Monthly Archives: May 2011

Thoughts of Joplin

Dear Readers,

     As my eyes slowly inch their way across my surroundings I begin to realize if not for the grace of God, my home could easily be a pile of rubble like all the houses in Joplin, Missouri.  I find myself wondering why?

     Hearing more and more horror stories coming out of that community of 50,000, my heart knows that if God so decides, in a split second everything I have could be gone.  I think He has gotten my attention this week, big time.

     Our family was living in Worcester County, Massachusetts in 1953 when the history making tornado storm hit there.  I was only nine years old, but I still remember how frightened we all were when it was announced that a twister was on the ground near where we lived.

     That year my brother-in-law was on a city bus (that is how kids got to school then) and his vehicle was picked up by the tornado and hurled into the air.  They still have a picture of that smashed up rig hanging in the WRTA (Worcester Regional Transit Authority) building.

     Anyway, he was badly cut on his arm, but managed to crawl out of the bus and run home.  He lived in Great Brook Valley, the worst hit area of Worcester.

     I don’t remember how many died that day, but my big brother went to help with the clean up and returned home and told us horrible stories of what he saw.

     Not knowing why these monster natural disasters keep happening around the world, I searched my bible today and found in the book of Matthew 24:8, "All these are the beginning of birth pains," (NIV), or in the NKJV, "All these are the beginning of sorrows."  The whole chapter 24 lists all the signs of the end times, told by Jesus when He walked the earth .  None of this is new!

     What does it all mean?  I’m not sure.  All I know is that each time I look around my home, all I can seem to see is the piles of rubble in Joplin.  And I wonder, "Lord have I put to much importance on my things and not enough on You?"  And then I blink my eyes and realize, that quickly it could all be gone!

              Love in Christ,            Claire xoxo

PS  My daughter who lives in Morrisville, Mo. had debris from St. John’s Hospital in her yard.


Cancelled Vacation

Dear Readers,

     Thought you might want to hear today’s journal entry:

     May 25, 2011

     "Lord, what is going on?  I’m getting such strange emotions and messages."

     For months now we have planned a trip to Denver for our grandson’s graduation.  But, on my morning walks and prayer time,  all I kept hearing was, "Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go!"

     "Why not Father?" I continually asked.

     Still, we packed the car, drew out some vacation money, and planned to leave last Monday or Tuesday, with today being graduation day.  But, last Sunday, I was still hearing and feeling, "Don’t go, don’t go!"  It was so strong while attending church that morning, I shared it with two of our members which are both former pastors, and asked them to pray for me to make the right decision.

     Could it be the family problems going on right now?  Could it be the violent tornado storms hitting Missouri and other states this week?

     But there’s more.  Last Sunday I also heard, "Give your vacation money away!"  God even told me in my thoughts, a few places He wanted our tithe to go to, and how much to give to each, and I did what I was told.

     Today, Wednesday May 25, 2011, graduation day, we are sitting at home with a packed car and no money, definitely the strangest event ever.  "Why Father?  What is going on?" I continue to beg for answers.

     Last Saturday a man predicted the end of the world would come by 6 P.M.. We’re still here!

     Today in my daily devotional I read, "To ignore God is a sin,"  (James 4:17).  So, I believe I was supposed to do those things I was told.  They definitely weren’t my ideas.

     The disappointment in my son’s voice when we called and confirmed our final decision not to go, almost devastated me.  I hate to hurt my kids in any way.

     "Why Lord did this happen?  Will You eventually tell me?"

                                                     Love in Christ,    Claire  xoxo


Purple Martins

Dear Readers,

     As I stare out my livingroom window at the Purple Martins that are nesting in my yard, I realize what my kid brother reminds me of regularly when he says, "In a world that has gotten so complex and evil, your simple little stories still reach out to people.  Stay in your tiny world, because it is an evil mess outside of it!"

     And so I am reminded of a mini-prayer I made to the Father and yet again I didn’t believe it would be answered…

     For three spring seasons now, my hubby and I have been trying to coax the Purple Martin species into our ever growing entourage of birds that surround our home.  We followed all the rules pertaining to attracting them.  We built a Martin house according to the specs, looked up info in books and on the internet on how to start a flock coming to our yard, and got rid of all the predators that would keep them away.  Then we waited.

     First summer, nothing.  Second summer still nothing, even though we meticulously maintained the Martin compound.  This species begins arriving in Missouri in March to search for housing and breed.  And now in May, if any young are left to nest, it would have to be soon.  Most return to where they were born, but the babies often get pushed out and have to search for new breeding quarters.  That’s where "We" hopefully come into the picture.  The 25 acre field in front of our home makes a great feeding area, the perfect housing, and the absence of predators should do the trick.  Purple Martins are people friendly but not aggressive when it comes to fighting for their housing.  And so we continue to wait.

     Some people have told us that if we don’t get any birds by the middle of May, forget it!  The breeding season is just about over, and they all return south by the middle of August when the young learn to fly.  So we keep waiting.

     One day I finally looked up to the sky and prayed, "Please Lord, I have a simple little request.  Could You send us just one female this year to start our colony?  Thank you, Father!" and then I forgot about it.

     But time passed, and this being the third year, we finally gave up, mostly because all we seem to keep attracting are Starlings, the worst natural enemies the Purple Martins have.  The middle of May came and we decided to close up the Martin housing.  So, once again we climbed the ladder, cleaned out the box, which also has two gourds hanging off the bottom, and my mate put the covers over the openings on the huge bird house.  But, we forgot to cover the gourds.  Later, as I noticed them I wondered, "Wouldn’t it be something if one bird decided to come and nest now!"

     Well guess what?  While sitting on my front porch talking to my mate on his cell phone, a female Martin came out of nowhere and landed on one of the gourds and started going in and out and in and out.  I got so excited, "Hon, you aren’t going to believe this, but we have a female P.M. going in and out of one of the gourds!  Why now after we closed up the box?"

     All I could think of was maybe we built the house wrong, or put it in the wrong location in the yard (Martins need plenty of flying room to soar before landing, and to escape quickly if a predator invades).  The housing must have attracted all the wrong species of birds.  Or maybe, just maybe, the Lord answered another one of my simple prayers!

     Why do I get so complicated in my prayer life?  Why don’t I trust Him for every single little thing?  If He can control the oceans, create life, send a Messiah from a virgin birth, part the sea, bring every kind of living thing to an ark in the middle of nowhere, surely He can send a tiny creature to my home to give me pleasure!

     "Forgive me Father for doubting Your sovereignty and ever depending on myself for anything!"

     Love in Christ,          Claire     xoxo

P.S.  Our Amish-Mennonite neighbors told us the Martins prefer the gourds, but we didn’t listen!

P.P.S.  Won’t be blogging next Wednesday.  Have a graduation!      xoxo


Safety Rules

Dear Readers,

     I’m not sure why but I keep feeling like I should write some rules to protect other women from violators.  Here are several that I thought of:

Pray before you walk, run, or bike and surround yourself with angels.

Always let someone know where you are going and when you will return.

Take a Rape Crisis Class.  (Fire Departments, Police Stations, and schools have them often.)

Listen to the warnings of the little voice in your head.

When out exercising carry a walking stick, or an umbrella, or hand weights.  Violators are afraid of any kind of possible weapon.

Don’t fall into a routine.  Change times and places and days for your workouts.

Take a self-defense class so you will learn more and remember more.

Always carry a cell phone.

If a vehicle slows near you, fake a phone call, or call someone.

Walk facing the traffic, and stay in an area where there is a lot of activity.

Try to remember vehicle colors and plate numbers.

Carry a pen and write plate numbers on your hand or arm.  Look them up on the internet or check them with the police department.

Check the internet for local registered sex offenders that might live close to you.

Take your dog, mate, or friend with you.  Even better, train your dog to bark and look mean with an attack word noone else knows.

Be leary of automobiles with only one person in them.

Never get into a stranger’s vehicle.  Don’t trust anyone approaching you, no matter how nice they may seem.   Example:  A car came up to me and stopped on the other side of the street and asked if my name was…….  I told him no, and immediately started jogging in the opposite direction the car was headed.

Stay alert with your eyes and ears.  Don’t bury yourself under earphones.  Ex:  One time I was walking and a truck was parked on the side street wlere I usually walk.  As I approached the driver, I noticed he was watching me in his side mirror.  I instantly reached in my pocket and faked like I was writing his plate number on the palm of my hand.  He saw that action and quickly sped off.

Learn some quick simple ways to hurt the perpetrator.  Like, groin kicks, eye pokes, punches in the throat, shin kicks, etc..  One shot is all you get people, then scream and run as fast as you can to any person, house, or car nearby.

If a slowing vehicle approaches you, turn and walk the opposite direction.  If he turns around fake a cell phone call, or write his plate number on your hand.

If, God forbid, you get grabbed, fight hard!  Make a lot of noise.  Don’t go quietly because a gun or a knife is pointed at you.  Sex offenders say, "Once I get them in the car, they are mine."

If taken, kick off a shoe into the street or a spot where it will be found.

Most importantly, pray for God to watch over you the whole time you are exercising.

Hopefully you will remember a couple of these in an emergency.  One of them might just save your life.  Thanks for listening.

Love in Christ,       Claire     xoxo


The Double Adoption

Dear Readers,

     Recently I have been paying close attention to what Dr. Stanley says about asking for more in our prayer lives.  The doctor mentioned that God is able to handle it and welcomes it if we trust in Him, so try it and watch what happens!  I first heard this idea back in 2010.  And I started putting it into practice, along with the group in my Sunday School class.  It really does work.  Here is my journal entry from back in January of that year when one of those profound requests was answered for our group…

Journal Entry- 1-10-2010 Sunday:

     Good news to share!  Dr. Stanley was right, we are moving mountains in our Sunday School class.  It’s incredible but it is just as the Lord said it would be if we believed.  This miracle goes something like this:

     One of our classmates, I’ll call her Bett, has a son and wife that have been trying to adopt two infant boys for awhile now.  They are working with a Christian Adoption Agency.  Finally they got a call for a five month old baby boy and were very encouraged.  But at six months old the natural mother decided she wanted him back.  So the courts took him away from them.

     The couple was shattered so Bett asked our group at church to pray to help them get through this because they were so upset over losing their adoptive son.  I told Bett, as a former foster mom, "Don’t give up hope.  Many times these children come back after awhile.  The natural parents often can’t deal with the care and will give the child up again!"  I didn’t give a lot of thought about this statement after telling it to her.  I just wanted to give her hope because I often saw this happen when I did foster care.

     The couple put in for another child and after two long months got another boy, this time a newborn.  Another boy, praise God.  This was great as their goal was hopefully to eventually adopt two boys.

     Now for the miracle.  At Sunday School a few days ago Bett came in and was elated.  "Guess what!" she shouted, "The kids got a newborn baby boy a few days ago!  And, the very next day they received a call from the adoption agency, "We have your other baby back.  Will you take him as well?"

     "Of course, of course!" they stammered, and got a sitter and headed to the city to pick up the now eight-month-old original child.  The family was so excited.  Now they have an eight month old, and a newborn, both boys as we have  all prayed for.  They are exhausted, and overwhelmed, so parents and siblings are going over to help them as much as possible.

     The Lord does work in mysterious ways.  Two boys were prayed for, and two boys were provided.  More like two babies were provided!  We are all praising God anyway!

     Mountain movers!  I swear our class is turning into a group of mountain movers!  PTL!  Dr. Stanley was right.  Ask for more and watch what God Does!


Update-  April 28, 2011–  The boys are now two, and 16 months old and a handful.  But these special parents invite birth parents and siblings of both babies to their home so the children will grow up knowing their natural families as well as their adoptive families.  How incredible is that!   What a special couple God has provided these children with.  I wonder if I could do something that unique?

     Scripture says we are to please God in all we do and when we get to heaven He will tell us, "Well done good and faithful servant!  I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!"  (Mt.25:21 NIV)

Love in Christ,     Claire   xoxo





To My Readers

Dear Faithful Readers,

     I have no time to write my story today.  Computer is messed up and hubby is in the hospital.  I promise I will get one in later this week.  Keep us in your prayers.  My title will be "Double Adoption," a miraculous story.    Love you all,     in Christ,   Claire    xoxo