October 24, 2013

Thank You

Lyrics by Ray Boltz.

 I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came
And he said, "Friend you may not know me now."
And then he said, "But wait,
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart."

"Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave."

Then another man stood before you
And said, "Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.
You didn't have much money
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that's why I am here today.

 (repeat CHORUS)

 One by one they came
Far as the eyes could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.
Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed.
And I know that up in heaven
You're not supposed to cry
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord
He said, "My child look around you,
For great is your reward."

(repeat CHORUS)

I am so glad you gave.

October 16, 2013


"Down in the valley, valley so low, Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.
Hear the wind blow, dear, hear the wind blow, hang your head over, hear the wind blow."
As we were driving through the Ozarks and watching the beautiful scenery unfold along the highway, I looked out over the high hills and low valleys through my car window and saw cattle and horses grazing in the fields. The Bible verse "the cattle on a thousand hills" came to mind. Of course, when we got home, I had to look up that verse and guess what? Further along in that chapter is a verse about thank offerings!
"The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. . ." (Psalm 50:1,2)
Like many other former homeschooling families we know, we've gotten in the habit of listening to stories on tape while traveling and my husband picked up several sets of audio CD's from our local library before we left. One was a volume of creationist stories of Jonathan Parks, a Vision Forum product, which we have never listened to before. In this story, they were after thieves who had stolen the first translated copy of the Danish story of Beowulf from the British museum.
"for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills, I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. . ." (Psalm 50:10,11)
We were traveling to a funeral of my husband's cousin's wife. She had died of a massive heart attack while dropping off school children. Fortunately she was in a valley bottom of a hilly road, there were only six children left on the bus, most of which were her grandchildren, a tree stopped the bus from rolling, and the children were able to exit the bus through the back as she had trained them to do should there be trouble.
She was a tremendous blessing to her community and the church was packed the day of her funeral. We felt blest to find a parking space and a seat. While the pastor eulogized her life, he said one of her children and grandchildren's memories of her life was how she spent her time while driving as a busy farmer's wife and church member and that was quoting scripture out loud she was memorizing for Bible studies or quizzing tournaments.
"He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,
and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
(Psalm 50:23)
Coming home, I saw a church sign that read, "If your Bibles were all confiscated tomorrow, what would you have left?"
1. My thanks = for the grandma who loved her grandchildren so much she was willing to take them to the funeral and graveside service because they were influenced by Phyllis' light. If you are a prayer warrior, please pray for this family (and wisdom for the congregation as they grapple with how to best serve this family) as the grandma died enroute to the graveside service of a heart attack. The oldest grandchild, a 12 year old, was able to get the car over to the shoulder where someone flagged down the police officer directly behind us at the end of the funeral procession.
2. I'm grateful =.to God for his traveling mercies to those of us who attended the funeral from the Far West.
3. I'm thankful = for comfort
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
5. My thanks = for people who have mechanical skills. I've missed my father so much since he's passed. My dryer quit, now it's working thanks to Kevin! Thanks guy!
5. My thanks = for Karen who knows what I like and gifted me with a tiny perpetual spiral friendship calendar decorated with teacups.

October 10, 2013

Promised Dessert

"Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

 ~ Luke 14:15

Have you ever given much thought to what heaven will be like? My grandfather said before he "graduated" that he used to be afraid of dying until he dreamed of strolling through a beautiful garden and seeing his handsome son there who had tragically passed away as a young man, leaving behind a wife and two small children.
My dear husband found a story for me that illustrates the promise of heaven. There was a woman who was diagnosed with a terminal illness, like my grandfather. She invited her pastor to her home to discuss her final wishes. She told him the clothing she wanted to be buried in, which songs she wanted sung at her funeral, and what scriptures she wanted read. Then she said, "Oh, one more thing. I want to be buried with a fork in my hand." You can imagine how surprised that pastor was!
Well, anyway, the woman explained that in all her years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, she always remembered that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared away, someone would invariably tell her to keep her fork. She said that was her favorite part of the meal because she knew that something especially delightful was coming, some goodie like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. So she wanted people to see her in her casket with a fork in her hand and wonder, "What's with the fork?" She asked her pastor to explain the reason for it during the course of her funeral service by telling them, "She kept her fork, because she knew something wonderful was coming."
Then, as the pastor tenderly bid adieu to the woman, it is said that his eyes welled up with tears of joy as he realized that she had a better grasp of heaven than he did.

"He who overcomes will inherit all this . . ."
~ Revelation 21:7

I'm Thankful For:
1. The promise of heaven!
2. Forks. I can't imagine eating without them.
3. My husband's cousin. She departed this life suddenly during a massive heart attack this week. She was a great blessing to her family, her church family, and to the children she bussed to school every day! She will be greatly missed! Are you ready to go if the Lord calls you?
4. After watching a particular disturbing bit on TV the other night, I told my husband the next day that I sure appreciated not being married to a wife-beater.
5. Lilies = "See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." (Matthew 6:28-29)


October 01, 2013

A Joyous Thank You

"My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." (Psalm 28:7b)

Look at that girl. Doesn't she look tremendously joyful and ready to fly into the sky?  This little miss on the front cover of a "Thank You" book illustrated by Mary Engelbreit reminds me of Julie Andrews singing her heart out on the mountain top in another favorite movie of mine called "The Sound of Music."

I delight in books such as this one even though it was published in 1993. A young teacher of my aquaintance thinks that for a book to be useful, it must published within the last ten years. Ah! Contraire! She will never know the joys of delving into the classics. I remember spending many blissful evenings or weekends reading them when I was a girl. Many times I was probably sneaking a read when I should have been doing homework or chores though! *Wink*

Most all of my wonderful "vintage" ME collectibles came from thrift shops and flea markets. (Guess What? Mary is still alive and well and cranking out her art!) The items in my collection are aged to perfection, sometimes with chips or missing pieces, but most are completely whole and well-loved. A couple of my girlfriends love to gift me with their exceptional ME bonanzas. You know, for all of us, it's the thrill of the hunt and the joy of discovery!

Anyway, this little 32 page "Thank You" book takes a poem, divides the lines and intersperses it with Mary's illustrations. The first line of this poem is: "Gratitude's a memory that is held within the heart. . ." and the ending lines are: " to offer you the warmest thanks a heart could ever hold for every lovely, lasting memory." I'm sure this book was intended as a lovely gift for a lovely friend.

My Gratitudes this week are =

1. Thank God for dear friends = "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy." (Philippians 1:3-4); "How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? (1 Thessalonians 3:9)

2. I'm grateful for treasured memories = "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19); Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8).

3. For warm fuzzies!  = "but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." (1 Thessalonians 2:7,8)

4. For the shepherd = "He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11)

5. For treasures = "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." (Proverbs 24:3,4)
Here's your link, dear Donna, to HOME! Be sure to bookmark it in your favorites in case I forget again! Will be looking forward to reading your gratitudes for this week!