Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Letter

I'm posting my Christmas letter since it seems a good way to get to know the everyday part of my life.

Christmas 2007

Dear Friends:

Today it is raining and cold. Seems like a good day to watch football and write this letter. Cindy’s girls are coming on December 15 so I’m trying to get things done and not have my usual last minute rush. I need to be available for shopping. Since they live so far from stores it’s a real treat for them and I have a blast.

This has been a good year. Ed has continued to improve from his hip replacement surgery and is now able to enjoy the plane and get around much better. We started a low carb diet about a year ago and both of us have dropped a bunch of weight. We still need to finish the job, but buying smaller sizes is great fun.

In June, I made a three-week mission trip to Kenya with two other friends. We were invited to come and teach on biblical equality for women, which is amazing since it is totally against their tradition. We chose three from a number of invitations and only later discovered that the towns were within forty miles of each other. You can read about our adventure at www.godswordowomen,org/articles/kenya.htm

Cindy is still in Snow Lake, Manitoba. We went to see her the last of August. I love that place. It had been two years since Ed had been up and it was great to see everyone. We went to their cabin on the lake and helped to finish a deck that Cindy and Katy had put up earlier. Brian showed his multiple talents by building steps and then using his tractor with blade to level the foundation pad and driveway. Brittany is graduating this year and planning on attending the University of Manitoba in the fall, and she has a school trip to Europe over Spring Break. She’s working hard at the local grocery and considering a second job because she wants a car. We’re proud of her. Katy remains a delight. She’s in the eighth grade this year and loving volleyball. Our little girl is becoming a beautiful young lady,

Scott’s big news is the sale of his business in late November. Air Gas gave them an offer too good to refuse. He and his employees will continue working for the new owners. Malayne’s pre-school has grown in size, reputation and hours as they are now open every day and keep the children until 5:00. She amazes me. Scott and Jeff continue to hunt and the den is filling up with their trophies. They do both gun and bow so the season starts early and ends late. The other activity is golf. The Andrews girls golf team won State last year and expect to win again this spring. Jennifer is getting numerous offers from colleges both for her golf and academics. She got her State Champion ring when we were there in September. It is such fun to watch her play. Ed and I have gotten to go to the state meet for the last three years. If Jeff keeps on like he has started, we’ll be going for another four. He is shooting consistently in the 70s and occasionally lower.

Mildred, Ed’s mom, broke her hip in June and is now in a nursing home. She has a nice room and the care is what she needs. Physically she is doing well, but her dementia is sad. We are grateful that she still knows us and speaks often of old friends.

My brother Tom and his wife, Carol, came by last spring on their way to see their son Tom and his family who recently moved to Belton, TX. Tom and Shantelle had a beautiful baby girl, Analiese in August so Tom and Carol came over again to see her and her big brother, Jax. I drove up for a short visit. Dana, my niece, is expecting a baby girl in February—the joy of grandchildren. There is nothing like it! Dana and her husband, Chris, have a little boy, Charlie, and live in Atlanta not too far from Stone Mountain, Tom and Carol’s home

Ed and I celebrate our 50th anniversary in February. Seems impossible. Suddenly we are REALLY senior citizens but thankfully, healthy ones. We miss having the kids close, but our lives are fun and busy. I’m doing some grant writing along with websites. Decided I needed to get out of the house so I’m volunteering at hospice and Share, our local food pantry, and recently joined Pilot Club.

We go to the Rosenberg Opry every month with some wonderful friends. The piano player is fantastic and he recently started giving lessons in Rosenberg. I’ve always wanted to play the piano by ear and decided it was a good time to give it a try. Will let you know next year how it came out. I’m having a blast.

Ed camps out at the airport enjoying the comradery of other pilots and the interesting people who come through. We flew over to Uvalde to visit our friends Joe and Wanda Kosler a few weeks ago. We need to do more flying. Our Opry friends all fly and we are planning to do a trip somewhere for breakfast before long.

Christmas is a special time, a time to remember how much God loves us. Often we think we have to clean up our act or keep it clean for God to love us, but that’s not true. We love our kids even when they mess up. So does God. He is teaching me about the unconditional nature of His love. Like a perfect parent, He knows our failings and cares for us in spite of them. He grieves when we insist on doing things our own way and rejoices when we finally listen. We all need His patient hand to get us to a place where we allow His love and acceptance to make us more like Him.

Darkness is only the absence of light—physically and spiritually. Jesus called his followers the light of the world. What will it take for us to grow up and be that light? Are we willing to ask?

May the joy and peace of His love flood your life,

Ed and Pat

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Putting on the New Man

For years I have wanted people to share with about stuff I read--now I have you. This is great. This morning I was rereading a book call Connecting by Dr. Kluane Spake and this passage really hit home.

"I remember the old days, when we had to put our armor on every morning. I began to wonder, "Well, when did I take it off?" And so it is with the "new man." We don't have to keep "putting on" that same part of the New Man every day like a dirty t-shirt. We just remind ourselves that it is already "PUT ON." The sin nature is crucified at the cross.

Paul told believers to "take off" the old man (stop being carnal). and "put on" the new. This is an exchange of perception. And, keep in mind that we continually recieve further (progressive) revelation that needs to be PUT ON" -- in order to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:28-29).

We obtain the POWER (dunamis) of the Holy Spirit to bring us into dominion and personal WHOLENESS."

Another busy day today. Hope to have time on Friday to check all your sites and find out what’s happening in your lives. Today is Share, our local food pantry and then a Christmas Party at the nursing home where my husband’s mother is a resident. The evening looks like a Texan’s football game and Christmas cards. Life is good!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Love Isn't Exclusive

This is a quote from Jim Palmer’s book Wide Open Spaces, Beyond Paint by Number Christianity pp 185-86. He puts into words what God spoke to my heart and brought about my resignation from God’s Word to Women.

"Being in loves comes with its own supply of courage and conviction, but people concerned about their reputation need not apply. Love often requires relationships with others, and those “others” might not meet the societal standards of normalcy. . . which can stir up controversy. During my religion days, I essentially classified people into three groups. “Believers” were the in-group of people on the same page with our main beliefs and practices. “Unbelievers” were those we associated with in some way, hoping to convert them. Normally, unbelievers were very similar to me in terms of race, culture, and lifestyle. The third group, “really bad people,” were in a different group altogether. These people’s beliefs or behaviors seemed to epitomize everything we were against or didn’t believe in. The group was mostly comprised of people with erroneous theology and/or politics or grossly immoral behavior. It was not appropriate for believers to hang out with “really bad people.” This is where the religious version of “tough Love” kicked in—withholding love altogether.

Now I see these limitations I placed on love had no basis in the life or teaching of Jesus. Jesus pretty much undid my comfortable theory of love when he said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). This is a reminder that love is the foundation and, as such, a prerequisite for peace. The religious establishment condemned Jesus for hanging out with “sinners.” They had limits on their love; Jesus didn’t.

For many years, following Jesus’ example of love was implausible because my religious logic pitted my belief in God’s “holiness” in conflict with God’s “Love.” At times it made God seem schizophrenic. One minute god was too holy to look upon sinners; the next minute he was hobnobbing with the worst of them. The Christian belief system I constructed rested on the notion that God rejects sinners. Yet Jesus offered unconditional love and acceptance to them (us). Religion often implies one must “clean up your act” before receiving anything from God. Jesus, however had not qualms about leaving open forever the floodgates of God’s favor for people regardless of what condition they were in. Once, when questioned about it, Jesus responded, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Mark 2:17). In fact, I think Jesus never had floodgates to begin with. In him, love flowed continuously and without even a means of restraint."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


For the past year and a half I've been exploring teachings on the Third Day. I've come to believe that God is going to do exactly what He said but not the way I had previously thought. I have always questioned a before trib rapture as I don't see God ever taking people out of situations, just through them.

Now I've come to a place of believing He is not coming back to fix this mess. He has given that assignment to us. Read Psalm 10 very carefully. Are His enemies a footstool for His feet?

What happened in the first century when His disciples turned the world upside down was just a tiny taste of what He plans to do now through those who believe Him and obey His commandment. And that commandment is "to love one another as I have loved you." He has put His life inside us to do greater things because we believe.

Perfect love casts out cowardice. (not fear, according to The Source New Testament by Dr. Ann Nyland--which is an awesome work) In His love I can change and hold radical new thoughts trusting Him to keep me from going in a direction that is not of Him.

This blog is to share those thoughts and ask you to join in exploring that we may know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Unexpected Gift

As I have gotten older, I have bemoaned the loss of future time. So much to experience and not nearly enough time left to get it all done. Then I went to a funeral and my perspective has changed.

The man who died, Dick, was 93. He was the second older friend of my husband to leave in just a few weeks. Both of them lived until they died. Both were pilots but Dick didn't learn to fly until he was 77! He flew until he was 90 and continued to come to the airport and fly with others, occationally taking the controls. The other man, Bob, was a glider pilot who made his last flight a week before his death. They were both fascinated with living and God and people and they will be sorely missed.

However, for me, the point was to quit thinking about time. I know I can't "add to my days," but I can use them to the fullest--redeeming the time." God seems to be saying, you have all the time you need so quit thinking about time and live!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I'm reading Wideopenspaces, Beyond Paint-by Number Christianity by Jim Palmer. In this book, Jim describes many of the things I've been experiencing for the past year or so. What I want to share here is how I got hold of this book.

My friend Karen, has a blog. Not having been into blogs, and deciding I wanted one, I explored hers to see how it worked. I was fascinated by the blog names of her friends. I picked one that I identified with and on it discovered this book. What was said intrigued me and I ordered it.

Is that God's leading? Absolutely. Only He knew I needed to find others who were looking at things so differently from their past beliefs. I love it. Will share some of my favorite quotes, but now it's time to get dressed and go out for breakfast with my husband.

It's a Sunday morning ritual, and one I enjoy. We meet friends and often talk for hours. Today I need to get home. The house is upside down with Christmas stuff out but not in place. Bringing order out of chaos is the business of this day.