Thursday, December 24, 2009

Free indeed

Ah, so many things have happened in the last couple of weeks. Good things I tell you, good things! Yes, the computer crashed not once, but twice. First time we restored it but this time it is taking more of a break. Funny thing is that it happened when I was installing updates and running a virus there anything to that?
Anyway, the Lord did once again what only the Lord can do. He went above and beyond all that we can even try to consider in our feeble minds.
I woke up the other morning thinking about how freeing it is to be able to pay some of our bills and started thinking about how it is even more freeing to be set free from the penalty of our sin! It really amazed me once again. He whom the Son has set free is free indeed. There is a joy, an overwhelming joy when we are free. Free from bondage, free from the heaviness of the world and all it pours upon us each day. Having the weight lifted is freeing! Have you seen those pictures where someone's arms are lifted up in the air, legs are jumping...well, mine don't jump anymore, but I can lift my arms up in joy, excitement, an exhilarating sense about everything because I have been set free. God is so good! He sets us free from our sin, the hold it has/had upon our lives. He constantly reminds us of His great love for us. I often find myself sitting back and wondering why. Why Lord have you chosen us, chosen us as Your vessels, chosen to bless us as you do, chosen to love us as you do. The though overwhelms me at times.
Our Heavenly Father loves us so much. Just as we love to give to others, God loves to give to His children.
What peace there is in knowing Him, what joy there is in serving Him, what freedom there is in following Him.
If I don't get back here by tomorrow I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you ponder the verse we all know so well. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. Read it like it was the very first time you read it and consider such a love!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Did you notice the festive looking blog? I thought it would be fun to create something a bit more seasonal from time to time. Hopefully this won't be up until Easter like this LOL
I feel like crying today, actually, I am crying on the inside and it's trying to come out but I won't let it.
Maybe it's because what I am so sad about isn't anything earth shattering and some might say it is just materialistic. Yes, it is materialistic in some ways, but I am sad because of the memories and what I wanted to do for my daughter. Marla is coming a week from today and I am so beyond thrilled to have her to myself for 3 weeks (ok, Jim can share her too) I asked her a few weeks ago if she wanted to help decorate for Christmas or if I should just do it and have it ready when she arrives. She opted for me to have it already finished when she arrives since it will be so close to Christmas when she gets here. I wanted everything to be just right. All the decorations we have had for years and years and years. My Christmas villages that we would put out, fake snow, the pointsettias, garland, lights, etc. All these things I wanted to share once again with her. It's really hard for her to be in the states without us for the holidays. No home to really enjoy as her own, no familiar decorations, no stocking with her name on it. I can't tell you how excited I was to start decorating.
Well, when we moved to Italy we could only fit so much in the truck/car, so Jim when Jim would go to Hungary he would bring more things back home with him. Last year, he didn't go around Christmas so I had no decorations. This year, he purposely set out to get the decorations so we could have them for this year. Well, he came home and they weren't with him. Only a few things that were in one container. Noone can find the other boxes of stuff. It is things that wouldn't mean anything to anyone else. The villages weren't expensive, they were bought with coupons and after Christmas sales, take 50% off the sale price, etc. That is how I shopped! My ornaments were mostly home made by friends who came to the ornament parties I used to have. Years of collected things just disappear. I can only pray that somewhere in a dark corner of some obscure place they are sitting there, all tucked away waiting for me to find them once again.
It doesn't matter in the long run I know. But right now, it matters to me.
Please pray we can find them one of these days...along with some other special things that are missing!
Sorry for the downer, but it's just one of those days!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It seems like every time I come to write here the same thing happens...I want to write..."Sorry haven't been here in a while but been busy". Life just gets that way at times. For a few weeks now it has been my intention to update the blog but everything else ends up happening and by the time I go to sit and write I am too tired!!
A few weeks ago, Jim went to Hungary. Our car is registered there and all the dues and inspections were due the end of October so he had to make a trip there. It was a good trip for him. God miraculously provided everything we needed to pay for the trip and the car costs. It was truly amazing! he also got to spend time with Chicco who is the new pastor in Baja now and people from the congregation.
While he was gone, I started listening to a series in Revelation by Damian Kyle. (CC Modesto). It was great-I just finished it the other day. With no car and no money I wasn't going anywhere so it was a neat time of being alone with the Lord and being reminded that Jesus is coming, this world is going to pass away and we are going to be forever with our King! I was challenged in the areas of being lukewarm in my walk and also remembering my first love! Wow, I do encourage you to listen to those messages if you can. They do what the Holy Spirit intends them to our hearts!

It was interesting because while Jim was gone, we didn't know which day he would return. He was thinking maybe Wed, maybe Thurs. He had to be back in Padova because he teaches on Friday afternoons. There were some things I needed to accomplish while he was gone. Stuff like cleaning and organizing a couple of the rooms. A couple of the students were coming on Friday so that is always a great motivation to clean :) Anyway, I found myself waiting til the last possible minute to do anything productive in the area of housework!! Please tell me you understand lol!! I texted Jim and asked him "when is it you are coming home" Early in the am I asked him and when I found out he couldn't leave til the afternoon, I was thinking, oh cool, I don't have to do anything just yet because it will be atleast 6 hours before he gets home! Procrastination!! It is something I am gifted in (only in certain things that seem boring) lol!

During this time, the Lord began to show me about His return! Anticipating when He is going to come back. Wow, it's not like we can text the Lord and say "When do you think you will be back" and then, put off certain things because we know we still have time left. Hit me kind of like bricks.
What are the things I am putting off, waiting til the last possible moment that the Lord wants me to do? Who are the people I am to go to, to minister to, to evangelize, before Jesus comes back? What a word of encouragement and one such a reminder to be about His business! Being ready! Jesus said to 'be occupied until I come'. Occupied with the things of Him! I don't want to think I have all the time left in the world to do the things He has called me to do. I want to be found faithful! Be found about my Father's business.
Take a look around...JESUS IS COMING SOON!!!!!

One of my projects is the garage. O please help me!!!!!!! This is a project that to look at, it seems impossible. To look at my wallet, seems even more impossible! It needs an overhaul. Right now, we have our washer upstairs in Jim's bathroom. This is very common in Europe so it's not a big deal. I don't want it there though. I want it down in the garage. We have the water lines or whatever you call it down there so it can be hooked up. Unfortunately, there are piles and piles of boxes and papers and this and that all over so you can't even see the faucets where we would hook it up. Part of the problem is that we don't have a church building that we rent for everyday so we have no place to store all the church related things. The other thing is my husband is a pack rat. He collects receipts, he has receipts that date back longer than any of us have been alive...ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point! He ran his own business for years so he is accustomed to receipts. IT is a constant battle between us...I go to the you have the receipt from a couple weeks ago when you got that head of, no Jim, I don't. Every once in a while, I clean out my purse and in there I find a treasure chest for him. A whole bunch of receipts with gum pieces stuck on them, corners ripped and a few undecipherable items stained on them. You can barely read the name, date or amount, but he is thrilled none the less to add these to his collection! So, needless to say, there are boxes and boxes and more boxes of receipts in my garage!
Organization!! I look at it this way. Tell me if I am wrong (well don't really) LOL but if you have a pretty place to work in the work load can't be that bad right! I need a pretty laundry area. Laundry and ironing are major things over here in Italy. How can I possibly fit in if I don't have the proper set up!!!! They don't iron with irons we are used to here. They use those only for touch up! Touch up is what I call, "well it looks good to me, why touch it!" They use these professional steam irons!

I have one of these on my wish list. If it makes ironing easier, then I am all for it!
We have an accumulation of wood pieces that would work nicely as a laundry station once put together. It is just the 'putting together' part that I await. I looked online for some ideas. Wow, who would have known you could get so excited about doing laundry with all there is out there on the internet! After all the searching, I came up with something simple that looks pretty and would work in my garage. I am asking for this are for Christmas...which Christmas,,,well, being that Jim is Italian, we just don't know the answer to that yet. I shudder to think what would happen if I become impatient and put an electrical screwgun and all those other power tools in my hand to do it myself. Oh, that might be an idea. I do that sometimes. I get the things out and act like I am going to do it and then Jim gets a look at me, gives me one of those looks and goes about doing it himself!!!
Here are some pretty setups I found:

The first one is the one I would probably go for. It is simple and yet functional. Something very doable for our garage. I like the one with all the cupboards but it is so narrow. Actually, now that I look at all three, a combo of them would be good. A laundry sink would be nice, a place to put the dryer, even though we don't use it (too costly) but it would be nice to use it to take away the scratchy towel feeling.
Did I really write up this whole post on laundry...oh well, I don't get to Lowe's or Home Depot so you have to bear with me.!!
...surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!! Revelation 22:20

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Woe is me

Sounds like a title ready to include a bunch of pity party chit chat huh! Don't worry, it's not, well, atleast I don't think it is :) Sometimes it is hard to put down in words what is going on. There are those things the Lord takes you on as part of our journey with Him and it's not always the route we thought we were taking. I have been reflecting on some things of the past and I found myself starting to play judge and jury. I think it's something I am too good at and the Lord has chosen this time to bring it to the surface and deal with it. Although the journey continues, the Lord is so faithful to bring me through each step of the way. It's very easy for me to get caught up in things and people and allow it to get me down. It's not even like you have to go looking for the problems. My heart gets so heavy at times and I all too often found myself in conversation with the Lord telling Him how He needs to fix it, fix them, fix it all to my liking. For the past year, the Lord allowed me to speak freely like that to Him, replaying my hurts, my pain, my frustration, etc. I wanted closure on some things and it didn't seem like it was ever going to happen. Lately, He has decided enough is enough. Don't you just love when that happens?!! Slowly and ever so gently, He started to put my focus on me and my life. I started listening to some great worship music about seeing Jesus face to face one day and of course would weep at the thought. (one of the songs is the one listed below in my last post) That's how it all began. Seeing Him, seeing me. He kept reminding me of Isaiah and chapter 5 where Isaiah is speaking out the 'woes' to those around him. He was right, he was speaking truth. But, we all know in chapter 6 what happens, Isaiah sees a vision of the Lord on the throne with the angels singing out. Isaiah quickly realizes who he is v5 'Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips For my eyes have seen the King The Lord of Hosts' Isaiah's seeing this vision in the midst of all the woes he is crying out to others and suddenly sees himself. We all know this, we have heard teachings on it, but it really became real to me, it continues to become real to me. God is not allowing me to have the usual talks with Him right now about this one or that one. He is quickly, and I am ever so thankful for that quickly, returning my thoughts to me and Him. Me standing before Him, me seeing Him face to face. Realizing how great a salvation I have and what have I ever done to deserve such a gift-nothing. I am undone! He sees the pains we go through, the hurts, even unfairnesses. That's for Him to deal with, not me. My eyes need to be refocused. My heart needs to be refocused. I am so thankful that the Lord is patient and kind. He always answers our prayer to draw nearer to Him. Often that pray is answered in the way we wouldn't choose at first, but when we see Him, when we see who our God really is, then we welcome His correction, His mercy, His love all the more. He doesn't want us to stay where we are-He desire that we grow continuously. I pray that all of us will always hear His still small voice-whatever it is that He has decided it's time for in your life-let Him. Our God doesn't just barge in, He knocks and waits for us to invite Him in to talk. You know how when you have teen daughters and they are going through what they go through at that age. You let them talk and say what they say for a time, they usually proceed to their room, closing the door behind them and lay on the bed sobbing about how unfair life is. I think that can be me at times. A Christian teenager. But you know how also, we moms will knock on their bedroom door and (hopefully) they will answer and let us in. (that's the difference between us and the Lord-sometimes I would just barge lol) We gently start to redirect their thinking, bringing them back to what is real, what is important, what matters.
"O praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Must listen

Ha ha, I know, I know, I sound like a Mom....listen to me child! No, but seriously, you have to listen to this song. It is awesome. I LOVE the words. So filled with hope and truth! How can we not be filled with anticipation of seeing our Jesus after listening to this!

Last night I kept waking up thinking about a bride walking down the aisle waiting to be joined to her bridegroom. I don't see it so much nowadays, but in the past the bride wore a veil and when her father presented her to her groom the veil was lifted. There is a line in the song from 2 Cor 3:18..But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,...ok...can you just imagine the veil being lifted and our eyes open and we just see Jesus face to face...I can't imagine us not falling down...worshipping Him..(Yes, someone wrote a song about it...) but anyway, it is just too much to think about this happening.
We always talk about seeing Him one day but wow, to be able to actually look into His eyes. You know how at a wedding when the dad takes his daughter by the arm and gives her to the Jesus going to take us by our hand and then present us ...I wonder how it will be. I can't wait to see Him!
I have tons of pictures...was in vineyard country for 5 days in France...they were harvesting..I have a retreat in my heart from all this :)

Ok-I am off to Venice with my Mom. It's been fun and I have been blessed with her paying for me to travel about with her to see where her grandparents came from. Pictures and stories to follow.
Soon and very soon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Ready

It's almost like I am preparing to go back to school. Sometimes it feels like though the new year begins in January, for many of us we talk about September as being our new year. Women's bible studies usually start again, along with many other ministries, kids go back to school, etc.
For me, our summer missions conference is a perfect time of the year. It is a place to go and be refreshed in the Word, be reminded Who we are serving, taking time out to pray and ask the Lord for direction, fresh vision and even just take the year we had and bring it all before the Lord...sort of like bringing the dross to the surface. It's great also because we meet up with friends who are serving in different countries and we haven't seen them since the last conference. It's great to catch up and hear what the Lord's been doing in their lives, their churches, etc. It's also good because as people bare their hearts and share their struggles we are reminded that we are not alone in the battle. It's also great to meet new friends. I was so blessed this year to meet some really neat ladies and get to know some even better! It really was a blast!
The teachings we had were great! I love how the Lord just puts it altogether. He knows what we need to hear and what is going to encourage us in the coming year.
I love what was shared in one of the women's sessions by Inga-Lil...For every situation, every struggle, every everything, He needs to be enough! How I wept when I first heard that song by Chris Tomlin. "Enough" It's good to have the quiet time with the Lord and see that He really is enough. No matter what is going on in my life, struggles, challenges, finances, other's my Lord enough? Is Jesus my everything!
We start language school next month. I am pretty excited and yet a bit nervous. I have these thoughts about being the best student. Haha...I really do though. I am so praying for a supernatural gift for Jim and I to grasp the language and speak fluently to people! Pray with me for this gift!!! There is an older lady on my street who always say hi to me when I am walking to the store. She is so sweet and today she invited me for something to eat. We were having friends over for lunch so I couldn't go today but hopefully soon. This is why I want so much to learn to speak Italian. I don't want to speak it much better it will be to speak to this lady in her language! Well, the ole arm is about ready to give out on me. It's my right hand and wrist so I can't write/type too much. Guess I have to talk more LOL. Have a blessed day in the Lord! He is our refuge and strength! Our very present help in times of trouble!
*You can click on this to see it larger if you want *
oops I noticed I have one too many "the"s but I don't feel like fixing it :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's gonna have to wait

Well the ole blog (not me) is being a little rough around the edges tonight and therefore all the wonderful stuff I was gonna bring you will just have to wait til tomorrow.
Oh and is it sort of pathetic that I tried so hard to take a picture of my swollen and bruised arm/wrist/hand for you? What good is it if your friends can't pity you and ooh and ahh in harmony!!! It must be that it's my right hand and I can't hold the camera steady with the left and I dare not ask Jim to take a picture of it lest he think I have completely lost my mind....I think he's already wondering after the fall!
Oh well, I am sure to write tomorrow...or so I have the best intentions on doing so.
Conference was wonderful...still soaking it all in and seeing how it all fits into my life.

Til tomorrow my friends..............

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Heading out...

We are heading out to the Missions Conf in Austria today. It's my favorite time-a week filled with amazing bible studies, great fellowship, great food, worshiping the Lord!!!
I don't know who the speakers are this year. Usually we find out ahead of time, but I just can't remember who they are. I am sure it will be a blessing whoever ends up teaching.
A few weeks ago I was reading John 4. What is it that you usually think of when you read John 4? We know it is about the Samaritan woman-the woman at the well with different husbands and even a guy she's not married to at the moment. The great teaching by Jesus on living could we not be encouraged through His teaching!
Once again, I found myself amazed at His Word! Amazed that each time we read it, the Holy Spirit ministers to us in a place we hadn't thought of before. This time it was v4 that had me journaling away.
It's a verse all to itself. One little verse, one small sentence amongst some incredible dialogue. A little snippet at the begining of a chapter where Jesus would teach us the importance of how we are to worship Him.
He needed to go through Samaria. What was it that was so important? Why would He choose Samaria...a place that was off limits to the Jewish people. Who was He to meet? Perhaps if we didn't know the rest of the chapter we might think there were some pretty important people waiting to see Him. Perhaps there was a huge crowd of people awaiting His presence and they didn't even know it. Some big hoopla going on in the town and Jesus could go and preach and reach a whole bunch of people at one time.
Once we are familiar with the story, we realize there were no important people, no big crowd, none of that. There was only ONE woman at the well. She was just doing business as usual. To her it was just another day. But this day, Jesus Christ had need to be there.
This ministers to my heart so much. Being in Baja for 7 years in a small city, one that wasn't among the places people were standing in line to come to, makes me appreciate my Savior so much more. We often hear of so many wonderful events, churches that are doing this and that, having this guest and that guest, putting on concerts, plays, you name it, they are able to do it. One outreach team after another is just waiting to be invited to go and minister in these fun places. People want to go where it is exciting, where there already is a lot of action so they can be a part of it. There's nothing wrong with that at all. It is difficult to be on the other side. In the small place where maybe things aren't so exciting, the budget is whatever you have in your pocket at the moment and your email inbox isn't flooded with curious people wanting to know when they can come and help out in your church or when they can bring a team to your city.
But, Jesus had need! I love that it doesn't say that "and on the way to where He was going, He stopped off at Samaria for a drink of water". He begins the chapter with the fact that He had need to go to Samaria. Jesus is God! He knew there would only be one woman at the well and yet He had need to go meet her. He had need to meet and minister to this one person. He could have spoken those same words to a crowd of people but He chose to first say them to her. This really is awesome!
What do we think about ministering just to the one? If we have a bible study and only one shows up, do we cancel? I remember in Baja that exact thing happened. I was doing a summer study with the teen girls-A Young Woman After God's Heart- and this particular evening none of the girls showed up except Marla. After waiting a bit to see if the others would show up we came to the conclusion it was just us. Marla was ready to go home since "noone" was there. But, the Lord showed me that Marla was there-she was one and she was important. Yes, we had the bible study. Of course at the time, she probably wasn't thrilled since all my attention was on her :) But, I think it was important that she knew she was important. This type of thing happened many times in the 7 years I was in Baja. Women's study and maybe only one other girl and I would be there and we were both so wanting to just cancel and go home because we were tired but it always ended up that we were so blessed by the time we had to spend together.
Many times people wanted to start some home group or venture off into a neighboring village or city and would talk to Jim about it. It's one of the main things he shared with them-if you start it you must stay with it. Too many people quit because it didn't meet their expectation. I remember Jim always saying that you have to be willing to show up faithfully even if one person is there. Too many aren't willing to do that. They want great results. After all, in the book of Acts, God added to the church daily and so many people got saved....doesn't happen like that all the time.
We may never know until Heaven what impact ministering to the one had. Remember this woman went back to her neighborhood and told them all!
A crowd is wonderful, but it's not the only way. Having the pews filled in the church only mean something if the people in them are taking what they hear and learn and apply it and faithfully walk in the things they are being taught. Face it, there are all kinds of churches filled to overflowing with people. Does that mean they are more successful or better than the church that has more seats than people? Absolutely not!
What refreshment God's Word brings to us. I love how we are encouraged by it. I love how Jesus makes sure that we see different types of ministry-we see the crowds-crowds to the point He wants to get away so He can have some quiet time....but He allows us to see the one. He shows us that both are good and both are so important to Him.
Do you have need to go to the one today?

Monday, August 3, 2009

This and that

Today my house is going through a weird experience....there is noone here except Jim and I!'s the strangest feeling. We have had company pretty much since the end of April give or take a couple of days-enough time to wash the sheets, hang them out to dry and remake the beds! It's great though-we do enjoy sharing the joy of Italy and the work the Lord is doing with those we know and love!
I am still praying for a B&B although I think it would probably be a BL&D :)
Jim has been busy the past couple weeks. The Castle in Austria needed help in the kitchen so he is helping there a few days a week. It's great for him because he loves to cook! Hopefully by the time he gets finished he will want a little break from the kitchen and I can have mine back. It's great having a husband who loves to cook and serve, but I do miss planning my meals. Every now and then I have to give him the "Hey, I want to have my kitchen back" Oh the trials I must endure!!!
Speaking of trials, I went through a tough one this past month. Ok, well, comparatively speaking it's not a trial. In all honesty, it's not even close to a trial....but please sympathize with me...just a little ok. Well, here it is....I never thought in a gazillion years I would have had to do this but I did. I put it off for months, but the pain and the suffering was too much and I finally succumbed to my husband's request to put my pride aside and just take the plunge. I went, dragging myself behind him, afraid to open the door, but finally went in. At first I was ok, but then I had a few tears in my eyes as I handed my precious possession over to the lady because I............................deep breath now................................................................

Yep, after 21 years of marriage I had to do what I never dreamed I would have to do...but after not being able to wear my ring in the summer because my fingers swell up so badly I had to take drastic steps and go for it. And yes, I actually did cry. I know, I am such a baby but it was sort of psychological for me...anyway, I should be able to pick it up this week. Had to wait til pay day and it has arrived so I will get my re-sized ring back on my re-sized finger in a matter of days.

Another accomplishment has been made by me in the past couple weeks. Yes, dear friends, I am just mastering all types of things now that I am in Italy. Well, this one is a fun that had me laughing even though noone was around to join in. As you know, Rob and Denise bought a bike for me. I am determined to ride it as often as possible-skipping the walks to the store in favor of a bike ride. Riding along, waving to passerbyers, shouting a "ciao" here and there, a "buon giornio" or two, perhaps even a "buona sera" in the late afternoon. The other day I needed to go to the supermarket and rather than getting changed I decided to venture out and be as the Italians. Perhaps you have seen the movies where the Italian beauties ride along so elegantly on their bicycles....well what was I wearing you ask.......don't freak...........

It was quite the accomplishment if I may say so myself! I was cracking up as I tried to steer, keep the packages in my twisted basket, and hold my skirt down at the same time. Quite the picture!

August is a pretty slow month in Italy. The Italians go on holiday during the month and it is like a ghost town here. The beaches are crowded but the rest of the places are pretty mild! It is so strange not to hear a lot of noise around me! I kind of miss it!We start school in Sept. The town near us is offering Italian classes from Sept to June for only 24 euros. You can't beat that price! We may have to miss a couple classes here and there, but I am so excited to go back to school. We can't find much out until Sept 1 (they are all on vacation now) but the sooner the better!Well, I think that's all for tonight-my hands are tired, hubby is cooking some Mexican food and it's just about finished, so I will leave you for now.Praise the Lord for His goodness. He is our refuge and strength! Oh how I love Jesus, because He first loved me! Don't you just want to go on and on and shout out all His goodness!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

if thy right eye...

Lately I have been so saddened with news that 2 of my friends have been diagnosed with cancer. One has breast cancer and will undergo surgery today. The other has a rapid spreading cancer in her leg that will lead to amputation of her right leg.
For weeks, even months, I have been kept up to date on their status. From the moment I read the words "cutting off her leg" I have been struck by the words found in Matthew 5:29-30
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee;...and if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. "
How often do we read the scriptures and it is so easy to glance over the meaning of them. It is what I love about the Word of God. It never ceases to teach us. I don't care how many times we read it, we will be ministered to by it.
These verses are ones that I know by heart, but I have never in my life taken them to heart. It is only now that the Lord is showing me the severity of these words. Would any of us pluck our eye out if it caused us to lust time and time again? Would we chop off our hand if it meant that we would no longer be able to steal, to touch what is unclean, to reach for things that are unprofitable for us? I think we like to see these verses more as a metaphor rather than something we would ever consider doing.
My friend is in this place in her life. She is not in sin...that is not why she has to have her leg amputated. But it is because this leg is causing the rapid spread of disease that if not such a drastic step is taken, the cancer will take her life. I laid down the other day just thinking of this, thinking of what must be going through her mind, what will it be like when she awakes that very first time without her leg. O Lord have mercy upon her! She has had to make this tough decision in her life and it is one that I just don't know I could make.
So I ask myself, to what extreme am I willing to go for the sake of a life fully devoted to my Lord. Am I willing to do what is necessary that sin does not race through my very bones, causing even that which is clean to eventually become unclean? Am I willing to make the sacrifices God asks me to make, to make the tough decisions that need to be made? Am I willing to trust Him with all that I have, getting rid of the things, the thoughts, the dreams, that stand in the way of being all that He wants me to be. Am I willing to cast off, to pluck out, to cut off?
My heart goes out to those I know who have cancer. I found myself asking why it has to be those who have a good marriage. There are plenty of people out there who are miserable in life...even Christians. Why is it the Lord allows those who love being together to suffer in such ways. I am reminded that His thoughts are not my thoughts, His ways are not my ways. He has a plan in each life that we cannot see. A plan that goes far beyond what any of us can fathom.
May His peace that passes all understanding bring comfort and strength to these ladies and to their husbands and children. May the church rise up and come to the aid of them as needed and not grow weary in well doing as they serve them in their time of need. May the Lord use these two women's lives to bring us all to a place of surrender-surrender to Him!
Please keep them in your prayers!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Time flies

Wow, it's hard to imagine that almost a month has passed since I updated the ole blog! We have been so busy and by the time I sit down the last thing I can do is think! I promise to update after this week and put some pictures up...well, I actually can't remember what pictures I have so I will have to check.
We say good-bye to Karen and Jeff on Saturday morning, Agi and Zsofi arrive Saturday evening! Now would be a great time to have the dryer hooked up instead of putting everything outside to dry! Sometime next week I think Steven arrives for a few days and who knows what is in between!
Found out the other day that the theme for our women's sessions at the Missions Conf is John 15. I am so ready to dive into this study. I thought about it this matter what is surrounding us, no matter what goes on it comes down to abiding in Him! I am so excited with studying this.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer holidays. Praise God for times of refreshment!
Til next time......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where oh where have I been?

I know, I have all been going crazy with curiosity, pacing back and forth, up all hours of the night wondering where in the world is Margie and why hasn't she updated her blog in so long? Well, my friends, rest assured, here I am, ready to type away, post a few pictures and share my goings on with you.
We have been so busy in the past few months. We went to L'Aquila to help with the earthquake area, came back for a couple days and Jim left for Switzerland for a 10 day outreach with some of the bible college students. After that, Pastor Rob came to town with Danny and the three of them went to Hungary for a couple days, back to Italy for a day and then off to Austria where Rob was speaking for Speakers Week. Denise and Amy arrived in Venice midweek and we all went to Austria for a couple days.

It was a great blessing having Rob and Denise here-it's always fun to be in the states and see and talk to everyone but we can have more one on one time when people are here visiting and not as many distractions. It was great hanging out, walking around Padova and sharing our new city with them. I am hoping it will be an annual trip from now on!! Amazing things are going to happen here...I just know it! It was neat too because we got to enjoy Amy's company so it was fun to have a youngster in the house again!!
The Salvatos left and I started my whirlwind of changing sheets, linens, etc to get the room ready for the Engs! Yep, a couple days later Greg and Brenda came over. They had a great visit too-Greg was in his glory looking at all the sites and all the architecture over here. We were blessed with the goodies they brought over too....corn tortillas!! Yeah!!
A few days later, our daughter and her boyfriend arrived. Rosalyn and Matt were here a little over a week. Jim got to meet Matt for the first time....he gave him a thumbs up !! We had a fun visit with them. Of course it never lasts long enough but I am sure they will be back!
So, now you know where I have been...busy with friends and family, but enjoying every moment of it! We have a few weeks before our next visitors arrive. Jeff and Karen Stewart are coming at the end of the month for 10 days. Yeah!!
Oh, I have to say, I got one of the greatest surprise Ipod Touch. Christina (daughter of a friend of mine) came over and she left it here. I thought she forgot it and she said she left it for me! Well, I never understood all the commotion about these things until I started to play with it. Oh my, I love it!! I can put my family pictures on it and show everyone! Thing is now with digital cameras we don't put pictures in our wallets anymore..atleast I haven't been. When people ask to see our kids and our beautiful little granddaughter I have no pictures to show them. With this, I can put the pics on it and voila! Then there is the music aspect. I love it!! I have been pain stakeingly (is that a word?) transferring music from my cd's to my ipod. Wow-what a chore. I get a bit tired from it actually! Then, there's the whole thing about ordering music. Wow, just wow!! Too much to choose and once you buy one song it has the credit card number and you just hit "buy" Well, had to stop after buying 5 songs even though they are 99 cents I still have to be careful! I have found some new music and love love love the songs. I will try to You tube you up later this week with some of the songs I purchased.
I was listening to some of the music yesterday and started to think about in the book of John when it talks about how people went back and didn't follow Jesus anymore. Jesus asked the disciples if they would go away also and Peter said Lord, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life. (Jn 6:66-68) I just sat here thinking-really, where would we go Lord? Sometimes things can be frustrating. I mean we can be honest...even ministry is frustrating at times. Situations, hardships, etc. There were times I just wanted to "get out" I found myself listening to some words of songs about God's grace and that interaction between Jesus and Peter came to my mind. Where would we go Lord? There is no where on this earth I would want to be that is apart from Him. Nowhere out of His perfect will, no matter the sacrifice or hardship. I cannot imagine my life without my Savior, my King! All He has done for me and has planned for me. What could ever compare? NOTHING!!
Oh, praise Him for His goodness! Amen!!

here are some pics of when Rob and Denise came to visit-

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby

Beautiful little Juliet is one year old today! She is a doll! We have an appointment to talk on the webcam tonight and Nanu is going to be surprised! He thinks we will just talk on skype but Christina got Juliet a webcam for her birthday! Ha ha.....isn't that so adorable! Baby gets a webcam!
Sunday we went to the airport to pick up Greg and Brenda in Venice. It was one of those God moments for us. Jim has been having a really hard time not being with Juliet and being Nanu to her in a personal way. It's hard! But, at the airport we saw a young couple with a baby. We figured they were a military family and Jim asked if they were waiting for the grandparents to arrive to see the baby. They were actually waiting for another family member but it was a neat reminder for us.

We were gently reminded by the Lord that in a sense we are in the military too. Paul likens the Christian life as being a soldier. I told Jim it's kind of like we are on deployment right now. We are not the only ones away from our kids and granddaughter. I couldn't help but think of all the dads who are fighting for our freedom and miss the birth of their first child, the first tooth growing, first words, first smiles, etc. For me, I have to keep this perspective to help me to feel sorry for myself and to walk around so sad.
God is good and He made Juliet with the sweetest temperment. It takes her no time to warm up to you so when we do see her she takes to us right away. She loves to play, to laugh, to dance, and especially to give kisses! I can't wait til she is a little bit older and we can bring her over to us for an extended vacation with Nonna and Nanu!
I think we will have to have a gelato in her honor today!!!
Happy Birthday sweet baby!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We just had a wonderful week with Rob and Denise! It was a blessing for me to have Denise here to talk to and just have fun with! It's fun to go to the states and see everyone but there's never a long enough time to enjoy each of your friends and family long enough so when people come out here it's great since we can have one on one time!!!
They got a bike for me!!! LOL....this is going to be quite the experience. I haven't ridden a bike since we first moved to Hungary! I rode to the store, fell off and all my groceries fell on the ground. I am excited about my bike though because I can ride it to the train and then go into Padova and go to the market and other stuff without having to bug Jim for a ride all the time. Unless there is a miracle one day, I don't see myself driving in the city. It's just too confusing for me. I like to drive during the siesta time in some places since there aren't a lot of cars on the road and I even made it to Montebelluna one day when Rose was with me. Oh the adventure of it all :)
Things are good. Yes my last post was a bit depressing, but it was one of those days. Right now I am really feeling refreshed and also free. All the things I needed to have peace about have been given to me and it's great. My heart is truely at rest now and I am so excited for what the Lord has in store in our new journey!
So, I will write more next time, just wanted to let everyone know all is well, thank you for praying, writing, thinking of me. I really appreciate it more than you know!
Karen, you are the sweetest sister too!!!!! love you and miss you!
No pictures today because I am too tired to upload them but I will post some next time. I might even give the blog a promises though!
May the Lord bless you and shine His face upon you!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Long time no post

Days just seem to go by and I have every intention to post on the blog but don't get around to it. Hmm, that reminds me I once saw a picture of "a round toit" Maybe I should pick one up.
It's not for a lack of things to write about, rather a check inside as to whether or not I should write what's on my mind. Proverbs 29:11-A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back. After reading that years ago, it makes me stop in my tracks at times and consider my words.
I am struggling now in the place where God has called me to be in my life. On the outside it's as though I live in a dream. Beautiful country, great food, friendly people, etc. Yes, on the outside. Yet, on the inside I find myself struggling to be content with the way things are at the moment. There is nothing dramatic, no seeminlgy difficult trial-it is just life in general. Of course what follows is the guilt of questioning why I even feel this way.
I miss friendship so much. It feels so isolated where I live-people are all around me yet they have their own lives and other than a hello and good-bye they really aren't interested in much else. The language barrier doesn't help much either. I live in a place so unlike Baja now. In Baja I could walk everywhere, people could comoe over all the time, I could go there, be at the church, doing this and that. There was the opportunity to do something at anytime because we were all so close to each other. Here, it's huge and yet I live in the countryside which is absolutely beautiful, don't get me wrong. It's just that there is noone near me that I can just call up and go get a coffee with. I feel so isolated.
Jim is busy a lot and that is good. I don't want to bring him down with my sorrows and make him feel guilty, but there are times I actually do feel like complaining to him about it so he can feel miserable too~what a good wife huh!
There was an Italian conference last week and I couldn't go because Jim had to be in Hungary and it made me so sad to not be able to be a part of it and hang out with the other people in ministry here and just have fun together. So he went to Hungary and I stayed home 4 days alone with noone to talk to but the cats. He came home Sunday night about 11:30pm and left on Monday afternoon for another couple days. I'm not the type that needs him by me every second. It's just that when he's gone and there's noone around to talk to it gets a little depressing at times.
I really miss the women and the fellowship we had in Baja. We had such a great time together in God's Word. Here, it just doesn't seem like the women have time for such a thing. Maybe in a couple years-who knows. Plus, a new language to learn...will I ever be able to speak fluently? I am trying so hard to study the language on my own but it's challenging! If we had the money I would go to school so that I could practice it with other people.
So, there you have it. Wallowing in self pity I suppose, but you know what, life isn't all roses is it. I am not looking back at what was and longing for that. I know better than that. I am praying God will bring us a team of people that want to work here in Padova. It seems like a good idea to have some other people around us and help with the work here. There's much to be done-it's a huge place!

I found this quote when I lived in Baja and we were going through difficult times. I have it in my bible and it's a good reminder for me -especially now! I think it is from Frances Havergal but I can't remember.

Well, praise God that He always pulls us through the rough patches!
(you can click on the image if you are old like me and can't read the writing)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009


Well it's not for a lack of words that I haven't been keeping up with the dear ole blog. Those of you who know me know that lacking in speech is not one of my problems. Lacking in proper speech or self control when speaking is probably more the problem than anything else!!!! Proverbs says "A fool vents all his feelings". Reading that verse causes a little check here and there when I feel like just pouring it all out there!!
So, last night we watched the movie Joseph. I had a different perspective in that I didn't actually watch the movie but sat at my computer and only listened to the dialogue. This wasn't because I didn't want to see the movie, I have seen it before and it is good. It's just that my heating pad plugs in by my desk and I needed my heating pad on! Most times this is how I watch listening! Well, I was talking to Jim this morning about this and how I was able to pay more attention to what was being said without being distracted by the pictures. Of course we keep in mind the movie is made by Hollywood, therefore things are added/deleted and not exactly as told in the Bible.
I doubt there is anyone in this life who hasn't been hurt by someone else, felt wronged or falsely accused of things, etc. There's that part in all of us (well atleast I think most of us)that desires to be avenged. We want justice done! We can spend hours, days, months, years entertaining thoughts about what we will do when we do meet up with the person(s) we had a conflict with. We will show them! And then that day arrives....all the emotions and feelings that have been built up inside of us are ready to come out. All the well rehearsed paragraphs are ready to be spoken.
Did Joseph think about this? He named his first child Manasseh which means God has made me forget my toil and all my father's house, but what were the first thoughts that came to his mind when he was reunited with them? I would want to say to them...see dream was right and you all laughed. Look where you are and look where I am. Joseph could have pretended not to know them and sent them away or even kept them in prison on false charges.
When they were all reunited the second time, Joseph revealed who he was. Imagine the looks on the brothers faces! Oh my! What were they thinking? Were they trembling? Did they wonder if they would now get what was coming to them?
How was Joseph able to respond with such kindness? Was it that the things God had made him forget weren't the acts themselves -but the anger, bitterness, the sense of being betrayed that God caused him to forget. Was it that Joseph was so free of all these things that his heart was pure before the Lord and able to respond to his brothers in a way they would not expect!
How I long to have that heart! A heart that is tender and merciful! Praise God that with Him all things are possible!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting back to normal

What a whirlwind of a week! My body is so confused as to where I am and somedays I even think it wonders who it is! I fall asleep around 2 or 3 am and wake up sometimes at 10am, 2pm, or even 3pm! Yikes! What is up with this jetlag! I decided not to fight it anymore and just let it happen. At my age you can't allow to much shock to your body because it has a mind of its own and get confused very easily.
It's so good to be back in Italy. This past weekend we had a couple girls from the bible college stay with us. We went to the market in Padova on Saturday. I even made myself get out of bed at 8:30am for that! The secret must be to tell yourself you are going shopping and your body will automatically make the necesarry adjustments. Until of course you tell it that you are only looking and not buying.....we keep that a secret til we get to the marketplace :) While we were there I was once again surrounded by Italians and all the people talking, yelling, etc. It was wonderful! I realized then that I was home where I am supposed to be. I fell in love with the place all over again and had such a strong sense in my heart of where I belong. The language sounded great and I can't wait to tackle it and speak it fluently. I told Jim that I want us to be so natural in Italian that we just speak it at home. Ha ha.....I wonder if that will ever really happen!
I do miss my family and all my friends in the states. My trip home was so good and the Lord really blessed me in many ways. I cherish the time I was able to be there. I do miss the wonderful conversations and the encouragement. Sometimes I have to sit back and get amazed that I have been blessed by God with the true friends I have. That is something I have been thinking about for the past week. I feel like the most blessed gal in the world sometimes!
My granddaughter is a jewel. There is noone sweeter than our Miss Juliet. Her personality is terrific and she is so easy going! I can't wait to see her again!
Well, I have so much I want to write today but not enough time. Jim is on his way to Baja to meet with the leaders in the church so keep his travels in prayer! The weather is good Praise God for that!
til we meet again............

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Just to let you all know that I made it home to Italy safely. I will be updating the ole blog shortly. First, I need to be able to stay awake and have my brain return to halfway normal before attempting any literary functions!
Jetlag is so much fun when you are over 40!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The first night I fell asleep at 1:00am and woke up at 2:00 pm. Last night I attempted to go to sleep at 2:00 am and finally dozed off at 6:30am and forced myself to wake up at 11:00 in hopes of falling asleep at a decent hour tonight. I think you realize all the more why I won't attempt any serious blogging today :)

Grace and peace upon your day!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Being Remembered

While we don't have tv here I can read the news online and of course today the news is all about the new president and the huge celebration. I couldn't help but be drawn to a picture of President and Laura Bush. After 8 years living in the White House it is time for them to pack up and make room for the new people to arrive. There is much talk about how our President will be remembered. From what I read, people are not very nice and only have negative things to say about him. While I don't agree with everything he has had a part in, I certainly will not remember only the negative.
It caused me to think about our own lives and how we will each be remembered when we move on. Are people going to remember all of our mistakes and things they didn't like about us or will they think back to fond days together and look past the bad and choose to focus on the good.
We all want to be remembered in a good way and it's normal. The more I thought of this, the more I thought of how the Lord remembers things and the things He chooses not to remember.
I can think of verses in the bible where I read and say "Huh????" Let's take Lot-in 2Peter, Peter uses the phrase 'righteous Lot'. Hmm, is that a phrase you would associate Lot with? The Holy Spirit inspired these words so they are not there by accident. It could easily have been written without the adjective righteous. I wouldn't have. Kind David is known as a 'man after God's heart', he said in 2 Samuel that he was blameless before the Lord. Would we consider David to be blameless after his little meeting with Bathseba and having Uriah killed? Not me! Sara-she is recorded in the chapter of faith Hebrews 11! As I remember her story she lacked faith from time to time and went about her own ways because of it.
Wow! Do these things give us hope or what?!!! We fall, we sin, we fail, yet our gracious God remembers us in such a greater way. He sees us through His Son! Amen! The death of Jesus on the cross has allowed our sin and failures to be forgotten in the eyes of the Lord. I am amazed! I am humbled and able to rejoice that we have such a gracious Heavenly Father!

Hard to imagine that in six days I will be on a plane to the states! Wow-I am a bit nervous because I found out I actually have to change airports in London which means I have to collect my luggage, take an hour bus ride and then start all over again at the other airport.
Jim is freaking out and thinking I am going to fall with my luggage. Ever since we found out I have osteoporosis he gets scared for me. So, if you read this, pray for me please! I am going to send out a prayer request for this anyway. I must admit I have a bit of fear about it.
I am going out this Sat to get some goodies to bring back with me.....little bit of this and a little bit of that.....yummy!

To those in So Cal...see you soon!

I made a little list of what I have to do this week-somehow when it looks a bit cute it doesn't seem so bad as just a plain piece of paper with magic marker writing :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2008 Year In Review

I figure if you can't beat them, you might as well join them!! I saw this and wrote it down for our reading enjoyment!! What would the world do without blondes???!!!! It would be quite boring I think!

Yes folks, what a year it was :)

click to enlarge if your eyes are as bad as mine

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New beginings

New Year's Eve we went to the church in Montebelluna for some food and fellowship! I love how they go together!!!!

We had a great time, made it til midnight and then to our surprise walked outside to a snowfall! Not bad if you are in the house, drinking cocoa by a warm drive back home is a whole other story! I did pack my overnight bag just in case but Jim wanted to brave it and drive home. What is normally an hour drive became a 2-1/2 drive home. Man, it was so snowy-like a blizzard at times and no snow plows. I was pleasantly surprised when we reached 0ur little town to see the plow guy was 2 cars ahead of us plowing the way-of course he made a left turn into his bldg before plowing all the way down to our house though! Thankfully, we made it safely home!

While we were driving home, I mentioned to Jim (in between asking him a million times if he's scared to drive) how appropriate it was to have a fresh snowfall the first of the year. It was neat because we talked about how it represented newness, purity, clean, fresh, all those adjectives and more. It brought great joy to my heart to think how the Lord does all these things in our lives.

I wanted a verse for the year-something to be reminded of and as usual, the Lord answered.

Be still and know that I am God

Psalm 46:10

There are many things that have happened that I will probably never understand. I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure them out and asking God why things are the way they are. Instead of worrying, fearing man, and making myself sick over it, I need to know that He is God! First, to be still. Not to pick my brain trying to figure things out but to be still-be at rest.

Then, to know He is God. I mean really know that He is God! Not just sing the words or read the words or repeat them to someone else in their time of need, but to really know that I know that I know that HE IS GOD!! Nothing escapes Him, He sees all, He knows all. Knowing that with all my heart and mind will allow me to be still!

Here are a couple pictures of our New Year's snowfall from my balcony!!