"He Leadeth Me"
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"He Leadeth Me"

By Lori Henry



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Bearing One Another's Burdens
May 2, 2018
     I read the sweetest story one time about a little boy who was about five years old.  His mother looked out her kitchen window one day and saw him sitting on their elderly neighbor's porch.  The neighbor had just lost his wife of over 50 years.  The mother noticed the little boy sitting beside the man on the porch swing.  They were just swinging.  They were not talking.   Later, when the little boy came back home, his mother asked him what he was doing over there.  "I was just helping him cry," he explained.  
     I love the wisdom of children.  The little boy wasn't trying to give advice or flowery words to his neighbor, he was just helping him grieve the loss of his wife.  This made me think about what we can do when someone has a burden.  
     The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:4 that there is a time to weep.  There are people that we come in contact with on a daily basis that are carrying heavy burdens.  Maybe the death of a loved one, cancer, a child who is rebelling, and the list goes on.  How do we react to them?  How do we care for them?
     In Romans 12:15, the Bible tells us to "rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."  Also, in chapter 15:1 we are exhorted to "bear the infirmities of the weak."  What does that look like?  Sometimes just a hug or a smile can lift someone's spirit.  Other times God may encourage us to send a card, make a phone call, or actually visit someone that is hurting.  We ought always be in prayer for hurting people.  
     My sister and her husband lost their only daughter almost a year ago.  It has been a very long, hard year for them, and for our entire family.  Before Olivia passed away, four of us---my 2 sisters, my cousin and I--began a long distance Bible study from a book entitled 5 Minutes With Jesus.  None of us live in the same town, in fact, I do not live in the same state as the other three.  Every Monday, we would read the same chapter in the book, then text each other discussing what we had learned that day. 
     Looking back, it is absolutely amazing how God was preparing us, especially my sister, for what was coming.  And afterwards, the lessons from that book, which always pointed to Scripture, showed us how God was watching out for the family.  I have learned that sharing Scripture with those that are hurting is so very valuable, because it has been such a balm for us during this time.  
     One of my favorite portions of Scripture is Romans 11:33-36.  "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord?  Or who hath been his counsellor?  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to who be glory for ever. Amen."
     What a comfort it is to know that even though we don't understand why something has happened--be it a death, or cancer, or something else, God does!  He has a purpose!  We can trust Him!  And we can share that with someone in their darkest hour.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  God never does things on a whim!  He has a plan and purpose!  
     Sometimes God may only want us to sit and "help someone cry."  Sometimes He may want us to make a phone call.  Sometimes He may want us to share Scripture.  Always, He wants us to pray!  Whose burden are you helping to bear today? [READ MORE]

Zombies, Monsters and Gore, Oh My!!
March 28, 2018
What an unusual title for our church blog site, right??  Some of you may be thinking, "What on earth is our Pastor's wife thinking?"  Well, allow me to explain a recent experience I had concerning the title of this blog!
     I was shopping at a local Goodwill store just last week.  As I was browing the aisles, I came upon the shelves housing the CD's.  I was caught up in looking at the titles, one by one, when suddenly an older man poked his head around the corner and asked, "See any good monster movies?"
     A little startled, I answered, "No, but I wasn't really looking for monster movies!"  He chuckled and moved closer.  "I love good monster movies.  The gorier, the better!  And zombie movies, I love zombie movies!"  "Oh, my!" I exclaimed!  
     He began to explain why he liked those movies.  "I'm a zombie," he told me matter-of-factly.  Ummm....what???  I eyed him cautiously.  "Yeah," he said, "I was in a car wreck a while ago, and I died.  That's why I love these kind of movies.  I'm a zombie!" 
     I'm sure I gave the perfect impression of a woman turning to stone, but God prompted the next thing that came out of my mouth.  "Well, God sure must have some big plans for your life since He allowed you to survive that terrible car wreck," I said.  As soon as I spoke those words, he turned tail and nearly ran out of that aisle!  "You planted the seed," God gently reminded me.  
     It's safe to say,  that as a Christian, I have never before had an experience as "weird" as that one!  This experience has taught me that I should always be "on my toes" and in the Word, so that I am ready to "give an answer to every man that asks me a reason of the hope that is in me with meekness and fear."
     Now, this man never asked me about the Lord, but I told him anyhow.  My heart went out to him.  Want to know why?  Because according to 2 Corinthians 4:4, the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
     Satan is a liar. (John 8:44).  He does not want people to know Jesus Christ.  He does not want people to know that Jesus Christ is good, or that Jesus Christ is the only Way to heaven and eternal life!  He lied to Eve.  He lied to Adam.  He lies to us.  He lied to the man who thought he was a zombie.  He does not want this man, or any man for that matter,  to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!
     Satan condemns.  God sent His Son, Jesus, to save the world, not to condemn it! (John 3:17).  Satan is the father of lies.  John 14:6 says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  I believe that Satan knows his time is short, and that he is working overtime to get man off on rabbit trails so that they do not come to Jesus.
     There is a dying world out there.  As I took a small break from writing this, I saw a post by a dear Christian friend on Facebook.  It was depicting a rally where a man was dressed in a "devil" costume, complete with horns holding a sign that said, "I Bet Hell is Fabulous!
     We, as Chrisitans, need to share the glorious light of the gospel of Christ!  We will meet an odd array of people out in the world.  2 Timothy 3 tells us about this.  Some may surprise us, as did the "Zombie Man", others...not so much.  Jesus ran into quite an array of people, also!  Demon possessed people, the woman at the well, the woman caught in the act of adultery, just to name a few.  What did He do?  He loved them, admonished them, spoke truth to them.  That's what we are called to do.
     Most likely, you won't run into someone who thinks they're a zombie, but you will run into a world of people who do not know Jesus, and whom Satan is trying to blind.  Be ready!  Share His love!  Share the Truth!  Share the Life! [READ MORE]

Lessons From a Flight Attendant
February 13, 2018
Recently, we took a trip to Texas.  As our vacation ended, we boarded a jet that was to take us from Waco to Dallas.  The airport was small.  The jet was small.  Two seats on either side of the aisle.  It was a short flight...approximately 22 minutes. 
     As my husband and I boarded, the flight attendant greeted us cheerfully.  Extra Cheerfully.  She was smiling, and you could just tell that it was genuine.  As people were making their way to their seats, she busied herself with talking to each person, stashing this, fixing that, until all were seated.  
     Next, as the pre-recorded voice was heard over the intercom explaining how to fasten your seat belt, and what to do if there should be a need to use the air or under-the-seat cushions, she performed the instructions like she was starring in a Broadway hit!  All smiles, and a little comedy!  People were beginning to chuckle now, including us.
     We learned that her name was Thye.  Before the plane even took off, she fairly waltzed down the aisle with a broad smile, singing and asking people how they were.  Then she came around and said, "Would you like pretzles?  After all, we can't let anyone on this plane go hungry!"  Once served, she asked if we wanted a drink.  I happened to be on the verge of getting a migraine, and I knew that Coke would help.  I asked for Coke, and she looked at me and said with a smile, "Do you want a whole can, sweetie?"  My husband asked if there was coffee, and she hesitated for just a moment before answering, "I'm sure I can rustle some up!"  I don't think they served coffee on that flight, but she went out of her way to get him some.
     She was friendly, energetic, sweet and accomadating.  She treated us like we all were in first class !  Everyone was important to her.  She made the flight fun!  I could hear people around me saying things like, "Well, isn't she sweet!" and "What a happy person she is!"  
     To some flight attendants, this would probably be the "bottom of the barrel" in flights!  If it wasn't with a major airline, going to major places, they wouldn't want it!  But to Thye, it was special.  She owned it.  It was her job, and she chose to be positive and treat people with respect and warmth! 
     This reminds me very much of the song, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are." 

       Do we choose to brighten the corner where we are?  Do we choose to bloom where God has planted us, or are we too worried about what other people are doing, or with what other people have?  I came across a quote a while back that I instantly loved.  It said, THE GRASS IS GREENER WHERE YOU WATER IT.  If I am only concerned with what I don't have, or with what I didn't get, I'm not watering my grass, and it's going to fade and die. 
     No matter where God puts me, I am responsible for reflecting His light, warmth and love there!  I must also ask myself this question: "If nobody saw what I was doing, would I still do it for His honor and glory?"  I don't want to be seen of man, but of God, however, man does see when we glorify God even in the smallest of tasks!  So just like Thye, we need to brighten the corner where we are!  Let others know we serve a great God!
Matthew 5:14-16 "Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."


Talking to Ourselves
January 20, 2018
     Many people talk to themselves!  We've heard it said many times that it is ok, as long as you don't also answer yourself too!  I remember being in a store one time, and there was a man in the shoe isle, and he was holding a full blown conversation and nobody was around!  I kind of lurked nearby and curiously watched him.  I was a little leary of him, thinking he had mental problems, and was relieved when I finally realized that he had a blue tooth device in his ear, and that he really was talking to someone...not himself!!  
     I've been studying Psalm 42 for a few weeks.  It is a Psalm written by David, and do you know that David "talks to himself" in this Psalm?  David was riding out a storm.  He talks about his tears being his meat day and night.  He talks about scoffers asking him, "Where is your God?"  
     In verse 5, David begins to counsel himself.  Three times (also in chapter 43:5), he asks, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? "  Do you know that the word "cast" has to do with sheep?  This is an old English shepherd's term for a sheep that has turned over on its back and can't get up again without help!  The sheep that is "cast down" is frightened and frustrated, and if the shepherd doesn't come to help it up within a short time, that sheep will die.  
     David obviously knew a lot about sheep!  We do not use the term "cast down" any more.  Most of us, without careful study, wouldn't know the significance of that term, but David did.  While checking his flock, he likely came upon sheep that were cast down, and surely he ran to their rescue before it was too late. David compared himself with the struggling and fear that he had witnessed in the sheep when they were on their backs helpless, and ready to give up!  David also asks his soul, "Why are you disquieted in me?"  Disquieted means to be agitated, upset, disturbed and unsettled.  Once cast down, this is how the sheep feels, and this is how David was feeling.
     David begins to remind himself to hope in God through the hard times.  David knew that Christ has the same compassion for cast men and women as he himself had for his cast sheep!  Just a few chapters later in the Bible, Psalm 46:1 tells us that "God is a very present help in trouble."  His watchful eye is ever roaming for the sheep in trouble.  Psalm 56:13 tells us, "For you have delivered my soul from death: will not you deliver my feet from falling that I may walk before God in the light of the living?"
     Does God see when we are cast down?  2 Cor. 4:8-9 tells us, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed."  Cast down, but not destroyed!  David was giving himself a pep talk!  When things are seemingly at their worst, we usually focus only on the bad, but taking a lesson from David, we need to remind ourselves of God's care and goodness to us!
     What is the good?  We have a Good Shepherd that is watching over us.  Nothing can happen to us without His permission.  He has not relinquished His throne!  We are not always going to have things easy as Christians, but we can be assured of God's presence.  
     David also wanted to praise God and glorify Him for his help.  Do we glorify God during our hard times?  Or do we have a bad attitude and complain?  David knew that many people were watching him.  He knew the importance of being a good witness and testimony of God's goodness to him.  We can do the same!
     Cast down?  Maybe.  Destroyed?  No!  If you are one to talk to yourself, tell yourself these things! [READ MORE]

My God Shall Supply All Your Needs
January 11, 2018
          When my husband, Pastor Carl, yielded to the call to preach, we had 2 small children.  Everyone thought he should go to a big name college out in the Mid-West, but he felt called to go to a small Bible college about an hour from our home.  
     That first day of college came quickly!  I gave him a kiss and hug, prayed with him, smiled as he pulled away, turned around and cried for over an hour!!  This was a new chapter in our lives, and even though it was very good that my husband was going to Bible college to become a pastor, it was also a bit scarey and lonely.
     The particular college he went to would not allow students to begin a new semester unless their previous semester was paid in full.  We did a lot of scraping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet.  If we wrote out our expenses and bills on paper in comparison to our income, it always came up short!  But God was always faithful!
     We spend $40.00 on groceries weekly.  That had to cover food, baby food, baby needs, personal needs, laundry detergent, etc.  His college professor once told the men, "Boys, nothing will make your family more bitter than going hungry through these college years, so buy a lot of something cheap to eat!"  We learned that hot dogs were cheap!  I could make hot dogs a dozen different ways!  Pancakes were cheap!  Many times Carl would go to work with peanuts and boiled potatoes to eat!  We had plenty to eat---maybe not T-bone steaks, but our tummy's were full!
     God definitely uses His people to bring aid to those in need!  A sweet elderly lady in our church listened to God's voice many times through those college years to help us!  When we went to the grocery store, we had to stick strictly to our budget!  No Oreo's, or candy.  Sometimes we had to choose between sweeper bags or paper towels.  Everything was generic.  But when this dear little lady would softly pull me to a corner of the foyer and whisper, "I have a few things for you in the car", we'd get so excited because she bought things we couldn't afford!  The bags were overflowing with Oreo's, Pop-tarts---the REAL ones, not the fake ones--cereal, bread, brownie mix, a little bit of candy, cleaning supplies, and so much more!  Those bags overflowed with something else, too!  God's goodness to us!  God didn't have to do this!  We were learning lessons from going through tough times, but God, in His goodness, allowed some "extras", and we just got so blesed by it!
     I can remember one particular time, we had very little left to eat!  At this time we had 3 small children.  There was hardly anything in the cupboards!  Nothing to really pull together any kind of meal.  We wanted to teach our little ones that God always supplies our needs, so we huddled up and prayed together for $40.00 so that we could buy groceries.  We asked God to please deliver that $40.00 that very day.  We watched with anticipation as the mail truck pulled up alongside our mailbox.  When the mailman shut the mailbox and pulled away, we almost ran to to see what was inside!  There was a plain, white envelope addressed to us.  Once in the house, we tore it open, and to our utter amazement and joy, there, wrapped in a piece of plain white notebook paper,  were two twenty dollar bills!  Forty dollars!!!!  Just like we prayed for!  We jumped up and down, praising the Lord for His goodness!  
     Not only were our physical needs supplied, but our spiritual needs were supplied, also.  In the third year of college, we had our 4th child.  Carl went to college at 6:30 each morning, Monday through Thursday, an hour away.  He came home at 2:30, ate on the run, left for work at 2:45, drove 15 minutes to work, worked until 11:30 at night, came home and studied, fell asleep and repeated the same thing each day!  He had to study, memorize Scripture--a LOT of it--teach Sunday school, Children's Church, sing in choir, do a jail ministry, and be in bus ministry!  
     I, on the other hand, was alone with 4 little ones.  We only had 1 car, so I stayed home most of the time.  I had to depend on someone to pick me up for church.  If they forgot, we didn't go.  Again, God supplied the needs, but this time, spiritually.  We learned to lean on Him for literally, everything!  He gave me a true contentment to be at home, raising my babies for Him.  I quickly learned that my attitude spilled over onto my husband, and that I needed to get behind him and encourage him.  
     I saw God work in his life.  He never could have handled such a brutal work load without God!  God was so faithful in keeping him safe on the roads, helping him learn the Word, helping him memorize, and more!  
     We were like Moses when he told the Lord he was slow of speech---not fit!  We felt like little David facing Goliath!  We struggled with our inadequacies and shortcomings.  We definitely felt like a piece of clay on the Potter's wheel, and thought, "God, how CAN you use us?  We are nothing---just 2 young parents trying to live for You!"  But that is the key!  We CAN do ALL things through Christ which gives us the strength!
     God saw us through those years!  For a while, we couldn't eat another hot dog, but we sure were thankful for the lessons along the way!  Faithful is He that calls us, who also will do it!  God proved Himself to us time and time again.  An anonymous envelope here and there, school books secretly paid for, bags of groceries from time to time.  All warm reminders that He cared and was taking care of us!  Those years were precious to us!
     Many years later, although we do not struggle like in those early college years, God is still stupplying our needs, both spiritually and physically.  We see His goodness to us numerous ways every single day.  We are thankful to Him!  Phil. 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." [READ MORE]

Pleasure Island?
December 27, 2017
Recently, I taped the original 1940 children's movie, Pinocchio.  It had been years since I last saw it, so I snuggled in to enjoy it!  As you most likely remember, dear Geppetto was a lonely wood carver who made a wooden boy that he named "Pinocchio."  Throughout the movie, Pinocchio had a conscience named Jiminy Cricket who tried to keep Pinocchio going on the straight and narrow road, but Pinocchio got into some crazy situations from time to time!
      The most notable situation that Pinocchio got himself into was allowing some off-colored boys to influence him, much to the dislike of Jiminy Cricket!  Going down this wrong path eventually led Pinocchio and some of his "friends" to a place called Pleasure Island.  
     At Pleasure Island, the boys were lured into believing that it was the greatest adventure on earth!  The Coachman, who owned Pleasure Island, assured the boys that they could do anything they wanted!  There was a model house, and the boys could utterly destroy it!  The boys shot out the beautiful stained glass windows, they smoked cigars, drank, and played pool until all hours of the night, and they were free from the law and any adults that would try to stop them!  They were a rowdy bunch of boys, laughing and riding carnival rides and doing whatever their hearts desired! 
     You see, Foulfellow and Gideon had beforehand gathered these bad boys up and had promised them the moon, and delivered them to this amazing theme park.  With stars in their eyes, these boys sampled and tasted all that Pleasure Island had to give them.  There were no holds barred.  Whatever they wanted, they could have!  Whatever mischief they wanted to get into, they were welcome to it!  Oh, this was fun!  No stuffy adults scolding them!  No law punishing them!  There was no accountability...or so they thought!
     Jiminy Cricket had been doing some investigating of his own as he searched for Pinocchio.  He couldn't figure out why Pleasure Island suddenly was so vacant.  Where did all the boys go that were brought here?  He searched and searched, and suddenly came upon a terrible sight!  A secret part of the island revealed the terrible truth!  The "boys" apparently were turned into donkeys!  They were being held in crates or behind bars.  Some of them still had the clothes on that they came in!  They were crying, calling out for their mothers.  The cruel and evil Coachman, Foulfellow and Gideon only laughed at their dispair and asked them with sneering voices, "Did you think there wouldn't be a pay day?  Did you think you'd go on in this pleasure forever?"  The frightened donkeys were roughly tossed by their ears into crates to be sold to salt mines or to the circus.  
   Completely unaware of this, as Pinocchio and Lampwick were playing pool, smoking cigars and drinking beer, Lampwick suddenly brayed like a donkey!!  He then grew ears and a tail like a donkey's!  His face suddenly turned into the face of a donkey!  He saw himself in a mirror and became frantic!  He kicked and brayed and cried out for his mother!  
    Meanwhile,  Jiminy Cricket frantically ran and found Pinocchio, told him what was happening to the other boys,  and urged him to follow him.  They ran, together, up a rocky mountain, the only way out of Pleasure Island.  Once at the very top, the only way off the rocks was to jump into the vicious, swirling ocean below.  They did just that, and eventually washed up on shore.  After some very frightening encounters with Monstro, the giant whale who swallowed Gepetto, Pinocchio finally ended up back home and turned into a real boy!
     This movie reminds me a lot of how Satan is!  He is just like the cruel Coachman of Pleasure Island!  The Coachman posed as a very nice man...promising fun and pleasure forever more!  2 Cor. 11:14 tells us that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  He, too, promises all the sinful pleasures a man can imagine, but, just like the Coachman, he does not reveal until later, that there is a pay day, and it will not be fun!  Galatians 6:7 tells us, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  
     The boys at Pleasure Island had their "fun."  But the Coachman knew that pay day was about to take place.  They had sown every conceivable pleasure....now they were about to reap!  Before they knew what hit them, they were bound and became slaves to the very things they thought were fun and pleasureable!  And just like Satan does to us when we fall into sin, the Coachman stood and laughed at their terrible plight!  No pity.  No mercy.  
     As a sinner, who does not know Jesus, the end of your earthly "Pleasure Island" is horrible!  Luke 12:19-20 tells us, "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, (by-the-way...In Italy, where Pinocchio was written, the word donkey means fool!), this night thy soul shall be required of thee:"  Thank God, He has made a way of escape, though!  John 3:16 tells us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
     As a Christian, we can fall into Satan's trap of believing sin is fun, in fact, Satan can make sin fun....for a season (Heb. 11:25!)  But, just like the Prodical Son, we will eventually "come to ourself" and realize that we are sitting in a pig sty eating husks from corn, when God has given us the banquet table of His goodness to partake of!!  2 Cor. 2:11 tells us that we are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us, "Be sober, be vigilat; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"  But, instead of being bound as Satan's slaves, we can be forgiven!!  I John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Our God is not a cruel taskmaster.  He loves us, and wants us to know that we can come to Him for forgiveness when we mess up!
     Pleasure Island or pleasures for evermore? (Psalm 16:11.)  The choice is ours! [READ MORE]

My Daddy
December 6, 2017

     My dad was my hero!  He was a big bear of a man, with a gentle heart!  I adored him!  When I was only about 4 years old, I remember sitting with him in the summer, and noticing scars on his knees.  I asked him what happened.  We lived in Pennsylvania, and mountains surrounded our home.  He pointed to the top of the mountain and said, "Lor, do you see that mountain?", and I replied that, yes, I did.  "Well, I was up there one day, and a big Grizzly bear started chasing me, and I wrestled him the whole way down the side of that mountain, and that's where these scars came from!"  I remember just staring with a mixture of thrill, fright and amazement that my dad wrestled a big old Grizzly bear down over that mountain!!
     Of course, there were no Grizzly bears in Pennsylvania, therefore, my dad never wrestled one down the side of the mountain!  It was a "story" that he told his wide-eyed little girl.  But, I believed it wholeheartedly!  My dad could do anything!  He was strong.  He was amazing!
     I also remember the time he took me fishing in the creek that ran behind our home.  I loved fishing with him!  He taught me how to bait the hook with a worm and cast my line in the water.  A little distance away from us, there were two men who were also fishing.  They were using some foul language.  I recall my dad hollering over to them saying, "Hey!  I'd appreciate it if you didn't use that kind of language!  Can't you see there's a lady present?"  He meant me!  My heart swelled with pride at being called a "lady", and for the fact that my big, strong dad cared enough about me to see that those men stopped using foul language in my presense!
     I caught a tiny little trout that day, and my dad made the biggest deal over it!  We went home and he showed me how to prepare it for the grill.  We grilled it, and then sat at our picnic table, under our willow tree and ate it together.  A little girl and her daddy.  All of life was right.  There was no place else I'd rather have been.
     In 1972, our part of Pennsylvania got hit very hard with the effects of a hurricane.  As I mentioned earlier, there was a creek behind our house.  It rained and poured unmercifully for days and days.  Ususally, we couldn't see the creek from our home, as it was down over an embankment.  I can remember one day standing at a bedroom window, and I could see the brown, muddy water of the creek!  Within three or four days, I could stand at the downstairs kitchen window and see the water angrily flowing in the creek!  Within two or three more days, we had to take refuge at my aunt and uncle's farm house several miles away as the creek overflowed its bank and wreaked its devastation on our entire neighborhood.  I can remember going home with my dad to see the after affects of the flood.  Our once beautiful yard was covered in sandy dirt with twigs, logs, bottles and silt.  Our garden was gone.  Our barn, which was to house a little pony for me, was lying in a crumbled heap!  My dream of riding a little pony along the little roads of our neighborhood would never happen now.
     About three months later, after mom and dad got the yard and house cleaned up, and squared  things up with their insurance company, I got a call one afternoon from my dad, who was at work.  He worked for New Holland farm machinery, which was in the heart of Amish country.  "Lor, since you can't have a little pony now, I want to ask you something.  How would you like a little lamb?"  A lamb!  I loved animals....all kinds of animals, but had never thought of a lamb!  "I'd love a lamb, daddy!", I excitedly answered!  A few days later, Bucky arrived!  A sweet little lamb with a black face.  We became fast friends!  He had a leather collar, and I would put a leash on him and walk him down the road like a dog!  We would lay in the grass together.  I would call his name out of my bedroom window, and he would call me to me.  It was childhood at its best!  My dad thought we were the cutest pair alive!  He allowed me to bring Bucky into the house when mom would go for groceries!  I loved that lamb, and I loved my dad!
     On May 13, 1977, I was in high school.  My oldest sister, Luann,  was a nursing student and had just gotten home from school.  I got home from school, also, and we decided to go and get a bucket of chicken for dad at the local Red Barn.  Mom was working at the local bank, and my sister, Kelly, was in Michigan on a band trip.  I scribbled a quick note to dad, telling him that Luann and I went to get him chicken for supper, and that we'd be home soon.  He would be home from work before we got back.  As I was shutting the back door, the phone rang.  I ran and answered it and heard the devestating news that daddy was being taken to the hospital.  He'd had a massive heart attack, and we were to go to the hospital, quickly!  Dad was 42 years old.  
     I ran to the car and told my sister.  We drove to the bank, and picked up mom.  We raced to the Emergency Room of our hospital.  They led us to a quiet room all by ourselves.  My sister had had enough training that she knew  when they put you in a private room all by yourselves it was not a good sign.  The doctor and nurse came in a few minutes later and told us that daddy didn't make it.  Leading us to his bedside, I cried uncontrollably.  My mother gently reminded us that he was in heaven, with Jesus.  The days and months to follow were sad and difficult.  My grades went down in school.  I missed him.   He'd never get to see me graduate.  He wouldn't walk any of his 3 daughters down the aisle on our wedding days.  He'd never see his grandchilden.  I didn't have a dad any more!  
     There have been many times since that day that I've wished my dad could have been here.  Oh, how he'd love his grandkids and great-grandkids!  Oh, how he'd love that my husband is a pastor!  But, God's plans and ways are above our plans and ways, and, unlike ours, His ways are perfect!  My dad is in heaven worshipping the King of Kings!  He wouldn't want to come back here!  
     A very important thing that I have been reminded of is this: God is my Father!  Even though my earthly father is not here anymore, God is always here!  Matthew 6:9 tells me, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven."  Psalms 68:5 says that God is "a Father of the fatherless."  Isaiah 64:8 also tells me that the LORD is our father, as does Matthew 6:9.  Romans 8:15 even calls God "Abba, Father", which is a verse I love so much, because it literally is translated, "daddy" or "papa."  It shows a close, intimate relationship with God Himself!  The same God of Isaiah 6:1-3 is also my daddy, my Father! 
     This has been of great comfort to me through the years.  No, my earthly dad has never met my husband, but my heavenly daddy has...and knows him by name!  My earthly dad has never seen my children or grandchildren, but my heavenly daddy knew all about each one as they were being formed!  I cannot converse with my dad anymore, but I certainly can with my Heavenly Father!  I talk to Him every day.  I read His Word also!  He loves me.  He saved me.  He has given me eternal life!  He is preparing a home for me!  I will live with Him forever!  I will miss my earthly dad until I see him again in heaven some day, but I'm so very thankful for my "Abba, Father" as He tenderly loves me.


My Cup Runneth Over
November 25, 2017

Three times!!!  Three times I spilled my cup of tea!  The first time was the day before Thanksgiving.  I was extremely busy in the kitchen, cooking for 20 plus people.  I had my warm and cozy cup of tea on the counter top and occasionally took a sip while working  […] [READ MORE]

Desensitized to Sin
October 17, 2017

I really like to watch nature documentaries about animals.  I like to learn about their habits, diets, and where they're from.        Not long ago I watched a documentary about a very interesting animal.  This animal is native to Africa, specifically, the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The […] [READ MORE]

Saddle up, Partner!
October 2, 2017

     I have always loved horses!  I used to have a favorite stick horse, and would ride it through the neighborhood all the time!  At night, I often had a dream that I was riding my stick horse and it would suddenly turn into a real horse, and it […] [READ MORE]

Love in any language
September 25, 2017

The baby laughed with glee over and over again.  A lump formed in my throat and tears stung my eyes as I watched.  "I've never seen a baby laugh like that here," the Mission's Coordinator's wife told me in a chocked voice.   We were both watching my friend Mariam.  She […] [READ MORE]