Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Staying connected with friends and family has been a concern to me of late. It seems that we can get so wrapped up in our daily duties, obligations and concerns (all legitimate to be sure) that we could easily push aside those who have been a very important part of who we are.
It was approximately 24-25 years ago that we Arnolds met the couple that you see pictured above. It was while we were living in Caro, Michigan (which seemed in the middle of nowhere), we were pastoring Bethel Lower Light Church on Lee Hill Road. The church and parsonage were located wayyyyyy out in the middle of beautiful country, with only a few other houses on the road. We were young with three small boys. Phil had to supplement our meager income by working at a car dealership in near-by Cass City and I was selling Home Interiors. It was at a weekly meeting that I met, and quickly become friends with, Ronnie Setla and eventually we got acquainted with her husband Jim and their two children, Kirk and Sadie.
Our life, at that time, was difficult (to say the least) with many many problems (medical and financial). Ronnie became my closest friend and confidante. She was always there to care for the boys whenever I needed her to, and Jim was always handy to fix whatever needed fixing in the parsonage, as Phil was bed-ridden because of his heart problems (he had to have open heart surgery while we were up there to fix a hole that he had been born with and had gotten bigger).
I honestly feel that God had sent Ronnie and Jim our way. They were a huge blessing and we became very close to them and their children. It is hard to believe that almost 25 years have gone by. We moved back down here, had another child (Becky) and much has happened since first meeting them. They lost their daughter in a car accident (she was 18 and would have graduated High School in a few months), their son has married and has two children, our children have grown and we have grand-children. But....for approximately 25 years, Ronnie and I have made the effort to stay connected. Because we have pastored and have had obligations that have kept us "at home" for week-ends, it has been difficult to make time to go there to see them, but every year since we moved back down here, Ronnie has come for a visit at least once a year, and sometimes twice, bringing her grand-children with her. What a wonderful thing to have friends who are friends through "thick and thin".
Well, this week-end Phil and I went to their house for a visit. Phil had been asked to "Fill-in" at a church in Vassar, where we had attended periodically while living in Caro (some more wonderful friends!!), so we took the opportunity to spend some time with Ronnie and Jim. Ronnie had a brain tumor just a year and a half ago, so she is still not able to drive. She is improving at a very impressive rate and we thank God for that.
Our time spent with them was wonderful. I have to say that Jim spoiled us rotten. He insisted on doing the cooking while we were there and he also insisted that I sit in HIS recliner with my feet up as much as possible.
I know this is quite long, and maybe boring to some of you, but the point I'm trying to make (yes, I do have a point) is this: If God has blessed you with friends, do whatever it takes to stay connected. If God has blessed you with family: stay connected. I'm preaching to myself as well. When my friends and family come to visit, do I love them enough to treat them as "royalty"? Would I give them MY favorite chair?
God help us to cherish each other's company and STAY CONNECTED!!!! Love ya!!!! Sue
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
1) What was I doing 10 years ago today?
Iwas frantically preparing for my son Michael's graduation open-house. Can you believe it has been that long?
2)5 things on my to-do list.
Get the laundry done. Clean the house. Wash the bedding in Becky's room. Make Peanut Butter Pie. Go for a walk.
3)Snacks that I enjoy.
Anything chocolate. Popcorn.
4)Things I would do if I were a billionaire.
Pay off our house. Buy Phil a pick-up truck. Cook a huge meal everyday and invite lots of people over.
5)3 of my bad habits
Talking too much. Eating too much junk food. Drinking too much coffee.
6)5 places I have lived.
Tecumseh, Mi. Adrian, Mi. Caro, Mi. Tecumseh and Tecumseh
7)5 jobs that I have had
Babysitter. Data Entry Operator (Bohn Aluminum and EDS). Receptionist (Airport/Flight School). Monitor at ACE School. Cashier (Hobby Lobby) But the best job of all is "Wife" and "Mother"
I tag: Beth Williams, Becky Arnold, Ryan Watters, Hannah Avery and Michael Arnold
Monday, April 21, 2008
"C'mon, Emma, let's go for a walk! It's a beautiful day!" I didn't have to say it twice. She was ready to go. "Do you want to take the baby doll?" That sounded like a good idea. So, she put her baby in the cart, along with a lid to one of her dishes, a spoon, two horses, a plastic cup, three plastic fish and a rubber ducky (evidently all necessary when going for a walk). Then, just before walking out the door, she grabbed a hard hat. This is serious stuff! Down the driveway we went , took a left and began our trip around the small city block that "gramma" lives on. Oops! We took that turn a little too sharp (it's hard to steer with one hand), spilling the contents of the cart all over. Frustration!! Starting to get angry even!! "Gramma" comes to the rescue. Everything now back in the cart. "Do you want to go back?" "Nope". Oh look, there's a lady across the street. We must stop and wave. She doesn't see us, so we must yell, "Hi"! She not only sees us, but comes across the street to visit. This is fun! We show her the doll, and everything that's in the cart. Let's keep going! We turn the corner, this guy has some Bear Statuary in his garden. We stop to talk to them. But, not for long. What's that noise? It's a couple of teen-aged boys going down the middle of the street on their skate-boards. Oh, look! A flower! Cute! We must get down there and smell them! Let's keep going... didn't see that crack, but....it's ok. We'll just brush the knee off and keep going. Oh, wait! We've been so distracted with everything going on around us. Where's "gramma's" house? "I tan't see it!" Look!! A kitty in that window! "Can I hold it?" "Peeze?" There it is! I see "gramma's". C'mon, "gramma". We turn up the front walk,push the cart to the side and sit on the front stoop. That was quite the "walk". "Was that fun, Emma?" "Dat was fun!"
As I related this little story to Phil (every little detail, because just talking about Emma makes him happy), this thought came to mind:
I'm taking a little "walk" down the "sidewalk" of life. My destination: HEAVEN (my Father's House) You may think that I've taken some "silly" things along with me in my cart, but HE understands that they give me comfort. I've had some frustrating situations when it seems that everything is out of control. But my Father was there to pick up the pieces. I've fallen and skinned my knee, but look at the friends that I have made along the way. There have been some distractions and I thought I had lost my way, but, no.. I'm still going in the right direction. What about the "kitty" and the "bears"? I've even stopped to smell the flowers!!! C'mon! Let's keep going! Isn't this "walk" fun!? You may want to grab a hard hat. You just might need it!!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Here is a quote from the book. "We should be led to God by the joy of our lives as well as by the sorrow, by the light as well as by the darkness, by human fellowship as well as by human loneliness." I love it!!
So.....that's why I say, "Let's party". Not to loudness (although I do contribute to this type of thing sometimes), not to "disorderly conduct" so to speak, but to a "spirit" of celebration that brightens everyday of our life. We ought to live our lives EXPLODING with joy---like we really believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead!
As we prepare to "celebrate" another day in which to worship God, let's open our lives and hearts to Him and let his Spirit fill our lives. Let's "celebrate" HIM.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
It seems, lately, that it was being impressed on me that this "quiet" is intentional. I come from a hard-working family. Some things that I heard as a child were: "Hard work never hurt anyone." "The early bird catches the worm." "Idleness is the devil's workshop." "Are you working hard...or hardly working?". Don't get me wrong, I believe in hard work. God expects us to put everything into what we are doing. He doesn't want us to do anything half-way. But do we make our "hard work" and idol? Is the appearance of "working hard" more important than what we are really doing? When we are asked, "How are you doing?" do we answer, proudly, "Busier than ever!"?
After years of "working hard" I am realizing that along with a strong work ethic (that is definately taught in the Bible) is something that some of us often miss. It's a strong rest ethic. I'm beginning to see that, maybe, the secret to a healthy soul is not to stop working hard, but along with that, take a regular "pause". I'm afraid that one of the biggest hinderences to "revival" could be our "busyness".
Now, I'm not saying that we need to set aside all of our activities and programs, that seem to be working to bring people in, but that we need to push the pause button now and then. It seems that we choose more activities to fill our "time off"; such as shopping, watching a good movie, reading a book or just "go out and doing something". There's nothing wrong with these things, but let's not forget to slow down long enough to take "spiritual inventory". "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8).
More than ever, we not only need a quiet place and a quiet time.....we also need a quiet heart. We need to listen. To pray. To hear. If He would speak in a "still small voice" would we be able to hear? I'm afraid that I might not. Why? I may have too much noice going on around me.
So here's the conclusion that I have come up with. Maybe it's not so much what WE seem to be doing for HIM that brings results, but what HE IS and DOES FOR US. Let's not stop "working hard" let's just remember to push the pause button on a regular basis. Turn off the noise, even for just a few hours. Spend time "listening" to God. It's time to seek Him until He comes and rains righteousness on us (Hosea 10:12).
I guess that I had better start thanking God for the quiet place (our home), the quiet time (my days off of work), and start preparing my heart to be quiet. I think I'll turn off the radio, I really don't need to watch that movie again, and do I really need to check my blog three or four times a day? Instead, I think I'll open my Bible and maybe even fast and pray more.
I don't know about you, but I have prayers that need answered. Do I really believe that He can do what He said He would? I need to work harder, but I also need to "pause" more often with a "quiet" heart, so that I can hear Him when He speaks.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Phil and I spent many years in the ministry, everything seemed to be rolling along, everything going good, and then, some very unexpected things happened that changed our lives drastically. But, as I relect back on all those years, something stands out to me that has changed the way I look at our spiritual lives, and some questions form in my mind.
Were we so intent on raising our children, reaching out to those many, many people in need, filling the calendar with as many activities as possible, to really maintain our relationship with God? Instead of ministering out of the "overflow" of our walk with God, were we trying to get by on our own strengths and skills?
Ephesians 2:6----And hath raised us up together, and MADE us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Seated? In Heavenly Places? In order to be seated you have to be prepared to rest. I know that the only time I sit is when I'm resting. That's not very often. When we sit in a chair we are resting our body. So, to sit in heavenly places with Christ, we must enter into "inner peace".
Rest is freedom from worry and frustration. Now, worry and frustration happens because WE try to do what ONLY GOD can do. When we rest in Him, He promises peace. I'm trying very, very hard to learn the blessing of entering God's rest. But I have to be seated with Him. In order to do that, I have to spend "time" with Him.
I want to be used of God to reach out to those who desperately need Him, but I don't want to just be "doing" spiritual things, I want to "be" spiritual. In order to "be" spiritual I have to "know" Him. Therefore, I need to stop jumping up every few minutes and getting out of rest.
If you are struggling with ANYTHING, take a seat and rest. Your place has been there waiting for you to occupy it all along.
Now, I think I will go sit in my big, brown comfy chair and read to my grand-daughter. The laundry and dishes can wait, unless of course that "maid" comes along and does it all!!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Here goes. Since our computor is in Phil's little computor room. And, since that room is full of "his stuff". And since he is a minister...the first book I picked up is "Holy Humor" Inspirational Wit & Cartoons by Cal & Rose Samra.
I have found the first 5 sentences (I don't think I'm suppose to write them, but I will).
First of all, the title is:
A PRAYER FOR HUMOR AND LONGEVITY
Grant me faith;
grant me hope;
Let good humor
help me cope
And here are the next 3 sentences:
Let me spread the love
And find a peaceful
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to post the rest of this poem. Just because. That's not cheating is it?
way to live.
Use my talents;
Bless my daring
To show others
Build my friendships,
Grace, and levity,
Isn't it kind of funny that this would be the book that I would pick up? Not to mention that this is what is written on page 123? The pages before and after are cartoons. I love it!
Ok. I tag: Becky Arnold, Cassie Bolyard, Darren Williams, Ryan Watters and Jody Johnson
Monday, February 18, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Bro. Jones is an 80 year old widower. Phil and I had the honor of pastoring he and his wife (Laura) for many years at the Tecumseh church where he was affectionately called "Leon". I attended the Tecumseh church all my life and grew up with Laura and Leon's two children. I don't think that I have ever heard Leon "testify" but I never doubted his sincereity. He was always the first to arrive at church (even after his wife's death) and stood at the door to greet everyone as they arrived. He shook hands with them, but that wasn't all. After shaking hands you could always find two pieces of candy in the palm of your hand. It would either be butterscotch or cinnamon, because he knew which you preferred. After resigning from Tecumseh church we started attending Adrian where our son is the Pastor. We pick Leon up every Sunday for church. He quickly got acclimated, he already knew most of the people, and continued his "ministry" of two pieces of candy to everyone present. Well, I for one, sometimes will eat one piece and put the other one in my purse, and sometimes I just put both pieces in my purse for later. Needless to say, I end up with several pieces of candy, and never give it much thought. No big deal, right? I just have a bunch of candy in my purse. Well, here's the best part. A couple from our church took a trip to Mexico and while they were there they visited a mission. This mission would go out to an area where people lived by the City Dump and they would minister to them there, so this couple went with them. They witnessed the poverty of these people who would have to scrounge through the dump for food and whatever else they could use. They were overwhelmed by the poverty and destitution and wished that they could help somehow. Then they remembered Bro. Jones' candy. For, you see, all those pieces of candy that hadn't been eaten, she had put in a bad for later. That bag a candy was in her purse. She began to distribute the candy to outstretched hands. She rejoiced in the smiles and the joy that these children expressed just because of her treat. When she returned to church, she was bubbling over as she related this story. Now this may sound unimpressive to you, but think about it. this should convict us or challenge us. God laid a ministry of encouragement on the heart of an elderly man. A man whose communication skills are impaired, for you see, he has dyslexia, and can not read or write. Leon's little gesture multiplied and reached beyond his small area of influence and touched a little one. Such simple gestures have the blessings of Heaven resting upon them.
"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." Matt. 10:42
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Well, here it is. Becky's bedroom. I promised pictures of the finished project. The pictures are alittle dark, but here they are. We started with just painting the room white (I can just hear Becky saying, "Yeah, a year ago."). She is right. It was a year ago. Sorry Becky! Anyway, the stripes that you see on the wall are all painted on by my artistic husband. That's what the hold-up was. Just measuring and marking and taping the room to prepare to paint took about five or six hours. Then we painted the green and then the blue. That had to dry before the tape could be pulled off. Because we were trying to hurry the process, when the tape was pulled off the lines were not as straight as we wanted them to be. So.... we had to go around with a very small brush and touch up. Even though it was a lot of work, it was fun. This is what Phil and I enjoy doing. The dog on the bed isn't really a part of the decor, even though she thinks she is. That's Bailey, Becky's dog. Good-bye for now.