Thursday, May 30, 2013

WILLIAM -- A BLESSING

I posted about this a few months ago.  We have remained friends, emailing, but somehow, after leaving the NW, I lost his phone number, and, except for a short call in the NW to tell me he had to head out and couldn't meet me there, we have never talked on the phone.  Well, today I found his phone number through Zabasearch, and hoped it was a present-day one.  It was.  We talked for about a half-hour.

He's going through some really tough things.  The dog described in the story, died.  His brother died a few weeks ago.  His dad is in serious condition.  William's legs are more and more painful and weak.  He's doing what he can, when he can.  But, physically, struggling. 

However, he is serving the Lord any way he possibly can, whenever he feels called.  That is his goal of life.

We both rejoice that the Lord so miraculously put us together when I/we were driving to the NW in October.  Haven't seen each other since, but we truly are friends.

Couldn't NOT share about him again.  [Oh, and he's reading my book, "The Annie Project" and really likes it.  How cool is that?]

This is what I called it last time:

 WILLIAM, JOSIE WALES, AND GOD

I'm probably never going to be able to tell you all the wonderful... and sometimes scary ... events that occurred.  But I can't NOT tell this one.  God's sense of humor just makes me grin and grin again.

I'll begin with the ending.  How's that?  Won't be so boring or confusing.

I was stopping at rest areas rather often, because I could take pictures of the tall hills, beautiful trees, rivers, rainbows, and history info.  I was driving towards a western portion of Montana, and a rest area didn't seem to have a lot of surrounding nature.  Decided to skip it.  Then, at the last sign is said, "History".  I thought, "Gotta do it."  So I pulled in.

I was the only person.  I took a couple photos of the sign and its info.

Then a pickup truck pulled in and a man got out and said, "It's you AGAIN!"

When I looked at him, saw the dog, I laughed and said, "It's a God thing."

We then talked for a few minutes, both laughing, and sharing about our lives and our plans.

So, THIS is the beginning and here are the photos.


William and Josie Wales

NOW, this is the explanation of how it happened.

I had left Dickinson, ND, on Friday morning.  Had a lovely evening visiting our friends we knew at the orphanage in Uganda.  They were a treat!



My first stop was at the Badlands scenic view at a rest area.

[see the buffalo?]
 
While I was there I ended up talking to a man and noticed his dog had a red bandana around its neck.  The man said he was going to Portland and Vancouver to see his son and daughter and we both indicated the trip would go well.

I hit the road.

I stopped at a rest area about a hundred miles later.  The reason I stopped?  One of the most amazing rainbows I had ever seen.  SO WIDE!  [Photo didn't come out well, compared to the scene, but couldn't not stop and try.]

As I was driving away through it's long circle, I saw a dog running in the grass section and it had a red bandana.  I looked at the man nearby, hit the horn and waved.

That night I stayed just near Butte, MT.  I left earlier than I planned, didn't stop for breakfast.  Just hit the road.

A few rest areas later, I pulled into that empty one and that's when the man and dog showed up and the laughing began.

Then, as we talked, and shared where we lived and where we are going, both to and from.  He lives in northern Wisconsin, small town.   Then we began to discover what we believe in the Lord, churches we attend, how we rely upon Him and His way of leading us to help others.  We took photos of each other, prayed, and blessed each other as we were leaving.  He took a photo of my license plate, too, because he liked the message on it.
He was so excited about telling his son what had happened.  I called my husband immediately.

This covered about 500 miles with piles and piles of stops and rest areas and road issues.  William is now a friend and we are convinced the Lord wants to use us separately and together to serve Him in whatever bit and pieces are dropped in.

Is this too long?  Possibly.  Could it be shorter?  Don't think so.

I grinned and smiled and rejoiced for a long time.  Now it's in your hearts, too. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

TRUTH STANDS FIRM...


THIS is the Word the Lord dropped in on me today.
Ain't the first time.
I noticed I've used this photo and this Word before, but with a different translation and a longer portion of the long verse.

With our present-day world situation this is the focus:

NOTHING CAN SHAKE HIS TRUTH!!



Sunday, May 26, 2013

MY UGANDA GIFT -- WORTH A LAUGH

Shortly after our arrival in the States in April, 1996, I sent a gift to several of my Ugandan friends, ladies at the orphanage where we lived.  Mostly Margaret, Margaret, and Sarah, Anne, Gertrude are the ones I recall about this.  And, what did I send?  Flowery-fragrant shower gels with, what is referred to today, as colorful mesh bits or sponges ... not the same as back then when were considered scrubby or scruffy.  I sent green, purple, blue, and white.  Since the Dangers, who started this orphanage, was an American family that lived there, and had begun to use these already, I assumed the Ugandans would understand that gel and the shower scrubby "washcloths" would be well known.  And would be received happily.  Believe me, in general, showering there could be a challenge, especially as we would perceive it, and I wanted to bless them, help them enjoy showering.

 

I received a letter a couple weeks later from my dear friend, Margaret Achengo.  [Somehow I've lost her, and I'm so sad!]  Made me roll my eyes and laugh!

When the package arrived the ladies met at Sarah's house and brought their mesh pieces.  They didn't know what they were, or what to do with them.  They shared some thoughts.

One said she would wear it as a flower in her hair as she was going to a wedding. The others thought that was a good idea.  They would, too!

Sarah said she would put it on the table as a decoration.

They hadn't kept them connected with the gel which I had assumed would be right there in front of their thoughts.  Uh, uh.  Didn't happen that way at all.  And, in those days, there was only soap, usually hard and scruffy, to say the least.  So the gel and the non-washcloth was a whole new world for them.


I still chuckle when getting into my shower, using the gel and the "bath sponge" and thinking of Margaret's descriptive letter 17 years ago.  Hasn't left my heart or joyful chuckling ever since.

Oh, and here's part of what it always reminded me of.
  
=========
ELEPHANT AND THE BLIND MEN

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today."
 
They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, "Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.











"Hey, the elephant is a pillar," said the first man who touched his leg. 

"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail. 

"Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant. 

"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant. 

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

"It is like a solid pipe," Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right.
==============

Now, my friends didn't argue, weren't blind... just confused.  NOW, they know it all.  And I miss ALL of them, too.  [And have a video taken in our yard there where Margaret and I and a few others are doing country line dancing ... Uganda, Canada, England and U.S. represented by that music.  What a hoot!  Love watching it, and, again, loved being with my friend(s).]

Tell Me a Story
 

Friday, May 24, 2013

CHARIOTS, PLANES, MISSILES, ETC. ... BOASTING PSALM 20:7

 
YES!  TO TRUST IN AND BOAST OF,
 OUR LORDIS ALL THAT COUNTS. 

FOREVER AND EVER!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

REVELATION REVEALED

While opening the Book of Revelation this morning, I wondered what a summary of the Book could be.  I've read it so many times over the years and am buried in it much of the time now.  Suddenly, this poem hit.  Couldn't NOT share it.  [Oh, and, even though not perfect, concerning the poem's overall indications, the photo was taken in Montana.]
 



 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SERVANT PROMISES ... PS. 119


This was the Word that hit me today. I had it marked in my devotional with the date '07. Much seriousity was occurring in the lives of both my kids and many of my grandkids, especially Jack's kidney disease issues. I was in tears so much for weeks, months, years, from '05 to '08  ... but also relying upon the Lord to break through the situations with His encouragement. AND to simply know I am His servant, He is the Only One Who could/would pour hope back into my life. He has. 
AND when this photo was taken, I smiled. But there are a couple of others that were taken, nearly 38 years ago, when I wasn't just grinning with my kids, and sitting aside a bit, and I DIDN'T show any joy whatsoever.   I've kept those photos, but I sure don't have them framed!
But, joy re-occurred. Over these years, we/I can trust HIM more than I can trust the world, the culture, or me. He is "IT".

Yes, I AM His servant; He WILL not forget the promises He laid on me. 
 AND He will NOT forget the promises laid on me re: my children when preborn, then babies, teens, or adults. 
How do I know?  Because...         
       -------- My GOD is BIGGER!! -------


DAD'S FIRST HEAVEN DAY 29 YEARS AGO

This morning, Dad's first-day in Heaven made me smile.  May 22, 1984.  I expect that he truly smiled, felt comfortable, and rejoiced.  Can hardly wait to see him there, since our life together was highly less than wonderful.  


My dad was in and out of my life from my birth until about the age of 4.  I'd been surprisingly born through him and my mom in 1945.  They had been involved between Tacoma and Portland since 1943-ish, but no intention of a baby or a marriage.  They did marry when I was about 16 months old, but mostly to get people off their back.  Then they officially lived together.
Because of the extreme alcoholism that had kicked into mom and dad by the time I was 5, my relationship with my parents changed significantly.  [I've written many stories about it.]  It didn't take very long before I was watching dad carefully and ready to fight him to protect mom, myself, or my tiny sisters, eventually a total of 5.


Sometimes I really cared for my dad... but most of the time I was heartbroken when he, trying to stay sober would "fall off the wagon", or when he was endangering himself and many of us while he was drunk.

Fifty years ago next week was my high school graduation day.  It was in Klickitat, Washington, a small town, a small class.  I was one of the speakers.  I don't remember too much.  One funny thing is that I was slipping my high-heeled shoes off behind the podium; I was afraid I'd be stumbling, tripping, while sharing my speech.

My dad had lost his job in February.  He had worked in the town's lumber company, but, when drunk, skipping work, again, a new boss fired him.  Well, with my graduation coming up so soon, we couldn't leave the area.  Couldn't STAY in town, because almost all the houses were owned by the company and we could no longer rent one or live in one.  Dad found a farm house a couple miles outside of town and that's where we were staying until I finished school.  That's a WHOLE story of its own.

Anyhow, shortly before my graduation, Dad found a job in a small town called Maupin, Oregon, about 100 miles south of Klickitat.  He showed up for my graduation just on time.

And he was drunk.

When I was speaking, looking at the hundred-or-so folks in the gym, dad was in the front row, on the outer edge, the right side of my sight ... and falling off the chair, kept falling asleep.

That's what I remember most of my graduation.  Know better things happened overnight with friends, including Susan and Linda, my dearest ones, but this jumped into my brain, big time.
   

 I left home the next day. I rarely saw my dad ever again for more than just a short stretch of time.  He DID come to the Lord when I was about 33, and sent me these words in a letter that I received on March 17, 1979, and it states in part:

"I finally gave up my solo fight against alcohol and went to church ... I came away with an awful load off my back; I hadn't realized how heavy it was.  My problems are still here, but the Lord is sharing my burden.  I am really surprised at the feeling.

"Things are looking up for me now, but it wouldn't hurt for you to say a small prayer for me, I need all the help I can get."

 
He died of lung and brain cancer 5 years later. 

 
A few months earlier, September, 1983, my sister, Niki, called to tell me that he was expected to die in about 3 months.  She told me to write a poem and send it to him. The Lord laid it on me in just a few minutes as I was driving to work; I mailed it to her later that day.  He lived longer than expected, and, miraculously, with a plane ticket for free, I was able to leave OKC and get to Tacoma for the big family event for Thanksgiving.   He had a short testimony at his church on Thanksgiving evening.  It was a blessing to be there with him.
 
I still have the poem in my office, since it was returned to me at his funeral.  You'll sure understand the final photo and its words.


 =======================================
   
                                                TO DAD


We’re so much alike – you and I –
We think and we feel much the same.
When we love, it’s a deep, soul-filling love,
When we hurt, it’s with soul-rending pain.

We’re like mirrors – mirror images.

Two needn’t be close –
If you’re counting the miles –
To Share this world’s Days and its Night.
There are soul-mates
Who travel life’s path side by side
Though mountains and plains bar their sight.

 
And we’re mirrors – you and I – mirror images.

Without Jesus to keep us, we’d Die – you and I
Eternally lost from our Lord.
Our hurts closed our hearts
to the goodness of God,
And we turned our backs to His Word...

We’re SO alike – like mirrors – mirror images

 
But He reached us – He found us
And He healed our hearts –
The greatest of healings provided.
We opened our hearts to receive 
that great love,
And now He walks closely beside us.

We walk hand-in-hand,
But with Jesus between –
As He looks in our hearts, we can say
It’s not just the one,
or the Two,
But the THREE of us,
Who will love through Eternity’s Day.

Shining like mirrors – mirror images.
  ==========================


So, I have two fathers. 
 One is IN heaven;
 One IS Heaven.
I'm so looking forward to seeing them together.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

JOY AND FELLOWSHIP... I JN 1:7


Today I have that blessing on many sides. 

1- My 28th "Dating Anniversary" with Dave.

2 - Dave and I visiting at the home of my dear long-time friend, Susan, 
having met nearly 53 yeas ago.

3 - Attending church this morning, and blessed with the 
dedication of Susie's grandson, Caleb, 
whose parents are dear ones for Dave and I, too. 
A truly treatful day.

And more on our "day list" that is filled with blessings.
Filled with joy and fellowship as we rejoice in our Lord.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ISAIAH 25 ... STORM AND SHADOW

I could tell so many, many details and extra stories connected to this... still writing them as part of a book... but wanted to share them to all of you.  It truly was a blessing to be where God wanted me to be at a time I never could have imagined.  Yep, when I write this part of the book, and share it you will laugh and cry right along with what I did that day, from beginning to end.  Hope this will touch hearts, though.
=====================================


A burial occurred out in the Bush beyond Soroti, Uganda. It
was the brother of Rebekah who was being buried.  His sister, Rebekah, became my granddaughter when, a week later, she was "adopted" by our Ugandan son, Sam and his wife, Adhe, our dear daughter

The pastors and others connected to his family had to shift the boy's body up from the Soroti hospital; quite a challenge.  It was a very out-of-the-range location, just a family area of some sort, no true homes.  Believe me, the whole area was filled with poverty.  At this location, the only one who seemed very happy to see a few people was the little goat.

However, the Word of God is the most important part that I hope was dropped into the hearts of those who were attending, helping in this ceremony.  Seed-planting is extremely important.  And our Lord Jesus IS is the Refuge from poverty and the Shadow from heat.  And, even though this was a mid-December burial, the heat was quite high.  

Again, more proof that HE is the Refuge and Shadow.  That is one of my "forever and ever" desires.

Extra photos.  It was quite a day, believe me.   


And the photo I took a week later of my son, Sam, and Rebekah, when my friend Jill and I had taken her to New Hope Uganda.
[AND, just before Dave and I were heading to the airport, after he had come a couple weeks earlier, to pick me 
up and help me home, we had this photo taken with her.  That was February, 2004.  A treat for us.]


Tell Me a Story

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GO ALONG... LEARN... EPH. 5:10


One of the most delightful trips in Uganda that were ever taken in all those stretches of time we were there. 
 And filled with dear friends.  
What a treat!

The only really bad part:  Dave and I had our first malaria hit us a few days after our return, which means that on that wonderful trip the mosquitoes really got us.  We were always very careful.  But, oh, well.  However, we eventually made it.  Took several weeks get back to health, but, you wanta know what I think?

It was worth it!  Sipi Falls and Friends were WORTH IT!

Monday, May 13, 2013

HMMM... JOANNE? JEREMIAH?

My middle name is "Joanne".  Called by that constantly.  Don't even know when I discovered I had another name, Carolyn, until I went to school.  Anyhow, been the "normal" one for nearly 68 years.

However, the first time I read the prophetic portion of the Bible, and just skimmed them, some of the Jeremiah bits and pieces stuck on me even then.  Why?  Because he looked so depressed, so sad, so often serving so many and speaking the Word from the Lord ... and then slammed to the side, again and again.

WAY back then, probably in my early 30s, I truly felt like a "Jeremiah".  Looking around, speaking out, giving what I perceived as "practical spiritual advice"... usually through stories, scripts, VBS, Bible-class teaching... often went out well, was received with appreciation.  Sometimes, joy and laughter, which was my goal in a rather side-way to break into thinking and hearts.  THEN, occasionally, misinterpreted, misunderstood, and threatened.  Accusing of lying, in a spiritual creative manner.

So, what hit me on my Christian side?  Depression.  What had hit me personally since about the age of 5?  Depression.  Simply a significant part of life.

When reading the Book Jeremiah, over and over, and a few commentary portions, it has been obvious that he was serving the Lord, calling the people forward, sorrowful when losing dear friends, and horrified when being forced to Egypt with the ones who were escaping from Israel.   When the men had asked him to pray and tell them what the Lord wanted them to do, the Lord had said very clearly they were to stay in Israel.  They thought Jeremiah was lying, and that he was a Babylon fan, supporter.

What I didn't realize until recently, when reading it in the Chronological Bible, that, when forced to Egypt, he didn't die immediately.  It indicates that he lived until he was about 90.  This means that he was in Egypt approximately 26 years,  forced to be there with those who didn't believe his word.  He spoke the them occasionally, in their face, but there's no indication of what he truly went through there.  He began in Jerusalem his early 20s, did it in that general area for about 40 years. Then was in Egypt for the 26 years, as I mentioned a recently.  How crazy would that seem to those of us who serve the Lord, speaking His Word, teaching those around us, encouraging, giving straight-forward instructions?  

At my present age, when I came to the Lord at 20, began teaching in my early 20s, I have been ministering in one way or another for about 45 years.  And, just as what Jeremiah went through, I have/am, too.  Some agree with my viewpoints, some don't.  Some think I'm WAY too picky, some think I'm not picky enough.  Some smile with appreciation, some roll their eyes.

Now, am I a prophet?  I had never thought so.  However, about a dozen years ago, I was told that I am; by people and by the voice of the Lord in my mind and heart.  It has continued.  I'm NOT visionary, but, the way it's described, I have the ability to see what's coming down the path for families, towns, nations, when people are turning their backs to the Lord and accepting what's wrong in our world and rejecting what's right in the heart of the Lord.

Am I depressed?  Struggle with it a bit.  Both physically and spiritually.  BUT not as much in some ways, because I know that I know that I KNOW, that the Lord is the only One I can rely upon forever -- and I want Him to rely upon me to serve Him.

YES, I have a pile of dear friends, dear family, a WONDERFUL husband.  The main center of that, though, is that all of us love our dear Lord and desire greatly to serve and be with Him forever.

Will I end up taken to "Egypt" for another 20-plus years, because the people who have control over me in this world don't trust me and think I've been lying to them?  Maybe.  But must rely upon the Lord in my heart.  That's ALL I can ever count on, the only Forever One I can always rely upon for eternity.

When I meet Jeremiah in Heaven, I hope to see him filled with joyfulness, with extreme thankfulness ... and I will be joyful knowing that depression was left behind when he died, no matter how that occurred.  AND MY struggle with depression will be gone forever and ever.

I'll be a joyful worshiping grinner.  YIPPEE!!

[And, in Heaven, being called "Jeremiah", filled with his eternal joy, too, would be a wonderfully favorite name.  I sure wouldn't complain if "Joanne" disappeared.]      

  
Tell Me a Story