Monday, September 28, 2009

About Roses

Letters from Camp Farthest Out

There is no place where my love cannot go. I have sent you to be a minister of that love. I have equipped you, even you to carry this out. A rose I plant along the way. I tell you – I command you to look at the rose. The thorns are only for your protection and I have created a perfect rose.
Look to the rose. It may be fragile and wilt early, but you are not yet experiencing the full benefits of eternity. Not a preserved rose or an artificial rose do I want in you, but one which blooms for one shining hour and then is taken from the stage where other roses bloom.
I love you. You are my perfect workmanship – created over time in my image. There is no rose in all my garden that is anything like you. You are an original creation.
Don’t think that because you are fragile I don’t love you. It’s the nature of roses. Not all my children are roses – some are sturdy oaks, others bending willows. I have made you delicate to be a thing of beauty. Rejoice in my love.

You are my “Desert Rose.” That song was written for you. It will bless others, but you are my special Desert Rose. Last year, I spoke all about roses and how you are fragile. Read that along with this and see the place you hold in my Kingdom.

You think you haven’t grown or matured, but you don’t see what I see. You are buried deep in the soil. Don’t you know that you are about to send your first shoot up to form the plant? Your tears have watered the seed and caused it to burst open.
There are so many vulnerable people just like you. I have given you the ability to speak for them and express the details of that type of life. They will be amazed that someone else can feel what they feel. Now do you know why you had to go through the desert, O Desert Rose? Don’t worry about how or when I will accomplish this. It will be your ministry. It will be your life. I have created you to speak to and for my shy, inhibited, tenderhearted, hurting ones. And the Desert Rose will glorify Me, the True Rose, The Rose of Sharon. I love you.

My dear child. I see the growth in you. I planted it, watered it and now it is beginning to spring forth. Will not the sower, the planter, the gardener also harvest the crop and use it for its intended purpose? I say “I AM” and I will. See how contented you have become. Isn’t it better here in my arms than anywhere else in the world? Yes, my dearest one, you will be used in my service. When I say ask – I want you to ask. When I say believe – I want you to believe.

Your sons and daughters are mine and will be mine for eternity. They are called to “such a time as this.” They are unique – like any rose whom a loving gardener tends. Keep watering your roses. The desert will bloom.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Right now, I'm trying to reschedule my days and nights. I used to be in the habit of getting up at 9:00 most mornings and going to bed at midnight. That would logically give me nine hours of sleep which I never got. I have had trouble sleeping since I was young. It started at Christmas waiting for Santa and then popped up when I slept anywhere but home, until by adult age, I had a bad habit of sleeplesness. I used to wear an eye mask in college and my roommaates gave me the name "The Lone Ranger."

Several years ago, I tried to solve the problem by reading before bedtime. Actually I always did that, but this was a determined effort to get lost in a story and get drowsy. I found that non-fiction, especially the kind of inspirational non-fiction I like not only didn't get me drowsy, but it made me excited. That was exactly the wrong direction. So I searched all over for great stories. The problem was, the good page turners kept me up till 3:00 a.m.

Now the good news. I found an herbal supplement that helped me a little bit. It was enough to give the pshchological effect of thinking it was helping anyway. So I got a lot more sleep. Then the baby came and I started babysitting.

Now, I am trying to reschedule my sleep time from about 10:00 to 10:30 p.m. and sleep until about 6:30 a.m. on those days. If I got right to sleep, I'd be good.

I have been going to bed earlier because I don't want to strain my eyes with books for a little while. It has been great. Last night I went to bed at 10:30 and went right to sleep, but I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep which I always could before. So since that was seven hours, I finally got up at 7:45 and called it a night. That's when I realized I am changing my habit and I hope it takes. Those hours are more in tune with the working world. We'll see how this goes. Have you ever tried to drastically change your sleep hours? Did it work? I'd love to hear how you succeeded. Have a great weekend. Nancy

Thursday, September 24, 2009


"Hello, Houston, we've got a problem." It turns out that something unusual happened along the way to my perfect eye healing. It seemed to me that I wasn't seeing distance as well as I should and also that I was seeing reading material better than I should. So today I went in and as of right now, it's still a mystery what the problem is. So my surgery for the right eye is on hold until they can figure out what to do. A lot of checking will be going on and there are options. Until then, I will just be happy that, for now, I don't have to look for my glasses in the morning. It's been real nice. I'm at peace because it isn't something I did, but someything that just happened and I have a doctor who is looking into the problem.

On another note, it occurred to me that I forgot one of my favorite parts of CFO in my last blog. We had something called creatives. There were music, art, drama, and writing. I used to try music every other year, art usually every year since I minored in art in college, and drama at least twice. All the youth showed up for drama and I got to see my teenage boys showing their values in impromptu skits, things they would never say to me. I did drama in highschool and enjoyed participating. Then of course there was writing. Here is where I learned to do my letters from God. We were told to listen and write what we felt He was saying. I enjoyed them so much that I did an annual CFO letter, even on years I didn't go.

One year soon after that, I was at a Christian Women's Conference in Fla. and I met Stephen Strang. He sat at our luncheon table. He was editor of Charisma at the time. I also met Maureen Eha from that magazine and she told me to write what God showed me each night. That is what truly started my large stash of letters that I now quote from and treasure.

The Lord has been doing some incredible things for me in the last few days. He showed me through several stories and a "live happening" that what was going on with my eyes (lack of distance vision) was not what it appeared to be. I got lots of Words and encouragement that He is in charge and that His word is true.

Has God ever shown you by a life experience something He wants you to know?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

As Far Out As You Can Go

One Sunday recently, I was praising God in worship and a scene came to me from my past. There I was in a small chapel in a wooden pew. The windows were open and a warm breeze wafted across my face. A clear tenor voice sang out and I was carried away to a Heavenly place as I thrilled to being back in my zone, the place where I thought of only my Beloved and He was with me. This memory came so strong that tears came to my eyes. No matter how large the conference, or deep the retreat, I have never been as taken away as the few years I spent in Alma Mi., Chapel during our CFO weeks.

For about eight years, my children and I were blessed to be a part of Camp Farthest Out, Mi. This is a place where for an entire week, families live in dorms on a campus and have a full day with the Lord. You strart with breakfast, then morning praise at chapel, hear an anointed speaker, go out on the lawn for rhythms, and then lunch. Afternoon is an intense prayer time in very small groups. Then swimming in a pool, dinner, evening praise, another sermon and fellowship.

Since parents are pesent, the kids are free to play together on all "off" times. Every age, from babies to young adult has a special place and proper programs. My children got so much from every year and their friendships have been such good ones.

I want to return to the chapel and my evening. We sang CFO songs I didn't know at first and every year I longed to sing them again. They were full of passion, and inspiration and love for my Savior. My favorite was called "And I will not turn back." I think it was in a minor key. I thnk a lot of them were, for they held me, gripped me, made me want to give my all.

At the end of the week, we had to literally "re-enter" life like the astronauts did when coming back from space, for we were coming back to the world and we had been in heavenly places.
I want to go back there, but I cannot go back because I'm not the same. I was much younger,much more innocent of heartache. Still, the Lord said He would help me find a place like that, not a locale, but a heart destination. Till then, I'm undone. I'm not in my place and I yearn for His great breath to carry me away to the place where He dwells.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

One Down and One to Go

This seems like a good time to tell you about my surgery. I was in the room ready to go and the anesthesiologist came in. He is an Asian man with a fondness for old movies. He made me laugh. The nurse put my IV in like a dream. She said it would be a prick and a burn, no big deal and it wasn't. I didn't feel the needle go in. Two times while I was waiting, a male nurse covered me with warm blankets - they were steamed, almost hot. It was like a spa.

When I finally got in the operating room, I kept waiting for the jab in the head by my eye that I knew was coming. In the prescreaning period, they had done a lot of bright lights in my eye and measuring, and "looking right here." So when the surgeon said that, I did it. He said the anesthetic would be kicking in soon. I kept waiting for the jab. I'm still doing a lot of looking. I see what looks like two halves of something in different colors. My mind is getting groggy, but I hardly realize it. I can still do what the doctor says, "blink, look up, look down." I hear them
talking about what rooms they can put me in. Suddenly I realize it's over. I never got the shot. He was a sneaky one. He must have put it in the IV, but I don't know when. The operation took about 15 minutes. I had revcovery and went home.

That whole day I was a pirate with a pinpricked eye patch over my left eye. I watched a movie that way and made it to the next day.

You can imagine how glad I was to lose the eye patch. I could see pretty well. I found that if I wore a contact in my right eye, things were almost normal. I went back for a checkup Friday and they said I was doing well.

Today I'm typing with my one contact and the implant. It is a bit hazy, but that is supposed to clear up as the days go on. So that's my report. God is so good. I couldn't have had a better surgery experience. Thank all of you who prayed for me. The next eye will be fixed on Oct. 1.
My goal is to "see clearly" for all the reading and writing I plan to do. Nancy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

God Who Works in Me.

Read Philippians 2:3-11

"It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Phil.2:13 NKJ

One morning I was having trouble praying. I was sleepy and my mind lacked the thoughts and ideas it usually has at night. I believed this to be a bad thing, but God gently spoke and said, "no, that's good." He showed me that you couldn't fill a full vessel. Unless I'm emptied of myself, there's no room for Him.

At night, I sense the Holy Spirit's nearness. I feel inspired and so full of the things I think God may want do through me. If I pray, God will hear and work it out.

The problem is, I am so focused on myself and tend to plan along with my prayers. Perhaps this hinders God's true work.

In the morning, when I feel very unspiritual, God seems far away. Knowing God can direct me and there is power even though I don't feel it or sense His presence, I take courage. By faith, I know that my prayers are heard and God can work through this empty vessel. Even better, when I fill myself with the Holy Spirit, I am full of something very good that can go out and bless others.

Prayer: O God, we ask to be filled with more of You. Guide and direct us as we pray. Amen.

(Just want you to know that tomorrow I am going to have cataract surgery on my left eye, followed by surgery on the right one in two weeks. Don't know how the in-between vision will be, but when both eyes are done, there's a good chance I won't need glasses for distance and I should be able to see my computer a whole lot better. I am very excited about this. I'll continue the wonderful story when I have more news. Nancy)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Avalanche

It's snowing over at my house. The place is covered with little white things. Not in snow but in notes! Everywhere I look, pieces of paper have taken over. If I search in my fairly new address book, I see snips and snatches of messages in the front. In my Blogger notebook where I list new URLs to check out, my recent post titles, and my comments log, the front has its share of paperclipped jottings. Well, when I blog, I get a good idea for the internet, or someone leaves a touching comment, or I need to remember to go back and visit a site for a certain reason. I do have a "notes" section on that same book, but it's so much easier to write it down and stick it in the front where I'll see it.

In addition to these tidbits, I write my favorite scriptures out when one verse touches me. I also use 7 notes to write out my week. Yes, I have a calendar and it is duly marked, but it is just so helpful to have one daily paper to work from, CROSS THINGS OUT likt Toad did in Frog and Toad, "The List." Then I can throw the list away.

Another thing I do, you might wonder at. I periodically go in my room and list what dressy outfits I'm going to wear for each Sunday, usually for a 3 month season. I don't have to do this. It's fun for me. I love playing with clothes and figuring out outfits. If on that day I don't like the outfit, I can make one up. It truly does save me time on Sundays. I'm always at church early.

My family looks at my notes and screams, "get a notebook" I've told you I have notebooks. Many of them. I have tried things with planners and other ways. I just have to have most of my current info right in the left little drawer of my desk. When it won't close, I put the notes in categories of folders and throw the rest out. Now it's ready for the next time.

This is my guilty little secret. I'm going to have to get busy sorting soon. Am I alone? Can anyone relate? Nancy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Running to Catch Up and Enjoying the Race

While riding with my husband in the car yesterday, he said, "you have a wedding picture on the wall already." I said. "yes, I do." Actually my daughter and I went out and got some prints on Mon. because she wanted a special one of herself and her boyfriend. So I, after having already put my photos on the computer, picked the best group picture, got an 8x10 and put it in an old frame, now have a gorgeous wedding shot up above my washer and dryer.
Even I can't believe it. To think the wedding was Sun. and I got a pic up the next day. At the last wedding in '02, that wasn't possible.
Not only do I get to have early pictures, but my sister asked me to join Facebook recently so she could put some of the shower pictures there. We finally connected. My daughter -in-law, Rebekah, put me on and after the wedding, my newly married son, Joe asked for my pictures. I had to get help again. This time my daughter, Dawn, put a whole lot of pics on for me. She showed me how and I finished the rest. Now I have three other albums from "friends" to look at and I hope more show up as well. It's fantastic! It's amazing! What will they think of next?
I know the techno people are already way ahead of me. They always will be. I'm just glad I got on board when a wedding was at hand because it made sharing so much easier. And my joy at sharing things with my blogger friends is the most fun of all. Thanks for staying tuned. Nancy

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Long Awaited Special Day

This was such a great day for me. The weather was gorgeous The bride and groom were radiant. Mom was extremely happy. The park was in Ann Arbor, Mi. and there were several barns for a backdrop, one of which held the reception. Tables were all set up with fall decor.

I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see your children with all their friends, all enjoying a special occasion . It was so sweet. It was funny and unique, just like the bridal couple. They are the adorable people surrounding me on the left.

My husband is in center, then my bridesmaid daughter, my daughter-in-law, baby Ty, and my second son. It turned out to be more than I could ask or think, just like the Lord promises.

Just want to add how happy I am to have my new dauthter-in-law, Sandra in the family.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Suitcase Sagas

By Gracie Prior
My father’s old suitcase is brown and tan with leather trim. Though it isn’t in great shape, I love it because it reminds me of college in the 20s and 30s. My dad had to go to college during the depression. This suitcase probably held everything he needed: underwear, pajamas, a pair of slacks, a few shirts, socks. That was probably all. This handsome container could have held a pin stripe or a cotton suit though I don’t think my dad had either one of those. The suitcase reminds me of young gentlemen, polite and well bred, laughing with white teeth showing, a boater hat pushed back on dark curly hair. And if the man with that suitcase saw a lady, she might have worn a long gossamer dress. Maybe her hair was short, maybe piled up on her head. They would sit on a porch swing and drink lemonade. They would have their futures before them. Little did they realize the generation they were to produce. For who could ever imagine the baby boomers.
But for now, the Victrola is on and there is mosquito netting on the porch. The lady has a palm frond fan and she has begun to fan herself nervously. There is a little breeze. She stops and listens to the man with the suitcase. It turns out they are both borders of the same house and will be staying there while they are in college. She is going to be a teacher. He is what? I don’t know. Maybe an architect. He has lots of ideas. He used to help his dad build and he saw things that did not exist. He dreamed what was not out of the substance of his imagination.
He is happy to meet the lady. His plans are open. He treasures new friendships. The Victrola has stopped and someone on the porch plays a ukulele softly. These are most certainly all cliches, yet they paint my picture. The honeysuckle is so thick on the trellis; the scent hangs on the air. It is deep and almost suffocating, yet somehow lovely.
The talk between the couple ends. She goes in for the night. The man puts the suitcase by the swing and remembers he has come so far. Raised on the farm, he blends in with the city boys. Only his meager possessions give him away; no distinctions mar his easy manner. He is tailored and conservative yet full of elegance and good breeding. Though the depression has begun, he has hopes. His is the face of the future. He will ascend to the top of the mountain called the good life. After him, what then?
My son sits on our porch with the old suitcase on his lap. It is now an antique, a relic of times past. He looks inside and admires photographs of his grandfather: a naval officer, a builder, and a father. His clear eyes note the character in each visage. He is determined to continue the traits that made this gentleman great: honor, hard work, and love. He arises and carries the suitcase confidently into the future.
(The wedding is Sunday, September 6. Details next week. Have a great weekend. Nancy)