Good Health to You!

Well, I don’t have pictures of Thanksgiving up yet, but we did have a grand time.For one thing, I’m frustrated to death (well, not really) that I can’t get pictures to be the normal size anymore. Can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Maybe Joel or Stephen can help me. At any rate, until then (or the next few days, whichever comes first), thank you for persevering! Can you read this joke? It says, “What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead twenty-four hours a day?” Needless to say, after the great, refreshing holiday with all the kids and grands and lots of yummy food, I need to get back to exercising more and eating less!

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Every Thanksgiving after dinner we sit around as a family and take turns saying what we’re thankful for. Since Michael and Jonathan’s families will be thousands of miles to the east and west of us, I thought I’d mention a few of my favorite things here:

1. I’m thankful for God the Father, who is also my heavenly Father, his only Son, Jesus Christ, who is my Savior, and the Holy Spirit, who is my comforter and teacher. I am never alone, nor will I ever be!

2. I’m thankful for the Bible, which truly is a light to guide my steps and keep me from stumbling in the dark!

3. I’m thankful for a family to love and everything that makes family life such a powerfully positive experience…all the good and bad, hard and easy aspects. I love the warmth and affection of sharing life together.

4. I’m thankful to be part of God’s family too, and for all the wonderful and difficult aspects of being part of a community that faces real needs and challenges together. What a comfort and support that is!

5. I’m thankful to live in America and enjoy the freedom from terror and oppression that has thus far been a gift for those who live here and abide by the laws of the land.

6. I’m thankful for all the securities and comforts I enjoy: enough food to eat, a snug house and warm clothing, a comfortable bed where I can get all rested up at night and a bathtub where I can get clean, a kitchen, chairs, lights, books, music, flowers, and all the natural beauty that surrounds me every day.

7. I’m grateful every day for my husband, my kids, and my grand kids…that they are all healthy and well so far, and for all our brothers and sisters who are still alive and well, and their kids and grand kids, who are all alive and well. So far, we’ve lived an unusually blessed and relatively carefree life.

8. I am trying to learn to be thankful for the companions Sorrow and Suffering, knowing that through these I will learn more of Christ and become a kinder, more compassionate person.

9. I’m thankful that God is good and not bad…that God is love, light, truth, life, just, holy, righteous, full of compassion and mercy. I love that He loves each of us and wants us to come to him for help, health, healing, and eternal life, which he promises to all who will simply believe on Christ and ask Him for forgiveness.

10. I’m thankful that God promises to send Christ back to earth someday and make all things new and right…to restore peace and goodwill, and to come and gather up all who trust in Him to be with him forever in a place that He is even now preparing for us. I’m thankful that this is not a fairy tale, but that we will in truth live “happily ever after.” It takes the sting out of aging and the prospect of inevitable death!

11. I’m thankful for all my friends, both near and far! I’m thankful for the support and friendship of those of you who care enough to look in on my life via this blog, and for all the emails, phone calls, face book messages and expressions of interest, love, and encouragement that come to me day by day. You are “God with skin on” to me, and I would like to be the same for you!!

So, will you share with me one thing that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Michael’s Home and The Old 100/0 Shot

Michael’s home to his girls!

(I just took the above picture over skype!!)

We are all overjoyed!

Here are a few good quotes that have been passed on to me lately:

“Love listens; prayer prevails.”

“In happy moments: Thank G-d.

In difficult moments: Seek G-d.

In quiet moments: Worship G-d.

In painful moments: Trust G-d.

Every moment: Love G-d.”

Isn’t that good advice? This was given to me by a Messianic Jewish lady. Devout Jews won’t even spell out the entire name of the Lord in reverence for Him, not wanting ever to take a chance on taking His name in vain. How we need to TREASURE the name of God!!

Finally, one last bit of wisdom that I remember stumbling on myself out of exasperation many years ago:

How The 100/0 Principle Works 

What is the most effective way to create and sustain great relationships with others? It’s The 100/0 Principle: You take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return. Implementing The 100/0 Principle is not natural for most of us. It takes real commitment to the relationship and a good dose of self-discipline to think, act and give 100 percent. The 100/0 Principle applies to those people in your life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally. Each of us must determine the relationships to which this principle should apply. For most of us, it applies to work associates, customers, suppliers, family and friends.

Peace in the Present Moment
learn more
STEP 1 – Determine what you can do to make the relationship work…then do it. Demonstrate respect and kindness to the other person, whether he/she deserves it or not.
STEP 2 – Do not expect anything in return. Zero, zip, nada.
STEP 3 – Do not allow anything the other person says or does (no matter how annoying!) to affect you. In other words, don’t take the bait.
STEP 4 – Be persistent with your graciousness and kindness. Often we give up too soon, especially when others don’t respond in kind. Remember to expect nothing in return. 

Principle Paradox
This may strike you as strange, but here’s the paradox: When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families.

Something Not so Fun and Something Just for Fun

Well, it seems that Michael is stuck in an airport somewhere in sand country, unable to fly home because an unknown clerk put “2011” instead of “2010” on his ticket or some such inane error. Nothing like a little time in limbo when you’re more than ready to come home. Hope getting to heaven is easier when the time comes! Would you please keep praying for him until he’s safely out of the Middle East and back “home” to Germany? THANK YOU!!
New Church Signs

Life is Hard
Afterlife is Harder!

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway”
John Wayne

Returning Home From Iraq

Just wanted to let you know that Michael is on his way out of Iraq. He’s survived the helicopter gauntlet (the most dangerous part) but still has several hops before he’ll actually make it home to Grace and the girls in Germany. Thank you for praying…and please continue for a week or two!

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. I hope citizens around the world appreciate all the sacrifices their military men and women make to protect the safety of their homeland. Long term, I am waiting…longing!… for Christ to return to set up a kingdom of righteousness, justice, and peace!

Pray “for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2)

(P.S.—I am sorry I can’t figure out what has happened that makes my pictures so small. I’ll have to get help from my resident computer experts, Stephen and Joel.)

Jack-o-Lanterns, Elections, and Fun

We had a wonderful weekend and “Hallowed Evening.”  Today is now Election Day, and we checked out the Michigan Voters’ Guide to study up on which candidates might be the best. I’ve noticed from our study of Jeremiah lately that godly kings promote justice and righteousness, and so I’m praying that God will incline the hearts of Americans to vote for the candidates who will be most apt to vote for policies that are just and right. I hope you all (U.S.ers at any rate) find time to vote!

On the lighter side, one of my dear friends sent along these quotable quotes from the cute set:

JACK (age 3)
Was watching his Mom breast-feeding his new baby sister… After a while he asked: ‘Mom why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?

MELANIE (age 5)
Asked her Granny how old she was.. Granny replied she was so old she didn’t remember any more. Melanie said, ‘If you don’t remember you must look in the back of your panties.  Mine say five to  six.’

STEVEN (age 3)
Hugged and kissed his Mom good night. ‘I love you so much that when you die I’m going to bury you outside my bedroom window.’

BRITTANY (age 4)
Had an ear ache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle.  Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she’d have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: ‘How does it know it’s me?’

SUSAN (age 4)
Was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. ‘Please don’t give me this juice again,’ she said, ‘It makes my teeth cough..’

DJ (age 4)

Stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: ‘How much do I cost?’

CLINTON (age 5)

Was in his bedroom looking worried When his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, ‘I don’t know what’ll happen with this bed when I get married.  How will my wife fit in it?’

MARC (age 4)

Was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: ‘Why is he whispering in her mouth?’

TAMMY(age 4)

Was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy  looked at her for a while and then asked, ‘Why doesn’t your skin fit your face?’

JAMES (age 4)

Was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: ‘The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.’  Concerned, James asked: ‘What happened to the flea?’