Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A few thoughts from Menomonie

  • Wherever we are, there is a right step to take.
  • A true apology contains no self-justification.  If we're still trying to justify ourselves, we can't come under the blood of Jesus.
  • What Jesus offers helps everybody.
  • The Lord defines what sin is.
  • The graciousness of God is to tell us the truth about ourselves before it's too late.
  • God's putting so much effort into us because He wants us to make it.  We'd like to be more aware of the effort He's putting into our salvation.
  • Waiting time is not wasted.  We don't have to wait idly.  God can prepare us to be ready at the right time.
  • We have all the help we need to be a bright light.
  • What we devote our time to is what will prosper.
  • Jesus displayed in a human body how God's will can be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • It takes the spirit of a child to trust the Father implicitly.
  • God will never expect a change in us that He can't perform.
  • Charity doesn't keep a record of wrongs.
  • What speaks to others is what God does in us.
  • Not one word is in the Bible to fill up space.
  • It's submission, not determination, that will help us to be faithful.
  • Keeping ourselves out of the picture can change the whole situation.
  • What God has cleansed is clean.
  • Believing the gospel sets us apart.  It doesn't exalt us in any way, but it separates us from what is unlike God.
  • God wouldn't call us if He couldn't keep us.
  • Dwelling on our failures doesn't glorify God.
  • Don't get so wrapped up in natural things that you'd be unavailable for God to use you.
  • If we get to know God better, we will trust Him more.
  • God can fully satisfy us if we have the right kind of hunger.
  • Repenting and having a purpose go together.
  • When the devil brings up our past failures, don't ask God for forgiveness again.  Instead, thank Him for forgiving us already.
  • A living hope will motivate us to make right decisions.
  • Don't trifle with wrong thoughts.
  • When we love God more, we will love others more.
  • What we don't get victory over will control us.

If you walk early, you can avoid the mosquitos.

Menomonie, WI Convention 2014

Wed. 7:30 - Darin Jensen, Bonita Kleeb

Thurs. 10:00 - Wander Albino, Christina Topinka, Melissa Chardeen
Thurs. 2:30 - Irving Ross, Melinda Yule, Kamela LiaBraaten
Thurs. 7:00 - Stanley March, Kelsey Ramsden, Travis Wagner

Fri. 10:00 - Clarence Mounce, Robert Eberhardt, Tanya Braund
Fri. 2:30 - Lyle Shultz, Jane Estey, Kara White
Fri. 7:00 - Jason Stein, Mary Fields, Sarah Slachetka

Sat. 10:00 - Irving Ross, Kamela LiaBraaten, Sara Webster
Sat. 2:30 - Clarence Mounce, Bruce Shaw, Mary Anne Kraus
Sat. 7:00 - Darin Jensen, Christina Topinka, Melinda Yule

Sun. 10:00 - Lyle Shultz, Clinton Goff, Jane Estey
Sun. 2:00 - Wander Albino, Gwen Aarestad, Jill Zimmer

A few thoughts from Marion

  • God doesn't tire of us.  He doesn't get tired of our honest prayers.  He doesn't grow weary of helping us.
  • May we never be at peace with ourselves if we are not right with God.
  • We appreciate those who have waited on the Lord so that they could come to us with the right spirit and the right message.
  • Waiting on God will give us the strength to rise above things.
  • We cannot prosper without the Lord's judgment.
  • "The better often is the foe that keeps us from the best."
  • God is using our enemy to move us to seek Him.
  • One principal thing that God wants to do for us in the place of prayer is point us to Jesus.
  • If it doesn't thrill our hearts to think about spending eternity with God and Jesus, we need to get to know them better.
  • A lack of joy comes from a lack of offering.  The song comes after the sacrifice.
  • Be content with what God gives.
  • Privilege is all about how we count it.  Jesus considered it a privilege to serve.  He counted it a privilege to give His life.
  • We don't want to misrepresent our Father.
  • We want to reverence the place of prayer.
  • The only reason a Hebrew servant would choose not to go free would be because of the benefits of the house.  It would say a lot about the master.
  • We need to be careful about what we believe.
  • God is no man's debtor.  The enemy would like to point out the cost, but the benefits are greater.
  • If we value our peace, we'll want to be searched.
  • Fruitfulness is usefulness.
  • In difficult experiences, we can have fruit out of season.  That's even more previous to God.  When Jesus met with His disciples, it's like He was bearing fruit in season.  When He said, "Father, forgive them...", it was fruit out of season.
  • Don't be satisfied with, "It's good enough."
  • Commitment requires consideration.  Failure to commit paralyzes progress.
  • The Lord doesn't despise our need for reassurance.
  • This is a way of steps.
  • Keeping for ourselves makes us poor and sorrowful.
  • We have no power to change what God has said.
  • Ex. 17 - When you strike flint, you get fire.  God could have sent fire and given them what they deserved.  Instead He sent water, the thing they needed.
  • God has made provision for everyone who repents.
  • Balaam couldn't curse God's people, but he taught them to mix with other nations, and it brought God's curse.
  • Even in the place of safety, don't let your guard down.
  • This world needs to see (in us) what God thinks about things, what God loves.
  • Get violent with the things in us that would rob us.
  • The darkness of night always gives way to the dawning of a new day.
  • Don't try to make big choices when even little choices are difficult.
  • Don't ever be afraid that darkness will put out the light permanently.
  • The severity of God is only shown when we reject the good.
  • Our lives are not our own, so if we use them for our own purposes, we're not being honest.
  • When we're afraid, God wants to comfort us.  Let Him.  When we're hungry, He wants to feed us.  Let Him.  When we're dirty, He wants to cleanse us.  Let Him.
  • Lack of peace doesn't come from a lack of understanding but from a lack of trust.
  • A good example gives peace; a bad example disturbs peace.
  • Salt loses its savor when it loses its purity.
  • We can spare ourselves some things if we take careful thought beforehand.
  • Distractions cause unnecessary accidents.
  • Procrastination can be a thief.

A lovely place to walk

Marion, WI Convention 2014

Wed. 7:30 pm - Perry Pearson, Linda Woollum, Tanya Braund

Thurs. 10:00 am - Irving Ross, John Culver, Ruthie Topinka, Kim Stork
Thurs. 3:00 pm - Carson Wallace, Christina Topinka, Jenna Dick
Thurs. 7:00 pm - Bruce Shaw, Mary Fields, Sara Webster

Fri. 10:00 am - Clarence Mounce, Duane Topinka, Melinda Yule, Kelsey Ramsden
Fri. 3:00 pm - Jim Girton, Hazel Williams, Rebecca Shaw
Fri. 7:00 pm - Luther Raine, Leila Byers, Jason Stein

Sat. 10:00 am - Carson Wallace, Clinton Goff, Darla Fisher
Sat. 3:00 pm - Irving Ross, Jane Estey, Mishelle Lord
Sat. 7:00 pm - Clarence Mounce, Bonita Kleeb, Eric Nueske

Sun. 10:00 - Jim Girton, Christina Topinka, Kamela LiaBraaten
Sat. 2:00 pm - Duane Topinka, Emmy Nelson, Melissa Chardeen

On our way to Marion

Beautiful blue skies, solitary trees and healthy corn fields

A Threesome

Jane Estey                   Kamela LiaBraaten          Karla Ransom

South Chicago - Seneca - NW Indiana
Sept. 14, 2014

A prune by any other name...

During one of our Indiana conventions, we had a bag of prunes that we kept trying to get rid of.  We would serve them at every available morning break and afternoon tea.  We'd set them out at night lunch.  And at the end of it all, our container was nearly as full as it had been when we started.  During one break a few of us found ourselves discussing this issue and decided that it was really all about marketing.  Dried plums would be much likelier to achieve popularity than prunes.  

Then, lo and behold, when Kim came to visit after convention, she brought with her...


Between conventions

Farmer's Market in Kenosha, WI

Forest Preserve Hike

Near Karmen's

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A few thoughts from McCordsville

  • Feeding on Jesus strengthens us.  Humility strengthens us.  Resisting the devil strengthens us.
  • Courage is fear that has prayed.
  • Only what we've given to God will be ours in eternity.
  • It requires more courage to give your life day after day, year after year, than to give it in one moment of time.
  • A fixed heart and a song go together.
  • Some things are unthinkable for a child of God.  Those things we don't have to decide every day; they're settled.
  • Wanting opposite things in our life makes us unstable.
  • Nothing God plans for us has evil in it.
  • We can't go any farther than our purpose.
  • Often God works in small ways.

McCordsville, IN Convention 2014

Wed. 7:30 – Duane Hopkins, Scott Potter, Sandra Shaw

Thurs. 10:00 – Carlton Schooley, Esther Wahlin, Marilyn Nutt
Thurs. 3:00 – Lyle Schober, Christina Topinka, Kaitlyn McKee
Thurs. 7:00 – Don Barber, Mary Simon, Kamela LiaBraaten

Fri. 10:00 – Paul Morton, Karen Cleveland, Sharon Rostad
Fri. 3:00 – Duane Hopkins, Delmar Stockwell, Rebecca Carroll
Fri. 7:00 – Jeff Thayer, Esther Wahlin, Sara Lacock

Sat. 10:00 – Lyle Schober, Mary Simon, Sandra Shaw
Sat. 3:00 – Carlton Schooley, Dennis Kinnan, Marilyn Nutt
Sat. 7:00 – Paul Morton, Karen Cleveland, Gloria Edwards

Sun. 10:00 – Duane Hopkins, Geri Weiner, Christina Topinka
Sun. 2:00 – Don Barber, Jeffrey Vogelzang

Also present: Jeannette Ford, Janet Nicol, Ardith Ellingson

Monday, October 20, 2014

A few thoughts from Shoals

  • Jesus doesn't force His yoke on us.  It's something we take up.
  • The most important thing to us is the last thing we let go of.
  • Loving the spirit of the Lamb will cause us to respect the answer of the Lamb.
  • In the garden, Jesus prayed until Heaven sent help.
  • God can enable us to please Him in a body of flesh and blood.
  • We can't, but God can.
  • Jesus truly believed that the place of service was His place.  It wasn't just something that He did.
  • Paul didn't use his past to discourage him but to keep him humble.
  • We can't help others if we put ourselves above them.
  • God's strength can carry us to the end.
  • Whatever the condition of our heart, the Lord is a specialist.
  • Our Savior knows exactly what we need, and He loves to provide it.
  • We'll understand the sacrifice of Christ in deepest measure when we follow Him.
  • The words of Jesus will never fail us.
  • Don't miss any opportunity to show the spirit of Christ.
  • Loving God like we should will help us make right choices.
  • A soldier doesn't choose where he serves.
  • When we get to where we're going, where will we be?  (our eternal destiny)
  • We can live in the world and be separated in our thoughts, our love, our desires.
  • Responding to the Spirit will always bring unity.

Shoals, IN Convention 2014

A few thoughts from Seneca

  • For change to take place, we must be honest.
  • God planted Jesus in the earth so we could clearly see the fruit He is desiring.
  • We don't want to despise what God tells us about ourselves.  Believe it!
  • Being cut back brings us closer to Jesus, makes us aware of our great need of Him and produces greater fruitfulness.
  • If we ask God to do things to and for us so we could glorify Him, He will never refuse us.
  • God has invested too much in us to quit now.
  • It's alright to look in the rearview mirror, but don't keep your eye there.
  • Little things unaddressed could consume us.
  • Truth will withstand any test.
  • It's a secure feeling to know that God is choosing for us.
  • We could be in the kingdom and not really have the spirit of the kingdom.
  • We want love to be the motive for our obedience.
  • If we get to know the Lord as we should, we will wait for Him (in prayer).  If we value His answer, we will wait.
  • It's easier to keep out of trouble than to get out of trouble.
  • Carry this thought: "I am representing the eternal God."
  • We're not promised tomorrow, so we want to be doers today.
  • When we bring joy to God, we can enter into that joy.
  • Lingering at the door is not a happy place to be.
  • The household of God is full of people who care about our soul.
  • We can support each other in the conflict even when our individual struggles are different.
  • Most problems (in the kingdom) don't exit because of evil but because of misunderstanding.
  • Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.
  • If we didn't number our days, we might not apply our heart to wisdom.

Seneca, IL Convention 2014

Wed. 7:30 - Leslie Pountney, Melissa Chardeen, Kamela LiaBraaten

Thurs. 10:00 - Michael Hassett, Linda Woollum, Alice Scanland
Thurs. 3:00 - Brett Hammett, Karla Ransom, Lynae Dykstra
Thurs. 7:00 - Scott Hanks, Mona Reece, Rose Taplin

Fri. 10:00 - Charles Vaughn, Karen Morton, Carol Stephens
Fri. 3:00 - Duane Hopkins, Louise Martin, Loyce Hopkins
Fri. 7:00 - Mark Peters, Kim Swanson, Kara White

Sat. 10:00 - Brett Hammett, Linda Woollum, Rebecca Shaw
Sat. 3:00 - Leslie Pountney, Jeff Thayer, Melissa Chardeen
Sat. 7:00 - Slade Blend, Karla Ransom, Sharon Carroll

Sun. 10:00 - Duane Hopkins, Louise Martin, Karen Morton
Sun. 2:00 - Michael Hassett, Mona Reece, Nathan Pedigo

Friday, October 17, 2014

Convention Preps 2014 - An Overview

Many days boiled down to this.
(Pun intended)

After the first Saturday work day at McCordsville, Rebecca and I found a lovely park in which to walk before making a Culver's stop and heading back to the grounds.

We had lots of these lovely fellas at Shoals.

The never-ending saga of convention curtains:
What goes where?  We need to find someone who remembers what the women's restroom curtains look like.  We're missing three shower curtains.  Do you think it matters if they all match?  Etc, etc, etc.

My first experience with making gravy
I got a 20-minute lesson the night before from Dad.  Then I had gravy dreams all night before waking up extra early the next morning so I would have time to make a practice batch.  Fortunately for me, it turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself, and we had a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy (and sausage and scrambled eggs and fruit).  Whew!

Sunday afternoon excursion to Spring Mill with K and D during Shoals preps
Checking out the wildlife

Time for the real exercise to begin!

K & D wondered exactly how many pictures we needed of that bridge!  
But it was so beautiful!  
And they patiently waited until our appetite for bridge pictures was satisfied.

Posing in front of the cave
The "weather" was perfect - warmish that grows slightly warmer when you're hiking with refreshing cool spots along the trail due to the presence of caves and springs and such.  Ahhh!!!

Wanna have a picnic?

These next pictures are not the best, but they will give you the idea of our next activity - a very necessary one in the cool-down process.  

Still friends
Ummm, D, what are you doing back there?

K & D in the village at Spring Mill

Adorable Great Pyranees puppies at Shoals

Grand explorers

And many other things happened at preps, namely work.  However, we were too busy (and then too tired) for further documentation.  If you've ever been to preps, you know all about it!