December 1, 2008

The Monday After...

Thanksgiving ...
as all our house guests, a family of eight and our son Jonathan, have returned to Colorado to jump back into their routine.

It was a quick 4 1/2 days as we crammed in Thanksgiving, a trip to the Grand Canyon, a Filipino day complete with Filipino cuisine prepared on site by our Filipino friends, church with the Risma family singing and son, Chad preaching his last sermon as our assistant pastor, an "almost baptism" and a last meal together at a Chinese buffet.
The "almost" baptism! Madison was so excited to follow the Lord in believer's baptism...until she got to this very point! She refused to go under so at the risk of looking like child abuse, her dad, Chad chose to put it off for another time :)!! A few hours later with me, while taking a look into the baptistry once gain, she said in all seriousness, "yep, it's still there!" She explained to me as only a four year old can that she was scared. I told her that was ok she will be baptized someday.

In the middle of that whirlwind, Charlie, our marine son in law just returned from his two year deployment in Japan a very happy Jennifer, twin sister to Jonathan. Now we are getting ready for a new batch of guests and their 2 year's later wedding reception to be held on Saturday in our back yard!

Fast forward another week and Jenny, Charlie and half the stuff in our garage will be in North Carolina at Camp LeJeune. Since Jen has lived with us most of the last 2 years her departure is going to be the hard part even though the empty garage will be good!

November 17, 2008

"No Missionaries Were Sent to My People"

I'm sure Meemee had no idea how her story touched my heart yesterday. You know how sometimes you will feel an emotion so strongly that it hurts?! I still hurt!

As a part of our mission conference, we had just watched EE TAOW, the true story of the Mauk tribe in New Guinea which tells how almost the entire tribe was converted at the same time. The emotion of that film never ceases to impact me each time I see it.

After our "international banquet", while a group effort was putting the fellowship hall in good order Meemee asked me why "no missionaries were sent to her people" in Thailand. I was taken back. I personally know several missionaries in Thailand, so how could that be? She explained that she knew missionaries were in the cities of Thailand, but none had gone to her place-- an overnight train ride, plus from Bangkok. I don't know the answer to that question, but it certainly is worth it to me to investigate. After all, it isn't God's will that any should perish!

By the time we were missionaries in the Philippines in the 80's we were privileged to work along side Filipinos who had worked with American missionaries for many years. I can't imagine entering a land and culture who only know the idol worship of Buddha.

When Meemee ran away from her home many, many years ago to escape the very hard work and poverty, she took her Buddhas with her to the city and eventually to the states. She kept them in their own shrine, taking care of them and burning incense until the day she was "born again"-- then threw them away! That trip was certainly orchestrated by God as her people still have not heard the redeeming message of Jesus Christ. She said if they would hear the message of Jesus Christ, like the Mauk people they would believe too!

November 13, 2008

Get Free Books as a Book Reviewer

I love to read so being a book reviewer is a great way to receive newly published books FREE! I just received "Billy"from Thomas Nelson Publisher, read it, wrote a review and now I'm getting a child's book this time. Read my review on my blog by clicking the book cover .

You can be a "Book Review Blogger", too! Check it out here--

Read more tips like this one on this blog!Thrifty Jinxy

Celebrate Freedom: BILLY: The Untold Story of a Young Billy Graham

BILLY: The Untold Story of a Young Billy Graham

I was intrigued to read the book, Billy as I couldn’t imagine what the "untold story could be"--what more could be told about Billy Graham? After all, much has been written about the most renowned evangelist of our time. Billy is so well written, like a novel, rather than a typical biographical sketch, that it hooked me from the beginning! The intrigue from the onset was created through the unusual friendship and the choices Billy and his long time friend, Evangelist turned atheist, Charles Templeton were both destined to make. Those choices separated them until an unlikely event brought them back together for one final meeting. It's a must read for those who have loved him, those who have felt abandoned by God, those who have questioned that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and even those who have questioned the integrity of Billy Graham!

November 10, 2008

Our President is a Minister for our Good

I don't want this to be a commentary on Romans 13, but it is so clear that regardless of how we feel about those in government, they are "appointed by God" and are "God's ministers for good." So, I am actually excited to see what God is going to do with our new president in the next months!

A lot of folks have said maybe the results of this US presidential election is bringing on the rapture...tribulation...and that is great for me. Of course when the rapture happens we won't be saying "I told you so!"--it will be a done deal and we're immediately in heaven!!

What do you think?

November 2, 2008

Follow the Rules and Vote!!

We're "rule followers" so were quite surprised by the harassment some of our fellow election workers dished out regarding our candidate preferences during the primaries The rule is: "do not discuss (or flash material) your party or candidate preferences inside or anywhere within the 75' perimeter outside the voting area."

Jim and I worked the Arizona primaries a couple of months ago which was a fun day, even though it was a rather long 14 hours! During our training we covered lots of dos and do nots, most of which the general public doesn't know anything about! You know sometimes it's hard to keep your mouth shut in situations like that, but we were afraid we might have misunderstood the guidelines and didn't want to bring any negative attention to ourselves as Christians. (They all found out Jim was a pastor.)

We went to another training last week to learn the updated rules for the general election this Tuesday, and now we know for sure what to do! We will continue to stand by the rules and encourage the others to do the same. I think we can do that without a riot!!

It is hard to follow the rules when others don't! My kids used to tell me over and over again, "But, Mom that's not what everyone else is doing!" and I would counter, "are you a follower or a leader?" or "do you have to follow the crowd?"

In this election and we think it's a big one, we need to just do what's right--follow God's rules, vote for the best choice based on the Bible and let God take care of it! We're praying for it on Monday, how about you?! I'm kind of excited to see what God is going to do!

Question from last week-- What to fix for Sunday lunch?
For years when all the kids were still home, we would often have something that could be cooked in the crock pot (like a beef roast or chicken) while we were in church, then when we got home we just added the trimmings. This Sunday a college student who is staying with us prepared a Mexican lunch for us and I can certainly appreciate someone else's cooking best of all!

Leave your comments with your Sunday tips!

Next Monday--Responses to the election!

October 30, 2008

Have You Felt Condemned?

I was working on our church bulletin looking through the many options for inserts when I read this poem. I was an English major, but the only poetry I ever really enjoyed was written by child #8. This one so encouraged and lifted my spirits today I was compelled to share it!

The Record Book

If all the things you ever said,
Were written in a book:
And all your thoughts were on display,
So all could take a look;
I guess there’s not a living soul,
Who wouldn’t hang his head;
And feel ashamed before the Lord
And wish that he were dead.

There is a record book I’m told,
With every deed and word;
It even keeps the records of---
Our thought that can’t be heard;
The good, the bad and every sin,
For nothing has been missed;
It really makes me feel ashamed,
To think what’s on my list.

And yet the pages of my past,
Shall never condemn me;
For Jesus nailed them to His cross,
One day at Calvary;
And now I stand in Him complete,
Redeemed from sin and strife;
And with His blood He wrote my name,
Down in the book of life.
---Author Unknown

Check out Soap Box Thursday

October 26, 2008

Why do I love Mondays?

Why do I “Love My Mondays”? I put my heart into getting ready for Sunday all week!! The prep doesn’t usually start until Monday is over so Monday is kind of a catchall day for me--no particular schedule. How about you?

Actually, my house needs some attention after the weekend. Unless we are expecting guests, on Sunday mornings our focus is to get out of the house to church on time, even early—which has always been important to forget about making the bed and washing the dishes! Now that’s hard for me because I have 'aesthetic eyes' (can't stand if things are out of place)—so it drives me crazy to come into my kitchen or bedroom with those two things out of order. It does work, though, to push me quickly past the kitchen and into the inviting unmade bed for a Sunday power nap!! Anyway, I can take care of it on Monday!

My favorite part of Monday is to do just anything with my husband—sometimes that even means cleaning out the garage. (It’s his day off!) Thankfully, daughter number 4 got me out of that a few days ago by helping her Dad!!

Did you ever think about the numerous blessings of a public library? “Peace!” Sometimes we peruse the stacks, then find a quiet table to write or read away from the frequent interruptions at home—even on a Monday!

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Isaiah 26:3

Leave your comment this week by signing my guestbook—What do you do on Mondays? Make sure you introduce yourself—no last names are necessary.

Next week—What do you do for Sunday lunch? Any tips?

October 22, 2008

My Heaven--not yours, but mine!

Lately, I've been known to say frequently "heaven sounds really good right now" or "this would be a great time to be raptured".

Our youngest daughter was sharing with me yesterday their topic of discussion in one of her classes in college. Her professor allowed each student to share what his or her heaven would be like. I hadn't thought of it before in that light! MY heaven?

Without a lot of thought.... What's "MY HEAVEN"? Sitting in my comfey lounge chair in a field of wild flowers organizing genealogy or writing, inhaling the aromatic fragrances of the flowers blowing in the endless fields that surround me. Certainly that would work for me today.... but next Wednesday maybe I'll think that a quiet day is out of the question and heaven is being surrounded by family and friends who've been a part of my earthly life. It certainly brightened my day to think about "my heaven."

We all have our ideas of what heaven is like--we will know some day if we indeed are His children who have repented of our sin, accepted Him and His sacrifice for us.

Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Wednesday tips!

October 15, 2008

What Can a 4 year old tell his grandparents about politics?

I thought it was a joke when this cute, ordinary grandson was filmed by his mother espousing the virtues of a McCain/Palin ticket! Then we spent a few days with him and his family last week. Of course Fox News is periodically (maybe more than that) in his earshot, and he does say the words, "Fox News fair and balanced" a little more than normal, but maybe that's not too unusual nowadays!

Anyway, we came home with all of these little phrases in our minds like, "Don't vote Obama, vote McCain" and then adamantly he adds twice for emphasis, "Vote! you have to Vote!" We got the point and it works for me!

Click here for more tips!

October 10, 2008

Aloha Friday

An Island Life is hosting Aloha Friday.. I thought it would be fun to participate. All you have to do is answer the question I ask by leaving a comment. Then click over to An Island Life and link up to Aloha Friday with your own question!

My Question for you:

Have you or your family ever attempted to start a home business?

October 3, 2008

Arizona Voters! Vote YES for marriage!

Vote YES on Proposition 102 to Give the Gift of Marriage to Future
Visit the following sites for more information:

Focus on the Family®

September 30, 2008

What about Kirk Cameron kissing another woman?

As I watched "Fireproof", the movie a few days ago, the thought crossed my mind "I wonder how his wife feels watching him kiss another woman". Guess what?! It was his wife!!! I just listened to the interview on MSNBC with Kirk Cameron. He said he has a personal commitment to his wife and that is not to kiss another woman--not even in acting. So, since his wife was not the actress in the movie they creatively used his wife in the silhouette love scene where they are reconciled with a kiss. What a confirmation to me that marriage is a commitment for life in any area and can be kept no matter what, even for an actor!

Check out the interview for yourself at 'Not So Perfect' Blog.

September 28, 2008


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September 27, 2008

Fireproof Giveaway!

Make sure you give your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Click here for more great tips!

September 23, 2008

Can't they just get along?

These precious two year olds are just 2 of my 14 grandchildren. They all share a couple of things in common--their "Greenacre" grandparents, of course, and their sin nature! They both have had new siblings added to their family too, but look pretty well adjusted to me!

A few weeks ago we all gathered together for Marc & Tara's last family gathering before they headed to Washington state, to their new ministry, many miles from Arizona! Evie and Makayla had become friends as cousins and church nursery buddies. Close friends to them meant wanting what the other had, not once in a while, but every time there was a change in interest--thus a toy change too. So, to the onlooker they didn't get along. It didn't do any good for us to encourage them to share. That was a foreign concept, but they still love each other... At this age they can forgive, forget and even work together as they are here looking at the candles I put in the fireplace for their enjoyment and mine!

As they get older we hope they remember that character building idea "it is a good thing to share!". Let's hope they see & hear that example in us as well so we can all live together in unity.

Today I met a soldier

September 22, 2008 By Denise

The friendly young soldier I met today  just finished boot camp at Fort Linerdwood in Missouri.  He grew up in the dry heat of Arizona, so the muggy summer in Missouri was a struggle in itself for this young man.  I knew that (since I was born in Missouri), but we were standing in the very hot Arizona sun at the moment so I was having a hard time even remembering that it could be any hotter anywhere else!  He wasn’t in any hurry though so we chatted a few more minutes.

We talked about his possible deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.  His unit was already in Iraq.  He wanted it over with as soon as possible because he had a wife and children, but I really sensed he was at peace with whatever the U.S. Army gave him.  He was in church today because of his grandmother.  He talked about what a wonderful woman she was.  You could tell he loved her very much.

Later today, after he was gone I learned that he had not always been at such peace nor would I have had the opportunity for such pleasant conversation with him even a year before.   The loneliness of basic training for him and his brother who was not in his unit but in the same boot camp, caused them to seek each other out.  In basic that isn’t ordinarily allowed though, except if they went to church.  On that one day a week in church they could see each other.  Church was not something they had done back home in Arizona, but certainly God’s ways aren’t our ways…and with that motive–just to visit with his brother–God used that to bring about a changed life in this soldier on the eve of his departure–a US base or a foreign soil–I don’t think it matters because he is ready.  I consider that story one of God’s miracles!

“I Don’t Like What He/She Did!"

September 19, 2008 By Denise

“I don’t like what he/she did!”  We all find ourselves at this point.  Depending on the source’s personality, it could be often!  Sometimes we verbalize the thought or frustration and sometimes we internalize it or we hear it.  I hear it as a mother, pastor’s wife, shopper–everywhere.  It just doesn’t seem to make any difference what hat I am wearing!

What if I’m the one receiving the comment?   I’ve decided that I have a choice!  I can jump on the bandwagon at that moment, join in, make my “on the spot comment” or ignore it with a smile.  Now, if you think about it, those spur of the moment comments or retorts can lead us down many paths and it’s usually the path of regret!

I don’t like living with regrets.  The enemy likes to use those to clog my thinking–bringing them to mind at his convenience!  I must deal with it as soon as the Holy Spirit brings it up or it will continue to deal with me!!  I’m so thankful I John 1:9 is there for me. The Bible tells us we are accountable for every word–He makes us accountable.

In fact the Lord has given us lots of admonitions about avoiding slander–it’s an abomination to God!  Surely I couldn’t be guilty of that!?  Think about what it is, according to Scripture: whispering, backbiting, evil surmising, tale-bearing, babbling, tattling, evil speaking, defaming, bearing false witness, judging uncharitably, raising false reports, repeating matters and the list goes on.

I’m convicted, once again, just reading the list.  Especially since I know that if it goes on it can separate friends, cause deadly wounds, strife, discord among brethern and even murder.  I’ve thought that not responding in the past would seem rude, but after thinking on these things I’m convinced a smile with a change of subject or an excuse to move on is much better than disappointing my Saviour.

The Blessing of “Honoring Parents”

September 17, 2008

We’d been talking about taking a vacation for over a year.  Gas prices on the rise as well as those weekly commitments kept pushing it to the back of our minds.  I wanted to make a trip back home to see Mom & Dad and soak in the rolling hills of my home state of Missouri.  Missouri in August can be steamy hot compared to my new home in Arizona so it probably wasn’t the best time to go, but just the thought of my Dad’s garden and especially those tomatoes were enough to make my mouth water.

In early August a friend encouraged me to make the trip to “see your parents”.  A call to Mom & Dad settled it–they were ready to make the trip here with us on our return, then they would fly back.  Those 3000 miles round trip were worth every second as we traveled through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri and then back again.  I couldn’t help but remember the family vacations when Dad was the driver and my brother and I slept in the back seat most of the way.  Now, Jim & I became the tour guides.  I felt bad when Dad said, “if I’d known how many places we were going to go, I doubt if I’d come!”  That bothered me a moment until he explained that he wouldn’t have thought he could have handled it.  Whew!

We did enjoy perusing many of  the Indian ruins in Northern Arizona, but visiting a missionary on the Hopi Reservation was quite a treat!  The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert were highlights as we made

Mom & Dad's first look at the Grand Canyon
Dad & Jim in the Indian Ruins

Dad & Jim in the Indian Ruins

our way to the Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon was spectacular, but we were so exhausted by then we just took a few pictures and headed for home.

I wouldn’t trade those two weeks with my parents for anything in the world!  Since they left a week ago today I’ve spent some time looking up scripture on “parents” and “children”.  Did you know there are many, many passages that address the responsibilities and conduct of both?  I’ve thought since I was a teen that if you honor your parents you are promised a long life.  That was always in the back of my mind growing up, still living at home, but now I realize that the responsibility is even greater.

Everyone knows that the 5th commandment says to Honor one’s parents, but the commentary I was using specifically spelled it out as “respect, love, reverence, treat graciously, with dignity and assisting them financially.”  The reference in Mark 7:10 says “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.”  That’s pretty strong language, but it certainly shows how God regards this obligation.

I’m so thankful I have God honoring parents that make it easy to honor them… even though I didn’t read anywhere that there were any exceptions to the commandment!

What does a family do when their precious baby girl is traumatized at birth?

September 4, 2008 By Denise

Makayla in NICUThe story of Makayla’s birth in March 2006 in Cheyenne, Wyoming is heart wrenching and definitely worth repeating.

Chad & Heather had three children and were anxious for the birth of number four due a few weeks before Chad’s College graduation. It was a Sunday though and most of our family, living in many different states, were in various stages of going to and from church that day. When Chad called from the hospital to let us know there were some complications we had no idea the horrific scope of the scenario taking place just a few hours away from us.

Heather’s labor wasn’t progressing satisfactorily so a decision was made to try to speed things along. That may or may not have been an unwise choice but there were no early indications that it would cause a problem–it was considered a means to an end–the birth of a baby! Evidently the hard contractions that followed created a problem– perhaps the placenta was already weak and would have ruptured anyway. No one knows nor even thought of that during the next minutes.

Chad & Heather sensed distress as they watched the monitors, but no one else seemed concerned. Eventually they got the attention of a nurse. When the doctor arrived and assessed the situation he immediately realized that the baby needed to come out right away. It was an emergency, but there was NO ANESTHESIOLOGIST present! “Heather I can’t give you any anesthetic, but we must do a c-section immediately to save the baby.” Heather’s response to the the doctor was, “do what you have to do.”

In the next few moments he made incisions in the first layers, knowing that the last layer would be the most excruciating for Heather to bear. He told her he wasn’t sure if she could stand the pain. Just then the “lost anesthesiologist” burst through the doors. He had been unable to make his way through the stairwells for some reason. Everything had been readied so he was able to administer the drug immediately so Heather, thankfully, didn’t have to endure the last cut.

When Makayla was born she was barely breathing. No one knew how long she had been oxygen deprived, but it didn’t look good. Her APGAR was 0, and her prognosis was next to hopeless, but the parents didn’t know any of that as Makayla had been taken away immediately.

After an hour or so while Heather was just in the beginning stages of her recovery Chad & Heather were asked to make a serious decision for Makayla’s care. She was being prepared to fly to Denver to Children’s Hospital where they had tried an experimental procedure on other oxygen deprived infants. To make a decision about a new medical procedure with very little information was a gamble or was it “faith”. Everyone knows that newborn heads are kept warm with a stocking cap for at least 24 hours, but they were making plans to put an ice cap on Makayla in an effort to keep the damaging brain swelling from happening. It was a hard decision, but in hindsight, one that God used.

No helicopter was available and the only ambulance was one of Denver’s oldest! Chad insisted on accompanying Makayla on the long hour’s drive to Denver. Upon arrival they indeed put the ice cold, silver cap on her head along with needles, patches and wires all over her body. Each time we went in to visit her in the Neonatal Infant Care Unit (NICU) it never failed to grieve me.

Maykayla was beautiful! The nurses commented that she was the healthiest looking baby there, but she was the sickest! That hurt all of us and there were alot of us! Family and friends arrived in Denver daily to support Chad and Heather.

The Ronald McDonald House housed them and gave us all many free meals where all of us could talk and pray together for many days. We laughed and cried many times and had so many opportunities to testify to the Lord’s comfort in spite of the situation. Chad led a father to Christ and bought him a Bible. His son was facing surgery but it was not life threatening, not like Makayla.

On Friday of that first week the medical team met with Chad and Heather. The news was not good. They gave them almost no hope for her survival–maybe a few days, a month….but if she survived longer she “would need 24/7 special care. Care that could only be provided by professionals, specially Denver. Heather, still in recovery from her unconventional surgery and Chad, holding up, prayed with both sets of grandparents and then returned to the Ronald McDonald House.

In the meantime Jim observed Makayla’s doctors leaving the conference room where they had just shared with her parents her grim prognosis and their suggestion to “pull the plug” on her ventilator. They were crying. Only later did we find out that their tears perhaps were the result of the words Chad shared with them. He told them that they would leave things as they were and that they would continue to trust God to work through her doctors. If He wanted to take here he could, but they would not make the decision to end her life prematurely.

The next morning we began to realize that God had already begun healing Makayla. She had begun taking milk and within a few days she was taken off the ventilator and had learned to suck–something they were told would never happen. Her progress was nothing short of a miracle and that very word “miracle” was mentioned many times in the NIC unit by Makayla’s caregivers.

On her one month birthday, her dad was given the privilege of giving the “senior testimony” during his graduation ceremony while she slept in our arms in the audience. I doubt there were many dry eyes that evening as he briefly shared her miraculous healing to the many folks who had prayed for her — when it looked like there was no hope!

Today, a year and a half later, after heart surgery this past January 2007, Makayla is a beautiful little girl who walks around with a big smile, looking for things to get into and doesn’t seem to need much sleep! This family is grateful that God chose to answer beyond what we could ever have imagined when we prayed day in and day out for His will. What does a family do?

Makayla at 1 year

…have FAITH!