Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Life in Christ at Christmas....Poem

New Life in Christ at Christmas!

At a time when things seemed desperate and we were almost in despair

My husband took my hand and offered up a special prayer

We laid our heavy burdens down at our dear Savior’s feet

There was nothing more that we could do, so we acknowledged our defeat

But the Lord took us in our brokenness… and gathered us beneath His wings

We felt so safe beside Him there…He’s the awesome “King of kings”

No trial is too much for him to take… no storm too strong to calm

Beneath his wings he soothed us with a natural, healing balm

We found rest for our tired souls…He hushed our worried peeps

And in the morning light we woke…refreshed from all the sleep

As if this peace was not enough… He gave us a great prize

The problems from the night before were no longer of great size

He had put them in perspective…and simply taken them away

This was an awesome morning…the start of a brand new day

We woke to find a miracle had truly taken place

A soul had found salvation…and true peace had filled this space

The struggles of the night before had vanished…they’d been replaced

The troubled one in so much pain had found the throne of grace

And so Christmas Eve had passed that night… and now it was Christmas Day

This soul had left his past behind and found the strength to pray

Dear Jesus thank you for the gift you’re handing out to me

I accept your love with all my heart…the love that sets me free!

We had a celebration…with the family gathered round

The new child of the kingdom wore a red tissue paper crown

It singled him out as the chosen one…the one who’d found new worth

The one who’d given up his fight…and surrendered to new birth

A miracle has taken place…no doubts to steal our joy

Our brother is now a child of The King…who came to earth as a baby boy!

Written by Linda Hogeland Dec. 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Brother Accepted Jesus!

(And he asked his lady friend, Doris to marry him...he is the guy in the front left of the picture in the red paper crown and Doris is seated next to him.!)

This was a very special Christmas for us! My brother Dan who just had a quadruple by-pass less than two weeks ago, accepted Jesus into his heart and shared it with all of us at our Christmas family gathering on Dec. 26th. He was in tears as he told me of the peace that he had now. He said he was so thankful for Jesus, and that this was his best Christmas ever! We are all rejoicing! And of course we are all praying for his recovery. He has had some very hard days...but we think he has turned a corner and is on his way to healing. Please continue to pray for his full recovery...and for spiritual growth in his new life with Jesus.

Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
(Luke 15:7)


And may God richly bless you all in the coming New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Update On My Brother Dan

On Wednesday my 58 yr. old brother Dan had a heart attack. On Friday Dan had a Quadruple by-pass surgery. On Friday night his son Donovan and his wife and kids came up from Oklahoma to stay with us and to be with Dan. We loved having Donovan and Linda and the kids with us.

During the surgery it is so hard to wait and wait and wonder how it is going. It took about 5 hours. But he came through it fine....and we are so thankful. Thanks to all who prayed for us and for Dan.

We went home to rest and enjoy time with the kids.

Donovan just moved to Oklahoma again. He is at Fort Sill. He was stationed in the Washington DC/VA. area...but now they are about 4 or 5 hours away.

What a difference a day makes! Dan looked so much better the next day...and he was so glad to see his son and daughter-in-law and the kids. Dan's girlfriend Doris has been there all the time with us...she has been sleeping in the chair in the Cardiac Intensive Care and helping him a lot.

He and his son both like to joke around. Donovan made him laugh a few times. Laughter is a good medicine. He tired out easily though. Both Donovan and his wife Linda served in Iraq. Dan is so proud of them! We all are.

Our daughter Lynnette and son-in-law Kyle came to visit Uncle Dan too. It was their 23rd Anniversary.

This was the first time Lynnette had met her cousin Donovan.

This was also the first time Dan met his baby granddaughter Madilyn. She is such a sweet baby girl! Great Auntie Linda enjoyed her so much.

Dan said we needed to get a picture of we did. Then shortly after that everyone but me left so Dan could rest.

He has found out that he has Diabetes and high blood pressure and so that has complicated things a bit...but the doctors and nurses are taking good care of him. It is a long road to recovery, and yet each day there is some progress. Please pray for Dan, as I am sure he would appreciate it....and so would I. I will update again in a few days. We just called the hospital and they said they will transfer him to a regular room sometime today! Progress!!!!

Thanks so much for the prayers!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Please Pray For My Brother Dan!

This a picture of my handsome younger brother Dan with my grandson Jared. (This is a few years back...I need more pictures of him!) Dan is 58 now and is facing Heart Surgery today. He will have a 4 or 5 by-pass this afternoon. Poor guy!

Wednesday evening he had a heart attack and also found out he is diabetic, and has high blood pressure and high cholesterol issues. Needless to say he will have to make some major life-style changes. Please pray that he will make it through the surgery, and that he will draw close to God during this long journey of recovery.

He will be staying with us when he leaves the hospital, so would you also pray for strength for my husband John and I as we take care of him, and try to help him with his journey back to better health? We will all need God's help.

Thanks so much!

Here's a quote from Dr. Charles Stanley that has helped me this morning:

"It’s actually when life gets rough and rugged that the sweetness of God’s faithfulness makes itself real in your heart. As you walk through those storms in complete reliance on His strength, your trust in His character becomes part of who you are and strengthens from within."

Friday, December 9, 2011

If Joseph and Mary had Facebook!

My husband's cousin Joe, posted this neat video on Facebook this morning and oh my goodness it REALLY touched me! I have been a Christian for a very long time...and yet watching this just touched my heart anew this morning with the story of Christ's birth.

They were just people like you and me. A couple who were about to start their life together....and then Mary became a vessel of God, and everything in their world changed! This video made it seem as though it were happening in today's world. Can you imagine what people would think...and say today if you were Mary or Joseph telling them this story?!!! It makes you imagine what it was really like for them.

When you watch this I think it will just bring a different look at the birth of our Lord. Like you are seeing it in a whole new light. If people relate to all of us do...this may just make sense to them all of a sudden! So share it with all of your friends and family by posting it on your Facebook wall....or on your blogs.


(For some reason I couldn't get it to load properly so follow the link below. After you watch it, come back and tell me how you liked it.)

Highlight the link and then right click, and click on open link to watch the video.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"The Story" Tour... ~ ~ ~...Amazing!

Last night my husband and I decided at the last minute to go to see "The Story" concert, as it opened its tour here in Wichita yesterday. We just went to the window, and thought they would take credit cards...but they didn't, but between the two of us we came up with enough cash to buy the tickets! (It was a "God thing" I'm sure!)

Once we got in line we saw 5 couples who have been our friends for years, but we hadn't seen them for quite a long that was a special treat! All of these couples had prayed along with me for 15 years that my husband would become a Christian, and they all rejoiced with me 17 years ago when that finally happened! We are all family in Christ! Lots of greetings and hugs were going on in that line. It was beautiful. There is just nothing like sharing Jesus!

We all used to go to church together, but God has taken each of us in different directions over the years...yet we are still so connected by our faith, and our love for Him, and for each other. It was a joy to know that we were all there to usher in the Christmas season by seeing "The Story"...and by worshiping Him together. Although there were thousands in attendance there was a unity in Christ. Isn't that what heaven will be like? It was Glorious!!!

If "The Story" comes to your town or one near-by I hope you will go see it. It will be a Christmas blessing for you. If you know someone who needs Jesus but doesn't know Him yet, invite them to go with you. Max Lucado gives an invitation to accept Christ at the end, and we all prayed the prayer together either in affirmation or in new acceptance of Him.

Here is a list of the people in it:
Max Lucado, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Francesca Battistelli, Natalie Grant, Selah, and Anthem Lights. All of them performed while on screen there are pictures and video that tell the story from Genesis to Revelation. It is so moving. What better way to focus on Jesus this Christmas?

Click on the button at the top of the post to see the cities on the tour!

And there is also an great CD and DVD available if you can't make it to the concert!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Family Thanksgiving Gathering

Pumpkin Bread and a whole lot of food...but the best part was the fun and family fellowship!

It is such a busy life...and we don't get to gather together as often as we'd like we make the best of it when we do!

Grandma always likes to hear the kids play the piano. 10 year old Silas is learning and he did a great job playing for us. And his teacher...big brother Jared played for us too. He is amazing!

Jonas is such a sweet boy! He is enjoying his meal.

Kyle and Abigail sitting together in the basement while we were opening birthday gifts.

I love this table full of kids. They are all growing up so fast!

The two oldest grandsons, Jared and Will...sporting their ponytails.

Momma and her silly girls...having some fun!

Uncle Brad at the girl's table! They love it, and so does he!

I love my girls!

Enjoying the food!

Sweet Harrison...the baby of our family!

Jared the 21 year old grandson.

Will the 16 year old grandson.

Caleb turns 15!

Granddaughter Bailey turns 19.

18 year old Abigail with her Aunt Lonna and cousin Adelynn. Addy is our baby girl and she is 12.

Sweet 15 year old Cecily with her Auntie Lisa.

I count all of these precious family members as great blessings in my life! I am truly thankful for each and every one of them!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Word Saturday! Hubby's Special Birthday!!!

My Hubby Had A Special Birthday!

Those are my six words today. What are yours? You can join in by clicking the button above and linking up with Cate for Six Word Saturday!

This year was a special event for my husband John. He had his 66th birthday on 11-11-11. That will never happen again for him and he was excited about it.

I looked around and found this 11-11-11 shirt for him to remember it by.

He started early by going to a Nebraska game with his brother Bill, (Thanks Bill!), and then onto Alma, Ne. to celebrate with his brothers and sister and extended family and friends. They had a gathering out at the golf and country club. He really enjoyed that time with all of them.

He is the oldest of 7 kids. This picture is John with some of them, before the two youngest were born.

And here is a picture from a past cousins reunion. John loves his family so much!
Mom and dad passed a few years ago and now he is the oldest in his immediate family.

Only 6 of them in this picture because his sister Pam has gone to heaven too.

This is John with his sweet Aunt Gladys!

I stayed home this trip because I had tickets to a concert that I didn't want to miss. But he had a great time, and liked celebrating early. Then he came home and just he and I enjoyed his actual birthday, and when we have our family Thanksgiving gathering next Saturday we will celebrate his birthday with kids and grandkids!!!! So I think it turned out to be a nice birthday for him in many ways.

Grandpa always wants to get in on the fun! (This is an old picture and since then our sweet little Anna has gone on to be with Jesus. It has been 7 years today since her entry into the arms of Jesus...but we always carry her in our hearts. Grandpa loved her so he does all of his grandkids!)

The older girls Abigail and Bailey are now 18 and 19...I know they will just be overjoyed that I'm posting this picture! ha!

John deserves the extra attention because he is just one of the greatest guys around! He is a loving husband, dad, and grandpa, as well as a great brother and friend. I thank the Lord all of the time for my wonderful husband. I was so blessed the day I married him!

We have both changed quite a bit over the years don't ya think? But we are still young at heart! Especially when our kids and grandkids are around.

Have a good Saturday everyone.