Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Happy Birthday David O. Burkholder - 90 is Impressive - September 27, 2017

To know David O. Burkholder is my distinct privilege. He is and has been my father in law since August 2, 1986. Today he turns 90 and I am so thankful for the thirty two years I have known him.  If I would have known what I know today about being Lynn Burkholder's wife and all that it means - I would have been entirely too impatient up until the time I met the man Lynn! And to think of missing all that I have enjoyed being married to Lynn - I shudder. I can not even. Just stop!

To have missionary in laws is a gift that continues to give into my life equally pouring over into my children's lives as well. My soul is content. The prayers that Dad and my mother in law have prayed for us - we tangibly see today. The stories between the two of them - GOLD. My mother in law has journeyed on beyond, she has left the planet a little earlier than the rest of us. So today I sit alone with my father in law soaking in his stories, his cherished stories. 

My father in law so loves His heavenly Father. I feel it, I see it and I am thankful for his relationship with Our Father who is in heaven! All of His stories swirl around either God's goodness and mercy or the adventures he has had spreading the gospel.

One Saturday ago, as clouds are piling on top of one another, my father in law and I are unaware of the storm brewing outside the kitchen window. We are processing one of the many adventures in his life- a time when he and his sister, his future brother in law - Johnny and another friend are called to go and share the gospel. And on that Saturday, he sits in a chair, calm, composed, and patient, while I retype the story he wrote many years ago.  He is a such a good story teller - I am freezing, cringing, squirming and hoping I make it out alive. He's good.

David, my father in law, is young, he is brave, and he and his four gospel-driven friends are simply not thinking as they head to a reservation with little to nothing on their backs except one pack-sack between them. I am imagining angels debating amongst themselves whether they should just show up in bodily form and shove them back to safety. The four cross a frozen body of water and had they been familiar with these parts they would have known there is real danger underneath their feet. Typically, this spot does not freeze due to the current. But their guide, familiar with these parts, has left them. No one is there to warn them of the danger. They are on their own.

Today, the man, some seventy years later, relives his story as if it was yesterday. He recalls the exhaustion, his legs bone tired and extremely sore. He has his theories as to why that is. He also has his theories as to why the guide left, all of which he shares with me but desires it not to find its way to print. I try to persuade him otherwise but I know the point at which I must relent. This is his story.

Today he turns 90. He lives supported by His Heavenly Father who has graciously allowed Him to see His hand provide. Dad Burkholder is a man of prayer and you can hear him audibly calling out to God in his home. He completely depends on Him.

He and I have much to accomplish with the book he is writing. I am selfishly asking for continued longevity along with good health so that we can finish this task. The effort is made easy due to all that he has written since the 50's. In essence we are collectors and gatherers of his written material. This is a privilege.

Happy Birthday Dad and thank you for your warm welcome you gave to me many moons ago. To watch you and your wife always put the LORD before earthly possessions or pursuits has been the best sermon a daughter in law could ever ask for.

My birthday wish for you is that while you are still on the planet you can witness a remarkable shift in the atmosphere at Pikangikum. God is a good finisher and He has heard your prayers. I just desire for you to see them answered.  May your faith increase to new levels going beyond what you can even imagine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Father's Heart Curriculum - September 15, 2017

The Father has tunnel vision for you!

The privilege of writing this year's Children's Church Curriculum along with a woman I just met this summer, is all mine. The woman, Melissa Lake, is a gift to me. I fire hydrant ideas and she puts them into well ordered streams. My ideas do not stop and sometimes that's just painful for the listener. But not her. She tames the wild as we discuss mammoth amounts of topics swirling around the theme - the Father's Heart. We are calling it God, My Good Father.

I change my ideas and she nods her head and guides me gently back to the land of reason. Visually, I lack the knack to make lessons look sensible or orderly. But she knows and makes random look orderly. She condenses me into good sense. Melissa develops curriculum for her vocation and clearly this not only is her skill but also an incredible talent. There is only one other person I know of with enough patience to do this for me, my daughter Robyn.

The time Melissa and I spend working on this is true church. The Holy Spirit downloaded seven, we call, tent pegs that each child will learn this year about the Father's Heart. He has so lovingly guided and directed our time together.

Here is the Tent Peg Chant I created to be chanted to the beat of Uptown Funk:

What does my Father provide? He provides a place for me! Why does He provide a place? Oh because He loves me so!
What does the Father long for? He longs to be with me! Why does He long to be with me? Oh because He cherishes me!
What does the Father desire? He desires for me to love him back! Why does He desire my love? Oh because He delights in me!
Who does the Father protect? Who does He discipline? He protects and disciplines me! Why? Because He cares for me!
What does the Father promise? He promises to rescue me! Why does He promise to rescue me? Oh because He wants me!
Who does the Father save? My Father saves you and me. How does He save us both? He saves us through His only son! And because He first loved us.
Who does the Father call to rest? He calls me to rest! Why does He call me to rest? Oh because He works for me!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gazebo Love - September 12, 2017

Tuesdays are full on Gazebo duty. I am wide awake at 5:30 am - I lie - brewing excellent pots of coffee - I speak truth - turning on Gazebo lights and putting up the OPEN flag. I love it. Meeting you every morning on your way to school, to work, to babysit, to clean, to teach, to bank, to finance, to waiter, to counsel, to submit proposals, to pick up cars, to do your horse thing, to drive an hour out of your way for coffee, is my pleasure and most definitely my privilege. I appreciate you. In fact, I am living my dream - with you.

Some days you come in dragging and let me in on why. Some days you come in brimming over with good news and you share it with me. Some days you come in with your new baby to introduce. You will never know how much that means to us! I am your coffee lady, we are your coffee sustenance, but some of you have crossed over into fields of friendship. You high school students, submitting a mural painting of an oversized Twin Valley Toddy - do you know how much that blesses us??!! We really hope you win!

Our family calls Gazebo time a love fest. Everyone is happy to be swirling around the universal catalyst for conversation. My heart swells with excitement over all the connections I have made and have facilitated in this little piece of property. The networking, the reunions, the introductions, it is more than I ever dreamed or imagined.

Today, you came in with mixed emotions. Your three sons entered the halls of education and of course Mrs. Albright is the perfect kindergarten teacher for these rambunctious little boys. But this is a big deal, a really big deal and it makes sense why this is so bittersweet. You entered a new phase and you definitely needed Toddys. And to be introduced to the newest member of the Frisco family - does it get any better? Welcome Lila, welcome. You might be the pinkest baby I have ever seen.

I love Gazebo time and tomorrow morning I look forward to another fest.