Musing & Wandering

Traveling with Christ

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Stories

We recently traveled to visit Nick’s cousin, who was a missionary in the Philippines for many years. He was in hospice care, and his wife said we should get there to see him. He was conscious when we arrived, so Nick did get to visit with him. We’re glad we drove up there.

Daniel006Nick offered to read from the Bible for him. He said lions, so Nick read the story of Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel 6). He had a smile on his face when Nick finished the story.

His wife said he’d been dreaming about fishing with his father everfather son fishingy night, but that’s a story only he knows.  I wondered if it was actually fishing for fish or fishing for men, because that’s what he did as a missionary.

I got to thinking about stories in my life. Growing up, my father and mother read stories to us. My mom even saved my favorite childhood storybook for me – Miss Sniff, about a black cat. I just discovered it was a Fuzzy Wuzzy book! The cover had a picture of the cat, which was fuzzy to feel. You can still feel the fuzz, because I managed to not rub it all off.

My father had quite the imagination, so he told us stories, but unfortunately, they were never recorded.  Some were good, some not so good, but he filled our lives with his stories, as I recall.  I can still remember parts of some.  He told scary ones too.

I guess you could say I continued my love for stories throughout my life. My degree is in English. I had to read a lot of stories (classical literature, I mean) for that! I worked in libraries, both school and county, surrounded by stories, and I read a lot, including reading stories as part of my jobs. I read to my own children too, and like my mother, I saved their favorite storybooks for them.

Stories have been around since man was created. Stories were passed down from parents to children and shared with others at every opportunity. God gave us a book, the Bible, with 66 books filled with stories of mankind so that we would remember just how much He loves us, our Creator.

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In Deuteronomy 11:19-20 God said, “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,” (NKJV). The stories were written over a long period of time, by multiple authors, but they all tell the story of God’s people and how He loves each and every one of us. He wants us to remember all He’s done for us and will do.

So, hearing Nick’s cousin ask to hear “lions,” I got to thinking about my favorite Bible story.  When I get to the end of my life, which Bible story would I want to hear read to me, assuming there’s time? I haven’t decided yet, but how about you?  Which story would you want to hear?  Just wondering . . .

Blessings,
Boo and Nick

Yoyo Prodigal

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Long, long ago (it was long ago for me) in a faraway place called Montgomery, AL (it’s far from me now with a lot of places in between) during a Vacation Bible School. I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Well, I think I did. I said I did at the time, but just how well did I understand what it meant? There was no follow up, no mentoring, nothing.

We weren’t a church going family. Sunday School, yep, and church when I was older, but no fellowship, no growth, no learning, just Sunday School. I learned in high school that Mom was an atheist. She told me (in later years, I hope she changed her mind). She said it was Dad who wanted us to go to Sunday School, but he didn’t go, nor she. Just the kids.  And at the time, as best as I recall, all these years later, there wasn’t any follow through.  Non-denominational military churches just didn’t provide follow up. I was confirmed at age 13 into the church at a military base.

So college arrives. Away from home for the first time! Freedom! Yippee! My first Sunday, I go to a church. Mind you, it was not a non-denominational church. It was the same church I was confirmed in. Wow! I had no idea! Not at all what I’d been raised with in military chapels. I left church that morning never (I was young) to return to church (through no fault of that church, though).

Well, you can see where this is going, I’m sure! And yes, this prodigal’s journey away began with all of its going, not going, not understanding, not obeying, just not. Church and my “relationship” with Jesus was nothing to me. Not important. Other things were more important. I’m sure some of you can identify with me. Or maybe not. That’s okay.

What matters is that God kept on calling me. Not just once, but over and over again.  Recently, my brother asked me if I hear His voice. I “hear” Him in my head, not with my ears, but I’m thinking with my heart. I hear Him in His Words in the Bible. I hear Him in other followers of Christ. I’m not really sure how it works. I just know that He speaks to me.

I  know that He kept working on me and calling me. He called a lot using my friends. Precious friends. Good friends. Friends who knew the Lord. The clincher – I had children now. Did I want nothing for them too? My heart knew something was missing. My head knew something was missing in my life. And those friends lovingly and gently lead me back to Jesus.

In the 80s (not sure of the date, but then I’m old, remember?), I joined a small group studying Kay Arthur’s, Lord Teach Me to Pray. The Lord really spoke to me in that class. I sat there one day just sobbing, because I knew this was important to me, that I get it “right.” Did I get it “right” right away?

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No, it wasn’t instantaneous for me, rebel that I am. I resisted, but God persisted. He kept on calling. It was back and forth, up and down, truly a yoyo effect. I was re-baptized in 2013 and rededicated myself to the Lord, but it was a long, long process to get to that place. Am I perfect? Far from it, but I am forgiven, and working on my relationship with Him as He leads me. I’m reading His Word. Now that’s a book, let me tell you. It’s got it all. Just read it and find out for yourself!

So, that’s my story. That’s how I returned to Jesus, or some would say “came to Jesus”. I wanted to share it with you. God celebrates the prodigal’s return. Luke 15:24 says, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (ESV) 

He’s calling to you. Are you listening? Just wondering . . .

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Blessings,
Boo and Nick

Wait

Wait. Not something I am fond of doing, I will admit. When waiting, there’s not much to do. Sometimes, it’s worth the wait. Others, not!

Recently I had to wait in a doctor’s office. This was a new one, so I had no idea what to expect. As I approached 55 minutes of waiting, I said to the Lord, I would wait the full hour before giving up and rescheduling. I also told Him that I really wanted to meet her. So I waited. At exactly one hour late, she entered the room full of apologies. Of course, I accepted them. And as the expression goes, “the wait was worth it!” She’s wonderful!

IMG_0639This Tuesday morning I was fixing my cup of coffee.  I always add some filtered refrigerator water to cool it. Or I attempted to do that. I put my cup up and pushed, no water. Of course, I tried the “logical” things – can I get ice? Can I get any water? Can I see the problem when I look up inside? Can I see anything wrong (well even if I did, would I know? Not likely)?  I opened the freezer door to see if I could solve the problem that way. Nope. I finally realized this was over my head, as most repair problems are, but I wasn’t going to disturb Nick’s quiet time with that. I got bottled water to cool my coffee, and prayed that God would resolve the issue.  The water was delaying what was more important-time with the Lord.  The water issue could wait.

Oh, there’s that word again – wait! I have been encountering that word frequently in my devotions and readings recently. My waiting that morning was filled with time with the Lord and His Word. And yes, I did focus on just that. Then came the moment of truth, or in my case, the moment of answer- it’s time to fix breakfast, and I’ll need water. Anyway, I took a pan to the refrigerator, held it under, sent a brief prayer, and pushed the lever. A drop came out. Yes, it was water, but not what I was expecting. I sent another brief prayer, and out comes the water!

We all wait. We wait in line at stores, movies, amusement parks, airports. We wait for people to arrive for celebrations, to meet someone, new babies. We wait for test results, for prognosis, for healing. We wait for children, for family, for friends. We wait for someone to speak an answer. Waiting is part of our lives.

There are those who say we shouldn’t bother God with the little things in life. He’ll get us through without us “bothering Him.” Yes, there are many important and bigger problems, than water to cool my coffee or waiting to see a doctor. Yet, God cares about all aspects of our lives. It’s not just the big issues, like prodigals coming home, illnesses, loss of loved ones, food and shelter. Sometimes it’s the little ones. I’ve prayed to be able to thread on a hose, turn a screw, safety as we travel, finding lost items, remembering things I should. I also come to Him full of praises and thanksgiving for the many blessings He has given us.

In all things with the Lord, we wait. It is His timing, His will, not ours. He answers us with a yes, a no, or not now. But we wait. Do I still get impatient? Yes, unfortunately. But I’ve also had some wonderful, delightful answers to prayers about big and small issues in my life by waiting for God’s response to my prayer.

Psalm 39:7 (NKJV) says, “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” I am “looking for  the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13 NKJV). This is what I’m waiting for. The wait will definitely be worth it!

Are you waiting?  Just wondering . . .

Blessings,
Boo & Nick

The Burning Bush Oct 2014

 

More Change – For the Better!

 

It’s a new year!  And I thought the last blogless length of time was too much! Where does the time go? Periodically I have an idea for a post, but then fail to follow through. Hmm! What’s wrong with that picture? I’d have to say that I am just not as inspired or as creative as some of you out there.

Many of you readers (if there are any left) probably are not aware of a change is our lives – our new assignment with RVICS (Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service). We are their ambassadors charged with going out and sharing with others about the RVICS ministry. It has been a wonderful blessing to us, because I was unable to serve the various projects due to health issues. This body just doesn’t perform as it used to. Consequences of genetics and lousy health care on my part. That should probably be not taking care of me. It’s caught up with me!

Since April ambassadorship has been our service to the ministry. It simply means we travel more to visit churches, rv campgrounds (that’s where we stop for the night), craft fairs, rv events, and we talk about RVICS to people. We are able to travel wherever and whenever (unless I have to be back here for doctors’ visits). We have more flexibility to explore this great country of ours and meet new people. Our travel pace is supposed to be much slower now, but we haven’t quite mastered that yet. When we head out again, we’ll start instituting that! I hope!

Change is always challenging for us. We did our first live radio interview in December in Florida with WCNO. Yikes! But it was fun. And then there’s the adjustments to my new health issues and new doctors and tests. Nick has a new, challenging assignment with the ministry in addition to the ambassador position.

We listened to a sermon from Pastor Randy Butler, Salem Evangelical Church, Salem, OR from 2016 yesterday. He said the more challenged we are, the more overwhelmed, the greater dependence on God and the less reliance on ourselves. Just what we are supposed to do-lean on God, seek His will, serve and glorify Him. Proverbs 3:5-6:  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)

Changes can grow us or defeat us. We can choose to resist them, or we can accept them and work through and with them to grow from them. How do you handle change? Just wondering . . .

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