Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Special Prayer Request from Papa -

I would like you to meet Peter. I have not met him physically but we are both bloggers serving the same Lord. I met him through a mutual friend. He is fighting a major battle with Acute Leukemia (AML). In less than one week he will begin the process of a bone marrow transplant. He needs our prayers and encouragement - for him and his family. I would like you to go to Peter's blog and let him know you are thinking of him. I also have him listed on my blog roll. Put him on your prayer list.

Thank you for coming to this need. We are a wonderful family. God Bless!

Papa and Mama too!

Note: Mama and papa will be out of town Friday & Saturday. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 29 December 2008

A Manatee Special Day!

Today was a very special day! Roxanne and Beth with their families from Washington State met mama and papa at Homosassa, FL to swim with the Manatee's! Some of our party actually touched Manatee's. Papa had a baby manatee swim right underneath him! We all wore wet suits and used masks & snorkels to swim with Manatee's. The water is spring fed and flows to the gulf. The Manatee's come to the spring area from the gulf in the winter to be in the warmer water.

After our encounter with the Manatee's we went to our place for a burger cookout. We had a great time - only heard one terrifying scream - precious Charlotte was holding a small lizard at papa's house when it jumped on a bare spot just below her neck. heh heh! Would have made a great GEICO commercial!

Papa and others wept as papa prayed and blessed the food as we stood and held hands. Roxanne also prayed and thanked GOD for our many blessings. Mama and papa love our blogging family.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas! From James The Shepherd

Christmas Eve papa was asked to do a devotional for the church service. I dressed up as a shepherd, staff and all. I greeted people as they arrived for the service and then later did a 15 minute devotional as one of the shepherds that had went to the manger scene. As I prepared this past week for the devotional, several things struck me about the story in Luke 2:8-20.

First, the fields where the shepherds watched their flocks was their home! They lived there! And, there were probably many shepherds who watched this story unfold. Basically, the angel and the Heavenly Host came into their homes! Next, I noted the shepherds were terrified! Can you imagine what that night sky must have looked like ?!! I think terrified would be an understatement!

I then went on to compare a shepherd to the "Great Shepherd" - Jesus. Did you know that a shepherd did not usually own the sheep?? He was a wage earner. We are God's children, his sheep, but God sent his Son to be our shepherd, and He gave his life for God's sheep. We are a lot like sheep - we sometimes get into trouble and the shepherd has to discipline us. At other times we tend to wander off so far that we have difficulty hearing the shepherds voice and we are lost. The shepherd always seeks after us.

What really made me think though was how terrified the shepherds must have been that night. Can you imagine what the sky will probably be like when Christ returns - the second - and final time? I would strongly suggest you get ready during this Christmas season. Because if you are not, terrified will not describe what you will experience!! Mama and I will be praying for each of you that this will be the Christmas Season that you will seek after Christ with your whole heart.

Monday, 22 December 2008

I have been tagged - by Beth!

I was tagged by Beth and asked to go to my fourth picture folder and the fourth picture, post it and explain it. So here goes!

This is papa on Amos, my Morgan horse. He is awesome! In the picture I am riding him in the outside arena - loosening him up for a ride. Before I begin a ride with Amos I like to first ride in a closed-in area and get him use to my voice instructions and my body signals - so each time we go out together we "rehash" them. If I sense he is not really paying attention to me as I bring him in from the pasture to the stall, I may get a 20' rope, tack him up and then put him on a lunge line and make him obey my voice commands of 'walk', 'trot' and 'whoa'. If he shows any hesitation or is not listening, we stay at it until he gets it right. Then and only then do we go out and trail ride together.

It amazes me - we as Christians jump out of bed each day and think that - 'well I was a Christian yesterday, so today I don't need to start my day with any instruction from my Master - I will be fine'. HE wants to help us get started each day - So listen - He may ask you to 'walk' when you want to 'trot'. He may hollar 'whoa' - will you hear him today? Maybe you had better stop right now and take a few minutes to pray and have a devotional time. I think today He is going to put papa on a lunge line - I have been a stinker lately - gotta go!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Manatee's - near mama & papa

No this is not a picture of papa swimming in a spring - it is a Manatee. Our Florida home is only 25 minutes from the Manatee's. Usually when we have visitors we like to take them to see the manatee's. You can even sign up for tours to swim with them - we are hoping to do that soon. We are meeting up with Roxanne & Beth in a few days to do that. Afterwards we plan to come to papa's & mama's place for burgers.

NOw let's have some fun - let's name the Manatee in the picture using just the letters "M A N A T E E" - like "Man" (too bad we don't have a 'D' ) or "Tan".

Thursday, 18 December 2008


This picture is the first time that papa got to physically see my grandson. The picture was taken in October 2000 when Blake was 9 mos. old. Mama was so excited to see her first grand child. A day we shall not forget.

Some of you are considering adopting. Mama and I never adopted, however, in addition to our own two children, through the years have had over 30 foster children. One of the highlights we have had is taking 90 day old twins and placing them in the arms of their adoptive parents. That was hard - but God ordained.

If you are considering adoption - trust God. Discuss openly with those who have a say in the decision process. I think the bottom line is having trust in God that you are going down a road that He is walking with you. Adoption is an act of love, certainly He is there with you.

MY daughter and son-in-law are leaving any day now to go pick up my third grand child, Sara, their second adopted child. This last child has been a process that has taken time & patience. One of the key players in this process was my precious grand daughter - Sydney who my daughter gave birth to in 2001.

As they began this process a couple of years ago, my daughter was saying prayers one night with Sydney. Sydney's prayer went something like this; "Jesus, and please watch over Sara too! Amen!" My daughter asked Sydney who Sara was, Sydney said; "She is the girl that you and daddy want to adopt - I gave her a name, so Jesus knows who I am praying for." Sydney was 4 or 5 at this time.

If you are considering adoption, remember, God has one all picked out for you. After all, He chose you to be a part of His family, have you accepted Him yet?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Papa Has a Favor to Ask!

This is papa & mama's newest grandchild - she is 3. Her name
Yu Jing (Sara) from China. My daughter & son-in-law will go to China soon to bring her home, probably sometime between now and the end of February. I Have two favors to request!

1) Pray that the trip will go well.

2) Stop by their blog and let them know you are praying for them. You can link from my blog roll, 'My Family' or just click on blog above. When you get to the blog click on 'Slow Boat to Sara' for updates.

Thanks for doing this for papa & mama and check back on their blog for Sara's adventure now and then! God Bless!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Back to work!

Today was a great day! Mama and I went back to work - as volunteers. We will do this each Friday morning. We have the same opportunity we had last year, assisting ladies and gentlemen that are needing employment look for jobs. We provide transportation and encouragement as we take them to various places looking for employment. Today we took two ladies and one gentleman. The place we volunteer at is THE PATH, you can also link to their site from my blog. Pray for these individuals that they will find work and God's will for their life.

We asked about a couple of gentlemen that we helped last spring and were wondering how they had done. Both are employed now and are out on their own! Praise the Lord! Put us on your prayer calendar each Friday.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

God's Assignment today! Clean the bird feeder

Today I took the bird feeder down, the old seed had sprouted and some of the seed was moldy - it needed cleaning. You see, this was God's assignment today - and I don't even own a bird feeder. Let me explain.

It was the spring of 2005 I believe and a lady friend from church came up to mama and I, all excited, she was engaged and we were one of the first to know. She and the prospective groom were seniors, and were excited and had to tell someone!
A couple of weeks later, the pastor announced after Sunday morning service for everyone to remain seated after the benediction. Then the couple above came forward, exchanged vows, and were married! We all got to participate - what a neat way to start your marriage.

They are quite the couple - even today - but tragedy has struck. At about the same time, 2006, her husband and I started to develop moderate tremors - his advanced faster. His condition was diagnosed as Parkinson's, mine was not. As of four months ago his condition has required 24 hour medical care and he is now in a rehab center. Today I went to visit and pray with him. He sits in a wheel chair - and needs assistance to get in and out of the chair. We are hoping and praying with his wife that physical therapy will make some improvements.

I noticed outside his window two bird feeders - but no bird activity. He had a jug with some bird feed but I decided that the one feeder needed cleaning first before re-filling. I went outside got the feeder and brought it home and cleaned it. Mama and I then went and got more bird seed and went back to the rehab center. We rehung the bird feeder, filled the feeder, and then also refilled the jug. My friend was very appreciative and thanked us. He and his wife love to watch the birds come to the feeder.

This morning I prayed asking God to use me in any way He could - I was His for the day. I think my assignment today was; "papa clean the bird feeder." I Am glad I heard His voice.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Mama said I could!

Mama said I could take you for a sleigh ride! How do you like the sleigh? I think it is beautiful! Just right for two - mama gave me one of our quilts made by mama's mom - it is beautiful, red, black & white - a log cabin pattern. That will keep us warm! Here we go! I already have Amos hooked up, I checked the holdback straps they are secured: "Giddy-up Amos!" Oh my the snow is so soft and fluffy the front part of the runners are throwing snow in our faces! The moon is so bright and the stars are so clear - wow! Isn't God's creation so marvelous?! "Little faster Amos - we have a long way to go and a surprise stop along the way!" Look! There are some geese on the open end of the pond just to our right! I see four - wait, just a little further back on the pond by the river outlet are two swan! The river stays open year round and they stay here. Are they not majestic? Oh the snow is so deep - yet Amos goes so easily through the woods - trees just covered with snow - watch out! Now you look funny with all that snow that fell out of that tree on you head and lap! Look! There are three deer in the middle of the trail watching us as we approach them! They are stomping their front feet! They are breathing quite hard - you can see their breath in the cold air! There they go - must be the sleigh bells on the harness startled them. We are now in an open field - here, you can drive - head for that house in the distance that's where we are going for a special treat.

Well we are here! say hello to Jake, Brandy and the boys; Dylan, Aidan & Owen! - I hope you enjoyed the hot chocolate, fresh cookies and fruit cake! Sorry Brandy, we can't stay longer, it is a long ride back home. - "Shhhh, quiet Amos, I Think our passenger fell asleep! We are almost home!"

Mama And Papa hope you enjoyed your sleigh ride and that you have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Sleigh Ride Anyone??

How many of you have ever rode on a horse drawn sleigh ?? Papa has - and papa has actually hitched the horse to the sleigh and driven. Only one-horse sleighs though. I learned when I was just a youngster - back in the 50's!

I remember hitching the horse for the first time and I thought I was finished and dad said; "not done yet, you need to hook up the two 'holdback straps' ". Now those two straps are important. They keep the sleigh from running into the back of the horse such as when you are going downhill or stopping.

I think God has a couple of 'holdback straps' on papa - maybe the principle is a little different, but He sometimes has to help me hold back - if not I get in trouble. Areas I have to learn to do better at are; my mouth (big one!), sometimes my attitude, getting too busy and not paying attention. Do you need 'holdback straps' ?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

New Family Members

These are new members of mama and papa's family. The top picture is Papa with Russ & Lydia Hutto. We stopped and chatted with them for about an hour at a ice cream parlor. Russ is a media & worship team leader for a church in southern GA. Lydia is a speech therapist for children - a very unique couple. We are definitely family now. They were so very friendly and warm - gentle and huggable. lol

Our first encounter though was with Nanatrish. We met her for lunch earlier that day. What a happy, friendly, bubblie, lady! She has a very unique ministry. She is very excited about her life's profession ! She works for an Eye Bank Organization. She manages the office staff that makes this happens. She says the reward comes when others find sight - some for the first time. Can you imagine?!

This makes 17 bloggers mama and papa have met - when do we meet you? Maybe we have!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

We made it!

We are in Florida! We are still setting up! We got to meet Nanatrish and Russ Hutto & his wife on the way down - will tell more later. Face to face meetings with bloggers is special. Well gotta go - water pump is still needing attention. Mama needs water! LoL We are excited to be here!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Whats wrong with this picture ???

This is my son - on his 1970's Yamaha Enduro that he is restoring - a collector's item. This video clip was taken today - 11/27/08. A few weeks ago this bike would not even run - he has really stripped it down and began to restore it - he got it for less than what he paid for the license plate! When he got it - it was headed for the scrap heap - now it's on its way becoming a collector's item. He knew it had value and could be functional again.

Now, what's wrong with this picture is that white stuff in the background! When he pulled into the driveway to his sisters house this morning the temp was about 25 !! When he left, it had warmed up to about 32! He drove this thing about 12 miles each way !! Fortunately the roads were free of snow and ice!

Now - when Jesus pulled you and I off the scrap heap we had found ourselves on, He began a restoration process that is unbelievable. My dirty old heart sure needed cleaning up, my mind was in a bad state as well. I have seen parts taken off this bike, put into a cleaning solution, soaked (some for several days!) and come out just like new - amazing! Have you got any parts that you need to give to the Master Restorer to clean up - He does an excellent job.

"Lord, please clean me up - I want a total restoration, but is it too much to ask to use me when the weather is nice? What??!! You want to be able to use me at any time ???!! Oh my !! I need to pray some more!"


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Job Wanted!

Have you ever helped someone get a job? Papa has a couple of times. A few year ago "Bill" came by and asked papa to "tweak" his resume' on the computer, scan a picture, and then send it on to a prospective employment agency via email. After several weeks of waiting to find out if he got the job he got that call! Very excited! The only problem now was where would he work? Well, not the north Pole, but close! He is employed at one of the large mall's in the area. He works from noon till closing six days a week from the week before Thanksgiving until Christmas eve. He will go to work today and has been doing this job several years. You see, he is Santa Claus! He loves kids! I even found out that Mrs. Claus has a pretty first name - Martha!

I even know what Santa does in the winter, after Christmas! He likes to head for Florida!

Nope, I never thought I would help Santa get a job!


Monday, 24 November 2008

No Presents for Mama!

No presents for mama this year from papa! Yes, she has been a good girl - mama is the best! But no presents for papa from mama either. Papa's behavior may be debatable.

We have decided we only have things on our lists we would like - not need. My list has about a dozen things so does mama's - but we have decided to concentrate on giving to others who are in need this year. Some of our own family has needs and there are others in our circle of friends that could use some help. Pray for mama and papa that we are obedient to our Savior during the holiday season. You may think this early, however we celebrate Christmas with our family this week. On Sunday we head for Florida.
We will be praying that God will use you during the Christmas season. Have a very Merry Christmas! We love you all!!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Mama's Prayer Group

Mama has a prayer group that meets each Thursday at 10AM at the prayer cottage here on the campgrounds. The ladies bring their prayer requests and then for the next hour thy all join in prayer. Yesterday a lady mentioned the following prayer request. A young married man needs a heart and kidney transplant, has been in the hospital for 6 months waiting. His 8 year old son looked at his father the other day and asked this question: "Daddy, does this mean somebody has to die to give you their heart?! I don't want someone else to have to die!"

What do you say to a child who is trying to sort through life - who wants his dad to live? What do we say to a God who gave His Son to die on a cross - for our sins? I am overwhelmed at God's love for me that He would do that.

The boy in the picture is cleaning up the cake batter bowl. He obviously does not want to miss any. In fact he is getting as close to that bowl and batter as he can. He is not holding back - God did not hold back - He gave his only begotten Son - for you. He wants all of you so you can have life - Are you holding back anything - let His love get in you and all over you - right now!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

My buddy!

I know I have said this before - but this is my best friend, my buddy. What's neat about this picture is where it was taken and who took it! Mama is trying to figure it out - she just got it.

Actually, one person on my blog roll took the picture. It was a good day last April.

Husband and wife should be the best of friends. Yet - mama and I have cherished your friendships as well. We have met bloggers from the southeast to the northwest - fun! But nobody beats my mama for friendship. I have had hugs and kisses twice - just since doing this blog. All from mama. So if you have hugs or kisses for either papa or mama today you will have to stand in line. It would be nice if it was a long line - heh heh! Love you all - have a great day and thanks for stopping by 'our' blog! xoxoxo from mama and papa

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The sun is shinning!

I am looking out the window and the sky is clear! A beautiful day - what could be better ?? Well, let me tell you - the snow could be gone - rather than being 17 degree's it could be 70! I do not like this kind of weather - but looking out the window from inside - it is pretty.

Pray! There are a lot of families and couples that look great, sound great from the outward appearance but are in serious trouble. It just scares mama and papa - are you okay ?? Can we pray for you ??

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Our Church - Our Family

Our church, our family is located 1 mile from our house in Michigan. Our church in Florida is even slightly closer! We like that - you see our church is a major part of our family - which means that includes you! On Wednesday nights, prior to the 7pm service is an open altar time. Mama and papa try to be there by 6:15pm to have a special time of prayer - for my children, for YOU and to have Jesus look at papa's heart one more time.

Mama and papa have always had the church play a large part in our lives. Even as we get into our senior years now we try to be active members in your church. Mama is the best nursery worker! She loves the babies - and we don't have to bring them home! heh heh!

Guess what ?! Our church isn't perfect! Surprised? Well - papa attends there so it couldn't be. Sometimes papa gets caught up in non-essentials of worship and forgets why he is there. But I pray I am doing better - sometimes on those Wednesday night prayer times papa gets the message straight from Jesus. If you find that perfect church, don't invite papa, I will mess it up.
If you find one that's not so perfect? Go ahead and attend, I am sure you will fit in fine.

Tomorrow is the Lord's Day - please take time to worship HIM !!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Life Stories!

Recently I have observed several 'life stories' on various blogs. I would share mine but it really is non-eventful. I was raised in a Christian home with a wonderful family - I never saw my mother or father drink alcohol or smoke - they were great parents. I have never drank a beer, only tasted wine on occasion, the most alcohol I have had has been in cough syrup! We have had our family crisis' and have worked through them. Soooo, papa's life story would be boring.

However, it has been exciting. I have been married to mama longer than most of you have lived, except Tam is catching up quickly (birthday tomorrow - 11/14)! Mama and I have been married 43 years.

Some of you have been through serious crisis' and some are still going through crisis'. As I read your stories, see your lives unfolding, I take them very personally, so does mama. A significant portion of our time in prayer, every evening, is for you - our blogging family. We see this as a ministry - a very personal one. Some of you have visited our home, we have visited yours, we have hugged, wept and prayed together. We have emailed and talked on the phone.

I just wanted you to know that mama and papa care. When we pray for our children, our son and our daughter each evening and throughout the day, we also think of you, by name and whisper that name to Jesus.

If you have burdens and prayer requests, pass them on to mama and I. We care about you.

Sorry, can't give you money, that goes to Amos for hay!

Monday, 10 November 2008

A great Day!

Papa had a great day yesterday ! My 7 year old granddaughter was baptized. Yes papa wept! You see Sydney is a miracle child to papa - a long story. but yesterday Sydney made a commitment and a memory for a lifetime.

Several months ago Sydney asked Jesus into her heart! Now she was baptized! Yep, mama and papa are happy. Our prayer is that we will be a blessing to her on her spiritual journey as long as we both shall live -

Saturday, 8 November 2008

A Long driveway !

Can I tell a story?

One day, at about noon a mother was looking out her kitchen window over-looking the sink. The sky was cloudy, no sunshine anywhere, and there was a slight mist in the air. As the mother was staring out the window she saw a strange car stop at the end of the long driveway. A disheveled young looking woman gets out of the back of the car and begins walking up the long driveway carrying a bag of what must be some of her possessions. The young woman appears to be weeping and begins to walk slowly up the driveway, hesitates, turns and heads back towards the car. The driver, not seeing her turn around, pulls away leaving her standing in the driveway. The woman turns back facing the house - staring.

Suddenly - the mothers heart begins to pound, could it be? Its been several years! Is that my child?? Immediately, before the child can take another step mom rushes out the door, down the long drive and embraces her daughter. Her daughter, sobbing says simply; "mom, I am sorry, will you forgive me?!"

This story, or one similar is found in Luke 15;11-24. This chapter is filled with the love of a Heavenly Father who is eagerly wanting to seek the lost and have them return. What is heaven doing as we struggle whether to return home or not? I speculate the angels and heavenly host are in prayer, weeping for the lost - just as we would for our own lost child. Not with a heart of wrath or condemnation, but a heart filled with love and concern for that child of ours that is not home.

Do you notice that in all three parables in Luke 15 that they all end with rejoicing?!
Even the angels rejoice as a sinner comes home!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

My Savior - Jesus

Hi - this is papa. I want to share with you about my Savior. I did not become a Christian until about 16. I knelt at an altar in a small independent Holiness church and asked Jesus to forgive my sins. As 1 John 1:9 says, He forgives if we confess. My walk with Christ began that day. He has lovingly walked with me helping me each day to draw closer to Him.

The picture is when I was about 3 - it is not a real happy time in my life. My mother had been removed from our home and placed in a TB sanitarium. I never saw her again until I was almost 5. I missed my mom and struggled as a little boy who had lost the person who loved him the most - who had given him life. I felt abandoned.

Christ never abandons us. Regardless of the trials and difficulties we go through, as His child He NEVER abandons us. He is always there trying to encourage and always understands our dilemma's. He loves us with a Holy passion.

My mother returned to our home and was a good mother for many more decades. I remember my mothers last question at the age of 94, almost 95; "Was I a good mother??" I smiled and reassured her she was. She is now with Jesus - no more questions - I pray if she can see me, hear me; "mom, am I being a good Christian ?"

Monday, 3 November 2008

Friendship - nurture it - with your best friend

Is your spouse or significant other your best friend? Your best friend next to Christ? What do you do to nurture that friendship. Here is the list from papa's perspective what you can do to keep that best friend.

1) This may surprise you as #1 but be willing and eager to forgive if you have been wronged. Usually it is me who has done the "wrong" so this may almost be moot for mama. But I have hurt mama, and yet she is eager to heal the relationship! She has always had a tender heart.
2) Pray together - out loud - for each other - to God. This step is so very important. It is very hard to be critical of your best friend when you are talking to God. My prayer usually follows the theme of thankfulness for mama and and help me to be a better mate.
3) Communication - no clamming up! I use to be bad about that! When angry I would clam up! Now we talk - and I need to listen. Try not to say words that are unkind - especially when upset!
4) I try to let others know how much mama means to me - she is the best. I am careful how I tease her, no put downs!
5) Encourage each other - look to make sure the other is okay - pay attention!

Just a few thoughts - (as I was typing this line mama just shouted going out the door; "Bye baby, I love you!" - I just saw her out the window, go by on her bike to volunteer at church. Heh Heh, yep, papa is a blessed man - a great day already! SHE LOVES PAPA !!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Trunk or Treat!

Each year during the Halloween season our church has a "Trunk or Treat" night. Children are invited from all over the area to come to the church for a special fun time. The kids come in a variety of costumes! The first hour is a presentation inside for parents and kids with a spiritual theme - this year we had a juggler do the program. After that we serve donuts & cider plus hot dogs.

After the festivities above they go to the parking lot where all the cars are lined up with their trunks open and ready to pass out candy treats. We had close to 250 children plus parents participate. It was cold the night we had it! We bundled up. I did not wear my wig, too cold on papa's ears - mama did though! We dress up in bib overall's & wigs each year. They have a "Best Trunk" judging contest - we did not place. Next year we will be ready! Come & help us - we would love to meet you! Some have corn stalks, one even had a walk through trailer! Very neat! If you get a chance, stop by, we have candy left over - we gave out packages of "fruit snacks" - somewhat healthy - we think! Hope to see you next year!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

My Favorite Son - My ONLY Son!

You probably have figured it out by now - we have two children, a son and a daughter. This post is about my son. He is single and has a passion for the outdoors. He has been ranked nationally (#1 much of the time) in his age bracket for snowboarding - Border Cross - the last two years. Did I mention he is single ?? He also wakeboards in the summer behind Precious II. He loves to fix up old motorcycles as well. Oh yes, he is single - I think I mentioned that.
He is a professional computer geek - is that a good word? He helps with programming and security system designs. In case you haven't figured it out - mama and papa love our son. Have I mentioned - aw forget it, I am sure I have.

Monday, 27 October 2008

My Favorite daughter - my ONLY daughter!

Meet my daughter - Jo! this is a special picture of my daughter w/my first grandchild taken in 1999. A special day. Just got off the plane from Russia.

I have others, mostly on my blog, that I refer to as my daughter, but that is only in the sense of trying to be a fatherly image - mostly because of my age. JO is my ONLY daughter and I love her very much.

I am guilty of taking that relationship for granted. She knows her daddy loves her, but I do not express that like I should. I am sorry Jo and will try my best not to let that happen from now on. I want my life pattern with both of my children to not be a father who has taken his own children for granted. They are the best and I love them - I just need to show that more. Please forgive me. I love you,

Your DAD

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Honestly Folks!

Roxanne Kristina has tagged me to list 10 honest things about me. Some you may know, some you may not - anyways here goes!

1. I love mama more than my own life - I would panic without her.
2. I wish I didn't struggle with being overweight - its a tough battle.
3. I will get in your face if I have to - I won't even blink!
4. I want to be your friend.
5. If I am your enemy, what do I have to do to be your friend?
6. I am a good horse back rider.
7. I do not have a self-esteem issue - humility? That's a different issue!
8. At times - Don't bug me!
9. Christ is my passion!
10. I know the books of the Bible by memory - do you? Why not ??

Have a great day! Any questions about my list? If so, see item 8! LOL

Friday, 24 October 2008

Let me introduce MAMA !!

Last Wednesday night mama requested at church that we sing the song below. After we sang the song mama stood up and shared a brief testimony as tears came down her face, saying, I want to be like Jesus. How are you doing ??

“I Want to Be Like Jesus”

I have one deep, Supreme desire, That I may be like Jesus. To this I fervently aspire, That I may be like Jesus

I want my heart His throne to be, So that a watching World may see
His likeness shining Forth in me. I want to be like Jesus.

He spent His life In doing good; I want to be like Jesus. In lowly paths Of service trod; I want to be like Jesus.

He sympathized With hearts distressed; He spoke the words That cheered and blessed; He welcomed sinners To His breast. I want to be like Jesus.

A holy, harmless Life He led; I want to be like Jesus. The Father’s will, His drink and bread; I want to be like Jesus.

And when at last He comes to die, “Forgive them, Father,” hear Him cry For those who Taunt and crucify. I want to be like Jesus.

Oh, perfect life of Christ, my Lord! I want to be like Jesus. My recompense and my reward, That I may be like Jesus.

His Spirit fill my hung’ring soul, His power all my life control;
My deepest pray’r, My highest goal, That I may be like Jesus.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

John Deere B - Old!

Here is one of papa's cherished moments - this is a picture of Deb (GodsGal) & I with Deb's tractor. Deb had drove the tractor from her place to Butte Creek Mill for a day festival to put it on display. The tractor is old, over 60 years, maybe even older than papa. It may not be as functional as the new ones, but in its day was very functional and even now has a purpose. If you look closely you can see a trailer behind the tractor - it pulled a load with no difficulty.

Regardless of our age, and the events of our lives, God has a purpose for us being here. Papa is not as strong as he use to be - I have trouble now doing things with this old body that I could do 40 years ago. But my mind is clear (okay, some of you may question that! Be kind!) and I try to be a Barnabas (encourager). As you read this post, regardless of your age, health, skills - always be an encourager. My mom would say; "If you can't say what you want with kindness, don't say it." Thanks mom for being an encourager - always. Papa needs to work on that too! I am trying to pull my load - I just read this to mama - now I am weeping - must be I am getting older than I think. We love you all - please pray for us.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Daughters, Son-in-laws & grandkids!

What a wonderful time mama and papa had! We got meet several blogger families which was the main purpose of our trip to Oregon. God is so good! The picture of the family at the table is Brent, Tam, Kass, Kota. Mama and Papa. Mama is the "hot" one!

The second picture is Deb (Godsgal) and I at Crater Lake, what beauty God has created! Both Deb and Crater lake!

The picture of the group standing in the airport is Roxanne Kristina and her family. She drove down to the portland Airport to meet us and to help papa get his luggage and get to our rental car.

Friends, these are part of your blogging family as well. Pray for them. Each family has life decisions to make, each family is keeping Christ at the center and are doing their best to serve Him where He has planted their feet. We all need to do that.

God Bless!
Mama & Papa

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

New Adventure! Brent & Tam's !!

We arrived at Brent & Tam's Tuesday at 9:30 AM - But first let me mention Monday Afternoon! Mama and I found my best high school buddy that I had not seen since 1961 !!! What a reunion!! Now we are at Brent & Tam's until Friday AM.

Please note - on Thursday PM 8pm EST - go to InWorship's blog (see my blog roll), click on the tab that says "live" and you can "live chat" with us all! We have fallen in love with this family as most of you already have.

There is already a part of mama and papa that is sad - we had to leave Deb & Jer on Monday AM. Not sure when we will see each other again, but our attitude is; "see you soon". On last Friday, when we saw Roxanne it was for only about 30 minutes - and we are now family.

I pray that when Christ returns we will all be together for eternity - so, "See you soon"! Mama and I hate goodbyes !!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

We are in Oregon!

God is so good! We had a wonderful flight and arrived at Debs (Godsgal) & Jer's place last evening. What a gracious family - we feel like family. Deb and I both cried as we hugged for the first time.

My pics will have to wait until I get home. Deb has posted a couple already at her blog. Check my blog roll to link there.

TOday was a blast! We all took part in helping get one of Jer's old tractors down to the Butte Creek Family day here. We had lots of fun. Then we went to an orchard and toured the grounds and even had a horse drawn wagon ride.

I will share more later - right now JER is barbecuing - you wouldn't mama and I to miss that would you ??

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

On the road Again!!

Well - mama and I are back from the marriage retreat! she took to the fine tuning just great. We had a wonderful time - we stayed at the Grand hotel on Mackinaw Island. The movie, "Somewhere in Time" starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeves was filmed at the Grand Hotel.

Mama and I are soon (this Friday the 10th) off again. We are off to Oregon! We are visiting two blogging families over a weeks time. We are visiting Deb & Jer (Godsgal) and Tam & Brent (InProgress & InWorship), links to these blogs are on my blog roll. We are excited, we will meet two wonderful families, worship with them and see a state we have never been to.

We would covet your prayers during the next week as we take this incredible journey. Pray for traveling mercies, a good time and that mama and I are good examples of Christ.

I am not sure if we will post between now and our return or not - but some how I am sure Deb and Tam will keep the events posted on their blogs.

God bless!

Mama & Papa

Friday, 3 October 2008

Celebrate Your Marriage!!

Mama is still sleeping so be quiet when you comment today! I have a surprise for her! She will cry when she gets it!

Today is our 45th anniversary of meeting - we met 45 years ago on October 3, 1963 at noonish in a department store. Mama was employed there and I was to meet her for lunch. The meeting was extra special as we had written each other over 300 letters - today we would finally meet. I had just returned from an 18 month tour with the military overseas.

When she wakes up she will find a (she is stirring - be quiet) box of candy, a nice card and a very personal letter (none of your business!) with the card, all setting on the kitchen counter.

This will probably be my last post for a few days. Sunday we go to Mackinaw Island to attend a conference titled: "Celebrate Your Marriage!!" with Jay & Laura Laffoon, Dr. Kevin Leman & comedian Joby Saad. The celebration will be Monday & Tuesday October 6 & 7.

You may ask, after 43 years of marital bliss, why go? well - mama needs a little fine tuning. Papa has done his best and corrected most of mama's weak areas, but she could use a little fine tuning from the experts! Nothing major or earth shattering, but a little refinement would be good!

She is just getting up now - well, almost - heh heh!!

UPDATE! Sunday October 5th 10AM - Mama and papa are out of here! The fun begins ! We will be back Tuesday Evening - see ya then!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Higher Ground ??

There is an old hymn titled "Higher Ground". Some of the words are;

I'm pressing on the upward way. New heights I'm gaining everyday:
Still praying as I onward bound. "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."

My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay.
Tho' some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

This hymn has been bothering Papa's heart lately. As I interact with my Savior am I seeking higher ground? When I interact with my best friend mama do I seek "higher ground" or am I making sure that I am in control and will not give? Jesus, please help papa to seek "higher ground"!

I watch as fellow Christians are exchanging harsh words, saying hurting words and wonder if I am guilty of the same? I know I have been there - guilty. Lord, help me to trust your leading in my life and "plant my feet on higher ground"

Sunday, 28 September 2008

I dreaded Saturday!

I had been dreading yesterday, Saturday, all summer long. The last Saturday of September is the day papa has to clean up his "toys" and put them away for the winter - Precious 1 (Malibu Ski boat) and Precious 2 (pontoon). All week I was focused on Saturday and was not looking forward to it. It is a lot of work and not much fun - plus it means the end of the boating season. I was happy that most of the work is done by other family members who came to help - Thank you all of you that helped - still I wish the day would never come - almost.

How is your next week looking? Any days that you are dreading because you know whats ahead? Well don't - don't do like I did, you have a greater possibility of missing God's blessing if you are not looking for his blessing. I missed one and didn't even know it - until it was too late. I was going to go with my daughter to pick up pizza and missed that one-on-one 30 minute father/daughter time. I was "too busy" barking orders and worried about time constraints. That evening it hit me - "I blew it!'

But God had another blessing for me and this one I did not miss! Darla had a part in this as well.

At 5PM - after a long day and trying to get the last boat wrapped up, my niece informed me that someone was stopping by to see me. She had heard the discussion a few minutes earlier at another house here on the campgrounds. She did not know who they were but thought I should know. Shortly a car drove up and a man got out who I did not recognize, then a 9 year old girl got out! Tears began to flow - it was Brittany! You will have to go back to papa's older posts (July 21, 2008) to find her story - but papa has been praying for this girl all summer. I had plans to find this girl and give her a Bible. she is living w/grandparents because of "unfortunate" parental issues. I finally met her grandparents - very nice people.

When Darla and her family came on Labor Day they brought a brand new children's Bible with them for Brittany! I had hoped she would be here yet this summer season - but I gave up. I gave the Bible to Brittany's pastor who was here on the camp last Thursday. Today, Sunday, she should have that Bible in her hands! Thank you Jesus! I explained to Brittany that her pastor has the Bible.

That dreaded day you are concerned about? God has some blessings for you that day. Make sure that as you get up that day that you have surrendered that day to him - ask him to help you not to miss the blessings of the day!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Baby Dedication

The picture you see is the baby dedication of my grand daughter - this happened several years ago. The ceremony is when the parents make a public commitment to dedicate the child to God and to raise the child in accordance with God's word.

Last Sunday our pastor dedicated a baby. he asked three important questions.

question #1: Mom, dad - do you promise to do your best to raise your child as Christ commands? If so, answer 'we will'.
Question #2: To the rest of the family - Will you do your best to assist these new parents to raise this child as Christ commands? If so, answer 'we will'.
Question #3: to the church congregation - same question as #2. if so, answer "we will'.

I wonder how I am doing? I have had to answer all three questions. I had to answer question #1 in 1969 and 1971. I had to answer question #2 in 2000 and 2001 - my grand children. Question #3 - still on-going. Yep, I wonder how I am doing? - Wow, I even have a responsibility to your children!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Buckley Elm! She was a beauty!

She was a beauty! she was the National champion American Elm tree. The picture was taken in the year 2000. the trunk was 23' in circumference and her canopy was 112' x 112' - a huge tree, She was thought to be the largest American Elm tree in the world.

Last Thursday I drove by the old tree and was shocked. I had not noticed before but she is gone. She has been destroyed by Dutch Elm Disease (DED) at the ripe old age of over 300 years. Her old trunk is still partially there - but is of no value. The picture here shows her already impacted by DED, her foilage is minimal.

As a child and youth I use to see her often, I lived not too far from her and rode horseback within eyesight of this queen of elms. Now - gone. So sad! As strong as she was and and as majestic as she was standing there in all her glory - disease destroyed this queen. She was known as the "Buckley Elm" and a search on the internet will bring up photos and history. Gone also is my youth and now my struggle to keep my existence on earth begins as well.

Some of us will be fortunate enough to leave a mark in history, but how will we go out? We need to fight the disease of sin and never allow it to take us or our loved ones out. My life and my choices impact my loved ones - God forbid that I let sin in my life be as destructive as DED.
The Buckley Elm looked like it would last forever - however it is now gone. I hope today that I work just a little harder to makes sure my legacy lives on and that I stay Christ focused.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Prayer Request !!

Some times life throws us curves we didn't expect. Jesus sometimes takes us down a new path that doesn't seem as nice as the path we would like to choose. Friends of ours just became first time grandparents - their married child just had their first child born early and the child is Down's Syndrome. This child is God's child as well and please pray that all will adjust to this unexpected new path that Christ has taken them down. He truely loves us. Please pray with these families with mama and papa.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Tornado Warning ! Take shelter immediately!

Most of my blogging family knows that papa and mama live on a church campground. besides all the other facilities here there are approximately 175 homes like ours that people call home. We like it here - love it - we feel secure.

Yesterday at 4:45PM that security was shaken. Suddenly the camp warning siren went off - a Tornado Warning for the area had been issued - a funnel cloud had been sighted. I already had the TV on and was aware of the warning. I wasn't overly concerned, it wasn't that close in my opinion so we stayed on the main floor. Besides the Notre Dame vs. Michigan football game was on. The siren stayed on as a warning for about 20 minutes - after a few minutes it didn't bother me, i just put the siren noise in the back of my mind. I did notice that Carol (blogger CDC Version) was driving her vehicle on the street warning people to take cover immediately. I waved through the front window, I don't think she saw me. Her husband Paul is the director for the camp.

I have heard the warnings before, we have lived here 14 years, no tornado's here yet. I think we can relax. Yesterday is gone - the threat is past.

Kind of like the attitude we have about Christ returning someday. We have heard the warnings, almost like sirens in the background. No rush! No worry - it hasn't happened - yet.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

John Deere vs. Scotts ! Scotts the winner!!

This is a Scotts Tractor Mower! Excellent mower! This mower belongs to our neighbor lady. She is a widow and papa mows her lawn for her. The mower is a 16hp/42" deck - powerful and a good cut. Mows very even - the best I have seen - very comfortable and great quality. I believe it is about 10 years old, I have been using it to mow her lawn 4 or 5 years. It has mowed several neighbors yards when their mowers have been on the fritz - mostly John Deere's. I have also mowed other neighbor yards using at least 4 other tractors - mostly John Deere's and they can't hold a candle to this mower. I didn't even know Scotts had a tractor mower until I saw this one. I was very skeptical about this one until I climbed on and got to use it and see its performance - I was sold very quickly!

We sometimes as Christians think we are the "best". That our denomination is really the one that "out performs" the other. We forget or do not recognize that we are all redeemed by God's Grace. We all started as new babe's in Christ and hopefully have grown in our walk as we have progressed on our spiritual journey. We need to be cautious as we judge others on the same walk - they are more similar than we think. The mower above? Yep, I am judging and being very opinionated. However, if you ever get to see a Scotts mower like the one above, look at the hood. Right under that Scotts emblem it states the following; " Manufactured by John Deere". It really is a John Deere - under the seat it states; "John Deere Model 1642 - use John Deere parts". Some of those Christians we are very opinionated about - guess what - they are redeemed by that same Savior!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

""... Just Like Papa!"

This is papa's Irish Spring Body Wash it has an "8 hr scent system". It works great when taking a shower.

Recently Derek, Scott & Darla's young man that is now going into his teen years, took a shower at papa's house when visiting over Labor Day weekend. He used papa's Irish Spring. When he had finished he remarked; "Now I smell just like papa!" We all got a kick out of that - but then I began to think ---

If Derek took his notebook and followed papa all day - would papa be a good example of what a Christian should be? What would he write in his notebook?? Paul, in God's Word instructs us to be good examples so others would see Christ in us and that if they followed us we would lead them in the proper path. I wonder - am I a good example?

Lets see, I wonder what Derek would put in his notebook if had I stood there complaining to my neighbor about the worship service at church? Music was too loud, No Piano or Organ, way too contemporary for me sounded like "bar room" music. What if Derek heard me complain about the pastor? He just preaches too long - needs more depth in his sermons. Hummm, I wonder what Derek would put in his notebook if I had started my day in a hurry and didn't take time for at least a few minutes of personal devotion time with Jesus? What if Derek would hear me humming all those good ole Country & Western songs all day and not some of those Christian lyrics I hear on mama's radio? Oh yes, one more thing, my TV - what was that program I was watching???

At the end of the day was I pleased that Derek said: "I want to be just like papa!" ?

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Papa's Funeral Arrangements

Well the other day mama started my funeral arrangements. Please - do not send flowers yet! Donations would be fine, but no flowers at this time. Would any of you like to sing a song at papa's funeral? What would you sing?? We will put it in the program - maybe. I did tell mama I would like my casket to at least look like wood. The one mama picked out for papa costs about $1195 - not too bad.

What do you think? Are funeral pre-arrangements a good thing? I am thinking of having Ed and Sir Robert as pall bearers - but not sure where they would take me !! LOL !!

Friday, 5 September 2008

What would you do??

I would like you to meet Jake & Jess with two little ones. I presented this picture to my SS Class about 18 months ago. The question I presented to the class was: "If this couple walked into our church, as a new couple, with these two small children, what would you tell them was necessary to be a Christian?" Answers were varied, such as confess your sins, accept Christ, read your bible, pray, attend church. Mostly standard answers that I would give as well. Now let me tell the real story!

I went to Jake & Jess's wedding in July 2006. Mama and Papa will never forget THAT wedding! what a wedding - outside, they were barefooted, bride wore a wedding gown she got at a thrift store, came in on a motorcycle to the tune of Wild Thing!' She had a garage sale setup in the basement - all wedding gifts went into the garage sale immediately - they wanted cash. Why just cash?

In a few weeks they went overseas to various countries on the other side of the earth to help with aid victims, drug abuse victims and orphans. One incident has to do with the two children in the picture above.

One night a man found these two children next to their mother who was over dosed on drugs sitting on a street corner. The man remembered the shelter where Jake & Jess were at and put them on a bus and began a 2 hour ride with them to that shelter. Enroute the mother died on the bus. When arriving at the shelter Jake & Jess now had two young children and a dead body.
They immediately began trying to find family - no success.

This past Tuesday, Jess stopped by mama & papa's house. As we shared and wept, papa asked whatever happened to those two small children?? Long story short - they are in an orphanage and are waiting finalization of adoption here in the USA! They will have a home here next month if all continues as planned.

Friend, what would you do? You and I have the respondsibilty as Christians and human beings to be at service for Christ. Jake & Jess did not rescue everyone - but they did these two. Pray with papa today that we will be instruments that can be used by the Master.

Jake & Jess are today residing in the U.S. in a large city, serving in their community and both working with people. Jess will soon begin serving as a director for a refugee relief organization. Pray for this couple that the fire will continue to burn!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Marriage Tips plus Mama is cool!

Papa and mama are blessed! I have spent over 43 years married to mama - we are making our marriage work. A great marriage does not just happen - even among Christians. You have to nurture the relationship and cultivate it (keep the weeds out!). Papa is going to give you some suggested tips - take em or leave em!

1. Communicate - share your thoughts about each other to each other.
2. Always be kind - especially as you communicate.
3. Be each others best friend.
4. Take time for personal devotions and pray together as well.
5. Discuss major issues together - finances, family, your own concerns.
6. Take time to romance/date each other.
7. Be physical with each other !! Hug, hold hands, smile, look at each other do not shrink back when the other touches you. Mama and I love to hold hands in church, especially when standing, sitting, praying and singing. Hummmm, thats most of the time in church!
8. Never attack each other w/harsh words - you can never recapture spoken words!
9. Seek counsel quickly if your marriage is not going in the right direction.
10. Learn two new words you may have never used; "I'm Sorry!"

I love you mama!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

The Family of God - My Family

I know this post is not what a lot of people are expecting - but what papa wants to say, papa thinks is important. So please bear with papa.

The picture in this post is MY family. Maybe not bio speaking but heart speaking.

They arrived at papa & mama's house on Friday at 3 pm and just left a couple of hours ago.

I am having difficulty explaining how these two kids, yes the kids (Derek & Trina) impacted our lives. They are part of a Christ-oriented family. These two children were vibrant, polite, happy, respectful and lots of fun. Papa admittedly was nervous that these two "strangers" would be bored and not want to be here - papa was mistaken! They put life into our old bodies (mama & I)! But they will admit that mama was tough to keep up with and that she can keep you on your toes - watch mama very closely playing table games - she is a fun vibrant tough competitor. But back to the kids ---

I am not sure how they did it, but Scott and Darla have developed these two kids into two very special young people. I never heard one word of disrespect - either way, I heard parents giving instruction, and instruction taken and obeyed - with enthusiasm! the kids wanted to be a part of the activities - they did not sit in corners huddled up with iPods stuck in their ears. Papa has not hugged or talked with young people like this in awhile. They were eager to listen and hugged back.

You can get another glance at this family at gchyayles blog as GCH and her hub stopped by papa's house on Saturday to be a part of this family. She has posted some awesome pictures of this special weekend.

For mom's and dad's that read this post, I think there are key words that help explain this family; love, respect, communication, Christ-centered, and hard work. Congratulations Scott & Darla - you have a wonderful family - mama and I love you all! We miss you!!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Great Expectations !

Late in the spring mama and I went to a church youth fund raiser. I got a car wash she got two bell pepper plants - she thought! :o( !! Mama worked up a nice little plot of soil next to the house and planted her bell pepper plants - she had high expectations of nice big green bell peppers. I even think she talked to the plants and I know she whispered a prayer that they would survive and produce nice green bell peppers - did not happen like she thought and prayed for! I discovered the 'red chili peppers' first - broke the news to mama and she was upset, extremely disappointed, and wanted her 50 cents back! Her expectations had not been met!

How are you doing with your expectations? A few disappointments? Remember God is in control! sometimes He "surprises" us with results. Sometimes our children do not exactly make the choices we would expect - however can't we turn them over to God and allow him to take care of the red hot chili peppers?!!

On Friday Darla - Overcomer, Scott, Trina and Derek (check papa's blog roll) are coming to mama and papa's house for Labor day weekend. We are excited! I wonder if they think we are green bell peppers ??? What do you think ?? heh heh!!

Stop by - we may have some nice homemade red hot chili to serve you !!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

God is gonna get ya! Gotcha! Howwwwwlllll !

This is papa's cookie jar! As you can see it is a wolf! Papa is a collector of wolf memorabilia. A friend several years ago got this for papa. I have had fun with it. When you open the lid to take out a cookie it howls - and you are now caught! Have you ever got caught with your hand in the cookie jar??

The funny thing about cookie jar's - when we get caught, usually we are sorry. Sorry we got caught - "phooey! I sure would have liked that cookie!" We are not really sorry for putting our hand in the cookie jar. We are just not too repentant!

I think sometimes we treat acts of sin the same way - we get caught, kind of with our hand in the "cookie jar" - but not really repentant. Our intent was to have that forbidden cookie, but not get caught. the irony is; God knows before we even commit the deed - and He warns ( a silent howl) but we ignore it and continue on. When we get in trouble do we really repent? Do we change our ways? Or do we look for another opportunity to sin - totally unrepentant?

What bothers me is that many a time we see the forbidden cookies and rather than quickly get away from the temptation we start to see how we can get that cookie and how we can get away with it.

No - no - don't do it! Keep your hand out of the cookie jar!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

When I Survey

When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ, my God. All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Words by Isaac Watts - a hymn - "When I Survey"


Please watch the youtube video - God will touch your soul today!

A great hymn of the church!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Keep Out - No Hunting without permission

I use to be an avid hunter - both small game and big game. I have taken white-tail deer with rifle, shotgun and bow & arrow. I was a certified hunter safety instructor at one time for the State of Michigan. One important thing that a hunter does is make sure he is hunting on property that he has permission to hunt. I have on several occasions hunted on private property where I needed permission. I also have owned property that others have had to ask my permission to hunt. Usually permission is granted with some conditions. Such as having a permission slip, times you can hunt, and be sure to close all gates and do not destroy anything.

I have been checking my heart lately - the question I have been dealing with is how much permission have I given God to arrange my life? What can He have permission to do? Anything?What about my health? If I get a terminal disease, and He chooses not to heal me, can He have my permission to work with that to make me a witness for him? Or will I become angry if He does that? What if He needs more of my finances? What will I permit him to have?

My prayer today is Lord, you have my permission to do anything with my life you want to. Help me to serve you better as I surrender completely to you.

Amen - Papa

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Please pray with Papa!

Remember the prayer request I had on my blog? A post I had on July 21, 2008. The following prayer request was submitted on a card at the Prayer Cottage by a 9 year old girl named Brittany. Here it is again.

THE HEAVIEST CONCERN ON MY HEART TODAY IS: "If I am ever going to see my mom or dad. If I'm ever going to really know god or Jesus."

PLEASE HELP ME PRAY ABOUT: "My mom and dad that are both in prison. Me knowing God"

Since July I have been trying to "find" Brittany. I did not know her at all. Finally last Friday I got some information and was able to talk to her pastor. Last night Daizy brought her to see me - I did not know she was here! Papa got to hug her! Just a few minutes ago she came by my house with her friend Rachel on their bikes! She brought mama and I the water lilly above!

The journey with Brittany begins ------ Please pray!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

This place is too noisy - think I will move!

I feel like griping today! This place is too noisy - church camps. Everybody knows my business - I need a quiet place to live!

I just got done with a brief devotion period and read the following - summarized. A farmer was walking around his farm complaining of all the work; a large pond to stock and maintain, cattle to take care of and just too much to do. He decided to sell and turned it over to a realty. Time went by and the realtor called to okay the ad for the farm. The ad read something like this; "A lovely farm for sale in an ideal location - quiet and peaceful, contoured with rolling hills, carpeted with soft meadows, nourished by a fresh lake, and blessed with well-bred livestock." After hearing the ad the farmer said;"cancel the ad, I have changed my mind - I have been looking for a place like that all my life."

On second thought, maybe my life's circumstances are pretty good after all - children finding Christ here - maybe even today. Neighbors that I can trust and would come to my aid in a minute. Yep, I have been looking for a place just like I have.

Sorry Jesus for complaining today, you have really blessed mama and I.

(The devotion I read today was "grace for the Moment - Volume II" by Max Lucado)

Monday, 11 August 2008

Protect the children!

Papa & Mama will have the grand children this weekend - actually for about 4 days. Do we have the responsibility to protect those children? You say 'that's a dumb question!" Pray for us that we do that and that we make good decisions. Let me explain; weather permitting Papa & Mama will take them out on Precious I (papa's pontoon) and let them jump off into the water from the pontoon. They love it! Blake is 9 and can swim - some. Sydney is still learning, she is 7. Sydney WILL wear a life jacket. Blake will not want to wear a life jacket, his parents instructed us that he will wear the jacket. If Papa feels Blake can swim good enough not to wear a jacket then he doesn't have to - right?? After all Papa is in charge now. I DON'T THINK SO! Papa has the responsibility to protect the children and take the more conservative route. We need to be cautious with the children. Blake WILL be wearing the life jacket.

What brings this up? Papa got a call from church for the "prayer chain" last Friday. a child fell off a 'four wheeler' and after falling, the child, was ran over by the four wheeler, was put in ICU, had several broken bones - but will recover okay - praise God! The child was 2 years old! That child, regardless, of age has the right to expect to be secure and protected at all times! Papa cringes when he see's children on four wheelers or riding mowers. Whether you are parents, grand parents or a baby sitter - you MUST protect the children. We need no more horror stories! If I am watching your children you need to feel confident that I am doing the best that I can to keep them safe!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Mama's Story!

I thought today I would just tell mama's story - at least some of it! She was born at home, not in a hospital. In the picture, she is the girl with her arms crossed. Her family lived in central lower Michigan. Her mother was mostly a homemaker as the children grew. Mama spent most of her life on a small farm with a few farm animals including a work horse and a couple of cows. Her dad worked for "Chevy Assembly" in Flint, MI and was also a part-time farmer. Her dad was not a Christian until mama was an older child. They attended a Nazarene church in Perry, MI until I married mama there - and took her away.

Mama attended a one-room country school until she went into high school and that change was very traumatic for mama. She was a quiet girl and the high school was a very large school. Now she was riding a bus to school instead of walking through the country fields and along the country roads. She did have a close friend named Patsy.

After high school mama went to a Christian college - Owosso College for about two years. Shortly thereafter she started working on her MRS degree - I was the lucky choice! We were married in 1965 and have been in love more every day!

The best part of this post? Mama just read it, giggled and gave me a kiss! heh heh!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Mama knows how to pray!

Each night mama and I pray together. I usually pray first then mama prays. Last night we both prayed for rain as it has been kind of dry here. This is how are prayers for rain went:

Papa: "Lord, we need rain, if it is your will give us rain this evening and tomorrow."

Mama: "Lord we need rain, we need it to make things grow, the farmers need it for the crops, I know you are listening to our prayers. and please, have it rain tonight, here at the camp they are having girls camp and they don't need rain during the day (I prayed for rain tomorrow! Whoops!) as it will hamper the girls from having fun with their day activities. Thank you Jesus for listening to our prayers."

Even as mama was finishing up her prayers the thunder started. Shortly thereafter through the night the rain came down. We got a nice little shower last night. this morning the sun was shining. The girls at girls camp are walking around outside, I can see them through the window right now. It should be a nice day today.

Yep, sure glad I have mama. Even if I get my prayers a little screwed up, mama gets it right. Last night I was a little tired I prayed for my blog roll - a few specifics but mostly kind of a generic prayer. But when mama prayed --- Oh my! she rattled off most of your names, kids names too, I was amazed at how well she knows the blog roll! For example, when she came to Robin, she talked to Jesus very personally about the baby she is carrying!

Maybe this isn't a good spiritual thought, but Papa sure is glad he has Mama backing up his prayers! Deb, you have a good prayer partner - she prays for you and your family by names!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Prayer Requests - Please Pray!

I have mentioned the Prayer Cottage before but I thought today I would share some of the requests that have been filled out at the cottage. Those that have prayer requests fill out a card with their requests and the requests are put in a basket. I will give the first name if indicated then their prayer request.

Unknown: My dad passed on the 4th of July and I am just wondering on just where he went.

Nadia: My father to come to know Christ.

Shelley: What is God's call for my life.

Katy: That my dad is okay wherever he is - that he doesn't have an accident or flip-over - he is a truck driver.

Ashlee: My mom & dad won't go to church.

Meghan: My friend has cancer.

Emily: My cousin has a kidney stone - pray for her.

Brittany: My mom & dad are in prison. Will I ever see them again. I need to know God.

Unknown: I don't have many friends - nobody likes me. My mom is pregnant & I want the baby to stay safe & healthy.

Ashlee - Beth: My grandma - mom is about to die - we don't want her to die, but we don't want her to suffer either.

Felicia: That my birth family comes to know Christ. (Felicia is in a foster home)

All the request listed above are from children. That really breaks papa's heart! Each day as I go to the Prayer Cottage I struggle over the requests made by the children. If we could only see a little into their hearts. Please pray for our nation and our families.

Note: Monday the 4th starts Girls Camp - the 18th starts Boys Camp - please pray for these camps.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Embracing Christ - How ?

If you were to ask a person that claims to be a Christian if they "embraced Christ" I would suspect that they would answer in the affirmative. I heard the following quote from one of our denominational leaders: "If you have embraced Christ but have not embraced his mission, you have not embraced Christ." The obvious question is then; what was and is Christ's mission? I have heard people say that Christ came for one purpose (mission) to seek and to save the lost. That may have been his ultimate sacrifice/goal but I think there was more. Matthew 20:28 states;"just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Christ came to teach us how to serve not how to go to church and be served. We embrace Christ when we allow ourselves to be his servants in what ever ways he asks us to serve. Failure to serve is failure to embrace Christ. His mission again is two fold, for us to find him and then to go and serve. We need to help others find Christ, we do that by service.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

My Earthly Father could do Anything!

I have seen a couple of posts recently talking about memories (see Tam, Monday, July 28th, Leg Warmers ...) and relationships with fathers (see Life Adapted - Thursday, July 24th, The Tinkerer). Well I have a puzzle for you - see if you can figure out the solution.

When I was quite young I watched my dad build a go-cart for us kids. My dad was an exceptional welder, during world war II he was exempt from military service as he was an under-water welder working on bridges. Anyways, as he was welding the go-cart - I watched. Now I knew enough not to watch him strike an arc or watch directly at the weld as it could damage your eyes - the flash/light from the welder was very intense/bright so I always turned my head away as he welded - so I thought.

That night, about 1AM I woke up with a painful scratching sensation in my eyes - extremely painful. I came down stairs and woke my dad - he could fix anything - remember? I had "sun-burned" my eyes by catching flashes from the welder. In less than 15 minutes the pain was gone and I was sound asleep! No pain in the morning!

My question for you is; What did my father do to stop the pain?? If no one guesses today I will post the answer in the comments Thursday morning. Or if I get 30 comments I will give the answer after the 30th comment!

Monday, 28 July 2008

I want his eyes and respect!

This past weekend I attended a horsemanship clinic by Clinton Anderson. There were about a 1000 people in attendance. Several horses that had problems were brought into the arena and Clinton discussed how to eliminate the problems then began working with the horses to correct the behavioral issues. Theses were horses he had never seen before. Some horses had fear issues, others were just head strong. He insisted that ground work (working with the horse with a lead rope) is essential before you get on the horses back. He insisted that when the horse stopped that the horse must keep his eyes focused on the trainer. He further went through exercises to teach the horse to respect the trainer - when the horse learned to do well he was assured with approval by the trainer. Almost all horse problems are not really horse issues but handler issues. Once you have their eyes focused on you and gain their respect the problems disappear.

If I don't keep focused on Christ then I start to experience difficulties in my spiritual walk. Christ wants us to focus on him - but He doesn't force us to. Clinton forced the horse to keep his eyes on him. He would pull the horses head toward him when he would lose focus. Clinton took the horse through several exercises to teach the horse to respect his instructions. The horse learned quickly. Horses are amazing animals that learn fast. We tend to ignore spiritual instruction sometimes, we fail to pay attention - and show a lack of respect. Papa needs to keep his eyes focused on Jesus, pay attention and give him my respect so that I can follow him as I should.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Good Bye! or See You Again - Soon!

I hate separation! I just hate it! I have found family in Sweden that my family did not even know existed. I found them in 2002. Since then they have come to the USA twice to visit Mama and papa and we have been to Sweden to visit them. We do iChats quite often. Our families were separated from 1881 until 2002 - almost 120 years! What a day of rejoicing it was when we first hugged each other in August 2002! We have become close family. We hope they will come and visit us again in Florida this winter. When they go back to Sweden papa will say; "Hope to see you again - soon!"

In the past two weeks, Mama and Papa have attended two funerals of very close friends. Both were wonderful Christians and were too young to go! Both near the age of Papa. But what was exciting was that it was not goodbye but rather see you soon.

It bothers Mama and Papa that some that comment on our blog we will someday say goodbye to. That stinks! We wish we could say to you all; "SEE YOU AGAIN - SOON!"

By the way - Mama and Papa will be gone tomorrow - Friday until late Sunday evening - hope to see you all again - soon!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Pray for Brittany!

Papa went to the Prayer Cottage this morning and was deeply troubled. At the Prayer Cottage there is usually a stack of prayer request cards that can be prayed over. Today I checked the mail box by the door of the cottage and found several new prayer request cards. I would like to share the one written by Brittany a child - I do not know her - here is her request in her words;

THE HEAVIEST CONCERN ON MY HEART TODAY IS: "If I am ever going to see my mom or dad. If I'm ever going to really know god or Jesus."
PLEASE HELP ME PRAY ABOUT: "My mom and dad that are both in prison. Me knowing God"

Papa is broken today - I will carry this burden deeply through the day. Pray for Brittany and other children who are dealing with issues of separation from family.

Many of you who read papa's blog may have family separation issues, papa and mama will be praying for you today.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Why are you going there?

I have just finished a terrific week walking with God. I really tried to do my best to listen to all He told me and where He took me. The Camp Meeting Bible studies each day were tremendous!

I am not sure that mama and papa have ever went to a movie theater together. We just never made that a priority. We have watched some movies here at home and have a few DVD's - mama likes the comedy's, papa watches westerns and some others with a moral theme. Do you go to movies? Do you take your family? Children? Do you go anywhere the "Adult Content" is not appropriate for children?

I ask that question to get you thinking about where you go and who do you take with you? Somewhere this week it really dawned on me that since I have been redeemed and justified with Christ the Holy Spirit is in me and goes wherever I go! Then I think of all the times I must have grieved him where we went or even the conversations I participate in. I now listen for his voice better; "Papa lets not go there, that grieves me!" or "Papa, those words are not what I like to hear, we need to leave or share better words." You do know that the Holy spirit uses your body for a dwelling place - right? Where are you taking him today? He is right there - talk with him and try your best not to grieve him. He is a wonderful companion!

One other thing - Husbands and wives - your conversations with each other, are they pleasing to the Holy Spirit? You are one - with the Holy Spirit. Mama and I are praying that as a Christian spouse - the Holy Spirit enjoys that dwelling.