Saturday, April 30, 2005

Odds and Ends...

Late yesterday I finished cleaning out my closet...what a chore it has been. I knew it would be. Deep inside I knew it would take a couple of days. And it did. As I worked I was reminded of the little booklet called My Heart - Christ's Home. In it the person has asked Christ into his heart. And he is so excited about it. After a little while some changes begin to take place within different "rooms" as a result of Christ living there. Good changes that the Lord brings about. But, there is this one closet which is locked and the guy doesn't want to let Christ in there. He's ashamed of what he has stored in that closet but he doesn't know how to get rid of it. Eventually he unlocks and opens the door and the stench is just putrid. He is so ashamed. But Christ, ever so gently begins to clean out that closet making it fresh, new and clean. As I worked I took a mental evaluation of my own heart's closet. Why not? If I am cleaning out closets, why not let the Master Cleaner in to sweep out any debris that I may have been trying to cover up? Do you know what? It feels wonderful to be washed clean!!!

An update on our son. He did manage to do his first "dog fight." Intense, is the word I believe he used. So much to remember and do as you are trying to make those maneuvers, pulling those "g's". He loved it...I knew he would. It really goes without saying. I just want to reiterate: better he than me! The first time I ever flew in a small plane (really tiny plane) was after he got his private license and my teeth chattered the whole time. I didn't want him to make any fast turns or steep ones...I didn't even want him to go very high up...until we hit a thermal. Then I said to take it higher because we wouldn't have to deal with those pesky thermals. I did much better on my second flight with him. I was much more relaxed, no white knuckle grip on that flight. We went farther away and higher and I actually looked down when we made turns!

He actually got to fly twice on Friday which was great. There are only 9 more flights left and he will leave this particular aircraft. Pray for great weather this week because he wants to finish the formation flying so he can take his 'check ride' on Friday. That would then just leave his 2 low level flights where he "screams" along about 500' above the ground. Only 11 more days till we see him and only 13 more days till he finds out which 'track' he will take for his final 6 months of training! The countdown has begun! :)

We drove up to this little town close to where our son graduated from college today. There is a great restaurant located there and we met a young friend of ours there for dinner. She has been a missionary with Tentmakers to the mormon community up in Logan, UT for the past couple of years. A sweet gal who loves the Lord and has such a heart for the lost. She has been excepted at a Christian college in Kansas City to begin work on her Masters in Biblical Counseling. In just a few weeks she will be moving and getting set up before classes begin. We will miss her!

I hope each of you has a wonderful Lord's day tomorrow! May your worship lift Him up!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Be still my heart...

Oh my goodness!!! Tomorrow he gets to practice 'dog fights!' It must be a guy thing for sure! :) Anyway, I'm just glad it is James and not me. My poor stomach would not be able to handle those quick maneuvers not to mention all those "G's"! Just thinking about it makes me tense up! LOL!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Update on Rylee....

RyLee seems to be improving every day. We are so encouraged about that. She can see with both eyes now. Her left one still does not blink or moisten itself, but it tracks with the right eye, meaning her double vision is gone. She had 1 1/2 hours of Physical Therapy yesterday, which gave her exercises to do so she can learn to balance. They want her to have PT twice a week for at least the next 4 weeks. Her insurance pays most of it, but they have a $35.00 co-pay each time. We know how caring all of you are. Thanks, Ken and Marcia


I've been trying to get a few things prepared and in the freezer before my sister arrives, as well as, fix a meal to take to our worship leader who is recovering from a triple bone break in his knee and leg. *ouch* They don't eat sweets, but they do have a high school son, who is taking full opportunity of this mishap and is requesting desserts! So, I fixed my great Chicken Casserole which has French style green beans and long grain and wild rice in it. Together with a green salad and cookies it should do just great.

The problem is that I didn't have much sleep last night, and my allergies have been bothering me so I have just felt pretty crummy this morning. My attitude is alright...I haven't minded fixing the meal for the family but my mind just isn't all there. Now, my husband and son will testify that when my mind isn't all there, problems can arise. One time, over 10 years ago, I made chocolate chip cookies and they turned out hard as bricks. My family could not remember when something I had made hadn't turned out. So, a big deal was made of it. I could not fathom what I had done wrong. My husband, trying to be helpful started listing ingredients...did you remember to add the flour...the sugar...etc...the eggs... The Eggs! I flew to my refrigerator, because I knew that I only had two eggs in the house...and sure enough...those two eggs were still sitting in the refrig! Now we know what keeps cookies soft and edible...eggs! :)

Well, today I'm mixing up chocolate chip cookies again. I've mixed the butter and sugar mixture and I've added the flour mixture and the chips. I begin spooning the dough onto my cookie sheet. Hmmm. Sure seems to be runny...not thick at all...oh well, it tastes okay... all these thoughts run through my foggy mind. Into the oven they go. I no sooner turn around and look on my countertop and see the bowl with the other half of the flour mixture!! Oh no! I hurridly dump the flour into the remaining batter...Wait...I grab the pot holder, open the oven and look at the cookies beginning to bake...Make executive decision....grab the cookie sheet out of the oven and take my spatula and scrape the soft gooey mess back into my bowl. I hurriedly (as if that is really going to make a difference...) remix everything and again spoon out onto the cookie sheet. So my batter was a combination of partially baked cookie dough and uncooked cookie dough. I have finished baking them and they have turned out least they are edible. And, they don't look too bad either!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I've been tagged!!

I've been "tagged" by Gayla at Journey of the Heart to answer some questions. Here's the scoop on how to play: I have to pick 5 occupations out of the list below and post my answers here. Then I tag 3 other people to post their answers on their blog. If I tag you, and you don't want to be a part of this, then that is okay. Just let me know and I'll tag someone else. No pressure here....

The "questions": If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

1. If I could be a missionary...once I became a Christian, I thought it would be kind of neat to be a missionary but I could see some living out in the wilds without electricity, some of the odd foods etc...I know pretty selfish. Then the Lord moved my husband and me to Salt Lake City, UT where I have normal food, all the conveniences and spiritual accountability and a mission field w-i-d-e open. Plus, I have the benefit of being recharged and renewed on a regular weekly basis. So what I am saying is we are already missionaries who God blessed by not sending us out into the 'wilds.' We get to share Christ with all whom we come in contact with.

2. If I could be a scientist....I would want to work on something that would make a difference for diabetics. Since I and my sister are both diabetics and we both know the nicest people who are also diabetics I would want to discover something that would counterattack the ravages of diabetes.

3. If I could be a painter....I would want to paint everything! I never tire of looking at the mountains or the sunrises or the sunsets. God's creation is beautiful and I wish I could capture it in all its beauty on canvas.

4. If I could be a musician...actually, I would love to have the ability to sing! As it is right now, I make a joyful noise to the Lord. When I get Home, I will sing all the time and be able to carry a tune (and I will have rythym, also!)!

5. If I could be a psychologist....I worked for a psychiatrist for a number of years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fascinating and I loved typing up his IME's (Independent Medical Evaluations). The mind is truly a remarkable thing! However, it would frustrate me. There are some people who desire to be helped and would be open to following your advise but there are other people who have no desire to change and just want to keep coming back on a regular basis to have somebody to listen to them. If I could truly heal by sharing Christ and then working from that foundation, then, that would be outstanding.

Okay, I've finished and I now I pick Claire at Psalm 127, Kim at The Upward Call, and Sparrow at Intent.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Trusting in the Lord...

Several of you have commented on how proud Jim and I must be of our son and how difficult to see him choosing this type of work. I've thought about this a lot....actually, once he began talking about joining the Air Force.

As I think back over the course of events that lead to him being where he is now, I am totally awed by how the Lord moved and orchestrated everything. Most mothers (and fathers) are pretty good at reading the 'bent' in their children. And from early on I always thought James would excel in the military. He is very disciplined and focused. Also, he strives to his highest level especially when there is competition. Pressure seems to cause him to thrive. There is an element of him that likes the adrenalin rush that comes from intense situations. He also likes order.

When he was 5 years old, in kindergarten, we visited the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. James was so taken with the whole place, eyes wide with excitement! He turned to me and said, "Mom, I'm going to go here to school next year!" I laughed and told him that maybe when he was ready for college that might be a possibility. Well, a little time passes and something else edged into his life that he grew equally passionate about. It was basketball, now to be forever called b-ball. Like I said, he had a passion for it. That seemed to sideline any other thoughts about what he might want to do in life as an adult. As a result, the AFA did not feature prominently during high school.

He went to Idaho for his first year of college because he got a scholarship and could play b-ball. But in the back of his mind he was still toying with a military career. He began the process of submitting his application to the Air Force Academy and, at the same time, he also applied to ROTC for scholarships. It was an incredibly stressful year for him. Basketball took up so much of his time, and there was a major time committment that he needed to make with his upper math courses.

One afternoon I received a phone call from James telling me he had talked with his coach and he dropped out of the basketball program to focus totally on getting into the AFA. For James, dropping the basketball was the highest commitment he could make. He had essays to write and meetings with his senators which required him to fly down here quite often. Of course, we never complained of the time he was able to spend at home! :) But, whenever he flew down, it always entailed him missing a class, and in college, that is something to be avoided, if possible.

In April of 2001 my dad died very unexpectedly. James flew out to Colorado Springs for the funeral. My dad had been in the Air Force for 33 years, as a pilot. My brother-in-law graduated from the AFA and became a navigator. My sister's daughter, Claire, married an AFA graduate. You can say it is in our blood! Even my husband's father served his 20 years in the Air Force. My husband was the odd one out; he served his 4 years in the Army.

When we arrived home from the funeral James received his letter notifying him that he had not been selected for the AFA. Soon after that he received another letter telling him that he had been awarded a full scholarship to a school in Alabama, with the emphasis on his joining the Army. That summer, he left to go down and check out the school and do a basic training type thing. However, his mind began thinking and processing. It was during that time period that he began asking himself exactly what he wanted to do. Did he want to go the Army route or did he want to go the Air Force route? He decided he wanted to do the Air Force, if he could fly. (This was music to Momma's ear's because I would much rather he fly over a war than to walk through the war!)

So, he left Ft. Knox and headed home to UT with the idea he would do ROTC. He contacted USU and finished up the paper work. We were told he most likely had missed the window of opportunity for a scholarship but the Sgt. would go ahead and process it to see what happened. James only had 4 days to the deadline. Also, the Sgt asked him if he wanted to keep his major in History or did he want to change it to a technical degree? James thought about it for a minute or so and replied that he wanted to keep it History. Now, less than 1% of ROTC scholarships are given to non-technical degrees and James got one! He was able to begin that fall with the scholarship.

Another big moment arrived 9/7/01. James called with second thoughts about accepting the monthly stipend. He was to have enlisted but there had been a snag in the paper work which allowed him time to rethink his decisions. That is one of those times when I was so glad his father could talk with him, giving him things to consider and pray about. I was frustrated, wanting him to 'get going'. Dear hubby told him to call and let us know what his decision was. Then, the morning of 9-11. James and I talked on the phone as it was happening. He was so confident, so sure of himself. He told me, "I don't know what happened on Friday, Mom, I just sort of lost my focus. But, I'm focused now, and this is what I am supposed to do. When they call, I'm going." He called back at noon to tell me he was on his way over to enlist in the Air Force. Now, I have to admit, as a mother on Tuesday, I thought, "I'm so glad he hasn't enlisted!" Then we have our discussion and I begin to pray. It was so clear to me that the Lord has had a plan for James, leading and directing each step of the way. Did I believe the Lord had a plan on Friday? Yes. What makes me think His plan had changed on Tuesday? So I bowed my head and committed our son, all over again, to the Lord, asking for forgiveness for trying to 'take control.'

The next three years he grew and matured. There was one very key semester which everything really hung on, at least as far as being chosen for a pilot slot. Through all the hoops, the ups and downs, the Lord has made it very apparent that it is He, and He alone, who has opened the doors for James. There were numerous physicals, and retakes of physicals, and then more physicals. Finally, the day arrived when we received the phone call from James telling us he had been given a pilot slot. Then, there were tons more tests...psychological, physicals, physical fitness tests and apptitude tests which still could knock him out at any given time.

He commissioned as an officer in April of last year and began working in a fighter squadron at Hill AFB, only 45 minutes away from us!! That was a gift beyond any measure for us as parents. It had never crossed our minds to pray for Hill but it goes to show that the Lord blesses beyond our wildest dreams.

Then, in October, he moved out of his apartment and headed for Georgia. During his time in Georgia, the Lord has continued to impress on all of us, that it still is He who is bringing James through his training. Without a doubt, the Lord has accomplished many things, causing James to be stretched beyond his imagination. His first 6 months are winding down and he will head for his final six months of flight training.

His dad and I, as well as our whole family, are so proud of him! We would be proud no matter what he chose to do. But, for us, his parents, I think what keeps us grounded is we know that the Lord has placed James in the position he is in. It is He who has instilled in James the desire to fly and it was He who instilled a very strong sense of patriotism. We have always tried to instill in James a heart attitude that was sensitive to the Lord's leading and direction. And, an obedience to obey that call. I may have fleeting moments, when I take my eyes off the Lord, and I could allow myself to be worried. But, we never want James to be outside of the Lord's leading and direction. It would be MUCH scarier if James was living outside of His will. So, I truly think that is what brings me the most peace. Knowing our son is right where God has placed him which means he is in the palm of His hand and nothing is touching him that hasn't passed through God's hands first. In Him I can rest, no matter what the future holds!


Today was a fun day! I normally do not like to go shopping, for a lot of different reasons. But, today I enjoyed it. Maybe one big reason was I found a lot of things that were on sale and sales always helps my mood, as well as my dear hubby's mood! :) Everything which I bought today was on sale. I went in and conquered! My son, James, would be so proud of me!!! :)

We are getting ready to go South...just about the most southern part of Georgia! I needed a few things that I could wear in the hot and humid weather of the lovely south. It's been awhile since I've shopped and I noticed a few things. People just aren't as happy as they once were. They just seem to be so focused on themselves; they are almost rude to others. That makes me quite sad. Mothers were impatient with their children and that made me sad, too. I am always aware of my surroundings, looking for an opportunity to share Christ...not necessarily in words, but mostly in actions. My eyes seemed to see an unusually large number of hurting people today. I sometimes look out over the crowds and wonder if we look like ants scurrying around to God. He is so immense and we are so little....All kinds of people going about their 'normal' activities totally oblivious to what the Lord may have in store for them just around the corner.

Tonight, I have a wedding shower to attend for our pastor's daughter. They had six children, with number 5 due to be married at the end of May. That will leave one daughter who is still in college. It should be fun. These types of things always make me reflect back over the years to when I was getting married almost 30 years ago. I look in the mirror and I am always shocked to see a much older woman looking back at me! For years, I felt like I was still 19! But, several years ago I was around quite a few 19 year olds and I realized I was no where like them at all!! They probably would have been aghast at the thought of my even thinking of myself like them! So, I revamped my age because I don't feel like I'm 51 and married all these years. I feel much younger! As for being married, it seems like forever (which is wonderful) yet, not very long at all! Does that make any sense?

Anyway, 18 days till we leave...he is almost through with this part of his flying! We can hardly wait! And, only 11 days till Marsha arrives! Yea!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Prayer Update on Rylee....

An email update from our pastor and his wife regarding their daughter-in-law, Rylee:

"Our son Nathan and his wife, RyLee, celebrated their 4-month wedding anniversary on Monday by RyLee getting discharged from the hospital! She gets around with a walker (to keep her balance) and is recovering at home. She says she feels better every day. Please keep praying for her cranial nerves to recover so she can regain the functions of the left side of her face. She will have some physical therapy to help with the equilibrium problem. She can read with her right eye if she covers the left. She and Nathan are keeping a positive outlook, and waiting on the Lord. Nathan graduates from the university on May 6 and is seeking a good job with excellent health coverage--this is another prayer request. "This is the Lord; we have waited for Him. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (Is. 25:9). We feel so blessed by all our family and friends who are sharing this burden with us. Love, Ken and Marcia"

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


We have received the phone call from our son, the pilot! God was so good...James only had to fly twice today instead of three times! Yea!

As for the formation flying: scary and exciting... A little nerve racking to be that close to another aircraft but he got his first and second flight over....

He lacks two low level flights, flying 500 ft off the ground....that is considered "cool".

Tomorrow he is scheduled for one flight and then hopefully he will have "two-a-days" next week. He would really like to be able to take his check ride by the end of next week but rather thinks it will be the week after. The Lord is in control...

As for me...I'm glad he is the one doing all the maneuvers and not me! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Answered Prayer!

James called tonight to say that he passed his check ride (final test flight over a particular block of instruction, i.e. Instruments) today! This means just one more check ride to finish out this section of training! Yea!!!

Now, this opens up a whole new area of prayer as he will begin formation flying. In the next 10 days he will learn how to fly within 10 feet of another aircraft and take his solo flight doing that very thing! After reading one of the other pilot's blog and finding out just how "exciting" (*scary*) it can be when one flys within 3 feet rather than 10 feet, this Momma is definitely calling all prayer warriors to pray for protection, as well as for skill and ability to do what will be required. Thank you!

Tomorrow (Wednesday) will be a loooonnnng day as he will be 'triple turning', which means James will have 3 flights. He will be very tired tomorrow.

I gratefully lift up my praises for His faithfulness in sustaining, protecting, and strengthening our son as he goes about his flying each day! He truly is the power under our son's wings!

Another Happy Birthday AND Happy Anniversary!

Happy Birthday, Dan!!! I knew I should have posted your Birthday greeting last night like I did your Uncle Jim's, knowing full well that I would be non-stop today. However, I didn't and now that UJ has left for his BSF study I want to wish you a wonderful year!

Your mom outdid herself when she had both of her children! With Claire's birthday on our brother's birthday, and yours on Uncle Jim's, it makes it ever so nice for us forgetful people to be able to remember. Actually, I don't think I have too much of a problem since you are a terrific nephew!

Now, I do have to admit to spacing out your anniversary! How could I have done that? But, I would like to think that is just because it is still so new and fresh in my memory...not like your birthday of 29 years!!! Have you and Melinda celebrated by doing something fun? Have you bought your new car yet?

We all wish we could be nearer so we could help you celebrate! I do have a little something that I will get dropped in the mail this week. I decided to go ahead and send it for your birthday since I didn't get it sent for Christmas. There is a distinct possibility you will no longer have any use for it, unless you can generate the same type of enthusiasm where you now are. Laugh at me if you want. I am laughing at myself!

Anyway, hope your day has been great! Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet hubby! He is a real trooper for he blazes the trail for me, bravely entering into years that I can only dream about. I love his heart for God, his tenderness for hurting people. I also love his boldness in stepping out in faith to share Christ with the lost and hurting souls the Lord brings across his path. He has been a terrific father to our only child, James. The one or two times, when I just wanted to throw my hands up in frustration, the Lord used him in powerful ways to communicate with our son. He always makes me laugh, his sense of humor is grand! And, I do believe his humor continues to improve with age! The Lord created a wonderful man 55 years ago and I am so thankful I have had the privilege of being married to him for almost 30 years. Here's to many, many more happy birthdays, honey! I love you!

Monday, April 18, 2005

The BEST news!

A year ago my husband went to KY for more advanced training with Evangelism Explosion (EE) so he would be able to teach the program through our church. Then, in the fall, he began with one group, which consisted of my husband, a gal named Dione, and Kevin. Dione and Kevin completed the 13 week training course and Dione came on board as a trainer this year. So now Jim has a team of two and Dione has a team of two. One of the ladies being trained is Barb, who is the wife of Kevin.

Jim and I received a phone call today soon after arriving home from errands. It was from Barb. She shared the BEST news with us! Barb has used this guy, Tony, to shoe her horses for over 11 years now. She has tried to reach out to him and share Christ on several occasions but without success. However, today she basically followed her outline that she has been learning and engaged Tony in conversation regarding his eternal destination. As they talked, and she shared examples and Tony asked questions (and answered questions) the Holy Spirit was moving and working within Tony's heart! And, this afternoon, April 18th, Tony became a new child of Christ! We truly could not tell who was more excited, Barb or Tony, but excitement there was! He is so excited to come to church this Sunday! Would you please join with us in prayer that nothing would keep Tony from attending church on Sunday? He is very eager to begin being discipled and Barb's husband, Kevin, has agreed to disciple him. Yea!!!

On another note, Rylee, mentioned in my previous post is improving slightly...ever so slowly. She has been able to chew without losing her food out of her mouth. And, she was able to reach for an object and grab hold of it. She is still throwing up anytime she has to stand, the facial muscles are still drooping and the right side still does not feel any pain. Her spirits are up! They truly believe that most of this will be temporary but that 'temporary' may last up to a year. It sounds very similar to Bells palsy and I guess it is, since it involves the cranial nerve. Also, the doctors are telling her that her hearing will not come back. It seems if one loses one's hearing for longer that 5 days or so, it won't return. I was not aware of that tidbit of information but I do know that if the Lord so chooses, Rylee's hearing will be retored. If I can be cured of glaucoma, her hearing can be restored! Amen!

Another answered prayer is James is back on flying status after his ear infection. He was hoping to fly today or tomorrow and then be able to take his check ride (kind of like a final over this particular block of instruction, i.e. instruments). Once this check ride is complete he will only have one more!!! And, it is only 3 weeks away till we get to see him! And, only 3 weeks away from being half way through flight training!!! I'll keep ya'll posted on what he will get to fly!

Today is rainy and cold after our warm sunny high of 77 yesterday! It just jars a person's system to have to fluctuate between warm and cold! I was hoping for extremely nice weather for tomorrow since it is Jim's birthday but I do believe it will still be rainy and cool. Well, we aren't going to let any weather dampen our high spirits in regards to our celebrating!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Prayer request...

Back in October/November our pastor's son's then fiancee, Rylee, collapsed at work. It was determined that she has an AVM on the left side of her brain. This is a jumble of blood vessels that must either be reduced or removed. They went ahead with the wedding. Since then, she has gone in twice for a proceedure in which they seal off the blood vessels a few at a time, eventual surgery will be performed when it is deemed safe. On the 12th of April Rylee went in for the third treatment and there was a problem. Here is the email from our pastor and his wife. Will you please join in praying for Nathan and Rylee? Thank you!

RyLee's angiogram on Tues was successful in blocking some of the blood supply, but another MRI today revealed there is still another artery that will need blocked in the future after her brain recovers from this last procedure. Something went wrong at the end because RyLee had sudden pain and cried out, "Something's wrong!" (she has to be awake during the procedure for just this sort of thing.) By this last MRI it has been determined that some of the blocking material (glue) went where it was not supposed to and has lodged against a vein, restricting it from draining properly and from nourishing cranial nerves properly. Two things to be thankful for: 1 - it did not lodge against an artery, which would have caused a stroke 2 - the nerves are palsied not killed. This means there is hope for recovery. The glue cannot be removed but the vein can grow a new flow pattern around it over time. Meantime, the left side of RyLee's face is not working: 1 - hearing gone on the left side 2 - equilibrium affected - she has not been able to stand up yet. 3 - left eye not moving properly, and not in tandem with right eye. Even when she wears a patch on the left eye, she has distorted vision, but that did improve some today. Still, she cannot focus to either read or watch TV, as the objects she focuses on appear to keep moving. 4 - left eye tear ducts not working 5 - left side of mouth non-functioning as if it has been novacained by the dentist. This means she will have to learn to eat without the food falling from her mouth. No problem with swallowing, which is very good. She also has no pain-sensing function in her right arm and leg. I don't know what has caused this. She can use them and feel other stimuli--just not pain. (I told her to make sure all her IV's and blood draws go in the right arm.) There is hope that some of these symptoms are caused by localized brain swelling, which can be expected to decrease fairly soon, and she's on medication for that. She will be in the hospital until she can walk on her own--perhaps by Sunday? So we are praying for these conditions to be temporary, not permanent and of course for God to grant healing and complete recovery. She and Nathan are hopeful and seem to have a positive attitude. Nathan has only 2 final exams before he graduates from the university. All his papers are done. Monday will be their 4-month wedding anniversary.You have been praying for RyLee since last November, so please keep it up. We all appreciate it. Love, Ken and Marcia

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Drug Problem...

This sent to me by a friend today....

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?'' I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed. Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place. ~author unknown~

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Thank you, Lord!

After hearing about my nephew's wife's car wreck I cringed when I heard James telling about his evening ride last night. It seems that the man in front of James slammed on his brakes and came to a stop. Our son slammed on his brakes and came to a stop. Whew! The person behind James slammed on his brakes and James wondered if he was going to be able to stop. But, he did, stopping about a foot or so from James' car. It was the man behind THAT man that was the problem. He came barreling along and tried to swerve and miss the man behind James but was unable to do so. This particular man was in a SUV and ended up hitting the car behind James. From what I can understand the SUV swerved and by doing so, the SUV's left front end hit the car. By all intents and purposes it should have caused the car to hit James' car, however, the car was totally pushed out into the other highway lane! It didn't touch James' car at all! Both of the people in the respective cars that were involved were able to get out and walk and didn't appear to be hurt. I imagine there will be some soreness of muscles but I praise the Lord, for it could have been much worse with the high rate of speed the SUV was going.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Psalm 63:3...

"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You" (Psalm 63:3).

Do I really believe this verse? Oh, I profess it, but do I really live like I believe it? Where is my joy ultimately coming from? I know that ultimate joy is found in obeying my living God. Am I willing to sacrifice my life to know God and His pleasure? I would love to think that I would but when I think about my choices, each and every day, I begin to cringe. Is God's steadfast love and mercy really sweeter to me than life? I've been pondering this thought for a few days. As I looked at this verse I kept being drawn back to the word "life." What if I substituted other words for 'life?' What would I think then?

Is it better than a new job for my husband? Is it better than having more money? Is it better than my friendships? Is it better than my health? Is it better than my marriage? Is it better than having obedient children? Is His love the greatest source of pleasure, happiness, or good?

The Lord knew that joy was found only in obedience and fellowship with His Father. Surely it was with thoughts of God's pleasure, "the joy set before Him" (Hebrews 12:2), that Jesus endured the Cross. Otherwise, how did He endure? What drove Him to withstand the beatings, the betrayal of Judas, the mocking? What did He hold on to as He cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" What was so desirable to Jesus that He endured the Cross and separation from His Father? That is what I want...I desire it with all my heart!

Peter must have 'got' it. In Acts 2:28 he says, "You will make me full of gladness with Your presence." And, David seemed to have grasped it pretty well when he wrote, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever" (Psalm 16:11). I believe they both knew the joy that was more valuable and desirable than life. Consider for just a moment, wholly worshipping Him without any weakness or sin!! I know....I can hear you saying it, "Not on this side of heaven!"

Delighting to do God's will means I have to turn from the deception that joy lies outside of obedient fellowship with Him. Think about Eve. Why did she choose to disobey God? Look at Genesis 3:6, "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate." The words "good, delight and desirable" are some of the motivations behind her (and most definitely, my) actions. My choices are predicated upon what I think is "good," what I think I would "delight in," and what I find most "desiring." Now, I don't know about you, but I always choose what I believe to be for my best good. I will always choose what I believe will bring me the most delight. Are you like that at all? Even a smidgen? I am NOT saying that I always choose what is morally good, for then I would have no sin and I KNOW that isn't the case. What I am trying to get across is that I go through my day making choices on what I believe is best...what will bring me happiness. Even though I purposely choose to disobey God, just like Eve did, I always do so because I believe that is the best choice at the time. Just like Eve thought that eating the forbidden fruit was her best, most delightful and desirable choice. She believed that disobedience was better than life. She totally forgot God's sweet lovingkindness. When we sin it's because of our belief in its goodness. Richard Baxter writes in A Christian Directory, "The will never desires evil as evil but as ....seeming good."

This really hits home with me in this example. I need to exercise. Exercise promotes better health. Health is good, delightful, and desirable. I know that God desires for me to take care of my body. I even think about how wonderful it will be to lose the extra pounds and to have more energy, strength and vitality. I am definitely going to exercise!! Oooohh, the struggle begins when my alarm goes off in the morning. Some days my schedule is so full that I have to get up early to get my exercising in for the day. However, when my alarm rings I see another good; the pleasure of the warmth and comfort of my bed. Those blankets are soooo cozy! All of a sudden something else seems more desirable to me...the good of staying in bed and getting more rest. What seems like good to me in the early morning was not good but had the appearance of it. I chose to stay in my bed because, at the time, it was the best choice. It held the highest good for me, at the time. Was it the best choice? Probably not. If it becomes habitual, then I will suffer the consequences. What appeared good to me at the time was not.

Now, I'm back to my original thoughts. I create images out of my thoughts of my highest good or happiness. And whether I realize it or not, those images are the driving force in my life. They direct my worship, either toward God or away from Him. Those same thoughts tell me that I should cherish more than Him. Where do I turn to change my thoughts? I turn to God. He alone can teach me that He is my highest good. He is the One who can show me that all my happiness is in Him. It is the Holy Spirit whom can illuminate my heart and cause me to grow in my esteem of Christ and at the same time, create disdain for the charms and allures of this world. As long as I define joy and happiness as God does then I can pursue to my heart's content! And, I'll never be disappointed. I need to remember that my goal is to be able to say, along with David, "Nothing, not even life, brings me more happiness than Your love!"

Monday, April 04, 2005

Hill AFB...

What a day! Praise the Lord, we remembered that we had to get Nana's I.D. card renewed before the 11th. Jim had told me he would go with us which meant we had to go on a Monday. This was the Monday.

Oh, what a rainy, miserable day to be out with an 88 year old mom! Of course, I didn't bring the wheelchair because we could park right in the front with the handicapped plates...NOT! We found out upon arriving that they (Hill AFB personnel) are involved in an "Exercise." So, no one could park within 25 feet or so of the building. Once we are inside the building, and get to the room where new ID's are issued, there are tons of people waiting. We pull one of the 'numbers' and Jim finds a seat for Nana. We are number 57 and they are on 10. The lady sitting next to Nana had '29' and she had been there since 9:00. It was now 10:30! The major problem that I could determine was that anytime active duty personnel came in, they took precedence over the retirees and dependents. Then if you combine the active duty people with the slow computers, you have one big clogged drain. About 11:30 I remind Jim that we have a 2:00 appointment back home...should we cancel and reschedule? He tells me to wait a little bit longer...we are now on number 11:30!!! Then, the Lord sends us a present! About noon, Jim comes up and opens his hand. Cupped in his palm is one of those number pulls that says 30! Thirty?!?!?!! My eyes got huge! By now we were on 28 and the lady next to us was 29 and then it would be 30's turn! I looked at Jim and smiled!

He had been standing back by the door where the trashcan just happened to be. Well, several people were so frustrated with the long wait. Due to the Exercise, they pulled 2 of the 3 people that usually work in that office. So this one gal was doing it all. As Jim stood there, he watched as several people just crumpled up their number and threw it in the trash. There was one that missed the trash and fell on the floor right next to it. Jim reached down and picked it up and straightened it out...and saw number 30! Someone else had given his number, once he decided not to wait, to the person sitting next to him and she had come in after us.

So, we were able to get done and back to the car and on the road by 12:30 and home by 1:30 so Jim and I could make our appointment at 2:00. Even in the midst of clouds, the Lord causes the sun to shine!