Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What I re-learned yesterday . . .

I haven't been able to get to my Tuesday morning Bible Study on a regular basis since starting to drive the school bus.  Yesterday, thanks to my dear friend Bev who gladly picks me up, I was back and realized just how much I missed being there.

As we were traveling back from Texas 3 years ago I felt God say to me, "you need to be at Bible Study every Tuesday morning."  He, as always, was right!

I will admit that life for me has been really difficult these past weeks, in a lot of ways.  Some are just too personal to share but I am thankful for all of you who have been praying.

Yesterday Pastor Martie started the morning talking about the "pressures" that have been surrounding all of us.  She then asked us to take a piece of paper and with no names, write down the last time we spent 30 minutes with God.  Thought provoking and very humbling and nearly embarrassing.

She then used this analogy for us who are picture oriented;  if we continually use our cell phone without putting it on the charger and expect it to keep working -- it won't.  It runs out of power.  She then talked about how we do the same thing -- we keep going and going and never use our source of power -- the Word of God -- to recharge ourselves.  Ouch!  This really stepped on my toes!

In times of trouble we reach into our own flesh for help -- and how does that work out for us?  For me definitely not so well.  God has so much help just sitting there waiting for me and I just don't tap into it. How ridiculous that I think I have the answers!

But then isn't that what satan wants us to do?  His whole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy and since Jesus already won the battle and whipped him for us --- why don't I use that almighty power that is just sitting there for me?

So . . . it may not be a New Years resolution but I have made a renewed commitment to spend DAILY time in the Word of God, my source of power, strength, peace, victory and love!

When I got home yesterday I decided to start with looking up scriptures that have to do with God's love.  In the back of one of my numerous Bibles I looked up the word "love" and started writing down the scriptures.  I immediately started feeling a peace I haven't felt in a long time.  I also felt like some of the problems that have been weighing so heavily on my shoulders (and aren't even mine to carry around) were lighter.

So today, and each day following, I will go to God's Word for me -- to find my strength for TODAY.  As I do that I expect He will fulfill His promise to give me direction for TODAY.

How about you?  The "weight of the world" weighing on your shoulders too?  Yep -- that's what I thought.  So how about joining me in a mid year resolution?  We all want to weigh less anyway!   :)

Until next time . . . thank you Pastor Martie and my dear friends for being there for me and for not being ashamed to "tell it like it is" and wake me up!                                 Susan and Monty

Sunday, May 26, 2013

He took 2nd place!!!

Last Saturday Monty competed in a local shotgun shoot.  They shot 10 rounds of clay pigeons and in the end --- he came out in 2nd place!!!! 

An amazing feat in itself -- but he was competing against some of the best who have been doing this for years -- and with a "not so expensive" shotgun that he had never shot before!

His form was to perfection.  One by one he hit the shots while others missed.  It was so much fun being on the side lines watching each of them step off the line and see him remain.

The smile on his face speaks for itself!  It's nice to go out and have some fun every once in awhile!

I just got off the phone with a dear friend of ours who we attended missions training school with,   graduated with and had the pleasure of working together with in Texas after hurricane Ike struck in 2008.   Lance and Brenda also have a heart for those hurting after disasters.  I returned his call this afternoon and he and around 26 other men are on the outskirts of Moore, OK with chainsaws, skid steers and dozers clearing debris and cutting trees.  He said they will be there for maybe 2 weeks.  They have also brought in 11 semi loads of supplies.  Their name?  God's Pit Crew.  I would encourage looking them up online at and think about making a donation to them.  While in Texas (for one week) they rebuilt a church, parsonage and put a new roof on the pastor's home -- all in that one week.  We will be in touch with them on a regular basis and try and give you updates as we get them. 

Lance did ask if we were headed that way.  Our answer --- we don't have enough disaster funds to fuel our trucks to even get them out of Indiana!  So . . . for now we will stay in contact with them and see what God has in store for all of us.

Until next time . . . God bless Lance, Brenda and their 2 small children as they continue being the hands and feet of Jesus!                                                                            Susan and Monty

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday.  My last one in this decade.  Honestly I wasn't looking forward to it and felt nearly too tired to enjoy it or make many plans.

But it has been a wonderful day.

Early this morning I got our yard mowed (rain in the forecast and they were correct).  You have to understand that I love mowing grass and think the best summer work would be to be mowing all day long -- the big open areas!

Monty and I then went out for a great breakfast at our favorite Mom and Pop restaurant where we are considered family instead of customers.

We then went to see our grandkids who had presents for me.  They gave me the biggest cupcake I know I've ever seen, a beautiful card they signed themselves and a rose bush -- which I will enjoy planting next week.

I took my sewing machine so my daughter could try and recover her own pillows.  We did them last summer and I did the sewing so this was going to be a challenge for her.  She did have trouble early on with the threading of the machine but mastered it after watching a U Tube video.  They really do have videos on absolutely everything. 

From there we were off to buy flowers for me to plant next week.  I got some beautiful ones and after I pull up a few old nasty shrubs it will be beautiful once again.

A short rest in the late afternoon before heading out to a fantastic dinner at one of the best places in town but we don't go often because it's a bit pricey!  But surprise --- my daughter and family got us a gift card for just that place so we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.!  Thanks Stacy!

While there I got a voice mail from our "family with 10 kids" -- Cheryl and team who sang a beautiful birthday song that brought tears of joy streaming down my cheeks!  I miss them all so much!

We decided to walk around the mall for a bit and ran into my daughter and family once again.  Got to visit with them twice in one day -- perfect present!

Facebook had numerous birthday wishes and I even got a few phone calls.

It's been a good day, a good birthday --- and I should be sending all these wishes to my mom --- she's the one that made life possible for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks Mom -- love you!

Until next time . . . love and thanks to all.                                           Susan and Monty

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's the Last Day

The day my bus kids have been looking forward to since the beginning of their school year.  The day we've been counting down to for weeks.


As I drove them all to school this morning I had mixed feelings.  Excitement that it is indeed the last day and I won't need to get up at 5am each morning and yet sadness that I won't see these bus kids of mine each day.  I guess my heart is just too big sometimes!

I have grown attached to so many of them and surprisingly -- the ones who are the worst behaved.

Yesterday afternoon it actually dawned on one of my boys, age 7, that today is the last day!  He asked me atleast 5 times if that meant that when I took him home today I would not be coming back on Monday!  To hear the lack of excitement in his voice, to realize he is NOT looking forward to the summer -- broke my heart!

But -- it IS the last day.

We are having a "last day of school / day before my birthday" party on the ride home today.  I have packed small bags with popcorn, M&Ms and pretzels and yes -- the will be able to eat on the bus!  It will most likely take me an hour to clean up after them but . . . it IS the last day of school!

I would ask that you continue praying for these kids.  I may never see some of them for the rest of my life -- but they have touched my life forever and I am changed for the better for knowing and loving them!

Until next time . . . Happy Summer Bus 89 kids!  Love you!                              Susan and Monty

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

They've already started . . .

The phone calls, voice mails and texts have already started.

The question is the same --- all about volunteering in Oklahoma.

The answer --- for now --- NOT NOW!!!!!!!

This is not the time for volunteers to start streaming into the areas.  PLEASE realize you will only be in the way and actually hindering the process.

Now is the time for the trained responders to do what they do in search and rescue, establishing some sort of infrastructure and getting the people established in safe places to live temporarily.

If you do want to do something now --- DONATE!

There are many places to send your donations; Red Cross, Convoy of Hope, etcs.  That decision is up to you.  No matter how much funding is donated -- it's never enough!!!

So for now -- no volunteers are needed.  This statement has been on the national news and came directly from Oklahoma!

The most helpful thing you can do?   PRAY!!!!!  And then pray some more!

Until next time . . . blessings to all of you for your servant hearts!                 Susan and Monty

Monday, May 20, 2013

Prayers Needed

Please join us in praying for the entire state of Oklahoma, especially the areas hit by this monster tornado!!!!!

Remember to cover the rescue workers also.

Convoy of Hope is already there and will be bringing truck load after truck load of emergency supplies for who knows how long. 

Blessings and thanks.

Until next time . . .         Susan and Monty

Thursday, May 16, 2013

God's "89"

The day finally came for me to "select" my bus route for next year.

Being the low man on the totem pole I was the 2nd to last to select. 

I had looked through the 4 huge books with all the new routes detailed out.  We heard they were all going to change but none of us realized just how drastically. 

My route just doesn't exist for next year.  They did work smart -- they have divided up my students so much that driving them will be much easier -- on the kids as well as the driver.

My plan was to hopefully take the route with most of my elementary kids on it.  My plan wasn't God's plan!

All along this process I just felt the sense that I should "keep 89".  That's my current bus number and route number.  But as I searched through all the books I realized that route didn't exist as I know it so just gave up and said that God would direct me to the route I was supposed to have.  He brought me to this one so why stop trusting now?

As I took one last look at the book that by now only had a handful of routes left I listened to the woman in front of me take the route I was going to take.  I didn't really want it because it meant I would drive a smaller bus and I like driving the big one but . . .

After she selected and left the room it was my turn.  Not knowing what to do I just looked at the supervisor and made the comment that I would just like to continue driving the big bus.

She looked at me and smiled and said, "Susan, route 89 is still available!"

And she was right -- route 89 is indeed a new route -- but the bus is still the same!

So . . . God telling me to stay with 89 didn't mean the route ---- it meant the bus!

As we looked over this new route and discovered that it is on the complete opposite side of town, runs through the university campus and is literally filled with foreign students --- I heard God tell me that THIS is the one!

Will I miss my current kids?  Surprisingly ---- YES!!!!   I haven't had the heart to tell them and so far they have forgotten that I have finally found out.  They've been asking for weeks but for now . . .

But --- I am super excited to see what God has in store for this next route!  I couldn't pronounce one of the students names if I had to!  They are from all over the world -- literally!  What I do know is that it's going to be exciting and that God will be showing up BIG time!

I am so thankful to know His voice, to hear His guidance and to gladly put my trust in His plan -- not mine!

Until next time . . . 89 is a good number!                                        Susan and Monty

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

We celebrated Mother's Day yesterday and what fun it was.

I was blessed to have one of the greatest mothers in the world!  God was good to me.  I know there were many times when I wasn't the best or easiest daughter to raise -- but she persevered and I am so thankful she did!  Happy Mother's Day Mom!

My parents came over here yesterday and we went to my grandson's (their great grandson) baseball game.  He will be 8 years old this coming Saturday so these games are always a guaranteed good time with priceless memories.  This one was just that.

Along with my parents and daughter and son in law my son drove down from his home north of Indy so we had a great family day.

The game was . . . nearly beyond words.  Luke made a play at 3rd base that left us all in tears of laughter.  He was playing 3rd when the ball was hit to him.  He not only managed to get his mitt on the ground and scoop up the ball, he made the force out play at the base!  The look of both amazement and excitement on his face was nothing like I've seen before!  His dad had to nearly pry the ball from his little hands and at the end of the game he was awarded the game ball for the play!

He also got a great hit and with the help of the other boys he was able to score at home -- by sliding in head first!!!!

After the game we were all able to enjoy dinner together and my daughter gave me a beautiful blue hygeranga plant that I can't wait to plant outside.

It was a good day, a great day, one of those days that carries life long memories!  One of those days God specially picks for us -- showing us the true joy of relationships -- the way He designed it!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!               Until next time . . .               Susan and Monty

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Tell me ONE good thing that comes from it . . .

Sunday evening brought an "episode" into our lives that I feel I must share. 

It wasn't "fun" or "joyful" or "exciting" but it packed a big lesson.

We headed out to run an errand and as we went down the road we passed one of the many taverns here in town.  Although there is a law in Indiana that no alcohol can be sold or served on Sundays unless it's a restaurant that also sells food -- this tavern is known to somehow get around that law.

As we passed something caught the corner of my eye just as Monty told me there was a man lying on the parking lot of the tavern and we should turn around quickly and go back. As I was turning he made the call to 911.  We didn't know much at the beginning but within 30 seconds we were stopped in the parking lot and out of the truck.

This gentleman was lying on his back, his legs twisted and a bump on his forehead literally the size of a goose egg.  That bump had a cut in the center of it and he had also urinated all over himself. 

He was out cold and at first I thought he might not be alive.  I checked for a pulse and found one but his breathing was shallow. 

As soon as we pulled up some of his fellow "friends" came out of the tavern, most of them stumbling and slurring and trying to figure out what had happened.  They all said he left the tavern and was walking to his apartment directly across the street.

One guy in particular made me angrier than I've been in I can't remember when!  He was obviously drunk beyond remembering anything and was determined to kick this gentleman lying on the parking lot to wake him up!  He was way too verbal and although others tried to get him to go back inside they weren't having any luck.  Numerous times I gritted my teeth and told them to "get him away from here" but each time he got closer.  I am honestly telling you that it took God holding my hands onto the gentleman on the ground to keep me from standing up and giving that guy the biggest right hook I could muster!

Monty was still on the phone with 911 and as we heard the sirens the rest of the crowd decided to quite quickly return to the inside of the tavern. 

One gentleman stayed outside for a few minutes and made the comment to Monty, "that's me in 20 years!"  I heard Monty talking to him and telling him that "it doesn't have to be . . ." and as they stepped aside the authorities showed up and he also went back inside.

By now the gentleman on the ground was trying to wake up and figure out what was going on.  I asked him name - twice - and twice he gave me a different name. 

He was in and out of consciousness and finally the ambulance arrived.  They did allow him to sit up and managed to get him onto their stretcher.   The police asked us a few questions and then allowed us to leave.

For many, many years I have been radically against alcohol.  I've seen it destroy people, families, friends -- so many innocent people.  I have been accused of being too radical.  Go ahead and accuse me but I dare you to tell me ONE good thing that comes from consuming alcohol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This gentleman was an example of how demonic alcohol really is.  Yes, I used the word demonic!

We have tried to find out how the gentleman is but with no name - - - no luck.

We have prayed for him every single night as we sit down to dinner.  Praying for his health, his release and his freedom to see the lies satan has told him and to feel the love God has for him!

Will you join us in this prayer?  Not only for this gentleman --- but for the millions of lives destroyed by alcohol.   Thank you.

Until next time . . .  bless him Lord, bless him, and thanks for using us for those few short minutes.  May the seeds You planted through us take root and grow!               Susan and Monty

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Things have transpired that make me believe I need to clarify our missionary status.

Yes, we are still missionaries and yes, we are still with International Gospel Outreach (IGO).

Yes, the disaster relief website with IGO has been removed since we are not currently "in the field".

When we left south Texas following nearly 2 years of rebuilding from hurricane Ike it was because God told us to leave.

God calls and God releases and unless  you have felt or heard either -- it's difficult to understand.  We have heard both and know the voice of our Lord.

He called us to Mississippi on His timing.  He called us back to Mississippi the second time.  He called us to Columbus, IN (my hometown) following the floods and He then called us from there to south Texas. 

The time we spend in the fields all depends on Him. 

When He called us home in June of 2010 we had (and still have) no idea for how long.

His call had us right here at home when the tornado went through in May of 2011.

He did not call us to go to the east coast following hurricane Sandy.  We have plenty of connections there and have sent many a volunteer -- but we were and are not called to go.  Believe me, we questioned Him on that one but as always -- He knows what's right.

And here we are --- still home. 

Some folks feel we have completely stepped out of the mission field.  In the physical sense they are right. 

But --- what about the realization that one of the largest mission fields is right here at home --- the one no one sees (or wants to see) and the most difficult to reach.

While we are here we continue to follow His calling, listening to His voice and trying our best to be obedient.  Is it easy?  Absolutely not and definitely yes -- both answers are correct.

Will God call us to once again leave home, family and friends and physically go back out into the field?  We don't have the answer to that question.  We ask it ourselves and have probably been asked that question a million times.

What we do know is that we will continue our missionary work wherever God has us living and for however long He keeps us there. 

It is nice to be home, to sit down on a real couch in the evening and to sleep in a bed with plenty of room.  It's extra nice to shower in a full size shower and not to have to empty sewer tanks on the trailer.

But if God tells us to hitch up that trailer and "go" --- we will be ready and we will go!

Until then, our own backyard, our own neighborhood, our own city --- that's our mission field.

I hope this has answered some of your questions.

Until next time . . . our deepest thanks to those of you who STILL support us and pray for us!  YOU are our own personal angels!                                       Susan and Monty

Saturday, May 04, 2013


As the old saying goes, "kids will be kids."

And some will be a bit more kid than others.

A few days ago I had a little boy try and get on my bus after school.  He is more than 10 handfuls and as soon as I was given this route I looked over the listing of children who are supposed to be riding.  This little guys name was not on my listing.  He was to be riding one of the other buses that passes through his neighborhood.

I informed the school assistant principal and all was well.

Until the other day.

As he tried to come aboard the bus I stopped him and told him (again) that he did not ride this bus but the other one.  He argued and said he was now riding this one.  I re-informed him and he got off -- in a huff.

I double checked with transportation when my routes where done, making sure something hadn't changed.  Nothing had.  I also ran into the driver of the bus he should be on and she informed me he had been kicked off that bus indefinitely!  And when anyone is kicked off one bus -- it goes for all the buses -- and it's the responsibility of the school to inform the parents and the child.

So I thought all was well and on we went.

Until Thursday afternoon.  Here he came again trying to get on the bus.  This time he had a note that he told me was from his mother!?  When I opened it and noticed it was printed with orange marker and looked nothing like what a mother would write, "**** rides bus ****"  

I challenged him and told him I didn't believe his mother wrote the note.  He argued and argued until I took the note and wrote my name and phone number on it telling him to have his mother call me asap.  Of course she never called.  I didn't expect her to.

It would be one thing if he was a well behaved little guy --- or even tried to be --- but he is more than double the work of any of the others on the bus.  I sat him in the front seat directly behind me but still it was chaos until the minute he got off the bus!

Once again I went to transportation and they once again verified he is not to ride my bus, or any bus.

So I called the assistant principal and she assured me she would be speaking with his mother -- she has her on speed dial!

So yesterday afternoon, as the assistant principal stood next to the door of my bus as the kids got on board -- he did not try and ride.

He was busted --- big time --- and yet this child is out there --- trying to get through life any way he can think of --- lying when it benefits him and who knows what else. 

And he is 7 years old ---- yes, 7 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It made for a great "lesson" to relay to the rest of the kids on the bus.  The bus you are assigned to ride is the only bus you ride!  They got the message.  Now if they can just get the message of "sit down and stay seated" we will have scored success!!!!!!     :)

Until next time . . . remember to pray for the little children!                          Susan and Monty

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Billy's Wall

It's May 1st.

On the 25th of this month it will be 2 years since the tornado ripped through town and did so much damage.

Billy has to be one of the most patient survivors of that tornado.

His home has been completely repaired but the retaining walls that went to his basement were damaged beyond repair and have stayed that way until this week.

Catholic Charities made it possible for us to hire contractors to do the work.

They should have finished both sides today -- I hope to have more pics tomorrow.

An awesome job for an equally awesome gentleman who has remained patient --- and those patience brought blessings beyond what he could imagine!

Thanks to Roger, Paul, Jake and Catholic Charities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . .   Susan and Monty