Category Archives: Reflections

These posts are general inspirational reflections on life.

Pray for First Nations for Enthusiasm To Preach

First Nations Monday
“Holding Up The People In Prayer”

Monday, February 23, 2015 – WK 8 – Enthusiasm To Preach

WHEN WAS the last time you were truly enthusiastic about sharing the Gospel, knowing in your spirit that Christ’s return is drawing near?

In Revelation 1:3, John says that our Creator will bless everyone who hears and obeys His prophecy, and that the time is almost here.

After years of evangelism among our Native people, some reports suggest that less than 2% are serving Christ. Those involved in First Nations ministry carry a heavy burden to reach the lost before Jesus returns.

TODAY, I INVITE YOU to pray with me that our Native people and those serving in Native Ministry will be dedicated to spreading the message of Christ.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 says, “Finally, our friends, please pray for us. This will help the message about the Lord to spread quickly, and others will respect it, just as you do.”

Ask our Creator to allow His message to spread quickly through the joyful cooperation of our First Nations people and those serving in Native Ministry.

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES (4 translations: The Scriptures, CEV, Amplified, KJV): To read all the additional Scriptures, in the following 4 translations, as well as listen to the audio of this prayer point, visit the http://www.firstnationsmonday.com/prayerguide/wk08.htm .

“The Scriptures” is a translation that includes the original Hebrew names and has the books in chronological order. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) is a translation that is written for ‘oral tradition’ peoples and it flows well while reading it aloud. The Amplified version is one where meanings of words and phrases are ‘amplified’ for better understanding. The King James Version (KJV) is the translation that works well with Strong’s Concordance. Please also note the links to Scripture in Cherokee.

For New Testament Scripture references in Cherokee,
visit http://www.cherokeenewtestament.org

First Nations Version Project
A retelling of the Sacred Scriptures for Native Americans and all English speaking Indigenous peoples.
http://www.firstnationsversion.com/

Cherokee Bible Project Titles:
Genesis in Cherokee
100 Days Of Indigenous Wisdom
Cherokee New Testament
New Cherokee Hymnal
Matthew’s Gospel in Cherokee
Mark’s Gospel in Cherokee
Luke’s Gospel in Cherokee
John’s Gospel in Cherokee
The Acts of the Apostles in Cherokee
ROMANS in Cherokee
CORINTHIANS in Cherokee
Pastoral Epistles in Cherokee (coming)
General Epistles in Cherokee (coming)
The Revelation of John in Cherokee (coming)
http://tuscanyglobal.com/bible/
FirstNationsMonday.Com
Est. May 2000

**  As we approach 15 years of our prayer mobilization project and international networking of prayer for First Nations / Native American / American Indian people, I am reminded of my own journey through periods of decreased enthusiasm and indifference.   How much more do the warriors on the front line struggle through peaks and valleys. Today, even more than yesterday, finds this week’s prayer point vital and relevant.  Thank you for your continued prayer and support.

In Loving Memory of Marlys Jean Frey of Columbia Falls, MT

This has been a very difficult two weeks.  On Saturday, February 15th, I learned that my dear friend, Marlys,was diagnosed with another cancer.   On Friday, February 21st, she was admitted to the hospital with hospice.  On Tuesday, February 25th, she died and on Friday, February 28th I had the honor of officiating her memorial service.   It all happened so fast.

My friend, Marlys Frey.
My friend, Marlys Frey.

I first met Marlys at church.  My husband, David, and I moved back to Columbia Falls in 1997 and we started attending Fellowship Alliance Church.   I don’t know the first Sunday that we met, but I have very fond memories of many Sunday services, ladies luncheons, holiday pot-lucks, and several 55 Plus Club meetings.  (I didn’t qualify, but I had a blast sneaking in and visiting with my elders.)

A few years later, David and I started attending a different church and I didn’t see Marlys as much.   We were experiencing a lot of change for the next 3-5 years, in a lot of areas.   It was difficult and I experienced a lot of growth and healing.  As you know, that doesn’t come easy.  It was hard work.  Plus, I was pursuing my own path in ministry, traveling a lot and hosting conferences.

However, every now and again, I would see Marlys at the grocery store.  She’d ask how I was doing and give me a big hug.   She always had an encouraging word and lots of love.     I always seemed to run into her when I needed it the most.   I didn’t know until years later, that she, herself, was going through tough times.   However, you would have never known it.

In 2005, at the funeral of her grandson, we reconnected again.   I had gotten to know some of her family and hadn’t even made the connection that they were all related until the service.    I can still remember it so clearly.    We had a good laugh over that.  Wow, that was over 8 years ago.

Marlys' 80th Birthday
Marlys’ 80th Birthday

For the last 8 years, we have enjoyed many talks and lunches together.   I’ve gotten to meet her children, many of her grandchildren, and a few of her great-children.   I even had the opportunity to meet up with her and her family during a huge family reunion in ND.   We’ve laughed together and cried together.   She holds a very special place in my heart.

In February 2008, the Lord spoke to my heart about Marlys dying and the possibility of officiating her memorial service and the importance of being there for her family.   At first, I thought it would be that year.  As each February / March would come, I would revisit this … I don’t even know what you would call it … But I would mentally go through where the family was at, the relationships, what I would say in the event I would officiate the service and how I would be available to everyone.   There are no words for how thankful I am that we’ve had the last 6 years together.

Marlys picking out a new hat the 2012 Bull Thing in Eureka, MT
Marlys picking out a new hat the 2012 Bull Thing in Eureka, MT

Marlys’ obituary reads:

Marlys J. Frey, 85, passed away on Feb. 25, 2014, at HeathCenter Northwest in Kalispell, after a long battle with cancer.   Marlys was born to Alva and Mable Moffatt in Bottinue, N.D., on May 25, 1929.  On Nov. 2, 1946, Marlys married John Frey in Minot, N.D. Together they raised nine children.

Marlys was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, John, in September 1998; son, Ron Frey; daughter, Gloria Frey Crawford; and grandson, Brandon Frey.   Marlys work as a waitress for most of her career, and also worked in the plywood plant in Oregon until she retired.

Mom loved her children and grandchildren and loved spending as much time as possible with them. She enjoyed gardening and would plant as many flowers as her yard would hold … She loved to play Texas Hold’em and bingo. She so enjoyed life and tried to get as much as she could out of it.

She also belonged to 55-Plus and the Alliance Church in Columbia Falls. She lived in Columbia Falls for the past 23 years.

 Marlys is survived by children, Rod Frey of Oregon, Johnnie Frey and Debbie of Alabama, Don Frey of Columbia Falls, Marla Smith and Tom of South Dakota, Melvin Frey and Lori of Alaska, and Lonnie Frey of Columbia Falls. Marlys is also survived by her brother, Robert Moffatt, of Minnesota.

Marlys has numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild whom she cherished.

Service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls. A celebration of Marlys’ life will be held at Fellowship Alliance Church, 1025 Seventh Ave. W. in Columbia Falls following the service, until 5 p.m.   Columbia Mortuary is caring for Marlys’ family.

There are no words for how grateful I am that Marlys’ family asked me to officiate her service.    She means so much to me and I love her family dearly.   I was asked to share some Scripture verses during the service and they are:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18 NIV

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NIV

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 NIV

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

In the hospital on Sunday before she died, I sat with Marlys and held her hand.  I asked how she was doing, and she smiled and said “Just fine.”  As she continued to look in my eyes, she said, ” …. Well, .. you know … “.  I smiled back and said, “Yes, I know.”  We shared a long, deep look.   I know she loved me as deeply as I loved her, and I am so thankful for that.

Beading Saves the Day on the Eve of Valentine’s Day

When I read this week’s Writing Challenge:  My funny Valentine?, my heart sank.   How can I possibly come up with an original, creative, unique story?   … Maybe I’m just lacking the “holiday spirit”, as they say.   … Either way, I had pretty much decided I would not participate this week.

It’s not that I don’t have plans.  I do.  In fact, I’m facilitating a Valentine’s Day Wedding.   After the wedding, my hubby and I plan to go to the movies.  Then Saturday we are going to the Rocky Mountain Extreme Professional Bullriding PBR event at the Majestic Valley Arena.   Actually, as I write all this down in black and white, I realize the “bah humbug” is gone.

Of course, that’s not how my day started.   Stress, stress, stress.  I came home with a headache and stressed.   I fed my mules their mush, I filled the water troughs, I cooked some dinner and made some phone calls, and I bought the tickets for Saturday.   Ugh, after all of that, I’m hours behind in starting my earrings.

I needed some earrings for the wedding tomorrow.  I decided I would bead them, trying my best to create the design my husband thought of.   I was thinking ‘beading’ all day.  While I was at work, in between patients and meetings, while I was doing chores and cooking, I was planning it out in my head.   In fact, I was so focused and feeling pressed for time, I ate dinner while gathering all of my supplies.   This was a trick, as it was spaghetti.

I picked out my beads, plugged in my light and magnifying glass, threaded my needle and sketched out my design.  I have never done anything like this before, so I am hoping that I get it right on the first try.  I don’t have time to redo this project.  I say a silent prayer.

As I’m threading the first few beads, I’m watching … hoping.  Success!  My pattern works.  … Oh wait, it’s upside down.  … I can fix that. …. Whew.  …. I finish the first earring.   Now, the second one.  … Okay, how do I do this so it’s not upside down.   I’ll try this … Awesome!  It worked.  … Yay!!  I might still have time to type out the ceremony tonight, too.

I realized when I was all done beading, I was COMPLETELY relaxed.   It had taken me a couple of hours of very specific concentration.  Focusing on each bead.  Choosing the right color.  Counting the right amount of beads.  Running the needle and thread through the right beads.   Keeping the thread from knotting and fraying.   Did you know that when you make a pair of earrings like this, it is one single thread traveling through all of these beads in a very calculated manner?  Amazing.

My Valentine's Day earrings.
My Valentine’s Day earrings.
In response to your posts, here is a picture.  :)  Thanks for asking.  :)
In response to your posts, here is a picture. 🙂 Thanks for asking. 🙂

I was thinking I was beading because I needed earrings to wear while I officiate the wedding.   Something to match the theme.  Now I know I was beading because I needed something to quiet my heart.   I know with every fiber of my being, that the drive to make the earrings came from Someone greater than myself.   Someone who knows me better than I know myself.   Now that’s a Valentine’s Day gift!!   That’s Love!!

“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Below is a random sampling of contributions made by other bloggers in response to this challenge.  For the whole list, visit the Writing Challenge page.

  1. Autumn’s Return | Lillie-Put
  2. Happy 3rd Birthday! | Sentiments of a Working Mom | Another Mommy Blog
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Valentine | medicinalmeadows
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | Reinventing the We’ll
  5. St. Valentine’s Day « Mama Bear Musings
  6. My Deaf Words | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  7. What to write in a Valentine card | writemybrainsout
  8. The Letter [Weekly Writing Challenge] | Thoughts from Elysium
  9. Help! My Valentine Smells like Poop! | Love, Support, Educate, Advocate, Accept…
  10. What if Cupid was pissed? | Okay, What if ?
  11. Too Much Heaven | Chasing the Stars
  12. Valentine’s Day Haters’ Club – Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | Waiting on a Word
  13. Valentine’s Day Haters’ Club – Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | Waiting on a Word
  14. The Valentine’s Day Card | Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings
  15. Words for Nancy | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  16. An Open Letter to Valentine’s Day | meg lago
  17. The Joy of Books – A Guide for the Valentine’s Day Escape Artist | aliabbasali
  18. The Gift of a Heart for Valentine’s Day | Busy Mind Thinking
  19. Valentines day: do we really need it? | BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN.
  20. Cupid’s Arrow | The View from My Corner of the World

Squeaky Cold -2F

This morning I woke up, looked at the clock and then checked my local weather app on my phone.  -2F.  Burrr.

I put on my first layer, then my second layer, then my third and my insulated Muck boots.  I put on my hat and gloves, call to my faithful companion, Halo, and out we go.

Halo wants to play in the -2C weather.  Hummm.
Halo wants to play in the -2F weather. Hummm.

Halo thinks its play time.  (She’s part Malamute. ) Not today.  I can already feel the cold freeze inside my nose.  Today we only have time and energy to feed the horses.  Even with all the layers, the cold gets into the bones quick.

Squeak, squeak, squeak. … When it’s this cold, everyone’s feet squeak on the snow.   As we get closer to the horses, more squeaking.  Its actually quite humorous, 40 hooves squeaking.   Its the only sound this morning.  Squeak, squeak, squeak.

Stormy and Rebel on a cold day.
Stormy and Rebel on a cold day.

The horses and mules all have frosty faces.  This is the third clue that it really is below zero.   Today I will feed them twice as much.  The extra fuel helps them stay warm.

Each time I take a picture, I have to take off my gloves, as I am using my smart phone.  With each picture my fingers hurt from the cold.  Needless to say, I didn’t take a lot of photos.

My cheeks are starting to feel cold, my own hair is starting to frost, and I have two more trips to make out to the mustangs.  The snow is really deep, so walking in the cold and the deep snow, with arms full of hay, uses a lot of energy.

Cold Montana Morning
Cold Montana Morning

This picture is the view from the mustangs’ corral.  It really is breathtaking.   This is looking east.   To the west, the sky is pinks, oranges, and yellows.  I couldn’t get a good picture from my pasture and its just too darn cold to walk for a good shot.

I put the camera away and put on my gloves.  My fingers got colder, faster that time.  One more trip back to the hay barn and back to the corral and I can go inside.  I note that the water troughs are all getting a little low.  It will have to wait to later.

—- A Note of Correction & New Photos ——

After I posted this, my husband, bless his heart, informed me I had my F and C mixed up.  LOL.  That’s what I get for trying to be ‘international’ in my writing.  LOL .  I have since made the corrections.  I’ve also added some more photos below, as the view totally changed while I was in my office composing this post.

A fresh look an hour after I came inside from the cold.
A fresh look an hour after I came inside from the cold.
View from my kitchen.
View from my kitchen.

Weightless Flying Apples

Tonight I was making homemade soup for a friend of mine.   She currently has some strict diet requirements, as well as some activity limitations, so some of us are taking turns making soup.   Tonight’s soup is an organic squash, apple and ginger soup made with bone broth and unsweetened almond milk.

I started by paring the carnival squash.  (I had to look up the word paring the other day when I was making baked apples.  I always called it ‘peeling’. )   Do you realize how tough the outside of this type of squash is?  My friend called the peels ‘finger nails’.  Very fitting, as they are just like those fake nails you glue to your own finger nails.

It took me quite awhile to pare this squash.  (The word still sounds funny.  Peel the squash?).    Finally, all done.  I chopped the squash into little chunks and put it in the pot to cook it down.   Time to pare the apples.  (Sounds better with apples.)

I grab the first apple and start paring it with the knife.  I about flung it across the room!  Wow!  The knife just glides along like the apple is a weightless, hollow form of air.  I laughed out loud.  Can you imagine if I pared the apples first?  The squash would seem twice as hard and stubborn.

How do we even find these precious moments of reflection if not for being open to opportunities.   If I had been making this soup for me and mine, I would have probably bought a frozen brick of squash already pared and cooked down.  I may have even bought applesauce.   Anymore, fast and easy is the way I do it.

However, tonight was different.   Sure I fussed to myself about being busy and tired.    I’ll admit it.  Sometimes I just don’t want to go the extra mile or listen to that still small voice.  Yet, I’ve learned that in the long run, in the big picture, its really a good idea to fight the flesh and follow the spirit.  Tonight was full of fun rewards.

I can now say that I tackled a carnival squash and won.  I can say ‘yes’ I have experienced the chore of paring a squash and flinging ‘finger nails’ all over the kitchen.  I can smile at the reward of paring apples in the aftermath and having that process seem like a stroll on the beach.   I can say that I have made another homemade soup.   It tastes great by the way.

These are all perks only known to me.  These aren’t the ‘kudos’ or ‘thank yous’.   They certainly aren’t the bennies you get when you see the joy or appreciation on the recipient’s face.  No, these are the little things you didn’t expect that you only catch if you are paying attention.