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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter is over, now what?

                 According to Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, known as the "Father of church      history this is what happened to the disciples after Jesus left. 



Into All the World.
PETER and PAUL were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By Faith

Years ago I  sit outside that empty tomb where Jesus was laid after his death on the cross, trying to get my human mind to wrap around how it must have felt for those who saw him beaten till blood was dripping from his body.  Carrying his own cross up the hill. Then laid on that wooden cross, nails put in his feet and hands, more blood dripping, then topped off with a crown of thorns pushed down on his head, more blood. How could one live with so much blood flowing from his body? How could they know how important His blood was, the power it had, the significance it had.  Did any of the disciples think about the blood, it was everywhere, their Jesus was being crucified, the one they had walked and talked, ate meal with, traveled the roads of Israel with, he was slowly dying.   What went through their mind, did they remember He said it would be this way?

Image result for pictures of the garden tomb

Our first visit to Israel ended at that empty tomb which was so fitting after walking around the old city all day, we were so tired.   Then we walked down a small alley, seen a small sign that said, Garden Tomb above a door so we  stepped through it into a  simple shop.  On the other side of the shop is a big beautiful garden with paths winding down to a lower place where the tomb is.  There are natural places to sit, it quiet which was amazing to me because the city is right outside the walls of the garden.  But it's the natural doorway , cut out of stone, that ones eyes cannot leave. People are coming in and out and as I sit watching someone shut the wooden door and on it were these word, "He is not here, He has risen."  Tears begin to fall from my eyes and others as we read those words,  He is not here, He has risen

I have never forgotten that trip and the impact it had on me. But I was a believer of all I wrote before I saw it. By faith, I believe there was a garden tomb, by faith I believed who Jesus said He was, the Son of God, come to die for me and all who believe. By faith I believed He rose from that tomb and is now sitting at the right hand of His Father.  I am grateful it does not take our eyes seeing the place He was crucified or the tomb to believe that is where Jesus was buried and rose from.

Roman 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 



                 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mother and sneaky skills

One year has passed since my mother passed away, April 9, 2016.  This my favorite picture  of her because she was very happy at this time. Nothing pleased her more then to come visit me, spend a few days, maybe a week with us. When this picture was taken we only had our daughter, Tara Jo.  And we were living in the only house we ever owned.  Mom lived in southern Illinois and we lived in Louisville, Ky., she loved driving the 31/2 hours to our place for a visit.
My mother, even though saved,  loved to play bingo and the nickle slot machines and was known to buy a lottery ticket once in a while before she went into the nursing home. In fact she always had some change in her drawer which never added up to a dollar. She would take out that plastic empty margarine cup she kept it in,  shake it and say, as soon as I get a dollar I am going to have the boys, meaning one of my brother buy me a lottery ticket.  Then, what she said next always made me cry.  I'll get out of this place, meaning the nursing home if I win the lottery.  I knew it would be death that finally got her out of the nursing home.

In her nursing home they played bingo twice a week and she went faithfully. When I went home to see her she insisted I play too, two cards, just like everyone else.  I on purpose would lose because some of those residents would get upset if I won and they didn't, I was not a resident.   Mom would always say, well Jo, you just got some bad cards.  I depended on my sneaky skills when it came to bingo.

  When she got to where she could not drive and was in a wheelchair she would say, Jo, lets go to the gambling boat, I'll buy the gas, pay for a room so we can stay all night and even buy your food.   I regret not taking her once in a while when we were home, I really do.   She was not really a gambler but she loved the people everywhere,laughing, having a good time,  the excitement that she might win, and being with me. That is where my regret comes in, she just wanted  to do something with me that she enjoyed.

 She tried to be content winning a stuffed animal or some ceramic what not to put on a shelf that she did not have.   She saved all the stuffed animals she had won. They were stuffed in every drawer, extra space she had in her closet.  When I went to visit her we would go through them and she would pick out way too many for me to take home for the grandchildren.  Once again my sneaky skill kicked in. I would say yes to what ever she wanted to sent with me, load it up and take it back the person in charge of bingo. About three to four weeks later those things would appear on the cart again to be won by somebody.   She never remembered them.

Being a Missionary sometimes gets in the way of making people happy.  I remember Ace's language helper wife smoked and every time she knew Ace was going to town she would ask him to get her some newspaper. In Paupa New Guinea village people would roll the tobacco leaf in the news paper.  That woman loved my husband and she would laugh every time she saw him. I should have step out from behind the law and did what my husband did, showed a little grace.  I think I worried I would run into someone who supported us at the gambling boat and judgement would be heaped upon our ministry.  But  if that had happened then I could have said , I won't tell if you won't.  I remember our pastor telling us when we flew out of Las Vegas, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  

  Mom would never want me to live in  regret so I am choosing to put Philippians 3:13-14 into practice and look forward to seeing her in heaven. 

 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus



                                      

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Awakening




Related imageIt was one of those fall days when the sky was a beautiful blue, the leaves were almost all off the trees but what was left were colorful, it was cool, because it was October 26th.  When I went into  the church I don't remember the blue sky, or the leaves or even the weather, but that was before my awakening.  When  person has lived in darkness for 35 years they have no idea how the light of Jesus in their life will change how they view things.  The Bible has a term for this awakening, the scripture call it, born again.  It's as clear in my mind as if it happened a few minutes ago how colorful everything was, how clean I felt, yep, it's that born again feeling only Jesus brings when His Spirit penetrates our darken soul.

John 3:3 - Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 


Here is the best part, this awakening is happening all over the world because missionaries are taking the sweet pure gospel to these remote places and next door to their neighbors and to the people they work with.  What I want you to understand is, it's the same amount of light that comes into a person soul no matter where that empty soul lives. We are vessels God wants to use to share the light with others no matter where we live.



Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like  me
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fear and an RV

For about a month now we have been looking at used RV's to park up at our daughters in northern Minnesota as a little bed and breakfast for us when we visit them.  They  live in a two bedroom mobile home  so it's a bit crowded when we visit. We are certainly blessed grand parents for all five of them would do whatever it takes to get us up there for a visit.

 Since the issue of my heart condition came up I have been pondering what  I want my years left to be full of.  We love the ministry we do for New Tribes and don't plan to retire yet.  Next priority for us is  being with our adult children and grandchildren.   As I said, our daughter and family live in cold northern MN., little place called Blackduck. Our son and his family living in southern California and we reside with them year round.  But I want  a few months of the year, when it is the warmest to reside with our daughter and family.  Which is what resulted in a search for a RV, older one but functional.

Now if you know anything about the state of MN., know this, it if full of lakes, full of the best tasting fish so there are always tons of RV for sale. Everyone wants to upgrade. which is kind of nice because we are not looking to upgrade just looking to find one that fits our need without too much  cost.  Ace sits for hours looking at different kind, 5th wheels, class c, class b, class what ever else there is.  You can get some pretty fancy 5th wheels or huge bus type RV''s and put yourself over your head in debt.  Well, we are not debt people, and have never been so we set a ceiling on what we  knew we could pay cash for and on went the search.

Two kept popping up, both nice, exactly our style, affordable, plenty of room and wouldn't you know both are only about 30-40 miles from where our daughter and family lives.  That's when fear moved in and replaced the excitement we had been feeling.  Funny, fear is not afraid of age or wisdom,  and no matter how much experience one has had fear can sneak around the corner and blindsides you.  

What if we buy it, get it set up and one of us get sick and we never get to use it?

 What if, we buy it and the furnace, goes out, or roof caves in from too much snow on it? 

  Oh, I could go on and on with the what if's, there are plenty to go around if you want to borrow one.


Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Not sure who quoted this but I love it but not more then the words of our Lord. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7


Prayer has been answered, peace reigns, and now we are the owner of a 2002 RV.  It will be parked at our daughters, all set up and ready for us when we get the time to go visit them which should happen the end of May.  


Well fear took a hike since it could not make us inactive.  I have a few more months of recovery to go before we can make a trip up to MN.  Next week is my visit to the Cardiologist and I am hoping he says yes to a ministry trip we would like to make the end of March.   It's a little closer then Mn. but will require a few days on the road and several nights in  a hotel.  I am feeling pretty good for a 70 year old heart patient.  Again, thanks for all the encouragement...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Celebrate // New Tribes Mission - 75th Anniversary


Image result for jim elliot quotesNot sure how I missed putting this on my blog for all who stop by to listen to.  Maybe you are not involved with New Tribes in any way but you teach a children Sunday school class or pick up the elderly so they can come to church. Maybe  your gift is singing in the choir or just maybe you have been challenged to go over seas on a short term mission trip.  Where ever God has you He does not want you to be idle...He has created you to worship Him and tell others about His love for them.  Every person who hears the gospel is given the chance to not go into hell for eternity. Oh I know that is not religiously correct in some circles to talk about "hell". I mean, come on, God is love, He would not send anyone to hell, would He?  But God does not send people to hell, they send themselves by rejecting the grace offered on the Cross.  


Ace and I have never regretted one minutes spent serving the Lord through New Tribes Mission. Has there been hard times, of course.  We counted the cost many times and decided it was too costly then God would bring someone into our lives that needed Him and we would count it all over again.  People ask us, when are you going to retire?  At 70 we still have enough life in us to be useful for Him in a stateside ministry continuing to be part of the team reaching the least reached. We love this video put together to celebrate the 75th anniversary of New Tribes Mission.  There is a book out titled, God Planted Five Seeds that is worth the read.  You see we are part of those seeds planted years ago when our first five missionaries were killed.  And those seeds keep producing over and over again. Who knows, you might be the next one to to take up the challenge of bring an overseas missionary. Enjoy.








Monday, January 30, 2017

Yucky duck or yea duck


      These two little ducks sit on my desk  as reminders of an
important truth God continues to teach  me.  I've use them as an illustration in ladies meetings as I tell the story of the Yuck and Yea ducks.

Notice the faces of the ducks, one has tears dripping from it's eyes, a drooping mouth, that the yuck duck. The other one has smile lines coming from it's beak and no tears, he is the yea duck.




Here is the story of these little ducks, yuck and yea.  They ALWAYS swim together, ALWAYS.  Often we acknowledge yuck duck and forget the yea is there because our struggles keep us from seeing the yea's in our trial. Let me give you a for instant that happened to me recently. \

Last time I posted I mentioned I was having chest pain and  trouble breathing upon exertion.  Tests  revealed there was blockage in the two main arteries of my heart.  I ask, actually I begged  God that  stints could be used to open the blockage  but to my dismay there was too much blockage, I needed by pass surgery.

The yuck duck seem to be swimming all by itself at that point.  Even though I needed bypasses the doctors said I had a strong heart and should do well, awe...there was the yea.  I begin to thank Him for the good doctor I had  who pushed me into going to the ER so I would see a Cardiologist  quickly.  There was that yea duck swimming right along side yuck, heart surgery is a yuck, great doctors are the yea.

God provided for our daughter in Minnesota to come and be with  me through the whole ordeal.  I think my husband needed her there as much as I did. The doctors were able to do bypasses on the two major arteries but there was a third one block at the back of my heart, it could not be bypassed.  There they are again, yuck and yea, swimming together.

Everything was going well, four days after surgery they removed one of the two tubes. The other one continued to pour out a lot of fluid, too much actually, something was wrong.  My goodness, the yuck duck seems to be swimming alone again.  It seems during the surgery in the moving of my heart a tear happened in the Thoracic  area  behind my heart.  It's the part of the body that our fat flow through.  There was no way they could remove that tube because the fluid would build up around my heart and weaken it,, more yuck.  Surgery was an option but the very  last one, very risky.  Here is when the yea begin to show itself.  If I could maintain an almost no fat diet along with some shots it would hopefully heal on its own. Of course that meant staying in the hospital with the blasted tube still in me.  Yuck again

By this time our daughter had to go back home and Ace became my constant companion staying every night with me.  All the nurses made comments how blessed I was to have such caring people in my life, yea and  yuck duck.  During my 19 days in the hospital I met many nurses but a couple were truly  yea ducks.  One in particular, we called her Memphis since I could not pronounce her  name and  she was from there.  She was a strong believer who spoke His words every time she was in my room.   Even when she was not my nurse she would check in on me, the bonds of Jesus are strong.    Another was a young women whose parents were missionaries in Japan, she grew up there so we were knitted together by a common understanding.  Ace and I plan on getting with her and her husband, doing some member care ministry as soon as I can travel.

A side note,  I had my 70th birthday while in the hospital.  The yea is I have lived a full 70 years and the yuck, no birthday cake on my diet.

Believe it or not, one can survive with little fat and not be hungry. I could have  no more than five grams of fat a day for the Thoracic  system to shut down and heal itself.  Now any of you who have been in the hospital know the food is a yuck duck.  But there were some yea too, corn flakes and skim milk for every breakfast tasted wonderful. And they made a tasty vegetarian vegetable soup along  with six crackers which became my  lunch and supper every day, I lost 12 pounds.  Now that is the biggest yea.

By now you are sick of the details of my trial but to not tell the details would not be giving the yuck and yea duck their due.

Anybody reading this can attest to their own yuck and yea ducks.  Maybe right now all you can see is the yuck in your life but God promises you there is a yea for He is always with you and that is our biggest yea.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

P.S. It was an over whelming amount of people who send well wishes and prayers. Since being home I have finally been able to read them all on facebook and emails.    How I wish I could hug all of you but a huge THANK YOU will have to do.