Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My choice

Supportive. My mom was always supportive. My parents were very active in our lives. WE did many things together, even if it was just watching tv together in the evening. Even if it was as a teenager helping make gingerbread cookies and watching in horror as my mom giggled and tried to make some anatomically correct.

Mom was also firm in her faith, but she didn't force her faith on me. I appreciate that. She allowed me to make a choice on my own. This is how it happened.

I was involved in the flag and rifle corps of our high school band, as was my older sister. High school football games, as we all know, are on Friday nights. It's hard to keep the Sabbath holy, biblically, while you are totally involved in a football game and in another world as it were.

Mom was always helping with the fundraisers, getting our uniforms and parties and all that stuff, but she didn't come to the games. She never said we couldn't go. She was never angry and never said we were going to burn in hell for going to a high school football game on Friday night. She simply made a choice, and allowed my sister and I to make our own.

One day, I finally decided that I didn't want to give up being involved in activies and events, but I also didn't want to "trample on the Sabbath" anymore. I wanted to enjoy life and live it to the fullest! I wanted to honor God at the same time. Believe it or not, it is possible. God said He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

Since that time, I've had a lot of experiences that most people won't get in an entire lifetime. How many people can say they've been to Hawaii? How many people have ridden in a Hot Air Balloon, and helped to chase them and pack them back up again? How many people have gotten to help arrange a private ride for their child in a 2 seater airplane and fly over your own house? How many people get free tickets to the Great Passion Play, the Harlem Globetrotters and the White Stallions of Lippizan? How many women get to have their firsborn in the car at 70 miles per hour and get to pull the baby out all by themselves?

I've never regretted my decision. I still live life to the fullest. I still make mistakes, but I still try to honor God for He has indeed given me an abundant life, as I have chosen to follow Him.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Peace. Wow. Comfort. Wow. Relief. Wow.

All of these things experienced by a neighbor of ours. She's been coming to our house to watch some Bible studies on prophecy, going over satellite television.

The very first program gave peace and comfort to all of us. Yes, there are a lot of conspiracies and problems out there. But we don't have to worry. God tells us what is going to happen and his record so far has been A+, so there's no reason to doubt Him now.

But, Armageddon? How can their be peace in this? I mean, it's all about the middle east, right?

Not what we learned recently. It's the battle for human hearts and souls. Are you going to be on God's side, or Satan's side? The fact that there is a temple rebuilt in Jerusalem or not has nothing to do with you making a decision. Wow! What a relief to know that.

It's quite obvious that Satan has everyone running around like crazy about whether or not the temple will be rebuilt in time. It's called distraction. God is calling our hearts, and Satan is keeping us distracted. Hmmmmm. Sounds like a familiar tactic of his.

I'm so grateful to be learning and studying what God's Word says. I'm grateful that both my neighbor and our family are experiencing the peace of God's Word and truths in our lives.

Do you have that peace? That Shalom?

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Hospitality. My mom taught it to me. No one was allowed to leave her house hungry. There was always a hug, good food and plenty of fresh well water at mom's house. Everyone loves to go there, because they know that somehow you'll feel better when you leave.

So, how do you practice hospitality, when your house isn't always clean, or you are on a limited budget. Same as any other obstacle in your life, surrendering any situation to God and ask for more faith.

There are countless stories in the Bible of hospitality, most notably with that hero of faith, Abraham. In the desert, hospitality is not entertaining. Hospitality is survival. There are few places to get real refreshment when you are out in the middle of nowhere without an oasis in sight. It was an opportunity to show others not only water from your well, but the water of life, Jesus Christ.

Sometimes, ever wanting to have the hospitality that my mom practiced, I invite people over and Karl always wonders how we will feed everyone. You can't really point to any kind of miracle, but the food always stretches and everyone is always happy. Somehow, the practice of opening up our home to those in need of fellowship and hospitality is like surrendering a lunch basket with 5 loaves and 2 fish in it to Jesus. He is the one that makes it all happen.

The picture of Michael is from a Pampered Chef kitchen show in my house last October. I'm having another kitchen show on Monday night. So how is this practicing hospitality? Well, I've been able to invite some people into my home that may not have come otherwise. Also, I've been able to talk about healthy eating with the consultant who is doing the cooking show.

Food is found in the Bible. In fact, Jesus is said to be standing at the door of our hearts, and wanting to come in. To do what? Revelation says he will come in and eat with us. He wants us to practice a little hospitality with Him. He wants to refresh us with the Water of Life, the Manna from Heaven and the Fellowship of Heaven.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006


My grandpa died last week. He was 88 years old and left a long history of love and caring as well as a strong work ethic to his many family members. Following is something I wrote to have said at the funeral. I'm greatly blessed to have had such a grandpa. My husband, Karl, was born after both of his grandfathers died. But that's how loving my grandpa was, he became a grandpa to Karl as well.

What I learned from Grandpa
By Sharon Leukert

Grandpa always took time for a hug.
Fresh strawberries tasted best out of Grandpa’s garden, especially when you picked them together.
Chores at home were boring, but digging potatoes with Grandpa was always fun.
Grandpa respected people and property and he expected you to do the same.
You’re never too old to be spanked. When Grandpa got the switch after Lora when she was a full grown up eleven years old, I learned you are never too old to be spanked.
Remodeling your house every year keeps everyone guessing as to which room is used for what in the house.
Visits were never long enough for Grandpa. He enjoyed your company for hours.
Grandpa’s house was always open for the relatives that passed by.
Grandpa could do anything, make anything and solve any problem.
Grandpa always said our visits didn’t happen often enough and we never stayed long enough.
Grandpa worked hard all his life and always shared with those in need.
There was always plenty of food at Grandpa’s table, and the best stuff came right out of his garden.
It was always evident at family gatherings that Grandpa loved God and knew the Bible well.
Grandpa had lots of love to share.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Broken Windows, Banks and Spelling Bees

Relationships. There is so much that can be said with that one word. It all came more clearly recently, as we experienced a minor malfunciton with our van.

Here in North Central Arkansas, we have had mostly fall and spring weather. Except for about 10 days so far, we've not had winter. But during one of those winter days, when it was 20 degrees outside and snow falling everywhere, our window had problems. We were at a friends house, and Karl pushed the button that automatically rolls down the driver side window. It never came back up. We were stuck with a window down in winter time and a van full of children. What to do?

Fortunately, my mom (who gave us the van after my Dad's death) remembered that the van didn't originally have automatic windows, they were put in after the van was purchased by my parents. So, somewhere on the door there was still this little covered up mechanism for which to manually roll the window up and down. The crank/handle was gone, so Karl had to use a little creativity and a pair of pliers to make it work while I pulled on the window and guided it. It was a long and difficult process, but it was done. The window was up, protecting us from the snow and cold weather, but we couldn't use it anymore at all.

As we have taken the van to a body shop and are awaiting parts to arrive to allow the van window to be useable again, we still have to go on with life. Without a driver side window. No drive through service at the bank, restaurants, ATM's or anything like that. To make things worse, out here in the boonies, it is almost a requirement that if you see a friend on the road going the other direction, you stop and roll down your window and have a lengthy conversation while people pile up behind you, not getting angry of course because they as well know it's a requirement to do so. We couldn't communicate with people anymore! We were afraid some would think we were becoming anti-social!

So, we had to go to the bank. Can't do the drive through, so we went in. I try to avoid this when all three children are with me, just because I know they are offered lots of suckers and other such things by all the bank people who think they are so cute. But we had to do it. We had to go in. I guess it had been a while since all of the children went in to the bank with me. The tellers all remarked about big Greta was and there were hearty congratulations to Michael, as many of these people read the only paper in the county and saw his picure in it for his 2nd place finish of the county spelling bee. Michael, of course, got shy. Greta knew she had the attention of the people and performed a little. Matthew grinned real big, and his dimples showed as well as his scar, making him look all the more adorable. There were smiles everywhere.

To think, we would have missed this, if we had gone through the drive through. For once, I was glad the window on the driver side was broken. Perhaps in our quest for ever more convenient, fast and hassle free service we begin in some ways to sever relationships. Has our christianity become so convenient, fast and hassle free that we are beginning to sever our relationship with Christ?