Thursday, December 7, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.


Merry Christmas to You All!       



Laura’s Reflection: Think on These Things
It’s been one of those “God is speaking to me” times, specifically on Philippians 4:8. It is popping up everywhere this week; every devotional, verse of the day and in the Christian blogs I read. So, I better stop and think on this!  

PHILIPPIANS 4:8
“Finally brothers, whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE—if anything is EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY—think on these things.”

SPECIAL NOTE: Monday and Tuesday, I write all of the below, pray about it and am ready to send off to you this afternoon but I must share what just happened. It’s Wednesday and I sneak in to hear a guest speaker for the Women’s Christmas Brunch, Jodi Phelps. She’s a dear friend of Julie St. Angelo and Julie really encouraged me to take the time away from my “desk” and listen to Jodi’s story.  I am telling you the truth, Jodi shared a beautiful message and she ended with this “And now sisters, think on these things, whatever is true, whatever is noble…Philippians 4:8” These were her ending words.  Do you think GOD is making it clear to me?  How precious of GOD to confirm one last time that this is what I am to share.  

My first thought is about something I have said over and over to my kids and now grandkids “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”  I use that when they want to watch a TV show that I think is immoral, see a movie that’s too dark or listen to music that is not uplifting, etc.  Did you know that the average person has 10,000 separate thoughts a day? Every one of these thoughts represents a choice we make, a decision. 

God gives us specific instruction on what to think about, I think I (we) better listen:

  1. Is it TRUE? Are you speaking and hearing truth? Speaking truth rules out all dishonesty and lying. God is truth and Satan is a liar, the father of lies! So, to walk in truth is to steep ourselves in God’s word; test everything by God’s Word, not by feelings or our culture. Read and think on the truth - HIS WORD.

  1. Is it NOBLE (honorable)? This word means “that which inspires reverence; worthy of respect”. Do you waste time pondering on things that are trivial or time thinking on the eternal? Consider how short our life is on earth against the reality of heaven or hell. Time should be spent giving honor to our Lord of Lords. "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11

  1. Is it RIGHT? Whatever is right must conform to God’s standards, not the worlds.  Is it right in GOD’S eyes? Often when making a decision, I think to myself “Would I do this if Jesus were standing right here?” Well, HE IS STANDING BY ME and the HOLY SPIRIT actually LIVES in me! So, do the right thing.

  1. Is it PURE? Definition is “clean, holy, undefiled.” Most often we think of moral purity (which is very serious to God and to us) but we must also ask if our thought life is pure.  Proverbs 23:7 “Whatever a man thinketh, so is he …” “The wisdom that comes from heaven, is first of all pure …” James 3:17

  1. Is it LOVELY? In the New Testament, lovely means “what is pleasing, agreeable and attractive.” Here’s a simple rule: If it doesn’t make you lovely, don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t do it, don’t dwell on it, and don’t repeat it!  What is lovely, is God’s dwelling place, think on that (Psalm 84:1).

  1. Is it ADMIRABLE? Is it worthy of time of study and contemplation? Are we focusing on things that are positive, constructive, things that build up not tear down?  You can admire a person for their talent, strength, brains, or success but that does not mean they are admirable. To be admirable, they need to be worthy.  Look what Jesus said in John 10:29 “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”  Jesus is building His father UP and encouraging us

  1. Is it EXCELLENT?  Is it worthy, would God approve? Is it in line with God’s moral virtues? “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,” Philippians 1:9-10

  1. Is it PRAISEWORTHY? If we are speaking of GOD himself, EVERY attribute and deed of GOD is praiseworthy. Just thinking on what HE has done in creation, in history and in our present lives should bring us to PRAISING HIM all throughout the day. It’s also important for us to give praise to those who have extended kindness, love and care. This is being appreciative and affirming toward people, not negative and critical.  

Now, how do we make “thinking on these things” a real part of our daily life?
  • We need the mind of Christ, and as believers the Holy Spirit gives us the power to have this. 
  • We need to block out sinful thoughts and get rid of anything that is not pleasing to God. “Be like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” 1 Peter 1:15.  Get rid of it now, don’t delay.
  • We need to read God’s Word daily, if you can’t read, listen to it on the Bible website or Bible on tape. Saturate your mind with Scripture. Unless the Word of God is in your heart, you can’t use it when you are tempted. Dump the newspaper and read the WORD.
  • We need to listen to godly men and women for teaching.  Read sermons and commentaries from the giants in our faith like Spurgeon & Chambers. Learn from men and women of faith. Listen to your Pastors!
  • We need to fill our minds and lips with great hymns and praise choruses. Sing praises to the Lord, for He is worthy of our praise.

Before you know it, we’ll be thinking on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy … all the day long!

With Heavenly Thoughts!

Laura (12/6/17)

Laura Keener
Frontline Director, Desert Springs Church



PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Rick Diederich * Terri Griffin * Barbara Gronek * Eddie Hernandez * Mary Ireland * Fred Keener * Dorene Kunkle * Annie Leonovich* Darrell Miller * Theo Nichols * Bob O'Conner * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm * Carol Smoke * Sharon Warner's Granddaughter Kelly

Thursday, November 2, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.



The following Celebration of Life Services have now been confirmed to be held here at Desert Springs:

Glen Smith: November 11 @ 1 PM
Ron Mayle: November 18 @ 11 AM
                                                                                


Laura’s Reflection: Fear or Faith
I am quite sure by now that most of you know that last Friday at 9 am my husband had a neck epidural to help with the excruciating pain he has been experiencing on and off for months.  Fred has had previous epidurals and they help for a time.  Anyway, this time, it led to a Spinal Hematoma. He was rushed to emergency and in surgery for 4 hours. We thank the LORD his Orthopedic Doctor Tehernia was called and he would do the surgery and he put the best team possible together for Fred. Dr. Cassim, his pain management doctor and Dr. Patel his Cardiologist were all on board.  It was absolutely the most frightening experience we have had.  We were told that there was a chance he would not make it through, if he did, that he could be paralyzed.  Our kids were called in and had time with their precious daddy before he went to surgery.  

Definition:  A spinal hematoma is a collection of blood that compresses the spinal cord and nerve roots. Significant compression of the spinal cord can result in irreversible neurologic damage. Symptoms may include pain, weakness, numbness, difficulty walking, loss of bowel and/or bladder control, or paralysis.

Fred was moved out of ICU yesterday and up to the Vascular Wing rooms.  The praise report for now is he has movement and feeling in arms and hands. His left leg and foot have sensation and he can wiggle his toes.  The right leg, not so much. The Doctors want to admit him to the physical therapy unit right there at Eisenhower but he must qualify to be admitted. To qualify he needs to be able to put in 3 to 4 hours of therapy a day.  Fred said he will do this, but they need to run tests, etc.  Please pray that this works out, it’s what the Doctors want and what we desperately want. Dr. Tahernia said he might be in that unit for one to two months but he doesn’t know the power of prayer!

So, my dear friends … PRAY. I’m running in and out of work, trying to be with husband as much as possible.  We are not allowing visitors at this time, he is not up to it, I know you can understand this.

Prayers are powerful, and God’s peace in the storm is real. I choose to have FAITH and not allow FEAR to creep in. Fear tries to grab hold of my mind in the middle of the night. I start quoting scripture:
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”
“You are my refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble”
“Do not be afraid for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I the Lord will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will run and not be weary, they will WALK and not faint”

I read scripture and devotionals to Fred each morning to encourage him too. I love each of you and appreciate your kindness, concern and prayers.  Fred will WALK and GOD is FAITHFUL. 

Standing in Faith!

Laura

Laura Keener
Frontline Director, Desert Springs Church



PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Rick Diederich * Eddie Hernandez * Mary Ireland * Fred Keener * Annie Leonovich* Theo Nichols * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.

In Memory Of:
Our dear Sister, Placent Delia, who went to heaven Monday, October 16th. It was very unexpected and we will miss her sweet spirit and having her as a powerful prayer warrior. Pray that her dear husband of 40 years, Gino, will feel the peace of God during this great loss. A Celebration of Life Service is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24 at 1 PM in the Worship Center. 

Also, the following Celebration of Life Services have now been confirmed to be held here at Desert Springs:
Lucy Brooks: October 21 @ 1 PM
Glen Smith: November 11 @ 1 PM
Ron Mayle: November 18 @ 11 AM
                                                                                
Laura’s Reflection: Proud to be an American in Jesus
I’m sure, like me, you have “had it up to here” with the unpatriotic display from athletes, actors, authors, singers, politicians and perhaps relatives and neighbors. I am deeply ashamed at how “Americans” living in a land blessed by GOD are insulting HIM, our FLAG and our LEADERS.  God commands us to be respectful, love our enemies and to pray for our country and leaders. 

Romans 13:1
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

What has happened to make these “Americans” so terribly unkind? The answer is … they don’t know who JESUS is. 

Scott Sauls, Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville and author said this:

  • In America, credentials qualify a person to lead. In Jesus, the chief qualification is character.
  • In America, what matters most are the results we produce. In Jesus, what matters most is the kind of people we are becoming.
  • In America, success is measured by material accumulation, power, and the positions that we hold. In Jesus, success is measured by material generosity, humility, and the people whom we serve.
  • In America, it is shameful to come in last and laudable to come in first. In Jesus, the first will be last and the last will be first.
  • In America, leaders make a name for themselves to become famous and sometimes treat Jesus as a means to that end. In Jesus, leaders make His name famous and treat their own positions, abilities, and influence as a means to that end.
  • In America, leaders crave recognition and credit. In Jesus, leaders think less of themselves and give credit to others.
  • In America, leaders compare and compete so they will flourish. In Jesus, leaders sacrifice and serve so others will flourish.
  • In America, leadership often means “My glory and happiness at your expense.” In Jesus, leadership always means “Your growth and wholeness at my expense.”
  • In America, the strong and powerful rise to the top. In Jesus, the meek inherit the earth.

I say to all those who are ungrateful, unthankful, unkind, unjust … hear and understand:

Jeremiah 27:5
“I the LORD have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.”.

Lamentations 3:38-42
Is it from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? Let us examine our ways ad test them, and let us return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven and say: “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.”

Let us do our part; be thankful, pray continually and be BOLD in sharing about our God, the maker of heaven and earth.

A Proud American in Jesus!

  Laura

Laura Keener
Frontline Director, Desert Springs Church



PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Ron Coffee * Rick Diederich * Eddie Hernandez * Mary Ireland * Fred Keener * Annie Leonovich* Theo Nichols * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.

In Memory Of:
Our dear brother, Glen Smith, went to heaven last week. It was very unexpected and we will miss his sweet spirit. Pray that his precious wife Barbara will feel the peace of God during this great loss. We will keep you posted if and when a Celebration of Life service is scheduled.
                                                                                

Laura's Reflection: Each day is a gift…
Waking up Monday morning to the terrible news of the Las Vegas massacre literally made me sick to my stomach.  I thought so much about the 50+ who thought they were attending a night of great country music and it ended up a night that they either met their Savior or not.  It was like a time bomb went off in my heart prompting me to get with it! Tell those you love, you love them. Tell those who don’t know Jesus, about Jesus! Don’t wait, it could be their last day or yours. I don’t want this to sound ominous but it’s reality.  In just one week there were killings in Paris, Canada & Vegas.  Time to wake up and use these tragedies to grow our belief in the sovereign will of God and strengthen our relationship with Him.  There is a wonderful book “Daring to Hope” by Katie Davis Majors and in it she says:

“He loves me and SO He allows me to feel pain that draws me to Him. And in the midst of the pain, He weeps with me for a world that is not as He intended, for sorrow that He did not design.
I can sing because I know what is coming.
I can hope because I know who is coming.
In the dark of the night, I have seen His face.
I want to be brave enough to hold out the hope of the Gospel to a world that is hurting and alone and afraid.
Not a hope rooted in the absence of pain or heartache or suffering.
Not optimism that looks for the best-case scenario or happy ending.
A true hope that rises from the full assurance that our Savior is on His way.
It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light.
And so in the dark, I will sing.”

Katie said what’s on my heart, so no more words are needed except the Word of God …

Psalm 90: 12 “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:17 “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the works of our hands for us. Yes, establish the work of our hands.”

Our Hope is in Him,
Laura
Laura Keener
Frontline Director, Desert Springs Church



PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Ron Coffee * Rick Diederich * Eddie Hernandez * Mary Ireland * Fred Keener * Annie Leonovich* Theo Nichols * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm * Jim & Curtis Zeilenga

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.

In Memory Of:

Our dear brother, Dick Bornac, went to heaven last week. It was very unexpected and we will miss his sweet spirit and helping hands at the 8 am service each Sunday.  Pray that his precious wife Shelby, who suffers with her own illness can feel the peace of God during this great loss. We will keep you posted if and when a Celebration of Life service is scheduled.


 Laura’s Reflection: Disconnect to Connect

We live in a world with 24/7 connections— iPhone/iPad/email/text/twitter/Facebook and on and on. Demands on our time from family, friends, job and on and on. The result is feeling burned out and overwhelmed but if we keep our priorities in line with God’s commands we can experience the PEACE of God that passes all understanding. Here is what God is teaching me:

1. Spend Time DAILY in Prayer, Reading the Word and Praise
The daily discipline of prayer, reading God’s Word, praising Him and thanking Him is the key to peace and unwavering confidence in knowing that God is in control. 
Philippians 4:6-7. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.”

2. Be Present in Every Situation
Disconnect to connect. Remember …  people first, tasks second.  This constant connection to texts, newsfeeds and emails means we are never truly present anywhere. When you are with other people, put the phone away. Engage in conversation. Be persistent.
Philippians 2:4 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

3. Get Organized
The problem with making lists is they often shackle us instead of release us. We have so many “to-do’s” on our list, it is overpowering. I just learned a new technique. Write down all the tasks that come to your head throughout the day. Big, small, insignificant, important. Then look at what must be done today and complete the three most important tasks. Celebrate your successes, but stay flexible.
Proverbs 16: 3“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

4. Take Time for Yourself & Give Yourself Space to Unplug
Even Jesus spent time away from people and teaching (Luke 5:16; Luke 4:42; Matthew 14:23). Rest isn’t an option; it’s essential and part of God’s design for your body and mind. Make time for activities that nourish you; cooking, painting, reading, golfing, spending time with friends. Don’t feel guilty about resting and nourishing yourself.
Mark 6:31 “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he (JESUS) said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and rest.”’

5. Don’t Say Yes to Everything
One reason we are overwhelmed is we are doing too much, again this isn’t God’s plan. Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. He didn’t cave in to the pressure of healing or discipling the entire world. We can’t do it all, we just can’t. Pray about what you are being asked to do and take God’s direction.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Commit all your ways unto Him and He will direct your path.”

Maybe this reminder will help you to disconnect and experience more peace.  Satan wins when we are overwhelmed and over-stressed because we are not trusting in our Lord.  

Disconnect from the noise. Restore your life. You can do it!

Staying Connected by Diconnecting!
    Laura
Laura Keener
Frontline Director, Desert Springs Church



PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Mike Burbs * Ron Coffee * Rick Diedrich * Dorothy Ferro* Eddie Hernandez * Mary Ireland * Chevelle Johnson * Fred Keener * Dorene Kunkle * Theo Nichols * Della Nielsen * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm * Violet O'Leary * Curtis Zeilenga

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.

In Memory Of:

Our dear brother, Carl Brooks, went to heaven last week. It was very unexpected and we will miss his sweet spirit and helping hands at the 8am service each Sunday.  Pray that his precious wife Lucy, who suffers with her own illness can feel the peace of God during this great loss. We will keep you posted if and when a Celebration of Life service is scheduled.


Laura’s Reflection: I am turning into a hoarder. Want to join me?

Definition of a hoarder (noun): a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.

Now most of you are probably mortified at my admittance of being a hoarder, but let me tell you what and why I am hoarding. Here’s a hint, “I have hidden your word in my heart Lord, that I might not sin against You.”  That’s it – I am hoarding scriptures, passages and complete Psalms. For almost two years I have been memorizing verse after verse and now almost daily repeat over 150 Scriptures. It’s not with pride I am sharing this with you, it’s because it has become such an important part of my life and I want to encourage you to do the same. I’m gaining wisdom and power, seeing things more and more the way God does, drawing ever closer to the Lord and I proved to myself that I am not too old to do this!

The benefits are wonderful as I share verses to encourage others, to teach, comfort and sometimes even admonish in love. Daily, when I recite the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit living in me … LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS & SELF-CONTROL, I am more mindful of my Christian walk and how I represent Christ.

Also, I believe that God commands us to memorize Scripture:
·         “If you remain in me and my WORDS remain in you…” John 15:7 
·         “Let the WORD of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16
·         “Do not let this BOOK depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night…” Joshua 1:8
·         “Keep my WORDS and store up my commands within you…” Proverbs 7:1

Pastor Chuck Swindoll said this: “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”

Amen and Amen to that! So, jump on this life changing practice with me…you won’t be sorry.

Together in His Word!

  Laura Keener
Frontline Director at Desert Springs Church


PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Lucy Brooks * Ron Coffee * Rick Diedrich * Dorothy Ferro* Eddie Hernandez * Jenny Hodges * Mary Ireland * Chevelle Johnson * Fred Keener * Theo Nichols * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm * Violet O'Leary * Ruth Sixtone Wells 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

FAMILY LIFE at Desert Springs - a place where we can share the heart of our church family; prayers, praises and important announcements.  Be sure to check-in often to see what is happening. If you have a prayer request or praise, please submit by contacting me, Laura Keener, Frontline Director at Desert Springs....760-568-3646 or lkeener@desertspringsfamily.org.

 Laura's Reflection: Be All You Can Be by Gary Morland

Our family was not destined to a straightline repetition and payment for one person’s sin.

Your family isn’t either.

The consequences of what happened upriver have altered our family, but they have not trapped us into a destiny.

Your parents and family are in the boat with you.

You get into a family that’s already flowing. They had parents and a family too, and on back it goes.

If we can blame our mom or dad or anyone else in our immediate family for how things turned out, they can do the same. If we pass something upriver, they can too. And on back upriver the blame goes.

Much of what our families become is because we’re part of what has gone before. We can’t escape it:

“I may __________, but so did my dad; I learned it from him.” True.

“My parents never taught me __________.” True.

“My mom never showed me __________.” True.

“My dad never __________; he always just __________.” True.

“My uncle __________ me, and so now I’m __________.” True.

These things are all true, and they may have affected us and changed the course of our lives.

But if I blame my family, and push responsibility for who and what I am onto them, the blame can go all the way upriver.

It goes downriver too.

From Brenda and me, through Myquillyn and Chad and Emily and John, through their kids and families, and their kids’ kids and families, the river flows. Each of them could pass the blame back to Brenda and me.

Most of us probably don’t consciously blame previous generations for how we turned out. But it’s a very subtle temptation because it gives us an excuse for our faults and failures.

It takes a lot of courage to face who we are and a great deal of responsibility to deal with it.

Blame lightens the load a little bit, doesn’t it? Saying to yourself “If only this hadn’t happened” sometimes makes life more bearable.

But blame is irrelevant. It only matters if you want an excuse for not taking responsibility for yourself.

It is helpful to understand the things that have contributed to your story, to what happened in your family upriver. These things may help to explain who you are today.

But it is your fault alone if you allow those circumstances to keep you from being all you can be.

You can stop the chain reaction.

Accept your family (or lack of one) as within God’s overall will for you, and accept His ability— and promise—to use it for good. Then let Him.

My dad’s dad (Pop) was an alcoholic. My dad was an alcoholic. I am an alcoholic. My children are not alcoholics.

If God can stop that chain with me, He can stop whatever is plaguing you with you.

All we have is our part of the river, right here, right now.

We put a canoe into this family story when we are born, and our canoe pulls to shore when we die.

But what we do while in the river—our actions, attitudes, words, values, accomplishments—will roll on.

They are our legacy.


PRAYING FOR OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST

Comfort, Health, Wisdom, Strength - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18


Lucy Brooks * Ron Coffee * Rick Diedrich * Dorothy Ferro* Eddie Hernandez * Jenny Hodges * Mary Ireland * Chevelle Johnson * Fred Keener * Theo Nichols * Neil Riordan * Walter & Joan Rohm * Violet O'Leary * Ruth Sixtone Wells