Thursday, December 31, 2009


Early in the year 2009, my husband worked as a buffer for the hospital at Ft. Hood. Though he only worked for eighteen hours a week, he was still able to have health insurance, and we were able to get several things accomplished health wise: a sleep apnea test for Kev, eye exams and glasses for him, a complete physical, and I was able to get a well-woman visit. What a blessing to get some of these things done that we had been needing.

As far as military ministry goes, we have had many open doors on various military bases. My husband received a letter of recommendation from an upper-level chaplain. There are several bases with open doors, and we are praying for workers. Also, we are seeking better ways to help military folks reach their own people. Our plan is to go through whatever open doors the Lord shows us.

In March, we were able to purchase a 1997 Ford Expedition. Since our mini-van was very small for our six kids, several of whom are adults, and the air conditioning didn’t work very well, the Expedition was a very very welcome addition to our family! Also, the Lord sold our minivan for us only days before we had to leave for our trip! Thank you, Lord!

Early this year in Taylor, TX, my husband and I got to lead some people to the Lord side-by-side at the invitation. How wonderful it is to be in God’s service together!

Jonathan and Stephen worked jobs as “building maintenance” guys, painting and cleaning rental houses. It was their first experience in secular employment, and it was a very good experience for them.

One of the most important meetings of the year was in Fayetteville, NC. It was here that the Lord raised up about ten workers for the military ministry there. The Holy Spirit was working in a mighty way, and the meeting after the preaching was wonderful. Time will tell what the results of that meeting will be.

This year I began walking, then jogging, and finally I am now up to running about two miles three or four times a week. It has been a real blessing to me, and to the rest of the family. Jonathan has been my great encouragement and jobbing partner, though Kev has been my staunch supporter, as well. For his exercise, Kev purchased a folding bike, which he rides sometimes.

As a family, we read some very interesting books, especially Children of the Storm, Jimmy Moore of Bucktown, The Duggars: Twenty and Counting, and the Reverend Spy. Each of these books was a blessing to me, especially the book about the Duggars. The book about the spy was absolutely riveting!

We began memorizing larger passages of Scriptures, including Philippians 2:3-11 and the first half of James chapter one. These have been a blessing and encouragement to all of us!

One of the new things that happened this year is that Jonathan began courting a sweet girl. While up in Michigan in August, he talked with her father, who gave permission for him to talk to her about a possible courtship. She prayed about it for several days, and then returned with her ok. Since then, they’ve been writing and talking on the phone.

Just a few days ago we had a very sad thing happen. Jonathan had gone up to Michigan to visit with his lady friend, and had only been there a few hours when they received a phone call saying that her older brother and his wife had gotten into a horrible fiery accident. His wife, who was expecting, lost the baby and was badly injured. Within minutes, they took Jonathan back to the airport to go back to Kathy’s, and they went down to be with their son. The next day, yesterday, he passed away. Sadly, his wife’s discovered that her little sister died in a crash that very day. Lord, give strength to that family.

In October, there was a terrorist attack on the soldiers of Ft. Hood. One of the fellow soldiers, Maj. Nadal Hassan, a Muslim who was scheduled to deploy to Iraq, opened fire. Though we were not there, we were very saddened by the loss, there was greatly heightened security at the military base we were at.

As a family, we were so blessed to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with my father and Eunice at the prophet’s house at Friendship Baptist Church in St. Paul’s, NC. Though I had just a very few days to prepare, the whole celebration went very well. We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and birthdays on Friday. We held a triple birthday celebration: Johanna’s, Dad’s, and Sharon’s! What a time we had.

Also, in December, we were allowed of God to record another CD. We’re asking the Lord to bless it in a special way.

This year’s theme is “God Leads His Dear Children Along.” Many times we were led step by step as we sought the Lord’s guidance, and He has been faithful every step of the way!

Thank you, Lord, for Your provision and guidance in the year 2009! We dedicate this next year to You!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Duty + Desire = DELIGHT!

A few years ago, when my mother passed away, we were all worried about how Dad would survive. After all, he was about 78 then, and hardly cooked much on his own. However, over the years, Dad has become a gourmet chef. He makes all kinds of strange things, like French Onion Soup with Gratinee, Mini Crab Cakes, and Boston Clam Chowder. For our Thanksgiving Dinner, he was considering making a Turduckin: a turkey stuffed with a duck which is stuffed with a chicken! As it was, he made a real knock-‘em dead stuffing for our celebration!

One time at the dinner table during his visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, I mentioned to him offhandedly, “You know, Dad, if you would have made all these fancy meals when I was younger, we would not have had to suffer with casseroles that had been put in the refrigerator by Mom when she went back to college.” We were all thankful that Mom did her best to provide food for us while she had to be gone, but it was not quite the same.

The exchange got me to thinking. Naturally, when Dad was younger and he was working too, he didn’t really want to do any gourmet cooking, though his eggs and bean soup were everyone’s delight. But I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to take to the kitchen. After all, he had a tight schedule and a great cook at home. But it’s interesting to think that the activity which he had no desire to do years ago, he loves now. And the food he makes now completely eclipses anything he made back then!

When we have a duty and it seems like just a duty, it is hard to turn it into a masterpiece. However, when we take that duty, like cooking, and add desire to it – the desire to create something wonderful, the desire to be an encouragement, the desire to be a blessing – it becomes a work of art. It all depends on our attitude.

Do we desire to be a blessing, or merely to survive? I know there are times when we go into what I call “survival mode,” but that should not be our normal operating procedure. We as mothers can create a wonderful atmosphere for our families, if we only put our hearts into it.

It is the difference between merely writing a letter, and adding a touch of beauty to it through stickers or drawings. It is the difference between getting our husband a cup of tea and serving it to him with a flourish. It is the difference between “doing the laundry” and being a specialist in garment revitalization!

We have the opportunity to really be a blessing to our families, if only we had the desire.

It is the difference between duty and delight.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Talking to Heroes

Dodging through the raindrops, my family and I ran from the truck to the church. I entered the building and allowed a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the light. I found myself standing right inside the sanctuary, having taken a side door. It wasn’t long before the whole family worked their way to a pew.

After finding a seat, I went around to shake hands with folks. One elderly gentleman welcomed me to the service, and I turned to shake someone else’s hand when something on his lapel caught my eye. It was two tiny bars, one was purple and the other blue with a small white patch in the middle.

“What are those?” I asked, pointing to the lapel pins.

“Oh, the purple one is a Purple Heart, and the blue one is the Navy Cross,” he replied nonchalantly, smiling. My face must have registered my shock, and he went on, explaining what I correctly assumed. “The Navy Cross is the highest service medal to be awarded, other than the Congressional Medal of Honor.” I think he said more, but my mind was racing with the significance of such an honor.

Only 6,924 Navy Cross Awards have been given since Congress authorized it in 1919. As a combat-only award, it is higher than the Distinguished Service Medal, and has often been awarded posthumously.

It always amazes me to be in the presence of a World War II veteran, but I was completely grateful for the privilege of meeting such a hero.

Though our exchange was brief, my mind was reeling for hours. I thought of the many gallant people I have talked to over the years, and how very humbling it is to talk to them. Soon, however, my mind went to some other heroes I have known, many without any earthly honor at all.

I think of the man who is also in his eighties, and has pastured now for almost forty-five years. Remaining faithful to his family and his Lord against all odds and pressure, he is still standing strong and tall on the Word of God. He and his wife are a delight to talk to, because they are so full of the joy of the Lord. He is truly a hero, serving the Lord through a lifetime.

I think of the dear elderly sisters I have spent many an hour with, talking of the greatness of our Saviour. It’s been years since I’ve seen them, and one of them has gone on to be with the Lord, while the other is in a nursing home. Years ago, when my husband and I asked them how it came to be that they had never gotten married, one of them smiled and replied, “Well, our mother was very sick – bedridden. We decided we were going to take care of our mother, and we did.” They took care of their invalid mother for years and years, until all suitors had come and gone. They willingly gave up their future to care for someone else. In my book, they are heroes.

Then there are the mothers of young children, who have given up their dreams of careers or desires for fancy things while they spend their time wiping runny noses and changing diapers. They see the investment in the future, and are willing to pay whatever the price is to accomplish it. Though no medal awaits them, and no crowd will applaud them, they are still heroes.

Thank you, heroes, for all you do and have done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day!

I am blessed to work with some of the best of the best that America has. I thank God for our military, and pray for their safe return home!

Tonight we will be singing a song that is hard for me to sing, "It Has Always Been the Soldier." My lines, especially, are difficult, since they remind me of the many people we have met that have lost loved ones either in this war or in other wars. My heart goes out to those who remain at home while their spouses are deployed, and to those who are left when a hero falls.

To all those who have served, or are serving, we thank you! We pray that you will have that "peace that passeth understanding," that when trouble comes your way, you will be prepared!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Please Pray...

We are all very saddened by yesterday's tragedy at Fort Hood. Please pray for the families involved, as this is a very difficult thing for them. Though we are not there, our hearts are there, and we wish we could be there to help.

I was chatting with an Army Airborne wife this evening, and she expressed her sentiments very plainly. "My husband just got back from Iraq, and It would be a complete and utter tragedy to have him survive the war in Iraq just to die at the hands of a terrorist here."

Friends, these military men and their spouses know that every day could be their last, and they have come to grips with their own mortality. We thank God for those who are willing to take these risks so that we could be safe and free. A special thank you goes to all you who protect us, and for all the spouses who have given up "normal" in order to serve the country.

As you pray for the military, please pray for my husband. He injured his back the other day, and the pain has gotten excruciating, and he needs help just to get around. I was able to take him to the doctor today, who said that it is probably a bulging or slipped disk. I know it is very painful. The injury is also keeping him from making the contacts he needs to make here at Fort Bragg, so please pray for a speedy recovery.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Top Ten Things Only Women Understand

I've seen this before, but when I was introduced to it again recently, I howled with laughter! Enjoy!

10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.

And, the Number One thing only women understand:

Other Women

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wit's End Corner

This poem has been a real blessing to me lately, when I seem to find myself daily standing at "Wit's End Corner!"

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”,
Christian, with troubled, brow?
Are you thinking of what is before you,
And all you are bearing now?
Does all the world seem against you,
And you in the battle alone?
Remember – at “Wit’s End Corner”,
Is where God’s power is shown.

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”,
Blinded with wearying pain,
Feeling you cannot endure it,
You cannot bear the strain,
Bruised through the constant suffering,
Dizzy, and dazed, and numb?
Remember – at “Wit’s End Corner”,
Is where Jesus loves to come.

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Your work before you spread,
All lying begun, unfinished,
And pressing on heart and head,
Longing for strength to do it,
Stretching out trembling hands.
Remember – at “Wit’s End Corner”,
The Burden-bearer stands.

Are you standing at “Wit’s End Corner”?
Then you’re just in the very spot,
To learn the wondrous resources
Of Him who faileth not.
No doubt to a brighter pathway
Your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at “Wit’s End Corner”
Is the “God who is able” proved.

- Antoinette Wilson

Friday, October 30, 2009

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

There is a time in each of our lives where we feel that we are completely overwhelmed with our responsibilities. You may feel swamped by life, but by turning your eyes on Jesus, things come into a better focus. Follow Anna as she makes some important decisions.

Anna slid out the door of her travel trailer, closing the door softly behind her. She walked across the church’s grass, away from the incessant sound of the trailer’s air conditioners, away from the noise of all the children, and away from the constant stream of work. The misty darkness perfectly fit her despondency.

She needed to be alone.

Walking over the church’s yard, she came to a tree and fingered its leaves. Anna was painfully aware that everywhere she looked was new and unfamiliar, and nothing she touched was hers. She thought of her husband’s ministry as an evangelist and remembered that only the day before they came to this church, and in two days they would leave for another one. Another week, another yard, she thought ruefully. Or maybe next week it will be a parking lot. She knew that many times, churches allowed them to hook up their travel trailer in the church parking lot. She was always thankful for the Lord’s provision, but sometimes the constant moving was hard.

The days were so very packed with travelling, school, meals, cleanup, and the ever-present laundry. It seemed to Anna that she was running as soon as her feet hit the floor every morning to the time she pulled them up into her bed late at night. Added to her family responsibilities were the perpetual pressures of ministry: the need to be a blessing everywhere they went. Anna so desired to be an encouragement to others, but sometimes, like tonight, she felt there was simply no more of her left to bless with.

Tears mingled with her prayers as she cried out to God for help and strength. For a long time, she stood by the fence in the church yard, looking out into the mist sending her burdens to the Lord. She winced as she remembered the words that a kind lady spoke to her earlier that day. “It seems to me that it must take someone special to do what you do,” she remarked, referring to Anna’s unusual lifestyle. Anna prayed, But God, I don’t know that I want to be special! All I wanted was to raise a family for You, with my house and a few animals on a ten-acre homestead! Glancing back at her silhouetted trailer, she thought of how very different life had become. She didn’t hate her life, she just wasn’t sure she had the strength to do it all.

She was reminded of her family, who were so precious to her. Soon her thoughts and prayers turned to thanksgiving, as she remembered her beloved husband and her many children. Thank You, God, for my family. Thank You for the many miles of safety. Thank you for saving me! Thank You for being so good to me! Before long, tears of thankfulness slid down her cheeks, mingling with her tears of frustration.

Like a gentle prod in her heart, an old saying crossed her mind: “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, than no sacrifice could be too great for me to make for Him.” Anna remembered that Jesus had paid the ultimate price for her, and now she was His. God, she prayed, I’m not worthy to serve You. I’m not worthy to have these children, this family, this ministry. No, it is no sacrifice that I make for You. It is merely a yielding service. Please help me to yield to You. I am Yours.

The gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit led her on.

(3) Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
(4) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
(5) Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
(6) O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Jer 18:3-6

Yes, Lord, her heart responded, You can do with me as this potter. You have every right to do with me what You Will.

Soon, another verse flooded her mind:

“Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”

Quickly, Anna’s tender heart yielded to the promptings of the sweet Holy Spirit. Lord, if it is Your Will that I live this unusual lifestyle, then I am content to do that. I don’t really want to be ‘special,’ but if that’s Your Will for me, give me the strength to be what You want me to be. You have bought me with a price, and You can do what you will with Your own.

Peace filled her heart, and a joy she hadn’t had in a long time swept over her soul. Anna knew that the Lord would strengthen her to meet the daily demands of life on the road with a large family. With her trust in God, She understood that His loving-kindness would give her rest when she really needed it, for He takes care of His own.

“Oh, soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His Wonderful Face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!!

I had no idea whether we were going to have a boy or a girl, but I knew I would be thankful for whoever the Lord gave us.

I was twenty three at the time, and my husband was pastoring his first church. We were looking for a house in the area of the church, and had found what we wanted: a nice, big old farmhouse that would welcome our expanding family. But before we could close on the house, it was time to have our second baby.

We dropped our little nineteen-month old daughter off at Grammy’s house, and headed for the hospital. Thankfully, it was a storybook labor, and at 6:47pm our firstborn son, Jonathan Edward Raub, was born. It was October 23, 1987.

Now, twenty-two years later, Jonathan is a mature, kind, hard-working young man who is ready and willing to do whatever God wants him to do. I may be a bit biased, but I think he’s one of the finest young men I’ve ever known.

Happy Birthday, Jonathan! We are so proud of you!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Are All the Children In?

While visiting in Washington DC this week, we put many miles under our feet walking from one museum or memorial to the next. We had a tremendous time, enjoying every minute of our visit, and I owe most of the success of our time to how well everyone stayed together and kept up with Dad.

Though we walked probably five miles a day, we took lots of breaks and carried lots of food and water, so no one got completely (well, …maybe not too completely!) worn out. We kept up a pace that would have withered most six-year-olds, but Jason kept up with us all. Even in the subway station (the Metro), we all kept together and kept up a strenuous speed.

I, as always, worry the most about someone getting left behind, lost, or straying from the pack in a place like that. So, years ago, we adopted the policy that my husband would lead the group, and I would take up the rear, making sure that there were no stragglers. That way, if someone had to stop and tie a shoe, I could always be there to help, if needed, or at least make sure he or she didn’t get separated from the crowd.

Several times during our excursions I had to encourage a lagger to speed up, or a gawker to “get with the program.” Once, while running across a road on a crosswalk (we seemed to run much of the time, as we were trying to beat one deadline or another…), Jason lost his shoe at the curb. Of course, I was there to help him grab it and run to catch up with the others.

As we were walking in our line, with Dad up front, the guys close behind, and me at the rear with the little kids, I couldn’t help but think about my role as a mother.

My goal is to make sure all of my children get to where God wants them to in life. I do whatever I have to do to keep them from getting distracted and being left behind. Pulling and yelling would never do; I need to encourage, praise, and help them as they get tired and lag behind. “Just a little bit longer,” I told one of my kids, “and then we can rest a bit. You’re doing great!” Keeping my children on the straight and narrow path is never easy, but the alternative is something I simply don’t know that I could live with.

The hymn, Are All the Children In? speaks of a mother who waits for her children, making sure they come in when darkness falls, but the most important moment comes when eternity rolls around, and mother wonders, Are all the children in?

Last night, as I went to bed, I once again begged God to work in the hearts of my children. I don’t want one of them to be left behind, or simply get distracted. Are All the Children In?

When I'm alone I often think of an old house on the hill
Of a big yard hedged in roses where we ran and played at will,
And when the night time brought us home hushing our merry din,
Mother would look around and ask, “Are all the children in?”

Well, it's been many a year now and the old house on the hill
No longer has my mother's care and the yard is still so still,
But if I listen I can hear it all, no matter how long it's been.
I seem to hear my mother ask, “Are all the children in?”

And I wonder when the curtain falls on that last earthly day
When we say goodbye to all of this to our pain and work and play
When we step across the river where mother so long has been
Will we hear ask her a final time, “Are all the children in?”

Mom, your work has the value of eternity attached to it. Keep a diligent eye on the children, and make sure that all of them are in!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's Been Twenty Years....

Twenty years ago, I felt the Lord's prompting me to write as a ministry. Ever since then, I've been honing my skill, reading about writing, and desiring to write. I've even written! But I think mostly I've been gaining life experience. I've spent many a day with a thought or story burning in my heart that I couldn't write because of the greater desire to spend time with my family.

Sometimes, however, the Lord allows a story to leak out.

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, my story was accepted by a publisher!!!!!!

To say I'm excited would be an understatement!!

Remember that story I needed an illustrator for?? It looks like the Lord answered that prayer!! The publisher also has an illustrator that works for them who may be able to do the art work.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm Right Behind You!

Since we are travelling so much lately, my “back yard” is always changing. This morning I was able to do my morning jog along a lake in Hanover, PA. It is a beautiful little lake, lined with many trees, and stocked with fish. (It was also stocked with fishermen!) After my exercise, I walked along the shore, praying. Since it is difficult to get time alone to pray in our bus, sometimes it is good to take a bit of extra time while I am out to pray.

God’s marvelous creation presents a breathtaking backdrop for worship of the Creator. My time there was filled with appreciation of His Goodness, thankfulness for His Love, and petitions for His Presence.

Suddenly my reverie was broken by the persistent honking of geese. As I looked across the lake, I could see no sign of the large birds. Within seconds however, they came into view: two large geese gliding merely inches above the water! They seemed to be talking to each other, encouraging each other, as they flew across the lake.

My vivid imagination takes me all kinds of places. But today, as I watched those geese flying across the lake, I thought, I wonder if they are mates? Since they say that geese mate for life, I figured that these geese were probably mates on their way south. It seemed to me that the goose in the back was saying, “Keep going! Don’t give up! Come on, let’s go! I'm right behind you!” And the goose on the front was forging a path through the air, making it easier for his mate to fly.

Oh, Lord, I prayed. Make me like that goose in the back. Help me to always be an encouragement to my husband, encouraging him to continue forging a path for the family. Help me to keep strengthening him with my words as he seeks to serve God!

“A wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

May we all be like that wise woman! "I'm right behind you, Beloved!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This was written yesterday while we were driving, so some of this is already old news! The Lord kindly blessed our meetings, and I thank Him for His goodness and safety!


I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I’ll let you know what I’ve been up to. We spent Labor Day in Michigan, and then went on to Ohio and Indiana, having meetings all along the way. About two weeks ago, we came across from Ohio to Central PA and spent about 4 days visiting with family, friends, and also having some meetings. Then we went to the Altoona area and had some meetings there. This week, we went to Western PA and sang (and my hubby preached) at a Jubilee Monday through Wednesday. Thursday we left there and went to Duncansville and today sang at a Youth Meeting. Soon after the meeting was over, we hitched up our vehicle and headed out for Frederick, Maryland. As I write this we are driving down I-70, hoping to arrive at our destination sometime before 8:00pm.

Tomorrow we have our meeting in MD, then we head up to another meeting in Hanover, PA. Then on Monday we are going to meet my hubby’s mother and possibly take some of the kiddos to the dentist. Now, somewhere in there, I’m supposed to have something done with my hair, but I’m not sure when we’ll git it in. We also need to fix the generator, and of course, the old stand-by: school.

Wow! Just writing that has made me tired!

The Lord has given me some ideas to pursue about an illustrator for my children’s book, and then there is another work I am writing that I ask your prayers for. It is a very important topic, and I know there is much opposition. Some opposition is self-generated (busyness) and some is external. So, if you think about it, please pray for me.

How’s that for an update?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Any Takers???

Your opportunity still awaits you!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Illustrator/Artist Wanted!

Are you a budding artist who would like to have your artwork in print? Do you know someone who has a lot of talent, but doesn't have an outlet? I may have an opportunity for you!

I need an illustrator for a children's book, which I will probably self-publish. I would like to have a born-again Christian who is willing to serve the Lord with their talent, seeking to be a blessing to parents and children alike. I would prefer someone from an Independent, fundamental Baptist church, who would better understand the principles I am trying to illustrate. Most likely, there will not be much money in this, but purely an opportunity to be an encouragement through the media of the printed page.

That being said, I need someone who can draw, and perhaps use watercolors, to portray both people and scenery. My desire is to produce something of high quality at a low cost, so I would like to have an illustrator who has a good feel for the story and can put into pictures what I have tried to portray with words.

As for pay, that can be worked out as we go. I will consider both buying the pictures outright as well as royalties (though not both at the same time!).

If you know someone who wishes to serve the Lord with their artistic talent , please pray about it, and let me know!

And if all else fails, I may try to illustrate it myself...but we wouldn't want that to happen!!! :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gearing Up For Battle!

All right, ladies, it’s time to gear up! Lace on your combat boots, sharpen your swords, shine up your helmets, and make sure your shield is strong and in order. It’s almost time for battle!!

Really? Not really. But it’s time to begin the preparations for the next year of home school. I know, it’s only July, but many of us will begin sometime in August, some of us in early August. So it’s time to prepare for the next year now.

Sometimes home education feels like a battlefield. And I’m not even talking about the kids’ attitudes. I’ve been home schooling for nineteen years now, and sometimes I think I’d rather do something else with my time, and so I shrink from even thinking of school. But, I’ve had all of May, June and now July off, and it’s time to get back to business.

How I Prepare for the School Year

I start my preparations with prayer, asking God to give me wisdom on the best way to tackle the next year. Because every year brings its new challenges, each year is different and may need to be changed around a bit. This year I will again have four students, rather than the three I’ve had for the past two years, so there’s going to need to be some changes in how I operate this year. But no changes should be made without first asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance.

Secondly, I ask my husband to pray for me and with me. This is a joint effort, though much of the intricate daily workings fall on my shoulders, and I simply could not do much without his help and support. By communicating to him my burdens and our needs, he can pray for the family and give guidance where needed.

For me, my schedule is going to be the most difficult thing by far. With travelling like we do, and four children in school, it’s going to be tough to make it work. My husband and I have been praying about it, and I know it can be done.

After I’ve been praying about the coming school year for a few weeks, I dug out all last years’ school books and reviewed where every child is in each subject. I used this information to determine where to begin when we start back to school in August. Also, I find out if we need any additional curriculum or supplies before then. I placed several orders last week, and they should be arriving soon at the place we will be parked next week. And, of course, there’s Walmart’s school supplies sale! Notebooks for five cents?? Oh, yeah!

So I’m laying in my supplies, so to speak, preparing for the next year. But how do I prepare the kids for the next year? Well, it helps that they know what day we are starting. It is set in stone at August 10. Now, what happens on the 11th, who knows, but we are starting school on the 10th! I’ve been talking more about school, and about the different subjects they will be doing. Some of them, especially the youngest, are pretty excited about starting. Jason is looking forward to learning how to read this year, and he’s been begging for school for months. If some of the others catch his enthusiasm, it will be good.

Ladies, schooltime is going to come anyway. Don’t you think we ought to get our battle gear on and prepare for it? The Lord will strengthen us as we seek His Face for our children.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


For those of you who don't know, THE GUYS ARE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We picked them up from the airport on Monday night at around 11:00pm. Since no one was willing to stay home and go to bed, we all went, and ended up staying up insanely late. That's ok, though; the guys are home!!! They were gone for two months, and that's long enough! I'm SO THANKFUL to the Lord for their safety.

Tonight at the missions conference, they are going to show a slide show of their missions trip to Germany, and talk about what God has used them to do over there. I'm really looking forward to it. And, to top it all off, they will be preaching on Sunday!! I'm really looking forward to it.

Now, you may say, calm down Lisa. That's not too much to get worked up over. I suppose you may be right, but when I start to think about what the Lord has done for me and how the Lord has graciously chosen to use the members of my family, I get overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness!

Sometimes I think of our daughter Kathryn and her husband Matthew serving the Lord working with bus children in the UP of Michigan, and get so thankful. Then I think of my "guys" serving the Lord here in the States or abroad, doing whatever the Lord would have them do. And there's my sweet daughter Sharon, who has given her heart to the Lord to guide and direct her life, the word "gratitude" simply does not express my feelings adequately. I have been supremely blessed.

Pardon me if I go on just a little bit. I am not in the least deserving of His Mercies in my family, but I am sure thankful for them. All I ever wanted after I got saved was to serve the Lord and have a family that serves Him, and He has kindly granted my request, so far. God has been so good to me.

Lately I've been thinking of this Scripture, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Corinthians 4:7) That is exactly how it is with me. Any treasure here is of Christ, and all the glory goes to Him. He is the reason, the power, and His is the glory. Praise His Name!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Spritual Suicide

The Lord has been so good to grant me some blessings, some “handfuls of purpose,” these past few days. We arrived here in NJ on Friday, set up the tent on Saturday, and began the tent meetings Sunday. I came here so hungry to hear something from God, to hear from folks who love the Lord and fear His name, and the Lord very kindly showed me His goodness.

We’ve been traveling these two and a half months, and it seems to me that I have seen more spiritually sleeping people on this trip than I have ever seen before in my life. I have been a servant of the Lord for twenty nine years, and I remember many times of fervency, and of seeking Him. A strange lethargy has overtaken His people here in America; a very odd thing to behold.

While I was in PA, I spent some time with a friend of mine whose daughter has been diagnosed with anorexia. Now, for those of you who don’t know, anorexia is an eating disorder. The young person becomes obsessed with her looks and thinks she is fat, when in reality, she is just right, perhaps even a little skinny. Many times anorexia becomes a serious problem as the person refuses to eat. In many cases, anoexia is fatal.

I got thinking the other day: I wonder if we American Christians are spiritual anorexics? Or, more precisely, spiritually bulimic. Bulimia is a related eating disorder (many anorexics are also bulimic) where the person eats and then gags themselves to throw up all the food they just ate, so they wouldn’t get “fat.”

It seems that we go to church and hear the preaching, then go home and turn on the TV, completely erasing all the spiritual gains we got in the House of God. We get no nutrition, though we are going through the motions of “eating.” We could be enjoying the great meals of the Word of God, but we allow the electronics and gizmos of this world to ravish our hearts and take us withersoever they will.

Because she rarely eats, my anorexic friend’s daughter experiences physical problems like digestive issues, bruising for no reason, etc. In actuality, these physical problems are merely symptoms of a greater problem. I wonder if many of the problems we experience in our lives – marital problems, financial problems, parent/child troubles, etc, are merely symptoms of a greater problem: a lack of true, close, intimate “still” time with God. Maybe we are lacking that precious time of meditation on the Word, that calms our hearts, stills our souls, and turns us in the right way. Maybe we are lacking those special prayer times, where God seems to be right there in the room with us.

Are American Christians killing themselves?? I wonder…..

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A New Lesson, Twenty-Five Years Later

We’ve had a great time lately, enjoying visiting with family while having some meetings in the Central PA area. It’s been fairly uneventful (no fires, breakdowns, etc.) so I actually feel a little bored… Kenya imagine?? I’ve been able to read a bit, throw ball with the kids, sit around, etc. What a blessing!

I read something fairly interesting the other day that I will pass along to you. Actually, it’s a compilation of about three different, unrelated things, but they are very related, if you know what I mean.

One thing I found in Grammy’s basement was the textbook Understanding People, for a course I had completely forgotten about. (I know it is mine, because my writing is in the margin of the book! Other than that, it’s all new material to meJ.)

Reading a book about the spiritual, physical, and mental development of children that I had studied before having children takes on a whole new meaning after having raised half my family. I have three and a half children grown (Sharon is fourteen; doesn’t that count as half??), and three more yet very impressionable kiddos.

Everything I read in that book is very true and helpful, but one thing stood out to me as a very important reminder:

Speaking of the early teen years, the authors wrote:

“He needs a special kind of adult with whom he can relate. The adults close to him must be loving, patient, and understanding. Those who work with young teen must use this unique opportunity to disciple them for Christ. Parents or teachers can do this if they:
Keep open the channels of communication
Multiply the teens’ interests
Guide by counsel and give direction
Provide companionship”

It is so easy to get busy in the entanglements of life and miss some of the greatest opportunities in existence. Every electronic gadget has its allure which will easily lull us to lethargy, lest we hear our own childrens’ seemingly incessant bids for our attention. We miss the forest for the trees.

H. Clay Trumbull, in Hints on Child Training, says this:

“There is little danger that any parent will give too much study to the question of his child’s specific needs, or have too many helps to a wise conclusion on that point. There is a great danger that the whole subject will be neglected or undervalued by a parent.” (emphasis mine)

Have we become so “wired” that our focus is on gadgets than on people? Have we become so internet savvy that we value internet relationships more than those in our own home, than those who have come from our own bodies?? We Facebook, we Twitter, and a myriad of other internet-based activities (we blog!), but are we neglecting a primary purpose for our lives, that of raising godly children?

I speak of myself, as well. How easy it is to turn to a screen than to read a book to a child! Or to IM someone than to play a board game! Time is passing through my fingers, days are flashing by, and children are growing up, and I sit mesmerized by the screen. Lord, help us!

If there is any hope in this world of having a Jeremiah, or an Elijah come from our ranks, it must start with me!

I remember reading about committing my life to God and my family. That was twenty-five years ago. It was also today.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scary! But God is Always in Control!

It’s been a busy time here at the Rolling Raub Ranch. We are rolling our way across the USA pretty quickly, so we’re not gathering any moss, I hope.

We’ve had our share of adventures this week already so far, with the breakdown on Sunday night, and the fire on Tuesday. Yesterday was fairly uneventful, though we drove about 4 hours. That’s the way I like it.

Tuesday’s adventure actually occurred while my husband and I were out to lunch. Sharon was preparing lunch for the kids when she accidentally bumped the knob on the stove, causing it to turn on without her knowing it. Unfortunately, there was lunch-makins on the stove, which promptly caught fire. Even more unfortunately, she panicked and turned the propane higher instead of off! By this time, the flames were about a foot high, and Sharon finally turned the gas off and threw water all over the stove. Thank God the fire went out before it got any further!!

It was at this point that My Beloved and I pulled up. Little kids came running out saying incomprehensible things very excitedly, so we decided to go in and find out what was going on. I went in and found Sharon all quivery and nervous, and I figured it must have been pretty scary! Praise God that He watches over our little ones when we can’t.

I find it amazing that, when we follow God, though the difficulties are supremely difficult, the blessings are “out of this world!” I realize many times I write of the difficulties, and I really shouldn’t do that, at least not at the exclusion of the blessings. However, I think we’ve been an encouragement to several folks, and that in itself is a blessing. My desire is to pour out the oil, and let God refill me and use me as He sees fit.

Please pray that the Lord will put His Hand on the making of some Military Missions Training DVDs that my husband is recording this week. Time is short, and there is much to be done!

By the way, if you want more gorey or juicy details about the fire or the breakdown, Sharon's blog is very good!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Do I have it all?

I may not "have it all," but I have truly been blessed. Just in this brief trip through Colorado, I see how good I have it.

The views are fantastic, the family time has been great, the fellowship in churches has been good, and the Lord has used it to show me some very important things.

First of all, if you want to see our trip in pictures, see Sharon's blog. She's done an EXCELLENT job in capturing our trip mile by mile, adventure by adventure. I think it's great.

Until I can learn more about pictures, however, you are all stuck with words here!

I suppose the most important thing the Lord is teaching me right now is THANKFULNESS. It is always so easy to look on the dark side of things, when things go wrong (as they often do while we travel), and not to be thankful for the good things we DO have and for the opportunities we DO have. I can even be thankful when things go wrong, because the Lord can use it in my life to help me be a testimony of His goodness.

Many times, it is only when we meet someone who has less than we do, has it harder than we do, or struggles more than we do, that we come to understand how good we really have it. That has been the case with me lately.

Having spent the week in a very poor county in Colorado, where many people don't even have electricity or running water, I see how very blessed I am. My shower may run cold half the time, but I do have a shower! My air conditioner may not keep up with the heat very well, but I do have a/c! And I may not always have instant access to the people I love, but I do have a very loving family. God has been SO GOOD to me!

I pray that the Lord will help me always be content with such things as I have, for God is with me...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blowouts, Bedlam, and Being Blessed

Yesterday we had a trailer tire blow out on us as we were driving to Big Spring. After Kev checked it out, he came in and said, “OK, this is what we do in this situation. Since we have three more tires on the trailer, we will take off the Expedition and the bad tire and drive the rest of the way separately.” Soooo… I finished up making dinner while he took the tire off and then drove the Expedition the 35 miles into Big Spring (which, by the way, was Big SpringS at one time until the government decided to try to harness the springs and ended up blocking all but one…)

We got in to the church at 6:15, and discovered two very important things: 1) they had no suitable hookup, and 2) it was actually a MEETING!! By this time, it was 6:35, and they very kindly took us out to an RV park 9 minutes away from the church, and some of us weren’t even dressed yet! Needless to say, panic and bedlam ensued, but my husband did a great job of presenting the ministry and preaching. We sang “I’m blessed,” and “What Love.” It all was a bit hollow without the boys, though.

Anyway, my husband is on his way back from getting 4 new load-range E tires for the trailer. he Lord has been so good to us, to take care of us as He does.

I’ve spent most of today prepping and staining the door frames to the shower and toilet room. They look really nice, except…. Some of the stain got under the masking tape I put on the wallpaper! Ugh! I don’t know what I’m going to do about that. We'll hafta see.

Tomorrow we are planning on polyurethaning. I have several volunteers!

Monday, May 11, 2009

We're Off!

Well, we headed out on Saturday! We had some good services Sunday, and then Sunday night…
Jonathan called us at about midnight to say that he forgot his passport! He was leaving in the morning to go to Germany, and would we meet him halfway with it he wanted to know.

So Sharon and I saddled up and drove 1 1/2 hours to Brady TX, where we did NOT meet Jonathan! He had gotten a flat tire! Though there is a big blank area of no cell phone service, he had not entered it yet…but I did, and there was no way they could contact me to tell me! So I wandered around Brady for awhile looking for him, unsuccessfully.

Finally at around 2 am I went back to the original meeting place and parked.

“What should we do now?” Sharon asked.

“I really don’t know,” I replied. “There is no Plan B.”

“Why don’t we pray!” she suggested.

I know this doesn’t sound very spiritual, but I didn’t see how that could help (silly me! Sorry, Lord!) “Sure, I guess,” I said. We bowed our heads and began to pray that the Lord would show us what to do now, and to keep Jonathan safe.

“Mom, someone’s walking up to the car!” Sharon exclaimed. “He wants to talk to us!”

Who would be walking through a dimly lit parking lot at 2 am? I looked to see a man smiling, and I put the window down just a bit, enough to hear.

“Are you the folks who are supposed to meet your son? Well, he’s not coming. He got a flat tire. You’re supposed to call your husband.” With that, he handed his cell phone in to Sharon.

To make a long story short, within about 15 minutes, we found Jonathan, and gave him his much-needed passport! After bidding them goodbye – again – we headed back to the bus in San Angelo, arriving at about 3:45 am.

Did I mention that I am tired???

We sure know how to start a trip with excitement!

Please pray for the guys as they fly over to Germany. I hear it is a wicked place, especially the airports. Pray that the Lord will strengthen them and use them!
Thank you!

BTW, Jonathan, Stephen, and Sharon have the BEST blogs!! They are FULL of pics and videos, polls and neat stuff that I never have time to even think about, let alone post. Head on over to,, and to find neat stuff!

Friday, May 1, 2009


We are planning on leaving for our next ministry trip on May 9th, after a week of tent meetings and the church picnic. We’re planning on taking the bus to the church on the 8th, so that means we need to be in the bus by the 7th, since we’ll need to wrap up some last minute things here at home to prepare for being gone for 6 months or so.

It is coming up so fast! I have TONS of things to do, as I’m sure you can imagine. I should be making lists, lists, and more lists, if I can only get them started. Today I spent some time cleaning the bus, which I will do for the rest of the week. Next week we move in, hopefully piece by piece, and pull out the end of the week.

So, if you don’t hear from me until sometime after the 12th or so, you’ll know why!

*Please pray for us for the tent meetings, the strength to prepare for the trip, and for our first stop in stop in San Angelo on the 10th!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back again...

I finally found my way back onto my blog! I had to reset my password, and now I’m back in business.
We’ve been working to get as many school days in before we leave on our next ministry trip, and getting the bus ready to go. I’ll write more about that later, I’m sure, but for now, rest assured that I will try to post again sooner than last time!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twenty-Three Years Ago Today...

I was waddling around the third floor of the Polyclinic Medical Center in Harrisburg, Pa, waiting for our firstborn child. I had no idea whether it would be a boy or a girl, but I knew for certain that the Lord, in His kindness, blessed my husband and I with someone special.
Many times, even now, my mind goes back to the first time I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn. I was working at a bank at the time, and it was Friday. Since the bank was open until 8:00pm on Fridays, I had an hour for dinner as well as my half-hour lunch break. Usually I brown-bagged it twice on Fridays, but for this special day, I decided to go to Godfather’s Pizza and get a personal pizza.
While waiting for my food at the restaurant, I stared at the mosaic in the table. I absentmindedly traced the grout between the tiles, thinking how very blessed I was. To think, I mused, God has actually blessed ME with a baby! Oh Lord, I prayed, please help me to be the mother You would have me be.
Just a few minutes before midnight on March 31, 1986, our lovely little girl, Kathryn Elizabeth, was born. I was thankful for her then, and I am thankful for her now.
Now she is a grown young lady with two children of her own, serving the Lord alongside her preacher husband in a church in Michigan. She has been one of the greatest blessings of my life, and I thank the Lord for her!
Love you, Kath!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our Amarillo Trip

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written anything. Last week I was sick for most of the week, with The Five Day Sickness. I was awful to be sick while on a trip. I worked really hard the Friday and Saturday before, trying to get all ready to go, and then once we got on the road the illness hit me full force. I was in bed from Sunday to Wednesday, all during the Missions Conference we were scheduled for in Dallas. Everybody said it went great, so that’s good.

Wednesday night we went to a church in Oklahoma, and then pulled out on Friday and went to Amarillo. On Saturday we discovered that the bus wouldn’t start again. With some testing, we discovered that we needed two new batteries. Now, these aren’t regular batteries, mind you, they’re monster batteries, weighing about 150 pounds each and costing that much in dollars!
Well, the Lord provided them both through a man at the church there in Amarillo. Thank You, Lord, and bless that man in a special way.

On Sunday we went to a large church and sang before a crowd of about 500 or so people. Unfortunately, I still had junk in my throat from the sickness, so my part was a little strange. Other than that, everything went well.

Sunday night after church Jonathan, Stephen and Sharon left to go to Pastor’s School in upper Indiana. They drove all night and most of Monday to get there, arriving safely at around 3pm. We left Sunday night as well, and drove until about 2am and then started out again at 6:30am. We got home at around 10:30 in the morning!

It was really good to be home, but boy, did I have a lot of work to do. My hubby had injured his back, so it was just the little kids and I unloading the bus. I just finished up today. I’m also washing up all the bedding and towels today, too. It’s a big job, but I’m glad to have the bus when we travel.

Well, there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen. Maybe you’ll hear from me again sooner next time! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What “Giving My Life to Christ” Means to Me

When I gave my life to the Lord, I took Him as my Master, and I became a servant. As a servant of the Master, I relinquished all my rights to have things my way, and committed myself to doing things His Way.

That means several things. First, it means that I will always have something meaningful to do. I will always have a work for the Lord to do that will have eternal results. My life here on this earth is not meaningless; it is full of purpose, for I am a servant to the King! He gives me something to do that will benefit myself and others around me, perhaps even an entire generation. Truly, working for God is a big thing.

Second, being His servant means that He will provide my needs. Just like an earthly master would give his servants jobs to do and meet their needs, my heavenly Master will meet my needs as well. The benefits of being a servant are things like good co-workers, good work environment, a “retirement plan” that’s out of this world, and health benefits. As I serve Him, I don’t have time, nor can I afford to have bitterness and its corresponding health problems.

There are some things I need to understand, however. Being a servant means that I have relinquished all rights to have things my way. I live in the home of God’s choosing, which right now happens to be a motor home. I live in the place of God’s choosing. My needs are provided as He wills, not necessarily as I will. My meals may not be steak and potatoes, but if He provides beans and rice, that is good for me, for I am His servant.

I realize that I relinquish the right to be treated the way I think I deserve. That means that, as a servant, I don’t have special privileges.

I also further realize that anything the Master sends my way is for my benefit and edification, even the trials and testing. Health problems, setbacks, financial straights, and breakdowns are all part of His plan. I am His servant, He can do with me what He Will and mold me into a better servant for Him as He sees fit.

Many times God uses offenders as agents of His Will, who, like sandpaper, rub off my rough edges. These people are those who I don’t understand, who I can’t seem to get along with, and who rub me the wrong way. God sends them to me for that express purpose, not that I would get mad at them and bitter, but that I would see them as His messenger to teach me some very valuable lessons of life.

I don’t have to worry when I get treated poorly, for I am a servant, and who treats servants like kings? My Master, however, blesses me abundantly. The richness of His love are poured out to me through His treasures of mercy. I am blessed beyond all measure! I have the best of His Plan for me, and I know I can enjoy His smile, which is brighter than the sunshine in my heart. Many times I feel like He loves me like I way His only child!

Why? Because I am His servant. I am His, and He is mine.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Some Exellent Points...

My daughter Kathryn wrote a letter to the Editor which was published the other day in Escanaba, Michigan. Using carefully chosen words, she cuts straight to the heart of the effects of Obama’s policy against babies. Pray for America!


Is it now a crime to survive?

President Obama’s signing of an executive order funding international abortion is another nail in the coffin of unborn babies everywhere.

The same people who are screaming about “America is not the world’s policeman,” and “the war in Iraq is just a mass murder of innocent civilians” are the same ones who voted this anti-life president into office.

And, on the first day of his presidency, he declared war on innocent
babies worldwide. Incidentally, there were 539 soldiers killed in the first year
of the war in Iraq – this is the equivalent death toll of just six minutes worth
of worldwide abortions. Now that gruesome number will be increasing
dramatically, thanks to the sponsorship of the United States.

Obama’s signing of this sadistic order should not come as a surprise, however. After all, this is the man who, as an Illinois legislator, voted not once, not twice, but three
times against the passage of the Born Alive Infants Act. (It finally passed the
fourth time – only because Obama walked out.)Most abortion proponents tout their
reasoning that “it’s not a baby unless they want it.” Until the BAI Act passed,
a baby that was born after an abortion and survived was just tossed into a
corner and left to die on its own. These babies were just as alive as any newborn down in the hospital nursery – the only difference is, one was wanted, and the other wasn’t.

If that is our criteria for children, perhaps we should start clinics where parents who don’t want their kids any more can drop them off to be euthanized! (After all, we are seeing more and more crimes where overwrought, mentally-imbalanced parents are murdering their children, often in horrifying ways – maybe we should legalize it so that it can be regulated and done humanely.)

We spend millions of dollars to save the lives of soldiers who have been terribly wounded on the battlefield – and yet if one little baby has the audacity to survive its attempted murder, it is tossed aside and left to die as if the baby itself had committed a crime.

This is the twisted mindset that President Obama is now promoting across the globe, using yours and my tax dollars. And we were worried about what the world thought of the U.S. before?

Kathryn Siegwart, Gladstone
Published in Daily Press, Escanaba,
Michigan, February 3, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great News!

It’s been a three-ring circus around here, with sickness and all. Last week Jonathan and I were sick for a few days, and now Sharon seems to have something, though I’m not sure quite what it is. We are hoping it is not Strep Throat, but we’ve had contact with someone recently who had it, soooo…

Anyway, on one of her forays into the blogger world, Sharon happened to somehow unlock my other blog!!! She became the instant hero, and is now open to my input, after not being touched for about a year or so. I’m considering what to do with both blogs, but I think I will somehow combine them into one. In the meantime, you may want to check it out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Starting Out

It was a busy weekend, and already this week I’ve had my plate full. Johanna’s third grade school books arrived today, so I will be teaching her out of a different book tomorrow.

Most especially in the news, Stephen bought his first car! It is a 94 Mazda something-or-other. I don’t know much about it (obviously), but I do know it has power everything and is blue. I also know he paid cash for it, which will be a big help to him to not have payments since he is just starting out. I am hoping that he can begin saving toward a better car, so that “down the road” (get it? Thassa joke!) he can get a better car, paying cash. It’s a principle taught by Dave Ramsey in his Financial Peace seminars, and I think it’s a good one.

I would like all you readers out there to pray for me, as I embark on several writing projects. I have two of them I am working on right now, with another one in the works, but of course, none are too terribly far off the ground. I will keep posting to the blog as time allows, but I may be sporadic at times, since I am also devoting myself to these writing projects, homeschooling, and military ministry.

Please pray that the Lord would give me much wisdom, clarity of thought, and the ability to adequately describe the thoughts and feelings of my characters in such a way as to point the reader to the importance of doing God’s Will.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great Excuses Contest!

Well, it’s back to the grindstone for The Princess-turned Queen. My Beloved is back to his normal routine of studying, Bible Study on Post, and work in the evenings, and I am back to being teacher-chef-laundress-manager, etc. To some, it may seem a boring life, but to me, it’s never a dull moment!

Lately I’ve been thinking about a Bible lesson that maybe I will teach sometime, but probably not. In either case, I will share it with you!

We all have excuses for not doing what we know we are supposed to do, and I suppose Christians can be the most creative when it comes to excuses. Why, we could almost have an Excuses Contest, and see who has the best (or worst) excuse!

As a missionary’s wife, I’ve heard things like, “We can’t support you because we already support someone else going to that field,” or, “We can’t support you because you’re not on the field yet.” Here’s my all-time favorite: “We dropped your support because you are ON the field!” How’s that for pulling the rug out from under your feet?

Anyway, excuses can easily become a way of life. “I can’t..” is easier to say than to whole heartedly serve the Lord. “I’m just not….(fill in the blank: strong enough, smart enough, good-looking enough, organized enough, patient enough, etc.)” keeps us from giving of ourselves for God. And sometimes an “I won’t…” can push the Lord away if He wants us to do something for Him. Well, here’s the lesson in a nutshell:

“I CAN’T” didn’t work for Sarah. God can and God DID! She thought she was too old to have childrenv(and she WAS!) but God is able to do mighty things when we are willing to trust Him and step out in faith. And God can do the same for you!

“I’M NOT” didn’t work for Moses. Moses said, “I’m not eloquent, send someone else.” But God is able to make the dumb speak and the blind to see! God used Moses despite his lack (or was it because of his lack?? And God gets the glory!).

But the first prize of the Excuses Contest would have to be Jonah! Fortunately for the millions in Nineveh,

“I WON’T” didn’t work for Jonah. God simply wouldn’t take NO for an answer! Personally, I believe God saw the great need at Nineveh, and loved the people so much, that He made sure the job got done. I don’t think, though, that Jonah really enjoyed his watery ride. For me, I’d rather learn from someone else’s mistakes than go around making my own all over again!

Many of us know exactly what God wants us to do or to be, but we struggle with our own insufficiencies. Rest assured that God always gives the strength and power to do His Will. And if we do the natural, God will do the supernatural.

Let’s step forward, trusting in God’s promises, and rely on Him to help us! Let’s have a No More Excuses Contest!

Friday, January 16, 2009

We're Back!

Yes, folks, I am back, but, I must admit, I am terribly spoiled. My Beloved took such good care of me, opening the door for me all the time, keeping me well supplied with good food, and letting me get lots of rest. I’m having a bit of trouble readjusting from being Princess to being Queen!

We had a GREAT time! On Friday, went to the beach at Corpus Christi, collecting shells and watching the different kinds of wildlife. Then on Saturday, we toured the USS Lexington. The Floating Museum was very well done, and we enjoyed exploring all by ourselves. Sunday found us at church, of course, but we also added a game of bowling! Amazingly enough, we both got the same score: 106!

We are very thankful for our safety, as well as the safety of the children back home. I hear nothing but rave reviews from all quarters as to how well Sharon took care of the house and the little ones. It’s quite a job for me, let alone for a 14-year old! I was afraid that maybe I would find the kids duck-taped to the wall or something, but they were happy, well, fed, and clean when I got home! Hat’s off to Sharon, for a job well done!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our 25th Wedding Anniversary

Yes, folks, it’s true. Twenty five years ago today, My Beloved and I “tied the knot,” pledging ourselves to each other before the Lord and a bunch of people. For our Silver Anniversary, we have some big plans! Wanna hear what I’m gonna do?
First, since my hubby still has to work this evening, I’m going to take him to work and drop him off. Then, (don’t tell!) I’m planning on taking the car through a car wash, and then writing “STILL MARRIED, 25 YEARS!” all over it. I’m also going to the salon to have my hair done, and I may do some shopping… all without the kids, of course! That gives me time to get a nice card and a gift, and other goodies.
When he gets off work at 9:30, my, will he be surprised! Then the fun begins!
We are heading south (to an undisclosed location), and will be “away” till early next week, so if you don’t hear from me for awhile…you’ll know I’m “pleasantly occupied.”
I’ll be back…eventually!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Fence or an Ambulance

‘Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
For it spread through the neighboring city;
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became brimful of pity
For those who slipped over that dangerous cliff;
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence
But an ambulance down in the valley.

“For the cliff is all right, if you’re careful,” they said,
“And, if folks even slip and are dropping,
It isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they’re stopping.”
So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would those rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old sage remarked: “It’s a marvel to me
That people give far more attention
To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
When they’d much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief,” cried he,
“Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;
If the cliff we will fence we might almost dispense
With the ambulance down in the valley.”…

Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling,
“To rescue the fallen is good, but ‘tis best
To prevent other people from falling.”
Better close up the source of temptation and crime
Than deliver from dungeon or galley;
Better put a strong fence round the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.

Joseph Malins