Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good Words from GOD

It is a rainy Sunday, and since I already napped on our trip back from Lansing, I'm ready to just sit and blog.  This is the third Sunday we have attended Lansing First CON, and the second Sunday Paul has led the singing, as a fill in for the regular song leader who is recovering from surgery.  This past week the interim pastor had emergency surgery for gall bladder, so there was another fill in pastor this morning.  We had lunch with Pastor Erwin and Gladys after the morning service.  

I have enjoyed seeing Paul in an old role he used to be in...worship leader.  He is very good at just talking from his heart in between the songs, and he has a good strong voice for leading.  I know people enjoy him.  Wish the church was closer so we could continue to attend and help them as they try to revive.  It used to be one of the largest churches on the Michigan district, but it's down to about 50 people now.  So sad.  I hope and pray God has a future for that church.  

This past week our friends from Florida helped us put landscaping rock around the house and shed.  We probably need two more truck loads to complete our project, but for now we have the house and shed outlined in rocks instead of bark.  Next year we will do the same for the cottage and its' shed.  Our friends left yesterday to start on their journey back south.  They stay in our cottage for 2-3 months each summer, and do much to help us while here.  This year he painted the exterior of the house and all the window and garage trim and shutters.  Big job, well done.  They have been long time friends, catching up with us at most every place we have ever lived.  That's why we are now privileged to have them spend their summers at our cottage next door.  We still are the recipients of their kindness and skills.  They are also interior decorators as well, and gave the inside of our house a face lift again this year.

The dogs received their bi-monthly grooming this past week.  Last haircut before winter.  Those days of ice and snow are just ahead for us, I fear.  So many people have been busy cleaning up and putting away things, getting ready for the winter season.  Is it going to come early?  Seems like we have started earlier this year.  Cooler days make us think that way, I guess.  

I entertained a couple of times this week, despite fighting a head cold.  I had our Florida friends in mid-week for white chicken chili, and last night I had in two couples that work or volunteer with maintenance and housekeeping.  It was a pooled together kind of brought BBQ ribs, another two pies, and I fixed beans, potato salad, squash, macaroni salad, and rolls.  I think Fridays are going to be designated company nights as much as possible this winter.  I've already got plans for next Friday.  I can only do two couples at a time, due to my table size, and house size.  That works for me.  I usually serve Buffet style since my table is small.  That way everyone can help themselves and then go back for seconds if they wish.  

Thursday I was in a loner kind of mood.  I took off work in the afternoon and ran the banking and post office errands in Vicksburg, and then headed out to Schoolcraft.  Got a sweet tea and an ice cream cone at McD's and just sat in the car thinking and praying as I treated myself, alone.  That night hubby and I went to see the pastor who had the gall bladder surgery...still in the hospital at that time.  

Friday was a long day trip for hubby and me.  We took the dogs along since we planned to be gone all day.  Went to Grand Ledge to get signatures on some documents from Paul's boss.  Then went to the state water labs in Lansing to drop off some samples.  From there we drove to Leslie to meet some volunteers/friends for lunch in a converted railroad depot.  Tried to look up an RV couple in Jackson, but couldn't find them, so then we headed to Spring Arbor to attend a visitation for another RV person who had passed away this past week.  (That makes four funerals in the last two weeks).  From there we drove to the northwest corner of Kalamazoo County to Menard's to get some items needed for the camp.  Had supper at a Mexican restaurant before coming back home.  A long day, but a nice diversion from the campgrounds!! 

So that's been our week!  It's been a good one.  It seems that God had a lot of good things to say to me in His Word this past week.  So once again I share from my devotional reading for the week:

The Word for You Today:

  • When your dream is from God He will also give you the necessary skills and gifts and resources to fulfill the dream
  • There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure...(I Peter 1:6)....Don't Give Up!

  • For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says:  only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved, in quietness and confidence is your strength.  (30:15)
  • Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him, so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said.  For the Lord is faithful to his promises.  Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them.  (30:18)
  • But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.   (40:31)
  • I have called you back from the ends of the earth and said you must serve but me alone, for I have chosen you and will not throw you away.  Fear not, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed.  I am your God.  I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.  (41:9-10)
  • But now the Lord who created you...says, Don't be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up---the flames will not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel.  (42:1-3)
  • I have created you and cared for you since you were born.  I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age.  I made you and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and be your Savior.  (46:3)
  • For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom:  not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other.  For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command:  "Love others as you love yourself."  (5:13-14)
  • But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:   love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  (22-23)
  • If we are living now by the Holy Spirit's power, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.  Then we won't need to look for honors and popularity, which lead to jealousy and hard feelings. (25-26)
  • Don't be misled; remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it:  a man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows!  If he sows to please his own wrong desires he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life which the Holy Spirit gives him.  And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't get discouraged and give up.  That's why whenever we can we should always be kind to everyone, and especially to our Christian brothers.  (6:7-10)
  • So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace---for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times.  God has told us his secret reason for sending Christ, a plan he decided on in mercy long ago; and this was his purpose:  that when the time is ripe he will gather us all together from wherever we are--in heaven or on earth---to be with Him in Christ, forever.  (1:7-10)
  • ...that out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soils of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.  And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.  Now glory be to God who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare or ask or even dream of---infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.  May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the church through Jesus Christ.  (3:16-21)
  • and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen...  Be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.  Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit, and so be at peace with one another.  (4:2-3)
  • ...we will lovingly follow the truth at all times---speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly---and so become more and more in every way like Christ... (4:15-16)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Looking Good on the Home Front!

Here I's Sunday night, and another week has gone swiftly by.  We again went to Lansing First CON for the morning service.  Hubby assisted this morning and led the congregational singing.  It was good to see him in that role's been a while!  He is so gifted in that area...knows what to say, and relates well with the congregation.  He filled in for the regular song leader who had surgery on her jaw and has it wired shut currently.  

Our Florida friends went along with us this week, and after church we had an excellent lunch at Cheddars.  If you have a Cheddars near you, it's definitely worth your time to check it out.  Very reasonable in price, and lots of choices on the menu.  

On the way back home we stopped at a funeral home for a visitation for one of our RVers who passed away mid-week.  She had a long battle with cancer.  We also attended a funeral this week for one of my older ladies that I have kept tabs on the past few years.  At 91 and a long time victim of stroke effects, she is finally at home with Jesus and her husband and son.  We had another leaseholder death this weekend...a gentleman in his 90's.  

They say these things come in threes, so I hope that's it for a while.  I can only rejoice with those who have gone to their heavenly rest, no more suffering and pain and frustrations that this life brings across our paths.

This past week we hosted the fall workshop for our District CON pastors and staff, called "Changing the Climate".  It was three days of looking at how we do church, and how it needs to change to be more effective in ministering to the world we are in today.  Paul attended, and the sessions were quite thought provoking....much for the church leaders to chew on and digest and utilize in their own church settings.

Took another cat into the Human Society this week to have it fixed and returned.  This is our first yellow kitten, named "Peaches" by my husband.  So cute, so gentle, but now out there with the other 8 feral cats we have "transformed" this summer.  This is the only light colored one we have.  If we could have an inside cat, this is the one I would have kept.  We do have a pack of coyotes and will be working on that situation, hopefully before they find the cats.

Wednesday night I had a lasagna supper for a couple of couples.  Nice evening.  Doing more entertaining these days than I normally do.  But then again, we have had more volunteers this year than in previous years, and I want to show them how much we appreciate them.  We want them back!!

Yesterday hubby was in the "clean up" mood, I guess.  He washed the van and utility trailer and put them away for the winter (van needs transmission work).  He spray washed the house and driveway.  He fixed the mower (needs new starter).  Combine his work with all the painting and decorating that has been done on the house by our Florida friends and the place is looking pretty good!!  (Thus this week's title).  Feels like we are getting ready for a long winter...don't know what that means!  We are having some more landscaping rocks put around the house also.  

The sermon this morning gave us all something to think about.  So I will ask you, my blog audience, the same question we were asked:  If you knew that Jesus was coming back in one week, how would you spend this week?  What difference would it make in your life if you only had one more week here on this earth?  I think I'm most concerned about my family.  Will we all be together for eternity?  I'm a Mom.  I'm a Grandmother.  My attachments run deep.  I can't bear to think of being eternally separated from those I love.  What would I do if this were my last week?  How could I make an impact that makes a difference?  That's my prayer this week...Jesus show me what you would have me say and do before my life is ended.

And with that, let's move to my devotional reading for this past week.


  • But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you.  Yes, I will trust the promises of God.  And since I am trusting him, what can mere man do to me?  (56:3-4)
  • This one thing I know:  God is for me!  (56:9)
  • He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!   Trust in the Lord God always for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.  (26:3-4)
  • Lord, grant us peace; for all we have and are has come from you.  (26:12)
  • Yet we have this assurance:  Those who belong to God shall live again.  (26:19)
  • Don't envy evil men but continue to reverence the Lord all the time, for surely you have a wonderful future ahead of you.  There is hope for you yet!  (23:17-18)
  • I am trying to please God.  If I were trying to please men I could not be Christ's servant.  (1:10)
  • For even before I was born God had chosen me to be his, and called me---what kindness and grace...(1:15)
  • I have been crucified with Christ, and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  (2:20)
  • Don't refuse to accept criticism, get all the help you can.  (23:12)
Personal note:  I need all the help I can get!  I've been stubborn, protecting my rights, instead of being a submissive servant.  God has opened doors, and all I could look at were the negatives in the way, rather than the beauty of new territory, and the challenge of growing stronger and deeper.  Now I've reduced my effectiveness and my ability   Lord, I am so weary of my stubbornness and self defense mechanisms.  Help me to once again find a way back to being the servant you have called me to love, serving one by one.  Amen.

The Word for You Today

1.  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Tim 1:7)
  • faith is given by God in order for us to conquer our fears and live to the fullest, as He intended
  • fear is a spirit that can control us, but God has a better way:  power, love, and a sound mind
2.  Confront your fears:
  • when you are controlled by fear, your destiny in life will not be fulfilled
  • faith in God helps you to be pleasing to Him and to overcome your fears so you can do what He created you to do
3.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit.  (John 4:24)

4.  "In the stream of God's presence:
  • our deepest thirst is quenched
  • our wounds are healed
  • our strength is renewed
  • we are placed beyond the reach of the enemy"
5.  Keep your priorities in place
  • know your purpose, align your priorities and live by them
  • be fully committed to Christ, then to one another in Christ, and finally to the work of Christ
  • make God's Word and communication with God through prayer your first priority

Monday, September 12, 2011


We took the day "off" yesterday, and went to Lansing to church and to the Meridian Mall to check in on the "He Cares, We Care" mall ministry.  When we got back home, we had friends that wanted to come over and share a fresh baked peach pie with us.  It was yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Oh, the pleasures of life...friends and pie!!

One of my dear sweet ladies that I check on periodically, here on the campgrounds, went home to be with Jesus and her husband Saturday night.  I'm so happy for her...she's been a victim of strokes across the years and it was hard to walk and hard to talk.  Sharp mind, but so frustrating when you can't use your body the way you want to, or say the words you want to.  Therefore I have been praying God would take her home.  She was in her 90's, a former pastor's wife, and a saint of God.  Her funeral will be later this week.

I understand we have a pack of coyotes on the grounds, out in the woods and corn fields.  There's a momma and 4-5 cubs, we hear.  That's a pack, and that's a problem.  We will have to address that.  I had a talk with my porch cats yesterday and told them they need to stay under houses/cottages at night, where the wolves cannot get them.  I don't know if they understood me or not, but last night they didn't show up!  I do fear for their lives, especially as winter comes on.

I went shopping with a friend this past week.  I don't do that very often!  Not much of a shopper, and it's not in my budget, but we did have a very nice day out.   We had lunch at Applebees, where I like their soups.

We also had friends in for supper last week.  What a lovely time.  We ate the main course here at our house, and then six of us went to another's house for dessert and to watch a Southern Gospel DVD of Greater Vision, Legacy Five, the Booth Brothers, and Mark Trammel Trio.  Thoroughly enjoyed our evening with friends.  We don't do this often enough!!

The camp staff got together for a debriefing meeting last Thursday afternoon and then had sub sandwiches delivered for supper.  We talked about what we should do different next year to help the camps run more smoothly.  Lots of good ideas.  And now we have a few months to implement them into our camp organization.  We have a very good staff...some paid, some volunteers, but all working for the Lord in this camping ministry here at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp.

Let's take a look at what God had to say to me this past week in His Word:

Here is my final conclusion:  fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the entire duty of man.  For God will judge us for everything we do, including every hidden thing, good or bad.  (12:13-14)

What I want from you is your true thanks; I want your promises fulfilled.  I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you, and you can give me glory.  (50:14-15)

...true praise is a worthy sacrifice; this really honors me.  Those who walk my paths will receive salvation from the Lord.  (50:23)

Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.  (51:10)

You don't want penance; if you did, how gladly I would do it!  You aren't interest in offerings burned before you on the alter.  It is a broken spirit you want --- remorse and penitence.  A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not ignore.  (51:16-17)

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you.  Yes, I will trust the promises of God.  And since I am trusting him, what can mere man do to me?  (56:3-4)

This one thing I know:  God is for me!  (56:9)

The Word for You Today

  • Do what you love to do, something that engages both your mind and your heart.  Ask God to give you a clear vision and an undivided heart.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

For those of you following my blog, my apologies for taking a short break.  I have been in back pain again, and just not in the mood to blog.  Seems like I am tired all the time.  I have finally made an appointment to have my physical condition examined.  I'm sure I'm opening a can of worms, but I need to get back to good health while I'm aging, as much as I can.  

This has been a tremendous weekend for ILNC.  For the first time ever, the Nazarene Evangelists' Homecoming has been held here at ILNC.  There have been preaching and singing all weekend, and tonight there is a concert by the song evangelists.  The good news is that they have chosen to come back again next year and have plans to do a recording of a musical tribute to Jim and Rosie Green, who were song evangelists for 65 years, and a tribute to camp meeting choirs and music.  They plan to fill the choir loft as it used to be (100 people +/-) and sing the old camp meeting songs that the Greens used to sing.  I think it will be well attended, for there are people still living who used to be in those services and sang in the choir, and are hungry to hear the older songs once again.  I am one of them.  As a teenager I was in the choir under the direction of the Greens.  I still recall some of the choir specials, such as "There's Going to Be a Meeting in the Air".  This will be a great event, and we have a year to plan for it.

We had a mini family reunion a couple of weeks ago.  Paul's brother and his family (wife, four children) came from Washington State to visit, and we all met at Paul's sister's (and husband) house.  Her daughter was home from Baltimore, and an aunt came, as well as Paul's parents.  Nice time of visiting and eating together.

A week ago we spent the day with our cottage friends (up from Florida for the summer months and staying in our cottage) to celebrate our anniversaries.  We chose to go to Edsel Ford's Home at Grosse Pointe on Lake St. Clair (north of Detroit).  We did two was "Behind the Scenes", which gave us the maids and Butler's side of the mansion (30,000 square foot mansion, plus 80 acres of grounds), and the House tour, which led us through the side of the house where the family lived.  It took 3 years to build, and was completed in 1929.  Edsel was the only son of Henry Ford, and became the president of his father's Ford company.  

Edsel and Eleanor had three sons and one daughter.  The daughter had a play house that was 2/3rds the  scale of a real house, and cost $15,000 to build in 1932 when she was 7 years old.  We toured that house also, so cute...all the furniture and appliances and commode built to the scale appropriate for a 7 year old.  Whenever she went to the Playhouse to play, she was accompanied by her governess for security's sake.  This was the time period when the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped, and there were attempts on the Ford children.  When the little girl grew up and married, her wedding reception was held in the 25'x60' ball room in the house, designed for dances.  

The house was amazing, and built with the best money could find...many of the walls and items coming from Europe, Germany, China.  They would not give us the value of the house, but one of the antiques in the house was in the millions alone.  All of this built at the beginning of the depression.  Edsel Ford died of stomach cancer at the age of 49, and Eleanor lived 30 more years in that house.  She wanted to leave it for the public to enjoy, and set up a fund to provide $15 million a year to maintain the house and cover the expenses.  At one time the Fords had 25 on their housekeeping staff.  There is a tunnel from the house to the power plant, perhaps 500' long, which we also went through.  The Edsel Ford home was just something I wanted to see for a while, and this is the year we made the trip to see it.  Interesting how the rich and famous live!

When we got back to the camp grounds that evening, we had an outdoor concert with Smith and Smith, who both play guitars and sing the oldies (country, rock and roll, gospel).  I love to listen to them and sing along.  It was such a relaxing evening, so nostalgic and mellow.  

Last week I went to Shipshewanna, Indiana with my small group to shop, see a play "The Confession" (Amish setting, Beverly Lewis author), and have supper at the Blue Gate.  There were about 30 of us (more than just our small group went).  That was a neat treat...excellent musical/play.

We are cresting the hill and tomorrow, Labor Day, we will be descending into fall and winter in the life of the camp ground.  RVers will start to pull away, and soon after that our snowbirds will leave for the winter, and our crowds will be gone for another season.  We still have several families here during the winter, and we will have weekend groups, retreats, etc throughout the next nine months...but all the summer busy buzz will be gone.  Life will be quieter.  And that's okay.  We still keep busy in the office wrapping up this year and planning for next year.  Paul and I will have a fall and winter get away to refresh ourselves.  We've had a good summer, and look forward to the months ahead, just not the snow and ice.  It's pretty, but we don't like cold weather, and I fear falling on black ice my back has been messed up since I fell last March.

Well, on to my devotions from the last two weeks...

"The Word for You Today":

  • A good idea that is not God's idea can complicate your life, and not only will you suffer, but so will your loved ones.
  • Others may give up on you, but God never will.  God will keep wrestling with you until your attitudes are changed as well as your words and actions, your willingness, your relationships.
  • The pursuit of a dream is the difference between ordinary and extraordinary people.  A God-given dream will motivate you to make important decisions and changes in your life.  Your dream is both a goal and your change-agent.  The time to pursue your dream is NOW!

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last.  And I know that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God!  Then he will be on my side!  Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend!  What a glorious hope!  (18:25-27)

It is not mere age that makes men wise.  Rather it is the Spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, which makes him intelligent.  (32:8-9)

I will speak the truth with all sincerity.  For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.  (33:3-4)

Ecclesiastes: let your words be few...being a fool makes you a blabbermouth.  (5:3)

To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life---that is indeed a gift from God.  The person who does that will not need to look back with sorrow on his past, for God gives him joy.  (5:20)

I Corinthians:
Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger; stand true to the Lord; act like men; be strong; and whatever you do, do it with kindness and love.  (16:13-14)

2 Corinthians:
...we have been pure and sincere, quietly depending upon the Lord for his help, and not on our own skills.  (1:12)

That is why we never give up.  Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day.  These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won't last very long.  Yet this short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing upon us forever and ever!  So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not seen yet.  The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.  (4:16-18)

Teach a child to choose the right path and when he is older he will remain upon it.  (22:6)

Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life.  (42:8)

Stand silent!  Know that I am God!  (46:10)