It is hot here in Tennessee....sounds like a great time for a family vacation! Read on to find out about summer memories and why vacations are a great investment in your family.

Greetings from Tennessee!  As I sit here writing, the temperature is close to 100 degrees plus humidity.  The beautiful Smoky Mountains here are truly a bit smoky today and somewhat hidden from view due to all the fires happening in the U.S.  It is hard for me to grasp the concept that the smoke can reach this far into middle Tennessee, but somehow it makes its way.  We really need to pray for rain for those areas in need and for all the homes that are currently in jeopardy or those who have lost their homes.  How devastating!  I can't imagine the feeling of losing everything.  As you read or listen to the news, the signs of the last days seem to be on display with the erractic weather, earthquakes, fires, floods, and destruction.  However, even with the heaviness and sadness of that, let us choose to be thankful and grateful for what we have.  May we indeed use what we have to be a blessing to help others during these times!

 

 

On the brighter side, we hope that many of you are able to watch Larry and I sharing and ministering each week on our COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE video outreach.  It's exciting each week to have people join us from all over the continental U.S. and even Alaska and Hawaii.  Last month we even had some join us from England and a few other countries.  We are thankful for this opportunity to share the good news in any way that we can.  All of our CCLIVE video's are available on our CCLIVE page.  You can view them here>>  /CC-LIVE.  

 

If you want to check out the most recent video, I will make it easy for you.  I have included it at the end of my article.  Just scroll down, click and watch.

 

Speaking of my article, as we are heading out of July and launching into August, families are trying to get their last minute vacations squeezed in before school starts.  I thought you might enjoy some vacation remembrances:

 

Summer always reminds me of vacation time, and it always reminds me of FAMILY!  Last year the pandemic wiped
out family vacations for many but as of now, vacation mode is full speed ahead. Here in Nashville, it has taken on the
nickname—Crashville—due to exploding growth, population and crazy drivers. Nonetheless, vacation mode and excitement is flying high.


We love when our children were small and we would plan a week summer vacation of fun somewhere. Of course, being from South Dakota, we proudly claimed Mount Rushmore as one of our "seven wonders of the world."  We would go there often, park our big rig in the parking lot and rush up the avenue of flags where we could snap that special "Kodak moment" in front of the four faces. I get a little bit weepy wishing we could all go together like we used to but having/keeping jobs must be the priority.

 

 

 

It seems the years have only sped by too quickly since Lashawn, LaDawn and Donovan were little. Numerous times we would stop by Mount Rushmore for television taping and vacation. Many times, they were more excited about getting an ice cream cone, t-shirt, whistle or glow in the dark wand rather than seeing the Presidents' faces. We wanted them to grasp the history of Mount Rushmore; they just wanted fun!

 

     

 

Looking back to the photos that we have taken over the past years, I realize the four faces have not changed, but my children have. Wow! How?! Larry and I purposed years ago when our children were little to make memories. I must
admit (and I confess) my house is filled with photo albums. (My son-in-law would agree---HA!) Often people will comment, "You have more photos in one book than we take in ten years." That may be true, but these photos are my family treasures. When we get together, we often turn the pages of the books: laughing, jesting and teasing one another the whole time. Hardly do I ever hear them say, "Wasn't the Grand Canyon or Tetons beautiful?" No! What they remember most are the mosquito infested campgrounds, the burned hot dogs and charred marshmallows.  They love to relive the time Dad lost his balance and slid down the muddy embankment totally out of control, or the rain storm that drenched the tent and bedding. I have come to realize the memories are not necessarily the places we have traveled or the scenery as much as the fun of just being together. As adults, they sit for hours telling stories of previous vacations and daring to "tattle" on one another now that time has gone by.

 


Larry and I love the fact that most of our family is in Nashville, except Myanna who is in Minneapolis, so we can enjoy spending the holidays together. We all call our home "the Gathering Place"—a place of refuge, peace, encouragement, stories, food, teasing and laughter. The greatest investment (I am sure you would agree) is the investment spiritually and otherwise in our families.  Great memories bring back great dividends that last a lifetime!


 

Gloria

 

P.S.  Here is the most recent CCLIVE video:

 

 


 


RECIPE

 

As all the fresh vegetables and produce is coming in from the garden.  Here is a yummy dip to enjoy them with!

 

DUMP & STIR VEGETABLE DIP

 

1 pt Hellmann's mayonnaise

8 oz bottle French dressing

3 oz Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp celery salt

1/4 tsp onion salt

1/4 tsp garlic salt

 

Mix together.  Refigerate.  Serve alongside raw vegetables.

June is here and we can hardly believe how fast time is flying by! Enjoy a little "sewing" lesson that I learned this week. It's a good thing we all have different gifts!

 

It's a beautiful day here in Tennessee; it truly is breathtaking. We love the scenery, the people, the weather, the smoky mountains; we love it all!  We especially love being within 20 miles of each of our children.

 

 

I came into my bedroom  a few minutes ago where I have my easy chair to complete the simple task of sewing on a couple clips onto something.  Did I ever tell you that I am not a seamstress?   Did I ever tell you the most frustrating job in the world is for me to sew on a button?   Did I ever tell you I'm a mess when I try to thread a needle without getting six knots in it?  Did I ever tell you that my grandmother was a professional seamstress and she tried to teach me when I was in grade school and high school to sew, mend and embroider? Well,  I think she finally realized (but never told me) that I would never win a purple ribbon in 4-H at the county fair!  And she was right!

 

My mom did a lot of sewing for the family including sewing car seat covers for my dad.  ME?  I work more confidently with a staple gun, superglue or duct tape!  Anyway, what should take anyone only about 10 minutes to complete at the most---sewing on a button or clip,  I struggled for an hour and a half finally finding myself on the brink of tears.  The end result looked like whoever did it (which was me) was blindfolded underwater with their  hands tied behind their back!  I thought to myself, "How can anything so simple be so difficult?"   And then I gave myself a pep talk, "Self, God must've known that my calling was not to be a seamstress.  So He allowed me to mess it up to ensure I would go on to what He's really called me to do and to be:  an evangelist's wife with a passion for the lost, compassionate heart with a burden for the hurting, and a friend to the lonely.

 

 

 

When I started thinking that way, I pulled myself together and realized that God gives everyone different  talents.  I have always admired my different sister-in-laws with all of their various talents.  They are all creative, great cooks, great hosts,  great parents and grandparents. On days when I felt like I didn't measure up, God reminded me that my calling was different--- my gifting was to be on the road with my family, ministering to  reach the lost.   Years ago I came to peace with knowing that I can't seem to sew on a button, but I can encourage someone and pray with those who are hurting and have needs.  I now choose to thank God for the gifts He's given to each of us, and He just asks us to use them for His glory.  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."  James 1:17, NKJV

 

Well, there, I vented!   And now I feel better!  I guess I will go and try to finish sewing on one more clip! LOL!  Have a great summer!

 

Gloria

 

P.S.  Again, we are so thankful for the avenue of ministry that began about a year ago through COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE.  Feel free to join us this Wednesday at 11 AM in our Facebook group by clicking here and joining>>  https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210  or go to our CCLIVE page on this website to view all of our prior CCLIVE'S by clicking HERE.


 


RECIPE

 

Taco Salad

1 head of lettuce

1 tomatoe, diced

1 lb ground beef, browned and seasoned with seasoning salt, chili powder

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 sm pkg Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed

1 pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing, prepare as directed

Onion

Avocados

Kidney beans

 

Mix together the lettuce, tomato, cooked ground beef and cheddar cheese.  Toss with the prepared dressing and mix.  Add the Doritos just before serving.  Serve the onions, avocados and kidney beans on the side.

Parenting is hard work and most have experienced some tough challenges along the way. As Mother's Day approaches, I just wanted to encourage mothers with what I have faced and learned with my children giving tools that truly made a difference in me as I parented!

 

Greetings from Nashville!  What a beautiful May Day it is today!  As May has arrived, so has a busy month filled with celebrations—Mother's Day, graduations, Memorial Day---just to name a few!  It is fun to see more people coming out and being together.   We are so thrilled to now be located close to our family and enjoy the privilege of being with our family for holidays that while on the road, we often were not together.

 

With Mother's Day approaching, our daughters, Lashawn and Ladawn, requested to host a Coffee and Connect LIVE to honor me.  What a great time we had on today's program.  In fact, we decided to continue on and we will have Part 2 next week.  I had no idea what questions they were going to ask so it made me sweat a little, but it was truly a great time.  If you want to hear part 1 "the INSIDE EDITION".you can view it here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, we have received so many phone calls from hurting parents who have tried to raise their children for the Lord, but they are not walking in His ways which is heart breaking for the parents.  Here is a message that will prayerfully encourage.  We have been there...we understand...we care!

 

THE PAINS OF MOTHERHOOD....HOW TO THRIVE & SURVIVE!

 

I will never forget the pregnancy with our first child, Lashawn.  Late October 1967, the first birth pain hit causing me to double over gasping for a deep breath of reprieve.   I remember as the waves of contractions would peak wanting anything to help relieve the intensity of the pain.  It was during those long hours of labor and giving birth that I then believed what someone once told me, "You are the closest to death when giving birth."  When Lashawn finally arrived, I wondered if I was dead or alive!

 


I now comically remember that when I experienced the first birth pain, I thought to myself, "I've changed my mind! I don't want to go through this!" However, if you are a mother, you know there is no changing your mind!  That baby is boss in that moment and makes it known, "Ready, willing, or not---I'm coming!"  Right after Lashawn was born, I commented, "Oh the pain! I don't think I will ever forget it."  A friend of mine whose children were now in their teen years replied, "Just wait, you don't know what pain is yet!" Honestly in that moment, I didn't quite catch on to what she really meant until years later.


Genesis 3:16 explains the curse brought about after Eve gave way to temptation, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing." I don't believe this refers just to the nine months of discomfort and the culminating agony of contractions. No, in fact, as I have gone through the various parenting stages, I have come to the conclusion that there is pain in every growth stage and with every age.  There is pain in the delivery, sleep deprivation with a newborn, frustration with energetic toddlers, mood swings during the school years, broken hearts, chipped teeth and quick trips to the emergency room to get stitches on their once flawlessly skinned face or body. I have learned that pain is a part of childbearing and child rearing. However, these pains that I have mentioned above cannot compare to the deep stabbing pain of watching your child, whether young or grown, struggle with sin and its repercussions.

 

 


This Mother's Day, I want to encourage broken-hearted moms who have done all they could do to raise their children for the Lord, yet somehow, their children have taken the long heart-wrenching road of the prodigal.  PRODIGALS WILL NEVER KNOW THE PAIN THEIR PARENTS BEAR AT THE "THOUGHT' OF BEING SEPARATED FROM THEM FOR ALL ETERNITY! It is an agonizing pain! I do not know a worse pain than that.


Years ago, we experienced that very pain when we were praying for our prodigal (who is now back serving the Lord!  Praise the Lord!)  The very thought of separation for all eternity birthed a 911 prayer life within me.  Moms, if you have a prodigal, let me share some important lifelines that I learned through the process.  Keep them with you. Commit to activating them in your life.


° Thank God daily for giving that child to you.  When you are in the grips of pain, sometimes that is hard to do; however, the Lord instructs us to "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7   This is essential to your spiritual and mental health.


° Declare daily that the enemy cannot have them. They were dedicated to God as children and they belong to God. "And so I am sure confident that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6


° Pray, pray, pray the Word over them. The verse that I had written on cards and placed all over the coach and house was Jeremiah 31:16-17, "'Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,' declares the Lord. 'They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future, declares the Lord.  Your children will return to their own land.'" (NIV)


° Begin to see them spiritually where they should be. Don't get discouraged, depressed and hopeless at what you see now, but anticipate their day of return°happy and serving God. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4


° Until then°love, love, love them unconditionally°and when you can't love them anymore, love them some more! "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35


° Pray that God will cross their paths with a godly person they can trust and believe in to help them find their way back home. "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Cor. 10:13


° Finally—Praise God every day that the answer is on its way! It may not be instant. Most often, it isn't, but keep believing in the Lord's promises maintaining hope and faith! "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11


Those seven actions helped me keep faith in God and His Word.  On the darkest days devoid of any hopeful sign, I continued to be faithful to do what I could and then trust God knowing He loves my children more than I possibly could. Be encouraged, Mom, your prayers and tears are not in vain!  2 Timothy 1:12 says, "°He is able to keep that (him or her) which  have committed unto him against that day." (KJV)

 

 

GLORIA

 

P.S.  We want to congratulate Marne, our office administrator, and her husband on their 22nd anniversary this week.  Marne is definitely the wind beneath our wings that keeps our ministry going all these 23 years. She is definitely God's gift to us caring for many things behind the scenes so we can continue ministry on the road. When you pray for us,  please pray for them as they are very special to us.

 

 


 


RECIPE

 

Pistachio Salad

 

1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, include the juice

1 3 oz pkg of Jello Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix

1/2 cup maraschino cherries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1 large carton whipped topping

 

Put pineapplie and juice in a bowl.  Sprinkle all of the pudding mix on top.  Stir until mixed well.  Add all the other ingredients.  Mix well.  Chill and then serve.

Some days do not go as planned, but even in those days, God is able to do abundantly more than we can think or imagine. Read how moments of chaos turned into moments of ministry.

 

 

Wow!  Let me take a big deep breath!  I have always said over and over through the years "I always plan my day, but many times it does not go as planned!"  What I am about to share with you is case and point to that!  However, I have also learned that my plans, even when turned upside down, give way to God-plans where He provides moments of ministry that would have otherwise been missed.  He is able to turn total crisis into holy and sacred moments with eternal results. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Saturday I had looked forward to for several weeks, I had big plans to go with my daughters, Lashawn and Ladawn, for the day, LaShawn had been gone for a few weeks, so we planned a GIRLS DAYS OUT.  Friday night when I went to bed, I was so excited just knowing after so many weekends of cold rainy wet weather that this was a perfect sunshiney sky blue day that was to be---OUR DAY.  I was snuggled into my blankets, laying on Larry's arm as we were talking, and I fell asleep.   About 4:30 AM I felt like someone had put a pillow over my face, and I began to struggle to breathe. I thought to myself, "Oh this is crazy!"  I waited a moment to see if it would pass but I continued to have an even harder time breathing.   Not being new to some heart issues, I knew I had better take my blood pressure and check my heart rate.   I was just somewhat surprised because it all has been going so good since I had the heart ablation last September.

 

 

With the pain in my chest and down my left arm, my nonchalant relaxed peaceful evening began to turn into hysteria. I got up and took my blood pressure and it blinked 191.  Then I looked down at my heart rate and it was 151!  I measured in that moment what action to take.  I decided to not bother Larry as I had been instructed to take an extra heart pill if I would run into this issue and that would take care of it.  So I did.   But, it wasn't getting better.

 

 

 

 

I woke Larry up and thank God for a loving husband who was there to console me and say we better go to the hospital. Thank God I have a friend who works at Vanderbilt under a cardiologist.  I sent her a message and immediately she went to work regarding my current situation.  After consulting the surgeon, they told me to take another extra pill.  Finally the episode began to subside with my blood pressure falling to 150 and my heart rate down to 131.  While I was thankful that was better than 151....it decided to stick there like a second hand on a clock.  Again I contacted my friend and she said, "Gloria, you better get in."  I called LaDawn, and she quickly made her way over to our house (about 20 minutes away) and graciously took me down to the Vanderbilt ER in downtown  Nashville.   For the next eight hours the doctors were giving me what should've been a "blast" medication to blast the heart out of Afib and bring it back into normal rhythm,  but it just wasn't happening.

 

 

 

 

 

Ladawn had been with me in the ER; LaShawn was with Larry so LaDawn decided to leave in order for Donovan to spend time with me in ER.  (Can I just say right now how much I am grateful for loving kids who have and continue to be there for us time and time again!)  LaDawn had been gone about an hour when Donovan's phone buzzed.  He looked at it and his face went white.  Obviously that concerned me so I inquired, "What's wrong??"  "Mom,  it's okay.... but Ladawn and Dante' were  just in a head on accident!"  I am sure that didn't help my heart racing issue, but he quickly assured me that they were okay and the police were on their way.   Lashawn and Larry rushed to be with them about 30 miles away while Donovan stayed with me.  They were taken to a different hospital ER.  God's angels were on extra duty that night!!!!  They treated Ladawn for possible concussion and possible whiplash. It was pretty crazy to think that we were both in ER's at the same time:  she and Dante' in Williamson while I was at Vanderbilt Hospital ER downtown Nashville.

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

Finally about 11 o'clock, they admitted me and took me upstairs into the cardiac unit and hooked me up.  They told me they were to start me on this TIKOSYM that for sure will get my heart back into rhythm, but it may take three days of meds.  Then the prayer chain came together as people were praying from all over as they started that the medication the next morning. About an hour and a half into the new medicine, Larry was sitting with me looking at the monitor watching the heart rate that was 138 and "boom" Larry said it was like a pinball machine he saw it jump back into rhythm.  Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!   My surgeon said this was really fantastic, but now we have to figure out what to do to keep it where it is supposed to be--- whether we do an ablation or try to do a powerful heart drug.    We will see what is next.   They did keep me at the hospital for a little bit to make sure that the medication would work well and no additional "hiccups" with the heart.

 

And this is where opportunity comes.  In the midst of the chaos with my heart and the car accident with my family, there was a God-appointed time.  Truly the crowning jewel of this whole escapade was that I had the honor and privilege of witnessing to and praying with a young mother---wife---nurse  who was simply desperate.  It was a quiet time and she was faithfully doing her job.  Her job was to come into my room to take my physical vitals.  Little did she know that God had brought her into my room to "take her spiritual vitals".   She left REVITALIZED by the Holy Spirit with a thankful heart and joyful tears....a new person!

 

I can thankfully write today that  LaDawn and Dante' are bruised and extremely sore, but I am so grateful to God for protecting them from something that could have been so tragic.  I can write that you can't keep a Norwegian down for long and I am home and on my way to recovery!  God is GOOD & FAITHFUL!   Great is thy faithfulness ...His mercies are new every morning!

 

 

"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."  Psalm 103:1-5

 

This Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday/Passover, may our lips have ready praise!   I know mine will have some extra umph!

 

Gloria


 


RECIPE

 

EASTER TEA RING

 

1/2 cup water

2 pkgs yeast

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

6 1/2-7 cups flour

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup nuts

1/ cup raisins

 

Dissolve the yeast in a 1/2 cup water.  Scald the milk and add the 1/2 cup sugar, salt and shortening.  Cool and add the eggs and yeast mixture.  Mix together.  Beat in 3 1/2 cups flour.  Gradually add the remaining flour while you need the dough.  Put in bowl and cover.  Let raise 1 1/2 hours--keep dough soft, punch down.  Spread out like you would for cinnamon rolls.  Spread with soft butter, the 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nuts and raisins.  Roll up like a jelly roll.  Cut gashes in top and turn into a circle.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting and decorate with chopped nut or cherries or whatever you would like.

As Valentine's Day approaches, be challenged with the article, "Did You See Jesus?". Also, you have the opportunity to hear a great encouraging message from Gloria when you just don't know what to do or how to cope!

 

 

Hello from Tennessee!  It has been a surprising winter with more snow arriving this year than normal.  There for a minute, I thought I was back in South Dakota for a bit.   It doesn't last long here and we know a warm up is coming.  That is definitely different than South Dakota!  HA!  I do feel for my office staff who informed me on the way into work the actual temperature (without wind chill) was -17 degrees.  I don't miss that!  I remember the days of suiting up the kiddos in snowsuits in order to sleep during the night because of how frigid the bus would get when traversing the northern states for rallies.  Brrrr!

 

 

 

Between that and COVID, we are staying put.  It is sure a good thing that Larry and I are best friends and we practiced close quarters all those years on the bus because we spend all of our days together....and we are thankful.  He spoils me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super quick, I wanted to encourage you.  If you have ever felt the cry of desperation, "God where are you when I hurt?  How am I going to make it through this?  God, help me!", in our February 3rd COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE, I share from my heart about a series of moments when I was at this point and how God miraculously met me in the midst of the deep valleys.  It is my prayer that it would bring hope and faith to the situation you are facing in this moment.  The video is below:

 

 

 

Just a reminder as we head towards Valentine's Day and all things "heart" are celebrated, I wanted to share my recent newsletter article with you----DID THEY SEE JESUS?

 

Years ago, a partner from North Dakota wrote us a letter giving us an update on her young daughter (5 years old at the time) who had just come through a very serious open heart surgery. In her letter, she wrote, "After the surgery, my daughter looked up at the surgeon and very seriously asked, 'Tell me, when they opened my heart°did they see Jesus?'"


That little girl's question has nestled in me and has burst out of my memory bank throughout the years, especially in trying moments of my life. Just last week, I experienced a couple of "raw moments" where a couple of my children were treated unfairly and unjust. In the flesh, like a rattlesnake, I wanted to strike back with a venom of revenge.  In the midst of those feelings however, that little girl's question to the doctor resurfaced.  If I struck back with a venom of revenge, would they see Jesus in my heart? Convicted, I immediately had to CHOOSE TO FORGIVE (this went against my natural desire) for their ungodly and unfair actions taken against my kids.


You might think, "Gloria, you always seem so together, nonchalant and spiritually under control." To be honest, I feel I am 99% of the time, but it is that 1% that emerges when someone is hurting my cub that can unhinge things. This Mama Bear protective instinct flares! It doesn't happen very often, but it is then that I have to urgently and quickly address: What would Jesus do and how would He respond? How would my precious mother who is now in heaven respond? I have to take a deep breath, chill, and ask God to calm me and help me to respond in a godly manner. That godly manner assures and encourages me to keep my mouth shut and pray for the perpetrator and for my children. I pray that they, too, will have a God-given sense to choose to forgive those that hurt them and choose integrity and Godly character over deep seated revenge and unforgiveness.


The Bible talks much about the heart. Proverbs 4:23 states, "Above all guard your heart for everything you do flows from it." I desire a clean heart. As I struggle with a heart condition, atrial fibrillation, I realize how important it is to care for my heart if I want to avert a massive stroke or heart attack. I often pray Psalm 51:10 as I love David's sincere prayer and request to God; he was so human. "Create in me a pure heart oh God and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

 

     

 


In the past year of 2020, we have firsthand experienced so many divisions in really every facet of life. We have known lack of jobs, finances, health issues, untimely deaths, and much uncertainty. All of this sadly to say has hardened so many hearts as Matthew 24:12 says, "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." That is what is called a stony heart.


We have a choice what kind of heart we want to have! We can choose to become bitter or hateful and destroy our own marriages, family and relationships.  Also, tragically, you can lose your desire for God and ultimately°your soul. I love Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!"  OR we can choose to have Gods heart, Philippians 4:7 says, "And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart (and my heart) and mind (and my mind) in Christ Jesus."

 

This is my valentine's heart message to you! CHOOSE to let Jesus be in your heart!

 

GLORIA

 

P.S.  Just a quick reminder, we are excited for the upcoming Coffee & Connect LIVE  in our Facebook group at 11 AM on Wednesdays.  

Here's how you can join us!  To join the Facebook group,  click here>>https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210 or you can wait until Wednesday afternoon to view the  most recent episode right here on our website by going to the CCLIVE page.  All of the videos we have done until now are available for viewing!



RECIPE

 

Snickers Cheesecake

CRUST:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter

FILLING:

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese

1  1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 Snickers bars

TOPPING:

1 jar Smucker's Milky Way ice cream topping (or use something similar)

 

For crust:  Mix together crust ingredients.  Pat on bottom of 9: spring form pan.  Set aside.

For filling:  Soften cream cheese.  Beat with sugar, add eggs (one at a time beating well after each one).  Beat in vanilla.  Cut up candy bars and stir in batter.

Pour into pan and bake at 325 degrees for 60-80 minutes making sure the middle portion of cheesecake is fully baked.  Run knife around edge of cake to prevent shrinking and cracking.  Cool on counter.  Spread the topping on the cheesecake and cool in refigerator. 

When serving, garnish each piece with whipped topping if desired.

 

 

Happy New Year from Larry & Gloria Lundstrom! Learn what the Lord has impressed on Gloria's heart for the upcoming year and be encouraged by the Word of the Lord!

 

Here we are...2021...a clean slate to start over!   I have to admit that I didn't get all my "should do's" and "want to's" done last year, but as my dear mother would often say while she was still alive, "Missy, don't fret over what you didn't get done, it will still be there waiting for you!"  To which I would respond, "That's the problem!  I don't want it waiting for me;  I want it done!" 

 

We had a wonderful Christmas with our small family (just the 8 of us as our granddaughter, Myanna, moved back to Minneapolis so we greatly missed her being with us).  We officially met the COVID code in case someone wanted to peak through the window to check up on us. (HA!)  We were at our home for Christmas Eve where we played games, exchanged gifts as we had drawn names, and had a brown bag gift exchange for fun.  Christmas Day we went to our daughter, LaShawn and Liam's, for a Christmas dinner and lots of continued stories, laughter, snacks and goodies.  It was a great time, and we are truly thankful for all the moments we were able to spend together. 

 

 

 

Those special times were over before we knew it , and then we sped  toward the New Year, and alas, here it is!  A few days ago, our daughter LaDawn asked me what God was speaking to my heart regarding 2021.  Without hesitancy I answered, "Two words---endurance and perseverance."  To that reply, LaDawn groaned and I continued with assurance, "We will make it.  I know that!  But we will have to work hard at enduring and persevering through whatever is ahead.  God is with us!" 

 

Truly that is what is important.  As we look into 2021, Larry and I rest in knowing that God is walking ahead of us.  He desires us to draw near to Him.  Yes---we will all have a choice this year to REJOICE and GROW or MOAN and GROAN.  We are choosing to REJOICE!

 

As we begin this new year, I want to leave a couple of verses with you that I pray will be an encouragement to you! 

 

 

 

GLORIA

 

P.S.  Just a quick reminder, we are excited for the upcoming Coffee & Connect LIVE  in our Facebook group at 11 AM on Wednesdays.  

Here's how you can join us!  To join the Facebook group,  click here>>https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210 or you can wait until Wednesday afternoon to view the  most recent episode right here on our website by going to the CCLIVE page.  All of the videos we have done until now are available for viewing!



RECIPE

 

Potato-Knepfla Soup

 

6 medium potatoes, cubed

1 large onion, chopped

3 Tbsp bacon or ham drippings

salt & pepper

1 Tbsp chicken soup base

1/2 cup sweet or cultured sour cream

 

Brown onion in drppings.  Add water, soup base, seasonings and potatoes.  Boil slowly for 20 minutes.  When potatoes are tender, put in knepfla and boil for 10 minutes.  Add cream, bring to a boil and serve.

 

Knepfla dough:

4 cups flour

2 small eggs

1/2 tsp salt

water (enough to make soft dough)

A Christmas greeting from Larry and Gloria, as well as, a heartfelt message on how Christmas can be so meaningful even if it looks a little different this year!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS WILL NOT BE AS USUAL.....

 

Here we are.  It's December and the calendar days are quickly counting down approaching Christmas.  There is always anticipation at Christmas. We anticipate and have expectations of parties, Christmas caroling, church activities, families gathering together, and scrumptious eating which all spell fun in my book! For me, this is an "ideal" Christmas.


However, we are facing a different reality this year; Christmas won't be as usual. COVID-19 has upended and changed everything. Peoples' schedules, finances, plans, dreams, vacations and get-togethers are different in one way or another.  For many there will be empty chairs and trickling tears thinking of those who have been stolen out of their lives due to untimely deaths. The absence will be painful. As will the feeling of loss with less family gatherings, church concerts/programs, and special
holiday events.  Now to be frank, we did not do anything to cause this, and there's really little we can do to change it, so that leaves us with the question, "What is Christmas going to be like this year? How can it be better than expected?"

 

I want to challenge you that it can be better than you think, IF we can choose to create a better mindset and be intentional about focusing on the true REASON for the SEASON.  There once was a family that celebrated Christmas every year with a birthday party for Jesus. An extra chair of honor was brought to the table and it became the family's visual reminder of Jesus' presence with them. There was a cake brought to life with flickering candles and the family burst out in the singing of "Happy Birthday" to express their joy and celebration of Jesus' presence. One year a Christmas afternoon visitor asked the five-year-old, Katie, "Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?" After a moment's hesitation she answered, "No, but then, it's
not my birthday." 

 

This Christmas, even with all the COVID–chaos, will we forget, the real REASON for Christmas?  It could be very well be that there will be less extravagant gift-giving (which is financially better causing less stress). Sadly, there may be fewer family gathering, (but one can use the gift of technology: cell phones, FaceTime, Zoom and numerous other ways to connect). There may be a decrease in the amount of Christmas goodies and favorite dishes (which just might be a lot healthier for all of us).  There may be an abundance of family games (which might create more interaction with the family and the opportunity to know more about each other).  As we cherish the times together, in person or online.  Maybe have a question and answer time where we take the time to ask grandma and grandpa or mom and dad questions about something you'd like to know and didn't know as we are never guaranteed more moments; (you would gain a wealth of information and history).  This new creativity, along with the altering or adjusting of old traditions, you have the opportunity of instilling stress free, fat free, finance free traditions that can be whole new customs that will bring joy, laughter, richness and fulfillment to the family.  Then frost the Christmas gathering with the Luke account of the Christmas story!

 

This may be the  most unusual Christmas we've ever had, but prayerfully it is a memorable and meaningful one.  It sounds good to me!

 

HAVE A BLESSED & MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Gloria

 

P.S.  If you want to hear some of our favorite Christmas memories as a family---whether that is coming in off the road in the knick of time to celebrate or creating a Christmas TV special---you can tune into our last two COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE's where as a family, we share some of those memories.  You can view them by clicking HERE and then scrolling down to the videos.  Just click on the video to watch!

 

 

 

 


DID YOU KNOW???

  • DID YOU KNOW that the chopping down of the Christmas tree represents the death of Christ and putting it back up represents the ressurection of Christ?
  • DID YOU KNOW that the wreaths we hang are never ending circles that represent eternity?
  • DID YOU KNOW candy canes were made to look like shepherd hooks and the colors-red to represent Jesus' blood and white to represent purity
  • DID YOU KNOW the gifts that we share with each other represent the three gifts the wise men brought for Baby Jesus

So....when you are running around trying to find the "perfect gift", stop yourself, take a deep breath and remember---

WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE PERFECT GIFT----JESUS CHRIST was given to us to remove all our sins!

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!


SANDBAKKELS

*A favorite Norwegian treat my mom made!  If you like butter, you will like these!

 

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

3 cups flour (about)

1 egg, well beaten

1 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring

 

Cream sugar and butter.  Add egg and flavoring.  Work in about 3 cups flour.  Press into tins and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Watch carefully.

Happy Thanksgiving! May you walk in the Lord's will today by giving thanks in all situations, in all circumstances, at all times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love that verse.  If you ever wonder what God's will is, you do not have to wonder any longer!  It is very clear that He instructs us to GIVE THANKS in EVERYTHING. 

 

This Thanksgiving, this command may be a little more difficult to follow.  Most people's worlds are different right now.  Some are experiencing illness, grief, loneliness, job loss, uncertainty or discouragement.  In these times, it doesn't feel natural or automatic to give thanks or feel the joy of the season.  The more natural cry of the heart is, "How can I give thanks for this?"

 

I read this explanation recently,

"In some places sweet water is known to well up amid the brine of the salt sea.  So it is true that many of the sweetest joys in life are the fruit of sorrow.

A teacher, trying to impress this truth to a class, drew some black dots which appeared as nothing other than an irregular assemblage of black dots.  Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef and soon the dots were musical notes which when sounded formed: 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow.' 

So in our lives, the black dots and dark days may be difficult to understand.  But with God arranging the dots, a glorious harmony will result in our lives."

 

We may have to be a little more intentional this Thanksgiving and choose to give thanks even amidst what appears like a mess of chaos and unsettledness, but we can trust that as we follow the Lord's will of giving thanks in everything, the Lord is making something beautiful.

 

May you have a very blessed and intentional time of thanksgiving!

 

Gloria

 

P.S.  Just a quick reminder, we are excited for the upcoming Coffee & Connect LIVE's with special guests for the next two weeks.  We go LIVE in our Facebook group at 11 AM on Wednesdays.

 

 

November 25th with Greg Long---Greg is the son of our dear friend and fellow evangelist, Linda Long, and travelled with Lowell Lundstrom Ministries for a time.  You may know him from the Christian group, Avalon, where he joins his wife, Janna, in bringing hope.  This dynamic couple also serves at Woodlands Church near Houston, Texas.

 

December 2 with Jeff Nordin---Jeff is going to return once again and we can't wait to hear from him and be blessed by the amazing talent God has gifted him with.  He travelled with us as a keyboardist and is currently the Creative Art Director and Worship Leader of Christ Chapel in Woodbridge, VA.

 

Here's how you can join us!  To join the Facebook group,

click here>>https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210 or you can wait until Wednesday afternoon to view the  most recent episode right here on our website by going to the CCLIVE page.  All of the videos we have done until now are available for viewing!


 

 


RECIPE

 

Baked Corn

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can cream style corn

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 stick margarine, melted

1 cup sour cream

1 8 1/2 oz box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.  Combine corn, egg, margarine, sour cream and muffin mix.  Mix well.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  it usually seems to take just a little longer until done.

One thing we know about the year 2020 and is that it has had a lot of "unexpected's". Thankfully, through all of those, the Lord is faithful and moving in the midst. This is a great time to share the Gospel!

 

 

Sometimes you just have to stop, take a moment and recognize that WOW...2020 has been quite the year!  For many, as we started 2020, we didn't expect the turns, the twists, the dives, the challenges we have faced and yet, through every moment, we can say,

 

 

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does." Psalm 145:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we began this year, we didn't expect to not be on the road due to a virus.

As we began this year, we didn't expect to lose friends and partners to a pandemic.

As we began this year, we didn't expect to see so much division in our country.

As we began this year, we didn't expect many in our family to lose their jobs.

As we began this year, we didn't expect to go through another heart ablation.

 

Many things have been unexpected, but through the unexpected, we have also seen things we didn't expect.

 

As we began this year, we didn't expect to start a new avenue of ministry through Facebook called Coffee & Connect LIVE giving us the opportunity to connect and reconnect with so many that we have lost touch with over the years and to also be able to have the possibility to share the Gospel through our website and Youtube videos with countless numbers of people.

 

As we began this year, we didn't expect to be making numerous phone calls, texts, emails and messages to many of our friends and partners which have allowed us to share and pray and lift up each other and also recognize how thankful we are for every moment we have shared together in the past and now.

 

As we began this year, we didn't expect to be driven to our knees in the way that we have as we have observed things that break our hearts and yet at the same time, be so thankful that as Christians, we have the HOPE and ANSWER found in Jesus Christ which makes us all the more determined to continue to share the Gospel until our last breath.

 

As we began this year, we didn't expect to see hardships that our family has faced, but have also drawn us together and have given us the ability to trust in the Lord with all our hearts for provision, guidance and miracles.

 

As we began this year, we didn't expect to need to undergo another procedure to correct my Afib, but through it and being a part of a clinical trial, I have a testimony to share.  

 

 

Here I am with my nurse Diana Crawford who helped with the clinical trial through Vanderbilt Heart Clinic in Nashville, Tennesee.  She attended a rally in Minnesota as a teenager and how wonderful it was to have her has my nurse.  We love how God orchestrates thing.  I am happy to say that I am through with my clinical trial and hopefully this will help with keeping my A-fib in check. It has been out of control. The heart ablation surgery went good and I was blessed with a wonderful surgeon.  I'm experiencing extreme fatigue and a lot of pain that  I don't know what it's from, but then again as my mother would say "Missy you're not a spring chicken anymore!" 

 

 

Yes....with all of the unexpecteds of 2020, Larry and I always say we are blessed to be able to wake up together and be able to continue ministry together from Nashville.  We are doing more counseling, phone calls, more mail, and more praying with friends and partners, as well as, studying and writing than ever.  There are so many prayer requests and so many needs and we are so thankful that our friends and partners call us to remember them in prayer.  Here's a little peak into our prayer room where we gather each morning to pray......

 

 

As mentioned above, another unexpected has been our COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE each Wednesday at 11 AM.  It is truly our joy to connect with each of you through that avenue and we have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to share special guests.  We are very much looking forward to this next month:

 

 

 

 

November 11 with John & Angie Sommer---John was our former keyboardist while we traveled in the late 80's.  He and his beautiful wife, along with their incredible family, have a testimony to share of how COVID ended up being a blessing for their family and how God is doing amazing things!

November 18th will be us sharing personal testimonies of thanksgiving as we have seen God's faithfulness firsthand throughout the years!

November 25th with Greg Long---Greg is the son of our dear friend and fellow evangelist, Linda Long, and travelled with Lowell Lundstrom Ministries for a time.  You may know him from the Christian group, Avalon, where he joins his wife, Janna, in bringing hope.  This dynamic couple also serves at Woodlands Church near Houston, Texas.

December 2 with Jeff Nordin---Jeff is going to return once again and we can't wait to hear from him and be blessed by the amazing talent God has gifted him with.  He travelled with us as a keyboardist and is currently the Creative Art Director and Worship Leader of Christ Chapel in Woodbridge, VA.

 

Wow...quite a month coming up!  Here's how you can join us!  To join the Facebook group,

click here>>https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210 or you can wait until Wednesday afternoon to view the  most recent episode right here on our website by going to the CCLIVE page.  All of the videos we have done until now are available for viewing!

 

Before I sign off, I just wanted to take a moment to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our veterans who have sacrificed for our country in ways that go beyond our understanding.  THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for those who have served and those who are currently serving.  May the Lord BLESS YOU, KEEP YOU and MAKE HIS FACE SHINE UPON YOU today and always!

 

 

Gloria


 

 


RECIPE

Creamy Corn Chowder

2 slices bacon, diced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 medium potatoes, pared and diced

1 can cream style corn

1 1/2 cup half and half

2 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

pepper

parsley flakes

In medium saucepan, saute' bacon and onion, Add potatoes and 3/4 cup water.  Bring to boil and cook gently, covered for about ten minutes until potatoes are tender but not mushy.  Add corn, milk, butter/margarine, salt, sugar and pepper.  Simmer covered for 5 minutes until hot.  Garnish with parsley.

This is a beautiful story of how God has been writing a story that is continuing on. Because people answered the call of the Lord, lives have been touched and changed and the legacy continues on!

BECAUSE SOMEONE ANSWERED THE CALL.....

 

It was July 1925; a tent was being erected in the small rural community of Sisseton,  nestled in the foothills of the Coteau Valley in Northeast South Dakota. Sisseton consisted of common hardworking people, tirelessly and endlessly trying to make a living to support their families. Among those were Ole Vassen and his sister, Anna, who had a burden to bring the Gospel message to the area through sermon and music to reach the lost. With this in mind, they invited evangelist, Blanche E. Brittain. She sang and preached and people gave their hearts to Christ. Eventually the tent was taken down and they proceeded from building to building.

Anna Vassen & Ole Vassen, siblings        Blanche E. Brittain


In the early autumn of 1926, there was a special campmeeting being held at Lake Geneva Bible Camp in Alexandria, Minnesota. Desperate to find someone to carry on the revival and to start a church in Sisseton, Miss Anna Vassen stood up with tears coursing down her cheeks and pleaded, "Won't someone please come to Sisseton?" One heard the cry and responded and a young couple came to Sisseton to begin a new church.  That in itself is a thrilling true story, but it is only the beginning. 


 

The Brooks' Family
 

 

 

 

Because someone heard the cry and answered the call, a young pastor and his wife moved to Sisseton and started a new church. Someone else answered the call and pleaded to our family (Brooks Family) in 1953 to please come and hear an evangelist.  Our family of 11 (at the time) walked into that humble little building and when the altar  call was given, we all stepped forward and gave our hearts to Christ.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, four years later, someone pleaded and invited Larry's brother, Lowell, to hear the Gospel and he answered the call which began a chain reaction. He pleaded and invited the rest of the family in 1957 to an evangelistic outreach in which his two brothers (which included Larry), mother and father answered the call, responded and gave their lives to Christ.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Then, Larry and I, as both young teenagers were blessed to have a young pastor, Rev. Daryl Wartenbee, who was a fired up evangelistic preacher who pleaded and directed our youth group to put our "faith in action" and took us out to the streets to do street meetings.
People got saved! He role modeled to us—Go into all the world. That was stamped in our hearts. He reminded us we were born again to tell others the Good News! 

 


Separately, the call burned within both of us that from the moment that we accepted Christ. We knew there were no options—it was ministry for each of us to go. After we both graduated, Larry's brother, Lowell and his wife, Connie, pleaded for Larry to join them in full time evangelism on the road and he answered that call.

 

                 

 


Many pleaded and encouraged me to go to Bible school so in 1962 I attended Hub City Bible Institute (now known as Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, ND--the picture above is with lifelong friend and fellow evangelist, Linda Long).   I followed  the call of God on my life knowing I was called to be in full-time evangelism.  

 

 

 

 

 

Separately, we both pleaded with God to lead us to the life mate He had for us. At the time, Larry and I were still rivals. As only God would have it (chuckle), we began dating as we both knew we were called to full time evangelism. Larry and I dated for two years, and he pleaded (haha) that I would marry him. In 1965, we were engaged and married. We have now traveled together for 55 years leading multiplied thousands of people to Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's the bottom line. This is what is so thrilling. Because someone PLEADED with Blanche E. Brittain to come and share the Gospel and she ANSWERED THE CALL way back in 1925 to preach the Good News in a humble tent made tabernacle, Larry and I are still in evangelism winning the lost and encouraging the hurting these 95 years later. How exhilarating is that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


And because of that wonderful day in 1925 when someone answered the cry, we have been blessed with God's best and faithful partners today. We didn't have to plead for you to join us, but as partners you offered your prayers and support and what a joy it has been. Thank you for being so faithful ! Larry and I continue to go and answer the call as the Lord leads.

 

And one of the ways He has led us in these interesting times is to minister out through special Facebook LIVES that are also available on our website.  This Wednesday, October 14th, at 11 AM, we will continue to share the story of how God wrote our story of commitment, love, marriage, ministry and unending passion to see people come to Christ!

 

You can join the Facebook group here:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210

You can watch the COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE videos by clicking HERE to catch you up!

 

GLORIA

 

 



RECIPE

Fall definitely feels like it is here!  Thinking of childhood, I remember the infamous popcorn balls.  Here's a yummy recipe to try with the kiddos or grandkids!

 

Super Easy Caramel Popcorn Balls

3 (3.5 oz) bags natural microwave popcorn popped 

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup light corn syrup

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

 

  1. Place popcorn in a large bowl; it is good to divide between two bowls for easier mixing.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. While stirring, bring mixture to a boil and then add condensed milk.
  3. While stirring, bring to a boil again and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over popcorn.
  4. Mix popcorn to even coat with the caramel. Place a big spoonful of popcorn on a piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over the popcorn and shape into a ball. This makes it easy to shape, keeps your hands from getting sticky and covers the caramel popcorn balls.
  5. Repeat with remaining popcorn.  Eat and enjoy!!!

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