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.