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Christmas in July

26 Jul




JESUS Luke 1:31 ~ “…and you shall name Him Jesus.”

J – JOURNEY  Our journey all starts from darkness to light when we become born again. Free from the guilt of sin, from darkness to light. What a great transformation for us, from death to eternal life. My life totally changed when I gave my life to the Lord in 1974 and what an exciting journey it has been ever since.

Titus 3:4-7
4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared [in human form as the Man, Jesus Christ], (5) He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, (6) whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) so that we would be justified [made free of the guilt of sin] by His [compassionate, undeserved] grace, and that we would be [acknowledged as acceptable to Him and] made heirs of eternal life [actually experiencing it] according to our hope (His guarantee).”

E – EXPERIENCES  We all have a story and what stories they can be!  No-one I know has had the same walk that I have, everyone’s is different.  Our tests need to become our testimonies, trials, our stepping stone or tomb stone. I know God can use all our experiences and walks for His glory. Somehow He always manages to turn ugliness into beauty and death into life. He uses our past to help someone’s future.

Phil 3:13-14 “13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

S – SINGULAR  We are all called individually to do something that God has specifically designed for each of us to do in this life. Yes, we belong to the body of Christ and  yet we function individually with each of our gifting and call. Remember to walk in your gifting and not someone else.

Rom 12:4-8 “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

U – US  We need each other regardless of what we think. We are a family, the family of God and families hangout together. Gathering is very important as we find strength, build faith and become accountable to one another.

Ps 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord.”  There is blessings and peace there.

S – SPLENDOR  We have a hope and a future, both now and forever. We walk in the splendor of the earth and look forward to the majestic splendor of the heavens to come! Eternity is forever!

1 Cor 2:9 “Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].”


Jesus Exactly Suits Us Sinners


Going to the chapel…soon

23 Mar

What an awesome celebration it was! Thank you to everyone who made this the most beautiful and wonderful bridal shower for Sarah and our family. I wish everyone in the whole world could have been there. Many said that it was so beautiful she could just have married there! Special thanks to my faithful friend forever, Laura Schnucker, who helped put it all together with my wonderful daughter, Kristen, who spend many hours shopping, buying goodies and expressing her love so graciously to her sister. It is so inspiring to see my children when they speak and interact with people and each other, they are just blessed with grace, honesty and love.  I thank God daily for all three of them. Now, Mike and I have an a amazing son-in-law, Jeremy, future son-in-law, Nate plus two fantastic grand sons, August and Caleb to love too! Counting my blessing……

The Bridal Shower Album


Sarah enjoying her Bridal Shower.

Time of reflection…

19 Mar

Time is drawing close to my youngest child getting married in May and there are a lot of emotions flying around in my heart. As many of you know, she is a miracle child and for me to see her maturing and growing in so many ways, is a blessing and yet a little unnerving. Many of you know the story of Sarah, how we nearly lost her 7 years ago to the chronic illness of Takayasu Arteritis. Well, God brought her through a very trying time and is continuing to heal her daily. For me to see her taking steps forward in life can be tough at times, but I know that God has blessed her with a wonderful, Godly man, who is to be her future husband. Saturday is her bridal shower at the church and I am just so blessed to celebrate, not only her marriage but her LIFE! It’s not about the gifts and everything having to be perfect, just the fact that we have this to celebrate together, is a blessing!   God has shown Himself faithful in so many areas, I cannot even begin to explain and I know that He has a plan for her and Nate’s future. We all have dreams for our children to grow up healthy, happy and fulfilled and to see this in her life is amazing and I thank God daily! 

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Nate and Sarah.


Enjoying the engagement party.


Showers of blessings!

Happy New year…a little late.

4 Mar

Yes, it is a late start to my 2015 as far as blogging goes. I really wanted to do this once a month but that has not happened. Never to late to try again, right? So much has happened since last August….birthdays, thanksgiving, Christmas, a Colorado vacation, a new grandson and the list goes on. One other thing ongoing is that I am training for a 5K! Yes, you read right. I always wanted to run some kind of race and planned on doing it before I turned 40, well now after turning 50, here goes! I joined a running group and my run is March 22nd, so far I have managed not to die trying and I am determined to finish the race well!  Sarah and Nate’s wedding is approaching fast and we are so excited. He bridal shower is March 21st and lots of fun is planned. We are so blessed to have my sister, Ann and her husband Rob, from South Africa, here to celebrate the wedding with us too! Baby Caleb Robert Sistrunk was born February 3rd to Jeremy and Kristen, we are blessed to have our second grandson here to enjoy alongside August. God has been so faithful to us, the phrase that He shared with me for this year is: ” I want to love you more.” At first I thought, how can God love me more, He already loves me as much as He can? Then He showed me that it was for me to say as I walked through each day ~ love needs to increase in my heart towards those around me, as He loves me, I need to love others! I pray that I see people the way God sees them, I need the Fathers heart beating in me. Please share your dreams and hope with me as we walk out this year together!

Here are some pictures to look at: Christmas 2014  Caleb’s Shower August’s 2nd Birthday











Winning with Wisdom…

27 Aug

We face a challenge whDSC_1003en we feel sadness, despair and heaviness. We have the tendency to want to isolate and separate ourselves from others. Our choices seem like none, our minds become foggy with a lack of clear direction. Know that there is always someone who is willing to listen, to take time to open up and talk. You don’t have to walk this alone. One of the biggest schemes of the enemy is to separate or isolate you.

God sees you through, when you think you’re through!

“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps you in times of trouble.” Pro.17:17 

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Summertime is fun time!

26 Aug

Summertime has been busy but so much fun! One of the things that I did, I baked my first apple pies ever. I even made the crust from scratch. JR & DeeAnn Ragaisis, Nate’s parents, visited us from California and were the ones to taste test them, they said they were delicious ~ yeah! They may not look that pretty but I have to admit they tasted scrumptious! IMG_3916The visit was mainly to bring their daughter, Mel, to school here at Concordia and visit with Nate. She has now joined Nate and Sarah at the college. Yes, I had to send Sarah off for her last year at university on Sunday and it was actually very hard. Not only emotionally but also physically (Mainly for the guys), she moved into a room on the 3rd floor and the elevator was broken. Ahhhhh… I did get stuck in the elevator too, 20 minutes of that was not fun!! Regardless, Mike and Nate did an amazing job climbing those stairs with heavy containers – it was fixed towards the end and their last two loads were easier. I miss her a LOT!

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Kristen organized a visit to the new Aquarium in Austin and we had tons of fun! Tina and Owen joined us along with friends from church. 

We could not miss going to the Thinkery here seeing that we had so much fun at the Aquarium….

We also went to Mt. Playmore here in Austin ~ let me just say the indoor play ground is a dream especially when the temperatures outside read 104 degrees!!

We celebrated another water baptism and had a great time with fellowship and praise!

Last but not least, August went to his first softball game and watched his hero play ~ Nate Ragaisis!IMG_3925

As you can see we have had a fun month and looking forward to the fall with some cooler weather!                                           Football has started and kids are back in school so some new beginnings and things ahead.

Christmas in July, oh no, it is August!

14 Aug

Where does time fly when you are having fun! Life marches on and I am not doing the greatest job at blogging. I was very inspired today when I watched a blogger on a cooking show today, she managed to keep up easily enough! Oh well, I will try again and not be such a sluggish blogger…. So many fun things and events have happened since we last chatted but I will try to share them with you. In February the team went to Myanmar and they loved every minute of it. Jeremy and Kristen worked in an orphanage and loved the kids. Jeremy also got to preach once along with the other team members, Jack and my hubby. Of course, I had a blast with August for 10 days and we had no problems at all. He acted very cold towards his mom and dad when they came back but that soon passed. Here are some pictures from our great summer so far!

Firstly, one of the greatest events…… we are going to be grandparents again!! Yippeeeeeee  Plus Jeremy and Kristen purchased their first home. So happy and blessed.

Congratulations Jeremy, Kristen and August.

DSC_0081“The Sistrunk’s need a bigger nest…”

IMG_3176We had tons of fun at Mesa Rosa with Uncle Daniel.

IMG_3183The Thinkery was awesome!

IMG_3217Not missing Mom and Dad to much.

IMG_3263I went to see Loretta Lynn with Tiffany & Bobby! I was awesome!

IMG_3288Celebrated Jeremy’s birthday.

IMG_3305Park time!

IMG_3325Visiting San Antonio with Nate and Sarah.


IMG_3499IMG_3390Resurrection Sunday and Easter Baskets!

IMG_3414Michael and I went to Louisiana for Red Carpet Weekend.

IMG_3449Visited with Christy Bishop.

IMG_3465Bluebonnet time in Texas!

DSC_0028Went fishing with Tiffany and Bobby at WOW retreat. Tiffany WON!

IMG_3574Some fun park time with my kiddos!

IMG_3643Michael did a water baptism in Arthur’s pool.

DSC_0134Went to Wichita, KS for the 4th July and participated in a parade with Brad & Malinda.

IMG_0024Owen and August became fast BFF’s for life!

Whew, and that was just some of the fun stuff we did!

Michael leaves in a few weeks for India with Jack and Anson to do some ministry over there. Keep them in your prayers please. I promise to post again soon and not overload you!

So what did you do this summer so far?