September has been full of celebrations thus far! First in Oak Creek, WI, celebrating 40 years of ministry for my brother and his wife, Rev. Jerry & Sherry Brooks. We are so proud of them!

We had so much fun as we were inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame! Having the "Lundstrom's" back together was a true delight!

 

 

Another Milestone!

 

September has been full of excitement and celebrations! 

We were so privileged to be able to share at the banquet honoring my brother and his wife, Pastor Jerry and Sherry, for 40 years of serving at their church, Oak Creek Assembly of God!  We are so proud of them for their total dedication to winning the lost all these years ! 

There are three of the Brooks' siblings that have served in full-time ministry and it was a joy to be all together to celebrate this milestone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 14th---What a momentous exciting evening!  Larry and I, along with the "Lundstroms" were inducted into South Dakota's Country Music Hall of Fame.  We flew from Nashville, TN, to Minneapolis, MN, and then journeyed onto the little community of South Shore, SD, where the ceremony took place. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so much fun getting back together with several of the Lundstrom's and having a live band that consisted of Leon Lundstrom on drums, LJ Lundstrom on lead guitar, Londa Lundstrom Ramsey on keyboards and vocals, Larissa Lundstrom on vocals,  Wade Johnson (Sisseton) on bass guitar, Albert Svendal (Minneapolis) on steel guitar and Larry and I on lead vocals.  We sang some of the first songs that Lowell Lundstrom had written in the late 50's and 60's.  The Lundstrom's produced almost 70 albums through the years.

 

 

 

Wini Iverson, who was in charge of the induction, informed me that we had been inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.  The Lundstrom's were nominated by Sherwin Linton, mid-America's country music legend, who has been performing for over 60 years.  Sherwin and his wife, Pam, were close friends of Lowell and Connie Lundstrom through the years. 

 

 

When we received the information for the inductees, it read, "To be nominated, one must be 70 years or older."  Ouch!  That stung!  I don't mind being 75---I just don't want to see the numbers in print.  Anyway, we were honored, to say the least, to be inducted and to receive the prestigious award.

We are grateful to the Lord for allowing us nearly 60 years to sing the songs about Jesus that changed the Lundstroms' lives and destinies.  Through the combined ministries of Lowell and Larry, there have been over one million recorded decisions made for Christ.  That is the greatest reward yet!

People ask if we are retiring, we plan to slow down, but we are going to keep on keeping on, singing and preaching until we can't!

Gloria



RECIPE

Oven Baked Apple Pecan Pancake

3/4 cup pancake mix

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

1/3 cup sugar

2 large tart, cooking apples, pared and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine pancake mix, milk, eggs and one teaspoonful sugar; mix well.  In a skillet, saute' apples in melted butter over medium heat until tender.  Remove from heat.  Transfer apples to glass pie plate and add pecans.  Pour batter over apples and nuts.  Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.  Cover foil or you can leave open.  Bake at for 10-12 minutes or until pancake is puffed and sugar is melted.  Loosen side of pancake from skillet or pan; cut into wedges.  Serve like a pancake.

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"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always."  Psalm 105:4

 

For almost a week, we have heard the name Hurricane Dorian and it has become synonymous with records breaking and horrific damage.  We have been seeking the Lord, and we ask you to join us that the violent storm would further head into sea and will not make landfall in the U.S.  We rejoice that its path deviated from Florida, but we continue to pray the Lord would direct its path away from the coast.

We also ask that you join us in prayer for the nation of the Bahamas that was hit savagely.  We have had numerous opportunities to minister there and our hearts are saddened by the images we see coming through the news media.  Please pray for our brothers and sisters there that there would be no more loss of life, that recovery would be quick and that the Lord would comfort the brokenhearted and give strength to the weak!

Thank you!  We never underestimate the power of prayer as people join together to see His face!

 

We have a busy few weeks ahead of us and just wanted to share them with you!

 

This weekend, September 8th, we are delighted to join my brother, Jerry, and his wife, Sherry, as they celebrate 40 years of ministry at their church, Oak Creek Assembly of God.  I so appreciate their hearts to serve faithfully, their continued passion to see the lost saved and how they have stayed true to the Lord in their calling.  They are dedicated, passionate and amazing examples of servants to the Lord!

 

 

We will then make our way back to the Sisseton office.  September 13-15, we are excited to be inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame along with the Lundstrom Family.  We are truly delighted to be able to present the Good News through music and give honor to Jesus!  We are so thankful and feel privileged that we have been able to serve the Lord in this manner for over 50 years.  Truly the Lord is good!

 

 

After that delightful weekend, we will have more to celebrate.  We will join Pastor Londa Lundstrom Ramsey along with more of the Lundstrom family to give thanks for five years of ministry at The Father's House.  We praise God that the Gospel continues to go forth!

  

 

 

Please keep us in prayer for strength and safe travels these next few weeks!  Thank you for being there and thank you for being part of our story....because of your faithful prayers and support, we have been able to continue to share the Good News!

 

Gloria

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"Help!  I can't see ahead!"

 

Déjà vu! Every place we go, and on every road we drive, Larry and I see campers, motorcycles, motorhomes and pick-up trucks towing boats and all sorts of water sports "toys"! The sights and sounds scream out VACATION! Now that August is winding down, there is a rush to get the family vacation in before the summer ends.

 

Coming from a family with 10 brothers, we would usually go once a year on a family vacation.  However, my dad was very adventurous so he made every weekend a mini vacation—either at the lake, camping or picnics here and there.  In fact, my dad was what you call an "out of the ordinary adventurous type." He loved going where no man has ever been. Never (or rather I should say 'seldom') did he go to a public vacation area around home. 

 

I was reminiscing recently thinking back of how on a whim he'd say "Hey kids, let's get in the car and go." Due to that, Mom always kept a clothes basket with cans of pork n beans, chips, cookies, and Koolaid packed and ready to go. She also always kept the refrigerator stocked with hot dogs for a spontaneous picnic lunch. Off we would go down the road! Many times we held our breath because we knew we weren't going to a state park, a local resort or a popular lake.  No! He liked to go, as I said before, "where no man goes, except him".  He would drag us all with him whether we wanted to or not! HA!

 

I remember one time (amidst tons of them), he drove us down to a local lake and pulled over, not into a lake parking lot, but made his own parking spot off the edge of the road. We looked and all we could see was high grass and towering weeds about 4 foot high surrounding us. He jumped out of the vehicle and instructed, "Let's go!" Oftentimes, we, kids, questioned if we truly wanted to go, but with his adventurous spirit and orders to follow him , off we went like goslings following their daddy goose.  My brothers ran, pushing weeds and high stepping trying to catch up with him. Then there was me, a little Norwegian blond about 5 years old, scared of snakes. Let me tell you, there were lots of garter snakes and wood ticks! I high-stepped, pushing weeds out of the way higher than I am. I would scream "Wait for me!" to which he would reply, "Oh just hurry up and follow the path where we have stomped the weeds down."

 

Every step my heart was pounding so hard I could feel it in my chest. I wanted to turn back, but I couldn't see the car. I was afraid of being left behind with the snakes, mosquitoes (state bird ha!)  and wood ticks so with the help of adrenaline, I forged forward. I don't know how far it was to the lake shore (it felt like miles!) When I arrived, it certainly wasn't a beach; it was nothing more than big rocks, water weeds, blood suckers and yuk! Right by the edge where dad and my brothers were fishing, thank God there was a huge rock that I was able to perch on, fighting mosquitoes and hoping I was safe from the harmless but intimidating garter snakes slithering around in the weeds. They fished°and I wished we were somewhere else.

 

It's a good thing my dad didn't let me fuss and whine. He wasn't being mean; he wanted to toughen me up some as he didn't want me to be a 'cry baby' girl. Needless to say, his strange ways help toughen me—not to mention, my brothers also helped to take the 'wimp' out of me. I guess God knew I would need to be tough to handle ten brothers and living on the road for almost 54 years!!!! Yikes!!!!

 

As I recalled this childhood memory, I couldn't help but think of other times in our lives where spiritually we feel like we've been led on an adventure we didn't ask for. We didn't ask for the trials, the pain and the disappointments that make us feel like we are being encircled and trapped by satan's tactics. He wants us to be consumed by his lies telling us we can't find our way, we won't make it, we will lose our finances, our health, our marriage and he threatens, "I've got a deadly grip on your children; they are mine!"  When we are faced with those times of fear... yes... we all fight that until we cry out like I did, "Father, help, don't leave me! I can't see ahead! Wait for me! Hear me—I need your hand to hold as I weave my way through this valley!"

 

Going through a heartbreaking trial in our lives, I was vocally crying out, "God where are You in this valley? I can't go through it without Your divine guidance.  You've got to HELP! I am scared!" And like an audible voice to my heart I heard these words, "Trust me, Gloria, trust me".  It was then I threw my hands up and said, "Here it is, Lord. I can't handle it!" Then HE took over.

 

 

I so identify with the psalmist David, who was continually under attack. He faced oppression, opposition, depression, and he was always fighting battles like we do.

Yet in dire discouragement, he would always cry out to God, and God always met him at his lowest point. God didn't give David everything He cried for, but He encouraged him giving him hope and strength to go on!

 

David said in Psalms 34:17-19:

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,

And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as [a] have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

 

I also love what Peter says so bluntly and straightforwardly in 1 Peter 4:12-13, 

 

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."

 

Friend, I encourage you to hold on. Give it all to Him. He will walk ahead of you and hold your hand. How do I know? I'm still here—'living proof '!

 

Enjoy the rest of August!


Gloria

 

Schedule:

September 8th we'll be in Oak Creek, WI as part of a 40th Anniversary in Ministry for Gloria's brother and sister-in-law at Oak Creek Assembly of God.

September 13-15 we'll be back to South Dakota where the Lundstroms' will be inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame. 


Then on September 22nd, we will be taking part and ministering at The Fathers House, pastored by Londa Lundstrom Ramsey in Burnsville, MN.  Jot that date down and plan to join several of the Lundstrom family who will be singing together and " telling stories " from the road. 

 


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Barbequed Hamburger

5 lbs. hamburger

1 green pepper

1 medium onion

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T. barbecue sauce

 

Brown all the ingredients listed, then add ¾ cup ketchup, 1 can tomato soup and 1 can cream of chicken soup. Simmer until thick.

 


 

 

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Hello from the beautiful state of Minnesota----the land of 10,000 lakes.  Unfortunately we won't be here long enough to see them all!  Ha! 

 

 

 

We have had an action-packed tour again in Minnesota and South Dakota, and we thank God for all the decisions that were made for Christ. We were in Hillman, MN, this past Sunday (the 6th)  at the Lakeview Community Church pastored by Pastor Paul Osborne Jr.

 

 

 

   Larry with Pastor Paul Osborne Jr.

 

What a great time we had with many visitors as well as many people who follow the Lundstrom's from years past. It's truly a delight to meet old friends and to make new friends!  It's always thrilling to see many make rededications to the Lord who have just been under attack in their lives and have just gotten lost in the shuffle.  And of course, how absolutely rewarding to see those who make first time decisions---the transformation of joy on their faces when they leave fills our hearts!  

 


 

 

 

 

 

The Sunday prior (August 4th), we were delighted to be back in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with our dear pastor friends, Todd and Goldie Leininger.

 

 

 

 

 

My happy cousins came and joined us...what a treat!

Again we were so blessed by the many friends that we have known from years of traveling that were there visiting.  It is so special to know that many came to Christ through our ministry and are still serving the Lord faithfully!  Of course with school starting soon, many people are on their last getaway weekend, so as they would say in the church world "it was mainly the church choir that attended" meaning mostly born-again friends and family. I think there were five who raised their hands that made a decision for Christ.  Praise the Lord!

                                                                                                                                                                   

My happy cousins joined us....what a treat!

 

 


As always we were honored to have our District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God of South Dakota, Rev. Steve and Rachel Schaible, join us for the morning.  They literally went an extra mile to get there for the service as they flew in from Orlando, Florida, arriving in Sioux Falls at nine and making it over for our church service before it started at 10:30 AM.  We so appreciate their leadership in South Dakota and their friendship from way back!  In fact--- when Steve was just a young lad, we would minister at his parents' church in Two Harbors, Minnesota.  That was a "few" years ago!

 

 

 

 


For the last two months in between all of our rallies in the Midwest, we have been still filtering and sorting through 54 years of ministry office equipment, music equipment and files that have been left neglected that needed to be gone through. When I looked at all the stuff that has accumulated in the 54 years, I chuckled and told Larry, "I'm excited because we should get this done!"  He looked at me with a joyful look on his face until I said "in the next two years". He thought I was kidding° but I'm not sure about that after the time we've spent and progress made thus far! 

 


Larry and I are on our way back to Nashville now where we will be working in our Nashville office for a bit.  We will then be returning back to Minneapolis and back to South Dakota where the Lundstroms' will be inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame, September 13-15.  It is so very kind of them to make this presentation and honor us, but truly the greatest honor of all is to have had the opportunity and the privilege of presenting the gospel message to countless thousands of people all over the US and several countries seeing thousands come to Christ through the years. Yes!!!!!

 


On September 22nd, we will be taking part and ministering at The Fathers House, pastored by Londa Lundstrom Ramsey in Burnsville, MN.  Jot that date down and plan to join several of the Lundstrom family who will be singing together and " telling stories " from the road. 

 

Have a blessed month!  Please continue to pray for us!  Thanks!


Gloria


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Toffee Bars

1 1/2 c. butter

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

2 egg yolks

3 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

6 Hershey bars

 

Mix all ingredients together except Hershey bars. Spread in small cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (about 25 minutes). Place Hershey bars on top of warm bars and spread. Let cool and slice. 

 


 

 

 

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Services in South Dakota, Minnesota and birthday celebrations!

Whew! Let me catch my breath!

Where has the last six months gone? It just seems like it was January and here it is, now mid- July.

 

The last time I wrote on the web was that we were in the prairie lands of western South Dakota. Next we ventured on to our home office in Sisseton, South Dakota. Again, how different it is to go back to where you were born and raised, see your home that you lived in for 40 years now being occupied by somebody else, and to see our childhood home and the farm. All of the memories of that was very emotional. We were blessed to stay in the home of a child evangelist who is on the road, and then spent the days down at our ministry office sifting through 35 years of ministry stock, dead files, and thousands of photos, bus parts, tools, music equipment... and as they print on Auction sale ads, "too many numerous items to list!"

 

Besides all that craziness while in Sisseton, we held an exciting service in our "home church!" It's always great to see friends and family - and most exciting was seeing the dozens who responded to the altar call. That's where the joy comes from!

 

 

Sisseton, SD altar call

 

It was a joy to see our friends, the Wilmer's and Sundvall's from Northern Minnesota, drive over for the rally. They have been on many, many fun and fellowship tours.

 

 

It was also fun getting a quick getaway to the lake with our nephew LJ and his son Zeke! We always treasure the chances we get to see family.

 

 

Then we drove to St. Cloud, MN for our annual ministry board meeting, and on to Minneapolis where we met our niece Londa for lunch to celebrate Larry's 76th Birthday.

 

 

Our next stop brought us to Owatonna, Minnesota. On Sunday, June 30th we took part in the morning service at Elevation Church who is pastored by our friends Doug and Debbie Jones. Sunday night we held a rally in the Owatonna city park. Despite the pouring rain, thunderstorms, tornados warnings that scared many people away, 2 hours before the rally, the wind calmed down, the rain stopped, the sun came out and we had a great time of music, ministry and altar call! It was a perfect fun filled evening.

 

 

 

 

Pastor Doug and Deb Jones with Larry and Gloria

 

Then.... then the frosting on the cake was the delicious meal and birthday pies Debbie made to celebrate Larry and Pastor Doug's Birthday who share the same birthday... June 28th. 

 

 

And then there was more cake! Larry was blessed with ice cream cake with our friends Bob and Sharon Conklin. He loves loves dairy queen ice cream cakes!

 

 

 

To wrap up the flurry of ministry and fun, last Tuesday we raced to the Minneapolis airport to head back to Nashville. After the intense security check, I proceeded to the x-Ray machine and I was halted by a stern scolding... "And just tell me why YOU didn't take your shoes OFF?" I smiled..... "I am 75 years old!" He deflated and acknowledged with an "OK." That's a perk of being 75.... I don't have to take off my shoes! They strip about everything else off or out of carry-on bags, guess after unloading all that, I am too old to be a threat! Yea!

 

So now here we are, back in Nashville in our home office...... have a great month!

 

 

Gloria

 

 

P.S. We fly back to Minneapolis on July 24 for a service in Wilmot, SD on Sunday, July 28th in the City Park. Then we'll be in Sioux Falls, SD on Sunday, August 4th for the morning service at Calvary Assembly of God. We'd love to see you! 

 


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Peach Pie

1 pie crust

1 c. sugar

½ c. flour

¼ c. butter –softened

4-6 peaches, sliced

¾-1 c. cream

 

Mix the sugar, flour and butter together until crumbly. Place ½ of this in the crust. Slice the peaches over the crumb mixture in the crust. Add the remaining crumb mixture over the peaches. Pour the cream over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

 

 

 


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Greetings from Sisseton, South Dakota!

 

It's good to be back here after being gone since last mid-September. It's been great to see family, friends, and our staff at the office.

 

 

We drove from Nashville to Sisseton, unloaded and reloaded – it's strange feeling "homeless" without a home or motorhome while we are here. It's like the feeling of being somewhere, but not quite sure where.

 

 

One thing is for sure - no matter where we are, Larry reminds me that he hasn't lost his sense of humor! 

 

 

 

After our quick stop in Sisseton, we were off to Rapid City!

 

 

We had an incredible time of ministry at Journey Church with Pastor James Moore and his congregation. His zeal and passion for the lost is inspiring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Lundstrom's were a blessing to Journey Church in so many ways. Their passion for souls to be saved was a great encouragement to us, their music ministry was excellent and their preaching was powerful and full of truth. We are grateful for Larry and Gloria!"


Pastor James Moore
Lead Pastor
Journey Church, Rapid City, SD

 

 

Pastor James & Melissa Moore and Larry & Gloria

 

 

 

Altar call in Rapid City, SD

 

 

The following Wednesday night we were on the prairie lands of South Dakota on our way to Faith, SD… beautiful green rolling hills, although you wouldn't want to get lost there in the winter. Ha!

 

We were greeted by a great group of farmers and ranchers for the rally at the Faith Bethel Lutheran Church.  It was wonderful to see people come together and rededicate their lives and make first time commitments. Needless to say, Larry is so thrilled to be back preaching.

 

 

 

Altar Call in Faith, SD

 

 

We'll be in Sisseton for our next service and then off to Minnesota. We're asking for continued prayers for safety and health while on the road. God bless you until we chat again!

 

Gloria

 

 

P.S. We love being able to see our friends and partners while we are traveling! Bernie and Sharon Moser have been with us on Fun & Fellowship Tours and have attended many of our rallies over the years. Always a joy to be with them!

 

 


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Southern Lemon Cream Pie

1 -9 inch pie crust, baked

1 can sweetened condensed milk

½ c. lemon juice

3 egg yolks

 

Mix eggs, lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. You can top it with Cool Whip or whipped cream.

 

 

(Perfect after-dinner compliment to that yummy fried chicken! Ha!)

 

 


 

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On the road, again! Happy Father's Day!

Greetings from the road! 

 

 

We are in the middle of a Midwest Tour and feel very blessed to be ministering on the road this month - even back in South Dakota.

 

It's hard to believe that Father's Day is this coming weekend, but the holidays just seem to come faster and faster these days. We appreciate all of the Father's in our lives and the blessed role they have in our families, cities and nation.

 

Here is Larry's article from our newsletter this month - enjoy!

 

 

In the area where I grew up, most of the fathers I knew had grown up in families struggling to make it. This month I turn 76 years old. I feel very privileged that I was able to spend my childhood years being raised on a farm, one mile outside of Peever, South Dakota, with a population of 208 if everyone was home!  The amenities on our farm were not that great and left much to be desired, especially to today's standards. Our plumbing consisted of an outdoor bathroom with a path to a three holer. We didn't have a water tower, but we had a windmill. Yes, we had running water… you would have to run to get it. And our garbage disposal entailed the pigs and chickens awaiting the slop pail every day.  We had batteries that provided power for the radio. We didn't have electricity and used oil lamps with wicks that needed to be trimmed often for light. We had chores that needed to be completed every day, and we always spent most of the day outside. 

 

Why have I shared this? I shared this because it was my experience living on the farm that also built in me a work ethic. I remember hearing how businesses in the big cities would go and find farm boys to work for them because they came with a built in work ethic.  As the years went by, we learned to enjoy work as it put "grit" inside you.  One of the other things that I remember from that time period was that many families were weak on emotional expressions.

 

One funny joke that illustrates this is one day a mom was feeling a lack of appreciation. She said, "Henry do you love me?" Henry was driving and seemingly ignored her. She persisted again, "Henry, do you love me?" Henry's expression was solemn as his hands gripped the steering wheel tighter with no response.  One last time mom said, "Henry, do you still love me?" Henry finally looked at her and said,

"I told you 40 years ago, I loved you and if anything changes I'll let you know." 

 

While I am super thankful for the work ethic that I was raised with as our family worked hard and long, the trouble we experienced was that our communications suffered. I love, however, that the Bible certainly shows how these two can be joined and actually instructs us that this is a way to teach our children to serve the Lord as Deuteronomy 6:6-9 states,

 

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

 

Even more than that however—more than a good work ethic, more than tender words, more than providing needs and wants for our children, the greatest thing that we can pass down to our children is what Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."  Why??? It is simply stated in Matthew 16:26, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul."

 

We can give our children so much these days…much more materially than my father could give me. We can even give our children a good work ethic, an excellent self-worth and opportunities far beyond what we could ever imagine, but ALL OF THAT is for naught, if we don't keep the main thing…the first thing…knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, saving them from eternal torment and separation. I pray that as we live in these last days, we are all being challenged as our families are under attack, many ripped apart for a number of reasons that we don't want any left behind knowing Christ has shed His blood for each and every family member. The greatest mission I have as a father is to do all I can to make sure my family is in heaven with me when that day comes.

 

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4

 

 

 

May this weekend be full of joy and memories, but also a wonderful chance to establish a culture of Truth in your families! Be blessed!

 

Gloria

 


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Chef's Salad Dressing

1 cup Wesson oil

1 cup ketchup

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 cup malt vinegar (or 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cider vinegar)

1 tsp. salt

4 T. grated onion

1 T. lemon juice

 

Place ingredients in a jar and shake well.

 


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Happy Mother's Day! Remembering Mom...

Hello from Nashville where it is a toasty 86 degrees here today!  Everything is so colorful: the lawns, the flowers, the trees!  You just can't help but have an extra spring to your step and a smile on your face!

 

With Mother's day coming up, we know it is a busy week for everyone, but we wanted to say "hi" and to share a recent newsletter article with you of some favorite things my mom taught me.  We are thankful that after many Mother's Days on the road (and people being so sweet and kind to invite us into their lives on this special holiday), it is truly a treat to be able to be with our kids this year.  These moments are precious and we cherish each and every one!

 

Happy Mother's Day and please make sure to give some extra love to your Mom if you are able!

 

What My Mother Taught Me

 

I can't think of Mother's Day without, of course, thinking of my mother's (Julie Brooks) life-long impact and wisdom that she poured into my life. I was privileged to have her 72 years here on this earth, and she has now been in heaven for three years! What a gift! I miss her every day!

 

 

Nearly daily, when I am in the midst of making decisions, out of my memory comes an impacting teaching moment that was shared with me by her. My mom truly lived out Deuteronomy 6:6-7 each and every day, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."

 

 

I could certainly write a book recounting them all, but I only have a little space so I decided for the fun of it, I would get a start and share the first few that come to mind. Here we go!

 

• Mom taught me to always put God first in my life.

• Mom taught me to always put my husband after the Lord and that the children should surround us, never come in between us.

• Mom taught me to then place the children first before anyone else outside the family; their needs were number one. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

 

• Mom told me to take care of myself and my body by exercising and watching what I eat. I can't tell you how many diets we went on together. HA!

• Mom taught me to laugh even though sometimes the laughter maybe came at the wrong time! Laughter was health to the body and the mind. "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

• Mom taught me to save money even if it's just a little bit because over time, it would add up. It would be there on the day I would need it. Wow! That has proven to be true!

• Mom told me to work hard and whatever I do, do it well. With 10 brothers, there was definitely opportunity to put this principle into practice for the future! "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." Colossians 3:23

 

• Mom taught me by her example to read my Bible every day, as well as, to be on my knees praying before bed every night as that is a place where God would meet me and my needs.

• Mom taught me to please God first, as His opinion is really the only one that matters. Live my life so that Christ will be glorified. Don't worry about what others think, please God! "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him." 2 Corinthians 5:9

• Mom taught me by her living example to honor those older than me and those who are placed in authority over me. Appreciate them, give respect, share gratitude whenever you are able to.

• Mom instilled in me the importance of making prayer the hub of my life, and what it means to make my requests known to the Lord and to "expect a good report!" "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" Philippians 4:6

• Mom taught me to live life…have fun…fully enjoy each day! "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:24

• Mom taught me how important it is to be a confidant to those who need a confidant!

• Mom taught me don't gossip! Be so close-lipped that a parrot living in your house would have nothing to repeat. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

• Mom certainly instructed me on how to do laundry. Among other important details, be sure to check all pockets before throwing it in the machine in case of Kleenex, important papers or money!

• Mom taught me to protect my family and to not speak bad of my father or siblings to anyone. (With ten rambunctious brothers, that was hard!) "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12

 

• Mom instilled in me that before cooking and baking, pray over it. It worked for her as everything she made was delicious!

• Mom encouraged me when I was discouraged and would whine, "Missy…you'll make it!!!! Why???" She then emphasized, "Because you have to!" In other words, you have no choice! Mom told me and reminded me often, "Missy, live your life so pure, Godly and clean that if someone says something bad about you, they won't believe the accusations."

• Mom told me and reminded me, "When you get married and have children and they do something dumb that embarrasses or irritates you, remember you were once a 'calf' yourself."

 

 

Brooks Family Reunion - Celebrating Mom's Birthday

 

Thank you, Mom, for the numerous life lessons you taught me even when you didn't know you were teaching! With every year that passes, I am continually reminded of these principles that were taught through word and deed while growing up at home. They left a great impact on my life, marriage and family!

 

Gloria

 


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Almond Crispies

1 (1 1/2 lb.) pkg. almond bark

3/4 c. peanut butter

5 1/2 oz. Spanish peanuts (opt.)

4 1/2 c. Rice Krispies

 

Melt almond bark; stir in peanut butter, peanuts, and then add Rice Krispies. Drop on waxed paper.

 


 

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Spring time...prayer time...and garage sale time!

 

It's a gorgeous 85 degrees here today in Nashville! 

 

The trees have exploded with leaves and everything that can bloom or leaf is in full blossom. 

 

 

All the buds have now opened to reveal the vibrant colors of God's rainbow! 

 

 

To add to the sensory delight, the birds are chirping and singing their songs.  It all is making my day cheery and great. 

 

 

 

 

All the above sets the mode and mood for Larry and I's 7 AM prayer time in our prayer room.  We have family photos on the wall that we look at and personally pray for each one.  As we are sure you are aware, families are under attack now more than ever.  They need our constant prayers for all they face and go through. 

 

 

After our time of prayer for our family, we begin praying for extended family, partners and friends.  Our  list grows longer each day as we receive calls, texts and emails that share prayer requests.  These range from those who are walking through grief as they have lost a mate, parent or child to those who are sinking in dire depression even to the point of being suicidal to those battling health issues that include  cancer, heart issues, surgeries and those who are struggling with broken marriages and relationships.  There are dozens of needs we pray for each day.  What a privilege it is to take it all to the Lord in prayer and then to rejoice as the testimonies come in of answers to prayer!

 

 

On the lighter side, last Saturday morning I told Larry, "I want and need to just get out, do something fun and give my brain a rest."  Then I suggested, "Let's go to some garage sales. (Like I need more stuff to find a place for)." I hadn't been to a garage sale in over a year so I was excited.  Larry grinned and agreed and off we went on our adventure for the day as we scoped down garage sale signs posted on the street corners.  Oh yes, in preparation, I took an envelope with 15 one dollar bills in order to limit the items that would be returning home with me! 

 

After looking at 3-4 sales, we pulled up to a sale that was overflowing with stuff (or treasures depending on who is looking).  To my amazement and unbelief, there were three small flat headstones for sale!  I noticed that all three had the last name "Jones" and also had birth/death dates listed but I didn't pay close attention to them.  Just then, a scruffy looking man who apparently was an avid garage saler reached down, picked one up and struggled to haul it to his vehicle.  The homeowner picked up the second one and followed behind carrying it to the car. 

 

When the homeowner came back to the driveway, he saw me and asked if he could help me.  I chuckled, "Wow...I thought I had seen everything at a garage sale, but this is the first time that I've seen someone selling used headstones!"  He quickly corrected me, "Oh, these are not just any headstones...these belonged to the nationally known country singer, George Jones.  These belonged to his three dogs.  I thought they would be worth money so I purchased them and now I am moving them on."  I gulped, "Okay."  He struggled as he picked up the third one and then proceeded to take it to the man's trunk.  I smiled at the seller and said, "Rest in peace."  He laughed because he probably thought he made a good deal.  Each to their own!

 

Oh by the way, I spent my 15 dollar bills!  I got a brand new bath rug for $2, three new picture frames for $1.50, new shelving for $5, two new cast iron skillets for $4 and a new tablecloth for $2.  Yay!  It was fun, but I better not get into the habit of this unless I want to hold my own garage sales!  HA!

 

I hope and pray you are doing well---blessed and a blessing to others.  May God protect and provide for you.   May you feel His presence in every moment of every day!

 

 

Gloria

 


REFLECTION

 

 


RECIPE

 

Peach Cream Pie

1/3 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

pinch salt

1/2 pt. whipping cream

1 c. (very thin slices) peaches

1 unbaked pie shell

 

Blend all ingredients exept peaches. Set aside. Place peaches into the pie shell. Pour cream mixture over and bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Make sure it has thickened. Enjoy!

 


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Fifty years ordination celebration, blizzards and Easter!

Hello! What a whirlwind week Larry and I have had. We boarded a flight from Nashville to Rapid City, South Dakota on April 5th and it was sunshine, green grass and flowers when we left.

 

It was also beautiful in Rapid City where we were welcomed by 50 degree weather and sunshine for TWO DAYS. 

 

Our reason for going to Rapid City was that Larry was recognized and honored for 50 years of ordination with the Assemblies of God at Rapid City First Assembly of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Steven Schaible (District Superintendent of South Dakota A/G) prayed the blessing over him, and then us together. It's mind-blowing to know that we were there 50 years ago for Larry's ordination and never even dreamt we'd be back 50 years later to the same place – but there we were. What a special joy and privilege to be called to reach the Lost. It's truly humbling.

 

 

After the celebration that evening on the 9th, the dreaded blizzard, slipped in and dumped nearly 20 inches of snow, plus wind, ice and temps down to just above zero. The interstate was closed and our original flight was cancelled so we rescheduled for Friday. That was cancelled and we tried to re-book again and due to the still raging blizzard, no flights were going in or out. Then they hit us with the news that the first flight out of Rapid City would be on Sunday due to the back up of hundreds of flights that were cancelled coming in and out. We were just told "no seats available going anywhere until Sunday." Ugh. So, we found a reasonable hotel, set up our office and decided we were going to rest and work. It worked out good!

 

Thank God, we flew back into Nashville yesterday and are happily safe back home again. We call our home our "happy place".

 

 

As Good Friday and Easter are approaching, I'm reminded of our newsletter article:

 

 

I am just sitting here thinking back…way back…to the mid 70s when Larry and I hosted the first of our 18 tours to Israel. At that time, Israel still was somewhat primitive and conventional, but it has now been modernized with towering hotels, fancy restaurants, superhighways, exclusive gift shops and state of the art technology. What a change!

 

I remember our first trip walking through the Old City. It was like going back 2,000 years to the ancient times of the Bible. All of the Bible stories that we read as children came alive as we visited Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jericho, the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee just to name a few of the destinations. What an experience! Day by day, each place we visited, the Bible came alive, the songs we grew up singing came alive, my faith came alive.

 

For me the most captivating experience was visiting the presumed Garden Tomb where Jesus was thought to have been buried. I will never forget walking through that little doorway, looking to the right to peer into the cold dark tomb and seeing it empty. I was literally moved to tears.

 

It was again, another confirmation, "He is not here. He has risen." Seeing it with my very own eyes, the realization hit me again. The tomb was empty!

 

This very fact brought hope, exciting hope, to all believers that Jesus left, He rose from the dead, but more thrilling is the knowledge that He is coming back to take us home to be with Him. The empty tomb brought triumph! The empty tomb meant no longer does the stench or sting of death dominate, but rather promises life and hope beyond these days in which we live. It was almost like someone had put a note on the tomb that read, "I'll be back soon."

 

My friend, I cannot fully put into words what seeing the tomb empty secured in my soul, but after seeing it, I felt the weight of the promise and the genuine excitement that He is coming back for those who love Him, repent of their sins, and receive Him into his/her life. We then receive the greatest gift of spending all eternity with Him. 

 

Through the years, I have talked to many people who have had near death experiences. I love to hear the stories that tell what happened before their earthly departure. My oldest brother, Jake, was dying of cancer and we were able to be at the hospital the last few days of his life. During these times, his wife requested that we sing the old hymns to him as he loved the old happy Gospel songs that he remembered as a young man. Jake was drifting in and out of consciousness. I prayed that before he died, he would hear the angels singing and inviting him home. Nearing death, we were standing by his bed. I was rubbing his shoulders and forehead as he lay there unresponsive when all of a sudden, he jolted, opened his eyes bright, turned his head towards me and with a look of awe in his eyes plainly said, "Do you hear it? Do you hear it?" I leaned down to him and asked him, "What do you hear, Jake?" He smiled and answered, "Music…heavenly music…can you hear it?" He then closed his eyes in peace. He didn't pass away for another day or two but God had answered my prayer.

 

A few days ago, I was visiting with a woman that I had met at a clinic. Our conversation led us to the subject of our mothers and how blessed we were to have them in our lives for so long with my mom living to be over 100 and her mom living to 89 years old. She then shared with me that her mom was a Christian and had been legally and completely blind for many years; consequently, she never had the privilege of seeing the faces of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, but she would take her hands and gently feel their faces. The lady continued with an incredible story, "Six hours before my mom died, God gave her sight. She was able to see every grandchild and greatgrandchild for the first time. The room exploded with joy!" She further explained, "After my mom saw everyone, greeted them and hugged them, she smiled, closed her eyes and went home to heaven." Tearfully, her daughter finished, "Those were the most miraculous six hours I have ever experienced."

 

Just talking about this makes me homesick for heaven. This is the true meaning of Easter and the resurrection… HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE! We, too, can have that hope if we receive Him as our Lord and Savior. What an incredible, indescribable, inexpressible gift!

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:3-6

 

 

Gloria

 


RECIPE

 

Graham Cracker Cookies

2 cups sugar

2 squares chocolate

1 cup cream

3 cups crushed graham crackers

22 marshmallows

Nuts (optional)

 

Boil sugar, chocolate and cream  to soft ball stage and cool 1 minute. Add graham crackers, marshmallows and a few nuts. Mix and spoon out on wax paper.

 


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