Test of Patience

Did you ever teach a child to knit?  You find out how patient you are; you learn how effective a teacher you are.  You learn about hand-eye coordination; you learn about clear communication.  You learn that what is as natural as breathing for you is very confusing for someone else.  You also remember how hard you worked when you were learning to knit!  I ripped out yards and yards of stitching before I came up with a decent-looking finished piece.  It’s so hard for a little girl to be patient.  She wants to make something RIGHT NOW!!

So we’ll keep pegging away at it.  I even found a good video about teaching children to knit.  Love the internet.


Friday Today?

Boy.  When I’m not following my normal routine, I tend to lose track of the days.  It’s Friday, I guess 🙂  Sheila is at work for the morning, and Ken is sleeping.  He got in around 5 a.m.  He took the week off, starting now, I think, so he an be available to us more. No, wait. He probably has to work tonight, too. 

Anyway.  A couple of years ago we bought Kyle and Ivan a Boe-Bot kit that was actually beyond their reach at the time.  We kept it, hoping to figure it out, but never really did.  So we brought it with us on the trip, and Kyle and Ivan are fiddling with it now. We got as far as installing the program on their laptop, and connecting the ports etc.  Now they’re trying to figure out what to do next to program the “breadboard,” whatever that means.  They both know a good bit about computers, actually. 

Now, my own problem is that for some reason or the other, I’m unable to access my Enter.net email account. I can get my gmail, but most of my important stuff goes to Enter.net.  I keep getting the message that the server isn’t responding, and I don’t know what to do about that. Sigh.  Wish I understood more than I do.

Well.  All this is just utterly fascinating to you, I’m sure 🙂  Gotta love computers. 


Sioux Falls, South Dakotah

We made it in excellent time.  It was a bit over 500 miles, and we were here around 3.  The speed limit, once you leave Fargo and drop south to Sioux Falls, is 75 mph, which helped a whole lot. 


It’s hot here, got to 93 degrees today.  Humidity or not, I was very thankful for air conditioning!  

It was so good to see my three gandkids here after a year and a half.  Wonderful to see Ken and Sheila, too, of course 🙂  But getting my hands on those kids was just wonderful.  Kyle is about 4 inches taller than I; Ivan is  maybe one or two inches taller.  Alayna is nearly up to my shoulder.  They do a heap of growing in 1 1/2 years, that’s for sure. 

We are so thankful to Ed and Betty, who brought us all the way out here.  Ed is a wonderful driver, and we appreciate his willingness to do this for us.  We had such a good time with them, talking and laughing and sometimes just being quiet.  They’re going on to the western end of the state to see some sights, leaving us here to enjoy being with the family.  We’ll fly home when the time comes.   I have to admit that I’m not sorry I won’t have to climb into the car again tomorrow!

Time to try to organize my stuff now and get ready for bed.  

Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Whew.  300+ miles later, we just got checked in to our motel for the night.  This will be the last stop before we head out for Souix Falls in the morning, and it’s going to be a very long day in the car, probably 10 hours.  My body aches just thinking about it. 

Today we’re visiting Gary, Terry’s best friend during his college years and best man at our wedding. Image After we got checked in, Gary came and picked Terry up.  He’ll be back in an hour or so to get the rest of us.  We all felt the need to stretch out for a few minutes before meeting Gary and his wife for supper at their place. 

Renewing these old friendships has been very good for Terry. They’ve all enjoyed getting to know each other again, and reliving the “old days.”   Even thought Ed and Betty and I don’t know these guys, we’ve had a great time, too.  The conversations have been hilarious at times, and very enjoyable. 





It’s a beautiful area, lots of things to do here.  I recommend a visit if you’re in the area.ImageImageImage


Iron River

It’s beautiful here in Ice Lake.  We’re in a motel that looks right out on the lake. Very peaceful and relaxing. Two adult geese just went swimming by with a little gaggle of babies in single file between them.  It’s cool, nice breeze coing in through the windows.  One thing I’d forgotten, though is the the mosquitImageos have absolutely no shame. They attack instantly, and telegraph to all their little buddies that Linda is back in Iron River! They’re gathering on the screen as I type, looking for any timy little hole that will let them come in and torture me. 

We’re meeting some childhood friends of Terry’s soon, getting pizza from the Riverside Pizzeria.  Best pizza I’ve ever had bar none.  It’s been maybe 30 years since I had it, and I hope it’s still just as good as it was back then.

This trip is something of a return home for Terry.  He has no relatives up here any more, but we’ve already stopped to visit two of the men he’s been friends with since they were all very young.  Two more tonight, and another one tomorrow. 

The trip has been problem-free.  Our friend Ed is driving, and we’ve never done anything like this before with him and his wife, Betty.  Good times.  Our friendship extends back to 1973.  Hard to believe so much time has passed. 

Gotta go eat pizza!




Are We There Yet?

Surely someone, somewhere, has written a poem or a song using this line.  I just did a quick Google, and there is sure enough a little kids’ book with this title.  So maybe that will be my goal tomorrow or the next day–a silly poem about “Daddy, are we there yet?  I really want to know, ’cause I’m really tired of riding, and I REALLY gotta go!”  

There’s the start.  Anyone feel like chiming in, help yourself 🙂


Bind and Loose

Matthew 18:18. “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

These words are important, of course, as are all the words in the Bible.  They come after the command of Jesus concerning the treatment of an erring brother in the church. This is not a new topic, as it may seem because of the way some Bibles are printed. There is no break in continuity between verse 17 and verse 18. 

These are solemn words, showing us not only how to treat an impenitent brother, but also  the responsibility and authority of the church on earth.  If a brother is removed from the church, that does not mean no further attempts should be made to restore him. His removal is not to judge him or condemn him, but to maintain the holiness of the church body, the local assembly of believers. 

The authority of binding and loosing is given not to individuals, but to the church; to each assembly of believers in each locality in which this assembly exists. Jesus is giving the power of binding and loosing to the church, which is to act according to His Word, guided by His Spirit. When those conditions exist, then whatever is sanctioned on earth by the church is also sanctioned in heaven.

Likewise, when a church acts against the clear teaching of the Word, that action cannot be sanctioned in heaven.  When there is disagreement, taking sides, fighting among the church members over an issue of, say, morality, then the church must  act in accordance with God’s Word or their action will not be sanctioned in heaven. 

For more on this topic, you can go to my post on Matthew 16:19. 

If Thy Brother Trespass Against Thee

Matthew 18:15-17. “Moreover if they brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou has gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

This passage is one we’re all familiar with, but very few of us put into actual practice.  Indeed, our normal behavior in the church is to go over the offender’s head to a higher authority, omitting the first step entirely. We are so reluctant to face someone who has offended us.  We’d rather let someone else deal with it so we don’t have to  put ourselves in an uncomfortable position. The pastor or leader who allows this misstep is not helping his people. He is teaching them instead that they can go tattle on someone and not have to accept the responsibility of facing the offender themselves. Lots of heartache can follow such unbiblical behavior, when the problem could possibly have been resolved between the two who are involved, not having to bring anyone else into it. 

We know this passage is intended for the church because of the word used in verse 17, ecclesia, or called out ones, assembly.  Some want to apply this passage to other settings as well.  I believe that the principle of facing the one who has offended us is valid, but if it’s someone who is not part of the church, then it would not be possible to bring him before the church.  This passage is clearly about how to deal with offense within the church itself. 

There are three steps to follow in applying church discipline. 

1. Settle all personal differences by yourself (v. 15; 5:23-26; Luke `7:3-4; Lev. 19:17). We ouselves sin when we talk about the person who offended us, spreading ill will toward that person, but never going to the person with our grievance. If we would follow Jesus’ command here, the matter should never rise to the level of church discipline at all. 

2. Confirm your personal efforts by two or three witnesses (v. 16; 2 Cor. 13:1; Deut. 17:6; 19:15).  If the offender refuses to hear, refuses to acknowledge and repent, then take two or three godly believers with you and confront him again. This is a protection for both the offender and the offended. Truth is better preserved when there are witnesses. 

3. Take a stubborn and unforgiving brother before the church and if he refuses all means of reconciliation, then let him be excommunicated (v. 17). If men will not forgive, neither will God forgive (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35; Mark 11:25-26; Rom. 16:17). Notice here that the offender is the one who is unforgiving, not the one who is offended. This would seem to imply that the offender is angry and unrelenting and has no desire to reconcile. In that case, he is to be removed from the church. 

I think we need to understand that the motivation here is not not judgment, but love. When this process is followed with humility and a sincere desire to restore fellowship, the offender who can resist it and remain entrenched in his sin and anger has really already been lost to the church. Every person involved in such a process needs to humble himself under the hand of God and make sure his own heart is free of malice and judgment toward the offender. We are called to reconciliation, not to judgment.

It’s not an easy thing to have to bring someone before the local church in this manner.  I’ve seen it done, with both restoration and dismissal as end results. The restoration is sweet; the dismissal should be heartbreaking for all concerned.   



One Lost Sheep

Matthew 18: 11-14. “How think  ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

I am the Good Shepherd

Someone gave me a jigsaw puzzle of this picture when I was about eight.  I don’t remember ifor sure, but it may have been  a prize for  memorizing this passage.  I loved it so much. I loved putting it together, and did it slowly as it was nearly finished.  I probably wore out the little pieces, I put it together so many times. 

This is a beautiful story, and I would love to have heard it from Jesus Himself.  I remember hearing it told in the form of Snowflake, 

the story of a disobedient little lamb who wandered from the flock and was rescued by the Good Shepherd.  Later, as I worked with little kids, I told that story myself and watched the eyes of the children as they traveled with me from Snowflake’s wandering to his rescue. It’s a story that reaches  children because they can identify with the naughty lamb. 

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gave His life for the sheep. There is, in my opinion, no more tender or beautiful story anywhere than this one.  

I found this unique video.  There are lots of others, but this one caught my fancy: