Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday Prayers July 13

Good morning and thank you for sharing the work of prayer this week. 

Several years ago my health was so poor that I could not do very much at all.  Most of my time was spent in bed or in a wheelchair.  Mr. Marvelous would go to work every day, work for hours driving all over the state, then come home to help Jr. finish up the housework of the day.  It was very humbling to not be able to do the work that I wanted to do.  However God had other work for me to do in that season; the work of prayer.  It is interesting that God gives us the gift of that oh-so-important work when we are not able to focus on other things.  We have to choose whether to wallow in the frustration of not being able to do "our" work, or to focus on the joy of doing the work He gives us.  The work of prayer is a gift that He often gives to those who are at their weakest both physically and mentally.  How many times have you visited with an elderly friend who laments, "I just can't do anything any more and I feel so useless!".  As God's children, let's be quick to remind one another that the work of prayer is invaluable.  Encourage those around you who are feeling useless; remind them of the great work God has for them in the times they are not able to do much else.

As you pray this week, please remember the following:
  1. J.R. has finished chemo and is doing well!  As much time as was spent in prayer for this man, let's spend time saying "Thank You!" for the results.
  2. Nancy continues chemo.  Please pray for her endurance.  
  3. Rather than give you the long list of those who are battling cancer, please focus this week on praying especially for Maria in her struggle with the disease.  Pray for many moments of joy in the middle of this.
  4. Pray for little Ryland who is having multiple health problems, and for her mother.
  5. Please remember the many people who are grieving great loss of life over the past few weeks.  Pray for the families who have lost loved ones.  Pray for the families of those who took those lives.  Please pray that as God's people, we will be instruments of grace and mercy and peace.
  6. Pray for families who are struggling with the effects of various addictions.  Some are new to the struggle, others have been in the battle for decades.  Pray for endurance.
  7. Beth is having hip replacement surgery today. 
  8. Pray for each other, that we would be bold to grab the opportunities we are given to share the Gospel with those we meet today and through the week.
  9. Remember the children and families who are getting ready to start college in a few weeks.
  10. Pray for your pastor!  Pray for your pastor!!  Pray for your pastor!!!  And please remember his family, too.
Thank you again for your work of prayer.

God's peace to your hearts and homes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday Prayers June 22

Greetings prayer warriors.  Thank you so much for your continued and faithful prayers, even (and especially?) when I am not here to write anything.  Life has done some changes on me recently, pushing blogging down the priority list.  However I am figuring out how to make life fit and reorganizing priorities a little, so hopefully I can be a little more consistent with things.

I have been thinking a lot recently about being bogged down by the weight of my sin.  I can lie in bed at night and re-hash sins from 40 years ago and still cringe as I think about them.  We are taught about confession and repentance.  We are taught about the work that Jesus did to cover our sins.  Yet we often overlook an important aspect of the Christian life.  We often fail to receive that forgiveness and recognize that Jesus not only took our filthy rags of sin on Himself, He also gave us his clean, shining robe of righteousness.  The devil loves to see us bogged down in remembering our old sins.  When we give into that, we are surrendering not to Jesus but to him.  I am working this week on changing those mental habits.  When I wake up in the night and start rehearsing the old mistakes and sins, I am reminding myself that yes, those things happened and yes, they were bad.  However I have been forgiven, and those things no longer have hold of me.  If I try to do an end-run around the sin and start worrying about the people who may have been wounded or offended by my sin, I remind myself that they are in God's hands and He can handle those wounds much better than I ever could!  This I am not able to do in my own power; it is only done through the power and strength of the Spirit of God.  You know what?  He is a part of me and has freely given me HIS strength.  

I think there is a lot more that can be said about this topic, and about the shame and guilt to which we tend to surrender.  I'm working on getting those words in order.  But in the meantime, please remember that acceptance of forgiveness is an important part of living the Christian life.

In your prayers this week, please remember the following:
  1. Nancy resumes chemotherapy this week.  Please pray that this goes well.  Pray for strength of body and soul for her and for her family.
  2. Gingie, Ashlee, Cindy, Debbie, Maria, Tiffany, Sandy, JR, and Ben are also battling cancer.  Please pray for each of them, not only for the health of their bodies but of their souls as well.  Pray for their families.
  3. Baby Ava had a heart procedure earlier this week.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, for her health, and for all her family.
  4. Jim, Missy, Chase, Hazel, Rose, Phyllis, Chris, Rylan and baby Lucas each have some serious health concerns.
  5. Please pray for the Lewis family as they adjust to life without their Baby Ava.
  6. Pray for the children getting ready to go off to college (and for their parents!).  This is such a crucial time of life with so many life-altering decisions being made.  Pray that they will not be persuaded away from the Gospel of Jesus.  Pray that they will not compromise on eternal issues.  Pray that they will be instruments of God's grace and mercy and peace.  And please remember to pray for their parents!
  7. Many denominations are meeting over the summer in Assembly, Convention, or whatever your church calls it.  Please pray that these men will not spend time in trivial diversions, but will focus on the work God has for them to do.  Pray for wisdom, for unity, for strength.  And please pray for the families back home, that God will continue to protect them body and soul.
  8. Pray for your pastor!  Pray for your pastor!!  Pray for your pastor!!!  And please do not forget to pray for your pastor's family!!!!
 As always, thank you so much for your continued work.

God's peace to your hearts and homes.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

Sharing because Wally asked me to.

Gentlemen, being a man, a husband, a father is not an easy task.  We ladies want you to know we recognize this and we honor you for doing it so well.  You have great responsibility placed on your shoulders.  You are called by God to lead your families, to love us as Christ loved the church (that would be the church for whom He died).  You are told to protect us both spiritually and physically.  When God tells you through the words of the Apostle Paul to love your wives, he is also telling the women to be lovable; but even when we are not very lovable (and that happens more than we would like to admit), you are still called to love us.  When Paul tells women to honor their husbands, he is also telling you men to be honorable.  He then goes on to tell the women to submit to their husbands.  That authority carries such responsibility; it means that you are to be men to whom we can submit.  Not tyrants, but loving, caring, honest ~ and at times firm in truth ~ men of God.

Your work is not easy.  Somehow you are to balance caring for the health of your own soul, caring for the souls of the wives and children God has given you, and caring for the souls of your church family.  It means you are to be a man who loves your family, often juggling the responsibilities of elderly parents and hurting siblings along with your wives and children.  You protect us, you provide for us in your daily occupation, you share the glory of God and His kingdom with your family, your church family, your work family, your neighbors.

We ladies are called to support you in our prayers and in daily encouragement.  We try, we really do, but sometimes we are not very successful.  Yet you keep on going, keep on leading, and keep on loving us, not in your strength and ability but in the strength and ability of the Holy Spirit.

You need to know that we recognize the work that you do, the responsibility that you shoulder.  We are grateful for you and for the work that you do.  We thank God for you.  We treasure and value you.  Thank you for all that you do.  Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for leading us.  Thank you for the Dads you are.

Thank you especially to these fathers who have had such influence on my life
and my family's life.

Gordon Reed and four of his five.

Alfred Akin and his beloved Dan.

Mr. Marvelous
Roy Theodore Reed

Col. Robert Newton Clark

Robert Reed
John Reed

Rev. Fred Zoeller

Clark McNutt

Rev. John Douglas McNutt
 Matthew Clark McNutt


Rev. Daniel Leavengood

and of course, Wally Bromberg.
Thanks Wally for the encouragement.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Wednesday Prayers June 1

Good morning and thank you for your continued prayers.  Even when I am not able to post!

In my reading this past few weeks I have been going through the book of Psalms.  Over and over King David adjures us to give thanks and praise to God.  I realized as I was reading that giving thanks and praise is not just a matter of an action on our part.  It is a description of God (you knew I was going to work that in, didn't you?). 

God is worthy of our thanks.  
He is worthy of our praise.  

That grabs me and makes me sit in wonder for a few minutes.

As you pray through our list today and this week, pray that those on our list will be reminded that God is worthy of thanks and praise.

Thank you for praying for Baby Ava.  For 178 days she was given the gift of a loving family.  She was given the gift of ministering to people around the world.  She was a picture of the precious gift of life.  On May 19th little Ava died.  Please pray for her twin brother Sam.  Please pray for her Dad and Mom and her brothers and sisters.  They chose to love her completely, knowing that the cost of that love would be great pain when she died; and they knew that pain would come sooner, rather than later.  Ava was loved by many, many people.  They will all feel that loss.  God will impress your hearts with different people for whom you may be praying.  As we work together to pray, the needs will all be covered.  If you would like, her mother wrote about the end of Ava's life here.  

In other needs this week please remember the following:
  1. Denise and Caleb need particular prayers today.
  2. Please pray too for Dana and her three girls.  For young widows with young children, summer can be particularly challenging.
  3. Cindy is struggling with terminal cancer.  Thank God for the good days and for her reliance on Him.  Please pray for continued spiritual health as her physical health deteriorates.
  4. Missy is a young woman who has been having heart problems requiring a lengthy hospital stay.  Please pray for healing for her, for wisdom for her doctors, and for strength and peace for her Dad.
  5. Please remember Rachel in your prayers.  She struggles daily with intense seizure activity and a host of other physical problems.  Pray too for her parents.
  6. Wally had a heart attack last week.  He is recovering, but please pray for strength and grace for him and for his family.
  7. Gingie is undergoing chemo.
  8. Pray for those struggling with addiction.  Pray for those who are suffering but not yet struggling.  Pray for their families.
  9. When you are out today and this week and see police officers around you, please remember to pray for them and for their families.  Be bold and stop right there and, if the situation permits, pray over them.
  10. Pray for your pastor!  Pray for your pastor!!  Pray for your pastor!!!  And pray for his family.  Remember to pray for your pastor's parents, grandparents, and other loved ones.  Often we forget that spiritual attack is sometimes centered in their extended family.  Those attacks can be a heart-ache and a distraction for your pastor.  Pray!
Thank you again for your continued work of prayer.  It matters!

God's peace to your hearts and homes.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Homestead Update

Mr. Marvelous and I recently celebrated seven years up here on our little homestead hill.  It has been a wild ride at times, but we continue to be thankful for what God has given us.  Stewardship of this land and home is very important to us; this is not our homestead, it is God's.  We desire to use it for His glory and honor.  We believe that God is honored in our actions, but we also believe that God is honored in our enjoyment of His creation.

Several years ago Mr. Marvelous gave me a bluebird box.  We had seen one or two bluebirds flitting around, and we had high hopes of lots of little bluebird babies to enjoy.  Year after year they would come, they would look around, and then they would leave.  We never had any babies. 

This year they came back.  We noticed that this time Papa Bluebird was spending a LOT of time flitting back and forth, almost as if he were bringing food for Mama?  Over the weekend Mr. Marvelous was working out in that corner of the yard and called me to come and see:

Do you see the nest in there?!

We will keep watch for babies and try to grab pictures of them to share with you!

It makes me think of this:

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love that from our birth,
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

May you find joy in His creation today!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday Prayers

Greetings and thank you for your continued service of prayer for God's people.

I am reading in Psalms this week, and I found some descriptions of God that I wanted to share with you from Psalm 9.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, 
A stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name put their trust in You,
For you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples His deeds!
For He who avenges blood is mindful of them;
He does not forget the afflicted.
Psalm 9:9-12     

I love the comforting descriptions we see here:
  1. God is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of trouble
  2. God does not forsake those who seek Him
  3. God does not forget the afflicted
As you pray for the following needs this week, please ask God to remind these people that He is their stronghold, He does not forsake them, and He does not forget them when they are afflicted.

  1. Kate has been battling brain cancer for several years now.  Please pray for her and her family.  I'm including a link to their latest update so you can, if you like, better know how to pray for them (you may have to create a Caring Bridge account to see this.  It is safe to do so).
  2.  Gingie is having scans this week to follow up on her cancer surgery last year.
  3.  Please pray for others battling cancer, specifically Nancy, Sandy and Sandra (who had her last chemo treatment on Monday!)
  4.  Pray for those getting ready to graduate from high school.  Pray for wisdom, for perseverance of their faith and for no compromise as they walk out into the world.  And pray for their parents, please!
  5.  Pray for those getting ready to graduate from college.  Pray for wisdom about the next steps in life, for perseverance of their faith, and for no compromise as they walk out into the world.
  6. Please pray for Baby Jude, who has been sick since 10 days after he was born last winter.
  7. Please also continue to pray for Baby Ava who has been having multiple physical problems since birth a couple of years ago, and the other Baby Ava who was born with severe congenital brain problems a few months ago.
  8. Baby Ace has done so much better this past couple of weeks that the doctors were able to remove his feeding tube!  Please pray for continued improvement, for wisdom in dealing with his heart issues, and for his sweet parents.
  9. Please pray for John.
  10. Pray for your pastor!  Pray for your pastor!!  Pray for your pastor!!!  And please also pray for his family!
Again, thank you for your continued work of prayer.  
It is important, and God is pleased with the prayers of His people!

His peace to your hearts and homes.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Further Adventures of Jack South....And The Rest of The Gnomes

Our gnome family has grown again in the past month. 

I was at Aldi's recently where I found this little fellow.
He looked so forlorn stuck in a box with plastic frogs that I had to rescue him. 
He said he was so grateful he would make it his life's work to welcome all who come to our house.
Especially gnomes.
But not plastic frogs.

I wasn't sure what his name was, and he was a little reticent.  So I had my friend who speaks fluent gnome give him a call and see if he could find out.  

Turns out his name is Jo-Jo.  

 No, I mean the gnome's name is Jo-Jo.

Just like my friend who speaks gnome.  

Yesterday Mr. Marvelous was home from the office, so he was working hard to get the yard cleaned up and the garden planted, weeded, and generally tidied up.  

I decided to take the boys out for a photo op.  

Oh, the hi-jinks!

Their poses were typcial.  

Jo-Jo was in his usual spot:
Marky was chilling in the hammock:
Sam took his nifty little spade and started "helping" Mr. Marvelous:
And Jack?
Jack struck a noble pose and oversaw everyone else!

It was a little hard to get good pictures at first.
They were just so stiff!

But after a bit they loosened up and started running around like...
...well, like feisty little gnomes.

They had a round of Hide and Seek in the corn patch
Sam was "It"
but when it was time to hunt he could not put his spade down long enough to go look.
Can you find Marky?

Jo-Jo got tired of waiting

Jack was nobly patient

After that game, they went exploring. 

They found a dead tree.
Jo-Jo wanted to make sure the birds knew they were still welcome.
Marky and Jack were cool and noble, respectively.
Sam dug a little trench around the roots "just in case".
I'm still not sure "just in case" what.

The boys also found a wood pile.
Sam actually quit digging long enough to climb a tree!
Jo-Jo wanted to make sure the chipmunks knew they were welcome.
Jack and Marky were noble and cool.  Respectively.

We went into the garden part of the front yard where the boys found
 Sam dug a path for the monster to follow.
Jack and Marky were noble and cool.  Respectively.
Of course.

And Jo-Jo?
He made sure to make the monster feel welcome.

The boys were getting tired by this point, so we started meandering over to the front porch.

They found the Scarlet Honeysuckle.

And of course, 
Jo-Jo was welcoming,
Marky was chill,
Jack was noble,
And Sam dug a little trench for his roots.

Just then we heard a LARGE noise!  You thought that first monster was monstrous??

Oh no, it did not have anything on what we found next
Now that is a monster!
The boys got busy.
Sam dug a trench of defense.
Jack was nobly unafraid.
Marky was cool about the whole thing.
Jo-Jo made sure that the monster felt welcomed.

What a crazy afternoon.

We finally made it all the way back to the porch.
Jo-Jo found a chicken to welcome
(ceramic chickens are much nicer than plastic frogs)
Marky was both chill and cool at the same time.
Jack struck a noble pose.
And Sam...



Sam apparently decided that Mr. Marvelous needed a little more help!