Friday, September 28, 2012

In The Midst Of A Storm

Martha mentioned Psalm 46 on her blog this morning.  It is a Word in due season for me. Thank you, Martha!  So, I share God's bountiful Word with you today:

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble

Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of Hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The LORD of Hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah


Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Celebrating A 60-year Old Vintage

Joe's 60th birthday pictorial:

Joe got out of the car at Mattebella Vineyard and was all confused. There were so many cars in the parking lot and a tent set up in the vineyard.  He kept asking, "What's going on here?" After Alece and Andrew (the two out-of-state children) ran over to him, he finally realized what was happening.

The "boys", Michael and Andrew, led him over to all the guests waiting under the tent.

One after another, we both had reunions like this one!

Musician, Dave Kotliar, played awesome background music for the day.

This was the view out of one side of the tent at Mattebella Vineyard.

A boy at heart!

Joe's best childhood friends came. Their reunions were joyous to watch. Needless to say there was much laughter and tears throughout the day.

This is Howie with Joe - lifelong buddies, even though they rarely ever see each other.

Oh, the stories and reminiscing that flowed! Howie and AnnMarie surprised us with photos and memorabilia from when we  were "youngsters" just starting out our life together.

Joe with Randy, his childhood next door neighbor and best friend.  Joe and Randy hadn't seen each other in about 35 years.  The split second the saw each other, the "remember whens" started. Our daughter, Alece, is on the right.

And Randy and Harriet brought BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS.  Wow!  They drove up from the DC area just for the party. Other friends drove up from North Carolina.  How blessed we are!

Bob, a friend and co-worker said Grace before we ate and then Joel, another friend and co-worker toasted Joe. Very emotional!

Our children and I prayed blessings over the birthday boy.

Various people were sharing funny and sentimental stories.  Donna, a co-worker and friend from years ago, shared from her heart and set the tears a flowing - again!

Bob Q sang songs to Joe. He started out with This Song Is For You, which had us in tears. Then he sang a song he wrote about a couple of funny episodes from Joe's past, which had us in hysterics.

Later in the day, Bob sang his rendition of Amazing Grace - blowing us all away. Thank you, Q!

Alece in a tender moment with her Daddy after her prayer.

And a dancing moment with her "vintage" Dad.

Andrew with his Dad after the prayer time.

And Michael.  

Then came THE GUITAR...

"Close your eyes and put out your hands, Joe."

(And Joe sat like this through the whole speech. Patiently waiting.)

The whole purpose of the party was to present Joe with the guitar I bought him.

This is the precious guitar that I saved and planned for - for two years.  Below is my presentation "speech". I share it with you, my blogging community.  This guitar is a custom-made, one-of-a-kind Gibson -  made for a specific musician. He played it for only 30 minutes and then added it to his guitar collection. Because he is friends with Alece, he sold it to me for an unbelievable price.  Thank you, Al Dinardi!

Here are my words to Joe (affectionately known as Guin):

Forty years ago, we were just out of HS - we were kids. You did something that changed the course of our lives. You sold your treasured guitar to buy me an engagement ring.

Your selfless gesture showed me what kind of man you were - even at that young age. You were willing to sacrifice -  to give up something that meant so much to you and was a reflection of your singleness - to show me love and your willingness to become one with me. It no longer was Joe Ronzino, but we became Guin and Kid. One.

And you didn’t just purchase me an engagement ring from that guitar money. You purchased a quality stone and then custom designed the setting. It is, as far as I know, the only one in the world like it. And you gave it to me from the treasure of your heart.  

We started our lives. Our children were born, and you have provided for your family all these years. 

Over the course of these 40 years, you purchased yourself guitars - only to give each one of them away to someone who had a need or a desire. You even purchased a magnificent saxophone for an aged musician who desired to play the blues once more. 

Guin, a couple of years ago, I started planning to purchase you something special for your 60th birthday. This party is a result of wanting to have a few friends at your favorite vineyard so that I could present you with this long-awaited gift. The party was planned around this presentation, like icing on a cake.

Like my engagement ring, this gift also was custom designed. This too, as far as I know, is the only one in the world like it. And I give it to you from the treasure of my heart. Happy birthday, Guin!

Thank You, LORD for the day Joe was born, and thank You for taking care of every detail for me! Thank You for this magnificent guitar! I give You all the praise and glory!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Word Fitly Spoken Unto Me

The nine-month planning for the party came to it's climax.

And now it's all over. What will I do with myself now?

It was a huge success. Almost everything went as I imagined.  The tent and table settings were so beautiful - it looked like a wedding celebration.  It was "first class" all the way!  

There was much, much laughter and tears throughout the afternoon. Even Mattebella Vineyard owner, Mark Tobin, was in tears throughout the day. He kept popping in and out to capture the precious moments with his camera.

The Long Island weather was extraordinary! Blue sky with swirls of clouds painted here and there. Sunny and just cool enough to be perfectly comfortable. 

Michael, Alece, and Andrew ran out into the parking lot to greet Joe as he got out of the car. He was shocked and confused at seeing Alece and Andrew. "What's going on?", was about all that Joe could muster to say.  He told me later that he was shocked.

I do not have all the photos downloaded to my computer yet, but hopefully, by the next post they will be and I will share the party with you all - my precious blogging community.

But, for now, I want to share this:

Pam, from Writing Apples of Gold, sent me an e-card on Saturday that was straight from our Father's Heart. It was about God caring about every detail. It truly was a Word fitly spoken. The Scripture reference was James 5:11 from the Message Bible, which reads:
God cares right down to the last detail.  
I re-read the card and Pam's words (which could have been a card in themselves!) several times on Saturday during the long night. I could not sleep as my heart was getting anxious about all the details.  But, Peace flooded my soul as I read the words.

I got up Sunday morning, and re-read the card, setting my heart like flint that God cared about me, Joe, and this birthday celebration right down to the last detail.


Every detail that I envisioned was in place except one. The company that supplied the tent and tables and chairs, was supposed to provide the garbage cans and garbage bag liners.

It wasn't until we were tearing down and cleaning up at the end, that I realized people had used the four huge garbage cans, but there was no liners in them.  They company neglected to bring the garbage bags.

Oh, no!

Seeing as the tent company wasn't going to be picking up the tent until Monday, all the garbage would be sitting out overnight providing a feast for the animals. 

But, God cared right down to the last detail! 

Howie, one of Joe's childhood friends, just happened to have huge, heavy-duty garbage bags in the trunk of his car. Seriously?! Wow!

Not only were there enough bags for the trash, but also to collect all the table linens that I had to return to the linen company. 

Isn't God just so beyond our imaginations?  He never, ever lets me down.
Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen!          ~ Ephesians 3:20,21
Yes, to Him, Alone, be the glory
forever and ever.

Thank you, Pam, for being so sensitive to The Holy Spirit and acting upon His leading. With sincerity of heart, I thank you!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In the Midst of A Storm?

I'm sharing a little bit from my writings that I typed on my computer-journal this morning. I pray that it would be a Word in due season for you, just as it was for me this day:
In the dark, wee hours of morning, I come 
I pour out my heart 
I wait
I lift my hands from the keys and raise them to You, LORD 
I empty them into Your Lap, LORD - all my cares, all my concerns
Holy Spirit, speak to me

"Peace. Be still." 

And so I remain  
Allowing Peace to still my restless, concerned heart 

"I AM the eye in the center of your storm, where Peace prevails. Keep yourself in My Center." 

Oh, yes, LORD, yes! Thank You!

Because of Him and Unto Him, 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Year 11


Year 11.

I watch the TV show, Secret Millionaire, as it is one of the more uplifting shows on TV today. Not too long ago I watched the episode on Sean Belnick. A very young millionaire from New York City. One of the organizations he stumbled upon was Friends of Firefighters. 

FoF was started by a woman who was standing on a bridge looking toward the Manhattan skyline as the Twin Towers were ambushed. To her absolute horror the buildings collapsed that fateful eleventh of September morning.  In a state of shock, she went home and started cooking to keep herself busy. After she had made so much food that she couldn't possibly eat, she threw the meals in her car and hand-delivered them to rescue workers. Day after day, she served the fire and rescue teams hot meals from her little apartment kitchen.

From this small beginning, Friends of Firefighters has developed into a non-profit organization helping not only firefighters, but family members and survivors cope with the aftermaths of this war on America.  Click here to go to their website.  I'm in awe of this non-profit organization and how they are still helping because there is still the hurting. Shockingly, 11 years later, the need is still just as great. Firefighters and First Responders are still reeling from the effects of that morning - mentally, emotionally, and now physically.

Please check out Friends of Firefighters. And if you are so inclined, make a donation to help them help "New York City's Bravest" and their families.  I'm going to, in memory of Michael Vernon Kiefer. 

Because of Him and Unto Him, 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

There IS Hope

Here is a rock of God's Word to stand on for those needing reinforcement to continue to stand and believe for your wayward children.  Do NOT give up hope!
Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord; and your children shall return from the enemies land. And there is hope for your future says the Lord; your children shall come back to their own country.  ~ Jeremiah 31:16 &17
Thank You, Father for this Promise!  In You we trust!  Thank You for reinforcing Your faithfulness to us and exhorting us to keep believing! Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Do You Know?

Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Jesus, I will never let You go.
You've taken me from the miry clay
You've set my feet upon The Rock, and now I know.

I do know. Firsthand.

The Holy Spirit must have had me in mind as He poured these lyrics into Hillsong's heart.

Truly. I DO know.

I never want to be complacent in remembering from where I came. The muck and mire.

I never want to be complacent in remembering where I am now. Upon The Rock.

Standing steadfast and sure upon The Rock of Grace and Mercy; plucked from the quicksand of humanness. 

Thank You, Jesus, Lover of My Soul. I'd have to be a fool to let go. 

May you remember that you, too, have been set upon The Rock of Grace and Mercy. No matter what storm rages around you, Grace and Mercy will keep you. Just purpose to never let go.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Amos 3:3

What does this sequence of photos speak to your heart?

Because of Him and Unto Him,