Monday, September 30, 2013

Jaster Update

Thank you for your continued prayers for our dear friend, Ron Jaster. The Lord has been daily answering those prayers as he experiences marked progress. The road ahead is still long. Here's the latest we've heard -- 

Ron's sister-in-law, Sue, wrote the following update after seeing Ron on Saturday:

Hello Friends,
This past Saturday, Bob and I traveled to Ron's rehab center, along with all his siblings and their spouses, and a few dear friends, to take part in a training session. Its purpose was to equip us to better help Ron with his therapy and training, using proper mechanics, physically, as he transitions home on Friday.

We hadn't seen him in a week. We were both astounded at the progress made in one week. As his arm rested on the wheelchair arm, he was able to lift it at the elbow 45 degrees, turn over his wrist, and move each of the fingers on his "paralyzed" right arm. He is now able to lift his right leg several inches, using only his trunk / core. With the help of a special belt around his waist, and a 4-footed cane, he was able to go up and down 2 stairs, climb in and out of bed, climb in and out of a "car," and walk up a shallow ramp (not so successfully:) We stood back in amazement, not believing all this had happened in only one week. The therapists continue to marvel not only at the rapid progress, but also at the order in which he is regaining function. The order of skills recovered is defying logic / protocol. They keep warning Ron, "Don't expect that you will keep regaining something every day. It will slow down." But so far it hasn't!

We serve an Almighty and wonderful God. His deeds are marvelous, and we praise Him. Thank you all, on behalf of Ron and Doris and their families, for your prayers. While Ron has a very long road before him still, he is not alone. Please continue to pray for him. Often, when someone is "out of the woods" we have less of a sense of urgency to pray. Could we please ask you to commit to daily prayer for him and for Doris? They need it! Doris is exhausted as she has now entered her 6th month of pregnancy, and isn't feeling well most days. Their daily caregivers would surely appreciate your prayers as well;)

We are so grateful for all of you! May the Lord continue to be glorified by the work He is doing in the Jaster family!

Sue for all the Jaster's

Friday, September 27, 2013

Jammin' in the kitchen!

With a bounty of fresh fruit going on a super sale last month, we were excited to have a wonderful group of friends join us for some fun in the kitchen! There seems to be no limit to the amazing flavors and fruit combinations found in jams & jellies! 

The ingredients are gathered... ready... set...go!!

In the past we have made single fruit jams, such as strawberry jam, chokecherry jam, plum jam, ect. -- cooked in the traditional way with just as much sugar included as fruit. But this year we tried fruit combinations and a sugar free option!

Our favorite new fruit combinations:
strawberry - plum   ::   orange - lemon
strawberry - rhubarb   ::   mango - strawberry

...and all made completely sugar free!!

We were delighted to find this "Real Fruit Pectin - No Sugar Needed" at our local store! It came complete with recipes & instructions for making the switch to "low sugar" or "no sugar" jams & jellies. Yummy!! Total fruit jams are delicious! 

What an incredible day we had with these wonderful ladies! 
stories -- laughter -- teasing -- creativity -- tasting -- sharing -- giggles
Yep. That pretty much describes our day!

After 15 batches of jam, and much sampling & tasting... (Thank you Hannah for the batch of fresh bread! It definitely added to the delicious tasting spread!) ...this combination was voted the favorite:

Strawberry Mango Jam
8 cups strawberries, washed and hulled (enough to make 4 cups crushed berries)
3 cups fresh peeled, pitted and cut-up mango (enough to make 2 cups crushed mango)
Juice of 1 lime
1 (1.75 ounce) package no-sugar-needed pectin
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
(or 5 drops of liquid stevia or other natural sweetener)Instructions
1. Prepare 4 pints jars for jam by washing them in very hot water. Set out 4 rings and place lids in a bowl of almost boiling hot water. 

2. Place the berries in a large bowl and, using a potato masher or a large spoon, crush the berries (do not puree in a food processor). Measure out 4 cups crushed berries and place in a deep saucepan or stock pot. Place the mango pieces in the bowl and crush. Measure out 2 cups of mashed mango and place in the pot with the strawberries. Stir in the lime juice and pectin. 

3. Over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, bring the fruit to a full, rolling boil (the kind you can’t stop by stirring). Add the sugar or  sweetener all at once and stir to dissolve. CAREFULLY taste the mixture; add more sweetener if desired. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a rolling boil, and cook and stir at a boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat. Skim any foam off the top. (Using sugar will cause the foam as it boils. If you used a natural sweetener, there probably won't be any foam!) 

4. Spoon the jam into prepared jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. You may not need all the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel. Place a lid on each jar, and screw down tightly with a ring.

5. Using a hot pad, flip each filled jar upside-down onto its lid. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for an hour before turning them right side up.  Please note: if the jars are cool enough to be handled without a hot pad, they are not hot enough to seal correctly! Follow directions below to seal. 
Or ... transfer the filled jars into a pot of boiling water. When water returns to a full boil, boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and place on a towel or cutting board to cool completely, without being disturbed, for several hours. 

6. Enjoy the little *plink sounds* which mean your jam is sealed for the season!!  :)  

"O taste and see that the Lord is good;
 blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" 
Psalm 34:8

Linking up:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tour Reflections

"And [they] returned, glorifying and praising God 
for all the things that they had heard and seen."
Luke 2:20

Sometimes we catch a glimpse of the intense joy those shepherds experienced. What had made their night different than any other? The presence and working of God Almighty. 

Returning home from this trip, we can identify with this great joy. We, too, return 'glorifying and praising God' for all the things we have heard and seen. It is an awesome reality to know the Lord is going before us, preparing the good works that we should walk in them. Knowing that it is only through His Spirit and working that any eternal fruit may come from our efforts. 

We experienced many answers to prayer over these past few weeks. Health and safety. Opportunities for Dad to share the Word. God's timing and provision in minor bus repairs. Meaningful conversations. And wonderful fellowship with many of you, our faithful readers and friends. 

Thank you -- thank you -- for your prayers and friendship!

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, 
O Lord of hosts! 

My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home, 
And the swallow a nest for herself, 
Where she may lay her young --

Even Your alters, O Lord of hosts, 
My King and my God. 

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
they will still be praising You.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You.
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca, 
They make it a spring; 
The rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!

O God, behold our shield, 
And look upon the faee of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;

No good thing will He withhold 
From those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts, 
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Verses from Psalm 84

Many thanks to Bethany for taking these pictures.

And yes -- you noticed correctly: 
We are now using the stand-up bass in concerts!.
Oh happy sound!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Happy 7th Birthday Charissa!!!

                                                                 Created @ 

"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; 
We are His people and the sheep of His pastures."
Psalms 100:1-3

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

                                        Created @ 

"And they that know Your name will put their trust in You;
for You, Lord, will not forsake them that seek You."
Psalms 9:10

Friday, September 20, 2013

Josiah & Abi

Happy 5th Anniversary Josiah & Abi!

"The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zeph 3:17

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Michigan & Ontario

We're working to get our website schedule up to date -- but until then, here's a run-down on our schedule for the coming days. If you're in Michigan or Ontario, we'd love to see you! 

Thursday, September 19   @ 6:30 PM
Medilodge of Montrose
9317 Vienna Road
Montrose, MI  

Friday/Saturday, September 20-21    @ daily sessions
New Covenant Christian Church
4415 W St Joe.
Lansing, MI

Saturday, September 21      @ 6:30PM
Ron Jaster Home
18101 Lincoln Road
New Lothrop, MI
*Bring your own lawn chairs!

Sunday, September 22     @ 10 & 10:45AM
Atlas Church of God
Atlas Road
Davison, MI 

Sunday, September 22      @ TBA
Gospel Lighthouse Church
59 Victoria Street
Port Burwell, Ontario

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nature Walk

You can almost smell the delicious changing of the seasons in the crisp air. Isn't it a marvel -- this beautiful, life-sustaining world?! Many years ago Mom composed a catchy melody to Romans 1:20, explaining to us that God's character is broadcasted by His handiwork. From the majestic galaxies to the intricate complexities of the 'simple' cell. 

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—
His eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen, 
being understood from what has been made, 
so that people are without excuse."

Her tune still sings through my heart when I'm out enjoying nature. This week [while touring in Wisconsin] we had the opportunity to take a nature walk around the lake near Dan and Bethany's home. It was a gorgeous day and we were thrilled with the exercise, fresh air, and opportunity to explore a new area. 

Unfortunately, we only brought our phones to capture the beauty. But hopefully this gives you a glimpse. And just maybe you'll take the opportunity to step outside and spend a little time marveling at the creative wisdom of our Creator, trademarked all around us! You'll be glad you did! 

Good times together

Never enough time with this little sweetheart! 

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork."
Ps 19:1

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homeschool Family Camp

Laughter. Action. New friends. Heartfelt conversations. Biblical Truth.

These were just a few of the highlights from our 7th Annual Homeschool Family Camp. We had a full roster of campers this year, with each family adding a unique dynamic to our fellowship. What a blessing it is to pull back from the bustle of life and encourage each other in the Lord! Here are a few pictures from the week:

Matthias and Ruth led the Bible memory

Mom and Ruth teaching during a mother/daughter session

Sharing music in the evenings.

The 'little girls' are practically grown up!

Outside activities! Tug-O-War -- pull, Susanna, pull!

The all-time favorite wherever we go: 
Mighty, Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge! 

Lots of great competition

Father/Son teamwork activity

Race across the pond

Timing competitors 

The weather was warmer than most years, so everyone greatly enjoyed the swimming area -- complete with a blob!

Charissa loved the craft time.

Hannah and Allison leading a panel discussion

Story time for the younger children

Demonstrating practical skills: 
How to make homemade salves and ointments

Lunchtime food and conversations are always a treat -- as was the air conditioning! 

Leading an object lesson.

We were encouraged to hear many testimonies through the week of God's specific provision on behalf of several families. There were also families who came with questions and life struggles. It was beautiful to see them connect with other families who had walked a similar road. The body of Christ encouraging and uplifting each other. 

Each evening Dad taught on Psalm 111:10 - 112:3, focusing on the fear of the Lord. It was a rich time of searching the Word to discover how we can practically apply it to our lives. 

Thank you for your prayers during this week. We're so grateful!

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.

His praise endures forever."
Ps 111:10