February 2012 - Posts

Me an Evangelist?
Mon, Feb 27 2012 7:04 AM

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...     Matthew 28:19

I had the most wonderful and awesome worship experience on Amtrak between San Antonio and Chicago on my way home from Arizona this past weekend. There were a group of Korean missionaries traveling the United States blessing the cities and the Christians of this country. One of the women of the group had been in Israel and felt called to perform this mission. So here they were traveling on the same Amtrak train as I. After performing a blessing at a stop, they were standing outside my door praying. I asked if I might say a prayer of blessing for their mission. Their blessing ceremony had been very moving to me. Afterall, how many missionaries come to the US or see the US as a mission field? They explained that they felt the US christians are being persecuted and needed to be blessed. Again, I requested to pray a blessing for their mission. After praying, one gentleman named Sing took my hand and placed it over his heart and began praying and weeping. He explained that he felt I was a woman truly from God. Wow! But the experience doesn't stop here...oh no!

The next day we stopped in St. Louis where they again performed their blessing ceremony. After leaving, St. Louis they were in their room (which was 2 doors down from my room) singing beautiful songs in Korean. The car attendant stood there with me listening to them. The singing was absolutely beautiful. I couldn't help myself...I just had to knock on their door and ask if I could give them another blessing for their mission. We by this time were not too far out from Chicago. Sing took my hand and invited me to sit with them. He began interpretting everything of their worship for me. How awesome is that? Out of the blue one of the other fellows says he had a vision for me....for me? Oh, oh. His vision was that there would be a christian man will come into my life that will love me and take care of me....hmmmm. Nice thought. Then everyone laid hands on me and began praying. Sing began weeping again. I patted his hand and told him not to cry. He told me that God had let me survive great tragedy so that I might be an evangelist and witness as I was to them. Me an evangelist?????

...endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist,...      2 Timothy 4:5

Now today I have all the cartons to unpack containing my birthday stash, LQS purchases, quilt tops, completed UFO, Indy's placemats and pillowcases, all my online orders from Connecting Threads, Nancy's Notions, equilters, Quilt ina Day, and PetMeds, plus excess clothes I shipped home, I think there might even be some purchases from the Antique Market in Chandler in one of those cartons too. No worries...I'm getting help with all the unpacking today from a new quilty friend from the Ohio Quilters who doesn't live far from me. A huge thank you to Brenda and a big bear hug too.

Another big thank to Mother Nature for the relatively warm and very sunny homecoming and for the bright blue skies too! And two days in a row yet!! Yea!!!

Well, the sooner the unpacking starts, the sooner I can get sewing. It's good to be home again!

I Chronicles 17:26
Tue, Feb 21 2012 1:24 AM

You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. (1 Chronicles 17:26)

He has given me some good things during these last few days in Arizona. It all started on Friday, Feb. 17 at noon with the Quilters Club of America/Reap What You Sew Luncheon held at my church Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Scottsdale. We had a great turnout and I was able to introduce the QCA members that live in Phoenix to each other and to Reap What You Sew. RWYS is a large quilt group started 16 years ago that distributes approximately 2500 quilts to various charities (mostly children's) throughout the Phoenix metro area. About four years ago I started a small chapter at my church to help finish quilt tops that people made but didn't complete the quilt process. We had a lovely luncheon with twice baked potatoes, salads, fettucine, and desserts preceded by a devotion and singing "Bringing in the Quilts" to the tune of "Bringing in the Sheaves". We ended the program with a show and tell.

We were just finishing with cleaning the Fellowship Hall after all our guests had left. Another good thing came my way.

My brother Bill and his wife Gerry arrived from California. This was the first time I have met my brother. Bill is Daddy's middle son from his second marriage. My parents were divorced when I was 13 and I never saw Daddy again. I had a call from a California attorney back in 1980 telling me my father had passed away and that there were 3 boys ages 18 thru 13. I wanted to take them in and raise them. However, I was in an abusive marriage and my husband wouldn't hear of it. So all those years were lost and I always wondered what had happened to them. Finally last summer I gathered up the courage to start searching and found them! Turned out Robert (the oldest) lives near me and we have gotten together several times.

I have been able to spend a wonderful weekend with Bill and Gerry. He reminds me so much of Daddy. I now feel like I have a part of him returned to me. Bill is equally happy that we have met and has promised that we will stay in touch. He even has a nickname for me...Sunshine. No one has ever had a nickname for me. I'm so touched. I just remembered something...on the luggage tags I made, I put "You are my Sunshine".  Think God had a hand in this?? I am so happy Bill and I had this weekend together and I was so sad when we parted this morning. We have friended each other on Facebook. I will be praying we will have many more get togethers. Here's Bill....

The third brother, Gary has not been receptive to meeting. Perhaps in time he will change his mind. I will continue to pray that he will have a change of heart.

Now I start preparing to return home to Ohio on Wednesday evening. I shipped out the last of the cartons of sewing supplies, gifts, finished projects, extra clothes, my birthday stash, LQS purchases, etc. this morning. Think of all the fabric I could have bought with the shipping costs!! It would almost be cheaper to rent an apartment here year round and just keep things here....well, not really. Traveling would be a lot easier tho.

Tomorrow I see the chiropractor and massage therapist for the last time. Wednesday Pastor is coming over to give me communion and I'll see my caregiver for the last time till next winter. My caregiver will be keeping in touch as she will be managing my care long distance with the help of an agency that we'll be talking to via phone on Monday. Well, I'll be at home with the agency rep and we'll be on the phone with my caregiver. We have managed to get some support systems in place to help me back home which is making me feel much more secure. It's been difficult managing my own health care when I'm not able to focus or feel overwhelmed most of the time. Should start to feel less stressed. Praise God!

Sing to him a new song...and shout for joy! (Psalm 33:3)

For when I am weak, then I am strong
Mon, Feb 13 2012 12:16 PM

2 Corinthians 12:10 ...For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I remembered those words last night. Why? I think I was actually listening to God for a change. I can be pretty "bullheaded" as Grandma Koller used to tell me. When I graduated from lay leadership training and became parish ministry assistant at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, I had to chose a verse from the Bible. The verse I chose was 2 Corinthians 12:9..."My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." There's that word "weak" again. But my favorite word "grace" is there too. Lately, I've been very weak...physically, mentally, spiritually. But last night and this morning I've realized that I have God's amazing grace and it is sufficient. So if I have God's sufficient grace, then I must be strong!! I've been told by more than one pastor that sometimes when we feel weakest in our faith, it's when we are the strongest in our faith. Thank you Lord Jesus for opening my eyes today. Thank you most of all for Your sufficient grace to make me strong when I am weak. Amen.

All my projects are just about complete that I have with me. I'm back to working on the wall hanging for our Precious Project. Maybe I can get if finished before I go home next week. Oh my, it's hard to believe I've been out here in Arizona for almost 3 months! I am so excited to be going home. I have shipped at least 6 cartons home containing f-a-b-r-i-c-s or things related to my favorite hobby. Bet you can't guess what that would be.  I have 3 more cartons almost packed but are waiting till after the QCA/Reap What You Sew luncheon on Friday. I have some Show n Tell for the luncheon. After the luncheon I will have to pack it all up and ship it home.

 Not to mention all the birthday stash from 2 birthday clubs. It was like Christmas!!! Thank you to all who sent the wonderful gifts. The fabrics are so beautiful. Tomorrow I will be buying for 2 people on the birthday lists. I'm going to 35th Ave. Shop with Maggie, Marlene and Sheri and then to lunch. It's my first outing other than doctors in almost 10 days. Yipee!! I'm free...well for a couple hours anyway. Then I have to stay in again until Friday. Still fighting the sore throat and still on antibiotics for a few more days. The doctor and my caregiver are trying to build up my energy so I can get on that train next Wednesday.

Also, I need energy because my brother Bill and his wife Jeri are coming from California to visit me this weekend. I'm thrilled because I've never met my brother. You see Bill is from Daddy's second marriage and they grew up in California. I didn't know of their existence until after Daddy passed away 20 years ago. It wasn't until last year that I was able to look up my brothers from that marriage. I now have 5 brothers total! Fortunately, I only grew up with 2 of them. Could you image growing up with 5 younger brothers? Two was bad enough!!! I really do love my brothers...really I do!

Happy Quilting this week! Hugs,

Linda

Psalm 116
Sun, Feb 5 2012 7:05 AM

Good morning, Heavenly Father! Actually I've been up all night again coughing and here it is 5:00 am, no sleep for a second night, and I'm saying "good morning". Well, at least it's positive. God, I haven't been too positive for many months now. I'm overwhelmed with health issues again and it's been so long since I've had a "good" day. The Bible says "ask and ye shall receive". God I'm asking for good days so I can have a positive outlook again. I need that positive outlook. I need to have my strong faith again....I don't know where it went. Help me, Lord Jesus. I'm out in left field somewhere. Where am I?? What happened? Why am I always turning left instead of right?

Psalm 116

 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
   he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
   I will call on him as long as I live. 

  "I love you Lord. And I lift my voice to worship you O my soul Rejoice....."     Amen.

I feel I must apologize to everyone because I've have had a very negative outlook in recent months about my health. Sometimes I become overwhelmed and I can't deal with the pain any more. What I need to do is turn to my God and my faith in my God and try to remain positive. Afterall, I'm still on this side of the grass, aren't I? I have survived 4 years.  So why give up now? We Kollers are fighters and survivors. As Grandma Koller used to say "Linda, you are bullheaded!" Ok, so why be different now? I'm not after people's pity, prayers yes. So.....Onward Christian soldier!

Nothing and I do mean nothing has kept me from the sewing machine! I've made 2 pillowcases and 2 placemats for my little Indy. I'm looking forward to getting home. Indy will come home on March 3. I'll have a week to get everything ready for him.  I just picked up some more fabric so I can make him a traveling mat to lay on. He will be a spoiled service dog. I also have fabric to make a quilt for the living room sofa for him to lay on.

I just finished another block that our alzheimer's qulter had started. I made it into a pillow that will go to her daugher who is in 4th stage breast cancer. Please keep the daughter in your prayers as she is not doing well I'm told. Our alzheimer's quilter was in church last Sunday and had a beautiful smile on her face. She was so precious.  I'm taking the 2 quilt tops home to quilt. The only project left is the wall hanging. I hope to finish before I leave, but I have a pretty full schedule these last 3 weeks.

The Renaissance Festival is rapidly approaching. Jim has started working on a new reversible coat. Not as flashy as last year's coat, but classier. This week I made the pants...just have to make buttonholes yet. Today we are having some friends over for a sew-in...probably more visiting than sewing. I believe we are suppose to start on Sheila's costume. Actually we are just embellishing last year's costume.  But what an embellishment!! A corset and overskirt in one. Oooolala!  My costume gets no changes. I'm the fair maiden who has been captured by pirates. In a half hearted soft voice says "Help, help! I've been captured by pirates!" We have a lot of fun for the day. Wish I could find the photo of the gang to post. We're quite a motley looking group.

Several women at church have given me fabrics and asked me to please make quilts to be auctioned. The proceeds to be used to purchase items needed for the church. One lady gave me some red, white, blue fabrics and I told her they would make a nice valor quilt. She mentioned that she had a grandson in Afghanistan. So I'm now making a quilt for his family.  I'm so priviledged that these women trust me to take on these tasks. I truly have my work cut out for me this year. Not to mention a few of my own quilts to finish up and my UFO pile.

Many thank yous for the birthday wishes yesterday. I belong to 2 birthday clubs and I  am going home with a handsome stash of 30/40's, blues, greens, and purple fabrics. I believe I now have enough 30/40's with what I've managed to collect to make the Eleanor Burns sampler quilt from the "Egg Money" book. With the greens and purples I can now make both the pansy table topper and table runner for my bedroom. 

I have enough to keep me busy. Plus, I'll be busy training Indy. I hope to meet some of you quilty friends in Ohio this year. Happy quilting!

PS. Don't forget the QCA/RWYS Luncheon on Feb. 17! Bring Show n Tell.