Sunday, November 10, 2013


   "But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets"
   The king was troubled. His sleep had been disturbed with a dream that would not retreat into the ether of returning sleep. The rest of the night was spent in restless pacing and anxious imaginations. What was the meaning of the dream? As the morning light crept into his elegantly furnished apartment, he knew that he was determined-he would force the magicians to repeat the dream to him and explain its meaning. The magicians were appalled when the realization set in that the king was determined that they would recall a dream they had not experienced or they would all be executed. They tried to reason with him: "No king has ever asked this of is not possible to know a dream that we have not dreamed...:"
   The king was angry. "You all have meant to make up a meaning so that you can deceive me! If you are magicians as you say, you will know what the dream is as well as the meaning of it! You will all die!"  Plans were put in motion for the execution of all the wise men of the kingdom, but Daniel quietly asked the executioner the meaning of the sudden declaration. Upon hearing of the king's request, he immediately asked for a one day stay. He called his friends to call upon God, and he went to bed and slept well. In the midst of his sleep, he dreamed what the king had dreamed the past night. In the morning, he asked permission to speak to the king. The king immediately asked Daniel if he could reveal the dream to him. Daniel did not make this 'his moment,' but he announced a momentous truth to the king: "There is a God in heaven!" He proceeded to recite the dream, and the king listened, amazed, as he revealed the meaning of the dream as well. The lives of the wise men of the realm were saved, and the king had an understanding that God is in Heaven.
   My life can feel out of control, and I suddenly realize again that there are parts of it that plays out on its own without my consent.  But, I am happy to say, there is a God in Heaven. :) Ray read from this portion of scripture this morning, and I enjoyed reading the remainder of the story today.
   We appreciate the people who came in to church this morning, and we enjoyed our worship time. One gentleman stopped in to see 'his friends,' and we were so glad to see him. It had been a long while since we had seen him. His daughter is in my EN class that I teach each week. Please pray for us at the mission. Thank you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


   This Saturday was a special day at the church. We have taken part in the Spring Creek Holiness Campmeeting for many years, and the camp has a rally day each quarter at a host mission across the South Dakota reservations. This quarter was our turn, and we were excited to host it. People who are interested in meeting together for good spiritual and physical food come from all over the state, and spend most of the day. A young man shared his testimony of God's grace with us, and he gave us a thought-provoking message in the afternoon concerning 'forgiveness of others.' Some drive for several hours to come for the few hours we are together. We had the church ready, and a fall theme decorated in the basement for the potluck dinner two weeks ago when the 'big snowstorm' hit western South Dakota; so it was still ready this weekend. Our anticipation was rewarded, and we enjoyed the time as completely as we knew we would.
   Ray and I spent the night in the church so that we could be there again this morning for service. Some of the sweet children who live there were knocking on the church door at 11:45 PM, asking if we were having Sunday School. :) Around 1:30, some gentlemen were having a conversation under the church window where we were asleep. :) In spite of all of that, I slept quite well, though Ray was a little 'dragged out' from checking things out. He had a good chance for a nap later today when we arrived home.
   I am liking the EN 101 and 102 classes that I am teaching at the local college, and I have become acquainted with many kind and good people. I always enjoy teaching English, research, and writing, and these classes are no exception. I feel that I have very special students this semester, as they are determined, caring, and capable people. I drive back to teach on Tuesday afternoons; and I begin EN 101 at 4:00 PM, and finish EN 102 at 10:00 PM. I always find new friends in these classes.
   We thank the Lord for His protection in the many miles we travel on the highways. Please pray for these beautiful people whom God has given us to love.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


    Gardening is a hobby that I have enjoyed from my early married years. I found it relaxing and exhilarating at the same time as I worked outside and challenged the odds for a crop. When I had three small children, I dug a spot up with a round point shovel every year after the initial plowing of the ground. The ground mostly produced moss, and it didn't look very promising; but since I love gardening, challenges, and growing things, we had a very productive garden in that spot in a couple of years. When we first moved to South Dakota, I was told that it was impossible to grow a garden there. The water would kill it, and the soil was useless. I started by digging up a couple of spots with a round point shovel and building up the ground. We grew some pretty decent plants. Our neighbor looked over the fence and felt sorry for me and brought his tractor and plowed and disked and fertilized a large plot of land for me to plant. I was happy, and we had a nice big garden. Here in Mitchell, our back yard was littered with old shingles, oil from old cars, piles of old plaster and drywall, and other undistinguishable things when we moved in. We cut the tangles of underbrush and weeds and I bought a brand-new round point shovel. It took a few extra years, but we have finally built a very productive spot for veggies. We have also planted strawberries, a couple of blueberry bushes, an apple tree, and some raspberries. We are in the height of tomato harvest, and we love picking them and popping them into our mouths and tasting the flavor oozing onto our tongue. Yummm!! We are also enjoying carrots, beets, green peppers, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers. These are special enjoyments to us; and I am convinced that the labor that brought these things to us is worth what I have expended.
     Maybe the same reason that I take challenges in gardening is the driving force that helps us to keep working at the mission. I have not been holding Sunday School for a few Sundays, though I plan to pick it up again. We sometimes join the struggle that all humankind finds facing them. Daily pressures, deadlines,  physical limitations, and lack of time all come into play in our lives. Hopefully, we can again pick up the Sunday School aspect at the mission next month. I am finding some things are falling back into place.
     We were pleasantly surprised when Rev. Norman Cash called us to ask if the Spring Creek Camp could come to the mission for their quarterly rally. We are happy to welcome  the camp there. On Saturday, October 5, we will begin the morning with a service, and we will have a fun potluck together over the lunch hour. We will come together again in the afternoon for another time of worship. We always look forward to these times, and we always leave the rallies happy and encouraged.
       We pray for a good week for you, and we ask for your prayers as we go to the reservation. Thank you for your interest.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


...the flowers appear on the earth... ~~Song of Solomon 2:12
   In the last two weeks or so, I have heard it multiple times: "...summer is over..."  I beg to differ. It is ninety-five degrees today, and the forecast has published digits hovering in the nineties for the next week. Flowers are blooming flamboyantly, and the birds are singing until their little throats seem like they will burst. It is summer at its best! I was outside this afternoon watering and gathering some flowers, and I could hear the turtledove's mourning cry as I worked.
...the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land...
      We have been gathering crops as they begin to ripen and bear their fruits, and I can see the promise of more fruit in the days to come.
...The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell...
~~Song of Solomon 2:12, 13~~
   On a little more personal note, the following verse is appropriate in Ray's and my life, also, as we just celebrated another anniversary of our lives together.  
 ...My Beloved is mine, and I am his...

   In spite of my denial of summer's passing, I notice that the sun sets a little sooner, the shadows are a little longer, the sunsets are a little more golden; and I know that fall is approaching. Life goes on--we do our normal routines in the days, Esther flies back to Florida to enter another year of college, Ray hurries a little to finish projects on the house, I begin to teach some adult night classes. Summer will be over, though it is not yet. :)
 ...until the day break, and the shadows flee thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountain...
~~Song of Solomon 2:17~~
May God bless you this week, my Friend!! Please pray for us as we pray for you. 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

' ...LIKE A TREE...'

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringing forth his fruit in his season..."
 ~Psalm 1: 3~
     I have a fascination for trees-matter of fact, I love trees. I was raised in the northern part of Michigan, which is known as the 'northwoods,' and trees were very much a part of my life when I was growing up. Fifty miles of forest stretched behind our house to Lake Michigan, and my parents' property had been carved out of that woods many years before we arrived. When we first moved to South Dakota, I wondered how I could ever be happy in this 'barren' land. I began to plant trees-apple trees and a peach tree, a cherry tree and six green ash trees. I watered them and talked to them and coaxed them, and they thrived.
I enjoy a walk down a shady path
  When we moved into our home here in Mitchell, I was so happy to see the many trees planted around the house. I am sure that most people feel that our little piece of property is a serious piece of 'overkill' when it come to trees, but they make me very happy.
Dead, but still bringing nurture to the hummingbirds and butterflies
One of my friends saw a 'piece of Chinese silk' in the graceful curves of these limbs
    Our goal in our lives is to be 'fruitful' and to become as trees that will shelter and nurture others, both in Lower Brule and in Mitchell. I sometimes take a step back and assess our current activities, and I measure our depth of perspective in relation to others. We are here on earth to protect, to comfort, to encourage, and to bear the fruits of righteousness in our daily lives.
 I love the passage in Revelation which describes the Tree of Life:
"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
   ~Revelation 22:2~

Sunday, July 28, 2013

AND NOW...RAY!! :)

   It is easy to overlook the people who are the most steady and dependable, and who are the 'glue' that holds everything together. Ray is one of those people. He has a sermon ready for us on Sunday mornings, and he gets something new each time. He is happy to talk and listen to the gentlemen who come on Sunday mornings after church.
   When it is time for Sunday School, he is the person who keeps me balanced and encouraged. Ray has never been a critical husband in any way, and he is so kind and supportive at Lower Brule when I am sometimes critical of myself.   I find it hard to accompany the children in the bus to and from Sunday School, and he is willing to pick them up and take them by himself. He keeps cool, calm, and collected in that unstructured time. He also keeps the bus running smoothly without a complaint.
      I am happy to have Sunday School in a structured way after everyone gets to church. :)  His calmness is soothing to me. I am thankful to have him as a life companion, and to have him as my 'team member'  in our efforts at the mission.
    Ray had an eye surgery this past week, and I am happy that it was successful. He has been a wonderful patient, and he has not complained at all.
   I am working on getting a syllabus and a power point put together for EN 101 and 102 that will be starting soon at the Lower Brule College. I am looking forward to teaching those classes again this year.  Thank you for reading this blog post, and I pray that you have a wonderful week. May God Bless you!


Thursday, June 27, 2013


   God loves diversity. One look at His creation will attest to that fact. There are so many differences in the world that he made, as well as the creatures that live in it. We were the witness of diversity in harmony this past week, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
   Esther, her friend Ellen, and I drove over to the Spring Creek Camp in the sandhills of southwestern South Dakota to help with the children at a family camp there. We held a session with the children in the morning, and another with them in the afternoon. Esther and Ellen used a detective theme, and they 'solved the mysteries' of the prophecies of the prophets Hosea and Isaiah as they 'studied' the stories of Jesus in the New Testament. We had an enthusiastic group of kids who sang and played wholeheartedly. It was a special and fun--filled time for us.
   Back to the diversity, though...allow me to illustrate:

The world changes when we drive through the gate into Spring Creek Camp
Several species of flowers bloom-here are some wild roses

Differences in fence posts  :)
Diversity in heritage
Differences in personality and in activities
Sitting on a gate is fun
Some like to play
Some like to watch
This little lady was created uniquely by God, and she is giving herself to God. I found it very touching. She responded so wholeheartedly to attention and love. :)

I pray God's greatest blessings on you this week!!