Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Valley series--Intermission A

This song has quickly become one of my favorites.  The title is Take Me through this Valley.  
As of late many people seem to be having 'valley moments' in their lives.   Myself included.

For some time I had stopped blogging and even writing on the side in my journal and other projects.
Life appeared to be at a standstill.  Work was not too important and I just wanted to be alone.  
These 'valley moments' used to take me away from God.  Now, they draw me closer.
I began to read the psalms more and then something happened.  Just as I knew the presence of God during my happy days, I began to experience the nearness of God in all of my struggles.  
I was not moved to the point of not wanting to be in His presence as I had been before.  

God was not the cause.  God was the answer.  
I started praying the psalms.
I started singing the psalms.
Not long after, my spirit found peace and joy once again.
Valleys are not easy to get through.  The road seems long and we are always looking up at the peak which looks to be far beyond our endurance to reach it.  
Look at it from another perspective.  Look past the peaks and the difficult mountain climb and look to the One who made them and know that:
(1). He is with you every step of the way.  God will never leave you nor forsake you.
(2). Once you climb out of the valley, you will realize God has taken your faith to new heights and stretched you beyond what you thought possible.

Enjoy the song and if you have a favorite song or two that has helped you through 'valley moments' please share.  

God bless.





Good good father

I looked up into the sky this morning and I saw two clouds.  One cloud, the bigger one, looked like a giant hand.  The second cloud, above it, looked like a smaller hand.  The second cloud appeared to be reaching out to the first cloud, as if it was the hand of a child reaching out to their father.  
Pausing in the middle of my walking prayer I simply smiled.  At that point in my prayer I was asking my Heavenly Father for comfort.  

So amazing. 

Over the years I have heard many people say "God answered my prayer before I finished the sentence."  Today started as such for me.  What a blessing.
The storm clouds are gathering above and even in the midst of them my Father still bids me to come.

Have a great day and God bless.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Life lesson

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to the men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11b

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Famous Quote

We see hardly one inch of the narrow lane of time.
To our God, eternity lies open as a meadow.  It must seem strange to the heavenly people, 
who have reached the beautiful End, that you and I should ever question what Love allows to be, or that we ever call prayer "unanswered" when it is not what we expect.

Isn't no an answer?
Isn't heaven an answer?

Amy Carmichael 

14

MY FATHER, I BELIEVE I see it now.  I always want You to do something for me.  (Or at least to clear the way, so I can do it for myself.).  And You want to do something in me.
      Now I see that You want to come with Your word and Your powerful Spirit, and splice them together with my words and my spirit.  
     I have wanted answers.  You want us to become one....Thank you, for Your unending patience with me.

A prayer of Amy Carmichael

Monday, June 13, 2016

Famous Quotes

God's timetable is not altered by the times. 

Dr.  Rexella Van Impe

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Absent Self

Many accounts within the bible have stood out to me over the years.  One of my favorites can be found in 2 Kings 20:1-11.  It is the story of King Hezekiah when he was sick and dying and the LORD visited him.

In my many years of working in the prehospital (ambulance) and hospital settings, I have seen a lot of death.  That is, possibly, the second hardest part of being in the emergency medical field.  I say possibly because at times with the great number of faces we "see" they are hard to forget.  Faces of children, distraught or worried parents, grandmothers and grandfathers, young adult male and females and all in between.  The faces are countless.  Our chief goal is to stabilize and transport as quickly and safely as possible.
Death affects people in different ways.  Many times have I seen that final battle in which the person struggles to stave of the inevitable, if, God chooses not to prolong their life here on earth.  

Why choose a passage such as this if it evokes memories of loss and death?  I cannot say.
While walking down the street and mulling over ideas for my next blog post, the title "The Absent Self" popped into my head.  Soon after the account of Hezekiah made its appearance.  
How could I make these two halves a whole?  Stopping a few further along the way, the answer came to me.  

God sent the prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah to tell the king "to get your house in order, for you shall die, and not live."  There are no hidden words in that very one sided conversation.  
Hezekiah upon hearing the words of Isaiah, turned his face to the wall and prayed.  
As I have previously stated, being in the medical field I have seen many people die and their fight to retain life.  Yet, God knows the number of our days and He alone can extend or end it.
Hezekiah did not plead with, fight, curse or try to bargain with God.  
(3) "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight."  And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
At this point in my life I was backsliding.  God and faith were no where in sight or the back of my mind. Everday I saw the brevity of life and how fleeting it could be and yet I sought no life for myself.
God was and is merciful.
Hezekiah accepted what God had to tell him.  Was he happy?  The bitter tears say no.  I think King Hezekiah wanted to live so that he could continue serving God and do more to further the name of God.  Just supposition not established fact.

In the absence of himself Hezekiah thanked God for the life he had been given hoping it had been pleasing to His God.   
God being pleased with the heart of Hezekiah chose to heal him and add 15 years to his life.
There was no pleading for one more day or hour.  No requests for his family or friends came out of his mouth.  It was time to die and he was ready.
What an example?  I/we as children of God should live our lives in constant service to God.  Will it lead to good fortunes and long life?  Not always.  Even so, bad days will surely be a part of it as well.  Yet, when we get to the end of our lives and God is calling us home will we be as accepting of it as Hezekiah was?  Don't answers that.
What matters is how we have walked before our God and was it pleasing to Him.
The absence of self makes all these things possible because God will surely fill us to over flowing with Hos Holy Spirit to endure.

God bless.
 

Friday, June 3, 2016

But have not...

But have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol.
But have not love, I am nothing.
But have not love, it profits me nothing.

1st Corinthians 13:1,3,5 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

If

If the praise of others elates me...
If the blame of others depresses me...
If I cannot rest when I am misunderstood, without defending myself...
If I love to be loved, more than to give love...
If I love to be served, more than serving...

Then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A slight flurry

Good day to everyone out there.

I am about to publish some posts from out Memorial Day weekend outreach.  There are about 7 total so look at them as you can and let me know what you think.  

If there is anything going on in your neck of the woods, or your church or group is doing anything, please post some pics. I would love to see them.

As always God bless and have a great day.

Day 4 (3.0)

The end is here.  Tear down is complete.  We survived a rainstorm with thunder and lightning and we are on our way home.  
It was a most blessed time and I cannot wait for the Fourth of July outreach to get here.
Testimonies will be shared and hearts lifted because God is so good to us and we are humbled to be called by Him to labor in His name.

I have one last photo to share and some final thoughts.




              

As we were leaving the restaurant this is what we saw.   Truthfully, I cannot do this picture justice because is was more magnificent than the photo shows.  But it's a reminder for us to keep going despite the attacks by the enemy and keep our hearts, soul and mind on the One who created all things and made it possible.

God bless and good night.




Day 3 (2.0)

Day three offered a treasure trove of pictures and many blessings.


this lady has a friend with her from New Jersey who would not get out of the car because she does not like to travel.  She was tricked, nicely, into going for a little trip across the statelines. As you can guess we had a good laugh as did the friend.


With everyone who comes through the tent, there is a need, for food or coffee or a chance meeting with the people behind the table.  One lady and many more after her took advantage of our prayer basket and left a request.  WE LOVE TO PRAY.



Culturally speaking, this is the new melting pot.  Despite it being a church sponsored 
outreach we get a good response from all who enter in.  


              

A happy camper who was more than ready to pose for the camera.  Thank you.



           
          Three friends from Hong Kong, who were very surprised to see that there 
  were others from Hong Kong who had come through the tent mere minutes before.


P.S.
the next post is very special.  It required a lot of restraint on my part but in the end much joy was had by all.

God bless.


 













Day 3 (3.0)


Over the years many individuals and groups have stopped in and said hello to us.  Some wanted coffee and hotdogs.  Some wanted cookies or other drinks we offer as part of the service.

But there are times when people come in and just say "thank you for doing this."
We really, truly, whole heartedly enjoy being there.  Those words are an encouragement to us and the ministry.  Seven years we have been doing this and I pray it does not end any time soon.



This picture shows a youth group from Utica, New York taking time out of their long day to have lunch.
At the time I had no idea they were a youth group, so I decided to have a little fun.



          the gentleman and lady are the director and chaperone for the youth group.


They were very shocked and overjoyed to see that a church was doing this.  Some from the group stopped in and gave us many words of encouragement to continue on doing the work of God in reaching out to the lost.

             
This is a photo of some of the youth.  If you notice them laughing it was because I asked the young lady (front row second from right) if I could have the watermelon as payment for the taking a group photo.  Sadly she said no and I took the photo anyway.


God bless




   


Day 4

The end is nigh and we are expectant of God continuing to bless us as we labor in love for Him.


           
Here is where we see more confirmation that what we are doing is definitely from God.
Upon entering the tent these two guys had nothing but kind words to say about God's people doing God's work.  As they took a look around they noticed our map.  Between them they wanted to be the first from their hometown in Africa to pin our map.  The first guy looked at the map and saw it was pinned already.  Low-and-behold 2 pastors from the same city they live in beat them to it.  They were jumping and shouting for joy.

         
            They could not believe it.  A closer inspection is called for.  
             Hallelujah's filled the tent.


           
        

             In the background are a mother and sun from Belgium.  
             A truck driver from Canada is in the foreground.

         
             Another satisfied customer.  It is all part of the service we provide.

God bless


   
   
       

Day 4 (2.0)

                       
                                     We get four legged visitors also.


  
 Alan, the overseer of our outreach, pitches a tent and stays over from the time we set up 
 until the time we tear down.  Dedicated.

                                 Alan is the one in the hat and shades.
                                         
                                              ---------------------

The rest of the pictures are just to give you an idea of how big this place is and how 
blessed we are to be allowed to do what we do.












Day 2

Welcome.  

The great thing about working up here is the unexpected.  We never know from moment who or what will drive into the rest stop.   


"Oh my!" Says my inner George Takei.  "A bus."  Buses are not an unusual sight and we do get them.  Sometimes they come in empty and sometimes they do not.  Looks like this one is occupied.



In this picture we have Lenny (black shirt) smiling and getting a cup of coffee for a weary traveler.


The patrons who come into the tent are just as eager to see our map and who has come through, as much as we are.  This is a shared joy between us and them.

                
For others passing through, it is an chance to have a momento from a place they may never have been before.  Oddly enough more pictures are taken at the rest stop than most other places I can remember.