"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

August 5, 2009


I suppose that in a lot of ways, I am a bit of a dreamer. It's not that I walk around with my head in the clouds nor mentally live outside the realm of reality. But I like to daydream occasionally about all sorts of things. Some are things that I know will more than likely never take place, and some are things that I believe could very possibly come true.

For instance, I've remodeled the kitchen and downstairs bathroom several times in my mind. Of course, we rent, so it's not our house to make changes in. I've mentioned to Jon over the past four years that we've lived here, "If this were our house, I'd do this or that." Of course, it's easier to plot and plan and daydream when I know we're renters and won't actually have to come up with the money to do any of these things, nor will we follow through with my big ideas.

We have a couple big books of house plans. We would like to build a house one day. We have talked about the possibility of building a small cottage, then later using it as a guest house or turning it into a workshop for Jon when we build our retirement home. I drag out those books occasionally and can spend hours looking through them. I'll scrutinize the different options and determine what I like or don't like.

I really like looking at cars. I don't particularly like going to car lots and looking around (I don't want to deal with salesmen), but as I drive down the highway or street, I enjoy looking at all the different varieties of vehicles. Jon and I will be driving and I'll see a car I like and comment on it. Jon used to always get uptight anytime I said anything, thinking that I wanted to go buy a new car like the one I saw. I've had to explain (over and over) that I don't necessarily want a vehicle like the ones I see and like; but I just like looking at the different makes and models of cars.

When my sister, Janie, and I were young, one of the silly games kids would play would be to sit out by the road and watch the cars go by. If there were two of you, every other car would "be your car". You would really hope that you'd get the cool cars and not the junkers driving by, when it was your turn. Okay, we lived in the country and we had to create our own entertainment!

Probably my very favorite thing to dream about is traveling and seeing the world -- America and International. I enjoy watching the Travel Channel. I find the widely varied landscapes and cultures very interesting. I'll see places that I think look very cool, and will go online to find out more information. My favorite genre of books are historical fiction. I enjoy reading about different eras and about the history of various US states or locations worldwide. I would absolutely love to be able to travel all over the United States, and there are international countries I'd love to visit as well. I just think going to various locations to see the gorgeous world that God created would be so cool.

I've even made a list of places I want us to travel to! We both agree that we want to go to Alaska. I want to see Yellowstone, the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Redwood forest, the mountains (Rockies, Tetons, Smokies, Appalachians), tour the New England states during fall, visit Amish country in Pennsylvania or Ohio, see some old southern plantations, relax on the beach in Florida; to name a few US destinations. Internationally, I'd like to vacation in Costa Rica, Ireland, Germany, Cayman Islands, see the Alps in Switzerland or Austria (and eat some awesome chocolate), and ride a gondola in Venice.

But my husband is more logical and practical. He has dreams (although I'm not sure he would call them that), but they are in regards to electronic designs or inventions. I'm sure his viewpoint would be that his dreams are more realistic, and has the potential to bring in some money. They may initially cost in order to carry them out, but if they work out then he may make his money back, plus hopefully some profit. On the other hand, my dreams tend to cost money, and there is no return on them (other than a lifetime of memories and the joy of seeing the world together). In other words, his dreams will make us richer and my dreams will make us poorer!

At times, I'm quite certain that it drives my husband nuts when I start daydreaming. He seems to fear that if he agrees with me, then I will take that as a sign that he is on board with what I'm dreaming about, and I will think that we are going to do whatever it is. My sister told me that she thinks the reason he gets uptight when I talk about travel, is that he thinks if he says he would like to go to whichever destination I happen to be talking about, that I will figure out a way for us to be able to go.

Yes, I would love to travel, but I'm realistic enough to know that it takes money. I don't want us to go into debt to do so or to travel on credit. During our lifetime, I just hope that we will be blessed enough financially to be able to see a few places on my dream list. And I hope Jon will enjoy it too, which I know he will.

Having dreams, making plans, and setting goals are important. If not for those things, then life would be rather dreary and boring. We would have no purpose or anything to work towards.

Everyone's dreams vary. A young couple may dream of having children; wondering what their kids will look like, what they will grow up to become, etc. Others may dream of one day owning their own home. Then there are those who dream about retirement; what they will do, where they will live, and other aspects. Some people dream of advancing in their career, owning their own business, or pursuing their talent to see if they can get the right breaks and succeed.

Some dreams may consist of learning something new or trying a new adventure. It may be to lose weight or train to run a marathon. Other dreams may consist of moving out of a bad neighborhood, or getting out of a bad situation.

Jon and I occasionally watch "America's Got Talent". It is amazing at times how truly talented some individuals think they are, when they really aren't that great. Others seem to be insulted or shocked when they don't get chosen. I'm sure that what a lot of it comes down to is them having a dream to be a success in their field of talent, and winning the prize money. Regardless of the level of talent, there is a lot to say for individuals who are willing to put themselves out there on the line and take that risk. Some win, and some get their talent showcased and get their breaks when someone hears or sees them and gives them a call. Then there are some who hopefully are given the nudge they need to realize that they need to go into a different field and try something else. Maybe that's what they need to wake them up from their old dream and start dreaming a new one.

These are all examples of dreams men and women mull over and think about during the day -- thus their being called daydreams!

There are dreams that we dream at night during sleep. A lot of my dreams, I can't remember the details of the next morning. Some of them I will wake up in the middle of the night and think, "That was a really good (or funny) dream. I'll have to remember it so I can tell Jon in the morning." Sometimes I can remember, but other times not. I've had dreams where I'm being chased and I'll wake up with my legs feeling weak, and I feel exhausted as if I'd actually been running. I've had humorous dreams, and have woke myself up laughing. Then I've had those dreams that don't make a lick of sense! I can't honestly say that I've ever had the honor of being given a dream, in my sleep, from God; such as Joseph was given.

Joseph (from the Bible) has often been referred to as "The Dreamer". From a young age, he had very vivid and powerful dreams. And those dreams got him into a whole lot of trouble with his brothers. Not only did he remember his dreams, but he seemed to know the meanings of them, and repeated them to his brothers. Probably not the smartest thing he could have done, but he was still a young teenager and immature. Regardless of how mature and wise they think they are, teens just don't have the insight, wisdom or maturity to know when to speak and when to keep their mouths shut.

In Genesis 37, Joseph told his brothers that he dreamed that they were binding sheaves. His stood upright, and theirs all bowed down to his sheaf. His brothers were already jealous of Joseph, due to him very obviously being their father's favorite son. In fact they hated him, and upon his revelation of his dream, that made them hate him all the more. They ended up selling him into slavery, then lying to their father by telling him that Joseph was dead.

Joseph had to go through a lot of years of difficulties before he was finally put in a prominent position, and was reunited with his family. But regardless of his immaturity in the retelling of his dream to his brothers, God had a plan for his life and fulfilled His purpose for Joseph.

Some of our dreams may be God-given, and others may be our own imagination and desires. God may give us dreams so that we will follow Him and so that our destiny will be fulfilled. He may bless some of our other dreams and make them a realization; just for our pleasure and enjoyment. Some may be fulfilled and others may change over time, or never be fully realized. But if we ever lose a dream, may we always seek a new one.

God wants our lives to be fulfilled and blessed; and He wants our lives to be filled with enjoyment and pleasure. That's why He places within each of our hearts a dream. I pray that each of us will see some of our dreams come to fulfillment, and continue to dream new dreams until our life on earth reaches an end.


I do have lots of dreams. Maybe too many dreams. Too often, I end up jumping from following one dream to another, and never follow through with any of them.

This newsletter is actually part of a larger dream of mine to have some positive ministry. I dream of adding more--some games, Bible study tools, etc. But just like the seeds that sprout and get choked out by weeds, I tend to get bogged down in day to day tasks and other things to the point that I don't accomplish any of my important dreams.


Cucumber Dip

2 small or 1 large cucumber -- very finely diced

1 dry package Ranch Dressing or Ranch Dip mix --

(I've used both and either is fine)

1 cup Miracle Whip or Mayo

1 cup sour cream

Peel and finely dice the cucumbers. (We have a mini chopper I used. If you use a knife, make sure you dice it into really small, fine pieces.) Put the diced cucumbers into a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving to give time for the flavors to really mesh. The longer it sits, the better it gets. Can be used as a veggie dip or eaten with Ritz crackers. (Jon and I liked putting some on top of a Ritz cracker and eating it like that.)


This past Sunday, Jon and I drove to Fort Smith, Arkansas so that I could lead worship at the church where my sister and brother-in-law pastor. They were gone on vacation, so had invited me to play piano and lead the singing, and one of my nephews to preach. We had purposely arrived in Fort Smith early so that we could stop by my sister's house before going to church. I had to drop something off and put in their freezer, and also wanted a few minutes to use her piano and go over the songs I was planning on leading, to make sure I had the right keys. While I was doing that, Jon found my nieces Wii (interactive game that hooks up to the TV) and decided to try it out. I was wearing my watch and was closely watching the time. I finished early, so went downstairs to watch Jon play a Wii game. I knew it took about 5 minutes to get to church, so allowed what I thought was plenty of time. But when we got into the car, I realized that my watch was 5-6 minutes slow! Then I ended up taking the long route out of my sister's neighborhood. When we were within sight of the church, I saw one of the deacons looking out the backdoor to see whether or not we were there yet. We weren't late, but were not there any too early either. I did confess to my nephew the whole story, but only told the deacon that we had to stop by the house to drop something off and got lost getting out of the neighborhood. I wasn't sure how the explanation of Jon playing with the Wii and my watch being slow would go over. Probably wouldn't sound too spiritual!

After church, we stopped back by the house to change clothes. And that time, Jon persuaded me to try out playing a Wii game with him. Well, actually it didn't take much persuasion! I, of course, lost! But it really was a whole lot of fun. We decided that we now want to save up and buy a Wii for us to play with at home! With the Wii, you have to get up and move the control to get your character to move (thus it being an interactive game), and we are justifying our "need" of buying a Wii with it being a fun way to get some exercise -- instead of just sitting on the couch and playing a computer game.

And for you "older" folk who think such things are a waste of money, I have seen several documentaries where nursing homes and retirement centers are buying Wii's for their residents to play with. Some centers even have young teens who will come and play with the residents, and they'll have tournaments between the older and younger folk. It's a lot of fun and keeps them active. They have games like tennis, bowling, boxing; then other just fun goofy games.


The grass is greener on the other side; but it could be because it's growing over a septic tank.


We hope you all are having an enjoyable summer.

We love you!

Loretta & Jon