Thursday, March 31, 2016

Day 91: March 31, 2016 God and I

March 31, 2016   God and I
Day 91

Am I ever alone? No. Sitting with no one, eating with no one, being with no one will never happen. I am never alone. The Almighty God is always with me. He is everywhere, omnipresent. 

Am I ever unknown? No. Though you might not find my name in Who's Who, or see it on a marquee, or hear it heard on YouTube, the television or the radio, I am known. The omniscient God knows me intimately and fully. 

Am I unloved? No. Though I might not be adored by the entire community in which I live, though one day they like me and the next day they do not, I am completely and thoroughly loved. He is the all loving Father and He loves me.

It is the same with you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Day 90: March 30, 2016 Lovingly Busted

March 30, 2016    Lovingly Busted
Day 90

Last night, in a cold church basement, a number of us were warmed by the Holy spirit, bonfire warmth. We were transported into the heaven-lies as we listened to God's heart spoken over our brothers and sisters in prophecy. The gifts of the spirit were in operation as God ministered to us through two women.  Had we not understood the word refreshed prior to our arrival we completely understood it upon our departure.

The Body is alive and well and those of us in the room needed what God had for us and God wanted to give us what we needed. We left changed because two women chose to be obedient to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it would have been another nice meeting with fantastic material, great bible references- but no change for the inner man, just another decent time. I am no longer content with status quo. I'm done with it. I want more of Him.

Kimberly came in front of me and asked me to look directly in her eyes. As she locked eyes with mine she lovingly and firmly said, "God is asking you to release something to Him." She mentioned the word identity and brought her hand to her chest as if she was pulling something out and again said I needed to give it to Him. My mind was racing as if I did not know what she was saying, my flesh was in full blown denial. But my spirit knew.

My poppa God was looking me straight in the eyes, asking me to release that vestige part of me holding on to an identity not completely rooted in Him. This identity has rooted in fear with a tiny, but powerful, axe to grind. I was just hoping that no one had ever noticed. And they may not have but God had for He sees and knows all. I was busted and immediately loved by a Dad who is all about disciplining His child in love. Surprisingly, in a rebuke to my spirit, I felt honored, adored, cherished, and corrected. Love flooded my soul - this was revival material.

I looked into my sister's eyes, crinkled up my face and cried. I was so thankful Kimberly was willing "to go there." She allowed her mouth to utter His words of love and rebuke. She used His gifts. And I am never gonna be the same!

Oh, how He spoke of the others! God honors us with such kind and affirming words. The folks I was sitting with last night were brought to the front and given a place to sit at the banqueting table. I left with an intense apprceciation for all who were there. I must spend more evenings like this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 89: March 29, 2016 Verbage vs. THE WORD

March 29, 2016   Verbiage and THE WORD
Day 89

Words, words, words, words - we are surrounded by words, either spoken, written or inferred. We have words in our minds wired from childhood, some of them negative and some of them positive. Haunting, tormenting, encouraging, or guiding. We have words in our journals written from pain, joy, questioning, deep introspection or a daily recording of the mundane. We have words from the radio; mindless, instructive, warning, informing, melodic. We have words from the television; entertaining, dulling, teaching, training, or documenting.

There is not a day that has, is, or will be devoid of words. We have words from our thoughts; hamster wheel type, understanding type, brute force police type. All our words, in and out, are clamoring, begging, cajoling for our attention. We are drowning in words.


However, today, yesterday, and tomorrow, there is only one word that matters- The WORD.  One word that sums all into one beautiful word of love- Jesus, the WORD of God. He is the WORD that will take your heart and soothe it - Jesus.

Today, as you are faced with tough decisions, busy schedules, sad circumstances, a yearning for more, a desire to know what to do next, a need to line up your tasks in nice neat and tidy columns - you must know the Word for the Day. Jesus is the WORD of the day. He is the WORD of yesterday. And He will be the WORD for tomorrow.

In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. (1) The WORD is pertinent for all times. There is no waning, no waxing, no morphing, changing, or rewiring of the WORD. Oh, my precious Jesus, the WORD of God.

(1) John 1 - do yourself a favor and read all of it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Day 88: March 28, 2016 Hunts and Such

March 28, 2016    Hunts and Such
Day 88

My grandchildren, what are they going to do stuck with a grandma like me? I can tend to be the holiday naysayer.  Frilly easter dresses, sharp little suits, hidden eggs all around, chocolate in the baskets, these are probably not going to be found at Grammy's home, or encouraged as clear goals. Though, mind you, I would never hinder them from happening. As I witness all the pictures, wandering children in yards, wondering where the little trinkets are to be, I hear, "Lighten up, Lynne, c'mon you have to enjoy life."  Or, "you're too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good." These phrases have hounded me from little girl all the way through college and on up into my middle ages.

Do not get me wrong, these pictures are adorable but my insides groan thinking of having to do this for my children and now my grandchildren. My children will tell you, I was horrible at Easter, not the swiftest with Valentine's day, and somewhat decent with Thanksgiving and Christmas, just not over the top. I guess you can't be all things to all seasons when you can't find the blasted beat of your drummer. And where am I marching to anyway?

Over the years God has comforted me but also rebuked me." Do not judge. Frilly dresses, sharp little suits, hidden eggs in yards are wonderful. With all due respect, Lynne, Let my people celebrate!" And I have listened. So, I judge not. I just think not - for me.

The real mistake would have been guilt to guide me as I watched friends and family do these activities. To make myself do these things would have been pressure on some part of my psyche that might have exploded. I shudder to think of the consequences, odd consequences. But alas, I have not had to worry of such, I am not a good pretender.

So, how do I celebrate Easter? Scripture readings at ten minute intervals? Eggs stuffed with devotionals or better yet directions to step out the stations of the cross? Friday afternoons in total darkness and silence? Sunday mornings at graveyards running with leaps and bounds singing glad tidings? Nope. None of the above.

Yesterday, we awoke. We ate breakfast. I held my granddaughter through the service. My heart and mind meditated on scripture as I did. I made waffle batter in the afternoon, gathered other necessary items (amazing homemade whip cream with honey)  and headed off to Dad Burkholder's home. We arrived in the late afternoon and I started to make the waffles while folks wandered in at different intervals. Wanita and family arrived with chicken gravy and we sat down to a lovely, heavy, satisfying meal. We laughed, talked over others' conversations, and we ate.

God, in His infinite mercy, died and rose for just that. He allows us to be us. The friends I have hiding Easter eggs in the yard, buying candy for their wee little ones, dying boiled eggs in exotic colors, are accepted, rejoiced over, and allowed to do whatever they want. Likewise I am allowed to be as well. This is what I absolutely love about my Father - His complete acceptance! He loves how I am and he loves how you are. Let us love each other in like manner.

And for the record, the Easter Egg hunts at the Schwartz's?!!! These moments were a blast! We loved these events. If Cindy and Lanny resurrected these life affirming moments, in a heartbeat, we would bring our children - Robyn (and her tribe), Chris, Kathryn, Geoffrey (he'd dress as a bunny), Nicole, and Jesse! Just saying! I might even dress them up!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Day 87: March 27, 2016 Trinity Wins

March 27, 2016 Trinity Wins
Day 87

The Grave is empty
The boulder moved
Their home my heart
The Trinity proved

His hands outstretched
my soul He bears
His nail prints deep
Love - Trinity shares

 Love drips so freely
deep He knows
The price too high
But still He chose.

Cold trapped wonder
love from above.
He took on Shame
So I can love.

He paid it all
He paid it all
My loving Jesus
Paid it all

No more shame for me to bear.
No more shame for me to share.
God, the Father sent His Son
Now the Trinity has won

My heart ...
For Him

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Day 86: March 26, 2016 You Don't Have This - Rest

March 26, 2016 You Don't Have This - Rest
Day 86

I have a lot to say to a lot of people. Should you be doing this? Can I help you with that? Why are you doing this? Why are you not doing that? Don't you think it would be helpful if you followed this way? If you simply do this then this will happen. Honestly, I think a book of strong suggestions, authored by moi, would be a best seller.

My mind swims with advice. I am frustrated, disturbed and sickened to the core by much. And in all of this muck He stops me. I hear Him say, "I AM WHO I AM."

He gently holds me until I stop fighting with righteous indignation. With all the work that needs done, He does something I will never understand. He leads me to clear waters and green grass. This is no time for a vacation, God of wonder?! Are you sure this is the right time and place?

This truth takes a long time to sink in, hence the stream, hence the green grass. I need time to digest this truth - "I AM WHO I AM. " And I am not.

"Hey, dear one, slow down," He speaks as He leads me to the stream to rest. "Renew your senseless expended energy. Sweet thing, eat." Is He tracking? This does not seem like the time to chill and grill. God?!!!

In my spirit He affirms - "I AM WHO I AM." You are not. Rest.

He helps me see my time of fellowship with Him as the most important time I can have. He renews my strength and leads me to essentials. "I AM WHO I AM." I am not. My eyes can close because His eyes do not. This is not my problem.

Savior gently leads me to the water,
to rich soul food by the stream
Rests my head upon 
His strong broad shoulder,
fills my heart replacing screams

Truth comes slowly
Truth come slowly
He allows the truth 
at our own pace.

Truth comes slowly
Truth comes slowly
Never changing 
always true and full
of grace.

There He shows me all of His great wonders
Mysteries beyond I cannot trace
Scars too rough to look away, not notice
As our palms are face to face

Truth comes slowly
Truth come slowly
He allows the truth 
at our own pace.

Truth comes slowly
Truth comes slowly
Never changing 
always true and full
of grace.

*Psalm 23

Friday, March 25, 2016

Day 85: March 25, 2016 Duplicity in the Garden

March 25, 2016 Duplicity in the Garden
Day 85

I hate traitors and I especially hate being one. My insides boil in disgust. One day you're this, the next day you are that. It is a life of torment.

Jesus knows traitors and understands duplicity as he experienced it in a serene garden. He and His disciples enjoyed debriefing, laughing, discussing, dreaming and declaring ancient truths in this lush place of color wheel foliage. But the garden, a place of comfort, changed on a dime. Peace morphed into a scene straight out of a betrayal. The hunted was tracked. The kiss, the words, meant something completely different.

But Jesus knew. To him this was no surprise. The Trinity had this plan before the beginning of time. Silently, he allowed it to look as if he were led as a lamb to the slaughter. Intense, sacrificial love.

He looked fully into the eyes of every man and took straight the guilt, the stain, and he died. He died to save. Jesus knows duplicity. He burst out of the grave so that we traitors might live as One. It's a mystery. And how's this oneness going for us?

Jesus, I love you.
A traitor I am.
Your love knows no limits.
My life is a sham

You offer me new
Your love covers all
You've rescued me,
held me 
I, too, now stand tall

Jesus, I love you
A traitor no more
Your trinity leads me,
To You I adore

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day 84: March 24, 2016 As the World Turns

March 24, 2016  As the World Turns
Day 84

Robyn was six, Christopher was four, and Kathryn was two, it was spring of 1994. We strolled in parks, delighted in picnics, camped along a pristine river, slurped popsicles, read many children's books, many Bible stories, attended church and more than likely had some beach days along the Atlantic. In my world there was nothing to think about but my children, my husband, organization of household matters and dreams of the future. Life was good.

However, between April and July of 1994, in another part of the world, there was a mom who watched her daughters being slaughtered and then thrown into a latrine, too down far for her to reach. All she could do was pray, PRAY. It seemed as if The Lord of the Flies stomped out of the book and into cold living hearts, for the Rwandan's world was disintegrating. Neighbors and friends were turning against one another. Rage was in their hands, in their mouth, and in their blood. All of this started three days after Easter.

During the spring and summer of 1994, while I was enjoying my spring flowers and taking my little ones to the local pool, 800,000 humans were being slaughtered and gunned down like hunted animals. I remained ignorant.

For the past 20 years, reconciliation replaces murder in Rwanda. An article in the New York Times will fill you with hope and challenge you to the very core.

Grace is offensive. Thousands of years ago a man died for the men who took the 800,000 lives. On the cross he bore their shame. On the cross he bore the victim's pain. On the cross he provided our gain. From the grave He rose and provided us life without stain.

Day 83: March 23, 2016 Dot to Dot

March 23, 2016  Dot to Dot
Day 83

Like a child, to connect the numbered dots on a page producing a picture would be so easy. Unfortunately, real life presents no organized pictures. Where are the dots let alone connect them?

However, we, who the Spirit has brought to life, were called to be followers. He knows where the dots are and He knows where they connect. We follow. He connects. Try not to get that out of order. Our pictures are terrible when we do.

All the original paintings and drawings in the world pale in light of the dot to dot pictures He creates in our very own lives. So, what's our problem? We tend not to be very good at following.

Rest. Let Him show you and then let Him connect. In the meantime, relax and dig into His word.

*how funny that posting daily is a dot I know.........and yet forgot to do yesterday......

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day 82: March 22, 2016 Troubled Heart

March 22, 2016 Troubled Heart
Day 82

Really, God? Do not let your hearts be troubled? Do you r- e- a- l- l- y understand, God? About twenty-six lives ended today in Brussels because of a  terrorist attack. ISIS is mowing down communities as if it is their job. Someone is being sexually assaulted as I type. Someone is being physically abused and no one, yet, knows about it. People you should trust are disappointing us right and left. Do not let your hearts be troubled? How so?

Shhhh....., He whispers to me... shhhh. His loving hands cup my face and turn my sad face to His son, the Lamb who took away the sins of the world. His spirit of love washes over me as He pulls me from the boiling, churning waves and asks me to look full on in His face. Do not let your heart be troubled is spoken to us in the midst of a storm.

Peace is established through a painful, sacrificial, atoning death on a shameful cross. His heart was troubled so that our hearts may not be troubled. The command, Do not let your hearts be troubled, is asking us to live in faith.

Yes, He knows about Brussels, about Paris, about Syria, about the family who began their refugee journey today. He knows. He grieves. But His Son opened the door to the throne room. And yes, He knows about the trouble we are in and He says to us, Do not let your hearts be troubled.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Day 81: March 21, 2016 The Verbs Say it All

March 21, 2016  The Verbs Say it All
Day 81

John chapters fourteen, fifteen, sixteen and seventeen do not include many action verbs in reference to us. Here is an abridged list - believe, know, ask, love, keep, live, realize, obey, let, remain, bear and on and on it goes. You should see the verbs in reference to the three persons of the Trinity! Talk about action, they have it all going on!

For the independent cuss this is quit the blow. Where's the strategizing? Where's the master plan we need to put in place? Where's the organizational skills rising to the forefront? These chapters sure indicate our neediness. And likewise these chapters spell out the good news! We can not come to the Father unless it is through Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Day 80: March 20, 2016 Nicene Creed

March 20, 2016 Nicene Creed
Day 80

Would you pray for me? Tomorrow, Monday, March 21, I will join hundreds of women around the world to study the Nicene Creed with IF:Equip. They are calling the study, I Believe. The IF:Equip team has asked one hundred and twenty five women to be commenters for their new Study and I am one of them.

My love of social media and the Word is being asked to come to the forefront. We each have been given a schedule to comment, talk, post pictures or display a video. Here is my posting schedule -Week 1 Day 3, Week 3 Day 3, Week 6 Day 3, Week 8 Day 3.

I went to day three in the study book that they sent all of us commenters in the mail. It is on the Trinity. Anyone who has spent a fair amount of time with me in the last six months knows I talk about nothing else. For the last four years our bible study has been entrenched in John. And for over the last four months we have been swimming in chapters fourteen, fifteen, sixteen and seventeen. I do not want to come up for air. I am trapped in the Trinity.

God knows how to connect the dots. He wants our skin in the game and He knows the plays. If you think of it, keep me in your prayers. There is a God and He is real.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Day 79: March 18 Letter to Jesus

March 18 Letter to Jesus
Day 79

Dear Jesus,

I love you. Thank you for all you did, are doing and will do for me. I hear many folks say different things about you, but I really feel your love when others do things, in your name, for me. Your love is warm and protective and it feels as if you want me to be blessed by how you meet my needs. I am blessed, Jesus. I love how you answer my prayers. I love how you answer prayers I never even utter.

Thank you Jesus for who you are.  I am so sad about all the problems you have. You have so many issues to deal with. I can not imagine the grief you bear. Please use me as you see fit.
I love you.

Good night and please help me to sleep tight,

Yours always and forever,

Day 78: March 18 for March 17 Life From Death

March 18 for March 17  Life From Death
Day 78

Yesterday night our family brought pizza to Grandpa Burkholder's home. We sat around his table and ate. The home has recently been graced by the likes of his daughter, Wanita. She has swept through the place with Dad's blessing and has made it sparkle. There is a peace and at the end of a busy week we enjoyed the calm. Dad reminded me this is what he and Elva had prayed for, peace in the home.

There was laughter, shenanigans and much talking. Elva filled a room, you knew she was there, you could hear her laughing. Death pulls the lens to the left or the right and brings perspective and clarity. When someone so present, so full of life, leaves the room it is felt and they are missed.  Dad's blessing over the meal was full of gratitude for life, "Thank you God that we are alive."

A small seed has been planted in the Burkholder and O'Donohue family and that seed represents life. Elva is gone but her death has sprung a desire within each of us for more connection, more family time, more life together. A risen Savior was in her life so that death can produce life.

Who knew? We do! We are alive and well.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Day 77: March 17, 2016 My Grandma

Nicky Sue - Elva's look alike
Following written by Nicole Suzanne -

March 17, 2016  My Grandma
Day 77

During my lunch, subway lunch (I get super excited about these specific meal times), I got a text from my mom saying that my grandma had been rushed to the hospital. It was out of the blue, yes, but not an uncommon occurrence. I tried not to think to much about it, but in all honesty I felt unsettled. When driving to my math class (#homeschooled) we were talking about how she'll most likely be fine. She's been through the ringer many a times. As I said, this wasn't uncommon. 

I arrived to my math teacher's house, looked at my text messages only to read the first sentence of a text from my mom to all of the children. I got as far as "Grandma is dying." She didn't beat around the bush there... Thanks mom. In that line though, I knew if I was going to make it through the next hour of math I had to put away the phone. I went through math class drinking lots of water (because the rim comes up just enough so that if I had any threatening tears it helped hide them). I knew if I said the words out loud I would loose it. Needless to say, in the car, I lost it.  

This is my first experience with death. I could not have asked for a better entry into this part of life. I got to say goodbye. She was surrounded in love in her last moments. We sang to her, we cried with one another, we mourned her passing, as well as celebrated her new reality - Heaven. In the days following family was ever present. I love Christmas for the fact that it is a whole day with just family. This was at least a solid week with family. I absolutely loved it. 

I am blessed. Yes, losing my grandmother was hard, and weird because emotions are just weird things. In this time though I (and my family) have been greatly loved and cared for. Rockville is on top of the food game, I love food. Also, sympathy baskets? They're the bomb. The the biggest blessing of all was the Sunday before she passed away. That Sunday evening around the dining room table my family and I watched Elva in such a free state. I had never seen my Grandma to be so hilarious before. Do you know that that little old lady once stabbed a groundhog with a pitch fork? The reason being, the groundhog had angered her. 

My last memories of this amazing woman are good ones, ones filled with laughter and family and all that good stuff. For that I am truly grateful. God is so good, even when you can't see it. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Day 76: March 16, 2016 No Place Like Home

March 16, 2016
Day 76

Nothing is familiar, routine no longer. Faces look different. Home is now gone. The backpack holds possessions. My bible is too big. No guarantees. There is no food security. Everything is gone. I would love to take something for granted but I lost all. My clothing looks the same. My feet are swollen. The medicine is gone. I will never call my home, home. 

I am a refugee. I was comfortable, not now. Do you think of me on cold nights, warm nights, foggy and dreary nights? Do your places of worship pray for me, think of me or look for me? I am here. The only thing different between you and me, I am displaced.

I hear you have food, clothing and help. I am naked, hungry, and sick.I need your help. I need you to look for me.

*I attended a seminar on Trauma Healing at the American Bible Society in Philadelphia...                               

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day 75: March 15, 2016 The Lake

March 15, 2016
Day 75  The Lake
Moose Pond Lake, Maine

Beside a lake is where I want to live. 
I love the stillness, the quiet, 
the rippling of the soft waves 
against the shore. 
The personality of the waves 
and the color of the water I love.
 Where I want to live is beside a lake. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 74: March 14, 2016 Heaven

March 14, 2016
Day 74  Heaven

There are rovers on mars. There have been men on the moon. But it is impossible to shuttle to heaven. Men know this, NASA has never planned one mission there, ever.

You and I can not venture to heaven. No one has been smart enough. It had nothing to do with intelligence. But everything to do with brilliance. And they killed Him.

Thankfully He came back to life. Or we would have been trapped on this planet, truly dust to dust.

John 14: Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day 73: March 13, 2016 Elva's Homecoming

March 13, 2016
Day 73  Elva's Homecoming

Reflecting on Elva's Homecoming begins here. 
Gene Smucker was a precious shepherd 
on March 2, 2016 when Elva's nine lives were 
all used up, or better, yet when God called her home.
Thank you, Gene, for 
your care, your deference to others, and your Jesus-love.

Family and Friends from Oregon, Nebraska, Indiana, 
Canada, Iowa, Florida, Georgia,Tennessee, 
Kentucky, Rhode Island, New York, 
Ohio and other places, came to Elva's funeral. 

She would have loved talking to everyone of you. 
Honestly, she would have talked 
about this for months. And all that you 
shared with her husband, 
her daughter, and her son, 
thank you. You all loved Elva.

The service lifted our eyes to the 
one who knows our days. 
The funeral of a saint is a 
glorious thing. But Elva's 
topped my favorites. It is now in first place.

Dad wanted the poem, "Think", 
by Robert E. Selle.
Geoffrey read it the way
his grandfather wanted him to,
as if he were speaking.
Her grandson, Chris, led worship. 
Oh, Elva would have loved this.
Thank you Katie for helping with the worship.

Elva's six grandsons were her pall bearers. 
Grand men, they did a fine job.
They loved their grandmother 
who laughed freely.

The finality of the graveyard is sobering. 
Sitting in the front row beside the hole 
reminded me of the disciples' sorrow after their 
beloved friend had been crucified. 
Words became clear to them -three days, 
three days, they scrambled to put two 
and two together or three and three. 
To think of the empty grave! 
What joy! What hope!

Food - what is it about food that 
brings people to a different place, 
a place of comfort? The Rockville Church women and men 
blessed us by providing a wonderful meal
after the grave. 

Hope was flamed by the fellowship.
Elva's family, the Kauffmans, and her wonderful in-law family, 
the Burkholders, were all in the same room. Worlds coming together - one big combined reunion. No Mennonite game needed here, they all knew how they were connected. And talk about the connections. So wonderful.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Day 72: March 12, 2016 Elva

March 12, 2016
Day 72 Elva

I hear the call. Like a whisper from a friend. Soft but definite. It is familiar but recently it asks me to leave my home. Should I follow? Do I trust him? Is he good? Of course he is, we have never been apart. We have run in the fields and roller skated through the barn together. He has always comforted me when I hurt myself or take verbal beatings from short fused men. He has always whispered to me. I know his goodness full well. There is no fear in him, love leaves no room for it. He is the one who now calls me to follow. North he whispers and north I will go. I am but a young woman with no husband. What have you for me in the north my friend? I do not know but I will follow. Lead the way.

She loved the color pink. She loved her siblings and spoke with them often. She loved her husband and children. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved to ride bike. She loved to read, write and pray. She loved her neighbors. She loved birds. She loved sweet things. She loved TV. She loved the life she'd been given. She loved well.

Note: Christopher Burkholder - Elva's dear grandson wrote this last night while his mother sat sleeping beside him. I love this boy!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Day 71: March 10, 2016 Spiritual Warfare in One Word

March 10, 2016
Day 71 Spiritual Warfare in One Word

Spiritual warfare is wrapped up into one word- BELIEVE. You thought it was yelling at the enemy to be cast into hell, it might be, but it is more powerful than that. It is believing. Spiritual warfare is believing that the Trinity is who they are. God is God. The Son is God. And the Spirit is God’s spirit. 

Believe. This is the work. If you are going to do anything, this is it - believe. Believe in God and believe also in Jesus. Believe that Jesus is in God and that God is in Jesus. 

Believe is the work you have been called to do, to accomplish, because of what has been done. Do not let your heart be troubled, believe. Do not let these words swim in your mind like common, constant friends taking them for granted. Think deeply about these words, meditate on them. I do not care what spiritual practice you yank from antiquity - just start yanking and get to work. You could make up a spiritual practice for yourself, just do it. And do it quick - it imperative. Believe! Why? Because He is real and He cares for YOU!

Believing is the hard word. This is the digging of the soil that brings sweat, blood, and tears. This is pushing past all circumstances that trouble your heart - spiritual forces of darkness that deceive you into believing that something is wrong but it has nothing to do with spiritual forces. You must believe pushing past the consequences you have stockpiled by infamously bad decisions. You must believe past troubling circumstances that add up to no money, no reputation, no future.

Believe in the God who accomplishes the I M P O S S I B L E! Just do it.

When we are troubled we begin to f i g u r e  it out. What a complete waste of daylight! Rest looks like sitting and doing the hard work - believing. That soft comfy chair is a perfect place to plop and get to work. That hard floor where your knees are bent is also a perfect place. You choose. But what you do in the place is the same for everyone- believe.

Believe that the work has been done. Believe that where He is, you will be also. Believe that He is good - ALL THE TIME. Believe that He created you for a purpose ONLY He designed. Believe that He works out our stinking Land Mine for good. Believe that the reason there are still seasons is because He designed it that way. Believe that He is the creator God whether through evolution, intelligent design, the big bang, or a seven day creation. Believe.

He can do what He wants to do. He did what He wanted to do. Now, you must believe He can do, He did do, and He will do. This is the work of God. This is the work you were called to - belief in the Triune God.

Spiritual warfare distilled, wrapped up into one simple, arduous task, is - BELIEVE. Trust me - this is not for the fainthearted. This is not for the intellectual. This is not for the one in high position. This is for the one He called out of class, hovered over and tapped on the shoulder. This is for the one who heard Him say, "Come follow me." Now this is true work, real work, the work that matters, spiritual warfare on steroids - BELIEVE. Don't let your heart be troubled.

Get to work before daylights gone and we wanna go home! BELIEVE in God and BELIEVE in Jesus.  
(John 14 - and while you are there dig deep into 15, 16, and 17!)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Day 70: March 9, 2016 Life is Short

The ark, the ark that David built. 
The ark that David built that baby Lynn rode.
 The ark that David built that 
baby Lynn rode while Elva walked behind.

The traveling this family did is consistent with 
a missionarie's life.

The revered chocolate covered Ritz crackers 
that are made every Christmas. Mom and Dad did some this
Christmas, at least I think. And 
Wanita's family usually always does them, I think....

Elva had a classic look. 
There was something 
very Roman about her.

The love this lady had for children
was comforting to many a one.

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Me. 
I can hear the melody. The amount 
of children's songs she knew...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Day 69: March 8, 2016 Body

March 8, 2016
Day 69 Body 

Over the past week we have been fed many meals by the members of Rockville Mennonite Church. This is coming after the death of my grandmother, Elva, who attended Rockville as well as her husband David. The meals have been large enough to feed 15-20 people; the preparers have served us and then stuck around to clean up as well. It feels like we're living in some sort of luxury hotel for the time being. This love that these people have shown us is common in the body of Christ for those who take His teachings seriously. It is a natural response just like a biological body sends out help to the wounded parts of the body naturally until it is restored. We are thankful for the body of Christ, the church, of which Christ is the head. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Day 68: March 8, 2016 History Lesson

March 8, 2016
Day 68  History Lesson

Today, life is to be fully lived in the 
present with an eye to the future. 
Moments were captured that no one in 
these pictures may return to, no one. 
Did they look to the future and understand the need to enjoy
their moment?

 This little guy understood the term minority. 
He sang regardless.

The David and Elva duo loved and respected little people. 
Training them was what they were 
all about. They never spoke disparaging words
in front of little ones for fear of what they might 

These two lived an international life. 
They had places to go and people to see.
They are some of the most intelligent individuals 
I know.

David and Elva understood work.
They rested in Jesus and 
yet worked hard. The little one had to 
do his share as well. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Day 67: March 7, 2016 Elva is Something

March 7, 2016  Elva is Something
Day 67

Life in Northeastern Ontario meant more flights than not. 
LOOK at that beautiful vista! Lynn was in
a plane before he was ever in a car.

David and Elva's Home at Pikangikum.
Their priorities were focused on people's destinies.

The Northern Light Gospel Mission was the first name of the 
Mission group they were with in Canada.

Lynn and his brave momma.
The coat, the gloves, the scarf - what a lady.

Lynn's father could be seen pulling 
the ark he made for his son, Lynn.
Elva and David would cross the frozen
lake to go to church. 

I can tell who is who, some of the time,
 because of the copious amounts
of pictures I have perused from 
1985 till 2016. Elva loved pictures.

 So, here I go from left to right as couples;
Susan and Irwing Shantz, Lilly and Johnny Stoltzfus, 
Elva and David Burkholder,
Mary Jane and Henry Hostetler and their daughter

I know that Mom and Dad are in the middle. :) 
Their lives were well spent. May Dad enjoy the rest of his days here on 
planet earth. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Day 66: March 6, 2016 Vibrant Elva

March 6, 2016
Day 66  Vibrant Elva

Elva was a maverick.
She lived far from home at a young age.

Elva loved adventures. 
She had to, she loved God.

Elva loved children. 
She served them well.

Elva adored her children.
She knew how to play.

Elva loved her grandchildren. 
This was her first, Robyn.