Standing at a Crossroad


Wow!  it’s hard to believe that today marks the 1 month anniversary since we moved to our new town.

Since our move, we have learned a lot about each other, living in a small town and how God works even as we remain faithful to Him (even if we were unfaithful, He still works things out as He remains faithful to us).

Even the cat is enjoying the new home – though she put up a big fuss on the way over – as she cuddles with me at night and continues to beg for her dinner if I’m even a few minutes late in giving her dinner.

We’re learning that yes it does rain in this area though people have said it does not.  The last few days have been blustery with wind and rain as the temperatures drop.  The heater has been on for about a week and we realize that we may be in for a winter as cold as everyone talks about.  Hopefully I will have a white Christmas unless we are able to make it home for Christmas.

Yes, we still have the vision of opening up a community-type coffee shop as we discovered that there is at least one building for sale here in town.  If it’s God will and He provides, we would like to purchase it since it has at least 3 office spaces, 4 apartments, and it overlooks the lake with a trail nearby.

The downside is that we heard businesses – especially food industries – struggle in this area and if we wanted to live in one of the apartments, we would have to install an elevator and do other “remodeling” jobs to make it into a business.

Another downside is that the town often resists improving the area in order to attract visitors, wanting to keep its small town charm.  I see their point; however, maybe it’s time to attend council meetings and become involved with the politics of this town.  I can see some needed changes like maybe revitalize downtown with fresh paint, some greenery, and someway to make it appealing to those traveling 2 major freeways and give potential visitors a reason to travel out of their way.

Therefore, we need prayer in the following areas:

1) For this town that God opens the eyes of the local people without stepping on toes.  Perhaps we can make a change in this little town while keeping its charm and peacefulness.

2) Prayer that God opens a job up for me or provides the financing to purchase a building and/or remodel it for His Glory

3) For Dene’s health – we are finding great doctors; however, if it’s God’s will, I want him around so we can work on this plan together as husband and wife

4) For the local churches that they can work together to make a change for His glory and help us with elbow grease, resources, and other needs.

5) That there is a revival in this town and the small churches become crowded with people as they desire to learn more about Jesus.

Above all, even with these prayers, we must remember that God directs our path and He will provide in order to help us fulfill His purpose.  I’ve learned a new verse about paths and as we stand at the crossroads of these major freeways plus a minor highway, we must allow God to direct our steps as we prepare to go down a new road in our journey:

Jeremiah 6:16 (New International Version): This is what the Lord says:  “Stand at the crossroads and look;     ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…”

One final thing that I have realized is that Dene and I live near two major crosswords as one of the highways crosses path with two of the main arterials through town.  We are praying that God helps us take the right path to reach out to people as we continue to hear His voice…

So, are you standing at a crossroad in your journey?  Do you know which path to take?

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Time…a slower pace of life


It’s been an interesting time these learning that every thing seems to be moving at a slower pace – even traffic is different than Western Washington.

For instance, today I drove 30 miles east to the local Kia dealer for an oil change – after all, we’ve driven our vehicle back and forth quite a bit in the last few months.  Unfortunately, this is the only Kia dealer in the area – I think east of the Cascades – so I had no choice but to drive this distance.  I’ve been spoiled by the dealership that was only about 10 miles from home and there were others not far from even that dealership.

The appointment was at 8 in the morning – after all, in Western Washington, things were crazy by 7:30 for even car appointments.  So I got up early and prepared to give myself at least an hour to deal with traffic and find my way to the place.  After all, before it took up to half an hour to drive 10 miles in Western Washington and more if I wanted to stop at a local coffee shop for breakfast while I wait for the work to be done.

Lo and behold – it took just 10 minutes to get to the downtown Spokane area and about 15 minutes to get to the dealership and that included a detour to get donuts at a favorite donut shop only to change my mind to find a local Starbucks – something I’ve not had since we moved here.  After all, they are not on every corner here nor are they in every local grocery store –  the nearest one is 15 – 20 minutes away!

The line at Starbucks was at least 10 – 15 car lengths and I was expecting quite a wait – after all, normally it took at least 15 – 20 minutes in Western Washington to get through such a long line.  Lo and behold – I had my order in 10 minutes and the guy was kind enough to help me make sure I was going in the right direction for the dealership.

Next, came the road construction on my final leg of the journey!  Expecting a loooong wait, I prepared myself to wait as we were stopped by the flagger – after all, I was at least 20 – 25 minutes early for my appointment.  My oh my!  It took just a few minutes with just a few cars and we were on our way.  I made it to my appointment less than 5 minutes later with still time to spare.

The next wait was in the waiting room as my vehicle took about the same amount of time it would take in Western Washington but no one else was there (except staff) and comfy chairs so I sat back and enjoyed my Grande hot chocolate (not a coffee person) and blueberry scone!  After all, in Western Washington, at least 5 other people would still be waiting.

Once I had my vehicle back, home I went in less than 30 minutes of driving…with a few crazy people on the road (they are every where) and most people driving at a slow even pace.  Yet, the world did not end as people take their time to enjoy life in this community.

Time…according to Ecclesiastes 3:1 (New International Version) “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  This passage goes on to describe a time to be born and so on yet we all need to slow down and enjoy life.  We move in such a fast pace world as time goes on.  Let’s all start slowing down and enjoying life a bit more.

Time – what can you do to slow down your hectic fast pace world?  Please feel free to comment.

In the meantime, I will be working on retraining my brain in this slow paced world to slow down a bit and enjoy life on our new journey.

Moving from cold rainy forest land to dry arid desert land!


Our first step with our vision, which is to open a community-type coffee shop, is to relocate.  Even though this is a beautiful area, my husband and I no longer enjoy the cold and wet of the great Northwest.  We both love dry, arid and desert type communities.  After all, I grew up in Eastern Washington so I remember the cold bitter winters and the dry, hot summers.  I miss those and I am starting to feel claustrophobic in Western Washington.  It is time we move on and so we are preparing to move to the great desert land called Nevada. 

We visited this area not too long ago and feel God calling us to go down there and set up our dream of a community-style coffee shop.  This process of deciding where to go has been long and we have visited many other states including Montana.  We decided that Montana was not for us and that we need to find another land so we drove down to Nevada last month.

That was a long drive but it was a great drive especially when we were in the Death Valley National Park.  Even as I admired the beautiful landscape, the temperature was quite hot and I discovered that we would need to acclimate to the warm weather especially when I became frequently dry and thirsty.

Why do we want to move here?  For one thing, along with the call, my husband and I noticed our aches and pains seem to go away.  I have arthritis in my hips and the pain lessened as my joints soaked up the heat.  Furthermore, my husband’s health improved as his diabetes related aches and pains lessened and he seemed more alive in that area then he does up here.  Normally, bedtime is 10 o’clock for us; while in Vegas, we were staying up until midnight and still had energy to burn even on just a few hours of sleep.  My husband’s appetite was tremendous down there; here I would be lucky to get him to eat a few bites for each meal.

As we study the pros and cons of this move, the pros outweigh the cons and we are pushing forward as we look at movers, medical staff, and rentals in that area.  We are praying that God opens the right doors since we hope to move at the end of our current lease in August.

What step do you need to take to fulfill your vision or purpose?  Where is God leading you?  I am praying that God opens your eyes to your vision or purpose.

Stay tuned for our next blog as we describe our vision and learning that cats do not like halters!

 

What is your vision?


Proverbs 29:18 (NIV) “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”  This verse is talking about a vision and how people without a vision, lack wisdom.

Vision – what is a vision? 

According to dictionary.com, a vision is one of several things:

(1) The act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight; (2) The act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur; (3)  An experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency: a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision; (4) Something seen or otherwise perceived during such an experience: The vision revealed its message; (5) A vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation: visions of wealth and glory.

Furthermore, my professor at Hope International University described vision as something where a church is going while providing a snapshot of its direction.  At the same time, it challenges and inspires people to accomplish a ministry for God as it touches their emotion (Bigelow 2013, n.p.).

Such a vision occurred with my husband Dene when he was a fourteen years old as described below:

The Dream by Dene Cole

The dream woke me up from a sound sleep, I was so excited from the dream I went and woke my mother up and told her about the dream.

I was walking around a large building, cannot remember the dimensions but it was big.  I could smell brewing coffee and cookies baking.  I walked out of the building and saw four more buildings as if I was in a small village at least that was what my fourteen-year-old brain perceived.  Then I heard a voice telling me that I will give all this to you when the time is right. 

Now that I am fifty years old, I comprehend the dream a little different.  First off, I know the voice was from the Lord Jesus and I am still trying to figure out if the time is right.  Now being married to Ann, I believe the time is at hand for both our dreams and visions to take place.  That dream is leading me to open up a coffee, hopefully within the next year or so.

My husband and I share this vision of opening a coffee shop that will be more than a coffee shop.  We hope to turn it into something that serves the community while meeting the needs of people who are experiencing hurt and talk about Jesus while fellowshipping with each other.

What is your vision?  Were you given a vision that you have forgotten about?  Is there something that is inspiring you to serve in a ministry and keep casting it aside in hopes of getting back to it someday? 

Coffee Clutch and encouragement


On a weekly basis, my husband Dene (pronounced like Gene but with a “d”) meets with two older men for coffee. These men have been a part of Dene’s life for over twenty years. One man is recently widowed and the other is struggling with his wife’s chronic illness. My husband and these two men discuss the related issues as well everyday stuff along with their dreams and hopes for children, grandchildren, and the future. These men, like others who meet my husband, go away encouraged and ready for a new day.

Looking at my husband, one would think he needs the encouragement; however, he continues to bless people with this gift of encouragement. Dene was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 5 and he just celebrated his 50th birthday. Doctors did not expect him to live past the age of 30, yet he continues to out beat the doctor’s expectations even as he suffers one medical crisis after another related to the disease. The disease has taken his eyesight, kidney function, his first wife, as well as other complications that include a heart attack, stroke, double knee and partial hand amputation.

Yet, Dene continues to praise God and pray for other people as he encourages them through a time of fellowship. He even writes books and recently published a book called What Jesus Says to You, which is available at amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. This book is filled with scripture intended to show you what Jesus says about you and your faith.

Both Dene and I would like to take this a step further and our dream is to open a community type coffee shop where other people can gather for coffee, relax, and enjoy community gatherings as we minister to people.

So what is your dream? What is keeping you back? Are you staying in your box, afraid to come out? Well, take courage to come out of the box and praise God for the next steps He has for your life.

Side note: Dene would like to speak to other groups and encourage them. If you would like him to speak at your church or other group function, please contact him via email at dene.cole@comcast.net or facebook.com/The Praying Man.