his sister needed to chill and count to 120. The others rushed in to tell their side of the story.

            My daughter quieted them down and said, “Use your words.” They all got a chance to explain.

            Turns out his sister didn’t need to count to 120. I thought, that was handled well!

            Please excuse the bragging on my daughter. I think following the Lord and being a Special Ed teacher helps her in raising her children. I’m back to reading Proverbs again, along with some other Scriptures. Not every day, but there’s so much meat in Proverbs, lots of good advice for relationships, for managing life, for handling money, and getting to know God.

            I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

Stress Relieving Days

When my elementary school-age grandchild came to visit for a few days, I felt the stress melt away. We played games, watched children’s television shows, put a puzzle together, visited the library, read the Bible before bedtime, and sent texts to favorite people using my phone. We read non-fiction books on worms and another on insects, but there was no interest in two fiction books I chose. That surprised me.

This particular child loves fruit and pizza and sweets but there’s no overeating. Salad disappeared with coaxing and a bribe. “You can have ice cream for dessert if you eat lettuce and tomatoes.”

“Okay, Grandma, but not too many leaves.”

“Three works,” and as I tore it, the child thought the tiny pieces counted. We compromised at one and a half or more of romaine and five cherry tomatoes.

Tomorrow’s the last day here and I need a nap!

No wonder the Bible says that children are an heritage from the Lord, in the King James Version. May God bless you!

Remembering When

A few weeks ago, I drove north to spend a week at my daughter’s house because her kids had the flu. Whenever I told others I couldn’t fulfill my ordinary responsibilities and told them we’d have to cancel or ask them to fill in for me, when I said, “The kids have the flu,” these words came to mind: “but it’s sure nice talking to you Dad, I know we’ll get together soon, Dad. I’m sure we’ll have a good time, then.”

That’s how I remember the words to the Harry Chapin song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” from a concert I heard many years ago at college.

That song reminds me of a verse from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament in the New King James Version of the Bible:

Malachi 4:6  And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Luke 1:17  He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

Loving Children

I have not written as much lately because I spent thirteen days with my children and four grandchildren. Three of the grandkids caught the flu, so I drove north to babysit them for a week. The rest of the time they visited us during February break from school while construction workers replaced ceilings, put in overhead lights, and refashioned an archway between two rooms, etc. at their home.

Image result for baby pictures

I love being with family-playing games, making meals and doing dishes, catching up on laundry. Fortunately for me, they just had fevers and coughs when I reached them on Sunday night. Although, I kept telling them to cover their mouths when they coughed and to turn their heads. “I don’t want to catch the flu!”

Recently, I lost some of my joy because I live in New York State. Our legislators passed a bill that if the mother of an unborn baby has any reason for wanting to abort that child, for whatever medical reason they can come up with, at any time before the little one leaves the womb, they can let the medical person know and the human being is killed. It may be hours from birth, a perfectly viable life and get snuffed out.

Then to add to my distress, living in the land of the free, the land of the brave, dear God, how far have we fallen, the senators in Washington, D.C., including our New York State representatives, voted that if a living baby survives the attempted murder during a botched abortion, no medical care will be extended. The tiny person is not offered a blanket or something to suck on for sustenance. It’s left to die. I never thought I’d hear of INFANTICIDE in this country.  

So, I haven’t felt like blogging, I’m sorry to say. I’ve taken joy from the children around me. I’ve cried out to God to soften the hearts of people that probably would be outraged at the inhumane treatment of animals and yet, disregard the lives of babies that God says He knows as they’re fashioned in the wombs of their mothers in Psalm 139:13-16.



I know times get worse before Jesus comes back and an increase in evil comes forth as people reject God and His ways. It’s just hard to see it and understand. When President Obama was a senator in Illinois, he was the only politician to vote to let a newborn languish on the table if the abortion failed. That wasn’t that long ago. The U.S. senate has two senators per state, and they only needed seven more votes to protect the little ones. They got 53 votes. That means 67 people said, “Let the infant die,” although I heard the weather kept some senators from reaching Washington, D.C. on time. But, did they wait for a larger turn out? No!

I think the senate should have been mandated to go to an abortion clinic and see what happens before they cast their votes. And if they came to New York State, they would see that the providers don’t have to be a doctor to perform an abortion. So much for the safety of the mother.

I took science fiction courses in college back in the day, and some of the stuff that I shuddered over back then and felt would never happen is upon us now. So, I pray for people to wake up and consider what they believe and why they believe it. Is it worth killing babies for the convenience of the mother? Many women suffer after they’ve taken the lives of their child with depression, breast cancer, and infertility. One thing I’ve heard-the younger generation is not believing the embryo is fertilized tissue with no life at conception. So, I try to remain hopeful and I pray that people won’t want to use these so-called “freedoms” of choice. Then it won’t matter what’s in the law books.

If you read through my rant, God bless you. Maybe if enough people stand up and say this isn’t right, the politicians will understand their tenure is on shaky grounds.

May God bless you and protect you from the evil one.

Reality Strikes

Last week, I thought I’d return to Celebrate Recovery but that morning I woke up with rashes on my feet and hands. So, I stayed home.

Yesterday, I went to a doctor and he asked questions and listened for over an hour and a half. Looking at three blood draw results from the end of October, he said I’m definitely getting better, but I’m run down. So, he told me to continue resting and hydrating and eating healthy. He doesn’t know what I have, and he gave me another lab slip for more blood tests.

Last week, when the rash showed up, I told God, the great “I AM,” the Creator of the universe, that I give my health to Him. When praying, I’ve learned that in addition to having faith that God wants to answer prayer positively according to His will, that letting go of the results and trusting God-a prayer of relinquishment, can be one of the most important steps I take.

I’ve been reading in the book of Jeremiah for a while now, and God likes it when we turn to Him. He likes it when we don’t seek stuff and relationships with people and spend hours watching sports with rarely a thought for Him-when we don’t put those things before Him. He knows we need housing and clothing and food. He understands our need for close ties with people, that’s why He designed families. He realizes we need to unwind and relax. In the book of Matthew in the New King James Version it says:

Do Not Be Anxious

Mat 6:25  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Mat 6:26  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Mat 6:27  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Mat 6:28  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

Mat 6:29  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Mat 6:30  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Mat 6:31  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Mat 6:32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Mat 6:34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In my own case, I don’t think God minds me going to the doctor, and this particular one happens to be a Christian, and I have been praying and seeking God while I’m laid up. Yesterday, the doctor told me to continue to rest so I can recuperate and then don’t fill up my schedule. He doesn’t want me to relapse. So, apparently, I’m still on the shelf. I asked if I ought to eat some meat and he said it’s probably a good idea because my red blood cells are low. My husband took me to eat in a restaurant in town and I ordered a Reuben sandwich on rye bread. I could only eat half because my appetite has been low and I don’t have the room to fit too much food in now. Which is not a bad thing. I wanted to lose a little weight.

I hope this finds you well. I’m asking God to direct my steps as Thanksgiving is approaching and we’re expecting company. I warned my youngest daughter that I may not be as much help as usual. My family blesses me.Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgivinghttps://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-multi-generation-family-celebrating-thanksgiving-image28082785

May God bless you!!

Set on the Shelf

Sunday night I wrote: My husband is at church without me. For the last five functions we usually attend together, I’ve been at home resting with feet stretched out and blankets bundled about me.

Today, I’m actually warm enough wearing a light weight hoodie and a crocheted cap. I chanced the stairs yesterday to do laundry and to do some easy chores.

Somehow, my potassium got low, which hurts a person’s balance, and down I went, about a week ago. As I continue to write, I’m mindful of the goodness of God. As the body heals, being alone with God refreshes my spirit. At one point, I sensed Him encouraging me to write for His sheep.

I was supposed to go to the doctor’s again, but they couldn’t see me until today. From the very beginning, I’ve felt sure God was going to heal me. Around two days ago, it finally showed up in my eyes. My husband came home from evening service and said, “You’re feeling better!!”

“Yes, I am,” I told him.

I caught up on my Bible reading when I could finally focus over the past two weeks. I do well, then I slip behind. When reading three Old Testament chapters and one New Testament chapter a day, when I get busy over the weekend and don’t get it done, I think, Uh oh, I’d better read. Then the next weekend another four chapters behind, etc. It adds up.

I always think, if I can spend hours on a novel, surely I can read the Scriptures to catch my place.

I’ve been reading Isaiah and Jeremiah-not the most cheerful of books because God is mad at all the idol worship and putting babies in the fire for a wooden god. Blows my mind.

That’s why I’m not surprised that God is allowing tragedies in America. We’ve killed over six million of His precious babies. When I worked at a crisis pregnancy center in a city years ago, a young couple from a prestigious college came in to abort their baby. They appeared to be from China, he looked mad, she looked humble and afraid. When they found out we didn’t offer that service, he stormed out of the building, his wife behind.

Another client struggled over the decision to keep her baby-a lawyer in her late forties. The worker came out to me and said, “Pray! What a battle going on.”

I was the receptionist. Other clients included single moms with an African heritage, white teens living with older men they knew would provide for their baby, a Muslim girl looking to love a little one.

A young man came in with his girlfriend to help her choose to abort. When she left the room, he said, “She’s already got a baby. When I leave, who’s going to want them?”

That would have been his first child. When I called the home, he always answered the phone so I couldn’t speak to her. I wondered what she finally decided.

Margaret Sanger, from Corning, NY began Planned Parenthood with the idea of infanticide for African-heritage folks. She got some of that and more. All nationalities, with various levels of intellect and talents fell to the god of self as babies’ hearts faltered to a stop. God have mercy!

I went to the doctor’s again today. She ordered more blood work and told me to continue elevating my feet. If God wants me resting and not volunteering, going to a birthday party, or to church, I’m His to direct. Just makes me want to cry a bit.

I hope this finds you well! May God bless you.

Changes Discussed

 

Image result for how many lightbulbs does it take to change a person?https://www.newhopepublishers.com/shop/how-many-light-bulbs-does-it-take-to-change-a-person/

 

In our Ladies Bible study yesterday, we were on Chapter 12 in How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? with the subtitle: Bright Ideas for Delightful Transformation. It’s written by Rhonda Rhea, published by New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL and copyrighted in 2011.

The title of the Chapter is “Sometimes the Key to Change is…Change”. I almost anticipated her talking about pennies and dimes throughout the whole section, but I guessed wrong.

One of her favorite things is chocolate and it made the pages once again. She mentions candy bars and the various sizes available nowadays, but she got to the point of the title. We can’t change unless we’re willing to change. We have to shift gears and think differently, she tells us at one spot. God helps us with that, if we’re willing.

Then she quotes Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I love that Scripture. There are days when I need lots of hope, maybe more for others than myself, when I hear of losses and diseases from friends and on the news. Not that I don’t have stuff rear its ugly head, but I’m blessed with support from my family, our church, and friends. Scripture gives incredible comfort and prayer does, too.

I know some folks that sell or own essential oils and they’ll offer me a chance to inhale whatever fragrance that might help my mood to improve. I’m not against that, but today I anticipated someone saying, “Oh, you’re stressed. Let’s pray.”

They didn’t. They kindly opened first one bottle of diluted oil mixture and then another, suggesting I give it a try. I did feel better, but I think it was more because the person listened to me and the stressing agent wasn’t nearby. The aromas probably helped some, but it wasn’t a scientifically proven result.

Now I’m home, ready to continue my day. I haven’t written much lately because of housework and working on a story for children and babysitting grandchildren and practicing guitar for Sunday’s service with a pianist friend, etc., etc.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you!