Saturday, October 30, 2010

chaplain of the Senate...

One of my favorite authors is Catherine Marshall. I almost forgot that she was married to Peter Marshall, who was at one time the Chaplain of the U.S.Senate.

A few days ago an antique dealer friend gave my hubby a booklet containing the prayers of Peter Marshall which opened our U.S. Senate during 1947-1949.

I started looking through them and was so taken by the words and the heart as he prayed. It almost seems like another time and place... Listen...


Monday, January 27, 1947:

"Oh Lord our God, before whom all our pretenses fall away, who knowest our secret thoughts and our hidden fears, bless us this day with Thy Spirit and help us to discharge our duties faithfully and well. Ever sensitive to the hurting of our own feelings, may we be sensitive also to our grieving of Thy Holy Spirit when we give ourselves to the lesser loyalties and spend our time and our energies in that which is less than the highest and the best.

We pray for the President of the United States, the members of the Cabinet, the representatives of the people, the judges of the land, and all those in authority, that it may please Thee so to rule their hearts that they may rightly use the trust committed to them for the good of all people.

Raise up among us, we pray Thee, fearless men who know that only in the doing of Thy will can we find our peace. So make it plain to us this day, and give us the courage to do it. All this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen"

Oh how I pray that this kind of prayer would be what our leaders would voice...

Be sure to vote on Tuesday if you haven't already... and I pray that God will continue to have mercy on this country that we all love! Never have we needed Him more!





Thursday, October 28, 2010

dad preached...we went along for the ride...#3...

During our summer 'vacations'... (all based on where my dad was preaching)... we had another challenge as a family...

This one was to see how far we could stretch the budget to cover the cost of eating each day as we traveled. I remember one summer...

The 3 of us were each given a $5 dollar bill for each day we were on the road. That $5 was to cover whatever we ordered in a restaurant for the whole day!

Here's what typically happened...

In the morning, (this was PRE- McDonald's in every town)... we stopped and WENT INSIDE to a restaurant. Each one of us carefully and frugally studied the menu. Our parents explained to the patient waitress that each child was on a budget for the day!

Usually, I ordered oatmeal, it filled me up the best and was one of the cheapest things I could find. Now... years later, I would love to see some of those waitresses and thank them. We didn't notice it at the time, but later our parents told us that those sweet ladies filled our bowls extra full, and many times sent 'extra' things to our table to help
out 3 kids who were learning about frugality. I think as kids we even asked the opinion of the waitress on what would be our best deal...

I learned pretty quickly that if I splurged at breakfast, it made the day really long! I knew I still had to cover lunch and dinner, and since in those days I was more impulsive, that happened more than once or twice, but I grew a little wiser as we traveled on, the best days were when we got to supper and I still had a choice on the menu because I'd scrimped all day.
It made me feel smart and rich!

The truth is that this was not a game. We only had so much to spend, so being creative was a necessity!

You know... we did just fine...


I'm sure God stretched that $5, just as I have learned since then, that He can still stretch and expand $5 or $500. He saw those 3 kids and their parents, definitely on a tight budget, and trying their best... He did the loaves & fishes thing for our family many, many times!



"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil.4:19 NKJV)


Monday, October 25, 2010

Is this the same mom & dad who raised us??...

Our grown children who now have their own children, have said on more than one occasion...

"What on earth has happened to you?"

Of course, the reason for their comment is because we are now the grandparents of their children! If you are a grandparent, this blog needs no explanation! In case you aren't, let me try to explain...

When you are raising your own children:

... you know that YOU are the one responsible for them to 'get it right'

... you also know that you are way underqualified for the job, so you are on 'high alert' for behavior that is not what you think it should be, and quick to jump in and correct or 'straighten out' that behavior, in case that child misses the lesson to be learned and they develop a more serious problem because you didn't correct it in the first place! :)

One of the great joys of being a grandparent is the knowledge that the buck no longer stops with you!

So now... instead of trying to make everything that crosses their path or yours a 'teaching moment'... you have the freedom to enjoy the fact that they said or did something funny and you can smile or even laugh out loud about it, rather than jump on the bandwagon and immediately correct something that wasn't serious to begin with...

You can also let them inhale spagetti noodles while the tomato sauce flies all over the table without telling them that they weren't being raised in a barn!

Our kids, as parents of their own kids, are making our hearts proud...

From our vantage point... things do look a little different. Majoring on small issues has lost it's intensity. I don't mean let them get by with anything... but you know what I mean...

What has become really important to me is to affirm each child as the opportunities come up, and to not preach, but ask God and let Him direct me to 'a word fitly spoken'... and He does!

We are praying that each of our 6 will really KNOW that Jesus is their best friend, the friend who is always there and will never be anything but faithful. They have all accepted Him and are being lead daily by their own parents along the path of instruction.

As recently as this weekend, the doorbell rings, about 6 times... and little faces and hands were plastered to the glass, peeking through to be sure we were home. That will forever be one of my favorite sights as we both make a bee-line for the door!

So... it's true... we really aren't the parents they were raised with, but neither will our kids be when it's their turn!!


"But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children..." (Ps.103:17) KJV


Saturday, October 23, 2010

no words necessary...


... there are no words I can add to this... just a heart full of thanks and praise... because He gave his life for me... it was all HIS work on the cross that has given me life!... 'Greater love hath no man than this'...

"Jesus paid it all
all to Him I owe
sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow"...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

dad preached... we went along for the ride...#2

During our travels in the summer time as we were growing up, 3 kids in the back seat traveling the country with our parents as dad preached...

My mother tried to break up the monotony of the miles... sometimes we sang, sometimes we played games, and often the 3 of us got tired of sitting so close to each other, so we did our share of griping and complaining. After all, this was a CAR, not an SUV! ... with No A.C...

One of the games we played was to see who could score the most points by being the first to see:

a white horse...

a volkswagon bug...

and the most points always went to whoever could spot a red haired lady!

I'm not sure how many of them we ever spotted, especially in the middle of Wyoming or Nevada, where the miles stretched for days...

My dad loved cheese, and he especially loved limburger cheese! I don't even know if they still make it... probably not, why would they keep making anything that smelled that bad!

He would take that cheese out of a cooler and eat it with some fruit, usually an over ripe banana, the kind with LOTS of black spots. (He assured us that those spots just brought out the full flavor and goodness!) ...

ALWAYS, the windows were rolled down to try to keep a little breeze going, and when that limberger smell flew out of the front window into the back seat, all 3 of us shouted & GROANED!!

Dad just smiled and enjoyed every bite! And on we drove...



"So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you..."1 Cor.10:13 (MSG)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

7 questions...

My good buddy, Debbie, at Heart Choices, has 'tagged' me with 7 questions...

So, here we go...

1. If you could travel anywhere with no thought to cost, where would you choose to go?

I'd go straight back to Norway! I was blessed to go there this past summer, and I fell in love with my mother's home land!

2. What song would you choose for someone to sing at your funeral?

I may change my mind later (if I have time to think it through :)... ) but right now it would be Selah on tape, singing No More Tears. Click on the title and listen to it and you'll probably see why I love it!

3. If you could spend a day with anyone, (dead or alive) who would you choose?

I would choose my mom and dad! If you choose one, the other would be there too. They are both in heaven, and I know we won't be married in heaven, but...

4. What do you want people to remember you by?

Someone who reached out to others and encouraged them, someone who had joy and laughter, and was quick to share the reason for that, the hope that I have because I know Jesus.

5. Are you an early morning person or a night owl?

Early morning! I am loaded with energy and ready to go... later in the day I wind down a little bit. I also love the night time and have to be careful that I don't get going on something and get a second wind, then I can't sleep!

6. What is your favorite meal to prepare?

Either spaghetti with meat sauce or tacos full of fresh everything, especially guacamole!

7. What would a perfect day be like for you?

This one is harder... there are lots of things that would be special, but really... I've never thought about that very much, I know it would include being with my family and our 6 grandkids... I kind of like things like they are...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

view from above...

"She had the window seat and I the middle as we flew west out of Denver on a sunny fall afternoon.

My Seatmate...

Clouds play among the peaks
While she plays on her laptop.

Rugged ranges roll across the landscape like waves
While the nine of hearts is slid across the screen.

Creation lies below us silently Its testimony bold but hushed
Glorious and enduring, vast and unconquered.
It need not boast

It is accustomed to being ignored.

Meanwhile technology captivates.

Yet another variation of solitaire
Provides sufficient entertainment for the mind

Grown accustomed to screen-sized views.

How small we are
Smaller than a single tree stretching across the forest floor below
But our world has made us smaller still
Pacified by so little while truly satisfied by nothing.

The deck shuffles again for another hand
While the ranges give way to the awaiting plains
Farms quilt the window
While more cards checker the screen.

Be not proud—o my heart—for seeing what others miss.
Be neither na├»ve to think I’ve never done the same:


Trivialized Marginalized

Placated by some flashes on a screen
While the beauty of creation
Or the presence of person
Or the whisper of the Spirit Goes unnoticed.

But wait! She looks up She glances out

She shakes her head
In silent appreciation. She sees!
The laptop is closed The game disappears.

She continues to stare at the tapestry below.
“Pretty cool, isn’t it?” I say.
“Yes. It is,” she replies with true admiration.

The nine of hearts has died
But a human heart has come alive
At least for the moment.

Technology will beckon once again
Its voice ubiquitous Its popularity ever rising.

But for the moment We both just watch and admire.
Something greater than entertainment is taking place: Worship."

(Written by Pastor John Stumbo,Salem, Oregon, Oct. 2010)




Thursday, October 14, 2010

quiet...

O God, my heart is quiet and confident!"... (Psalm 57:7)

or...

In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not." (Is.30:15 KJV)

I love the first part of this verse, but I often skip past or miss completely, the rest of it... 'and ye would not'.

How many times even in the course of a day or a week, have I needed His quietness and confidence... and I would not!

...would not stop and spend time with Him when something else grabbed my attention as my quiet time was about to begin, and I went flying out the door to handle it...

...would not listen when His quiet voice was telling me 'don't do that, or don't say that, there is a better way, MY way'...

Lord, you made me, you know me best

you know that 'quiet', for me, is a test...

to sit and spend this time with you

it's exactly what I need to do...

so many things distract and pull

your Word sits beside me ready & full...

loaded with truth and strength for the day

I'm going there now to hear what you say...

quiet my mind, still my heart

as I sit with you in this time apart...

You know just what I need to see

so open my eyes and speak to me...

Monday, October 11, 2010

dad preached, we went along for the ride!...#1...

When I was growing up, my dad preached in many places, all around the world, but for our family, the journeys I remember the most, are the ones during summer vacations...

We left within a week of school ending for the summer, and we traveled by car, the 5 of us (dad, mom, my sister, brother and me)... all around the country. Dad had his schedule all typed up (from his hunt-and-poke typewriter), to churches he had been invited to preach in, so he had the whole summer scheduled, and off we went!

I could write a book about those days, and fill a lot of pages. I've been jotting down some of the stories and will share them from time to time. They were days of teaching, preaching, singing and fellowship, as God 'took the wheel' and lead us all over the country.

In all honesty, even though I knew God was using my dad, (and mom right alongside of him), for me... it was always an adventure! Each new place held new faces, friends, experiences, and... GOOD food! Really... church people are family people and these women could cook! Lots of what we ate was grown on their own farms and baked in their kitchens. Most of the churches were small, and many were out in the country or in a small town. Each place we came to had lined up their own members to have us for dinner... we feasted!

I'm losing my train of thought... :)

We went from California, to Michigan, Oregon, Iowa, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and more... and we traveled in a car with all 5 of us, 3 kids in the back seat! We drove through the desert at night, no air conditioning, and usually there were 6 legs hanging out the back window trying to cool off!!

One time we asked our mother, during a particularly HOT day...hoping to tease her into being tempted by something that was 'off limits'... 'what would you do if someone brought you a HUGE ICE COLD BUCKET OF BEER right now??... she didn't even blink an eye. She said ...'ohhhh, I would SOAK my feet in it!'... we have laughed about that for years! In the middle of the desert, without air conditioning, that cold beer on her feet was a delight for her to think about. :)


...more chapters from time to time...


Friday, October 8, 2010

Shabby Chic...

This is such a FUN blessing to share!

I've told you about baby Witt, and this is his mom, my friend, Melanie (on the right). Witt was born with a lot of physical problems, he was not expected to live. He is still on tubes and all kinds of medical gadgets, but he is now almost 2 years old and the cutest little guy you can imagine!

Witt is our miracle baby!

On the left is Rachel Ashwell, in case you don't know the name, she is the designer and founder of SHABBY CHIC. I know you've seen some of her lines at TARGET, beautiful home decor, linens, etc.

Mel's family runs the Zapp Hall Antique Show, one of the big Round Top Antique Shows in Texas, the entire family does all the work, along with a crew of their friends who love those 2 weeks each year, and volunteer to help with cooking, etc. It's huge, and absolutely unbelievable.

The other thing I can say is that this whole family just radiates their love for Jesus, to everyone!

Now I'm getting off track...

Rachel Ashwell always comes to the Round Top shows to shop... This time, Melanie was able to bring Witt, tubes, medical paraphernalia & all...

Rachel, like the rest of us, fell for this little boy. Here's what Karen, Mel's mom ( a precious friend of mine) said:

"Rachel Ashwell(Shabby Chic) was on our property doing a book signing in the Junk Gypsy tent. She took time out to come inside and meet Witt. I told her all about Witt, explained his equipment and mentioned that we were wanting to raise money to buy a van or car that Witt's cart and equipment could just roll into. Later that day Melanie was presented with a book that Rachel had signed for both of us.


It read:
'To Witt's Nana and Mama, Your story touched my heart. You are a beautiful,strong little soul, surrounded by love that you so deserve. Please accept this token towards the vehicle that will help show you the world.


From my heart,
Rachel Ashwell'


Attached to the page with a poem entitled "Mother" was a very generous check!!! Thank you, Rachel! Thank You, Lord!! Just having Witt out there was blessing enough but surely my cup is overflowing!!!!"...


... I thought that was so special, and a story worth sharing... makes me want to run right out to Target and buy some of Rachel's adorable stuff!!...




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

down the hatch... literally!...

When we were 3 very young kids, my dad, a minister, accepted a position with Charles Fuller at Fuller Seminary in California. We lived in New York at the time.

Dad flew out to find a home, and my mother drove across country with 3 toddlers... this was a LONG time ago, and we didn't even have A.C. in our car.

During the journey west, we stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere to fill up the car. They had NO restrooms, only an out house in the back. She bravely marched us back there for a quick 'pit stop'...

As she was juggling the 3 of us, her purse fell off of the wood bench, straight down the chute... all her money and worldly goods!...

My mother was both spunky and resourceful. She saw an 18 wheeler truck driver filling his tank at the pump, and quietly, but probably desperately, made her appeal for him to help us... he did!

That truck driver came and rigged up a 'fishing pole' and brought her purse up from the depths... she washed the whole thing off, thanked the good man, took us back to the car, and we drove on to California!...

Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person. (Prov.3:27 MSG)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

small card... huge message...

Maybe you've seen this little card, I came across it recently...
The simple truth of it really grabbed my attention...

Too much introspection has been a weakness for me many times. Sometimes even my prayers on my own behalf can get both long winded and more than a little desperate...

He wants us to share our hearts and our needs with Him, about everything, and I do... but my heart tells me that a whining and 'poor me' prayer is NOT the same thing as 'effectual, fervent' prayer... I can cross that line easily when my need is real and immediate...

Simply... what He really wants us to do is TRUST Him... He has promised that He has the answers, even more... that He IS the answer!

When I'm praying for something that hits me close to home, THIS is all the answer I need! It could be painted on one of those billboards...

I have the answer....

It's Me...

Love, GOD

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

(Phil.4:19 NIV)