A chilly greeting from Nashville, TN! If you are needing some hope and encouragement, be sure to check out the COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE posted here, as well as, a hopeful message for the New Year!

 

Brrrr….it’s a bit nippy here in Nashville.  It got down to 18 degrees here last night, and we have had three snowstorms in the last three weeks leaving 16+ inches of snow behind, but thankfully it has all melted away.  For a minute or two, I thought we were back in South Dakota!  In reality, as I talked to our home office in South Dakota, this would be a heat wave compared to the temperatures, wind and snow they have been experiencing back there.  It's all about perspective!  People used to say, “The older you get, the colder you feel.”  That is true, and that is exactly why people go SOUTH for the winter!  If the birds have a brain and are smart enough to fly south, shouldn’t we?  LOL!

 

 

 

 

It is hard to believe that this first month is almost history.  Due to the pandemic and not traveling, we are thoroughly enjoying our ministry through COFFEE & CONNECT.  We have had responses and input from all over the United States, Canada, Spain, Africa, Bahamas and Hawaii.  COFFEE & CONNECT has been a great avenue of reaching and ministering to the lost and hurting. 

 

Last week, on COFFEE & CONNECT, I shared a personal testimony of a miracle that took place in my life and I pray you will listen to it as it will give you hope and encourage you….share with a friend.

 

I also wanted to make available my January message from our mail newsletter available to you.

 

HERE IT IS AGAIN....READY OR NOT!

 

A New Year! For some reason the twinkling tree lights don’t seem to twinkle like they did before Christmas. The garbage can is filled with torn and crumpled Christmas wrapping and smashed bows. Leftovers fill the fridge and some snacks that we just had to have for the festivities are no longer fresh and enticing. Even those delicious cookies that were so delightful and melt in your mouth now taste stale so out they go. It all signals that Christmas is over and it is now time to find placement for the gifts we graciously received during Christmas.

 

My memory goes back to my precious mother-in-law and father-in-law. They didn’t have much extra monetarily so we always tried to give them something for Christmas that they just wouldn’t go out and buy. In hopeful expectation we would await their response and it was almost always the same response, “Oh, it’s so nice…it’s too nice to wear or use.” We would readily encourage, “Use it! Wear it! If you wear it out, we will buy you another one.” We would enjoy our time together and like a flash our Christmas vacation days were gone. It was out on the road again for 320-340 days a year. Several years ago after they had both passed away, Larry and I took a crew out to the four story farmhouse to clean it out. Wow!!! We worked our way up to the third floor arriving at the base of the attic staircase. We pushed up on that old door, braced it and carefully tiptoed into the attic of mysteries. To our surprise (or disappointment), before us were multiple shelves holding boxes and boxes with festive Christmas wrap, ripped but still clinging—box after box after box. Seriously there were dozens! Upon closer investigation, we discovered the boxes held years of Christmas gifts still gently nestled in the Christmas tissue—nightgowns, housecoats, purses, blouses, sweaters, appliances, and many of Larry’s father’s gifts as well. There they were all gathering cobwebs and dust from sitting unwrapped, unworn, unused. As I replayed the memory, it honestly stung a bit. They could have used and enjoyed the gifts, but they were “too nice to use”.

 

 

I think of the beginning of the new year where millions make new year’s resolutions. Many pray, “Oh God, I want to be used. I want to be an instrument. Please open doors. Give me wisdom and knowledge. Give me talent.” And yes…God does answer those prayers! He opens doors, allows opportunities to use their gifts and what do so many do? They respond, “Sigh…God, that’s not what I wanted. I don’t want to do that. I can’t do that as good as so and so. They won’t appreciate it.” Sadly and tragically, they throw these unused gifts that God has gifted them and shove them up into the spiritual attic of their lives.

 

Please let me take a moment to remind you, the happiest people are the active, giving, serving, joy spreading people. Your church needs you. Your neighborhood needs you. God needs your God-given gifts to reach out and encourage others. Make phone calls. Physically help and serve people. Visit the lonely. Help the less fortunate. God wants you to share Christ—the very simple Gospel message of salvation. Don’t shove it in the attic. Get involved!  “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10 “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

*By the way, I confess…I have been guilty of some of the above. Today is a day to put things to action!

 

GLORIA


 

 

     

 


RECIPE

 

Mighty Football Stew

 

2 lbs beef (cut in 1" cubes)

5 medium potatoes, cut in large pieces

5 medium carrots, cut in large pieces

2 medium onions, chopped

1/2 pkg dry onion soup mix

1 can tomato soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

 

Put meat and vegetables in a large casserole; add the soups and mix together.  Cover tightly (very important) and bake at 250-275 degrees for 4-5 hours!  Uncover and enjoy a hearty stew!

Merry Christmas and all of our love! We thank the Lord for the indescribable gift of His Son!

Merry Christmas! 

 

It’s hard to believe this wondrous time is here again already.  What an action packed year we have had!  There has been good...some bad and ugly...but truly we can say that God has been faithful through it all!  

 

We are so thankful to be here in Nashville close to our kids.  We look forward to having the kids come home to our house on Christmas Eve and hear the laughter, conversation and joy as we are together.  We will also be at our daughters for Christmas Day so much celebrating Christ's birth.  Family is the best!   

 

We pray that this finds you healthy, blessed and thankful for GOD WITH US!   May you feel the presence of God as you gather this Christmas!

 

Larry & Gloria

 

  

 

 

We have included an article that we hope will be a great reminder of WHY Christmas is so vital.  While we celebrate the Babe in the Manger, we don't want to forget the REST OF THE STORY!  Also, below that, we have included our most recent COFFEE & CONNECT which we were able to have all three of our children join us.   It was fun to walk down memory lane and remember some fun moments!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. Here are some Thanksgiving reflections we hope will encourage and challenge you!

 

 

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays.  It is always special because we aren't focused on anything else but gathering together, enjoying fellowship and giving thanks to the Lord for all He has given.  This year, we know there will be many experiencing this holiday with empty chairs around them as they have lost loved ones throughout the year.  We pray the vacancy will be not as lonely as you talk and recount the precious memories you have enjoyed with loved ones.   We will be spending Thanksgiving with our family here in Nashville.  We are so thankful to be together with family and blessed to all mostly be in the Nashville area. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are praying for you and your family that you will find ways to give thanks to the Lord for His abundant blessings, as well as, take this holiday as an opportunity to thank people in your life who have been a blessing!  We are certainly thankful for each and every one of you that have prayed for us along the many miles of our ministry journey and have supported us with encouragement and finances.  Truly, our hearts are filled with gratitude!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some THANKSGIVING REFLECTIONS we hope will encourage and challenge you!

 

 

 

As I child I loved Thanksgiving! What wasn't to love? No school (that alone was enough to be thankful for), watching my mom in awe as she would prepare and "throw things together" that were always amazing, the aromas that filled the kitchen, the good china that was used just for special occasions°that is just the beginning! I (and our entire family) waited with great anticipation for our entire family to come home which meant aunts, uncles and cousins would fill the house along with laughter, silly antics and moments shared. With much excitement and growling bellies, about 25-30 of us would gather around the big table for prayer. I remember it was an emotional moment for me even as a child. As I looked around at all present, my heart was overwhelmed by the "coming together" and "oneness" I felt. After a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude, it was time to dig in and enjoy the bounty we had been blessed with!

 

 

 

 

As I reflect over numerous Thanksgivings since then, I continue to ask "What do I love about Thanksgiving?" Here are some answers that came to mind;

 

° Thanksgiving is a special holiday we can enjoy without any additional pressure of gifts and giving. It is simply a time to gather and give thanks for what we already have. ° Thanksgiving is literally a day set aside for families to come together. It revolves around the home and being present.

° Thanksgiving is a time to "be still and know that He is God" recognizing who He is and to thank the Lord for family, provision, protection and guidance. We can even give thanks for the trials and struggles we have faced in the past year that have drawn us closer to Him.

° Thanksgiving is a day of reflection of what our forefathers went through to ensure the freedom we now have in America. May we never take for granted our heritage, blessings and freedom.

 

It is my prayer for you that this Thanksgiving, you would remember and count the many blessings of the Lord. May it be a time of simplicity, gathering and overflow with "THANKS—GIVING."

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Gloria



Sweet Potato Casserole

2 large sweet potatoes, baked until very tender, peeled and mashed (about 3-4 cups), they take about 60 min. at 350F.

3 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. 1/2 and 1/2 cream (10%)

Salt to taste

 

PECAN TOPPING

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/3 cup butter

 

Mashed soft baked sweet potatoes with the butter, cream and salt. Place them in 3-4 ramekins or one larger dish. Mix the brown sugar, flour and butter together until crumbly, add the pecans and place on top of sweet potato. Bake at 350F for 20min. or until the edges are bubbling and the topping lightly browned. Serve immediately.

This week we will celebrate 56 years together of marriage and ministry. We just cannot speak of the Lord's faithfulness to us enough! Check out our special COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE video.

Greetings from Tennessee!  Fall is in full swing---visits to pumpkin patches, sipping hot apple cider, the weather beginning to cool down a bit---all signs that we are in a new season.  We are so thankful that this week we will be celebrating seeing 56 years of seasons changing together.  We have know seasons of great joy and seasons of great sorrow, but through ever single season, we have known the faithfulness of God!  He has been present regardless the season, and as we celebrate these 56 years together, we are really celebrating 56 years of walking with the Lord as He leads us!  

 

 

 

In this week's COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE, we dedicated the time to remember "The Tale of Two Lives" and how the Lord brought a country boy and a city girl together with the same calling to serve the Lord and to share the Gospel to the lost and hurting.  With photos, memories, and of course, the Gospel, you can see PART 1 of "The Tale of Two Lives" in the video below.  Make sure to tune in on Wednesday at 11 AM in our Larry Lundstrom Ministries Facebook group to see PART 2!

 

 
 

 

Below is an article that Larry wrote for this month's newsletter.  How fitting it was as we recognize that truly our Shepherd has led us!  Enjoy!

 

Gloria


 

October 16th is forever etched in my memory. What a moment it was as I stood at the altar and watched my beautiful bride walk down the aisle with her arm locked inside her father's arm and the organ filled the entire church with the wonderful song, Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us. That glorious processional led then and certainly He has for 56 years now. Gloria and I have spent many hours throughout the years addressing any possible problems that we saw trying to destroy our marriage. Each day, we commit our lives to each other and to God.

 

Those 56 years of ministry living included my lovely bride leaving her home but for only a few days a year, raising three children on the road, becoming an author, singer, and travelling all over speaking to women's conventions across the US, and so much more. In those years, there were also times that because of illness, she struggled between life and death. By the grace of God, she still stands strong and I couldn't be more thankful!  I also thank God for the call to go—together.  Moses received his call from a burning bush, Gloria received her calling from a burning desire to see the Lost come to Christ. God spoke to her heart with confirmation of the choice of mate (me) in the first altar call at our local jail ministering together. Since then, she was willing to join me sharing the load as a team and fellow trench mate. The motto of our wedding was "Each for each other and both for the Lord" and the truth in that statement rings ever true. After a half century together, we still enjoy our daily date. As I reminisce, it is always rewarding to do so because it reminds us of the many miracle moments of protection and provision that fuels our passion to keep on pushing forward.  

 

Covid has caused changes in ministries, even ours. At this time, we now share every Wednesday together during our Coffee & Connect LIVE program about the Lord, and we always do what we have always done sharing the Gospel in a simple way so even a child can clearly understand it. We minister all over the nation with those who are calling for prayer support and we get to work as a team°"Each with each other and both for the Lord." I want to honor and thank my soulmate and best friend for her faithfulness and a Happy 56th Anniversary. Gloria, I love and cherish you always!

 

Larry

 

This was the theme song of our wedding. The words still ring as true today as they did then.  We are commited°each for the other and both  for the Lord.


The Wedding Song


CHORUS:
Each for the other and both for the Lord
Oh, Darling Sweetheart, let the angels record
Vows sweetly spoken, may they never be broken

Each for the other and both for the Lord


VERSE:
We'll walk together, Love,
Through sunshine, through the shade
We'll mingle tears and smiles
And travel unafraid
Halos of happiness will crown each passing day
Til heaven shines ahead and beckons us away.



Pumpkin Dessert Roll

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup pumpkin

1 tsp lemon juice

3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 oz packages cream cheese

4 Tbsp  margarine

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Beat eggs for five minutes on high speed.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Add pumpkin and lemon juice.  Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Fold into pumpkin.  Spread on greased and floured 10 x 15 pan; top with walnuts.  Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  Leave in pan five minutes.  Turn out on a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar; roll and cool.  Meanwhile make filling from the 1 cup powdered sugar, cream cheese, margarine and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Unroll the pumpkin and spread the filling over the cake.  Roll and chill.  Freezes great.

We each have choices to make and roads to travel. The destination of the path we take is vastly different. Choose the narrow way.

 

 

 

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:" Hebrews 9:27

 

 

 

We are going to talk about something a little uncomfortable because most don't like what it represents, but the scripture above tells us that each one of us is going to experience death. On top of that, we never know when this will happen in our lives. We may have thoughts of living to a ripe old age (that I am nearing more and more), but we aren't guaranteed that. Those that were sleeping in a Florida condo fully expected to wake up the next morning; they did not expect that the condo would collapse and eternity would be a reality in their lives.

As we talk about death, the scripture says°but after this. After death, there is more. There is after life which is eternal, forever and forever. There is: the judgment.

The judgment is the time when the decisions we made while walking the earth are seen. Ultimately the word judgment is not a good or bad word. The definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary gives this definition: a decision or opinion (as of a court) given after careful consideration. In itself, the judgment isn't bad, it is the act or time taken to consider the actions and make a decision based on what is learned. For us, the judgment is sheep and goat time as Jesus reveals in John 5: 28-29,

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;" The decision/conclusion made is a good outcome. This is the destination of the narrow road, a blood bought road by Jesus. There is an infrastructure bill in our government that is being debated and the cost is projected in the trillions. The roads, bridges and pathways will only provide passage from city to city. Yet, the narrow road that Jesus refers to had an even higher cost, and yes, there are some restrictions, but it has an unbelievable destination! Rev 21:4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

And just as there is a narrow road, there is a wide road with another destination. The rest of John 5:29 says, "and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Revelation 21:8 goes on to say, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

There is a distinct difference between the two destinations at the end of each road. What you won't find at the end of the narrow road are things like death, sorrow, and pain. Unlike the physical roadways that criss cross the US, these roads are not measured in miles but rather in who and what you believe. Above in verse 8 of Revelation 21, there is a list of who will be in hell for all eternity. Furthermore, Jesus described the rich man in hell, when he said in Luke 16:23 "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments." This isn't torment where you know eventually it will end. This is eternal (neverending) torments, and I can only imagine there were more than physical torments. There were torments of regrets knowing his family was living like he was so he wanted a witness to tell his brothers they are headed for a prison of fire and remorse. Torments for all eternity. What will it cost to get off the broad road? What will it take to change directions?

It will take a turn in your heart—a turn to Jesus Christ, recognizing Him as your Lord and Savior. The Bible says in John 1:11-12, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (some preferred the broad road where there are no restrictions and all sin is approved and allowed.) But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name".

It is simply:

  • Admit you are a sinner° The Bible says all have sinned
  • Believe° He that believeth not is damned
  • Confess to God from your heart° your sins and ask forgiveness.

Lord Jesus I am sorry for my sins, I am lost on a bad crowded road and I recognize by what I feel in my heart and what the Bible says this road will take me to hell. Please forgive my sins and come into my heart as I now make the turn to You. Amen

 

 

Just a reminder, please join us each Wednesday @ 11:00am for Coffee & Connect Live in our Facebook Group, Larry Lundstrom Ministries. If you miss it there, you can see all the videos on our website by clicking here.

The events and happening on the world stage continue to toss, turn and seem alarming, but we are so thankful for the Lord's promises! Sharing a video message of "How to Cope When Everything is Falling Apart" and an article challenging us to remember the promises....we hope these will be uplifting to you in this time.

 

 

The past few weeks we have been blindsided by a whirlwind of world and life-changing events that has and will affect all of us  forever.  As the twenty year 9/11 commemoration of the Twin Towers approaches, Larry and my memory bank explodes replaying that fateful day---the defining moment--- that changed our lives and the future for us and everyone. The reality of the word "freedom" is under attack.  Unless we, as Christians in America, desperately get on our knees to pray, we will lose our freedom, be controlled and it's not gonna be 'pretty'! 

 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it's up to us to gird up, pray up, stand up and be bold for righteousness.  So many of our friends and partners are writing us and crying "How can we cope through all of this Covid, nation tragedies and world catastrophes?"  If you are also feeling some of this same anxiety and asking the same question, I would encourage you to check out our COFFEE & CONNECT video below in which I share a message on  "How  to cope when everything is falling apart ."  I pray that it will be an encouragement to you to keep pushing, keep going, and keep praying because God is faithful.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Also, below the video is a message from our recent newsletter that I hope will remind you the Lord is near.

 

 

 

 

 

DO YOU NOT REMEMBER I HAVE PROMISED?

 

"How could this be? No God, not another crisis!" The warm tears spilled down my cheeks, softly falling on my now tear-stained Bible. I was crushed. I felt like I could hardly breathe due to the emotional trauma and pain. I cried out, "God, haven't we been through enough? Are you trying to teach me a lesson? Am I that slow to catch on? Whatever happens, God, please don't abandon me!"

 

This event happened years ago in the midst of a road tour. I felt all alone. Even though we have many friends and family, I still felt the agony of being alienated from everyone and God. There is something about "pain," whether it be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual that separates and sucks out the very life from us. After I pulled myself together, I picked up one of my Bibles and I flipped open to the front cover. On the inside page, I had written a quote from author Alan Redpath. I had forgotten that I had written it there years earlier, evidently when I was going through a difficult time. Sometimes I question, "How many crises will we have to face in life? Shouldn't there be a limit--a time when we can exhale in relief—guess not!"  This quote I am sharing with you was my lifeline that night:

 

"There is nothing—no circumstance, no trouble, no testing—that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him, and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is—that is the rest of victory."

 

I read that over and over. God spoke to my heart, "Do you not remember I have promised I would never leave you nor forsake you? Do you not remember I am walking beside you? If you stay close to me, not ahead of me, not behind me, but right by my side, you will make it!"

 

I love the verse in Isaiah 41:10 that speaks truth when my circumstances have clouded my vision, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

 

Please let me encourage you—don't give up, don't fall, but hold tight to the Savior for He will never leave you nor forsake you. That is His promise and "All the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." (2 Cor. 1:20)

 

Gloria



America to your knees! Your only hope is prayer;

The world is filled with strife, confusion and despair,

But God is still in Heaven, His power is over all;

America to your knees in supplication call.

 

America to your knees! Night shadows lengthen fast,

Soon judgment will descend, the day of mercy passed;

Our only hope is God—on Him we must rely;

America to your knees! He will hear our cry.

 

America to your knees! Your forefathers of old, loved God

And served Him faithfully—for righteousness were bold;

They read and lived God's Word, honored the Sabbath day;

America to your knees! Confess your sins and pray.

 

America to Your knees! Now is no time for pride;

In humble pleading call on God that He be on our side.

We've sinned and disobeyed, we've wandered far astray;

America to your knees! Return to Christ today.

 

– Esther Kerr Rusthoi

 


RECIPE

 

As the gardens are producing their harvest, there is an abundance of vegetables and this is such a yummy and easy way to prepare them! You can mix and match to your delight!

 

Roasted Vegetables

 

Step 1   Chop vegetables into approximately the same size. Place on rimmed baking pan (a dark pan often works a little better for roasting). Spread evenly, not overcrowding.

Step 2   Toss with olive oil and your choice of seasoning. Some seasoning options are: salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, curry powder, fresh/dried herbs, citrus, sesame oil, taco seasoning and whatever else you think you might like!

Step 3   Spread across baking sheet and roast in oven at 400-425 degrees. Spread evenly so vegetables cook evenly and roast 20-25 minutes. About halfway through, toss/mix vegetables. If adding tomatoes, add them the last 10 minutes. Vegetables are done when tender.

 

You can roast just about any vegetable. Just use the same simple method – chop (things such as green beans and asparagus just leave whole), drizzle with oil, season, toss and roast. Toss once or twice through baking. Just keep in mind different vegetables take various amounts of time so roast vegetables with the same cook time together (or give more firm root vegetables a head start then add others later on)

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.

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