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Archive for April, 2007

Weeks 15-16

This is a busy time of year, a time of preparation…

I’ve been preparing our home for the future. It’s almost finished, and I hope to start using it for the glory of God Almighty. Our aim should be to serve Him with everything we possess (it all comes from Him anyways).

Week fifteen I worked every day from morning til’ midnight painting, fixing, removing clutter. Springtime cleaning I guess… We finally got all our window sills and downstairs baseboard installed, praise God for His provision! Bless our hardworking, skillful friend and his family Lord!

All the little improvements inspire and lift up the "home-maker’s" spirit, but leaves the God given spirit longing and hungering for more of Him, continually. How does one balance the two, no problem… You work with your hands while worshiping and praising Lord with all your heart, mind and spirit.

There has been struggles too, yet Lord always provides a way out. How sweet it is to trust Him in all regards. Victory in Jesus!

My Canadian cousin and his wife visited us twice, it was a great pleasure to receive these special guests and "catch up" with what’s happening in the family. Mine is such a big one -hundreds of first, second and third cousins! I asked about my uncle’s grand and great- grandchildren (they had 14 kids of their own) and was told they have about 120 now, so many that people start losing count!!! All brought up in the knowledge and fear of God, that is something… My mom comes from a family of 13 children. I actually know only a fraction of my extended family.

I long to hear from the Lord. I long to rest in Him during the times of distress, having full assurance that He takes care of all our needs and matters. So often we deceive ourselves by molding our actions and ways of thinking according to the world’s standards and in the process, leave God out of our plans.

Let Your plan be my plan Lord.

There’s a lot going on right now, cannot even begin to sort things out… I can just observe how things unfold in God’s master plan. All glory, honor and blessing to Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb. amen

Week Fourteen

Closer to You Lord- that’s all I desire…

Today I feel totally broken for some reason. Just want my Lord and Savior to come and rescue me… That happens sometimes, you have no choice but to repent and cry for mercy from the depths of your soul… And I’m grateful to God for that.

Easter week brought trials but also victories my way. Struggling with issues that seem unresolvable (coupled with feelings of despair and failure) = parenthood! The week was a bit rough, I put my back out trying to drag my son to the shower etc. etc. in attempt to make him go to school… What good did that accomplish- none! He’s taking a 3-week spring break.

On Wednesday I was ready to give up… I spent the day trying to avoid the situation, went to 3 different parks to have alone-time with the Lord and it helped. That night our worship and Bible study were out of this world! I received much healing and encouragement from the Lord (I did not feel like sharing my burden with anybody else that day).

Thursday my dear hubby "smuggled" our son to his workplace, making me think he was going to school. That backfired when the school counselor called me (twice) and we discovered he wasn’t there. Nice try… We also had a church service that evening and my hubby (with our son) had to drive straight from work to church, in order to make it. I was hopeful, thinking that our whole family would attend church "together" which hasn’t happened in ages. Unfortunately, certain members chose to wait in the car until the service was over.

Once again- got the message Lord, we can’t force You on anybody… Just keep on praying and trusting in Your timing…

Good Friday I drove our two sons to spend a 3-day weekend with old friends down south. My daughter and I attended a wonderful Easter concert held by the Finnish Pentecostals. The singer was an opera star who got saved in -99 and is now glorifying God with his talents. He was accompanied by his beautiful wife on piano and also kantele, Scandinavian stringed instrument.

My daughter and I spent Friday and Saturday at a motel and had a great time at the pool, concert, shopping, park etc. Girl’s time together- gotta do that more often!

Friday night at the motel, I stepped outside for a moment after tucking my little darling to bed. There’s some chairs and a table over-looking the pool, and I like to sit there and read my bible. Only this time my spot was reserved by two guys smoking cigarettes. Promptly, they invited me to join them for a beer. I declined the beer, explaining how I had quit all that stuff long time ago, but decided to chat for awhile anyways. So I mentioned the concert we had just arrived from. "We’re musicians too!" and so this one guy goes to fetch his guitar out of the room and starts serenading. Pretty funny- only, one minute later, a door next to mine opens up and a somewhat grumpy gentleman puts halt to the serenading! Ticked off, the guitar guy goes back to his room, while the "pianist" and I continue chatting.

We had quite a serious and very interesting discussion, from politics to faith to marriage to vices to global warming and natural disasters etc. He then commented on how I seemed to take such serious issues much more lightly than he, and I had a good chance to witness about freedom in Christ.

The following day I recognized my next door (Finnish) neighbors (now much less "grumpy" gentleman and his wife) -we had attended the same easter concert! oops… Funny, what a small world! I apologized for "the guitar man" a bit embarrassed at first, but we had good conversations afterwards. The motel owners were also friendly and said we could take our time checking out. So we enjoyed relaxing and swimming until 2pm in the afternoon. Take note; Scandia Lodge has the nicest heated pool in all LW!

We had been invited by a friend to attend Trinity International (televised) worship service that day so it was nice to have some extra time to get ready for the event. We then spent a couple of hours at a nice waterfront park before the service.

The church was impressive, had a great choir and performers. I also liked the pastor who had been it’s shepherd for decades, giving the congregation a "real" feel in my opinion. It was neat to participate in a "grand" setting like that (yet, I wouldn’t trade my little fellowship group for anything)… About a dozen people accepted Christ at that service. God bless and keep them growing in His truth!!!

Sunday, back to our dear Lutheran church. We then visited brother J’s family, had a great time. I’m so glad my hubby likes them and vice versa! In the evening he drove south to pick up our boys, while I attended Upper Room. What a great week I had in Lord’s presence! A total of 8 gatherings within 5 days… Wow!

Praised be His Holy name!

Week Thirteen

John 3: 1-11
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you."Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides
in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do
"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a
branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the
fire, and they are burned.
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."

"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."

Presently, these passages are ministering to me…

God has been convicting me lately about being a passive Christian, due to the "cares of this world" that easily become too much of a priority (although I spent most of the week in bed studying the word, after catching a flu bug).

Yet, my mind has been pre-occupied about Upper Room. There is just a handful committed members, and many of us attend different services during the course of the week because of work etc. (there are 4 meetings per week). I don’t attend on Sunday mornings because we (my family) are members of the local Lutheran Church and have been assigned specific roles within the congregation.

Sunday night, brother J. was directed by God to bring the above message to us. He then shared what was on his heart, touching the same issues I have been thinking about lately. Others may have also (?)… Rather than concentrating on filling up the seats, brother J emphasized the importance of what God is doing in our hearts, and how much fruit we are bearing in our daily lives. "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."
God is pruning us continually, and it is a necessary part of our walk, so that we can bear fruit more abundantly. We then discussed the example of the talents, how the servants who (being fruitful) brought back two-fold to their Master. They received praise and were given the talent from the unfruitful servant who hid his.  Lately, many of us have been convicted by the Holy Spirit about the necessity to hear more God’s spoken word in our meetings.

A tree is known by it’s fruit. Indeed.

The following night Lord gave me the very same passage to meditate upon, as I opened my Bible before retiring to bed. Ok, thanks for conforming it Daddy! The message continues (John 3:12-17):

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

"You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
"No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his
master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I
heard from My Father I have made known to you. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed
you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should
remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. "These things I command you, that you love one another."

Now that the spring break is over, I will have more opportunities to bear fruit in other areas of life, such as upbuilding the body of Christ. Prioritizing the spiritual and secular interests in one’s mind, now that’s a task that requires an extra doze of Holy Spirit!!! Gimme more of Him -Daddy please!

We keep struggling with our oldest son who seemingly cannot get his schedule right to attend school. Yet he wants to continue in IB program for the rest of high school. Saying and doing are two very different things. Even this very morning I ended up dragging him out of bed and into bathroom to take a shower, to no avail. He’s back in bed and snoozing. I need help here Lord. I’ve tried everything, from reasoning to "tough love" approach, nothing works. Unconditional love does not do the trick, and we as his parents blame ourselves for not being disciplinary enough. I’ve been praying to God, to take over and direct his life. That’s about the only thing I can do. I give You my oldest son Daddy. I thank You Jesus – I trust that You will keep knocking at his heart’s door.

What’s most important?

I have to go visit sister S. today, donate some extra jeans and other clothing articles for her HIV patients. She’s such a trooper, I’m amazed when I think of how she presses on, despite the ridicule and criticism she often faces due to being advocate to those who are too weak to defend for themselves. I see the nature of Jesus in her. Bless our precious sister Lord!

Thank You for my family Lord. I also see You in my dear husband who, despite his physical suffering, is always kind and considerate to everyone. Thank You for our oldest son who has kept his morals high and has not gotten involved with bad company, vices etc. Thank You for our second son, who in his quiet and steady way of life brings us comfort and ease. Thank You for our youngest son who cheers us up continually with his zest for life as he embraces it to the fullest, finding every detail of you creation awe-inspiring. Thank You for our sensitive, yet strong daughter who has a heart of gold and is so concerned with everyone’s happiness.

What Blessings!

In the news I see Women and children fleeing from Somalia due to terrible bloodshed that’s taking place in that country. This brings to mind the vision I saw about two women in colorful garments running to get away from something. I guess it could be applied to what’s happening there…

About one week ago I had another dream in which an auditorium full of young people (rock-concert?) were being affected by some chemical substance. I saw two men dressed in white de-toxification suits appear in the back of the auditorium, and soon people started leaving. The scene turned chaotic as the youth started feeling the effects, realizing that something had been released in the air. Bad dream. I hope something that terrible will only take place in a dream…

Things are heating up in the Middle-east. Once again, it’s time to go study the prophets of the Old Testament.

But no matter what we are facing in this world we are safe in the palm of His hand.

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