A little bit of a speed bump....one of those days! Thank the Lord that He works in all situations!

Have you ever had one of those days?  Those days when things just do not go as you planned or expected them!  For me, that day was yesterday.  You see, Larry and I have been in Nashville for a few weeks for some scheduled follow up doctor appointments.  After these appointments, we were all packed and ready to fly back to Sisseton and were excited to minister in Sioux Falls on the 24th of this month!

 

I had one more appointment scheduled for yesterday for my knee.  I had injured it in Sisseton before we left and had hoped that time would heal it, but it wasn't improving.  I had been to the doctor a few times already for it and as time went on, it got worse instead of better.  I walked (painfully) into the appointment because this stubborn Norwegian wasn't going to use crutches or a wheelchair, and it became extremely clear that we had a real problem.  I felt my heart sink as the doctor shared with me after examining it that I couldn't fly, I couldn't do stairs, in fact….I can't even be on it for a determined time.   I exited there with a heavy spirit and a pair of crutches.

 

As we entered into our home, I saw our packed bags, and felt the weight of this latest health frustration.  We knew that with this news that we were going to have to cancel our upcoming rallies to allow my knee to heal, as well as, to undergo another heart procedure in July.  Honestly, I dreaded making the necessary phone calls, but I didn't want this to be a reality.  I want to be able to honor our commitments, to share the Good News, to continue on in the work He has called me to.  Yet….amidst it all, I know that God isn't taken by surprise, and that I can trust Him wholly every moment.  I think of Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."  I know that God will turn this frustration into facilitation for His glory!

 

Larry and I ask that you would continue to keep us in prayer over these next few weeks.  Please pray the knee recovers completely, the heart procedure goes well and we can hit the road again!

 

NOTE:  The rally scheduled for June 24, 2018, at Calvary Assembly of God in Sioux Falls, SD, has been POSTPONED!

 

Thank you for always being there!  It means more than words can say!

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Services in South Dakota and looking forward to Minnesota this weekend!

What a beautiful spring day!

We love coming back to South Dakota to see the green, green grass of home after a fresh rain. We spent the weekend in Brookings, SD in services at Brookings First Assembly of God church with Pastor Gerry and Cathy Bass. We started out Saturday with a Mother's Day Tea event…how fun was that! We loved having mothers and daughters of all ages attend.

 

Then on Sunday we had a morning service where we honored all the mothers and others and climaxed with a beautiful altar call with many making decisions for Christ and two or three mothers, at least, who made first time commitments. That makes for a great mother's day!

 

It was also a joy to be back with Ernie and Gloria Hutchins that worked for us over 20 years ago in our office for several years and did a great job!

 

 

 

How precious to have had my daughter LaDawn born on my birthday, which is May 17th, Norwegian Independence Day. My mother always joked and commented, "When Gloria was born, the Norwegians lost their independence and she gained it with her tenacity, determination and zest for life." What an honor to my daughter born on my birthday, she's a jewel.

 

 

The week before we had the privilege of ministering at Christian Life Assembly of God in Watertown, South Dakota with Rev. Cliff Sheldon. It was a blessed time and it always feels like "coming home" when we visit.

 

 

 

I would like to share with you an article that Larry wrote and thought it was so fitting. Just a testimony of his family and his mother…

 

What a change there was in my mother's life when our family came to Christ! My mom was a chain smoker, a worrywart and was ridden with such unbearable fear that would leave her often in a state of total panic and dread. If there was an electrical storm, she was so scared and terrified that she would run down to the old musty cellar in the farmhouse and sit on the water pump proceeding to wail and cry. (Electrical storm sitting on a water pump=probably not the best idea.) Of course, being a kid, I would tease her. Sitting there, she would shake her fist at me, "God's going to punish you!" As I stop to remember that, I realize that was my first introduction to what God was like. My interpretation was that I just knew that God was a big bully in the sky waiting to use a baseball bat on me for punishment.

 

Mom also had an almost paralyzing fear that something would happen to one of us kids. Again, as a kid, I never stopped to rationalize why she was so gripped by this emotion but my little brother, Lavern, passed away from whooping cough at almost one year old. I remember the gut wrenching sobbing that came from my mom when she received the news. Not knowing Christ at the time, she didn't have the comfort that only God could give.

 

Mom, when in her 20s, worked for a lawyer in Minneapolis at the Foshay Tower. My dad worked as a machinist during World War II in Minneapolis. Due to Dad's deteriorating health and troubled nerves as they moved into their 30s, Mom willingly gave up her great administrative job, and they moved to rural South Dakota. It was here they started a whole new uncertain life on the farm. Their life was filled with heartache and hopelessness…THEN CAME JESUS!

 

What a day…April 1957…our whole family came to Christ! When Jesus came into our lives, everything changed! Dad's health and wellbeing began to get better. Alcohol left our home. Mom stopped screaming and was delivered from chain smoking. Mom stopped worrying and became a whole new Mom. The farmers a ½ mile away knew "something" had happened to my mom when she wasn't in the farmyard screaming at the top of her lungs, "Watch out, the tractors are coming!" as she often would to warn us of sure danger. Her life until that point had consisted of such unrelenting fear and unrest. Now, she laughed, smiled, and was at total peace. Our entire home and countenance changed.

 

Shortly thereafter, the Lundstroms began the traveling ministry, and Mom offered up her home and experience as a legal secretary to head up the Lundstrom Ministry. She turned her home into an office with desks and employees, sacrificing her privacy and daily cooked for 10- 20 employees. Mom was the solid rock behind the Lundstrom Ministries. She continued to be the Office Manager until Parkinson's incapacitated her for 16 years.

 

It was devastating to see Mom's body cripple up to a fetal position. It was so painful to watch her lose the ability to talk or communicate, but we knew she was a prayer warrior. She loved her family and the ministry. Even though she lay in bed for 16 years, we never doubted that as she lay there with her hands folded, she was praying day and night for her family and the ministry they were a part of.

 

Mom was indeed like the woman in Proverbs 31. She was a virtuous wife who "awoke while it was yet night and provided food for her household (and ministry)" (vs 15). She also watched "over the ways of her household and did not eat the bread of idleness" (vs 27). As Mother's Day once again approaches, we all miss her greatly. We know, however, that the prayers she prayed continue on and that she is now fully at peace and rest, rejoicing in heaven. Thanks, Mom, for allowing Jesus to change everything!

 

I encourage you, friend, that if you find yourself like my mom entrenched in fear and hopelessness, the same Jesus that changed everything in her life will change yours as well. You just need to invite Him in!

 

 

Amen! I just love that story!

 

This weekend we'll be in Robbinsdale, MN for a Biker's Rally at Olivet United Methodist and on Monday we fly to Nashville for doctor appointments, etc. Thank you for your prayers and love. We hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day and a great upcoming summer!

 

 

Gloria

 


REFLECTION

 

Image result for christian mother quotes


 


 

RECIPE

 

Peanut Butter Crunch Pie

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup white syrup

2 cups Rice Krispies

 

Mix peanut butter and syrup. Add Rice Krispies. Press into pie pan. Fill pie shell with any flavor ice cream. Can also top with ice cream syrup. Double recipe if you want a 9x13 pan.

 

 


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Greetings from Arizona!  Needless to say it is a toasty day with 97 degrees here.  On the other hand, we had a "cool" weekend of ministry which is always so refreshing....

NOTE:
There was a schedule change for this weekend, and we will no longer be having a service in Wagner, South Dakota.  It will be rescheduled due to some conflicts with the location. 

Greetings from Arizona!  Needless to say it is a toasty day with 97 degrees here.  On the other hand, we had a "cool" weekend of ministry which is always so refreshing.  We are busy packing our motorhome and will be hooking up the trailer with the car and heading off from Arizona Valley up into Flagstaff and making our 1800 mile trip back to South Dakota.  We are anxious to get to our home state again and we have some exciting rallies coming up in South Dakota and Minnesota! 

 

 

Hopefully if you are in the area you can invite some friends and attend an upcoming service

 

May 6, AM service – Christian Life Assembly of God, Watertown, SD

May 12, AM - Women's Tea with Gloria in Brookings, SD

May 13, AM service - First Assembly of God, Brookings, SD

May 20, AM service - Olivet United Methodist Church, Robbinsdale, MN

 

NOTE:

There was a schedule change for this weekend, and we will no longer be having a service in Wagner, South Dakota.  It will be rescheduled due to some conflicts with the location. 

 

We appreciate your prayers for us as we head into a busy May.  Blessings on you!

 

 

Gloria


 

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Closing out March in Hawaii and what April holds!

Greetings from snowy South Dakota! We pray you had a blessed Good Friday and Easter Sunday!

What a shock to leave palm trees and 82° sunshine and soft trade winds of Hawaii to 14°, harsh winds, and fresh 12 inches of snow. Brrrr, I thought it was supposed to be spring… got fooled again!


The last few weeks we had a wonderful month of ministry in Hawaii. We love the people over there that are so open, relax, laid-back, and hungry for God.

 

 

"Larry and Gloria had a call from God over 53 years ago and are still truly anointed. Whether it is a first time salvation call, or a recommitment of a life, God has blessed them in such a remarkable way. 

 

Thank you for your fervency and commitment, Larry and Gloria."

 

- Eric & Debbie Pagan

 

 

We were privileged to meet this precious couple in 1990.  They hosted us while here in Oahu. Thank you so much; we were greatly blessed by their hospitality and graciousness! 

 

 

 

Thanks to our friends, Tim & Evelyn DeGracia, Leonor Tuazon and Nati Lived, for hosting us for part of our stay in Hawaii. They have been a blessing to us time and time again!

 

 

 

 

It was great being back with Pastor Cris and Aurora Bartolome.  They, along with several pastors on the island, are true faithful pastors.

 

They started the church in Hawaii and have been there 52 years!  How interesting that this is Larry and I's 52 year, on the road in evangelism. 

 

We both celebrated that when we were together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev. Cris and Aurora Bartolome

 

 

Altar call at Bethel Chapel Assembly of God in Waipahu, HI

 

 

We are always thrilled to see those who make first time commitments and those who have struggled and prodigals that made recommitments to the Lord.

 

 

 

Janet Cordeiro is another faithful pastor who has been ministering there for 40 years.  Her church has been supporting us monthly since 2005.  We thank God for those churches that have invested in our evangelism outreach.

 

 

Gloria and Pastor Janet Cordeiro

 

 

Altar call in Waimanalo, HI

 


So many wonderful pastors that we have known since 1990 and now to watch so many of these friends we met back then who now have children grandchildren and great grandchildren. Whoops, does that make me feel old… I guess I am!


Larry and I have just enough time to unpack our suitcases and pack again to leave for Minneapolis to speak the Senior's Luncheon for the Assemblies of God of Minnesota. We are looking forward to that! Then on April 11, we fly to Arizona to get our motorhome and start our trip back to the Midwest for rallies this summer.


We appreciate your prayers for safety and continued prayers for health. God is good, we just need to be smarter. Ha! Here's our Schedule for our next few upcoming rallies. Please come and join us, we'd love to see you! God bless you.

Gloria

 

April 7 at noon – Cedar Valley Church, Bloomington, MN, Senior Luncheon Service

April 29, AM service – Lighthouse Ministries, Wagner, SD

May 6, AM service – Christian Life Assembly of God, Watertown, SD

 

 

Gloria

 

 


REFLECTION

 


 


 

RECIPE

 

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cook 1 (10 ounce) package of frozen, chopped broccoli with 1 cup water for about 5 minutes.

 

Add:

3 T. chopped onion that has been sautéed in 2 T. butter

2 tsp. chicken bouillon

½ c. Velveeta cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 c. milk

 

Combine all ingredients; heat over low heat, stirring occasionally.

 

 


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Services in Hawaii and what's next!

Aloha, from Oahu, Hawaii!

I know what you're thinking…"Oh it's terrible to have to suffer for Jesus in Hawaii!" But isn't it great that Larry and I were willing to go and suffer? HA!

 

It's great to be back with such wonderful pastors and friends again, many of them we've known since the 1990s when I held several women's retreats and meetings in the Hawaiian islands. We've had wonderful services in two churches and two more to go during our time here. These precious island people know how to worship and love their music, even more than that I love their sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and the response to the altar calls to be sure they are ready to go to heaven. There have been some memorable and dear first time decision for Christ where people have prayed so long for loved ones to get saved. It's always a thrill to stand at the side and to realize it's not us, but the Holy Spirit that draws and changes lives. What a privilege to be able to represent Christ!

 

 

 

"We love when Larry and Gloria work us into their schedule and come to our church to sing and preach. We are always happy and blessed! You are always welcome to Jesus Cares Ministry."

Rev. Gloria Manera

Jesus Cares Ministry

Waipahu, HI

 

 

 

 

 

Aloha, 

My family and I have been blessed to spend some time with Reverend Larry and Gloria Lundstrom, here in Hawaii. Their wonderful testimony and encouraging words was a refreshing reminder to my wife and I about the purpose of why we participate in ministry. On behalf of Jesus Cares Ministries, we pray that God continues to empower you both so that you may continue to spread the word of the Lord for many years to come.

 A Hui Hou (Until we Meet Again),

 Kalin, Gladys & Ellie Joy Sandobal

Worship/Associate Leaders

 Jesus Cares Ministry

Waipahu, HI

 

 

 

Moments like these at Jesus Cares Ministry are what keep us going all these years!

 

 

 

 

Ewa Beach, HI:

 

"Having Gloria and Larry Lundstrom minister in our church has always been a blessing! This past Sunday was no different! At the altar call many came forward for recommitments and at least three that we know of became brand new Christians!

We are so glad that the Lundstroms haven't changed their ministry of soul winning! In this day and age we need Jesus in our lives more than ever before! Thank you, Larry and Gloria! Never change!"

Rev. Bob & Kathy Stalcup

Senior Pastors

Ewa Beach Assembly of God

Ewa Beach, HI

 

 

 

 

 

"Like a welcomed breeze of fresh air, our hearts were truly refreshed and encouraged in the Lord by the songs and the soul-winning message we were blessed with today. We especially enjoy the relentless wit and humor of our Brother Larry and the patient interjections of Sister Gloria; what a wonderful testament to what godly marriage is all about-53 years worth of it!

Something truly special happened today, our teenaged daughter was so moved by the Holy Spirit when the altar call was given, that she decided to reaffirm her relationship with the Lord. This was such an incredible blessing to witness today. Thank you so much for faithfulness and love to the Lord and to the ministry. We truly love you both so much!"

Rev. Chavez & Sharonne English

Associate Pastors

Ewa Beach Assembly of God

Ewa Beach, HI

 

 

 

We were so blessed by the response at Ewa Beach Assembly of God!

 

 

Looking Ahead…

 

If you're in Hawaii be sure to come and join us in Waipahu this weekend on the 18th at Bethel Chapel Assembly of God at 9:00 am and Sunday, March 25th in Waimanalo at Waimanalo Assembly of God at 9:45 am.

 

In April we'll be back in Minnesota to minister at a Senior's Luncheon at the Cedar Valley Church.

 

We appreciate your continued prayers!

 

 

Gloria

 

 


REFLECTION

 


 


 

RECIPE

 

We love the sights, sounds and tastes of Hawaii!  While we cannot quite reproduce those on the mainland, this scrumptious dessert comes close.

Delicious Coconut Cake

CAKE:

5 egg yolks

2 sticks butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp soda

2 cups coconut

½ cup pecans

1 tsp vanilla

5 egg whites, whipped

 

FROSTING:

8 oz pkg cream cheese

½ cup butter or margarine

1 lb powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

 

Cream egg yolks, butter and sugar.  Add all other ingredients, except whipped egg whites.  After batter is smooth, fold in egg whites with a spoon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Mix frosting ingredients together until they are of spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cake and sprinkle with coconut.


 

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Happy Valentine's Day!! We pray you have a day full of love and amazing memories! We are getting better day by day. We appreciate your prayers. We may not hit the pace we would like, but we look forward to continuing to do what we love to do! We are expecting great things as we fulfill our upcoming schedule in Hawaii!

Happy Valentine's Day!! We pray you have a day full of love and amazing memories!

 

We are getting better day by day. We appreciate your prayers. We may not hit the pace we would like, but we look forward to continuing to do what we love to do!

 

We are expecting great things as we fulfill our upcoming schedule in Hawaii! Here is our love story and some encouragement for you today:

 

Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate wrapped in shiny red foil, dancing hearts suspended from ceilings, a full assortment of Valentines: plain, lacy, funny, sentimental, heartwarming and more (expensive, may I add?) all grab our attention as if to announce "LOVE IS IN THE AIR!"

 

When I saw this in Walgreen's drug store recently, I couldn't help but reminisce back to my former life as a single girl looking for God's mate for my life. I must share with you that I dated some great guys, but I knew God had one—and only the right one—to be my life's mate. I took that very seriously because I knew without a doubt I was called into full time ministry. That made dating and searching extremely stressful and needless to say, a very intentional journey; a journey that I knew had to ultimately direct me to the one God would pair me with. Every day since I was 8 years old, I had prayed for God to bring that mate to me. I was now 20 years old and back then, that was getting old to get married! How crazy is that!

 

Along my journey, I dated guys from all over and how unique it was that God brought me back to my hometown, home church, and to my teen rival in our church youth group. Through a series of events, starting with Larry's brother, Lowell, walking up to my car after church (as they were home off a five month tour) leaned into my car window and pointedly said, "Hey, Gloria. Why don't you date my brother, Larry?" Being rivals of the past, I just laughed it off at the time. That was until a couple weeks later, Larry asked to take me home from church. I conceded but had absolutely no idea that anything would ever amount to anything between us. I really thought that this may be a time that we could mend our teen rivalry and now that we were adults, we could be friends. Well, it was the beginning of God's plan for our lives which involved months and miles of events, stories, letters, phone calls and casual dates when Larry would be home off tour. Something began to draw us together, and we both knew it was truly God's call on our lives. I didn't know until we started to grow closer through dating, that he, too, was very serious about finding the right one… God's one and only lifetime mate.

 

Let me move on—after dating for a year, I just knew it was all coming together, but Larry closely guarded his feelings to the point that he never even said, "I really like you," or anything similar. I began thinking, I can't just sit here and wait if he does not have intentions in the future for us, I will just move on. Then one spring evening, we were at his parent's farmhouse sitting on the couch, and I, being the strong bold Norwegian that I am, needed to know NOW if this relationship was going to be a STOP or a GO. I took a deep breathe, mustered up courage and said, "Hey, Larry. You know we have been dating for over a year, but I don't know what future intentions you have for us, if any, as you have never even said the words, 'I like you'!" He appeared to be a bit shocked but I continued on, "Do you like me?" And now to my shock, with a straight face, he firmly answered, "I don't like you." At that moment, my heart sunk. But then, he reached over, taking my hand and expressed, "I don't like you; I love you." We both chuckled and laughed and that has been the joke between us for years. That statement was his commitment.

 

I liken that part of our love story to our relationship with God. He is there on the sideline wanting a relationship with us, but God is waiting for the moment we move from "I like you…I guess" to "I love you and want this relationship forever." "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31.

 

I am so glad Larry and I told God that we loved Him and that we love each other. At this moment, we are so thankful for 52 ½ years of marriage and the soul-winning journey we continue to navigate. Well, that's my story… and I am sticking with it!

 

 

 

Gloria

 

 


REFLECTION

 


 


 

RECIPE

 

Triple Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. devil's food cake mix

1 (4 ½ oz.) pkg. chocolate instant pudding & pie filling

1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ¼ c. water

¼ c. vegetable oil

2 eggs

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients until moistened. Stir batter vigorously for 1 minute. Spread batter in lightly greased 13x9 pan. Bake until top springs back when touched lightly in center, 40-45 minutes, then cool.

 

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Happy New Year! Ooops….another speed bump!  Here is the update!  Several months ago the doctor found a questionable cyst through a CAT scan on my right kidney....

UPDATE:  We just wanted to let you know that Gloria went through her surgery like a champ and is recovering at this moment.  Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for a quick and full recovery!

 

*If you are reading this and going "what surgery"?  Feel free to read down to the end of this update, and you can read all about it!


Happy New Year! It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about the beginning of 2017…and now we are already dipping our toes into 2018. Let me correct myself! Not "already" as it has been 365 days, but my how time flies! 

We've enjoyed so many wonderful memories made with family over the holidays! 

 

 

The beginning of a new year often marks the time that we take inventory and see how many of our 2017 resolutions we kept and ask ourselves if they are still worth all the energy and intensity put into them. We ask questions like, "Did those resolutions strengthen my relationship with God, my spiritual walk, my emotional being and my health? Did those resolutions build stronger family ties, strengthen my marriage and make me more effective at my work?" Those are all important questions. If the answers are "Yes", then that is a good indicator to carry those resolutions into the new year.

 

Just as we evaluate the successes of our resolutions, we also consider the failures. We don't choose to dwell on them or beat ourselves up for not accomplishing them but we learn what we can from them, forget them and move on. Like Paul, we should

say, "…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth into those things which are before…I press toward the mark." (Phil. 3:13-14) In my experience, I find it very interesting that satan is always quick to bring up my failures of the past year

rather than my successes. Revelation 2:10 mentions that he is the "accuser of the brethren." That is what he does…he accuses. "You are a failure as a mother. See the struggles your children go through. You are not a good wife, mom or grandma because if you were, this bad thing would not have happened. You didn't accomplish this or that…so Gloria, it's your fault because you're not organized. You are a failure!"

Satan dwells on our failures. If I listen to him, I would give up, run away or dig a hole and crawl into it! But I find great comfort in God's Word in Philippians 4:13. I cannot and do not have to be perfect, but I do have to be dependent on Christ and abide in Him, finding my sustenance from who He is!

Psalm 62:5-8 says, "I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him. He alone protects and saves me; He is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; He is my strong protector; He is my shelter. Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell Him all your troubles, for He is our refuge."

John 15:4-5, "Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing."

 

I can't afford to dwell on my failure of the last year. I must press forward and ask for God's wisdom and guidance to help me every step of the way. I would rather choose to try and fail, then to not have tried at all. I know that if I vow to put Christ first and foremost in my life, if I will get into His Word and devour it and if I will spend time in prayer each day…He will give me ALL that I need to live a life of godliness. 

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

God has been faithful and will continue to be faithful as long as we are faithful to Him. I can truly rest in the words of the old hymn, "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus."

 

 

Ooops….another speed bump!  Here is the update!  Several months ago the doctor found a questionable cyst through a CAT scan on my right kidney.  I am scheduled for aspiration surgery on January 24th.  At that time, they are going to drain the 12 centimeter cyst on my kidney.  They are pretty certain it is noncancerous but will do a biopsy at the same time.  The surgeon would like to try this procedure first.  They feel it will refill but feel this is a safer route than surgery to remove it as there is concern about messing and moving other organs during surgery.   They feel with that kind of surgery, there is 50/50 chance it will be successful and a 50/50 chance it would make it worse.  Thus, they are going to do the aspiration to drain it to relieve some of the pain and discomfort and….I look like I am six months pregnant!  (at this age…that doesn't feel very funny…HA!)  I told that to the surgeon and he responded, "Well, the cyst is the size of a baby's head so I can understand why you feel that way."  The surgery requires they will go through the back or side.  I chuckle a bit as it appears that life is taking on the "patch, patch, patch" pattern.

 

We would greatly covet and appreciate your prayers for successful surgery.

 

Sadly though, as a result of this latest speedbump, we felt it necessary to cancel our rallies in Arizona as the window of time for recovery was not matching up.  We are greatly saddened by this but know that we have to at this point.  The dates affected are February 4th in Apache Junction, AZ and February 11th in Glendale, AZ .  Thanks for your understanding, prayers and sticking with us! 

 

 

Gloria

 

 

 


REFLECTION

 


 


 

RECIPE

 

Broccoli Casserole

2 pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1/2 c. butter

2 T. flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. water

8 oz. Cheez Whiz

3 eggs, broken

1/2 c. cracker crumbs

 

Set broccoli out to thaw. Melt better; add onion, flour, salt and water. Stir until smooth. Add Cheez Whiz and eggs. Stir until sauce forms. Mix 1/4 cup cracker crumbs and broccoli. Pour sauce over broccoli. Sprinkle with remaining cracker crumbs. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

 

 


 

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Merry Christmas, friends! We are in Nashville, TN with the kids and what a joy it is to all be together. I am reminded of many who don't have that blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas, friends!

 

We are in Nashville, TN with the kids and what a joy it is to all be together.

 

I am reminded of many who don't have that blessing.

 

Tommy's Prayer

"Shut up! I said shut up!" The anger that flared out of those words sent a cold chill through me. I couldn't imagine anyone screaming that loud in a public place. It was assaulting!

 

It was a week before Christmas, and we were heading home for the holidays. LaShawn, LaDawn, and Donovan were anxious to get home to decorate for Christmas and to do our annual Christmas baking. Despite our rush to get home, I persuaded Larry to stop for just a few moments at a large department store in Missoula, Montana, to buy Christmas decorations and some new Christmas music. The store was crowded with last minute shoppers. Christmas carols were playing over the sound system; children were squealing with delight begging for toys and candy.  It was fun being caught up for a few moments in the hustle and bustle of it all. Well, it was enjoyable until I heard those harsh words.

 

Shoppers around me also hesitated, wondering what was happening. An audience was growing. I peeked around the corner to the aisle where the voice had come from. There stood a tall, good-looking man in his early 30s, loading his cart with cases of alcohol. Looking up into his face with tears flowing down his cheeks was an approximately four-year-old adorable little boy begging, "Please, Daddy, don't drink. Mama said she doesn't want you to drink for Christmas." The father leaned over screaming into the young child's face, "Shut up, I said shut up! I don't care what your mother said. She doesn't know anything,

now leave me alone."

 

I looked at the blond-haired toddler and my heart ached for him.  I sensed by the way he was sobbing, he had witnessed many sad and harsh moments of unhappiness in his home. As young as he was, he knew what an enemy addiction was, and his face revealed the tragic effects of fear and anxiety. I will never forget that sight as long as I live.

 

A few days later, we stopped in a little town in Montana to use a pay telephone (that tells you how long ago this was!) It happened that the phone was in the town's little park that had swings and a slide. A bushy haired, freckle-faced little boy came running up and begged with a cute little lisp, "Pwease push me on the shwing…" I was busy trying to write on my book but the pleading look on his face expressed deep sadness and loneliness. I began to talk to him and asked him questions like, "Where do you live?"

 

He promptly replied, "With my Gramma, but she's sick in the hospital. My mom's visiting her." He jumped on the merry-go-round just as I asked the question, "Where's your daddy, Tommy?"  His countenance dropped, the tears filled his eyes, he grasped ahold of the rail, the corners of his mouth dropped as he revealed his hurt, "My daddy don't wanna come home." And the tears began to flow.  I choked up, but then gained my composure just enough to share Jesus with him.

 

When I returned to the bus, I thought, "Here is a real Tommy, just like the song Lowell wrote years ago entitled, 'Tommy's Prayer.' "

 

Have you ever seen a little boy that kinda likes to smile:

With freckles and bushy hair, who'd run and play for miles?

There are thousands of the little guys who'd love to have a Dad

To love and treasure and be proud of like other fellows have.

But Satan, in his vile ways, has torn apart the home.

Liquor has his Daddy now so he must play alone.

And when the day is finished he turns to go to bed;

His mommy kisses him goodnight—again her eyes are red.

He knows that she's been crying and praying God will hear her:

That Christ will save his Daddy who's in a honky-tonk out there.

He kneels beside his bed to pray—he looks so frail and thin.

Tommy's never been the same since Dad left Mom and him.

He looks up into heaven, the tears roll from his eyes.

He'd like to have a Daddy now like all the other guys.

"Dear Jesus, speak to Daddy now. I miss him when he's gone.

Bring him home to Mommy soon; He's been away so long.

I know you can forgive him for everything he's done;

And I know if You'll just help him, God, I'm sure he will come."

With these last words he falls to sleep; the last words are a prayer

That Christ will save his Daddy who's in a honky-tonk out there.

This could be your little boy who's cold and feeling blue—

Or it could be that little guy who lives right next door to you!

 

This Christmas there will be a lot of broken-hearted Tommy's wishing Daddy wouldn't drink.  And a lot of Tommy's and Suzies' that wish their Daddy's or Mommy's would come home.  Addictions (alcohol, drugs, pornography, work, sports, etc.) have taken a destructive toll in the homes of thousands of children–not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.  Would you consider adopting a Tommy or Suzy in your neighborhood this holiday season, including them in your festivities? As a family, designate some of your Christmas spending money to buy some gifts for them. Help show God's love to these little ones that are in pain and suffering loneliness this Christmas. Remember, it is more blessed to give than receive.

 

 

Gloria

 

 

 


REFLECTION

 

Three C's of Christmas

 

The three C's of Christmas are not cookies, candy and Claus but…Cradle, Cross and Crown…

 

It was only a crude bed of straw in a stable, yet it cradled God's gift of love – His only Son, Baby Jesus- God in human form.

 

On a rough wooden cross hung God's gift – Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ – who took our sins upon Himself that we might be forgiven. God crucified.

 

At that time He wore a crown of thorns. But when He shall come as ruler over His Kingdom, He shall be crowned with glory and honor and "every knee shall bow…" to our King of Kings!

 

Without the reflection of these three C's  - Cradle, Cross and Crown – in our festivities, Christmas has no deep meaning beyond cookies, candy and Claus.

 

- Mildred Barger


 


 

RECIPE

 

Bon Bons

 

1 c. powdered sugar

1 ½ c. Rice Krispies

1 c. crunchy peanut butter

2 T. butter

 

Stir ingredients and chill. Melt a package of chocolate chips and add about an inch of paraffin when melted. Roll above ingredients into ball shapes and dip in chocolate. (Can also use Hershey chocolate bars).

 

 


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Happy Thanksgiving week! We are blessed to be in Nashville and enjoying time with family. We pray you cherish memories made in the past, as well as the present, this Thanksgiving. In Everything, Give Thanks...?

Happy Thanksgiving week! We are blessed to be in Nashville and enjoying time with family. We pray you cherish memories made in the past, as well as the present, this Thanksgiving.

In Everything, Give Thanks?

 

I'm sure some would question that title right now! The world has been in constant chaos from terror attacks, unrest between nations, witch hunts in the white house, civil and racial unrest, lack of respect and honor towards authority, our military, police, etc. To add to that, we've experienced unprecedented hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires. The scripture "That which can be shaken will be shaken" (Hebrews 12:27) is happening. Gloria and I were reading in 2 Timothy 3 where He speaks of perilous times—take the time to read it, it's like reading the now daily newspaper. The entire world is seemingly in upheaval.

 

Gloria and I have received countless calls, letters, and emails of so many of our wonderful partners and friends whom are under attack in their health, jobs, relationships, finances, marriages, and struggling with addictions. We know that the devil knows his time is short and is throwing every evil, poisonous dart where he can and while he can to wear down the saints. If ever we need to gird up and hold on to God's Word and promises, it's now. In these times we need to be reminded of John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." 

 

The devil is out to steal our peace, but the good news is, he can't take it unless you let him.

 

Years ago, an acquaintance of ours was in a tragic car accident. He lost both arms and legs. Miraculously he lived and was literally just a torso. His best friend came to visit him in ICU several days after the accident. Upon entering the hospital room, the sight and smell almost caused him to faint. He had no idea it was this tragic. The patient seeing his friend was overwhelmed, smiled and motioned with his head for him to come closer and he said, "It's okay!" The visitor winced as his injured friend continued to motion him to come closer. In a weak but determined voice, the injured man said, "Bill, the devil got my right arm—Bill, the devil got my left arm, he got my right leg, he got my left leg"— then hesitated, smiled and announced, "But he didn't get my heart for Jesus, I will be okay." He lived for many more years serving Christ.

 

I've thought of that true story oftentimes when Gloria and I have experienced deep valleys and heartbreaking journeys. The devil will try to take this or that…but praise God he cannot take our heart and passion for God and He cannot have our faith.

 

Friends, this Thanksgiving, thank God for what you have, not for what you lost. "You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3.

 

 

Larry & Gloria

 

 

 


REFLECTION

 

 


 


 

RECIPE

 

Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce

 

With the amazing recipe, not only will your mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing have a delicious companion, but your house will smell divine!

 

1 cup apple cider (you can substitute water)

1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced

3 cups fresh cranberries, washed

1/3-2/3 cup sugar (possibly more to taste)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Zest of one small lemon (about 1 tsp)

 

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer until the berries have burst and the mixture has thickened (about 10-15 minutes).  Let cool and serve.  This may be refrigerated for two days or frozen for up to two months.

 


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As Larry and I celebrate 52 years in this life together, it feels like we've seen it all; and yet, God is always on the move and showing us new things! I wanted to share Larry's message from our newsletter as we celebrate holidays and prepare for the next year of ministry...Beware! Terrorists in the Pew!

 

As Larry and I celebrate 52 years in this life together, it feels like we've seen it all; and yet, God is always on the move and showing us new things! I wanted to share Larry's message from our newsletter as we celebrate holidays and prepare for the next year of ministry:

 

Beware! Terrorists in the Pew!

 

Have you ever had to call one of those uncomfortable family conferences where you had to air some feelings, either with your mate or your children? You didn't want to address it, but you knew if you didn't address the issue, things could spin out of control causing fractured relationships and/or irreparable damage.

 

Well, that is the burden of Gloria's and my heart. In state after state, church after church, we have seen irrevocable damage being done to the church family with little or no reconciliation or confrontation. We have heard stories from many pastors and members describing scenarios that reflect the church as a breeding ground for bitterness, anger, meanness, fighting, division and certainly not representing the Leader, Jesus Christ, well. Christians, we need to awaken and see where the devil is using our flesh and selfishness to cause discord among the brethren. Proverbs 6:19 states that "discord among the brethren" is one of the seven things God hates. The church is supposed to have the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) evident in their lives as to be a reflection of Jesus Christ.

 

One man gleefully grinned and said, "I was the one who split the church years ago!" Appalled, the new pastor said, "Why and what over?" The man responded, "Oh, it was over the placement of the piano on the platform." The pastor quizzed, "Well, just where did you want the piano?" He looked puzzled and hollered to his wife, "Ruth, where was it we wanted the piano?" She couldn't remember. Sadly, this is a true story. How tragic! Because of a personal preference of where the church piano should sit, this gentleman gathered his forces, fought the issue, and split the church. God, help us!

 

In the past 20 plus years on the road, we would say 80 percent of the churches we have ministered in, from all types of denominations, have split over differences whether it be over types of worship, the media ministry, the décor style of the church, the incorporation of new ideas for outreach, who is on the worship team, who is on the leadership team and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. We are not saying that there are not issues that need to be addressed but how we go about it is absolutely critical. So many times, in the course of these disagreements, they turn into fighting, misunderstandings, assumptions and people become wounded, discouraged, embittered and calloused. To ease their pain or to build their ego, others are recruited to "take a side" and before one knows it, another church is starting across town.

 

WHY IS IT THAT CHRISTIANS OFTEN CAUSE THE WOUND INSTEAD OF OFFERING THE BANDAID? We cry, "Why isn't our church growing?" or "Why are our people leaving?" We need to STOP and take a STEP BACK. Who wants to visit a home where the people fight all the time and the very atmosphere is thick with dissension? It is the same with the church. People are very perceptive. There is enough of this behavior taking place in the world all around them. When they also see "mature" Christians participating in the same manner, they say, "If they are supposed to be Christians and they act like that…or if that is the joy of serving Christ…I don't want any part of it." We have to know that our actions not only affect us but are leaving ripples that spread beyond our little sphere. We don't need church dividers; we need church menders. We need Christians who will shut the mouth of the lions, not feed them. We need to see the harm the "terrorists in the pews" are doing to the name and work of God with clarity and determine that we will not participate. In all honesty, if all the time, words and energy that goes into tearing one another down, airing our rightful opinions, and chasing our rights would instead be put into reading God's Word, praying for ourselves and others and "fishing" for souls, we would see a greater harvest of souls coming to Christ!

 

I once heard the statement that the CHURCH THAT DOESN'T FISH…FIGHTS! And I believe it to be true. If the church isn't reaching out and bringing in the lost to be saved, they become dissatisfied and inward focused eventually causing disharmony. The end result–wounded, hurting, embittered brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

 Luke 17:1 says, "It is impossible but that offenses will come, but woe unto him, through whom they come!" Those were words straight from the mouth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Friend…pastor…parishioner…if we cause a Christian brother or sister to stumble through pain, hurt and discouragement…woe to us. We will be held accountable.

 

Lord, please open our eyes and rend our hearts that we may BE PEOPLE that reflect YOU in all situations and treat others how you would have us do so. Forgive us for the times we have said things with arrogance and selfish ambition rather than out of kindness, compassion and forgiveness. May we be a restorer of broken walls that the lost would see the Church as a beacon of hope, restoration and truth rather than a fragmented lost cause.

 

 

 

Larry & Gloria

 

 

 


REFLECTION

 

 


 


 

RECIPE

 

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

 

1 ½ c. flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 c. instant oats

1 c. shortening

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. white sugar

2 eggs

 

 

Sift flour, soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.  Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and beat. Add flour mixture and oats. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

 


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