Friend of God

>> Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The day this post comes up, I will be six hours away from home at the Wisconsin Special Touch Get Away.  I'm sure I'll be tired but getting to know the group of women who are in my care and coming to care for them lots if not loving them a ton already.  At the Illinois Get Away, at every chapel service we sang, FRIEND of God.  It lingers in my mind even now so of course, for the letter F, I had to let you listen to it, too.

All of us became FRIENDS FAST at Special Touch camp in Illinois and I"m sure here in WI because God is our FRIEND and we are His.  He gave us these FANTASTIC weeks to learn and grow and just have a great time in Him.  Because of that, it makes us happy.  While I'm at camp, you can sing along to this song and pray for us.  That would be very much be appreciated.  I might be in chapel praising God while you're reading this or eating.  Maybe I'll be with one of the guests tubing down the river.  Maybe:)  Could be I'll be in the craft room or if it's late enough, I'll be sound asleep.

Press the refrigerator magnet link at the top to read what F words others have written.  It's amazing how unique they are every single week!

See you -- when I get home:)


Posting today at...

>> Wednesday, June 22, 2011



>> Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well, it took many hours to come up with an E word this week.  Not sure why.  I have F done to come up by itself while I'm at camp next week, but E, that was a different story.  There are lots of E posts that you can find over at Ordinary Lives just waiting to be read but while you're here - let me share E with you - EXPRESSIONS.

We all use EXPRESSIONS in our lives.  "Well, that just takes the cake!"  or one that's really been overused lately, "Man up!"  How about this one: "What's the damage?"  That's what my husband's going to ask me when he gets home from work.  I had a doctor's appointment in town and then had time to kill before a hair appointment. ugh...Nuff said:)  

Anyway...there are other kinds of EXPRESSIONS - the kind you learned in Math class.  I know, it's summertime and we really shouldn't be subjected to that word - Math.  **shivers**  Just sayin' - Math EXPRESSIONS like 1 + 3 is 4.  That's not too hard, right?  Okay, I'll move on.  See.  This is me moving on.  Changing paragraphs and EVERYTHING! 

There are also EXPRESSIONS of love and friendship.  That's what I really wanted to talk about.  Jim gave me flowers when we were dating and even now, sometimes.  Occasionally;)
My husband's way he EXPRESSES his love for me is mowing the yard, putting up the dishes, or changing oil in the vehicles...  It's important to understand EACH other's love languages for sure in marriage:) 

At camp a couple week's ago, a guest showed me her EXPRESSION of friendship in sign language.  I love that picture!  I miss Gloria lots, by the way:(  

With another friend, she writes an EMAIL a night to me to show her EXPRESSION of  friendship and love and I write one back to her in the morning.  We usually share what happened in our day and what will happen the next day.  We will share our hopes and dreams... or secrets that no one else will ever ever hear.

So you see, EXPRESSIONS are very important.  Oh, I forgot!  There are other expressions.  

Silly ones.  
Sad ones. 
 Happy and 
mad ones. 
 Let's go out 
with a bang!  



>> Friday, June 17, 2011

D.  It's taken me all week to come up with a D word for some reason.  The others have already gotten their letter posts up, I'm sure. You should go look and read theirs:)  Here it is Friday and I'm plugging away making a DECLARATION.  Well, first of all, D is for DEPRESSION.  I've fallen into that lately, majorly.  Lots going on in my 40+ body plus the stormy springtime weather we've been having has been making headaches worse... blah blah blah... Anyway, I don't want to talk about DEPRESSION other than to say that it is real - it is nasty and it can bring a person down fast and furious.  It's really hard to come back up for air, too.

Today, in the midst of the same struggles and tears... blah blah blah... I determined to start in the New Testament and read it chronologically this time.  In this way, I can't get caught up in reading just to be reading.  I have to follow a path.  A chapter here and some verses in another book...  I like reading the Gospels in that way.  I'm stumped now, though.  I can't continue until I make this DECLARATION, which is quite handy since it is D week.

Here it is, from John 1:5,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

I know, there isn't a D word in there:)  It's the DECLARATION, remember?

Jesus, is God, the expression of God.  He is.  The Great I Am.  I AM.  He is.  - Jesus is who John is writing about.  Jesus became flesh and lived on earth like us.  Because of the Great I AM, we are.  Because God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit - the Three in One, we are.

Because of Jesus, because I have DECLARED my faith in Him, I am.  So why do I fall into depression so often?  I don't understand that?

He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
He is the Light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5)
I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
He is the resurrection and the life (Acts 11:25-26)

My DECLARATION?  I believe in Jesus.  He is my Savior.  He is who I put my faith in.  If I am asked to make a choice, my life or to deny His Name, I have to choose Jesus.  That's my DECLARATION.  

He is who He says He is.  I hope you have made the same DECLARATION in your life.  If not, if you're just a random reader that has found my blog, I hope and pray that you will seek someone out that will tell you more about who Jesus is or you can always leave a comment for me on my blog or privately to me at my email address:  

I know many dates have been determined that Jesus would come back and obviously, since we're all still here, they've been wrong.  The thing is, we don't know when He will come back.  The Bible says that even Jesus doesn't know.  But we need to be ready whenever it is.  Now is the time.  The time is now.  

Looking up...waiting...hopeful that the 
time is soon...


The Girl in the Gatehouse - Book Review

>> Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Girl in the Gatehouse. Julie Klassen. 2011. [January 2011]. Bethany House. 400 pages.

I actually got to sit and read a book for pure enjoyment since school has been out!  The Girl in the Gatehouse has been waiting for me and I for it.  It was worth it!  

If you are drawn to Jane Austin type books, this one is for you, but I, for one, am not - but still, I very much enjoyed it.  I became engrossed in the character of Mariah Aubrey and her companion, Susan Dixon and the many characters that intercepted into their lives.  

There were many plots and mysteries that slowly were revealed and knotted and untied throughout the book.  It was fun to try to figure things out and it was fun to be wrong time and time again.  

I liked the innocent romances, unlike the books that fall into our hands today.  So nicely written, this book is a book within a book within a book, within a book.... you will figure this out as you read yourself.  

I go and read bits and pieces of other people's reviews and they reveal too much of the books, if you ask me.  I say, give you a hint and let you go read.  I mean it - go get the book.  Right now!  It's just a click away on Amazon or   I highly recommend it.  There are very good Christian analogies and values hidden along the way.   Great summer reading out on the beach or hiding in your bedroom on a warm, lazy summer day.  Of  course, that's not where I'm writing this currently.  Of course not!  

Bethany House continually puts out wonderful books and I'm thankful to be able to get hold of this one.  Are you still here?  Go!  Shoo!  Go.  Buy. the book!  The Girl in the Gatehouse.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Bethany House Publishers' book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The Chocolate Diaries

>> Saturday, June 11, 2011

I chose The Chocolate Diaries from Waterbrook Press to review should be quite obvious --  chocolate is in its title.  The book did not disappoint my obvious craving for the sweet treat.  In fact, as I write this review, I'm taste-testing a recipe my vbgf gave me for a Nutella Slimfast Espresso Frappe.  Yumm...  Needless to say - I'm on a caffeinated, chocolate high.

Anyway, this book is written by Karen Scalf Linamen and she shares "Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life."  Everyone can certainly relate to this.

Each chapter is fairly short and towards the middle has a section for a question/answer from someone she has asked that follows along with what the chapter is about. At the end of each chapter, the author has a - Food for Thought, where she asks questions directed to the reader.  The very best part of each chapter is her chocolate recipes she's received from readers.  I can't wait to try some of them!

One quote in the book that stands out in my mind is this, "To live an extraordinary life, you have to let someone else do the ordinary."  (pg. 99)  Many times we, as mothers, wives, friends... become the support staff so others can follow their dreams.  There comes a time when it's OUR turn to spread our wings and fly and others can support us in our endeavors.  True, yes?

If you are looking for a really involved Bible Beth Moore-like study, then this isn't the book for you. If you are looking for something fun and quick, maybe to do together with a friend, then this is perfect!  Karen shares her life story with us and it isn't wrapped up in a pretty bow, so if you like perfect Christian lives show-cased in books - then again, this book is NOT for you.  If you do like real Christians who aren't afraid to show themselves and their real crazy lives, then just maybe you will enjoy this book.

There now.  I am going to finish my caffeinated, chocolate goodness.  I will see you at Amazon in the checkout line!



>> Friday, June 10, 2011

I have posted over at Jewels of Encouragement.  Push the button and it will send you right over there.  TADA!

Next week I'll be writing more about my camp experience but this post is a lead in to that.  Please follow me over, okay?   This is a special, fill-in post.  Usually I write for Joe on the 22nd of each month only.  See you there!


C is for Changes!

>> Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is really a once-a-week meme but I'm catching up so you get a 2-fer this first week of June.  Push the picture to the left to read what others have written about the letter C.  

C is for CHANGE and the CHANGE is in me!  When I first went to CAMP, I was just a little bit intimidated.  I've never been around so many who had so many physical disabilities.  You know what else?  These people don't sit around and talk about it, you know how we do when we get together:

"My back aches bad today.  The weather must be going to change."  "My head feels like it's going to explode!"  (That would be me:)  "The old bursitis is bothering me again..."  You know how it goes.

 We've all been there.  Done that.  It's just funny that I never once heard anything of the kind coming from this camp at Lake Williamson.  I suppose if you live with your disability day in and day out, you want to leave it at home as much as possible.  Many of our illnesses are invisible.  As you look at the pictures I have on FB, you can see many of theirs aren't.  They are very visible.

And I have just come full circle to what I wanted to write about. CHANGES!  The guests I met are not 'stupid.'  They are not 'dumb.'  They are not less than adequate.  Any term that anyone might want to use to describe them in a negative way may as well not do it in my hearing because they would be WRONG!  Even me describing them as a group is so wrong because they are individuals just like you and I.  They all are so different.  Different tastes.  Different ideas.  Different abilities and weaknesses.  Just like you and me.

You see the man in the red?  I may not be able to remember his name but he made a major impact on my life.  Every time he came into the craft room he prayed for me.  Once he made sure I was saved and knew the Lord, he found out other ways he could pray.  He is a prayer warrior.  He may be bound to his wheel chair but he takes full advantage of that bondage.  I'm sure he studies his Bible for hours and prays.

We don't have to talk loud in their faces or talk V-E-R-Y-S-L-O-W-Y like we tend to think we have to do.  Some have different means of COMMUNICATION, for sure but they still COMMUNICATE.  Many times it is us 'able-bodies' that are the ones that are unable to COMMUNICATE.  The ones at camp have no trouble at all talking with one another. My goal is to learn sign language so I can talk at least at a grade school level:) by next year's camp.

I saw computer type programs like CAMI has to the left.  She was able to 'talk' with it, and quite adeptly.  Something may be wrong with their vocal chords but nothing is wrong with their minds.  The guests at camp have something to say.  They have words from God.  God speaks to them like He speaks to us.  Sometimes more so, maybe because they sit still and listen much better than we do.

When I walked into camp, I thought, 'I hope I can reach out and be a blessing to these guests this week.'  I wasn't even a day into the camp when my thinking totally CHANGED and I realized that the guests were blessing me abundantly and even more than I could even have imagined.

One night we had a talent show.  It was a BLAST!  Oh, I should have used that last night for B.  The woman in the picture, with her caregiver, Nikki, is Michelle.  Michelle wrote a devotional type message for that evening.  It short but it took a long time for her to deliver it.  It was hard for us to understand what she was saying but that didn't stop God from touching us all.  The whole place was quiet and listening. Tears were running down my CHEEKS.  I think it was from her sheer determination.  I'm sure I would have given up and given it to someone else to read, but no, she kept on.  I asked Michelle for a copy.  I hope she doesn't mind if I share with you all.  Here is Michelle's message.  It's something we all need to hear:

"Be a witness for God!  How many of you would go be a witness for God? Do you think it's easy? The answer is it's not always easy to show God in your daily lives to other people. What I am saying is, yeah some people might turn and walk away when you start talking about your your faith in God; however if you just show them by your daily walk throughout your life that you are a Christian you might be able to shock or amaze people that they might stop and ask, "Hey, how did you come to know God?" And then you go from there, but be careful on how you say it or you might shun them away. I was 7 years old when I asked Christ in my heart in Pekin, however, it is very difficult for me to keep the faith. In conclusion, I would like you to consider this option. Would you like to be a witness for God and share your testimony or would you like to keep on doing about your own life without God?"

See why it's taking me so long to process my week of camp?  It's truly been life-Changing!  and you want to know a secret?  It's almost a done-deal that I'm going again to the Wisconsin Get Away at the end of June. I'm super-excited about that!  If it happens, I'll have more to follow.  For now, I'm still trying to digest all that God has for me to CHEW on.  

I loved getting to know every one of the guests at CAMP I came into CONTACT with.  My only regret is that the week ended.   More about CAMP will come.  Please email or leave me a comment if you're interested in Special Touch camp.  They always need volunteers.  Okay, done for now.  Until next time...

C is for Changes... Camp...Chew...Cheeks...Cami...Communicate!!!

Past Alphabet Posts: 


A2Z Meme - *A* & *B*

>> Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm a little bit late in joining the a 2 z 4 u & me meme but as I was writing this post about camp and every time I talk about it, the words 'AMAZING' and AWESOME' come to mind so why not jump in?  So here I am.  Better late than never, yes?


If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm just a few days back from a very special touch from God - from the Special Touch Illinois Get Away.  It was AMAZING.  AWESOME!  You see?  There I go again!

I really didn't know what to expect.  I was just the craft lady.  I wasn't going to be one-on-one with any of the guests.  Wasn't supposed to be but anyone that knows me knows if there's a need, I will see it and will jump in where needed.  One woman, Sandy, was ti-red.  Really tir-ed.  By the time I figured that out, I had already bonded with one of her guests that she was caregiver for so it worked out perfectly.  Sandy got a bit of a rest and I got to spend some time with someone who became a very good friend to me. Anyway, God had other plans for me besides the 'Craft lady.'  I'm not so crafty anyway.  On the 'C' day, I'll share our crafts with you.  That was pretty awesomely amazing, too, of course:)


Being at camp was such a major BLESSING!  I got to meet amazing (ugh, sorry but I can't help it.) people and they touched my life in ways that I will never ever forget.  God blessed me and touched me and rearranged my thinking so now I'm almost word-less.

I've never worked so hard in my life, I don't think.  From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, I was going and going and going.  I'm pretty sure God put an Energizer Battery in me just for this week of camp:)  I'm so grateful. Oops, wrong letter.  I was so blessed and honored to be able to volunteer with all of these guests from Illinois and even some from Wisconsin.  Most of the other volunteers have been doing this for years and many go from camp to camp even, at their own expense.  It's very catchy.  You see the smiles on the two faces up above and below?  I rarely saw anyone not smiling.  Blessed beyond belief!  We all were!

Every one of the guests have their own storms that they live every single day health-wise but I rarely heard any complaints.  I was truly humbled.  On Thursday we got soaked on the way to the dining hall for breakfast.  I was determined not to complain.  If that's all that happened to me, I was doing good!  Guess what?  I dried!  The guests still depended on their wheelchairs or machines to help them communicate...

The people I met this past week are amazing and I am blessed to have intercepted with them and I can't wait for next year's camp!  I'm sure I'll be writing more - I held back to keep it at A & B:)  Tomorrow is C day, I guess.  You will C how camp has CHANGED my way of thinking and I hope it will change yours, too:)  Oh, I said I would talk about crafts, too.  Oboy.  So much to talk about.

James 1:12, "Blessed is the man (woman) who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." 

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