October 31 Blessing

We had a series of revival meetings at our church, and the last one was Sunday, October 31st. My husband is the deacon, so we arrived early to the meetings to set things up.

So, 6:20 pm we pulled in to our church parking lot. To our astonishment, the parking lot was all but full! Not only that, but lines of cars going both directions were slowly passing, and cars were parked on both sides of the street for several blocks down the road. We saw crowds of parents and children, all dressed up, going from house to house.

Of course. It’s Halloween, and everyone is out for candy. Folks were parking in our lot, then walking up and down the street.

We were truly astounded at the number of parents, kids, and cars we saw! I mean, it was crazy! We live in a fairly small town, and we just didn’t think there was even that many people who lived there.

We made our way to the church: it was still locked, as we were the first to arrive. We turned on lights and got things ready.

I looked, wide-eyed, out the windows to watch all the cars and people passing by. As I wandered to the front, another church family arrived: two parents with little 3-year-old Micah. As they came in, some of the trick-or-treaters walked by our front ramp and steps, looking, wondering if we were giving anything away.

Hey! I thought. My mind flashed to the pile of children’s gospel tracts another woman had left on the counter that morning with a note: “Anyone who needs them.” So THAT’S why God put those there.

Micah was still at the front door, watching all the people go by. I grabbed the tracts, piled them into a paper bag with handles, and ran out the door, Micah in tow.

As mermaids, spooks, and cowboys came up the ramp and steps, they called, “Trick or treat!”

“God bless you on All Hallows Eve, here’s a real treat,” we replied as we dropped the booklets into bags and buckets.

They were all very polite. “Thank you!” and “God bless you, too!” rang out.

We stopped so that we could go inside to the services. We had only a few tracts left out of maybe 40.

I hadn’t ever been on that street on Halloween before. A new friend who lives there said they had 525 trick-or-treaters, down a bit from previous numbers of 700+. Turns out, this is a Halloween hot spot for candy.

That’s crazy!

We had a blessed evening inside our church, and prayed for all those little points of light to shed the grace and hope of the gospel to all who received them. God planted seeds. He will grow them.

Because I Don’t Want To — What??


I’m thankful to God for 1. Instilling within me a desire to do right and, 2. Giving me the parents I had who reinforced that character trait.

“I don’t want to” was never an option for getting out of doing the right thing. It just never was. So I am taken aback when I hear of people opting out of a responsibility or decision or action based solely on “I don’t want to.”

What??? I don’t get it.

What died or went wrong inside a person who backs out of commitments because of a selfish desire to not get the heck out of their cocoon of comfort? Whether it’s doing the dishes, or getting in the car to be with a friend in need, or attending a function, or giving a hug; if it’s the right thing to do, my feelings about a matter are moot. After God quickened my spirit and took up residence within me, I have the impetus and direction to move at His will and pleasure. Sure, my flesh often intrudes:

  • He does NOT deserve a hug right now.
  • I’m too tired to go do that.
  • I’m mad, and I’ll have to wait until I feel like it, or it won’t be worth it.
  • I don’t like that person, anyway.
  • I’m busy with this, and it irritates me to stop what I want to do and go minister to someone else.
  • I don’t have time.

So what? It’s not about me. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. It’s about loving others, about obeying God, about blessings and not sinning.

James 2.16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

James 4.17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

We may think that we’re serving ourselves by keeping to only what we want to do; but that’s not how God designed us. He designed us to serve one another, to receive our greatest joys and peace by doing good unto others.

If we do not act in accordance with God’s design for us, we spiral down into selfishness, ungratefulness, and stinky attitudes.

And even though that’s inviting, we don’t want that. Really.

Step into the light. That means putting off the flesh, and putting on Christ. Be Jesus to those who need you. God will let you know which ones, and He will bless you. HE WILL BLESS YOU.

Rochester and Mayo

What an interesting and eventful couple of weeks it’s been!

Rochester is a lovely city, filled with friendly and helpful people. Mayo Clinic was a great experience, with gentle and professional staff. My mom’s surgery at Mayo went well, and she is back home (so am I). I praise my Heavenly Father for all His guidance and support and love.

There were so many blessings while I was away:

  • My mom’s surgery went well.
  • She is back home with her husband (my daddy) again after a long time apart.
  • She is amazed and grateful for being able to walk again for the first time in over a year.
  • My big brother and I were able to spend time with her and with each other.
  • I got days and days of one-on-one time with my mom before my brother got there. We had some really nice conversations. We reflected that we don’t often have that kind of time together, and we’ll have to make sure we plan for that in the future. We enjoyed each other.
  • We were able to find a great place to stay!
    • For anyone seeking long-term arrangements in Rochester, I highly recommend Riverview Suites: http://www.rstha.com/
    • Very reasonable prices (much lower than any nearby hotels, with more amenities)
    • They have one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.
    • Apartments have laundry rooms (full-size machines, no coins needed).
    • Full kitchen, stocked with towels, pots, pans, hot pads, dishes
      • Since I deal with food allergies, it was important for me to be able to bring / purchase / cook my own food for the duration of our stay.
    • Linens and towels provided
    • Free parking
    • Plenty spacious (we rented a scooter for my mom, for before the surgery, and she had plenty of room to maneuver around)
    • Easy walking to Mayo Clinic & Methodist Hospital (I clocked it at 7 minutes from the building’s front door to the hospital door).
    • The manager and maintenance guys were so friendly and helpful! Very timely with their responses.
    • Nice view of the river.
    • Easy walk to the Mayo Civic Center, where you can catch the Skywalk / Subway.
    • Free shuttle to Mayo
    • Nice little grocery store and restaurant around the corner
  • I enjoyed the city, itself.
    • We took a narrated trolley ride through Rochester, well worth it.
    • I explored the Skyway and (pedestrian) Subway system, and got a kick out of all I found: restaurants (I ate a peanut butter and bacon burger at Newt’s Express – yum!), shops (all kinds: grocery, drug stores, clothing, gift shops, chocolate kiosks, fast food), and even a museum.
    • Lots of community activities going on: food / craft festivals, music, carillon concerts
    • We had nice weather for most of the trip, and were able to walk along the wide sidewalks (well, I walked, and my mom was on her scooter).

I tried keeping up with all the blogs I read – it’s so good for my soul. You bless me. I hope now to jump back in to fully reading and engaging. I’ve missed you.

Thank You Lord


1 Chronicles 16.34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for His mercy endureth for ever.

I am often burdened with events in our world: Flooding and earthquake victims; governments and terrorist groups are mass murdering in Syria; Israel and the Palestinians are living with a brittle peace agreement; covert murders between countries’ governments; and ordinary citizens are fleeing violence and terrorism in their countries.

In my own country, I observe murders, strife, political venom, natural catastrophes, poisoning of our planet, and general mismanagement of the resources God gave us.

In any country, men, women, children, and elders are barely surviving in panic, strife, suffering, violence, famine, disease, thirst, filth, and death.

At the same time, I am surrounded by media advertising Coke, telling us to open happiness; ladies magazines telling us how to ‘get the look’ for our next entertainment gathering; digital companies enticing us with the latest and greatest devices to keep us connected; fantasy football, tailgate parties, and weekly stat keeping; articles describing healthy snacks; “reality” shows; celebrity gossip; how to have whiter teeth and flatter bellies; and stores tell us where we can find those ’gotta have’ shoes for the lowest price.

I got up this morning, pushed the button on my coffeemaker, did my devotions in my quiet spot, caught up on some reading, took a bike ride with my husband to buy some groceries, spent some time on a cool fall day in my heated home, cooked up a satisfying midday dinner, wrote and posted a blog, and got my delivery of an online order. Tonight I plan to watch some TV before retiring to my comfy bed for the night.  I am safe in my home.  I have plenty to eat.  I can travel at will, and safely, to visit with friends and family, to shop for needs and wants, to attend meetings, to socialize, or to work.

I compare my life to that of a similarly aged woman in Syria or Palestine or Africa, as far as I am able in my ignorance.  I have been greatly blessed with freedom, health, family, friends, church, and peace.  As I compare, I think, “Why me?”  Why am I blessed with ease and health and safety in my life, here in SD, USA?

I don’t know why I am where I am, and not somewhere else.  But, I am grateful.

I thank God for blessing me with my birthplace and that I was born into a happy and healthy family; for giving me the mental faculties to go to college and become a teacher; for wiring me to my husband; and for my Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I thank my parents for raising me to be grateful, and for all they gave to me.

I thank my husband for loving me and for providing for me and protecting me.

I thank my dad for his service in the military, for protecting the freedoms of the US and of his family (even if we do take those freedoms past reasonable limits).