Monday, July 30, 2007

A Journey Pondering

We were able to attend daily Mass this morning. After receiving Eucharist, a verse came to mind: (I'm giving the context. The highlighted part is the focus of this post.)

"I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:24-27)

Ponder that today, my friend. CHRIST is in you, the hope of glory. Wow...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Horizons

My journey path is about to take some new twists. I am walking into some uncharted territory. I'm not great with the unknown. I want a map and detailed instructions, thank you very much. However, as we all know, that is not usually the way life goes. We need to learn that God alone sees the "big picture," and that we can trust Him to guide each step--even when we'd rather be able to see miles, not inches.

In a little less than a month, my time as a home school mom will come to a screeching halt. Our boys will begin life as students in our parish school. It will be a time of letting go and watching God take my little chickadees out into a new world. I'll admit to being a control freak. I want things as they should be at all times. Having my kids away for several hours a day is going to be a big adjustment for all of us. It's time to release them into God's care and allow Him to take them on this next step on their own journeys.

I went through this six years ago, when our oldest started kindergarten. It really took some time for me to be able to drop him off or see him out the door, and not shed tears. Then 9/11 took place, and I didn't want to let him out of the house. I did, though, because I knew I must. A year later, we began home schooling, so that was no longer an issue.

So now it is let go again. A new chapter in learning to trust God's care and protection. Yes, I'm worried about how they'll do. Have I taught them enough? Are they prepared to compete in a classroom setting? Will they be able to work in that atmosphere, now that they are so accustomed to the home "class" setting? Will my oldest son be able to concentrate in a roomful of kids? Will my youngest learn to control his temper and get along with others? Will they still want to spend time with me, and tell me all the things they find amusing, intriguing, etc.? Will they flourish there...without me? My little boys are growing up. Wow, is this hard to deal with.

Yes, I'm feeling a little gloomy today. The Ohio weather is probably contributing to my mood. Yet, as that pretty sunrise picture illustrates, I know there is much to look forward to as well.

Another leg of the journey begins...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Theological Fog

While perusing another blog* recently, I encountered a topic I hadn't really heard much about. It was something called "centering prayer". From what I could glean, I guess it's an attempt by some to bring New Age-type practices into the realm of Christianity. It's a practice of clearing one's mind of all outside distractions, and focusing in on self. It's supposedly a way to prepare for prayer. I read enough of the links she provided to get a little better understanding of "centering prayer." But then she took a U-turn on me.

She began interchanging the terms "centering prayer" and "contemplative prayer". Something didn't ring true with this. I talked to my husband about it some, because he is more familiar with theological terms. I also asked another blogger, who blogs about theological matters, if he could do a post on contemplative prayer. Upon seeing my request, yet another blogging buddy (Hidden One) suggested an article on contemplative prayer. That article helped me understand it all a bit more clearly.

Contemplative prayer has been a practice since the early days of Christianity. In contrast to "centering" prayer, though, contemplative prayer focuses on God, His Word, and shutting ourselves in with Him, as He reveals Himself and our own hearts to us (see Matthew 6:6; Psalm 139--especially vs. 23, 24; Psalm 26:2). Holy men and women of God throughout the ages have known that a time of meditating on God's Word, praying for His Spirit to search them, and being in a place of quiet were imperative when it came to truly drawing nearer to God.

The first blogger I mentioned went on to post later that prayer is simply us talking to God. We cannot expect God to speak to us, other than that He speaks through His Word. According to her belief, He speaks no more. I was not the only one who questioned this line of thinking, as even Scripture indicates that we are to seek God's direction in prayer. It also made me wonder how the early Christians had direction from God, since the Bible was not canonized for quite some time. They had to rely on the scriptures of the Old Testament, the teachings of the Apostles, and the direction of the Holy Spirit.

I finally had to make the decision to stay out of the fray. Any comments I left were either ignored or seen as being critical of her stand. (The link I provided to the aforementioned article was seen as "too Catholic". Sorry about that. I AM Catholic! :o) ) Truly, though, any posts I left were typed out of concern. It bothered me that this dear woman thought that she cannot hear from God, other than what she reads in her Bible. So does this mean we hear nothing from a sermon? We hear no words of wisdom from other believers? We are not to be led by the voice of God's Holy Spirit, whom Jesus left for us (to guide us into all truth)? Of course, anything must be tested by Scripture. God would never direct us in a way that contradicts His Word.

I guess this has all just left me in a bit of a haze...a theological fog, if you will.

I appreciate all thoughts and insights. I certainly did not want to antagonize this blogger. But it made me wonder what others might have to say on the issue? So, feel free to chime in!

*I have purposely chosen not to reveal the blog or blogger here. I felt this was best.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Baby Is Growing Up!

Our youngest son, "Clyde", turns 8 today. I know that doesn't seem very old, but it makes me feel old! I can't believe how the time is flying by. It seems just yesterday I held him in my arms for the first time, trying to soothe his newborn cries.

Of course, I don't miss messy diapers, toilet training, teething, etc.

But, my "baby" is no longer a baby.

Happy birthday, bud.

(Oh, his other nickname is "monkey". He bears a striking resemblance to Curious George!) :o)

Friday, July 20, 2007

He's One Month Old!

I just had to share one of the latest photos of my cutie pie great nephew!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

To church or not to church?

A friend sent this to me a couple of years ago, during the winter months here in Ohio. I thought it was worth sharing. (Thank you, Linda!)
* * * * * * * * * *

As a result of weather and driving conditions in northeast Ohio, I missed church last Sunday, much to my chagrin. I don't like to miss, and it seems for various reasons I have been away, far more of late than I like. One good thing that came of it though, is that being disgruntled about missing, has caused me to pause and reflect about why it's so important to me to attend church, when for most of my life I tried to avoid it at all costs.

Thru the years, there have been periods of time that I have attended church on a regular basis, but generally that was short lived. In retrospect, I think I understand why. I always went to church with a "what's in it for me attitude"... to receive blessings, to be uplifted and to learn. There's nothing wrong with any of those things, they are all elements of worship. But they are weak motivating factors for being in God's house. Inevitably, at some point in time, a blessing won't be received and we won't be uplifted and the first thing we're going to think is that something is wrong with the church, pastor, congregation, anything but us and we quit attending! We use excuses such as "There's nothing but a bunch of hypocrites at that church" or "I don't agree with Pastor Smith" or Mrs. Jones thinks she has to run everything" or any number of other equally invalid excuses.

We've gone to receive. Mirriam Webster lists synonyms for receive as "take", "admit" and "take in", and "to act as a receptacle or container for" as one definition. As happens with any receptacle or container that only takes in and never gives out or empties, it reaches a saturation point. It won't hold anymore, it stays the same. It can't get fuller. Eventually the contents get stagnant and useless. We get the same way if we are not giving or emptying. We can't take anymore in, we stay the same, stagnate and quit. We must give something, to be able to take more in!

I've discovered the greatest thing I can give during any service is the utmost of praise to God! I go to give worship, to exalt and to give every part of my being to my beloved Father for the short amount of time that I am there each week. He is my reason for being there. My main focus is on giving God the reverence He deserves. When I do this fully, I am not paying attention to what others may be doing or saying, and I don't quibble over small issues in theology with which I may not fully agree. Recently I read in one of my devotionals "Help us to make no distinctions regarding origins, heredity, or traditions, but to see Christ in all believers.", and that is what I really want to do. If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, Our Father is faithful to do His miraculous work in us!

I never cease to be amazed at how those little issues, that we use as excuses not to attend, are resolved if we are faithful to worship first. It's what I want for my life, and pray you all seek in yours.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Journey's Twists and Turns...and Loops

Yesterday was definitely a "roller coaster" day in the journey. One of my sisters was scheduled to have a "simple" in-office procedure, to take care of a cyst. Instead, the doctor sent her on to a hospital. Following further incidents and an exam, it was decided she needed to have surgery. The doctor saw a "mass" in her uterus. She had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Thankfully, the "mass" turned out to be, not cancer, but ovaries that were swollen to the size of tennis balls. And thankfully, this was all taken care of by a very skilled surgeon.

So...emotionally, we were on the "she's just having this simple procedure" wavelength. (The beginning approach....) Then there was the "oh, so it's a little more complicated so she needs to go to the hospital". (Going up the first hill...) Then came the "please, God, don't let it be cancer" loop. (A doozy!) Finally, the "whew! Thank you, God, that she is going to be okay". (Back into the station...)

I live in Ohio, and my sisters live in Kansas and Colorado. But we are close. Whenever one of us goes through something, I wish I was a wealthy woman who could just hop on a plane and head west. Thankfully, God is bigger than time and space. I'm so thankful He was there to keep her safe, wrap her in His arms, and give her more TLC than I ever could!

I'm done with that roller coaster, though. Is there a nice, quiet bench where I can sit and just observe the rides?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just One of Those Days

This little guy's picture sure sums up how I'm feeling today! (The pout looks better on him, though!)

I don't know if it's the weather, my own lack of sleep, the "climate" of the household, all of the above, some of the above, or something else.

I'm just in a "mood". I'm glad God loves me, in spite of myself.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Light on the Journey

Pat over at Living on Grace has been posting about the changes in life. She just entered the life of retirement! (Congrats, Pat!) She quoted one of my favorite passages from Ecclesiastes, about there being a time and season for everything.

I, too, am entering a new phase of life. Actually more than one.

I have home schooled our sons for 5 years now. It wasn't an easy decision at first, but I grew into the role of mom/teacher/wife eventually. Now we have decided to send them to our parish school. It's a little scary (okay, a LOT) to let go of them. But, I know it's time.

The big question everyone is asking me is: What are you going to do with yourself while they're in school? Honestly, I don't know. I'd like to take a little time to remember what it's like to just be a wife and mom, if that's okay.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know we recently came into the Catholic church. It is a time for our entire family to see where we "fit" now. Having been a pastor's family for so long, we are adjusting to where we belong in our parish. Doors are beginning to open, but it's hard to be patient!

So, I'm making a special request to God today: Just give me a firefly's worth of light. Show me just "that much" of what lies ahead.

That will be enough for this day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Leap of Faith

I have heard the sermon illustration of a father in a pool, calling to his child, "Jump in! I'll catch you!" I've always thought that was a great picture of our trust in God.

Or the illustration of falling backward into someone's arms, believing that they will catch you.

Or the illustration of the man crossing Niagara Falls who called out, "Who believes I can cross this wire carrying a man on my shoulders?" The crowd cheered. "Who will be the first to let me carry him across?" The crowd was silent. The crickets chirped. True faith would have been a brave soul raising his hand to volunteer.

Those are all really wonderful examples of trust in God. Each one has drawn an "amen" from my heart and/or lips. But living that out is really tough, isn't it?

Our family is at one of those "who will be the first..." moments in our journey. We have walked away from so much that was familiar, and are now walking toward what is not so familiar. We are walking into unknown territory, with God leading the way, step by step, saying, "Trust Me! I'll catch you!"

Last night, we attended the memorial service of a dear woman named Cindy. She passed away last week, at the very young age of 53. Her family is walking in a new time of learning to trust Him to fill the void Cindy's death leaves behind. Just as the daddy in the picture above, I know He will hold this family closely, "catching" them each time they leap into His arms.

While at the service, we were reunited with friends from our past. All of us have taken a different path since last we met. Yet all of us share a strong faith that God has a new place for our lives. It is no longer a shared journey, in many ways. And yet we are all still one in the bond of His love and through the blood of Christ.

God calls us all to take a leap of faith. I don't know what you're facing today, but I know He can be trusted. He will always take you safely to the next place of His choosing--in His way and in His time. But He will always catch you.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dust Bunnies on the Journey...

The dust bunnies on the PBS show "Big, Comfy Couch" are quite cute. They emit little squeals. They have adventures with whatever Loonette the Clown drops beneath the couch. I like the little guys. But in my house? I don't like dust bunnies!

A couple of years ago, we started having our two boys help with household chores. The oldest gets to do the vacuuming; the younger, the dusting. Now there must be a disclaimer here. As I said, I don't like dust bunnies in my house. But that doesn't mean there aren't any! It just means I don't like them!

I have shown the boys many, many times how the vacuuming and dusting process should go. I have demonstrated how to use the vac hose along the edges of furniture and walls. I have shown step-by-step how to remove items from furniture, dust under them, then return said items to their proper places. However, it seems that there will still be spots left un-vacuumed or un-dusted...

But you know, there comes a time when a mom just needs to take a deep breath, a step back, and let them do their best. It's not easy. Especially when company is coming. I don't want them to think I was the one that left that patch of dust on the coffee table! I don't want them to think I am responsible for the clumps of dust bunnies behind that door! Honest truth is, most people probably don't notice/care. The important thing is that I know the boys are doing their best.

I think that's what God does with me, too. There are things He has shown me or spoken to me about over and over and over...and yet I still leave things "not quite" as He would have them. I also think that, as a loving Father, He sometimes just takes a step back and lets me do "my thing". Will I rush through prayer and leave a dust bunny lurking in the corner of my soul? Will I rush through Bible reading and miss that wonderful gem He had for me today? Or will I do my best, and try to show Him I really have been listening?

I'm hoping that as my boys grow and mature, they will have more desire to see things around the house neat and clean. That they will have a pride (in the right sense) of knowing they have done the cleaning thoroughly: the pride of a job well done.

As I continue to grow in the Lord, it is my prayer that I will leave fewer "dust bunnies" each time. That I will do my best to take the tasks [God gives me] seriously. That I can stand before Him one day and hear, "Well done."

Loonette's dust bunnies may be cute, but I don't need any in my spiritual house!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An Update and a Prayer Request...

I got this update from Kimber yesterday. Praise God for His work in little Maddie!

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God has been so good to answer all of your prayers!!! Maddie is doing MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH better!!! She even sat outside a little bit yesterday and she has been smiling and more like our happy go lucky Maddie girl!

We have even learned how to give her her antibiotics in the pic line by ourselves so the nurse doesn't have to be here three times a day...we just do it - and in the morning we don't even wake her to give it to her - we just do it and let it run while she sleeps.

Her appetite is slowly improving and the Thrush is clearing! The drain site is still draining infection, by the site itself looks much better and is WAY WAY LESS painful.

So thank you for praying and for all of your wishes and support - again there is no way to express how much that has carried us at this time! It has also blown her away to see how many people care and love her!!

Love to all!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Also, please pray for my brother-in-law, Mike, who is undergoing surgery to have his pace maker replaced this Friday.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Growing Along the Journey

I love impatiens. They are such pretty little flowers. However, you probably agree that the seedlings aren't much to look at. Just some green leaves on a tiny plant. Not very impressive. When you see those green leaves, though, there is the promise of something better yet to come. Hold that thought...

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with my oldest son, regarding his thoughts about what he wants to be when he grows up. We discussed a couple of different things he is considering. I finally told him, "That's a great idea, but you need to make sure it's what God has in mind for your future, not just what you want for your future." In the past, that would have been the end of it. But this time, he asked, "And how do I know what God wants? How will He tell me?" Wow. Such a grown-up question coming from an 11 year old! It led into a really great talk about developing our prayer life, and learning to hear God's voice.

When did my little boy become a pre-teen, thinking through such mature things?

You have to know, I'm a pretty protective mom. I try not to be overly that way, but you just happens sometimes. Both of our boys have blogs, but with strict restrictions: you must not use your real name, you may not post a picture of yourself on there, you may not tell where you live, and your parents have your password, so that we may remove any unacceptable posts or comments at any time.

But, they are both growing up. Soon, my oldest will be a teen. That's a scary thought! It's time to let my little seedlings begin to do some growing on their own. They're not ready to go it alone yet, of course. They still have some years of nurturing to receive. But I have to learn when to back off and when to nurture.

I see the same in my walk with God. I often feel like a little seedling, spiritually speaking. My roots are just starting to take hold in the soil, and a few leaves have sprouted. The flowers aren't there yet. Just some leaves, that show growth is taking place.

I know the Father has more though. It's time to stop being a seedling and let Him mature me into an adult "plant", full of flowers...the fruit of time and growth and the work He is doing in me. The nice thing about our spiritual growth is that God never stops nurturing us. I believe, though, that as a Father, He does sometimes just sort of step back to see what we'll do with what He's given us. Will we continue to deepen our roots and turn our faces to the "sun", relying on Him as our ultimate source of growth, or will we think we can do this all on our own? And wither in the process?

Yes, I do love impatiens. But I don't settle for those seedling leaves. I am "impatient" (pardon the pun) to see those beautiful flowers: the fruit of my watering and weeding.

I look forward to seeing the outgrowth of the nurturing time poured into my sons. And I look forward to seeing the fruit of God's work in my own life. God is the best gardener of all!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Cycle of Life...

First, another update on Maddie Kutrubs, daughter of our blogging buddy Kimber. I'm putting Kimber's e-mail here again, as it's easier than me trying to explain it all!
Maddie and I finally came home today, Saturday, July 7th. YEA!!

Maddie came home with her "pic" line and a home care nurse will be giving her antibiotics three times a day for the next few weeks. We are also blessed to have three great neighbors whom are in the medical profession and have offered to help with Maddie's pic line - and we are so thankful!!!

In addition to Maddie's home care, we will also have to visit the Clinic once a week, and her surgery to remove her appendix will be early September. Please pray that her body continues to heal - and that the infection completely drains without any further complications.

She is starting to have a small appetite - but now she has Thrush due to the antibiotics - but she is taking medicine to clear that up and we are hoping she will eat a little more each day.

Also, please keep some friends of ours in prayer. The mom of the family, Cindy, unexpectedly passed away this weekend. She leaves behind her husband, Roy, three daughters, their husbands, and 6 or 7 grandchildren. She was a gem, and a woman who truly loved God.

God bless...

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Greatest Wonder of All

I read an article in today's Akron Beacon Journal entitled, "Voting almost finished in world wonders poll." According to the article, the Great Pyramids are "the only surviving structures from the traditional list of seven wonders of the ancient world". The vote ends today. Top contenders include: the Acropolis (Greece), Chichen Itza pyramid (Mexico), Eiffel Tower (Paris), Easter Island, Christ the Redeemer statue (Brazil), the Taj Mahal (India), and the ancient city of Petra (Jordan). (My vote would include Petra and the statue.) I hadn't heard they were updating the list, so found this article interesting.


In the words of this old song, there is a wonder that surpasses them all!

There's the wonder of sunset at evening; the wonder as sunrise I see.
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is the wonder that God loves me.

There's the wonder of springtime and harvest; the sky, the stars, the sun.

But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul

Is a wonder that's only begun.

Oh, the wonder of it all, the wonder of it all;

Just to think that God loves me....

("The Wonder of It All" by George Beverly Shea, copyright 1956 by Chancel Music)

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (II Corinthians 5:21)

That is the greatest wonder of all!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Update on Maddie

I received the following update from Kimber today. Please continue to keep Maddie, Kimber, and their entire family in your prayers.

As many of you may know Maddie is on her third hospital now and has been sick for 12 days. She is now at the Cleveland Clinic. Yesterday, we were seeing some signs of improvement, she was even out of bed and a little bit "perky" a couple of times. BUT today she has been in pain and just sleeping much of the day away (hard to see her still in such pain). And big big thing, she is NOT eating.

She does not have pain in her stomach anymore (yea) - but the drain tube site got infected with Dermitius and is very painful and she is super sore from the tube itself.

Here is our prayer requests. Please pray that she will EAT more and that her appetite returns. They have put nutrition in her IV but if she doesn't eat more by Thursday then they will but in a feeding tube. We are praying that doesn't HAVE to happen. Please pray that she stops having fevers and that infection completely drains the rest of the way out - it has drained a lot - but there is still some in there.

Please pray that the pain subsides so she can stop taking Morphine, we had gotten her off it for a day or two but then the pain got severe again because of the drain tube situation and she had to have some this morning - which effects her appetite. Please pray that the drain tube gets taken out tonight or tomorrow morning - as that is another thing that needs to happen for her to be able to come home from the Clinic. Please pray that her body will heal, she will still have to have surgery to have the appendix taken out - and we are praying that she will come home, heal and then have the surgery some weeks from now.

Thanks again for your love, prayers and support - it is carrying us through this time.

With Love,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Never forget that our freedom isn't "free" came at the cost of many lives.
And never forget that our freedom comes with responsiblity.

Pray for our nation, its leaders, our soldiers, and all who work to see freedom for all mankind. Pray for TRUE freedom in Christ...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Journey Storms

"But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...' " Isaiah 43:1, 2a

There are people in my life who amaze me. They are not the people who seem to have everything together all the time. They are not the ones who always speak as if life is never tough, but only full of goodness and joy.

The people who amaze me are the Christians who walk through trials, allow the tears to flow, ask the tough questions, and still hold onto their faith in God as strongly as ever.

Two of those people are my aunt and uncle. They have been ministers for over 50 years. Even after retirement, my uncle has worked in their local prison, reaching out to men who desperately need to know that Christ loves them. Ten years ago, they lost their oldest son. Though in his early 40's, he suffered a heart attack which he did not survive. This past winter, upon returning from a trip to visit family, my aunt fell and broke her hip, as well as some other bones. This weekend, they lost their second son. He was in his late 40's, and was killed in an accident caused by another driver. Through their tears and grief, though, they continue to hold fast to the God who has never failed to be their strength and comfort.

Then, of course, there are the friends and family members in Greensburg, KS. In the midst of total destruction, loss of property, etc., they still cling to their hope and their faith. They move ahead, working to rebuild and praying for their future.

Two other people are friends of ours: Laurie and her husband Shannon. I've known Laurie almost 20 years. She is a great mom and wife. She has a passion for Christ and reaching those around her. She ministers to young couples and young mothers. She home schools her own children. She was expecting another child, due this summer. I will now quote from her most recent e-mail post:

Shannon has stayed at my side during all this and I can't ask for a greater husband! My love for him has deepened during these past two weeks! He has been so gentle and understanding when I have just broken out in tears. I am truly blessed! The kids are doing fine as well. Tori had a very rough time when she saw the baby, but she is glad she got to see him.
Shannon and I have been overwhelmed by your prayers and the cards and meals given to us. This has been a very rough trial that we have been going through, but God is Faithful!!! We do not know the reason for losing our baby, but we do trust that God had a good enough reason to take him home. Holding Desmond in my arms was so comforting. He looked as though he were sleeping. We were also able to take pictures of him. The hospital gave us his foot prints and hand prints and some other things to remember him by. At 32 weeks he weighed 3 lbs 9 oz and was 17 inches long. The doctors do not know what happened and we will probably never know.
God comforted me through your prayers and through a song in my heart. Yes, even in the midst of a trial you can have a song in your heart. The song that He gave me was "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord...He gives and takes away, my heart will choose to say Blessed be His name. Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise, when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord".
I was released from the hospital on June 21st but ended back up in the hospital on June 23rd because my blood pressure went up again. They kept me until Tuesday afternoon. But while lying there in the hospital, I just prayed and asked the Lord to speak to me, since I didn't have my Bible with me. (I hadn't planned on staying long...) I did have a book that I was reading and God used that to speak to my heart. He gave me a scripture from Proverbs 24:10..."If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." I told Him that I would not be crushed by this trial, I will hold onto Him, for HE is my Strength when I am weak! He also gave me this verse: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one. Psalm 34:18-19
Even when we don't understand, God is Good! This is probably the hardest trial that Shannon and I have ever faced, but God will bring us through! We trust HIM! Without Him we could not make it through this!
So thank you for your prayers, cards, and meals. Thank you for your support for our family. It is great to know that when things get tough in life, you are not alone. Not only do you have God to get you through but you have the body of Christ!! Please continue to keep us in your prayers, because we are still going through the grieving process.
So, to Uncle Allen and Aunt Leona, the people of Greensburg, and to Laurie and Shannon, thank you for your example to me and all who know you. I am grieving with you, and praying for you...and thankful that I can say without a doubt that God will see you through this storm.

In the words of a man who knew what storms were all about:

"Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong." (Job 1:20-22)

It's okay to ask the tough questions. But don't let go of your faith, no matter how the storm rages!