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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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  • Charles Spurgeon

    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
  • Progress through Perseverance

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • Psalm 7:10-17

    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Pre-wedding Pics

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Rehearsal Pics

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To Taylor from Dad

Jesus Leads Us Through the Fog

Last night we were on our way home from Taylor’s graduation in Florida when we encountered a dense fog about 40 minutes from home.  It was about 11PM and we had been traveling since 8AM. First it set in in spots that only took a second to drive through. Then it descended so heavily that I couldn’t seen more than 50 feet ahead of me. I was in one of those situations where if I slowed down to a safe speed, I could be hit from behind by a vehicle traveling 65 mph. If I kept at the speed limit, I could rear end another car that had decided to stop or travel slowly.  I was stuck. I considered stopping at a hotel, but my mom was sick and I felt I needed to get her home. I wasn’t really sure what to do. I could see a 20 car pile up in my head just waiting for car #21.

Then I saw two small tail lights in front of me that I could follow. I immediately knew it was safe to continue as long as they were there. Then they disappeared after a few minutes and I thought, “Oh great, there goes my guide.”

The next second a large vehicle passed me and pulled in front of me – about 6 car lengths ahead of me. It kept steadily there all the way to our exit 30 minutes away.  As long as I kept a few car lengths from my guide, I knew I was safe to continue on. It was a bit nerve wracking but knowing there were two red lights just ahead gave me the confidence to keep going.

It reminded me of how Christ leads me – out in front, leading me all the way.  As long as I keep my eyes on Him, I know the road is safe and He will lead me all the way to my exit.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about

Jillian planned a birthday dinner for me and cooked and cleaned and took over the house for a day. Chicken, stuffing, twice baked potatoes, bread and spinach dip…the whole nine yards. April brought orange stuff and a birthday cake. Such fun!  I love living in Wausau! Now if I can just get some more of my kids to move here…

Wow. Who’d have thunk it?

I had attended a wonderful ladies’ Bible study for about 2 1/2 years when I lived in Battle Creek. We’d have discussions quite often on how we’d like to see the church community change, mostly in the line of fellowship and support. We dreamed of a family type atmosphere during our weekly church services much like there used to be back in Bible times where the believers would meet in a home and share their lives in an intimate way. We had this in our Bible study each week … and we wanted it in our church.  There would be a time of exploring the Word with discussion as well as a time for prayer requests –  which included a family type comfort where one would feel free to share failings as well as triumphs. We had thought that perhaps our Christian world had become too sterile, unable to cross the line of intimate fellowship without opening the gate to gossip or murmurings. We walk in, we sit down, listen, and we leave. Rote. Sterile. Lonely. Often the reason behind a lack of intimacy in church is a fear of sin getting in the door or our walls of defense will be penetrated. Either way, it’s a lifestyle of fear.  I remember one pastor telling me a long time ago that he didn’t encourage in home Bible studies because they often turned into gossip or gripe sessions.

But sin gets in the door in all situations, if we let it.

I had another pastor who desired his people to become more entwined in each others lives much like my desire has been, feeling a kinship and a desire to win the world for Christ through relationships.

We came very close to our dream church when we were at our last church. There was great fellowship and we felt very at home. It was a breath of fresh air to just walk into the church building because there were kind and generous people inside – true believers who whom you felt a great kinship in Christ. The preaching was amazing and we grew under the pastor’s teaching. Yet I still craved the closeness I felt at my weekly ladies’ Bible study. One close friend said that we probably couldn’t have the spiritual/emotional intimacy in a formal church setting because of the pews – all facing forward, sectioned off with our backs to each other. I believed she was right. We’ve all set ourselves up to live separately, with thick walls that say, “Don’t come in too close.” Fortunately we didn’t get that message from our pastor’s family or others in the church. We felt loved and accepted there, mostly because of the example the pastor and his wife. They loved us no matter how we messed up or how imperfect we were.

Sunday night I was totally flabbergasted when our evening service took a different turn than what I’m used to. Wow. This new church of ours does that very thing that I had craved so long – we had a time of sharing where each person felt comfortable enough to open up the doors to their hearts and let it be exposed for a refreshing and cleansing – unlike I’ve seen before in a church setting.  We are new at the church, yet we don’t feel like we are new. It is true that you can travel to any part of the world and feel at home where there are fellow believers. The only time that would not ring true would be if the fellow believers are not loving and inviting in the way that we are charged to be in the Scriptures.

Wausau is our home now. I’m very glad it is where God has called us.  We look to the future with a strange sense of expectancy. It feels good to have a song in my heart…oh, The windows of heaven are open, The blessings are falling tonight. There’s joy, joy, joy in my heart, For Jesus made everything right. I gave Him my old tattered garment, He gave me a robe of pure white, I’m feasting on manna from heaven, And that’s why I’m happy tonight.

Food, Family and Friends

Debi came to visit us a week after we’d moved to Wausau. It was fun to have a friend from home…even if it had only been a week since we’d moved!

Moving In…

USS Bulkeley Nabs Pirates

Our son-in-law’s ship now has its own group of pirates onboard. Read about it here.

My Son-in-law’s Ship – USS Bulkeley

Norfolk ships respond to pirated Quest – Four American hostages killed Tuesday 

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011, 5:14 PM EST Published : Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011, 10:31 AM EST NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)

Three Norfolk-based Navy ships were among those monitoring the pirated vessel S/V Quest off East Africa for the past three days, and who responded Tuesday when gunfire erupted on the ship. Four Americans onboard the Quest were killed by their Somali captors Tuesday. The Quest was the home of Jean and Scott Adam, a couple from California who had been sailing around the world since December 2004. The two other Americans on board were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, of Seattle, Washington.

Pirates seized the boat Feb. 18. According to Navy Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, commander of the U.S. Naval Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet, pirates captured the Quest about 190 nautical miles southeast of Masirah Island, Oman.

Four U.S. Navy warships responded: the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), along with the San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104).

The ships found the Quest and made contact with the pirates via bridge-to-bridge radio, and began a series of negotiations. Monday, two pirates boarded the USS Sterett to continue negotiations. “At 8 this morning local time, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired from the Quest by the pirates towards the Sterett,” Fox said. “The Sterett was approximately 600 yards away from the Quest. “Immediately thereafter, gunfire erupted from inside the cabin of the Quest.

Several pirates appeared on the deck of the Quest and moved up to the bow with their hands in the air in surrender.” U.S. special operations forces closed in on the Quest in small boats and boarded the yacht. “They discovered that all four hostages had been shot by their captors,” Fox said.

The service members took immediate steps to provide medical care, but the four Americans died of their wounds. The boarding party also found two dead pirates aboard the vessel. The special operations forces did not fire weapons during the boarding, Fox said. “While clearing the vessel, two additional pirates were killed,” the admiral said. “The remaining 15 suspected pirates are in U.S. custody.”

WAVY News 10 has learned the detained pirates are being held aboard the USS Enterprise. Fox said of the pirates killed as the special operators cleared the boat, one was killed with a pistol, the other in a knife fight. Two other pirates, already dead, were also found on board – bringing the total number of hijackers on the Quest to nineteen.

There were no casualties to service members or damage to Navy ships. The Navy and the FBI are investigating the incident. Fox said the perpetrators will be brought to justice. “We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Gen James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander. The four Navy ships are deployed to the region to conduct maritime security operations and to provide support to operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that President Barack Obama authorized the use of force if there was an imminent threat to the hostages. He said the president was informed of their deaths at 4:42 Tuesday morning. Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, contributed to this report.


Ryan Frederick is Here!

Such a Lovely Family

Family Christmas 2010

Christmas at G’ma and G’pa’s

Christmas Morning 2010

Livin’, Laughin’, Lovin’

April and I ran out to Walgreens early this morning in anticipation of snatching up some of the great register rewards deals they had advertised for Thanksgiving day. We got out the ad, made our list and braved the 16 degree snowy weather after the rolls were safely in the oven. We were determined to put the finishing touches on our already too long Christmas lists and arrive back home with stories of our own personal annual conquest. Those of you who have never done the WAGS deals will never understand the challenge of rolling over your register rewards without spending too much of your out of pocket dollars that you really shouldn’t be spending in the first place.

After three trips to the cash register and a couple of conversations with other died in the wool deal hunters, we dashed back home to make the mashed potatoes, baste the turkey, dress the kids and set the table. We even roped Jillian (my daughter in Florida in her junior year of college) into our adventure giving her the ins and outs of rolling over Register Rewards.  In the end I pronounced this day to be a success. Having spent $15 to get $55+ worth of personal care products was just the icing on the cake, or in this case the Cool Whip on the Pumpkin pie. We ended up going back to Walgreens one more time after dinner while the family took their Thanksgiving afternoon snooze.  It has to tell you something when you walk in the door and the cashiers nod their head at you like they’d been expecting you.

Turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn, garlic mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, stuffing, deviled eggs, pear, apple and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip, and of course ORANGE STUFF!  Add one husband, a mother, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandsons laughing, chatting and enjoying the moment. Top it with a bag full of free products and you can call it a good day. I’ve decided the simple life is for me.  Livin’, lovin’ and laughin’.

18 hours in Chicago

IKEA To Be The First CanadianOn the way to Chicago we visited IKEA for the first time. Now that’s a store! Next we rolled into Chicago in the early afternoon. Here are pictures of Chicago.

We stayed in the Blue Indigo, a cute little hotel in the heart of Chicago. We got a really good price on priceline.com. The rooms were normally $160 and we got ours for $60. We also got a $25 off coupon for what we thought was an Italian restaurant for $2 at restaurants.com.

After having spent the day at Chicago’s Navy Pier, we took a cab to the restaurant for a late night dinner. We’d never been there before, so we had no idea what to expect. Little did we know it was a little hole in the wall Mediterranean restaurant in the not-so-choice part of town. FalafelWhen we got there, we decided to look at it as an adventure and stayed, ordering a huge meal that turned out to be quite good. We walked a little while afterward and then hailed a cab back to the hotel. When he stopped to pick us up, he asked us if we were lost! He didn’t expect folks like us to be in that part of town. LOL I truly didn’t expect to enjoy falafels quite so much, but they were good!

This is a church we passed on our way downtown. The architecture in Chicage was amazing. I loved the contrast between the old and the new.

The view from the Pier was amazing. We watched ships and boats come and go. I couldn’t resist taking dozens of pictures.

This is our view from the Ferris Wheel. I took these for Levi since he LOVES heights!

This is the park we came across on our walk to the Pier.

This is a green house at the Navy Pier. It had exotic plants and water shows in the form of fountains. The one below was a stream of water (in the middle of the pic) that shot off and then appeared to suspend in the air for a second as if it came out of of nowhere . The next one is of a set of three plant arrangements that share the same fountain, spraying it across the room from one planter into another.

Here is our Ferris Wheel.

The city was beautiful at night.

Here is our hotel, the Indigo. It was small, but very cute. A good time was had by all.

Wausau/Chicago Mini Vaca

For the second weekend in a row I visited my kids in Wausau, but this time it was with my hunny! Mark quit his old third shift job with City Transfer and went “full time” driving the school bus. I have it in quotes because it’s not quite full time, but a “hope it works out to full time.” He has morning and afternoon routes with the possibility of picking up a special ed route and sports events. It has been almost two years since he began his third shift job with bus and limo driving added. I feel like I’ve not seen him for almost two years! All he did was work and sleep for months!

Today we began our “normal” life with him only working during the day with the ability to actually sleep a normal night’s sleep. There for a while he’d get only about 4 hours sleep a day. Add to that the fact that we no longer have any kids under our roof (Jillian went back to college) and that makes for a truly different life style. I call it my new chapter in life. Here are some pictures of our weekend in Wausau and Chicago. We picked up Andrew on the way and was able to spend a few days with him. He just arrived home from overseas deployment. I enjoyed hearing his stories. Pictures will be coming soon, in another post, after I get a chance to look through them.

This has been month for travel – two weekends in Wausau and a few days in Florida, taking Jillian back to PCC.  Such fun I’ve had! Here are pictures from Wausau.

Daniel Goes to College!

Recently we were able to get funding for Daniel to go to Shepherd’s college. He’s happy as a clam and enjoying college life. His teachers told us at our visit last week that he’s an excellent student. I said in my heart, “Of course he is, he’s a Frania!” I guess I can’t claim humbleness when it comes to my kids. The first year he will work on the basics like math  and grammar. The second year he will begin either horticulture or culinary studies. This is a three year program, so we are hoping that each year we can get his funding renewed.

Below are some pictures of Daniel’s dorm and one of him sporting the bronze medal that he brought back from the Special Olympics.  The last pictures are of him playing BB with his Dad in the Shepherd’s gym.