Blog 178 for August 29, 2020
Cleaning out things can bring back lots of memories. And, that was what happened to me. I was looking through lots of old business cards when I ran across a card signifying that I was taking a beginning JUDO class.
It was Springtime in the Virginia Beach, VA, area. The year was 1973. And the classes were held at the Norfolk Central YMCA. Not only did I take the class, but so did our son, Chuck. Let me tell you the story.
Chuck was not yet 12 years old at the time. Those of you who know our son, know that he is short of stature. Apparently he had been bullied by boys taller than he was; perhaps calling him names about his size and/or height. So we wanted to build his confidence. We decided to give him JUDO lessons. And I decided to take them also. I don’t remember our grades; but, I’m pretty sure Chuck made a better grade than I. Can’t you just see me flipping someone over???
I loved that I found my official card. Now, I have proof! So, remember, don’t tangle with me!!! Just kidding. You have no reason to fear.
So I decided to turn down Memory Lane as I saw other business cards that had my name on them. Cards like the Indian River Health Spa, where I went years ago when we pastored the Tidewater Central Church of the Nazarene in Virginia Beach. My friend, Peggy Cress, went to the Health Spa also. She’s one of those real friends; they stay connected for a lifetime. In fact, she and her husband, Howard, plan to see us in the mountains in October. They have rented a cabin from us. What fun we had working out at the Spa. And how glad we were for the weight we lost during that time.
Next down that Memory Lane, I ran across Music Business Cards. This one is called STUDIO MUSIC INSTRUCTORS OF BREVARD COUNTY. You may ask, “Who were the instructors?” Well, there were three of us. Jane Postin, Micki Luetkemeyer, & Bess Kirby. This was about 20-25 years ago when we pastored Melbourne, FL, Nazarene Church. I still have good memories of many of my music students through all the years I taught private lessons. Kaitelyn was the student I had the longest time; Can’t remember exactly when she started, maybe 6th grade, but I taught her through her senior year at Kathleen High School. She’s now in college and probably about to graduate. What a nice young lady.
What a simple thing, business cards, to bring back great memories. Looking through old pictures, seeing old “Videos,” looking at old (saved) greeting cards, and enjoying the notes they wrote, just walking through one’s home, can remind one of the great times and lifetime friends.
Memories are made of this! And when age creeps up on you, these sweet memories are bouquets of joy on your journey. Love to all.
Blog 177 for August 22, 2020
ONE HOT FLORIDA SUMMER
in WINTER HAVEN
The month was August. The date was the 23rd. The year was 1986. The place was First Church of the Nazarene, located on the corner of Third Street SW and Ave. E. The occasion was a wedding ceremony. The colors were hot pink, royal blue, and white. And the honorees were Bob Luetkemeyer and Micki Cheri Kirby.
The Church was all decorated. Everyone in the wedding party was clothed in their colors. The dress rehearsal the previous evening had gone well. The maid of honor and best man were ready. The four bridesmaids and four groomsmen were in their places as well. The five small kindergarten age flower girls and five ring bearers were dressed in their finery. The relatives were there; and, it was time to start.
I, as the Bride’s mom, reflecting on the wedding, can tell you this. It was beautiful. It was the result of a lot of dear Winter Haven, FL friends who organized, cooked and served a bride’s maid’s luncheon, worked hard, took care of the reception, made corsages, made the bridal bouquet, decorated the areas, set up tables, let us borrow something, and served in some capacity. Please accept my deep appreciation and thanks to all of you for what all you did back then. It truly was one of those gifts of a lifetime.
Our one and only daughter, Micki found her life partner, Bob, while she was attending Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, TN. So, Congratulations to Bob and Micki on their 34th Anniversary. They have given us two wonderful grandsons. The Luetkemeyer Family are Christ Followers. May God bless them richly in the years yet to be. Enjoy their (and our) pictorial memories.
Blog 176 for August 15, 2020
HAPPY 60TH ANNIVERSARY COMING UP!
A PICTORIAL JOURNEY OF OUR LIFE TOGETHER!
I chose the right man; the man God had first chosen and saved for me. With this man, we’ve been all across the United States and to many places beyond her borders. We’ve lived in Nashville, TN; Greenwood, MS; West Memphis, AR; Abernathy, TX; Mabelvale, AR; Virginia Beach, VA; Lubbock, TX; Pasadena, CA; Winter Haven, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Melbourne, FL; Lakeland, FL.
We’ve been to Puerto Rico; the Bahamas; other Islands of the sea; Alaska; Canada; Hawaii; Maui; the Big Island; Ireland; Paris, France; London, England; Corinth & Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Switzerland, Austria, and other European countries, Israel, Egypt, and probably more that I can’t think of now.
We’ve flown by air, sailed on big cruise ships, driven via car, been escorted by bus, and traveled by train. We’ve walked trails, seen sights, ridden a camel, been driven by van and Uber through the streets of New York City, been driven through the streets of Athens, Greece by taxi to see a Trevecca College friend. We’ve canoed. We’ve gone places by bus. While we’ve had bicycles, we’ve not cycled any major distances. And we’ve not motorcycled. Had no interest.
We have family and friends across the U.S. and Canada and around the world, in Spain and Israel.
So, what can I say, but that we’ve had a charmed life, filled with love, laughter, good friends, great memories, dear kids, and super pastorates. We truly have been blessed. While we’ve had our share of heartaches, the blessings have far outweighed the hurts. God is so good.
To my one of a kind, amazing husband, Happy 60th Anniversary come August 19, 2020. Let’s go for at least another 20 years! I couldn’t have asked for a better, more enjoyable journey. I love you so much.
Yes, the time has made a change in us. But, we still have stars in our eyes; and we’re still singing in the rain!
P. S. Please enjoy a compilation of photos of us through the years.
Blog 175 for August 8, 2020
I AM IN THE LORD’S ARMY.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
In times like these, we need a prepared military. I’m speaking specifically here of the Lord’s army! I signed up, joined approximately 65 years ago! Been in the Army for a long time. I love our matchless Leader; continue to enjoy the journey; love the new recruits, and go to the Rulebook often. In fact, on page 1808 of this Holy Handbook, the 6th division of the Ephesians section on the 11th through the 17th verses, it tells us to…
Put on the Whole Armour of God...not just a half, but the whole…
Stand; get your loins girt & your feet shod…
Take the Shield of Faith to quench all the fiery darts...
Put on the Helmet of Salvation...
Take the Sword (Word of God) with you...
Don’t forget to Pray…
And Watch. Be on the look-out…
Where we go to church in the mountains, the Senior Pastor, Dr. Dean Haun, delivers powerful messages. We enjoy them so much. In one message, a few Sundays ago, he spoke about admonitions Paul gives us, as soldiers of the cross. Here are 5 of them.
Be alert to the times; forces are at work to destroy us and our families. Rom. 13:12; Matt. 24; I Chron. 12
Standfast in the Faith of Jesus Christ. I Cor. 16:13,14; Gal. 5:1; Phil. 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:12,13; 2 Thes. 2:15; Eph. 6:10-18
Be brave in the fight; courageous, unflinching. John 16:33; 1 Peter 5:8
Be strong in Christ; Grow in Christ; Keep getting stronger.
Let love rule your life, your heart. We fight not with clubs, etc., but with agape love. John 13:35
We are soldiers of the Cross.
“Sound the battle cry! See the foe is nigh. Raise the standard high for the Lord. Gird your armor on; stand firm, everyone. Rest your cause upon His Holy Word. Rouse, then, soldiers; rally round the banner. Ready, steady, pass the word along. Onward, forward, shout aloud, “Hosanna”! Christ is Captain of the mighty throng."
These words of that great old song, “Sound the Battle Cry” were written in 1869 by William F. Sherwin. Enjoy a group of full-time ministry men (Pastors, Church Planters, Missionaries, etc.) on YouTube video, singing this great call to arms!
It’s time to STAND UP for JESUS. It’s time to lift high HIS royal banner. It must not suffer loss. Onward, Christian Soldier! See you in the battle.
Blog 174 for August 1, 2020
We’ve arrived at our Mountains!
Well, they are really God’s mountains. But how we love them. Don’t you just love God’s Masterpiece creation; His mountains, valleys, meadows, sky, oceans, cities on a hill, America’s countryside, and the wide-open spaces? The mountains are majestic; so beautiful, so awe-inspiring!
Our daughter and her family have just been out to Colorado. While there, they enjoyed those Rocky Mountains.
We are blessed to own two cabins in the Smoky Mountains. And, since retirement, we have been going to the Tennessee mountains for about 5 or 6 months a year, staying in the STARGAZER cabin. The cabins are named; the other one is called SNUGGLED-IN cabin. They both have the same floor plan; 2 bedrooms, 1½ baths, family room, kitchen, and great deck. Stargazer sleeps four comfortably; while Snuggled-In sleeps six comfortably, due to the type of furniture in the cabin.
We rent these cabins; mostly by four nights or weekly; though sometimes we rent for longer periods of time. The rental of these cabins helps us financially in our retirement. The pandemic has hurt us some since we have had many to cancel their reservations. But God has brought us through. He walks our journey with us.
We have used several avenues for advertising such as newspaper ads, word of mouth, posters, mailouts. We are online with VRBO (vacation rentals by owner)/HOME AWAY.
To rent either cabin you have to call/contact us (1-800-516-3342) personally or go to VRBO’s website. To call us and book from us personally, you get the rental a little cheaper. But either way is wonderful.
We have owned these cabins for 15 years. They have proved to be a blessing. Enjoy some pictures of the cabins. Several of our church friends have rented the cabins. Those reading this, feel free to inquire and rent a week from us.
We realize that as the years pass so swiftly, there may come a time that we need to sell. If so, God will provide the buyer. The Rental Business does well. The almost two-acre property and two cabins are in a lovely area.
We are in our Tennessee home, enjoying God’s creation. It was fun sharing with you about the cabins. God bless us one and all.
Blog 173 for July 25, 2020
Are we hearing their hoofbeats?
What do you know about prophecy? I certainly am not a prophet, but would willingly tell what I was certain that God told me to tell. But this is not a prophecy from Bess, it’s a delve into God’s Word, the Bible, a reading of Biblical writers of the end times, an ear to what today’s preachers are saying, and how I am feeling about my world. I think it’s time we woke up to the fact that Christ’s return to earth again is closer than we think! So, please Jesus, WAKE US UP!
Charles and I receive a great magazine, ZION’S FIRE. The March/April issue was filled with information concerning prophecy, end times, disconcerting things taking place throughout the world, digital identity, and so on. One such article was written by David Rosenthal, “Flashpoint, GeoProphecy Report.” The picture of the Four Horses and the question, “Are We Hearing the Hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen?” is taken from that article, as are some thoughts on the soon return of Christ.
One thing for sure, we’ve got to get our “calling and election” sure. That is, we’ve gotta’ be saved and get our families into the fold. Every morning when I pray for our personal family including our grandsons and our extended family, I ask the Lord to take His Shepherd’s Crook and pull those family members who are drifting too far from the shore, back into the fold. Are your lamps trimmed and burning brightly? Are you walking in the light? Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? Have you been born again?
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse represent chronological events that introduce the Day of the Lord (Matt. 24:3). In Rev. 6:1-8 when Jesus Christ takes the scroll and opens the first four seals, we encounter the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The apostles asked in Matt. 24:3, “And what is the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”
Let’s learn a little about the Four Horsemen.
Seal #1, The White Horse, Rev. 6:2 - a Victor to Conquer; a time of DOMINION. The Rider is power-hungry, bent on world domination, and ready to use force to get it. According to Jesus in Matt. 24:4-5, there will be a FALSE PEACE. Some believe this will happen because of the Antichrist or “the man of sin” described by Paul, 2 Thess. 2:3-4. This helps explain why this evil individual (Antichrist) symbolically appears on a WHITE HORSE. At the end of time, the Rider on the White Horse will be Our Conquering
King of Kings, Our Messiah, Our Savior, destroying the Beast and the False Prophet, bringing REAL PEACE. (Rev. 19)
Seal #2, The Fiery Red Horse, Rev. 6:4. This rider brings slaughter. Some believe this to be the Battle of Armageddon. He takes PEACE AWAY from the earth. It’s a time of DEPRESSION. According to Jesus, He says that following a time of peace, there will be a WORLDWIDE WAR. (Matt. 24:6-7a)
Seal #3, The Black Horse Rider, Rev. 6:5-6, with SCALES in his hands, brings DROUGHT. (Matt. 24:7b) According to Jesus, a time of war will result in FAMINE; economic disaster, and famine caused by wars during the Tribulation period.
Seal #4, The Pale Horse Rider, Rev. 6:8, brings DEATH to one-fourth of the world’s peoples dying of disease and starvation. (Matt. 24:7c) According to Jesus, there will be earthquakes that cause many deaths. What about pandemics, nuclear holocaust, wild animals, plagues, famines, violence, etc?
The riders on the Four Horses of the Apocalypse carry out these judgments. They are part of the tribulation and part of “the great day of His wrath.” (Rev. 6:17)
Signs of the times are everywhere. Are you ready? Don’t be left behind. Please stop running away from God. Wash your garments in the blood of the Lamb. The time is now to repent. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Enjoy the YouTube video with pictures, “Are You Ready for Jesus to Come?” sung by Sandra Entermann (10 years ago).
Blog 172 for July 18, 2020
ARE YOU READY?
The second coming of the Lord is closer than we think! A songwriter long ago, said it this way, “Signs of the Times are Everywhere." I was singing that song with an ensemble in Virginia Beach during the years, 1970-1974. Matthew, Chapter 24, gives us many of the signs of His coming. The rise of false prophets, false Christs in vs. 4-5 is one of the signs. Many of us remember Charles Manson, Rev. Sun Myung, Jim Jones, and David Koresh. And no doubt, you could name some more.
Matthew 24:6 warns us of wars and rumors of wars. Since World War II, the number of wars in our world has increased dramatically. Today’s standing armies of the world comprise millions of soldiers. The continuing arms-buildup among the superpowers and the lesser third world nations is even now setting the stage for the final Battle of Armageddon, a war that will drench the world in blood.
Another warning sign of Christ’s imminent return is the increasing devastating and widespread famine Jesus warned of and worldwide pestilence. Aren’t our eyes wide open to the problems of our whole world? In our generation, health officials have discovered more than twenty new infectious diseases for which there are no known cures or treatments. What about the coronavirus? No cure yet. Growing urbanization, poor sanitation, air travel, teens and young adults crowded at the beach on Memorial Day, even the large protest marches and rioting gangs, and no doubt, the autonomous places being claimed in our day, have helped to spread these deadly diseases.
Matthew 24:7 speaks of earthquakes. And I just heard on the news that June 24, 2020, Mexico had an earthquake. But we hear about earthquakes all the time.
In Matthew 24:9, it speaks about increased hatred and alienation, hatred between families, individuals, and nations. Oh my, this really hits home. What is happening to our country? Why is there so much hate? And the persecution of Christians and churches is worldwide.
Other prophecies in the Bible herald Christ’s return and the beginning of the last days. Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948 is a prophecy fulfilled. Matthew 24:32 admonishes us to STAY ALERT! I believe we can all say, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelations 22:20
Are you ready? If not, PLEASE get ready! Here are the Four Spiritual Laws to lead you to “Readiness for His Second Coming."
Law #1: God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. John 3:16; John 10:10
Law #2: Man is sinful and separated from God. Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23
Law #3: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him, you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. Romans 5:8
Law #4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; so that we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8,9; Revelation 3:20
These four laws were written by Campus Crusade for Christ in 1965.
Please enjoy Bill Gaither’s famous song, “The King is Coming,” sung by Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Group.
Blog 171 for July 11, 2020
DO YOU FEEL HOPELESS
IN THIS PRESENT WORLD?
I have a few more questions to ask you. Are you scared? Do you have any “Why” questions? Are you worried about the future?
Billy Graham, in his devotional book, “Hope for Each Day”, copyrighted in 2004, speaks about a world in pain. He said that in all his travels over the decades, he had found people to be the same the world over; and he summed up the condition of people as “hopeless.” Most of the news of that day was about trouble, problems, disasters, wars, and despair. Does this 2004 analogy of hopelessness sound like the hopelessness of 2020?
Billy Graham listed voices from troubled hearts; for example, “Our home is a war zone.” Let me list some questions from the voices of today’s troubled hearts.
Why are they beating up the fallen policeman?
Why are they throwing stones, breaking windows, destroying someone else’s property?
Why are they shining a bright light in the eyes of the policemen?
Why are they spewing their hateful speech?
Why are they aligning themselves with the anarchists?
Why are they tearing down the historical monuments and statues?
Why are they trying to take over portions of cities all across America, making Autonomous Zones?
Why are they burning property? Wendy’s? Etc.
Why are they demanding to defund the police department? Even to get rid of the policemen?
Why do they want NO laws? No law and order?
Are we, the USA, too far gone? Is there a solution?
Are we, our country, on a collision course?
When will this anarchy end?
Why don’t those in leadership; the local Mayors, the State Governor and State Congressmen, the President, and all the National Congressmen, do something?
How can we survive? What’s this world coming to? Is there any hope?
Billy Graham wrote about “Voices from troubled hearts” in 1965. He said, “At that time few of us thought that the world could get much worse and survive.” He goes on to say, “I was wrong.” He said that the world has gotten worse, that we are a world in pain. How true!
Those of us with aching, breaking hearts and troubled minds, why don’t we…
Cry out to Jesus; PRAY. Ps. 55:17
Read God’s Word; Is. 40:8
Sing a great song; Ps. 104:33
Hang on to those we love; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16
Take a walk; Get outside; Ps. 1:1; Ps. 86:11
Clear our mind; Phil.4:2; Phil.2:5
Talk to a friend; Prov. 17:17
Put your faith in Jesus; John 3:16
Hold on to Hope in this season of hopelessness. Ps.71:4 & 5
Enjoy the YouTube video, “My Faith Still Holds,” First Baptist Church, Jackson, MS.
(Psalm 71 is a great read.)
Blog 170 for July 4, 2020
God and Country
Happy Birthday, America! Get out the fireworks! Blow the bugles! Hang the red, white, and blue! Put on the BBQ! And let’s celebrate!
Early in the 17th century, settlers from countries across the sea claimed land and formed colonies along the eastern coast of North America. Control of this land continued for well over 100 years. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, there were 13 American colonies with independent governments and constitutions. Evidence indicates that the Bible was used as the rule of life in the colonies. It certainly had a profound effect on their lives.
Let me tell you about Mitchell Paige, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s most prestigious military honor, for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. On October 26, 1942, after all the other Marines in his platoon were killed or wounded, for hours Paige operated 4 machine guns, single-handedly, stopping an entire Japanese regiment. Had that position fallen and the Japanese regained the airfield the Marines had taken, it is possible that the outcome of World War II may have been significantly changed.
In years to come, Paige was repeatedly asked why he would be willing to put his life on the line for his country. His answer was basically two-fold; first, the three-room country school where he was taught the Pledge of Allegiance, memorized the great American documents such as the Gettysburg Address, and heard the Bible read each day; second, God’s Word. When Paige left home to walk the 200 miles to the nearest Marine recruiting station in 1936, his mother packed him a lunch and included a note ("Trust in the Lord, son, and He will guide you always.") Paige said these words remained forever in his mind.
Paige said, “I will never forget sitting in a foxhole, alone, bloody, burned, and injured on Guadalcanal, except for hundreds of dead bodies of the enemy surrounding me. I emptied my pack looking for something to stop the bleeding from a bayonet wound and out fell my small Bible. Picking it up, I could scarcely believe it opened to Proverbs 3, and there were Mother’s words. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to thine own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
Mitchell Paige was a true servant and patriot of America. And, America is proud to have hundreds of thousands of valiant soldiers cut from the same mold.
So my prayer is,
“God bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies, to the oceans bright with foam. God bless America, my home, sweet home.”
Please enjoy Lee Greenwood sing his song, “God Bless the USA,” on Huckabee’s show one year ago.
P.S. Several of my family have July birthdays...so Happy Birthday to one and all. To Chuck, our son, July 3; to Mildred, my sister in Heaven, July 4; to Angie, my niece, July 4; and to Fred, my brother, July 15.