What does our country, our church and our family life have in common with a forest?
Bark beetle beginnings in a forest
There has been a severe drought in California these last few years and the Northern California forests have been especially hard hit. The lack of water has stressed our beautiful conifer trees causing them to become susceptible to a little creature call the bark beetle. Stressed trees equate to suitable host material for bark beetles and successful reproduction results in more beetles and higher levels of tree mortality. Read More
It was early afternoon on a hot and sunny June day when my husband finally admitted that he was really sick. It was time to go to ER, he had difficulty in walking and breathing… Then realized he couldn’t walk or even get up out of the chair. This man who had been a runner… never sick, always strong even during some of the previous medical challenges… I was called out on the waters.. click here continue reading
Roll back the years to my son’s Jr. year in high school, football, weight training and a shoulder that just plain would work no more. What was wrong? The doctor’s x-rays showed an abnormal bone growth and in hushed tones he mentioned to me that we would need to schedule a full body MRI to be sure that this type of “abnormality” wouldn’t be found in any other bones.
The 45 minute ride home was very quiet as we were both absorbed in our own thoughts… Terror, rippled down my spine and through my bones as I visualized my only son … Bone cancer is what the doctor had so quietly mumbled, hoping that my son wouldn’t hear. But he had heard and through the soft hum of tires on the freeway said, “Mom, I just hope that I don’t light up like a Christmas tree when they do that test next week.” This was sure to be a long week end. The Friday doctor’s visit was over, a long week end of wondering and concern lay on the horizon. Monday we should expect a call to schedule an immediate MRI. The doctor had been very clear that there should be no delay. To continue
How or when do we pray???
Twenty years ago staying in touch with my children was nearly nonexistent, when they were out of the house with friends. A pay phone or the phone at the friends house… That’s pretty much all there was. Now how wonderful!! Mobile phones with talk and text, tablets with Skype… I am in the loop with my kids and their families on a regular basis. The same applies to prayer… only better.
Prayer is a lifestyle, for me prayer is a continual conversation with our Lord and God. All you have to do is open the door. Think of prayer like an open Skype in your heart. Always ready for chat!
Often my prayers are journaled.. I like to go back and see how prayers were answered… it is awesome and sometimes revealing. Other times my prayers are just conversations with God, and then in those frantic emergency times the prayer is of my heart. It is not spoken, it cries to the Lord in pain, sorrow, helplessness or frustration.
It has been over 18 years ago, yet the days the feelings are etched in my heart – as though they were yesterday. My son and daughter-in-law supporting each other in the hospital corridor … the grief of knowing I cannot quiet their pain.
Roll back the years to our son’s Jr. year in high school, football, weight training and a shoulder that just plain would work no more. What was wrong? The doctor’s x-rays showed an abnormal bone growth and in hushed tones he mentioned to me that we would need to schedule a full body MRI to be sure that this type of “abnormality” wouldn’t be found in any other bones.
The 45 minute ride home was very quiet as we were both absorbed in our own thoughts… Terror, rippled down my spine and through my bones as I visualized my only son … Bone cancer is what the doctor had so quietly mumbled, hoping that Richard wouldn’t hear. But he had heard and through the soft hum of tires on the freeway said, “Mom, I just hope that I don’t light up like a Christmas tree when they do that test next week.” This was sure to be a long week end. The Friday doctor’s visit was over, a long week end of wondering and concern lay on the horizon. Monday we should expect a call to schedule an immediate MRI. The doctor had been very clear that there should be no delay.
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It was an already hot early summer morning and our 14 year old grandson was helping my husband Rick by weed eating our vineyard. Instead of hiring it out, Don told Jas he could earn the money for his basketball camp. Jas was new to this endeavor but did a great job until mid-afternoon… when the machine stopped running. Not wanting to feel inadequate (helping his Opa was a new venture) he tried and tried to restart the languid machine pulling the started rope as shown all to no avail.
Finally, he brought a broken machine to Rick. He had pulled the starter cord to the end of the housing and there it lay long and limp. Evidently, instead of realizing the tool had run out of gas… the efforts of trying to restart broke the retraction mechanism in the machine. Rick who is mechanically inclined spent a good 45 minutes taking the thing apart, but the actual housing of the retraction mechanism was factory sealed requiring special tools to access – therefore, no luck.
Saturday we bought a new unit… and Don told Jas, yes he could come again… On their way to our house after the Sunday morning message, Jas and Marie, his mom, were talking. He felt really bad that the weed eater was broken; he planned on paying back the $200+ for the new unit. Marie agreed. But, mentioned that they should lift this to Jesus in prayer and see if He would intervene.
Working in clearing the vineyard of weeds was completed. A daunting job, but undertaken with determination that is bred within a soul that wants to do the job right and prove that it isn’t too much for a 14 year old. To read more click here.
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Oh my good Lord! I turned to my daughter and realized that the only other time I had been in this church was … 18 months earlier in the springtime…
The day was fresh and sunny, my spirit quiet yet tormented. If you have ever been estranged from your child you will know the dark hole and gnawing feelings that invade your heart- The ache, the pain the unrelenting despair that threatens to overtake your being at any point in time, but most especially in the still of the night.
It had been an especially rough 18 months. The relationship with my daughter had become cooler and cooler and now was at a near “hostile” point. No way to talk or communicate. Lifeless vm messages given and returned. This was especially difficult since it hadn’t been too many years that our relationship had still been warm, loving and close (very close). Almost 2 hearts beating as one… We were best friends.
Now, there was nothing to talk about… She didn’t want to share the details of a marital relationship that had not only fallen apart, but become abusive. First it was not understanding the why… and how we got there… Then as it began to dawn that there was trouble… no way to really help. Yes, I was driven back on my knees and to the feet of my Saviour. Click here to continue
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In Your loving mercy You crafted yourself into a huge rock. It is here that I rest warmed by Your love. It is here that I recharge my energies communing with You. It is amazing how You grow the rock to meet my needs. In extreme situations where towering waves threaten to overwhelm me, that your rock enlarges to become a shelter with a cozy cave away from the breaking, sweeping waves crashing all around.
I hide myself in You. There I find solace, and peace to renew my strength. While the enemy pounds outside in fury! I rest in You, letting the violence expend itself. Relentlessly hurling at you what was meant to overcome and defeat me. Lord, please show me and give me the discernment to know that those waves are too powerful for me. Please keep me from trying to conquer in my own strength.
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