2019: Week #45: Grief. And Joy.

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Ninety years ago, or so, three Gleason children approached the world together. Big2019-11-09 15.08.37.1 brother stood guard, as by far the oldest, while the younger two found their way.

World War II, polio, their father’s accidental death, marriages, careers, children, and now death again. Big brother is gone. Spouses are gone.

Brother and sister. Side by side. Together. Some tears. But, oh so much laughter. Grief. And joy.

The younger generations watch. And listen. Soaking in the gift of togetherness. Great-grandchildren play on the side lawn. Grandchildren pore over old photographs. Children move from room to room.

In and out. Upstairs and down. Family. Pizza and handfuls of cookies. Long conversations and short. Anchored by the oldest two. Sitting together. In the east room.

Brother and sister. Side-by-side. Grief. And joy.

2019: Week #44: God-Colors

Tags

, ,

2019-10-25 08.44.09.1“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept.”  Matthew 5:14, The Message.

Color. Magnificent color. Sometimes brilliant. At other times simply a pale blush. It all depends on the light. Light and reflection. Forming color. “Color is…produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back to the eye…” (thoughtco.com)

Light. Because of light, colors pop or gently blend. A glow or a hint. Light and color. Responsive human senses rise and react. Joy, laughter, tears, sorrow. Brought on by color. Because of light.

And there you have it. The connection between God-colors and us. You and me. We are here to be light. God’s light. He produces the light in us. We move out carrying that light. His colors sing and the world sees Him!

Our Lord. Jesus. The Light of the World. A secret not to be kept.

 

 

 

2019: Week #43: Signs & Traces

Tags

, , ,

The door swings open, a small voice calls out, “I’m here!” and so the weekend begins.2019-10-22 10.56.39

Four days of grandchildren, daughters and sons-in-law. Happy noise. Laughter. Yummy food. Serious conversations sprinkled among the not-so-serious. Sunshine. Bright pumpkins. Glowing faces. Bags of apples. Movies and popcorn.

And then.

It is all over. Save for the signs and traces. Smudged fingerprints across the glass. Small toys in unexpected places. Traces. Signs of family.

There. Under the coffee table. A tiny cracker dropped by the youngest grandchild. And. There. In the office. A sweet note placed by the oldest grandchild. Signs. Signs and traces. Evidence of family. Reminders of sweet, blessed relationships.

Family. Friends. Life. A world of wonders. Given by God’s hand. Traces and signs of Him. His sweet notes along the path.

“Live a happy life! Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence. Remember the world of wonders he has made, his miracles…” Psalm 105:4-5

 

2019: Week #42: God-Provisions

Tags

, , ,

4th AnnualGod-provisions. Everyday.

Provisions. Needs met. By His holy hand.

Our needs in ministry. God-provisions. Through many of you. We are grateful.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:30-33

Celebrate our gratefulness with us!

2019: Week #41: The Five of Us

Tags

, , , , ,

The Five of UsRecently the five of us were together. A rare occasion in our adult years.

dianelynnbrucegailkarin. Oldest to youngest. Our names strung together as one. Rattled off quickly since childhood when asked about each other. As one. And yet. Each a striking individual. My brother. My sisters. And me.

Seven years between first and last. An idyllic childhood. Lived in the Minnesota countryside. Jesus and family. Shared memories. Personal memories. What is remembered is not always agreed upon. We give space and agree to disagree.

The difficult early years of adulthood are past. Those times of struggling to find life’s footing. Those times of not understanding self or each other. Those times of wandering. Sometimes hurting. Wondering if the others understood. Working to hold on to our relationships.

The five of us. Ebbing and flowing around each other for the past sixty years or so. Selecting unique paths. Loving and forgiving. Most of the time never living near one another. But here we are. dianelynnbrucegailkarin. Together on a cold autumn evening. My brother. My sisters. And me.

Giving thanks. Wrapping our arms together. Holding tightly. The five of us.

To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.

                                                                                              ~ S. Fillmore Bennett

 

 

2019: Week #40: Pulled Up

Tags

, , , , , , ,

In the Austrian state of Tyrol, on the eastern border of Innsbruck, lies the market townDiane in Austria3 of Rum. Mountains. Farms. Quietness.

When visiting colleagues across Eastern Europe, we are most often in busy cities. Trams. Buses. Metro. Traffic. Escalators. Elevators. Revolving doors. Cities on the move.

Ministry travels take us to remarkable places. Cities where Jesus is needed. Colleagues busy in their teams, relationships and churches.

But. Jesus is also needed in the smaller places. Outside of the big cities.

To be in Rum. There is pause. We step out the door to restfulness. Quietness. Peacefulness.

Farm paths take us across fields. Pulling us up. To notice. To see. His created beauty. And. To sense His nearness. His watchfulness. His protection.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

2019: Week #39: Stepping

Tags

, , , , , ,

2019-09-27 18.23.44Arches. Doors. Gates. Stepping. Stepping in. Stepping out. Stepping through.

Mapping routes. Calculating time. Moving through airports. Catching trains. Waiting for trams. Stepping up. Stepping down.

So many steps in a month of travel. Steps from here to there. From one city to the next. Country to country.

But more than that, these steps take us into people’s lives. Our missionary colleagues welcome us in to their homes, their schedules, their plans and together we marvel at God’s goodness while we also pray for His answers. Our privilege. Providing care step by step.

Then. Stepping out. We are on our way home. Continuing the care by long distance. And. Stepping in to home life. Adjusting to a different rhythm. One with its own unique steps.

Stepping.  God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9

2019: Week #38: Morning Light

Tags

, , , , ,

Morning light. Fresh. Golden. Pouring into our borrowed flat among the treetops of2019-09-21 09.57.16.1 Budapest.

Autumn leaves, full of rich color, dance outside the window. Good for the soul, speaking of God’s faithfulness in the light of morning.

Here. In this welcoming space. We plan our days. A week of visiting and encouraging our ministry colleagues. Days in which we will speak of God’s faithfulness to each in this remarkable city of Budapest. Reminding each other of His love. His care. His wisdom.

Today’s morning light. Bringing in a new day. A new week. Where we. And you. Will find God to be trustworthy and true.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

2019: Week #37: The Skies

Tags

, , , , , , ,

IMG_20190913_191541637-EFFECTS.1Our eyes were drawn to the spectacular sunset closing out the day over the city of Ankara. Conversations sprinkled throughout the last hours had turned our eyes often to the Lord. And now. Now. Those conversations were blessed with God’s brilliance in the sky.

Two weeks ago. Minnesota. One week ago. Romania. This week. Turkey. The sun rising and setting over our days. Entering each day with a whisper of God’s presence. Often closing each day with a blaze of His glory. His Word in the skies.

Even the sun calls us to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Shouting out His presence as it moves across the sky. Drawing us. You and me. Each person. Calling us to Him.

“…God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.” Psalm 19:6  The Message

2019: Week #36: Journey

Tags

, , , ,

Bucharest, Romania, with the ReachGlobal City Team, has been our home away fromIMG_20190904_205110399 home this week. Short walks. Metro. Car. Long walks. We have been meeting each other to share life for seven days.

Along the short walk from our apartment to the metro a simple restaurant sign catches the eye. Striving to bring attention to the menu, it reads: “What journey are you embarking on today?”

What journey. The journey for our co-workers here in Romania launches with language and cultural learning. Extending into wider, deeper journeys. A journey of ministry relationships. Students and orphans. Roma and Romanians. And. More. So much more, with the goal of sharing Jesus. The giver of life.

What journey. The breath catches. The heart beats faster. What journey. Excitement. Anticipation. Fear. Anxiety. Doubt. Going on a journey carries the meaning of travel, whether traveling on a trip or traveling through life. Moving. Choosing to journey. Moving from one spot to another.

The eye-catching restaurant billboard seems to indicate there is much to be had in embarking on a journey. Flavors never tasted. Experiences good for body and soul. Stepping out. Depth. Richness. There may be a few missteps along the way, but oh the journey! At times a joy. At times a challenge.

Journey. Into God’s Word. Into obedience. Into new friendships. New experiences. Into a deeper spiritual walk. Into fellowship. Into new life flavors. Or, journey on. Continuing in the path God has appointed. No longer new, yet a journey. An appointment. A calling requiring tenacity. In the journey knowing Jesus, the giver of life and keeper of souls.

Embark. Take the journey! Experience what God has planned.

“Go in peace…for the Lord is watching over your journey.” Judges 18:6