Archives

Do You Believe?

I just had the pleasure of watching “Do You Believe?” on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it. This movie touches on many lives during the course of the movie and many in different situations and from different walks of life and all of them are wanting MORE. A multitude of things begin to happen in the lives of 12 people and eventually their lives will intersect during the movie and each one of their lives are touched by the cross after a pastor of a church is rocked to the core by the visible faith of a street-corner preacher. The power in the cross of Christ is stronger than any of them thought, but one by one each of them come to the realization that there is a God who loves them.

What does the cross mean to you? Is it just a piece of wood or have you experienced the power in the cross?

There was a gal in my sister’s store one day last week who was looking at purses on display and she came across one that had a cross on the side of it. She made a comment to me that kind of surprised me, but I listened to what she had to say – “I do not understand the cross – why would anyone want to carry one on their purse or around their neck or in your car when the cross is what killed Jesus?” I replied to her that the cross is a symbol of what Jesus did for us on the cross and that the cross was not who killed him, but all of us who have sinned. She was so stuck on the symbol of a cross being an evil thing that she could not see the gift that Christ gave while dying on the cross. I was not able to convince her otherwise and she left the store. I pray for her daily that she will come to know what Christ sacrificed for her and that there is beauty and love in the cross – it is not an evil thing, it is only an instrument used and because Christ does not hang on that cross anymore, it means Jesus is alive. In no other religion has any god ever died for their followers and rose again!

Are you struggling in your life today, are you searching for something MORE? There is power in the CROSS! If you would like to give your heart and life to Jesus, please pray and thank Him for dying on a cross for your sins, ask him to forgive your sins and ask Him to come into your heart to live. Let him know you love Him and appreciate what he did for you and ask Him to help you grow in your faith with Him and then watch Him work in your life as you begin a new journey! I am praying for God’s hand in each persons life who reads this and may He work in your life and bless you!

If you have not seen this movie – it is a good wholesome film that is a must to see!

Do You Believe picture

Cardboard Testimonies…

I saw a video the other day and it moved me to share it here.

We all have a story to tell, but often times we do not want others to know about our past. They might not like us or they might sit in judgment of our choices or how we choose to live our lives. But there is not one of us who is perfect and we all make mistakes. In God’s eyes not one of our mistakes or choices is worse than another – although by the world’s standards there seems to be a measuring device where others decide one sin is worse than another, but that is simply not how God views it. Sin is sin, bad choices are bad choices, we all make them in our lives and we all unfortunately live with them and sometimes the weight of them gets very heavy and the burden gets so heavy we cannot carry them anymore. We might think we are not good enough for God and that He might reject us too, but He is not that way!

God has an answer for anything that we struggle with or ails us and we can have a new life if we choose to accept Him into our hearts. He wants to relieve you of the load you carry, He wants to take the weight of your past choices and mistakes and replace them with Him. He does not want you to carry the weight of that any longer, He only wants good things for you.

In 1 Peter 5:7 it states, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” If you feel that no one cares, He does!! If you trust in God, this is His promise to you: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.” “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
In Psalms 31:7 He tells us: “I see your hardships and I care about your suffering.” In the world today there are so few people who care about what happens to others, most are thinking about themselves only and they do not even see the people who are hurting and need a friend, a shoulder, a hand up, a way out of their life choices and they pass by them every day in their travels.

Please watch the video and see that it does not matter what you have been through, what you are going through now, what you cannot seem to get free from, what you cannot overcome and see that others have found an answer to those problems and are free of what kept them from experiencing life as God intended.

Please feel free to share if you would like! I am praying for those who are struggling with bad choices or life circumstances that have you doubting whether God cares – asking that God will show you that life is not hopeless and there is joy in knowing Him! God Bless all who read this.

Iowa Great Lakes – N.W. Iowa’s Resort

I have great memories of visits to our Iowa Great Lakes area as a kid and as an adult. There are many things to do while there and this small town comes alive in the spring and summer months. I thought I would share about this area, as on the 4th of July they have a spectacular fireworks display and if you can catch it from a boat on the water that is an even more fulfilling experience!

Okoboji is a city in Dickinson County in Northwest Iowa and in 2010 their population was 807. It is located along the eastern shore of West Okoboji Lake. Pikes Point State Park is located within the city limits. It is a major tourism area for the whole family to find something to enjoy while vacationing here or visiting. Surrounding cities are Milford, Arnolds Park, Lake Park, and Spirit Lake, Iowa. Driving from Milford to Spirit Lake or Milford to Lake Park gives you the feeling that you have never left the city limits, as there are quaint shops and business all along the way to Spirit Lake and Lake Park.

I recall spending some summers in this location enjoying their amusement park, small though it be, there is something there for everyone. Arnolds Park Amusement Park is home of “The Legend” – the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster ride in America that is still in operation. They celebrated their 80th anniversary in 2007. They have many rides to choose from, miniature golf, Go-Kart racing, and so much more to enjoy within the Parks walls. If you are not into amusement parks there is entertainment most evenings on the weekends in the way of various bands and music artists, there is “The Queen II” a steamer boat that was commissioned and built in 1986 after “The Queen I was retired finally in 1973 after 89 years of service. This new steamer was designated as the “Flagship of the Iowa Navy.” You can take a ride on this steamer boat around West Okoboji Lake and learn all about the history of the area while you enjoy an hour long trip. There is summer theater productions, camping areas and bike/walking trails throughout the area, fishing, boating, miniature golf/golf, art centers to visit, activities during the summer where you can learn a new art, and so much more! There are a variety of places you can stay to roughing it or renting something much more luxurious. There is shopping and places you can get souvenirs to take home from your trip. You can rent boats and water sport equipment to enjoy the water. There is something for everyone at the Iowa Great Lakes! Here is a link to the Arnolds Park Amusement and other things available to do at the Iowa Great Lakes:
http://http://www.arnoldspark.com/explore/queen.php

Okoboji refers to several lakes and then the town that is named after it in the Iowa Great Lakes region. There is also an East Okoboji Lake that people boat and fish on and Spirit Lake, Iowa is located along the north tip of the East Okoboji lake. Spirit Lake also has a large lake called Spirit Lake and on the northern side of this lake there is a road that runs east and west. Cross to the north side of the road and you are in Jackson County, Minnesota and cross back south on that roads center line and you are back in Dickinson County, Iowa. Good place to throw your line in for fishing I have heard.
Spirit Lake and Okoboji became notable after the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857 when a renegade band of the Sioux tribe attacked the frontier settlements, in part for food, as they were starving due to a severe winter with heavy snows. It was the last Native American attack against settlers in Iowa. Here is a link to learn more about the area:
http://http://www.iagreatlakes.org/

When I was in my late 20’s I was involved with a singles group up near the Lakes area and one 4th of July we rented a pontoon boat and took it out and boated for a few hours before the fireworks display. We had so much fun and from the water the fireworks display was very beautiful! There are various places to rent boats and other water craft and if you are interested in learning how to scuba dive – they have a place on the waterfront where you can do that as well. All these small towns come alive in the summer months and their population rises considerably, but there is so many places to visit there and things to do, that you do not note that it seems overcrowded, unless you are ever there in the winter when things are quiet!

In the winter months they hold their Okoboji University Winter Games and so if you love winter sport and activities outside this is something you might want to make a trip to this area! The name Okoboji University is fictitious, it was created back in the early 1970’s but three brothers (The Three Sons) who printed t-shirts with that name and a school crest and it started the joke and craze for this fictitious school, but they do good and hold many fundraisers throughout the year for charities, bike rides, a marathon, and their winter Olympics. Even a local radio station KUOO is in on the joke and they call themselves the campus radio station. They offer all kinds of fun activities including: Broomball, Flag Football, Softball, Bag Tournament, Chili Cook Off, Chocolate Classic, Ice Hockey, Snowmobile Fun & Radar Runs, Polar Plunge, Fireworks, and Burning of the Greens. For more information on their winter activities and schedule – check out this website: http://http://www.uofowintergames.com/

In early August each year they hold the Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference or Browns Conference. This is a great event to check out. They have various speakers, musicians, and performers this year from August 2 through August 10, 2014 this year. It came into existence for the soul purpose of glorifying God and developing within individuals a growing love for God and others. There are missionaries who come and share about what they have been doing in the areas of the world that they serve, some are from Iowa. It is a beautiful opportunity to fellowship with others of like mind and a place that will help you to grow and aid you as you head back to where you live and serve in your own communities. There is wonderful entertainment and lots of opportunities to grow spiritually. I have been there a couple of times and always leave inspired, empowered, and stronger in my faith. There is something for the whole family to enjoy at this conference. Truly a blessing you will receive while attending this 9 day conference! To check out more about this conference, please check out this link for their schedule of events and a history of how it got started back in the 1930’s.
http://http://okobojiconference.org/

Wishing you all a Happy and Safe 4th of July – may God watch over and protect you as you enjoy this day celebrating our independence and may you know how blessed you are to live in America!