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!!!

Here's a quick update on Gloria's most recent heart ablation procedure and a fun God-story in the midst of it!

Wow, what a spectacular fall day it is today here in Tennessee!  The leaves on the trees are brilliantly displaying their colors reaffirming God's picturesque creation for our enjoyment.  The red cardinals are adding their sparkle to the already breathtaking picture.

 


Because so many of you asked, I thought I would give you a quick update on my recent heart ablation procedure I underwent in order to help solve my A-fib heart condition.  I had a great surgeon, and he did an excellent job.  I am recuperating well, but just dealing with feeling overmedicated and wanting to crawl into bed and sleep and sleep and sleep!  I don't have time for that!  HA!  

 

 

 I also am enrolled in a clinical trial through Vanderbilt Medical Center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. There are only 26 participants that are enrolled, and I am blessed to be one of them.   Not only are we praying that this program will help me, but also are hopeful it will help many others who are struggling with similar a-fib issues.  I kind of feel like what my mom used to say often, "You can bend a Norwegian, but you can't break em!" So .... I'm back!!!  LOL!

 

I wanted to share this God-story with you that took place during this time......

 

The morning of the procedure I was greeted by the staff, the various doctors, anesthesiologist, etc.  Into the room bounces Diane Crawford, my bubbly nurse. We chatted and Larry told a couple of jokes (can you imagine that?)!  As we chatted waiting for the procedure, we connected as if we had known each other all our lives.

 


 The following morning after the procedure, Diane came in to go over my clinical trial instructions.  She looked at me and said,

 

 "When I met you and your husband yesterday, I felt like I had known you for years; we just connected. As I was going over my paperwork last night, I saw your name and I thought--- I wonder if that is the Lundstrom's from back in the Midwest!  I went online and looked you up, and here it is the Lundstrom's!  

 

 I am originally from Minnesota, and I attended your crusade as a teenager in 1975 in Windom, Minnesota . I loved your music and as a teenager, I admired you.  You made a great impact on my life. Who would have thought all these many years later I would  meet you here in Nashville, Tennessee, in the Vanderbilt Medical Center and be your clinical trial nurse! ". (Only God could have orchestrated that!)  

 

Speaking of God orchestrating things, on October 16th, Larry and I celebrate another milestone---our 55th wedding anniversary!
In our next website I will share some interesting true stories of how God brought us to Christ as teens and how we could see the hand of God through it all.

 

HOWEVER, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO WAIT UNTIL THEN TO HEAR, we invite you to JOIN US this Wednesday @ 11 AM to our weekly COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE in our Facebook group.  In a time when we haven't been able to travel and connect with so many of you, our friends and partners, this has been a fun way to do so! 

 

 

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!  


Have a great week!  Take good care of yourselves and others!

 

Gloria


 


RECIPE

Use up some of the scrumptious peppers from the garden....and these will warm your insides!  You can customize these to make them extra spicy or nice and calm.

8 bell peppers with tops cut off and seeds/membranes removed

1 lb mild or spicy ground Italian sausage or ground beef

3 cups uncooked Spanish style rice, or white rice 

1 1/2 cups water

1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes

1 cup shredded cheese

cilantro or green onions for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and arrange bell peppers standing up. Transfer to preheated oven and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until tender.  Move ahead with next step while peppers are cooking.  In a large pan over medium-high heat, cook sausage/beef for 5-6 minutes until well browned. Remove grease, cover and keep warm.  In another pan, add rice, water, and tomatoes to the pan, give it a good stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to LOW, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once time is up, stir the meat and 1/2 cup of the cheese into the pan. Spoon mixture into the baked peppers and top with remaining cheese.   Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with green onions or cilantro if desired and serve. 

 

Greetings from the beautiful mountains of Tennessee! Hear about how we are ministering out in a new way during these times through Coffee & Connect LIVE and how you can be a part of that. Also, be challenged about what to do when you are having "one of those days" or even weeks!

 

Hello from the balmy beautiful Smokey Mountains of Tennessee!  There is  something that is so breathtaking about this country.  Today the brilliant blue sky is peppered with clouds that appear like bits of pure cotton are hanging in the heavens.  We love it!

 

We also are loving the opportunity we have been having to connect with many of you through the avenue of our new outreach, "Coffee & Connect LIVE" taking place in our Facebook group, Larry Lundstrom Ministries, on Wednesdays at 11 AM.  Whether it is just Larry and I sharing tidbits we have learned on the road, a funny story or a Gospel message OR if we are hosting special guests like Pastor Londa Lundstrom Ramsey, Pastor Jeff Nordin or Pastor Darrell Worley who all have shared such excellent bits of truth, wisdom and life, these times have been such a joy to us.  If you would like to be a part, you can ask to join the group on Facebook OR you can go to our website here and catch up on the LIVE's that we have done thus far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be completely honest, life isn't quite what we thought it would be right now as we are still enduring this Covid-19 crisis.  Last March, we all thought that we would shelter-in-place for two weeks and then everything would go back to normal and life as usual would resume.  Sadly, this has not happened.  Covid-19 has taken its toll on numerous aspects of life, in so many lives all over the world.  We expected to be out traveling and ministering this summer but instead we are stretching into new avenues of ministering for a time.

 

As our area has been hit quite hard by the virus, Larry and I quickly learned not to fear, but to be smart, cautious and take care of ourselves.   We had to move from fear to faith in God.  He is the answer!  We need to divert°adjust°.change our minds from CRISIS to CHRISTHe is our HOPE, our PEACE, our PROVISION---He is the great I AM!  HE IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!!

 

That doesn't mean however that we haven't had some days or even weeks where we want to say, "That's enough God.  That's all I can handle right now."  Yet°.even when having "One of those days°.or weeks°." We know we have a choice in how we handle the hard.

 

We hope this article will minister to you!

 

"One of Those Days"

Have you ever had "one of those days"? A few days before Larry and I were married, my mom sat down with me at our little kitchen booth to share a few survival tips for marriage. She was trying to inform me that not all days will be "sweet tea and red roses"!  She addressed me, "Missy, you will be living in an old bus (1948 Flex Bus.) There will be two couples and two children°one a toddler and one two-years old. They will all have their own individual personalities. And let me remind you, there will be the sweet good days—and some bad ugly days. There will be genuine reality moments when everything that can go wrong will go wrong and remember you can't run away when the bus is going 55 mph down the road. You could get hurt! (chuckle)" Then she capped our conversation with, "Just remember, you will have 'one of those days'. And let me remind you of two things: 1-You will make it! 2-Learn to zip your lips so you won't cause unfriendly fire!"

At the time, I thought this was all kind of funny so I chuckled. About two years later, after coming home off a five month tour which had included numerous bus breakdowns and untold problems (lots of them), I reminded Mom of our previous conversation. Again she chuckled and I said, "Mom, you said I would have 'one of those days', but you never told me how many of 'one of those days' I would have. She nodded her head and smiled, looked me square in the eye as if to congratulate me and said, "Missy, you made it and you will keep making it. You know why? Because you have to!"

The following story so describes me, Gloria Lundstrom, numerous times in my life.

The problem began when Chippy's owner decided to clean Chippy's cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang and she turned to pick it up. She'd barely said, "Hello" when "Ssssop"! Chippy got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippy°still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet and held Chippy under the running water. Then realizing that Chippy was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do? She reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippy never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who'd initially written about the event contacted Chippy's owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippy doesn't sing much anymore. He just sits and stares."

Have you ever felt like this is your story? At times, it feels like you are whistling through life one moment singing a song and the next minute, you are caught up in a whirlwind of devastation. Life seemed so good until one day this past March when the whole world changed almost overnight as Covid-19 and its fallout invaded our lives. Maybe for you, it was an illness, loss of a mate, parent or child, a job loss, or facing isolation indoors alienated from all the normal things that made you feel so safe and secure. Then°boom° we were all sucked up and sucked in like Chippy the bird, washed up, and singed by disappointments that life hands out. These annoyances of life hit when we least expect them. Then what? We have to make a choice. Either groan or grow. In the midst of these devastating blows, satan would like to attack your faith, confusing you, making you doubt what you believe and sedate you with a "no hope" injection. What do you do when you don't know what to do?

First of all—don't take it personally like you are the only one in the world going through this because as you know, "everyone in the world is going through it." John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." The devil knows his days are numbered and he is on an all-out attack on everyone°it's not just you.

 Secondly—don't give up. Don't panic and don't give in. Ephesians 6:13 says, "Having done all, to stand." Don't fall into satan's trap, don't listen to the voice that says, "you aren't going to make it", don't collapse spiritually and physically. Stand on God's Word that says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) I guarantee Jesus will be a shelter in the time of the storm.

Thirdly,—don't be like Chippy and let satan take the song out of your heart and life. Psalms 118:14, "The Lord is my strength and my song and He has become my salvation." I found that in my struggles the last several months, God continues to put a song in my heart and mind all day long. In fact, yesterday we were in the car going to get groceries; I was singing and Larry chuckled, "Who put a quarter in you?" I replied with a smile, "The Lord°aren't you thankful?"

In the midst of whatever you are going through, ask the Lord to put a song in your heart. Be blessed and know that God is there when you are having one of those days!

Gloria

P.S.  We hope to have you join us this Wednesday for "Coffee & Connect LIVE" at 11 AM.  Join the Facebook group by clicking HERE! 

You can also watch it at a later time here on our website by clicking HERE!

 

 


 


RECIPE

It's time to use some of those fresh veggies!  There is nothing like produce from the garden!

 

Zucchini Corn Bake

 

1 medium sized zucchini

1/2 cup onion

1/3 cup green pepper

2 Tbsp butter

1 lb or can of creamed corn

3 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Slice and cook zucchini in salted water; drain.  Brown onion and green pepper in butter.  Combine zucchini, onion, salt, pepper, corn and eegs.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Put in 1 1/2 quart casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

We are excited for a Happy Wednesday and another "Coffee & Connect LIVE". We have a special guest, Londa Lundstrom Ramsey. Come and join us!

Happy Tuesday!!!!  We are anxious for HAPPY WEDNESDAY when we meet again for "Coffee & Connect LIVE".  We are super excited for you to join us for a special coffee chat with our niece, Londa Lundstrom Ramsey. We will have a great time telling stories and sharing words of encouragement and challenge.

 

 

 If you want to be a member of our chat group, let us know!  You can click on this link and request to JOIN the group>> https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210/

 

Also maybe you just want to check out what we are even talking about.  We have recorded some of our recent "Coffee & Connect LIVE's" and made them available here on our website.  You can CLICK HERE or go to our CCLIVE page to view those videos!

 

 

See you later!  Until then, take care and rejoice in this day the Lord has made! 

 

Gloria

 

 

July arrives! See some special birthday photos as Larry celebrated 77 years of LIFE. Also, Gloria shares on a time in her life when everything was falling apart and how the Lord taught her to walk through times when you just can't hold on anymore.

 

Wow!  I can hardly believe it is the 1st of July as I write this.  On one hand, time seems to be flying by, but on the other hand, when I see all the happenings taking place, I also feel we are at a standstill.  It's weird how both can seem to be true.

 

This past weekend, we were so delighted to celebrate Larry's 77th birthday with our family.  After being on the road for over 50 years, once the kids grew up and no longer travelled with us, we often missed celebrating these special events together.  So, these are special times to us when we are able to gather and relish the moments.  It was a fun time.  Our son, Donovan, had these lights there commemorating the momentous year Larry came into this world.  We can all say for sure....the world has never been the same since!  And...we are so glad for that!  The joy, humor, passion, dedication and love that Larry lives each day is such a blessing!

 

 

 

 

 

We pray that as you enter into this 4th of July holiday weekend that you will be sure to pray for our nation.  We are thankful for the freedoms that we have and don't want to take them for granted.  Pray for mercy and for the Lord to awaken hearts to their need for Him as Savior.  We need Jesus in America!

 

I thought this article from our latest newsletter might encourage you during these times.  Stay safe, friends, and pray!

 

Gloria


"I Can't Hold On Any Longer!"

 

"Some days I feel like there's no future. It is so hard!"


The words from this note we received from one of our ministry partner/friends keeps reverberating in my head  and in my heart.  This isn't the only note that we receive. We receive dozens of notes from people whose lives have been turned upside down.  Some have been changed due to the COVID-19 virus.  If it were just that, it would be bad enough, but this friend also lost his wife a few months ago, so piled on top of the grief and loss, the feeling of hopelessness begins to overwhelm.


We have all been there at a time in our lives where pain, disappointment, hurt, and hopelessness crashes against us like a tsunami.  What do we do when we come to the end of our rope and there's nothing to hold onto?  It appears multiplied thousands are at that point.  If you don't mind, let me go back and share a similar moment from my personal experience:


I remember that we were in Baker, Montana, in the 1970's.  We had been married about five years at this time. I had married into a very busy successful evangelistic ministry which involved traveling from coast to coast, being on radio and TV, hosting city wide crusades, recording numerous record albums in Nashville, Tennessee, and countless other activities.  Of course, I was a perfectionist wanting to do everything perfectly in ministry.  I was living in a glass bubble for all to see and "yes" also judge. I felt I had to please everybody and do everything for everybody. Our lives and marriage was lived out in front of the public for all to see.  There was no place to hide.  Due to overload (much being my own fault as I allowed it), I couldn't sleep.  My health was taking a deadly dive, and I felt like I was drowning alive.


One evening, the Lundstrom Team had been invited over to a precious pastor's home for a meal and evening.  I was at the point of total emotional and physical breakdown.  After about a half hour and after not being able to eat, I graciously asked if I could be excused from the table while they all were visiting.  I walked down the hallway to find a quiet place. I felt my body beginning to crumble under the emotional load.  Being so weak and scared, I fell against the hallway and desperately cried out to God, "I'm losing it. I can't hold on any longer!"   I braced myself against the wall fearful I would pass out!  Again I pleaded, "Oh God, help me!"


Just then I looked up and on the wall across from me was a plaque displayed which had written in bold cursive letters,  "Thou wilt keep him in perfect PEACE whose MIND is stayed  on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee." (Isaiah 26:3)  At that moment that verse became my 'LIFE PRESERVER'!  I knew God was speaking to my heart to get my mind off people and my problems.  Rather, He wanted me to take that same turbo energy and apply it to 'staying' my mind on HIM.  With the little strength and will I still possessed, I began to focus on Jesus.  I thanked Him for healing my mind, my will and my emotions; I soon felt a peace begin to flow over me bringing calm to my body and mind.  It was a very valuable lesson learned!  I not only survived—I arrived at a place of peace to pull myself together.


How do you cope when everything is falling apart???


°     When you hit rock bottom, tell God that you are hurting and desperate.  We find many times in the Psalms where David cried out to the Lord. "In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears." Psalms 18:6


°     Recall and remember the times when you have felt you were going under, but you know God brought you through!  HE has a good track record! "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14


°     Get into God's Word and spend time in prayer. It's a spiritual antibiotic. Do you remember that as kids we would get a doctor kit for Christmas with a plastic thermometer, little Band-Aids, candy pills, and a plastic stethoscope?  Well, I am here to tell you that God's Word, prayer and a heart of thanksgiving is the ultimate spiritual doctor's kit!  "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalm 145:18 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life."  John 6:63


°     Remember—listen only to God's voice.

If you hear negative words such as: "You won't make it"' or "You're going under" or "God doesn't care about you or this wouldn't have happened."  All those thoughts and words are the enemy's vocabulary!

If you hear the words: "I will never leave you nor for sake you" or "I am all that you need, put your trust in me" or "Lean not on your own understanding" or "You can and will make it".  Then you are hearing the right voice!!!


Let me encourage you—YOU WILL MAKE IT!  Do you want to know why?  YOU HAVE TO!


"I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." Psalm 37:25


ANNOUNCEMENT

 

In this time where we aren't able to be out on the road, we have missed greatly our connection with our friends and partners!  So...we are stretching and trying something new.  We are endeavoring to connect with you via Facebook during a special time we call "COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE".  On Wednesday's at 11 AM, we go LIVE in our special Larry Lundstrom Ministries group and take some time to share with you what is on our hearts for the week, as well as, as some stories, scripture and prayer.  If you would like to be a part of this and are on Facebook, you can click this link to ask to JOIN the group.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210/


 

Here are a few prayers for you and your family to pray for our nation's leaders:

May the hearts of our leaders be transformed from stone to flesh.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. -Ezekiel 36:26

May our leaders serve the Lord and take refuge in Him.

Now, therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. -Psalm 2:10-12

May our leaders be humble and repentant.

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14

May our leaders be led by the Holy Spirit in all that they do.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. -Zechariah 4:6

May our leaders seek and follow wise council.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety. -Proverbs 11:14

 

-www.rootedfamily.com


A LITTLE HUMOR...

 

1.  Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

2.  Only in America are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink,

3.  Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy people can buy cigarettes and candy at the front.

4.  Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET Coke.

5.  Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars int he driveway and put our junk in the garage.

6.  Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and have call-waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.

7.  Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of 10 and buns in packages of 8.

 


 

RECIPE

On a hot summer's day, there is just something about a refreshing lemon dessert!  This is an easy cool yummy dessert! 

Lemon Delight

 

50 Ritz crackeres, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 8 oz carton frozen whipped topping

1 small can frozen lemonade, thawed

 

Mix together crackers, butter and sugar.  Press into a 9x13 inch pan.  Chill.  Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the chilled crust.  Chill and serve.  It keeps well in the refrigerator for days.

Happy Father's Day! Get a peek into one of Gloria's childhood confessions to her father, learn some new things we are doing and be encouraged!

 

What a beautiful day it is today in Nashville!  It's 92 degrees with NO HUMIDITY---that's a rare occurrence and how wonderful it is!  Usually, by mid-March the air conditioners are running at full speed here, but it has been so pleasant, we have only used it about 4 hours so far and it is mid-June.  However, it sounds like this weekend, the heat will turn up!

 

As in so many places, we have been experiencing much unrest, rioting, looting, and protests on top of dealing with the pandemic and increased numbers resulting from the lack of social distancing in all the gatherings taking place.  All of that being said...we will be staying close to home!  As we are home, please know that we are praying for you and the needs that you have shared with us.  In fact, today at 1 PM, along with our office staff, we will be praying together over every one shared!  If you get this in time, feel free to email us at llmin@venturecomm.net and we will pray!  Speaking of prayer, please, please, please pray for our nation, our leaders, the people----we desperately need supernatural intervention and humbly coming before our Heavenly Father seeking His mercy is the pathway to this.

 

With Father's Day this weekend, I wanted to share this "Childhood Confession" I thought you would enjoy....

 

There's nothing like family and family secrets.  Do you remember doing things as a sibling and threatening your brother or sister, "Don't you dare tell Dad or he'll kill us!"  Of course, my Dad would never have killed us!  He was a wonderful, fun father to have.  Note that I did not say a perfect father, as there are none.

 

Over the years, I've made an interesting observation----when we are no longer children and have become adults, we carefully and cautiously begin to confess some of the pranks we pulled as kids at family get-togethers. 

 

Every once in awhile, while my mom was still living I would get brave and share one of these confessions.  My mom would be so surprised and exclaim, "You did that, Missy?"  (Missy was her nickname for me.)  "And here I thought you were such a good girl!"  Then I would cautiously look at my dad for a response, and he would just chuckle and grin!  I'm sure if I had told him 60 years ago some of the things I had pulled and gotten by with when he was young and strong, and I was little and weak, his reaction would have been a little different.  HA!

 

 

I remember one experience when I was talking to Dad about spring and planting flowers. I was encouraging him to plant a garden.  We reminisced about the fourth-of-a-block garden plot that we had had while I was growing up.  I jokingly accused him of disliking us kids so much that he planted those six lots of garden just to keep us 11 children occupied, by pulling weeds, picking beans, pulling weeds, picking beans, beans and more beans!  He just chuckled.

 

 

Then I carefully moved toward making a confession:  "Dad, remember when you used to make me pick those yucky potato bugs off of all those potato plants?  You never knew how much I hated picking those ugly bugs!"  I continued, "Do you remember the day I came to you, needing spending money, and I made a deal with you?  I asked if you'd agree to give me a penny for each potato bug I picked and put in an old coffee can, to be burned later.  Well, I'm sure you thought I'd probably only gather 10 potato bugs and it would only cost you about 10 cents!  But, with my Norwegian determination to make money, I picked over 250 of them!  Remember when I walked up and proudly showed you all those bugs in that old coffee can?  You just grunted and questioned me on the 'real count' of the bugs, but you willingly paid me $2.50.  I was so excited; I thought, "Wow!  That was easy money!"

 

 

 

 

 

Then came the real confession.  "Dad, you know when you told me to burn the bugs in the coffee can in the garden?"  I hesitated, "Well, I didn't!  I took the can and shook the bugs out all over the potato plants again!"  I didn't dare look at the expression on his face.  I continued, "Well Dad, remember that two days later, I anxiously offered to 'pick bugs' again for a penny each?  And you graciously offered me the same money deal?  Like a flash, I ran to the garden, 'knowing' there would be lots of bugs!" I wonder why!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my confession about the "potato bugs" story, Dad didn't say a word.  He just grinned his silly grin, and I knew I was forgiven.  What a relief!  Then he later chided, "I should have known!"

 

Isn't that something, after all those years of keeping a secret, it felt so good to let it out!  Now, it has become a "family confession" story that brings laughter at family get-togethers.  

 

I'm thankful for having such a wonderful father and friend!  Through the years, both of us  made mistakes, but we forgave each other and chose to dwell instead on the wonderful times and the precious relationship we had.  I cherish every moment I had with Dad.  He always gave me much advice and lots of laughs.

 

 I'm also very thankful for my heavenly Father!  I'm thankful I don't have to be afraid to confess my faults or sins.  I know I can openly tell Him and ask Him for forgiveness.  The Scripture in I John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!"  What peace He gives us after confession!  It's great! 

 

Do you have anything to confess?  Get it out!  It's worth the peace you'll receive!

 

Gloria

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

In this time where we aren't able to be out on the road, we have missed greatly our connection with our friends and partners!  So...we are stretching and trying something new.  We are endeavoring to connect with you via Facebook during a special time we call "COFFEE & CONNECT LIVE".  On Wednesday's at 11 AM, we go LIVE in our special Larry Lundstrom Ministries group and take some time to share with you what is on our hearts for the week, as well as, as some stories, scripture and prayer.  If you would like to be a part of this and are on Facebook, you can click this link to ask to JOIN the group.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/590560935145210/

 

 


Feeling overwhelmed...here's the answer!


ON THE LIGHTER SIDE....KEEP LAUGHING EVERY DAY! 

 

I found this clipping in my mom's stuff.  If my mom, mother of 11 children, took the time to cut this out, I'm sure it was an encouragement!

 

And another funny for the times we live in....

 


RECIPE

 

Rhubarb Jam

 

Ingredients:

5 cups rhubarb

4 cups sugar

1 can crushed pineapple

1 small package raspberry or strawberry Jello

 

Directions:

Mix rhubarb and sugar and let stand overnight.  In the morning, boil for 15 minutes.  Add crushed pineapple Jello; let jam thicken.  Pour into clean jars, keep in refrigerator.  Makes 2 quarts.

A quick update on what we have been keeping busy with, a few firsts shared and some encouragement!

 

 

Wow---what a ride this past 2 ½ months has been!  I always say, "I plan my days, weeks and months, but somehow they never quite go as planned!"  This has been especially true since mid-March when most everyone's world came to a screeching halt.  I think we all thought and wished that the Covid-19 virus would be over after a two week quarantine and life would be normal again.  Now, ten weeks later, life is not normal, it won't be normal and my life calendar is all messed up and mixed up.  Like thousands others, Larry and I have been on a "shelter in place" order for many weeks.  For people like us who are used to being on the run  and on the road for over 54 years, it has really taken the wheels off of our chariot.  We had our ministry schedule tentatively set to take us back to the Midwest for services starting the 1st of May.  Well, that has come and gone and here it is almost June.

 

 

 

 

I told Larry, "Honey, I'm sure glad we like our home because the way it sounds, with all the uncertainty involving the virus, we are going to see a lot of it."  Then I chuckled and continued, "It's a good thing we are best friends and are used to being together 100% because we are totally together always."  

 

We did have the opportunity to celebrate LaDawn's birthday as well as my own as we share the same birthday.  It's hard to be believe she turned 49...which then makes me 76!  Where did the time go?

 

 

As I think over the past ten weeks, I have to say it has been wonderful to "Be still and know that He is God."  For the first time in our lives, we have a SET schedule.  We love the SET time (7-8 AM) in a SET place (my office/prayer room) where we meet in the quiet with God and pray together over family and pages and pages of prayer requests of our ministry friends and partners. 

 

We also spend many hours each day sending emails, cards, texts and phone calls to those who are struggling through this challenging time.  Many are feeling alone and are hurting;  they just need to know that someone cares and have someone to talk to. 

 

On the other hand, there are always some "firsts" in life and we are experiencing a few of those.  For us, this is the first time we have been "home" in the summer since we were married 54 years ago.    What a change!  And I must admit, it's a nice welcome change.  Even though it has been forced upon us, it has been a very productive time.  We have been trying to do the "some-day-some-year" procrastinated jobs and tasks that have piled up over the past 54 years as we would normally be home only a few weeks out of the year.  When we moved to Tennessee, we moved many of our ministry files and countless totes that held ministry archives and thousands of photos as well.   Being on lockdown, we decided it was a good time to attack the looming project of going through this mountain of ministry photos and archives that had been packed away and put in the corner.  This last month we have spent countless hours sorting papers, files and photos that go clear back to the early 60's before we were married.  Who said I never got rid of anything?  They are right!  HA!  In the process, we have scanned over 2,000 documents and photos, as well as, placed numerous photos in books and binders giving us the ability to look back and see where we were and what we did those many years.  We were too busy IN REAL TIME---- AT THE REAL TIME to take it all in.  There is much more to do but it feels good to get his far.  I encourage anyone to do your photos and keep up with it right where you are----don't wait until you get this old! 

 

And another first...guess what...for the first time in my married life, I even got to plant a few bushes and perennials.  For many people that would be a perfectly normal task, but for me, I've never been home long enough to plant something, water it and watch it grow.  That has been refreshing and truly makes me appreciate the process of nurturing and growth.  How good the Lord is to plant seeds, to water them, to pull out the destructive weeds and to nurture that which He wants to see grow in my life! 

 

Larry has appreciated the uninterrupted moments of bible study and sermon building time.  As always, anyone who has "an ear to hear", he is going to share Christ with them.

 

We sure miss physically going to church but have been blessed to take in so many online ministries.  It may be a challenge to get "back to normal", to get out of my pajamas and set aside my coffee cup to go back to real church.  HA!  But seriously, we are looking forward to meeting again.

 

 

 

 

As of now, in our area alone of Tennessee, we have confirmed 19,789 cases of Covid cases and 329 deaths with 460 new cases within the past 24 hours.  With that being said, the mask is a huge deal for us.  We have only been to the grocery store a handful of time in the last few months.  I've done more cooking in the last 10 weeks than I have done in the last 10 years.  I'm ready to hang a sign in the kitchen that says "CLOSED until further notice."  We have enjoyed eating at home, especially if Larry still has his ice cream!

 

 

We are praying each day that God would keep you healthy and well, protecting you from all harm.  May you fine the strength and peace through the Lord as you put your trust in Him in these trying times.

 

 

 

 

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'"  Isaiah 41:10

Gloria



RECIPE

 

BUSTER BAR DESSERT

 

1 (15 oz) pkg chocolate sandwich cookies

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1/2 gal soft vanilla ice cream

Nuts or salted Spanish peanuts

 

TOPPING:

1/2 cup margarine

2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cups chocolate chips

1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk

 

Crush cookies and mix with margarine.  Pat into 9x13 pan.  Carefully spoon ice cream over the crumb mixture.  Sprinkle with nuts/peanuts.  Place in freezer while preparing topping.  Mix together the topping ingredients.  Heat until chips melt.  Bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes.  Stir often.  Cool.  Pour over ice cream.  Freeze until firm.  Soften 10 minutes in refrigerator before serving.

As Mother's Day approaches, Gloria shares some fond memories of her mother and a very special constant...her apron!

Wow!  What a month!  Who would have ever thought we would be experiencing what we are at this time---a worldwide pandemic?  I am thankful the Lord is the One in whom we put our trust as He is unshakeable while everything else shakes around us.

 

Many have asked how we are doing.  We continue to be on "stay at home" orders as the statistics for our area keep rising.  Larry and I have commented how we are sure glad that we love our home as we may be spending a lot of time here according to the spread of the virus.  We are thankful to be doing well healthwise.  I keep Larry happy by keeping lots of ice cream in the house!  HA!  Our children have been so good to help by bringing groceries or staples to enable us to not have to venture out.  I've been to the grocery store only 3 times in the last two months.  When I put my mask on, I feel like I am in a Lone Ranger movie!

 

I have to chuckle.  We used to be known as Larry and Gloria Lundstrom.  Now since this virus°.we are known as the vulnerable and the elderly.   Not sure I like that description!  But I suppose at our age, it is true.  I know that we sure don't want to act our age, we want to feel younger°ha!

 

As Mother's Day approaches this weekend, I wanted to share this Mother's Day message with you that I hope blesses you!

-------

 

The Apron— protector, holder, comforter, altar

 

When I hear the word "apron," it still makes me giggle!  My memory bank starts flinging out visual memories of my mom's many aprons when I was just a kid.  Just imagine—a mother of 11 children cooking and baking nonstop—the wear and tear that her aprons got.  Just for fun, I decided to ask my cell phone Siri the definition of apron.  This was the response "a protective or decorative garment worn over the front of one's clothes and tied in the back."

 

 Hmmm—I never thought of it as protection when I saw my 5 younger sibling brothers run full speed to the kitchen between her legs and almost trip her.  No—that apron did not protect her from the surprise ambush.  Decorative?  I don't ever recall Mom's aprons looking fancy like those on the "I Love Lucy" shows. 

 

 

 

Mom's aprons were made of a collage of materials that wrapped around her and definitely served multi-purposes.  While baking and cooking, she'd wipe the excess flour off her hands onto the apron.  I often saw her use it in the garden collecting fresh beans, tomatoes, peas, carrots, onions, etc.  For dinner she would scoop them into the full of her apron like a basket to carry them into the house.  Many, many, many times I would see her take a quick break to play with a new baby and toddler, and she would use her apron for a swing tenderly swaying the baby back and forth like in a hammock.  Her apron also held many diaper pins so she knew exactly where they were when changing a diaper.  You didn't want to be searching around for those!  Oh yes—another familiar sight was to see 5-10 clothespins hooked on her apron as she went out to hang clothes on the line.  With her apron, I saw her wipe tears off the cheeks of my siblings, even sometimes wiping their runny noses after a tussle with one another.  When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I remember coming home from school on a  -10 below zero frigid winter day and my wet feet and hands were freezing.  She wiped my tears, removed my freezing mittens and frozen wet socks and cradled them in her lap while wrapping them in her apron. 

 

 

 

Mom did have some special clean aprons, of course, which were reserved for mealtimes with guests.  Also, on Sundays I saw her apron as decorative as she served a special roast beef meal with all the trimmings. 

 

 

 

Primarily though, Mom's apron was a "work" apron, and they wore out quickly with a family our size.  I loved watching her on baking days (which was almost every day).  We would head to the kitchen, and we all knew she was going to bake and cook our favorite dishes.  One day I complimented her on how delicious everything was.  Years later I complimented her again on how great her cooking was even up to the age of 94 years old.  She responded, "Missy, I prayed over everything when I made it that God would help it to be tasty and good." Those prayers were certainly answered!

 

 

 

 

 

All of those stories shared were great impactful memories, but my favorite and most memorable remembrance of those aprons was when amidst all the busyness of our home, Mom would put a pause on everything, wipe her hands on her apron, and encourage us to sit down on the old couch.  She would then reach out and pray for each one of us.  As she would pray for her children: the one that was sick, the one that was discouraged, the one that felt rejected, the one that had a fresh cut on their eye from sibling friendly fire, the one that was struggling spiritually and somehow she always knew—that apron became an altar of contact between us, her and God.  She truly was a shelter for us in the time of storms.  She was a Proverbs 31 woman and mother.  Mom lived what she taught and she taught what she lived by her daily example.  What a legacy of love for God and each other that she gifted to all of our family that now numbers almost 150.

 

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."  Proverbs 31:29-31

 

Gloria


 


RECIPE

 

CRACKLY GINGER SNAPS

 

There is nothing quite like some ginger snaps dunked in coffee.  Memories of conversations shared over coffee bring comfort during this time when I miss my mom greatly.  Make sure to enjoy all the moments with your mom!

 

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup shortening

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp giner

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

 

Mix ingredients together.  Chill for one hour.  Form dough into balls.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Make sure to share with a loved one!

 

Greetings from our home in Tennessee!  We are under "shelter in place" orders from our state and have stayed safely tucked away during that time.  We are certainly living in unprecedented times, and how honestly fitting that as we are in Holy Week, coming up on the crucifixion of Christ, that we remember it was His sacrifice that actually gives all of us HOPE in these days of uncertainty.  Not only did He provide a way for us to be made right with the One true God, but His resurrection is the very sign of VICTORY over death, hell and the grave.  This earth is not our home.  As a follower of Christ, we have a home eternally with Him in heaven.    I love the words of the old song, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone."    Because He lives---we can live in peace and hope!  This Easter---even though you may not be able to gather like you normally would---share the Good News!  The world desperately needs to know that "Life is worth the living, just because He lives!"

 

 

______________

 

Prophecies Fullfilled--Promises Forthcoming!

 

Easter—it's more than colored eggs and chocolate bunnies.  Although to be perfectly honest, as a child, I loved that aspect!  I would go with my dad, and he would buy 12 dozen eggs in a crate from a local farmer.  The process would begin: we  boiled, we colored eggs, we boiled more eggs, and we colored more eggs.  Eventually, we would have 10-12 dozen colored eggs for the household because we needed enough to  go around. I also enjoyed making the Easter baskets for everyone filling them with colored eggs and candy.  This maybe wasn't the best thing because more than once, a week or so after Easter, while cleaning up my younger brothers' bedroom, I would catch a whiff of something really rotten.  I followed the smell and sure enough under the bed was a mess of green fake grass with jelly beans and uneaten colored eggs.  I'm not sure if they deliberately hid them or just forgot about them, but that was not a pleasant smell!  HA!

 

 

I heard about a little boy sitting next to his friend at church one Easter Sunday.  His friend asked, "How did you get that bruise on your arm?"  The boy replied, "I ate some Easter candy."  His friend said, "Eating Easter candy won't give you a bruise."  The boy quipped, "It will if it is your big brother's candy!"  This reminded me of my siblings!

 

Now to what matters— the REAL Easter story.  As one reads the Easter story account in Luke, it is very thought-provoking.  It is interesting to note that the disciples never seemed to understand the things that Jesus was telling them until after He was dead as to what was going to happen to Him.  Even after Peter saw the empty tomb, Luke 24:12 states, "He was wondering in himself at that which was to come to pass."  I believe even as they looked into the empty tomb when they saw nothing, they saw much!  This is what I believe they saw°

 

PROPHECIES FULFILLED

 

°    "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."  Luke 9:22

 

°    "I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. "

 

°    "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. "  Isaiah 53:3

 

 

PROMISES FORTHCOMING

 

°    Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."   John 2:19

 

°    Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom."  And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."  Luke 23:42-43

 

°    "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many mansion; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know."  Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."  John 14:1-6

 

°    "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with t hem in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be withe the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with thee words."  1 Thes. 4:16-18


Revelation 21:4 rings loud in my spirit,  "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. "

 

Whatever trial we face or are going through, He is and will be there.  Larry's and my hearts go out to the many families and partners whose lives have been broken through the loss of a child, mate, parent, or miscarriage.  Their hearts are broken due to the indescribable pain and loneliness of their absence.  Here is the Good News!  The resurrection takes the sting out of death.  Easter shows us that there is life beyond the grave!  Death is no longer a giant; it is a mere blip on the screen of eternity.  Knowing this, we have a different perspective of death.  For the person who trusts in God, death is just a transition into a new life.  

 

Matthew 28:20 says, "Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. "  John 20:21 says, "So Jesus said to them again, Peace to you!  As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

 

You may be reading this today and you feel like you are living the crucifixion Friday in excruciating pain or you may feel you are in a no hope, no courage Saturday filled with disappointment and fear of a bleak future.  But HOLD ON---SUNDAY IS COMING!  That's the hope of the resurrection for the Christian.  He will take us HOME—no more tears or fears.  We will be reunited with our loved ones and forever be with the Lord.  That will make you shout!  Sounds good to me!

 

Gloria
 

 

 

 

 


 


RECIPE

We love Easter and all that we celebrate about Jesus.  We also love family and the privilege it is share about the death and resurrection of Jesus during this time.  I don't know about you, but my kids always enjoyed the hands on activities and it always made things come alive.  

So here is a fun recipe to try...super easy...super yummy...but so meaningful!

 

RESURRECTION ROLLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (10 ounce) package jumbo refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin pan (preferably jumbo muffin pan) with non-stick cooking spray.

Separate rolls into eight triangles and set aside. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Then, dip each marshmallow into butter, rolling it in cinnamon-sugar.  Place the marshmallow on a triangle piece of  dough. Pinch dough around marshmallow, sealing all edges. Make sure to seal well or all the marshmallow will escape.

Dip tops of dough into the remaining butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar. Place roll with the sugar side up into prepared muffin cups.

Bake at 375 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes. Eat warm.

------

While you are making these, you can read the Easter story found in the Gospels.  As you read, you can express that in this illustration, Jesus  is represented by the marshmallow.  After Jesus died on the cross he was wrapped in linen thus you rolled it in butter and cinnamon.   Jesus was then put into tomb which was the crescent roll dough.  And finally, after the 3rd day, Jesus has risen and is no longer in tomb.  You can now open the cooked roll to find there is no marshmallow!  

A quick update on how we are doing and encouragement to HOLD ON through it all!

 

Hello from Nashville, Tennessee!  What a difference a few days can make in our lives!   It seems like all was looking up and then the bottom fell out of everything boggling the minds of every American at the rapidity and extent of life as we know it changed.  Right now the world is essentially at a standstill. 

 

Nashville is known as one of the top entertainment cities of the US and now it feels more like a ghosttown.  The past month it has been deluged with devastating flooding, a deadly tornado killing several dozen with hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed leaving many homeless or without employment, and now the Coronavirus.  Like many areas of the U.S., the virus has engulfed our local area and the health department has ordered all to shelter in place for two weeks to help stop the spread at this time when the U.S. has reached a bleak milestone.  With all of that being said (and I know you have heard it over and over), we see much panic and fear gripping a great number of people. 

 

My memory is drawn back to the month of December and as I always do, I was praying and asking God what is coming in the new year.  What do I need to know to move forward in the next year (2020)?   As I prayed for weeks, it seemed like heaven was silent.  My daughter, LaDawn, kept asking, "Mom, what is God saying about next year?"  I didn't have an answer and then finally the second Sunday, January 12th, Larry and I were in the car on the way to church.  Actually I was agonizing and wondering, what do I need to know about this coming year?  Then...BOOM...like a lightning flash came two words---"HOLD ON!"  I was physically taken aback and pleaded, "God, what does that mean? Hold on?"  God began to speak to my heart, "Hold on---when things are falling apart.  Hold on to your faith---stay firm.  Don't be moved.  Hold on---when fears try to wear you down.  Hold on to your beliefs---don't compromise.  Hold on to my Word.  I promised I would never leave you nor forsake you.  Hold on---I will see you through.  Call on Me!"

 

Now, as we have had difficult experiences in the past month, when Larry and I struggled with the flu and bronchitis, various attacks on our family, hearts breaking, the flooding, the deadly tornado, and now the worldwide pandemic----I get what God was telling me and our family---HOLD ON!  With God, we will go through it.

 

Could it be that God could take what was meant to destroy and instead see a mighty harvest of life as America turns back to Him?  Could it be that we would once again see God as the one true God in us and our families as there is a removal of the other gods of convenience, entertainment, comfort and money that have sadly pulled us away from Him?  Just thinking...

 

God wants us to now (no choice because we have to stay home)..."Be still and know He is God."  We are finding out what it could mean when God lifts His hand of provision and protection on America.  God help us---not to groan through this but to go and grow through it!  

 

 

Gloria


REFLECTION

 


RECIPE

With some extra time at home, maybe now is a great time to try all those recipes that you have set aside to try on a rainy day!

 

SALSA CHICKEN SOUP

1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

1    14 1/2 oz can chicken broth

1 3/4 cup water

1 tsp chili powder

1 cup frozen corn or canned corn

1 cup of favorite salsa

Shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, optional

 

In a large saucepan, combine chicken, broth, water and chili powder.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 mintues.  Add corn; return to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and corn is no longer tender.  Add salsa and heat through.  Garnish with cheese if desired.  Makes 6 servings so double if needing a larger portion.

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