Stories Come Alive Stay up to date with Stories Come Alive news. Dallas Holocaust Museum It was a Mother's Day I will long remember. While visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Texas, I went with my family to the Dallas Holocaust museum. The museum is 'dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and to teaching the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference, for the benefit of all humanity.' Deeply moving pictoral displays and video-taped interviews with Holocaust survivors shared a grievious time in our world's history. A special exhibit of children's drawings found in concentration camps touched me as I thought of mothers' hearts aching for their children. I had the privilege of meeting Mike Jacobs, Holocaust survivor and creator of the museum. It is a must see if you are visiting the Dallas area. 2012 - Encouraged and Comforted The last couple months of 2011, I was continually drawn to Isaiah 43. I still find myself reading it over and over. Looking ahead to the new year, I find these first few verses very encouraging and comforting. Using E-Sword, here's my Gayle revised version: Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Gayle, And He who formed you, O Gayle, "Do not fear(or be dismayed), for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name(memorially marked your individuality) you are Mine! Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through(any kind of transition) the waters, I will be with (near)you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow(gush over) you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched , Nor will the flame burn you(not even a blister). Isaiah 43:3 "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given MYSELF as your ransom, ... in your place. Isaiah 43:4 "Since you, Gayle, are precious (valuable, prized) in My sight...Hmmmmmm, I didn't read anything in those verses that sounded like this: you will not have any problems, no sickness, no financial difficulties, no sorrow, no anxieties... your life will be perfect. But what I did read brings me great encouragement and comfort for whatever the new year holds: He is our Creator, He has redeemed us, He will be with us, He is our Savior, and we are precious to Him. Now that's Good News for 2012! Be on the Alert! Ephesians 6:18 With all prayer and pettition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perserverance and petition for all the saints.'be on the alert' means to STAY AWAKE, MINDFUL, MENTALLY SHARPEver find yourself falling asleep when you pray? I have. I could blame it on the devil. He knows God is powerful and the devil doesn't want my prayers answered. I could blame it on my task filled day. God, You certainly know all the things I have had to do and think about today!However, I am convicted by these words, be on the alert, because I realize I have not prioritized prayer in my daily life. I would not permit myself to fall asleep at my job. I would not doze off while talking to someone or during meal time! I would not take a nap while driving! If I did, I would be irresponsible, rude, and even dangerous. If something is important to me, I purpose to give it my full attention.Let's come together, fully awake and keenly aware of HIS presence, that we may persevere with and for one another in prayer. God Given Gifts While leading a Bible study on Romans 12, it has been my pleasure to worship and fellowship with ladies from Calvary West Church in Sugar Grove, IL. Studying the Scriptures and using Don & Katie Fortune's book, Discover Your God-Given Gifts, we have been encouraged to identify and use our gifts for the benefit of others and for the glory of God.Romans 12: 7-8 identifies 7 innate gifts; the Perceiver, the Server, the Teacher, the Exhorter, the Giver, the Administrator, and the Compassion Person. Not only has it been beneficial to ‘discover' our own motivational gifts, but it has enlarged our hearts to appreciate and value the gifts of others. Thank You, Jesus, for demonstrating each of these gifts and for empowering us to become conformed to Your image! Moms Heart Cry an invitation to pray Over 7 years ago, the Lord put on myheart to gather mothers and women with a heart for children for a time of weeklyprayer. Together we have stormed the heavenlies with our petitions for oursons and daughters, grandchildren, husbands, families, and the youth of ournation. With women from a variety of churches, it has been a joy to laughtogether, cry together, worship and read the Word together. I especially love howthe Lord directs our prayer times, giving us themes to pursue in prayer. It isa time of encouragement and power, pulling down strongholds that would hinderthe saving knowledge of Jesus' love to touch lives; we keep persevering inprayer! Psalm 34:4 is the foundation of ourprayer meeting. Psalm 34:4"Isought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears."sought - inquired, searched, treadLord - the Self-Existent Oneheard - listened, attentive, eager to respond, paid attentionwith the purpose to responddelivered - snatched away, rescuedfears - fright, another meaning of this word is granary or barn,I may be stretching a point, but I do believe that we can 'storehouse'(barn if you will) our fears (past experiences, what ifs, the unknown)and draw from them, even sow them back into our lives, but…..our AWESOME GOD says He will DELIVERus from those FEARS and RESPOND to our heart's cry!Because distance does not hinder thepower of prayer, I want to welcome you to join me and other women for thisweekly time of prayer on Wednesday afternoons. You may send your prayerrequests to Talk to the HAND! Hehehehe, I have always been amazed at the authority I have when I'm not me.Yep, it seems that when I don a costume, change my voice, or use a puppet to 'make commands' I get instant results. However, when I am plain ol' me, well I'm just mom or Gayle.I remember when we held a weekend camp-out on our church property. Some of the young teens were horsing around by the beverage coolers and I(as myself) came along and strongly encouraged them to 'play' elsewhereas they could topple the containers. The group of young men looked at me, ignored my warning, and proceeded with their antics. Later in the day, I was dressed as Grannie Carter preparing to perform for the churchtalent show. I happened to meet up with the young teens again and theywere tossing sticks at the cup stacks."Hey boys! Looks like you're having fun, but how 'bout you do it somewheres elst where ya won't git yerselves in trouble." Raising my gloved hand, I added, "Now you, skidattle 'afor I have to skin ya!""OK, Grannie," they said as they laid down their sticks and walked away.Now I know those boys knew it was me, Gayle, but there was just something about the Grannie persona and her upraised hand that they wouldn't mess with! :0)Yep, talk to the HAND! Welcome to Stories Come Alive! I am excited to present this blog site with info about a 'hobby-gone-ministry' that is very dear to my heart: Storytelling!As a small child I had 'storytime' with my stuffed animals every night before going to sleep. Although they were attentive, I was ultimately looking for more interactive participants. My patient parents were a willing audience to many of my live stories and various dramatizations.In second grade, I remember doing an animated recitation of "LittleOrphan Annie" with my classmates. During fourth grade it was my delight to be in plays written by my classmate, Jane. Whether shipwrecked on a deserted island or locating missing Santa Claus, her plays always stirred my imagination and I loved performing them. An "OldFolks" routine (see pic, I'm the second one from the left) was another fun skit presented at grade school talent shows. Some of my fondest highschool memories are from times spent participating in school plays andworking behind the scenes. As a senior, I introduced a simple 'drama class' for elementary age children at the local YMCA in my community.Igraduated from Western Illinois University with an education degree andhave had many opportunities to use creativity and storytelling skills to encourage learning in the classroom. Being involved in children, youth, women ministries gave me other outlets for inventive methods of teaching.Now after 30+ years of pastoring a local church with my husband, I am launching Stories Come Alive! As someone who is passionate about the performing arts and its many creative uses, it is my desire to use this ministry as a vehicle to encourage, instruct, and make you smile!Please click on the menu bar to learn more about my portrayals of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Holocaust survivor, and Grannie Carter, a fictional elderly woman who shares truths about family, friends, and community... Lifespring Earlier this summer, I (as Corrie ten Boom) had the privilege of visiting some of the residents at Lifespring ministry in Aurora, IL. Lifespring is a long term transitional living program for homeless womenand women with children, who have lost their housing due to addiction, abuse or financial reasons. This safe, loving "family" environment has the capacity to house up to 57 women and children and provides a 12-month program teaching families the necessary skills to live independently. Women are encouraged to face their problems, plan for their future, and work toward self-sufficiency. Through classes in parenting, finances, cooking/nutrition, GED and computer skills; and combined with Bible studies and professional Christian counselors available to the women and their children; Lifespring ministers to the whole person. For more info about Lifespring Ministry contact Lynda at A 'Remnant' Over a hundred years old, this Christmas cactus was a gift to my grandmother from her daughter's (my mother) elementary school teacher, Mrs. Walker. This plant blooms twice a year with beautiful deep pink blossoms. At one time it was so large that its flower potwas a 15 gallon plastic garbage can! Sadly, I did not inherit the 'green thumb' of my grandmother and mother and this plant has had numerous 'near death' experiences under my care these past 20 years. So it is with mixed emotions that I am saying 'good-bye' to this plant. (Actually, I am doing it a kindness. I am giving this cactus to a dear friend, Gay, who has the loving touch that this faithful plant deserves.)However, in spite of my plant tending ineptness, I am going to keep a 'remnant' so that it "... shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward... the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this." (2 Kings 19:30,31) Looking at these little sprigs from the big plant, I am reminded that God does not despise small beginnings and it is He who makes the increase. (Zechariah 4:10 "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.").Doyou ever feel overwhelmed by a BIG need or problem in your life? one that is outside of your skill level to fix? one that is too big for you to handle on your own? I do.That is why I am so glad I know the God of the Universe who is more than able to meet my needs, deliver me from my anxious thoughts, and equip me for anything He requires of me! For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, NOR COMPUTERS... "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, NOR COMPUTERS shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38,39 (Revised Gayle Version)The computer by Webster's definition is : a programmable electronic devicethat can store, receive, and process data. The computer by MY definition is: my programmable electronic device that can store data, then freeze so that said data is extremely difficult to retrieve; it receives data then shuts down at will, deleting said data. It manipulates me to spend hours on projects, and frustrates me by revealing my incompetence with its use. However, it is a recognized toolfor refining my character (much like an office copy machine) developingqualities of patience and self control.Computers, like many of the conveniences that I employ, often remind me that I can't live with them or without them! I do realize that a computer, when used by a person who KNOWS what they are doing, is a great source of learning and communication. Unfortunately, I am not a skilled computer user..........yet! So welcome to my blog site, and please bear with me my friends, as I learn about the many uses of acomputer, attempt to improve my computer skills, and hopefully share meaningful and fun thoughts with you. :0)