Our Greatest Treasures

Our Greatest Treasures

Saturday, October 22, 2016

WHO KNEW? From a spouse on the day her husband retired from 48 years of Pastoring.

Sometimes Life is a Bit Nostalgic and today is one of those days!!

So I am asking the Question…Who Knew????

Who knew ??   that I would be born into a family so diverse.
My Dad- --the son of a Greek immigrant from South Side of Chicago…..the oldest of 5 sons and a man with one of the greatest work ethics I have ever seen, WWII vet and came to Jesus as an adult. He was constantly amazed that he lived to be 95!
My Mom—daughter of Scotch/Irish and English farmers in the UP of Michigan….
Who knew they would meet at a USO, marry 5 months later…..and build a family together.
Who Knew that Donna Ball ---a young friend in Chicago Public Schools in the 1950’s  would invite me to, and then introduce me to Jesus at this little church on the South Side of Chicago at the age of 11. It was a girl’s Club like K-Motion.
Who knew that Char---children’s worker at that same little church … Would lead my only brother to Christ at the age of 10 and that his life would be taken in a tragic hunting accident just 5 years later.

Who knew?? that at the young age of 12 my family would move to Sault Ste. Marie to buy a motel, and that I would meet the wonderful man I have been allowed to live with for 49 years, and work with for well over 50 years.  

Who knew?? that God would give us so many lessons and situations that we never dreamed were possible …and that some of these lessons and situations would be beyond painful and very difficult to deal with.
Who knew that thru these 48 years we would have dear hurting people come to our door with words like:
I really desperately want to drown my very handicapped baby
I am hooked on Crack—please take my money and hold it for me.
My husband, the son of a pastor, has forced me to have 5 abortions….
My husband is beating  me,  can you hide me?…
I am an alcoholic—please help me…
I really want to leave my husband and children and become a “call girl”
I don’t believe the Scriptures have the answers for my problems……anymore
I have nowhere to go, can I live here?

And even more difficult 
 Who Knew?? that some of our most loved and trusted friends would believe, be involved in and spread lies and rumors about their own Pastors and dear old friends….and in doing so, help to tear down an incredible beautiful ministry that God was blessing…..

On the other hand…..
Who knew??—  that God would give us so many incredible blessings and teach us so many positive lessons in these 70 years of life and 48+ years in the pastorate---
most of them were  extremely encouraging and    fulfilling….such as:
1.     Giving us 4 wonderful children instead of the 8 that I constantly whined and begged from God.
2.     Sparing the life of our daughter Angela at age 5.
3.     Giving us incredible spouses for our  children
4.     Giving us 10 of the most intelligent, KIND and beautiful children on the earth for our grandchildren.
5.     Allowing us to love and minister to at the very least 4,000 dear souls over these 48 years in the pastorate. Even around the world.
6.     Allowing us to watch people’s lives literally turn in the opposite direction and choose to serve this incredible Master of their souls.
7.     Allowing us to go thru two huge building projects and survive
8.     Allowing all of our children health and life….we have not lost one to death, which is amazing with how many are now in our family.
9.     We have fellowshipped with, and loved and been loved by countless dear brothers and sisters in these 5 congregations and we are so so very grateful…

Who Knew  ????  That God would lead this whole church on a journey that we never  would have imagined .  We were able in 1999 to move into our spacious new building that took at least a year to build. I honestly looked at that building every time I saw it, as an incredible miracle of God and praised Him out-loud that He would have been so kind to have given us such a wonderful place for housing Calvary Church. And if you were not here to go thru that process, what followed probably did not have the same effect on you as it did on me and others who had been in  it for the long haul.. WE watched this blessing of God   be swindled away by self-focused, thoughtless, entitled people who had no idea of the great  sacrifices this dear congregation had made to have  such a useful facility. We called it “An Altar of Witness” for the county.”  It was built to be a church NOT a School.  That was made very clear.

God will have the final say and we must lay it in His hands.

Because,  WHO KNEW???  What LESSONS we as a “shocked and hurting” congregation would be able to tangibly learn about God’s incredible provision and protection all this time. We have been  living kind of  like the homeless,  and kind of like in the wilderness for a season…hopefully not for 40 years.!!

So my question has been thru this has been thru this “mini-sermon”….Who KNEW???
And the answer to that is loud and clear???     GOD KNEW and HE does KNOW now…. exactly what is in the future of not only the lives of Bill and myself, as we retire from the formal Pastorate.  But HE KNOWS exactly what He is doing in each of your lives and in the life of this whole congregation as a beautiful part of His Body …the CHURCH.  And He even knows and is in control of this great USA that we are privileged to live in.!!

I am so grateful for the Scripture that has gotten me thru so many tough points of my life and now when I am aging, I am thankful that I can also look back at all the faithful ways God has worked things out …way better than my plans….as hard as that may have been for me to have seen in the middle of the storms.  The truth for me and for CALVARY CHURCH, is that I can TRUST his loving care and strength and peace and wisdom to surround each of us in a very special way. 
Please trust Him, and love Him totally, and Serve Him with your very best ability don’t hide your gifts…. And as you LOVE , Listen to and serve Each OTHER remember that HE KNOWS ALL!!!  And is in charge of our FUTURE

Col. 3:16-17
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 
And whatsoever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Benedictions and Isaiah 40....

IF you doubt that God is in charge and that He does know all....please study Isaiah 40 .you will see Him in all his spendor!!!.......my very favorite chapter.   I LOVE YOU!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting OLD---Getting WISE

· Getting OLD
· Getting WISE
· Lord, Please Help me to grow OLD and WISE !
When we think of OLD, we many times think WISE, but as I am aging, I am realizing that this may RARELY be the case…Instead, many times, OLD just means that we become very “clutchy” (is that a word?) about how WE think life should be laid out.
If we have been a Mean, Bully type person our whole life , Loudly, giving our opinions, and pushing people around, either verbally or physically, without thought of consequences , we often become even more Cruel and Insensitive to others differing opinions or methods of doing something as we get OLD.
If we have been Judgmental and Opinionated all of our lives, we feel even more entitled, called and empowered (because of our “AGE”, and the fact that we DO know “everything”) to tell anyone and everyone the “right -way” to do things, even though we may really have no expertise in the area that we are presently targeting.
If we have most of our lives, freely told people around us --“embellished, or false tales” of others’ “actions or faults” ,and have done that by “cozying” up to others and asking “ Probing, Negative-type, questions about the motives or behavior of others, we will undoubtedly, by this OLD age, have become an absolute Master at spreading Rumors….It is a bit like a politician……When we put someone else down, it is often to make ourselves look better…
If, in our younger years, we have usually made it a practice to behave Stubbornly about issues that we don’t like, undoubtedly…..we will become very hard to deal with in our old age. Nurses have a name for this, “NON-Compliant”—very difficult patients, and unfortunately, they are (WE ARE) in our communities and churches…
These are terrifying thoughts to me, because I do not want to grow OLD like this….In the past five years I have seen a number of OLD both men and women display these frightening attitudes under the guise of “WISDOM”, and Righteousness….It has been a horrific sight…and has left much damage.
I have watched grown men, whom I had had some respect for, turn into ungodly, angry people. I have watched the lives of some younger servants of God be terribly discouraged and nearly shredded by these so called OLD SAINTS..Why am I saying this????
I think, because @ 65, I am trying to measure my thoughts and words much more carefully – these are now officially, OLD years… I know how Opinionated and Judgmental I have been throughout my lifetime, and I don’t want my life to characterize such horrible behavior in the years left that Jesus may give to me.
I am SO THANKFUL for the MANY truly OLD—WISE people that I have watched thru many years, really model the way to END WELL…..They are my HEROES!!!
Words both encouraging and damaging ,when spoken, can never be reclaimed….MAYBE we can “ease their sting” with heart wrenching apologies, but their influence on the thoughts and actions of others, is forever traveling….it’s like gossip and cutting words, actually have LEGS….
I am trying to keep pouring the words of Colossians 3 thru my mind….I should memorize it!!---because within its’ truth, is the way for me to LIVE—like Jesus wants me to….as a young person and an OLD person…Lord, HELP ME to grow WISE and OLD at the same time… and forgive me when I am not!!!.….
My favorite part of this chapter are verses 12 -14
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, and Patience. Bear with each other and Forgive as the Lord Forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on LOVE which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to my 40 Year Old Son.....

Andrew Edward Rudd

born March 5, 1970 in Elkhart General Hospital. We took that long drive from Winona Lake, where dad was in Seminary, at a pretty good clip that snowy morning. It was a 40 minute drive, but even fast driving did not speed up your very long rough entry into this beautiful world. Your were scheduled to be born on FEB th, but decided to hold off your entry for one full month--which did give us a little anxiety about getting you there on time.

To your late arrival, you added the fact that weighed 9lb.3oz and absolutely would not turn yourself around and come out the normal head first, but insisted on coming our in a frank breech position....

We waited all day --till 4 for you to arrive--while many curious nursing students checked our what a breech delivery would look like--at least until I finally told them that woul be all the visitors until you were in the world. Your dad got to watch the delivery thru a glass window as an anethesiologist put me out and then helped push and pull you out of your tight little home...

From that day, till this you have been an incredible blessing to your dad and I. So many memories I hold over forty years of your life--your shyness, food pickiness, cutting your hair in the beatles style, your great love for creative play, your ability to learn to read at 3, your incredible love for your brothers--always protecting them and guiding them to love Jesus, and then your love and care of your sister almost 12 years your junior, your love for music, your adventuresomeness, your willingness to try new venues as your grew older, your speaking ability, your LOVE of swimming, of reading,of running, of people, of school-- (after highschool), of moviemaking, of traveling, of solving problems, of God's Word--tons of it memorized, of getting more degrees, of caring about and for others, of gourmet cooking, of the Cabin, of the tales of your grandparents' and ancestors' lives, of your mom and dad ,of your wonderful precious wife, Lynn, of the gifts of your incredible children Jaelyn and Addison, of the way you have loved your in-laws.

And now here you are 40 years old !!! Knowing what we do about the genes and longevity of your family, you may have another 40 years to live on this earth. I know you will always choose to do the very best for yourself and all those that you influence. Walking with Jesus is always the key to making it well in life and I know you are very aware of that.

Your dad and I love you way more than we ever dreamed we could love anyone on the day your were born. We are praying for your growth and happiness and walk with God throughout the rest of life that He may give you...We are so proud that you are our son!!!

Happy Happy Birthday to our wonderful son!!!

Your mom who loves you incredibly...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

June at Home 09

Liam 10
Addison would rather be playing!!!

Fun at Mac Donalds





Elyse, Alisha, Emma, Annie

Liam and Friends off to Camp Barakel

Emma off of Camp

Liam ready for camp

Samuel William Rudd @4

First Try at the "Big Jump" 09

They made it!!

Missing two to be photoshopped in!

Addison and Emma help cook..

The missing two..

Emma Elisabeth Rudd @ 12

All Oldest children ----Andy,Grandpa Andy and Grandma Marge

Jaelyn Elisabeth Rudd @ 10

Ginger @ 6

Isaac Bruce Rudd @4

The Little Table

Andrew and Lynn 17 years together!!

Great Grandpa Andy @ 90 and Maya @3

Sophia @ 1 with Ang--plus!

The boat became a slide!

09 Rudd Cousins Camp

What shall we have on our trip home??

The place where we may have started the tick attack!!

Sleepy kids on the way home...
A minor surgery on Ginger..

Annual Cedarville icecream shop!

Grandpa's obstacle course...

Flying High!!
Echo Island and the secret fort...

Into the "Deep Woods" with Grandpa

My oldest girls!! Jaelyn and Emma

The results of their hard work at camp!!
Artists at work!

The speed demons????

The July of Parties 09

Ready for the deacons and families!

My dear sisters of Women Alive Sunday School Class Life Group. This class was born out of a study we did on "Women Mentoring Women" about 15 years ago. Every dear woman that has come and gone has taught me so much about loving and being a true follower of Jesus...and we do laugh a lot--did I say that???

Some of the wonderful deacons' wives wating to eat. We had 52 altogether--lots of splashing in the pool. These women forgot their suits!!

Isaac getting very brave!

Will with his super jump!

This little house was given to us by Jeff and Jory Carey. The little kids really really love it!!

The four youngest grandchildren Will Isaac Maya and Sophia!!