Thursday, September 23, 2010

Helene's Psalm

God, I thank you
For your counsel
exceeds my wisdom

I praise you
for sustaining love
for clarity

for the epiphany moment

for the understanding
for the direction

I praise you
for the relief
for taking my burden
for lifting my spirits
for casting away confusion
and hurt

I praise you

for all you impart

I praise you
for peace

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.
In our church, we are in the midst of a series called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, based on a book by the same name (and based on God and His Word, obviously). Our pastor preached out of Psalms, and gave us space to write our own. The above poem/blog post comes from that time. The day before, God had just given me real peace about some directions and focus in terms of career and education for me and in our home. Praise Him continually.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jorge` Turns 14

Someone in Guatemala counts on my love. And I love him.

His name is Jorge`, and on Tuesday, he turns 14. He is my sponsor son, and across the miles, I wonder, wonder what he is doing during each day. I see in each picture I receive from Compassion International how much he grows each year. I see in the words of his letters, how he's growing mentally.

I hear of soccer and a new backpack he received with last year's Christmas gift. I hear his brother is sick. I hear of weather, and months ago, his fears that H1N1 would strike Guatemala. So here I am a thousand miles away from him, in his mountain village, praying God would protect him.

I see in the pictures he's drawn for me through the years that he's learning about the world around him. When he was younger, I mentioned that I grew up in a town steeped in the history of the railroad, and he drew me an adorable train in colored pencil. I mentioned flowers I tend in my landscaping, and the letter I received from him in August, shows the intricate layers of a rose - like the roses bordering my home. He pays attention, this boy does.

I love him. And I love his letters.

He says, "Please keep praying for me." And thanks me because he knows I do.

It doesn't cost much, sponsoring a child - $38 per month through Compassion International. And when I sponsor Jorge` through Compassion, I know he's receiving something far more important than an education. Far more important even than meals, birthday and Christmas gifts. He receives the good news of Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried and rose again, for Jorge` (for me, for you, for all of us) so we might spend forever in Heaven with our perfect Maker. We just have to reach out in faith.

Jorge` lives a life we in America would still call poverty, even with my help. But He has hope. God's care. And did I mention I love him?

What do you think? Won't you do this? Won't you honor my sponsor son Jorge` on his 14th birthday, Sept. 21, and more importantly Jesus Christ, by going to, and sponsoring a child?

Are you friends with my husband, Rod Bergren, on Facebook? Do you follow him on Twitter? Being a Diet Mountain Dew addict, anytime someone catches him drinking Dew, or mentioning Dew on Facebook or Twitter, he's coughing up a dollar. Won't you do something?

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved. 
Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thank You, Lord, for . . .

Ta-Da! My last post in the series about gratitude. I spent four hours last night making a very cool Adobe Illustrator file with stars and different-colored fonts of this non-exhaustive list of what I am thankful for. But, in none of the file versions I tried does the text show up readable enough in Blogger. Sigh. Maybe I'll make a homemade T-shirt with it or print it and have it framed. Yay, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of my non-technical side, I shall rejoice and be glad in this Friday. Blessings in Christ to you. Read on and see how abundantly blessed I am. It's a mix of the serious and light-hearted, generally in no particular order. I highly recommend this exercise of listing what brings praise and thanks to God into your heart. Enjoy.

Father Son Holy Spirit. Salvation in Jesus! My husband. Jessica. Daphne. David. The Family I grew up in. Baby feet. Baby hands. Baby smiles and giggles. Worship time at The Ridge. Hearing from my home the sound of children playing at recess on the school playground a few blocks away. The gift of life.

Indoor plumbing. Electricity. My faith. Modern medicine. My sponsor son, Jorge`. God as Savior, Healer, Provider, Leader, Counselor, Maker. His presence. My sisters. Plentiful food sources in America. My parents. The wisdom of earlier generations. Rainbows. Snuggling with hubby and children. Jokes my children make up. Artwork my children create.

Rumba panties on little girls. Little girls in black patent shoes. Tractor sounds little boys make when they play farm. The generally loud energy of little boys. Being home with my children for 12 years and counting. Umbrellas. The Bible. My spiritual gifts. Nehemiah’s example. Thunder and lightning. Mozart. Bach. Beethoven. Mancini. Casting Crowns. Newsboys. Rebecca St. James. Lilies of many colors. Milk. Roses. Daffodils. My parents’ farm. Growing up on a farm and in the country. Small group friends. Childhood friends. Electricity and running water. Cousins, dozens, and dozens!

The fruit of the Spirit in my life, and in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Aunties and Uncles. My husband’s fix-it abilities – car, house, computers. Sleepovers as a child, and hosting them for my children today. Strawberries and memories of Grandma’s strawberry patch. Being born on Granddad’s birthday, and Jessica being born on Grandma and Granddad’s wedding anniversary. Daphne coming home from the hospital on her dad’s birthday two days after her birth. David’s birthday so close to one of my sister’s. Enjoying (mostly) the miracle of three full-term pregnancies. Sunrises and sunsets. Jesus’ bodily resurrection.

Experiencing time on the Pacific and the Atlantic. Mission trips to the Navajo Nation and the border of Mexico. God’s pure wisdom. My health. Mercy & Grace. Swingsets. Nieces and nephews. Godly examples to follow in my church and circle of friends. Grandpa Fred. Piano lessons from Aunt Irene, and having her as my great aunt.

Peace that passes understanding. Crest Whitening Strips. That 10th Anniversary trip to Tahiti. Sweet, sweet neighbors. Seeing friends who have moved away. Living in a safe community. Teaching children. AWANA for my kids. Talking about God, and my walk with the Lord with others. College. How God provides for our family through my husband great brain and hard work. The examples of Daniel and Joseph. Learning how God is working in other people’s lives, hearing what exactly He’s up to with others. Bubblegum.

20th Wedding Anniversary family vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Apple pie. Psalms. Making birthday cakes for my children. Talking about Bible passages with my husband. Photography. Writing. That God would work through me as a vessel. That my kids enjoy school. Giving speeches, or teaching, and how God calms me for presentations. Impressionist Art. How God has poured out His grace on me in so many ways. Being a nurturer. Decorating. Working in my landscaping and with flowers. Fun, sweet Aunt Helen.

Smiling at strangers, and getting smiles back. Rocking babies. Reading to children. Colors – Red, Blue, Pink, Yellow, Lavendar, Aqua, Seafoam Green, Sunset Orange, Burgundy, Lime Green. Steak. My mom. My dad. The worship example of Mary of Bethany. That I still have both my parents. Memories of fun times with my in-laws. Having the name of the grandmother I never met for my first name. Sharing my middle name with the grandma I knew and grew up loving so dearly, and knowing I’ll be reunited with her in Heaven.

Prairie Ridge Church. Christian books. Compassion International. Samaritan’s Purse. Gospel for Asia. Thru the Bible. My literacy. Flexible, creative work. Dates with my husband. Peppy cars. Vacations in Chicago. Lollipops. Tootsie Pops. Great authors. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. The Constitution. Godly leadership. Make-Up. Seeing Churchill Downs. The smell of harvest in Iowa. Horses. Kittens. Puppies. Jo-Jo the love dog. Nachos. A good joke or riddle. Medical advances.

Praising God - openly and freely in the U.S. A really good run. Trees. Our safe neighborhood. Chick conversations. A good love story. Funny movies. Getting to see foals and calves born. Piglets. Red or white barns. Caring for others. Towels warm from the dryer. Chocolate milk. Neapolitan ice cream.

Chai. Iowa, beautiful land. Polka dots. Stripes. Other people’s patience with me. The promise of Heaven for all who confess with their mouths Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead.

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.