Thursday, July 30, 2009

She's Home

Aunt Carol returned home from the hospital on Tuesday. Thanks so much for your prayers and thoughts on her behalf. She has regained a small portion of her sight, even some peripheral vision in the right eye, so this is very encouraging.

She seems to be in very good spirits and is adapting quite well, happy to be home and in her own surroundings again. Once again, all seems to be quite well, and we have much for which to be thankful.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Joseph's Choice to Forgive...

I am currently reading the book, The Bait of Satan by John Bevere, and would like to share a small portion of it with you. John Bevere, writing about Joseph whose story is in the Bible - Genesis, Chapter 37 to 45 - writes:

'Now do you think that when Joseph's brothers sold him as a slave, God in heaven looked at the Son and the Holy Spirit and said, "What are We going to do now? Look at what his brothers have done. They have ruined our plan for Joseph. We had better think of something quick! Do We have an alternate plan?

Many Christians respond to crisis situations as if this is exactly what transpires in heaven. Can you just see the Father saying to Jesus, "Jesus, Jim got fired because a fellow believer lied about him. What are We going to do? Do You have any positions open down there?" Or, "Jesus, Sally is 34 and not married yet. Do You have any available guys down there for her? The man I wanted her to marry got married to her best friend, who gossiped about her and turned his heart away." It sounds absurd, yet the way we react insinuates that this is the way we view God.

Let's see how Joseph would fare in our churches today. If he were like most of us, do you know what he would be doing? Plotting revenge. He would comfort himself with such thoughts as, "When I get my hands on them, I'll kill them! I will kill them for what they have done to me. They are going to pay for this."

But if Joseph had actually had this attitude, God would have left him in that dungeon to rot! That's because if he had gotten out of prison with this motive, he would have killed the heads of 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel. This would include Judah, from whose lineage Christ would descend.

Yes, the ones who treated Joseph so wickedly were the patriarchs of Israel! And God had promised Abraham that they would bring forth a nation. Through them the Lord Jesus would eventually come! Joseph stayed free from offense, and the plan of God was established in his life and in the lives of his brothers.'

Monday, July 27, 2009

Aunt Carol... still in the hospital undergoing further testing. The doctors have changed her blood thinning meds....but other than that don't know what else yet can be done for her.
We are looking to God to perform a miracle and restore her sight.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer is Speeding Past

Our family is having a very nice summer...although it seems to be going by a little bit too quickly! :)

We're enjoying nearly perfect weather in Michigan. Most days we've had highs in the high 70s and low 80s, which is most pleasant. Granted, some days it's stayed ever lower in temperature than that, and so it's not always been as warm as you might expect, but it's also not been as humid, either, which I personally am glad about.

Last week Tyler, Emily and I spent the week camping at Winding Creek Camp in Hastings Michigan. Many other families from the West Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church gather there every July for Family Camp. Tim came down on the weekends and after work a couple of nights. There are activities for teens and it's generally a kick-back week for me. Thus was the case this year again, and we all enjoyed our time there.

Last Monday morning at 6 am Tyler and Emily left for Houghton, New York with over 150 teens from our church, Kentwood Community, to go to NTS (Never the Same) Camp. This is always a highlight of the year for Ty and Em and all the kids who attend. Tyler and Emily will return home at 9 am tomorrow morning.

Then, Tyler will be leaving again on Friday afternoon; this time going to New Hampshire for a ten-day hiking vaction with Tyler's friend Sam and his family.
We're missing Tyler around here a lot this summer.
He's been to Arizona in April, Africa in June, New York in July and now to New Hampshire in August, he's been gone a lot, doing his fair share of traveling!

We have not gotten any more boating days in since June ended, and that's disappointing, but we're looking forward to some good times to come on the boat yet this summer and early fall.

How's your summer going?
I'd love to hear from you what you've been doing with your summer!
Enjoy the rest of July!

Please Pray for Aunt Carol...again

My Aunt Carol, who five weeks ago had a stroke which took some of her sight, has had another setback...

Yesterday the very small window of sight that she has had following her stroke has grown darker and smaller...and she can hardly see anything at all.
She is hospitalized once again and undergoing testing.

She is a woman of great faith and is asking for our prayers. Please pray for her healing and her sight to be restored, and for doctors to understand the best way to help her to avoid re-occurrences.

Thank you.
I'll try to keep the blog updated on her progress.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WHO I Am vs. HOW I Feel

Here's a verse from the Bible, the Message version, that I have been pondering all week. It really challenges me.

God is speaking, after he had just about 'had it' with the Israelites.
After he had delivered them multiple times and brought them out of many troubles, still they disregarded his laws and did not want to have anything to do with him.
This is what he said:
"I seriously considered dumping my anger on them, right there in the desert. But I thought better of it and acted out of who I was, not by what I felt..."
Ezekiel 20:21-22

The main point is that God chose to act out of who he was, not by how he felt.

Who would think that God himself would have to choose to make a choice like that?
And if HE has to chose to restrain his anger and actions based on emotions, how much more I can expect that I need to make choices to do the same thing?
It will not come naturally to me to react properly (heaven knows this is true...), but I need to make the choice to act out of who I am (through the work that Christ has done in me) instead of how I feel.

The next part of verse 22 says: " that I might be honored and not blasphemed by the nations who had seen me bring them out."

He did this to save his reputation; to keep his good name. So this is the reward of choosing to act out of who you are and not how you feel.

I'm working on it....not there yet, but I want to be more like God in this area; and God himself is my helper!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June Boating Fun!

We took the boat out twice in June. Summer's here at last! Both times we went to Grand Haven, to the Grand River. It has an outlet there to Spring Lake and also to Lake Michigan. Fun times were had by all.

**I should mention: photo credits for most of these go to Emily Stitt.... :)

The first time we took friends Dan and Ronda Chapin along with us, as well as Emily's friend, Julie Waayenberg. Tim even let Dan drive for a bit, as you can see. And on that same day we met up with another family of boating friends, the Trubys, who had mutual friends the Clarks with them.

The second time the four of us in our family (well, five, if you include Jake, and of course we should....)along with Emily's friend, Abby Bartlett, went out for 6 hours on a Friday. That's the way to spend a day!