Thursday, December 30, 2010

Busy Days

I will return to blogging some day. I promise. :-) I have a new favorite thing in life that's keeping me very busy these days. :-) And smiling. :-) Lots. :-)


Saturday, December 04, 2010

A thought-provoking quote...

"The beginning of  love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
-T.M.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A random assortments of ramblings...

It's hard to believe that just a week and a half ago I was playing volleyball barefoot in North Carolina. The bright colors of the trees were beyond their peak, but still very much gave the impression of Fall. It was with mixed feelings I looked out the airplane window on my way back home the next evening to a land covered in snow.  Back in WI, winter has begun, and this very white Thanksgiving gives a good promise for a white Christmas.  I'm not exactly relishing the fact that I must go out now at 4:00am to scrap my car and turn it on for several minutes before leaving for the bakery where I work, but hey, I guess that's part of living in the North. :-)

It just hit me the other day that this will be my first winter home, as in the north, for three years. The last two have largely been spent in southern climates, maintaining my summer tan. It's hard to believe that it was already a year ago that I was starting to pack for my time spent in the Sierra Madres hiking the mountains of the Copper Canyon. Time has gone so quickly, but I guess this year has been quite full.

So, I'm settling in for a nice, long, cozy winter. Life's pace is slowing down, and I'm starting to find myself with evening to cozy up in front of the fireplace with a mug of hot tea and a good book. Some of Michael Phillip's books have found their way back into my remembrance, and I'm enjoying my newfound discovery of Henry T. Blackaby. Good stuff. Nancy Leigh DeMoss's three book series, 'Brokenness, Surrender, and Holiness' is waiting for the right time to be picked up. I can't wait! I recently ordered Debi Pearl's new book "Preparing to be a Help Meet," and have been challenged by what she has to offer. Admittedly a bit skeptical at first due to various "hear-says," I've walked away challenged with her emphasis on prayer, and purposeful, godly living. I believe I could safely recommend this to any girl.

MemVerse and my homemade flash cards are seeing lots of use these days. I have really enjoyed using this online tool for keeping track of memory work, and systematic review. I'm trying to memorize the book of 1 Timothy this winter, and well as become well reviewed on the book of James and Phillipians which I previously memorized. This is a helpful site that you should check out if you already haven't!

I've run across some neat tidbits lately on blogs that were recommended to me. Just a few quotes...

A Sweet Fragrance 

Measure thy life by loss, and not by gain.
Not by wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth. 
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice. 
And He who suffers most has most to give 

Where lies the hindrance to this self emptying? Are we ready for the last surrender?

Read the whole post here!

Resolved2worship had some very good thoughts on forgiveness

For me, when the past comes to mind, when the hurt comes back again, it's all about punting the law back to the Supreme Court. Again and again and again, if need be. 70x7 plus some if I have to.

What I mean by that is taking the sin that has been done towards me and instead of being the judge, the condemner, the court. . . it's allowing and releasing God to be the judge. It's going to God on my face and allowing Him to wash me of my pride in thinking that I should be the judge of the wrongs done me. It's believing that vengeance is His, not mine.

It's seeing clearly how much I have been forgiven of my own sin and extending that same amount of forgiveness to the one who has sinned against me. How much do I want Jesus to forgive me? There is a verse that speaks clearly to this - saying that Jesus forgives us in the SAME WAY that we forgive others who have sinned against us.

God forgives me even when I don't ask. So, even if they never ask, I must take that which they have done to me and "punt it back" into the court of God - not holding them accountable in my own court of law, but allowing God to be judge over them. He does a much better job, because it's His to do, not mine.

What if the person who has sinned against you believes they are sinless? There are many times I am unaware of how I have sinned against God, yet, He forgives me.

What if they ask for forgiveness and I know it's not sincere and I've seen no evidence of a changed heart? What about the times I ask God to forgive me for my sin and then go and do the same thing again?

And yet, He has forgiven me.

Forgive as I have been forgiven. How I extend forgiveness, in that SAME WAY, will I be forgiven by God.

Again, the whole post here

Well, I am going to close this rather large, rambling post, and wish all my American friends a blessed Thanksgiving weekend! And to all you others, a day of blessings and gratefulness in your hearts as well! We have much to rejoice in!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finding God's Will



Finding God's will is not a method, formula, or set of steps. We do not find God's will, He reveals it to us.

When you have a love relationship with Jesus Christ, God reveals Himself, His purposes, and His ways; and He invites you to join Him where He is already at work.

When you obey, God accomplishes through you something only He can do. Then you come to know God in a more intimate way by experiencing God at work through you. 


-Claude V. King. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fully Known

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.  

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Psalm 139:2-6



I am fully known by one person, Jesus Christ. 


Therefore, I always have someone to go to for help in knowing who I am. Jesus Christ.


There is always one person who knows me perfectly. Knows it better than I do. Jesus Christ.


Therefore, I always have a person who is willing to love me, knowing absolutely everything about me. 


Jesus Christ. 


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I am known." 
1 Corinthians 13:12

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christ's True Freedom

"If you do not begin with utter freedom from the law, if there is one iota of the law where you are not free, you live your whole Christian life in fear of that one rule. Yes, fearful. Fearful that God will not accept you if you fail at that one point. There can be no exception. If you are free of the law, then you are free to be the Lord's. Only then are you utterly free to be the Lord's. All law. All rules. All rightness. All."

"Isn't that dangerous?"

"Dangerous? Perhaps. But to present anything that could take you out of His grace  ... that is dangerous. A gospel that presents as a solution Christ, plus one iota of law - that is far less than an uttermost solution. His solution is an uttermost solution. If it is Christ and the dot of an i, then Christ died in vain, for then His deliverance is not utter deliverance.  My Lord's solution, my Lord's salvation, is utter. A freedom that is freedom from every possible prohibition does not cause a believer to sin. It is a freedom that sets the believer free to love Him - with all the others in the church - to love HIM with all their hearts."

-Excerpt by Gene Edwards from his book, 'The Silas Diary.'

"For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself... This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh... If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."
Galatians 5:13-18

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Week of Firsts

It all started out pleasant enough. Very pleasant, actually. This Canadian that I've grown quite fond of decided to come down and spend the weekend, and his stay was beyond delightful. :-) Joel booked two tickets on the Avalon - a old-fashioned River Boat cruise complete with with a meal on board suited for kings.


I had dreamed for some time of taking a trip on one of these boats in this Mississippi town, and Joel make this dream a reality! So fun!

I also tried my hand that weekend at making a pumpkin chiffon cheesecake. Another first for me, but one that turned out tasty!

Whether it was that rich meal aboard the riverboat, this cheesecake, or the home-made pizza that also made it's way to the table that Sunday, or simply a compounding of problems that had been building for about six weeks, Wednesday evening found another first for me.

My first trip to the emergency room.

The next three days were lots and lots of firsts. First IV. First two nights in a hospital. First ambulance ride. First morphine ever - five doses just initially to get my extreme stomach pain under control. First CT scan. First ultrasound. And eventually, my first surgery.

I now have four little incisions in my stomach and a missing gallbladder as proofs of what occurred Thursday afternoon. My recovery has been slow and painful, and quite a bit harder than what I anticipated, but I rejoice to say that these last two days have been huge stepping stones to a state of normal I'm looking forward to returning to. Through the ups and downs, the Lord has been extremely faithful, and I've learned again what precious, precious friends and church family I have.


I was blessed today by a quote a friend shared with me. Ponder these words with me.
Could it be that [Jesus] came not to wave the magic wand and make the cancer go away, but to enter into our sufferings? Could it possibly be true that the best show of faithfulness is not the healing or the unexpected check, but the unthinkable truth that God has chosen to be with us through it all? Could it be that the greatest miracle is not provision, but presence?" - M. C.
God's presence has been sweet, and I love to see His faithfulness through the hard things in life, and the sweet things. Jesus truly doeth all things well...


All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?

Heav'nly peace divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know whate'er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
-Fanny Crosby

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The beauty of love...

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren (and sisters!) to
dwell together in unity!"

"...and these words shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt
teach them diligently unto thy children..."

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the
greatest of these is charity."
"...by love, serve one another."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bowling Memories.



It was a summer evening about six weeks ago when I was waiting for one of *those* phone-calls. It was hot. Smotheringly sticky. We all were just sitting around, no energy to do anything, and the hours were dragging by mercilessly for me.


Out of the blue, as is just like my Dad, he popped out the question, "So, who wants to go bowling?" In short order, we jumped into our van with no air conditioning except the classic 4/55 kind, (four open windows at 55 mph) and headed to the deliciously cool bowling alley in town.


I will admit, I'm not a huge fan of bowling. It's alright, but perhaps it's some of my early childhood memories that taints this sport for me.

I was a bit younger than this littlest sister, when I went bowling with my family and our church for the first time. Don't ask me why, but I was bowling in my socks instead of the required clown-shoes, and I dropped that unbelievably heavy ball on my tender five-year-old toes. Yeah. It left quite an impression there, and in my memory.

It obviously left an impression in my Dad's mind too, as he frequently cautioned me that evening to hold onto my ball tightly. Though I don't think he needed to worry about comforting a sobbing little girl, he couldn't resist the teasing remarks throughout our time there.


I will admit, I enjoyed taking pictures a bit more that evening than actually hurling that wobbly ball down the lanes and continually cringing as it hit the gutters, but I couldn't help but be just a tad bit pleased when I managed two or three strikes that evening. I won't shock you with my score. :-)

Later as we enjoyed ice-cream and other tasties at McDonald's, I had to confess that the evening with my family was priceless. Even as I got a little anxious to get home to *that* phone-call, I was glad I came.

Family is precious and memories are priceless. Even if those memories involve a ten-pound bowling ball on top of five-year-old toes.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hide Me Behind the Cross

I've been meditating a lot on Phillipians 2 lately, doing some memory, and basically trying to wrap my mind around the concept of making myself of no reputation, being consumed with the things of others rather than myself, and what lowliness of mind looks like lived out in flesh and blood. It's been a challenge for sure!

The other evening, I found myself in a very rare situation. Home alone at night, with no one but my kitty to keep me company. The dark, quiet house was such a strange contrast to the normal hustle and bustle of nine family members, so as I tackled a pile of dishes, I stuck in a CD that belonged to one of my brothers. I had never listened to it before, and many of the songs were completely unfamiliar to me. One jumped out in particular, though, and as I listened to it over and over again, the impact of what this men's quartet was singing about struck a chord with my recent ponderings. 


Lord as I seek to serve You, 
  May You find in me what's pleasing to Your heart. 
I leave my will at Calvary, 
  Taking on a nature humbled by Your scars. 
For I know it's only through Your love, 
  That who I am is hidden by Your grace. 
Let my desires be overshadowed, 
  As I recall the purpose of that place.

That sweet place of the cross. The cross that seeks to hide us - not only our sins, failings, and stumblings as fallen human creatures, but those fleshly human achievements that would seek to blur the glory and splendor of Jesus Christ in us. I found the prayer that rose from this truth so precious... 

Hide me behind the cross, 
Where my gains become as loss. 
And only Your glory is in view. 
Your power will be revealed 
The more that I am concealed. 
Hide me behind the cross 
So the world sees only You. 

I have to think of what our number one goal needs to be in life. That goal which Paul so aptly puts into words in Phillipians 3:10 ~ "That I may know Him...." That all else in my life becomes as loss and worth nothing in the light of this higher priority.

What is the fruit of this heart?

If I rely on my strength 
To be a source of hope for those in need, 
The only profit I would gain 
Would be the empty honor of my deeds. 
But with all of self behind Your cross, 
The splendor of Your love stands free to shine
Illuminating with Your power, 
Reaching souls so You alone are glorified.

Truly and honestly, is there anything is life worth living for more than this? My desire is to keep this focus always in the forefront of my vision. Hiding behind the cross of glory, so that His glory is revealed, the more I allow my self to be hidden behind Him... 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

What is our focus?

I was pretty blessed the other day by an article over on YLCF. Though directed to single girls, the principles this young lady touches on are applicable to anybody, at any season in life. She basically challenges her readers with the question, "What defines you as a person?" Along with that question, others are begged. What is our true, root, and prevailing priority and goal in life? Marriage? Planting a church on a foreign field? Raising a family? Serving with some ministry?

If so, you've got it all wrong.

The most important detail of my whole life is that I am a child of God. Wherever I go, whatever the color of my skin happens to be...I am a Christian, bought with the priceless gift of Jesus blood. That means, I am not my own.  I am called to serve the Lord, with all of my talents, all of my being, all of my desires and wishes.  I am called to throw myself into the front-lines of spiritual battle, praying when I can do nothing else, working when and where that is possible, pouring my life out for the One who bought me.  My life right now should be pretty much like my married life will one day be: a life with Christ as it’s focus, it’s aim, it’s glory.  In that respect, my physical conditions on earth do not alter who I am, and what I am called to do.  


Whatever place in life God has called us to, this girl got it right when she said that life is meant to be fulfilling. 


Fulfilling, because I am actually doing what I was meant to do: serve Christ. If I were a married woman, and NOT serving Christ, I would feel as unfulfilled as it is so easy to feel now, while I am single.  Because marriage is not the thing which feeds our souls.  Christ is.

If you were blessed and want to read more, the entire article is available here

Thursday, September 30, 2010

*Smiles*

I'm doing lots of smiling these days, and not too much blogging.

There's a pretty amazing guy in my life who's incredibly talented at making a girl feel special.

I like him. Lots. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Changing Seasons


I love this time of year. The crisp, cool nights, the changing colors, and reveling in the busyness of summer winding down. I find it a beautiful time of year to be moving into another season of life as well. The Lord's leadings over the past two months have been amazing to behold, and I am thrilled to share with you a bit of what HE has been doing!

A couple months ago, I wrote a bit about our trip to the Lake Itasca Family Bluegrass Festival. This trip was eventful in more than one way, and our family came back with three big things. I wish to call them all blessings, but I guess in a way, even chicken pox can be! :-) We never have to have them again, eh? Dad also came home with an upright bass, (which has been a dream of his for a few years) and I came home with a lost appetite and a whole pile of hopes that were all wrapped around an amazing Canadian the Lord crossed my paths with. 

Our conversation started at a concession stand of his brother-in-law's that he was helping with, and his interest was piqued when I innocently asked what type of coffee it was they were advertising. Having just returned from Guatemala and having enjoyed a tour of a coffee farm there, I was quite curious about the origin and type of what they were advertising. What I didn't know is that he had been to the same language school that I had just returned from, and this piece of information started a conversation that first evening that lasted around an hour. Several more hours of visiting followed over the course of the weekend, and by this time, I was seriously interested in what God seemed to be doing. 

Two long weeks of waiting followed, during which time I had no clue what was happening in Manitoba. Though I suspected God was doing something, I had no clue I would have a weekend visitor three weeks after Itasca. After that blessed three days, Joel and I have spent quite a bit of time communicating via phone, getting to know each other, and discerning how God was leading. When he returned this past weekend, I was overjoyed to respond affirmatively to his request for courtship. 

We are both incredibly blessed at how the Lord has gone ahead of us, and would covet your prayers and we continue following His leading. The Lord truly makes everything beautiful in His perfect timing, and I think one of the prettiest times of year is a perfect backdrop to this story only He could have written. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Suffering in Perspective

What sort of picture does the word 'suffering' bring to your mind? Victims of the Haiti earthquake? Persecuted Christians in China, India, or North Korea? A hard day at work? The death of a loved one? Loss of a job or financial security? Chronic sickness?

Whatever the case, usually our mind does not conjure up a pretty or desirable situation in life. For most people, suffering is something to be avoided at all costs. It's something we shield ourselves from, taking great care that no unnecessary risks are taken that might jeopardize our comfortable situation in life.

This attitude reveals what our perspective is about Christianity. It is a preoccupation for my salvation, my comfort, my well-being, and my eternal security. It is a life that says, "Yes, Lord, I'll follow You, but please just don't ask me to do anything that hurts. Or at least, nothing that hurts a lot. Grant me peace, joy, and fulfillment in all I do, and bless my efforts in these ways I've decided to serve You."

Most of these people are successful in reaching their goals, particularly those who are born into a blessed country, such as America has been. It's fairly easy to glide through our life on this earth with no huge hurdles, obstacles, or sacrifices. Saying the right words at the right times, tolerance for sin, and a friendly demeanor will go a long ways. "Carried to heaven on flowery beds of ease" is their motto, and they are not ashamed to both live it and verbally proclaim it.

Though this sort of life is possible for a few, many are shocked when someday they are thrown into unchosen, and unavoidable suffering. Tragedy may strike at any time, and it's then that many are forced to seek God in a new way. Some describe these experiences as wake-up calls, and can later testify with gratefulness to the refining God did through their experience. Others walk away disillusioned, bitter, and angry that a "loving" God could allow them to go through such unthinkable calamity.

What is God's heart in this? Why does He allow suffering? What exactly is suffering? What should be our attitude toward it? In what ways do sacrifice and suffering tie together?



Recently I finished reading a book called 'The Overcomers' by Richard Wurmbrand that examined many stories of persecuted Christians around the world, and the thing that stood out to me the most was the attitude of these Christians toward suffering. They not only rejoiced in it as we are commanded in James 1:2, but they embraced it, and even welcomed it as a privilege. They had the minds and hearts of soldiers, and were not shaken when hard things came their way.

I believe much of this came from their perspective on eternity. Their goals were set not merely on their own temporal happiness here on earth, but on the Kingdom of God and the souls they were so desirous to bring in. When weighing those things in the balance, those eternal rewards were found much more precious, and gave them the ability to rejoice and thrive in some of the humanly worst situations imaginable. I do believe they counted the cost, but were able to count what we consider terrible suffering and sacrifice as a blessed privilege.

The world is watching during the times of our deepest agony and they are wanting to see if our Christianity works all the time. Are we going to waste these opportunities for God to be glorified, or will be let those heart-wrenching times be the platform to shout forth the goodness and all-sufficiency of Christ? Most importantly, are we willing to be used by God, however He chooses for the advancement of the kingdom, even if it hurts?

The Christian prays for fuller manifestations of Christ's power, and glory, and love to him; but he is often not aware that this is in truth praying to be brought into the furnace; for in the furnace only it is that Christ can walk with His friends, and display, in their preservation and deliverance, His own almighty power.
-Cecil

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A little cabin in the woods....


Enjoying family vacation.... Will be back to real life, and hopefully blogging soon! Hope you all are enjoying the last days of your summer!

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men." 
Col. 3:23

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Making Suffering Our Servant


"Don't become the servant to your suffering but make suffering your servant by allowing it to become the megaphone that magnifies the goodness of God in your life." -Louie Giglio 

I was very encouraged by this during our "family church service" this morning. Confined to home due to nearly all of us getting chicken pox at the same time, we enjoyed watching this DVD this morning. Sorry for the lack of blogging around here... At 24, this virus has hit me incredibly hard, and after nearly a week, I'm still not out of it. It's been a good time to reflect on the principle of praising God through the times of suffering and joy in life. May I be found faithful to praise Him in the storms, as well as in the sunshine.... 

Hoping that blogging can resume normally before too long.... 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Sweetness....

Picnics with the family.... 



Beautiful Walks... 


Figuring out the map at the park...

'Twas a full, but very blessed weekend! Hope to be back to blogging at some point!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life in the Ring of Fire

Volcan Agua from the vantage point of 'Cerro De La Cruz'

I had never stopped to ponder before making my 6-week trip to Guatemala that I was headed to the land of earthquakes and volcanos. It didn't take me too long to become informed. 

Four days after I arrived in Guatemala, I was sitting in class, and at the same time that I heard a bus roaring past, the whole room shook a little side to side. The feeling was similar to the vibrations caused from a large vehicle, but only on a much larger scale. My teacher told me it wasn't caused from the bus, it was a temblor - or earthquake tremor. 

A cloudy bit of Fuego behind the arch. 
These temblors are quite common in Guatemala, and the people welcome them rather than fear them. It hopefully means pressures isn't building up for a catastrophic earthquake that has destroyed Guatemala several times in the past. During my six weeks there, there were around a dozen temblors, but this was the only one I felt. One was actually quite large during the night - made the newspapers and everything and scared quite a few people. I just had to sleep right through it. Yeah - I was pretty disgusted with myself. 

That temblor four days after I arrived is very likely linked to the major eruption Volcan Pacaya saw that evening. This was it's third major eruption in all of history, and shut down Guatemala City and the international airport for a week due to the ash coating the city. Fortunately, only five people were killed, but unfortunately for me, tourism on the volcano was pretty much shut down. This was the #1 spot I wanted to visit as it is one of the few places in the world where you can stand next to rivers of flowing lava and roast your marshmallows. :-) I so wanted to see this in person as shown in the picture below.... Oh well, perhaps this allure will just manage to draw me back to Guatemala some time. :-)
Note - I did not take this picture


Though not nearly as exciting, I did get to see Volcan Fuego which is the closest active volcano to Antigua. It spews out puffs of smoke like this one around every 10 minutes. The one I caught in this picture was a rather small one, but it still gives you an idea.


Last but not least, was Volcan Agua. The best I could understand, this volcano has either never erupted, or erupted somewhere around 1500 years ago, but it's name Agau (water) comes from the crater on the top that once upon a time filled with water, overflowed, and destroyed several towns in it's path. Now, it is simple a "volcano" to admire, take pictures of through the arch, and hike if you have the energy. :-) I just did the two former as shown in the top two pictures.


Someday if I ever return to this land of fire, I want to experience these things a little more up close. For now though, I'll just remember, look up pictures, and dream of that someday.... 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Website Update!

Thanks to the amazing work of our friend Ryan, our website is 95% current again! (The reason I say 95% is that after nearly 4 weeks, I'm still waiting for my camera lens to come back so I can take a new family picture.) Anyhow, we now have music samples, printable media, and a store and link page. Our CD is now also available for purchase there.

We are grateful for the timing of this during a quite busy music schedule. We have a bit of traveling ahead of us yet this Summer. Check out our schedule if you want! It would be great to meet some of  you in person!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The danger of the "Holding Pattern" Mentality

What do I mean by a "holding pattern?" It's the idea that I have often find myself falling into of thinking, "Well, I'm waiting for such and such to happen, and when it does, then real life will finally begin." I'm reminded of a well known quote that states, "Life is what's happening while you are waiting for life to start

Insert anything you want into that "such and such." A new job, graduation, marriage, another child, or the last one gone, a foreign field to serve long term on, a move, a church change, or a million other things. As God has brought different waiting seasons into my life over the years, I'm tempted to think, "When this is resolved, I'll be done waiting." :-) Somehow I'm getting the feeling from God that's He's always going to keep me in a position of needing to wait on and depend upon Him. 

All that said, I wanted to share an Oswald Chambers quote that a dear, faithful friend e-mailed me a few weeks back. It challenges this mentality, and puts our focus back on what God's real purpose is for our life. Not for the future, but life in the present. That is, glorifying God with all my life. Right now. 



What is my dream of God's purpose? 

His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process - that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God. 

God's training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end. 

God's end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.
-Oswald Chambers


Sometimes, God doesn’t change the circumstance until that circumstance has changed us. We’re interested in the end result. God is interested in the process.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekend Memories

On the shores of Lake Superior

Such a blessing to have time to relax!

What sort of footprints are you leaving?

Peaceful beauty that gave me some needed
time with the Lord. 

Feeding seagulls is a family favorite!

Sweet sister times on the *windy* beach!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Filled


Make me lonely for Thy presence, every earthly friend above;
Make me thirst for Thine indwelling, make me hungry for Thy love;
Till in full and free surrender I shall yield my life to Thee,
Only then, in full perfection, canst Thou give Thyself to me. 

All the beauty that I seek for, every treasure I would own,
Thou art these in rich completeness, they are found in Thee alone;
All the loveliness I long for, all the best that I would be,
I can never find them elsewhere than in Thee, Lord, just in Thee.

Empty me of all my glory, all my boasting, all my pride;
Let my righteousness, my wisdom, on Thy cross be crucified;
Fill me, then, with all Thy fullness, all Thy will work Thou for me;
In Thyself is nothing lacking; make me, Lord, complete in Thee.
~Annie Johnson Flint

To be filled with God is a great thing; to be filled with the fullness of God is still greater, to be filled with all the fullness of God is greatest of all.
-William Bramwell. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend With the Wissmanns and Family Festival

After a packed 5 days, I think I can breath again. Though busier than I would often care to repeat, the presence of sweet fellowship with other Christians, family memories, topped with lots and lots of miles traveled makes it worthwhile. The short nights were well worth it!

Wednesday night started off with another stop through by the Wissmann family from Nebraska. We were privileged to host the 3rd annual concert with them in Ridgeland, WI, and I can't imagine anyone went away not being blessed and challenged.

I would highly encouraged any of you who are looking for an evening on good music brimmed with inspiring testimonies both in word and in the lives of this family we can now call friends, do look up their schedule! They travel all around the country, and chances are you would be able to find something, sometime within driving distance!








We thought it was pretty neat they didn't have anything else going on until the next evening, so we were able to enjoy a morning and afternoon picnic at the park with them. Gracious neighbors lent us their kayaks, we pulled out the stops for food, and simply enjoyed some sweet fellowship.






Friday morning found us up bright and early, pulling out of the driveway around 6:00am for the Lake Itasca Family bluegrass festival. After a grueling drive and several stops, we arrived around 5:30 and set up camp in record breaking time. As a family, we have taken very few opportunities to go camping together, and trying to change that habit! It's definitely something we really enjoy!

We chose a primitive camp site, and though the mosquitos were horrendous, we enjoyed the quietness, seclusion, and simply time to be a family. The older I get, the more I am learning to treasure these times together. I know they are not going to last forever.


A stop in Duluth to watch this Canadian Ship go through, as well as Ice Cream at
'Grandma's Boxcar' helped pass the hours of driving. 

One highlight for me was listening in on the wonderful children's presentation the Wissmann children did for the festival. Around 200 children attended, and I'll tell you, every eye was glued to that stage! I enjoyed it thoroughly myself!



Besides songs and memory verses with the children, they wrote a script off of the life of Ira D. Sankey. Some humorous acting, drama, and an inspiring life all worked together to makes this skit a huge success.

 
Putting out the Chicago fire. 
Over 400 eyeballs, waiting for the action to start. 
New Friends. :-)
Boys against girls in singing volume.

The weekend ended nicely with an overnight visit with dear friends in Bemidji. Rachael has a sweet blog here that you can check out. It was a blessing to be able to catch up some after over a year of not seeing each other!

Under a bridge, enjoying some chat time. :-)

Now it's back to home life, some catching up on sleep, and gearing up for further travels this summer. Oh, and waiting for my camera lens to come back from the repair shop! I felt rather crippled this last weekend with just my point and shoot, but I guess I made do. :-)

Till next time!