Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hold Your Peace

"The Lord will fight for you,
and you shall hold your peace
and remain at rest."
Exodus 14:14

Across the world in the country of Uganda a baby died last night.  A precious child of God who had so much of life before him.  Born broken into a broken world he was.  But not left behind, he was ushered into the home of a young missionary as one of her "gems" in The Gem Foundation that cares for children with special needs.  Those in their care are loved on 24/7.  They are given the best care by nurses and nannies day and night, and they know the Father's love through the serving hands and hearts of others.  With loving on others often comes pain and sorrow.  It is often the way of this broken world we live in.  And sorrow has come with the loss of this precious child. 

Sweet Emma is fulfilling her calling as a missionary, having been called by God at age 8 or younger....  Determined, she would pray every night, "Please God, let me be the one who gets to help the orphans in Uganda."  This did not come from mom and dad, she drew them in with her passion and has been taking mission trips there to, as she calls it, "my Uganda" since she was 13.  Now at age 21 she lives in the red dirt of Africa and is experiencing firsthand the joys and sorrows of her calling.  God has orchestrated His plan for The Gem Foundation, the home Emma and her staff maintain for the "undesirable" to be loved and cared for.  The enemy comes to kill steal, and destroy, but God  is in the midst of them and the work He has ordained is coming to pass.

Prayers were lifted and knees bent to ask God to restore Arthur's health. And Arthur died.  I will not share my thoughts nor the thoughts of others here on God's will for healing.  There are unanswered questions, but today is a time to lift up Emma and her staff, and grieve with hope.  The hope of knowing Arthur is with Jesus.  The vision God provided for me in the wee hours of the night as I prayed  was of a radiant toddler, holding on to the hand of Jesus while laughing.  I expect this is how we all will feel when we enter Heaven.  Welcomed by Jesus, we will be radiant, joyful, and at rest in His Presence.

There is great loss being felt today for this child who touched the hearts of so many in his  Gem home and around the world.  Lord have mercy.  Hold up your children as they hold on to Your peace knowing that for Arthur, suffering has been replaced by joy.  Emma, the staff, Linny and Dwight and the family grieve in hope.  We all grieve with hope and hold on to peace.  God is with us.  He will fight for us.  Remain at rest and hold your peace, friends.  Hold your peace.

Please pray for Emma, the staff and the other children at The Gem Foundation home in Kampala Uganda.  Please pray for the family of Emma and the directors of  International Voice of the Orphan, Linny and Dwight Saunders and their treasures. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Come To Me

This last Friday a sweet friend and I had a good conversation about what we are walking through in our faith journeys.  She awaits the birth of her child and is standing firmly focused on Jesus.  I am moving through a symptom challenge and standing firm myself.  As often happens K. shared words from God that resonated for me too.  God is like that.....bringing souls together.....using His words to reach more than one.....speaking in a way that brings our eyes right back where they need to be.  On Him. 

Ann Voskamp shared this video on Facebook yesterday morning.  Joel likes to arrive 45 minutes ahead of church starting, so as I sat waiting for the time to pass beforehand, I listened to Jenn Johnson from Bethel Church sing "Come To Me".    I immediately entered into a place of rest.  Yes, once again the Creator has been speaking to me about rest.  That place right close to the Son that gives us a peace we don't quite understand but long for.  That Something more.

When praying for guidance in the "storm", God talked to me through my friend, speaking to us both, " "It's not about you.  I am enough.  Resist the devil not from a place of striving, but from a place of rest." 

God continued answering my asking early Sunday morning with several words from a TV preacher ~
"Keep you peace.  Enter into a place of rest.  Resist the devil from a place of rest.  No weapon formed against you will prosper."  Two hours later I was flooded with His Presence as Jenn Johnson filled the air with her praises for the Lord of Peace. 

I just love how God meets us where we are at with just what we need to move forward.   He loves us that much.  He desires an intimate relationship with us.  We were created for that.  He beckons us with "Come to me...."   He beckons to His place of rest where He is more than enough. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday all! It is another warm and sticky day here in Iowa...the corn loves this climate but I we prefer the less than 68- 71 dew point weather. I know, we are spoiled.  We will have one more day of this before heading down into the 70's and dry out.  Plenty of rain this week, which was needed.  Our flowers have enjoyed the nourishment. 

Ivy geranium on old chair on back deck

It has been a slow week for me, due to some kind of virus that came to visit for a couple of days along with that one symptom that just won't stop harassing my body.  It will leave.  Just need to keep my eyes on Jesus the healer, and off of the symptoms.  One dear friend shared that God had told her, "Resist the devil, but not from a place of striving.  Resist from a place of rest."  That place of knowing what we know that we know.  Amen.

We walked less due to Mr. Virus, but managed the usual 1.5 miles the rest of the week and over 2 miles this morning.   Joel went on a biking trip with his colleague group this past Monday, biking 28 miles on a trail up in Minnesota.  He had such a good time!  He has had a full week with work and meetings.

We brought home a desk from WI that was our daughter's.  We like the unique style and are trying to figure out where to put it.  Our coffee table was her friend's mother's!  It is great when furniture continues to serve a purpose isn't it.  Two of our daughters do a lot of refurbishing and it is fun to see how they make things work in their homes. 

I made granola yesterday, different kinds for each of us.  And several days ago I made a great paleo dessert using blueberries for the filling between a crust and crumbly topping.  Was so yummy.  We have actually been cutting back on snacks, etc. for quite awhile, but we do let ourselves have a small treat once in awhile.   I lost 2 lbs right away then another pound later, but no more y.e. t.  Joel has lost around 6-8 lbs.  He will go somewhere and eat more and gain a pound or two, but lose it right away when we get back home to our routine.  It is so not fair.  His secret?  Well, of course he cuts back, but he also tells his body "we are going to lose weight now."  I am not kidding.  His body cooperates so well with him whether it is healing, losing weight, or more.   Where as mine says, "That's what you think!"  Ok, I am done declaring that, but just saying.............

It really has been a pretty low key week with less activity for moi.  Just the normal cooking, baking, watching teachings or TV.  Speaking of that, we watched a documentary on Netflix about Tiny houses.  Like houses that are only a few hundred square feet....or less than 100. It was very  interesting to watch one being built and see several others.   We spent some time talking about the size of our next home.  How small could we go and feel comfortable?  We would like a smaller home and bigger outside space. We would like to have an unobstructed view of the sunset.  Our family comes home as a group usually once a year so we need to ask, ~~What would work for us the other 360 days of the year and do we have any unused space we can do without?  Cozy is a good thing!

Hope you had a good week in your corner of the world.  With so much chaos going on in our country and others, it is a good time to sit back, take a deep breath, and be grateful.  Maybe pick up a good book to read.  I have been reading magazines mostly, along with an inspirational book by Jennifer LeClaire.  I have picked up a fiction book I started weeks ago by Joanne Fluke.   What reading material is on your nightstand?

Until next time..............

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Relentless Love

Lately I have been battling an old symptom which has returned in intensity.  I believe completely that that Jesus died for sin and disease over 2,000 years ago.  He wants the healing released into my body and we have seen that in the past two years over and over.  But here I am, suffering with a nasty symptom that has never completely left, and now has increased.  Ugh.  I began to question why?  I began to question if it was me....

I talked with Joel today about my struggle,  and he replied with a story.  A story about a son who believed his parents could not afford the tennis shoes the whole basketball team had chosen to wear ~~New Niki high tops in white with red and black trim, which were the schools colors.  So he did not ask for them.

 His parents went to the first basketball game and his mom noticed right away that he was the only kid on the team who was not wearing these tennis shoes.  Stunned, she asked her son later why he did not ask for them.  He told her that he knew they did not have extra money for something so costly.

The next day his mom set out on a quest to find those shoes for her son.  She went to several stores, and ended up calling several more until a size 9 Niki white high top with red and black trim was found.......in another town 1 and 1/2 hours from their home.  Putting them on hold, she jumped in the car and drove to the city, found the store and purchased them for her son.  Then she got back in the car and drove to her son's school, just in time to give them to him for practice. 

Joel then went on to say, "The love this mom had for her child was so strong, she would have driven to the next state to find those shoes.  She was relentless in her quest to give them to him. 
And God has the same kind of love, no even more, for you, Renee.  His relentless love for you to be His child, to be saved and to be healed.  He wants the best for you.  Never question His love for you.  The Word says by His stripes we are healed.  Never question His promises.  Never question that you are not worthy of His promises.  Stay as determined with

your knowledge of God's Word and how much He loves you, as you were in your relentless love to find those shoes for our son."

Relentless is God.  To welcome us to the Kingdom as His child.  To be blessed with all that He has for us.  Forgiveness, wholeness and healing, and love.  Oh, His relentless love.  It is for us all. 

Today I am linking up with Faith Barista for  Finding Whitespace, with today's prompt being "quiet places".  My husband Joel is often my quiet place with his deep love and soothing words and insights.

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rescued From The Unexpected

"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack
and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.
To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
2 Timothy 4:18NIV

This past weekend we experienced heavy rainfall here in our corner of the world.  In less than an hour we received over two inches of rain.  Three teenage boys were driving through the downtown area of our city to meet a friend at a local McDonalds.  They were wearing baseball uniforms, as they were heading to play a game out of town.  All of a sudden the underpass they drove through filled with water and they found themselves submerged up to their car windows in a lake with whitecaps.  Totally unexpected.  Stunned, they sat in the car wondering what to do. 

A man was on his way to work and came upon this scenario.  He parked his pick-up sideways on the road to stop other cars from driving into the flooded area and then he walked into the water.......to the car holding the three teens captive.  He helped them get out and get back to his pick-up before calling for the police.  The young driver was worried about leaving his car, but the older man told him, "A car can be replaced.  Human lives cannot."  I can imagine there were some pretty grateful parents giving their kids extra hugs that day!

This incident reminded me so much of our lives.  We are going along, filling our days with activity, family, and friends.  Just doing life.  All of a sudden, the unexpected happens and we find ourselves in deep water, not knowing what to do or where to turn.   It can be overwhelming, and anxiety comes to visit.   We wonder what to do. 

Suddenly we see someone coming towards us.  Someone who has a plan to rescue us from our circumstances.  Someone we can trust.  That Someone is Jesus.  He may use people or other means to help us, but our help all comes from God.  The Bible is filled with stories where God came to the rescue of His people.  God is not only our Provider and our Healer, but He is our Rescuer!  He rescues us from our "suddenly"  with His Suddenly.  Expect, trust, and depend on Him to rescue. He will, He does.  The Bible tells us so.  Give Him praise and expect to be rescued from the unexpected!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Scribbles

Good Saturday to you all from our corner of the world where heat and humidity are keeping us inside.  Honestly, with temperatures in the high eighties and low nineties, monsoon rains this morning,  and dew points in the high seventies it feels like we have been transported back to The Philippine Islands.  There were a lot of things we liked about the P.I. but the humidity was not one of them!  It makes us appreciate more the dryer weather we have had this summer.....and this should only last a few more days before cooler weather returns.  Thank you Lord for A/C!

Speaking of returns, we just returned yesterday from WI where we spent a few days visiting our oldest daughter, SIL, grandkids and grand dog.  We had a good time (I wrote a couple of posts below about it).  We were able to take in a football game with our oldest grandson playing JV center and right tackle.  The last football game we sat in bleachers for was our oldest son's games around 25 years ago!   Our daughter and family live in a beautiful town in Wisconsin.  One night we were able to walk around one of the three lakes within its limits,  while viewing an amazing sunset. We visited other favorite places in town and spent time just catching up.  Lots of laughter, a few tears, some snuggling, and listening to our oldest play piano were all great nourishment for this grandma!  Our  house always seems big and empty when we return from spending time with family!

Football game

Cribbage game
Morning conversation with Tucker,
our grand dog. 
He likes to  have you
hold his paw.

While we were gone, we had our favorite handyman come and fix our fireplace so it will be ready to use this winter, fix the downstairs shower and wall, and put a new light on the garage while adding another to the porch area...New trim on the back deck door finished up the list.  So nice to have it done.  Still hope to put in a new driveway and sidewalk this fall.  Always something to do around the house for upkeep.

While traveling we listen to music, like Don Potter's CD (which our oldest says sounds like Gordon Lightfoot!) and I often read aloud to Joel in between our chats.  We enjoy the view too, which this time included the Mississippi River and bluffs.  On the way home my lack of sleep caught up with me and I could not keep my eyes open.  As we hit the Iowa border I went out like a light for an hour I guess.  I am not back to driving yet, so Joel has the worst of it when we travel.  He does not mind driving and fuels himself with coffee or popcorn to munch on.  And of course my fantastic company.  (giggle) keeps him alert!

Mississippi River
Bluffs by Mississippi
I finished the kindle book I was reading, "Wherever the River Runs" by Kelly Minter.  A powerful book about helping the struggling people who live along the Amazon River in Brazil.  It was so interesting, funny, sad, and challenging.  I did not want it to end.  I high recommend it!   As one reviewer said,  "The best thing I can say about this book is when I finished reading it, I bowed my head and said, "GOD, send me too.  The second best thing I can say is that I then handed my underlined and highlighted copy of the book to our fourteen year old daughter and said, "these are my dreams for you.."

Until next time..............