My Prayer for You

I may be too busy to post for a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, know that I pray for each of you who reads this little blog. May the Lord draw us all to Himself, grant us forgiveness for our sins through faith in Christ, fill us with his love, joy, and peace, and bless us with grace and hope for each new day! 🙂

“Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Timothy 1:2

Pets and Vets

Here I am in my new (used) car, taking Abby to the vet. I’m obviously a great driver…

Well, maybe not really! But, I did take Abby, Davy, and Molly all to the vet on the same day. Fortunately, it only happens once a year, and for all my anxiety over the dread day, they really did very well. Some years Davy disappears altogether (I have no clue how he “knows” it’s the day) and doesn’t show up until supper time, well after the clinic is closed. The cats used to barricade themselves under the seats and were harder than leeches to extract. Then, I got them each their own cute little kitty carrier. Not much of an improvement, since they would extend all four paws and about 90 claws like electrified Sylvesters, making dislodgement a nigh-unto-impossible battle of the cerebellums. Do you know what I’m talking about, or are your pets perfectly relaxed, compliant, and well behaved?

Ah, well, and I find myself resisting the trials of life with equally grim and unknowledgeable determination. Why all the fuss? God knows what he’s doing, and if I need a shot, then I need a shot!

“…continue in the faith…we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

Why I Love Living in GR

So, we don’t have centuries of artistic history to brag about, but we do have “Art Prize.” We don’t have the country’s “best” symphony, zoo, botanical garden, or museums, but I still think they’re great, and they’re all just 3-8 miles from my house and a 5-15 minute drive away. And what I love best of all is the atmosphere! Last night Alan and I went to the big black-tie fundraiser for Metropolitan Hospital. The doctor who spoke had words of wisdom like: “I’ve learned to keep my words soft and tender, because sometimes I have to eat them the next day,” and “It’s not time that heals all things, it’s love and care.” And then, the entertainment was a comedian from Nashville. In some cities, that would be our cue to exit, but being GR, we took a chance on it, and the guy was truly funny without ever being crude or profane. I haven’t laughed so hard for a long time. Jeff Allen said he’d been married for 25 years and had been drug and alcohol-free for 24. His jokes were about family life, his kids, his wife, eating at the Cracker Barrel after church…tame…but with a distinct message of God’s goodness and lots of old-fashioned wisdom woven into the jokes. Very encouraging for the 50+ set. For example, he says that when your adult kids call to tell you that you’ve ruined their life (which is the popular thing to do these days), the appropriate response is that oft-used phrase they’ve been using on us for years: “Whatever!”  Another solution: “Well then, why don’t you come back home, and we’ll try again. Mom and I have become much more mellow since our strokes. In fact, maybe you could help us find our house slippers…it’s like a treasure hunt every day around our house.”  Fitness program? Sure, he sleep with weights around his ankles. Figures he burns and extra half a calorie every time he rolls over in his sleep. ETC. You can still enjoy entertainment in GR that is fun and G-rated!

And then, this morning we went to the worship service at our church, then scooted over to the church where Stephen has been hired to play on the worship team (before zipping back to our church for Sunday school). Who was speaking? The mayor of GR, Rev. Mayor George Heartwell, who’s an ordained minister. He went back to seminary at the tender age of 38…a very thoughtful, eloquent, and poetic guy. I love having a mayor who spends his spare time ministering in area churches! (Not many cities have a mayor like that, I’ll bet! 🙂 )

So, thank you, Lord, for letting me live in GR! It’s a great city, and I love it.

“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be…and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).

Bestest Buddies

Alan, Larry, Tom, Brenda, Kari, Kathi

Alan doesn’t ever remember not knowing Larry, which makes sense because they grew up across the street from each other in a tiny village in the U.P. Brenda and I met in 8th grade and became fast friends, declaring that “boyfriends may come and go, but a good girl friend will last forever.” Little did we know how true that would be…and that forty years later we’d still love meeting for lunch every month! Larry, Brenda, Alan, and I all graduated from the same class and went out to find our destinies…probably the best part of which is our dear spouses (although they all have pretty great careers too). As it turns out, Larry’s mother and Brenda’s father also graduated from the same class at Sault High way back in 1946, and at their 65th class reunion a few weeks ago…well, one thing led to another, and so Brenda and Tom got us all together for a visit. Talk about fun! Before we parted, everybody whipped out their i-phones (except for Alan and me, who are behind the times) and set up our next triple date.

I am always impressed by the enduring nature of friendship. True friends really do weather the tests of time, survive all the ups and downs of life, and continue to love each other, picking up where they left off as if no time had passed…even if it’s been years rather than days since they were last together.  What a privilege and joy! It reminds me to take care of my friends and enjoy them…both now and forever!

“Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not” (Proverbs 27:10)

Robinettes: Doubling the Membership???

Aaron’s family stopped by for a few hours on their way back to the east coast.With all five grand kids living either out east or in Hawaii, Alan and I feel like we don’t get nearly enough time to spoil them!But it sure is fun to have them around!One of our favorite splurges in the fall is to have cider and donuts for “tea time.”So, away we went with the troops to Robinette’s Orchard. It’s a super hit every time.

And, guess what? By next fall, Lord willing, we’ll have three more grand children to spoil! We’re rooting for double the membership in 2012, though! Think it could happen? 🙂

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6)

Blazing Bastrop: Worst Fire in Texan History

More than 200 fires broke out in Texas this past week—the worst fire in the history of Texas—causing several deaths, obliterating 40,000 acres of land (two state forests), over 1500 homes…3,000 fire fighters have been valiantly fighting the flames, and after 5 days of 0% containment they are now starting to get the fires under control.One of my nearest and dearest friends (from our days as “residents’ widows” together following those long, hard years of medical school for our husbands, where Alan was gone up to 117 hours a week and I’m not sure how many hours Tim worked…) lives in Austin, which is near the biggest and most deadly fire.She emailed me these pictures of the Bastrop Country complex fire and is asking for prayer for containment and the huge recovery that will need to occur. She said Texans are banding together to provide emergency relief and shelter for both people and animals…grazing land…etc.This is a picture of the road that Sue drove into Austin on when she moved there several years ago. She said it used to be one of the most beautiful roads in the country. Will you pray with me for containment and recovery…for people to reach out and help each other, and for healing and good to follow eventually from this tragedy?

In the Bible, we are warned that there is a day of judgment coming, “the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12). Are you ready? Some will refuse to believe in God or accept his gift of salvation through faith in Christ; they will be part of the disintegration of the earth: “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). For others, the fires of life will simply refine their faith in the one true God and cause them to worship him. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Are you ready for the fires?

9/11 Remembered

In church this morning, our pastor pointed out that there are two dates that are stamped indelibly into his memory as traumatic: November 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was  assassinated, and September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked. I think as Americans, we universally felt the threat of war and terrorism and remember 9/11 as a “day that lives in infamy.”

My heart resonates with the statement that our senator, Carl Levin, sent out: “This is a day to remember the lives lost on 9/11 and the loved ones who still mourn, and to remember the thousands of brave Americans who have sacrificed so much to defend us since that terrible day, especially those who have given ‘the last full measure of devotion’ to the nation that we all hold so dear.”

Are there any other dates in your life where something so traumatic occurred that you always remember them with a sense of horror…and maybe experience some post traumatic stress?

I am always challenged by Ephesians 4:26-27. No matter what has happened in our lives, God calls us to peace and forgiveness…even for the worst things that have happened to us. In order to heal, we need to forgive and then somehow move past the injury and heartache. Paul modeled the way: “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13-14).

I also think it helps to make new, positive memories. We have some friends who got married on September 11, 1982…so not all September 11ths were horrible. This afternoon, we had our annual chapel Sunday school picnic after church.

I hope everyone who still feels the pain of the  tragedy in their lives can find it in their hearts to forgive and then start making some new, happy memories!