Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep,
We pray for health, for prosperity,
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while You hear each spoken need,
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.
We pray for wisdom,
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near,
We doubt Your goodness, We doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough,
All the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have the faith to believe.
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You are near
And what if the trials of this life
Are your mercies in disguise?
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
This is not our home
It's not our Home!
"Cause what if your blessing comes through raindrops
What if your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You are near?
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world cannot satisfy
And what if the trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are you mercies in disguise?
(Laura Story)

Monday, November 21, 2011

only one life dilemna

A few weeks ago we attended the Christian Aid Ministries open house at Ephrata Pa. We also receive a fair amount of newsletters from various mission organizations. Sometimes I wish I had 1000 lives to give my Lord. I would be happy if He would send me in one life to Haiti to sweep floors in the clinic in Haiti where my niece serves the needy, one life to be a nanny or grandma at a children's home in MX, one life to distribute Bibles in China, one life to serve in a USA city mission, one life to help spread the Gospel in dark places of Europe, one life to wash dishes at places that minister to hurting people and the list goes on and on. If salvation were based on how much one can accomplish in life, I'd never make it to heaven.
At other times I am afflicted by weariness and am so thankful that at the end of one life, I can go Home and rest forever. I am grateful that this world is not my Eternal Home. But my Commander-in-Chief tells me that by the avenue of prayer one life can minister to many. Isn't that amazing? It is all about HIM and HIS GLORY! Just think what 1000 short lives could do if they were totally committed to Him?
Long ago my Grandma wrote the following verse in my autograph book:
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what is done for Christ will last."
Lord, help me to focus on things of eternal value!

Monday, August 22, 2011

39 evidences of pride

This list came to me recently- I am convicted and challenged! So much of today's atmosphere smacks of "self-worth, self-confidence, self-image, know yourself, self-this, self-that, and more-self. " Oh! just to have the mind of Christ!
If you know who developed this list. Please let me know, so credit can be given to that individual.
1. Do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined or less successful than yourself?
2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your mate, others in the church?
3.Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don't make the same lifestyle choice you do?
4. Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those thoughts to others? Do you have a sharp, critical tongue?
5. Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate, your minister, or other people in positions of leadership (teachers, youth director etc.)?
6. Do you give undue time, attention and effort to your physical appearance- hair, clothing, weight, body shape, avoiding appearances of aging?
7. Are you proud of the schedule you keep, how disciplined you are, how much you are able to accomplish?
8. Are you driven to receive approval, praise or acceptance from others?
9. Are you argumentative?
10. Do you generally think your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way?
11. Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit? Easily offended? Get your feelings hurt easily?
12. Are you guilty of pretense? Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is really true?
(Would people be shocked if they knew what you were like at home?)
13. Do you have a hard time admitting you are wrong?
14. Do you have a hard time confessing yous sin to God and others? (Not just in generalities but specifics)
15. Do you have a hard time sharing your real spiritual needs/struggles with others?
16. Are you excessively shy?
17. Do you resent being asked or expected to serve your family, your parents or others?
18. Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected?
19. Are you a perfectionist? Do you get irked or impatient with people who aren't?
20. Do you tend to be controlling- of your mate, your children, friends, those in your workplace?
21. Do you frequently interrupt people when they are speaking?
22. Does your husband feel like he can never measure up to your expectations of what it means to be a good husband, spiritual leader etc?
23. Do you often complain- about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, your church?
24. Do you talk about yourself too much?
25. Do you have a sharp critical tongue?
26. Are you more concerned about your problems, needs , burdens, than about others' concerns?
27. Do you worry about what others think of you? Too concerned about your reputation or your family's reputation?
28. Do you neglect to express gratitude for "little things"? To God? To others?
29. Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word?
30. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments/or acts of service are not recognized or rewarded?
31. Do you get hurt if your feelings or opinions are not considered when your mate or your boss is making a decision or if you are not informed when a change or decision is made?
32. Do you react to rules? Do you have a hard time being told what to do?
33. Are you self-conscious because of your lack of education or natural beauty, or your social status?
34. Do you avoid participating in certain events, for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish?
35. Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them/don't feel you measure up?
36. Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don't think it's nice enough or you can't afford to do lavish entertaining?
37. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help (practical or spiritual)?
38. When is the last time you said these words to a family member, friend, or co-worker: "I was wrong; would you please forgive me?" (If it has been more than a month, mark it down).
39. Are you sitting here thinking how many of these questions apply to someone you know? Feeling pretty good that none of these things really apply to you?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Forty Six Years and counting

Forty Six Years and Counting
Years ago we were young, in love and full of dreams for our future together.
We have shared many joys and sorrows of life
that were part of the dim unknown future
on August 14, 1965.
Sometimes we have taken each other for granted,
On this anniversary we grieve with a dear couple who have barely made it past their silver anniversary before the dark cloud of cancer appeared on their horizon.
And we feel so blessed to still love each other and have the privilege of growing old together.
We did not know how hard it would be to earn a living and make ends meet.
But God has faithfully provided for our needs and beyond.
We have chosen God's Word as our guide for living.
Sometimes we were faithful, many times we were not.
We thank God for His mercy and forgiveness.
He is a God of "new beginnings".
We did not always handle stress in a good way during the heat of the day,
but today we enjoying the opportunities to spend more time alone together
while we watch the steadily approaching sunset on the horizon.
This was the opening song at our wedding (adapted version):
All the way our Savior leads us, what have we to ask beside?
Can we doubt His tender mercy who through life has been our guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell
For we know whate'er befall us, Jesus doest all things well.
All the way our Saviour leads us; Cheers each winding path we tread,
Gives us grace for every trial, feeds us with the living Bread,
Though our weary steps may falter, And our souls athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before us, Lo! A spring of joy we see.
All the way our Saviour leads us; oh, the fullness of His love,
Perfect rest to us is promised, In our Father's house above
When our spirits clothed immortal, Wing their flight to realms of day
This our song through endless ages; Jesus led us all the way.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Three centuries

No I am not three centuries old...yet. But recently an 80+ year old man asked me, "Did you know my father?" I did not know his father. My first thought was, "How old do you think I am?"

But on second thought- I have known the parents of quite a few people who are 80 or more years old. I well remember my grandparents- the parents of my 97 year old aunt who passed away this year. My 4th-5th grade school teacher was an 1800's model. I could go on and on naming people from the nineteenth century who have touched my life in one way or another.

When you think about it- I have known people who were born in the nineteenth century, twentieth century and now the twenty-first century. People from three different centuries have touched my life in one way or another. I am blessed by the perspective that gives to life today.
I am even more glad my life has been touched by an eternal God.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Family weekend

After Brianna's graduation at Warrior Run High School, Marvin & I followed our GPS (and the guardian angels followed us) to this cabin near Thurmont MD where we had reservations for our family weekend. It was a very nice place- and conveniently located near enough to Washington DC where we planned to go on Saturday. It was midnight when we arrived. This place is about 3.5 miles off the beaten path in a back woodsy atmosphere. Lovely!

On Saturday morning after breakfast and lunch packing, we headed to Rockville MD and bought tickets on the Metro into Washington DC. You can see us in the photo below with our thirteen PA grandchildren at the National Zoo entrance.
We saw some animals but we discovered a hot summer afternoon is not the best time to go to the zoo. Many of the animals were seeking relief from the heat by hiding in dens or other places of shelter from the heat. We did enjoy the octopus feeding, cheetahs, lion, tiger, leopard, zebra. dragon and gorillas. We did take some time for a few family shots.You can see Dale & Betty Joy's family below.

Then Mark & Melanie's family

And here is Jason & Gloria's family at the entrance

Our next destination was the slide at Mt Tabor Park.
I think it is about 40 ft high- has a varnished wood floor!
The first time Grandpa & I went down the slide together,
I thought, "I promised 'whither thou goest, I will go". And we went!
It was scary but fun! The next time we went on burlap and went even a little faster!
I may be 65- but I survived!

Here you can see some of the grandchildren went together on a long sheet of waxed paper and tumbled in a pile on the sawdust at the end of the slide.

Marvin & I arrived home about 6 PM with smiles and miles of memories!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Milestones of life!

This photo may be dark- but it is a bright moment for Brianna Pfleegor! It is a moment we have looked forward to for so long!
Brianna came into our lives when she was 16 months old! It's been a long story of smiles and tears! She lived in our home and was part of our family for a total of eight years. In the years she was not living here, she had regular visits and continues to be an important part of our lives- now as her grandparents. Because of limited seating, we did not expect to be able to attend her graduation on Friday evening. But then the Lord blessed her with extra tickets- and we sat with her twin sister Brittany on the front row! My eyes filled with tears as I remembered the smiles and tears that have been part of the journey to this moment!
God bless you Brianna as you begin a new part of the journey of life!

This is it- the diploma!

Grandpa & Grandma with Brianna & Brittany!

The white color signifies that Brianna is part of the National Honor Society. She worked hard to earn that collar!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Family fun

Our oldest granddaughter spent the day with us on Monday. It was a super-wonderful day. She and I had plenty of time to visit and get ready for the family supper. She got to see all her PA family in one day plus a school friend. Here you can see her grilling hamburgers for supper.
What an impromptu fun family evening!

The two youngest grandchildren are all smiles!

Trampoline season is in full swing..or should I say full bounce!
You might notice the missing tree in background. It blew over in a storm a few weeks ago. The remains are firewood in the background and bark mulch under the trampoline.

Not every one made it for this last minute grand finale of a photo...but smiles are in vogue!

We are so blessed! Thank you Jesus for the delightful day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

For God so loved the world.....

We attended a home school international evening where some of our grandchildren were part of the activities. In one evening we traveled to Australia, Guatemala, Kenya, India, Netherlands, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Each family wore costumes and treated us to some food typical of their chosen country. The students gave interesting speeches about their subject.
In the photo above you can see our daughter and her family with a Mexican flavor. Each family had a reason for choosing their particular subject. Our grandchildren have visited Mexico recently or hope to do so in the future. They introduced the group to information they learned about the history,customs and statistics of Mexico, sang two familiar Spanish songs for us and told about their travels. They had a display table with Mexican souvenirs. Their snack was tortilla chips with guacamole dip ( recipe from our Mexican daughter in law) and Mexican ruedas (somewhat like a cheese curl) with a spicy sauce.
Over and over as each student told of the population of their chosen country, I was struck with the reality of the millions of people who do not know Jesus and experienced His salvation. No wonder the Lord delays his return. The fields are white ready to harvest, and one person can do so little. Am I doing the little I can do to spread the Good News? No matter where we live, travel and work, we meet people who need the message of salvation. My desire is to be faithful where I am planted. But so often I am distracted by the cares of this life. O God, forgive!
This weekend we celebrate two of the three greatest events in history- Jesus death and resurrection. God "gave" at Christmas, "died for our sins" on Good Friday and "rose triumphant" on Easter morning. Alleluia
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Monday, March 21, 2011

Holland tiles

Almost 12 years ago, (June 1999), we traveled with cousins to Western Europe. While in the Netherlands I collected pretty 6x6" tiles as our souvenir. My intentions were to replace the counter top in the kitchen and use these as part of the back splash. Well, several years passed and that did not happen. By 2004 we were moving to the "old house on the back 40". The tiles became part of a new plan- the downstairs tub room would be their new destination. Other things kept the tiles on the "back burner" for more several more years. Finally this winter we tackled the project. It became a family affair. Karen & I designed the arrangement of the tiles. Marvin applied them to the masonary backer board. I knew he has a more steady hand and is better with details. Then David volunteered his hand and refined the process too. David also did most of the grouting. Didn't they do a good job? None of us are professional- but in my humble opinion, they did an almost-professional job! The whole thing turned out better than I expected.
I hope we live in this house a few more years to enjoy them. But then again- if the trumpet sounds, we will leave them behind along with everything else.
Ready for a tour?

This shows part of the arrangement of tiles in the tub room.
This tile is my favorite! There are so many little details..the cat lapping spilled milk, Dad milking outside the door, Delft blue on the shelf and more.

Do you like this one?

another favorite tile!

As you can see, these tiles are above the shower head.

About 1 1/2 years ago the Formica behind the stove melted in a hot oil kitchen fire. You can still see the scars on the stove back...but my dear husband and son have repaired the wall with these tiles. Adds to the grape theme in the kitchen/dining room.

Monday, February 7, 2011

CA/MX trip 2011

Frosty morning in Pennsylvania January 14th- heading to CA sunshine!
About 30 hours later..we took this picture- 80 degree January afternoon- on the two hour cruise on the bay between San Diego and Coronado. Can you see us between the shadows?

Six of our sixteen grandchildren-Konrad, Israel, Jonathan II, Elizabeth, Janelle and Betsy.

Coronado Bridge- 2 1/2 mile long between San Diego and Coronado

Br-r-r! The water is cold but so much fun.
First time to the ocean for two of the grandchildren!

Shopping for souvenirs in a big way... on Monday, Jan 17

At the Chinese restaurant with Ricardo, Angelica's nephew who lives in Tijuana, MX.

Janelle, Konrad and Betsy at the butterfly collection in the Earth & Science Museum at Santee, CA. Just wish the picture could do justice to the beauty of this collection. Janelle is wearing her souvenir shirt from Tijuana, MX that she purchased on Monday.

Decorating Christmas cookies in San Diego, CA- in 75 degree weather..with palm trees waving outdoors. Still fun for the cousins in any kind of weather.

Konrad (14) gave a Christmas bundle to Ismael (14) but this 5 year old boy Guillermo (Pauncho) and Konrad became "buddies".

Janelle and her little girl, Erica. She chose things for Erica's bundle.

Betsy and her friend Bianca with the Christmas bundle at the children's home.

Enjoying the Sierra Nevada Mtn. Pass on Sunday afternoon. By this time Karen had arrived in MX for the Orphans for Jesus work week. The six of us rode in an extended cab elderly pickup truck with an aging driver. Adventure of the day!

Back at Harrisburg, PA- Jan 24, 2011- A dream became a reality and is fast on the way to becoming a memory.