Monday, March 31, 2008


Last week I had the privilege to spend an hour at the Village with some friends of mine. They aren't exactly the kind of group that you would expect someone my age to be running around with, yet I found it especially rewarding to be with them.

They averaged approximately 40-45 years older than me and have experienced many more changes in their lives and the world around them, than most people I know. Most (all but two) of them were women.

We spent the time talking about The Word of God in the Book of John. Specifically the 13th and 14th chapters. It was fun to listen to them as we talked about The Lord's Supper and how he taught the Apostles to serve by setting an example for them in washing their feet. These people understood what it means to serve.

I remember thinking as we talked, "It would be good to bring some of the children from church up here to meet these people." Oh we have gone caroling there and have even taken May baskets up to give to them. But I think it would be good to bring the children up and play Bible trivia with them some day. It would be good for the children to see how important the Word of God is to the Elderly, and it would be good for the elderly to be around the energy of the children, if only for an hour or so.

I was especially touched when I read from the 14th chapter of John were Jesus says, "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 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." These people had those verses memorized, and you could tell that the verses had special meaning to them.

Is your heart troubled? Do you have any hope? Memorize these verses. Jesus was talking to those who were close to Him. He was talking to those who believed in Him. Come close to Him. Believe in Him. Know that he has gone to heaven to prepare a place for you.

I'm quite certain that some of the people that were there at The Village that day took great comfort in those words and the promise they bring. What a blessing it was for me to witness that. How about you? Can you take comfort in those words?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hey All,
Here is an e-mail that I recieved that is worth taking another look at. I wish I knew who the author of this is but I just don't know. The wisdom is evident. I hope you'll enjoy.

Only years of standing in the weather, bearing the storms and scorching sun, only that can produce beautiful barn wood.

A stranger came by the other day with an offer that set me to thinking. He wanted to buy the old barn that sits out by the highway. I told him right off he was crazy. He was a city type, you could tell by his clothes, his car, his hands, and the way he talked. He said he was driving by and saw that beautiful barn sitting out in the tall grass and wanted to know if it was for sale. I told him he had a funny idea of beauty.

Sure, it was a handsome building in its day. But then, there's been a lot of winters pass with their snow and ice and howling wind. The summer sun's beat down on that old barn till all the paint's gone, and the wood has turned silver gray. Now the old building leans a good deal, looking kind of tired. Yet, that fellow called it beautiful.

That set me to thinking. I walked out to the field and just stood there, gazing at that old barn.

The stranger said he planned to use the lumber to line the walls of his den in a new country home he's building down the road. He said you couldn't get paint that beautiful. Only years of standing in the weather, bearing the storms and scorching sun, only that can produce beautiful barn wood.

It came to me then. We're a lot like that, you and I. Only it's on the inside that the beauty grows with us. Sure we turn silver gray too... and lean a bit more than
we did when we were young and full of sap. But the Good Lord knows what He's doing.
And as the years pass He's busy using the hard weather of our lives, the dry spells and the stormy seasons to do a job of beautifying our souls that nothing else can produce. And to think how often folks yell because they want life easy!

They took the old barn down today and hauled it away to beautify a rich man's house.
And I reckon someday you and I'll be hauled off to Heaven to take on whatever chores the Good Lord has for us on the Great Sky Ranch.

And I suspect we'll be more beautiful then for the seasons we've been through here...

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Another of our children just had a birthday. Our fifth child (Shane) just turned 14. How can that be possible? That’s just one year from a learners permit. THAT’S REALLY SCARY!!!!! It seems like just yesterday that our first child was born. It is very true, “They don’t stay young for long!” I think Shane has found his gift though. It’s MUSIC.

Our children haven’t really had a chance in this category. Sheryl plays piano very well and gives lessons. She can sing very well too though she’s reluctant to admit this. Shane too, has a wonderful voice. Each of our children has demonstrated perfect pitch from the time they were very small.

I’ll never forget the time we were driving to church and as we did quite often, we were singing. I’m not sure who all was singing the melody and who was singing harmony at the time but I do remember looking at Sheryl at the time and saying, “Listen!” We were hearing a third part coming from the youngest member of the family of the time. Cody, at the whopping age of 3 was singing tenor. No one had taught him that, he just heard it and sang it. Each of our children has been this way and Shane’s no exception.

Music is a part of our lives in the Petersen family. As I write, I’m listening to praise music. As I said before, “Shane is gifted in music.” Not only can he sing well but he loves playing the guitar. He has taken that ear for music and the coordination that he has developed playing Guitar Hero and put them together on the guitar. He picks up chords and licks quicker than most anyone I’ve ever known. I’ve played guitar since I was 12 and Shane has learned as much as I did in 25 years in the first 2 years he has played.

I praise God for this gift he has given Shane, and I’m looking forward to hearing and watching him develop this talent in the next few years. Oh, Shane’s still a young 14 year old. He’s been known to get in trouble in music class because he would rather use that wonderful voice for talking than singing. As he grows older, I know (or at least I pray) he’ll begin to make wiser choices. But for now, he’s still a little 14 year old learning to use a gift. What a blessing.