Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wrapped in His Love

On Saturday I attended the women's conference at our church titled "Wrapped in His love". Wow. Dee Brestin, a well-known author and speaker was our speaker. You have got to get the CD's of this! She is a very humorous speaker and yet she can bring tears the next moment. I fell in love with Jesus all over again!

Dee Brestin said she was talking with Janelle Paden about why some children leave the faith when they go off to college. Janelle's answer was "Their hearts have not been captured by God." We need to pray that God captures our children's hearts. That they will be enthralled with Him! And this was really her topic too - that it is God's desire to capture our hearts. He loves us, as a Bridegroom loves his bride. And He desires us to love Him!

I loved Dee's many movie clips that she provided. The first one was from the movie "Miss Potter" where Beatrix Potter's suitor teaches her to dance. Dee went on to say that God is the Lord of the dance. The Bible is not a book of advice and rules. No! It is a book of love. He desires to love us and to have us love Him back. "As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you" Is. 62:5 He wants to teach us to dance. Put your hand in His and let Him lead.

Another clip I especially appreciated was from "Fiddler on the Roof".

At our church Valentine Banquet one year, Allen and I did this very scene. I'm afraid we were laughed at. At any rate, God isn't interested in people who follow rules. What He wants is people who love Him. The Pharisees and scribes kept the rules but they didn't love Him like they should. They defined sin as those who broke the rules. But He asks "Do you love me?" Do we answer "For 25 years I've gone to church, sung in the choir, served on committees..." We can't earn His love! Do we love Him or do we just want His blessings? Serving Him comes out of our love for Him, our intimacy with Him.

In Biblical times, young women were given alabaster jars with perfume that would be used as a dowry, to be given to her intended. In fact, they would be worth about a years' wage. Mary gave her most precious thing to Jesus. She abandoned herself to her Bridegroom. He is our Bridegroom. Are we willing to abandon all to Jesus? To let Him love us? We ended the conference pouring out our "alabaster jars" of oil as a picture of our love to Him.

Here is a picture of Dee with me. What a privilege to meet her. She also has a precious adopted daughter from Seoul, Korea so we had something in common.


Sunday afternoon while Jill and Adam had a double-date with the Buhlers to go see "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", we watched the girls. We had a good rain on Saturday night so the construction site next door was a great place for Hannah to play in the mud! She had a blast!

We had to wash off at the outdoor faucet before going inside! We threw the clothes in the washing machine and threw the girls in the tub.

As you can see, we are "fun" grandparents. At least we try to be. Hannah calls me her "spoiling Nana". I didn't really know my grandparents at all having grown up an ocean away and only coming to America once every 5 years. Infact, when we were coming to America when I was seven, my mom was telling me that we would be seeing my grandparents. I asked her "What is a grandparent?" I remember the shock of her telling me that she had parents. I had no idea! I am so grateful that in this day and age we are able to have blogs, e-mails, skype and fast wheels to keep in touch with our granddaughter, Emeri in Arkansas!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yesterday, Jill was not feeling well so Hannah and Sophia came to my house. It was such a beautiful day so we explored the "woods" behind our home.

Hannah was picking these weeds and I heard her muttering to herself "these will be a beautiful get - well gift for my mommy." So we brought them back to the house and tied a ribbon around them for Jill. Aren't they beautiful??

The girls always enjoy playing in the playhouse under the stairs at our home.

Hannah lined up all her friends on the couch...
Lily Mae
Buttercup (the bunny from my yard)

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Last night, Jennifer Veer (Kelsey's mom) and I went out. We love going to concerts and Philip Aaberg (piano), Darol Anger (violin) and Eugene Friesen (cello) were performing at the Stiefel Theatre in Salina. They were accompanied in the 2nd half by the Fairmount String Quintet and Foofaraw Woodwind Quintet. We hear Eugene Friesen often when we listen to 90.1 Nightcrossings at 9:00 in the evening. This music is jazz/new agey/blues. Not sure what you call it. Most of the pieces were new compositions. These guys come from Vermont, Montana and Portland. Eugene Friesen is originally from Hillsboro, not a surprise.

What a place!! Very elaborate little theatre!
Look at the drinking fountain!

This light was suspended from the ceiling in the main theatre.

I felt like we'd been transformed back to the 20's or something.

They didn't allow flash photography and I tried a setting on my camera so I could take a picture of them in concert. Well, it didn't really work. The flash didn't go off, luckily, or they might have kicked me out, but it looks like we watched a performance of ghosts!
One of the numbers that Philip Aaberg performed on the piano he called "That Train" - a spin off of "This Train", which he feels is a little too exclusive. The words of the original song go "this train don't carry no gamblers, this cigar smokers, etc." Jen and I weren't sure exactly how he was taking that. Probably he didn't like the exclusivity of the gospel. But Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me."John 14:6. Oprah and others of this age don't like that. They feel all faiths lead to God.

Another thought is that the train really is filled with sinners. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8. The only way I stand a chance is through Christ. It is nothing I do. "A man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ." Gal. 2:15, Titus 3:5, Eph. 2:8,9. We are to live for Christ but in ourselves, we can never be righteous enough to deserve heaven. It is only in our faith in Christ's work on the cross. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

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Today is Cora's 1st birthday. She is celebrating in heaven. At Bible study, we put a candle in our coffee cake and sang "Happy Birthday" to Cora. We also sang a verse for Tami, whose birthday is also today.

In the afternoon, we had a meeting at church with Jess and Joel and their parents. We have begun thinking about the design for Cora's Playground. It really is mind-boggling how many people from around the world are supporting this. Very humbling. We are overjoyed with knowing that God's Word is being proclaimed. "All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing." Col. 1:6. Joel and Jess and many with them are faithfully sharing God's faithfulness and love. So many are now beginning to follow Christ and live for Him because of their story.

Tonight is the jewelry party - a fundraiser to help Joel and Jess with expenses. I will also be having a sign up for the Cora Scrabble Tile pendant. That money will go to the playground. It is so neat to see people wearing the necklace and also the messy flower pins! If some of you reading this want one, let me know!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Tonight at church we had our monthly Mom-to-Mom. Around 90 women came! The evening began with a salad supper and ice-cream (in a flower pot) for dessert. After dinner we watched a slide show of our children (so adorable!) and saw a video clip from "Kids Say the Darnest Things", a show that used to be on t.v. back in the 60's if I recall. What a hoot! Incidently, when our own Mindy arrived from Korea, I had my camera all ready to take her picture as she came off the plane. But guess who came off the plane first?? Art Linkletter, the host of that show! I snapped a picture of course!

Janelle Shoenwald was the speaker for the evening. For those of you reading this who don't know who she is, she is from the Wichita area. Her children attended Berean Academy. I'll try my best to sort of recap her story. I can't justify how well she told it, but here is my attempt at it.

A year ago in February, her family was traveling to Colorado to go skiing when they were involved in a horrible accident. Their car hit a trailer pulled by a pickup and went across the median and was hit by a semi. Her husband and 2 of her children were killed instantly. She said it happened at dawn - "darkness always comes just before the dawn". Often, we go through the darkest times don't we, before we see the dawn.

Two of her daughters, who are twins, survived the accident. Janelle was thrown from the vehicle and landed in the median. They said her head was only a foot away from where the semi drove past when it crashed into their car. God left her for a reason. One of the daughters recalled hearing the loud crash of the accident and then the sudden stillness. No one responded to her calls but she said she heard God speak and was certain of His presence. The other twin came out of her
unconsciousness and they spoke to one another until the responders came to take them to the hospital. When the responders came, one of the girls told them "It's ok. We're Christians." She didn't mean it was ok, but it was, because even if no one survived, she knew they would all be with Christ. One of the twins was taken to a different hospital and for awhile, she did not know if any other member of her family made it. "It's just You and me, God" she said. Janelle challenged us that the most important, most loving gift you can give your child is to introduce them to Christ. These children were assured of God's love for them.

The healing time was not easy. At first she said that it felt that a black gauze covered the world. It was dark and everyone seemed to be distant. How difficult it was for her to tell her girls that her husband and 2 of their siblings did not survive. But what hope to know that they are with Christ.

Janelle wrote a song and I asked her for the words. Here is what she said and the song she wrote:

"When my children were very small I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising a family. I wanted nothing more than to know my children "walked in truth", but at times I felt inadequate to see that happen. I sought God's help and I wrote a song, a prayer actually that I sang often. This was my prayer:

Lord, give me wisdom
Lord, give me peace
Lord, give me courage to ward off defeat
Lord give me patience and strength for the day
Lord, give me the right words to say:

To mold these young lives to become more like You
I want them to know You, to love You and serve You
When my life is over, may my reward be
To see all of my children with Thee.

Make me an example
A pure shining light,
Give me the courage to do what is right.
Make me a reflection of all that you are
But Lord, you must give me the power:

To mold these young lives to become more like You
I want them to know You, to love You and serve You
When my life is over, may my reward be
To see all of my children with Thee.

When my life is over, Oh Lord, let me see, all of my children with Thee.

Two of my children are with God right now. I look forward to the day I can worship around God's throne with all my children."

That is what is most important! Pray for your children, just as Janelle did, that God would draw them to Himself, that they would grow up to love Him and serve Him.

Robyn Stucky did videotape this evening, so for those of you who missed this, you can maybe ask for a copy.