Mr. Scott

He shared with our entire congregation tonight. “You identify yourself with what you do, and when you can’t do that anymore, you feel like you aren’t anything.”

So true. Been there. It took me a couple years after I was done teaching to know “who I was.” I was always a teacher and a mom. I didn’t know what else I was, or could be. I’m very thankful the Lord began showing me the writing life.

Mr. Scott also shared Psalm 29…Read it here.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2029

I love the evidences of God’s immense power in this Psalm. Also the last verse where it says that he will give his children strength and peace.

Our series is about “Bravery.” Thanks for trusting the Holy Spirit tonight Mr. Scott. We all love you, and appreciated your story of how the Lord restored your health. Thanks for your honesty, transparency, and inspiration.

Have you experienced huge life changes, and what got you through them?

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The Sweetness of Life and Death

This may sound strange. Life can be sweet, but how can death be sweet? I have seen several examples of this from friends just in the last few weeks.

One example: A couple who I was doing respite visits with… she went on to heaven before he did. Married 67 years. Witnessing the celebration of her life and faith, I saw four generations and heard testimonies from grandchildren. One granddaughter gave a simple three-pronged approach to knowing the Lord as your Savior. That grandma’s prayers for her grandchildren was evident.

Another: A friend’s mom recently died, and she knows she is in heaven. She shared she taught her the most important things in life, loving God, and loving others. I say that mom left a sweet legacy.

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Here’s one: A mom, who lost her 15 year old son, got up in front of thousands of people and gave the ABC’s of accepting Christ. She wanted all those high school kids to know how to be in heaven like her son is. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

Get this: A friend who lost her 18 year old son 7 years ago, said she wants to have enough faith, to make sure she sees her son again someday. That’s beauty.

One more: A dear couple we just visited yesterday…the husband died last night. They took care of each other for over SEVENTY years. She has the word of God in her hands today. I am sure of that.

Do you know a story of legacy, or sweetness even through death?

 

Posted in Death, faith, faithful members of our community, Grief and loss, love, Marriage Commitment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the Difference?

Yesterday, I asked you to tell me about little things we could do or say that make big impacts on people. Thank you to the people who responded with neat ideas and experiences.

Today, did you get a chance to do that for anyone? It is a blessing to give. I always feel like I end up much more blessed than the person that I. was supposed to be blessing.

One thing my husband and I had the honor of doing tonight, was to visit an elderly couple from our church. It really made me think about appreciating life, long marriage, the importance of faith, and hope. I will probably be able to share more about this story at a later time.

Do you have thoughts about this? What ways were you blessed by giving? Do you have a story to share from a long time ago? It can be the littlest things that make a huge impact and are remembered the longest.

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Make a Difference Today

Thought for today: How can I make a difference today? How can I do or say something that lasts? Maybe what I write today, will be read or remembered 100 years from now! Or even next week? Think what a big change that would make in the world.

What is one thing you can do or say today that would make a huge difference? Please leave a comment on your thoughts on positive things we can do or say.

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As the New Year is here again, Set Your Heart, and don’t worry so much about goals

Thinking about the new year approaching again, it seems as I get older, it comes faster and faster each time. Here we are again, on New Year’s Eve. Some are fretting about goals and resolutions.

What I want to do most, is SET MY HEART. In Colossians 3, verse 1-2, it says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

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It’s been a wonderful year, good health, trips to Washington and Alaska, boating time with my husband, new friends, a wonderful family, exciting possibilities in the writing world, and so much learning. As I learn, I realize I have so much more to learn. God is so faithful, giving me many opportunities.

Colossians 3 is a beautiful chapter…read the whole thing here….https://www.bible.com/bible/111/col.3

Or you can add the app of the Bible for any of your devices and read it anywhere, anytime…. https://www.youversion.com/apps

I’ve made many mistakes in life, and this year. Some things have been really hard. Now it’s time to move on, as a forgiven child of God. Yes, I will have some goals, like not wasting as much time on Facebook and getting my face in the BOOK more. But most of all I am planning to SET MY HEART on things above.

Photo credit: Chad TImmer. Overisel, Michigan, Nov. 18, 2015.

Bless you, my dear friends and family. Thank you for supporting me. Make it a wonderful new start for a NEW year. I love you all.

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

Gerrit Kleinheksel and his wife Bertha set their minds to building a big sturdy farmhouse in 1905. The deep dark pine was abundant and the fresh scent of sawdust filled the air as the handsaws sliced back and forth. The finished home had huge bulkheads leading from the kitchen, through a dining room, ushering them through double doors, inviting all to the front room. Two staircases cascaded into the large front parlor area. Every doorway, window, and baseboard was built with wide panels of pine. The wood shined brightly when rubbed clean every Saturday. Huge windows allowed sunlight to burst from each direction. Never did they miss a sunrise or sunset.

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Large panes of glass brought forth daylight to accomplish their daily tasks. By night they would light the kerosene lamps to sew, read, or take their Saturday night baths with heated water from the coal stove. No matter if the harvest was bountiful, or hardship remained, they believed in God’s provision.

Gerrit felt blessed to provide his family a warm, simple, but solidly built home. He worked hard in the fields and barn each day. After their evening meal, he reached for the bible. The lamp lit the passage each night, praying in the dim light thanking the Father above.

His first wife, Emma, had passed away a few years after they had a little girl named Josephine. She played in the barn and picked dandelions as her daddy and stepmom, Bertha, worked hard on the farm. They would revel in the soft breeze which swept through those corn and wheat fields surrounding. The Lord revealed Himself in nature with the grain they held in their hand, the tornado passing by, or the badly needed rains to refresh.

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Josephine was the only child until she was 17 years old. Her mom and daddy had a little boy named Gordon B.  Josephine loved to hold him and help with chores around the home. But as women did in those days, she married young, and was soon living on the next country mile helping her own husband on their farm.

Little Gordon grew to be a teenager of 18, when tragedy struck. Across the street, his cousin, best friend and neighbor noticed Gerrit’s barn doors didn’t open one morning. The reason was revealed as the day went on. Gerrit had been taken to the hospital after a horse kicked him in the stomach. Young Gordon became a man that week. He was charged by the “dominie” at his father’s funeral, to take over the farm and care for his mother.

As time went on, Gordon B. married a beautiful young woman from town and they called the family farmhouse their own. It was filled with six children who came over a 17 year span. No matter what the weather they worked the fields and cared for the livestock in the barn. There were tough and joyous times.

Martha was indeed a city gal, but from very little means, so she was not afraid of hard work. She was trained in several instruments and and played her piano to relax in the evening. Music filled every corner of the home deep into the woodwork. The wood absorbed the love, laughter, music and tears that happened inside those walls. Her ink pen was dipped into the ink, recording the events on her diary page every single night before she placed her weary head on the pillow.

Gordon and Martha held firm to their faith, as they were provided for during harsh winters, rainy springtimes, bountiful harvests, and many a storm. The farmhouse was filled with boisterous activity. Gordon also reached for the bible after every evening meal. They raised their children and held them up with open hands.  Seven bedrooms were often filled over capacity as cousins came for summers, Martha’s sibling’s families often visited from other states, neighbor kids played. Everyone was welcome at the kitchen table. Many were drawn to Gordon and Martha and the home was filled to the brim.

The family changed in so many twisting and turning ways over the years. Martha died unexpectedly and that set into motion many, many changes over the next 45 years. The family kept evolving in painful and joyous ways. The farm grew as Gordon’s two sons and two grandsons continued to farm. One daughter died, two stepmothers died, and the other three daughters eventually moved and had their own homes and families. Gordon’s health got him long before he would have agreed to it.

My last look from upstairs, spring of 2015.

My last look from upstairs, spring of 2015.

As you might know, Gerrit and Bertha were my grandparents, Josephine was my Aunt, Gordon and Martha my parents.

The time came this fall, when the house was demolished. The farmhouse will always remain home in my mind and heart although it’s not there. Now the sawdust has settled for good, the swing tree is gone, the hollyhocks have disappeared. Cats no longer roam the yard.

The "swing tree." My swing hung from the horizontal branch.

The “swing tree.” My swing hung from the horizontal branch.

For 110 years it was a bustling home. Now it is a silent, flat piece of land. One tree stands to usher in the rays of the sunrise each morning. Farewell, my childhood home.

The house used to stand east of the white barn. This picture looks west. November, 2015.

The house used to stand east of the white barn. This picture looks west. November, 2015.

My heart is where my home is, and my home is where my heart is.

Do you have a childhood home story? What do you think about the connections of your home and heart?

 

Posted in ancestors, Ancestry, Childhood, Dad, faith, Family, Farming, Father loss, God's faithfulness, Grief and loss, Memories, mother loss, piano playing, trust in God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The WORD

 

…”the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And He added, “These are true words that come from God.” Revelation 19:9 (NLT)

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The written word was so important to God, that he made sure that we had the Bible. Covering thousands of years, it has been recorded and preserved by over 40 authors, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In John 1:1-1, it says, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (NLT) He is the very essence of the writing.

There are so many references to writing, words, speaking and relaying messages in the bible if you pay attention to them. It is amazing that the Holy scriptures are God’s actual words for us to read. He loves us so much that He wants us to know Him intimately and gave Himself to us in the Bible.

Thousands of years ago, the Lord told the prophets what to write. Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  The prophet Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, in Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel…” When Jesus came he fulfilled many prophecies. We can have complete faith in God’s word because he has proven Himself to be trustworthy.

In Habakkuk 2:2-3, He says, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” (NIV)

Paul says in Corinthians 3:3, “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on human hearts.” (NIV)

God is interested in what we say and write. We need to let Him infuse His Holy Spirit through us so that we are saying exactly what He desires.

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In Acts 2:17-19, it says, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below…”(NIV)

My prayer is: Word of Life, help me to write and speak your words, and ONLY your words! May they be exactly what you want them to be. AMEN.

Posted in Bible, God, God's faithfulness, God's Holy Word, trust in God, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments