As a child, my Dad would refer to me as his little gypsy. Travel, by any means, always appealed to me, whether by car, plane, or boat. Even with the passing of time, that desire never left, and most of my life has been about “going”. Graciously, God put a strong desire in my heart as well as my husband, Bob, to be involved in a ministry that would take us to “parts unknown”. We traveled most of our married life in churches and conferences around the country, sharing the love of Jesus through music and telling others about God’s grace. When Bob made his final trip to Heaven, I missed him terribly and assumed my days of “going” were over, but, my desire did not change.
A “Never to be Forgotten” event doesn’t happen often, but the September 26, 2020 Day of Repentance and Prayer (The Return) on the Washington DC Mall was one of those life changing, unforgettable days for me.
Have you been feeling a little at “loose ends” lately? I have. Someone said that making plans during 2020 has been a little like pinning jello on a wall.
The routine of going to church, weekly bible studies and prayer meetings and the fellowship with other believers has been sorely missed. We are seeing life from a very different perspective this year. The past freedom of gathering together that we have taken for granted during our life, is unsettling in its absence.
The good news is that God is dealing with His people in new ways. I love the line from the old hymn that says “God’s truth abideth still, His Kingdom is forever.”
In spite of planning difficulties and uncertainties, I am continuing to minister wherever doors are open. Please pray for me as I travel this summer. It is wonderful to know that God knows the future and holds us in His hand.
I will be in Rome, Georgia, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, Oklahoma City, Castle Rock, Colorado, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Washington DC. In October I will be back in Florida for the winter.
We are hearing a reference to “The New Normal”, that certainly isn’t normal at all. It feels like trying to hold on to something in your hand, then realize the only thing you have grasped is air. Uncertainty about everything is becoming “normal”. We don’t know what lies ahead, do we?
Last month my youngest brother, David, went to be with Jesus. We knew he was ill, but death was more sudden than anyone could imagine. Knowing that he is now in the presence of the Lord, surrounded by family and friends who preceded him, is certainly a comfort for his family. But, still a painful loss.
David and I had many conversations about Heaven. He was looking forward to reaching the place that would be home forever. He suffered much, and his gaze became focused on the promises of Christ as his human surroundings became unbearable. The promises to those who “trust in, rely on, and adhere to” the Savior of the Soul became reality for my little brother.
How many times have we heard those words during the last weeks? Frankly, I am tired of them, aren’t you? Don’t we all miss our family and friends? We miss restaurants and meetings. We miss dinners and outings with others. We miss what we called normal days and normal ways of life.
However, it occurs to me that all of the things we love are wonderful gifts from the Lord, but they can also become little idols, if not kept in balance. Overnight, this pandemic has stripped things from us that we have taken for granted. Our health, the economy, nearness and accessibility to family and friends are not as they were. The freedom that we have known all of our lives to go where we please, and travel at our own pleasure have been touched. The beaches and parks have been closed. Even our churches have been affected.
The Apostle Paul said: “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” So, the question comes. Is Christ the center and purpose of my life? Am I grateful for His gifts to me, understanding that they are just presents, given because He loves me? But is Christ, (the giver of all things) prized above all else in my life?
Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isiah 41:10
For the last few weeks, our lives have certainly changed, haven’t they? All of us are aware of the Coronavirus, and have had our lives interrupted in some way. Those of us who have not experienced any sickness are experiencing major changes in the way we function.
Restaurants, stores, gatherings of all kinds, the BLS April Retreat, and even our church services have been cancelled and disrupted. We just haven’t seen anything like this —-ever!
It is so wonderful to know that our Lord is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He is our ever present anchor and strength. He is still in control and His arms are open to all who will turn to Him. He tells us over and over, not to fear and not to be afraid, doesn’t He?
As a child, I thought of the words in the Bible – “Fear not” – to have reference to the shepherds, and anyone who saw an angel or came in contact with the supernatural glory of God. But now, I see those words as relevant in my daily life, living with many uncertainties.
The Lord says to me and to you, don’t fear the coronavirus. Don’t fear a falling economy. Don’t fear the future and what it might hold. He is still in control and promises to take care of His children while we are here on earth, and promises eternity after this life that will be perfectly governed and filled with the glory of the One who gave His life for us.
When the snow begins to fly in the Northern States, the snowbirds begin their winter exodus to the South.
For those of us who live in Florida, it means packed roads, restaurants and beaches. It also means activities and programs in churches as they ramp up to accommodate the part time residents of our sunny state.
During the winter months, it is a joy to put together retreats, concerts and programs for the full-time residents as well as the part timers who come each year.
The Bible Study Retreats and concerts scheduled to date are:
Women’s Retreat in Orlando April 20-24
Concert at Lake Gibson UMC in Lakeland, Florida May 10
Women’s Retreat in Pagosa Springs, Colorado September 9 – 12
Women’s Retreat in Daytona Beach, Florida November 9 – 13
During the summer months, I will be traveling through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Colorado and am in the process of scheduling “Simply Worship” concerts in various churches.
Please pray for me as I travel and put together retreats and concerts. The Lord can open hearts of those who listen, drawing them closer to Him and He will keep me safe as I travel. He is always our strength and shield wherever we go, and we are grateful to be the children of the King of Kings, aren’t we?
Every day I am reminded that gratefulness is not widespread in our society. Instead of the beauty of being grateful, there is the push for more. Nothing is ever “good enough” or new enough. The world seems to want more of everything rather being content with what they have.
I remember a large, framed saying on the wall of a rescue mission that said “Happiness is not having what you want, but being content with what you have.”
Even as Christ followers, that old ungrateful spirit creeps in to our thinking on occasion. Instead of savoring time together with family and being grateful for their presence, we often concentrate on their flaws. Instead of contentment with what we have, we concentrate on what we lack. Our human default setting is not gratefulness, is it?
How good to serve a God who desires to transform us into His own image so we can know the joy of being grateful. I am glad for the reminder in I Timothy 6:6-7 that says “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
During this season of Thanksgiving as well as all the other days, I want to be remembering the little chorus that says:
“More of you, more of you, I’ve had all, but what I need is more of You. Of things I’ve had my fill And yet I hunger still Empty and bare, Lord here my prayer For more of you.