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 tours...one 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 again...as 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)
...so 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)
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)
...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)