It’s All About Jesus

I’m excited about this week. There is a big week-long conferences in Sweden called Nyhemsveckan. It’s arranged by the Pentecostal churches, a tradition that has been going on for 100 years. When I visited Sweden in my youth it was a highlight for me. Now I can sit in my living room/office and be a part of it. The wonder of the Web!

Find this conference at: www.nyhemsveckan.se

Yesterday was Father’s Day. Apart from Church in the morning, it was a lonely day. In Sweden, where my father is, this day is celebrated in November. The father of my girls is already in his eternal home. It was a rainy day. I decided to study Proverbs about wisdom–wisdom in general and the wisdom of using the tongue to speak wisely.

For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. Proverbs 8:11

This subject has been on my heart for several weeks and I’m writing some stories for children, weaving this subject into them. They will eventually be provided in English.

All treasures of wisdom are in Jesus! Meditate on this. Let that truth penetrate your innermost being. You can find all your answers in Jesus!

Then I had the surprise of my life! In 1960-61 I made friends with Olga and Oswaldo, two young people in Tarma, Peru. I have written before about how Olga and I visited the local hospital and the prison, and how we distributed Gospel tracts. When she met Oswaldo, and they had more than a friendship connection, I got to know that young man more.

Oswaldo being baptized    |   Olga with a bag of tracts

A while back Olga was promoted to her eternal heavenly home. I know this because her daughter has made friends with me in Facebook. Yesterday she gave me the surprise of my life. She called, because her father gave himself a Father’s Day present. That’s what she said! The present was to call me!

Oswaldo called me by a name I haven’t heard in ages: Chestin. It warmed my heart. He was doing his best to pronounce Kerstin in Swedish (sheash-tin). We talked old memories. He was so surprised that I sounded just like when I was 16. “I have to keep young for all the children I work for,” I told him. Then we talked about Olga and that we will meet again. That is the glorious hope we have if we love Jesus.

At the beginning of this month I wrote about a laptop my assistant Cristina and I ordered for her mother, who works as an English teacher for preschoolers in Lima, Peru. You might have been wondering what happened. We did not have much time to get the computer delivered to the person visiting Florida that had promised to take it back with her upon returning to Peru. It was right before the Memorial Day weekend.

It arrived on time! And it arrived in Peru! It was an answer to prayer! It took a while for Cristina’s sister to be able to go get the laptop once it arrived in Peru. But my friend Maria got it exactly at the right time. I can’t explain all the details, but things happened and new guidelines were set up at the school, so she really needed a laptop that worked! The timing when she received it was perfect!

God is perfect! Everything he does is perfect! He knew what was going to happen at Maria’s school, that she needed a laptop, and when she needed it. Such is our wonderful God. I’m so glad I  was a little part of this!

Now I will enjoy a week with Nyhemsveckan at a distance. “It’s all about Jesus!” Did I say that this is the theme for the conference? It’s also the theme of my life. Jesus is everything for me. Everything I do is for Jesus. When I push my “publish” button on one of my web pages, I look up to heaven and say, “This is for you, Jesus. Use it for your glory.”  I hope what I publish can be used for God’s glory.

It’s All About Jesus!

I hope you can join in with me letting Jesus be everything for you. Words cannot describe how wonderful he is. Jesus is everything to me!

 

 

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My Hobby Lobby Story

I picked up a book at Hobby Lobby last time I was there, written by the founder and CEO David Green. If you live in the United States you probably know that Hobby Lobby is a crafts and arts store, the most fun store somebody with creative juices can walk in to.

I was introduced to Hobby Lobby in 1994, when my late daughter Eva-Marie and I visited Joan, our friend from Peru. Joan was very excited about some crafts she needed for decorations and she took us to “Jabi-Labi.” I am in no way trying to make fun of Joan’s accent, but I thought it was so cute the way she pronounced Hobby Lobby, and from that time on I just loved “Jabi-Labi.” That visit was in Colorado Springs, and it had such an impact on us  (not Hobby Lobby but the visit and the climate) that we moved there, but that’s another story.

You have heard of my Princess Room, I am sure. The walls are decorated with cute things I have found at Hobby Lobby. The purpose of the room is to pamper a “Princess” God would send me, only for a weekend, for someone who just needs a little break. I even had journals with Princess, Daughter of the King written all over it. I wonder who is going to be my next guest. Of course, I have my granddaughters that spend time there every time they visit me. I have furnished and decorated it for Him, for his Princesses.

A wall-hanging, also cover of the journals

I started reading the book early this morning and couldn’t put it down. It impressed me, especially the part of Hobby Lobby being “A Company owned by God.” The Green family are what we all should be in our different areas–stewards, caretakers. All that we have is the Lord’s.

Read 1 Chronicles 29 about the offering David and the people prepared for the temple Solomon would build. David had in his heart to build a temple for the Lord, but God said he was not allowed to do it because he had been a warrior and shed too much blood. So, he prepared the materials for the great task his son Solomon would undertake. Here are a few words that show David’s perspective:

 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.  O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.” 1 Chronicles 29:14-16 ESV

The book I just read is called “Giving it all away… and getting it all back again, The Way of Living Generously,” by David Green with Bill High. Published by Zondervan. I highly recommend it!

In the book you can read about the lawsuit they won against the United States Government. Because of their Christian faith they could not pay for drugs that might cause abortions. The whole issue was because they could not cover the morning after pill or the week after pill. At the time the book was written, more than 57,000,000 abortions had occurred in the United States. This is heart-breaking! The book tells the miracle of how they won the lawsuit. But that is not what impressed me the most.

What I appreciate most from my reading is about leaving a legacy. Hobby Lobby started as a little business in the garage of the Greens, with the whole family working together doing picture frames. God has blessed them immensely and they are now a company in the billions. How do they manage the resources God has entrusted to them? They give them away to ministries that enhance the Kingdom. David Green is not storing up riches for his grandchildren here on earth but rather he is storing up riches in heaven, by giving to worthy causes, not randomly but by meeting monthly with his children to decide where the distribution should go for that month.

I think a lot about legacy. Why did I move to Fort Gibson? I wanted to be closer to my grandchildren to leave them a legacy of my time and influence. When I had the cancer almost ten years ago, my prayer was to God that he would let me live so that I could declare his wonders to the next generation.

The “next generation” for me includes:

  • My grandchildren
  • All the children I reach through my on-line ministry of story-telling

Many times there is a conflict because of these both interests, like the other day:

Sarah: Why are you always working?

I: Teachers and children are waiting for the stories.

Sarah: Why cant’s you retire?

David: She is retired.

Sarah: Then why is she working?

Brianna: She likes what she is doing!

I: You didn’t tell me you were coming. If I know when you will come I can rearrange my schedule to spend time with you.

It hurt me that I couldn’t give Sarah my undivided attention at that moment. I was finishing off my story for the week to send to my assistant so she could do her part.

All of us face conflicts in one or another way. Let’s keep our priorities straight and do our best. “We need a sense of urgency about God’s priorities for the resources we’ve been given,” says David Green. God has entrusted him with billions of dollars. That is a great responsibility. If we have been entrusted with 10, 100, 1,000 or 10,000 dollars, we have the same kind of responsibility, to be faithful and use what has been given us as best we know how, to forwards God’s Kingdom.

Here are some verses I’ve read many, many times:

 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:37,38 ESV

Not until today did I stop to mediate strongly on the last part: “For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Let me repeat it:

“For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Meditate on what it means in your life. It can be in finances, in generosity, in forgiveness, in kindness… Let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. What does He want to teach you in this area. What does He want to teach me?

Have a blessed week!

“Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…”

If possible, get the book!

 

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Turn Worry into Prayer

I think I should change the title to “Turn Frustration into Praise,” because that is what wants to overcome me right now. Instead of feeling frustrated I need to praise God! I just happened to hit a wrong key on my computer and lost everything I had written about turning worry into prayer. “Suck it up, buttercup” I heard the preacher say in his sermon. I will suck it up, go on with life, and start all over!

We had good preaching this morning. It lasted over an hour. Nobody was getting nervous about it, even if the service was going way over the usual time. How do I know? I sit at the very last row, not because I like to sit way back. I have been sitting on the front row ever since I first visited New Life Assembly of God in Fort Gibson. But I need to memorize people and faces so I can connect them with names, and that way get to know who is who. I want to make some friends!

MY BLESSED SATURDAY

Before I tell you about the sermon, let me share about my Saturday. It was supposed to be “de-stressing,” since the week had had enough stress. So, I decided not to turn on the computer. But then, very soon, I had a feeling that I should turn it on. It was right! My Peruvian friend from youth, Anita Olsson, who for many years was a missionary in Peru but now lives in Sweden, sent me a request for help. She was going to teach a class and had found something that would enhance the experience. I usually prepare materials for Anita and she had some that she had used before with another set of children, so we were sure she was all set. But, then, this new thing she had found would be so good. Could I help her?

Of course, I would help her! You call me anytime you need teaching materials and I’ll be happy to postpone house cleaning! It took us a while to figure out where the thing was that she had “found” that would be so good if I did it in Swedish for her. I have 370 stories published, and if you can’t give me the number of the story I can have a hard time finding it. The only thing she could say was that it was a clock, and she confused me because she mentioned my English MX1414.wordpress.com page. I went through everything there but there was no clock. Finally, I asked her to take a picture and send me.

When we at last figured out what she wanted I went to work. There is a time-change of seven hours between her place and my place. She had sent me the request early on Saturday, but since I had decided not to turn on the computer I received it when it was evening in Sweden.

If you want to see what I did, it’s a combination of a picture of a boy in a story about a clock, a clock that has an activity, and then a puzzle. The title is: Your Heart is Valuable. For the puzzle, you look at the different times on the clock and get the letters, that spell: Take care of your heart.

Would you like to have this in English? I’d be happy to do it for you. Write me!

Swedish activity: Ditt hjarta ar vardefullt

This morning, in the middle of the sermon, my phone rings. I usually don’t put it on silent because nobody calls me during church, but Anita wasn’t sure about the time difference and she was excited to tell me what a blessing that activity and the other materials she had prepared were. Good thing I was sitting in the back! She called me back later.

Did she have a big class? Not what most people would consider big. “Just” 2 boys! And three adults, counting herself. But those were the boys that never could sit still. This time, they loved the activity. They even colored the boy on the picture. Other times they had never wanted to do any activities. Guess if I’m happy about postponing my cleaning!

I did get my washing done and my kitchen zinc cleaned. The other stuff will be there tomorrow and the next day. Have you noticed that the more you let it sit the more the dust will accumulate? Can that be called a blessing?

GOD PROVIDES TENNIS-SHOES

The more you give, the more you get! That’s a blessing! Let me tell you of a lady at church that had a blessing. She has been doing garage sales to help with money for our church van. We just got a van, and it’s paid for in full. She and her husband needed new tennis-shoes. She was hoping that something might come in for the garage sale. Low and behold, somebody brought a pair of “New Balance” in her size! She got excited and told the person that donated them about it. Since they were her size, the person donating the shoes told her to keep them.

“I can’t do that,” she said. “They are for the garage sale. I will have to buy them.” “Well,” the person said, “let’s put a price on them. One dollar.” Then, that same person, the one that had brought the tennis-shoes, took out five dollars and “bought” the shoes she had donated, and she then gave them to the lady doing the garage sale.

It’s so exciting to see how God works in different ways to provide for his children. Here, he provided tennis-shoes for a very generous lady, giving of her time and energy to provide for the church van.

DON’T WORRY, PRAY!

Are you still with me? Let me just say some words about the sermon we had this morning. “Breaking the Spirit of Worry and Anxiety,” was the title. Romans 12:1 was the key Scripture, about renewing our mind.

I’m not going to preach the sermon here, but I will just tell you, what you probably know, that worry, anxiety and fear keep us in bondage. But Jesus has come to set us free. We can speak the Word of God over every situation, and instead of worrying we can have victory.

It was last Wednesday that I had the overload of stress. I could not sit back and roll my thumbs and wait for God to drop the answer in front of me in a nice little package. I had to work in finding an answer to my problem. But I prayed as I worked, and I asked Jesus to have mercy on me.

I also had my Assistant working on the problem. When I had done everything in my power and I could not think of one more thing to do, Somebody (I believe it was the Lord!) dropped an idea in my head. So, I did one more thing! I wrote an SOS email. If you read my previous blog you know what happened. At the eleventh hour, the answer came. At 11.00 pm I sent my final file with the book I had been working on so diligently for several days.

I turned my anxious and worrisome thoughts into a prayer of victory! That’s what Pastor Orman talked about today. That’s what I would like to encourage you to do.

I’m sure there are a lot of challenges ahead of me that I don’t know about. Lots more opportunities to practice what I preach, and what Pastor Orman preached about. The same God that was with me yesterday, is the same God that is with me today, and the same God that will be with me tomorrow. He will never fail. He will never leave me.

It’s the same for you! Trust the Lord, no matter what!

Blessings in abundance for a super amazing week!

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Stressed and Blessed

“Time flies when you’re having fun,” they say. I have also heard it said, “Too blessed to be stressed.” You can have fun doing your job, but even in the midst of “fun” one can sometimes get stressed. I’ve had stress enough for a while this week. No time for any blogging!

Sometimes we need to say NO, and maybe that is what I should have done to the project that has stressed me out. But when all is said and done, I think I will be happy that I said YES. It all has to do with a book that I formatted. I missed one step because I didn’t know about it. Cristina and I spent an entire day researching it. I, in the USA and she, in Peru. At the end of the day, when I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I thought of sending out an SOS to people on my email list. Maybe someone could help. Late in the evening, when my alarm awoke me after a cat-nap, I had an answer.

I did what was suggested in the email I got, and sent the file off to the person who had been waiting for it all day. It seems like it worked. But I will not know it until in a couple of weeks. If the solution worked, that knowledge is going to improve the files I produce. So, hopefully, it was a good thing I said YES. Even if it was stressful.

Maybe someone is wondering what my problem was. I work with inDesign and needed to know how to embed fonts. The call I made to the company I bought inDesign from –Adobe– was not helpful. Two hours of taking with the person answering my call and no solution. Even videos didn’t give a good explanation.

Life can be stressful for many different reasons. You can be sure that I did a lot of praying! The project was for a friend. I wrote to ask for forgiveness for not telling him up-front that I’m no professional book designer. He thought I had lots of experience. I do have a lot of experience from years of doing formatting work, but NOT books in particular. The answer I got refreshed my heart.

Like the prodigal son: All is forgiven, come home.
Learning experience for both of us.

It feels good to be forgiven, even when you did not hurt anyone purposefully.

Now let me tell you a totally different story that has happened since I last wrote my last blog. My assistant Cristina’s mother works as an English teacher for preschoolers in Lima, Peru. She has a very, very old laptop to do her schoolwork planning on. I have been praying especially for her lately and had the desire to get her a new laptop. But, how could I get one from Fort Gibson to Lima? God knew my desire. And He always knows the solution to every problem.

Last week Cristina asked me if I would do her a favor. Could I use my Amazon account and order a laptop for her mother. A friend of her sister was visiting Florida and had promised to take it back with her upon returning. Cristina has been saving to help her mother and surprise her. I told her of my desire and promised to pay part of it. The only thing was, would there be enough time to order it at get it delivered? It was right before the Memorial Day weekend.

Skype is a wonderful thing! We talked to each other as if we were in the same room. Going back and forth, the great question was about the shipping. In the middle of this conversation my son-in-law shows up. Was he not at work? “Did God send you here to help me?” I asked. I sure needed his help at that moment! That he had a special reason to not be at work, that he came at the right moment, that he gave me the advice I needed… all of that was part of the “present” to Cristina’s mother.

We ordered the laptop with accessories hoping that it would arrive in Florida before June 1st, when the friend was flying back to Lima. I had no way of ordering priority shipping from Amazon, but I could always pray about it. I love it that we can come to God at any time and ask about anything, knowing that he will answer. The laptop was ordered and arrived on time! It’s on its way to Peru! What an amazing answer to prayer! (I hope Maria, Cristina’s mother, doesn’t read this so it ruins the surprise!)

“May he [the Lord] give you the desires of your heart,” it reads in Psalm 20. I had this desire about helping my friend Maria. God put the same desire in Cristina’s heart. Now we are just waiting to surprise her!

I have so much going on, so many projects, so many ideas… it seems like there is no end to it. The latest is a series of stories I’m going to write, which I don’t know how they will develop. I just want to teach kids the importance of what we speak. I’m going to work the lessons with the help of two little boys called Salt and Pepper. Here they are:

The story is based on this verse:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 ESV

This is in a nutshell what has been happening at my little corner of the world. Stress and blessings, salt and pepper, ideas and more ideas…

Let me finish with something important we will be doing. Nothing is more important than to hide the Word of God in your heart. We are going to do cards that we can use to memorize Bible verses.

Here is the first set to get started. Print on thick paper or light card stock. Cut out the cards and hold them together with a clip. Memorize the verses! Share them!

Faith Cards: Bible Promises FAITH

Be blessed and have a great week-end!

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The Happiest Day of my Life

Today marks 62 years since what I as a child considered the happiest day of my life. And it gets better and better. On May 19, 1955 I was baptized. That day we celebrated Christ’s Ascension to Heaven, and I had the joyous experience of baptism.

My Pastor, Alvar Blomgren, is long gone to be with the Lord. As I remember him, he was a very kind man. His daughter-in-law Gun is one of my best friends. Pastor Blomgren wrote a poem in my autograph book.

Idag har Kerstin blivit döpt
Hon är så glad att Jesus henne köpt
Nu vill hon Jesus alltid följa
På land och över havets bölja
Snart hör vi aftonklockan klämta
Då kommer Jesus att oss alla hämta

Translation:

Today Kerstin has been baptized
She is happy Jesus bought her with a price
Now she wants to follow Jesus
Over Lands and over Seas
Soon we will hear evening bells ringing
Then Jesus comes to take us home

This short poem, that tells that I was baptized and that I wanted to follow Jesus, shows that even at that time, just nine years of age, I had my heart set on a missionary life. One year later the Lord called me to work for him in children’s ministry. I don’t have words enough to express my gratitude to my Lord and Savior for the privilege of being his servant. I hope he will give me many more years to be at his service here on earth. Then I have eternity to devote to my precious Lord.

I “knew” this, but had forgotten it. Today is Absalom’s birthday, the artist who has worked for my Royal Palm World Mission ministry for over five years. I want to honor him by putting a couple of baptism pictures. They depict Paul when he was baptized, and when he baptized.

How many pictures do you think I have? Do the math! Absalom does 20 pictures a month. Our goal is to illustrate lessons covering the entire Bible. Who finances this? I do! With the work of my brain and my hands. God provides me translation jobs. And I pass on the income. If you have followed my blogs for a few years, you might remember when God provided me with a translation job for a company that paid me one year in advance. That was a miracle of miracles!

No need for a calculator to figure out we have more than 1000 pictures, but since he does them both in color and in b/w that means more than 2000 pictures to share with teachers. I don’t charge anything for them. The pictures are all for free download. Should you want to help with the financial aspect, I’ll send you a million Thank-you’s!

Speaking of miracles! This week, my Math whizz grandson David graduated eighth grade. He was chosen as Salutatorian for his class. This is such a special boy for me, because he came at a time in my life when I had a big hole in my heart. My first-born daughter had been promoted to Glory and I missed her terribly. David filled that hole. Now he has finished his elementary school studies, with all kinds of awards and some trophies. He placed first in Math in the State of Oklahoma. Do I sound like a proud grandmother? I am!

You should have heard his Salutatorian speech. He talked about his career in school, about his plans and aspirations for the future, how he knows he must work hard to succeed, what he wants to be when he retires at age fifty. He wants to live on the beach as a beach bum!

His classmates voted him as the most likely to succeed, together with the girl who was Valedictorian. One thing that impressed me was that one of the boys in the class said that David is the person he most admires, because David is easy to talk to. This boy and David have helped each other, I think. Both of them have issues to overcome with forms of autism.

I cannot just talk about David. My granddaughters Brianna and Sarah also won awards. Sarah has straight A’s for the entire year, except for one B+. I told the kids that they did so good because they got all their intelligence from “mormor” (grandmother in Swedish). I don’t have any left! Well, I think they have left me a little bit.

Forgive me for mixing baptism, birthday and graduation, but they all represent very happy moments. I have had many happy moments after my very happy experience of baptism. Even after the happy moments of getting married, having my girls, and becoming a grandmother, I stand firm on the fact that the day I was baptized was the happiest day of my life. I felt such inexplicable joy that I wished I could be baptized every day!

This will be all. A storm in on the way and I might lose electric power, like it happened last night, when we had a very heavy storm. No tornado warning now, but heavy rains on the way.

Have a very blessed weekend!

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

Wishing all Mothers a Happy Day!

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself   with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10-31

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Mother’s Day is Coming Up

Dear Reader Friends,

This weekend is Mother’s Day. Cristina and I have been very busy coming up with some new ideas for the teachers that visit my blogs. We have made one card in English. It will also be posted in Swedish. It works in both languages.

I hope kids will love to make this card for MOM.

File for print: Mom card

Welcome to visit MX1414.wordpress.com to find instructions.

Wishing you Blessings by the Bushels,

Kerstin

HAPPY

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