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?