Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We Made our Plans--but--God Directed our Steps

The pictured scene is mostly symbolic of an earlier generation when the Church of God moved to Grand Junction, MI. because D.S. Warner envisioned "taking the gospel" around the globe from the place he called in one of his poems, "the place where the light'ning tracks cross." They gave everything they had to encircle the glob from that insignificant place that now ships blueberries globally.

It was recently the site of our 119th Church of God Camp Meeting, as well as the ongoing place where much Church of God leadership and youth training goes on year-round. The following comes from my mailbag today and came from Grace Selent-Ratzlaff. "Amazing Grace" is one of the finest women I have ever known. I met her when she and (first husband) Ray had just become the "first fulltime Resident Directors" and Warner Memorial Camp became a serious year-round facility.

This may be repetitious to some, but for me it is a warm and wonderful recounting of the goodness of God that I have watched unfold in the lives of people with whom my own interfacing has been, as Grace suggests, a "divine appointment." I have lightly edited Grace's account, and divided it into three sections, lest I overload you all at once. Following is section one, from Grace's own hand:

"Our plan [Grace writing] was to go to Seattle to take the inland passage cruise to Juneau, AK, round trip. We left Lake Wales May 1,2010 in our motor home. We visited family in OK., ID, and OR en route. Leslie had not seen several of them in over three years, including his brother Sidney.

"We stopped at Warner Pacific University, where Leslie served as Dean for about seven years, visited several persons there and toured their complex. We contacted a couple we knew, Dave and Monica Monroe--had a nice time with them--went to dinner --to their home, and back to the University where we parked for the night. During the night, a water leak happened--all over the bathroom floor. Leslie contacted Dave, who knew exactly what to do and where to get the needed parts. He put it all back together while Monica washed and dried the rugs; what a blessing they were. Our contact with them the day before definitely was a Divine Appointment.

"We went on to Elgin, OR., to visit Leslie’s brother Sidney and two sons--Dave and Steve. It so happened that Sidney’s granddaughter was graduating with a Doctor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from a college about a hundred miles away in Washington on Sunday. They had room for us--a real blessing--since Leslie had not seen Sidney’s son Dan (father of the graduating girl) for many years and did not know his family. Another son, Mark and his wife Margie, were also there for the graduation. Leslie had not seen Mark for a number of years either; so, it was quite a reunion for him--another Divine Appointment.

"We left Elgin and went on to Seattle to take the cruise. Weather was chilly, but we didn’t mind. Leslie rested a lot, but we had a great time on the cruise--saw a number of glaciers. Juneau was warmer than anywhere else we had been. Vancouver was gorgeous.

"We left there and went on to Minneapolis through rain, then snow--lots of it--sometimes a complete white-out, but PTL we had a good trip--lots of beautiful scenery--mountains were beautiful covered with snow. In Minneapolis we visited two of Leslie’s relatives, Walter and Pearl Ratzlaff and Walter and Lois Ortman whom he had not seen in a number of years--nice visit with them--great blessing for Leslie even though he was not feeling the greatest--nauseated much of the time and very tired. I did most all of the driving by this time.

"We left Minneapolis and headed for Michigan, taking the northern route, crossing the famous bridge and on down to Grand Junction, MI. Arrived at Warner Camp (where I have a campsite) May 20th. We helped with Youth Camp - I in the Cafeteria and Leslie on the grounds when he felt like it - which wasn’t very much because some of the time he was in pain and no appetite - when he did eat a little he couldn’t keep it down and he was getting weaker all the time.

"I contacted a doctor I knew and he was able to see Leslie quickly. He diagnosed a pulled muscle in his back, after checking him thoroughly where Leslie described the pain. Doctor gave him pain prescription and something to help rid the nausea and be able to eat. That didn’t help much, but he was determined to go on to Anderson, IN Convention [NAC] in June.

"Leslie could not walk to any of the conferences he wanted to attend; I had to take him to all the meetings. Visited with several friends and relatives before CM started. The day CM ended [NAC] Leslie was in so much pain he wanted to go to ER, but I suggested we return to camp and to his doctor rather than start all over, which we did--just a four-hour drive. The doctor was really puzzled since the pain would come and go and the way Leslie described the pain, he was sure it had to do with a pulled muscle. Sometimes he could not even bend over to put on his shoes.

"At this time, I went to Wal-mart to get his medication and took a bad fall in their parking lot--stepped in large pot-hole and fell, badly injuring my right shoulder and ribs on right side. Ex-rays showed nothing broken, but seriously injured: could hardly use my right arm, which made it difficult since I had to do all the driving ..." (to be continued).

From Warner's World,
purely selfishly, I marvel when I remember the quality and quantity of people
God allowed into the obscure life of a little boy that found the presence of God and chased the dream of that place where the lightning tracks crossed at Grand Junction decades ago ... walkingwithwarner.blogspot.com

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