How To Face The Future When Our Options Seem Bleak!

How did you feel when you discovered that the man you voted for lost the race for the presidency? I prayed. I will keep on praying. I am not only praying for God to turn the hearts of our countrymen but that he will work on and in the heart of our coming leader. 

Remember when the Children of Israel were facing overwhelming defeat? They cried out to God and He delivered them. I trust that you serve the same God. I know I do.

I placed my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as a small child and I know that I can face the future while holding on to His great unchanging hand. 
I love and trust my Heavenly Father to take me through whatever He allows to come my way knowing that these troubles and trials will work in me His greater good.

Today in my quiet time I read from Psalm 5.

This Psalm of David speaks to my heart and gives me great encouragement that the God that helped David is the same God that helps me. His favor surrounds me as a shield.

Read Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, 
       consider my sighing. 2 Listen to my cry for help, 
       my King and my God, 
       for to you I pray.

 3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; 
       in the morning I lay my requests before you 
       and wait in expectation.

 4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; 
       with you the wicked cannot dwell.

 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; 
       you hate all who do wrong.

 6 You destroy those who tell lies; 
       bloodthirsty and deceitful men 
       the LORD abhors.

 7 But I, by your great mercy, 
       will come into your house; 
       in reverence will I bow down 
       toward your holy temple.

 8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness 
       because of my enemies— 
       make straight your way before me.

 9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; 
       their heart is filled with destruction. 
       Their throat is an open grave; 
       with their tongue they speak deceit.

 10 Declare them guilty, O God! 
       Let their intrigues be their downfall. 
       Banish them for their many sins, 
       for they have rebelled against you.

 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; 
       let them ever sing for joy. 
       Spread your protection over them, 
       that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; 
       you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

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Jesus – Does He Make Any Difference To You?

Who is Jesus to you? The fourth book of the New Testament, the gospel of John chapter 1- tells us that Jesus is God.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

Jesus life was lived as no other ever lived. Jesus lived a sinless life even when faced with temptations. He was perfect. Everything He did was in obedience to God the Father.

We can study the life of Jesus in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and see how He lived. Jesus lived a simple life. He owned no home or property. He had only a handful of friends. He traveled around teaching and serving. He listened and prayed. He spent time alone with His Father. He stayed in people’s homes and ate with them. Jesus is the perfect example for those of us who call ourselves His followers. He gave of himself as no other. When his work on earth was nearly complete He allowed himself to be placed on trial and offered himself as the sacrifice for our sins. Only He could be the complete sacrifice -being holy and without sin.

Jesus suffered severe shame and persecution for me. He allowed himself to be beaten, striped of his clothing, and tortuously crucified on a cross. He wore a crown of thorns. How can I not give my life to follow Him and live after His perfect pattern? How can I not stand for the one who knelt for me. How can I not declared that He is the most precious person in my life and declare that all I am or ever hope to be, I owe to him.

Jesus rose from the grave and lives in heaven. Jesus is also preparing a place for me, just as He is for all those who have placed their faith and trust in His shed blood.

God has a perfect plan for your life. It is not God’s will that any man should die without receiving His free gift of salvation. It is his will that those who place their lives in his hands live joyful and abundant lives. We can live abundantly when we live according to the truths of Holy Scripture.

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Saviour and to forgive your sins then this is your day. God’s Word tells us that – today is the day of Salvation. Turn from your sins and accept Jesus Christ, God’s Son as your Lord and Saviour. 

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Memorial Day

May 30th, 1868 was the first official observance of Memorial Day. General John Logan was the National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. This first official observance was marked by the decorating of the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on a separate day until after World War I , when the holiday was changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.
It is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday of May. This was an act passed by Congress to ensure a three day weekend for those employed by the federal government.
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on December 2000 which asks that at 3PM local time, all Americans voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from their activities to observe a moment of silence or listen to Taps.

I like to remember our own personal observances through the years of Memorial Day. In the 60′ and 70’s my family would all gather at the farm of my grandparents, Kenneth and Grace Pierpont and spend the day preparing a family picnic. It was a wonderful time to be with our family, play games and eat burgers and potato salad.
There were others, the grown ups as we called them that would likely be more serious in their observance and I’m sure did the decorating of the graves. Hense the term, Decoration Day. I however, was lost in the folly of childhood and gave little notice to the real meaning of our gathering. It wasn’t until I was a little older, like 30 years older and had young sons who took up the challenge to serve their country that the day became a serious observance.
A few years ago when one of our boys was away at boot camp and the other was on the other side of the world in Iraq that our family went to the ball field to watch another of their brothers play ball. The games would always begin with someone playing our National Anthem over the loud speakers and everyone would stand to salute our flag. I believe that was when it truly struck me with such force. I was a little embarrassed that I was overcome and tearful with patriotism and gratitude that I live in such a special place. I thought about the men through the years in my own family that had served their country.
I look forward to seeing my children Monday. I am grateful that I will see some of my grandchildren. I will enjoy the cookouts and the games and the special things we do. I am thinking now how I will cry for those fallen as I hang our country’s flag on the porch. I will be praying this weekend too for all those who are serving our country right now to protect us and protect those who can not protect themselves. I will also pray for the families who will be seeing their Memorial Day this year in a whole new light – morning the loss of their son’s and daughters.

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Chelsie – A little girl with a big heart

Chelsie Renee was born April 11th, 1989. She was the sixth child born to our family and the second girl. We didn’t know before she was born if she would be a girl, but I had a sneaking suspicion.

Chelsie was born on a cool, gray day. I prayed that it would rain when she was born and it did. She took her own sweet time about coming into the world. The labor lasted 22hours. We bundled her up and took her home on a sunny, windy day just a couple days after her birth to a house of happy faces. Chelsie was welcomed by brothers Jimmie (11), Jeremiah (8), Joshua (6),and Jesse (20 months) and sister Hillary (10). My mother had come and they had made a sign to welcome us.

Chelsie was a happy and contented baby as were all but one of her siblings. She liked to play on the floor while we did our school work. On sunny days we would cover her little head and take her outside to do school out in the yard. She loved being outside and would keep her brothers and sisters running to keep her out of trouble when she started crawling. She loved Jimmie’s baby bunnies and all the critters we had.

Chelsie was always eager to learn. She talked early and before she was three years old she would stand beside me when I cross-stitched and ask me, “What color is that?”as she would proceed to point to every card of floss in the box. She began reading when she was just 5 which was earlier than most of my children. Her older brother Jesse had pretty much decided school wasn’t going to be something he wasted too much time on until he saw how much Chelsie was learning. Suddenly, Jesse was wanting to do every subject Chelsie was and he would compete with her in everything. For most of the elementary years they were neck and neck. It really wasn’t until middle school or later that Jesse began to pull away from Chel.

Chelsie and Jesse shared a bedroom when they were little and maybe that is part of why they are so close now. When they were tiny the four older kids were involved in piano lessons and gymnastics. We would all load up in the van and spend what seemed like the better part of the day in front of the piano teachers house. We would take a big tupperware bowl of rising bread and punch it down several times while we waited, then head home and bake it for supper.

One day I looked out in our back yard to discover one of the dogs was off his chain. We had been having trouble with him and he was really a grouch. I knew that Jes and Chel were out in the front playing and I was really afraid for them. I took off running and saw them out by the mailbox. I ran as fast as I could and grabbed each by the hand and ran again for the front door. Just about the time we were at the corner of the front porch the dog came around the corner looking angry. We beat him to the front door but the whole time the kids knew nothing of what was going on and were both calling out franticly, “We didn’t do it, we didn’t do it!”

When Chelsie was in AWANA one night she heard the gospel and went to talk to her Sunday School teacher, Mrs. McCann and gave her heart to Jesus.

After that she could be found out on the swing or on the back porch reading her little picture Bible having her quiet time. She loved her quiet time and often just remembered on her own.

Chelsie loves horses and always told her daddy that she wanted him to get her one. We never had one of our own but for a short time our friends needed to keep theirs in our barn so for Chel that was a great time.

I remember once dad bought her a harness for her dog. I think that was kind of her substitute horse. Many times you would see her riding her horse/bike and calling “Giddy-Up, Boy” as she rode through the grass.

It was discovered very early that Chel had a little motion sickness problem. We would travel to mommies obstetrician when Chel was still a tiny babe in her car seat and we would have little warning before she would erupt. When she got older and began doing a lot of traveling in the car she started wearing sea bands. That was a real blessing but she still can’t read while traveling. Chel loves to read and that was a real disappointment for her.

When Chel was in high school she came to her dad one Sunday night before church and told him she was going to come forward that night in church and give her life to serve the Lord as a missionary. She had written out what she wanted to say. I don’t know if it was before that or after but I remember watching the video about the life of Ronnie Bower with her and it really impacted her.

Chelsie loves to go to PBR and has often planned special things like that for her dad for his birthday. Another time they went white water rafting together. She has been known to be a bit of a dare-devil. While Chelsie was in LA this past winter she went to a park to do evangelism and met a man with some horses. She asked him if he would teach her how to make the horse stand up on its back legs. He agreed and we have a nice picture of it.

Today Chel is in Cambodia serving the Lord and having the time of her life. She has been to numerous orphanages for Aids victims and had many opportunities to share Christ. Last year she spent the summer in Peru and two years ago she spent three weeks in Portugal. Another love for Chelsie is children. She has had many opportunities to work with kids at Pine Trails Camp as well as working in VBS and teaching Sunday School.

Chel has an endless amount of energy and a tender heart. She has been a huge blessing to our family. Whenever she has been the babysitter for her younger siblings she has made sure they had a wild time and they were usually exhausted when we would return. The house would always be nice and clean – that is if her younger sister Lois was helping with the babysitting. Cleaning the house was not Chel’s thing but the two girls make a nice team.

We are all looking forward to having our Chelker home with us soon. We love her laugh and her fun spirit and her adventurous ways. We love you, Chel. Hope to celebrate your 19th birthday when you get here.

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If I Had A Remembrance Book…..

I love the way that sounds. If I did, I would tell you for sure about my dad. My dad has such an interesting personality. He can be fun and crazy one minute and dead serious the next. Let me share some fun things I remember from my little girl perspective of my daddy.

My dad liked very much to do some substitute teaching from time to time and I remember him often sharing with us at night the funny things he did to unsuspecting students. He told us about the time he would turn from the children in his fifth or sixth grade class and make bird noises while his back was to them and then turn and ask, “what was that?”.

I am sure the kids loved it when they saw that he was their sub for the day.

My dad worked many jobs to supplement his income. His real heart has always been in the Lord’s work. There were always the challenges of raising a family of four children on a pastor’s salary. He did all this while going to night school to further his education. My dad rarely ever sits down without a book on his lap. When we were young I remember when he would come home from his school teaching job and fix us supper. During this particular time my mom was working part time in a fabric store. We were latch key kids for about an hour each evening.
One night we were having a snow ball fight with some kids after school and well, the kids followed us right into the house firing snowballs all over the living room and my dad’s library.
There was another time we got into some kind of scuffle with the neighbor kids and I faced them off with my brother’s bb gun and my dad drove in at the same moment, but that is a different story.

The really fun thing I remember at that same house was that dad did the cooking for awhile and my brother Kenny and I did the dishes with dad after.

It was so sweet. Dad would make these weird concoctions with pork-n-beans and chicken noodle soup and maybe some left over carrots. He would always try to make it sound real special by giving it a silly name. I am sure he was trying real hard to cover for the fact that we all really missed mom about this time in the evening.

Then after, while Kenny and I would wipe the dishes as dad was washing, dad would sing us funny songs that he had learned at school.

One I really liked was “My Paddles Keen and Bright”.  I can remember every word of that silly song. We would sing in a round and have so much fun. The time would pass quickly and soon mom and Kev would be home and we would have devotions and go to bed. Devotions would sometimes even be a time for dad to show his wild side. He loves the Word of God and would never make a joke of important things but he has this very humorous way of reading Bible stories. Like Samson Delilah, oh that was a funny one. He would read the story and whenever there was dialog, he would use the appropriate voice – a high lady type voice for young Delilah and a deep gravely voice for Samson or whatever was good for the story of the evening. I totally loved it when he did it at home but I was always mortified when he did it at church.

My dad would whistle this crazy bird sound all the time and one day when I was just very little he left the house whistling and I hollered out the front door at the top of my lungs, “Good bye, Birdbrain!” That was a time when my poor dignified mother was mortified!

Dad was so cool when I was in high school. There were so many things that I thought I needed in high school, like cool clothes. Well, dad knew the best way to teach us the value of a dollar was to help us find jobs. Then, we could decide for ourselves what our real needs were and buy things with our own money.

He bought a lawn mower for my brother Kenny and I to use. We literally mowed the wheels off of that thing several times in one summer. At the same time Kenny, Dad and I all had morning paper routes delivering the Dayton Journal Herold. Dad would come to our rooms and stir us to get going at 5AM. We would all take off and deliver our papers. Once there was a drunk sleeping in the stairway of an apartment building where I delivered. I turned around and went back and told dad and he delivered that one for me. The real highlight of the job was the way we spent Saturdays. After all the papers were delivered we would go to the donut shop and eat donuts together and pass the time until it was late enough to go collecting.

I love my dad as I’m sure you can tell. We never had much money but we never felt cheated or underprivileged. We knew dad loved us because he always made time for us and did everything he could think of to make our lives special and to teach us what he thought we would need for life.

I really appreciate the way he tried hard to make simple tasks fun. Thanks Dad. I hope I have done that with my crew. I love you.

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Home For Christmas

I have been out and about and enjoying myself. Everyone needs a season of refreshment. Mine was taking a quick trip to Florida for a few days with my daughter and son-in -law. They were adopting their first little one and I had so much fun. We also had a few days to wait things out until all was legal and that meant a few days of waiting. The kids were very eager to get home to real life but I was actually enjoying my time, reading books, listening to Christmas music, taking walks, taking pictures, playing games, eating out, shopping….

Well, all good things must come to an end as they say and I am now back in my home in Ohio and looking forward to Christmas should the Lord tarry. I am now at the ripe old age of 50 and I look forward to seeing my Heavenly Father as much as anything. It is such a sweet thing to think about that first Christmas though as the birth of Hillary and Terry’s baby is so fresh. I found myself thinking over and over again of the birth of Jesus Christ and his young mother, Mary. I love that song, “Mary, Did You Know?”.

My focus at Christmas has changed a bit over the years. Even recently I thought so much of the time around Christmas about the gifts/the meal/the trimmings, but now I think  much about the day in history and how it changed all the days that would follow it. I think about the people I pass and wonder if they know. I wonder what it will be like to worship Him in heaven.

I want to worship Him in spirit and in truth. I wonder sometimes if I really know what it means at all, to worship.

The wisemen knew for we read that they bowed down and worshiped Him.

Have a wonderful Christmas. I hope you can enjoy some time sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus. I hope as you read His Word that you will be blessed by His presence and His peace.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

I had a great day yesterday. My favorite kind of day is a day when I can just stay home all day and play homeschool mom. I didn’t get to do that for the whole day but let me tell you about my idea of a perfect homeschool day.

My day currently begins at 5am when the alarm sounds.

I climb out of bed and shut off the alarm. Then, I climb the steps in the dark so I won’t wake my three boys that sleep in the open room at the top of the steps. I step carefully because occassionally 🙂 there is something to step on! Then, I proceed to my son Jesse’s room. Be careful where you step in there, too.

Then, I switch on his light and speak a gentle “good morning” to him to get his day off to a good start.  I creep back down the steps and turn on the little lamp over the microwave, get my Bible and glasses, put on the hot water for Jess and go to the chair in the living room to read.

I usually finish up my quiet time about 30 minutes after Jesse leaves for work. Then, my day really gets going. I usually check my email and write a few notes.

Then I holler for the kids to come down and start breakfast. Andrea and Seth are usually the first ones up. We all have breakfast and then start our work. We usually do our math and reading first. We try to get as much done as we can early. Then, we go for a walk at noon and then come back and eat lunch. If the kids have their seat work done they can work on projects.

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Yesterday, I had to leave around 1:30 pm to take Jer to his orientation. But, project time went well without me. Chel made apple crisp and apple butter, Lois sanded a big cherry dresser and the leaves in my new table. When I got home I made a stir fry and we took our table, chairs, plates and silver and the apple crisp to Jer and Lisa’s house.

Jer and Lisa and Rayne live just a block from the old school building where our church is currently meeting. The kids walked and Jim and I took the van. It was  a beautiful night.

When church was over we headed for home so Jim could go right to bed.

Jim got up around 12:30 am to drive a CSX truck to Buffalo, N.Y.  He is on his way home now and will go on to Knoxville later today.

Well, that is my day.

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We love our new home way out in the country. The lane to the house must be a half a mile long. There are two ponds and lots of woods. There is even an old outhouse and a bridge.

The house has just enough room for our family to squeeze into. There are three bedrooms upstairs. One room is for Chelsie (17), Lois (15), and Andrea (7). Jesse (19) has the other little room, and then Tim (14), Seth (12), and Andy (9) share a rather large area at the top of the steps. Downstairs there is a fair sized country kitchen with my computer desk, two tables and some huge windows for a beautiful view of country side in two directions.

There is  a comfy room for living with our TV, couch, chairs, bookshelves and Jim’s desk and the piano.

Our bedroom is large with lots of bookshelves and windows all around on two sides. We have a pencil post bed way up high and a white and blue calico quilt. (Very homey)

There is a bathroom off our room and one off the kitchen. We do our laundry in the basement.

Outside there are many barns and a chicken coop which we hope to put to use soon.

This is our little slice of heaven on earth. We like this old country home with its many porches and windows. The view is glorious in all directions.

I especially like to look at the house from the ridge to the east of the house.

The sunrises and sunsets are to die for.

Praise the Lord for all He has done in our lives and the lives of our children.

We are a long way from perfect but God is definately working on us.

We praise Him for all He is doing. We are humbled by His goodness to us.

Our family adopted a verse while we were traveling. I would like to cross-stitch it and get it framed and put up in a visible spot here.

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” decalares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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