Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/28/08

Nearly the end of February, the end of winter, and we are all ready for some spring color and flowers to plant and to brighten the landscape. When you sit under that shade tree and watch the busy word about its daily business, you can either become so engrossed in its problems and turmoils to become depressed, or find some humor in the such happenings.

Like the fuss over the fence. The man in Washington says “I will not be deterred, the fence goes up”. The man losing many acres and seeing his town torn asunder is dismayed at the callous disregard, he says, of the real world, and disregard for the efforts already in place.

I ran across this story. It goes back to when seat belts were still new, and authority was trying hard to teach drivers to use them. So this Texas State Trooper flags down a car, and he walks up to the driver’s side and says, “Congratulations. The State of Texas is giving out $ 1,000
Chits to drivers wearing seat belts. All you need to do is take this card to any bank to receive this gift from the State. Congratulations. By the way, what will you do with the money?”

Smiling, the driver says, “I believe I’ll get my driver’s license”.

The woman in the passenger seat said quickly, “Never mind him, officers, he’ll say anything when he’s drunk”.

Just then the man who had been sleeping in the back seat wakes up and, seeing the trooper, moans, “I knew they’d catch us driving this stolen car”.

The sudden quiet was interrupted by a banging on the trunk lid and the voice saying plaintively, “Senor, are we across the river yet?”

Told you I had a quirky sense of humor.

GPD 2/28/08

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/27/08

Well, I saw the specialist yesterday and the news is good, She wants me to begin a walking regimen again and has scheduled another stress test in May to keep an eye on the other side where there is a bit of build-up also. Do keep me in your prayers.

So on the whole that news is good, but what is disturbing for me is the report that “As Americans change, so does their religion”. It’s based on a study made by the Pew Forum on Religion and public life.

This report says, “Religion may be about the eternal, but in temporal affairs, it is constantly changing”. And America offers so many choices, so ”people are church-shopping. Either they are looking for something deep and fundamental, or they merely are looking for the kind of people who live like they do, look like they do, and listen to the same kind of music”. And that’s really kind of depressing, or simply sad.

Such a shift in emphasis comes when people do not see the Church as something God has created, and the world is here to fit into it, rather than fitting the Church to our liking.

And that comes when we forget who we are really. Psalm 51,1 puts it quite clearly. “Surely, I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”.

In truth, we have a broken leg for the race, and there is really nothing we can do to win it. Only Christ, the Savior, can and does win that race for us.

Our culture teaches otherwise. You get what you pay for. So you have a right to pick and choose, to select. That is what makes life for the Christian today so hard. The culture we live in selects, and feels it has the right to pick what it likes, and leaves what it doesn’t.

Yesterday I read of a pastor who was meeting with a couple who were regular members and very good givers also. They were speaking of a young lady who had done some terrible things, but then she had deeply repented and asked for forgiveness. Now she was coming to church, and this couple told the Pastor, “If you allow her to come, we will leave”. In his mind ran this, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you”. Eph.4,32. So he said he could not ask her to stay away, and so they left. Judge that act in light of Scripture.

That seems to be the mind set of so many who leave one church and try another, and another.

It makes the work of missions hard. But we do have only One answer, “Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” Like the disciples, we, too, answer, “Lord, to whom shall we go, You have the words of eternal life.” Jn 6,67.

Deep in the Norwegian island of Svalbard, 600 miles from he north pole, Norway opened a frozen ‘doomsday’ bank for seeds. There millions of seeds will be stored to keep them safe against wars, or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe. The bank is a backup to the other 1400 seed banks around the world, several of which have been destroyed by natural disasters. Samples will be kept in watertight sealed packets behind blast proof doors and concrete walls a meter thick.

We who know the truth, let us keep that truth in simple faith.

GPD 2/27/08

Monday, February 25, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/25/08

Going to be another beautiful day. Fog this morning, rather dense early, but the sun soon burned it away and now it promises to meet the prediction, sunny and nearly 80.

Well, the opinion page of the paper yesterday was filled with suggested programs about the future of energy for the desk of the next president. They are all based on the premise that we are running out of oil, and coal is too environmentally ‘dirty,’ and water is also limited in supply.

Dire predictions indeed.

Remember I was writing about words and the impact using them can have, either for good, or bad. And suddenly I thought of a time in grade school when we were reading about Joshua entering the promised land and having to fight for nearly every inch. Without consulting the Lord they made an agreement with the Gibeonites, whom they had been duped into believing came from a “ far country”, when in fact they lived right in the middle of it all. So Joshua promised to let them live, but made them servants.

Now the Gibeonites were under attack, and they called on Joshua for help. But “da kamen zuhauf und zogen hinauf die fuenf Koenige der Amoriter”, (Josh 10,5) Wow!

Joshua answered the call, even though 5 kings of the Amorites opposed him, and the thing looked hopeless. But the Lord told Him, “Don’t be afraid, I’ve given them into your hand”.

That phrase has stuck in my mind all these years. My cousin Mel, who was in my grade and had a sense of humor even more quirky than mine also picked up the phrase, and whenever things looked bad, we would use it as a reminder that God always had a hand there too.

And that phrase popped into my mind when I was reading the dire predictions about energy. Look here, an item about a Spanish company that plans to turn 3 square miles of Arizona desert into the largest solar power plant in the world. When completed, using the heat of the sun, the plant will produce enough energy to fully power 70,000 homes.

I think of my life, and I am sure yours as well, when what looked like an insurmountable problem is solved by planning, by work, by seeking advice, or it simply looses its urgency and fades away.

A history of a small church in Texas comes to mind. The Church needs much repair, and there are few funds for that, when suddenly one volunteers, then another, and the things grows till the church is entirely renovated, ready for future use and service. What looked impossible, became real.

Life is like that. Does not God makes us rich and sure promises. “I am with you always,” saith the Lord. And ends the promises “even to the ends of the earth.” And it means something, because it is true. May God bless your living under this promise in Christ, our Savior.

GPD 2/25/08
That phrase? The armies of five kings of the Amorites opposed Joshua!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/23/08

“Shoot, if you must, this old grey head,
But spare your country’s flag,” She said.
You may remember the incident. The Confederate army under General Stonewall Jackson was marching through Fredericktown when he gave the order to shoot down a flag, and Barbara Fritsche caught it when it fell, held it aloft, and cried out those words.

The marching troops paused, then came this order.

“Who touches a hair on yon grey head,
Dies like a dog, March on”, he said.

And the troops marched while the American flag waved proudly over their heads.

Words have power. They have taste, evoke memories and make statements. Who, for instance, hasn’t been excited by the sounds of “A Mighty Fortress” sung by a congregation celebrating the victory Jesus Christ won. “The Kingdom ours remaineth”.

And when you heard "The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want” you immediately recognize the familiar opening of Psalm 23. How many times have those words, read at a bedside, or during a burial, brought calm and comfort to a weary and troubled heart.

Or Lt. Phillip Nolan during a military trial, said, “I never want to hear or see this country again”, and the judge granted his wish. He spent his lifetime aboard ships, with others under order not ever to mention this country. And you remember the bit you memorized in school:

“Breathes there a man with soul; so dead,
Who never to himself has said,
This is my own, my native land. . .”
Then ends with the sad line.

“Unwept, unhonored, and unsung".
Words do have power. They can sting, they can humiliate, they can upset, they can arouse, but can also soothe, calm, bring quiet, and rest. Words in hymns bring a sense of well-being and belonging. “In the cross of Christ I glory.” And “I lay my sins on Jesus”, reminders always of what the Lord has done, and what lies in store for me.
And the Bible, filled with short expressions to memorize, to meditate on, to share with friends, to call to memory in quiet moments. “God is love”, and “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”. And “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” And who can fail to remember this grand invitation, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Ah, yes, words do have power and meaning. We do well to care, to share, and to use wisely the words we speak often too glibly, or without thought. May God keep your words rich in meaning, filled with peace for others, and influential.
GPD 2/23/08

Friday, February 22, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/22/08

Washington’s birthday. Not much remembered or celebrated today.

So I managed two things today. Gathered the figures and sent them off to Dan to do the taxes, which he graciously does for us.

Then managed to learn what LOL means in text- messaging.

GPD 2/22/08

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/21/08

Kind of drizzly out this morning. No, I haven’t been walking, except a bit around the house as he instructed. But I see the specialist next Tuesday and expect to get an OK for more moving around. I feel fine otherwise, thank you.

What caught my eye is an item about ‘read across America’. In a time when the printed word is all around, in a country we can read what we please, in an economy where skill of understanding is essential, reading has lost its luster. And this is an effort to make ourselves a nation of readers again.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t like reading, for learning, for information, for understanding, or just for relaxing.

There is no pleasure greater than reading just for the joy of it. To grasp an idea, to enjoy the way the author explains the topic, to take delight in the way words are used, or savor a special line or expression. And to see how the story turns out.

Or to read history, and learn just why or how things happened, and are being done today. “I remember the days of old and consider what your hands have done" Psalm 143,5. Or read again a history of Lincoln and the days of the civil war, and see why this country treasures certain things.

Sir Francis Bacon said “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, writing an exact man”. [For ‘conference’ we would say making a speech.]

And the age we live in makes reading seem non-essential. The internet is accepted without reservation, even though it is often used to hurt rather than help.

We are forgetting how to express ourselves. Read the letters to the editor sometime.

Then comes text messaging.

Ah, for a reader, one who enjoys a well-written novel, a mystery well structured, a history well balanced and even in its handling of materials, a biography showing often the struggles that person underwent, or a well-written travel guide, what better way to spend an hour or two quietly and fruitfully.

In the early 50’s a psychologist named Dr. Rudolf Flesh wrote several books on clear speech. “The Art of Plain Talk”, and “The Art of Readable Writing” among others. The books sold well and had a real impact on teaching people who cared how to speak and write clearly. And by the way he often quoted the parables of Jesus as examples – clear, taut, filled with meaning, and easily understood. Making their never-to-be-forgotten point.

Maybe this is enough for today. I am just glad, aren’t you, that the Bible we read and treasure is written clearly and is so easy to understand? It teaches me the one thing I really need to know, That “Just at the right time, Jesus came to die for sinners, of whom I am one". Romans 6.5

Reader, go and read some more.

GPD 2/21/08

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/17/08

Did you hear? Grandma Schultz died last night. The news was not really unexpected because she had had a bad winter with flu and cough sort of hanging on, and she was up in years. Yet the news left everyone sort of sad. They had all known Granmma Schultz. She had been in this church and this town all her life. Was born here, grew up here, had much family here, and everyone knew gramm’s touch when illness or sadness struck. She was there.

For years she had sung in the choir. She was ready with a pot of soup and a word of cheer when illness struck; she introduced people around when they moved to town and were new to the congregation. She was regular at Bible studies, held morning coffees in her home to help people meet and feel at home. She always had a garden full of produce to share, and can, and flowers for anyone who asked. Often her flowers graced the altar for a service.

People would miss seeing her at Church. Always there with her family, and when they married and left, with her husband, till he had died several years ago. Now alone, but always with a ready smile and a cheerful word for old and young.

People came to her for advice in trouble, or just to hear a warm word of encouragement from Scripture. Yes, she read the Bible much, prayed often, and was an eager student of Luther. She knew Church history, and the struggles that have gone into keeping the doctrine pure. She knew the history of the church, and so was aware of the many disasters that a church faces in this sin-riddled world.

What brings all this to mind is the funerals we have been seeing at our Church lately. All children of God, “Born again of water and the Spirit”, and their lives showed the Holy Spirit’s presence. One was a member of Houston pioneer families, another as born in Germany, still anther only in her 30’s. Yet all part of God’s family.

That is what a Church is. It hears His Word, it follows His teaching, and the Spirit leads and directs this Church in the way He will have it go. It’s desire always is “Send forth Your light and Your Truth, let them guide me” Ps. 43,3. And in this Word, this Bible, the Church finds its food, from this flows its strength, in it lies comfort for times of trouble. And the Church knows and trusts God, for it confesses always that “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”

Yes, in Holy Baptism we are “born again’ and are, indeed, children of God.

GPD 2/17/08

Friday, February 15, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/15/08

Right now it’s rather pleasant, not quite cloudy but just bright, and so far, all we have had is a few sprinkles, though the paper promises storms now and then. The squirrels are quite active. I don’t know if that means anything or not. Look, there’s a cardinal, a bright spot in the yard. Well, we’ve got our Friday errands run, so let it weather.

But it’s the kind of morning that calls for pondering. Texas suddenly looms large in the Democratic race. What seemed like a sort of shoo-in for Mrs. Clinton is now turning into a bitter, drag-out, affair. One can’t turn on the TV without seeing an ad. The stations must be reaping huge gains in this business. But understand the delegates are not proportioned to the over all winner. They are proportioned in the ration of votes. Strange, and I can’s explain it in greater detail, but it is not “Winner take all”. Sometimes it really is hard to understand the workings of this “good ‘ol boy” machinery.

We shall see in November how it all comes out, but we also remember that we are urged to “Pray for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty”.

No, I won’t even try to explain why Congress suddenly finds time to look into steroid use in baseball when parts of the world are in flames, when wars and rumors of war fill the air, when gunshots resound on an Illinois campus, when the country’s finances are almost in shambles, and when prayers of the righteous seem to go unanswered.

Let me just lay on your heart several verses from Psalm 37.

“Do not fret because of evil men. . .trust
In the Lord, and do good. . .delight
Yourself also in the Lord, and He will
Give you the desires of your heart.
I have been young, and now am old,
Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken.”
Or, maybe like Dr. Luther did when the going seemed rough, he said to his fellows, “Let us go to the house of our God and sing and Psalm De Profundis”. That’s Psalm 130. Excellent word to end this today. May God bless, strengthen, and shelter your daily walk.

GPD 2/15/08

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/14/08

You noticed the date, I’m sure. And a study reveals that a large percentage will be sending flowers or candy to themselves to make sure they are not regarded as unloved. Understandable, isn’t it. No one wants to be looked at as having no one.

But we, like the Psalmist, we dare to pray. “Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me under the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17,8. We are so special that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to become one of us, suffer, die and then rise from the dead to pay for the sins we do.

Observe the day with flowers, or a card, or a gift, but remember the deeper meaning here. That love is more than one day flowers, it is serving the needs of the other each day. For that is what God did and is doing, daily, for us who are His beloved children.

A by-the-way item. Today is our monthly circuit meeting, and for one of the few times in my life I am absent. I had asked the doctor about it. And he said, “If the meetings lasts more than 40 minutes please avoid it. You may not be aware of it, but just attending an Affair is an effort for the body. Your body is still recuperating, so don’t go”.

What an excuse, from a doctor yet. So I took it. Pastor understood, and kindly gave a me a copy of the paper he is scheduled to present. So, Happy Valentine’s Day.

GPD 2/14/08

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/12/08

40 below in the nation’s ice box. It’s the official title of International Falls, Minnesota. Of course they use engine block warmers for their cars, and keep them in the garage. But when it’s this cold natives stay home, unless they have to go to work. And then go slowly.

Now and then we read of people lost in the mountains or while going about some stuff in the winter, and being overtaken by a sudden blizzard. If they are quick, and recognize their danger they will find some place to huddle up in order to survive. And if they have a cell phone, maybe they can call and alert rescuers. Meanwhile, they can get very desperate and feel forsaken by everyone. Which isn’t true, of course. Because help is usually on the way, desperately seeking the lost skiers or snowmobilers, hoping they will find them in time.

The desperate situation of sinners is just as urgent. The time will come, unless they believe Jesus died for them, that they will say to the mountains, fall on us, and to the hills cover us. St. John tells us this by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. But there are those who are desperately seeking, inviting, urging, the Way of salvation to them. And that is “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, the One and Only Son of God, came to earth, became one of us, lived, taught, suffered, died on the cross, rose again, and is now sitting at the right hand of God ruling all things. He left us with this word, “You shall be my witnesses, . . . to the ends of the earth”. May He send the Spirit to guide and direct our witness each day.

And may God bless this day for you.

GPD 2/12/08

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/11/08

Funny, isn’t it, how often little things make a difference or get noticed? I’m thinking of the deer skin moccasin slippers I use. Had them for years. They keep my feet warm even though they’re not much on looks. Ruth brought them along to the hospital because she said their floors were cold, and they often forgot slippers. So there they were, and each person who saw them remarked on how “cute" they were or some such. They just keep my feet warm and allow wiggle room.

But life is like that. It struck me Sunday when I came to church. Many people smiled and said, “good to see you”. Which is the right thing to say. Others insisted on telling me how their aunt Tillie had just the same thing and she . . . ad infinitum. Which is not the most fitting conversation with anyone who has been ill, is it?

It points to something in our day that bothers me. It’s the subtle shift to gray from what once was black and white, right and wrong. Oh, that sort of thing has been happening in every age. Isaiah lashed out at those “Who say what is right is wrong, and what is wrong is right, that black is white and white is black, bitter is sweet and sweet bitter’. Is. 5, 20.

St. Paul in his first letter to Corinth (14,7.8.) said words should be clear, like notes for a trumpet else “how shall they get ready for battle?"

Our God does not leave us. His Word to us is clear, direct, and filled with the guidance and the wisdom we need for the walk through life. Then we can face the next hours, and the next day knowing that “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27,1.

So walk in His care who is our Shepherd, and bless the walk.

GPD 2/11/08

Friday, February 8, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/8/08

Remember when you were little going to bed on a summer night with the moon shining. Then you woke up during the night and there, on the wall, was a monster, and you let out a yell that brought mom running and saying, “what is it?” And when she turned on the light, the monster was gone? And you learned it was only a shadow of a branch the moon made when it shone through the branches of that tree outside your window. It was only a shadow. That’s all it was, nothing that would harm you.

Yes, I’m doing my moving around as the doctor ordered, but there is still lots of time to think. One thought that crossed my mind again and again is David talking about the Lord. And among other lines, he says this, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of he shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me’. Psalm 23, 4. Then “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.” V.6

Just strikes me that so much of what we are afraid of is only a shadow. It’s fleeting, and will go away. Why? Because Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, and God has declared us righteous, holy, because He died for us.

I came home from the hospital with 4 pages of directions and suggestions from the doctor. This doctor has a medical degree and has done much advanced study, yet it seems nearly everyone whom I meet knows exactly what I should be doing now. They have no degree, but they somehow KNOW.

And that happens to us in the world. Everyone has his own truth, his own religious knowledge, never right, but always offered firmly. Like “It doesn’t matter what you believe, everybody goes to heaven” or “everybody’s doing it’, or "don’t be old-fashioned". But you know the truth. The truth, and it still is the one truth, is this, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

Lent emphasizes that for us again. Dwell on that. It is rich knowledge, saving truth.

GPD 2/8/08

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/6/08

Today is Ash Wednesday, and we begin the observation of the Lenten season with its special services and times for meditation and prayer.

As I sit here, still a bit weak and slow, all effort we may make during this time in fasting, special prayers, further reading in the Scriptures etc, will not make us better and holier than others. It’s all been done. That’s what we observe and celebrate. Christ’s suffering, death, and then resurrection paid the price, the full price, for the sins of the world. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. And that is worth thinking deeply about, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, I want to send you something I think is worth our attention. It’s a letter that is making rounds on the internet. Many have read it. Here it is.

The other day at the grocery store in our little town, someone had read that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the next county. Then he asked me a rhetorical question. “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up.”

I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young; I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community social events no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put in my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed with soap when I uttered a profanity. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds, and cockleburs out of dad's fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood, and if my mother found out that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins, and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin. And, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

God bless the parents who drugged us. (Submitted by a concerned citizen).

GPD 2/6/08

Monday, February 4, 2008

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/4/08

This is not quite a bit of wisdom, it’s rather a medical report.

Last Thursday I developed a chest pain, took an aspirin, and went to bed, but twisted and turned and couldn’t sleep because that pain remained. So finally I said to Ruth, “I think I’ll dial 911. I may be having a heart attack.” Here comes the parade. A fire engine with crew came in and asked questions, and hooked me to an oxygen tank. They were followed immediately by a unit from Medical unit. They placed me on a stretcher and took me to the emergency room of Hermann Hospital. On the way the medic was instructed to start an IV, and I watched him with the needle, the vehicle wasn’t all that steady, and I expected some painful, moments, but he got it in the first try. Amazing.

Overnight EKGs and other stuff, and in the morning they took me for a stress test which showed some blockage. So the doctor said they needed to place a stent into that section. I replied, after some speaking with family and some prayer, “If we can do it today, fine.” Silence until a little after 4. Suddenly the nurse came in and told us the doctor would do it next. So they took me to the unit where this is done, bustled about and got me ready, and shaved me where I've never been shaved before. They gave me a drug that made me sleepy but did not put me under. The doctor started around 4:30 and ended at a little after 7. The worst part of this procedure for me was lying on that hard table for 2 and a half hours. My hips became very sore, and I wanted to relieve them a bit by raising a leg, and the hand always held me down. So after he finished he said it had been a rather difficult procedure because of where it was, but it was a success. And he told me it was already showing, because my face had more color.

So to ICU for a day, then to a regular room on Saturday night, then released on Sunday afternoon. That was the thing that tested patience. In the morning I asked the nurse if she thought I would be released. She said, your signs are all really good, but it waits on the doctor. So the doctor standing in for the surgeon looked at charts and gave her consent. Hooray. No, the other doctor who substituted for the doctor who represented my doctor needed to OK it also. He finally arrived at around 4, then another half hour for the papers to be filled out, and I was sent home.

Experience. I know the Lord’s hand was in the whole process. The nurses and staff were pleasant, friendly, knew their stuff, saw to comfort and need. Though I did accuse the head nurse that they waited till I was asleep to send in the nurses to take vital signs, blood sugar tests, and blood samples. I said it with a twinkle in my eye and she replied, “Mr. Dobberfuhl, we have this little unit that watches when you fall asleep and then we send them in”. And she said it with a twinkle in her eye, so we parted on friendly terms.

Now, do what you feel like doing. Walk, eat, sleep, just don’t overdo, and report in two weeks. So far things are going well. And I am grateful for children who came, for the prayers you are even now speaking, and for God’s continual grace and ever present mercy.

GPD 2/4/08