Monday, January 30, 2017

Death and Life

We’re back at mom’s again. I can’t believe how often we run back and forth like this. Anyway, this is day 2 of William finally feeling better from the hive episode, it’s only in his feet now; however, his back is still out – he has a chiropractic visit tomorrow.
My Aunt Gloria died Sunday. Then, William got a call yesterday from his brother, who’s son lost a child. God has his reasons for life and death, for whatever we go through. All this DOES work together for them who love the Lord (Rom. 8:28) – we don’t know the reasons, sometimes never in this life time, but we have to accept God’s will. They are believers, I just pray that God gives them comfort and acceptance during this time.
We had an awesome time worshiping the Lord on our trip over this time. We cranked up the music and sang loud all the way! Totally awesome! At times, one or the other of us would be overcome by the majesty of the Holy Spirit, then sing again. It was such a God-time, loved it. The last few days we’ve been in the Word, watching various sermons, having awesome discussions. I’m so glad we get so into all this, it’s awesome! We had such an awesome discussion over 2 Tim 3 and 4 yesterday and today. We are for sure living in the last days (3:1-8, 12-13, 4:3-8). There is such a self-centeredness in the world today, especially in America. 2 Tim. 4:5 – we are ALL called to be evangelists. There should be NO problem if Christ has REALLY changed you, if the Holy Spirit is indwelling and making you new! It just blows me away how people still stumble over this issue!

Flooding in Coquille
William and I were discussing v. 6 this morning. William had a revelation about that one: Christ was poured out as a drink offering for us on the Christ, His saving atonement. Then in v6 Paul is saying how he is being poured out as a drink offering. Christ was the FIRST of many, we are followers, to do what He did. We are poured out also when we, operating in the power of the Holy Spirit, are poured out in the service of others, even to the point of death! That is why the wedding supper of the Lamb (4 cups of Passover: 1-Sanctification, 2-Blessing, 3-Redemption, 4-Acceptance – Jesus only took the 1st 3 cups at His Passover) is so important; we get to drink the final cup with Him, we have all been ‘poured out’ in our lifetimes serving Him. (Luke 22:20, Mark 14:24, Matt. 26:28) If Christ is poured out as a drink offering (partaking of the communion, partaking of the death of Christ) we have to partake of that in order to partake of the resurrection. We become the offering, we still lay our lives down. That is what the communion is all about – a remembrance that what He did is true. The ‘church’ (ie those who just sit in the buildings year after year not going out from their comfort zone) is not teaching the fullness of the communion table. It is also to be the death of us as well – to our will. The watered down gospel is not effective! Rev. 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

William’s talking again about where/when we go next: for the past year or so, he was saying that we’ll spend a couple months in Crescent City (March/April) then work in Coquille until June or July, then move to Crescent City and help in the mission there for a year or so. Now he’s saying that we’ll spend a couple weeks in Crescent City, then move to the Rogue Valley by June. He says we have to be very careful not to add to what God says, and I guess that is what he did last year when he declared the Crescent City thing – he said that God told him we would be spending more time in Crescent City – he took it and added to it saying we would live there working in the mission. Now he’s saying God has been speaking to him again about what/where we go next. He said we were to go back to Ashland and continue the work there ….
Either way, I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately because I don’t know where we’re going, how long we’re to be there, etc. and I have to get over it! We both really feel like something BIG is about to happen and we are supposed to be in the middle of it all (revival, but something else too – not sure what). We are led by God when and where he says, that’s it. Accept it and be happy about it. We have to be ‘dead’ to self and self-interests and be focused on God and God-interests. Sitting here on the coast, enjoying the art center, teaching again, etc. and etc. is not our purpose on earth. Our purpose is to do God’s will and see souls saved! I understand that and accept it; however, I still get all out of sorts because I can’t stick ‘my way’ in there as well. I call it having a ‘human moment.’ I’ve really missed not going to the beach for the last few months (with all our travels, William being laid up, little $$), we just haven’t gotten over there. I need some beach time! However, the weather hasn’t cooperated much either, even when it’s been sunny (which has been so very rare this winter), it’s not all that warm (30s to 50s).
Mice are still getting into our RV – they chewed a larger hole into the cupboard door, got in and started in on the food up there! More mousie dung everywhere … uggg!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

God's Blessings

God has blessed us so greatly in so many ways. Last night, a whopper of a storm came up, winds 40+ mph (I wouldn’t be surprised if they got to 60-80 it was so strong). We had just fixed all the damage done by the storms while we were gone, so we listened to the wind/rains while going to bed, but at 3 am we awoke to great noise (lots of banging on the side, etc.) and William went outside to find our large 20 x 30 tarp that goes over both rigs, mostly detached and flying like a sail, while the canopy was dancing all about, with a 3rd leg broken! The winds died down/rains stopped briefly while he literally grabbed the tarp in his arms, rolled it up in a big ball and tucked it over and around the table we have out there (full of my art stuff! I should have known better), leaving the roof of the trailer exposed. Now, I kept staring up at the vent above my bed, expecting winds to blow in (since in Oct. apples from the apple tree we are under, broke the vent cover) and I expected to get soaked. William made a comment that we were surrounded by angels and that there was probably one sitting up there to keep the plastic trash can lid in place (which was just sitting there over the vent, not even attached to anything). Then he said, “maybe I did end up putting a secondary tarp over the roof like I was thinking about and it will be ok.” I fell asleep still looking. I did; however, have drops fall on my head from the window which leaked. It wasn’t too bad though. In the morning, looked up there and was surprised to see everything in tack. William went out to survey the damage, I went out to help put everything back together. When he got up on the roof, no tarp was there, and the trash can lid was still sitting there! He picked it up and it was just sitting loosely over the vent! We both laughed and said, “Yes! Angels were sitting on top keeping it there!”
woodpecker in the apple tree - last fall
We have been having some great worship and praise times/study times/prayer times both morning and night lately (a couple days ago, it went for hours!), really getting close to God, having wonderful discussion, etc. At the same time, the enemy has been coming against us – William mostly with his back, which is still out, still very painful, still having a great deal of difficulty getting around doing things. Just sneezing throws his back into painful contractions. However, this morning, even though he was still in pain, it felt in place for the first time in a month! Where there was a bulge on one side last night (I massage him every day), it was gone today! We’ve been believing God for total healing. He had gone to the chiropractor at least 6 times while in the valley and none of them set him in, so we had no other option but to believe God for total healing – we came back to Coquille still believing so. By this afternoon, he was so much better, not nearly the pain he had before.
We got done putting everything back together outside, came in for breakfast and prayer and around 10:30 I took off to the art center to finally have some ‘play’ time. It was Nov. last time I painted and I was itching to not only get back to painting, but I wanted to join the quilt ladies this morning to find someone to teach me to cast off with my knitting (I’ve been knitting on that blanket for 8 years now!). I found the ladies all working toward getting ready for “quilt-o-rama” in March – which is where their goal was to make 50 quilts to donate to the homeless mission and to other groups in Coos Bay. I didn’t even know they did this type of thing. So I’ll be going every Wednesday working on this project. In the mean time, one of the ladies, taught me how to cast off and I sat there chatting with them, finishing my blanket. When done, I said, “anyone want my knitting needles, I don’t want to ever knit again!” They all laughed and one took them. That blanket ended up (I spread it out for the first time) being huge! Almost a queen size. Very heavy and warm. William loved it! 
Then, I went over to the painting side with a huge canvas and asked Pat if she would teach me how to do an ocean scene with huge waves, sunset colors, etc. using acrylics. I have very little experience using acrylics and all the various gels, varnishes, etc. We got the scene drawn out, the sky put in and I quit for the day – I felt good having gone out today to do all this. 
24"x36 Acrylics - my first try at the 'eye of the wave'
Jan. 24th – William always says that, “the closer we try to get to God, the more the enemy comes against us in sudden attacks.” That’s what’s been going on; we’ve been having such awesome worship, bible study, discussion times lately, discussing where and when God will send us next, etc. William’s back is still out AND he has suffered from hives from head to toe for the past 2 days! He had been using Tylanol and Ibuprofin for the past few weeks for pain in his back, but when he ran out of muscle relaxers and his back was still out, so he started taking another med - Naproxen – he’d been taking them 4-5 days or so (until yesterday when he realized) when 2 days ago he broke out in hives and started itching severely. Large patches of huge bumps, bright red, getting the entire area red as he scratched … anyway, he went online yesterday and looked up side effects of that drug – 2nd and 3rd ones down on the list were hives and severe itching! His hands are so swelled up today, like huge water balloons! All he feels like doing is lying around and sleeping …

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mice Invasion!

We had been in the Rogue Valley since Dec. 20th – the day William’s back went out on him (even though he went to the chiropractor 6x and it is still out), and the day after his mother died. Today, we had a most wonderful AND awful homecoming (back to Coquille): first off, it rained (heavily) snow/rain most of the route home except just before Myrtle Point – the sun came out so brightly, sparkling everything, including the ‘winter lakes’ which were huge! Then as we came around the corner, we saw the most vivid, huge rainbow ever, the entire thing from one end to the other. It stayed in front of us most of the way to Coquille and we were praising God, thanking Him for His beauty (we had spent the entire ride home singing and praising God). The valley was so beautiful.
Anyway, we stopped at Colleens for a burger then went home. First we noticed that a huge rip (plus some smaller rips) was in the large (20x30) tarp. Then we found that the canopy that was over the doorway (though anchored down) had obviously suffered heavy wind because there were 2 legs broken/twisted and the pegs were pulled out of the ground. The large rip was right over one of the tables where I stored some of my artwork/supplies, bags of art books/stuff, sewing box, etc. They were all soaked (even though I had plastic wrap under and around, the wind must have blown it about quite a bit. Then, we found that mice invaded our RV!!!! I noticed that we were grinding in their poop into the carpet! I was horrified! They ate a hole in my new curtains, mousie dung all over the RV, wet all over the seat!!!! They had eaten all my sweet potatoes!!! Then we came into the larger trailer (24’ one that Elizabeth was letting us use for the winter) and found that the propane heater had been running the entire time (we didn’t know to pull the fuse and because it had been below 55 degrees, it comes on automatically!) It used up all our propane (both tanks now empty and containers now expired – Dec). Good thing God prompted William to ask mom to borrow the propane from her BBQ. The rigs were colder than ice! I floored the little floor heater, William hooked up the new propane and we had it warm in no time. The outhouse was clean – that’s good All in all, worse things could have happened; we were thankful that they didn’t, but bothered nonetheless by what we did find. Either way, I’m glad to be back! Inside Elizabeth’s house (we’ve been caretaking her property all winter), all was fine, except that most of her plants were dead. That’s not surprising because it got down to the teens during this past few weeks and there was no heat in that house.
Even though William was laid up most of the 3 weeks we were in the valley, God was really with and working in William about several things (he met with and ministered to a few), we had some good bible study times/prayer times/listening to sermon times. I’m glad to be home again and we are going to get back into discipline – get back into regular study/listening/prayer times as well as exercise times!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

What are You doing with Your Life?

I saw a movie the other day while I was at my mom’s called The Longest Ride, about a modern day cowboy type, going to rodeos riding the bull, girlfriend who was an artist wanting to live in NY and do the art museum thing, who come upon a crash site and rescue an old guy (Alan Alda – probably one of his best roles) who had this big box of love letters. While the girlfriend stays at the hospital awaiting word on the old guy, she starts reading these letters, ends up going back to the hospital over and over to visit the guy. Anyway, a most excellent story, well acted. What it did for me was to really get me to thinking about everyone on earth, century after century, billions of people, and each and every one have a unique story. Each person, so different from each other, yet so similar, how each one goes through life, through bad/good experiences, developing their personality, character, etc., each one with a unique story from beginning to end, yet similar in that we are all human. How many ‘stories’ are lost to history. Sure , the famous get remembered, each town has a ‘history’ with their own ‘famous’ people, but how many stories/lives are ‘lost’ to history, people never to be remembered. Sure, families bury their members, but after a couple generations, no one remembers them anymore. I got the family history album out the other day and realized that if I hadn’t spend the many years/hours working on that, writing it out, sharing it (I sent 33 copies of this 300+ page book to key members of the family back in 1991), that if I hadn’t, ‘our’ collective family story would be ‘lost’.

Me in the 80's as a concert flutist - this was from my posters
My cousins came over and we sat there today as a family, going through the pictures and talking a bit about the family, resemblances mostly (who looks like who), but the idea seemed to pass over the others, but really struck me, that each one of these people have a whole ‘story’ themselves. But really, even though we are family, what do we really know of each other. Not much. Mostly everyone keeps to the surface issues/topics, never going deep. But even more, spread that out to friends, etc. of all the stories lost to history. But God knows us, each and every moment of each and every one of us – wow, how big is that!
I’m in kind of a weird state of mind lately – looking at the fragility of life (so many people dying just the past couple weeks: Marie, my mom’s best friend and Louie’s first wife dying the same day as William’s mom, Pastor Marilyn Tucker from Calvary Temple church (we had met her in 2011 when we were having our prayer meetings there, plus she married William and I, William saw her as his ‘spiritual mother’), plus my mom having had her 2nd open heart surgery earlier this month, I was thinking about the triviality that most people live life – what a waste. The Word says ALL will be burned up in the end, those who do not serve God, those who are not truly saved, what a waste and they don’t even realize it! That they don’t even realize the horror they are about to encounter in the hereafter. When you look at the ‘life line’ of history and we are each just a ‘blip’ of a dot on that line, such a short life really (70-80 years) and what a truly short time that is. We spend 20 years of our life growing up, 20 years or so raising kids, having a family, 40-60 years or so working at meaningless jobs for the most part – what a waste. I only truly feel ‘alive’ when I am doing what God wants me to do, serving and helping others, sharing the love of Jesus. That is true life – living for God – and nothing else matters! Even looking back at my own life, really, what a waste it was for the most part. Sure, I had moments here and there of truly serving God, really living, but for the most part thinking about how much of my life I’ve wasted on trivial stuff, getting bunged up on stupid, worthless, small issues. I am so much, so amazingly free now more than ever and I have ‘nothing’ really to show for my life in the way of ‘stuff’, because it doesn’t matter! It’s the relationships that matter – it is our souls that matter! EVERYTHING physical WILL be burned up! I just wish I could get this message across to everyone! Yes, prayer is the key, and I rely on God to touch each and every one of the people I come in contact with, in a powerful way to get their
Mom's back yard