Saturday, July 30, 2011

Snuggling with Abba, Father

Hide me, oh LORD, under the shadow of Thy wings         
just like these birds (Psalm 17:8)

Because of Him and Unto Him

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Than Just Words On A Page

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but due to the happenings of life, it seems the last three years have left me a bit self absorbed. This week especially - it's been a really tough one, which casued me to withdraw into myself. But, I just finished reading the latest post, Remembering...Candles in the Darkness, on Pam Depoyan's blog, Writing...Apples of Gold. My heart was touched as she drew me in with her prolific language. Somehow, her engaging words lifted the blanket that seemed to be covering my soul this week. Her post snapped me back to reality and truth - the world is so much greater than me, the world's pain so much more cruel.

Isn't it wondrous that spoken or written words can have that kind of affect on our lives? Words have the power to heal and encourage, comfort and build up, and bring life and strength to the weary.
A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.  ~ Prov. 25:11 (Amp.)
If God puts someone on your heart, don't hesitate to reach out with your words - whether verbal or written.  They will have a life force within them to touch a heart, warm a cold soul, heal a wound, brighten a day, or even snap someone back to reality.  Your words can have untold meaning for someone - far more valuable than gold or silver.

Thank you, Pam, for your anointed words of Life to my soul today!

Because of Him and Unto Him


Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Name Is The Same, But...

My mother's maiden name was Drueke.  Relatives of hers started the Drueke chessboard company many years ago. They were the suppliers of world-class tournament chessboards. (And beautiful ones I might say!)  Drueke is a part of my heritage.  It was a part of my mother and it is a part of me.

This is the original Drueke game company building in Grand Rapids, Michigan:


The company was evenutally sold to Carrom Game Co. and the building has since been completely renovated and now looks like this:


You would never know this is the same building.  Even the railroad tracks on the right side of the building are gone.
Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ' You must be born again'.    ~ John 3:5-7
The Drueke building photos are a good way to explain what it means to be "born again" of our spirits. The woman I am today is "renovated" from the woman I was before Jesus Christ came into my spirit.  I went from an "old building" to a "renovated, modern building".  
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ II Corth. 5:17
Hallelujah, old things of who I was have passed away and I've become a new creation!

Because of Him and Unto Him

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

At The Foot of The Cross

They say that during life and death traumatic moments, your life passes before your eyes. I had this happen to me once while a knife was at my throat and the man was ordering me to take off my clothes.  In a split second, like an old movie projection, my life passed before my mind's eye. I really don't understand how or why this happenes, but I do know that it does. To me, it was a supernatural experience that I have never forgotten.

About ten years ago during worship in our church, my 15 year old son was worhipping The Lord.  He was thinking of Jesus Christ dying on the Cross and he wondered if Jesus' whole Life flashed before His Eyes.

Andrew wept as He heard the Lord speak to his heart, "No, yours did."

As He hung dying, our lives passed before His eyes.  Oh, how He loves us!
Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet, we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.  But, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquitites; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.  All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have tuned every one to his own way, and The LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.        ~Isaiah 53:4-6
Because of Him and Unto Him

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hooah!!!

The past couple of weeks have been historic for our family - literally. We were contacted by Becky Clarke, daughter of Duane "Swede" Nelson.  Swede and my father-in-law, Carmine Ronzino, were buddies in the Marines together, living in the filth of foxholes and battling the Japanese in combat on Okinawa and Peleliu.  Swede kept personal journals during his time in the Marines from boot camp until the end of WWII.  Becky took his journals and made a book for family and friends - friends including Swede's buddies during the war.  Thus, she is hunting for as many WWII brothers or their family members as she can find.

Having looked for Carmine Ronzino's family for about 6 weeks, Becky finally found my youngest son, Andrew's, blog.  (Yeah for blogs!)  Becky sent us an email copy of her book - a compilation Swede's journals and photos of the combat in WWII.  With great emotion and some tears, all of us were transported to the battlefield via his journals. Seeing Dad's photos with Swede and the other men did our hearts proud.

Christmas Day menu
with Dad's band of brother's
signatures 
My father-in-law never spoke of his time in battle - only a few of the antics that he and his buddies pulled.   His years in the war were a never-talked-about mystery.  Until two weeks ago.

Reading Swede's first-hand account of the war and seeing "Carmine Ronzino" written in his logs was life-changing for our family. Dad died back in 1981 from a sudden, massive heart attack while vacationing in Canada.  My son, Andrew, never even got to meet his grandfather.  Reading of his part in WWII has been an amazing gift for Andrew - for all of us Ronzinos.  To read someone's first-hand account makes the war ever so real and truly personal, not Hollywoodish.

The Marine's motto: "Semper Fi" means "always faithful". To me that was just a saying - until now.  I now understand the camaraderie of those living and dying on the battlefield.  I would say that Becky has inherited her Marine Dad's maxim. She has been most faithful in sharing her father's story; faithful in searching for the brothers he fought beside; and ever faithful in giving everyone her time as she corresponds with all the family members of the soldiers. We, as a family, are  so grateful for her diligence and care.

We are so proud of Dad, his buddy, Swede, and all the rest of the men of 81MM Mortar, 2nd Bn 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division Marines  who courageously fought on the front lines until Japan surrendered. We are honored and blessed beyond measure to know their story.

God bless all the surviving men and their families! God bless Swede for capturing and preserving a part of the Ronzino history that we otherwise would never have known. I don't think Swede will ever know how many lives he and Becky have touched.

Thank You, LORD God, for sparing these men's lives - had You not, Joe would never have been born, nor my children.  Thank You for allowing us to know more about the man Dad was, and thank You for this blessing of getting to know Swede and his family - truly Your Divine Appointment in our lives.  Please bless all the survivors, LORD, and help Becky find the remaining men and/or their families.  Thank You, LORD.


Because of Him and Unto Him

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Undercover Nun

We were the first three to arrive at the writer's class.  On my right sat a big woman, whose build reminded me very much of my German Grandma.  My initial assessment of her was that  she was a type-A personality.  She seemed bold and authoritative, with a loud personality.  But, there was a glow about her and as she spoke, she did so with an assuring smile.  I knew then there was something special about this new student.  Jean told us her name and followed it  with "I'm an undercover nun".  The other woman and I laughed.  I wonder what she meant by that?  As each student arrived, she would tell them her name followed by, "I'm an undercover nun".  Everyone had the same reaction - laughter.  I  wonder if they wondered what she meant by that?

Finally, Jean explained to the class that she is a nun, but when she is not dressed in her habit, she considers herself "undercover".  One of the other writers replied, "I don't like nuns.  I went to Catholic school and they scared me."  Sister Jean, with her broad smile, leaned toward her and said with grace, "I never liked them either.  They use to scare me!"  The room burst into laughter.  Maybe it was nervous laughter, as none of us really knew how to  take this outspoken nun.  Her humor broke downs any walls of intimidation we may have had before she even let us know that she was a real nun.

Sister Jean verbally shared a few of her humorous stories with us.  Oh, did we laugh!  We all encouraged her to write her stories, but she declared herself to be a storyteller, not a writer.  It was obvious that telling stories with humor is her gifting - even her facial expressions and body language were a part of her story.

It was time to write.  Silence blanketed the room as we all put pens to paper.  I couldn't help but notice that Sister Jean was writing feverishly.  See, she can write! We took turns reading our quickie masterpieces. With anticipation, I waited to hear Sister Jean's written story.  Will it  be as good as if she were telling it?  She read her story in her own special style of communication.  We erupted with laughter.

At 73, Sister Jean is a remarkable Servant of The Lord. She is definitely an atypical nun whose gifting, in part, is humor. God has used her in many ways over the years - through teaching, counseling, and helping the downtrodden.  I think God bestowed humor upon Sister Jean as a way to truly minister Life to those she comes in contact with.  God says that a merry heart does good like medicine (Prov. 17:22).  How desperately this world needs God's medicine!  Last Saturday's meeting of Sister Jean was a Divine Appointment, as I was in desperate need of God's medicine!  Isn't it amazing how God magnificently uses people from all walks of life and personalities for the sole purpose of teaching, encouraging, and strengthening each another?
But, there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are differences of workings, but the same God working all things in all.  But, to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit.  ~ I Corth. 12:4-7 
Sister Jean and I walked out of the class together. We had encouraging words for each  other in regard to our writing, then we hugged goodbye. I hope she will come back next month.  I turned and started toward the exit.  In the background, I could hear someone laugh.  I knew Sister Jean was doing her thing.  I almost shouted back over my shoulder, "She's an undercover nun!"


But, I restrained myself.  After all, we were in a library.

Because of Him an Unto Him

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Face Jesus, Face Anything

"Keep on keepin' on" was a popular saying way back when.  I think it was even a song.  Some of us have an inherent resolve, some of us don't.   For those who naturally have strong resolve, they do keep on keepin' on just by their own inner, built-in strength.

I wasn't born that way.  Sometimes,  I don't think I have much resolve at all.  But, I've learned over the years that when I have faced Jesus, I can face anybody or anything.  He truly gives me inner resolve when it is necessary.  It's not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6)!  This scripture has proven true over and over again in my life.  


If I could choose if I would have an inherent resolve or not, I would still choose NOT. It keeps me needing to face Jesus and thus seeing the truth of His Word a reality in my life.  




I am resolved that I will keep on keepin' on with Jesus!  


Because of Him and Unto Him

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Deep Connections Amidst Total Strangers

Blogs are amazing tools for allowing us to get to know strangers up close and personal.  Ever since I was a small child to the ever present, when I'm a passenger in a car, I look out the window at passing cars and pedestrians and think of all these people I'll never know; who will never know me.  As a very introverted youngster, that thought would sadden me.  I desired to reach beyond my little boxed-in world to know others who may, if given the chance, become a friend.  I used to wonder if there was anyone else out there in the world that thought the same way.  Sometimes, as an adult when I'm walking down a street, those same thoughts come to me.  Any of these passing people could be a life-altering relationship in my life or mine in theirs.  I wonder what we may be missing out on.

I always pray for God's "Divine Appointments" (as I call them) in my life; for God to put me in the right place at the right time for their life or as an influence in my own.  I had such an appointment yesterday.  But, I'm going to save the story of the "Undercover Nun" for another post.  Today's post is about a woman named Martha who shared a part of her life on her July 4th post on her blog, Pain Won't Beat Me. Her post is entitled This DAY is Tough.  I thought it was going to be a typical veteran or American wave-the-flag kind of story.  I was so wrong. Through Martha's blog she shared a horrific day her family experienced on a July 4th.  I cried when I read it.  I prayed for their family.  I gave thanks that I have never experienced that kind of unthinkable horror.  My heart reached out to this once-a-stranger when I first began reading her blog several months ago.  She lives in TX and I, in NY.  Chances are we would never have met in real life.  Chances are we may never meet.  But, thanks to blogging, God can connect us with those who will impact our lives.  Martha's grace and joy in the midst of on-going, chronic pain inspires me. After reading her July 4th post, I admire her all the more.  There is a heart connection, appointed by God, Himself.  She prays for me, I for her. Can it be that God has answered the desire of my young girl's heart - searching for deep connections amongst total strangers via the avenue of blogging?  I do believe so!


Thank You, LORD, for the opportunity to meet exemplary people through blogging that I never would have known otherwise; touching my life and mine touching theirs as we pass each other as once-a-stranger in this blogging world. I am so blessed!  HALLELUJAH!


Because of Him and Unto Him

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Little Bit of Inspiration

(Post Script Edit:  When I saw these first three photos, I was inspired to write the little "ditties".  I was shopping on Etsy.com at My Little Pixels shop at the time.  The photographer is Anna Jane.  I wrote and asked permission to use these three photos.  I hadn't heard back for a few days, so I posted photos from the Internet for the first three.  The last two photos are of our beach.  However, Anna Jane has since given me permission to use her photos, so I edited and switched the first three photos to the ones that truly inspired me to write. Her shop is very new.  If you get a chance, please stop by her Etsy shop, My Little Pixels.   The bottom two photos my son, Andrew Ronzino, took of our beach when he was home a few weeks ago.)


As raindrops and morning dew quench nature's thirst,
So Your Word and Spirit quench mine


~~~

My childlike wishes upon dandelion seeds
Have grown into bold requests - each blown Heavenward


~~~

Beach glass and shells - what stories they could tell
Of beginnings and endings, life and death. 
Life down under washed ashore...oh, what stories they could tell!


~~~

To sit quietly on the beach
is to be in God's classroom
He talks, I listen.
Inquiring into creation all around me
I manipulate my fingers through, over, and under
Deeply I breath their scents
Wondering what their life once was.


God's classroom beckons to me
The Teacher is waiting upon the pupil 

~~~

What can you tell me about this giant boulder that stands as gatekeeper to our beach


that withstands time, crashing waves, and shifting sand?
Oh,I long to know the who, what, where, why, and when's of this massive rock
It's secrets I'd love to unlock.

Because of Him and Unto Him