Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stirred Nest

Think with me for a moment.  Do you live a life of blessings or complaint? It is so easy to grumble. It is so easy to find fault.  It is so easy to be discontent.  It is so easy to find things that are less than you want them to be.  It is so easy to be irritated and impatient. It is so easy to groan and moan about the difficulties of life.  It is so easy to be dissatisfied. 

At street level, it is tempting to live a God-forgetful me-istic existence. If you put yourself in the center of your world, you will find plenty of things to complain about.   Paul Tripp
Moving or huge change brings out of me all the things the quote talks about.  I know I am not alone in this,  I don't like my nest being messed with. 

For the past 41/2 years our nest has been sharing a house with our son and family.  We had our own living room, bedroom, bathroom, only shared a kitchen. It was a great set up and having the grandkids around was special, loud but special. They bought a small house that at this time will not accomadate us living with them.  So with much prayer we believe its time for us to move to Minnesota where our daughters lives. There is a cabin on their property which they want to fix up for us to live in, a permanent place when we need it.   We will live in our rv for the summer as they get it ready.   We can continue our ministry in any region of the country.

This process has been going on for over a month and in that month I have had a couple of meltdowns that shows my wanting to have things my way. I tell you , God is so gracious to me.  Despite my bad attitudes at times He has brought blessing after blessing into this stirring of the nest. 

A few days after we helped move our son stuff, Ace woke about 2 am one morning struggling with his heart.  It got bad enough he called the ambulance and they took him off to nearest hospital thinking he could be having a heart attack.  They left me at home alone to wait this out.   He already has one bypass, five stints and a difibulator in him  to help his damaged heart.  After a angiogram and several other test, they rules out another heart attack, no more new blockage.  The doctor adjusted his difibulator and put him on a stronger med for the racing of his heart and told him to go live.    HUGE PRAISE

We were in the middle of looking for  newer vehicle too since our old Buick, 2005, 2 hundred thousand miles was going to cost more then it was worth to fix for travel. 

Because of a huge gift toward another vehicle we purchase a 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV, capable of pulling a lightweight RV for our ministry.   HUGE PRAISE. 

Because our kids are worried about their Dad driving  to Mn. God has provided someone to go with us and help with the driving.   PRAISE THE LORD.  

  I think the buying the SUV was the most nerve racking.  We have not bought a car from a dealer since the 70's or been in debt for one since then.  My husband  likes for me to go with him to look,  but after looking for days and a number of truck then SUV's I was not a happy wife.  My,  just get it done now,  personality wanted to quit looking after the third one.  Thank God Ace loves to look and as a result he found a great vehicle, good price with very low mileage.  
Today is the day we start loading the Uhaul's about 93 degrees outside.  

Ok, lets get to the nitty gritty.  We see God all over this move, all over the heart issue, all over the car issue, all over not enough help, all over it all.  Yet...even with Him all over it, we have had our tense moments.  It frustrating and humbling to have so much good happening in such stressful time and I so want to act grateful and humble.  To get bent out of shape over some "stuff" not going to fit in the Uhaul box sounds so petty in light of all we have been blessed with.  And on top of that, we have moved over 30 times, wouldn't you think we would have it nailed down and all would be easy as butter?  Since I started this blog we have moved five times, this will be the 6th.  

Here is the bottom line...WE ALL ARE STILL DYING TO SELF.   And it is painful to be made aware of the frailities in our charecter.  That the ME-ISTIC is alive and well in me.  Here is the best part, God still loves me and so does my family and Ace and I are not getting a divorce.  

We will get moved and soon I will be writing most of my blogs from Minnesota or on the road.  I would like to end this post with another quote from Paul Tripp.  It's my prayer for this quote to be active in my life. 

If you have quit being defensive and are now willingly and humbly approachable, you know that transforming grace has visited you.  Paul Tripp

Friday, April 17, 2020

Eternal Sight

Going through some notebooks where I write quotes or thoughts down and this one screamed, post me, post me. I know the,"WHY" this resonates in my life so much because I have had to forgive much but not as much as Jesus had to forgive me. To be owned in my mind by past hurts, to make them present hurts is to be controlled by those hurts is a prescription for anger and depression. It's not worth my health, my mind, my body, family and friends and my whole life to let it fester in me. I have always counsel others and myself that if you wake up with a thought, go to bed with the same thought and it's killing the in-between, you need to get some help to get over it.  I think the below quote is the best prescription for this.  Wise Hearted. 

There comes a time when you need to make what Jesus did for you, bigger than what someone did to you. E.J. Lanham

What say you?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Exhaust Man

I know Easter is right around the corner and here I am writing about truck exhaust. If you’ll stay with me on this, there is an Easter story in my post.

But, it was the smell that got me! Not just because it was a truck because I have smelled it on old cars too. You know, gasoline, exhaust from too loud mufflers, a dark gray smoke puffing from it’s behind. Shuddering at times like it was going to quit running but never did. It needed a tune up job for sure and I am betting the man who drove it knew, but why spend money on something that still runs? I would also bet it was a man who drove it, not a women, it smelled like a man’s truck, maybe a work truck.

When I was a teen I had a few of those kind of trucks or car pull up in front of my house full of friends to pick me up. You could hear them coming a half mile away. The friends that I had did not drive new trucks or new cars. It was young men who worked at gas stations, drove a tractor, baled hay, and some worked in the oil field, like my boyfriend who became my husband. Most of them could work on their own cars and trucks too, a dirty job but saved money and taught them to fix things.


As soon as he graduated from high school he got a job for a company that paved parking lots. Dirty hot work but it paid pretty good and there was tons of over time. It was nothing for him to work 16 hours seven days a week. First thing he did to his jeep was put the loudest radio speakers and mufflers that you can hear a mile away. All the girls wanted to ride in it and all the boys wanted to drive it.

Right now he is in his first year of University of North Dakota and his job is not only dirty , but a cold one, snow removal. We are all thankful he is not afraid to work and strives to pay his own way. He does not mind that his jeep needs a paint job, drink gas faster then one can drink a cold coke, it’s his, paid for by sweat and dirt and a little help from his Grandpa.

Are you wondering where I am going with this since I told you the Easter story was in the exhaust?  When Jesus came to earth as a baby, through the body of a women, took on humanity He took on exhaust. If He had come during this time span I don’t think he would have drove a new truck or car, I mean a donkey was his mode of travel but mostly His feet took Him everywhere He went. I guess what I want to say is, I love the humanity in our Savior. It causes my heart to swell with love for Him. Makes me want to do everything He ask of me. He worked all His life, learned a skill as a carpenter, sit underneath the teaching of the Word, He was a man’s man. He was not high and mighty and prideful like the priest with their fine clothing and jewelry.

For those that stood near when He carried the cross up Calvary they knew He was in pain and torment, yet He took it like a man, a flesh and blood man, He fell under the weight of the cross so the human part of Him did not have superman strength. He was exhausted, beat to the bone, and the part I love the best of this story is, He did it for us.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Ace and Jack

This picture was taken about four weeks ago before we knew how dangerous this latest virus was going to be. We were leaving on a ministry trip to northern California to visit some missionaries. Driving back to southern Ca. we had no idea how life was going to change for us. Right off the bat we were told to stay away from large groups of people, then medium groups, then even small groups. Unless it was a matter of life or death, just stay home, no grocery shopping, no movie going, no church going, no going, period, be safe, stay sequestered.
Ace and I have been sequestered before. Once in S.A. when the Shinning Path rebels crossed the border from Peru and rumored to be hiding out in the mountains near where we lived. Thank God they were never found so that passed. Several times we were not able to travel due to unrest in the country.
In another country a village next to us was being burned out by what they call rascals, or as we say in the states, a bunch of hoodlums. Now that was a scary time too, we were told to stay in our houses, to not go out, or get involved, that was a hard one. That one passed quickly and no one was killed.
I thought about the many earthquakes we’ve experienced. One big one hit Ind. which was suppose to cause a tsunami that would even hit us. Everyone at the support center went to the highest place on the property and we sequestered ourselves in that house. There was a small going out of the tide and even smaller wave coming in. A lady from the nearby village wanted to stay with us since we had a ham radio to call out on and get news. Again, no one was killed in our area.
I could fill this page up with story after story but I think you get the idea. We get being sequestered and how it can save our lives. The USA is a first world country and yet we’re being impacted by a virus that is very dangerous and taking lives.
Ace and I have stayed busy touching base by phone, text, emails, and even sending a letter or two. Watched a lot of TV, news, learning new stuff from YouTube. Ace is helping me switch to WordPress. As of today I am going to start back working on my book. It’s easy to get so lazy when one is house bound most of the time. Since we share a house with out son and family, the three grandchildren keep things from getting boring.
Ace has gotten a new friend who lives next door in a care house. Jack is 96 years old and twice a day Ace takes him coffee and he listens to Jack stories. Honestly if we were not sequestered to our house and yard he would not have got to know Jack so well. We were suppose to be gone the last week of March and all of April on a ministry trip which now is cancelled.
This relationship between Ace and Jack has been good for both of them. Ace feels useful visiting Jack daily. He has no family except a nephew who does not live close and we share a house with our son and family so we are surrounded by family daily. Jack is alone except for his care givers who are too busy to just sit and listen to Jack. They are practicing the six foot rule when visiting, no handshaking, no hugs. Sometimes Ace comes home from his visit with Jack in tears because Jack was in tears as he tells story after story about his life. He is a book just waiting to be written. Ace ask him what did he contributed his long life too. Eating dark chocolate, put lemon in his orange juice and eat honey instead of sugar.
This sequestered time will be known as the “Ace and Jack” time. just as Shinning Path will remind us of S.A., a village burning will remind us of another time. It’s the stories in our life, especially the hard times that God sends to teach us there is never a time He does not want to use us.
What stories has come your way during this trial of a new virus that is killing some, and sending shockwaves all over the world? Will you look back on it as an opportunity to help someone, learn a deeper trust? It’s in these times of troubles God calls us to stand firm in our faith and don’t waste our trials.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Dropping Out and Then Back In Process

Do you ever feel like dropping out of everything and just doing nothing, no cleaning, cooking, going anywhere, talking to anyone, no going to church, bible study, shopping, eating out, meeting with a friend, ETC? 

I don't get that way often, thank God, but actually it's gotten more often in the last few years.  A few days ago I talked to a friend about some of my feelings, she suggest seeing  a doctor which I thought was good advice.

Today I walked into my doctor office determined to be so honest and raw since I always say I am fine when ask.  Which is so dumb cause who goes to the doctor when they are fine?

Since I have come this far I need to put a middle to this so you won't start wondering what terrible thing has happened to Betty.  I do have some family that have some serious illnesses.  I do have friends who are struggling with illness, heartaches over children, marriage issues.  In fact, as I think about it, most folks I know have something going on in their life that could make them feel like, 'dropping out."  And by "dropping out", I don't mean doing any harm to myself but just not being bothered by life.  But I don't often feel this way. So when I do, I know it's time for some deep soul searching. 

If I could put one  word to where I am right now, it would be aging.  I hate even spelling the word...but I hate worst what it means to me or has done to me personally.  Woe is me, the victim of aging.  I hate that look I get from the doctor right before she says, things change as you age, she is 40 years younger than me.  Or that look my husband gives me when I cannot for the life of me remember something or fell again, or don't move as fast as I use to.  It's that, nursing home look or tone which he coined because its the reason we no longer serve overseas.  At that time it was him everyone was using that tone with.  Now it's me...I hate it.  I hate aging.  I know we are not suppose to use the word "hate" but dislike does not match my feelings right now.  Maybe by the end of this post I can get back to that kinder word.

Just gonna throw this next paragraph in to give more understanding to my context of this post.  


In Philippians 1:6 Paul say, I  am confident of this  very thing, that He, who begun a good work in you, (me ) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  I find a lot of feeling wrapped up in this verse.  When I was younger, say about 8 years ago I felt excitement at starting new stuff, doing old stuff, just plan doing anything the Lord wanted.  And 8 years ago I could pretty much do anything or at least felt like I could. I have lost that excitement about change I know the Lord is bringing into our lives which is brought about by "aging".  

Today I read part of a sermon on Phil. 1:6 which stirred my depressed heart.  

God always finishes what He starts.   We, on the other hand, do not always finish what we start.  Our lives are often filled with loose ends—home improvement tasks begun but not finished, books begun but not finished, promises made but not kept, intentions begun but not followed through on.  Our lives are often replete with would-have-beens, should-have-beens, and could-have-beens.

God’s work of salvation does not depend on whether or not you hold onto your faith; it depends on the fact that even if you can’t hold onto your faith, He never stops holding onto you.  That’s why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this” (I Thessalonians 5:23

I turn to music often when I am struggling.  Today I found the song that fit the Lord's heart in me.  And nobody can sing it like Mahalia Jackson. 

Lord don't move the mountain
But give me strength to climb
Lord don't move my stumbling block
But lead me around

You didn't say, Lord, that it would be easy
For when our tribulations get too light
We tend to stray from Thee
Have mercy

Lord don't move the mountain
But give me strength to climb
Lord don't move my stumbling block
But lead me around

After listening to this about 10 times I can say without a doubt I don't hate aging, I do dislike it, but no hate.  This day is almost over and I am one day closer to seeing the one who is finishing His work in me on a daily bases.

Got a mountain you want moved? 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Just wait, the best is yet to come.

For the last five years we have been making trips to Arizona because it's one of the states we cover as Member Care Reps for Ethnos 360 Mission, formerly New Tribes Missions.  Several times I contacted this blog brother, Floyd to see if we could connect.  Either he was gone or we had too many meetings or for what ever reason it did not work.  The Lord would always whisper, just wait.  

When you want something really bad it's so hard to wait for it.   And ever since we moved back to the states from Papua New Guinea I have wanted to meet up with  some of those folks whose blogs I follow. Just to say to them face to face, thank you.  Thank you for the wise words you wrote that pulled me out of a struggle, or gave me courage to continue to write, or deepened my walk with the Lord.  Honestly, after reading their blogs, those who are real about life and me sharing my life you feel like you have known them for years.

The waiting finally came to an end this past January as we made our way to Phoenix, Arizona where my brother Gary lives, he kindly puts us up and we just use his place as a base to travel out of.   

This time we had about four planned visits but actually was able to connect with several more after we got there. Our main goal is to meet up with missionaries on home assignment from many countries.  Just to see how they are doing, listen to their stories, see if we can help them in any way.  No agenda really, just to be an encouragement, to Member Care them as our mission calls it, to say thank you for being a part of reaching the unreached. 

This blog friend, Floyd, who I had never met  was able to come apart from his busy life for lunch.  He is a contractor of several companies and we had a lunch time free and there we were finally, meeting face to face.  Ace was with me which was a huge blessing to me for I wanted them to meet.  I sense so many times in Floyd writings he was a man after my husband heart.  Ace does not write a blog but I read many of Floyd's to him.  It was like meeting someone we known all our lives.  So much in common, especially our love for our family.  Our conversation was easy, it flowed into one thing after another, and the common ground was Jesus and His love for us despite all our failures. I felt no separation as one was better than the other , we stood on the same ground at the cross and on the other side of the cross. 

All too soon we had to part, Floyd to work, us to our next meeting.  I think we were all three glowing from being together because of the fourth one who had joined us, Jesus.  Meeting Floyd, has deepen my goal to reach out to others I blog with when I am close.  Oh I know we will meet in heaven but why not enjoy life here.   As much as I love reading Floyd's post the best was sitting across from him face to face, seeing him smile,  hearing his voice as he talk about his family.  He is not just words on paper now, he is real in my mind and heart and Ace and I are grateful to the Lord to have someone like him praying for us.  Thank you Floyd.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Big Picture

I often say, if I was younger I would study to be an astronaut because then I could see the earth from a distance.   It's beautiful hanging on nothing surround by the darkness of space.  The bible talks about how God hangs the earth on nothing and that is an awesome thought that has helped me during hard times. He does not have to spend any of  His time keeping it hanging on nothing either so I know He cares for me more then the creation.

The farther out in space you go the more you see...or do you?

Those space pictures do not show people even though we know for sure God put humans on earth, along with the animals.  Flying in a jet is as close as I will get to space travel.  Once that jet is at its cruising altitude you see God creation, a bigger picture, the tops of mountains become visible, the colors of earth change, the rivers wind their way through the colors of earth, green, brown, blues, whites.  But no people.

Then that jet starts to descent and you can see cars on roads, houses as it goes through clouds at different levels.  Then before you know it, the biggest picture comes into view, people, kids playing in yards, people driving their cars and you before you know it, you are down and hugging the big picture.

The farther out one goes from earth the big picture get smaller because it leaves the most important thing to God out of sight, people.  He did not send His son to die for the ball of earth we live on, or the suns, moons and other planets, it's people in His big picture.

I am so not against going into space, love watching any space documentary, but I am more excited when I hear someone got saved.  When I hear that, my world picture  gets bigger.

God has a plan for all of us and when we come to know Him through His Son it starts to be revealed. For us it was foreign missions, two countries we were privilege to work in, and now we serve stateside with Ethnos 360 as Member Care Reps.  But before we did all that we were involved in a local church, taught a Sunday School class, sing in the choir, my husband taught children church, was a youth pastor.  We were involved in mission, always taking them out to eat when needed, giving them a place to lay  their head at night and financially supporting them.

What I hope these short clips do is show you the need, how God is fulfilling it through people just like you.  Ask Him what part He wants you to play in the big picture of seeing those tucked away in remote place hear the gospel.  Blessings.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Leave Your Boots

Today is my 73 birthday which is hard to believe. Lots of things have changed as I have aged. As Paul said, I am who I am by the grace of God, comfortable in who God has made me. He even knows what kind of music I love to listen to. 

If you  know me you know I am country. As soon as this man started singing he was my choice to win the Voice. He’s got that pure country sound and does a love song that makes you want to be with the one you love. I am glad that age does not dim the glow a great love song gives. I’ve been leaving my boots at the same man bed for 55 years. 

Because I was a country singer when I got saved it was natural for me to go into country and southern gospel music.  Country tells a story, some of them are heartbreaking stories but the heart understand them because we have all had our heart broken a time or two. Which is why we are in need of someone to mend our hearts.  

Now with southern gospel there is a story too. The story is always the same, God's love for man, man is a sinner in need of a Savior, God sends His Son to die for man sin. Here is the best part, He did not stay dead , love for us brought him out of the grave.   At age 35 I believed the story of the gospel and I have parked my boots in heaven and someday when He is ready for me, the lover of my soul will call me home and I shall see Him face to face.  Now that's a divine love story that never fails.  

Monday, December 23, 2019

 Nothing like a wrapped present to build excitement in the heart of a child.  Our grandchildren ask us every time they are over if they can open their presents.  Ace and I get excited too for we know what the presents are and we know they will love them.    They did not shop for their gifts or pay for it,  we did, it's theirs, free and clear.  We don't expect them to pay us back, or buy us something in return.  

You know I am still excited over the gift I opened on Oct. 20th,  1980. In fact I want to give this gift to all I meet.  Instead of being under a tree this gift was nailed to a old rugged cross,  it's package of flesh torn and bleeding.  The bow made into a crown of thorns dug into the wrapping.  There was nothing pretty about the package and the way it was presented.  Yet it contain everything to give me eternal life. 

 I believe God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit gets excited when ever this gift is presented to someone.  They wait, hoping it will be accepted.  

There is no plainer truth taught in the Word of God than salvation being a “free gift” (Romans 5:15,18; 6:23). If I were to offer you a Christmas present, but with the stipulation that you must be willing to take a bath, it would not be a gift. Why? Because I have clearly implied that I expect you to take a bath to get the present. A gift is defined as something given voluntarily without any payment in return. 

The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise. D.L. Moody (don't you just love this quote?)

One more quote from Mary DeMuth book, Everything. 

We cannot fully satisfy a holy God. Our redemption is an outrageous, initiating act accomplished by God alone. He pursued humanity to such an extent that His feet landed on earth, and He chased after us until He rescued us at the cross. We did not climb onto those wooden beams. We could not receive the nails that pierced those holy hands. We who are not kingly wore no crown. We could not drink the cup of God wrath. "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5:6. God did what we could not . He sent His beautifully sinless Son to take our place, to satisfy for all time God's wrath upon sin. "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. II Cor. 5:21

God transforms, He creates, He  thinks otherworldly thoughts,  He dares to redeem an obstinate world. If we camp in that place, remembering the gift we could never, ever pay back, we will live astonished lives, and our growth will be the best kind---the kind that emerges from gratitude, from thinking rightly about God.

What a gift!

Merry Christmas