Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spin, Spinning, Spinned

When you tell your own story and it feels like you're telling someone else's story, then you know you're healed from its pain.

My head, neck and upper back feel amazingly well after yesterday's fall at Line Dancing. Yep, a dangerous sport to be sure. We'd just finished a dance that I enjoyed so much, I did my own celebratory twirl afterwards. When I stopped my carefree spin, I was DIZZY. I decided if I spun the opposite direction, I'd unwind and regain my equilibrium. Not so.

I toppled over like a child's slowed top and banged my head on the parkay floor. OUCH!

I learned that it's not a good idea for a woman in the 60's age group to spin herself around like a top. I learned that you don't "unwind" by going the other direction. I learned that it hurts to bang the back of my head on the floor, and I learned I have a hard head and am thankful for it. 

A fellow dancer immediately put together an ice pack for the knot forming on my head, sat me in a chair, and from that safe distance, I watched the second hour of dance class holding an ice pack to the back of my head.

Regrets? Sure, I have them--every one of us does, but today I can tell the story without pain or embarrassment (not even a headache) as if it happened to someone else. That's how I know I'm better.

Every person has a life story. Some are worse than others, but it is possible to move on, and even come to the place of being thankful for every wound. Without them, how would we know about healing? About the Healer?

I've decided to have another good day. How about you?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Youth Haven Ranch

This is a photo of our program from last night's annual Candlelight Dinner held as a thank you to supporters of Youth Haven Ranch in Eloy, Arizona.

If you listen to Family Life Radio, you're familiar with psychologist, Dr. Randy Carlson who answers people's questions on the air daily. The Carlson family started this children's camping ministry in Arizona in 1968 and Dr. Carlson's brother, Larry and his son Lars lead it.

This is Larry Carlson and his son Lars below:                                    

What impresses me most about this ministry is that the same children come out on weekends (in the winter) and for week-long camps (in the summer) year after year.  Last night Charles interviewed several of the children asking what they like about Youth Haven.  For some is was crafts, others the animals, others the food, play, archery, but all said "learning about Jesus" or words like that.  Some have been nurtured in this secure, upbeat atmosphere for seven or eight years.  We were told some don't have hot running water in their homes and rave about getting to take hot showers at camp.  Other don't get three good meals a day like they do at the Ranch, and all of them meet Jesus and are taught hope for their futures. There is no charge for their times at the Ranch.

This little girl was about twelve years old and has been coming out to Youth Haven since she was seven.  They all had a glow of excitement about them and plenty of giggles to share. 
Amy Shreve and her husband/producer Gary Wixtrom, from Nashville, TN,  ministered to us in worship and song. Amy plays the harp, guitar, and mandolin while she sings (one instrument at a time), and is an amazing musician, song writer and child of the King. 
It was an evening of inspiration and joy.  The children performed some great songs, and at the end handed out chocolate Easter eggs to the audience thanking us for supporting Youth Haven.

The candlelight...
May we, and every child that is touched by Youth Haven Ranch, never forget Who is the Light of the world.  Amen!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Haiku is an interesting poetical form made up of three lines. The first and the last lines have five syllables, the middle line seven syllables.  Here are two Haiku poems I wrote that I thought I'd share with you.

Morning shadows fade
Giving way to light's bright rays
Filling hearts with hope

Your holy precepts
Warm me like liquid letters
Poured into my soul

Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dr. Phil's Test

Hi Friends,  I took the following test and scored a 41...see how you do!  It's kind of fun if you have time on your hands...haha...It is Dr. Phil after all...Great for a Monday morning!

"The following test is pretty accurate and it only takes a few minutes.
Don't peek!
Answers are for who you are now and not who you were in the past.
This is a real test given by Human Relations Departments at many of the major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning their employees and in their prospective employees.
There are 10 Simple questions, so grab a pencil and paper. Record your letter answers to each question.

Ready?   Begin.

1. When do you feel your best...

A) in the morning

B) during the afternoon and early evening

C) late at night

2. You usually walk...

A) fairly fast, with long steps

B) fairly fast, with little steps

C) less fast head up, looking the world in the face

D) less fast, head down

E) very slowly

3. When talking to people you...

A) stand with your arms folded

B) have your hands clasped

C) have one or both your hands on your hips

D) touch or push the person to whom you are talking

E) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with..

A) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side

B) your legs crossed

C) your legs stretched out or straight

D) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with...

A) big appreciated laugh

B) a laugh, but not a loud one

C) a quiet chuckle

D) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you...

A) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you

B) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know

C) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted...

A) welcome the break

B) feel extremely irritated

C) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most.....

A) Red or orange

B) black

C) yellow or light blue

D) green

E) dark blue or purple

F) white

G) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are.....

A) stretched out on your back

B) stretched out face down on your stomach

C) on your side, slightly curled

D) with your head on one arm

E) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...

A) falling

B) fighting or struggling

C) searching for something or somebody

D) flying or floating

E) you usually have dreamless sleep

F) your dreams are always pleasant


1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6

2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1

3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6

4.. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1

5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2

6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2

7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4

8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1

9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e ) 1

10 (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and extremely dominant.. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality, a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once, someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting, someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding, someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you, realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only those who know you well, know that you aren't."

What's your score?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thomas Merton wrote...

"Hope not because you think you can be good, but because God loves us irrespective of our merits and whatever is good in us comes from His love, not from our own doing."  by Thomas Merton

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mork and Mindy

We met them this weekend and now want to introduce you to them.  Mark and Becky Mindek tell us they are often mistaken for Mork and Mindy.  It's because of their names, of course, but in my opinion, the work they're involved in for CMA (Christian & Missionary Alliance) in Macedonia is definitely out of this world.  They've ministered in Bitole, Macedonia for ten years, along with rearing their two beautiful daughters, the oldest one married and expecting their first grandchild.

Our church supports this missionary family, and this weekend Jay and I had the opportunity to meet them for the first time. Saturday afternoon, we started out with lasagne at our friend's house (she's sitting next to Jay), and Mark and Becky are to her left and another good friend is at their left.
Xuse the backlighting, but there's more...be patient.
Next photo please. Whoops, that AZ sun is wrecking our photos!

Is this what happens to a missionary man after being in the field for ten years?  No one, I mean NO ONE takes me seriously when I say "smile" for this photo.  After dinner, we motored on over to our house to host several other couples and to hear about Mindek's work in Bitole.  It was a wonderful evening in our home--so good, I forgot to snap photos.

Here we are at church on Sunday morning. This is the Macedonian artifacts table with dolls wearing the traditional clothing of "ancient" Macedonia (they dress western-style nowadays).

A close-up of the dolls and the jar of Ajvar, which contents we got to sample.  Ajvar is a traditional pepper relish the families in Macedonia get together to make like we might gather with family to put up canned goods.  They make a festive day of cooking, using all fresh ingredients, the main one being beautiful large shiny red peppers.  It's served on french bread and topped with cheese...yummmm.
Check out this link for "a" recipe for this relish...recipes would vary from tradition to tradition, but I liked this one as it seemed to include the same ingredients we saw go into the process of making it the sauce in photos presented by Mindeks.

This is "Biljana," a young Macedonian women modeling the traditional costume.  A beautiful dark green embroidered vest should have topped off this outfit, but it was too small for this "doll" to get on.  BTW, I didn't want to give the boots back.  They were classy and comfortable.

A close-up of Becky and Biljana. Am I blessed or what?

Here's Mark doing his power-point presentation at the Douglas's house on Monday night.  We had a lot of questions and learned a few facts about the people and the culture Mindeks work with.  Before CMA's  go to a mission field, they are required to learn the language and customs, which help them to adjust and fit in better, and to more effectively come alongside their new friends.  They minister not only to the Macedonian people, but also bring the Good News of grace to the Albanian and Gypsy cultures by mentoring their leaders and pastors in the Evangelical  Church in Bitole.  They shared so many wonderful stories with us, but so many more they could tell if they'd and we'd had more time.
(There is NO TIME!--family joke)

The evening ended all too soon and we were forced to say goodnight and goodbye until we meet the next time--maybe in Macedonia?  Well that's up to the Lord.

Goodbye for now Mindeks!  We love you bunches and count it a privilege to have spent these quality times with you here in AZ!