Tuesday, November 29, 2011


In 1986, our friend, Joe, from a local Bible school, brought a Ugandan pastor to our house for dinner. It was our first time to hear the Uganda history and present-day circumstances outside of the world news concerning the civil wars. A couple hours later, as they were leaving, Pastor Patrick said, casually, "Come to Uganda. You would like it." I thought, "Sure. Sometime that might be nice."

Three years later, he returned for a couple of months to attend the school. Again, Joe brought him over. Again, we ate and talked and thoroughly enjoyed each other. And, again, as they started to walk out the door, Patrick turned -- and I just knew he was going to say that we should visit Uganda. However, as he looked at us, he pointed at us very firmly and said, very strongly, very intensely, "You MUST COME to Uganda!" And as he was pointing, a God-calling arrow slammed into my heart. I was overwhelmed, and from that time forward, I followed through very seriously about when we should go, how we could go, and where we should stay. And a variety of doors opened.

Patrick made that statement in the Fall of 1989. A year later, we w
ere nearly prepared to go, depending on passports, visas, money, and international challenges -- for instance, the day before we left in January, '91 the Gulf War began. [Two days before we returned, it ended.]

Since then, in just more than 20 years, we have been
in Uganda a few times, sometimes several months, other times several weeks.

We have a son, daughter, grandchildren, many other dear ones who consider us family.

We have been thrilled to see th
e source of the Nile, the rolling hills covered with palm trees and banana groves, the blessing to eat fresh pineapple and the wonderful pigmy bananas and drink passion fruit juice. See giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, golden-crested cranes, yard-based monkeys.... and, thankfully, dead pythons and cobras.

Friendship with piles of m
issionaries from piles of different nations.

And fitting in just fine.

My husband fixing anything electricity/generator-oriented that came across his path, and teaching computer and piano and music theory.

Me? Hanging out and making friends. A secretary. Teaching. Running errands from place to place, for person after person. Shopping, cleaning, doing whatever was needed.

Can't say there weren't tough and sometimes scary times... but CAN say it was the right place to be at the right time.

The hardest one for me, especially since my husband couldn't go, was helping Ugandan pastors and others in Soroti in late 2003/early 2004 after the district had been invaded by the LRA [Lord's Resistance Army] with adults and kids abducted and forced to "steal, kill, and destroy". And I was requested to interview the kids who had escaped or been rescued, and listen to their stories. I had to keep my face "straight" while my heart, while looking at and listening to them, was exploding. It was one of the best "God-jobs" I've ever had... and more painful than I could ever have imagined.

Usually, when the Lord is giving me some instructions, He says "Go...". That has opened many amazing doors for me, especially the Bhutanese "world" where I now live on a daily basis in mid-Omaha. I'd never have guessed that nation was going to become a main focus of my life!

However, in 1989, when the word "COME" was spoken, overwhelming my heart, it opened a whole new world for me. I have rejoiced ever since.
[Enjoy the "Come" carnival.]

Sunday, November 27, 2011


In the summer of 1967, a Christian friend-mentor gave me a book, The Practice of the Presence of God. She had the book for some years and had written notes all over the pages. It was a new approach to spiritual life to me. I was just turning 22, and had a lot to learn forever and ever, believe me. I kept the book for about 30 years and then passed it along to someone I felt would be encouraged by it.

I picked up a newly publish
ed one a few years ago. Wanted it around, out of sentimentality, but hardly read it at all.

Then yesterday, while Dave and I were on a 5-hour drive to central KS, I took it along to read it again. And it proved that I have changed, lif
e has changed, our world has changed... but God has not.

This jumped out at me:

Brother Lawrence wasn
't surprised by the amount of sin and unhappiness in the world. Rather, he wondered why there wasn't more, considering the extremes to which the enemy is capable of going.

I thought and I thought about t
his, over and over. He had presented these bits in the 1600s, between mid-range and his death in 1691. The letters and small talks were collected by a Vicar and the book was published after Brother Lawrence's death. No TV, no computer-related world-wide connecting, no I-net goodness or garbage, no visual porn accessibility on commercials and billboards, no atomic bombs, and on and on.

In his case, only people in th
e Paris-area, and only life.

I become stressed and anxious and fearful and... admittedly... furious, when I see so much physical, emotional, and spiritual damage slamming those in our world. Story after story brea
ks my heart.

However, what did Brother Lawrence do that I fail to do?


He laid before the Lord as often as possible. When working or traveling, he stayed centered on the Lord. But whenever he could, he prostrated before the Lord, worshiping and giving his heart to the Lord over and over again... Trusting HIM.

That is what I desire to do... really, really desire to do. And, at this phase of life and after all these years, have little proof of follow-through.

My hope is that my Father God worship will somehow break through my activities, my actions, and will occur more and more as time goes on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


No such thing as a pleasant evening when it involves praying at murder sites. When it's dark so early, and the cold wind is kicking in, it adds to the challenges.

This young man who had been murdered at this site was 19, and had been raised in Sudan. Since here, after being raised in a "battlefield" life, he, somehow, continued with that lifestyle here. Quite possibly was not able to set aside that intense part of his life. Consequently, he became a victim after having been a local victimizer.

He wanted to return to Africa. He didn't. And family hearts are broken. On both sides of the ocean.

I did have an experience that has not occurred since I entered this ministry 3-1/2 years ago. Which happens frequently, a local TV channel sent a lady to tape the prayer time. She had seen me before, and as we left the local church to go to the murder site, she asked if she could interview me when we were finished. And that is what happened. OH, and she also stood behind me with a light so I could take the photos of the cross.

I was surprised that the interview and other aspects were ready by the time the news began a couple hours later. Thought I'd toss this your direction. [I look so much older than I ever wanted to, especially on TV, BUT, life is life. Seems to have blessed and touched some local and national hearts... that is worth it.]


Saturday, November 19, 2011


The last evening of our prayer-walk time in Morocco was spent in Casablanca. It was, actually, Good Friday, April, 2001. We had been in Casablanca our first couple of nights in Morocco, the end of March, before we hit the road and went to so many of those other wonderful towns.

We had not spent any time on the beach in Casablanca during that beginning stretch. Could sometimes see it, but only in the distance. On Good Friday afternoon we arrived in Casablanca on a train from Marrakesh.

THEN, we went to the beach.

I was overwhelmed. The Atlantic ocean, the gorgeous sunset, knowing the Lord had allowed me to be in that nation, meeting wonderful people -- both Moroccans and team members, seeing beautiful scenery, being blessed by the prayer and worship times.

I took photos of the ocean at that moment. What I didn't know until later was that someone had taken a photo of me praying, my heart overpowered by the Lord's grace and mercy on me. She mailed it to me some time later.

When I see this picture, on my book shelf, I am filled with desire to return to that ocean-site ... town ... nation.

Maybe that day will come ..... maybe.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I had my photo and name on there for at least 2 years. Got involved for a short time and then decided it just wasn't "my" thing. Except for the occasional whip-through, or checking on someone specific, I simply didn't do it.

A couple weeks ago, the Lord reminded me of something. In the past, I wrote hundreds
of letters a year.

In fact, I have a file cabinet drawer that is filled with letters to and from Uganda from 1989 to 1996 when Dave and I were very involved. In those days, faxing and phone calling was limited over there. Long-distance calls were generally expensive over here. Writing letters was the cheap way to go.

A few years ago, when postage stamp cost increased and emailing became the least expensive way to handle communication, as much as I didn't want this to become a no-option zone, it did. Now, I rarely send a letter unless I know the person doesn't have access to a computer and I don't have their phone number.

As a consequence, I also stopped being a true communicator. I used to write really good letters, long with lots of info and lots of good stories in the mix. Emails weren't quite the same. Mostly catch-up and boring or questions; not much of what I consider "sweetness and light".

And to me, FB was MORE than the same when it came to that.

Well, when the Lord laid it on me a few days ago, the reason was because I must return to a lifestyle that is heavily involved in communication. I needed to set aside my eye-rolling attitude, to try to connect and reconnect with friends and family. To start reading FB bits and pieces several times a day, make comments and keep these people in my heart every day, not just floating in the back of my mind, since I hadn't heard from or seen them for months or years.

So, in this short time, between reading blog posts more faithfully and reading FB, I've buried myself onto my computer. The result? I've enjoyed communication, have been able to stick my own thoughts and events out, and I've gained more and more than I ever expected I'd lose.

The Lord is so kind to push buttons and move us forward when we simply haven't desired to go a certain way. I'm grateful that He did. I hope more and more doors will open and the results will reveal His purpose.

Some of the bloggers I've been paying attention to are also the reason I'm taking this FB time. I truly respect them and their life-focus. If they can see the value of FB-ing, then I most certainly should be able to "grow up" in that new phase of life -- and quit digging in my heels so I don't have to move forward.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


OK. I know this will seem a bit intense, but that would describe my personality. Please just put up with it.

I have occasionally described our cultural change to people without describing it as simply a different form of secular activity.

When I was a kid, mostly back in the '50s and '60s, our family was one of the most "secular" anyone could have imagined. When, within our home, foul language and violence and other horrific behavior occurred, it did NOT fit into our society. What helped me see the other side was school. The principals and teachers usually set the rules very clearly. For instance, I couldn't hit other kids and scream, which was common at home. I couldn't cuss or tell dirty jokes. I wouldn't be accepted when acting in that fashion.

I came to the Lord when I was 20. To that point, in 1966, my lifestyle was overwhelmingly crummy, and wasn't improving. Before my salvation, I didn't fit into the normal culture.

About 20 years later, with my kids in high school in our Omaha neighborhood, the opposite had already occurred. For instance, a new teacher, with his heart for the kids, trying to help someone in a hall fight, was struck. He quit teaching. Kids and their "rights" suddenly began to rise above the former attitude. Over those few years, when kids came down our street near the high and junior high schools, I could hear the screaming, fighting, and language... words even I wouldn't have said when young, and rarely heard in my house. When my kids and their friends were coming into our house my common instruction was, "Leave your street talk outside."

So, another twenty-plus years later, it's even more opposite from what it was when I was a kid and raising my kids. My present insistence to grandkids, among others is "No, you can't watch 'R-rated movies or TV shows" ..." or "No, you can't 'text' while we're talking to each other". When I'm walking through tough neighborhoods, I'm not at all afraid of seeing the gangs hanging out. What I AM afraid of is hearing the obscene language... and having it planted in my head, constantly needing help to have my brain cleansed.

So, this might not seem very technical or politically correct or well-defined. But, I've lived through those changes ... and am struggling when I think of what might be continuing to head our direction and keep us Christians constantly on our toes, looking around, hoping to help others grow in HIM. Only Him.

Started thinking this way through the Word project. Sure got my brain spinning.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Can't even remember how this was brought up recently, but has really kept me thinking, questioning.

When we, speaking the Lord's
Prayer, asked for our Daily Bread, we grew up assuming it meant we would simply have our daily food needs met. Believe me, when I, for a number of years, was living in very poor circumstances, personally trying to find enough "Daily Bread" for my kids, I was very frightened. And then, through God's care, huge blessings occurred when groceries were left by my front door, or a church gave me a gift for groceries.

Once, in early 1
983, in Edmond, OK, Steve, my son, who was 10 years old at the time, and I were sitting at the table and eating supper. Each of us had a bowl of rice with milk and sugar. That was it. Period. A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door and a lady came in with two bags of groceries. My son put her in tears. Standing next to me, looking at the sacks, big eyed, he said, "Mom. FOOD." Bev gave me a check for $75.00 made for a grocery store and had already arranged with them that I could spend it. She stayed at the house while I went shopping. THAT gift was SUPREME "Daily Bread" -- in an extremely joyous gift!

In today's present life, "Daily Bread" could, however, mean, not just food, but the common everyday needs... when and wherever we live. Even though Nebraskans have needs, I'm highly aware that mo
st folks on the coastal sides of our nation face far more challenging financial or material basics than we do.

In our area, besides food and housing and utilities, most of us require cars... that means that we must have gas, oil changes, insurance, repairs, new tires and on and on. Sometimes buses, or other
inexpensive transportation, simply isn't available -- we don't have subways, for instance. In portions of our region, jobs and shopping locations are quite distant, or the local can-walk-to ones are expensive, i.e. convenience stores. [Yes, while working at times, and not having a car, I've bussed, walked, biked, and carpooled, so that's obviously less expensive, but also not too easily accomplished.]

Even those of us who try to liv
e as basically as possible in our society can really be struggling, day by day, and, especially, month by month, since that's the way the bills are scheduled.

So, besides just filling some of our necessary "Caesar" requirements or everyday ones
, Dave and I are rarely spending more. We've hit a phase of life that requires some heavy financial attention. Don't want to be irresponsible, to God or others.

So any thoughts? This may seem
a little extreme to some folks, and I'd like it if some ideas were shared and spread so we could adjust our lifestyles.

Oh, and I DON'T think most
of us should require fancy washers and dryers, any dishwashers, fragrant deodorant, tooth-whitening toothpaste, wrinkle-reducing creams, etc. There ARE "Daily" options, but I don't think things such as these count. We need to think about what's reasonable to anticipate the Lord's "Daily" touch for our lives, without which we simply can't make it.

Different locations, such as Uganda, where we lived, of course, have different requirem
ents, different needs, different daily "Breads".

Our yard fruit on our porch in Uganda.

Friday, November 11, 2011


To be honest, there won't be much "sorrow", but when life is life things can't be perfect. Been thinking about the bits and pieces in Minnesota and the drive home.

One joy I always have on these
trips is seeing the two longest rivers in our nation -- or what many people consider it to be one LONG river, having given the Missouri the credit.

The Mississippi photo is about 10 miles from the source site. The following one is the source.

Had a nice time walking with a
little girl around her parent's land while Susie and her Dad were talking. That little one really liked this shadowful event. Pointed at my LONG legs and giggled and giggled.

One of the challenges: churches.

One is
growing solidly... not poured with lots of folks, but very, very foundational. So that is joyful.

On the other hand, a few times during my drives up north through t
his countryside, I have seen country churches that are damaged -- paint stripped, roofs falling apart, weeds clamoring through the gravel parking lots, and even the grave sites not looking cared for. So sad. Life has changed in this hundreds-square-miled part of our nation, and it is sending a future message, a sorrowful one.

And NOW, my final JOY. Stop
ped to take photos on the Winnebago and Omaha Reservations. Mostly Missouri River, a few rolling hills, and autumn-colored trees. While taking other photos, and hearing all this racket overhead, I couldn't see anything for some seconds, nearly a minute. Then suddenly caught this.

[One of my main joys connected to living in the Plains portion of the country is something I rarely saw in the Northwest or California. Flocks and flocks and flocks of hundreds of birds. I'm overwhelmed when I'm driving and see them on the land, on the ponds and lakes, and floating through the sky.]

Know this isn't filled with lots of overly intellectual and challenging topics and spiritual kick-ups. But, except for one serious event, this trip truly was "sweetness and light."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I returned home on Monday evening after 2 weeks between here and northern Minnesota, mostly at Susie's, and a time of blessing beyond belief.

When I left home, the weather in Omaha was, of course, heading towards colder stretches, and, yes, leaves falling off trees.

However, when I reached the house, it was overwhelmingly obvious that wind had been "swiffing" through here, piles of leaves all over the neighborhood, PILES in our yard.

But, besides the leaves being overwhelming and my mind struggling with how soon I can possibly do the raking and bagging and cleaning ...

even though I'm not always a "movie" person,
this one
jumped into my mind...

and made
me grin.


and the

Friday, November 4, 2011


Yesterday morning I drove up to the Red Lake Reservation to take Pastor Josephine to a home about 100 miles north of her, in Baudette, MN, on the Canadian border, so we could hang out with our dear friends. They had come down to her church to minister to the folks, but she had never had a chance to go up to their house. I always look forward to visiting Dave and Ducky, who I met about 7 years ago up here, and I was also excited that I would have Josephine with me privately for some hours and we'd get to know each other better. That was the whole plan.

I've often said that if I'm not driving around the reservation carefully enough, I end up in some real trouble. It's been crazy in the past, scaring the tar out of me a few times. Yesterday, however, I wasn't concerned, partly because I would have Josephine with me and partly because I wasn't just "touristing" or "prayer driving", but was doing a "God-job" and knew it was another "Right Place, Right Time" action.

We were driving along the main highway between two of the towns that were a few miles apart. A large van-style vehicle pulled in behind me and was right on my tail, pushing and prodding. The speed limit was 50 mph and that's what I was doing. No one was in front of me.

I saw a German Shepherd-ish dog on the side of the road, a bit ahead of me, wandering in a ditch. It suddenly cut up onto the highway, not running, but moving rather quickly. I had to hit the brakes, first slowing, then stopping. The dog jig-jagged in front of my car, then cut into the other lane. As it did, the van behind me swung into the other lane, not slowing even the slightest, just missed the dog, popped back and forth a bit, and hit the road in front of me, speeding, another car headed towards it in the other lane. It could have been one big mess of vehicles, people, and a dog. Of course, this whole event was very few seconds.

As I started moving forward, the crisis past, my eyes were BIG, my breathing slow. I glanced at Josephine. She was quietly, intensely staring ahead. We knew we had been protected by the Lord.

After that, all the miles up to Baudette and back, there was not one tiny road issue. It was a total of about 250 miles from Susie's to Baudette and back.

When I arrived at Susie's, after my long 9-hour visit-and- drive day, rejoicing for my blessed time with Josephine and Dave and Ducky, I was also rejoicing that my Father had protected me and mine.

My heart has been singing "Hallelujah" ever since.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


On Sunday morning, during my present visit in northern MN at Susie’s, I had the blessed opportunity to go to a fellowship meeting. About a dozen folks were in the house, mostly 60 to 70-plus years old... and when I walked in I knew I was at “home”... they were joyfully worshiping and praising the Lord.

I attended because a couple I met about a dozen years ago, from another portion of northern MN, was going to be there, the husband speaking. I always LO
VE listening to him share.

Voice of the Martyrs is their present ministry. Between their involvement with VOM and other groups, he has been in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. He has smuggled Bibles, attended underground church meetings, baptized brand-new Christians –-
once in mucky water right next to cobra-infested river banks. He's 70 now and still ready and willing to go.

When I left the house and was climbing into my car, something caught my eye. In the midst of a very gray day, bright red berries hanging in a tree.

And that is one of the principles most of us don’t quite understand. Before I was told about this
word carnival today, I had already been thinking about the manner in which God drops His bright red color into our lives and the lives of others ... especially the persecuted, imprisoned, martyred in many locations of our world.

When Doug quoted pastors and others in persecution-oriented locations it caught my attention... and my heart. You see, they see persecution and imprisonment –- gray and dark in our perception -- as God’s colorful strategy to bring more and more people to Jesus. They know that at some point, just like us, they will be taken Home –- maybe far earlier than most of us will experience –- but before that occurs, whatever it costs here on earth, their focus is to draw people to Jesus.

The Blood of Jesus sprinkles and sparkles throughout our gray world. HE is the World-Wide Strategist.