Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hello again!

    I've been missing blogging.  We returned last night from a trip to Nebraska, via Adventureland in Des Moines and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.  One of our grandchildren, Sydney, has asked me several times if she could go on vacation with us, and if we would take her to Nebraska when we went, so it seemed this was the perfect time.  Her brother, Owen, came, too.
     Grandchildren are a wonderful excuse to do some things we wouldn't normally do--like ride roller-coasters and ferris wheels and water slides.  How blessed we are to have the opportunity to relive our childhood with them!  We had a really fun time at the amusement park.
      Here is a view of the park from the top of the ferris wheel.  It is a beautiful, clean wooded park.  We had so much fun, we all want to go again.  (If you click on the picture it will enlarge.)
     The next day we drove on to Omaha and met our daughter, Jess, and our youngest grandsons at the Zoo.  One of the reasons for going to Nebraska at this time was to attend the wedding reception of the daughter of dear friends, Jim & Mary.  When I told Mary we were coming and what our plans were, she said she would like to meet us at the Zoo, too, with two of her grandchildren.  What fun!
     I encountered a small problem, though.  We arrived earlier than the other two groups and since we had been in the car for a couple of hours Sydney and Owen were eager to get started seeing the Zoo.  We decided to go to the Desert Dome first because it was near the entrance.  Jess called to say she would be there in a few minutes and would call when she arrived.  While we were in the Desert I received a voicemail from Mary saying they were now inside the Zoo.  Reception wasn't very good in the Desert so I assume her call went straight to my voicemail and therefore didn't register her number on my caller ID.  When I tried to call her back I realized I didn't have her cell number in my phone, only her house number.  I tried to call her house to see if anyone was home to give me her cell number, but no one answered.  I decided I would go back to the entrance since I knew Jess would be coming there soon and hopefully Mary would be near there, too.  As I arrived, I started to open my phone and as I did, it popped open in two pieces and fell to the ground.  Now what was I going to do?  To make matters worse, it turned out to be Member's Day at the Zoo so there was a huge crowd.  As I stood there, Jess and the boys came through the gate so I told them of my problem and that Kent and Syd and Owen were in the Desert.  She left me her phone so I could call Kent if need be, and headed over there.   I realized then that all I could do was to pray that Mary would find me.  And right then she walked out the door of the Wild Kingdom just as I looked in her direction.  Thank you Jesus!  I called Kent to tell him we were all coming through the Desert so to wait at the door when they finished.  Finally we all got together!  For awhile I was afraid that wouldn't happen.  It was 100 degrees, so all but Country Guy, Syd, and Owen left around 2:00.  They stayed until around 4:00 and then drove on to Jess' house.
      Thursday morning we went to the Verizon store and bought new IPhones.  We had been considering them for several months.  Hopefully they will work fine at our house.  When we first moved here I tried Verizon and had to turn in my phone because I had no reception in the woods.  We have been told new towers are now in place to fix that.
    We spent the rest of our trip at our daughter and son-in-law's house, but took side trips to Elephant Hall in Lincoln where they have the largest mammoth bones ever found, the Children's Museum, and the swimming pool.  The kids all had a wonderful time.
     The wedding reception Friday night was very nice.  It was so good to celebrate with our friends and  to see how happy Maureen & Jeff seemed together.
     Since the flooding of the Missouri River prohibits crossing it at Nebraska City, we decided to return via Omaha and show the kids where their dad grew up and went to school, and where Granddad worked when we lived there.  They were surprised the school was still standing since their dad is so old!  I love hearing children's perspectives on things, don't you?
    On the way home, Owen said, "I miss Gavin & Gage," so I guess it was a successful trip all around.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

God's Promises

    How important it is to read and to know God’s word! As we read it He can then highlight promises He wants us to see and to fulfill in our lives.  As this happens we can begin to pray with faith that the answer will come.
     Many years ago while we still lived in Omaha, I was reading Jeremiah 30.  The last part of verse 3 seemed to stand out to me and have significance.  It says, “And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” 
     For many years Country Guy had desired to return to live in Illinois, but we didn’t see how that could be possible.  Jeremiah 30:3 seemed to be a promise to us, so we began to pray for God to make a way.
     A few years later a lot of things came together at the same time, which is a long story, but the result was that Country Guy resigned from the law firm in Nebraska and we moved to Illinois.  We built a house on property which was originally owned by Country Guy’s great grandfather.  And thus the promise of Jeremiah 30:3 was fulfilled in our lives.
     I like the way Armin Gesswein says it.  He wrote, "Promises predict the answers to prayer. They are the molds into which we pour our prayers. They foretell what to expect... This makes Christian praying different! How? In a very real sense we pray from the answer... This is the way of the Lord, the way of faith. He promises – we believe."
     How exciting it is to discover promises in the Word and then see God fulfill them as we pray!  As I’ve said before, the Christian life is a wonderfully exciting adventure!

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Temple Grandin" and "The Social Network"

    We watched "The Social Network" last night, which for anyone who doesn't know, is about the founders of Facebook.  I had read rave reviews of the movie, but I actually didn't enjoy it, and if I were a member of Facebook, I would probably remove my account after seeing the drugs, sex, greed, and selfishness of those who are profiting from it.  This movie stirred up in me disgust and dismay at the sin that is so readily accepted and committed in the world.  Obviously, the movie was well-made to stir up those reactions in me.  I wouldn't have known about all that was connected with the founding of Facebook if not for this movie, so if you are curious about those things, you may want to see the movie.  Personally, I don't want to know some of that stuff!  I would much rather be filling my mind with inspiring thoughts.  My reaction was probably even more intense because I had watched "Temple Grandin" again right before watching "The Social Network."
     As I mentioned in the Comment section on Saturday, Temple Grandin was amazing!  Watching the movie based on her life was inspiring and thought-provoking.  It was convicting of my attitude toward those who are different, and it gave me new understanding of the mountains of challenges those with handicaps have to overcome just to be productive.  I watched it again yesterday with friends and was touched and inspired all over again.  It is one of those movies I will probably buy for our collection so that we can watch it again with guests who stay with us.
     I was thinking after watching it that Temple Grandin did for autistic people what Jesus did for God.  Just as she helped others understand how autistic people see the world, so Jesus came to reveal to us who God is and how He sees the world.  We were discussing after the movie that we want to see people as she saw cattle--what frightens them, what causes them to act and re-act as they do, why they turn away from some things, what makes them feel safe, etc.
     I love thought-provoking, inspirational movies!
     I really want to encourage you to continue to post the titles of movies you have seen recently, or that have been favorites over the years, in the "Comments" section of this post or the post below.  Whether you enjoyed them or not, let us know what you think so we won't be wasting our money to support a movie that is not worth watching, and can instead support good movies.  I, for one, want to encourage producers to make more of the good ones, don' you?   Thank you in advance for your comments.  They make it even more fun and interesting to write this blog.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


      Have you seen any good movies lately?   Country Guy and I are always hoping to find a good movie to watch.  There is so little on TV that appeals to us, but we love movies!  I would really appreciate it if you would post some recommendations, or send me an email and I will post them.
      My friend, Jane, recently recommended, "The King's Speech" and "Temple Grandin."  We watched "The King's Speech" last weekend and thought it was excellent.  I have rented "Temple Grandin" and plan to watch it today.  I'll let you know, but I am sure it will be great.  The clerk at the video store commented on how much she liked it as we were checking out.  I have also rented "The Social Network" to watch this week-end which I have heard is good.
     One of our all time favorites is "Second Hand Lions."  I also loved "Dan in Real Life," "Secretariat," "The Ultimate Gift," "Freedom Writers,""The Count of Monte Cristo," and "It's A Beautiful Life."  We recently watched a good movie, "The Encounter," which we had recorded earlier.  I know there are lots more, but I can never think of titles.  When I think of others, I will post them in the "Comments" below.
    One reason why I decided to post this is so that I could have a list to go to when we are ready to rent a movie.  That will be so helpful!  If you readers will comment with your favorites, or post the names of the movies you've recently seen I know many would appreciate it.  If there have been any you want to steer us away from, please do.  What a waste of time to sit in front of a bad movie hoping it will get better!
    I am looking forward to hearing your recommendations.  Thanks in advance for sharing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dale Gentry, #2

       The major theme of Dale Gentry's ministry is prayer, but one of the statements he makes often is, "Just one word from the Lord can change your life forever."  The Lord has truly gifted him in delivering words from the Lord to willing hearers.  Dale usually explains that the words he gives can be a "now" word, a "future" word, a "confirming" word, or an "encouraging" word.  
      I recently related one example of one word from the Lord changing a life forever with the story of "Dr. Tanya."  See blog post on June 30, 2011.
      Since his visit here less than a month ago I have already heard of changes begun in lives from the words he spoke at Elevate, and at our church.  One of the young women who received a word has started a blog because of it.  Here is a link to her blog and her experience of hearing from God, if you would like to read it.  
     Another friend of ours had recently been thinking she would be interested in counseling unwed mothers and abused women.  When Dale prayed for her he said, "I see you ministering to unwed mothers and abusive women," so the very next day she enrolled in a training class to learn how to minister to these women.  She will be finished with the class within the next couple of weeks.
     Don't you think God is pleased with these reports?  He loves it when we act on his word! 
     This is the word I received, transcribed from the recording of it at our church:  "I declare by the Spirit of God that God is going to awaken you in the night seasons and you are going to begin to write the vision of what you see God doing in this entire region, of what God is doing by the hand of the Lord.  And you are going to begin to keep an account of what God is doing and you are going to begin to broadcast it abroad what God is doing in this entire region and how the hand of the lord is working.  And you’re going to begin to write and you’re going to begin to keep a journal and you’re going to begin to share the journal with other people in other cities and in other nations of what God is doing and eventually you’ll even write a book.  You’ve read many other books--other people’s writings, but one day they will read your writings of what God did in the cornfields, of what God did in the cornfields."
      Dale didn't know that I have kept a journal for years--or that because of urging from a couple of guest speakers staying at our house on two different occasions and from friends later, that I had started a blog.  So far, besides friends and family from the U.S., there have been "visits" from more than 20 countries to my blog, so I am already "broadcasting it abroad."  When I was discussing it with him later, I told him the word I received seemed to be a "future" word, an "encouraging" word to continue, a "now" word, and a "confirming" word.  He agreed that it does seem that way.    
      What a wonderful ministry he has!  I, too, believe that "just one word from the Lord can change your life forever," because it has happened to me, and I am watching it happen to many who came for ministry from Dale on that wonderful weekend in June.
      It is amazing!   As Country Guy and our friend, Mike, drove Dale back to the airport, he said he believed "God was about to do something big in Martinsville."  The word he gave me at church on Sunday seems to be a confirmation of that.  Some great things are about to happen and I'm grateful to God, and to Dale for letting God use him to bring hope and encouragement and expectancy to us here in the cornfields.
      Stay tuned.  I intend to broadcast the news of what is happening as I hear it.
      If you are ready for your life to change, don't miss receiving a word from God through Dale Gentry, or any of His other servants.  We are praying Dale will be back in our area in the near future.  What a blessing he is!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dale Gentry

    Dale Gentry, who has a remarkable prophetic gifting, was the guest speaker at Elevate 2011, and also ministered in the Prayer Tent at the event.  I have been wanting to write about our weekend with him, but just haven't had time to sit down, think it all through--because so many things happened, and then write it down.   It seems it is time to do that before I forget.
     Country Guy and I first heard Dale at the church we were attending in Nebraska in 1986.  At the Sunday evening service he asked everyone to line up.  It was a large church and probably 500 of the members had returned for the evening service.  He then went down the line speaking a prophetic word over each of us.  It seemed the words were mainly calling out our gifts and revealing to us how God saw us.  All were extremely encouraging, and as we received our word and heard the words given to the people we knew, it was amazing how accurate they seemed.  I still carry the word he gave me in one of my Bibles because it truly spoke to my heart.
      I was so eager for others to experience this wonderful ministry of encouragement at Elevate that I began searching for those who would come for prayer.  I had provided paper and pens so they could write down the things revealed as soon as Dale was through praying and I encouraged people to do that.  When I saw they weren't, I volunteered to go with any of those who wanted me to so that I could write down what was said as they received their word because I know from experience it is very difficult to remember all of it.  Something usually strikes me so much that I continue to think about that and miss some of the other things said.  If someone hadn't done this for me in 1986, I wouldn't have the word to carry in my Bible.
      Since I was doing this, I heard many of the words he gave, and as was the case 27 years ago, I was amazed at the accuracy!  So were the people who went for prayer!  The first person I brought was given a word that so characterized who she is.  I was excited!  And then as Dale finished and we were walking out of the tent, she said,  "I know you already told him much about me."  I laughed and assured her that I had not told him one thing about anyone, because I wanted to see what the Lord would reveal to him.  She said she believed me because she knew I wouldn't lie to her but it sure seemed like I had told him.
      One person remarked afterwards, "How can he do that?  He used the very words I had been saying that morning!"
      A little boy of 11, a friend of our grandchildren, went for prayer.  I was intrigued by his word.  He was told that he would be speaking to large crowds.  I think Dale even said,  "in stadiums" and that Dale saw him interviewing people on TV.  Afterward the boy said to me, "He is so accurate!  This year I and some other kids spoke to our entire school!"  Out of the mouth of babes!  This young man had never had this experience before, but he recognized accuracy (the Lord) when he saw it.
     I said to him, "Isn't it wonderful that God loves you so much that he sent a man from Dallas, Texas, to let you know that he sees you and has great plans for you?"
      What a wonderful time it was!  I loved every minute of it!
      Since this is getting rather long I will continue tomorrow with some of the words and the results that have already happened because of them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The weather

      Today we are praying for rain.  That is part of the life of a farmer!  One day there is too much rain and the crops cannot be planted.  A couple of weeks later there is not enough rain so there is fear the seeds planted won't be able to break through the crusty ground.  Then after they begin to grow, a huge rain comes that leaves water standing in the fields and the worry that the new plants will drown.
    As the days and weeks progress this cycle is repeated--worry there is too much rain, followed by worry there won't be enough rain and the crops will be stressed at pollination.  It is an endless cycle of concern about the weather. 
      I grew up as the daughter of a farmer.  I always said I will never marry a farmer because I used to get really anxious when my dad worried about the weather.  But guess what!   I am now married to a farmer!  It didn't start out that way.  I guess you could say I was "tricked".  When Country Guy and I got married he was headed to law school.  After law school he was a successful attorney and the managing partner of a large law firm in Nebraska for many years, but his heart was always in the country.  (I must add, that even after all my declarations of not wanting to be married to a farmer--mine was, too.)  
     This is an excellent example of God looking on the heart and not on the outward things.  When He looked at our hearts He saw a longing to return to our roots in the country.  And so, I guess if I trusted Him to bring us back here, I can trust Him to provide rain when He determines it is needed.  He is so great and awesome and He knows the plans He has for us--plans not to harm us but to give us a future and hope. (Jer. 29:11)
     I'm "hoping" and praying for rain very soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


       This story has been circulating on the Internet for quite a while.  Since it helps me remember one of the things I can do to let people know I love them, I decided to post it here.

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

       It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams.
      There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him. 
       Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. 
      "Jack, did you hear me?" 
      "Oh, sorry, Mom.  Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said. 
       "Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him. 
        "I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said. 
        "You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said 
        "He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said. 
        As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. 
        The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. 
        Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly. 
       "What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.. 
       "The box is gone," he said 
       "What box?" Mom asked. 
       "There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said. 
        It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box.. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. 
       "Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom." 
        It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.   Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope.  Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside. 
       "Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. 
       Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: 
       "Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser." 
       "The thing he valued most time" 
        Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked. 
        "I need some time to spend with my son," he said. 
        "Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!" 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away," 

Think about this:
1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you. 
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way. 
3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you. 
4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep. 
5. You mean the world to someone. 
6. If not for you, someone may not be living. 
7. You are special and unique. 
8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won't get it, but if you trust God to do what's best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better. 
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it. 
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world. 
11. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you. 
12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks. 
13. Always tell someone the good feelings you have about them; you will feel much better when they know and you'll both be happy. 
14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great. 

To everyone who is reading this,
                               " Thanks for your time".

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Varmints I would like to see vanquished from our property

      I am feeling rather irritated at the varmints that come to our bird feeders at night. Often there are possums feeding under them which don't seem to create a problem even though they are nasty creatures.  (I tell myself they can't help it.  God created them that way).
      But the raccoons are being such a nuisance!  They have discovered how to unscrew the bottom of our hummingbird feeder to get to the nectar.  The past two mornings I have found the feeder still hanging from the pole and the bottom parts strewn about on the ground.  It seems as if the animals would be such a mess afterwards!  I can't imagine they actually got to drink any of the nectar but were probably drenched with it instead.
     The coons are also able to climb past the squirrel baffle on the regular bird feeder pole, open the lid and feast on sunflower seeds so that there are none left by morning.  Then they try to jump up to the finch feeders and in the process flatten the hosta that grows under them.
     They have been digging through the mulch on my flower gardens that looked so pretty before they arrived.  I suppose they are looking for grubs and earthworms.  As they do this they leave big holes and dirt on top of the mulch.  See the picture below.  They also dig through my flower pots and in the process pull out plants and spread soil all over the deck.  How irritating and what a mess!
       The last reason why I would like to see these varmints vanquished happened this afternoon.  When I went to the mailbox I stopped by the orchard to check on the blackberries and the peaches which were almost ripe.  The raccoons have eaten every peach off the trees except for the white peaches which ripen later!  The ground is covered with peach pits!  And they have eaten all but about a cup of the blackberries!  What annoying animals!
      If you have ever thought raccoons were cute, come and live with me in the country, or better yet, I will send you a few of ours to live in your yard for awhile.   :o)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Choosing a Homepage

      A "homepage" is the page that is displayed when you first connect to the internet.  It is usually set by the internet provider, but can easily be changed to a page that you ordinarily visit frequently, or want to be reminded of.   I have talked with several people who said they didn't know how to set a different "homepage" for their internet browser.   I'm sure most people know more about this than I do, but if you don't know it could be helpful to have it explained,  so I thought I would post an explanation here.

       After connecting to the internet, click on the browser name at the top of the page.  A menu will pull down. On the menu, choose "preferences".  On Safari, which I use most of the time, about half way down it says "Homepage".  There will be an internet address typed into this which is the address your computer opens to when you connect to the internet.  To change that, type in the new address of any page you want to have as your "homepage."  I have my blog set as the "homepage" so I can check it every time I open the browser.  Some people like to have the weather channel as their opening page, because they check it often, or Google, so they can begin "surfing" immediately.
     Another alternative is to go to the page on the internet that you want to set as your home page.  After you are on this page click on the browser name in the tool bar across the top of the page, then choose "preferences" and click on "Set to Current Page" instead of typing in the address. 
      I checked Firefox and the procedure is the same except you may have to first choose "Main" after you have chosen "preferences" and then type in the new address in the "homepage" box.

      You might want to try different pages until you get one that seems just right for you.  Having a website address that you look at often as your "homepage" can actually save you a little extra time.  Since everyone is so busy these days, even a few minutes saved can be helpful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Power of One Christlike LIfe by Francis Frangipane

      "We cannot become Christlike without experiencing woundedness.  You see, even after we come to Christ, we carry encoded within us preset limits concerning how far we will go for love, and how much we are willing to suffer for redemption.  The wounding exposes those human boundaries and reveals what we lack of His nature.
    The path narrows as we seek true transformation.  Indeed, many Christians fall short of Christ’s stature because they have been hurt and offended by people.  They leave churches discouraged, vowing never again to serve or lead or contribute because when they offered themselves, their gift was marred by unloving people.  To be struck or rejected in the administration of mercy can become a great offense to us, especially as we are waiting for, and even expecting, a reward for our good efforts.
    Yet wounding is inevitable if we are following Christ.  Jesus was both “marred” (Is. 52;14)  and “wounded” (Zech. 13J, and if we are sincere in our pursuit of His nature, we will suffer as well.  How else will love be perfected?
     Let us beware.  We either become Christlike and forgive, or we enter a spiritual time warp where we abide continually in the memory of our wounding.  Like a systemic disease, the hurtful memories destroy every aspect of our reality.  In truth, apart from God, the wounding that life inflicts is incurable.  God has decreed that only Christ in us can survive."
                           p. 132   The Power of One Christlike Life by Francis Frangipane

Friday, July 8, 2011


       This afternoon I decided to spray Sevin on the Japanese beetles that are beginning to appear on my roses.  While I was near the house I noticed the climbing hydrangea was growing too close to the bedroom window, so I thought I might as well pull it away while I was there.  I had to lean in close to the window to get ahold of the hydrangea and as I pulled, something noisily flew out.  I at first thought it was a Japanese beetle, but it flew right into the end of my nose, stinging me as it flew on.  I assume it was a wasp because we always have lots of them building nests where ever they can, but it all happened so quickly and so unexpectedly that I didn't really see the culprit.
     Talk about pain!!  The place where it stung me hurt so bad and then the pain spread to my lips, my cheeks, under my eyes, my mouth, and even my teeth!   My whole face was aflame with pain but I couldn't do anything to stop it.  It was so intense that it brought tears to my eyes.  There was no way to get away from it.  I came in the house and splashed it with cold water which seemed to intensify the pain as the pressure of the water touched the area.  I then went to the Internet to see what I should do.  I tried all the suggestions I could find--a paste of baking soda, apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball, an ice pack, ibuprofin--but it seems that time passing is the only remedy that seems to work.  What a relief when after a half hour or so (it seemed like several hours!) the intensity of the pain subsided!
     I am now feeling much better, although touching the area is still quite painful, but at least I'm not feeling throbbing and shooting pain.  That is an experience I hope I never have to repeat!  I've always been pretty friendly with bees and wasps, giving them space but thinking they won't bother me if I don't bother them.  I guess I bothered one!  Problem is I didn't mean to, so I guess it could happen again.  I think I will be much more cautious, at least till the memory of this experience wears off.
     What concerned me through all the pain is that I have a wedding to go to tomorrow.  I kept imagining how I was going to look with a huge, red, swollen nose.  Right now only the end of it is red, so I am hoping it won't look any worse than it does now.  I guess if it does I will end up being a topic of conversation and an example of why you want to be very careful around stinging insects!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


      How many of us spend our lives trying to be secure, not taking risks, trying to make the right decisions, hoping those decisions will keep us from suffering and loss?
      I like this quote from Helen Keller:  "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than out right exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  There is not such a thing as security in this life outside of a total heart trust and faith in God."
     Can you imagine the insecurity in her life--not being able to see or hear?  Yet she lived a richer life than most anyone I know because she fully trusted God.  That's how I want to live, don't you?  I want to live life to the fullest--as a daring adventure!  I don't want to miss anything because of fear.  
      Help me, Lord, to trust you with my whole heart and to step out into the unknown with faith to believe that you watch over me, protecting and guiding me in every circumstance.  How much more fun life is when we trust You!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coffee the way Dad always made it

       Over the weekend I made coffee for our guests.  They were very complimentary of how good it tasted and even asked what kind of coffee I use and how I make it.  We all had a good laugh considering I was explaining to a family from Columbia how to make coffee!  What is really funny is that I don't drink coffee so I have never tasted the coffee I make.  My dad, who was a big coffee drinker taught me how to make it for him when he came to visit us in Omaha many years ago.  It seemed good to post his recipe here as a tribute to him for the great coffee the "recipe" makes--and for the compliments I receive from making it.  I will also post it under "Miscellaneous" on the "Recipes" page so that it won't be lost.

      Dad always asked me to use Maxwell House Original Blend Coffee and to add 3 heaping soup spoons of ground coffee for every 7 cups of water.  Since I usually make coffee in a 12 cup coffee pot, I use 5 heaping soup spoons plus about 1/2 a heaping soup spoon of coffee and 12 cups of water to make a full pot.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What a fun week/weekend!

       I picked Jan and her mom up at the Indy airport on Wednesday.  Jan, who lives in Portland, OR, and I have been friends since first grade. We hadn't seen each other for 4 years so we get to have a lot of time together for "catching up" since she is staying with me and her mom is staying with her friend, AnnaDee.  She will be at our house off and on till the 15th.
        We went to the Martinsville Ag Fair on Thursday to see some of our grandchildren in the animal scrambles.  None of them caught an animal, but they tried and they had fun anticipating the event.  The emcee announced there were 1100 entries in the various events, so you can see how popular the scramble is.
        It was fun to see lots of others we hadn't seen in years as we walked down the Midway and sampled Fair food.
         The crowds were huge this year! One reason was the free carnival rides with a $5 admission. There has been a great increase in attendance since the fair board introduced that idea. Someone was telling me they talked with people from Peoria, Champaign, and near Indianapolis, who had heard about this great deal and had brought their children for a fun night of carnival rides.
     Saturday I went to a bridal shower for one of my nieces.  Our granddaughter, Josie, (right) and Kalie, decorated their hair to match the shower decor.  Many of you prayed for Kalie a few weeks ago when I posted a request for her on the "Prayer Request" page because she was in the hospital and very ill.  She's doing great and has gained 7 pounds!  Thanks so much for your prayers.
     I was asked to bring the punch for the shower, and since I discovered an excellent recipe I posted it under "Miscellaneous" on the "Recipes" page, if you're interested.  It would be a great refreshing drink all summer.

     On Sunday, our newly adopted girls (see last week's post) came with Patty's parents to spend the 4th with us.  We had a wiener roast Sunday night.  I was amazed because the thought had occurred to me earlier in the week that the girls might enjoy a campfire, so I had planned accordingly.  When they came they also were amazed because Lincy had said on the way here, "I wish we could have a bonfire."  She was the one last week who said she wished they knew someone who had horses right before we all met each other at church.  Then when I told her I had made cheesecake brownies for dessert yesterday, she was thrilled because she said brownie cheesecake is her favorite!  I told her I thought God was answering her desires to show her how close He is and how much He loves her because she will be going to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, where she knows no one, to do a year of rotations to complete her medical degree at one of the hospitals there.  I think God is reminding her that she can call on Him for anything she needs, don't you?
     Then yesterday was filled with horseback riding, Mule driving, 4-wheeler riding, fishing, target practice, and lots of eating!  Our oldest son's family came, minus Parker, who was canoeing with friends.  Also, Mom, and friends, Mike & Cindy, in addition to 5 of the house guests  (Jan had another picnic to attend) were all here to help us celebrate the 4th.
     It was nearly 7:00 when we said good-by to the girls and to our new friends, Jaime and Disney Caro.  Country Guy and I were so tired we ended the day in our pajamas watching a movie.  What a fun weekend!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Israel and the Outpouring of the Spirit

      A friend sent me this insightful but somewhat lengthy article.  I thought it was very good and an excellent topic for Pentecost Sunday, but other things came up and I didn't get it posted then.  As I was re-reading it, I decided it was still worthy of a post so that I could remember and re-read it periodically.    I hope you find it interesting, too.  (It appears to come from Charisma magazine.)

(I have no idea why the above words appear in capital letters!  They look normal--just like the ones I am now typing--in the composition box, but change to capitals when I post it!  The same thing happens when I post the "Word for Today" at the bottom of the page!  If anyone reading this knows the solution I would be grateful to hear it.  This kind of thing is so frustrating to me!!)

Israel and the Outpouring of the Spirit

Editor's note: Pentecost is Sunday, June 12. In this article, the late Art Katz, a Jewish believer whose prophetic and teaching ministries were internationally recognized, tells why some of the biblical promises about Pentecost have not yet been fulfilled for Israel.
art_katz_pew1“And it shall be in the last days,” God says, “that I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind [alt. ‘flesh’]; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.
And I will grant wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:17-21).
Peter is quoting from the prophet Joel, who spoke of an outpouring of the Spirit in the last days immediately prior to the day of the Lord—the coming of the Lord as Judge. Cataclysmic signs in the heavens were to mark this event. Biblically-minded Jews of that generation anticipated an apocalyptic conclusion to the age; that when they saw one of the signs of the Spirit being poured out on the Jewish believers present there that day, they assumed that the other signs would soon follow, and that indeed the apocalyptic end of the age was imminent. Peter’s message to his listeners was clear: If they wanted to be saved from the judgments coming upon the world, then they needed to be “saved from this perverse generation!” (Acts 2:40).
The context of Joel’s prophecy suggests that the “all flesh” spoken of is “all Jewish flesh.” On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit was poured out on some Jewish flesh, but it was only a down-payment of something that was reserved in full for the empowering of a restored Israel in the last days.
History has shown that the prophecy alluded to in Joel was not completely fulfilled on the day of Pentecost because the other signs did not take place. In other words, we have not yet seen the outpouring of the Spirit on all Jewish flesh. Gentile believers have been guilty of interpreting Joel’s prophecies as being fulfilled in themselves rather than upon all Jewish flesh in the last days. This is just not compatible with the scriptural facts. Gentile believers need to know that the Spirit was given them as a down-payment and a foretaste of the fulfillment that would come in the last days upon Jewish flesh.
I sympathize with untold numbers of evangelicals worldwide, who have been turned off by the self-important mentality and spirit that has been expressed by the charismatic movement. Instead of the appropriate humility of a people who have been privileged to receive a down-payment, charismatics have tended to look down upon those who do not have what they consider to be the evidence of the outpouring of the Spirit. They have not recognized the context for the gifts of the Spirit in the future destiny of Israel as a nation in the purposes of God.
The Spirit as a Pledge
“To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12-14).
It is quite clear that Paul understands the outpouring of the Spirit, not as a thing in itself, but as a pledge of a fullness that would come later as an inheritance in the redemptive and final workings of God for Israel. Nevertheless, the pledge we have received is significant, for the Spirit is very God Himself, but the full outpouring has its final and ultimate fulfillment with the nation Israel. Gentile believers presently have a foretaste of what is yet to come with the coming of the King and the establishment of His kingdom.
The Lord is not coming to provide escape for the church through a convenient rapture before His judgments fall. Those who remain at His coming will meet him in the air, but the Greek word parousia used here is best understood as a rising to meet and accompany a dignitary as he comes to his place of honor, and there to rule and reign with him. If Jerusalem is going to have the honor of being the location of the seat of divine rule, and Israel participating with Him in extending that rule to the nations, they will need the outpouring of Spirit in full measure.
Though Gentiles have received the Spirit in part, it is a most precious part, and not to be denigrated or ignored. The gift of the Spirit is the fulfillment of Israel’s covenant promise. A true understanding of that ought to humble us.
The outpouring of the Spirit brings with it the sense of the future, and a church without a future is a depleted entity. A church that does not anticipate the consummation of the age has lost its identity as the church. Therefore, when we do not have that future because we do not have the Spirit, we stagnate at the level of conventional and predictable church life, nothing more than a succession of Sunday services. The evidence of that can be most pointedly seen in our children who are bored with church life, and we often have to drag them by the scruff of the neck to our functions. They would not be sitting in our congregations waiting for the thing to end, nor would they be drawn off and attracted to other questionable amusements, if we were living in the context of an end. The general character of our meetings is a terrible indictment against us because we have not raised up for our own children a standard and quality of life that compels their attention and their participation. We have not persuaded our children that what we are about is earnest and authentic. Though they may not articulate it, we are to them no more than some kind of adult Sunday culture.
Like Paul, our gospel needs to be one that is according to the revelation of the mystery that was hidden in other ages; that had an apocalyptic framework of understanding. The context was of an Israel that would stumble, of a Son of Man who would be rejected and crucified by His own nation, and then a calling out of a gentile people, a “foolish” nation, to move Israel to jealousy. Paul preached his gospel in that context, and it is a context that should compel and direct our attention to the issue of death and resurrection, which then restores the gospel as “Christ-centered.” It restores Jesus to the true center as King, because it recaptures the theocratic context, and this is what is implied in the “gospel of the kingdom.”
Unless the Spirit of God and the gifts of God are understood and seen in the context of the apostolic framework of God’s intention as a besieged community in the midst of a sea of hostility and worldly hatred, then we make the Spirit of God and His gifts serve a lesserpurpose. They accommodate us rather than God, and one wonders if God is in that business, providing that accommodation. How often have we let a dubious power come in its place without the discernment to distinguish the difference? A measure of excitement, enjoyment, and healing can all be provided by the powers of this world to bring us into deeper and deeper deception.
The outpouring of the Spirit needs to be restored to the context of God’s intention, centering in the restoration of a people who have not even the faintest notion of their eternal destiny, or a desire for it, and want only to be as other nations. Nevertheless, God’s word toward them will be fulfilled; His gifts and callings are irrevocable, or God voids Himself as God.
About the Author: Art Katz (1929-2007) was a prophetic teacher. As a young Marxist and vehement atheist he had a radical encounter with Jesus that transformed his life. For more about his ministry and writings, visit