Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EPHESIANS 4:26 -- SUNSET, ANGER, SATAN


This was laid on my heart this morning in the Word.
Still on my heart.

The photo at Darlene's, my blog-friend's house, up in the hills north of Spokane, shortly after I arrived there last October. 
 Darkness and light.

And HE is the only Light that can cleanse us of anger -- thoroughly!

REV. 19:5 -- SMALL AND GREAT

 THEN FROM THE THRONE THERE CAME A VOICE, SAYING,
PRAISE OUR GOD, ALL OF YOU SERVANTS OF HIS,
YOU WHO REVERENCE HIM,
BOTH
SMALL

AND 

GREAT.



WHEN I READ THAT VERSE, THIS IS WHAT I THOUGHT OF.  NOT JUST SMALL OR TALL PEOPLE, SMALL OR TALL "PRAISE", SMALL OR TALL REVERENCE ... BUT,  SINCE HE'S THE CREATOR, SMALL OR TALL BITS AND PIECES HE PLACED  IN AND AROUND THE WORLD.  

MADE ME CHUCKLE WHEN I THOUGHT OF MY PHOTOS
FROM UGANDA. 

THOUGHT I'D TOSS THEM AT YOU, TOO.



Monday, April 29, 2013

FRED'S LEAVING PRISON...SOOOON!!

I posted this a couple months ago after I'd heard he was being released during May-ish.  WELL, it's May 1st.  He'll be arriving in Fairbanks at 10:30.  My sister and his sons and their wives or girlfriends, and maybe grandkids, will be waiting for him.  He and the family will be together that day.  Then, for a couple days, he and Kristan will be having some alone time.  Next weekend, his church will be having a party for him.  I so would love to be there, but, oh, well.  [One funny thing:  Kristan told me in our very short talk this weekend was that she was very busy getting ready and some of it is because Fred wanted new bedsheets ... been 20 months with nothing comfortable or clean or decent.  THIS is a whole new side of Fred in terms of what he wants now; wasn't very picky before prison.]

I'm also adding one paragraph from the original story back in July 29, 2010.  Just thought it would be a blessing re: Kristan and I and our immediate, urgent prayer-together time.  OH, and I'm the shortest of my sisters, even though I ain't short, so when I grabbed her, that should tell you a bit more.

=======================

On July 28, 2010, while in Tacoma for my mother's 90th birthday, I saw  my sister, Kristan, from Fairbanks, AK, for the first time in 10 years.  We had a nice walk for about 1/2 hour.  Kristan had returned to the Lord several years earlier and I hadn't seen her since then.  It was a real blessing to be together.


As soon as we returned to the house where mom's party was taking place, Kristan received a call from one of her sons saying that her husband, Fred, had been in an accident and someone had been killed.

One blessing was that I was in the right place at that very moment, able to wrap my arms around her very firmly and strongly and pray loudly and overwhelmingly so she could hear me over her trembling and sobbing, and even though most of my family in that house at the time is not Jesus-focused, it didn't make a difference; I didn't hold back at all.

What finally came out a while later is that he was not paying enough attention, partly because he was so used to the highway,  he hit a cross-walk where a light had just changed to red, and he struck a 14-year-old girl, Kirsten, who was killed instantly.  [And for my sister/his wife, to be Kristan, and the young girl killed was Kirsten ... that has flooded many of our hearts.]

After a struggle re: lawyers, courts, judges, and on and on, he finally was sent to prison.  He entered in September, 2011, and will be released in early May, '13.

Fred had been a less-than-nice guy much of his life and was heavily involved in alcoholism and other addictions.  Back in early 1991, Fred and the family were vising out here.  And, NO, we weren't sorry that he left!  And we haven't seen him since then, and didn't miss him for several years.  We do now.
 

Fred came to the Lord about 12 years ago.  It was through his brother drawing him to the Lord and Fred seeking forgiveness from my sister, that she returned to the Lord, too.  WOW! We're so looking forward to seeing them.  The four of us together can rejoice, believe me.

NOW... while in prison, Fred has led men to the Lord, has helped them grow, already has some plans for ministering with youth at his church and others when he is released. He has dealt with some personal issues that he, while behind bars, couldn't run away from or hide from, so his emotions have healed more. He also went in with a high amount of extra weight ... and has been exercising and has lost piles and piles of it. Physically, he is feeling better.  Emotionally, being healed.  Spiritually, he is growing.  Good things.

Well, this is the group letter I received from him today... and it made me rejoice.  I usually don't share these, but I felt it was the right thing to do this time.  [I also didn't change anything ...  spelling, grammar, etc. ... just typed it same as he did.]

-- Oh, and the prison is about an 8-hour drive on curvy roads across mountains, etc., for Kristan to get there.  As a full-time worker in North Pole, it's a real challenge for her to be able to see him in a reasonable schedule.  Not similar to a pop-down from Omaha-to-Lincoln situation we would have here.--
==============

Holy smoke! 71 days left of my incarceration.  And I'm in a daze!  I can't think straight, or hold a thought to completion.  I am getting very emotional; anything happy or sad, I see or hear gets the water works going.  (I wonder what my cell mates think of this nut job.)  But God is so Great.  His hand was there to, protected and comforted me, give an opportunity to grow in Him.  To trust and obey as the Holy Spirit guided and taught me.  I'm shaking as I write this letter as if I drank 3 shots of espresso, because of my excitement in the fact that I will be able to hold, hug, and kiss those I love without being threatened with going to the Hole or losing my visitation privileges.  I dream now about getting into a car and going somewhere, anywhere!  To go to church, share a cup of weak coffee, be greeted with an "I'm so glad to see you smile, and warm hands shake!"  Even though you may have never met before.  The joyful and angelic faces playing and sing praises to our Lord, the special smile at the pulpit, the kind that lets you know he has something wonderful to share, and all you have to do is listen and watch.  It's exciting and wonderful to share this time together in Christ.  The demonstration of love to each other without a word, love that over flows to everyone around.  I pray that I am able to personally spend time with everyone who has carried me through this season of fear, torment, anxiety, shame, and surrender through prayers and visits, plus all the letters I have received in this soon to be 608 days of incarceration.  I know men who have not received 1 letter, card, or visit, period.  And I have had close to 50, or more visits, plus I believe more than 700 letters.  I know, even today I still average more than 1 a day.  In a way, I really don't know what it's like to be a prisoner, because so few prisoners have a family who cares as much as you do.

Love Fred.

.... Kristan said you fell down.  Me too!  And we got up. Ya!  Keep up the good fight Sis.


                                     
Tell Me a Story
                           


6 comments:

elizabeth said...
Wow! God has done a good work in the midst of a tragedy!
Kristin Bridgman said...
Just like our God to bring good out of something bad. Thank you for sharing and I will be praying for Fred and family.
caryjo said...
I don't usually comment on my own post, but wanted to share my sister's message to me. It was a sweet and touching one.

"My dear sister, to answer your phone message, you told the story and told about my wonderful husband the way it "was", THank the Lord that it is not the same Fred!!!! He is doing well and he is getting excited about getting out, he is counting the days in actual Hours, I told him that he should not be doing that because it is going to make it longer, but whatever passes the time for him is okay. I love you and I really appreciate your talent in putting stories and our lives into words, that is not an easy thing to do...God Bless you Big Sister,"
Musings by Robert said...
The verse God gave your sister is so true. "ALL THINGS" work together for good. I know the next weeks and days will be anxious ones!
Floyd said...
Wow... That is powerful... My heart breaks for the fallen world in which God uses tribulation to bring about better things. My mind races to the ends of all involved... This shows the omnipotence and majesty of our Father... Very moving. I'm praying for all involved.
Gayle said...
I am so happy for him and the healing he experienced there. His life is before him, and the firl he hit is with the Lord. I know she is blessing him as well. I will hold him in the light as he comes out of prison.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

PSALM 34:1 ... HIS GLORIES AND GRACE


Our "walls" can break, 
bits and pieces can drop on us,
 may hurt or ruin us ...
BUT our Father is worthy of our praise... 
constantly,
 forever and ever.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PS. 121:2 ... MOUNTAINS, HEAVENS!


     My God-reminder treat for today as I hit the road, serving the Lord, around and about town.
 
HE IS MY HELP!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

HEBREWS 13:14 -- THE TRUTH!!



During September, 1999, on the way back from special events in Uganda and Paris, then leaving Heathrow in London, and, a few hours later, flying over Greenland, I took this photo.  Reading the Word a few days ago, this verse jumped in and this photo, taken all these years ago, did, too. It stayed buried in my heart, because my everlasting Home in heaven is my everyday main focus on/in life.  


Thursday, April 18, 2013

DARKNESS TO LIGHT ... JOHN 12:46



If it hadn't been for Him, His Grace, His "Giveness"... I would still be wandering in the dark, not just dusky, but blackness.  Now, I'm blessed with seeing light in the world through the Light of His eyes.
  ================
After picking up people from the airport in Omaha and going back and forth from there to the Jumping Tandem Retreat center, I finally finished about 12:45 this morning.  So many planes were rescheduled, cancelled, etc., because of the weather issues, etc.  Much changed.  I'm a bit of a tired cookie today, but Sandra Heska King, Deidra Riggs, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Dan King, Shelly Miller and on and on, are a real treat to have seen, listened to, hugged, and enjoyed.  Gotta rest for a couple hours this afternoon.  And meeting people from many places in our country.  My roommate is from Canada.  

 

Monday, April 15, 2013

HALLELUJAH!! 48TH RE-BIRTHDAY.

 
SISTERS AND I EXACTLY 1 YEAR BEFORE MY SALVATION

Basically, what follows is what I posted in April, 2010, my first Re-Birthday after becoming a blogger, so I could share it and let my blog friends know me.  Today, I re-adjusted it a bit.  It ain't short, but is truthful.

Bless you on my most blessed day.  My salvation changed my world, obviously, and the world of many others through my God-seed-planting since then.

 
                              =================

For most of us U.S. folks April 15th is IRS day, for better or worse, refund or payment. However, in my heart, it is MY day. On April 15, 1966, at 6:30 PM, I asked Christ into my life. Four months shy of my 21st birthday, living a life of heavy-duty sin and headed towards a significant amount of trouble, the Lord broke through. I have never doubted or questioned or regretted it. He had arranged for seed to be planted in my heart off and on since I had been very young, by school teachers, neighbors, or someone who just walked past me and said "God bless you", but the seed hardly survived. And then ...

I was living in Tacoma, WA. Towards mid-March a young woman at work, Carol, 18, was suddenly without a place to live and couldn't afford to fly back to her family in the St. Louis area. Someone at work said, "Hey, Joanne, you have room in your apartment. Let her move in with you." I didn't know Carol very well, but knew she was a sweet person -- and I WAS NOT!!! I knew it was the right thing to do, so agreed that she could, but I also said to her: You can move in with me. But I go out when I want to go out, I come back when I want to come back, and if you don't like it, you can leave.

Amazingly, even hearing that "jerky" statement, Carol moved in. What I didn't know was that she was a Born-Again Christian. I didn't know what that was, anyhow, so it wouldn't have sunk in. Over the next couple of weeks we yammered about religion for hours nearly every night. She couldn't always come up with answers for me, so she connected me to Stan, a man in her church, and he would hammer topics out with me on the phone. Very straight-forward, which is what works best with me most of the time. I decided to go to church with her -- Portland Avenue Baptist Church. My second Sunday, on April 10, Easter, there was an altar call and I knew I was supposed to go forward. I could feel the pressure in my heart ... my whole body ... in a way I had never experienced before... but I held on tight to the back of the pew in front of me so I would be able to not give in. I left church feeling pleased that "I won the battle."

The next Thursday, at work, Carol banged her head at a desk in our office and ended up in the hospital. She was there until Saturday. I was invited to dinner at Stan's house on Friday, and enjoyed dinner with him and his wife and four sons. After we finished eating, and Anita had cleared the table, and the boys had disappeared to the living room, Stan had me stay in the kitchen with him and he laid the facts of Christ's sacrifice out for me very clearly. Stan knew how sinful I was ... he had a similar history ... and he didn't look down his nose at me at all. He knew God could turn my awful life around, no question. I told him that I believed what he was telling me about Jesus and His sacrifice and the possibility of salvation, but I said I needed to straighten up first or I couldn't come to Him. Stan, of course, said it was the other way around -- come to Christ and the changes would start to take place. I knew he was right, and I made the commitment and invited Christ into my life. In my mind, because of all the abuse I had experienced from many others, mostly men, this was simply a "contract"... no emotional attachment to the Father or Son, just an agreement to follow the rules He laid down and, if I messed up, take the punishment that would hit me. After my prayer, Stan and I went to a young adult Bible study, so only an hour after I was saved I made the public statement and they rejoiced. I remember that the next morning when I woke up my first thoughts were about the new life I had before me.

And it was and has always been. Even though I was far from perfect, the Lord kept moving me along; He didn't give up on me. Stan wrote an article for a Baptist teachers magazine a year later and described someone who walked with the Lord, fell on her face in the mud, and climbed back to her feet again, and went forward and... fell on her face in the mud. How often this took place. He also said it was the climbing out of the mud and back onto her feet that made the difference. And that he trusted that as she grew in the Lord the pattern would simply be the walking.

After all these years, most of the time I can say that is true. Occasionally, I do end up with a little mud on my face, but it wipes off thoroughly ... by the blood of Jesus.

Where would I be if this all had not come to pass 48 years ago? Most certainly no one would know me today. I would have been continuing to be involved with and died from  violence, alcoholism, or suicide. No friends, no family, and, most certainly, no hope for my future.

So the key word every time I have my Re-birthday is HALLELUJAH!!


=================
Oh, and a month or so later I sang a solo during the Sunday evening service.  [Yes, used to be a singer when a young 'un.]  This song had entered my heart.  A Jim Reeves fan, I bought hymns album, immediately after my salvation.  Fell in love with this and couldn't not share it then.  And will share it now.  It's definitely my heart-focus even today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgwGiF0-mlE

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I REJOICE! ... PS. 85:11



Why did I rewrite His Word?  Because this Word today
hit my heart and reminded me of His goodness 
and kindness to and for me.

Hope this will remind you that He does it for you, also,
moment-by-moment,
with His very loving heart for all of His followers.



Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

EPHESIANS 5:8 ... Darkness & LIGHT.




NOT MUCH ELSE COUNTS IN THIS WORLD OF LIFE.
NOT MUCH ELSE ... IF ANYTHING ... IN MORE IMPORTANT!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

PS. 145: 21 ... BLESS HIS HOLY NAME...












YES, EVERYWHERE, EVERY TIME, EVERYONE!!

MY "AMEN" OF LIFE TODAY FOR CERTAIN SURE.

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

APRIL 10, 1966 -- "TOUGH COOKIE" WINNING

This photo was taken by Susie when I popped over to visit her, from Seattle to Pullman.  







 A few months later, "this" happened:

April 10, 1966, Resurrection Sunday, I was at Portland Avenue Baptist Church in Tacoma, WA.  I had been there for about 3 weeks, because the Lord had dropped someone into my life, and through that, some of His amazing Words were breaking through my tight, high, concrete, refusing-to-readjust walls.

That Sunday, April 10th,  I dressed nice.  I enjoyed the service.  Was sitting with my roommate, Carol, a co-worker at my office who God had used to begin the breaking-down process in mid-March.

THEN, at the end of the service, Pastor Mark said that those who were willing to accept Christ are now called forward.  The pianist began to quietly play a hymn.  Do I remember what it was?  No.  But do I think I know what it was?  Yes.  "Just As I Am."

And what did I do?  I held onto the back of the pew in front of me.  My hands were crunched tightly, muscles intense.  I stood firmly, feet to the ground.  My mind said, basically, "NO!!  Can't make me!"

What did I feel?  My back prodded, my nerves pushing me, my head "tapped".  And what did I do?  Nothing!  I stood right there, refusing to go one step forward.  

OH, and it was NOT anyone surrounding me that was prodding, pushing, tapping me.  Even then, I knew it was something connected to God.  What I didn't understand in those days was that the Holy Spirit is a "Toucher".

When church ended what did I think?   I...was..HAPPY!  Because I was at my first Resurrection Sunday in about 3 years?  Maybe a little.  Mostly, however, because... I...WON!!

=========
During previous Sunday's the Lord had begun to gently crack my walls.  Now?  Oh, yahHE had more control than I did.  [Can you believe THAT?]

And then a few days later ...
 ============
[You're stuck with me again next Monday... Part 2.] 

 
Tell Me a Story

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

PSALM 9:9 -- MOAB, UTAH




COLORADO RIVER, UTAH

And this Word of God, Amplified, always grabs my heart ... always.  HE can save us and protect us from ... high cost, destitution, and desperation!


I count on HIM!!

 Oh, and why isn't the "refuge rock" colorful?  Well, it was, BUT it was beginning to be foggy and rainy and stormy on all sides of the river.  The river tour-boat I was on, had to stop, because the storm was making the river to rush too quickly.  Oh, well.  Things ain't always perfect.  What is??   Our Lord's Word.

Monday, April 8, 2013

MARY MAGDALENE -- LAST SCENE


She stood gazing upward into the warm sunshine.  Jesus was gone.  A smile, a loving look, and suddenly, he was leaving, moving upward, slowly, gradually being overtaken by the clouds.  She remembered his words, that he had to leave so the Comforter could come.  She certainly didn't understand what he meant.  But she had learned to simply obey -- not question and harangue over statements He made -- so she was at peace.  Even though she knew he was gone, she felt no loneliness, no dismay.  Her heart was full of love towards the Father and towards His son, her friend, and there was no room for grief or sorrow.

In and among the huge crowd of people standing on the hillside, she felt totally alone ... lost in her own thoughts and searching her heart for the next step.  He had said to go to Jerusalem and wait.  She didn't know what she was going to be waiting for, but she was certain it would .. be.. good. She would certainly obey him.

James, John, his mother Mary, Andrew and the rest of her friends were standing with her.  Andrew finally said, "He told us to go to Jerusalem.  We've been standing here long enough."  And immediately he turned and strode down the hill.

As the rest ran to catch up with him, joy burst through Mary's heart and she began to sing, "The Lord is my strength and my song and he has become my salvation."  It was a psalm sung during the celebrations, and she was filled to overflowing with happiness as she repeated the words.  Laughing, she skipped down the dirt path.  She watched a bird circle lazily in the sky and smiled to herself, "I wonder if Sir Hawk saw his Master soar past ... or if he accidentally bumped into Jesus in that cloud?"

She was amazed.  What was she doing?  What was she thinking?  How was she acting?  It was almost as if she were standing to the side and watching this free-flowing woman, hardly comprehending that it was herself.  Even the others, used to the more serious, contemplative Mary, were shaking their heads as she skipped, sang, and played.

That was it.  Why had she not figured it out before?  She. was. playing.  The years of hardship and sorrow and desolation had dropped from her as discarding a cloak.  She had become a child once more.  A happy, free-spirited, glowing, buoyant child.  What freedom, what peace, what zest for life!

And what of Jerusalem?  She wasn't certain what lay ahead.  Could there be years of trial and hardship?  Possibly, but she wasn't frightened.  She had already known trial and hardship – but without the strength of Jesus.  Now, with Jesus, she could face anything to come her way.  Would there be years of work as the Word of Jesus was shared with others beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem and Samaria?  Hadn't he said his Word would be taken to the ends of the earth?

Suddenly she stopped and looked toward the place where she had last seen Jesus.  "I will do it," she promised.  "Anything you ask, anything you want, anywhere you want me to go, I will do it."

And taking a tight grip of her shawl, she joyfully ran down the road toward Jerusalem.

 


Tell Me a Story

Saturday, April 6, 2013

MAY HE GRANT... PS. 20:4


This is a verse I've underlined for years in my Bible for my husband... with his many musical and spiritual and "fixing up anything/everything" gifts ... but it's for all of us who desire to serve the Lord. Wanted to share it before I hit my "God-serving" road time today.