Saturday, July 30, 2011


We welcome little Luke Gottlieb Siegwart to our happy family!!!!  He was born to Matthew and Kathryn today a little after noon, and weighed in at 8lbs, 9oz and is 21 inches long!

Matthew and Emily are thrilled to have a baby brother!  (with Grandma Siegwart)
Praise the Lord both mother and son are doing fine!!!! Thank you all for your prayers.
Tired, but happy mommy with her newborn son

Where God’s Presence is Felt

I could feel it in the air. It was almost visible, but yet unseen. It was the presence of God, and I felt like taking my shoes off.

In a little country church, there was a revival meeting. But it was more than a meeting, it was the drawing of hearts closer to Himself, the sensing of His presence. He was evident in the hearts of His people, their testimonies bearing witness to His kind, gracious, yet mighty working Hand.

I could sense the cohesiveness of the local body, their love for their pastor and his family, and their unflagging devotion to the Lord. It didn't stop when the services were over, either. Each individual I spoke with glowed with the goodness of God, speaking in hushed tones, often with tears, of His kindness to them. I was thankful for every evening spent in fellowship with His people.

It hasn't always been like this, however. When we first began coming to this church a number of years ago, there was a different pastor and family. I've seen it time and again – the church always takes on the flavor of the pastor's family, particularly the pastor's wife. If she is cool and detached, then the whole body will be merely a professional organization. If she enjoys activities, then the whole body will be a social group. But if she truly, deep down loves God and His people, then the whole body will be a loving, caring, living unit…a body, a bride.

Could it be that our relationship with God is strengthened by our relationships with others?

Of course, we begin with God. Everything begins with God, and having a right relationship to Him. But if our interactions amongst the bretheren (or sisters) are purely surfacy and we do not truly build relationships, then we miss out on the tremendous blessings of seeing God work wondrously in the local body as a whole.

The previous pastor's wife of this little country church set the example by coming into church minutes before the service and leaving right after the service. She never took the time to build relationships in the church, hence the people never took the time to build relationships with each other, unless it was a few cliques here or there. Were her relationships outside the church?

We build our relationships somewhere. Either they are amongst God's people, or among the people of the world. Consciously deciding to build relationships in the church creates an iron-sharpening-iron experience, and from that springs a deep, lasting unity.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." Psalm 133

I long to go barefoot through life, looking for and sensing the presence of God. How desperately we need Him in our churches!

…and in our homes…

Lord Willing, after Kathy has her baby (!!!!), we'll take up the subject of building relationships in the home.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

High Protein Smoothie Recipe

While we wait for Kathy to have her baby (poor Kath!), let's make sure we take care of ourselves. One thing I always try to do is to eat right, since I'm the one who is ultimately responsible for my body. I also know that before long, I'll be flying up to help Kathy for a few days, so I need to take care of myself so that I can be a help to her.

Since I'm hypoglycemic, I have to be very careful of what and when I eat, especially in the mornings. My daughter Sharon sees me eating…again…in the morning and exclaims, "Mom! How do you do that and not weigh as much as an elephant!! I am SO jealous!" Seriously, though, I need to be careful to eat before I get hungry, because most mornings I don't even feel hungry, I feel terrible.

One of the best things for me either in the morning or as an afternoon snack, is a protein smoothie. Here is a recipe of a smoothie I often make as we drive down the road, because everybody knows that the driver needs to keep himself alert and going…and caffeine is not the best way. Now, some of the ingredients may seem very strange, but don't laugh…I get rave reviews from my favorite clients…my family.

High-Protein (Low fat) Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie:


1/3 c non-fat yogurt

1/3 c lowfat cottage cheese

1/3 c low fat milk

1 orange, peeled

Stevia to taste (often 2 packets for us)

1 raw egg (I've been using raw eggs in my smoothies for about 30 years, and neither I nor my family have gotten sick once!)

1 tsp vanilla


Blend it all together and test it to make sure it is sweet enough. Then increase the speed of the blender and add about 6 ice cubes, one at a time. The result is a tremendously delicious, healthy snack that really carries you through! My family raves over the taste, all the ingredients are natural, and there is no added sugar. It is about 250-300 calories, and about 20 grams of protein. You can vary it and make it a meal shake by adding oatmeal or some other grain, too. And, strange as it may sound, I also need to add flax oil, for the hypoglycemia. Flax oil is very light and does not alter the taste a bit.


If you try it, let me know what you think!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Investing Myself

I've been visiting with my grandkids over the past two weeks, enjoying my daughter's family. It's been great to be with them again! Unfortunately, we had to leave for some meetings before the baby came, so it was a sad parting…but then again, isn't it always?


The Lord has been so gracious to me yesterday to allow me to hear from all three of my children who are not living at home! Jonathan called in the morning, Stephen in the afternoon, and Kathryn and I texted back and forth in the evening. It is such a blessing to know that each one of them are serving the Lord in their own churches. I do not say that boastfully, because I know they are made out of the same dirt I am…but I'm thankful they are faithful to their churches.

Kathy is expecting baby #3 any day now. She was actually due on the twenty-third, but we are praying that the Lord will allow her to go into labor on her own rather than be induced later this week.

Jonathan has a new job, working outside in the heat in the south. I'm praying that he will stay hydrated and survive; I'm sure his girl is too, since they are planning a wedding!

Stephen works the bus route at his church faithfully, and really enjoys working with kids. Lord willing, we will see him in a week or so, and I'm looking forward to it.


I've been thinking a lot lately about relationships; it's the stuff life is made of. Good relationships = good life, bad relationships = bad life. You would think that dedicated Christians would have the very best relationships in the whole universe, but sometimes that simply isn't so. All of us have a sinful nature, and all of us have those fleshly, selfish desires. It is only when we are walking in the Spirit that we are able to truly love like we should.

There is a married couple that I know who were separated, by choice, for about three months. No, the man was not in the military and on a short deployment. It was not even an argument that culminated in a "I'm outta here!" sort of fight. The wife went to spend the summer with her daughter, while the husband, a pastor, had some young pastoral interns stay with him and help him in the ministry. Is there something wrong here? Am I missing something?

These folks are my age, and I can tell you, some couples slow down a little bit, but they don't slow down that much, if you know what I mean! If I was a bettin' Baptist, I'd say something's wrong with the relationship.

I got an email recently from a dear friend whose home is collapsing. The young people are disrespectful, the father works long hours, and the mother is heartbroken. The relationships are non-existent.

Please, people, I beg of you…do something special with those you love today. Don't let your relationships experience neglect, for they are tender plants, and they will wither and die.


I have a houseplant that was given to me by a dear friend years ago. It is the only living thing other than children that will fit in the bus, and I think it's beautiful. Through the years, I've taken care of it, watered it, protected it from heat, and kept it from the cold. After our bus accident, while the bus was being fixed and we were without a place to stay, I took my plant with me everywhere, carrying it at my feet in the van for two months, taking it into the motel, or prophet's rooms, or wherever we happened to land at night. It's dear to me, and I will tell you why.

Long ago, I felt that the plant was representative of my relationship with my dear friend. So every time I water the plant, I pray for her. I take the time to write her letters, and we talk on the phone. The plant is a visible reminder of my friendship with her. As I invest bits of myself into the plant, I invest bits of myself into my friendship.


Let's try to invest ourselves in our loved ones. Don't let your relationships disintegrate.

I will try, Lord Willing, to take some posts and talk about relationship building. I'm definitely open to comments. What do you do to help build your relationships?