Thursday, May 31, 2007


How would you rate yourself when it comes to confrontation with another individual? Bold confrontation usually reveals something about yourself that is disconcerting, unpleasant, and at times causes you to contemplate what really makes you tick inside.

All my life I have been a people pleaser. At all costs to myself, the end result of any circumstance for me was to make sure I did not make waves, ruffle feathers or do anything that would cause people to dislike me. Sometimes that meant agreeing with them on an issue that I didn't really agree with which caused me to later feel guilt and shame that I didn't stand up for what I truly felt. When I became a Christian, I then had to become a God-pleaser. That means sometimes putting aside your own selfish desires of needing to be liked in order to do what you know in your heart is right before God. Confrontation is extremely hard for me, but at times it is so very necessary.

When you are genuinely committed to following Christ, there are qualities that you possess that should stand out to a non-Christian and will naturally rub them the wrong way. You are often accused of having a superior attitude---feeling more elevated in stature than others. You are often called a "miss goody-too shoes"---someone who thinks they are better than anyone else. Even your calm demeanor during a disaster can cause others to think you don't care enough or are not sensitive enough to the feelings and emotions of others. We receive all kinds of accusations from a non-believer who just doesn't "get it."

As a Christian who has matured in the knowledge of who we are in Christ, there IS a difference. We are growing in the knowledge of who Christ is in us and are developing the mind of Christ in our thinking and in our behavior. Non-Christians see Christ in us and are often confronted by Christ in our manner of speaking and relating to them and often become rigid and unbending in their response to Him. If we as Christians recognize their confrontational spirits as rebelling against Christ instead of us personally, it somehow eases the pain and we can deal with the situation before us more easily. It is important for us to remember that we must exhibit Christlikeness to others and proclaim the truth of God's Word rather than seek the approval of man. Christ Himself was scorned, ridiculed, and spat upon because of the truth He spoke. Should we do anything less?

"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Col. 4:6

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Springtime Busyness

Please forgive me for the long delay in keeping up with my blog. Springtime in West Virginia is always such a busy time of the year and Dick and I are finding ourselves trying to keep up with two houses and three yards, one herb garden and several flower beds between three places. Dick seems to be constantly on the lawnmower, either mowing Mom's, my sisters, and our yards. There have been outside walls to wash down, outside windows to wash, tons of flowers to plant, a porch to paint, besides the normal everyday household chores. We have connected to city water which required a new ditch to be dug from the house to the meter. My washing machine broke down this week which has required ordering parts. Also Dick has been trying to get an old tractor running for days. All those duties have kept us pretty busy trying to keep our heads above water. All this goes to remind us that it is God's strength that enables us to accomplish all that needs to be done.

To balance off all the work, we have also enjoyed great pleasurable times as well. We have the most lovely country road to walk every day. My sister usually walks with me, but I also enjoy walking alone as it is such a great communion time with God. He reminds me of his beautiful creative powers in so many ways. The birds have been so fascinating to me this spring. I've seen several varieties of birds that I don't recall ever seeing as a child growing up here. They often land on my porch railing as I am typing on my computer and look at me as if to say hello. There was a doe with a very young fawn that walked by in the field beside the house this week. The fawn couldn't have been more than a day or so old. It was so cute! Of course, I can't say I've been thrilled when Dick has found two snakes in our yard, and two in Mom's yard already this spring! But that's part of country living!

We have enjoyed family times together with most of the family with us for Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekends. I've done lots of cooking and love having the family together at my house!

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Dick and I, along with my mom and sister, gathered flowers and took to the graves of our loved ones. It was a thrill to me to be reminded that the gravesite was just a place to honor the memory of each of our loved ones, that they were not there! They are experiencing heaven and enjoying the presence of our Savior! However, the ritual of remembering them was a blessing.

We have started attending the country church that Mom attended as a little girl, and she has been blessed by the love shown to her by those that remember her so fondly. How good it is to fellowship with God's people no matter where you are in the world. There is a bond like none other to be among fellow believers worshiping the Lord with the same Spirit!

So that has brought you up to date. Hopefully, we can get projects completed and be able to enjoy some visits with relatives and maybe a little travel around the neighboring states when we get less busy.

"For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." (Psalm 5:12)

Glad to be back!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Faith That Builds

Recently I have received requests for prayer by several who are going through some really tough times, especially with serious illness. It is heartbreaking to hear of how some have to suffer in this world. We have just completed our Sunday School lessons this quarter that was based on Tony Evans book "Life Essentials." The gist of the book is growing spiritually and maturing to the point where our faith is strong and able to withstand life's hard bumps in the road.

We need to know the basic essentials of what we believe in order to withstand life's troubles. We grow spirtually strong by growing in our knowledge of who our God is through his written Word, the Bible. We also grow through prayer, our communication with God and His Spirit communing with our spirit to direct us. Lastly and probably the greatest means of growth is our life experiences. As we see God work to get us through the small things of life, our faith grows little by little until we can trust God with the larger trials that may come along. Life on this earth will never be without trials. "In this world, you WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Trials are a means by which our faith shines the brightest. As we lean on God for strength, comfort, courage and boldness, He proves Himself faithful. Our faith grows as we see Him work to bring us through our trials victoriously. That doesn't mean that He erases the trial, or the consequences of some trials completely disappear. It means that His promise to never leave us or forsake us through the trial is constant and we can rest assured we are not alone!! We come out on the other side of the trial stronger with our faith deepened, and our resolve more solid.

Daniel, the prophet, is a great example of how faith grows and matures to the point of strong commitment no matter what the circumstance. As a young lad, great responsibility was placed upon him by the pagan authorities, and he fulfilled each responsibility with great aptitude and wisdom. As the authorities recognized his great skill, they placed more and more responsibility upon him. He came to the place as an older man that others wanted to destroy his reputation in the eyes of the king, so they made up lies about him. Daniel continued to obey and act upon his faith in the Lord to do what was right even though he was thrown into the lions' den, a place of sure immediate death. God was faithful to Daniel and his strong faith in Him. He protected him from harm throughout the whole ordeal and Daniel's faith never faltered or failed in the trustworthiness of his Almighty God.

We can have the faith of Daniel and be just as strong and mature in the knowledge of who God is for us as we go through hard times. God makes himself responsible to get us through the worst of times if we but surrender our all to him. "With God, nothing is impossible." If we know God in such an intimate, personal way, our faith will grow rock solid and nothing can penetrate it to destroy us--nothing! Faith is the opposite of fear, worry and doubt. You cannot have faith and doubt at the same time. Grow to know God in such a way that all fear, worry and doubt is wiped away from your life for good!

"And we know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord.....if God is for us, who can be against us?"
Romans 8:28-31

Keep your faith strong!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Country Churches

Today Dick and I took Mom to church in the hometown in which she grew up, and the same church in which Dad was pastor for several years. She was so welcomed and loved by the ones who remembered her, and several remembrances of Dad were passed along to her of messages he had preached, or lessons he had taught. As my parents' oldest daughter, this show of affection and admiration of my parents was very touching and heart-warming.

There is something special about country churches. They usually consist of a small congregation in number as they are located in very small populated communities. However, there is a bond because everybody knows everybody from the time they were little and the memories of times past are very similar. They share a closeness that I think is often lost in a congregation with big numbers of people. They know all about you and love you anyway with the love of Christ in their hearts!!!

The Sunday School lesson was excellent this morning and taught by a man who had been a member of the church for years. His enthusiasm and love of the Word of God was very evident and he blessed many by his knowledge and desire to share the Word with those in the congregation.

I've always noticed that country churches always have the best singers and pianists you can find anywhere! The harmony and Southern-style singing of the good old gospel hymns is invigorating and inspiring. What comes out of the mouths of the teachers, singers and pastor is a clear declaration of their love of the Lord, and the warm hugs and welcomes from the congregation is enough to make your heart soar! Their number may be small, but their hearts are bigger than life!

It was good to be in the house of the Lord today, to hear the gospel taught so clearly and simply, and the love of the Lord shown so humbly and personally by those present.

"This is the day the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it!"

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.." Hebrews 10:24-25a

I was encouraged today---I trust you were, too, by your church family!

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Sister's Herb Garden

"I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyards of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stonewall was in ruins." (Proverbs 24:30-31)

My sister's herb garden sits between my house and hers. She is away for the summer and her herb garden had lain dormant over the winter months, and now was covered with dead plants and growing weeds that were overtaking the herbs that were trying to grow through the entanglement. I knew my sister would be disappointed if all her hard work and money would be ruined if the weeds took over and choked out her beautiful herbs. So I spent yesterday weeding her small patch so that the herbs could grow to their full potential. Although she will not be able to enjoy its beauty this summer, my family and I will reap the benefit of its beauty and aroma, as will the butterflies and birds who love to "visit" often. It reminds me of God's provision for His creation which is truly amazing:

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them."

Gardening has been a part of my heritage for as long as I can recall. My grandfather gardened to provide for his family, as did my parents. As young girls, my sisters and I spent most of the summers alongside Mom and Dad planting, weeding, hoeing, picking and canning the delicious vegetables grown each year in my parents' garden. The garden food was often our means of survival. We ate the vegetables in their abundance during the peak of the season, and canned what we needed to help get us through the winters.

Proverbs 28:19: "Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred."

Proverbs 10:4-5: "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son..."

Mom's gardening days are over, as the work throughout the summer is too hard and laborious for her. However, maybe with my sister's small little herb garden, we can still enjoy seeing small plants grow, smell their glorious aroma, and enjoy picking a few to put in soups and sauces. The weeding and the work will bring satisfaction in the end, and the birds and the butterflies will reap from its beauty and aroma as well.

Proverbs 28:19: "He wo works his land will have abundant food.." and I might add, great satisfaction.

When you eat a big juicy tomato or enjoy fresh green beans or eat an ear of sweet corn this summer, be reminded of God's great provision to those who labored so hard to get it to you.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

An Incredible Sight!

Oh, how I wish I had my camera last Saturday, but alas, I did not! I watched a most incredible sight that I doubt I will ever see again! I was at my mom's house when a knock came at the door. The next door neighbor was there with her two small children, ages 6 and 3. As they were going for a walk past Mom's house, they noticed that two huge black snakes were trapped in the netting that Mom had put around her rhododendron bushes to keep the deer from eating them. The lady was asking Mom if she could rescue them from the netting and release them. Both Mom and I thought at once "release them???" We grew up being very frightened of snakes, and usually they were dispensed of with a sharp hoe across the back of the head!!! We could hardly believe that this young lady was going to even get near the snakes, much less handle them with such incredible gentleness in the most fascinating process I've ever seen!

One snake was over 6 feet long, the other snake was smaller and they were not only entangled in the net, but also with each other as they had struggled so hard to get loose! This sweet lady went over and began gently, ever so gently, tugging at the larger snake, snipping the netting away with scissors. As she snipped more and more of him loose, the snake entwined his body around her arm all the way past her elbow! The lady never flinched, but continued to work with such caring that I have never witnessed before in my life! She got the larger snake loose first and released him near the creek away from the house. Her small children were ever so interested and wanted to share in the rescuing of the smaller snake that was so bound up by the netting that it was slightly injured. It took a little while and such patience to finally get the smaller snake untangled. She then taught the six-year-old boy how to hold its head to keep it from trying to strike at him, and how to hold its body and she let him take him to the creek and release him.

I believe without knowing it, this one incident taught these small children (and Mom and me) a couple of great lessons of life. All life is precious in God's sight, patience is a virtue, and nothing is too hard to overcome, even the entanglements and snares of life that so easily beset us!!

Satan can weave his web of deception into our hearts that entangle us, and we become "stuck" in the mire of heartaches and troubles that the world brings our way. The only way out is trusting in a Power so much greater than the trap we are in to release and rescue us from its destruction. We see that with God's great love and patience, he loosens the bonds that bind us up so tightly, and sets us free to enjoy life's joys and peace that He alone can give! Are you tied up in knots and bound by the net of sin that holds you captive? Let Jesus disentangle you and set you free!

Still wish I had a camera!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mothers Day to All Mothers

I'm sure this day is especially nostalgic for those of you whose mothers have passed on, and a void is felt as the memories of your mother prevail on this day set aside to honor mothers. The heritage she has left you and the precious memories are a part of who you are today. I remember a friend telling me that she remembers her mother's hands and when I saw the following poem, I thought I would share it with you. I hope it speaks to you, as it did to me:


Such beautiful, beautiful hands!
They're neither white nor small;
And you, I know, would scarcely think
That they were fair at all.
I've looked on hands whose form and hue
A sculptor's dream might be;
Yet are these aged, wrinkled hands
Most beautiful to me.

Such beautiful, beautiful hands!
Though heart were weary and sad,
These patient hands kept toiling on,
That the children might be glad.
I always weep when looking back
To childhood's distant day!
I think how those hands rested not
When mine were at their play.

Such beautiful, beautiful hands!
They're growing feeble now,
And time and pain have left their mark
On hand, and heart and brow.
Alas! Alas! the nearing time--
And the sad, sad day to me,
When 'neath the daisies, out of sight,
These hands must folded be.

But, oh! Beyond the shadowy lands,
Where all is bright and fair,
I know full well these dear old hands
Will palms of victory bear;
When crystal streams, through endless years,
Flow over golden sands,
And where the old are young again,
I'll clasp my mother's hands!
(By Emma M.H. Gates)

As we age, we appreciate so much more the sacrifice our mothers made for us growing up, and the love and energy spent to make life worthwhile for her children. Maybe there's regret that we didn't let our mothers know enough how much they meant to us. It's a blessing to know that in eternity we will be able to see our loved ones again and to share heaven's joys together. If your mother is still with you, don't let time go by without letting her know how much she has meant to you. As I have the privilege of being here in West Virginia to spend Mother's Day with Mom, I feel grateful and humbled that God has given us one more Mother's Day to share together. What a blessing!

Enjoy your special day, moms!

My Mother and Me

My mother was barely 19 when she gave birth to me, her oldest daughter, in an old country house with three aunts acting as midwives at my birth. She had a hard labor and I was not expected to make it. If it were not for the tireless caring of my aunts, I probably would not have survived.

The most precious memories of my mother was her dependability in my growing up years. She was always there for me and my two sisters. Often she was alone during the week as my dad worked away on construction jobs, and I know she was often scared, but she tried so hard not to pass her fears on to us girls. If we showed fear in the middle of the night, she would come lie with us until we fell asleep to make us feel secure. She grew up very poor, so her greatest delight was to be able to give us things she herself was never able to have. She loved dolls and was so delighted to save up to give us dolls at Christmastime. I remember her sitting with me for hours cutting out paper dolls. I think she loved it as much as we did. The only time we ever got new clothes or shoes was at the beginning of school, and she chose our clothes so carefully (most of them ordered through the catalog). We also had an aunt who sewed for us and she always made the very same dress for all three of us not wanting to make a difference. We have so many pictures of all 3 of us dressed alike!

My mother was always my greatest confidante. I shared everything with her, especially during my high school years. I would come in at the end of the day and sit at the kitchen table answering questions about how my day went. Mom stood up for us in our desires and wants when Dad was reluctant to spend the money on prom dresses or special occasions. She somehow made a way for us to have the desires of our hearts. Her favorite holiday was and still is Easter. She loved to dress us up in the frilliest of dresses with hats and gloves and black patent leather shoes. We have such fond memories of Easter egg hunts and Mom's special Easter coconut cake which became a tradition at Easter. At every birthday she decorated a special cake for each of us girls, and she was known for making special decorated cakes for older folks in the community.

She was one of the hardest workers I have ever known. Besides keeping her house spotless for us, she gardened every summer and canned and preserved garden food to keep us well fed during the winter months. When I was growing up, she always wore dresses with a fresh apron on every day. She ironed and starched all of our clothes, especially the dresses with big frilly bows that tied in the back. We were always so proud of our starched bows!

I have so many special memories of Mom when I was a young girl. Mom is now 85 years old. She has had a very hard five or so years taking care of my dad during his very feeble last years. Dad passed away last March and Mom still misses him terribly. They were married 66 years. Mom is so thin and frail, but still possesses that strength inside that somehow overcomes her fears and uncertainties that face her. Dick and I always find great joy in coming to be with her during the six months of spring and summer to help with her many projects around the house. She is still a very proud woman who wants things to be as she remembered in her early years.

She is my special friend and I thank God for her and the sacrifices she made for me all my life. I love to spoil her now and want her to know as long as I am alive, she will be secure. More importantly, I want her to know the peace that only God can give her.

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

My Son, Rich

I am the oldest daughter of three girls in my family. All my life I wanted an older brother. Therefore, after I married, I wished for my first child to be a son so that he could be an older brother to any siblings that came after him. God gave me the desire of my heart when I gave birth to a dear son on October 13, 1966. Richard Douglas Fewell came into our lives and became the joy and center of our existence. He is our only child and God has blessed us so abundantly through him beyond words.

When Rich was two years old, I became a Christian, and it was then that I began to pray for Rich to know Christ and follow him all the days of his life. Rich accepted Christ at the age of 4 as his Sunday School teacher led him to the Lord during class one Sunday. At the age of 7, he was baptized a couple of months before we all moved to Hawaii. God's hand of protection was over Rich through his growing up years, even though during his college years he struggled with doubts and uncertainty. He rededicated his life to Christ after he was married to Emily, and she accepted Christ and together they committed their lives to serving Him. Rich and Emily gave birth to my two beautiful grandsons, Bryan and Bradley, who are now 12 and 9 years of age, respectively. Both boys have accepted Christ and Rich is a very active daddy in the spiritual growth of his sons.

God's blessings to me as a mother and grandmother have been so abundant. I would not be able to celebrate this Mother's Day or any Mother's Day if it were not for my son, Rich. Rich has been a precious gift from the Lord and I am so proud to be his mother! He has given me a beautiful "daughter" in Emily who is a precious mother to our very dear grandsons whom we cherish beyond any other gift given to us.

As Hannah prayed in I Samuel 1:27-28, I, too, can pray this prayer this Mothers Day!

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord."

I love you, Rich!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Sunday, May 13, is Mothers Day, a day that has been set aside to honor mothers everywhere. Mothers have been given a very special and unique privilege by God---to raise up godly children who will come to know God in a personal way and pass on that spiritual heritage down through the generations to their children and their children's children.

Mothers have a huge impact on her family in ways that cannot be numbered or described. Her faithfulness in loving her children and wanting the best for them never ends. If and when that love and communication between mother and child is weakened or destroyed, the impact is catastrophic at best.

Mothers who follow God's design are most blessed indeed. He has given special instructions to mothers to "train up a child in the way he should go", and God's promise is that the child "will not depart from it." Every child needs a mother who follows God's design and loves God first. Her love for God will be passed down to her children by her example, her lifestyle, and her actions. She will be faithful to pray for her children, to want the best for them, to discipline them in ways that their lives will bring honor to God and to humanity, and to nourish their spiritual souls. When a mother serves God first, God will honor that commitment and bless her with children who will honor Him in their future endeavors. Every child needs a mother who will surrender her children to God, and allow Him to bring about His perfect will in their lives.

Children are also given the command to "honor your father and mother." This Mother's Day think of how your mother has impacted your life down through the years. Think of the sacrifice she had made on your behalf, the love that was always there no matter what the circumstance, and the years of dedication she gave to make your life more meaningful. The best way to honor her is by living your life in line with God's principles and growing spiritually stronger as a lifestyle.

Proverbs 23:25b: "May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!"

Honor your mothers by being who God wants you to be!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Comfort Zone

Women love their cozy little "nests" that they prepare for their families. They keep it shiny clean, enjoy decorating it, and love making it feel like home to their families. They are like mother birds who fluff their nests in order to settle way down so the little one can feel safe and protected from the dangers of the world.

Then something happens---a restlessness deep down in our hearts begins to stir and we begin to feel an uncomfortableness that indicates maybe God wants us to move out of our comfortable nest. At first, we deny it; then we begin to recognize that maybe God is wanting to move us elsewhere. We argue with God..."but God, it is so comfortable here." And finally we say,
"Okay, Lord, I'll go where you want me to go, and/or do what what you want me to do."

God has done this in my life many times over. I know when I begin to feel that restlessness inside my soul, it is God preparing my heart for change. At first, I'll argue, and sometimes even go kicking and screaming, but after arriving at God's destination for me, with hindsight, I can see that the change is best for me.

Now with a little more wisdom and maturity (and old age) under my belt, I am more accepting and more willing to leave my comfort zone to find and explore a new area where God has chosen to place me. I have learned that God can bring blessings to me beyond my imaginations in the new "home" or new ministry that He has prepared for me in advance to do. If I had insisted on saying "No, Lord---I like my comfortable nest", then I would have missed out on blessings beyond belief. I have met the most wonderful people along life's journey where God has led me, I have seen the most incredible sights that would have been otherwise unknown to me, and God has taught me life lessons that could not have been learned if I had insisted on staying in my cozy little nest.

I've learned to key in on that uncomfortable restlessness within my heart to seek God's greater gift to me---His perfect will for my life. God's comfort zone is always in the center of His will! If God is speaking to you about change, don't fight it. If He is asking you to leave what feels good and easy, He has so much more for you that you cannot imagine. Don't hold tightly to your comfort zone. Give in to God's best for you!

God may call you away, but He always goes with you!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Church Family

In going to West Virginia for six months, my husband and I had to leave our church family at Valley Isle Fellowship in Maui. Until you leave, you do not fully realize what a blessing the body as a whole has been to you faithfully over the years. Here in West Virginia, we need to adjust to a new church family at Mom's church. It's a different kind of joy as you meet and fellowship with new faces of the body of Christ. The bond of Christ still is so evident with warm welcomes and hugs from those halfway around the world. It's a warm thought to realize that the Holy Spirit joins our hearts with those we left behind through prayer.
We can still picture the familiar faces we left behind and pray for them and trust that God will keep us bonded in love until we return to them in six months.

If you are not connected to a growing loving spiritual church family yet, I cannot emphasize enough that you are missing out on one of the greatest means of growing in the Lord, and there is a church family somewhere that is missing out on what you can offer them through your presence and the use of the spiritual gift God has gifted you! The body of Christ functions best when all of its members are working together in unity and love toward the goal of building itself up in Christ. If you are not exercising your special gift, the body as a whole is lacking.

"From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Ephesians 4:16).

You may say "I have nothing to give". If you can smile or offer a hug, you can give more than you can imagine. I personally appreciate that kind pat on the shoulder, that sweet hello from a friend, that gentle smile across the room as much as I do the pastor, the soloist, the ushers who are so visible each Sunday. You are important to others! Find a church, then find your special niche in the body to contribute to its growth and health.

As I adjust to a new church family this summer and begin to make new friendships and receive new blessings here, I will pray faithfully for my church family in Maui and trust the Lord to do his work in the body of Christ there and all over the world.

The bond of Christ is a beautiful thing no matter where we are!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Heritage Days in Huntington

Dick's cousins invited us to go along with them to see Heritage Days in Huntington yesterday. This is a unique place in which one couple has collected so many antiques over the years that they started building barns to show them to their friends. It has since turned into a business where tours are given, cabins have been set up to rent, and barns full of antiques are shown every day to thousands of people who want to travel back in time in memories and reminiscences. We convinced my mother to go along with us praying that she would not get too tired walking from barn to barn. She loved every minute of it, even though at the end she was exhausted!

Going back in time reminds us of the blessings we have in the here and now! Just looking at the old washing machines where you had to peddle to make the agitator inside the washer go round was enough to make me grateful for my knob on my washer now that does the work for me! With progress, advances are made supposedly to make our life easier! (Why do we never have any time today with all these labor-saving devices??)

Looking back at our ancestry makes us appreciate what generations before us had to endure to make our life more pleasurable today. Things naturally change---progress has to occur---even though at times I wish we could go back to those simpler lifestyles even though they may have been very hard. As my father used to tell us all the time, "Hard work never hurt nobody!"

One thing we can always count on through generation after generation is God's love! Psalm 103:17: "But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children, with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts." What a promise for our kids and our grandkids!

Remembering God's faithfulness to me through my ancestry!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

God's Presence Always Near

When trials come into our lives and take us by surprise, if we are not careful, we lose our spiritual eyesight. It is so important to reassure ourselves daily from God's Word that God is always with us, even during the really tough times.

I love the verses in II Kings 6:15-17 where Elisha assures his servant of God's presence:

"When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my Lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered, "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O Lord, open his eyes so he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha."

When we look at the troubles around us, we often lose sight that God's presence surrounds us. We know the Word in our head, but we fail to "open our eyes" so that we may see that God's promises are true and faithful. God tells us over and over: Do not fear, the Lord is near. It's not until we open our spiritual eyes and "see" the Lord at work in ways beyond our ways that we can place our fears aside and replace them with trust that God is in control.

No matter what you are facing today, and many of my dear friends and family are facing large obstacles such as cancer, financial struggles, divorces, depression, loneliness etc.---God is near. Open your eyes and see how God is at work within you to bring you victory in each area of struggle. If you don't know the Lord personally, He is ever near knocking at your heart's door asking to be let in so that He can prove to you His presence and help in time of need.

"Open my eyes, Lord,
That I may see Jesus!"

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Our First Week in West Virginia

We arrived in West Virginia after a hectic 17 hours of flying and making our way through very busy airports and long lines. My mother, sister and her husband were waiting for us at the airport very glad to see us. The first thing I noticed was how thin Mom looked. She has had an emotional year after Dad passed away last March. It is so good to see her and be with her now, and I pray we can be an encouragement to her this summer.

We have had a rough start to our stay so far. Dick was still trying to get medical clearances in Maui when we left. The only test that we did not have a result for was his kidney MRA. We were disappointed to hear from Dick's Maui doctor that the kidney test indicated a blocked artery in his left kidney, and he suggested we find a vascular surgeon here to perform surgery to place a stent in the kidney (just as they do often in the heart). That was not what we were hoping to hear. We are now in the process of finding a specialist that can do the surgery. We trust that God is in control of this situation and will direct us to the right surgeon that will perform the surgery with good results.

The weather has been beautuiful until today. Now a cold front moved in and brought rain and cooler weather. The spring flowers are bursting through all over our area and it's a joy to walk along our country road and see the different wild flowers, the birds flittering here and there, and even an occasional bunny rabbit jumping out in front of us. We have much work to do to get our little house in West Virginia up to our expectations this summer. Dick has already cut down three trees, and took down gutters on the house that had gotten damaged over the winter months. We need to repaint the front porch and I can't wait to start planting my little flower beds. Lots in mind to do---I just pray the Lord will keep us both healthy and energetic to get it all done.

The most important thing is to help Mom feel more secure and at peace. She is still adjusting to living alone after being with Dad for 66 years!!! She admits fear at night. I know she feels more secure with us being so near. It's a blessing for us to be able to bring to her a sense of security and help her with her many projects around her house that need to be done.

I miss my home in Maui already. We already miss our grandkids on Oahu. We miss Trouble, our 15 year old cat. I especially miss our high-speed internet service. The service here is still dial-up and it takes forever to get online---but we couldn't survive here without our link to our many family and friends all over the country. Please keep in touch, email, say hi and say a prayer for us whenever we come to mind!

Trying to adjust to our summer lifestyle in West Virginia,