Living simply, loving deeply!

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Tone-Deaf and Proud of it!

I was reminded of this blog tonight in a class I was teaching. One of the very first blogs I wrote!!!


The Gong Show: The Beginning

Singing. I have always loved singing. When I was 8 years old, the Vermilion Fish Festival (my town’s yearly festival honoring all things dealing with fish) decided to have a gong show as part of the festivities. Much to my brother and sister’s chagrin, I entered the contest. They begged my parents not to make them watch it. After all, they had reps to protect. My brother, Bill actually walked the railroad trestle, over the Vermilion River to escape the embarrassment. So at 8 years old, I sang “You Light up My life” acapella in front of all of Vermilion. If American Idol was around in ’78, I would have made the beginning part of the season. I was that bad.  The only reason I did not get gonged was due to the fact that 2 of the 3 judges were my siblings teachers. And…

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Nothing is Impossible: Part 2

Back in July, I wrote a blog (Nothing is Impossible) about the opportunity to go to Israel in the spring and how God miraculously provided for half the trip. I feel the need to share something else that recently happened in regards to this trip.

About a week ago, I was watching the news. They were showing a segment on how what was going on in Syria and the United State’s response was affecting Israel. In the segment the Israeli government was passing out gas masks to their citizens. Not what I really wanted to see 6 months prior to leaving for the Middle East. I was feeling a little apprehension. And worry about the remaining money for the trip crept in.

Last Wednesday, I went home before Church to let the dog out. In the mailbox was a letter from my cousin Bobbie with the most beautiful letter and a check for $200 for my trip!! She had read my blog. In the letter she told the story on how 30 years ago, she was able to go Israel for three weeks. And her way had been completely paid for by her mother-in-law who accompanied her on the trip. With her permission, I am including excerpts of the letter she wrote me:

We spent our first night in Israel at a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee. We took communion on the Mount of the Beatitudes. It was awesome! We traveled to Nazareth. We spent more than a week in Jerusalem. Our pastor had his first church in Jerusalem, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, which is right across from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We to visit lots of his old friends. I loved Jerusalem! It is an exciting and vibrant city!

I have really condensed three weeks into a short narrative, but that trip changed my spiritual life. Just to have walked where Jesus was known to have walked and looked out over the Sea of Galilee  and walked in the Jordan River…what a thrill! And to visit the places where he did his ministry and visit the churches that have been built on the places of importance. I was sitting in a beautiful garden by a small church in Bethlehem, and a group of German tourists began singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” in German. Several other groups of tourists began singing along in their language, including us in English. It was beautiful.

And now when I read the Bible, to be able to picture the places they are talking about is such a thrill. We spent a day at the Dead Sea, and no, you can’t sink in it. There is too much salt and too many minerals and you can’t sink. It was about 115 degrees the day I went swimming, but it was refreshing. When I came out, I had to take a shower to get all the salt off of me. The water was very blue. afterwards, we went to the top of Masada.

Anyway, I’ve kept you long enough. I feel that it is very important for you to have the opportunity that I had back in 1984. I am enclosing a check for you to help you with your trip expense. I wish it could be more, but hopefully it will help!

Words cannot tell you how much this letter blessed me! Here is an example of someone truly paying it forward! It is obvious that I am supposed to go on this trip! I am continuing to trust that God will provide the rest of what I need!

At our church we have a saying when traveling to camps or conferences: “half the fun is getting there”. After these two gifts, I am convinced that the journey getting to Israel is going to be half the fun, quite the adventure and a wonderful faith builder! God is good!


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