Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet sweet times with lifelong friends.

There is just something so special in being with people who have known you all of your adult life.
Scud and I have had the extremely, what i consider rare privilege of being involved in some couples lives for 30-35 years.
This past weekend we went to San Jose to celebrate the Legacy of Young Life in San Jose for the past 57 years. Yes, I wondered too why 57 years, but the faithful committee in San Jose just decided it was time to celebrate. And celebrate we did!! It was such a marvelous 2 evenings of being with the wonderful staff that had ministered over the years and the committee who has worked tirelessly over the years, the tremendous leaders who have loved teens so well, and of course the kids.
I mean to be able to reconnect with kids lives that you haven't seen in 25-30 years who wanted to come remember what YL meant to them, it was truly a special time.
I can't thank the LORD enough for how He has blessed my life abundantly thru the ministry of YL in San Jose. To hug girls who I loved so dearly while they were in high school and college and briefly catch up with, to seeing leaders who gave so much of themselves trying to share Christ with kids, and then being with some people who worked behind the scenes so diligently and prayed so hard-the amazing committee, was incredible!!

And then there was the time spent with our dear friends who we have had the privilege of "doing life" with from the time we were newlyweds and on staff together in the 1970's. The people who know us the best. The ones who love me in spite of knowing me. These dear sweet friends, none of who lives closer than 3 hours away now but have lived thousands of miles apart at different stages have stayed close thru the years. We've changed and grown and been thru so much together. How could you not love those people. These are the ones who we have walked thru the joys and tragedies of life with: the births of our children, the death of one of those dear babies, watching our kids grow up, praying for our kids as some chose to walk away from the Lord for a time, we have supported each other thru our parents deaths, thru vocational challenges and changes, we have attended the weddings of our children, celebrated the births of our precious grandbabies, and sadly watched one of our couples divorce.
But we LOVE each other and I believe we love each other well. WE never get together without praying and that is so sweet.
These friendships are holy and sacred to me. And I realize the older I get, how rare this type of friendship is. WE know each other well, don't judge each other and will always be here for each other-even if distance keeps us physically apart. My life would be missing so so much if I had not known the Walters, the Sievers and the Tuttles. (and I can't believe again that we didn't take a group pic!)

How graciously God has blessed me!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Choice is OURS

This week I started reading in Deuteronomy during my quiet time. I thought I was going to read Joshua, but I beleive that God's Holy Spirit led me to Dueteronomy instead.
Basically, Deuteronomy is a history lesson for the Israelites of their journey out of Egypt, and into the 40 year period of wandering in the desert until they reached the land promised to them by God. The book highlights what they have experienced.

I have only read the first eleven chapters as of today and have been stuck again and again by the words God spoke (thru Moses) to His chosen people.

Here a quite a few of them:

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God.

Observe them carefully for this will show your wisdom and understanding.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

So, be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you.

BE careful that you do not forget the LORD.

Fear the LORD your God and serve Him only; do not follow other gods.

Remember, how the LORD your God led you all the humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.

And now..what does the LORD your God ask of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to observe the LORD"S commands and decrees.

Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. HOLD fast to Him.

BE careful or you will be enticed to turn away and worship the other gods.

Fix these words of mine on your hearts and minds.

If I counted them all, I'm sure there would be over 100 of these like phrases.



So often we find ourselves in troubling times. A crisis hits our life or someone that we care about. We make fast track to the LORD with our requests , we need HIM to show us that He is there, that He cares. And we are grateful that we can turn to Him.

Repeatedly in Deuteronomy, we are told not to forget God's words. That we are to obey His commands. That we are to hold fast to Him.

Do you ever wonder why?

I am convinced it is because God knows us; He truly knows us.
He knows that we come to Him with our concerns and hold tight for awhile.
Things get better and ease up; and we tend then to forget about Him.
Until the next time.

Why do we do this?
Do I really think I can navigate the maze of my life without Him ?
Do I believe I could possibly have a better plan than the ONE who created and sustains life?

He knows how fickle I can be, how fickle you can be.
HE gave us laws which are the 10 commandments( also found in Deuteronomy 5) and commands, because HE knows the BEST ways, He has the BEST plans and His ways and Plans are so much more grander than ours.

So sometimes I obey and seek Him with all my heart and soul, and then other times I think I can do this thing called life by myself. And usually when I go off on my own, I tend to get off track. Do you?

WE believe we can do it. We think we know the way. We think to ourselves "Oh i don't need to bother God with this", which in actuality is saying we know better than He. Which is when its easy to be tricked into believing the enemy's lies. And to seek after things that quite possibly, we never would have dreamed we could be attracted to while we walked in dependence of God.

God also reminds us to remember what HE has done in our lives, where HE has taken us, how He has been with us every step of our lives, whether we were aware of Him or not. Why does He ask us to do this? Because we NEED to remember His faithfulness to us; to remember how much He loves us and cares for us, and to be reminded that He is with us now.

We are given the commands to seek Him, to obey Him , to not forget His words, to hold fast to Him and to Love Him with all that we are.
Then He tells us we have a choice:

"See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way I command you today."

We have the choice of being blessed by God or cursed by God?
What will you choose for your life?

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Every year, during "HOLY WEEK", I read the accounts of Jesus' road to the Cross and His Resurrection. I ususually start on Tuesday with the Gospel of Matthew, then on Wednesday, Mark, Thursday Luke and on Good Friday, I read the Gospel of John.
The first four days I read up to the Crucifixion.(these accounts are found in Matt 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23 and John 18-19.

Then on Saturday, I read all the passages about the Resurrection (Matt 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20-21).
I abhor reading the stories of how Christ, my God, was beaten, spit upon, scourged with the cat of nine tails and then nailed to the Cross. Everyone of them makes me cringe, ache and often become teary over the love Jesus Christ has for each person ever born.

This morning I wrote in my journal:

Oh LORD Jesus, again we crucified you. It is horrific. But it needed to happen and in this way. YOU knew all along.
Were you scared or anxious or fearful? And what about the tremendous pain YOU endured? And yet you said nothing, never uttered a word of complaint. You took it all. The scourging with the cat of nine tails that ripped open and tore your skin apart, the spitting, the hitting of your face, and then the agony of the Cross; trying to catch your breath, knowing the end was soon.
And the worst part? The FATHER turning away.
What anguish.
YOU became the sin of the ENITRE world-from ages past, to the present,to ages future.
And GOD, Your Father and mine, could not stand it. The HOLY GOD turned away because He could no longer look at His precious Son. YOU had become the filth of the world. You were the ONCE AND FOR ALL sacrificial Lamb. You, THE LAMB OF GOD, who took upon Himself, the sin of all mankind, and paid the rpice for us.
It had to be death. It had to be the absolute worst. Because sin had to be defeated for always. YOU did it, LORD Jesus. YOU did it for all of us. YOU did it for me.

AMAZING LOVE, how can it be, that YOU, my God should die for me?

Your love for us, Your desire for all mankind to be in a relationship with Our Father, was your only motivation.
Oh, THANK YOU. These words can never express my gratitude; my vocabulary is litmited.

Oh Praise the ONE who paid my debt"

My prayer is that anyone who might read this, will seriously take the time to contemplate what JESUS CHRIST did for us this week a very long time ago.
HE suffered and died for our sin.
But then on Sunday, RESURRECTION SUNDAY,


HE rose from the dead and sin and death were dismantled and conquered forever.
Tomorrow might be Friday, BUT SUNDAY'S A COMING!!