Positively negative…

Happy Thursday to you!

I am thoroughly embracing Fall in the Midwest! We earn our Spring and Fall here…and God does not disappoint. The trees are just outrageous in their displays of of vibrant color,

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the fields are abuzz with the harvest

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and any product that can have pumpkin and spice added to it is being offered from grocery shelves to drive-thru’s.

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I enjoyed being outside, because my schedule was a little freer this week. Only one bleak spot marred it.

On Tuesday I had a donation date at the Red Cross center. It seems that I have been blessed with O negative blood which means I am a preferred customer there….

To say I do this with joy would be an outright lie. I pretty much drag myself there with a lot of reminding that I am thankful to be healthy and able to give blood. I also have to remember that if I DID actually enjoy the process, I may have deeper issues than my loathing of needles.

So I made the trek across town, debating with myself about my current state of health and fighting the temptation to pray that my iron count would be too low…I know…I’m pathetic….

There weren’t many cars in the lot and when I entered the building I could see the donation room was dark. The gals behind the counter apologized profusely, but the drive had been canceled for the day.

Apparently several others had not been contacted about the change and they must have been dealing with some upset donors. They wanted my name and number so the Red Cross could contact me to make amends.

No worries, I was more than gracious. Rather than irritation, they were greeted with elation on my part. I believe I audibly thanked God, smiled broadly and left them kind of laughing.

Such a great witness, right…but how about when I am dealing with the AT&T tech support guy who barely speaks English and keeps calling me Mrs. Reem-er? Or the nurse at the doctor’s office who answers the phone, “Can you hold?( click …..annoying background music ensues for an indefinite period of time) or ….whatever sets me off my game….

Yeah…not so much.

Because I can be very cooperative and sweet and kind when things are going my way.

But the real test is when they aren’t.

Right now, in this country, things aren’t going my way a LOT…

Am I a faithful witness of God’s faithfulness in the midst of not getting things my way?

I didn’t do anything to be an O negative, but it takes great effort to BE positive!

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God bless you as you strive to be a faithful witness in the good and the bad of life!

 

 

Solitude’s role in sanctification

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I started a post last night with the title up above. But I just deleted the whole thing. Except the title still fits.

Because this morning.

Daniel.

Not our son-in-law, Daniel, though he is just a darling and we love him so much.

No. Daniel, as in, the one taken captive to Babylon. The one who served  under Kings like Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, by serving God.

I read Chapters 1 -3 yesterday and 4-6 today. I have read them many times, but each time, I am captured (no pun intended) by the account of this faithful servant of God.

There is so much more I would like to know about him. I think how wonderful it would have been of God to have Daniel write a book for us about how to live a godly life in an ungodly culture.

“Living Free in Captivity” or “How to Get Along with Pagans without Becoming One” by Daniel.

I could use some kind of 10 step plan to implement.

But no. We are given the briefest of glimpses.

Daniel 1:8-13 He maintained the core values of his beliefs in a way that was not pushy, but opened the door for witnessing the truth of his faith in a spirit of cooperation and strength.

 

Daniel 2:17; 27 & 28 He was aware of the fact that he had nothing to bring to the table except what God gave him and he willingly used these gifts to do what was right.

Daniel 4: 19 He loved. He loved the king he served even if he didn’t share his beliefs. He had compassion and love for them and they loved and cared for him in return.

Daniel 5 He spoke the truth, he said what God said. He did not accept the treasures of this world as his reward.

Daniel 6: 10 No matter what the world told him he could and couldn’t do, he continued to acknowledge God. He bowed to only God. He worshiped only God.

And because of his daily choices and decisions to follow God, to obey God, to declare God; even the King of Babylon and the King of Persia had to declare the praises of God Most High.

And I wonder…

Lord, in this day, will we be influenced by the culture or will we impact the culture because we remained loyal to only You?

 

 

 

 

A to Z

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We had sunshine…all day today! Seriously!

So I took a walk…and as I walked, I tried something Ruth Graham mentioned at the Teen Challenge dinner.

She talked about using the alphabet to name God’s attributes and character.

So I gave it a whirl…and here is what I came up with….

A…adorable, Adonai, accessible

B…beautiful, benefactor, benevolent, bestowing, blessing

C…compassionate, caring, concerned, conscientious

D…darling, dear, Daddy, divine, delivering, delightful

E…eternal, everlasting, encompassing, essential, everything

F…faithful, Father, forgiving, fantastic

G…gracious, grace-filled, giving, gorgeous, generous, gentle

H…handsome, heavenly, holy, humble, helpful

I…inviting, impossible – worker (as in, He can do the impossible…), invigorating

J…joyful, joy-giving, just

K….kind, King, keeper of my heart

L…loving, loyal, LORD, lasting, lovely

M…magnificent, majestic, miracle worker, Most High, marvelous

O…omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, over all things

P…present, perfect, patient, protecting

Q…quiet, quick, quaint

R…real, restful, resurrected, risen, royal, righteous, restoring

S…safe, sweet, sure, Savior

T…terrific, terrible (as in AWESOME and MIGHTY), touching, teaching, tangible

U…unlimited, unparalleled, unending, unbelievably merciful

V…victorious, valiant

W…wonderful, way beyond my expectations

X…x-ray vision (He sees right through things), Xcellent (X is a tough one, ok)

Y…Yahweh

Z…zenith (look it up…He really is….)

Oh…I hope you enjoyed that…

He is the Alpha and the Omega….the beginning and the end….

have some fun and try it yourself… would love to hear what YOU came up with that made you smile <3

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Random Monday thoughts….

Happy Monday! Welcome to an eclectic collection of thoughts because I’m processing the weekend and also mapping out the calendar of this coming week and marveling at all that God has done and all that He is going to do….so here we go…

Church was sweet this weekend – we walked around the perimeter of the property at the end of every service. I went on Saturday night and walked with the dearest people. We prayed, but we also shared how we came to attend this church and what it had meant to our families. Each one had a different story, but all were God’s story for us!

For us, we came when our children were in the range of 5 – 11 years old. We were loved and welcomed. We learned about praise and about GRACE and about the Holy Spirit. Our pastor told the congregation, before we went out to pray, about a Sunday when the lot was still empty. Some of the men had mowed a line around the edge of the land we had purchased. The building that stands today was just a blueprint on paper, if we even had that figured out yet! We had gathered with our children and walked the same line, dedicating the land to the Lord.

Having moved so many times as a child from military base to base and then following my dad’s different jobs after he retired, I always longed for our children to grow up in one place. On ¬†Sunday, it was with a full heart that I traced the steps those three Reimer kids jumped and skipped and ran around so many years before. I think I could hear their voices echoing in the trees.

Also, this weekend, Russ visited John and reported that this precious son of ours that has struggled for 2 plus years with debilitating pain in his back was long-boarding and climbing up retaining walls so he could jump down….

We rejoice in God’s healing. He is faithful and His ways are beyond our understanding. He placed a promise in my heart that John would be healed. It has been a long wait for us….but for John, I can only imagine. Many have prayed for him and us along the way. We are so thankful <3

With the launching of a church-wide prayer initiative, I began a new 40 day “circle” this morning. I picked up a sweet little prayer book I carry in my purse. Today, for some reason, I opened to the very first page…the one where you can write “To”, “From”…etc….and apparently I gave this one to one of our daughters in 2005.

It must not have made the cut of books she wanted to keep or else I just borrowed it back…but somehow on June 25, 2005 God had me write these words. I know they are from Him…..I’m just not that good….

Stay close to the LORD, as will I, and we will always be held close to each other in Him <3

That is my prayer for you today, for all those you love and all those you pray for.

Your prayers move mountains. Your prayers open doors. Your prayers bring about God’s Kingdom in the lives of those you love <3

Do not give up. Do not grow weary.

He – God Himself – who began those good works….He WILL complete them!

Bless you today, dear ones. You are being prayed for — RIGHT NOW!!!!

*I warned you this would be random!

 

 

Can You really sing over such a one as this?

The sun has returned to the midwest today! Hallelujah!

Because another dreary day, and I may have just sunk right down into the soggy puddles along the journey…

IMG_3245Do you get worn down after too many rainy days in a row?

Yesterday was my day with the little guys and I had an early start and all kinds of things I hoped to take along to help brighten the day of their sweet family.

I was also leaving straight from there to attend the Teen Challenge annual dinner with Russ. This meant a change of clothes and hair product, because…well..nap with Graham does a number on my do.

But I ran out of time and so once again was rushing out the door, frustrated ….

 

and literally, crying and … ugh…venting…

about…

1. my nails were chipped and I had left my polish on the table

2. I had wanted to make a nice meal for them and I didn’t have time to get the ingredients and now I didn’t know if I would be able to get to the store up there

3. I had a typo in the email/blog post that morning…”the” instead of “then”

4. I wasn’t sure I would have time to grab a coffee and well… bonus stars in the next 7 days???

4 1/2. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was forced to take a snack pack….aaannnnndddd once again forgot to take my vitamins

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5. All of this, is SOOOOOOOO trivial in the grand scheme of not only my life, but good grief! the whole world right now….things so incredibly shocking, we can barely keep up with the growing list of crises and tragedies.

and

6. That made it even more horrible that I was falling apart over the MOST ridiculously inane nothingness and yet, I could NOT get over it…..could not stop the tears, the shouting, the grown up melt down I was having, even as I was headed to one of my favorite destinations….

And since I fully believe that my ENTIRE existence is lived out in the Presence of God, it was crucial to bring this mess right up to the very Throne of All-Mighty God…

IMG_2851and so as I cried and vented and used language I am not proud of…

I was confessing and repenting….

Which means, I had to drag the ugliness of me to the foot of the Cross….and as I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that somehow…because He said so, He loves me…I asked Him ….

Do You really sing over one such as me?

Because I have a hard time believing it….so, great…now I had to confess DOUBT of HIS WORD>>>

and in my heart…

that still small Voice whispered….

Laura, even if you had remembered all the stuff you need today, and your nails were fine and you had a home cooked meal, complete with fresh baked rolls and a lovely dessert tucked in a Longaberger basket with a fall cloth draped over….I wouldn’t love you any more than I do…right now…I don’t love you any more….I don’t love you any less….I don’t love the way you love….

That is the hardest part of it sometimes, isn’t it? Understanding grace…GRACE…UNMERITED…UNEARNED FAVOR….

Nothing I do to earn it….nothing I do to lose it….

Oh, He isn’t all smiling and doting when I have my little or big fits….He doesn’t coddle me when I am selfish and complaining and grumbling and foul…but He loves me…and He sings over me…and sure enough…

He provided a trip to the grocery with the troops to get the fixin’s for their dinner….and He gave us time to….

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make pumpkin tookies for Uncle John and….of course….

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and well, even one such as I….could hear Him singing over us…

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Halleluja!!!!!