Friday, January 27, 2017

I Hate Being sick!

Ugh! It has been a miserable week. I hate being sick. I think I'm on the mend though and I have lots to talk about in the days to chine!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I'm Still Ill!

Unfortunately, I'm still sick
Thanks for all of your prayers. Prayerfully I'll hey back to my regular blogging schedule tomorrow!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Crud - Round 2

Can you believe I have the crud again? This time it's more of a cold and, thankfully, it hasn't gotten much worse today. I don't need to be sick, especially this week. We have too much going on! Prayerfully closing on the house, a doctor's appointment for my Dupuytrens disease, a new doctor Joshua is seeing  (it's a good thing), more stuff for foster care - all planned for this week. Sarah and Joshua both had this and it lasted about a week. I DON'T NEED THAT! Please pray it doesn't get any worse and that maybe it's just allergies.

Meanwhile, I have some exciting things to share this week so stay tuned!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Do You Believe in Love?


Beach 2


Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:8

I talk a lot about my ministry on my blog. That’s one of the reasons I started writing on Families Again. Sometimes my ministry posts are informational, sometimes they are joyful, sometimes they are not so joyful.

Today was a long day of ministry. Of course we had our regular Sunday morning fellowship, but then I went full speed for over seven hours. Over five of those hours was dealing with a torn apart family and trying to help them pull the pieces back together. Three of the family members, teen brothers, are in state custody in two different boy’s group homes. They are the three that are going to become our foster sons for at least a few months.

I enjoy my Sunday afternoon visits, but often they are very difficult.

But I've found somewhere in this heart
A Friend for life
To hold me close, 'til all my fears subside

You can see it on the boy’s faces. Hurt – Pain – Hopelessness - Anger is written all over them. Many times it is self inflicted, but more times than not it is caused by outside circumstances.

I hurt for these boys. Many of them don’t know love. Many of them aren’t even sure they believe in love – at least not real love.

Unfortunately these hopeless feelings aren’t restricted to just boy’s in a boy’s home. I see those same looks on the teen boys that I have a weekly Bible study with.

I want to grab them! I want to look into their eyes and say that there is hope! They don’t have to continue to go from one hopeless situation to the next. They don’t have to throw their lives away. They can find true Hope and Love.

True love doesn't come and go
Here today then gone tomorrow

That Hope and Love is Jesus Christ.

Although I don’t always grab them, I do tell them about the God of Hope and Love. I pray that God will speak through me when I speak to them. There are some where I see a glimmer of hope but then there are others where I still see despair.

As I was thinking about today’s visits, God put these two songs into my mind. I may have posted them before but I really feel like God wants me to post them again. Perhaps it’s for one of my readers or someone that they know. I’ll post the lyrics below the songs.


Believe In Love Lyrics

After we have listened to everything
There is left to say.
Watching ev'ry pretense of reality
Slowly fade away
Why is all we desire
Taken from our hands
Every dream is drifting away

There is understanding for everyone
Who has ears to hear
No more looking over your shoulder
For someone to appear
Well maybe, you should be looking
Right into His eyes
Say goodbye to someone elses lies

I've got to know,
Do you believe in love
In all the things
You searched the world to find
But know nothing of.
Through the sun,
Through the fire, and the rain
Nobody will ever hurt you, yeah
If you believe...
In love.

Somedays I get up in the morning
And I wish I wasn't there
Life seems so incredibly lonely
When no one wants to care
But I've found somewhere in this heart
A Friend for life
To hold me close, 'til all my fears subside

I've got to know,
Do you believe in love,
In all the things
You searched the world to find,
But know nothing of
Through the sun,
Through the fire, and the rain
Nobody will ever hurt you,
Nobody will break your world in two
If you believe
In love

Don't be afraid
Don't be afraid
Of the questions anymore
The answer lies waiting.
Nobody, nobody, nobody,
Will hurt you again
I still believe

I've got to know,
Do you believe in love,
In all the things
You searched the world to find
But know nothing of
Through the sun,
Through the fire, and the rain
Nobody will ever hurt you,
Nobody will break your world in two
If you believe,
In love...
Surrender to Love...
Believe in Love...




Almost Threw It All Away Lyrics

I remember when you were just a girl
I was a boy in a big man's world
We had no idea what time would reveal
Little did we know that
Over a million tears had to fall
That is no exaggeration
'Cause I've counted them all
Every sad and senseless incident
Has been mine to recall

You never gave up, you never gave in
You didn't say no... I can't take anymore of this
You never gave up on me, you never gave in
You refused to believe that love had come to and end

I almost threw it all away
Traded truth for a lie, diamonds for clay
Oh I, almost threw it all away

Through some clever thinking and a strong imagination
I could twist the truth into any configuration
And find myself doing things
That I never dreamed I could do
I've know the kind of pain
Where you can't catch your breath
You say if this is life
Then please bring me death
Thank God that that wish I made never ever came true

You never gave up, you never gave in
You didn't say no... I can't take anymore of this
You never gave up on me, you never gave in
You refused to believe that love had come to an end

True love doesn't come and go
Here today then gone tomorrow
Doesn't speak the wicked word
That breaks the heart in two
Doesn't renegotiate
What it knows is true
Doesn't give up, give in, throw it all away

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Woe is Me! I Have Failed!

I became so entrenched in watching history in the making with my family yesterday that I did not even think to post something on my blog. My streak has ended. However, I still plan on blogging every day (except one now) for a year. I’ll have a post with more meat tomorrow!



Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Is Your Purpose?


Thai Commercial 2

I led a teen boy’s Bible study tonight. I have been talking about Jonah the past couple of weeks. Our pastor preached a fantastic sermon on Jonah and compared him to us. Tonight I talked about why God does things and how God wants to use us. I remembered the following video, looked it up, and played if for them.

I thought I would post it for you all to see as well. What is your purpose in life? Why has God created you? What goals has God given you? As you watch this, think about those things. Think about how you are conducting yourself everyday. If you are like me you often think only of yourself and not of others. I desire to show Christ in everything I do.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8

I don’t know if the man in the commercial is a Christian. It is a Thai commercial so chances are he may not be. However, he is demonstrating the actions and love of Christ more than many people that call themselves followers of Christ demonstrate.

My goal is to be more Christ like. to demonstrate God’s love like this man is doing. I want to bring God’s joy, happiness, love to people.

What about you? What is your goal in life?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

God Doesn’t Require Paperwork!

 Paperwork 2

This just hit me like a ton of bricks tonight - or maybe I should say God laid it on my heart tonight – as I was thinking about what to write.

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t require paperwork?

I have spent hours upon hours the past two or three weeks getting together statements, signing documents, downloading, faxing, filling out, copying, calling on the phone, you name it – all to get paperwork done for our home purchase and for the foster care of our three fantastic foster sons.

I have had super full days the past two days and half of the time it was ministry and half of the time it was getting paperwork done.

As I was preparing to blog this evening I thought to myself that I am so glad that God doesn’t require paperwork.

He accepts us just as we are - with all of our faults, flaws and baggage. He loves us even though we aren’t lovable and we don’t deserve it.

He doesn’t require us to get our behavior score (credit score) up to a certain level.

He doesn’t require gifts as a down payment.

He doesn’t require proof of sacrifice as paperwork to show that we have everything together for this great thing that we are purchasing. In fact, we can’t purchase it at all!

We can’t act good enough. We can’t do enough or give enough. We can’t sacrifice enough. There is no way that we can get it all together enough.

God has never once sent out a letter or an email say “Congratulations! You qualify for Heaven!”.

Because, we don’t qualify. Only Jesus qualifies. He’s the only one that has it all together. He’s the only one that deserves it. He’s the only one that has earned it by living a perfect, sinless, life.

We can do nothing – nothing at all – to get to Heaven. We are doomed.

Doomed, that is, if we try to do it ourselves because we can’t.

There is no way we can get one of those perfect houses in that perfect place called “Heaven”. We are doomed to live in hell.

Jesus, however, didn’t want us to live on that side of the tracks. He wanted us to live on His side of the tracks. So, He paid the price so that we could get that house in Heaven.

He has the perfect behavior (credit) score.

He paid the ultimate down payment.

He made the sacrifice and filled out all of the paperwork for us.

And He did it so that we could have eternal life and live in that perfect house in that perfect place called Heaven.

He did it all for us as a gift and all we have to do is accept that free gift.

We can do nothing but accept it.

Have you accepted that free gift or are you still trying to get all of the paperwork together and get your behavior score up to par? You can’t do it if you are! There is no way you can get everything together. Jesus is the only one that has it all together.

A few months ago I posted a great video done by a friend of mine explaining how you can accept that free gift. If you haven’t accepted that free gift or aren’t sure if you have please watch this short video carefully. I pray that after watching the video you will accept the free gift of eternal life from Jesus. If you do, leave a comment or send me an email at

For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sometimes I Wonder . . .



Sometimes I wonder why I made such a foolish goal to myself that I would post something on my blog every day for a year. I really wanted to post something worthwhile every day and not something trivial such as the stuff that I have been posting the past few days. However, what are blogs for? They were originally started as kind of online diaries about life. In my case, life has been kind of hard lately. Not hard as in the “hard luck” sense, but hard as in just busy and a lot of things going on.

I’m telling you, buying a house is not for the weak of heart! There is a lot of stuff that goes into it these days. I feel like it is a never ending stream of getting together documents that the lender needs, filling out and/or signing paperwork and waiting. We have been approved but we are needing to fax stuff in. I told the lady today at the print place where I fax that I had spent so much money on faxing that I think I could have bought my own fax by now!

Anyway, as I mentioned, we have been approved and prayerfully will be closing on the house in the next couple of weeks. Then comes the moving. Ahhhh! I have moved way too much in the last couple of years and don’t relish the thought of doing it again. However, this time it will really be worth it! We will be homeowners and getting ready to take on three fantastic boys as foster parents.

And speaking of which . . . the foster parenting prep! It’s certainly not for the faint of heart either. The fact that I am an advocate for the boys and a support person for the family makes it even more interesting. Today I had to attend another meeting on the boys. The oldest, David, is ready to be dismissed and live with us whenever we get the house and have our home inspection.

Ugh! Too much going on! And that’s just the home buying and foster parenting! That’s not even just plain old life!

So, keep praying for us as we continue on this adventure that God has put us on. We value your prayers. A lot to do in the next few weeks.

I am working on a couple of good informational blog posts in the next couple of days so be ready!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thank you for all of your prayers!


Thank you all for your prayers. I am feeling much better. I hate being sick. I ended up sleeping the whole day yesterday and most of the morning today. I was praying that it wouldn’t last long and it didn’t but it was miserable during the time I was ill.

Tomorrow is another day and now that I am back to normal I am ready to tackle blogging again. I have some exciting things to write about as well as finish my wonderful series that was supposed to be finished in one week not one month about my goals for this year.

At any rate. I’m exciting about things to come. See you tomorrow.



Sunday, January 15, 2017

I've Got the Crud!

Ugh! I've got "the sickness"! Jacob had it, then John Allen, now me. Thankfully it doesn't last long (at least it didn't with them), but Sundays are my super busy days. Not today. :-(

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Importance of Babysitters!




I was reflecting on what to write this evening when all of a sudden something from my old blog came to mind. Unfortunately, as soon as I got to the old blog my thought disappeared! Old age I guess. Or was it? Maybe it was God. I began to look through some of my old blogposts and found this. It jumped out at me and I knew it was what I needed to repost. I’m not sure why. Maybe one of my readers needs to think of one of their babysitters from days gone by. Maybe God wants you to give them a call and thank them for all that they did for you. I wish TT and Waneta were still alive today for me to call them up and thank them but they aren’t. Someday in Heaven I’ll be reunited with them and I can hug and thank them there. Until then. I still love you TT and Waneta!

PS. That old blog is still around if you want to go visit. Just click on this link – The Original Families Again.


Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Importance of Babysitters
Topic: Family

Outside of the special ladies in my family, there are two women who made a significant impact on my life. Both of them were babysitters. These weren't just ordinary babysitters though. These were ladies who taught and nurtured me while I was young, and prayed for and befriended me for years after I needed watching over.

The first special lady's name was Mabel Miller. Of course I didn't know her by that name. She was always "T.T." to me. You see, she was my caregiver when I was very young. They tried to teach me to call her "Auntie" but all I could vocalize was "T.T.". Dad was the pastor of a church in Gratis, Ohio and I was probably only two or three years old at the time. T.T. was older, but T.T. was awesome. She taught me how to climb in and out of a chair when my feet dangled way above the floor. She would make applesauce for me using a single apple, just because I wanted some. I could definitely feel the love she had for me. But the most influential thing about our relationship were her prayers. Long after we moved away from Ohio I knew that she was praying for me. Although I never saw T.T. after we moved, we corresponded over the years until she passed away not long after I graduated from high school. Although I was not little any more, she always remained (and always will be) my T.T.

The other influential lady was Waneta Finster. I was her "Thursday's Child" for several years when we lived in Peru, Indiana in the mid 60's. Unlike T.T., Waneta was young with a family of her own. She offered to babysit me on Thursdays, because, at our church, Thursday was church night. That was when we held our mid-week service and Waneta wanted to be there. She knew that if she watched me on that day, she would have to bring me home that night. Hence, she wouldn't miss church!

Even though there was an ulterior motive, Waneta loved me nonetheless. And, there was always something fun to do at Waneta's. I remember our walks outside to go mushroom hunting, our inside play dates with play dough or snapics, and licking the bowl after making chocolate pudding. One of my best loved and most remembered activities was sitting on the back of Penny the pony. I wouldn't actually ride Penny. Waneta would have her staked out in the yard and I would just sit there. But, to me it was actually riding. I never wanted to come down. Waneta would have to make a sandwich for me to eat while sitting atop Penny, because I would refuse to come down for lunch.

One of Waneta's favorite activities was writing, especially poetry. When we had to leave Peru, to move in with my aging grandfather, my brother, David, asked her to write a poem for him and to make it "especially sad". Peru and Waneta (as well as her family) were special to us.

Waneta, her husband Jay, and her children remained friends with our family. We never missed a visit with them if we were close to Peru, and they often came to visit us. When we moved to Florida, Waneta and Jay would bring their exchange students down to visit us. They were "mom and dad" to nearly a dozen international students throughout the years. That was the type of people that they were. Always helping others. Always active in church. Always loving the Lord.

Waneta and Jay eventually retired in Florida and my parents moved four doors down the street from them. Waneta was there to take care of her ailing sister until she passed away. She was at the hospital with my mother when the Dr. came to tell Mom that Dad had died of a severe heart attack. She was there to take care of Mom, to take her to church and to run errands, to get her medicine ready for the week.  

It was also there that Waneta finally had the time to do something that she had always wanted to do. Write a novel. She had begun one years before, but the busyness of raising a family required her to put it aside. One day a package arrived in my mailbox. It was a completed copy of her first book-copied and bound by her son PJ. After reading it, I knew that someday it would be published, and a couple of years later my prediction came true. She immediately went to work on another. 

Last year, after my brother passed away of cancer, I talked to Waneta on the phone. We talked about David and how much she was going to miss him. She didn't miss him for long. Two weeks later, she was running along side of him and sitting at the feet of Jesus. She never lived to see her second book published. PJ is now editing her third novel. She had just completed the first draft. You can buy her books by visiting her webpage at

A few days ago I received another package in the mail. It was a collection of Waneta's poems that PJ had put together. Included was a note to "take a look at page 28" The following is what I found. 

                   Timmy John

There is a little boy named “Timmy John”.
Of this little boy, I’m very fond!
He can run and play and do most anything,
Tis the last of February and almost spring.

He lives a long way from me now -
I spect he will help his grandpa plow!
We used to take long walks in the wood
Doing all the things a small boy should

I remember most everything we did
When Timmy John was just a kid.
We used to hunt mushrooms, if you please
And chase the squirrels up the trees!

I remember on Penny’s back he rode,
While she ate grass and our lawn mowed!
He didn’t want to get off for lunch
And on the pony’s back, a sandwich he munched!

He was my Thursday’s child and full of fun,
Happy was my day when Timmy John had come!
My Indiana home is missing something now
My boy hasn’t been here for quite a while!

               By Waneta Copp Finster

Thank you God for giving me T.T. and Waneta. Thank you for giving me two Godly women who loved me like I was their own child. Thank you for the care and wisdom that they bestowed upon me. Please give them a special hug today for me.

Friday, January 13, 2017

You’re Invited to the Party!


Well, it’s not actually a party. It’s more like a hop! Not a sock hop like back in the 50’s though. This is a blog hop.

What is a “Blog Hop” you might ask. Well, it’s where a theme is given and a group of bloggers all write posts that have to do with that theme. Then they all link them up together so readers that have inquiring minds like my readers can go to one place to find all of the great and interesting articles on that theme. Is that as clear as mud? Well I think you’ll understand if you click on any of the highlighted links below.

This particular blog hop is hosted by The Homeschool Review Crew and the theme is “2017 Goals”. Many of the great bloggers from the homeschool crew have linked up some of their posts about goals in 2017. I linked up three of my posts! Come check all of them out. As I mentioned above, just click on any one of the highlighted links!

Happy Goal Setting!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Greatest of these is Love.


Skiler Picture

I love you can mean many things.

It can be said by a husband or wife to their spouse.

It can be said by a child to their parent of a parent to their child.

It can be said to someone very special to you.

It can also be said or written in different ways.

In this case it was written like this – I Y you! And it was written on the back windshield of my car.

Before I tell who who wrote it and why it is so special to me, I need to give you a little background.

I know it sounds cliché, but if you would have told me a year ago where where my ministry would be right now and what my family would be preparing for right now I would have thought you were crazy. I would have never thought that my regular Sunday afternoon routine would be visiting boys in not one but two boy’s homes both over an hour away from my house. I would have never thought that we would be buying a house that is beyond what I thought we would be able to buy right now. I especially would have never thought that we would be preparing to invite three teenage brothers into our home as foster sons.

However, God has grand plans for us if we only seek His will and desire.

All of those things are happening plus more and we are so excited about what God is doing and how everything is coming together. I am also amazed at how the three things listed above all are falling into place to reach the same goal.

We are buying a much larger house than the apartment we live in now so that we can foster three boys who just happen to be in those two boy’s homes that I am visiting every week.

So, what does that have to do with the “I Y you!” sign posted above? Well, it was written by one of the teen boys on my back windshield as he was walking me out to my car this past Sunday after our visit.

This rough around the edges, street smart, low-riding jean, ear ring wearing boy who many would call a delinquent wrote that message.

This kid who was put in a level two home for troubled boys because he was having problems at home, skipping school, and getting into other trouble wrote those special words.

This teen who most people would have given up on but God chose my family to love him and his two teenage brothers thought enough of us to spontaneously write something that very much touched me and my families hearts.

It was written in a place on my back windshield where I saw it every day when I looked in my rear view mirror and, because the review mirror reflects things, it was spelled out perfectly as you can see in the picture above.

Every day for four days I could see it until it began to rain and I snapped a picture of it before it washed away.

To me it was a symbol of what God can do if we just allow him. This boy hasn’t been around real love very much in his messed up and confused life, but God is working in him and allowing me and my family to be a part of it.

This 15 year old kid who not many people cared about is learning to show his smart, good hearted, generous self and allowing himself to love and be loved.

Thank you Lord for loving him and my family and for allowing us to be one of the recipients of his special love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 ... New International Version And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It’s Just Going to Have to Wait


Skiler Picture

I hate promising something and then having to take a step back and reorganize. I know that I promised “The Rest of the Story” about the above photo. I still am going to tell you the story but it is just going to have to wait. Believe it or not, part of the reason that it is going to have to wait has to do with the mysterious writer of the message. So, have I really made you all curious? Well, I am super busy in the morning, but I will try to get the post written tomorrow afternoon. That’s early for me since I don’t usually write my daily post until evening or late at night. Sorry again for having to delay for one night.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What is This?

Skiler Picture


What is this a picture of?

Who wrote it?

Why is it so special to me?

Find out tomorrow! I will explain everything!

Ps. I promise I will continue and finish my five day series on my 2017 goals soon!

Monday, January 9, 2017

What is Dupuytren’s Disease?


I have thought about writing a post educating people about the disease that I was recently diagnosed with, Dupuytren’s Disease. However, I am just learning about it myself. As I learn more I’m sure I will talk about it more. However, I do know that it is not life threatening but it can be crippling to my hands. There is a possibility that I have a mild case and it won’t develop into anything major. I really won’t know until I see a specialist. Until then, Sarah and I are just educating ourselves. John Allen knows somewhat about what is going on, but the two youngers don’t really know anything yet. Here is one of the videos that I found really helpful in understanding the basics so I thought I would share it with you. Perhaps it will help some of you who may be going through the same thing and not know it.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Five Days of Goal Setting–Day 3 Learning/Educational Goals

Learning goals 2
We are big on learning around here. Now, when I say learning, I’m not necessarily meaning formal educational stuff although it could mean that. What I am talking about is just being inquisitive and learning. Kind of like “delight driven” learning. Don’t get me wrong. We do have formal homeschool, but this is extra stuff. Joshua is the best at this for obvious reasons. That is the trait of a lot of kids on the autism spectrum. Something will catch their interest and they will want to know all that they can about that particular thing or subject. Over the years Joshua’s has been bowling, helicopters, trains, Thomas the Train, football, WWE (yes I’m talking the wrestling WWE), flags, and countries. During all of these learning phases it was almost like he became a “little genius” in all of that particular area. All of the family is the same but perhaps not on such a large scale.

But I digress. I am supposed to be talking about MY learning goals for this year. I am kind of like Joshua, I get really interested in some things and learn a lot about them and then my interest changes. The following goals, however, are some general goals include things that I know I want to do or learn about.
  1. Read more consistently. I am a big reader, but I go in splurges. I will read four or five books and then stop for a while. I want to be a bit more consistent in my reading. Perhaps make a goal of reading a book every two weeks for this year since I am not the quickest reader on the blog either. And these are personal books. I don’t want to count books that I am reading to my kids.
  2. Learn more about healthy living such as essential oils, home remedies, herbs and healthy eating. This is an area that I think will really help our entire family. I am presently doing a short online study on essential oils and it is fascinating. I can’t wait to learn more.
  3. Continuing to learn Spanish. I have delved into it a lot. I squeezed two years of Spanish into three years when I was in high school and really enjoyed it but have lost a lot of it. I want to do better. I need to keep my brain active in that area.
  4. Take a course on helping troubled teens. I have a course in mind. I almost enrolled in a masters degree program but I’m not sure I am ready for that. Since we have been working heavily with troubled teens the past couple of years, God has really given me a heart of them. I want to learn more so that I can do more.
  5. I wrote about this in my Spiritual goals on the first day of this series, but I think that it should be included here. I want to read my Bible thru at least one and a half times if not twice this year. I am on par to do that. I pray that I can continue.
As I mentioned before, I know that there will be more things that I will delve into as the year goes by, but these things are things that I really want to do for myself, my family and my ministry this year.

So, how about you? What are your learning goals for 2017? Please share them with me in the comment section below. If you want to go back and read the other days in this series just click on the banner below and it will take you to my introductory post where you will find links to all five days.

Happy Goal Setting!

New Year's Goals 2

I’ve joined a “Round Up”

What’s a Round Up? Well, it’s where a bunch of bloggers share posts centered around a specific theme. This particular round up is from the Homeschool Review Crew and the theme is 2017 Goals! Just click on the banner below and it will take you to all of the great posts that have been added. The post above is one of the posts that I’ve entered. Stop by to check out the other two posts that I also I linked up.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

This is my lame way out of posting something today!


Yes, I know it’s lame.

However, today is my day off and I don’t fill like posting anything heavy or that I have to think a lot about but, since I made the post a day for a year goal for myself then I have to post something.

So, what better than to post a funny cat and dog sleeping video!

Enjoy and I’ll hopefully get back to some serious posting tomorrow! Open-mouthed smile

Friday, January 6, 2017

I Choose to Laugh!



Matthew 10:29-31 New International Version (NIV)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

It’s either laugh or cry and I choose to laugh. I can’t really complain. As you will read, the other members of my family have been through so much more than I have. What I’m about to talk about is nothing compared to the diseases that they have fought and still are fighting. However, I did get some interesting news today. I won’t call it disturbing because I’m really not disturbed. It’s not life threatening but it could cripple my hands. Here’s what I wrote earlier on Facebook after I got back from the doctor this morning.

I belly laughed today. :-D

I had just left the doctors office because I have been having painful lumps develop on the palm of both of my hands. They are causing my hands to draw up a little. My right hand I can't even put flat on the table. It's not officially diagnosed because I need to go to a specialist to diagnose it, but I probably have Dupuytren’s Contracture. It isn't life threatening but it could cause my hands to be crippled. According to my research I could have to take meds, or have injections or even surgery. I'm not worried at all, and that really isn't the reason for this post. It's because of the rarity of it.

As I was leaving, the nurse practitioner that we see, we call him Dr, Josh, said "Thanks for bringing in an interesting case."

When I got out to the car I sat there and thought about what he said and began to laugh hysterically. Our whole family is an "interesting case"! John Allen with Retinoblastoma, Joshua with Aspergers Syndrome, Jacob with developmental delays, Sarah with losing Peter and a few other health issues. We have been to Vanderbilt more times than I wish to count. Our life is full of "interesting cases".

Never a dull moment in the Tinkel household!

Tonight Sarah and I watched some videos together that were put together by the Dupuytrens Foundation. They were very informative. I am at the beginning stages, There is a chance that it won’t progress any more than it is. However, there is also a chance that it will worsen. If it worsens my fingers, especially my ring fingers and pinkies, could draw up until they are touching my palm making it very difficult to do even every day, common tasks. I won’t be able to type, play the piano, wash properly, hold objects, etc. It even makes it difficult to put your hands in your pockets. There are procedures and even surgery that can be done but everything is a short term fix that will relieve the problem temporarily but the problem will always come back.

After watching the movies Sarah looked at me and asked me if I was okay. I am really, truly okay. I don’t like the fact that it could be crippling, but I am okay. Although I said I was okay, Sarah could tell that I was still troubled by what could be. What she did next really touched me. She gently took my right hand – the one that is worse – and brought it over to Jojo who was sleeping beside her and said “You can still pet the dog.” Then she put her hand in mine and said “You can still hold my hand.” As she was holding my hand she said “You can still teach and tell others about Jesus.” In every way she assured me that we would be okay. That meant the world to me. God has given me a fantastic wife!

I am going to join the International Dupuytren Data Bank (IDDB) so that my case can be used as research for Dupuytren Disease. They need people that don’t have Dupuytren Disease as well to participate and be in the control group. If you would like to have more information about the disease or about joining the database just click on any one of the highlighted links.

As I said, I am not really concerned but I would appreciate your prayers. Those of you who know me might wonder why I’m not freaking out since I tend to freak out when things happen to one of my kids or my wife, but God has really given me peace about this. I know that God is in control. I’ll keep you all posted.

For those of you who checked in with the hope of reading Day 3 of my Five Days of Goal Setting series I will be continuing with that tomorrow. I’m sorry once again for the delay.

dupuytrens-newman dupuytrens-nighy

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Five Days of Goal Setting-Day 2-Health Goals

Essential Oils 2

Here it is folks! Finally Day 2 of my supposed to be five day series that is turning out to be 7 days because I missed a couple of days.

But, enough of that!

I determined a few weeks ago that I was not eating right and was not feeling well at all. I was drinking far too many sodas and eating too much fast food. At the same time I realized that our kids were not eating right either. Something had to change. I know that we are busy and live in a small apartment with a small kitchen that is not conducive to cooking, but it had to change. Thankfully we are going to be moving into a house with a much bigger kitchen soon so that will solve that problem, but I didn’t want to wait another month to begin getting my health back to where it should be so I began making a few goals for myself.

Eating goals:

  1. Drink more water! Get off of the sodas and drink more water! So I am. I haven’t had a soda for a couple of weeks now except for one cherry limeade because I had a bit of an upset stomach one day. I drink one or two cups of coffee in the morning then the rest is water. I have had maybe two sweet teas lately as well but that is it. I try not to have anything but water. And, I’m noticing a difference!
  2. Cut way down on the fast food. We are running around like chickens with our heads cut off because of the new house situation. Every day it seems like we have more things to do and more paperwork to get in. However, instead of getting fast food, I am eating more salads.
  3. I am also trying to cook more at home. I have enrolled in a healthy eating website where you schedule your meals. They have a ton of recipes that you can schedule and then they will automatically make out a shopping list of all of the ingredients that you are going to need that week. We’ve used it a couple of times and really like it. It will definitely get used a lot when we are in the new house.
  4. Another future goal is to begin juicing and making smoothies again. We used to do that and it was great.

Other goals:

  1. I am also taking an online course on using essential oils. We have always been interested in that with my kids, but have never really delved into it. I bought an “online bundle” of healthy living e-books, online courses, videos, suggestions, etc. that was on sale and it is amazing. One of the things was this online course for free so I am taking it. They also had a lot of coupons and free things that we could order so I have been ordering some essential oil natural remedy things for the family. Hopefully all of this will really help the whole family.
  2. We bought a total gym several years ago and used to use it but our present apartment is so small that we haven’t been able to use it. Exercising is going to be a big thing when we move. I need to get more active.
  3. Walking also used to be a big thing for me and Jojo. Since we stopped walking as much we have both gotten a bit hefty! We are going to be living at the top of a hill and walking down the hill and back is going to be a daily walking chore for us both!
  4. Using more natural stuff is also a goal. I am not necessarily a big environmental person that sees the need to go all green, but I do see the need to use less chemicals and more natural things. We have used natural soaps and homemade laundry detergent for years and loved it. I would like to do that in a lot of other areas.
  5. Finally, I would like to check into more herbs and natural remedies to use along with our essential oils. I am not a non-medication person but, as I said in number 4, I do think we should be using more natural things when we can.

So, there you have it. My healthy living goals for 2017.

What are your health goals. Please share with us!

I plan on keeping on schedule the rest of the week so keep checking in. Click on the banner below and it will take you to the main hub where there will be links to all of the posts in my Five Days of Goal Setting series.

New Year's Goals 2


I’ve joined a “Round Up”

What’s a Round Up? Well, it’s where a bunch of bloggers share posts centered around a specific theme. This particular round up is from the Homeschool Review Crew and the theme is 2017 Goals! Just click on the banner below and it will take you to all of the great posts that have been added. The post above is one of the posts that I’ve entered. Stop by to check out the other two posts that I also I linked up.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Good News Is . . .


After I spent all morning in court today supporting kids that I work with, Sarah and I got tons of things accomplished this afternoon and evening.

However, I still feel like:


I signed tons of papers that needed to be signed for the new house.

I called and talked at length to a fantastically helpful person about beginning classes for foster care.

I called and gathered even more things that needed to be sent to the mortgage people.

I made doctors appointments and got prescriptions filled for all of my families wonderful, interesting and unique health problems.

We went shopping for some much needed furniture for the new house.

And that is just a fraction of the things that got done.

So, why am I saying this? Because I still am not able to get the next blog post in my Goal Setting for 2017 completed.

You all aren’t going to even believe that I set goals when I’ve missed my goal for getting writing Day Two for two days in a row now. After all, though, they are only goals!

My goal for tomorrow is to get that next post done! We are expecting a snow storm here so we aren’t going to be able to get our much after noon tomorrow! Remember, I live in Tennessee and even a dusting of snow is call for schools to be out for a week! Open-mouthed smile

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragement for me and my family during this adventurous time! God is doing fantastic things!

Until Tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ministry, Ministry, Ministry!



What do you do when you hear about individuals who were visited by APS (Adult Protective Services) and two other individuals who had DCS (Department of Children’s Services) called about them all in one day? And, you minister to all of the people in one way or another.

Well, first you listen, then you pray. You pray on your own. You pray with the individuals. You go home and pray more with your wife.

That is what my day has been like today. Along with meeting with our realtor this morning; getting called by my elderly neighbor to run an errand for them this afternoon; washing clothes and trying to fix a dryer; and having an adult Bible study with seven adults and teens, six dogs, and two cats in a trailer at the trailer park.

Then, I have to get up early in the morning to go to court regarding the three boys that we are prayerfully going to be fostering as well as being in court a second time to support a teen boy who goes to my Bible study.

Needless to say, my day has been interesting. I usually do my best thinking and blog writing in the evening and night. I often stay up way past midnight writing. However, the second installment of my five day series on goal setting just isn’t going to work out tonight. Oh, I can write something like this where I am just recounting my day, but to write something serious that takes a lot of thought just ain’t happening!

Prayerfully it will happen tomorrow. Until then, please be in prayer about all of the situations I mentioned above. Thank you so much!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Five Days of Goal Setting–Day 1–Spiritual Goals

Man Praying

Last year was a fantastic year spiritually for me. God gifted me greatly during 2016 in ways that I would have never thought imaginable. So many breakthroughs in so many areas and boldness to do things that I never thought I would do. I want all of those things plus more to continue in 2017. I know that God is there for me, but I must be willing to do what He says and walk in the power that He has given me. To do that I have to continue to grow. Here are some of the goals that I have for myself spiritually to keep myself open for God to continue to challenge me, use me, and grow me and my family.
Personal Goals:
  • Read through the Bible two times in the next year. Well, at least finish what I began on November 1 and then read it through one more time if not more, Last year I was able to complete the one year Bible that I had begun the year before. Then I read another version of the Bible in five months. So, I know that I can do it. I try not to just read through the Bible, though. I also want to pray and meditate over what I am reading. I grew so much! I want that again.
  • Continue with a concentrated prayer time. I have always prayed, but I never really had a concentrated, down on my knees, prayer time. When I began to do that last year it was fantastic. God spoke in so many ways and did wondrous things in mine and my families life. I longed for more fellowship with the Lord and often I would have three or four prayer times a day. I have begun to get a little lax on that and I don’t like it! I want to remain in close communion with the Lord.
  • Begin a more concentrated in depth Bible study again. Probably a Precept Bible Study. I have done, many, many Precept studies and love them. I haven’t done one in about two years and I really miss doing them. I don’t know how that will fit in with my daily Bible reading time but I know it will.
One note: I know that some of you may be wondering how in the world I had any other time in my day if I was reading and praying so much. Well, as you have probably heard before, God works in mysterious ways. When I was reading my Bible and praying at least two or three times a day, I seemed to get so much more done. More done around the house. More done in ministry. More done with my family. It was amazing!
Family Goals:
  • Begin to have a family Bible and prayer time. We do that somewhat, but we need to do it on a more consistent basis. We often pray together in the car and at other times, but we don’t really have a set time to sit down as a family and have a prayer and Bible time. With the addition of our foster sons, I especially want to do that. I want all of my sons, biological and foster, to experience the joys of having a personal time with God. I feel that beginning to do that as a family will hopefully encourage them to have a prayer time on their own.
  • Continue having a special prayer time with my wife. Sarah and I do have prayer times together regularly, but, again, it isn’t an everyday thing. I want that special time to be every day. The bonding that we have during that special time is awesome. God has used our prayer times so much this past year. I needs to continue into 2017 but even more!
Well, those are my spiritual goals for 2017. They go very closely hand in hand with my ministry goals. I know that some of you may have goals for your family that include helping others and missions but, since we are full time missionaries, that is really our life. Not that I don’t have goals for myself and my family in the ministry area, but I will talk about those when I talk about ministry goals.

I am going to have to adjust the days, now, since I was going to put Spiritual Goals and Ministry Goals on the same day, but I’m afraid this post will be too long. So, I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring yet. However, you can always click on the banner below to get to the introductory post for this series where you will find links all of the posts in this series as they are completed.

I pray that this inspires you to make some spiritual goals for you family this year. I was going to include a linky for you to add your posts to each day and still might. Until then, please feel free to include links to your goal setting blog posts or just talk about your goals in the comment section.

Until tomorrow!


New Year's Goals 2

I’ve joined a “Round Up”
What’s a Round Up? Well, it’s where a bunch of bloggers share posts centered around a specific theme. This particular round up is from the Homeschool Review Crew and the theme is 2017 Goals! Just click on the banner below and it will take you to all of the great posts that have been added. The post above is one of the posts that I’ve entered. Stop by to check out the other two posts that I also I linked up.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Live

But tomorrow is the Day!

New Year's Goals

Yep, tomorrow is the first day of my five day series on goal setting. I’ll be outlining my goals for the this next year in five different areas and encourage you to join along with me. If you are a blogger, I may even add a link up or at least encourage you to add a link to your goal setting post in the comment section. Now, if you are reading this but for some reason you just can’t start goal setting tomorrow, don’t worry. A lot of people think that goal setting for the year can only be done at the beginning of the year but, remember, TODAY is the first day of the rest of your life, so you can begin at any time. JUST DO IT!

See you tomorrow.