Thursday, October 27, 2011

Worship and Christmas

I sang the Hymns at church.  O Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World, Away in the Manger, O Holy Night...they were songs I sang at Christmas time, just like everyone else.

Then I went away to Bible School.  After my first semester, I went home for Christmas.  MAN!  I was smacked by the THEOLOGY in the Hymns!  Ever REALLY read all the lines of Joy to the World?  Google it, or better yet, pick up a hymnal and check it out! Webster's defines 'theology' this way:


noun \thē-ˈä-lə-jē\
: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world

So...worship.  Webster's defines worship as a verb that means " to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power."

To me, worship is singing at the top of my lungs alone in my car to God.  Tears flowing, or waiting to flow: brimming.  My heart longing to be with God, yet wondering why He would come to Earth in flesh, lowering Himself to my level, just to love me.  THAT is what worship means to me.

Have you ever felt locked in a padded cell?  Void of strong emotions?  With a THICK concrete ceiling between you and God?  I have felt that way for a long time.  Me, a "Christian" good little girl practically from birth.  I could do everything right, know all the right answers in Sunday School, yet I was feeling like God was completely out of my reach and unattainable...till today!  =D

My parents got me Chris Tomlin's Christmas album from 2009 - "Glory in the Highest" for my birthday.  I finally got to be alone in the van and listened to it with the volume on high.  Oh my goodness.  I am gonna play a song for you, and leave you with a message from Jesus.

Luke 4: 18 and 19 (KJV):

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to HEAL the BROKEN~HEARTED, to preach DELIVERANCE to the CAPTIVES, and recovering of the sight to the blind, to set at liberty (to SET FREE) them that are bruised(OPPRESSED), to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."  ~ Jesus

Worship, and SOME Christmas music, go hand in hand!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Something to share?

I keep coming to my blog with the hopes that as soon as I hit the "new post" button, the words I want to share will come spewing out of my fingers and wow the socks off my  readers - which is quite hazardous these days with the falling temps! - but it never comes.  The words escape me.  (How did I ever think I could be a writer?!?!?!)

Oh well.  Will take pics soon, and overload you with cuteness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Changes in the Larson Home

Hello Friends (ok...Hi Moms.),

Wow!  I cannot believe it has been so long since I last updated my blog!  A whole lot has happened in our home since May 31st!

The Larsons have moved, and with the move came a new job/ministry for us to participate in.  We traded the Allegheny mountains for the Ozark mountains!  We traded working on vehicles and snowplows to working on the hearts of boys desperately in need of Jesus.  We are now working on a Boys Ranch in Southwest MO.  What a ride God has taken us on the past 2 and a half to 3 months!

When we went on vacation in June, we were really seeking God as to what was next for our family.  We loved the people we were living with, and were incredibly thankful for the job God gave Josh, but we knew in our hearts the time had come for us to move on.  In late July, Josh came home from work and said we needed to Google "teen boys christian treatment facilities," so we did, and we spent a couple days just going thru different pages of treatment facilities.  Finally we found one we thought might work for us.  Now came the time of intense praying on our part!

All the while, although very excited about our possible upcoming changes, my mind and heart were not at rest with our possible move.  I needed certain questions answered, and I was having problems getting them answered.  Finally, I was on the phone one day with a friend from Friend Ships for a completely different reason, and happened to ask for which particular Boys Ranch they used to work.  Good thing I was sitting down, because I would have needed to when I heard that they used to work at LUC Boys Ranch.  The very SAME RANCH we were praying about!  That night, or a couple nights later, she and her husband called and answered ALL of my questions...ALL of them!  Talk about peace.

Then we called the ranch, and after about three days, someone finally called us back!  Josh was in the process of making bread, and I was showering the girls.  I don't even think I heard the phone ring.  Josh was so wrapped up in the conversation, that I had showered the girls and finished kneading the bread and putting it in the oven, before he was able to talk to me.  The Program Director had called and told Josh about the ministry, and Josh, in turn, filled Erik in on Josh's resume. Over the next week, we filled out applications, took a family photo, and faxed it to the Ranch.  They were quite impressed with Mr. Larson (who wouldn't be!  =D ) and accepted us, pretty much at face value.  We told them we would need to be able to give Josh's then-current boss two weeks notice, and then we could be out there in a total of three weeks time.

Josh finished out his two weeks at Storks on a Thursday, and on Monday, Labor Day, we packed up the truck, and left that afternoon - heading towards Ohio.  We stopped just at the OH/PA border to spend the night, then drove to my parents house...stayed Tues. thru Thurs. with them, and then drove to MO...taking them along for the ride!  =D

Girls beds all set up and ready for them!

The bed Papa made for Anna!

My girls have their own walk-in closet.

Side view of my kitchen with TONS of counter space!

After six and a half years of marriage, I have a DISHWASHER!!!!!

Beautiful cabinets

A Dining Room...NOT in my kitchen!

My dining room, herb nook, and ginger plant...Home Sweet Home!

Living room from the dining room.

View from the couch.  Our living room is actually huge...but a quarter of it is stuffed with Josh's tools.

See the section of house behind that Penske Truck?  Yeah...all of that is ours.  My Dad guesstimates that we have 1,800 sq.ft.

We have been at the Ranch for a month now.  We are learning the ropes, and trying to adjust to Papa working strange hours (sometimes 12:30p to 10:30+pm - yes...the plus means sometimes he works beyond 2230, and this week, and possibly next week as well, he is working 2230 to 0730).  The girls are having a hard time with Josh's ever-changing schedule, but since he is still learning the ropes, he won't have a set schedule for quite a while.

Another thing my kiddos are trying to get used to is that Mama is working sometimes now.  Every Sunday, I make lunch and supper for the Boys and Staff.  I also work in cleaning up guest housing.  Kind of weird working after not working for so very long!  I haven't worked in 4 years (since the day Shalom was born), and now all of a sudden, there are things I need to do.  (The good news is, the kiddos can come with me when I clean guest houses!)  Sometime soon, another Mama will be joining her husband (he arrived late last week), and there is talk that she and I will split each month of working on Sundays.  If this happens, we are hoping to begin church visiting!  We already have been invited to home church with a couple who are on staff.

That has been our life since May 31st.  Lots of changes, sometimes hard ones, but all of them good!  God has taken care of all our needs!  We are able to eat our meals with the Boys, so our grocery expenses are quite low.  This is a paying gig, so our bills (phone, internet and vehicles) are being paid.  God is good!