Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Be still, wait. You are in the presence of Grace

Week of June 25

Galilean Grace (Part 3)
When You Let God Down
by Max Lucado

(Read Part 1) - (Read Part 2)

He had turned his back on the sea to follow the Messiah. He had left the boats thinking he'd never return. But now he's back. Full circle. Same sea. Same boat. Maybe even the same spot.

But this isn't the same Peter. Three years of living with the Messiah have changed him. He's seen too much. Too many walking crippled, vacated graves, too many hours hearing his words. He's not the same Peter. It's the same Galilee, but a different fisherman.

Why did he return? What brought him back to Galilee after the crucifixion? Despair? Some think so—I don't. Hope dies hard for a man who has known Jesus. I think that's what Peter has. That's what brought him back. Hope. A bizarre hope that on the sea where he knew him first, he would know him again.

So Peter is in the boat, on the lake. Once again he's fished all night. Once again the sea has surrendered nothing.

His thoughts are interrupted by a shout from the shore. "Catch any fish?" Peter and John look up. Probably a villager. "No!" they yell. "Try the other side!" the voice yells back. John looks at Peter. What harm? So out sails the net. Peter wraps the rope around his wrist to wait.

But there is no wait. The rope pulls taut and the net catches. Peter sets his weight against the side of the boat and begins to bring in the net; reaching down, pulling up, reaching down, pulling up. He's so intense with the task, he misses the message.

John doesn't. The moment is déjà vu. This has happened before. The long night. The empty net. The call to cast again. Fish flapping on the floor of the boat. Wait a minute. He lifts his eyes to the man on the shore. "It's him," he whispers.

Then louder, "It's Jesus."

Then shouting, "It's the Lord, Peter. It's the Lord!"

Peter turns and looks. Jesus has come. Not just Jesus the teacher, but Jesus the death-defeater, Jesus the king ... Jesus the victor over darkness. Jesus the God of heaven and earth is on the shore ... and he's building a fire.

Peter plunges into the water, swims to the shore, and stumbles out wet and shivering and stands in front of the friend he betrayed. Jesus has prepared a bed of coals. Both are aware of the last time Peter had stood near a fire. Peter had failed God, but God had come to him.

For one of the few times in his life, Peter is silent. What words would suffice? The moment is too holy for words. God is offering breakfast to the friend who betrayed him. And Peter is once again finding grace at Galilee.

What do you say at a moment like this?

What do you say at a moment such as this?

It's just you and God. You and God both know what you did. And neither one of you is proud of it. What do you do?

You might consider doing what Peter did. Stand in God's presence. Stand in his sight. Stand still and wait. Sometimes that's all a soul can do. Too repentant to speak, but too hopeful to leave—we just stand.

Stand amazed.

He has come back.

He invites you to try again. This time, with him.

From He Still Moves Stones: Everyone Needs a Miracle
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

Sunday’s Coming

Check out Don’s Sunday’s Coming!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prepare for the opportunity

It seems I am continuing with the same thought that began yesterday….

I just received this email:

“The mother of all good signs!  The two biggest issues of the day succinctly wrapped up in a single thought!!  Brilliant!!!”Illegal aliens

From a card we received at church Sunday morning……

I commit to pray daily for 140 days:

God, search my heart and the hearts of Your people.  Bring revival in the church and to the people in our nation.  Please open our eyes and change the direction of our nation so that we return to You, Sovereign Lord.

"If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Is God opening my eyes? 

A Godly plan of "attack:" 

If we, God’s people, "bombard" every illegal alien with the love and grace of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will repent, be saved, follow Jesus and become a positive in this nation; or they will turn and run back to where they came from.  God is bringing our mission fields to us... what are we going to do about it?

We, God's people, have a golden opportunity to help start a revival among the illegal aliens and it will spread through them as the joy of forgiveness and life in Jesus ignites each individual to share the grace they have received.  Jesus died for ALL and  He lives for ALL.

Sovereign Lord, prepare hearts for Yourself and show me where You are at work?  Let me join you.

Jesus is coming soon.  Let us be found working, smiling, shining wherever we go.  Be ever ready to share the gift of God's gracious salvation with others.  Be Prepared ... >> The Roman Road -scriptures for salvation ; The Four Spiritual Laws ; Who is Jesus? ;You Can Be Sure ; pick one… study it… make it your own.

Remember:  The Lord has not called us to destroy the darkness, but He has called us to BE THE LIGHT! – Ann Smith

Rest and Relaxation in Georgia

The only getting out today was going in to Trenton to eat breakfast at the Huddle House and then across the street to the Dollar General for a couple of items.

While at the Huddle House, there were several senior citizens who pulled up to the front door and once I heard the manager instructing one of the waitresses to go get J.C.’s walker out of his back seat and help him inside, while she held the door open.  We were sitting close by, so I commented to the manager that, “this is a full service restaurant, isn’t it?”  She smiled and said “absolutely, we are here to help whenever we can.”  It was refreshing to see seniors honored and respected in such a way.  The team here sure gives Huddle House a good name.  I think I will write an email to corporate and brag on this bunch

As we drove back to the Q, Don took a different route and we saw this pretty place.  There sure are a lot of veggie gardens here.100_3023

It’s a little cooler today, but still very humid and it doesn’t take long before I am wringing wet, but I was determined to get a few pictures today and just be outside for some vitamin D.

I like the way they have used railroad ties as a retaining wall/steps to the common area.100_3031

Today, they are pumping fresh water into the pond from the creek.  The pump is housed in that little house by the creek.100_3034

I don’t have any idea what this little log building is, but I’m sure someone had fun building it.  Maybe this is where they store the horseshoes, etc.100_3036

On the front lawn is a crepe myrtle bush with two different color blooms, dark and light pink.100_3044100_3042

I’m sure there are two different bushes growing together here.100_3041

The entrance to the park looking toward the highway where a bicyclist rides by.  What is he thinking?  Mountains, heat and humidity makes for a dangerous combination.100_3047

The R-Haven Overnight Family Park100_3049

The drive makes a big circle around the outside.100_3050

The sun shining straight down through the trees on the water running in the creek made for a beautiful sight. Looking east.100_3051

Looking west.100_3052

The Q from across the pond and common area.100_3054

Silver wings over the water.100_3056

Don grilled pork steaks, I pan fried yellow squash and zucchini and warmed up fresh green beans and new potatoes for dinner.  Also, made some cornbread patties.  Don pulled out our new drop leaf table and we had a very good sit down dinner.

Don has felt a little punky today, so we’ve taken it easy and read, watched TV and played on the computer, for the most part.  Don and I both walked around outside, but the humidity just takes it out of us, so, rest is good.  We are so blessed.

Think About It…

“The truth is we’ve all been guilty of plenty, and God deserves the glory for His mercy toward us.” —Anne Cetas

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another blessed day…

It’s been a nice, quiet day.

Don made a pot of chicken noodle soup and after we got to Mama Trudy’s for lunch, I made a pan of corn bread.  Mama wasn’t feeling too well, but she enjoyed the soup and corn bread. We visited with her for a while and then left so she would rest, maybe.

Before going back to the Q, we drove up on Lookout Mountain to see if the hang gliders were out today, but they weren’t.

I took a couple of pictures as we drove down the mountain.100_3019

One of the beautiful homes we passed.100_3020

Back at the Q, Don took a nap and I played on the computer, organizing pictures, etc.  It’s too hot and humid to do much outside during the afternoon.

Tonight, we drove down to the Rising Fawn Baptist Church to attend the Missions Conference they will be having for four nights and which started last night.  We were excited that their choir sang two songs.  Also, speaking were two missionaries, one to Honduras and one to Brazil and both with families.  It was very interesting and wonderful to see the impact they are making in people’s lives.  We were surprised when, at the end of the service, the pastor asked Don to come up and explain about CRM Int’l and the RV ministry and then to close the evening with prayer.  The folks at RFBC are very friendly and we sure enjoyed visiting with them.

Thank You, Lord, for a blessed day.


Think About It….

“The only happy hour is the one that God creates.” - Charles Stanley 6/27/2010

Think about it…

After being in that huge church building yesterday morning, Don and I both wondered how much it must have cost. 

And then this morning we read this devotional (not a coincidence) by Adrian Rogers:


Meeting Social and Spiritual Needs

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." John 6:35

Sometimes people in large churches get a lot of grief from "the world" because of the great expenses of building and maintaining their church. I've heard, "Why didn't they take that money and feed the poor?"

Here's my answer, "People need Jesus." The social gospel thinks that all men need is food. If I had five billion dollars and bought everybody on earth a snack; in several hours, they'd all be hungry again. There's nothing wrong with feeding the poor. We ought to do that. But the social gospel puts an emphasis on what is temporary. The true gospel puts the emphasis upon what is eternal. Folks need more than soup and soap, they need salvation.

Think about ways that you can get involved with the needs to feed, clothe, and house the homeless. Then also find the open door to feed them with the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ."

Amen.  Both large and small churches have their place and meet needs.  Larger church are able to reach more people, even feed more people, than smaller churches.  There are advantages for both.

We saw many folks from many nationalities in that church yesterday, “drinking from Jesus' well” and they, in turn, are reaching their family and friends in their native countries with the truth and light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

There doesn’t seem to be enough missionaries to go into all the world and make disciples for Christ, so God is bringing many of those people to us.  That’s a fresh and different way to look at all the illegal's in this country.  The answer to that problem is to share Jesus with as many of them as we can while they are here!  Suddenly, it’s no longer a problem, but an opportunity.

I know, I’m not stupid.  Illegal aliens still represent a huge challenge to us and the government is allowing it to be a huge drain on our economy, but the fact remains that they are people that God loves and we have an opportunity and a responsibility to share that fact with them. 

In our feeble minds, the whole situation seems overwhelming, but nothing is impossible with God and only God can change the hearts of people.  May we be found sharing the love of Jesus with everyone God makes available to us, until Jesus returns.

Think about it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Church in Atlanta with Dr. Charles Stanley

To get up early enough to drive to Atlanta this morning, I had to set my alarm for 6:00.  You read right.  I got up at 6:00 this morning!

We left the Q a little after 7:30 and it was really foggy out; we could barely see the mountains.100_2986

A little further, the cloud is still hanging below the tops of the mountains.100_2993

But as soon as the sun showed up over the top of the mountain, the fog begin to disappear.  A view of the Tennessee River from I-24.100_2994

Our destination this morning was the First Baptist Church of Atlanta where Dr. Charles Stanley is pastor.  We had a little trouble finding the church because our GPS needs updating and led us on a “wild goose chase.”  Well, that’s not totally true:  I printed directions and a map from the FBA website last night and walked out of the Q and left the directions on the counter.  We were not in our pew at 10:45, but we made it in time for a few songs and the sermon.  Dr. Stanley is one of our favorites and we were not disappointed.  His message was about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well and Dr. Stanley was asking, “Are you drinking from the world’s wells or are you drinking from Jesus’ well of living water?”  When he said, “The only happy hour is the one God creates,”  I started taking notes.  It was a really good message about the emptiness in our lives and the only true person that can fill that emptiness… Jesus Christ.

This church was amazing.  After church was over, I took a few pictures inside.100_2996

Dr. Stanley stayed at the front area and greeted visitors.  I’m not sure why, but he has a body guard.100_2998

This is the east wing and the door we entered.  It’s beautiful.100_2999

This is the north wing entrance where the body guard drove Dr. Stanley’s car to pick him up.100_3002100_3001100_3004

We waited for a while to allow the crowd to get out of the parking lot and that also allowed me to take a few pictures of the grounds.

Somewhere on our way out of Atlanta, we passed The Weather Channel building.100_3011

Sure glad this is Sunday and not a work day.  Can you imagine these seven lanes full of traffic?  Not for me… I’m a country girl.100_3014

We made it back home about 4:30.  It took us a little longer to get back to the Q because we took a different route, away from the interstate highway, back over the mountain.  We don’t like to take the same road twice. :-)

I’ve been thinking about a new feature on Bakers’ Blessings where I will be sharing little thoughts that I pick up here and there and I think I will call it: 

Think About It…

Counseling in a nutshell:

Admit it.

Quit it.

Forget it.

(Dr. Bennie Tate, 6/27/2010 – )

“I was wrong!” (Kris update)

[I just received the following email from Carol and George Kline, Kris’s parents.  I just have to say that we are rejoicing with them and we are also rejoicing at the understanding of Kris’s situation that God has given Carol and George.  I have an idea in mind, so please pray that it’s God’s will and I will post details at a later date.]

Dear ones!

It is with great joy and tremendous excitement that I fully admit I was wrong!  I believe I mentioned at some point that Kris hasn't been using her right eye and we were really afraid she may never have use of it again.  Well, scratch that!  I was wrong!  Two or three days ago, she actually started opening her right eye more, and just two days ago, she really started to focus with BOTH eyes.  Her right eye is now straight again (it was sort of off to the right side) and she is looking straight at us, and the eye is dilating: she is focusing!!!

AND... (are you ready for this?), she is focusing on things and people and surroundings and watching what's happening around her.  She is listening!  Her younger sister, Stephanie, and her husband, John, came for a visit last week.  When they first came in to see Kris last Thursday morning, we took her into the day room and Steph sat down next to her to give Kris the good news: Stephanie is expecting her first child!!!  (This is REALLY big news in the family because Stephanie is 38 years old and really felt she could not have children!)  Kris seemed to understand everything Stephanie was telling her and there was understanding in her face.  I mean, praise God, you can just tell when someone is LISTENING, right?  Krissie was listening!!

AND... as if that isn't enough, she is responding to everything we say.  Now, the WAY she is responding is a little hard to explain.  She does it by using her left foot!!!  For instance, her hubby came in last Friday morning and was talking to her quite a bit.  Kris was looking at him and watching him.  He was sitting on the left side of her bed and he told her to put her left foot up on his shoulder.  She did!  She did it three times after he asked her to do it!  About then, the doctor came by to check on Kris and Russ showed him what she was doing.  He was so blown away, he admitted, and was excited for her.  I also told the doctor I've been giving Kris tiny ice chips and getting her to swallow, and he said she may now ready for a swallowing test.  If she does okay with that, they will eventually start weaning her from the feeding tube.  That may be weeks down the road but, again, it's a start.  Soft, pureed foods, puddings, etc.: I'm sure she will love that. 

Unfortunately, her arms are not moving very much at all and they seem awfully weak, so therapy will likely work more with her arms next.  And she doesn't speak, so speech therapy will soon get more aggressive I'm sure.  They see her only once a week now because they have been waiting for her to become more aware and to swallow without choking.  Swallowing is the key, so we'll continue working with the spoon and the ice chips.  She is still not fully out of the coma yet, believe it or not.  The doctor said they will know; there truly is a way they will know when she is.  Suffice to say, the human body is an absolutely amazing thing and God has made us to function and heal and re-start within our own capabilities in so many glorious ways.  I am so often blown away myself by the patients here who have come so far.  Kris is going to be one of the miracles, I just know it.

I must tell you, with all of these little miracles with Kris, and now Stephanie becoming a mom, we have yet another one to share:  Son John, who came through the chemo and radiation therapy for melanoma, has now been declared cancer free!!!  The most recent tests show there are no more cancer cells and he has even gone back to work, albeit, taking it very slowly.  He is an electrician at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, and they have been wonderful and caring through his ordeal.  We are so thankful for all those who have been praying for John, too!  These are definitely works of grace!!!

So, dear ones, today it is sunny and very hot in Austin, and an extremely wonderful day!!!  I came home from the facility a while ago to make Sunday dinner (home cooked meals are rare right now!) and George and I will go back in with Kris for the evening.  It is a joy to watch her watching us and listening.  I held up two flash cards to her this morning: one said "Yes" and the other said "No."  It was a test!!!  I asked her to point with her left foot if she was ready to go back to her room and get back into bed.  I asked if she was getting tired and told her to point with her left foot if her answer was "yes" or "no."  She pointed to yes!  Just to be certain, I switched the cards around and asked her again.  She pointed to "yes" again.  Can't fool her!!! 

As I said earlier, the human body is magnificently and wonderfully made.  We don't know why this happened to Kris, but we do know there have been many wonderful things happen already to her and to us, and to others who read her story.  Answers to prayers.  We are seeing all these things happen and knowing God is more in control than we ever realized.  We are so truly blessed to be in His care!!!  Keep the prayers coming folks.  It means so much!!!

Blessings and love,

Carol and George

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It’s Mama Trudy’s Birthday-92!

Saturday, June 26, 2010, has been a great day!100_2947-2

Don and I went to the local grocery store and picked up a few items to make panini sandwiches for lunch at Mama Trudy’s.  While there, Don spotted some bright flowers for Mama Trudy.  She really loved them.



Of course, we played a few games of dominoes and then came back to the Q for a few hours before going out to Sammy and Kim’s place for birthday cake and ice cream with Mama.

Right away, we saw my great-niece, AlexAnn, belonging to nephew, Timmy, who is traveling with country artist, Gary Allen, this weekend and couldn’t be here. AlexAnn is an adorable six year old, blue-eyed, strawberry blonde sweetheart.100_2949

Before the cousins, AlexAnn and Sophia, disappeared to play, we got a few pics of them with their great-grandmother.100_2952-1100_2953

One of Mama’s favorite things of the evening was watching Alex and Sophie.  This went from being the ever popular “horns” or “rabbit ears” to “V for victory!”100_2951Here’s a close up of Mama Trudy laughing at the girls.  I love it!100_2951-1

These two are inseparable and love each other so much.  They’re so cute.100_2950-1

Okay, back to the Birthday Girl or as she announced that today her name is “Queenie!”  Kimberly lights the candles as Sammy and Mama Trudy watch.  That was about the best carrot cake I have ever eaten.100_2954

She blew out all the candles!  All seventeen of them!  Looks about right to me.100_2955

Sammy thoroughly enjoys Queenie’s antics as we all do.100_2956

Mother and son.100_2959

Mother and daughter.100_2960

Sammy’s youngest son, Caleb, and my great-nephew.100_2961

Queenie admires drools over homemade goodies from Kimberly and Sammy.100_2965

Queenie with a beautiful potted plant from Jon and Carolyn.  You know, honestly, I’ve seen seventy year old women who look older than this.100_2966

Queenie with all her gifts; the book is from Don and I.100_2968

Sammy and Kim’s back screened-in deck is wonderful and after the rain started, we moved out here to enjoy the cooler temperature.


My older brother, Jon, and wife, Carolyn.100_2971

Sammy and Kimberly.  Thanks for the wonderful time in your home for Mama Trudy’s birthday.  It was great!!100_2973-1100_2982

Before we knew it, it was time to go.  The younger girls needed to get ready for bed and Mama Trudy was beginning to tire a little, so Sammy drove her back to her apartment in her 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck.  Shoot!  I should have taken a picture of her with her truck.  She would have loved that.  She sure misses driving it.

What a good day we have had.  I am so thankful that I have been so blessed to have Mama Trudy as my mother and I look forward to another year to love her and be loved by her.

Do you want to know where the sparkle in Mama Trudy’s eyes comes from?….

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.” —Psalm 42:1

My sweet mama loves the Lord.