Archive for the ‘Minot’ Category

I Wasn’t who I am…..

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Minot
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Isn’t it strange, how one day your perspective on things just change? Today as I was just driving along, trying to get where I needed to go, I suddenly thought…Wow….I have forgotten to go to God first! I think I used to be that way….asking, seeking, searching for answers, but most always praying about something first.

The flood…..Disaster…changes who you are and what you think, and how you arrive at what you are thinking. Or maybe you don’t really think at all, maybe you just go from point A to point B and dance to the music.

I realize that I am not who I was before the flood. “Things” have taken a backseat. “Things” have gone away. One day they were all safely in my home, and next they became water logged. Soggy couches, chairs with broken legs, a dining room table folded over, hardwood flooring bulged up across the once smooth and shiny area. None of it really matters, but I matter. It matters that through all the troubles of dealing with slime-water-filled stuff, I was no longer who I am. The really hard part of all that, is realizing one day you are different. Realizing one day that you had been asleep somewhere in the midst of it all. The brain fog…clouded everything….perhaps a coping mechanism.

Oh, yea, I went about doing what needed to be done. I laughed at jokes. I helped others….and accepted help from others. Gratefulness. Emptiness. Sorrow….hoping…but mostly no feelings…no thoughts of returning to life, primarily because of not knowing I had become someone else.

There seems to be no question I know the answer to. For others, yes….I am able to say all the right words, because those words are part of the real me. But for me to help me….

What has not been lost? I didn’t lose Jesus and He didn’t lose me. I didn’t lose my experiences, nor did I lose hope. (well, only part of the time) I didn’t lose laughter, and I didn’t lose friends or family. I didn’t lose ……Those things that no one or nothing can steal. We all have them…and it is good to remember what is left. Somewhere in the Bible it talks about everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Sometimes I feel like a snow globe….I am just one of those pieces of snow, flying all over, and finally beginning to settle only to be picked up and shaken again. When the shaking is done, things never return to the way they were. Anyone who thinks we can go on as usual is sadly mistaken. Almost nothing in our lives will ever be the same again.

People talk about the new “normal”. We have to find our new “normal”. Part of finding that new normal is reminding ourselves, that something of what we have gone through will create in us a new and better person if we will allow it. The Bible tells us that “All things work together for good to those that” 1. Love God and 2. Are called according to HIS purpose. If we meet that criteria, then something out of this will be turned to good. If we don’t, then it may not.

I look around and I see some seriously bitter and angry people. I have been one of them! I think I felt betrayed by God when this flood came….I think I had no concept of how it would change all our lives. I think I was just unable to think very clearly…sometimes even now, I struggle with that.

I work, and all is well! I know my job very well, and I am good at it. But in the wee hours of the night, I wonder. Day by day I seem to awaken a little more. I seem to be finding my way back to me. I wonder what is in store for the rest of my life, and how much life is left. I don’t seem to be concerned about me, but more about my family….What would they do without me? Then I think….how Silly! They would be just fine, they have Jesus, and he is much better at helping than I am…then I tell myself….I know the answer to this….”There IS a time to live, and a time to die, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to plant and a time to harvest…..” There is a time…and when it is time for those things we can’t shrink back from the things we don’t like and hold on to only the things we do like.

The amazing thing we have to remember is that we are who we are, and we are where we are supposed to be! We didn’t make a mistake! We just were swept into a time of “something”. It is OK….We are never guaranteed another day, and we never have been. We have this day, and maybe we should make the best of it we can. I think I have to be careful not to just think about me. I also think, I have to be careful TO think about me. What do I want? What do I need? Why not stop and smell some roses? It may be winter in North Dakota, but the flower shops have roses! And there is no charge to smell them! Maybe today, I should go find a sled and go sledding….not a big hill, just a small one…..I am way too old to be climbing up a really high hill….or maybe I am not!

So what is the plan? I don’t know, but God does….In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “I know the plans I have for you. Plans for good and not for evil, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” I don’t have to know the plan…I just have to look to Jesus for the lighted path and follow it. He will take me where I need to go, and get me there, when I need to be there. I have no worries, because it is all good!

I must remember to remind myself to ask God first….then listen carefully (messages from God come in so many different ways) and then follow directions. Just following Jesus is pretty easy. He leads the way, and clears the path, and lights the way. There is no stress….just do what He has for me to do today. Tomorrow the sun will come up, and the day will begin, and if I start it out seeking His direction for my day, then I cannot go wrong. I must watch the path closely, it is so easy to step off it and go face first into the mud…or a snow bank, as the case may be.

I love babies, they are so special! Have you ever watched the anticipation of a Grandma or Grandpa trying to get a baby to smile? Over and over they smile and coax and once that little one breaks forth in a smile, those Grandparents exhibit such satisfaction….and Joy….

I think we have to think of Jesus that way….He has the answer, and he will not give up on us. He will keep trying until we “smile”. and His joy is great, because we have accomplished what He wanted FOR us. It is AWESOME to have a GOD who loves us so much, and only wants the BEST for US!

You heard about the little girl who was walking home from school, and a storm came. Lightning was flashing all around…Her Mother, came looking for the little girl to drive her home so she wouldn’t be afraid….but when Mom found her, she saw her daughter look up and smile and continue on her way, seemingly unafraid.
Once Mom got her daughter safely into the car she asked why she had been looking up in the sky and smiling…and wasn’t she afraid of the storm?

The little girl looked at her Mom….and said of course I wasn’t afraid….The light would flash and I knew God was taking my picture so I smiled for Him!

Blessings to you all in the Mighty Name of Jesus! Let God make you SMILE!

Prayyior

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Greed will take us down…..

Have you ever noticed someone who was “greedy”…just wanted everything for themselves and would not entertain a thought for a stranger or even a friend or family member? You probably know someone who is like this….they stand out in a crowd. You can spot them by their comments. It usually starts with blaming someone else for their problems, and it goes from there to I will take care of me and to hell with everyone else.

In principal it is good to take care of ourselves. We ARE the one who is responsible for ourselves. When a disaster strikes, that is exactly when we understand the need to take care of ourselves and those we are responsible for.

We have just experienced and continue to experience a “disaster” to the Valley of the Mouse, it came as a flood. It came because of mistakes, and weather that brought too much rain at the wrong times. It came as part of a plan to prevent what happened from happening.

Now it is time for the rebuilding of a home, a street, a city. Lives have been devastated by it all. Many people will move on, and not try to stay. Some will have no choice but to deed their property back to the bank/lender who is carrying the loans on property. Many want to stay, but see no way to provide the funds to rebuild and still continue to pay on their loans, they can see no way to keep their finances in a stable position. They are responsible for themselves and their families. It is a tough position to be in.

Unfortunately, when times like these come to us, we have choices to make, and some are not, and never will be acceptable to us. We have believed in honor. We take care of our families, and we pay our bills, and we raise our children “right”, so they respect others, and treat people like they want to be treated.

Greed changes all this! Greed comes out when we forget about those around us. It comes out when someone is handing out money or did hand out money and we didn’t get any of it, or we got less than our neighbor. In any event, it is most likely that we will all have to fight ourselves to prevent becoming greedy about what we have and what we are going to do with it.

There is a story of hell, in which you see a big table with delicious food in the middle, just waiting for someone to eat it. No one smiled and each person was mad at someone else. Each person has their own spoon to use, but unfortunately the handle on the spoon is so long that even though they can reach the food, they can’t get it back to their mouths to eat it. Everyone was starving to death.

The same table was in heaven and the people at the table all were smiling and happy and well nourished. They too had the long-handled spoons and could get the food, but could not get it into their mouth. What this group did was to spoon the food using their long-handled spoon, into the mouth of someone on the other side of the table. Each person fed someone else and in return was fed by someone else.

Getting through this flood will require that we help one another….sometimes before we can receive help for ourselves.

When I was growing up, you had to rely upon your neighbors to help you. If you didn’t, then you were done for. How many houses were built by neighbors helping neighbors. When a neighbors barn burned, the whole community got together and built them another barn. Everyone worked free and people donated what they could. It still happens today…someone is hurt on their farm and the neighbors come in and plant their crop for them. Or harvest the crop. Each of us has a role to play in helping each other through this incredible crises.

We cannot rely upon the Government to help us. There may be some funds to assist, but it appears there will not be enough for any one of us to restore our home on the funds we receive. So What Do WE DO?

Can we form a co-op of people who can assist one another without the full cost of hiring someone to do something. Can we find an Electrician who will oversee the wiring of our houses, can we find a carpenter to do finish work? Can we find a heating and plumbing company who will buy our furnaces and sell them to us for a little over cost, and assist us in getting them in? Can we find someone who will negotiate a large purchase of sheet rock or siding or light fixtures? Can we find someone who will sell us a large quantity of breaker boxes and breakers at a little over cost? How about someone who can cook for a large group while this is going on? How about sharing in the labor. If you can’t pound a nail or put in a screw perhaps you can be the person who is coordinating the build.

I am remembering how quickly a house can go up, even today, after watching or being a part of making dreams come true….we all can hear the sound of “Move that bus”. and a new home fully furnished is revealed.

No….this is not the time for greed. It is not a time to think solely of ourselves. Each of us knows someone who is worse off than we are. Each of us knows someone who without help, cannot do it alone. Each of us knows someone who has given so much to others, that needs a helping hand now.

Do I have the answers….No…and may never have them.. but what I do know is that together we can accomplish what we cannot do alone. What I do know is that North Dakotans are strong and resilient people capable of making a plan and making it work. What I do know is that there are thousands of people who would like to help us, if we give them a chance. I also know that if we rely solely upon ourselves and become a greedy people we will lose.

We will lose in that our houses won’t be rebuilt, we will lose in that our character will suffer, and we will become people we don’t like. We will lose in that the lessons we learned from our parents, will be wasted and our Children and Grandchildren will not know the value of “doing for” or “helping” others. We can’t let that happen. If we want the American Dream to continue then we have to do something about it today. We have to begin to make right decisions and the first is how we are going to behave in this crises. We are Americans, and we are Citizens, and we are honorable, we are trustworthy, we are courageous, we are powerful when we stand together, and weak when we fail to stand. We are people who proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, and as Christians we are united to be as He is.

Today is the day for giving HOPE to each other. It is the day for “thinking” about how to make this work. It is the day to begin anew, trusting that God will be there for us, and with him NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Believe….Trust…. Just Trust….

Blessings to you all…. Prayyior

After the Flood…..

Posted: July 21, 2011 in Hope, Minot
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My StrengthWell, Lord…here it is….Another Day…One just gone and another started! A new beginning! It seems that we don’t think of our days as a new beginning, but rather a continuation of the last one, at least during this time of flood clean-up. Does the mess never end? And then what? Most of us are just wondering, Will there be funds to fix our homes? When will we ever have a roof of our own over our heads again? Where is the money coming from to feed our families? Will we ever be able to go back to work? Why wouldn’t the cost of clean-up done by ourselves be considered in any payout by FEMA? So many questions, yet so few answers. (more…)

In this world there will be troubles…but the Lord God delivers us from them all…..
It is strange to recognize how attached we can become to the things we have called our own! There are those “things” “family heirlooms” “treasures” that we have held on to over the years. Always needing to take care of, to move with us when we moved, to find a place for. Things and stuff we would never sell, and rarely give away…..and if we did, only to someone who would treasure them as we have.
It is strange that when they are gone there is a huge relief, along with sadness, and loss.
I used to think I really loved the Lord! There were times when my heart was so full of love for him, that it seemed that nothing else mattered. That’s how it should always be, but the burdens and the cares of the world come upon us, and we take our eyes off of HIM and see troubles or sadness, or belongings, or wonder how ever are we to deal with the problems, the stress, the hurts of the world. We “feel” comfortable in our homes, our jobs, our circle of friends.
Isn’t it strange how the things that change our lives forever always come in a split-second, a minute or an hour? Things change because of accidents, someone’s selfishness or our own….natural or man-made disasters, a decision made in desperation, a choice we know is wrong at the time we make it.
Life is not certain. Everything in the world is changing moment by moment….there is nothing in the physical world that remains unchanged for long. Sometimes the change occurs over time and we barely notice it, and sometimes it happens quickly. We know the moment it happens. Everything we have always had before, is now changed, in a moment….turmoil…hurt….pain…loss…fear.
The things of the world will grow strangely dim….in the light of HIS GLORY and GRACE!
His Glory and Grace will always be there….because the only constant in life is God. He is, was, and always will be…unchanged…..the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
We have to remember that when the storms come…He is there for us. When the earthquakes shake, he is there for us….when volcanos erupt, He is there for us…When the flood comes, He is there for us, totally unchanged, trustworthy, loving, protecting, guiding, wanting desperately for us to come to him, to trust him, to love him, and to know and recognize his peace, his holiness, his protection, his guidance, his healing. It is during the most difficult times of our lives that we must realize that HE has answered our prayers, he has delivered us out of our troubles, and will never leave us or forsake us, and no one or nothing can take us away from HIM….
Feelings are not an adequate truth. There is little truth in feelings…just because we “feel” one way or another, doesn’t make it so……the truth exists only in Christ. Only in the Word of God. When what that Word tells us is opposite of what we are feeling then we have to stand on what He has taught us….HIS TRUTH and only HIS TRUTH, is true. We have to accept it, and move on. We have to draw close to Him and THEN, and only then will He draw close to us.
Today is the day to draw close…how? How do we do that? We speak….we tell him we are coming close….and then as if he is sitting at the table with us….we reach out with our hands to take His…or if it seems like he is further away….across the room…we take one step and another and another….and soon we will be where we need to be, and He will have come close to us. Close to our Lord and our God…In his arms…protected, loved, at peace…the place we have always belonged and longed to be! We have only now…tomorrow is not guaranteed. Now is when we reach out…draw close, and hang on….Now is when we make up our minds to let him be our help in times of trouble. Now is when we choose to trust him. Now is when we rely upon him. Now is the time….to do what we need to do! NOW!

down the mountain

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Minot
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already the trip down the mountain has begun, and the raging floodwaters have stolen my home here on earth….Praise God for the todays ahead of me…