Friday, December 26, 2008

ONE STEP AWAY!!!

A chill-to-the-bone wind was blowing and we were late. The invite simply said to be there at 4:00 p.m. for rehearsal, so I figured five or ten minutes wouldn't matter. "Everyone will probably be running a few minutes behind and we'll blend in with the crowd," I thought. We had only been to the church ONE time, YEARS ago.....it's the most prestigious, wealthy congregation in our small town. (i.e. They ONLY paid $10,000 for an orchestra to play along with this year's Christmas Cantata.) We didn't know ANYONE who attended this church, we just wanted to enjoy the opportunity to be part of a community choir and sing Christmas music .

When we pulled up to the parking lot it was FULL but there was NO ONE in sight. We were cold. We were irritated with each other for being late. And we felt a great sense of insecurity about the whole situation.


We found an open door leading into a hallway which we assumed led to the sanctuary. We saw NO ONE as we walked through the unfamiliar halls hoping for some direction. Going up a little flight of stairs we opened a door at the top and were immediately ushered into the most amazing scene.

The huge cathedral type sanctuary had spectacular stained glass windows which, just at that moment, were absolutely FLOODED with light from the setting sun. The orchestra (40 talented musicians) filled the front and the choir were all in their places on the platform. Every eye seemed to look our way as we stumbled from the dim, narrow, hallway into the warmth and joy of that moment. We were greeted with smiles, kind words, and handed a book of music.

As the orchestra began to play I felt as though I had been ushered into heaven!!! The sound was breathtakingly beautiful as voices and instruments blended in perfect harmony. It seemed surreal, the contrast was so great from the shivering cold, ill-feelings, and insecurity, to the warmth, beauty, and acceptance suddenly thrust upon us.

It was a MAGNIFICENT MOMENT bringing to mind the reality of the fact that I am ONE STEP AWAY from another MAGNIFICENT MOMENT!!! Some day I will step from the momentary, mortal ills of this life, to a scene of glory and radiance FAR beyond anything I can now comprehend!!


"...when what is decaying is clothed with what cannot decay, and what is dying is clothed with what cannot die, then the written word will be fulfilled: "Death has been swallowed up by victory!"

What a magnificent moment THAT will be!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Lord Will PROVIDE

Many years ago, sitting in the congregation of an outdoor camp meeting in Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to experience something that has impacted my life in a remarkable and unforgettable way. The preacher was Evangelist McDonald, (I have never seen or heard of him since) a very tall, thin, raw-boned man with brown hair and fair skin. He wore a white dress shirt buttoned to the top without a tie or suit jacket and had, as I remember, a cheerful, rosy cheeked, countenance. His voice seemed to boom into the summer air as we sat on the hard wooden benches enduring the heat.

A delegation of ladies from the Caribbean were sitting near the front punctuating the thick air with an occasional, heartfelt "Amen". They were delightful ladies, their faces shiny and glowing with the love of God.

I cannot remember anything about this particular sermon on this particular afternoon EXCEPT the following: Suddenly, in the middle of his sermon, Evangelist McDonald began to sing. His voice was untrained but strong and he carried the tune well. With confidence he began to sing from memory these words:

Though troubles assail, And dangers affright;
Though friends should all fail, And foes all unite,
Yet one thing secures us, Whatever betide:
The Scripture assures us,"The Lord will provide,
The Lord will provide!"

His voice grew stronger and his face was radiant as he continued:

The birds, without barn Or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn To trust for our bread;
His saints what is fitting Shall ne'er be denied,
So long as 'tis written,"The Lord will provide,
The Lord will provide!"

The little Caribbean ladies were amening and lifting their hands as he launched into the third verse:

When Satan appears To stop up our path,
And fills us with fears, We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us, Though oft he has tried,
The heart-cheering promise,"The Lord will provide,
The Lord will provide!"

As he began verse four something unusual started happening.

He tells us we're weak, Our hope is in vain;
The good that we seek We ne'er shall obtain;
But when such suggestions Our faith oft has tried,
This answers all questions,"The Lord will provide,
The Lord will provide!"

Suddenly Evangelist McDonald, was walking down off the platform still singing, his voice growing louder and triumphant:

No strength of our own, Nor goodness we claim;
Our trust is all thrown On Jesus' dear name.
In this our strong tower For safety we hide;
The Lord is our power,"The Lord will provide,
The Lord will provide!"

The little Caribbean ladies were now in the aisle dancing, hugging one another and praising God. The Evangelist took one lady by her hands and seemed to twirl her around and around as his voice reached a crescendo:

When life sinks apace, And death is in view,
The word of His grace Shall comfort us through;
Not fearing or doubting, With Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting,"The Lord will provide,
The Lord will provide!"

As the song reached the high notes, it seemed God's Spirit rested on us in an unusual and supernatural way. We seemed to be closed in, away from the world, close to God's heart. It was a scene of rejoicing I will never forget. The truth of the song, the manner in which it was sung, and the consequent breakout of the PRESENCE OF GOD made an indelible impression on me that has brought me through many lean times. Indeed, THE LORD WILL PROVIDE!!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Best Problem

Everyone has some sort of problem......well, everyone except my mom. She's always happy, she's always "FINE", and she always has a good day. But I feel quite sure that she is the exception. Most everyone else I know is NOT always happy, is NOT always fine, and is NOT always having a good day!

Most likely we should not compare problems but when I am engulfed by something difficult for me I try to get a new perspective to help me through it. Mother has a saying that may have led to these mental gymnastics. The saying, no matter what has or is happening to us....."It could be worse."

(For example, the other day while eating dinner together I made the comment, "This meat sure is tough." Mom's response? "It'd be tougher if you didn't have any!")

Since Mark and I have been somewhat short of funds lately, I decided to consider the problems others are presently dealing with and this is my discovery. I HAVE THE BEST PROBLEM!!!!!

Many who have "money to save, money to spend, money to lend a friend", have far, far worse senarios: failing health, the loss of a loved one, the heartbreak of a "prodigal" child, an unhappy marriage, a ghastly disease, or in my opinion the absolutely, most dreadful.......a lack of faith and consequently NO RELATIONSHIP with God!!! This one truly frightens me beyond words. I would be terrified to lose my faith or my walk with the Lord.

THE BEST PROBLEM IS.........financial shortfall. We are relatively healthy, have our family close, enjoy a happy marriage, and best of all are getting to know the truth of His word which cannot fail. He HAS, IS, and WILL supply our needs, and NOTHING can separate us from HIS LOVE!!!! (A "shouting" point indeed!)

This perspective is giving me quite a lot of comfort at the moment. I praise HIM that He is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that I dare ask or think--infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams!! (Eph. 3:20)

God, THANK YOU for giving me the BEST PROBLEM.....well, it doesn't even seem like a problem now. Actually, the possibility presenting itself to me at the moment is the fact that I HAVE NO PROBLEMS AT ALL!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Panic to Praise

C. S. Lewis once said, "I'm a panic-y person about money myself (which is a most shameful confession and a thing dead against Our Lord's words) and poverty frightens me more than anything else except large spiders and the tops of cliffs..." It seems a bit odd that we are so prone to discuss many personal problems such as illness, relationships, etc. but seldom, if ever, bring up the subject of finances but I must admit I have been extremely "panic-y" lately and especially TODAY.

This morning I knew we did not have enough money to pay the bills that needed sent out. I was sitting at the computer pondering the situation when I noticed the room getting brighter and brighter. The sun was coming out from behind a cloud. It seemed God spoke to me in my spirit and said loudly, "I'M HERE". I knew He wanted me to TRUST Him and NOT worry.

Mark and I had our devotional time together asking God to supply our needs. We were about $180.00 short. Around 4 p.m. the mail lady came AND YES there was a check in the mail which was about twice the amount we needed!!!!

I was reminded of the disciples when they were in the storm......afraid even though Jesus was WITH THEM. I had been afraid even though I knew God was with me.

This poem came to mind that sums up my point: DON'T PANIC.....GOD IS IN THE BOAT.

The Age-Long Minute
Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
-Amy Carmichael

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our Devotions on Election Day

If we can manage it, Mark and I enjoy having devotions together in the morning. Our favorite Daily Bible Reading Plan is one we have used for several years now put together by Robert Murray McCheyne. (You can download it here - http://www.pesdirect.com/calendar.pdf ) Each day there are four portions of scripture listed. Two are entitled "family" and two are entitled "secret". (Lately we have been reading all four aloud.) It is wonderful to see how the passages fit together.

These are the scriptures given for Nov. 4 and we read them early that day. II Kings 17, Titus 3, Hosea 10, and Psalms 129, 130, 131. When I began reading II Kings 17 I felt that the words were amazingly relevant to what was weighing on our minds and hearts. OUR NATION.

Take the time to read these scriptures and tell me what you think.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Greatest Mystery

This past Saturday around noon, Mark and I make a spur-of-the moment decision to drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We thought we'd stop at some roadside farmer's markets and maybe drive up Pilot Mountain. There were still some beautiful leaves and the day was perfectly lovely.

This is a view of Pilot Mountain from the Parkway.
We had driven the parkway, had a bite to eat in Mt. Airy, and were heading back home about 6 p.m. when we decided to drive to the top of Pilot Mountain. The park closed at 6 but we asked a park ranger if we had time to go to the top and he said, "Sure, go ahead." This is a view from the top.


The sun was setting and the scene was one of breathtaking beauty. To our surprise we were not alone on top of the mountain. There were probably thirty people, kids, and dogs in tow. We noticed one whole section of the parking lot was blocked off and people were setting up huge telescopes. To our amazement, the Forsyth County Astronomy Club was having a gathering!!!!


I wish I could express the beauty of the sky as day faded into dusk and dusk faded into darkness. The moon, Jupiter, and Venus were shining brightly and one star after another began popping out until the sky was full. This picture doesn't get it but gives you a faint idea of how magical it seemed. People walked from telescope to telescope looking at various planets and stars. When I looked through the telescope at the moon it looked like a huge dinner plate. I could see the lighted part, the craters, and even the shadow the sun made on the craters. I could see the four moons of Jupiter. It was awesome!!!!!!


Above us the milky way spilled out and there seemed to be an endless sky far from the city lights. The scripture came to my mind, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?"

We know the answer, it's just mind boggling to really believe it. How and why would He care for me so intimately? He MADE all this with a spoken word and He LOVES ME?? Wow!!! What an unforgettable experience.

God, help me never to doubt Your amazing power to take care of me in my little world.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Prayer

I like this little prayer from Elizabeth Elliott's website.

I know when the stress has grown too strong,
Thou wilt be there.
Thou hearest prayer.
I know that in the crash of falling worlds, Thou holdest me.
I know that life and death and all are Thine eternally.
-Janet Erskine Stuart

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Walking Partner

Ever since we moved I have tried to find someone to walk with me. I've driven my husband to distraction (who is NOT a morning person and does NOT like to walk) by begging, cajoling, and pleading, asked friends, hinted to neighbors, but no takers. Walking in the morning sets my mood for the day and I felt I was spiraling into depression and the things that go with it for me: namely overeating, laziness, and self-pity.

Yesterday, as I pondered over my plight for the umpteenth time, I heard Someone say, "I'll be your walking partner." I knew my Friend, He had walked with me many times. I had forgotten that He is ALL I need.

SO.....THIS MORNING we went walking. My very favorite thing to do while walking is meditate and memorize THE WORD. The following is a feeble attempt at describing our walk.

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord..."

WOW!! The PRISONER of the LORD????? Paul didn't say, "Pray that God gets me out of this stinkin' jail. I am so sick and tired of the attitude of the jailers, and the guys in here with me.....You should hear their language!! The food is awful, the stench is terrific and I just gotta get outa here. Satan has put me in here and we need to agree together that God will DO SOMETHING." Paul looked at his situation, the place he was in at the moment as from the Lord. That seems incredibly amazing to me.

What about the place I am in right now? Do I see my situation as from the Lord and allowed and permitted by God? Hummmmmmmmm, serious food for thought.

"beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called"

Paul is BEGGING me to walk worthy. Have I been walking worthy when I entertain doubts, depression, and discouragement? Have I been walking worthy when I overeat at meals and eat snacks all day? Have I been walking worthy when I neglect my secret place with the Lord? I DON'T THINK SO!!

And then the realization that I have been called, by God, to a vocation, to a job. I may have others ways to earn money to pay my bills....that is NOT my purpose in life. My focus has got to be the purpose for which I am in this world.....to be like Jesus.

"with all lowliness and meekness"

I needed that. I'm embarrassed to say it, but pride is a pitfall I am constantly skirting.

"with long suffering, forbearing one another in love"

Ah, yes.......I need a truckload of long suffering again TODAY.

By that time I had my walk in, felt better emotionally and physically, and was focused for the day.

"Thank you, Lord, for walking with me, talking with me, telling me I belong to YOU. The joy we share is like no other."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Roosters, Cats, God Uses Everything

I think of how God used a rooster to get Peter's attention and bring him to repentance; it was a lesson only a rooster could teach. Well, recently God used a cat to teach me a lesson.

Squeeky, (my highly esteemed feline), has NEVER been a lap cat. If I tried to hold him on my lap he would jump down in three seconds. UNTIL..........

He got in his first CAT FIGHT. He came in, left eye half shut, bleeding from his nose and mouth....a very unhappy animal. Squeeky has never had a high tolerance for pain and he seemed devastated by the fight.

He stayed in the garage for two days and wouldn't eat or drink.....just seemed dazed by his injuries, and the recent discovery that he was not the boss of the block.

Well....to make a long story short.....

He has now turned into a LAP cat. He follows me everywhere. Even when I'm going in circles -- he goes in circles too!! As soon as I sit down he is in my lap purring. He curls up and goes to sleep if I sit there long enough.

The lesson God taught me from this is that when I am hurt by life, when I'm bruised and bleeding emotionally, when my enemy has given me a fight and I feel beat up.....

I need to gaze on Him, follow Him more closely, get up in His lap, find my contentment and peace in Him. May every hurt in life draw me to HIM.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Mum, An Inspiration for Life

Several years ago this piece won a contest in the Thomasville Times. Mum recently had a few bad days in the hospital and as she is approaching her 81st birthday I thought this would be a good time to share (for some who haven't heard) what she means to me.

My Mother had a bad start in life. Born to an unwed teen, there was no well-furnished nursery, no loving parents, no doting grandparents to welcome the tiny waif.

Even though she remembers little of those early years, Mother knows from the account of others that she was badly abused until at age two, an older couple became foster parents and eventually adopted her. Even then she didn't have a fun-filled childhood. Mostly she had a great deal of hard work--scrubbing, wallpapering, and carrying coal.

Maybe that's why she is such a super special Mom. She wanted her seven children to have the things she always dreamed of. She lavished on us the love she had been deprived of and taught us the lessons she had learned.

The first lesson was in kindness. "Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32. How often we heard those words. She would say the verse over and over until each of us could quote it by heart as soon as we could talk.

The second lesson was in priorities. If one of us children accidentally spilled or broke something she always said, "Don't worry about that. Just so YOU'RE all right!" Things have never been important to Mother; people always are.

And because people are so important to her, she consistently demonstrates generosity. Her motto has always been, "Give away as much as you can!" She has an inexhaustible supply of love which prompts her to do whatever she can to alleviate another's burden. She gives whatever she has--home baked goodies, money, things she buys and keeps in a "give-away" drawer, or time to listen. I have never known another living soul more generous.

My mother is the best mother in the world for me. If she had had the opportunity for formal education, I might never have learned true wisdom. If she had been a wealthy woman, I might never have learned happiness and contentment. If she had been an eloquent, sought after speaker, I might never have learned how to talk to God.

Even though Mother didn't have the most auspicious beginning, her life has certainly had a great impact on all who meet her. I am always proud to introduce this wonderful woman as "My Mother."

P.S. Mum has a great sense of humor as well. Sometime I'll have to share some of our funny experiences!!!!!






Monday, September 15, 2008

Praise Report

We are so thankful that God has provided a house for Charley and Darlene to move into!!! We've been praying for about four months and it is working out!! Maybe Dar will tell us all about it soon because I know it is a wonderful tribute to God's loving care.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Church Plant that Should Have Failed

My father, Rev. George Bowen, was an amazing man. His mind was constantly meditating on scriptures as is evidenced by the hundreds of sermon outlines I found everywhere after he passed away. Little slips of paper tucked in his pocket would have nuggets of truth carefully printed in tiny writing starting at the very top of the page. (He didn't believe in wasting anything!!)

He had an interesting twist on the birth of the church. Here it is just as he wrote it:

A Church Plant that Should Have Failed
by Rev. George E. Bowen

Several hundred years ago a church was planted in a large city. By today's standards, there are several reasons why this church should not have survived.

The poverty of the founder: The man who started the church was single, had no wife or children, and was extremely poor; so poor, in fact, that he was homeless. He had no "money people" to back him. He had no building in which to have services, most meetings were held out doors.

Uneducated congregation: The leader gathered only a few people about him to mentor and they were also poor and uneducated. They had no formal education and were a rough class of people. They could not afford to support a pastor.

Suicide of charter member: This person had been with the church plant from the beginning. He was the treasurer and had possibly misspent some of the meager funds they had. After turning on the leader he killed himself. This was no doubt a serious blow to the little group.

Poor attendance at initial gathering: Of the thousands who lived in the city and had heard the leader speak, only 120 people came to the first organized meeting in a borrowed room. As far as numbers went, the meeting was unsuccessful.

Past performance of keynote speaker: The key note speaker had been a personal friend of the leader. At one time he was known to have used bad language and even told others that he wanted no part of the church.

You realize, of course, that this is about the first church, the church Christ "planted" in Jerusalem. Jesus, the lowly Galilean, was the founder and his disciples had not been to any theological seminary or university. Although Jesus had fed the crowds by the thousands, had healed the sick, given sight to the blind, and raised the dead to life, only a small group gathered in the Upper Room. Of the twelve disciples, Judas had killed himself, and Peter had denied knowing Christ.

This church, that by today's standards should not have survived, DID survive and is still a functioning body today with millions of members. Why? What caused the church to survive in spite of the overwhelming odds? There is only one answer. The Holy Spirit.

Before the Spirit came, the church could be likened to the creation of Adam before life was breather into him. He had eyes but could not see, ears, but could not hear, mouth but could not speak. He was an empty shell without feeling, without warmth. If the breath of life had not been breathed into Adam, he would have deteriorated and gone back to dust.

If the Holy Spirit had not come on the day of Pentecost the church would never have come to life. But the Spirit came!! The Spirit gave life!! The Spirit made the difference!@!

Even as He was needed then to bring life, He is needed today to bring a fresh wind to our tired, worn out programs. Are we inviting Him to breathe on us, to teach us, to show us the individualized blueprint He has for each congregation? He has not changed and will cause our churches to grow and flourish if we will let Him.

Come, Holy Spirit, I need Thee. Come, sweet Spirit, I pray.
Come in Thy strength and Thy power. Come in Thine own gentle way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Visit to a Hindu Temple

For many years I had no personal understanding of worship. As a preacher's kid I was in church all my growing up years. As a traveling musician and then a peacher's wife I was in church any time the doors were open!!!

But when it came to worship, I was a spectator. As still as a statue, I did only what I was told to do. I was timid and shy always wondering what people thought of me. I was very uncomfortable lifting one hand, let alone both, to praise God and never showed any emotion.

All of that changed the day Mark and I visited a Hindu Temple with some Indian friends of ours. They are dear friends and we had gone to an Indian restaurant and then they asked if we would like to visit their temple.

As we entered the temple we passed through a small room where we saw a large pile of shoes. We were asked to leave our shoes there before entering the next room where the gods were. We did so, and then walked into a larger room which had thirteen plastic gods in a semi circle. I really don't remember much about the gods. What I DO remember and what changed my concept of worship forever, was the fervancy I saw as the worshippers BOWED TO THE FLOOR, placed money or flowers in the hands of the gods and prayed with eyes closed and HANDS LIFTED. The devotion and fervor I saw immediately put me to shame.

I thought, "If these people can worship PLASTIC gods, why can't I worship the TRUE and LIVING God with this kind of fervancy and give Him the PRAISE HE DESERVES? What is WRONG WITH ME??????"

What would these worshippers think if they walked into my church and saw me standing, singing the hymn with no expression, no conviction, no real indication that I thought much of MY God at all? How would they ever begin to understand the great awesome power, the perfect wisdom, the unbelievable love of the LIVING GOD if they don't see passionate worship from me?

My worship has changed forever. I close my eyes, focus on God and attempt to give Him the PRAISE HE DESERVES. If a Hindu worshiper can bow to a god who doesn't see, doesn't hear, is nothing more than a piece of plastic, and can give the deepest passionate devotion I have ever seen, SURELY I CAN WORHIP THE TRUE LIVING GOD WITH ALL THAT IS IN ME!!!

AND I WILL DO SO no matter where I am or who is around me. I WILL WORSHIP!!!

Now I LOVE to WORSHIP my GOD!!! Nothing brings me more delight that lifting my hands and praising HIM!!!!!

If you, like me, have always been afraid to worhip, why don't you practice right now. (If you're afraid someone will see you, close the door!!!) Click on the links below, listen to the music, close your eyes, and lift your hands to heaven. PRAISE HIM for WHO HE IS and you will be BLESSED!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQRIHXtyRzU

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8181685299802812797&hl=en

Monday, August 25, 2008

Feeling Needy

The last couple weeks have had many interesting and unusual experiences. I'm still reeling from all the changes.....and trying to keep up!!!! God has a way of deepening our faith that is not easy albeit necessary as our faith is undoubtedly the most precious thing we have.
Once again I prayed the prayer that has become my "focus" prayer.

GOD,
I need YOU more than anything in the world.
I need YOU more than family.
I need YOU more than friends.
I need YOU more than finances.
I need YOU more than my health.
I NEED YOU!!!!!

I feel desperate about this.
I have to have YOU in order to function today.
I have to have YOU in order to love people.
I have to have YOU to accept the things I cannot change.
I just have to have YOU.

I crave Your presence. I desire Your nearness.
Thank You for Your promise that You will never leave me or forsake me.
Thank You that I am loved with an everlasting love.
Thank You that You are already inhabiting all my tomorrows.
Thank You that Your promises are mine.....and You long to fulfill them in my life.
You are HERE and I AM YOURS!!!!
(dbk)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guest Post

My sister, Darlene, and I are both going through similar circumstances. Charlie and Mark (our husbands) are ministers going into other careers (perhaps temporarily) and both of us were homeless and jobless a month ago. (Since that time Mark and I have found housing but are still looking for work. They are still looking for both.)

The Lord has opened up a place for Darlene and some of the children to stay for a short time, while Charley is ministering at a Campmeeting up north. She wrote me about it in an email this morning and it was so encouraging I thought I would share......

So, from the pen of Darlene.....

Good morning............I've been thinking this morning and wanted to share what I am learning!

"Putting it in God's hands" has always been something I did/said at the end of my struggles. I had prayed as hard and long as I could, I had searched everywhere for answers; and at the end of it all I would say with tears and a feeling of defeat, "Well, I have put it in God's hands."
Well, God is showing me WHOSE hands we are placing our burdens in.


His are the hands of THE VICTOR over sin, hell, and the grave.
(THAT is NO SMALL VICTORY!!!)
His are the hands of the One who fed 5,000 with one little boy's lunch.
His are the hands of the One who spoke worlds into existence......WHO spoke something out of nothing! He is Creator God.


So, I am learning to place things in His hands FIRST !!! After they are in His hands, I can listen for His instructions.

Totally new concept for me. I love it!

ALSO this morning He is teaching me about "entering into His rest." We are complete in HIM. (Colossians) We have died, been buried, and resurrected with Him when we enter into His rest in FAITH! Anyway, I have been asking God to show me what that meant.

A month ago we didn't know where we were going to live................ nothing was working out! So, in despair and with lots of tears I put it "in God's hands"! (Aren't you glad He loves us and answers even when we don't understand what we are doing?)

We are now living in a place that a month ago we didn't know existed. When we moved in, the lady over the house said..............use my furniture, my towels, my table ware. Don't worry about bringing your things; use mine. Oh, any food in the house.........just eat it. AND, my office..............you can use the computer and, yes, if you need to print something.......the printer is there.

Oh, yes, there is a big porch. Feel free to enjoy it! AND the utilities are always kept on........so don't worry about anything like that!..........ALL THINGS TO ENJOY !

So, now I know and understand that HE conquered sin and when I enter into HIS victory He gives me ALL THINGS in Christ. I can LIVE in HIS victory! I am learning and I love what He is teaching me!


I love to learn, so share what you are learning!
I love you all..........
Dar

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Today's Word

I have struggled a great deal with all the changes that have come into my life in the past few months. The Lord spoke to me yesterday as Mark and I read the Word together: (This is how it sounded to me.)

This is what the LORD says--
He who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses;
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

FORGET THE FORMER THINGS;
DO NOT DWELL ON THE PAST.

SEE, I AM DOING A NEW THING!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:16-19
(NIV)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tag I'm It!!

Well, I've been tagged.....about ten days ago. (Plant Lady, I MUST apologize for taking so long to post the response.) I'm supposed to reveal 6 random things about myself! Here are the tag rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things About Myself

1. My very favorite thing to do in all the world is to praise God with a huge crowd of Christians who are singing praise songs and worshipping. There is NOTHING like it!!!! HE IS SOOOO WORTHY!!! (When we sang, "In Christ Alone" at a Beth Moore gathering I expected to go through the ceiling any minute!!!!! It was an awesome experience!!!)

2. I enjoy my husband's sense of humor. We have so much fun laughing together.

3. I could happily eat chocolate (Hershey's with almonds candy bars are my fave) for breakfast, dinner, and supper.

4. Nothing is more relaxing than a purring cat on my lap!!!

5. I love ALL flowers, most especially, tho, if they are fragrant. (like lily of the valley, lilacs, plumeria, and gardenia)

6. I DESPISE stinginess and gossipiness (is that a word?) in people.

The six people I am tagging are:

Mark - http://meetmeattheaperture.blogspot.com/

Marlene - http://mar-mars.blogspot.com/

Amy - http://amysgobbledygook.blogspot.com/

Katie - http://kmm93.blogspot.com/

Laurie - http://laurieskitchendelights.blogspot.com/

Jan - http://jan-jansjam.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today's Thoughts



If all that I've been given fades away -
The gifts and graces, some unrecognized,
The friends of yesteryear, now cherished memories
Places I have known and loved, forever gone from view.....

If all that I've been given fades away -
Familiar beauty of the rendezvous we kept
Fragrances adored as seasons came and went
The quiet moments when Our spirits met....

If all that I've been given fades away -
Then what should I do today?
The mundane calls - but help me see beyond
To the eternal fields where I will reap the harvest I have sown.
dbk
(Yes, I'm feeling melancholy today!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yesterday's Sunday

A couple of weeks ago I was able to do something I had wanted to do for a long time. I sat down at the church piano early Sunday morning and played hymns as they came to mind.....for a little over an hour. Hymns such as, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me", and "Sweeter Than All".

Mark recorded the hour of music and entitled the CD "Yesterday's Sunday". These hymns were not "arranged" but are simply played without interruption going from one hymn to the next in an easy listening format.

Some of my friends wanted a copy of "Yesterday's Sunday". If any of you would like a copy, just email me at folwinhim@yahoo.com and I will send it to you. (I am not making a charge for the CD, but if you wish to make a donation it would be greatly appreciated.)

(By the way, does anyone recognize the church in the photo? Looks a bit different now than it did then!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Cup of Tea!


I have discovered the most delicious tea. It is called "Breathe Easy"...promotes Respiratory Health by Traditional Medicinals. I bought a box at Ingles Grocery because I've been having problems with asthma. The directions said to drink three cups a day.

I thought it might taste like medicine, especially because the directions said to steep the tea 10 - 15 minutes. I gave it 10 minutes and added a few drops of Stevia (a natural sweetener). DELICIOUS!!! And after two days I do believe I'm breathing easier!!!

If you have any breathing problems or if you just want a cup of good tea, I highly recommend it.

Our "famous" friends

Don Quales and family are now "famous" gospel singers. But years (and years) ago
he was my very first piano student!!!!
Kim and Phil Collingsworth at our house after their inspirational concert. (Their music is simply amazing!!!) When I was packing to move, I found a couple letters Kim wrote me when she was about ten years old!!!!

Our very dear friend, Mayor Cornelia Olive, at the National Day of Prayer event. Mark organized prayer times at her office with local ministers every Tuesday morning when we lived in Sanford, NC.
My friendship with Ann and Frank Baldwin goes way back......I have always loved them dearly. We met them in Indiana last year as we traveled home from a FLAME event in Frankfort, IN.

This is our friend, Alvin Conyers, who is a missionary to Siberia.
He and Mark went to High School together in Atlanta!!!!
Do you have any "famous" friends?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Best Brothers

This is my brother, David. He is the world's best gardener!!!! He grows the most beautiful vegetables I've ever seen. When he does a job, he does it right!!!! Everyone loves David.
Dean is my youngest brother. He can fix anything and is always there to help if you need him. He is one terrific brother!!! He and his wife, Valerie, have five beautiful, smart, talented, children!!!

Charlie, Darlene's husband, is a faithful worker for the Lord. He is a pastor, father of six, grandfather of three, and has a great sense of humor. Charlie is a hard worker and gets the job done FAST!!

Bob is married to my sister Donna. He is one of the most generous people you will find anywhere. He is a very hard worker. Bob has won a lot of trophies in motorcycle racing.
Richie is one tough brother-in-law. He is married to Diane and is a great christian example. Richie makes the best grilled steak I've ever eaten!!! He is ready to help anyone, anywhere and has many opportunities to do that as he is a State Trooper!


Matt is Mark's brother. You will always laugh a lot when Matt is around because he is the life of the party. Matt is an amazing salesman, and makes the best blueberry pancakes!! (This photo was take at the 80th birthday party for Mom Klass.)


Chris is Melissa's husband (Mark's sister). He is a terrific cook and can make a great meal out of left overs. He used to play for the Minnesota Vikings so he has a lot of interesting stories to tell. (Chris is standing behind Mom Klass.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dad's Typewriters

When we moved I had to get rid of Dad's old typewriters. I told my sister, Darlene, it was hard to part with them because they represented hours of thought and labor as he wrote over four thousand sermons for two radio preachers, and also wrote the Sunday School lesson books for Back to the Old Paths for thirty some years. They were a part of Dad I didn't want to give up. Dar gave me wise advise. She said, "You have to get rid of things sometime. If you feel emotionally attached to the typewriters, take a picture of them."

So that's what I did!!! I will always remember the sound of Dad pecking out the many sermons and articles on these two typewriters. But Mark will never have to move them again!! (He was happy about that as the old IBM was terribly heavy!) Thanks, Dar, for helping me through this dilemma!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Life's Transitions

Transitions are usually difficult.
Change, although sometimes exciting, is never easy.
We will be moving next week and experiencing some changes.
(So I most likely will be unable to post for several days.)
God is faithful and true to His Word and He can be depended on!

Nothing can separate me from His love!

Several years ago a friend gave me a sheet of paper with the following inscribed:

Dorothy...

Trust Me.

I have everything under control.

Jesus

This has been a blessing and a help through many bumps in the road!

How thankful I am to know that it is absolutely true!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Quiet Place

T

Lord, I have shut the door, speak now the word

Which in the din and throng could not be heard;

Hushed now my inner heart, whisper Thy will.

While I have come apart, while all is still.

In this blest quietness clamerings cease,

Here in Thy presence dwells infinite peace;

Yonder, the strife and cry, yonder, the sin:

Lord, I have shut the door, Thou art within!

Lord, I have shut the door, strengthen my heart;

Yonder awaits the task -- I share a part.

Only through grace bestowed may I be true

Here, while alone with Thee, my strength renew.

-Runyan

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Sermon

Living Like Jesus

Jesus
"I crave no human honor"
The Carnal Christian
"I am content to receive praise from others" John 5:55

Jesus
"I look for no mortal fame" John 5:41
The Carnal Christian
"I value credit with men more than credit with God"

Jesus
"I am able to do nothing from myself"
The Carnal Christian
"I can do it by myself"

Jesus
"As the Voice comes to Me, I give a decision"
The Carnal Christian
"I make decisions based on my desires"

Jesus
"I do not seek my own will"
The Carnal Christian
"I do it my way"

Jesus
"I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself"
The Carnal Christian
"I want to do only what is pleasing to myself"
-unknown author

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Blessing of Sisters


I'm the oldest; then Darlene. She is one special lady!!!
She's extremely talented in sewing, cooking, crafts, and writing.
She is very dear to all of us.
Here she is with her oldest son, Daniel.

This is Deborah; she's the third born.
She's always working to keep everything running smoothly.
She's also talented in cooking and is just the person to call on
if you need something done in a hurry!!
Deb is always there if you need her!

This is Donna, next in line! She is a very, very dear sister who is a great baker.
She is sweet, kind, and always cheerful. (Makes the best Cranberry Salad ever.)
We could not get along without our Donna!!

This is Diane, my youngest sister. She is a nurse and quite a good one!!!
She has worked in the E.R. for years and if I ever have to go I hope she's there!!!
She has a great sense of humor and is always helping people.
In this photo, she is giving my father-in-law, Kit, a hug.


This is Valerie who is married to my brother Dean. That makes her a sis, right? She is a terrific mom and has brought much joy to our family with the gift of five beautiful children. Here she is being hugged (tortured) by her oldest son and my nephew, Brent. (Look at his eyes....you can tell.)


Melissa, Mark's sister, is loads of fun. We always have a great time shopping together. She gives me "make-overs" and makes me laugh!!! Here she's getting ready to show off her biscuit making skills!!

Linda is married to Mark's brother, Matt. That's him in the picture with her. (By the way, Matt is the one who coined the phrase, "I love my neices to pieces." He's brilliant!!) Linda is fun to be with, a great walking partner, and a good friend!

I have quite a few "adopted" sisters, also.....too many to name! Do you have any sisters? (birth or otherwise) I'd like to hear about them!

I Love My Nieces to Pieces!

Some cute stories about my nieces. (I definitely can't mention any names!)

I don't remember what she was crying about but I do remember trying to comfort her. "Honey, you know I love you and your Mommy and Daddy love you." I tried to sooth her sobs with a calm voice. "I know you love me and I know Mommy and Daddy love me," she wailed louder, "BUT I'M CRYIN'!"
=====

One niece spent the night with me. She was 5 or 6 years old. We were laying there trying to go to sleep when she asked quietly, "Aunt Dorothy will you hold my hand?" "Why sure honey." Thinking maybe she was afraid I asked, "Why do you want me to hold your hand, honey?" Her answer came through the darkness matter-of-factly. "Because it stinks!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Remembering Tasha Tudor

Every year at Christmas I get out my "Christmas Books". One of my favorites is a book I acquired years ago (don't remember where) entitled TAKE JOY! by Tasha Tudor. I enjoyed reading about the Tudor Christmas traditions and loved the quaint, whimsical, illustrations by Tasha Tudor.

Most of all I enjoyed baking the Christmas Cookies, which she included in the recipe section of the book. (The recipe makes a gigantic number of cookies so you have to allow at least four or five hours if you are going to make them.) The dough is rolled very thin, dusted with sugar and nutmeg, and then cut into shapes. These cookies became a tradition for many years in the Bowen household.


I was sad to hear that Tasha Tudor passed away June 18th at age 92. She was a unique, amazing lady and you can read about her at hhtp://www.tashatudorfamily.com

dbk

Monday, June 30, 2008

Amusing Moments

Teaching piano lessons has some amusing moments. I hope these stories make you smile!
lllll

One first grader played the assigned song very well, slowing down nicely at the end of the piece. "That was beautiful!" I praised effusively. "I especially like the way you gradually slowed down at the end of the piece. That's called a Ritard." "Oh," she pressed her lips together solemnly shaking her head, "I can't say that word - it has a bad meaning!"
lllll
Another child, arriving for her piano lesson burst through the door and announced grandly in a loud voice, "Well, this is the last day I won't have any cavities!" "Why is that?" I enquired. She replied, "Because tomorrow I'm going to the dentist!"
lllll

Sometimes I get more information that I want. In response to, "How are you doing today?" one child confided, "Guess what! Last night a policeman came to our house!"
lllll

I was invited to a birthday party by one little boy. I asked him for directions to his house. He gave the following: "It's real easy. You just go down that road where the tree is and you'll see a mailbox. You turn there. And," he finished triumphantly, "we live right beside our neighbor!"
lllll
One little girl asked me what the "Heart Trophy" was. I tried to explain, "It's a trophy I give at the recital to a student who works very hard and really puts his WHOLE heart into piano lessons." "Well," she said in a disappointed tone, "I know I won't get that one because I only put half my heart in it!"
lllll
I have a quiet, genteel cat named Squeeky. One of my first graders pleadingly begged, "I've never had a nice cat like Squeeky." Then she made a request. "Mrs. Klass, when you're ninety will you please give me Squeeky?!"
(Either I look really old or Squeeky's going to live to an amazing age!)
lllll
dbk

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Sermon

All I have is a few scribbled notes,
but the sermon (heard several years ago) made such an impact I still remember it.

A "Mary" Church or a "Martha" Church?
Martha was busy.
Mary was concerned only that she be in the presence of Jesus.

A "Martha" Church
A "Martha" Church is built on ABC's: Attendance, Buildings, Cash. This is a consumer based church where people are the center. The more people who come the better the church is. (This church lives in the book of numbers.) :)

Characteristics:
1. Religious activities - Holiness by fatigue
2. Jesus is the mascot
3. Information Driven (deliver me from the Kinko spirit)
4. Pastor Fetch
5. Problematic Praying
6. Shifting Sheep (allusion of church growth)
7. Control Strongholds - certain people control the church

A "Mary" Church
A "Mary" Church is a Presence based church where God is the center. "We love people but God is here."

Characteristics:
1. Continuous worship Rev. 4:5
2. Jesus is revealed
3. God's presence will draw people
4. Pastor Levite
5. God Seekers - The Pastor's goal is to bring people into His presence
6. Presence Evangelism
7. Divine Strongholds: God doesn't just visit - He inhabits.

Is your church a "Martha" church or a "Mary" church?

"Don't do the work of the Lord - make Him the Lord of the work."
-Terry Tekyl

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Missing Dad


Dear Dad,
I really miss you a lot. I know you are enjoying the beauties of heaven and the joy of being with Jesus and all your friends there. It must be unspeakably wonderful. But I think about you often and what a terrific Dad you were. You were so handsome, so gentle, so kind, so loving, so humble, so faithful, so caring.

I remember those great days when I moved back with you and Mom. Every morning when I walked into the living room you would be sitting in your recliner dressed in a long sleeved white shirt and dress pants, ready for the day. Your first words were always the same. "Morning, Darth, how ARE things?"

We would usually sit together and discuss the Sunday School lesson and you'd ask my opinion on a verse or two. When you jotted down my comments I felt so important. "That's a good thought," you'd say.

It's nothing new
these thoughts I have of you.

Since time began
grief has been a common thing
As people of all races
morn the loss of one who made them sing.

But still the hurt is there
like a dull unhappy ache inside
where no one can see.

And even though I know it won't be long
until we meet again,
I think of you and wonder...
Do you think of me?
dbk

Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Listens?

For who listens to us in all the world
Whether he be friend or teacher, brother or father or
Mother, sister or neighbor, son or ruler, or
Servant? Does he listen, our advocate, or our
Husbands or wives, those who are dearest to us?
Do the stars listen, when we turn despairingly
Away from man, or the great winds, or the seas or
The mountains? To whom can any man say - Here I
Am! Behold me in my nakedness, my wounds, my
Secret grief, my despair, my betrayal, my pain,
My tongue which cannot express my sorrow, my
Terror, my abandonment.
Listen to me for a day, - an hour! A moment!
Lonely silence! O God, is there no one to listen?

Is there no one to listen? you ask. Ah, yes,
There is One who listens, Who will always listen.
Hasten to Him, my friend! He waits on the hill
For you. -unknown author

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Prayer for Today


Father,

Please help me not to allow any situation, any person, or any discouragement to eclipse my vision of You.

Let no influence hinder my enthusiastic pursuit of Your daily word to me.

Help my human tendencies to be so wrapped with Your Spirit that the distractions of life have no power to color my emotions.

Keep me, Father, close, carrying me as a little lamb near to your heart.

May I feel the comfort of Your arms around me, the blessing of Your tender embrace, the unmistakable sense of the intertwining of our spirits.

May I hear the whisper of Your voice above the din, the certain knowledge that You ARE directing my paths, that Your will is being done in me today. I ask this in Jesus name, Amen
-dbk

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Don't I Listen to My Husband?


Why am I such a slow learner?


I was supposed to take a finger food to church for a birthday celebration at 6 p.m. Sunday night. I was tired -- it was about 4 p.m. and I still didn't have anything ready. Mark said, "Just get some chips and dip and be done with it."

Instead of saying, "Honey, what a great idea!" I obstinately responded with, "No, I'll make that Salmon Dip we like. It's so good and I have all the stuff to make it so I won't have to go to the store." I made it pretty quickly but realized I didn't have any crackers so Mark had to go to the store anyway to get crackers. He wasn't real happy about that.

I took the Salmon Dip to the birthday/fellowship and NOT ONE BITE GOT EATEN!!! There was so much food........I brought it home feeling sorry that I would have to throw it away. I stuck it in the frig and forgot about it.

Mark and I left the next morning and were gone for several days. We returned home Thursday afternoon. We were tired and I don't remember what Mark ate for supper but I got out the Salmon Dip. Mark cautioned me not to eat it. "That's probably bad. You made it Sunday - this is Thursday and Salmon doesn't keep long." Again, instead of saying, "You are so right, dear" I argued, "No, it looks good and smells good so I think it's OK." I hated to throw it away and I didn't want to listen to Mark.

So I ate about half of it on crackers and that was my supper. I felt fine when I went to bed but about midnight I woke up sick as a dog. The nausea, intense stomach pain, and vomiting were horrible. I was sick all night long, throwing up every couple of hours. Mark was nice enough to get up and help me without saying, "I told you so."

What a miserable night! I hope I've learned my lesson! I had two opportunities to avoid suffering but totally did what I wanted instead of listening to my husband!

Lord, how patient You are to teach me......over and over again. Help me to remember this lesson and next time to LISTEN TO MY HUBBY!!! -dbk