Monday, January 26, 2015


I hear Your call to service. I love the sound of Your voice. That You would call me (I can tell the summons is personal), warms my heart. I so want to please You after all the love you have shown to me.

And yet, I hesitate, sensing an inner resistance that appalls and embarrasses me. I know that You know my struggle. I want to render this service, to honor and obey this special calling, but....

I've know others who have answered this type of call. My mother cared for her mother for many years, and then she cared for my ailing father for years --- YEARS. She labored hidden away in our home while her friends went on cruises and trips to Germany and France and Florida.

I've seen the ads. "Your gift to the Wounded Warriors Fund is so important to these soldiers and their families." Then the caregiver wife comes on camera and says, "The hardest part is when you think you have been forgotten and are all alone."

Servant-hood demands self-sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice really; dying to self, being able to say, "ALL of You, Lord and NONE of me."

Can I do that? Can I even conceive of what that might take? I suspect that I can, and that is the reason for my reluctance to answer this particular call, this one that feels so opposite the call that Isaiah answered so readily with the memorable, "Here am I, send me, send me!"

Isaiah heard You ask, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?" What I hear You asking is, "Who can I find to stay here and do the daily, routine, unexciting (and sometimes exhausting) things while others go. Someone has to do the grunt work, and I chose you."

"I come among you as one Who serves," says the suffering Savior after washing the disciples' feet. "Go and do likewise."



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heartfelt Prayer for Life

Heavenly Father,
Lord and Giver of Life,

Forgive our nation the great sin of killing the unborn. Forgive those who protect this law because they are afraid that standing up for what they know is right might cost them an election. Help us to find and elect brave candidates that keep their word.

Comfort women who have fallen prey to Satan's lie that ending a life is a harmless solution to their distress. Give them the full assurance of your love for them and for their child.

Until then, be with all babies that suffer and die under the knife and vacuum of the abortionist. Comfort them in their travail. Until Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven, help us stay faithful to your word and fight for life at every age.

In the name of Jesus, who loves the little children,

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pass it On

Our family gets together on the Fourth of July weekend at our church camp to enjoy each others' fellowship, and to practice singing. Then we sing at a church on Sunday, so that once a year we once again become the Klemp Family Singers. This year we picked up where we left off three years ago, having missed two summers, one for a wider family reunion and the next summer for a wedding.

As we began singing in that first rehearsal, we realized that while all of our eight children were there, many of our older grandchildren were missing. We knew that, of course. They had jobs, music camp, etc., but we always assumed that the kids familiar with the music would bring the younger ones along. Instead the oldest row of sopranos (there were three adult voices) included one grandchild aged 13 and then it dropped to 11-year-olds on down. They kept turning around and looking at us with bewilderment as each song arrived. They were having trouble reading choir music. Each song seemed to be a new song.

About three songs in  it finally dawned on us. Having missed the past two years, the last time we sang this crop of grandchildren included one 11 year old with all the rest being 9 or younger. Other years we did not worry about the little ones. They did fine following the older cousins' leads, but now the "little ones" were the leaders, and barely remembered the songs!!

Well, they have Klemp Family Singer blood, and I am happy to report that five rehearsals later they knew the music and all went well.

Every Christmas I remind myself of the importance of Parochial school and Sunday school Christmas programs; the importance of playing and singing Christian  music in our homes. What are well known and loved songs to us are not known at all by our children until we teach them to them. Never assume "common knowledge". Things become "common to the community" only when passed down faithfully by you and me.

 "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 6-9

Friday, January 16, 2015

Viva la France!

I just read an online article by a Christian young man from France. He tells how the churches in Paris, far from being empty and up for sale, are full every Sunday, standing room only in many cases (or sitting on the floor room if you will). You can read it here:

 Could it be that there is a Christian revival going on in France?  My son, Matt, went to Paris for a month for an interim class when he was in college. While he was there he was assigned a young Frenchman who was to be his mentor in the French language. (Matt claimed the guy usually wanted to practice his English on Matt, so he did not get much French language help from that quarter.)  Anyway, this young man kept questioning Matt about why he went to church. He said he had never met anyone who went to church every week, and was fascinated by the idea that anyone would actually do so.

Matt is now in the process of raising a young family, just like the author of the above article who tells how his friends and their young families have returned to the church and are fully engaged in it's teachings.

I wonder if Matt's mentor is among that group. I pray so. Pray for the Christians of France!!!

Who knew?

"I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." Psalm 122:1

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tarnished Treasure

It's interesting how much of my life I spent wanting, and acquiring things, and then, at least for me, how surprised I am to hit a time when those things seem to be more of a drag than a blessing. I want to downsize. I dream of a home that shelters only things that I really love. I'd settle for  feeling that way about my closet!

There has to be some deep seated reason why getting rid of "stuff" makes me nervous. I just sent a curb-full of unwanted things to a charity, and feel nothing but a sense of relief that they are gone. Even so, it took a lot of energy and angst to get them to that curb in the first place. Intellectually, I know I can replace anything I gave up but find I still need. Intellectually, it makes sense for the store to "store" it for me instead of me storing it for some future use. But emotionally, it will seem foolhardy to have to buy something I already had in my possession. Emotionally, I wonder if I am making a mistake.

Lots of people feel this way. I know others, too, struggle to downsize.

"Good luck you guys!"

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6: 20-21

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Instead of watching TV tonight I read to Paul from a book  I checked out of the church library this morning, Clippings From My Notebook by Corrie ten Boom. She was quite the lady. She and her sister, Betsie were sent to a Nazi concentration camp during WWII for hiding Jews in their home. Her sister died at the camp, but Corrie was released a short time later due to a clerical error. After her release she went all over the world teaching that God's love through Jesus Christ reaches into the most horrible places and holds us up.

Anyway, there was one chapter in this book that addressed the problem of anxiety and worry.

This paragraph hit me between the eyes.

"We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are indications of how wise we are. We think we see the dangers of life clearly. In reality, however, our fears are only an indication of how wicked we really are.

As Charles G. Trumbull says,

'Worry is sin; a black, murderous, God-defying, Christ-rejecting sin; worry about anything at any time whatever. We will never know victory over worry and anxiety until we begin to treat it as sin. for such it is. It is a deep-seated distrust of the Father, who assures us again and again that even the falling sparrow is in His tender care.'"

Whoa. Hold on a minute, that seems pretty strong...until you think about it.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

No Smoke, No Fire

My life is pretty mellow right now, so I was wondering what to blog about today. Sometimes you create your own excitement. Just as I got to the "Y" to swim it dawned on me that I had put a piece of frozen roast into the crockpot on low an hour or so earlier.

The problem was that I just set it right in the pot, plastic bag and all, intending to empty the bag before I left the house. Paul would have no idea what was causing the fire alarm to go off, which I was sure would be the case when the plastic began to melt and burn.  I usually swim a half mile when I go swimming. It takes me about a half an hour. Today I set a fourth-mile record of ten minutes, and still made it home before anything dire happened. The bag was really hot, but no melting. I don't think that is where the term "melting pot" came from, but another 30 minutes or so might have given it new meaning!

The Bible says to cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you. I was praying all the way home that I would not find an alarmed husband and a smoke-filled house.  Instead, Paul was resting in his chair, unaware of any pending disaster, and the meat was nicely thawed (as was my original intention.) All was well.

Today's events reminded me of the story of the man who was recounting a horrible accident to a friend. He told how he and his whole family were in the car when they slid off the road on a sharp curve and though the car rolled twice neither he nor his passengers were hurt. The friend responded with an even better story about that strip of the road. "I've been driving to and from work on that very road for thirty years and I have never had an accident of any kind at that curve!"

 God's grace is sometimes overlooked when He averts disaster, but that is when we should be most grateful!!

Nothing happened here. Thank Goodness!! (God is our Goodness)


Friday, January 09, 2015

In The Early Morning

My daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, Brian, are on a four day ski trip. Our thermometer read -4 degrees this morning, and they are a couple hundred miles north of here, so I'm not sure how much skiing they will do in this bitter cold. She has 3 school-age children, the oldest in third grade. Their other grandma graciously offered to take care of them while she and Brian are gone. The kids go to a parochial school, so that means no busing, so I offered to do the shuttling from school and back, all in all about an hours driving for me.

Anyway, having to be at Cathy's place to get them this morning and then have them to school by 8 am meant that I was up at 6:30 am. Not a big deal for many of you, but I am retired and have always been a night-owl, so I am rarely up that early. In fact I worked the night shift for many years because my biological clock did not rebel.

Getting the occasional  glimpse into the early hours of the day is quite a revelation. First of all, I had no idea so many were already up. (As one of my night-owl friends complained  as we waited for breakfast in a long cafeteria line, "Why does everyone get up the same morning I do?")

In the Bible the Psalmist glories in meeting with his Lord before the day completely unfolds.

"In the early morning, with the sun's first rays.
All God's little children thank and pray and praise."

My little sisters sang  that sweet song at a talent fest we attended more than 50 years ago, and the sound echoes in my ears at this very moment. It almost makes me want to be an early riser more often. (I read about a woman who made a New's Year's resolution to be up and dressed with full make-up on by 6am every day. She said she quit because she got tired of her make-up smearing when she went back to bed.)

We'll see.


Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Best Construction

Well, I surprised myself and got all the Christmas decorations down in one day. As in other parts of life deconstruction was far easier than construction. There is far less care in un-stringing the lights from the tree than in securing each strand to complement the one next to it. Nothing has to be "just so". I did not carefully select which decorations to put away, I simply put the all the carefully selected decorations back where they came from. It was kind of sad to see how quickly all that beauty could be ripped from the house compared to how long it took me to decorate.

 I found the task of decorating more rewarding than the task of taking things down. This is something I need to remember when I am offered the chance to pass on a piece of gossip that can destroy someone's good name. The Bible says to put the best construction on everything, lest we destroy something or someone with a careless word. We all mess up. Someone who has had a lifetime of earning a good reputation should not be judged on one particular shortcoming. This year I am going to try to build others up rather than tear them down.

"If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? " Psalm 130:3

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Starting Anew

Making New Year's resolutions is a favorite exercise of mine. I like the fresh slate. Looking ahead to "what might be" and leaving behind the reality of "what is" gets my creative juices roiling. I have written out new goals nearly every year of my life. Experts insist that the mere act of written goals changes things. (They also say that referring to your list on a consistent basis throughout the year increases your odds of success. I have not done that very often. Maybe that should be a New Year's resolution for next year.) Still, I know for a fact that the simple act of writing things down has resulted in some amazing changes in my life.

Right now I am in the process of writing the final two chapters of a YA novel. I know how the book ends, so writer's block is not a problem. I will get the words on paper soon. The rewrite, however, is daunting. Still, having a finished product ready for submission to an agent is on my list of resolutions, so I suspect I will continue to move forward.

Have I made good on each resolution? Not by a long shot. Has writing resolutions made a difference? Without a doubt!

And in the midst of it all comes Christ's reminder,  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Written goals help me focus, but still,  "Man proposes; God disposes."

God willing I will finish the book!