Sunday, July 24, 2016

Releasing Children From Poverty

 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 New International Version

Friday I attended another Christian music event, this time however as a volunteer for Compassion. 
 I worked mostly at the Virtual Reality trip to Haiti, where attendees get to experience what it’s like to live in poverty in Haiti. Everyone who took the “trip” thought it was amazing, right down to the fact that it was pushing 90 degrees that day so participants experienced the heat of that country as well.
 
 The hardest part for me, when I volunteer at the Compassion booth, is seeing all the beautiful children and wishing I could sponsor them all, make a difference in each and every one of their lives.
For right now, though, all I can is pray for them and continue to support my sweet little Compassion girl in Kenya. 

Father in Heaven, be with Your children living in poverty, release them from their conditions if it be Your will, and grant them the peace of knowing that they are not alone. That they are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Ride down the Mississippi

As I shared last time, Hubby and I visited his brother in the Quad Cities this June. The morning was spent at the Rhubarb Fest in Aledo, Illinois. We couldn’t decide what to do with our afternoon, until Sister-In-Law suggested a ride on the river. I thought that was a fantastic idea. 

We boarded the Celebration Queen at Moline for a three-hour tour. Ok, it was only one and a half hours, but well, a song started going through my head and – never mind.  

 The next pictures are of buildings on the Rock Island Arsenal island.
 Our captain had a story for each of these buildings, but I can't remember them all.
There is a lot of history on the island, however.

 On the Iowa side of the river, there were cool boats and
 magnificent mansions.

 The Celebration Queen was pretty herself.


I really was more excited than is reflected on my face. It was a beautiful day spent with great people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

From Iowa to Illinois

I have traveled so much the last four months that I am still behind on telling you about all of the places I have been to. Sometime in June, when I finally finished blogging about my vacation to Illinois in April, I teased you that there was another trip to Illinois which I would eventually get around to telling you about. I guess it’s time.

The first weekend of June each year is the annual Rhubarb Fest in Aledo. Who knew? And better yet, my brother-in-law and his wife live a short drive away. When they suggested we come down for it this year, we checked the calendar and Hubby happened to have that weekend off. There was no reason not to go.

It turned out to be a beautiful weekend. And here’s only the first half of it. 
 Crossing the Mississippi River at Dubuque.
Riverboat in the historic town of LeClaire, voted the best place to take out of town guests, so that's where we went Friday night.
The mighty Mississippi
 The Buffalo Bill Museum at LeClaire, where even handicapped bison can park, I guess.
 Saturday morning, it was only a short drive to Aledo, Illinois. Another quaint historic town.


 Note the fine print. This is the women's waiting room only. Back in the day they probably didn't allow transgenders inside.
The Mercer County Courthouse
 A special guest of honor, at the downtown Rhubarb Fest activities.
 Me and the Hubby
 The official Rhubarb sign just outside of Aledo.
 My brother-in-law. I don't know what this pose means.
 But his wife and I had to try it too.
Ahh, but this is what we went there for. The rhubarb pie!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 
John 14:27 (NIV)

I keep hoping that one of these days I will be able to write about the wonderful turn of events my life has taken, that suddenly things are all turning out and coming up roses, and that I have no more problems. Instead, I dread blogging anymore because all I have to report is more bad things happening.

Repairs on the vehicle we’ve had for two months cost us $2200, our washing machine is not working correctly, I shut my finger in the car door Friday, our popup camper is shot and not usable, we haven’t been able to find another camper and we leave for our camping trip in two weeks.

Can we get a break, Lord, just one tiny little break? And not a broken finger kind of break?

Yesterday our son begged us to let him take us on a pontoon boat ride. We just always have so much to do, or the weather’s not nice, or there’s always an excuse. But last night, we were finally like, ok, we’ll go.

It was a beautiful evening and I was reminded that as much as I complain about the town I live in, it is a beautiful place. We are surrounded by woods and water and wide open spaces. There is always a place to go to find peace. There may not be a place to find the money to pay unexpected bills or a magical healer of swollen fingers. An affordable, adorable camping trailer might not fall from the sky. 

But there will be peace. 

Lord, God, thank you for all that you have provided me with and help me to remember that peace is what I need most. Amen

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kids, kids and more kids

Earlier this week, I posted pictures of some of the speakers and artists we saw at Lifest. Always an amazing and talented group of people. Sometimes, though, the other things a person witnesses are just as amazing and just as much a testament to our heavenly Father.

Between acts on the Grandstand on Thursday evening, a little girl was picking the clover flowers from the grass where she sat with her family. After she had given everyone in her family a flower, she reached out and started giving them to all the people in the area. 
 She gave me a few of them. 
 And my hubby too. 
 Everyone who received a flower expressed their appreciation to the little girl and a lot of people displayed their gifts by tucking them behind their ears or sticking them in their hats. 
 One woman strung a handful of clover with longer stems into a crown and placed it on the little girls head. She had taken it off to check it out by the time I got my camera on her. 
 Other kids had fun in all sorts of other ways, not that this looks fun to me at all. 
 The ducks boats would be okay, but I don’t think I would fit. 
 Bob and Larry even showed up. 
 And what kids don’t love the petting zoo. 
 Kids and baby animals. Is there anything better? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

No More Muddy Messages

Saturday evening, Hubby and I returned from another great Lifest. I was looking back over the previous eight Lifests that I’ve attended, and well, they’ve gotten kind of muddy. What matters though is that the message hasn’t gotten muddy.

Either the last time or the time before that, when I was at Lifest, I carried around a little notebook and actually took notes on what the speakers had to say, snippets of their inspirational words. Umm, yea, this year, no notebook. I had paper and pen in my backpack and thought about pulling them out a couple times, but then told myself, “you’ll remember”.  Umm, yea, no.

My next great idea (in addition to buying the book written by one of the speakers) was to find their message on their websites. That’ll work, when I get around to it.

Argh. The good news, however, is that I actually edited through the over one hundred pictures I snapped. And that’s probably what you really want to see.  

 Jimmy Needham
 The amazing Tiffany Thompson
 Peder Eide, under cover from the rain, while we toughed it out, not enough rain though to make much mud. Earlier that day, it was a different story.  
 Jonnie W, comedian
 Britt Nicole
 Dani Tietjen, originally from Detroit and now living in North Minneapolis in the poorest neighborhood in all of Minnesota. She's scrappy and my new favorite inspirational speaker, and the one I bought the book from. 
 Josh Wilson
 Doing the Chainsaw to Family Force 5. We didn't quite get it, but that's ok. We are old. 
 Jeremy Camp
 Eric Samuel Timm. Can you see the rainbow behind the stage? 
 Nancy Beach
 Joshua Jordan, illusionist, and I thought he was funnier than the comedian who followed. 
Peder Eide and his remarkably talented daughter, Allison



Oh, and that message? You know, the one that is important, that I won’t let get muddy in my brain ever again? God’s got it covered. He loves me and He’s got my back. Always.  

Check back next time for the rest of the story.