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Heart to Heart

    by Pat Chwialkowski

December 2, 2015

As Christians we are taught that we should pray. Pray in the morning for protection on our day, pray for others as God’s Spirit lays them on our heart, pray before meals thanking God for His provision, and ‘pray continually’ as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us. In fact, if we claim to be followers of Christ and do not exhibit a strong prayer life, there is something amiss in our spiritual life. For Christianity and praying goes together like peanut butter and jelly—it’s hard to enjoy the one without the other.

But can there be such…  ( Click for more )

January 1, 2014
Luci Mae is our daughter’s dog, which makes her our grand-dog. A couple of years ago after Kirk prayed for a little romance for Elisa, Luci came into her life. Kirk never expected that God would deem a puppy to fill that role. But after witnessing Luci’s unconditional love for her, we knew that this was the perfect plan. We too are pretty fond of Luci. However, after living with her for a while, we determined that her annoying bark overruled her lovability. That is when Kirk came up with an idea to buy Luci a barking collar for Christmas that would stimulate every time…  ( Click for more )
September 12, 2012

I sat down on the mall bench as I watched my daughter go down the end corridor to visit the ladies’ restroom. I had peace in my soul, for we just spent a wonderful afternoon shopping and bonding. Life was good at that very moment as I closed my eyes to rest.

After awhile I became a little concerned when Elisa did not return, so I decided to check on her. For some reason darkness fell over my soul as I went down the dimly lit hallway and spotted a rough looking guy hanging near the restrooms. My imagination ran away with me as I felt him snicker at me as I passed by.

I…  ( Click for more )

August 15, 2012

This past weekend my husband and I went to a wedding expecting not to know anyone─since we barely knew the bride and groom. After finding some seats at an empty table, we were quite pleased when a couple approached and asked if they could join us. We immediately invited them to sit down.

As they were being seated, the guy looked over at Kirk and said, “Hey, I know you”. Since we were both pretty certain we never met the guy before, we just blew his coment off. It was not until we got their names did we realize he was right. Sitting before us was a buddy of…  ( Click for more )

August 8, 2012

The Summer Olympics have been very entertaining this year, especially when the fabulous five performed their superb gymnastic routine. I have to admit I favor the gymnastics events over any other. Maybe it’s because I am a gymnast at heart…both in the physical as well as in the spiritual realm. Let me explain.

This month marks 30 years since I have asked Jesus to take my wheel. It was on a hot summer night when I realized I could not do it anymore. I called out to God just as the song says and asked God to take over.

I began living a new life from that night…  ( Click for more )

January 25, 2012

In 1997, before cell phones became popular, my family along with friends of ours decided to take a trip to Myrtle Beach. The fact that we were taking two separate cars gave us reason to take walkie talkies with us―just in case one of us made a wrong turn or something. Sure enough these devices helped us stay on track with one another on the trip down, so we decided to take them as we visited the Broadway at the Beach shopping center.

There was much territory to cover at this tourist attraction that my friend and I decided to separate awhile to do some browsing on our own.…  ( Click for more )

October 12, 2011

It was a beautiful autumn morning with the sun shining brightly through the porch doors, when my husband noticed a swan across the waters. Since this occurrence is rare on our lake Kirk took notice and then recorded this sighting in his personal journal:

Kirk’s Journal - Thursday, October 6,2011 - As I was having my devotions with the Lord about 7 am I saw a swan on the opposite side of the lake. Through the next hour every time I looked up I saw it getting closer and closer. As I was completing my time with the Lord it was right in front of our cottage. It was so beautiful…  ( Click for more )

People often ask me how I like living at our tiny cottage these days and I have to admit after living in luxury for so many years there are many adjustments that have to be made. One of them is “laundry day”. Since we no longer own a washer and dryer I have to look for alternative ways to complete the task of getting our clothes cleaned. And as always, God provides.

Our friend Dick, and builder of two of our previous houses, has a huge lake house near us. Once when visiting with us he just shook his head as he observed how my husband and I were now living. I know he…  ( Click for more )

June 15, 2011

Recently I heard a true story about a daughter who called her dad from school to tell him that she had forgotten her peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch. The father told his little girl not to worry as he promised her that he would take care of the matter. Knowing that his daughter’s lunch period was not until noon he devised a plan to wait and deliver to her a Wendy’s chicken nugget and fries to replace her boring PB 'n' J.

When he arrived right when her lunch period began, instead of finding a grateful child he found a very upset one as she stormed up to him asking,…  ( Click for more )

We've all heard the adage, "It's not what you know, but it's who you know”. That cliché has fallen true in our lives once again. After spending six months in South Carolina where my husband tried to find employment to no avail, we headed home to our little cottage in Michigan.

A couple of weeks after we settled in, our lake neighbors came up for the day and inquired about Kirk’s employment status. When we shared with them that all doors down south were shut they offered to take Kirk’s resume to an owner of a company whom they personally knew. Within…  ( Click for more )

April 13, 2011

Here is a paraphrase of a conversation that I had with God a few months back. It went something like this:

ME: Lord, life’s not fair.

GOD: silence

ME: Come on, God, don’t we deserve better?

GOD: silence

ME: Isn’t there a better way for You to teach us?

GOD: silence

ME: Can’t You say anything?

GOD: Get rid of that bitter root.

ME: Well, I didn’t expect that.

The seed of bitterness gets planted when one experiences hurt, trauma, pain, distress, disappointment, to name a few. If the experience never gets resolved…  ( Click for more )

March 16, 2011

I thought this day would never come. But here I am to announce to the world: I am a grandma. That’s right. On January 17th I was given the right to be called “grandma”. That’s when our daughter officially adopted a beautiful bouncing 5 pound baby...puppy. Okay it’s a dog and not a real baby, but nonetheless this adorable little puppy has stolen all of our hearts. And I am proud to say─she has my eyes.

Luci (pronounced like Lucy) is an answer to prayer, though we were not aware that we were even praying for her. In reality, what my husband…  ( Click for more )

January 19, 2011

One of the joys of this online ministry is when we get an e-mail stating that our devotional is exactly what someone needed at the time. We are amazed each time we hear this and thank God that He would use us in such a way.

In a recent devotional, my husband wrote about sharing the good news to my sister Judy. He ended the article with the words: None of us is promised tomorrow!

We received so many e-mails from our readers after that article. Some of the e-mails stated that they too, like me, have loved ones who do not know Christ and they are scared for them. Still others…  ( Click for more )

January 5, 2011

I remember the day I bought myself a Rubik’s cube. They just came out and I thought, “How difficult could it be?” Well, it didn’t take me long to figure out just exactly how hard it was. Since I never did find the madness to solving the cube…in the garbage it went.

You know, lately I have been feeling like my life is a lot like a Rubik’s cube. Okay, let’s try this…nothing. I see…well let’s move this here and that there…same results…nothing. Get the picture? I guess I am all right with it, until someone…  ( Click for more )

December 1, 2010

It was suppose to be a short trip to the store and back when “whamo”, something hit our car from out of nowhere. Immediately my husband pulled over to the side of the road, when he spotted the little culprit─a golf ball. And sure enough, on the driver’s side of the car just below the window was the mark it left from its impact─a big ole’ dent.

Since the street that we were driving on was lined with trees, we were not even aware that we were close to a golf course. However, on the other side of the street about 200 yards away from us, we spotted…  ( Click for more )

After moving in with our daughter for the winter we had the following conversation:

Me: Elisa what are we doing here? I would never have thought that at this point in our lives, life would be so uncertain for your father and I.

Elisa: Mom, don’t let a job or house define you, and please don’t lose sight of your purpose.

Me: You are one smart cookie!

After having that conversation, I had to smile. This was role reversal at it best. Instead of me reminding Elisa that outward stuff really does not make a man, she was now repeating my very own instruction.…  ( Click for more )

October 13, 2010

I am counting down the weeks until we leave for South Carolina again. Our daughter Elisa is letting us come down and be squatters with her over the winter, since the lake home is really still a cottage, if you know what I mean.

When we tell others about our plans they are pretty shocked that our 25 year old daughter would do this for us. They always ask us, ‘What does her husband say?’, and that’s when we have to laugh and tell them there’s no husband…or boyfriend. However, if she starts to date when we are staying with her, the guy will probably…  ( Click for more )

September 29, 2010

One of my all time favorite movies is Love Story. I cry every time I watch the part where Ali McGraw says to Ryan O’Neal, love means you never have to say you’re sorry. Unfortunately, I believed this line and adopted this principle into my marriage when I first said I do back in 1977. I didn’t care how wrong I was; I refused to say “I’m sorry”. Needless to say, that did not go over well with my husband.

When Kirk and I counsel young marrieds, we are quick to share that the first five years of marriage were rough...really rough. We promised…  ( Click for more )

This week's article is from my husband. Enjoy!

Recently we have been updating our Michigan cottage into a “Lake Home”, and that of course mandated the installation of a new furnace since the existing was over 30 years old and did not work. Through a set of keen circumstances God put a local heating and AC man in my path and we struck a deal on a newly 95% efficient heating system.

I always believe the Lord puts new folks into our lives for a reason and for me the reason is to make sure they have the truth about God and the Bible. With that said, I worked with…  ( Click for more )

September 8, 2010

They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. I have found this to be true, as I have learned to become an avid garage seller. But sometimes what appears as a deal is really no deal at all.

Recently I was visiting garage sales looking to buy some floral pictures for my newly renovated foyer. I wanted something that was pleasant to the eye and represented beauty and happiness. I thought I found it when I stumbled across a picture of a pretty green plant that had a…  ( Click for more )

September 1, 2010

I have a few prized possessions, and one of them is my Maui Jim Sunglasses. If you are not familiar with Maui Jim glasses let me tell you that they are in a class by themselves. The price tags attached to these glasses communicate just that. However, after having detached retinas in both of my eyes some years back my husband felt it was necessary that I own a pair of these pricey sunglasses. That’s when he made the purchase for me. I have treasured my $250 gift ever since then, and have been very careful not to lose them, until…

Recently we were visiting our…  ( Click for more )

August 18, 2010

Our move is officially over. We are now living up at Round Lake Michigan which is about one hour north of Sylvania Ohio where we presided for over 19 years. How did we end up north when we desired to go south? Simple. God said “no” for right now.

Our cottage, or as we refer to it now, our “lake home” was purchased by us in 1983 right after we came into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though we were not looking for a cottage at the time, an opportunity arose that we could not refuse; never thinking that one day it would be home to…  ( Click for more )

February 3, 2010

I was seventeen years old working as a waitress at a Big Boy Restaurant, when a very polite young gentleman who I waited on quite frequently, asked me out for the following Saturday night. I immediately responded with a “yes”, and knew it was a great opportunity to get to know this guy better. At this point, the only thing I knew about him was he liked Big Boy hamburgers and lots of ketchup with his fries.

As he arrived at my house that evening, my anticipation grew as I wondered just how the two of us would get along. I always enjoyed waiting on Mark, but that was…  ( Click for more )

When I was a little girl my favorite part of the year without a doubt was Christmas. I loved all the decorations, all the cookies my mom would make, and all the gifts that her and my dad would buy for me. Some years there were so many gifts you could barely see the bottom of the tree.

Then as I got older, the gifts became fewer, but I still always looked forward to this holiday season. Maybe it was because now I had my own house to decorate, and my own recipes to bake, and then there were the parties. I always had plenty of parties to go to (work, family, friends, and of course…  ( Click for more )

Okay, I have to admit I am just one of the millions who happen to have a facebook account. I thought it would be fun to send out an encouraging word or an inspirational verse to my friends once in awhile, never really understanding the monster facebook really has become to me. Now I am hooked to check in everyday to see what is going on with all of my fb friends. It is fellowship and gossip all entwined into one.

I actually joined facebook a little over a year ago with just 3 friends. I am happy to say that I now have 101 fb friends. Up until last week, I honestly could…  ( Click for more )

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