Monday, October 31, 2005

Imagine Him

This is really a Christmas article that I just wrote; but I felt like sharing it with all of my readers. I know its a little early, but I hope that you all enjoy it.
To Sis. Kinney: Feel free to print this in the Digest if you like.

Love to you all.

Imagine Him

Close your eyes and imagine a dark, cool night in the tiny town of Bethlehem.
Imagine a dark, smelly stable, a cave, really; filled with animals. Imagine the strong smell of animal sweat and droppings, mixing with the sweet scent of fresh hay.
If you let your mind see, you will find in that stable a young woman and her husband, tired from a long journey. The woman is pregnant, ready to deliver, and her husband is anxious and worried about their lodgings.
But they cannot stop the inevitable. The baby will be born, HERE, among the most humble of beasts.
Imagine the hillsides around Bethlehem. The night is cool, and the shepherds are huddled among their flocks, watching over them and stealing a few moments of sleep here and there. It is just like any other night in Bethlehem. ALMOST.
Suddenly, radiance fills the midnight sky! The shepherds rouse from their slumber, awakened by the brightest of lights! They stare in fear and awe at the sky, mouths dropping open in astonishment! Imagine a light, brighter than anything you have ever seen, and celestial beings all around you! Imagine the glory and the presence of God as the angels spoke the good news.
Can you see it? Can you feel it? The shepherds did. They were frightened, but the angels said, “Fear not, we bring you tidings of great joy!” They told the men of a baby, born in a humble stable. They said, “He is Christ the Lord.”
They told the shepherds where to find the baby and then disappeared into the heavens. And the shepherds hurried to find the baby, the Savior, lying in a manger.
Imagine how they must have felt, as they came into that tiny stable, and saw the Messiah lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. Picture that scene in your mind for a moment. A tiny baby, holding the salvation of the world in his hands. The shepherds worshipped Him and then went their way, telling everyone of what they had seen and heard!
Oh, what a night! What a miracle! The Messiah of the world, the One spoken of in many prophecies, born to a young woman in a smelly stable.
Unbelievable, you may say. And yes, to our human minds, it is.
But IMAGINE it…let your heart see what the truth is!
Around the same time of the baby’s birth, some wise men arrived in Jerusalem. They went to King Herod and asked him where the newborn King of the Jews was. “We have seen His star as it arose and have come to worship Him, “ they said. Herod told the wise men to go to Bethlehem and find the baby. “Worship Him and then come tell me where to find Him, so that I may worship Him as well.”
Imagine the wise men, as they followed His star. Imagine their joy as it stopped over the place where the baby was! They worshipped Him there, bringing Him gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. And they basked in the presence of the King.
The wise men were warned in dreams to return home by a different route because Herod wanted to kill the baby Jesus. Mary and Joseph were also warned in dreams and fled to Egypt with the Messiah, and His life was spared.
Imagine how that small boy grew. He watched Joseph build and became a carpenter. Imagine how His mother loved Him and how His father taught Him. He was like any other boy. ALMOST.
Then one day, when He was grown, He turned water into wine at a wedding feast. From that moment forth, He was no ordinary man. He traveled and preached to the people. He taught in the synagogue. He had followers that believed that He truly was the Messiah.
Imagine Him, now, healing the sick and raising the dead. The people had never witnessed such acts, and were in awe! His following grew, as did the number of His enemies.
Imagine Him, sitting at the Last Supper. Breaking bread with His disciples, He told them that one of them would betray Him. Imagine Judas, dipping his bread in the same bowl as Jesus, and then leaving the gathering to betray his Master.
Let your heart see Jesus, in agonizing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. His sweat appeared to be great drops of blood as He prayed for God to let this cup pass from Him. And then He said, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
Then Judas and the soldiers came, and Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. The soldiers led Him away to be tried, and ultimately, crucified.
Imagine, if you can, Him being beaten and spit upon. The cat ‘o nine tails tearing the skin from His back, and the crown of thorns being thrust upon His head.
Oh, what pain, what agony, what humiliation! But that was what He was born for; to humble Himself and take on the sins of the whole world.
From humble stable to humbling cross, the King of Kings went. He stumbled up the path to Golgotha, carrying the heavy cross on His bleeding shoulder. His mother and brothers and disciples followed, weeping at His pain.
Imagine the nails, piercing the tender flesh of His hands. Imagine them being pounded into His feet.
Too much, you say? We don’t like to imagine this part. We don’t want our hearts to see the tiny baby, grown into a strong man, being beaten and crucified. But that was His purpose. His only reason for putting on flesh was to die. He didn’t have to do it.
But now, imagine His love; His unending, undying love for all of mankind. It reached out, even from Calvary as He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing!”
Imagine now, how His arms, stretched out on that cross, enfolded the whole world. Imagine how His feet, now nailed to that tree, trekked across the countryside, taking Him from town to town, so that He was able to preach of love and forgiveness. Imagine how His hands, now suspended by cruel nails, reached out to touch the leper and the prostitute, bring healing and forgiveness.
Oh, what amazing love He had for us, for all of humanity! And yet, we hung Him on that tree. We took that innocent, marvelous baby, now an innocent and loving Man, and claimed His life. We took what was NOT ours to take, and in return, He took what was NOT His. He took our sins. He took our filthy lives and extended to us mercy that was undeserved.
Imagine Him, in all of His glory. Imagine Him in all of His wonder. Imagine Him and His unbelievable mercy, that He now holds out to us.
This Christmas, as we celebrate His birth, let us also celebrate His unending love toward us. And as we gather with our friends and families this year, let us imagine our lives, filled with Christ.
Imagine HIM.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Wonderful Retreat

I went on a Ladies' Retreat this past weekend with my mom and another lady from our church. The Saginaw Valley United Pentecostal Church has a retreat every October and we try to go every year.

This year it was AWESOME! Nancy Grandquist and Donna Linville were the speakers this year. They are both incredible speakers and God really used them to deliver words of wisdom to us all.

It was so refreshing to sit and listen to these ladies and KNOW that God was speaking through them! I had so many things confirmed in my spirit, and I was refreshed and ready to move forward and do great things for God.

I thank God for women that listen to His voice and follow the urgings of the Spirit.
It was an awesome time of worship. I encourage everyone who can to go next October and hear the word of the Lord!

p.s. The church is located VERY close to the Birch Run Outlet Malls...BONUS! :)

Monday, October 24, 2005


A good friend of our family sent me this today. I thought you would all enjoy it, it really DOES make you stop and wonder why doctors today are so paranoid!


the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored

lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we

rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took


As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE

actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back

when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down

the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the

bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no

99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell

phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat

rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no

lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,

made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang

the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't

had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They

actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers

and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned



And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as

kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

and while you are at it, share it with your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sweet, Sweet Bekah

My sweet friend, Bekah, called me from California tonight.
I thank God for Bekah.
I know that if I need her, she is there. She is always ready to give an encouraging word to me, and uplift me if I'm down. (which I have been recently)
I wish you ALL could meet her! She is the strongest, most loving girl I know, and I am proud to have her as a friend and sister!

I love you, Bekah! Thank you for reminding me that God is working whether I see it or not!


Bekah, our sister and friend Posted by Picasa

Bekah, Kendra and Merry Summer 2004 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You Know The Baby Years are Gone When...

1. She FINALLY learns to poop on the potty!

2. She says phrases like "Of course"!

3. She performs songs for everyone, including the old lady behind you in the grocery line!

Merry has crossed over. She is now a pre-schooler, a little girl, and no longer a toddler.
She has spent the past week entertaining us and everyone she comes in contact with! Her favorite thing to do? Call up everybody in mommy's phonebook and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord" to them.

I heard her playing with Kelsey the other day.

And later;
Where did she get that? Who knows? Maybe "Dumbo"? That's my guess.

We have discovered that you can do jigsaw puzzles online. While doing a puzzle with a picture of ships, Merry declared, "Ahoy, Mateys, let's go!"
I think that one came from Dora the Explorer.
And speaking of jigsaw puzzles, the child can do a 25 piece jigsaw puzzle in ten minutes flat. She obviously has her father's analytical mind, instead of my wandering one!

Yes...the baby years are gone. Merry is a "big girl" now.

I comfort myself in knowing that I still have Kelsey to pottytrain and wean from the pacifier. (COMFORT? YEAH RIGHT!)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another sweet picture

Here's a picture of Kelsey on her first day home. Wasn't she adorable? :)

Kelsey's homecoming Posted by Picasa

Merry and her Aunt Katie Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Merry, the Bigger sister

Merry is DEFINITLY a big girl, now. She is going to preschool, learning her letters, singing nursery rhymes, etc.
She is "mommy's girl". Isn't she precious?

Merry Summer 2005 Posted by Picasa

Kelsey, the Little sister

Here's Kelsey, this summer. Her personality just radiates in this picture!
Fun lovin' and wild!

Kelsey Summer 2005 Posted by Picasa

They USED to be babies!

I remember looking at the girls last summer and thinking, "They aren't babies anymore."
I was mistaken. They WERE babies last summer! This summer they are BIG GIRLS.
I will post some pictures from this summer, just so you can see the difference!

Mommy, Merry and Kelsey, Summer 2004 Posted by Picasa

Baby Kelsey

Kelsey was such a sweet baby! She didn't like to sleep, so this was a rare moment in those first few months! Kelsey weighed 9lbs. 4oz. at birth and had a head FULL of blond hair! She was only a week or two old in this picture!

Kelsey at two weeks Posted by Picasa

Kelsey's Big Sister

Merry wasn't too sure about Kelsey at first. :) She was curious why in the world we had a baby at our house! Her favorite thing to do was to take off Kelsey's socks and play with her toes. Aren't they so cute???

Is this MY baby? Posted by Picasa

Looking Back

Its amazing to me to look back at pictures of my girls when they were so tiny!
Merry was just such a petite, adorable little thing, wasn't she?
This picture was taken on my first Mother's Day.

Merry at one month Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Dream Rebirthed

A Dream Rebirthed

“The dreams of a mother are reflected in the eyes of her child; the beautiful eyes of her baby.”

The widow of Zarephath was watching her dream starve to death when the prophet of God walked into town.
Elijah said to her, “Get me a drink of water, and some bread, please.”
“Sir, I swear by the Lord that I have no bread. I have but a handful of flour and a few drops of oil. I’m going to make a small cake for my son and myself, and then we will sit and wait to die.”
The drought had swept through the land, sucking every drop of moisture from the crops, and leaving famine in its wake. The widow knew that it was just a matter of time before her dream perished completely.
“How can this man ask me to give him my son’s last bite of bread?” she wondered.
“Don’t be afraid, “ Elijah said.
“Bake me some bread first, and when you are finished, there will be enough for you and your son to eat as well. This is what the Lord says, “There will always be flour and oil enough for you. You will have food to last until the rain comes again.”
So the woman did as Elijah said, and she, her son, and the man of God ate from her flour and oil for many days! Her dream began to take shape once again, filling out with health and hope.
And then, one day, the widow’s son became ill. As the days passed, he grew worse and worse, his life slowly draining from him. Until at last, it left; leaving behind an empty shell and a broken mother. Finally her dream had departed from her. No hope left. Dead.
The widow lashed out at the man of God in her grief.
“Oh, what have you done to me? Did you come here to punish me for my sins by killing my only son?”

Elijah only looked at her tenderly, reached out his arms and said, “Give him to me.”
Elijah took the little boy in his arms and carried him upstairs to the room that the widow kept for him. He laid the small body on his bed, and then he began to cry out to the Lord.
“Oh, my God, why have You brought this tragedy upon this woman? She has fed me and opened her home to me, yet You have allowed her son to die!”
No answer came from the Lord, but Elijah would not give up. He stretched himself out over the boy and continued to send his cry up to the Lord.
“Lord God, please let this child’s life return unto him!”
The Lord heard the prayer of Elijah, and suddenly, the life returned to the child’s body. The still heart began to pump once again. Breath moved past the blue lips, and rosy health returned to the pale cheeks! Elijah picked up the boy and carried him downstairs to his mother.
“Look,” he said as he handed her the boy. “Your son lives!”
Then the widow told Elijah, “Now I am sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord speaks through you!” And she held her newly revived dream close to her heart.

Sometimes the dreams that are held closest to us are tossed in the seas of life. Sometimes the cruel winds tear them from our clenched fists, and we watch as they are dashed to pieces against the sharp stones. Sometimes every hope appears to be false, and every dream-child dies in our arms.
“Where is God, “ I wonder. “Why won’t He answer me?”
I cry to Him until I am hoarse, and until there are no more tears to cry. Yet still, the dreams die before they are mature enough to survive. I struggle with the fact that my dream is dead, but something stirs in my heart still…

“Oh, God, let this child’s life return unto him!”
My heart cries out to God, one last time, and as it does, my dream, my hope, is rebirthed! The life, the breath, the promise, lives again. I stand in awe as I look upon one of the greatest miracles I’ve ever seen. A dead promise, revived and fulfilled. And I hold it close to my heart, and wait to see what God will do with it.

Written by Kendra Lynn
November 1, 2004

Tag! You're It!

I was tagged with this by Judy. Thanks! Seriously - it is easy and fun!

The Rules:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

So, here's mine....
"A word spoken gently" It came from a poem I wrote called "A Word Fitly Spoken". I am still trying to apply that poem to my life. Hopefully I am succeeding. I'm tagging -

Pretty much, NOBODY. :) You can do this if you like, but don't feel too obligated. :O)
Love ya, Judy!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Once Upon A Time...

Ten Years Ago
I was 18 and starting college at Concordia with Lauren, and writing up a storm! That was my goal back then...write, write and become a writer. :)
Funny how your goals change, right?

Five Years Ago
I was newly married and living in a great apartment in Canton. I was working at Family Christian Stores and recovering from mono. Hmmm...I was working at our church doing whatever the Pastor, my dad, asked me to do. And lovin' it.

One Year Ago
I was trying to survive with a one year old and a two and a half year old. I spent most of my time breaking up fights and trying to get Merry to eat.

I got up around nine...reviewed my Sunday School lesson...made breakfast for the us all ready for church. Got to church around 12:45, had choir practice from 1 to 1:45. Taught Sunday School from 2 to 3. Went in for worship service, and directed the choir in a ROCKIN' song! Around 3:45, made my way into the nursery to watch everyone's kids. After service, went to Baja Fresh for a well-deserved meal and then came home and watched Chicken Run with the family. Whew.

5 Songs I know all the words to
Still I Rise (gospel)
Send It On Down (gospel)
Here I am to Worship (praise and worship)
Lady (Kenny Rogers)
And just about any other Kenny Rogers song. Not to mention just about any song played on 100.3 fm.

5 Snacks
Sour Cream and Onion Chips
Chips Ahoy
Any thing the girls are eating (I actually don't snack alot...I prefer REAL food.)

5 Things I'd do with 100 million dollars
Pay off ALL the bills
Get Scott a new 4Runner or Jeep...whatever he wanted
Build a log cabin up in Traverse City
Buy our church their own building
Give my mom and sister alot of spending money :)

5 Places I'd run away to
Family Christian Stores (that's my normal getaway)
Target (that's my get-out-of-the-house-with-the-girls getaway)
Prince Edward Island
Chamonix, France

5 Favorite books/TV shows
Anne of Green Gables
The Chronicles of Narnia
Mark of the Lion (by Francine Rivers)
His Needs Her Needs (excellent marriage book)
Redeeming Love (by Francine Rivers)

5 Greatest joys
Merry and Kelsey
My family (mom, dad, sis, etc.)
My "other" family (mom-in-law and dad-in-law)

5 Favorite toys
I'd rather read than do anything
My computer
Umm...I don't really have any toys...oops. :)

**5 People I'm tagging to do this**
Anyone who wants to do it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

5 Things


Write and publish a book that changes someone's life.
Travel to Europe one more time with my husband.
Sing so beautifully that everyone in the audience cries.
Get up enough nerve to JetSki with Scott. (just for him.)
Visit Prince Edward Island for a week.


Write poetry.
Love my husband and children.
Teach Sunday School.
Read like nobody's business! :)


Keep a spotless house. (sorry, Mom.)
Drive stick.
Play the piano.
Stand up for myself. (although I am working on that last one.)


No fear of crying.


"Oh, Man!"
"Merry Kathryn!"
"Kelsey Elizabeth!"


All of you who love me. :) (just kidding...I know you won't all do this!)