Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas from Mama & Papa!

Mama and I want to take this time to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have had a tough year in 2010 in some ways and yet our Savior has been there to help us through the rough spots. We are doing fine now and looking forward to 2011.

Our prayer for 2011 is that we will be His servants and that He can use us and that our hearts and minds will be obedient. Pray for us.

Part of our concern for 2011 is health concerns. We are both doing "fine" but we are approaching our 70's very quickly. I struggle with some moderate affects of Parkinson disease but refuse to let it slow me down anymore than I have to. But I am also learning my limits.

Mama has been my partner now for 45 years. We are halfway to our goal of 90 years together - we think we can make it. So, In 45 years, 2056 lets have a big party if we make it - okay??

God Bless !! And again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! What do you think? Is Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus a real part of Christmas? Is there room in this holiday season for them?

A couple of good questions to ponder. Do they really fit and if so - how??

I think they do. If somehow they were removed from Christmas I think we would lose some of our Christmas festive spirit. It is a part of the season. If Christ were walking around, in the flesh, I think He would want to help us spread good will and cheer through the season. I think He would decorate, I think He would have a tree. I think He might even sit on Santa's lap and encourage Santa. Maybe I am wrong, but its my blog.

Christmas priority is the Christ child and the activities surrounding that. But if your moaning and groaning over the other aspects of Christmas and not spreading good will and cheer - you are closer to the Scrooge side.

Curious, if I am wrong, and that Christmas should strictly be about the birth of our Savior, born on December 25, 0000, tell me, how did they celebrate Christmas on December 25, 0001 ? I would like to know.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! I know, we still have two weeks until Christmas. I hope that the next two weeks will find you smiling and getting excited about the Christmas Holidays. That means no complaining!

Listen to your words, even your thoughts. Christmas is a time of joy and gladness. Not a time to complain and protest. If the school or mayor's office refuse to display a nativity season, put one in your yard. Even a nice one in the window helps. You can still wish people "Merry Christmas!" Smile when you do!! Give generously this time of year! Get excited!! And most of all be sure to remind people about the Saviors birth - after all, it is "The Reason for the Season!"

Monday, 6 December 2010

We Are Blessed!!

Mama and I are blessed to have two church families. The churches are 1200 miles from each other. The picture to the left is the church up north, Michigan. We attend this church from late April until the end of November. The other church is in central Florida and we attend that church from December until the latter part of April. Our ministry involvements are different in both churches - but each church has a priority to serve the community outside their doors.

And yet the church is a close knit family. The year 2010 was a "difficult" year for mama and papa. We suddenly found both of us struggling with cancer. Mine was skin cancer. I was told, "If you have to have cancer that is the best kind to have." For some reason, that was not too reassuring. Mama's cancer was more serious, requiring surgery with 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments. Both churches rallied around us with prayer, cards and phone calls.

Both of us have been attending church since we were children. It has been a major focus of our lives. The church has been a place to worship, to serve our community and to draw ranks when the family is in need.

Have a great day and week serving Christ!! Pray for us as we pray for you. We are doing fine and serving our Lord.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Good Morning Florida!!

Yep, we are now in Florida to keep warm!! However, it is chilly this morning. The white in the background is beach sand, not snow!! Today's high will be 60 by noonish. We are glad to be here. Its 7AM and the sun is already shining and it stays lighter longer as well!

Started the day with prayer, praying for many of you. Trying to make prayer a real focus of my life. As Max Lucado says, "Pray first, pray most".

May God bless you today no matter where we live. Make Christ your focus - whether your standing in white beach sand or snow. However, I admit I prefer the beach sand!!

Monday, 22 November 2010

I know, I need to work on my Prayer life.

I like this picture of our Universe. When I think of God I think of this picture as if it was God's eye and He is watching me. I know its probably not God's eye, but He IS watching me - and listening for my prayers.

It is only 8:30AM and already we have received several urgent prayer requests. I have prayed for them as they have come to my attention and will be praying throughout the day.

Max Lucado states in his book 'Out Live Your Life' that we need to pray in earnest. More often than not my prayers are whispered as they cross my mind.

Mama is a genuine prayer warrior. Prayer is an important part of her life - I know because I see her in prayer often throughout the day. I believe that prayer is important as well - but I just need to live that more than just saying that!! I WILL Be praying for you !!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Pray Without Ceasing !

I Thessalonians 5:17 says that we should "Pray without ceasing." A very short verse but one that has a terrific challenge. It does not appear that this is just a "ho Hum" kind of challenge but one that requires strong action.

My ESV Study Bible suggests "a mental attitude of prayerfullness, continual fellowship with God, and consciousness of being in his presence throughout each day." Wow! I need to work on this.

Do you realize God has to answer our prayers? He has no option. He cannot refuse. Read Matthew 18:19. But we have to do our part - we have to pray. If your "prayers' are hollow, hurried, kind of "oh by the way ..." - that's not what He is looking for. Read Acts 12:5 - 17.

The scripture above is one of the funniest stories in the bible. It really is, from start to finish. But does show you that God hears us when we are earnest in our prayers.

Max Lucado in his book Outlive Your Life, asks, when is the last time you were on your knees, begging, cajoling, pleading, pounding your fists on the floor, even shaking your fist toward heaven, confessing and reconfessing every sin and reciting God's promises as if God needed to be reminded. "Our passionate prayers move the heart of God" says Max. I really need to look at my "ho hum" prayer life!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Christian? What's that?

Are you a Christian? Lets rephrase that a little. If you were in a crowd listening to a speaker and he said, "If you are a Christian, would you please stand to your feet?" Would you stand?



Lets rephrase the question again, "If you believe you are "Christlike", would you please stand?" Humm, did you struggle getting to your feet? Did you look around to see who is standing? Our pastor introduced this thought the other day and I, like others, struggled with a response. If we are Christians are we not Christlike? We should be working towards being more like our Savior each moment of the day. Admittedly we fail at times, Christ did not, but I don't think that is what He is asking of us. We are 100% human - He is God's Son - perfect in every way. He gives us a pattern to live and strive for.

The picture above shows a man giving comfort to what appears may be his wife. Do we fail to give comfort when we could? Is that Christlike? Comfort is one of those things we can do. There are other things we can do as well. I remember when mama had her 33 radiation treatments - daily - a 35 minute drive one way each day. I was able to go with her all but 1 day. That was a comfort to her.

How are you doing with the stranger? How about your spouse? Children? Are you being Christlike? Lets take today and start being more Christlike - I know mama would like that. Maybe next time I won't hesitate to stand.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Fishing - A time to relax!

I like to fish. Its relaxing. Just about every place I have lived I usually could find someplace to fish. I have fished in many states and Canada. I even fished off the shores of the Island of Crete. I have "solved" many of a problem while fishing.

Fishing is difficult for me now. My tremors in my right hand are too severe for me to tie on a hook or even put a worm on a hook - lucky worms. i was going to try and fish this past summer but never got there. I live by a lake and have a pontoon and all the equipment, just couldn't get it together to make it happen - disappointed.

Life requires adjustment. We see some of those coming. Other times we get blind sided. This summer we got "blind sided". Mama had a run-in with Cancer which required mama to have 33 radiation treatments in a 7 week period after her surgery which was June 1st. She is fine - clean bill of health. But, we adjusted.

Now we await for what lies ahead as we go down the path that God has laid out. Pray for us as we walk down this path that we are obedient to His leading. We want to be good followers.

God bless you as we all journey together - it is a great life!!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Prayer - sometimes not answerable!

Today I have been struggling with prayer. I have been trying to figure out how to pray a prayer that is not answerable - its too late. So some how I have to rethink this prayer thing. What to do.


My HS class of 1961 has their 50th reunion next year. We had 18 in our small senior class. Until yesterday we had located 17. Now we have located the last one - George. However, in 1975 he died. How do you pray for a man's soul after he has been dead for 35 years ?? I don't think you can. Its too late. His course for eternity was set on that last breath he took sometime in 1975. He started his eternal journey 35 years ago. I have no idea where that journey has taken him - regardless, he is on it. I have found myself whispering a prayer today that God has mercy on his soul. The problem is that is done - its over. George has made his choice. Frustrated. George was a good friend in High School. I never saw him again after graduation. Our paths went different directions. He had a difficult life - very difficult - various foster homes right through high school.

Maybe this should be my prayer; "Lord, I may not be able ask you to have mercy on George's soul today, but help me to do my part to make sure my loved ones and friends make the right choices in life. Make sure I never forget this important task you have asked us to do. If George left a family behind, I pray that you help them on their journey on earth. If one of my blogger friends have contact with his family - remind them we were called to be witness' for you. AMEN"

Monday, 25 October 2010

Condemnation VS Consideration

When Susan and I go trail riding off the stable property we have to trailer the horses. To date we have never had a major problem. Amos and Izzy load very good. A horse does not like getting into a trailer - It is unnatural. It is confining and a horse knows if he is confined he can not escape danger. It is a "dangerous" place for a horse to be. They have to learn to accept this condition.

I have seen horses beaten, shocked, hollered at, threatened, jerked around, abused by whatever means. Basically frightened and condemned into compliance. They had better load or else! Not good.

Amos loads fine. He would "prefer" not to, but it is okay. He sometimes will start in, then back out. I reassure him, then start him again. I usually take the lead rope lay it loosely on his back, lead him by the halter close to the entrance of the trailer, let go and he walks up into the trailer.
No hands on him, no striking him, just encouragement. He is anxious to please. He just gets a little nervous at times - its a frightening place to be in.

When your friends, family or others are scared, frightened or balk at something you think they should not be afraid of, what do you do? Do you encourage? Or do you condemn ? I too often condemn. I need to be an encourager. Lets see what we can do with encouragement this week - okay?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

When we fail to Trust!

A couple of days ago Amos failed to trust me and as a result we had a close disaster. I was physically injured in the process - but not seriously.

We were heading down the same lane in the picture and Amos starting getting up on edge. The horses on the left & right were running in their pastures nervous - Amos was not sure why.

Just minutes before this a work crew, headed out to work on the trai,l had walked through here - carrying rakes and other hand tools laughing making noise. I was trying to catch up with them - Amos could not see them or hear them. When we got to the woods he could hear them in front of him but could not see them. He froze! Finally I convinced him to move forward at my urgings - reassuring him. Suddenly he spotted someone with a rake and the leaves were flying!

Amos whirled and bolted full canter back towards the barn. When he whirled unexpectedly, I lost footing in one stirrup and between me trying to recover and trying to slow him I began falling more out of the saddle. I was getting him slowed and finally as he was almost stopped I rolled to the ground. It was a soft landing and he was stopped when I hit the ground. I did injure my hand with a rope burn - severe - trying to stop him.

I remounted, and we went back to help the group. He was still nervous, but we both did fine.

When we fail to trust those who we should trust - we get in trouble. The results can be serious. If you know that God is leading your life, you must trust! Do not bolt and run - if you do, not all is lost, start over.

There may be serious consequences as a result of failing to trust, but we go on. We recover.

I have to go - mama needs to change the bandage on my hand. Amos and I will ride again, Monday.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Trust

This is Keops, a great trail horse. He died some time ago. when this picture was taken in 2006 he was 27 years old - good health, lots of experience but near the end of his life expectancy. This picture was taken only the 2nd time ever I had ridden him - he really did not know me well as a rider. Yet he performed flawlessly - until we got to this stream.

He was hesitant to step into the water - he did not trust my urging to go ahead. Who is this new guy on my back? What made him go ahead? Several things.

First, he was learning he could trust me. I had been kind, had not asked him to do anything that I knew he could not do, and he had been at this stream before. Horses have a problem with stepping into water - they have no depth perception. Keops wasn't sure if his next step was into 6" of nothingness or stepping off a cliff. He is not trying to drink, he has his head down trying to figure out where his next step is going to take him.

There is another reason why he is stepping out - trusting my urging. In this picture you are not aware, but he watched two other horses cross the stream in front of him and they were just a few feet in front of him on the other side - and they had made it, waiting for him to cross.

How are you doing trusting your Savior to lead you? he will do a fine job, you can trust him. Others have crossed those same deep streams that are in front of you, they have made it, and are urging you to step into the water and trust as well. Go for it!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Are You Prepared For Today?

The picture is of Susan preparing to get ready for a trail ride with Izzy her beautiful registered Quarter horse. We had a great ride
that day - we were prepared and everything went off without a problem.

Scripture: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

Preparation

When I take Amos for a ride I always spend time in preparation for the ride. When I climb on his back to begin my ride for the day I prefer no surprises, I know before hand that he is ready for the ride.

Amos meets me at the paddock gate when I begin my approach. I watch closely as he comes. Is he alert? How is his gait? Is he limping? After we come out of the paddock I take him just a few steps and then look him over closely for any obvious injuries. I brush him down right there, letting him eat fresh grass. He loves the preparation time. I check his feet over. After about 15 minutes we head for his stall. He likes that as well, he always finds a treat in his manger. Again I look him over and then check over my riding equipment. After putting on the equipment I walk him to the inside riding arena and recheck my equipment. Then I mount, take a few minutes to ride in the arena then I begin my planned ride for the day.

I love the verse above! God is preparing something for me! Maybe it is something that is going to happen today! For sure he is preparing a place for me in heaven. Do the scriptures in His Word indicate I need to make preparation as well? I think so.

Prayer Thought: Lets see, what can I do to prepare me to meet God today?

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

"Outlive Your Life"


Max Lucado has a new book out entitled "Outlive Your Life". A small group of us last evening started a group study of this book based upon the first 12 chapters of the book of ACTS. The emphasis seems to be "You were made to make a difference."

I do not think you an I really grasp this. We seem to think its some specific task or accomplishment we we have to do that we can point to and say, "There, I have accomplished that. " Sorry, I think rather it is a lifestyle of service to Christ. When you get up each morning, our focus needs to be on service.
I am in the process of writing a daily devotional book. I decided this morning to pull up my devotional I wrote over a year ago for today. Here it is. I think it fits.
September 29th

Scripture: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

Purpose

For me, Amos and I have two purposes. First purpose is to trail ride, and secondly to have fun. That’s why I purchased him. I tried a couple different horses before settling on Amos as the horse I wanted. I wanted a horse that knew how to walk and not have to be up on edge all the time. Amos walks, and relaxes on the trail, which makes trail riding fun. Accomplishing that purpose is what makes me eager to go out and see my horse.

God sent His son to earth with a two-fold purpose. First, Christ came to earth to serve, not to be served. We miss that and even his disciples missed that. Christ wanted us to learn to serve and not be served. The purpose of Christ coming to earth that we quickly see is His second purpose, coming to be a ransom for many. The challenge for you and I is to make sure that God’s purposes for His Son are accomplished in our lives.

Prayer Thought: Jesus, I know you came as a ransom for my soul, but also help me to serve others as you want.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Divine Appointments today?

September 22nd

Scripture: “Now an Angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south …”

Acts 8:26

Divine Appointment

Now this may seem to be a strange topic “Divine Appointment” when it comes to discussing horses – but maybe not. Lets see what we can do.

I sincerely believe that my time on horseback has resulted in some Divine Appointments. First, a Divine Appointment is a “planned meeting” by God where he wants you to take a specific action, my definition. I have been trail riding with Amos when discussions of the scripture and/or Christian living have been discussed with other riders. This may sound like a strange time to have these kinds of discussions, but I don’t think so. These were appointments for me, given by God.

You and I need to walk through our day asking God to show us any Divine Appointments He may have for us. We do not want to miss them.

By the way, if you read the complete story above, Acts 8:26 – 39, the man from Ethiopia was riding in a chariot. I suspect that horses were pulling that chariot – in fact I envision a team of two beautiful black Arabian horses. Oh, I wish that could have been my appointment!

Prayer Thought: Jesus, any special plans for me today? Maybe I will go for a horseback ride – tomorrow, first full day of fall.

Friday, 17 September 2010

I Don't Understand !!



I like this picture! I see several things. I see mama who is my life - and yet in the vastness of our amazing God's creation she seems so small. Yet, He cares for her and me as well. The pinnacles rise to the skies and seem almost endless and yet my prayers go beyond the pinnacles.

But as I type this a first time mom has given birth to her first born - excited, a grandma traveled many hundreds of miles to be there - and yet unless God intervenes this child will be with Jesus shortly - why? As awesome as our God is and all the things He can do, it is moments like these that frustrate me. I do not understand. But I serve a wonderful God who is weeping with all of us at this time. I believe He is STILL in control of this vast universe - even if I do not understand. Please pray for this very young family.


Note: Early this evening, Friday, little Marshall went to be in the arms of Jesus. Please keep this young family in your prayers.

Monday, 13 September 2010

God's Creation!! Definitely Intelligent Design!



As you look at this picture you can not help but be amazed at God's Creation and Intelligent design. This picture was taken Tuesday, September 7th in the Badlands of South Dakota. I think the colors are amazing !! As you look at how the grey tones glisten in the blue skies you can see God's handiwork. amazing. Then if you notice even the pink colors as they highlight the background - true the pink slacks were not "manufactured" by God - but they do highlight His creation - and yes, the Blackhills are spectacular too.

Did you think I was describing the Blackhills?? No, rather mama. She is the spectacular image in this photo - grey hair and all.

We tend to forget that of all creation, God was more interested in man than He was of anything else He created. Man He wanted for fellowship, not just something to look at. Only man was "created in His image". How are you doing today fulfilling God's desire for you? You are His creation highlight!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Road Trip!


Monday I get to take the little girl above on a nice road trip through the upper midwest. We will start in Michigan then go to Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, upper peninsula of Michigan, then down to home. The two of us have not been on a trip like this by ourselves in years. We are very excited - so, we will see you when we get back.

Did I mention that the picture above was taken over 60 years ago? She still has that smile! I love that little girl!! XO (for the little girl)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Fire! Fire! Fire!



I hate - fear - fires. They are vicious and deadly, plus very destructive. I have had bad experiences with deadly fires. I have watched them destroy homes and even been to fires where loved ones have lost their lives. Our reactions tell us to flee a burning fire - but we sometimes make foolish decisions to return - go back in.

At work one time we had a major fire. We lost the entire building, but evacuated over 750 employees. I was responsible for the decisions made until the fire departments arrived. I actually had to lock the doors to keep people from going back in! One employee forgot their car keys and wanted to go back in and retrieve their keys. I posted one of my employees at the door just in case someone was still trying to get out.

Horses have a fear of fire. If in the wild, they will try to put distance between them and the fire. If domesticated, a horse may try to return to their stall - for security, even if the barn is on fire. Actually willing to put their bodies at risk.

We sometimes return to the same sins that have beset us in the past. You would think we would learn or use good judgment - we don't always do that. But we have a heavenly father who still forgives our foolish choices. I am so glad He comes into that burning barn and leads us out - now STAY OUT!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Child Prayer



Have you listened to children pray much? If you listen between the lines it is mostly about security. They want to be safe and loved. They grow physically and emotionally on love and safety.

We as adults need to nourish that and protect that. Mama and I have 2 children, a son almost 41 and a daughter 39. They still want love and safety from mom & dad.

Some of you are single parents - we pray for you even more, you have double duty.

Today we will not physically be with our kids. We may SKYPE (Video chat) with our son. When we hang up we will say, "We love you son! See ya soon." I think that is the way Jesus feels when we "SKYPE" with Him. I wish Jesus would setup a Facebook page!

Friday, 20 August 2010

In sickness and in health - till death do us part



On July 10, 1965, 45 years ago, I looked my bride in her face and stated my wedding vows - I meant it then, and still do. Have I made bad choices since then, yep. Have I abandoned her? Nope! I love mama very much. I look at all the times I have screwed up and I am thankful we stuck it out.

In May mama was diagnosed with cancer. Did we know that was going to happen when we got married? Not even a hint. But as I look back I am so thankful she never gave up on me or that either left the other. She needed me more than ever the past couple of months. Yesterday as we headed home from her last radiation treatment she looked at me and said, "I am so glad you have been by my side through this!" We squeezed each others hand, and a tear or two slid down my cheek.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Relay For Life - Red Bra Lap!




Friday at 1PM I walked in the Red Bra Lap at the Allegan County East Relay For Life Cancer walk. I had a blast!

If I understand it correctly, there was proposed Federal legislation that would have allowed insurance companies to not pay on cancer screening costs. There were many demonstrations by women wearing red bra's to bring awareness to the pending legislation. The legislation was defeated. Mama had a mammogram in May and cancer was detected and removed - stage 1, undetectable except for the mammogram that caught it.

Some local Relay For Life Rallies have included a Red Bra Lap as part of their relay festivites. Yep, I participated with about 150 other walkers.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Relay For Life !!



This Friday & and Saturday Mama and I will be walking with Peter and the rest of our team at the Cancer Relay For Life walk at the Allegan County fairgrounds here in Michigan. I will be walking as a representative of our team at 1PM Friday the 13th. At 2pm they will walk a lap in costumes. Lots of festivities until noon on Saturday. Come join us! especially at 1PM on Friday - I could use the support. Did I mention the lap at 1PM is entitled the Red Bra Lap ??

Friday, 6 August 2010

Tina !



Mama and I met TIna Monday the 2nd of August coming through the registration line for Girl's Camp. She was very scared and sobbing, stayed glued to mom & dad as she registered for camp. She wept openly, did not want to be here. Found out she was much of a loner and did not attend her local church very much. I believe she will be in the 6th grade this fall.

Mama and I are "Grandpa & Grandma" at Girls Camp this week - today it closes. Well, how did Tina do? It was very slow to start with. She was a loner the first day - very scared - no smiles. Grandma said good night to her every night, we hugged and encouraged her a lot. By Wednesday she was smiling and doing very well. It may have been the Teddy Bear grandma gave her on Wednesday night. Yesterday, she came to me big smiles, arms stretched out for a hug. She played the girl games as she stood in line for meals and even talked/listened about the importance of having Jesus in her life. She will go home today a happy camper! It was a great week!
1
We love you Tina

Update: Friday 4:30PM !! Mama and I stayed at the last "Checkpoint" as the campers left today so that we could say goodbye to them as "Grandma & Grandpa". One of the last vehicles was Tina and her parents. Tina was sitting in the front seat and as I leaned over to say goodbye, we both began to cry. She unsnapped her seat belt and we hugged through the window sobbing. Yep, it was a great week. See ya again Tina.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

We were not designed to backup!



Scripture: “For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall.” Psalm 18:29


Back! Back! Back!

Seldom have I observed a horse backup on its own without a rider or trainer coaxing it. If a horse finds itself in a place where it has to backup it is usually not by choice. Horses want to be able to run, escape or get away. They cannot see behind them so backing up is something they try to avoid. When a horse backs out of a trailer it is not a very graceful sight. They can’t see where they are going, usually the last step out is traumatic and yet at our urging and coaxing they do it. Amos backs up when I urge him to but he does not do it gracefully at all. He would prefer to go ahead and just re-circle or try another approach.

I don’t retreat very well either. Yet, I find myself going ahead without paying close attention to my Lord and find myself in big trouble spiritually. I say things that are inaccurate and have to “backup” and correct what I said. I am even learning to ask for direction and admit when I am lost, which is a relief to my wife. The less we have to backup, the better. How are you doing?

Prayer Thought: Jesus, as I go forward today, help me not to get ahead of you. I really would prefer not to have to backup.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

How is your future looking?




Scripture: “For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18

Future

I am not sure what the future for Amos the horse I ride is. I know that he has to be cared for as long as he is alive and that includes many more trail rides. His health is good even as he is starting to approach his senior years. However, someday he is going to die and be buried without much fanfare. Oh I will miss him and think of the good times we had, but basically, unless God has some other plan for animals, Amos’ usefulness is over. In fact, if I am still riding horses when that day comes I will just get another horse.

Not so for you and I. God’s ultimate plan for us is still somewhat of a mystery. This time on earth is short compared to our time in eternity. I do hope that horses are part of the eternity picture but if not I know that my Savior has great plans for us. One thing is certain; we shall “worship the King of Kings.” I am excited about God’s plan for us and I am planning to be there. How about you? Maybe we can even go on a trail ride together. See you later.

Prayer Thought: I am thankful for your Word, which promises a future with you Lord.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Default!!



I have a new iMac computer! I love it! As you can tell I spend quite a bit of my time on my computer. One of the things I like is the ability to "Default" some of the settings. For example, when someone sends me a web link I have set my computer to open up that link into my "default" browser - Google Chrome. I also use Firefox and Safari web browsers. But right now Google Chrome is my default.

When I open up up any of the three browsers my default homepage is my facebook wall. Cool! I like this default feature.

Are you a Christian? Do you claim to be putting Christ first in your life? Is it fair to assume then that when your mouth opens up with conversation that your conversation "defaults" to Christ? When you are sitting with friends or family - where does your conversation go to? Does it default to a Christ centered conversation? I don't know about you, but I have to work on this!!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Courage!



The picture above looks fairly normal. These are two of my three grand children - looking at something in anticipation. They are curious, looking up, and yet seem relaxed. Notice that they are also wearing some kind of harness.

In just a few minutes they will climb a 40' staircase up a tower, hook up to a zipline and step off - for the first time. How did they get the courage to do that??!! First, many family members encouraged them. Then, they prepared, they put on harnesses. When you face tough times you usually get lots of encouragement - but do you prepare? There is no way they would go up that tower without a harness!

We prepare for tough times by reading God's Word, Prayer, counsel with others - getting spiritually fit and prepared.

By the way, they both went down the zipline!! Cool!!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Trust & Obey


The past several weeks the Lord has been talking to me about Trust & Obeying. I am not sure why, maybe because of mama's current fight with cancer. I don't know. I believe I am trusting, and I certainly want to be obedient. Pray that I see what God wants to write on my heart.

I thought of this picture when I thought of trust. I put my grand daughter Sydney up on Amos' back. I believe it was the first time she had ever been on the back of a horse she trusted me. Even her dad and mom trusted me as I hoisted her up. She was relaxed and not scared - even though this was new. She didn't fight, she was obedient. How are you doing as God puts you into new situations? Trusting I hope.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

He really does care!!



Scripture: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more value than they?”
Matthew 6:26

This scripture boggles the mind. Do you realize that the God that created this universe created you and me, wants to makes this relationship thing personal? I do not understand that very well. I do love His varied and colorful creation. Needless to say I think my horse Amos is an extra special part of God’s creation.

What is amazing is how He created the horse to be such a wonderful special creature. The beauty of a well bred and cared for horse is beyond mans creative mind. I wonder what a horse would be like if designed by a man. I think we know that, kind of, the automobile. It serves a wonderful purpose, yet is very impersonal. Amos, is not only functional, but has feeling and a mind of his own. Created by a wonderful God.

And yet, as wonderful as Amos is, God considers us “… more value than they?” God created us to interact with Him. If that premise is correct, and I believe it is, He does care for us. What had to be hard for God was giving us a spirit of “Free Choice”. He wanted someone to fellowship with, yet He wanted us to choose. He created us, turned us loose and gave us the freedom to choose or reject Him.

Prayer Thought: This is the day that I am going to use to fix my choice on Him. We will fellowship together.

Monday, 21 June 2010

" Live Intentionally"


Fathers Day I sat in a Bible Study and a new term came up that caught my attention. The term was, "Live Intentionally". I began thinking about my daily activities and the need to stay focused on the things God intends for me to do today. There is another phrase this morning that my son brought to my attention that I need to be aware of, and alert to. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Soooo, somehow I need to sort through both of those statements. If I start out with a plan that is God ordained, I had better stick with it and finish it. I already have some "intentions" planned and on my list today. I guess I had get started. So far I have some already done. Like this blog post.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

You Have No Choice!!




The title of this post is contrary to the title of my blog - kind of. I have made the theme of my blog "Choices R Mine", which implies that you always have a choice. Well, I am wrong. There are somethings that we have to do without any choice. One of which I want to talk about - serving Christ. If you profess to be a Christian, you MUST serve, it is not an option you choose, it is not a choice - you serve. Somehow, somewhere.

If you choose not to serve, you do not answer to me, but you will answer to God. So, get with it.

Mama and I started working in the nursery here 15 years ago. We are still doing that. WE do it each Sunday now - early. We arrive each Sunday AM before choir practice so that Choir members can drop off small children and then be able to attend choir practice. We serve so that others can serve - now that is cool!

Some of the kids we have had in the nursery here are now having high school graduation open house's! Mama, do I really look that old? Our son is now in his 40's! And yet I still have to serve! Oh my! "even so Lord, return quickly."

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Adams Place For Kids - Trail Ride



Today, Susan and I Trailered 2 horses to northern Indiana to participate in a benefit ride for Adams Place For Kids. We were part of a group of riders that rode to help this program for disadvantaged kids.

It was a long day but lots of fun. I got to ride Amos for a couple of hours and that is always a pleasure for me!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Laundry is done - for now!



Well, mama is doing great! Me, I am having my moments! Mama got her pathology report Friday and all of the "Margins were clear". That is what we wanted to hear and the lymph nodes were clear as well. We see the surgeon for a followup appointment tomorrow for a "checkup" and all seems to be healing as expected. God has been so good to us. I was able to share with a bank manager (A lady I had never met) about God's goodness. He has been so close to us.

I pray that as you face difficult times in your life that you seek God's presence and peace. And, that you use those moments to encourage others as they watch your life.
God bless and keep mama and papa in your prayers!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Mama had her surgery!



This is what mama does best! She loves babies! We both work the nursery every Sunday through the summer months. Mama had her cancer surgery yesterday - it looks like mama will be doing this for many years to come! Praise God! Her surgery was a great success. She will probably go through a series of radiation treatment as a precautionary treatment.

It is 7AM here. Mama has been awake since about 3AM, me about 4:30AM. No, it is not because of pain but more about praising our Lord. We have been playing Christian music, answering emails, facebook, and my blog. AND PRAYING! Mostly prayers of thanksgiving and praying for many of you with the personal requests you have given or we have observed.

May God bless you as you serve HIM!!

WE love you all!
Papa & Mama too!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Snuggle Up!



I love this picture! I see several things. I see a mother snuggled up closely with her daughter. Her youngest of 5 children. She loves them all but this is a special time with "Katie". You see, each of her children have different names. When she has to call for her, to get her attention, she calls. "Katie!" Now if it is serious, requiring immediate attention, she uses, "Katelyn!" That is serious - I heard her use that once - it got my attention as well! You see we were out on a narrow pier, with deep water all around us, dangers that Katie did not recognize. But mom was there. One time Katie jerked her hand loose from mom's tight grip and started to move closer to danger. Mom screamed, "Katelyn!!!" - she froze she recognized that voice tone and froze and mom took her hand again.

Kind of like our relationship with our Savior! Do you know His voice? He does snuggle close - DO NOT jerk away!! He DOES know your name.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Just a routine day

Today, May 24, 2010 is set to be mostly a routine day. Nothing really planned. Deb will be visiting and we will have a great visit - but nothing really super planned. I think today we will just all relax and chill out. Ahhhh, what a nice plan.

July 10, 1965 was NOT a relaxed quiet day! It was our wedding day! Mama was busy all morning long The ceremony was not until 2PM! I Went crazy, I was by myself until church time. I was probably 15 miles away from the church, by myself in the home that mama and I had already purchased.

Now it is 45 years later - as you have read our "life story" off and on through these several years of blogging, this year will go down as not so "routine". Even the question "is this the beginning of the end?" rolled through our minds - we are human. But today, things look good and we will be busy with planned activities - but probably relaxed.

Having a relaxed day sounds good - but be careful. Always stay alert to the Holy Spirit as He guides your life. Look for those "Divine Appointments" that may just be lurking. It may be a phone call, it may be someone stopping by, a stranger on the street or in a checkout lane. Will you be looking or just relaxing thinking "this is my day."? It is HIS day.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Bad News! I have to do the house work!

Yesterday, Thursday we met with the surgeon that will do mama's cancer surgery. The surgery will be considered out-patient and we should be out of there by 1PM. My question to the lady surgeon was, "When mama gets home she will still be able to do her housework - right?" She looked at me and said, "NO! SHe can't do anything including dishes, laundry - nothing for 90 days! We ladies have to stick together!" I think I have been setup!! Bad news!!

Mama will have surgery on June 1st. The surgeon says the tumor is very small. A minimal stage 1 tumor caught very early. They do not think the tumor has spread they will do tests and check at the time of the surgery to be sure. We were very pleased with the report and give God the glory and praise. Plans are just to remove the tumor, no major radical surgery. We feel God has blessed us.

Friday, 14 May 2010

My Bride!

This is my bride. We renewed our vows last year. It was a very precious time. I almost passed out and had to sit down while up on the platform. It was too emotional of a time for me.

This July we will have been married 45 years. We have had a great marriage (I think we both agree on that!) but not without its moments of crisis' like most marriages. But we have grown through those tough times and have both been willing to learn and adjust as the years have gone by.

Do you know what is special about this picture - to me? It may surprise you, but it is her veil. You see that is the veil she wore on our wedding day on July 10th, 1965, 45 years ago. The veil is a little darker, yellow tint, age has taken away some of its original color. What is amazing is that mama has not changed at all, well a little prettier now.

Today life is getting tougher. This past week we discovered that mama has cancer. Treatable, but serious. It can not be blown off. It is not something I can fix. I can't walk away and not deal with it. We must. There have been times that mama has asked for my help, maybe simply ask me to listen better and I walked away. Through the years I have been learning and listening to mama and my Savior better. This is not my marriage, it is OUR marriage now. It is not mama who is just in trouble now. It is just as much me, she is my life. If I could I would grab each of you by the shoulder, husband or wife, and look you into the face and simply say, "How are you doing with your best friend?" I know some of you are single, maybe a single parent, but I would still grab you by the shoulder and ask the same question. You see mama is my best friend - almost. Jesus is my very bestest friend. So, how are you doing with your best friend?

Monday, 10 May 2010

My best friend!

This is my best friend. I have lived with her for 45 years. Right now she is in "trouble". I don't cope with that very well. Today she had some not so routine medical tests. I do not like that. We believe that all is okay, or at least "fixable".

We now have to wait for test results, a couple of days, and then take whatever steps the results dictate.

The good news is that we have a God who is already at work on this issue and has it under control. We are trusting Him. Well, mostly, I have my own thoughts on what He needs to do, but I guess He decides that - right?

We would still covet your prayers and will keep you updated as we hear anything.

Mama is a very special lady - one of a kind and I am the only one who gets to be her very best friend!!

UPDATE - Tuesday 7:30PM May 11, 2010 : Mama's test came back positive tonight. Now we get together with Specialist to determine a plan of action. We would appreciate your prayers. We are fine!!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Praying For Healing for Mama

James 5:13-15
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Tonight, Wednesday May 5th, at church, Mama and I went to the altar at church where the pastor and several others knelt with us and prayed. The pastor led in prayer and anointed mama with oil.

Mama was advised today at the doctors office that they want to do more testing Monday and that after that within a couple of days we will have test results. We are not worried, rather we are trusting God, His healing power and His directions for our lives. We do not like the "unknown"anymore than the next person but God already knows so that is good enough for us.

In the picture is also Peter. He is doing great! Kind of! He has good days and some not so good days. He has Leukemia but is in remission right now. Over a year ago he had a bone marrow transplant. We will join Peter in August as part of his team in a Cancer Awareness Relay Walk.
I have said this before, but just in case you haven't heard, Cancer Sucks!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Being your best is optional - Really?!

Scripture: “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16

My goal is to make Amos a great trail horse. However, if he just does a fair job at it and gets everything I taught him about half right that will be okay. If when I go out to catch him he comes to me most of the time that’s okay. If I have to spend hours catching him some days, I understand, Amos is probably just having a bad day. I will just let him slide. Of course when we go to load him in the trailer and he kicks at me or fights to stay out of the trailer, I will allow that occasionally. He may just not feel like going for a ride in the trailer, after all most of the time he does okay. Then once we get where we are going with the trailer and he gives me fits sometimes trying to put the saddle on him and kicks me, I just brush myself off and get up off the ground and say; “that’s okay Amos, your still a great horse!” All I have to say is, will somebody please buy this horse! I would not even claim ownership to a horse that would not be consistent in his behavior.

God does not want us marginal either. The verse above is just plain scary and blunt. If I don’t get it, I had better wise up soon. God does not want me to be a marginal Christian. He expects me to be an “on fire” Christian. I certainly do not want to be a bad taste in His mouth. When I start making excuses about things He wants me to do or just seem to busy, I had better realize that God wants me 100% committed to His service.

Prayer Thought: Lord, is that you I hear gagging in the background? Sorry, I didn’t think what you asked was such a big deal. Forgive me please!



Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Children

I get a kick out of that picture! However, I got it with a series of pictures of which the title was, "Where is mom?"

I remember as a little boy I was without my mom for several years during the ages 3 through about 7. She had to remain in a "TB Sanitarium" for one stretch of 2 1/2 years and then home briefly and then gone again. I missed mom.

Mother's Day is approaching fast. My mom has been gone since 2003. My father since 1980. I miss them both. Yes, I am now an orphan.

Moms, your kids need you. They need your love, care, and attention. Be a hands-on mom as much as you can. Moms & Dads need time by themselves, I know that and try to help with that. But stop and hug your kids, listen to them, know what they are up to. If they grab the skate board, it might just be a good idea to see what they are up to. I have distant memories of mom and dad crashing out the front door of the house as I was screaming or making some "noise"with something that just didn't "sound right". I survived okay - I think. But that may be debatable!

Mom I miss you! Many would still say to my mom, "You need to check on that boy of yours!"

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Home! Part 2 !!

We are home - again. We are blessed to have 3 homes. I guess where we are now is our summer home. We live in Michigan 7 months of the year. We love the summers here. The picture was taken about 6 blocks, 5 minute walk from the house. We decided to go watch the sunset on Indian Lake.

Our winter home is in Florida. We spend 5 months during the winter in Florida. We love it! We feel blessed to have the 2 homes. Both very different, different set of friends, 2 different churches, we love both. We do different things in both locations to serve Christ.

But we have a 3rd home we haven't seen yet - our eternal home. Lots of unanswered questions there. Will mama and I be together there? I don't know. I hope so - we have been together here for 45 years in July. Hopefully lots of years to go - either here or in our eternal home.

Hope you stop by and visit someday. Anyone of our 3 homes.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Home !!

This is a picture of our Florida home. It is a 2 bedroom, double bath, central air & heat 14x56 ft mobile home. We love it!! This picture is 4 years old - I need to take a new picture. But not much has changed. I look forward to going "home" to Michigan next week, but then we have to leave this one. Next fall I will have the "urge" to get to Florida once the cooler air starts biting. It seems I am always longing to go "home".

I am almost 67. I have Parkinson Disease, I have now had a bout with skin cancer. I sometimes now find myself getting the "urge" to go "home". I know my Heavenly Father already has a date established for me to come home. I wonder when that will be??

How are you doing?? Have you got a date established yet? Or are you still trying to decide where you want to go? You only have two choices ya know. By the way, I am not trying to rush going home, I am in no real hurry. Besides, I still want to ride horseback this summer. Now if I could take a horse ............

Monday, 12 April 2010

Smile ! Please ?

Our pastor here in Florida preached a message recently that really hit me hard, and hopefully has changed my life style. Please pray for me that I really get this.

He asked a question, "Do you really think that God looks down on people and smiles at them as they walk with Him?" I thought about mama and know in my heart that God is really pleased with her total commitment to Him and I could not see God do anything but smile as mama walks with Him.

Then the pastor asked the question that hit me hard. "If God looks down at us and has a loving heart, and smiles at us as we try to serve Him, why do we have a hard time smiling at them?" Wham, suddenly I thought about the criticisms I have sad to mama, the things that she does that I let upset me, the stupid things I say that pick at her or hurt her.

Mama, please forgive me! I love you very much, you are my best friend and I need to "smile" more at you. You are the best Christian I have ever known. I know Jesus smiles at your walk. I pray that I will smile more as we walk together serving Him. Mama, you are my best friend, I am sorry.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Saying Goodbye -

Today was a tough day, but yet, a good day. My friend Paul, who is in a nursing home is now in Hospice care. He is alert, talkative and able to sit in his wheelchair. Seems to be pain free.

I met Paul seven years ago. At the time he was single. A year later he married Nella. They were both excited and mama and I attended their wedding. Within 2 years (2006) Paul developed Parkinson disease, I was already being affected by Parkinson myself. However, Paul's bout with Parkinson was taking a heavier toll. By 2008 he was placed in a nursing home, struggling to control movement of any kind. This past week he was advised by his medical care group he would be getting additional care from Hospice. His body is building with fluid faster than it can remove it - not good.

In December 2008, I put a bird feeder outside his window. It is in a good location and has a good variety of birds stopping by. Today was no exception - except for what happened when a pair of mated cardinals stopped by. Spring is in the air and the female is certainly getting ready to lay her eggs and raise her family.The male let her have full access to the feeder and seemed to be keeping other birds away as she fed at the feeder. He stayed on the ground and fed there. Then something I had never seen before happened.

The male cardinal flew up to the feeder tray from the ground, opened his beak and fed his mate the choice sun flower seeds he had found on the ground. Then he returned to the ground and repeated this activity several times. Paul and I just stared as we watched the male Cardinal take care of his mate.

I reminded Paul that God is watching over each of us and cares for us as well. I am so thankful that as my days go by that I have a Heavenly Father that watches over me. It also reminded me of how important it is that we watch out for each other. God bless.

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Master's Touch!

Today I took the grand kids and my daughter to LeAnn's Art Studio. We had a fabulous time! LeAnn, a close friend, showed our family how she takes a rod of glass that looks like nothing, puts that glass under an extremely hot open flame, and then changes it into a design that she has in her mind. We watched as she made two different kinds of Christmas tree ornaments. I noticed on her display table several Christmas ornaments for sale. Several were similar in style, yet each was unique maybe with just a little different twist, or maybe a little longer. We were amazed watching the "Master" at work. We purchased several Christmas ornaments, a glass princess standing on a sea shell, and a set of snowmen ear rings for my daughter. Sara got a necklace made of two glass candy korns! Blake, my grandson ordered a free standing dark blue fish that will have red spots !! Cool!! She will make that next week and I will deliver it to Blake when we go back to Michigan later this month. Yes, it was amazing to watch the Master at work!

I was thinking this Easter Season that the Master (Christ) has not only came to redeem us from our sins but He wants to mold our lives to serve Him. He looks at each of us and has a unique/design for each of us. Sometimes He puts us through the fire and we don't like that. And yet, as I look back at the times He has put me through the fire I was able to learn from it and move on. Yes, it is amazing to watch the Master at work.