Are You Ever Disturbed?

Today's reading from Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost For His Highest" is excellent.
You can read it here.


Two Years

August 19, 2005 - a day I will remember the rest of my life.
I love you, JP, and I thank God for every day, every moment that He gives us together. You truly are the best man I know. I give you all my heart, forever, and I look forward to many more years of blessed marriage to you. Thank you for being you.

I, Audra, according to the Word and will of God, submit myself to you, JP, as the church submits to Jesus. Today, I covenant with God and with you to be your wife, to be your helper, suited to you in everything. I will follow you as you follow the Lord, respecting you, bringing honor to you, and loving you. By God's Word and by His Spirit, I vow to live by faith and pursue holiness, to minister grace and peace to our home, to comfort and encourage you, giving preference to your needs above my own, as unto the Lord.



This past week, Israel and I joined my parents in a road trip to Memphis, TN. The purpose of the trip was twofold: 1.) to introduce Rae to her great-grandmother (aka: "MeMaw") and great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, etc. and 2.) to check in on my Uncle Dave (dad's younger brother) who was very sick in the hospital. His liver was failing him.
We packed up Monday morning and drove off at about 6:15 am. The trip down went smoother than any of us expected with a 6-month-old in tow. Israel was amazing the whole ride down. We made it to Memphis and my dad dropped us off at MeMaw's, then headed directly to the hospital.
When he arrived at the hospital around 9:00 pm, he found out that his brother - my uncle - had died at 6:30 am, just minutes after we had left Minnesota. This was a huge shock to all of us. We knew he was sick and had been in and out of the hospital. He had recently been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver amongst other things. But we did not realize that his liver was literally falling apart inside of him, or that his time was so limited.
My dad was so sad that he hadn't made it there for David. There were a number of issues that we had in dealing with the hospital he was at that would have made the world of a difference...but I won't get into all of that. The bottom line was that we weren't there soon enough, and Dave died alone. This is so heart-wrenching.
Our trip was transformed from a chance to help David out to a working-out of the details for a funeral, which was held on Friday afternoon. Dad took care of all of the arrangements. The service was beautiful, and we were blessed by all of the family and friends who showed up to honor Dave. He is healed now.
The other part of the trip was an absolute joy. MeMaw was SO happy to meet Israel and show her off to all of her friends in the senior community where she lives. Rae was so sweet the whole time and stayed almost perfectly on schedule. She was amazing. And the trip back to Minnesota was equally as smooth. Praise God! And thanks to all of you who were praying for us because it WORKED!
JP didn't come with us to Memphis because he has been in California helping his oldest friend move back home to Minnesota. He flew out to San Diego on Sunday and should be home late tomorrow night. They went surfing, snorkeling (in caves with SHARKS!), visited Six Flags in L.A., and visited other friends before hitting the road. Once they DID hit the road, however, their car overheated and they were forced to drive through the desert with no air-conditioning in 110 degree heat! They have since fixed that problem and are slowly making their way across the nation, back to my arms! Please keep them in your prayers!
Here are some pictures from our journey to Memphis!

Car Seat??!!?? Who wants to stay in a car seat for 13 hours???

Four Generations - Lynn Harpel, Ruby "MeMaw" Screws, Me, & Israel

MeMaw and her "little precious"

Israel with her Great Aunt "Nini" (Anita) and Great Uncle James

Rae with my cousin's sons, Dane & Tatum


Feed on His Faithfulness

Ps 37:3
Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and FEED ON HIS FAITHFULNESS.

I read this verse this morning and the last line really stuck out to me - Feed on His faithfulness.
There are many times when I feel burnt out, like I don't have any faith yet. I feel spiritually weak and in need of nourishment. My heart is not in my devotions or in the prayer I pray. I feel discouraged. What the Holy Spirit ministered to me today is that in those time we should FEED ON HIS FAITHFULNESS. Think back to all the times that He has been faithful to you, and let that encourage and nourish you. It's the word of your testimony -- "They overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony."



This week my dear friend Rachel came up to visit me from Lexington, KY. She came in just in time to see the bridge collapse on Wednesday and left tonight.
Rachel is such a wonderful friend, and we barely ever get to see each other. The last time I saw her was at her wedding a year ago, and before that it was my wedding two years ago! So any time we get together is precious. She had also never met Israel, so it was wonderful for her to get to do that. We had a fun relaxing week of sleeping in late, getting pedicures, going to the farmer's market, and shopping. I know, I know...life is rough. :)
I love you, Rachel and I am so blessed that you came up to see me! I miss you already!

The University of Kentucky pacifier Rachel left as a souvenir for Israel.

Great Insight from John Piper

Click here to read and excellent article by John Piper regarding the 35W bridge collapse.


I-35W Collapse

By now you have all seen the bridge collapse on 35W. We were about half a block away from there when it happened, at our church on 10th and University. We were inside practicing for worship when the lights flickered. A couple people heard a boom (I didn't) and went outside to check it out. When we saw what was happening, we walked down to the 10th Ave bridge and watched it all go down. We were there before the authorities were. Praise God everybody from my family and our church was safe - it happened about 10-15 minutes before most people would have been coming over the bridge for church.
This is probably the #1 craziest thing I have ever seen first-hand in my life. I have never seen a tragedy of this magnitude up close. There were cars in the water, cars on cars, cement on cars, people climbing out of windshields, people lying out on the ground...it was crazy. Our regular church service switched into a prayer meeting for the victims, rescue workers, and families and friends of those involved. Some people from church brought water coolers out for the rescue workers and prayed for people on the street. My brother was on standby with the fire department to gone down there and help with the rescue, but at about 11:00 pm last night they sent him home. He may need to go relieve other workers out there today, though.
Here are a couple pictures I got on my cell phone.