"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

January 15, 2014


Jon has been involved in an ongoing job for a particular customer for over four years now. With this job, we traveled to Singapore in September of 2009. Then the ship, which is for pumping oil, was moved to the Gulf of Mexico, about halfway between the Louisiana coast and Cuba. Jon has now traveled to the ship to work a couple times, to the docks in Louisiana twice, and is now getting ready to make another trip to the ship. This is seemingly an ongoing, endless project!

What's really frustrating is that many times the customer has contacted Jon, saying that they had to have him at a certain location to work and give him the dates that he is expected, only to have them change their scheduling at the last minute. Or he will arrive, only to find that they really aren't ready for him. This has happened numerous times!

Jon knew that he was going to have to go offshore to the ship again but there have been scheduling conflicts, both on his part and the customer, so for the past three months has been aware of making this trip, but just not sure when it was going to happen. He found out this past Friday afternoon, that he would need to leave on Sunday morning, with another co-worker, to drive to the docks in Louisiana, where they will be helicoptered out to the ship on Monday morning and work for 8-10 days.

The company that Jon works for has been involved in another huge job for an important customer of theirs, with a deadline in February. This past week there seemed to be one complication after another, and when they found out that it would be at least two weeks before they would be ready for Jon, his boss decided that now would be a good time for him to travel and do what's needed for the other job.

I always dread it when I know that Jon has to travel out of town, with me being unable to go with him. I don't like staying home alone and I don't like the two of us being separated by time and distance. I was single for many years and lived by myself, but it's kind of those "been there, done that, don't want to do it again" type of situations. The first couple days and nights that Jon is gone seem to drag by, and I wake up often during the night, but then I settle down and adjust. It's not that I'm afraid; but I just like Jon being at home with me.

The first few times that Jon had to travel for his job, I would get teary eyed and almost start boo-hooing when he left. I would try to hold back the tears, sometimes more successfully than others, until he was out of sight. My life feels more complete with Jon here at home with me.

I do know though that Jon will come home again. I trust him and I know that when he says he will be home in a few days that I can believe him. So I anxiously count down days and wait with anticipation for his return.

In John chapter 12, Jesus and some others were at the home of Lazarus and his two sisters. Mary took a pound of very costly oil and anointed the feet of Jesus with it, then wiped His feet with her hair. Judas asked why the fragrant oil wasn't sold to feed the poor. He didn't care about the poor, but he was a thief and had the money box, and he used to take what was put in it. (verse 6) Jesus' reply was, "You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." Jesus tried to prepare the disciples beforehand of the events that would take place: His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and the fact that He would leave them and ascend back to Heaven.

(John 14) Later, Jesus was speaking to His disciples and told them to not let their hearts be troubled. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

In verses 16 and 18, Jesus said, "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate (Helper, Comforter) to help you and be with you forever -- the Spirit of truth....... I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

Jesus' ministry on earth lasted a total of three years. But His disciples had become very dependent upon Him in those few short years, and didn't want Him to leave. Perhaps they were afraid of what would happen once He was gone. They may have felt like they still had so much to learn. Or they may have felt like they had got to spend such a small amount of time with Him, and surely He could stay just a little longer. They also may have felt inadequate to carry on the ministry without Him being there as their leader.

I believe that Jesus knew and understood how these men felt. That's why He did His best to try and prepare as best He could for the events that were going to occur. That's why He promised to go and prepare a place for them, and would come again so that they could be with Him for all eternity. That's why the Father sent the Holy Spirit; to help during the interim between Jesus's ascension back to Heaven and when He returns a second time for all believers.

Those same promises that Jesus made to His disciples over two thousand years ago are still ours today! They were not meant for only twelve, but for all who believe. We have the Holy Spirit here with us today to comfort and help and be our advocate. We have the promise that Jesus is preparing a place for us to spend all eternity. And that the day will come when He will return and we will be together forever. No more separation, but we will see Jesus face to face. What a day that will be!!


I really do like my job. It's about the best one I've ever had. But one of the most frustrating things about the customers I deal with is never knowing enough to plan ahead. Each time we know that I have some kind of travel coming up, especially if there are conflicts, we start praying that God will work out the timing and schedule. And He always has.

It's also frustrating waiting for Jesus to return. But we just have to trust that He has worked out all the details, too.


French Onion Soup

1 stick butter

4 large onions -- thinly sliced

1 cup dry white wine (optional)

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

4 cups beef broth

2 cloves minced garlic

Worcestershire Sauce

Several thick slices of French Bread or Baguette

5-7 ounces Gruyere Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won't stick and burn.

Remove pot from oven and place back on stovetop over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine (if desired -- you can omit if desired, which is perfectly fine). Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. (Skip that step if not using wine -- which again, is fine!) Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat, allowing bread to brown and become crispy.

When soup is ready, ladle into bowl or ramekin. Place crispy bread on top, and then sprinkle generously with grated Gruyere cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.


I saw a photo of a sign recently that I thought was humorous. I may have to make one for our yard. It read:

"NO SOLICITING! We are too broke to buy anything. We know who we are voting for. We have found Jesus. Seriously, unless you are selling Thin Mint Cookies -- PLEASE GO AWAY!"


Not going to church because of the "hypocrites" is like not going to the gym because of "out of shape" people. - unknown


We love you!

Loretta & Jon