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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Off to Kansas

"The good men perish; the godly die before their time and no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to realize that God is taking them away from evil days ahead For the godly who die shall rest in peace. " Isaiah 57:1,2

Wanda Schmidt, age 54, Kelly Hasz's mom- Wanda had an aneurism in her brain which ultimately led to her death this past week. The funeral will be on Monday in Witchita.
All our family is planning on driving up their on Sunday to be there with Jon, Kelly and Jordan. We appreciate your prayers for Kelly and family and for safe travel for all of us.
We are praising the Lord for the 5 weeks that Wanda came and spent here with Kelly after her wreck. It confirms that there are NO accidents with God. Our faith and trust is in Him.
It is with joy that we can picture her at the feet of Jesus, in her mansion, but with heavy hearts that we want to support the family that is left behind at this time.
You can access Kelly's blog on my side bar for her thoughts about her mom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Teach us oh Lord to number our days!

This picture was from just a few weeks a go as Kelly, my daughter in law, her mom, and I had spent the day sewing flags for Battle Cry. We had a great day together, laughing, sewing and enjoying each other's company. Kelly's mom came and spent several weeks with Kelly as she was recovering from a fractured vertebrae after her car wreck. It was a time of blessing for all of them to have this time together.

Little did anyone know that in just a few weeks, Kelly's mom, would suffer a brain aneurism and tonight is in critical condition. She had an encouraging day yesterday- the day Kelly posted on her blog but today the news is not so good. Please pray for Kelly, her dad and the rest of the family.

You can see Kelly's blog on my side bar for more updated information.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

On the Horror at Virginia Tech

Finding Eternal Hope in Present Sorrow

By Douglas W. PhillipsApril 17, 2007
Today, the nation mourns the senseless murder of thirty-two men and women who were gunned down in cold blood. The slaughter of students at Virginia Tech constitutes the largest campus killing spree in American history. The murderer was a fellow student, twenty-three-year-old Cho Seung-hui of South Korea. Though little is currently known of his motive behind the murders, it is clear that his plan was calculated and carefully executed. The assault was premeditated and thorough. Doctors report that not a single victim had fewer than three bullet wounds.
Thousands will be deeply affected, probably for the rest of their lives. The most serious pains belong to the mothers, fathers, and sisters and brothers of the murdered victims. What shall we say to them? What are we to learn from these events?
First, we must remember the answer to the question “why?”
When people ask: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” or “How can such a terrible thing happen?”, we must point them to the fundamentals. First, all of us deserve death and all of us will die. The only question is when will we die, and what will be the state of our eternal soul at that time. Every breath is a gift of God. None of us deserve it. We have no rights or demands we can make to our Creator. In fact, apart from Christ, we stand condemned to a fate far worse than physical death — eternal punishment. And there is a reason for all of this. God is God, and we are His creation. Understanding the distinction is everything. He sets the rules. He determines what is just. And His plan is always good, even when we do not understand it. Not only is He a loving and kind God, but He is also infinitely just. This justice has implications for man. It was God who created the world and man “very good.” But man sinned against an infinite and holy God. The penalty for this sin was physical death. Because of man’s sin, all of creation became subject to death. Our bodies and the world around us die and groan as a reminder and a punishment for our rebellion before the Lord. Everything would be supremely hopeless, but for one important truth: Though the wages of our sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. It took an infinite, perfect, and holy sacrifice to atone for our sin against an infinite, perfect, and holy God. Christ was that sacrifice. This means that all whom the Father calls, and who repent and believe in Christ, shall not perish but have eternal life.
Thus, the question is not, “why did God allow the tragic death of these students,” but rather, “why does He allow any of us to live.” We deserve death. Every breath of life is a gift. It is only by His grace and mercy that we live and breathe and have our very being. He is our Creator and He is just to determine the beginning and the end of our existence. Beyond this, we must remember that even the tragedy of death is part of the eternal plan of God to bring glory to Himself. The fact that we do not understand the infinite purposes and counsels of the Triune God only means that we are creatures and need to trust Him. That is why He has given us His Holy Word. The Bible is the revealed mind of Christ for man. It reminds us that all things — including the murder of the innocent — work together for good to those that are the called of God. It cautions us to flee to God while we yet have life. It reminds us that the victory of Christ is greater than the grave itself. It warns us that without Christ there is no hope whatsoever. When we see the horror of death, we must be convicted of sin and flee to God. We must be emboldened in our sense of urgency to communicate to others the only source of hope from death. We must treasure the preciousness of life as God’s sacred gift, and we must wisely invest in meaningful Kingdom work this brief whisper of an opportunity called — our life.
Second, we must acknowledge that the rise of community violence is a judgment of the Lord. Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers. We have forsaken the law of God and have worshipped before false idols. We have sacrificed our children, not only spiritually and intellectually to the high priests of a new secular religion in our government schools, but have quite literally sacrificed baby boys and girls to the gods of convenience in the abortuaries of America. One out of four Americans is not here because they were aborted by their mothers.
The modern trend toward school killings must be considered in terms of the hopelessness and evil which is being communicated to the children of this generation through the music culture, the entertainment culture, the sexual culture, and the intellectual culture of evolution and meaninglessness — all of which converge in modern schools. Our children are being taught the Gospel of evolution and man. It is a religious faith that ultimately teaches that transcendent truth does not exist and that life is meaningless, being the product of chance. Why are we surprised when the present generation acts upon the logical implications of this false gospel? If we do not see the connection between this false faith and the culture of death, we are blind bats, or willingly ignorant. The answer for us as a people is repentance and restitution, which begins by turning from our sins and reclaiming the ancient paths of the Lord wherein there is hope.
Third, the worst response to school murders that our politicians could make would be to further disarm the American citizenry. The heavy death toll may in part be attributed to past legislation making it difficult for citizens to carry side arms. If even one of the students in that university had been armed, Cho Seung-hui could have been stopped. A strong case can be made that in a violent society like our own, it is the duty of every Christian man to be armed such that he is ready, willing, and able to come to the immediate aid of his neighbor in the face of the ruthless behavior of lawless men. We have one of two futures — a police state full of regulation and controls, where only the state and criminals have access to guns, thus leaving most women and children defenseless to evildoers, or an informed and well-armed population, which is, to my mind, the surest safeguard against lawless men.
Fourth, every tragedy is an opportunity God gives to reflect glory and honor to Him. We give glory to Him as we reach out to others and lead them to the great Comforter. Now is the time for Christians to reach out in love to those who are in unimaginable pain, as well as those who are just shell-shocked by the horrible news. There is a time to mourn with those who mourn, and this is that time. Let us mourn, love, and encourage — and let us give God the glory in everything — even death.
This was sent to me by Vision Forum....I pass it on ...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Seasons of hot tubs

It all started back in 1993- that is when we spent the day- a heartbreaking day for us- as we bid farewell to Amyand Brian as they left for Spain. They were with YWAM and were headed off to school in Spain. just so happens that they took our ONLY grandchild with them! Dave was so very sweet and understanding as I cried and blubbered almost the WHOLE day and many days afterward. We took them to the airport then took the rest of the day off from school to recover. We went to the mall where Dave bought me some new clothes...and then we visited the Hot Tub displays out in the mall. Now you have to understand something about Dave..he HATED hot tubs...I could NEVER get him to go in one at a hotel, etc. But...we ended up buying the hot tub you see in the upper right hand picture. By then it had moved to the second home it would have with us. The great thing is...that Dave LOVED the hot tub! We spent every morning- well almost every morning- VERY few exceptions- for the next 10 years- talking, praying, and enjoying God's creations and creatures. Winters were the best...we were able to watch deer, fox, geese and in the summer golfers on the golf course. That hot tub lived with us to see 8 of our grandchildren enjoy it with us. We left it behind in Denver in 2003 when we moved to Florida.

Our next hot tub in Florida- started out to be a nightmare- we bought it at a Home Show in Daytona Beach from a less than reputable dealer and had real problems actually getting it delivered...but once we got again became a haven for us in the jungle. We didn't think we'd enjoy it much in Florida but were pleasantly surprised that we spent almost just as much time in it as we did in Denver- we were gone from Florida much of the summer so that explains part of that.

Then the move to Texas last year found us once again saying goodbye to our hot tub and we spent almost a year without one. We have really missed it.

Here we are again...with David and family being the first family to enjoy our newest hot tub. This has truly been one of the greatest blessings to our marriage and makes life such fun to wake up and look forward to sitting in the yard with the birds and wonderful sights now of Lake Fork and the trees all around us. We love talking, praying and reminiscing about how God

has blessed us. God is good. Our hot tub is now installed to the left of the house as you see it in the picture. We are so thankful to God for all HE has done for us...MUCH more than hot tubs...This pretty much sums up what we really deserve

"What am I? Well, here is what I am. I am the worst sinner I know. And by the grace of God I am doing better than I deserve. For I deserve the righteous wrath of God because of my sin. I deserve to be punished eternally. But in the mystery of His mercy, God sacrificed and crushed His Son on the Cross--as my substitute--so that I might be forgiven of my sin and know God as my Father rather than my Judge. What am I? I am truly amazed by the grace of God. That's what I am." ~ C.J. Mahaney Together for the Gospel Blog

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April 4...back from March 18

SOooooooooooo much has happened since I was last here! But...God is faithful and it is HIM that we trust!

We got to have all 8 Smith children here for a couple of days while Amy and Brian were in Dallas. That was So much fun! The weather was beautiful and we got to fish, (and ALL the kids caught a fish off our "dock", play games, have a fire and roast hot dogs and jsut spend fun time with them. They are such great kids and we always love to have them here- as we do ALL of grandkids....we just don't get them enough!

Following that weekend, though, the Teen Mania crisus hit the Smith family and Brian was laid off. It has been a hard time for all. We know that God is faithful and has a job and home for Brian and Amy and is building faith in all of us.

The family gathered the day after that happened to celebrate Dave's birthday. We met on Tuesday because we told Dave that David and Jon had an Emergency TM meeting on Wed. and couldn't make it on his actual birthday. Haley had planned a GREAT treasure hunt at their home in which everyone took part. She did such a good job in planning it.

All the kids and grandkids were there to help Dave celebrate. The following day, Sam called, and he and Lisa wanted to take us out to eat. We were all for that...since it was his REAL birthday and we had planned to go out to eat on our own. (I knew what was going on but Dave didn't have a clue!) We met at Sam's and proceeded to Tyler and to Red Lobster. When they took us to our table...there sat all the adult kids! Dave was SO suprised. We had a wonderful time...many of our friends and family and sent special greetings which were read to all. Then the 3 boys- Sam, David and Jon, presented Dave with his gift- The trip of a lifetime...the card read....a Canadian fly in for the 4 of them in June. Dave was overwhelmed and they all haven't stopped talking about it since.

Ever since we got back from Denver- on March 11-we have watched the steady progression of the building of the dock and boat house- a project Dave has planned and longed for since we moved here. It is ALMOST done...they put roof on today- and we are SO excited. It has been a huge project-starting with the building of the sea wall last spring- then the dredging of the lake in Dec. and all that dirt piled up down by the lake! The bulldozer was here again today...still moving the "clay" around. I wonder if it will all get done?

I have finished a 12 week Beth Moore study on Daniel. FABULOUS! I learned so much. I've also been attending a ladies' Tues. morning prayer and Study and have helped to stuff 10,000 plastic eggs for the Easter Egg outreach in the city park on Sat.

We celebrate the REsurrection this Sunday then on Thursday or Friday we will fly to Detroit to participte in the Battlecry there.

That is a thumbnail sketch of what is going on here. What is going on in your neck of the woods?