Monday, November 1, 2010

Heading Home! Finally....

We are finally heading to our home, which is parked at a collision shop in Gaylord, Michigan. As of Friday last week, the bus is done and the shop got their check, so all we need to do now is show up and pick up our baby. It's going to be late when we get in tonight, maybe around 11:00pm or so, but I know everyone will want to go see it, even if it's cold, dark, and late! It's been almost two months since the accident, and we are going to be sooooo glad to be home again...even if home is only 320 square feet!

The Lord has kindly blessed us, and many people have put us up, or put up with us, as the case may be. We've also been blessed to be in several meetings and some missions conferences, several of which were unplanned - the folks knew we were around and asked us to come. All of these missions conferences have been a tremendous blessing, I love being with missionaries, and it seems that the Lord speaks to my heart more and more with each conference. For all the Lord Jesus has done for us, could it be considered a sacrifice to serve Him? No, not at all...

We have one more missions conference to go before we can head out to the military bases of the east coast. I have been somewhat chaffing at the thought of being stalled in the breadbasket of the nation, but the Lord has used it to help us in many ways. Still, I can't wait to get close to a base and be amongst the folks God has called us to reach.

Continue to pray for us for safety. When we pick up the bus tomorrow, we will still have a lot of glass to clean up, though we did what we could before we left. There will be other repairs to attend to as well, like the front curtain and rod. That will need replaced as soon as possible (nothing like living in a glass house... literally!!) And I feel fairly certain that after two months of sitting idle, something will need to be fixed! Just pray for us as we settle in.

A thought for today:

"The Lord has made everything beautiful in His time..." Each of us struggle with the voices from our past, those voices that tell us that we are stupid, or ugly, or wierd, or whatever. Sometimes a face comes with the voices, and sometimes those voices are alone, taunting us.

Always remember that those voices are sent by Satan to discourage you and make you ineffective for God. You see, if he can make you feel worthless, you will do nothing for God, and he knows it. He is lying to you, telling you, through those hurtful remarks, something that is not true! If we listen to his lies, we will be coming in line with his desires and wishes. As a born-again, blood-bought child of God, He sees only His Son, not our mistakes or shortfalls. He is "blinded by the Son," so to speak.

Praise be to the wonderful Creator, who loves us, made us beautiful through His Son, and helps us erase the lies Satan has emblazoned into our memories. God is so good!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Saga Continues

It's been a long and trying two weeks since our incident, and the bus is still in the shop. My husband says they will work on it when they get all the parts together, which should take a few more weeks. Unfortunately, they are unable to speed up their processes. I understand it is a very reputable company, and one that does excellent work, but they work at their own speed and on their own timetable.

I guess maybe they don't realize that it is someone's home they have parked out in their lot, all taped up and just sitting there. Or, if they do, it simply doesn't really matter. I can tell you, it couldn't be soon enough for me.

We've been staying in various places while the bus is in the parking lot. First, we spent a week at a motel, then a church kindly allowed us to use their "prophet's chamber," an accomodation for preachers passing through. Michigan is not like the south, where there are prophet's chambers in abundance; it seems to me to be somewhat like California, with few, if any, places to stay in existence, let alone available.

So, this week, we've accepted an invitation to be back with our daughter and her family. They live in a school building, which is also the church, as well as Matthew's parents' residence. My husband and I have a room on one end, across the hall from Kathy and Matthew, while the kids are in a large room on the far side of the building. I'm not real wild about them being so far away, but they don't seem to mind. Of course, my husband is enjoying our little space, too.

Whether or not the bus is done, we will leave here on Tuesday, and go to a meeting in lower Michigan. Then, we need to be in Maryland not long after that meeting, so it will be a a long drive.

So, as you pray for us, pray that the bus will be done sooner than later, and that the Lord will help us during this difficult period of homelessness. Also, pray that the Lord will give us wisdom on how to pick up the bus when it's done (especially if we're on the east coast), and that the insurance company will not drop us like they say they will.

In case you're wondering, I can say from experience that the aftermath is worse than the incident itself.

A verse for today: "He knoweth the way that I take, and when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." AMEN! Lord, be it unto Thine handmaid according to Thy Will.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More photos...

Sharon was sitting right in front, holding this laptop. This gives you a bit of an idea of how much glass she was showered by! It has to be a miracle that she did not get one cut!

Here's a look from the inside out. The right windshield got caught against that mirror in the middle, and didn't collapse until we were stopped and everyone was out of the way. The right windshield was stopped by the curtain rod (that thin line going across the top of the window).

The outside - sign and all!

This is the part that took the brunt of the hit - the passenger side middle. Simply amazing that no one was seriously hurt.
I told a friend today that it's hard to get a Christian down. When something happens, they just pop back up and say, "It could've been a lot worse!" "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38-39)
By the way, the shop says it will take 3 weeks to fix it. Pray for proper accomodations and guidance as to what to do about our scheduled meetings during this time. Thank you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bus "Accident"

While driving on a two-lane stretch of lonely road in northeastern Michigan on Tuesday, we had our first "accident." My husband is an excellent driver, and both of us have been driving without any accident whatsoever for the past twenty0six years. So it's no surprise to me that the "accident" we have is one that actually has to have something come and hit US.

My husband was driving, of course, and "all us kids" were doing our normal thing on a school-day: school! Some were already done, of course, namely Sharon and Lydia, who were both sitting right up front. Sharon was actually right beside the driver on the computer, and Lydia was right behind him, reading a book. Jason was done with his schoolwork as well, and was by Sharon, in the "passenger seat," or the window seat, as we call it - the seat with the best view. (It's also the seat that everyone fights over:) )

Only my husband and Lydia saw the tree. Later, Kev said, "I saw a tree leaning out, but then I realized it was actually falling! It was within a split second that I realized there was no way I could avoid the tree."

"Look OUT!" he yelled.

I looked up just in time to see - and hear - something really, really big slam into the windshield. Suddenlyit turned into a shattered gray puzzle, and we couldn't see a thing out of it. Glass pieces flew everywhere, and kids began to scream. For just a brief second, I saw the passenger windshield bow in and a tree branch - leaves and all - came through, paused right in front of Sharon (who had convered her head with her arms), and then slid back out and disappeared along the right side of the bus.

"It's OK, it's OK," my husband hollered. I knew what he meant, and I was releived to know that, though we were still going about 40 mph, he was able to control the bus and bring it to a stop. My job was to try to assess the extent of injuries.

Sharon, who was right in front of the windshield, had been showered with glass, but apparently was otherwise unharmed, because she was right with me, trying to comfort the young ones who were crying, screaming, and trying to run. (Running through glass in bare feet is NOT a good idea, in case you were wondering...)

I carried Jason back toward the back of the bus, trying to avoid glass, but it was impossible, as there was glass EVERYWHERE. Finally I took him into the shower room, and checked him over, looking for the origin of his drops of blood. I gave him a paper towel and went out to check everyone else.

Johanna was oozing blood from a dozen places, but thankfully had no glass lodged in her anywhere. My husband, praise the Lord, only had a few scratches, and Lydia only had a few also. Sharon miraculously escaped with no cuts whatsoever, and only one time got glass in her finger, and that was while she was getting glass out of Johanna's hair!

Not surprisingly, we've been finding glass pieces in strange places for the past few days. Even this morning, I found a small piece of glass in my mouth! The toothbrush? The toothpaste? Who knows?

We did end up taking Jason to the ER, where a doctor pulled a piece of glass out of his toe which was over half an inch long. I didn't think his toe was that big, but the doctor said it went all the way through his toe. He's doing a lot better now, thank the Lord.

Later I will tell about the current condition of the bus and our schedule. For now, we are staying in a motel in Gaylord awaiting insurance to do whatever it is they need to do.

Thank you all so much for praying for us! I know this could have been LOTS worse, and God knew exactly what He was doing.

More later!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

He's That Kind of Man

I've been blessed by being able to visit my daughter and her husband these past few days, and have been able to enjoy the grandkids. How wonderful it is to be here to be with them for a bit! I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed me spend some time with them.

My son-in-law is now the pastor of the church, and he's doing a really great job. He may be young, but he's got a definite idea of what the Lord wants him to do, and he's heading that direction. Saturday, he hosted a youth rally at his church (we got to sing, and my hubby preached!), and two folks trusted Christ as their Saviour. I've really enjoyed hearing him moderate the meetings, and especially I got a blessing out of his preaching.

But the real blessing was not in the pulpit, but on the street. He drives the church bus to pick up kids for church, and of course has a schedule to keep, being the pastor and all! This morning, however, he was driving the church bus picking up children when he saw a car with a flat tire along the side of the road. "It was a mother with two small children," he said later, "so I went ahead and pulled over to help them."

So, with the clock ticking away, Pastor was under a car, helping someone get back on the road again. Unfortunately, the spare tire was rusted onto the frame of the vehicle, so he just took them to their destination - another church! I can only imagine how difficult that must have been, to help someone with only minutes to spare, knowing that there would be no recompense for his service. (Reminds me a bit of a Bible story...)

Now he was running late, covered with dirt, grime and rust. He arrived at the church, dove into the shower, changed, ran out and taught Sunday School! That's the kind of man my daughter married.

People around here know that if they need help, he's that kind of man. If they need someone to pray for them, he's that kind of man. And if they need someone to point them to Jesus, he's that kind of man.

Thank you, Matt, for being sensitive to the Lord - for being that kind of man! We thank God for you!

By the way, we'll be visiting with the grandkids (and their parents!) for the week! You'll hear about it later! ;)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Ogre of the Rolling Raub Ranch

Driving through Wisconsin, we're having good driving weather and great safety. Good driving weather, to us, is an overcast day, and maybe some light sprinkles. That means we don't roast in our tin oven on wheels! And then, of course, safety means that the white cloud of smoke we saw coming from the trailer we pull really was nothing, and we didn't run into the eighteen wheeler who honked at us as we pulled out. A few close calls here and there, but, as Ma Ingalls says, "All's well that ends well."

We've not been near any military bases within the past week or so, and I really miss it. But, thankfully, the Lord is opening up opportunities to still impact the military for Jesus. A church in Kentucky has taken our ministry on as a project, and they took it upon themselves to work with Bearing Precious Seed in Milton, Ohio to create a beautiful full-color cover for a John-Romans for our ministry. Then, they also paid for production of about 8,000 of them, and called us to ask where to send them. Well, wouldn't you know that the three bases we've just been at are wanting materials to pass out on their bases!! I think it's amazing how God works on one side of the country to bring about the desired effects on the other side of the country, and how God uses His people, poor and dumb as we are sometimes, to put forth His Word! Praise His Holy Name! So, within a few days, there will be some wonderful John/Romans with "Compliments of Eagles' Wings Military Ministry" on the back going out into three different bases across the United States! God is so good.

Family wise, we finished up our second week of school. It's been easy and rough at the same time. Most children are doing great, and one is having some problems. It makes it very difficult for me, because not only do I need to teach Jason second grade and grade four students' worth of papers, but I also have to keep calling back some people to do their work right, or complete their work, etc. I feel like The Ogre of Rolling Raub Ranch, but I have do keep some semblance of discipline amongst the troops.

I've been working bit by bit on my book, though, and I enjoy that. It is difficult, though, because the subject matter is very pertinent. To those of you who are praying for me about that, I want to thank you and ask you to keep it up! It will be a loooong time before it is finished, but I do not intend to let it go.

A verse for today: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Prov 3:5-6 How much we can trust Him! How faithful He is! How good to know that He wants us to trust Him! May we give ourselves completely to Him, as a living sacrifice.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm Back - and that's a threat! :)

It's been a busy time, with meetings and now school has started for us. We are currently parked in the Indianapolis area, but we are moving out today to head to another little town that no one has ever heard of.

It sure was great to see the boys, and to sing with them almost every night of the Jubilee. One of the things I love, I mean love, is to sing with my family. It is the greatest joy of my soul to sing the praises of Him who has done so much for me with the dear ones I love more than anyone on earth. Now, the girls and I have been practicing so that we can get used to singing without the boys, and so we can have a few new songs...just for us.

Today I will try to take Jason back to the dentist, because the spacer that was put on on Saturday is hurting him. Maybe he can file down the rough parts a little.

To those who have started school already, never fear! As the Lord has pulled you through each year until now, He will do it again.

Verse for today: "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even forever." Psalm 125:2 AMEN!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Opportunities, Interviews, and Overload...

...and our great Loadbearer!

We spent a lot of last week driving from Kansas to Indiana, where we picked up a new air conditioner. (Praise the Lord!) Arriving an hour before sunset, my husband immediately set to work installing it. It took him a few hours, but now we have all our a/c's working again! Most likely, unless you've spent much time living in an RV in the summer (with several other warm bodies), it's hard to realize just how wonderful air conditioning is. I'm so thankful to the Lord for His blessing!

Here in Indiana, we were privileged to be at a church that has a burden to reach Camp Atterbury, a reserve base which is going to be increasing in size considerably. The church is only fifteen minutes away from the base, so we are hoping and praying that someone there will be able to work a ministry.

Now we are at a meeting in southern Indiana. Jonathan and Stephen are coming out to be with us for the week, and we are all simply delirious to see them. We haven't been with Jonathan for a month, and haven't seen Stephen for about four months, so we are all looking forward to visiting with them.

It will be a busy week, however, with meetings every morning and every evening. It is also one of the best meetings I've ever been in, and I've been looking forward to it ever since the Jubilee last year!

Also, I am hoping to interview a bunch of people for my book project. Please pray for me about this, because I feel this is very important, and that this is a prime opportunity to get the information I need. Especially pray that the Lord will give me wisdom as I write, that I will be able to adequately express the principles that I am discovering.

This will make for a very busy week, so I will not be posting for at least a week. Thank you all for your patience!

Verse for today: "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings." (Psalm 61:2-4)

Sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed, especially with what I call "sensory overload," lots of auditory stimulation going on in the background (or foreground) all the time. Sometimes the greatness of the load we carry is overwhelming, or the pain we face on a daily basis. I thank the Lord that we have a shelter: His great and loving wings, which protect us from the tempest. Thank God for His care for us!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Casualty...

We had some good meetings at a church near McConnel AFB. It is a blessing that these past three churches we’ve been in by military bases all want us to come back to help them establish ministries to reach the airmen. One of the main purposes for this trip through here has been to help establish a relationship with the churches, and present them with their options for reaching their local bases. Then, once they understand the possibilities and options, they can pray about it, and the Lord can touch the heart of someone in the church to work the base. It seems like a long, drawn out procedure, but it is necessary to establish a ministry that will last.

Meanwhile, there has been another casualty from the power surge we experienced the other week. Our back air conditioner bit the dust, which is very sad, because it for our bedroom. Our room is about eight feet wide, seven feet long, and the distance from floor to ceiling is about six feet, two inches, so it’s easy to feel claustrophobic. I don’t mind when the air is nice and cool, but when it gets stuffy and hot, it is virtually unbearable. This past Sunday, when it was time for the regularly scheduled Sunday afternoon nap, it had to have been at least one hundred degrees in there! I decided to move, and got into Lydia’s little cubbyhole, after setting up a myriad of fans to direct cool air back to the bedroom. Awhile later, after it had cooled down quite a bit, I checked to temperature, and it read, “90 degrees!”

Thankfully, on Monday, My Beloved took the front a/c, which we don’t use much but still works, and switched it with the back a/c. Whew! I was finally able to sleep Monday night!

Today, we are driving across Kansas. With the heat index somewhere around 105 degrees, I am praying that our generator and air conditioners keep up!

Verse for today: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 We will always have hard times, setbacks, and trials, but our God is stronger than them all! It is not whether we can handle it, but can God handle it. I know He can!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Could It Be Sacrifice?

We had an uneventful drive up to Wichita, Kansas, yesterday. Those are the kinds of trips I like! I'm thankful to the Lord that the engine did not overheat, and the generator, though it still ran hot, didn't overheat either, largely due to my husband's opening of a bay door while we drove. It's not the prettiest setup, but it works!

Here, we're close to McConnell Air Force Base, and Lord willing, we will be able to ascertain what is going on as far as ministry-wise on the base. Please pray that the Lord will continue to open doors, and that whatever He has in mind for us here would be accomplished. Our desire is to find what God has for us in every situation and fit into His puzzle, in His perfect Will.

As I was laying in bed this morning, a privilege reserved for Saturday mornings, I had this thought:

Serving God without a vibrant relationship with Him is basically sheer slavery. It is a constant drudgery, a painful sacrifice, the endless chore of grinding round and round on the big gerbil wheel of life. There is no light, only a mere dull gray.

However, serving God with a vibrant love relationship with Him is like a wonderful marraige. It is a dream come true in which I am loved for who I am, provided for with the utmost care (even spoiled at times!), and secure in my relationship.

I respond with love, working side-by-side with my soul-mate, the desire of my life. I love what He loves, I want what He wants, and I seek His goals, not my own. It is no sacrifice, only a great desire to be what He wants me to be.

Instead of the rock-hard altar, I lay my soul down the softness of the fragrance of His love.

Could there be any better life than that? Could it be called sacrifice, when I receive all my heart desires, all my life's wishes, and a peace which flows over my being as I serve Him? No, it could not be called sacrifice, it could not be called duty; it is pure delight.

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so.
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.

How wonderful that I am His, and He is mine!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's not always trials and tribulations

...driving down the road toward Kansas

Here we are, in the Wild West...

The Lord allowed us to enjoy a Vacation Bible School this week! They had Bible Man and the Deceiver! Pictured here is the Deceiver...uh, oh, look out! The very best part is that one of the young boys got saved. Praise the Lord!

It was a beautiful ending to a great day - sunset on the prairie.

"When I consider Thy Heavens, oh, Lord, the works of Thy fingers...what is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Parable of the Prodigal Mother

A certain mother had two daughters and the younger of them said to her mother, "Mother, give me the portion of thy time and thy attention and thy companionship and they counsel and guidance which falleth to me." And she divided unto her her living, in that she sent her off to music lessons, soccer practice, preparatory school and a fine college, and tried to believe she was doing her full duty to her daughter.

And not many days after, the mother gathered all her interests and aspirations and ambitions and took her journey into a far country, into a land of hobbies, books, crafts, computers, facebook, and other things which do not interest a girl, and there she wasted her precious opportunity of being a friend to her daughter. And when she had spent the very best of her life and had gained popularity but had failed to find any satisfaction, there arose a mighty famine in her heart and she began to be in want of sympathy and real friendship.

And she went and joined herself to one of the clubs in that country, and they elected her chairperson of the house committee and president of the club and sent her to the national conferences. And she would fain have satisfied herself with the husks that other women did eat, and no one gave her any real friendship.

But when she came to herself, she said, "How many ladies of my acquaintance have girls whom they understand and who understand them, who talk about their girls and associate with their girls and seem perfectly happy in the friendship of their girls, while I perish here with heart hunger? I will arise and go to my daughter and will say into her, "Daughter, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight. I have not been a mother to you and I am no more worthy to be called thy mother. Forgive me now, and let me be thy friend."

But the daughter said, "not so, for it is too late. There was a time when I wanted your companionship, but you were too busy. I got the information and the companionship I needed, but I got the wrong kind, and now, alas, I am wretched in soul and body. It is too late - too late - too late!"

- adapted from a story in Streams in the Desert, Volume 2

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Driving in the rain...

The Lord graciously provided, through the pastor of the church which had the errant wiring, a new printer and a CPAP machine for my hubby. Now the only thing that needs replaced is the battery charger, which we'll take care of in the next few days. We have determined that, praise God, the air conditioner and refrigerator are both OK! Thanks to those who prayed for us!

We arrived safely in OKC (Oklahoma City) last night, but not without blowing a tire on the trailer. The rain from Alex kinda dampened the tire rescue effort, so eventually it was determined that I would just drive the truck the rest of the way in to lighten the load on the trailer, since it still had three more good tires. Today, we will get a tire and a spare, too.

Strangely enough, when we arrived at the campground, we were unable to shut off the bus engine! We had heard of that happening, and it is not good - I guess these engines can take a fit of "running away" if the situation is just right. My Beloved pulled the battery cable, the fuel lines, and shut off every switch he could think of, and finally the engine starved of fuel and died. Whew! I have a saying, "If it's not one thing, it's another!" I guess that goes for our travels, for sure.

After we get these things squared away, we are heading out for Coffeyville, Kansas, where My Beloved is teaching Sunday School tomorrow morning, and preaching in the evening. Thanks for praying!

It's always interesting and encouraging to see how God will work out every situation we come across as we seek to serve Him. One thing's for sure: (Here's today's verse, folks) "...He is, and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him!" (Hebrews 11:6) Praise Him in the sunshine, and in the rain as well!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Travel Day!

Today, we are driving to Oklahoma City, on our way to Coffeyville, Kansas. Next week, we hope to arrive at McConnell AFB, but in the meantime, there are some meetings on the way. Today we have about a 3 hour drive, which I'm sure we will stretch out...thankfully, we have everything we need right on board! (I'm always thankful to have water, food, electricity, and a bathroom with us wherever we go!)

Last night, My Beloved went out soulwinning on Shepherd AFB with two very nervous men. They had apparently never done anything like that before, so they had no idea what to expect. My hubby told me that he found out later that one of the men thought they were going to street preach right there on the base! Naturally, he was nervous! (Of course, that would not be a wise way of working on the's a fast ticket to be kicked off!) The mass of humanity was simply amazing, so, they were able to pass our about a hundred gospel flyers within a short period of time. What a blessing! We are praying that the folks we have worked with here will see the opportunity as it really is - a huge, open door, and that they will do whatever it takes to reach the servicemen here.

As for me, today will find me doing the usual: laundry, cleaning, meals, tickling the kids, and trying to work on my latest book project, which is monstrously huge.

Verse for today: "he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

A quote from the famous missionary, Milton Martin, "If we don't spend a quiet time with God each day, every decision we make will be in error, so that by the time we are 30 or 40 years old, it will be impossible to serve God!" You young folks, remember that a life is not ruined by one big bad decision, but by many little bad decisions. You don't ruin your life by marrying a jerk, you ruin your life by deciding to even befriend a jerk, because you will never marry someone you barely know. Decide early in life that you will spend time with God daily, and it will set your direction for life!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

With Opportunity Comes...

The Lord has so kindly blessed us with several open doors at some military bases already. There are folks burdened to reach the military, ready and trained at Dyess AFB in Abilene, as well as some near Shepherd AFB. (Shepherd is a training base, where approximately 1/2 of the Air Force comes through at some point in their career, so it's a very strategic location.) I am very thankful for these open doors!

But, with opportunity always comes adversity. Though our engine and generator did ok during the leg of the journey to Wichita Falls (a special thanks to those who prayed for us - it's not "healed" yet that we know of), we had some trouble when we plugged in to our destination. Apparently the church was wired incorrectly, and we ended up frying some of our appliances! :0 Our printer blew fire (didn't catch, though), and my husband's CPAP machine blew out. Our central air conditioner is not cooling very well, and our refrigerator may not be cooling well, either. Please continue to pray for us as we deal with this new "dilemma!"

Today's verse: "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..." (Isaiah 30:15) May the Lord give us the strength to do His Will, not our own, and to do it with confidence, knowing we are perfectly in the center of His Will!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A few more pics...

Here are a few more pictures of the beginning of our trip. We passed a huge oversized load, which was being carried on about 5 trucks. Kids sure did like it! When we finally arrived at our campground and set up camp, the kiddos had to blow off some steam...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Few Photos...

Here are a few pics to help you get a feel of what it's like with "Raubs getting on the Road."

Jon is taking pictures of the kids with his new Blackberry before he leaves for work.

Jonathan going to his was really sad to see him drive away, and know that when he came back from work, we would be gone...

I will try to post some more pictures later. At this point, I'm not good at posting pictures, and I don't really have time to do more right now. It's time to make dinner, and the natives are getting restless! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

"How do you do it?"

We have safely arrived here by Dyess Air Force Base, setting up camp, getting ready to execute Operation Naaman here. Our drive was relatively uneventful, but the engine and the generator were both running very hot, so we had to go slowly. We successfully stretched a 2 1/2 hour drive to about 4 hours. Pray that we can get this situation resolved before too many more miles.

I am often asked, "How do you do it? How do you go travel like you do, and remain sane?" Well, there are several different ways to answer those questions, ( like...maybe I'm not really sane! Lol!) but Ive been thinking a lot about my two main guiding principles. They may not sound like much, but they have been given me by God and have guided me through my Christian life so far. I know, by God's grace, they will lead me on the rest of the way...

1. My husband and I decided a long time ago, perhaps before we were married, that we would not be so attached to any location that we were not willing to go somewhere else if that's what the Lord wanted.

2. I married my husband, not my house or even my children. I enjoy my home, and I love my children, but where God leads my husband, He leads me (and the children still living at home). I love my grandkids, but it would be better for them to have grandparents that are in God's Will than close by and out of God's Will.

So, really, it's not so hard after all. It's simply following what the Lord has shown me so many years ago, and I'm very thankful for God's guidance.

Today's verse: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord..."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pulling out Tomorrow!

Yesterday, we loaded up most of the food, the kitchen stuff, and school supplies. I also did a lot of cleaning in the bus, of things I do not normally get a chance to do, like cleaning out the filters of the air conditioners.

Today we are loading all clothes, except for the clothes we are wearing tomorrow. The hardest part is trying to figure out what we will need for the next six months!

Tomorrow is the day set aside for "last minute items" (which I know can be tons!) and for actually pulling out. I don't know why, but when there's a big trip like this, actually leaving can take awhile.

Everybody is excited to be moving into their own spaces in the bus. Each of the kids can decorate their bed area however they want, so that is fun. Soon we will be ready to roll!

My verse for today is: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." We need to work hard, because today is THE DAY to get it done!

Monday, June 21, 2010

T-Minus 3 days and counting...

Lots to do! Today, we head to the bus to give it a final wipe down, and then back to the house to begin loading containers to take over. I am hoping to get all the school things and office supplies loaded today, as well as winter clothes.

Each of us gets to take a container of our own personal "stuff" to keep in the bus bay, as well. Hopefully we can get those packed and loaded today.

Lord Willing, we will be all working together, so I can spend time with my children while working. I sure do enjoy being with them!

My verse for today: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God..." Ps. 42:1

To be ever mindful and longing for His presence even while we work is a bit of Heaven on earth!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Busy, busy

Having only 5 days 'till blast-off, I am constantly finding more things that need done than I can possibly do! Today I want to stay home and clean the house, wipe down surfaces of the bus, and load schoolbooks, but I think I need to run to town and do some errands. And it doesn't help that "town" is 40 minutes away!

All of this is right on the heels of some important thoughts I've had about busyness. Busyness is the enemy of relationships. As ladies, we have an uncanny ability to develop some very powerful relationships...if we take the time. It is imperative that we develop strong relationships with our children, since that is the key to passing on our values and propelling them into God's Will in their lives. Having a strong, vibrant relationship with God is paramount, and can only be obtained through meditation, confession, and prayer.

Why don't we have such strong relationships? We are simply too busy. I've been asking God to help me examine my schedule and my list of priorities and ruthlessly eliminate busyness from my life. I want to walk with my children, laugh with my husband, and breathe deeply of the fresh air of the great outdoors. I long to have times of quiet where I can hear the still, small voice of God.

I so desperately need Him, and many times I am too busy to notice...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Heels from a different perspective...

T-minus 9 days and counting! (I think I wrote 9 days a few days ago...I don't know what I was thinking, but I know it was late! Sorry!)

Yesterday we had some friends over for dinner, and today is more cleaning. I'm trying to get the house fairly deep cleaned before I go, so I can come back to a half-decent place some day.

It's a busy week this week, with lots of cleaning, gathering, and visiting. We're trying to visit all the people we wanted to while we were here, but I think there still may be some left out. I hope not, but it's hard to squeeze it all in, especially when the departure date has moved up a bit.

Here's an interesting thought for anyone who cares:

I've been doing a little research on how high heels affect walking, posture, and a person's image, and I came up with some interesting things. Some people are obsessed with appearance, and it is those folks who provided me with my most insightful facts.

Don't read this if you're timid:

(This is from the Transgender Today site, on the impact high heels makes on appearance)

Lets face it, high heel shoes are not the most practical invention ever created. So why do they have such a dedicated following? You could say that if you have to ask, then you just don't get it. There are however, specific reasons for the attraction. It is a well known fact that wearing high heel shoes makes the foot appear smaller, elongates and slims the appearance of a womans legs, and at the same time her altered stance forces her breasts up and makes her rear end protrude 25% more. This position is also forcing the foot into a tiptoe position (the "courtship strut") which is known to be a sign of availability in several animal species. This presents signs of both availability and submissiveness due to the wearers forced attention to balance and required shorter stride. The foot is also put in an arched position that many women find is similar to during sex. The high heel shoe elevates the wearer as if they have been put on a pedestal. This gives the woman an increase in confidence not only because of several inches added to her height, but because high heels will get her significantly more attention, and even the act of putting them on will make them feel more sexy. There is an unusual balance of power and weakness in the wearing of high heels. The high heel shoe is the only object to gain the highest level of popularity in the fetish world. This is partly due to the fact that high heel shoes are like works of art in themselves, like small sleek curvy exotic sexy sculptures. They have always been in style, despite what some trendy fashion magazines may say, changing their minds every few months. Clothing items don't have the visual fetish appeal without the wearers body filling out the curves, but shoes stand on their own as coveted fetish objects. There are countless people who collect exotic high heel shoes worldwide. As a sculptor of giant and miniature high heel shoe sculptures, I find that my shoe sculptures get the most attention from the press and shoe devotees around the world. It also seems that red is by far the most popular fetish shoe color, but thats a whole different story. Bruce Gray

Well, folks, makes me think a little about what's in the closet. How about you?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Good Sunday...

It is now nine days til our departure, and I have a ton of things to do. Most importantly, I need to send my grandson his birthday present! He will be three on the 17th, and I want to make sure he gets something from Nana and Papa.

We had a good day full of meetings. My Beloved taught Sunday School, preached the morning and evening services, and we were able to sing for both. I am always delighted to sing together as a family. It is one of my favorite things to do.

I have lots of work to prepare for the trip. Most importantly, however, there are folks we need to spend some time with before we leave, so this week is full of work during the day, and visiting in the evenings.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just in Case You Were Wondering...

I’m always thankful for the opportunity to write something. Actually, I have several “somethings” I’m working on writing right now! I am currently involved in about four writing projects, not to mention this blog. I enjoy every bit of it, but lately, I’ve been more needed with the family than anything.

So, I wanted to let you know why I’ve not written much (on the blog!) lately, it’s not that I’m not writing. On the contrary, I have several projects that are getting some attention. But mostly, I feel a great need to concentrate on family situations, since I see I am needed. Please pray that I can be everything God wants me to, and that I can be a blessing to my husband, children, and others.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My First Published Book is Now Available!!!!


The Umbrella Story, my first published children's book, is now available for ordering from the publisher!!

Go to, click on "products," and then go to "Umbrella Story, The." Voila! There it is!

I am very thankful to the Lord that He has allowed me to write this book, and I pray it is a help to many young people...even older ones, for that matter!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Wind is Not a River

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans

“This too shall pass…”

During the time of the second World War, there was an unusual mix of progress and antiquity in the Aleutian Islands. The native people had been learning the new ways, while still trying to retain some of the old ways of living off the land. It was a difficult time for many, and a precious old saying bore new meaning. For Sasan and her brother Sidak, newly orphaned and having just weathered a terrible storm, the meaning of the saying went even deeper.

…when Sidak mentioned he was hungry, Sasan put out on the table the smoked fish she had brought along. As they sat silently in the gathering darkness eating the fish, Sasan saw a look of sadness come over her brother’s face. She asked, ‘Do you remember what Grandmother always used to say when we were unhappy or in pain?’

“Yes,” Sidak answered, “she used to say, ‘The wind is not a river.’”

Sasan said, “Yes, it is true. The sadness we feel today, like the wind in the storm we just passed through, must also pass away.” As she said these words, she tried hard not to show the pain and sadness in her own heart.

---The Wind is not a River, by Arnold A. Griese

Sasan and Sidak were learning a truth we often need reminded of ourselves. The wind is not a river. Our difficulty and trials we go through here in this life will pass away, and be quickly forgotten in the joy and rapture of the wonders of Heaven. Our trials will one day pass.

In this life, also, we find that the trials of life are temporary. Not only in Heaven will the children of God realize the difficulties will not last forever, but we find that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, sunshine after the rain, and morning after midnight.

Recently, we had a number of problems with our motorhome. Actually, it was an unreal amount of problems! It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Everything that could break, broke! And then the motorhome got stuck in the sand, and sickness swept through the family. It seemed like just too much. But, almost as quickly as the troubles came, they passed. The ill ones recovered, a kind man (with a very big truck) pulled our motorhome out of the sand, and we were able to get almost all of the things fixed. Our problems passed.

Just as Sasan and Sidak remembered the words of their loving grandmother, let’s try to remember that our troubles, though they seem to be so vast and so difficult, will one day pass.

“The Wind is not a River.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Captain's Orders!

‘“First of all, I do not want you to give in to the pressure of the moment. Whenever you’re hurting bad, just hang in there. Finish the day. Then, if you’re still feeling bad, think about it long and hard before you decide to quit. Second, take it one day at a time. One evolution at a time.“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t startplanning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there’s a wonderful career ahead of you.”

This was Captain Maguire, a man who would one day serve as deputycommander of the U.S. Special Operations in Pacific Command (COMPAC). With his twin-eagles insignia glinting on his collar, Captain Maguire instilled in us the knowledge of what really counted.’

---Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor

When my son came across those words while reading the book aloud to the family, he might as well have jumped up, got in my face, and yelled, because my spoon froze in midair over the large bowl of carmel popcorn. Immediately my mind began racing to something our Lord said in Matthew: “Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow takes thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” I know my son read more, because I saw his lips move and I heard his voice, but for me, I was stuck on those wise words from the Captain.
My day begins the instant my alarm sounds. Those four beeps (and all the subsequent ones, if I don’t heed the first four!), signal the beginning of a new, jam-packed day. My “to-do” list can be unbelievably long, sometimes entirely unrealistically huge. With several loads of laundry a day (that’s a normal day; when someone is sick, it increases dramatically), several students to teach and others to moniter, meals, cleanup, etc., I’ve got my hands terribly full. Add a bit of ministry and some travelling to the mix, and you’ve got a very daunting schedule.

If I tried to take the whole week on at once, I might as well go right back to bed. It would be an impossible task, one I wouldn’t even want to consider. But my Lord does not expect me to take on the whole week at once; He only asks that I take one day at a time. Perhaps even one step at a time.

I jog about two miles four or five days a week, but it is no picnic for me. I picked it up a little over ten months ago, and It’s still very hard work. Many days, I don’t feel like running at all, and many times I am ready to give up halfway through. It is during those times that I concentrate on my stride. I take one step at a time, one breath at a time. That way, and some days it’s only that way, I am able to finish.

“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day…”

When life seems steep, concentrate on one step at a time: it's Captain's Orders!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Identifying Areas of Weakness

In our motorhome, we have cabinets above both “living room” windows. Since we spend long periods of time in our bus, on the order of months, our cabinets are pretty well loaded. Thankfully, each of these cabinets is equipped with a latch, designed to keep our debris in the cabinets and off of our heads. All of the cabinets, that is, except one. Unfortunately, that one cabinet is the one that houses our pots and pans.

Somehow the screws holding the latch became loose over time, and now the dumb thing needs to be personally put into position in order for it to latch at all. This works most of the time, as I am the one who makes sure it gets done…as long as I am available. Every once in awhile, it doesn’t get done, and I’m sure you can imagine the excitement that occurs when someone sees an errant pot poised to leap out on some unsuspecting victim.

The latch is the cabinet’s area of weakness.

Of course, it stands to reason that the right course of action would be to identify the area of weakness and correct it using another latch. That, however, is easier said than done, considering the uniqueness of the latch, and also considering that there are a number of more pressing items that need worked on first. And so, the latch will wait for awhile.
Now, remember my last post? The one on The Real Battle, and how it is in the mind? Let me once again quote from one of the Navy SEAL instructors:

“…the real battle is won in the mind. It’s won by guys who understand their
areas of weakness, who sit and think about it, plotting and planning to improve.
Attending to the detail. Work on their weaknesses and overcome them. Because
they can.”

One of the most important things to do in the Christian life is to grow, and continue to become more like our Saviour. Growth involves change, and we will never change unless we are dissatisfied with how things are going now. As long as we are satisfied with the status quo, we will never change, but as we realize our trouble spots, we can begin to see growth.

Many times we only notice that the cabinet is not latched when we are on the road. The bumps and bounces of the rough road push the pots against the latch, and its weakness becomes apparent. The same way, our weaknesses become readily apparent when we go through a trial. The bumps and bounces of life rattle us, and our weaknesses become quickly obvious.

Just like with the latch, the best course of action is to find the area of weakness and correct it. As ladies, we should examine ourselves and seek to improve. It’s a battle won in the mind. We should take some time to think and pray about how we can improve. We can work on our weaknesses and overcome them…because we can!

What are your areas of weakness? Consider how you can improve physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Take just a few minutes to examine your life to see whether you could take a step, perhaps just one small step, to get better. Identify your areas of weakness, and ask God to help you.

Because you can!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The REAL Battle

For our character studies lately, we’ve been reading a book called Lone Survivor, the Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Navy SEAL Team 10, by Marcus Lutrell (we edited out the cuss words!). I figured a book detailing the training and conditioning of a Navy SEAL would be a good study in the character quality self-control, and I was right. As we’ve been reading of Marcus’ training, we’ve all been encouraged to “do the right thing,” or “git ‘er done,” no matter how hard it seems.

These guys had to do almost superhuman feats just to survive the first few hours of training. To me, it seems incredible that a person could do at least 450 push-ups and run four miles in less than thirty-two minutes! (I can run two miles, but it takes me about twenty-three minutes! These are men, though, and my husband likes to remind me that they are a little younger than I am…) Right before their training, the men were told, “You must make that four-mile thirty-two-minute run, and you must make the two-mile swims in an hour and a half. You’ll get a tough written test. There’s pool standards, there’s drownproofing. With and without the fins — kick, stroke, and glide.” Standards were strict and the training was tough, because they knew that their lives and the lives of their buddies depended on it.

One quote from the book got me thinking.

Sometimes as Christian wives and mothers, we think we’ve got the raw deal. The old saying goes, “A man will work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” (Recently I told my husband that, since the advent of computers, he works round the clock! But that’s beside the point…) It is the never-ending round of laundry, meals, dishes, and of course wiping runny noses, changing dirty diapers, and reading The Taxi that Hurried for the five thousand, four hundred and eighty-third time. It’s a tiring, sometimes exhausting job.

God, however, in His infinite love and mercy, gives us the strength to do His Will. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” It’s truly a matter of us appropriating the strength He’s made available through grace. And someone’s eternity may depend on it.

One of the SEAL instructors told the men: “…the real battle is won in the mind. It’s won by guys who understand their areas of weakness, who sit and think about it, plotting and planning to improve. Attending to the detail. Work on their weaknesses and overcome them. Because they can.”

I must say that there is something about military training that pushes people to, and beyond, their limit, and that’s a good thing. We seem to have in our minds that, “Oh, I just couldn’t be a missionary,” or, “Oh, I couldn’t have a large family,” or, “I couldn’t teach a Sunday School class.” Sometimes we even think, “I don’t think I can make it through another day, I’m so worn.” We sell ourselves far too short for what we really could do, if only we availed ourselves of the strength given us by our Lord.

Navy SEALs become convinced that they could do anything, if they just put their minds to it, and by and large, they can do just about that. It’s stuck in the heads. They do what they are told, no matter how impossible it may seem, because they know it really IS possible. Their commanders would never send them into a volatile situation assuming defeat.

I remember a time when my husband was talking to a Marine who was fresh out of Basic Training. With a bit of a grin, he asked him, “If your drill instructor had told you that tomorrow you were going to charge Hell with water pistols, what would you have done?” The young Marine got very serious, and replied evenly, “We would have done it…and we’d have taken it, too!” It is the spirit of the military. It needs to be our spirit, as well.

We are given a job to do by God. He does not give us a job that we cannot do, He gives us only what we can do. “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13) And, “I can do all things, through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13) He strengthens us, and comes into the yoke with us, giving us the supernatural ability to tackle to tough tasks. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Whatever we are given to do, we are able to do, with The Lord’s help. The main battle is in the mind.

“…the real battle is won in the mind. It’s won by guys who understand their
areas of weakness, who sit and think about it, plotting and planning to improve.
Attending to the detail. Work on their weaknesses and overcome them. Because
they can.”

Don’t sell yourself short. Has God called you to be a godly, loving wife? You can be! Has God called you to be a gentle, consistent mother? You can be! Has God called you to be a daughter who is ever learning to be what God wants you to be? You can! The battle is in your mind.

Through God, you can win that battle.

Someone’s eternity may be at stake.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Never Leave a Wounded Soldier

I was talking to a lady a few weeks back who must have been soaked in Hollywood somehow, because the question she asked me showed such a complete deficiency of understanding of our nation’s military. “Isn’t it true,” she asked, “that the military brainwashes its soldiers, takes away their personality, and makes them feel like they are nothing more than a number that goes around killing people?”

I tried hard to mask my mixture of irritation and amusement. I explained to her that we know many soldiers and their families personally, and they are the finest and kindest people you would ever know. A soldier, though he is trained in the use of firearms, will rarely use one, and then only when absolutely necessary. “I think one of the most remarkable qualities about our military, however,” I went on, “is how they take care of each other. If one of them gets wounded, they will never leave them. They will risk everything to take care of that wounded soldier and bring him back home to get the care he needs.” I gave her the many examples I knew of personally, and also reminded her of the honor the military bestows upon its fallen heroes. My recent trip to Arlington National Cemetery was a fine example of the reverence any military family pays to its deceased.

Never leave a wounded soldier. This is drilled into our military from day one. It has saved the lives of many on the battlefield, and more than one soldier has been grateful for the heroic actions of someone brave enough to go into the line of fire to retrieve one who has fallen. Few nations compare to that of America when it comes to caring for its wounded.

Never leave a wounded soldier.

All of us go through trials and troubles. How much more do we need our brothers and sisters in Christ during those dark times than others. Yet it is often those very times when we are abandoned by those who are supposed to stand by us.

Christians, especially we Baptists, are noted for shooting our wounded. After all, isn't it much easier to go up to a flickering lamp and blow it out than it is to give of our own oil that they may shine more brightly? Many people think that talking negatively about a brother and putting him down makes them look more spiritual. But I can tell you, it is an awful, selfish, and uncaring person who allows a wounded fellow Christian to shrivel up and die when we could do something to be an encouragement. Personally, I realize that my behavior is not stellar when I am going through trials, and I am so thankful for those who stand by me, though I am hurting. Shame on us if we leave a wounded soldier!

Never leave a wounded soldier. May it always be said that we will stand by those who are trying to do their best to live for God, even if they are wounded. Someday we will need someone to stand by us!

Photo from