54 Spoons!

At every meal we’ve been scrounging to find enough spoons for our family of 6. I’ve been looking at yard sales and so have a couple of my friends. The other night, as I was cleaning out a closet for a yard sale, I found a box of silver that my mother-in-law gave us several years ago. It had been forgotten sometime during our last two moves. It had stainless flatware mixed in. I was amazed! God had provided for our current need years ago and had me find it now! I was so excited I nearly cried at the sweetness of it. I didn’t count it all; but, there were 54 spoons!

He does provide.

Thank you Jesus!

Laura

Frightened of God

I went to a little after school Bible club when I was in first grade and in the beginning of second grade. Believe it or not, it was held in the school. I remember watching the flannel graph board as the teacher told the stories of Jesus. I never doubted that Jesus was a real person or that God was real. So, when the teacher taught us the Bible verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life,” I believed her (John 3:16). In fact, that was the only verse that I remembered through the years. I loved my little classes and was sorry that I couldn’t continue them when I moved to Kansas during second grade.

After I moved to Kansas, there was an occasional Vacation Bible School; but, for the most part, not a whole lot of training. My mom did teach me to say the child’s prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Mommy. God bless Daddy. God bless John. God bless Grandma and Grandpa….” You get the idea. Let me tell you; I wasn’t too keen on the “if I should die before I wake” part! It kept me just a little afraid of God.

For a little while after my mom and dad divorced, we went to church with one of my mom’s friends. I went to the 6th grade Sunday School class. I remember feeling like I was so hopelessly behind that I’d never learn this Bible stuff. I also remember feeling like the preacher was looking right at me when he gave the sermon. I tried to slouch down and disappear behind the grown ups around me.


As I grew older, I grew in sin and in stature and became a teenager. I had more to be ashamed of than just the confession I’d made in that class that I hit my brother. The teacher had asked me to confess my sin when I asked Jesus into my little heart. Now, I’d said hateful words, seen things on tv and movies that were bad, had bad thoughts, hit my brother more. You get the idea. Every once in awhile, I’d go over to a friend’s house and her religious mother would have Billy Graham or someone else on t.v. talking about God. I remember feeling intensely ashamed and frightened of God. I knew that I was dirty with sin. I knew He could see what I’d done and knew what I thought. I didn’t run to Him, though. I ran away.

God didn’t give up. I’d find tracts with the way to salvation lying around in public places. I had to read them. I had to find a way to get rid of this guilt that was building up. Even so, I just didn’t quite believe it would work. I just knew I was going to go to hell. I was still frightened.


Finally, on New Year’s Day, 1980, I was watching the PTL Club show. Jim Bakker was interviewing a lady who had been a drug addict. She had turned to Jesus, had been saved, and had been delivered from her drug addiction. A lightbulb went on in my head and my heart. This woman had done stuff that was way worse than what I’d done. Isn’t it like us to compare even our sins to others’ to try to make ourselves feel better? Anyway, I finally had this revelation:

If God had forgiven this woman, surely He could forgive me, too.

So, when Jim Bakker lead the sinners’ prayer, I asked Jesus to forgive me and asked Him into my heart. I became a Christian that day January 1, 1980. I asked my mom if we could go to church. I knew Christians were supposed to go to church. She wasn’t interested at that time. So, I had to think of something else. I kept watching PTL on the little t.v. in my bedroom that Grandma Mamie and Grandpa Frank had given me. It was a great way to start the day.


Soon it was time to go back to school. I saw a girl on the bus, named Kim, who had always been nice to me, even when others were mean. I went up to her and asked her to take me to church with her. After she picked herself up off the floor of the bus (just kidding), she agreed to take me to her church. I got permission from my mom and went to Rolling Hills Christian Church with her. It didn’t occur to me that there might be more than one kind of church. God just took care of me. The next Sunday, Pat, the lady who lived on the property behind our 3 acres, showed up at our door to take me to church. And the next Sunday and the next Sunday and the next Sunday! She came with bulldog tenacity! Good thing, too. I didn’t have a chance to get away from God this time. ~smile~


A few weeks later, I went forward at concert with my friend Kim and Pat’s daughter. I actually thought they wanted me to go up because they were afraid to go up themselves. Surprise surprise! A couple of weeks later I went forward at church to confess Jesus, be baptised, and join the church. That little country church family became my family. They were there for me during some really hard things. Ah, but that’s another story for another day.


Friend, are you frightened of God? Do you think you’re too bad? Too sinful? Too dirty? I did, too. We are all bad, sinful, and dirty. BUT GOD made a way for us to come to Him and become good, righteous, and clean. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He said Himself that He is the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Him.


Jesus paid the price for our sins by taking our punishment on the cross at Calvary. “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

We must run to God. We must confess. We must ask forgiveness. We must ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. God is willing and able to forgive our sins. He wants us.

Are you willing?


Laura


An Independence Day to Remember

Like you, I’m sure, I have many memories of Independence days through the years.

I can remember going to the car races with my Grandpa Frank and Grandma Mamie and waiting, waiting, waiting for the races to be over. I wanted to watch the fireworks! I also remember flying in their little airplane to a nearby town to go to a town picnic in the park. I was so upset when Grandpa wanted to leave early before the fireworks. I was later thrilled to watch them from the air!

I remember standing out on Grandma Mamie and Grandpa Frank’s front porch and playing with sparklers. Sparklers were my favorites. I used to try to write my name with them in the air. They were the next best thing to a real magical fairy wand. Hey, I was young! I wasn’t that smart about sparkler safety, though. I dropped one on the porch and then stepped on it with a bare little foot. Yikes! I could wail with the best of them.

Grandma and Grandpa moved to Texas when I was a teenager. So, from then on, most of my Independence Days were celebrated on the third with my mom and step-dad. I’m not sure if we had the big cook out and shot the fireworks because it was their anniversary or because they didn’t have to work the next day.

I remember my first Fourth of July as a young bride. We lived just half a block from the college football field where they were shooting the fireworks display. We invited my Dad and Annie to come and watch with us from our driveway. Unfortunately, we were downwind. We were inundated with smoke and debris falling from the sky. Annie was hit by what looked like a big piece of coconut shell.

Later, I remember watching with our babies. I remember covering their ears, hugging them closely, and watching their eyes wide with wonder at such a glorious sight. I don’t remember any of them crying; but, they sure snuggled in close.

Ten years ago, I remember standing in our Pastor’s front yard, with tears streaming down my face, as we watched the display from afar. We had been on our way to the park; but, it was excessively hot, I was excessively pregnant, and my mother was at death’s door. I had just returned from seeing her. My, how she loved fireworks! She’d spend a fortune to get that display just right. Well, she waited until just after midnight to go home so that she wouldn’t spoil the fourth. I’m quite sure she waited. She could have gone on the third, her anniversary. She could have gone on the fourth, a holiday. She could have gone on the sixth, her mom’s birthday. She went on the fifth. I just can’t help believing that she knew what she was doing.

Tonight, however, was quite memorable also. We spent the evening out in the country with friends at Charlie’s Big Red Barn. It was open on both ends; and, the breeze was so nice that it stayed cool. We had a cookout with lots of friends then headed out to the Municipal park. We sat in our usual place at the edge of the golf course. We had all of our friends, Lowell’s mother, and all of our little family. The kids played as we were waiting for the sun to set. I told the kids that I wanted them to come on up the hill and sit with us near the van when it got dark. Well it got dark alright. Just moments before the display began, drip-drip. Yes, it was sprinkling. Well, that’s okay, we thought. We’ll get a little damp. The display was gorgeous. This year they had a new kind of firework that had little white swirly sparkles interspersed with small bursts of purple. I just loved them. That’s just about the time that our drips became drops and then, suddenly, a downpour! Boy everyone started to scramble for their cars! We were close; so, we got in and watched most of the rest of the display from the car. It did slow to a sprinkle near the end. So, we got out and watched the finale.

We came home soggy but happy. I have a feeling that this is an Independence Day that we won’t forget!

Happy July!
Laura

I’m Going to Wake Up With My Husband of 23 Years and My Sweetheart of 27 Years

Yes, we were high school sweethearts. Different high schools, but sweethearts nonetheless. I love him still. We didn’t need to scratch the 7 year itcch. We didn’t want each other to drop dead at a decade. We didn’t lose the fire at fifteen. We didn’t think twice at twenty. Today it’s twenty-three. We don’t want to be free.

We made our commitment to each other and to God twenty-three years ago at 4:00 in the afternoon. God was our witness. He was and He is a member in this three way covenant we made. Many trials and storms have come and gone in our life together. God has always strengthened us at just the right time.

We are Lowell and Laura…always and forever…until death do us part.

Lowell, I love you no matter what, no matter where, no matter….

Father God, I love You and I thank You for the grace and perseverance and trust in each other that You’ve given us. Thank you for teaching us very early never to say the D word, no matter what.

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Laura

44 and Counting

Today is my birthday. Thank You God for a great family that is already making it happy for me this morning. Thank You God for another birthday.
I’m 44. I may as well say it because my daughter has announced it to the world at church, on the local Christian radio station, and anywhere else and to whomever else she can think to announce it. ~smile~
In a way, I feel older on this birthday because my son, Matthew, is graduating from high school next week. How did I get to my father’s age? I don’t think of myself as old enough to have a high school graduate. I still feel like a kid trying to figure this life out most of the time. An old kid, that is. ~grin~
You know, the closer one gets to middle age, the older middle age gets. I like to think of middle age now as my fifties. The truth is, I’ve been in middle age for awhile. Forty-four is probably about as middle age as it gets. Not many of us can expect to live longer than our eighties. Most of us won’t get there. It sounds so much better to say that I’ve lived half my life than three quarters though, doesn’t it?
I have great hope for the future. My Grandma Mamie will celebrate her 87th birthday in a few months. She is more active and attractive now than she was 20 years ago! She is a busy lady with a full schedule. She drives where she wants and does what she wants. She’s happy and full of life. I have hope that I will be the same at that age.

The key to Grandma’s youthful energy and activity? She and I agreed when I was little that she would start counting backward when she was 50. It worked! She’s now a teenager and a very happy one at that! You can bet I’ll be counting backward from 50, too!

Something to Think About…Words Matter

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Words matter for so many reasons. Think about it. Our very world was spoken into existence by God with words. “Let there be…and it was good.” God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. The peoples were divided at the Tower of Babel by their language, their words. They couldn’t understand each other. Jesus is the Word in the flesh. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” 1 John 1:9. This was confirmation that Jesus is himself God. The Word of God is referred to as a two edged sword, as the sword of the Spirit. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 Words Matter to God.
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“Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted forgiving one another just as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Ephesian 4:32 With our words, we can bless or curse. We can encourage or discourage. We can hurt or heal. We can love or hate. We can show empathy or judge. We can share the hope we have in Christ Jesus or we can share hopelessness. The word says that the power of life and death are in the tongue. Proverbs 18:21
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Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All fruits of the Spirit. All available to us through believing and confessing Jesus as our Lord and Savior. All available to us by repenting of our sins, by turning to Him daily, hourly, and moment by moment as needed for a fresh filling of His strength, hope, power, and love.
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Jesus said that all the commandments were summed up into two. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and (love) your neighbor as yourself.”
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Love God and love others. Everything we need for success in life and relationships wrapped up in a few words.
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Words Matter.
Just Something to Think About….
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Laura
Thinking about my words….
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