"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"  Luke 15:4-6

April 18, 2007


It sometimes amazes me how members of a family can be alike in so many ways, yet so very different in others.  My sister's and I are extremely close and have a lot of the same likes and dislikes, but in so many ways our personalities and talents are very diverse.  

My oldest sister, Joyce, is by far the most even tempered of us girls.  She is the same every time you see her, her emotions are almost always on an even keel, and she pretty much takes everything in stride.  She is quieter and doesn't like to be the center of attention.  Joyce is the ultimate homemaker.  

Linda is the dreamer out of all the sisters.  Ever since she was young, she has always been more of a daydreamer and coming up with all sorts of ideas.  She is very good with plants and knows how to make things grow.  

Shirley has been one to stay more in the background, but is very thoughtful.  For example, she is good about taking food to people after surgeries or bake cookies to give out at Christmas to Sunday School teachers.  She has always enjoyed singing and playing the piano.  Shirley is very good at working with children.  

Janie is more of a talkative, outgoing, people person.  She is very creative.  She is also an excellent Sunday School or Bible Study teacher.  Janie is a national certified sign language interpreter.  Out of all us girls, if an embarrassing or comical situation is going to happen to someone, it will be her.  

I am more quiet and reserved until I get to know someone really well, then watch out!  I think since I was single for so many years, I am more of a "if something needs done, do it", independent person.  I can't remember a time when I didn't sing or know how to play the piano.  I love reading (therefore, my enjoyment of writing), and my sisters tease me that they don't ever have to buy their own books, but can just come to my house and borrow from my library.  

Do our strengths or weaknesses make one of us better than the other?  No, absolutely not!  It makes us unique, and when you put us all together it makes for a wonderful family.

My husband and I have a really strong marriage and we enjoy doing a lot of the same things, and agree on the important issues, but we are totally different.  Jon has a double major in electrical engineering and computer science, and although he has explained it to me over and over, I really don't understand what he's doing half the time when he's working on projects.  He is very gifted in this area, and has known since he was about ten years old that this is what he wanted to pursue.  That in itself makes no sense to me.  I'm forty-one years old, and am just now getting an inkling of what I want to do "when I grow up".  I never had the opportunity to attend college, and spent over fifteen years working in banking.  

On the other hand, I have been singing in church ever since I've been old enough to talk.  I don't remember this, but my sisters have told me that when I was really young, someone would stand me on top of the piano bench at church and I would sing.  I would also sit beside the piano player at church and watch her play, and "play" the piano with her.  How many pastors and piano players at church would let a little kid do that now-a-days?!  I have played the piano by ear ever since I can remember.  

My sweet husband is not so musically talented.  He'll start off singing the right notes, then wander off somewhere, then come back to the right tune, before his voice goes wandering off again.  I will be singing here at home or in the car and he'll join in, and I'll ask him, "Can you not hear that you're not singing the same notes as me?"  His reply is, "Sometimes, but not usually."  That is so hard for me to comprehend.  How can he not hear that he's not singing the same notes as me?!  To me, it is so obvious.

1 Corinthians chapter 12 talks about the body not being just one member, but made up of many.  If the foot says, "Because I'm not a hand,  I am not of the body," does that mean it's not part of the body?  Or if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it not of the body?  Verse 17 says, "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing?  If the whole body were hearing, where would be the smelling?"  God created the body as a whole and set each member exactly where he wanted them.  They each have their purpose, and it takes each of them working together and doing their part, to make the body complete.

Do not ever think that what you do is of no importance.  It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and come up short.  If we look around we will always find someone that we consider better looking, more talented or gifted, or more necessary than what we think we are.  We often don't perceive ourselves as others see us, the good and bad.  

Movie stars, pro athletes, and other members of society that are deemed important, often receive accolades of praise.  How often do we tell family members, friends, co-workers, fellow church members, etc, how they have touched our lives or how important they are to us?  We may tell someone else what we think about another person, but find it embarrassing to tell the person themselves.  I brag to other people about how great I think my sisters are, but have a hard time telling them myself.  Jon has told me numerous times how intelligent and gifted his brother is, but "guys just don't talk about those things to each other."

I want you to know that you are special and important.  There is a purpose for you being on this earth that no one else but you can fulfill.  When God looks down, He doesn't have us categorized as some being more important than others.  In His eyes, you are just as special and important as the greatest world leader, minister, person of fame, etc.  From God's point of view, the ground is level and no one stands taller than the other.


I've known several new or prospective Christians who had problems with all of the different churches.  After all, if Christianity is right, then why is there so much disagreement?  And which church is right?  Some don't go to any church because they fear picking the wrong kind.  There are many places in the Bible that refer to us as sheep:  "The Lord is my Shepherd." (Psalms 23:1), "I am the Good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own." (John 10:14).  This is an answer in two ways.  First, sheep are one of the dumbest animals on the face of the earth compared to a shepherd.  "The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of man" (I Corinthians 1:25).  I can't imagine that God expects us to get all of the details right.  As long as we know His Son died to pay for our sins and we give control to Him, I think the rest is just details.  And second, some sheep may need more clover in their diet while others need more thistle.  Some may need prairie grass for a time, then alfalfa.  In the same way, we may need more structure for part of our lives and more praise and worship later.  We need to be open to the Shepherd's guidance to make sure we live on the right diet, not just the easiest to digest.

(giving thanks)


Sausage Balls

2 cups Bisquick 1 lb. sausage 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients until doughy.  Shape into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 until golden, about 25 minutes.

(I like to make a batch of these up and keep in a covered container in the refrigerator to have for breakfast.  Just take out how many you want and microwave for a few seconds to reheat.)


The way each day will look to you,

all starts with who you're looking to.


(From the married life of Jon and Loretta (yes, that's us)).

One night my husband and I were lying in bed and he asked me what song I was thinking about.  I asked how he knew I was thinking about a song and he said, "Because you're playing the piano on my side."  I had been singing a song in my mind as I fell asleep and hadn't realized I was using my husband's side as a piano.  

We had just been married a few weeks and I was taking up my side of the bed, as well as Jon's space.  He was trying to be very subtle and sweet, when he woke me up and asked if I had enough room.  He thought I would realize how much room I was taking up and scoot over.  I didn't get his point!  I reached over and felt around between me and the edge of the bed, answered yes, and promptly fell back asleep.

(I love ewe)

May your week be blessed!!!

We love and appreciate you all so very much

and are so grateful and thankful for your encouragement and support.

Loretta & Jon