Sunday, November 06, 2011

Open


I love this church building

I love the white brick with the bright, red doors

The crisp, clean appearance of it

The contrast of the colors, making it very easy to see where one enters the building.

But, most of all I love that the door is open.

This is the church in Nashville where our son, Zach, and his wife, Christina, worship. We were with them last weekend and walked through those open doors.

It was a very cold morning - cold enough that Zach had called to tell us to dress warmly because the building was cold.  He was there early to practice for the praise team.

Yet, the door was open.

There was frost on the windshields

Yet, the door was open.

My first thought was, "why don't they close the door? Keep the little bit of heat in the building?"

But, they didn't. It was open through all of the service.

The more I've thought about it, the more I love seeing it open.  
You see, maybe it's not about keeping us warm &  comfortable. Yet, that comfort was my first selfish thought. Maybe it's all about others. 

I think that they are saying to those who see it,
"come on in, you are welcome here,
the door is open".

And we were welcomed in. The air may have been cold, but not the fellowship amongst the people inside.
The worship of our God was precious and genuine.

Dale and I were old enough to be the parent of just about everyone there. But, we were made to feel as though this is were we could belong. I loved that, and

I loved red door,

the open, red door.


God, help me to be an open, door, a visible sign to those around me of the loving God that you are. I praise you for your amazing love, love that threw open your arms and said, "Come, you are welcome here". 





Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blessing Upon Blessing

The past few weeks have been times of celebration.
                Wedding anniversary celebrations.

First, Dale's parents, Ed & Ruth celebrated 65 years!  That's right, 65 years! 
Then, Dale and I celebrated 35 years. 
Next, it was my parent's, Woody & La Verne, who just celebrated 60 years!  
That's amazing, isn't it!

The six of us went out to eat to celebrate. We went to a place that we hadn't been to in years and I'm so glad that we chose to go this day. Black Wolf is a rustic log building overlooking the golf course and river in Kohler.  We were in the large room with a beautiful view area.
We had a great time together. We've  been blessed with the fact that our parents enjoy each other's company. It makes times like this doubly special.


Because we were celebrating, we were given delicious desserts to share as a couple.
Doesn't it look amazing!
But, not as amazing as the fact that at our table were 160 years of marriage! What a blessing!

Last weekend, we celebrated my parent's anniversary with about 60 people at their church.
Myself, along with two good friends, had the fun of planning the decorations, while one did all of the food.
Nikki, Lyn and myself
 It was a gift I wanted to give to my parents. Plus I enjoyed doing it.
Both of my brothers were part of the short program that Mom & Dad had wanted. Terry and I did a funny song called, The Senior Citizen Shuffle.
Shuffling in


Who ARE these people?

Zach came up from Nashville to sing one of his songs for his Grandparents


Mom and Dad sharing their thankfulness


Mom's dress
Some of the decorations - burlap & lace







Brother, Kim, and wife, Missy, enjoying the food.

My nephew, Rob, took pictures of all of the people that were there. I don't have a copy of any of those at this time.  I'm hoping to get some of those pictures.

It was a great afternoon celebrating the blessings of faith, family and friends.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

SWEETHEART OF ALL MY DREAMS - 35 YEARS


“SWEETHEART OF ALL MY DREAMS”



Happy Anniversary 35 years – 12,775 + days and still counting






Brenda – you are the Love of my life and because of you it has and will continue to be a “Wonderful Life”


35 years ago you were a beautiful bride, but you are even more beautiful to me today!!!!!!


Our life together in God has been a joy. As we sang 35 years ago –“We have joined our spirits with the Spirit of God; we are one in the Bond of Love”.


As Dick Witt would say – “You are a GOOD WOMAN”


You are my wife, mother to our children, mother-in-law to their wives, now grandmother to our grandchildren, my helper, and MY LOVE


I would marry you again in a heartbeat.


I LOVE YOU!!!!!!


Dale

This first video is the audio of the song "We Are One In The Bond of Love" that Brenda and I sang for our wedding. It is a little over 2 minutes long.

video

This next video is the audio of our actual wedding ceremony from 35 years ago. It is 31 minutes long.

video

Thursday, September 08, 2011

In Your Name Will I Lift Up My Hands



"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for
you in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and
beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with
the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
 I think of you through the watches of the night.

 Because you are my help, I sing in the
shadow of your wings.

My soul clings to you; your right had upholds me."
Ps. 63:1-8


    I love this chapter in Psalms. It was what I read for my time with God today. I try to spend some time each day with my God. I usually read a Psalm. I've been through the Psalms many times, but it seems that each time I read, God shows me something that relates so well to what is happening in my life right now.

    Each day that I read, I look for something that it reveals to me about God, something that I can praise him for. Then I write down that praise in a journal.

God has changed me through that process. 
He has revealed more of himself because I have choosen to look deeply into his word and search for more of who he really is. As I have come to know him more, I've come to understand myself more and my deep need for a loving God.


There is so much in these verses to praise him for,

his power and glory that he at times allows us to see

his love that satisfies my deepest needs

his giving such a sense of security that I can sing in the shadows of uncertainty.

It is a choice I must make - daily.

It's my choice to "remember"

my choice to sing in the shadows

my choice to cling. 

Oh, how I wish that it was always so easy to do as it is to write that down.

There are times when I forget God

times when my voice can't sing

and times when it feels like my grip is slipping.

I'm so thankful that my God's love for me or his ability to forgive isn't determined by anything of myself.

It's all him,

God alone.

He alone is worthy.









Monday, August 08, 2011

The Brave Knight

Once upon a time, in the land of the brat, there lived a brave Knight and his young Lady. (ok, maybe not so young) They planned and prepared with excitement as they anticipated their next journey. For this adventure, they were traveling to the Governor's Park. So they loaded their portable castle with all of the necessary accoutrements: the ax, the portable lantern and flame, vessels of ale (ok, it was really water) and the butchered sow. (pork patties)

They arrived in the land known for its badgers and Cornish pasties.  It was where the Lands End. There they were met with the King and Queen and other Knights and their Ladies. They enjoyed an evening of great food and merriment.

As the starlit sky sparkled like jewels, they each headed out to their own castles. They were weary from their day of travels.

But then....

        sometime during the night...

               a noise was heard by the Lady.

She listened carefully, trying to discern where the noise was coming from.
Was it from without?
One of the masked bandits known to wander the forests taking from the wealthy?

No!! It was from within!

Not wanting to disturb her sleeping Knight, she laid still hoping that whatever beast it was would find it's own way out.
Suddenly, she felt a slight breeze along her face and she thought to herself,
"There should be no wind inside this castle!"

She quietly reached for and lit her lantern. That's when she saw it!
A bat!! Flying back and forth trying to escape the castle walls. She darkened the light.

Dale!! (oops)

"My Knight, my Knight!! There is a bat in here!" she whispered loudly caring not that he had a long journey at the break of day.

"What?" the Knight asked sleepily.

The Lady repeated, "There is a bat in here!"

The Knight quickly arose gathering his wits and anything else that might help. He lit the lantern while the Lady drew the curtains around her raised sleeping platform. The entire castle was searched from tower to dungeon, but no bat was found. He turned off the lantern and sat guard near his Lady so that no harm would befall her.
Long into the night he waited and listed, but no more was the bat heard or seen.

The next day after the brave Knight continued on his journey, the King and another Knight of the Rectangular Table, searched the castle to no avail. Using their trained hands they repaired the castle for the Lady where they thought the walls may have been breached.

The Lady missed her brave Knight in shining armour. She loved him so and prayed for safety on his journey. She will always remember him as he sat guard protecting her during that long night.








Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blessings

For many of us this past month has been of time of good-byes and transitions. From the yearly good-byes to our graduates, and this year there were many, to the sudden and final good-byes of 2 dear friends.
There are times of transitions as friends deal with grief. And for others it means dealing with serious health issues. For us, it is also a time of re-evaluating many things: jobs, ministries, and relationships. As the thunder peals loudly outside and the clouds look ominous, it seems to fit with the heaviness I at times feel in my heart.
There is a new song that I heard recently which brought me to tears as I was driving. I know that God's ways are so beyond what I can comprehend, and this song is a touching reminder of just that.




Blessings
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, 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

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’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

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 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’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise







Saturday, April 23, 2011

My King and my God

I have been reading "The Hawk and the Dove" by Penelope Wilcock. Most of the story takes place in the 1300's at a monastery. They are stories of the men who have chosen to live the monastic life and of how God worked in and through them.  What I read this week fits so well with the fact that this is Holy Week.  This is the story of Brother Francis as he is broken before his abbot, Peregrine.
Francis, in a vision hears ...
 'someone weeping...sobbing...groaning. Father, there is someone in such trouble out there. I want to go and see!'   His eyes widened. He was really seeing it.
'Go on then.'  It seemed so real that Father Peregrine felt as curious as Francis did....
'It's a garden with shrubs and trees, dark shapes. I can smell the perfume of the flowers. And someone is crying in the darkness in bitter distress. I can't find him. I'm searching for him, looking everywhere. Wait- there, under the trees. A man, crouching, bowed down to the ground. Oh, the loneliness of him. He's broken. He's-he's afraid. I've never seen a man in such despair...I must go and...oh, God, it's Jesus!
Out here, all alone. Jesus...he was out here even before I came out. He was out here all the time, in the lonely place where abandonment and fear belong. He has always been here. I think it...it is Gethsemane.'


'What are you going to do?' asked Peregrine in fascination. Brother Francis looked at him incredulously.
'Do? Stay with him, of course. I can't leave him alone in this distress. I couldn't just abandon him. Jesus, my heart, my love...his courage is the hearth for the night. As long as he is here, the darkness is home....
'The Christ you saw,' said Peregrine quietly, 'that is the Christ I love. All his life he lived pressed on every side by human need, and he met the weariness and testing of it with a patience and humility that silences me, shames me for what I am. But in Gethsemane, I see Jesus crumble, sobbing in loneliness and fear, crushed to the ground, pleading for a way out, and there was none. I cling to that vision, as you will. That sweating, terrified, abandoned man; that is my King, my God. Such courage as I have comes from the weeping of that broken man.'


They went into the chapel in silence...
 'How did you do it?' Father Peregrine prayed in silent wonder... How did you lift the man out of that torturing agony of grief and fear just by consenting to bear the same torture, the same lonely agony? Suffering God, your grace mystifies me. You become weak to redeem me in my weakness. Your face, agonized, smeared with dust and sweat and blood and spit, must become the icon of my secret life with you. The tears that scald my eyes run into your mouth. The sweat of my fear glistens on your body. The wounds with which life has maimed me show livid on your back, your hands, your feet. The peace you win me by such a dear and bloody means defeats my reason. Lift me up into the power of your cross, blessed Lord. May the tears that run into your mouth scald my eyes. May the sweat that glistens on your body dignify my fear. May the blood that drips from your hands nourish my life.' "




4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth. 
Isaiah 53:4-7


Saturday, April 02, 2011

A Very Good Week

After waving good-bye from the front porch, Dale and I went back into the house and sat together on the couch.
"It's so quiet." I whispered.
We sat in silence for a while looking at the toys which lay scattered on the floor.



We had just enjoyed a wonderful week with family. Zach and Isaac -his drummer- came late Sunday night. They were on a short music tour from Nashville to parts in the Midwest.
On Monday Josh, Lauren and the girls - Ruth and Anna
 got here after their long drive from Montana.
Aside from Skype calls, we hadn't seen them since August. It was so good to be together again and to get reacquainted with our grand-daughters.
 I was happy to feed them breakfast giving Lauren and Josh the rare opportunity to both sleep in.

Ruth enjoyed sleeping in a borrowed little tent.


It was fun being able to be Nana for the week.

We colored,





baked,


 planted,


 explored,


swam,


napped and at one point 5 of us chased each other around our kitchen island.
We went to hear Zach play at a local coffeehouse.





He wasn't feeling very well. He had come down with the cold, sinus stuff that so many around here are getting.
But, we always enjoy hearing him play.

The time went too quickly.


There were not enough books read.



Not enough hugs.



Not enough time to play.
 I've got to make up for lost time. 
And have enough to last until we see them again.



We're not sure when that will be, but I know
that it will not be soon enough. 

And the house is still too quiet.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Catching up, again!

Apparently 3 months have passed since I've written on here. I think that basically I've tried to ignore my blog because I don't like how it looks and just haven't taken the time to fix it. I don't know enough about doing it without taking a huge amount of my time. So... for now, it is what it is.

I wanted to post a few pictures from the Fall and Holidays. In October we drove down to visit Zach & Christina in Nashville. We stopped at the Silly Goose, where Zach works and had a delicious lunch. We also visited Christina at Vanderbilt University where she works. While there, we helped them as they were working on the felt covers for 100 of Zach's new music cds.








At the Silly Goose, we had a smoked salmon sandwich with goat cheese, caramelized onion and arugula on marble rye bread. It was amazing. A Waldorf salad with grapes, bacon, blue gouda and buttermilk herb dressing was also amazing. Loved them both!




Then Zach also recommended their ice cream sampler. It was Lavendar Vanilla, Chocolate Nutella and Honey Beet. Whoever heard of beet ice cream? It was oh, so yummy!

Vanderbilt University


Of, course you can't go to Nashville without enjoying some live music somewhere. So we headed to the Ugly Mug one of the nights. It's a coffee shop in East Nashville close to where Zach works and lives. We also went to Jackson's for a lunch and then to Sweet Ce Ce's for dessert. It's actually a frozen yogurt buffet. You pick the type of yogurt you want and then you get to put on whatever and how much ever you want of toppings. You pay according to how much it weighs. I covered mine with fresh fruit and chocolate. Ok, so just because it's yogurt doesn't mean that it's low-cal.

Nashville has a wonderful Farmer's Market where we picked up a few Fall items.







It was the first time that we had been to Christina and Zach's apartment since they moved there in September. I always love to see how they decorate and make the place their home. I love what they did on one of their walls with pages from old books.



Pretty cool, huh?
Well, there's October. There must be a part 2 coming for this entry. Hopefully soon.

Thanks for reading.

I'll be back.

I promise.