Thursday, April 26, 2012

f O c U s D i S c I p L i N e


The center of interest or activity.

I have never given this word much thought until recently, and at this time in my life it has become indwelled in me.

I am sure it's because my FOCUS has switched gears.  Ending one beautiful part of my life and beginning another beautiful part.

For many years my FOCUS was on being a wife, raising our children and developing my relationship with the Lord.  

Now, being an empty nester, I am FOCUSED on another call on my life of preparing to move to China.  In order to be able to accomplish this, I must FOCUS on my Savior who by His
great strength will enable me to do this!

I am daily asking Him to help me keep His FOCUS, my FOCUS!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


i was given a gift last week of a beautiful devotional called "Sparkling Gems of the Greek".   i am so thankful that this special gifter was obedient to the Holy Spirit's urging her to buy me this book.  
it is truly a treasure!  
it has a particular scripture for the day and then it gives a one to two page devotional including the most important words transcribed into the greek language to give you the true meaning/definition of the word or words.  
today's devotion broke my heart and as I read it in disbelief about Jesus' death.
i will never understand the level of outrage and hate in the jews and the roman soldiers that wanted Jesus, a man without sin, to be killed. 

never, ever, will I be able to comprehend how 
they could inflict so much pain and hate on 

the One and Only that had no sin. 

how they chose to 
beat Him.  
scourge Him, spit on Him
hate Him, strip Him,
tie Him, 
shackle Him, 
whip Him,  lash Him, strike Him, 
humiliate Him, beat Him, 
tempt Him, curse Him
mock Him
c r u c i f y  Him.

anger builds up inside me.
revenge, hate, vengeance.

and each time, my wonderful Savior
reminds me that it was part of His beautiful
ironic...that, that was BEAUTIFUL.

but yes, it is that.
and that plan included me.
someone had to take my place.
someone had to pay the price for all sin.

God sent His Son for that.
so that I would not be in debt for that
unbelievable price of my sin.

He suffered... He bled His precious blood...
and died a humiliating death
for me.

the CROSS was where the price was paid
for my deliverance.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

anticipating China

God is continually amazing Glenn and I with His encouragement for us to go to China next summer!  The most recent way He has done this is bringing more Chinese friends into our life.  Before Xiangdong returned to China he wanted us to meet his friend, Xue Ni.  We are so thankful for her presence in our life.  She is an amazing godly young woman that is so much fun to be with.  She has such a joyful spirit and complete trust in her Lord and Savior.  She is a temporary au pair for a large family in Slippery Rock that have adopted eight Asian children.  This family hired her for a year to help with the children and improve her English, which is already really good!  She is between her sophmore and junior years of college near her home town of Xian.  She has a legacy of Christianity in her family and believes the Lord may be calling her to be an interpreter when she graduates with her Masters degree.  We love spending time with her, while helping one another learn each other's native tongue.  I still say she has it easier than we do learning Chinese, especially at our age!  Another friend that we have met is Lijuan.  She is a professor at Grove City College and also a lovely Christian woman.  She has lived in the states for about 15 years and will be receiving her residency very soon.  She loves this area and also has a heart for Southern California, which she lived in for eight years.  

It is so wonderful spending time with these women and I truly believe that God is arranging these friendships so that we will be more accustomed to relationships in China!  I am just in awe of what He does!  We are eating alot of Chinese food in our house these days.  Xiangdong and Xue Ni have both cooked for us and Lijuan is so gracious to have us in her home for meals.  We also frequent the Lotus Market to stock up on Chinese food that we can cook.  All in all,  I see the preparation that God is doing and I bow my head in complete thankfulness.  

How tenderly does He overpower us with the splendor of His goodness, soothing where He might confound! In Grace and love, who is like You, O Lord? Among the gods who is like You? Understanding faints in attempting to ascend to You! Imagination, to which You have given a half-creative faculty, cannot beget a thought of equal height to Your thoughts, nor conceive a way which may bear comparison with Your ways! What better can we do, great God, than bow our heads and reverently adore?  (Spurgeon)

Beginning this journey with God "anticipating China" is truly humbling and an encouragement to my soul!  I never dreamed that I would be SO blessed to see SO MUCH of God while still being earthbound!  What a privilege, what an honor, WHAT A JOY!

Next step:  Beginning to downsize and asking for God's guidance in that, of course!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

GRATITUDE: the quality or feeling of being thankful

My Helper, the Holy Spirit, gave me a direction today that I know will be most helpful for me and I am so grateful!  Each time that I begin to feel sorry for myself, especially when I have to say good-bye to my children and their spouses or my granddaughter....I am choosing to move directly into a state of gratitude, (probably AFTER I shed some tears.)  So today, with additional inspiration from my "One Thousand Gifts" book I am going to list a bunch of things that I am thankful for.

I HAVE to begin with my LORD and Savior, Creator of the Universe, King of the World, Sacrificial Lamb, Lover of my soul, Gracious God.  I am in never ending awe of who HE is.  I cannot imagine my life, as an adult, without HIM.  He fills all of the emptiness in me with HIS abounding LOVE.  HE reminds me all of the time that HE gives me life and gives it abundantly!  (John 10:10) WOW, am I thankful for that!

Then is my hubby, Glenn.  He is God's best for me without a doubt!  He loves me unconditionally and believe me if he didn't, he would've been out the door a long time ago.  I have been a major project in slowly becoming somewhat of what God designed me to be as a wife.  I have been domineering, strong-willed and outspoken and my gracious husband has been so patient with me.  Thankfully, I listened to God when He strongly called me into submission.  It is one of the most profound moments of my life!  I can still remember the day and it was He and I alone for a period of time,  sometimes I almost think that I audibly heard His voice.  I didn't, it just was so profound and evident that HE was demanding my obedience in submitting to my husband, that it feels like I heard Him with an audible voice.   And THAT, I am so thankful for.

Next, are my children and their spouses.  Brent, our son, I am so thankful for his sense of humor, his easy going character and his desire to be a Biblical husband and father.  He has a zest for life and not too much phases him.  He just goes with the flow and accepts what the Father brings his way.  Christy, his wife, is a godly woman that Glenn and I prayed for long before Brent was a young adult.  I am thankful for her desire to be a godly wife to our son and a Biblical mother/teacher/disciplinarian to our granddaughter,  Madeline.   Cara, our daughter, I am so thankful that God allowed me to be a part of His growing her into a beautiful  and godly woman.  The process was painful at times and her getting fibromyalgia, made it even more difficult.  All in all, I am thankful that God used her in my life to strengthen my hope, when I felt hopeless at times.  I am thankful for the encourager she is in my life.  Her hubby, Daniel, is also a Godsend.  I am thankful for his teachable spirit and his unconditional love for our daughter and the leader he desires to be for her.  Finally, Madeline, my beautiful, fun granddaughter God gave us.  I am thankful for her energy and the joy that overflows in her.  I am thankful that God has given me a desire to be purposeful in her life and to pray for her heart to be tender towards Him,  so that she will receive Him as Savior someday.  I will be SO thankful for that day!

I am also thankful for:  our church, our friends and family, our jobs, our home, our vehicles, our furniture, food, drink, good coffee, clothes, eyesight, hearing, good health, sweet neighbors, trees, flowers, seasons, sweets, books, my Bible, my phone, airplanes, Skype, my MacBook, rain, snow, sunshine, sunrises, sunsets, the ocean, music, candy, good movies, laughter, good preaching, naps, picnics, soft towels, candles, chimes, cameras, anticipating our move to China, surprises and joy.

I want to live in a state of gratitude and I am thankful that my Father will give me that desire of my heart.