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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

This is my dear friend, Sheryl. When we moved to Quail Creek back in '87, she lived across the street from us. We became walking partners and eventually became wallpapering partners too. They moved out to the country and we moved to Autumn Glen, and she now works full-time. But we still walk together whenever we can. Last week her Dad passed away.

Sheryl's Dad was Alton Matz.
He got cancer around 26 years ago
and was told he had 6 months to live. Not so.

Then a couple of years ago, he had a
massive heart attack
and was pronounced brain dead.

He defied the odds and came back quite normal!

But this past week, it was finally his time to go.
The funeral was a beautiful memory of his life.

They sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
I love that song! We sang it in boarding school
when I was in grade school.
Jesus is my dearest Friend so this song speaks to me!

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge! Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do Thy friends despise, forsake Thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield Thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.

The author of this poem, Joseph Scriven watched his fiancee drown the day before his wedding day. Reeling from the tragedy, he immigrated to Canada from Ireland. He later learned his mother was going through a crisis and so he wrote the above poem to comfort her. He did not intend for anyone to see it. Meanwhile, he fell in love again, but his bride to be died of tuberculosis before the wedding could take place. This man knew tragedy. This poem was then put to music.

The funeral was in Marion at the Valley United Methodist Church.
The inside of the church was breathtaking -

the stain glass.....

...the ceiling

Here is the courthouse in Marion.

And the historic Elgin Hotel that was built in 1886 for $25,000.

I understand that it is being renovated as a Bed and Breakfast.

I loved the drive through the rolling hills.

I had to stop to take pictures of an old house and barn.
Wish buildings could talk!

I love the Kansas plains!

I decided to stop in Peabody. Unfortunately, not many shops were open.
I did find one antique shop open.
The owner told me many of the stores are open
only on Saturdays, or even every other Saturday.

I found 2 Tiny Tears baby dolls.
I used to have one.
When we came to America,
we left it behind in Japan. So sad.
My parents just couldn't ship everything.

They cost $115 and $65! Too bad.
Won't pay that much for nostalgia.
I did love my dollies though!
My favorite was Baby Dear.
We left her behind too.
Maybe some day I'll find them on-line
at an affordable price.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cough, cough!

Yesterday while Jill was teaching Kindermusik (Sophia is in that class), Hannah and I ran some errands. Here is Hannah on her "phone". She said she was calling Shirley (whoever that is) to see if she could help me in the church nursery on Sunday. You know that I am obviously a very poor example to my grandchildren as I talk on my phone while driving. Someday they'll probably make it against the law, but until then... Hannah and I decided to go to Drubers for some donuts. She wanted the donut with sprinkles and she also asked me to get some donut holes. She took a donut hole and began to cram it into the hole of the donut.

Then she said "Jesus came into the heart of the donut hole."

When it was time for Hannah's Kindermusik class, I took her and picked up Sophia. She came to the grocery store with me. She loves to go to the store! I have heard that if you want to save money on your grocery bill, leave the children behind. I understand why.

Last Thursday at my young mom's Bible study, Kendall Smith brought this delicious bubble bread. Here is the recipe:

Bubble Bread

24 oz. rolls (I use 18 frozen Rhodes rolls)

3 oz. pkg butterscotch pudding (not instant)

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick butter

Butter bundt cake pan. Dump in frozen rolls. Blend pudding mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl. Scatter over rolls. It will sift down as rolls rise. Cut butter into thin pats and arrange over top of rolls. Cover pan with foil, leaving covered pan to rise on counter overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake covered for 35 minutes. Turn onto plate.

I decided to make this for my old(er) ladies' (except for Julie Friesen) Bible study this morning. Kendall, are you SURE it takes a whole stick of butter? A tip - put a cookie sheet under the Bubble bread. Some of the butter spilled over onto the bottom of my oven and this is what happened!!!

I had to open all the windows and turn on all the fans. Cough, cough!!! And now this afternoon I have the oven on self-cleaning and it is an awful, horrible smell in the house! I was able to clear out the house for the most part by the time the ladies' arrived. It was quite chilly since I had had the windows open, but I had to! Sorry, ladies!

Luckily, the bubble bread turned out wonderfully! YUM! So gooey and delicious! By the way, I have added to the recipe - "Put cookie sheet underneath".

Half of the women were missing from study today due to various circumstances, but here are some of us.

This year we have been studying the Sermon on the Mount. It has been very good! Thank you, Debbie Fry for leading this!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Oops! The party was Saturday morning, not Good Friday morning. Good grief! This past weekend was such a blur!

Easter Weekend

On Good Friday morning, we had a party at Kathy Beverlin's house. Around 30 friends from church gathered together to surprise Jess. We knew it would probably be a difficult weekend for her. For about a month, the girls from the young married's Sunday School class and a few others (like we oldies) purchased many of the Cora Paige Etsy items that were being sold by crafters all over the country. Many of these crafters did not know Jess personally but had been touched by the story of Cora's life. We wanted Jess to have a collection of these items. Amanda Balzer and Kendall Smith wrote a darling poem to help present Jess with her with the basket of love. You can read this poem on Amanda's blog: Here is the basket that was given with some of the items. We passed all the things around the room so we could see them all.

Most everyone had been given a page to fill out with verses or memories of Cora and Kendall put this little scrap book together for Jess to treasure.

Kathy fixed delicious waffles...

...with all the trimmings.

And a great coffee bar too!

Gorgeous flowers!

My dear friend Sarah, who helps me co-lead our young mom's Bible study on Daniel. With her sweet daughter, Rachael who is married to Jess' brother. We are looking forward to having them move back to the Newton area!! Can't wait for Matt to begin working in our basement!!

On Friday evening, Allen and I decided to go to a concert at the colliseum. We got there an hour early, but had to park on the south side of the colliseum. I've never had to do that before. At $10 tickets, the place was packed! Sold out!

I could have done without Hawk Nelson - way too loud and screechy for me!!! When you can't even understand the words, I can't find that worshipful. But lots of people knew all the words and were truly praising God. For me - it was a great time for intermission! But Jeremy Camp and Mercy Me were great.

When we got there, we found decent seats but ended up moving because when the singing began the kids in front of us were going to be standing the whole concert. My ankles and feet can't take that. So we worked our way around the colliseum and couldn't find any seats at all! Finally we ended up behind the stage!

And actually that wasn't a bad thing. The screen was a 2-way and we could watch the bands fairly close. I knew I might be in trouble when the lady next to me was dancing in her seat. Wow was she ever bouncy!! She was really into it!! But the neat thing was to be able to see the people in the first few rows. Did you know that the Timothy Connor family was on the front row?? They won tickets evidently to be there and to also get to go backstage with the bands. Wow! There were 4 girls on the second row who you could tell had no desire to be there. I think they were Emos - a new fad of showing no emotions. So I prayed for each one individually. Age 16 is a time of much turmoil for many but is a time God speaks to kids' hearts too. Both Al and I committed our lives to Him at that age.

Although many of the bands were not my type of music, and seeing vendors with cotton candy going up and down the aisles made it seem more like a circus than a worship concert, it was good to see this sold out crowd praising the King of Kings. I wonder how, when we are in heaven we will all worship Christ with our various music style likes and dislikes? Country music, heavy metal rock, mellow style, African..... It seems people are very particular on what they like in music, you know? I wonder what "heaven" music will be like? I loved Jeremy Camps' song "There will be a day". The older I get, the more I do long for that day!

On Saturday we celebrated Easter with my parents, Aunt Millie, Mindy and Dex and Adam, Jill and the girls.

We had a fun Easter egg hunt. Sophia was so excited, she just had to do a somersault!

On Easter Sunday, I took a picture at church of the cross we had up on the stage. I think my camera is demon possessed though, because it uploaded all my pictures in my camera except that one! I re-tried to load it again onto my computer (it is in my camera!) but it just will not do it!! Very wierd. I really wanted to post it here, but oh well.

We had nursery for kids 0-5 and it was really fun. LOTS of volunteers and I even had to tell some that we didn't need them! Last week I was sweating it that we might have to tell people a nursery wouldn't be provided. We were giving all our regular staff the day off, but there were many willing to come and be with the children. It was so fun to sing with the kids - I went to each room, toddler through 5's to tell the Easter story and sing with them. At the end, each child got to take an Easter egg with them. The older children had theirs filled with jelly beans and a poem that tells the story of Easter. The younger children had theirs filled with little fishies and the words "Follow the Fisherman" on the egg.

Church was so good and I had to cry just thinking again of Christ's love and sacrifice for us. I have been reading "Forever in Love with Jesus" and it says "Nothing seems to trouble the Lord more than being forgotten and betrayed by the one for whom He has sacrificed so much. If you don't really care for someone, you are not terribly hurt if he does not care for you. But as Charles Spurgeon observed: 'This, then is clear proof that God greatly loves His people, since, whenever their hearts wander from Him, He is greatly grieved.' If you have experienced betrayal by a spouse, best friend, or close family member, then you know there is no pain like it. When you are knit together with someone, whether in body or in soul, and a severing occurs, it tears at your very being. You are unable to sleep, to concentrate, to keep the tears from flowing." Christ longs for an intimate relationship with us, but how often, as believers, we find ourselves too busy for Him, even ignore Him. "He rejoices over us, and it breaks His heart to be forgotten, to see us running after other lovers, reducing our relationship to ritual, breaking our 'marriage vows'."

Sunday afternoon, the extended Graber family came over for Easter. We had 3 pies, fruit/angelfood torte and lots of other food. Yum!!

The Graber girls (and one Stephenson - Al's sister, Julie, on the right).

Al and his brothers, Reuben and Sid.

Usually, we hide eggs and the littlest kids hunt for them. Well, Mindy and Dex had given us the idea of having everyone do the searching. So we made everyone go to our bedroom (and we found out when we went to bed last night that they short sheeted us while they were in there!) while Allen and I hid over 100 eggs all over the house, upstairs and downstairs (since it was raining outside).

What's in this one?

Sophie is fussy today - probably from

too much chocolate!

Hannah took her eggs and lined up all the chocolates and sorted them.

Then she proceeded to put them in her sock. Yummy!
What a blessing of family and friends!