Tuesday, May 31, 2005

R & R

I have arrived home from a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend away with my family. Danica, my oldest daughter, ministered in worship at two Sunday morning services in Lima, NY for Elim Gospel church. That evening she performed a concert with siblings and dad. Mom had nothing to do except get there with some children and take it all in. Our friends, the Neville's, put all of us up for two nights and fed us as well. Quite nice, I must say. Easy. No responsibilities to speak of. Total enjoyment. It was good and much appreciated.

Monday was spent strolling the sidewalks of Rochester and hitting a mall for more wedding necessities. Also nice and relaxing.

Now I am home and for the first time in months am feeling ambitious about house projects. Rick and I have made our list. It seems a bit lengthy, but mostly doable - barring unforeseen events, which, of course, are inevitable. So it may not all get done, but at least we have something to aim at. Something a bit on the high side, perhaps. But you know what they say, "Shoot for the sun - that way you may at least hit the moon!"

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Flood Waters

I'm in the middle of what appears to be too much to handle. It's that season of stretching and depending again. The flood waters are rising. But He is my life line. He keeps me afloat and will bring help in due time.

"Have I prayed enough?" "Is my faith big enough?" "Did I do this soon enough?" "Dar, this is bigger than you."

The answers to the above questions and concerns are as follows: No. No, not always. No. Undoubtedly true.

These new undertakings are not because I have nothing else to do. Nor do they represent some great act of unshakable daring. I am not endeavoring adventures because of my total completeness or competence. Actually I am sorely lacking.

But I suppose that most any one of us who accomplishes something for God is no different. We know that He is the one who makes up the difference. When the equation is completed and I come up short, He supplies the need.

These are the answers to the above questions and concerns when the new answer is tallied: He is my covering. His faithfulness reaches to the mountains. It is never too late for God to move. Nothing is too big for Him.

Hallelujah! My day just started looking up!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ministering Comfort

Broken hearted. Tangled mess. Marred beauty. Unravelled and undone.

Don't we all fit these descriptions from time to time? And don't we have the Master Restorer in our corner?

Isaiah 42:3 "A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth."

Christians are not above such things - we know pain and failure, too. When we are bruised, when our passion and strength is almost snuffed out He comes to our aid. He doesn't label us a "has been"; we are not tossed out on the garbage heap. In His infinite mercy He gives beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. The world merely boasts of such mercy; they do not actually experience it.

It is our very need that qualifies us to receive, and therefore give, consolation.
We can give comfort and hope to the broken hearted, to those in a tangled mess, to the one who has lost her beauty, and to the one whose life is unravelling and undone. It is the comfort we ourselves have received. And we can offer it freely because we have been the joyful recipients.

2 Cor. 1:3,4 "All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."

Monday, May 23, 2005

Mice and Cookies and Me

I read Merrick's new birthday book to him today. He already has it memorized - he most certainly loved it. "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" is so much like life with a sanguine little boy. One thing always leads to another. Life is definitely like that for sanguines. Maybe even more so for choleric sanguines. There is no end to imaginings, explorings, and doings. And plannings.

Some people might accuse me of such things. I do tend to fit into that category. When thinking about the mission trips, I then think about fund raising, which leads me to thinking about dessert theater, then building a movable stage, and all the people needed to make the meal, etc. And as long as we're doing missions, why not include a trip to Betel in NYC? Who could be the chaperone there? Maybe we should plan next year's trips this winter. But when could I do that if I do a musical? Oh, it never ends. No wonder my poor husband is either exhausted or frustrated! The list keeps growing instead of diminishing! He is such a trooper. And he is so patient!

God has made so many different people with such varied giftings. How wonderful He is. I have spent many hours longing to be someone else, admiring their giftings and wishing I had them. But now I know that He wants me to have mine, develop them, use them, and be content with them. How good are His plans. I am so glad for all the gifted people who can do what I am unable to do. And I am glad that I can lend my talents to them.

So for now I will continue dreaming and doing and planning and going. It seems to be my portion; indeed it seems to be who He made me to be.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Praying in the Spirit

I find that nothing seems to strengthen me like a good, long, fervent time of praying in tongues. I realize that not all of you who read this agree with this doctrine, but I must say that I am so very grateful for the gift of praying in tongues. When it has been a dry time for me, when I need to sense His presence, when I need to be renewed and refreshed, this is the tool I reach for.

I will never forget when I first prayed in the Spirit. My pastor, John Ault, was counselling me, a confused and hungry college student. After talking, reading the Word, and praying for me, he lovingly looked across the room at me and asked me if I spoke in tongues. "No, but I've received prayer for the baptism in the Spirit." "Darlene," he said, "I want you to go home and speak in tongues today. You need all that He has for you."

So, being the devoted Cranie that I was (that's a music student at Potsdam State), I headed straight for the most private place I knew of, a practice room. I determined to not leave until I had prayed in tongues.

God was and is always faithful. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask?" Luke 11.13 I asked and He gave. Abundantly!

It changed my life. Next to being saved, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had been struggling in my walk, lacking power and clarity. And through the ministry of the Spirit as I prayed in tongues I felt and experienced strength, power, and boldness. It is still the same today. I am so appreciative of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the gift of praying in tongues.

I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Oh, what peace is ours!

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

perfect: to achieve, to accomplish, to carry out

Perfect peace is afforded through the knowledge of this verse - this very verse.

The Lord will achieve that which concerns me. He will accomplish it. He will carry it out.

Is there need for fuss, worry, or stress? What can be our excuse for manipulation and coercion? The unknown does not need to leave our souls undone. We can entrust our lives, our needs, our hearts, our very concerns to Him. He brings the perfection and completion.

Oh, we labor in prayer, we battle the enemy, and having done all, we stand. But peace is never to be forfeited. Stress should not be our accepted portion. Details should not derail us, even the minutia of daily living. He brings the completion - every detail in place - perfected.

This is our inheritance and portion forevermore. And it's ours starting now.

Is there any better way?

Monday, May 16, 2005


I gaze across the carpeted floor to the bright windows at the other end of the room. The sloped ceilings here lay claim to the uniqueness of this abode. The peach colored wallpaper was a birthday gift chosen by my oldest daughter. It is still lending it's whimsical pattern and warm tint to this happy room.

My gaze continues and suddenly I hear little girls' laughter; I see long curls bobbing as those little girls jump on their beds. And there's that kitchen set - I see it in the corner once again. Now the boxes are pulled out of the closet and the seemingly endless chore of sorting out spring clothes and putting away winter things is being done. The girls actually loved this - it was as good as a trip to the store for them for it always meant new things they'd never worn before. This room has been a theater for their attempts at Broadway, a dance floor for the newest ballroom move, a shared home for their favorite dolls. The walls have heard whispered stories and giggles, tear-filled moments, and songs sung with great gusto!

My oldest daughter will be married next month. And this is a time for remembering all the precious gifts He has given. She is one of the best.

Friday, May 13, 2005


With no word of explanation - just a mere clambering up and inbetween two giant sleeping bodies (well, giant in comparison to his) - our youngest welcomed in the day on our behalf. Unlike most mornings, he was already fully dressed and ready for his busy day. My husband gained coherency more quickly than I and almost immediately exclaimed, "Happy Birthday to a wonderful 6-year old boy!" Flashing a grin from side to side, hugs were distributed and he announced his intentions to go to Louissa's bed (after all, he had already visited NanaNay and Milla.)

Ah, the exuberance some people find in merely living!

We will have one long, celebratory, exciting, fun-filled day (or two) at my house. Hope yours is as wonderful!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Psalm 1

Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do. Psalm 1. 1-3 (NLT)

A soul is a precious thing worth protecting, a terrible thing to waste.

Not choosing to hear the words of scripture so clearly put forth by the Psalmist is foolishness indeed. And there is no excuse. It is plain. It is not a mystery. We sometimes like to say that He has not spoken clearly - wrong. It is there for those who want to hear. He is far too good to leave us on our own to figure out this most important of all adventures. So the "advice" is written out in black and white, appropriate to all generations, all people, all places.

Oh, that many would heed these words, preserve their souls, and find life that springs forth day and night. Real life. Not the fake thing - the real thing.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

His Ways Are Too Good

My heart is full, even to overflowing. What a day, what a week, what a month. What a good, good God.


From my well-travelled five year old: "Why do people drop cigarettes everywhere? I see them all over Madrid, all over Potsdam - they are even all over New York City!" The way he talks you might suspect that he was there every few weeks!


Mother's Day review: a relatively small table (only set for eight) but in spite of the missed faces, the kind words of honor were precious and humbling. This is a good season in many ways. You guys make my life so special!


Wedding plans are coming together - it is fun to see a daughter happily anticipating all of this!


I am so excited about summer plans for missions and outreach - chaperones are signing on, kids are expressing real interest, and I totally believe they can do it! Now to see God put it all together.


Monday I will head to Syracuse with two daughters for wedding registration and class dinner dress shopping. Always a delight to spend time with my children. I only know I will miss my other ones left at home. Will have to do something special with them soon, too!


Have a good day - He is so, so much the best!

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Daydreaming is the first stage of vision making for me. Brainstorming is the next. Putting feet on the ideas is the third. We are in that stage.

For all parents and all kids (8th grade and up) - I have an idea to throw out to you - an idea for which I've begun the initial exploration. We have in our midst a veritable treasure chest; students and young adults laden with giftings and talents waiting to be catapaulted into action. I know this to be true - I just spent two months working quite closely with many of them.

So let's do it!

This summer let's form some teams of preachers, musicians, dramatists, counselors, and administrative workers - and let's send them out. I've contacted two ministries in Spain, Elisa Meyers knows two more contacts in Mexico and one in Nepal, and Bob Dale is working on some possibilities in Turkey! And that's just the foreign possibilities - there are domestic arenas to explore as well.

I've told these folks that we have young people who can do street evangelism, youth rallies, inhouse ministry to youth, ministry to parents, etc. I would like to see them all ready to share their testimony, the counselors ready to invest one on one, those who preach armed with at least two solid Bible teachings, the musicians prepared to lead worship with some songs in the native language as well as specials in English, the dramatists with 2-3 dramas, and the administrator types ready to keep it all happening. We would need one adult chaperone per group.

So, for those who have read this: get the word out! Begin to pray. Get your passport in faith - start the process today!! (Even if this all falls through, you will be ready for the next time!) Brainstorm plans for raising the finances - and start saving yourselves! Let me know if you are interested - with all those possibilities, there is room for everyone and a place for everyone's gift! There is no excuse for holding back. God has the resources to pay the way - and you are His resources to send!

Let's move!!

ps - Let me know if you are interested ASAP. We need to know what kind of numbers there might be and who to assemble into different teams. I have no concrete dollar amounts or dates since I have no concrete plans - you are in on the early stages of this one!

Now let me ask you this - what better plans do you have for your summer?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wasted space but fun...

Okay, this is one of those crazy surveys. If you want to read a real post, check out yesterday's!

three names you go by:
1. Dar
2. Mrs. Sinclair
3. Mom

three things you like about yourself:
1. I can administrate projects like musicals with 50 kids and Mother's Conferences
2. I love God with a passion
3. I love my kids that way, too

three things you don’t like about yourself:
1. my lack of discipline
2. I would like to be more academic and well-read
3. I'm lousy at one on one time with people

three parts of your heritage:
1. Dutch (which so far none of my kids have acknowledged!)
2. English
3. French

three things that scare you:
1. not obeying God
2. not seeking Him first
3. doing my own thing, not His

three of your everyday essentials:
1. thoughts of God
2. thoughts of future plans
3. thoughts of my family

three things you are wearing right now:
1. gray fuzzy slippers
2. gray fuzzy robe
3. flannel "snow-flake" pj bottoms

three of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment): (can't say I listen or buy much)
1. Michael Buble
2. Jamie Cullum
3. Diana Krahl

three of your favorite songs (at the moment):
1. A Foggy Day (Michael Buble)
2. that Billy Joel tune that Diana does at the end of Live In Paris - sorry, can't remember the name - maybe "I Want You Just the Way You Are"
3. I'm with Louissa - "Singin' In the Rain" by Cullum is great

three new things you want to do in the next 12 months:
1. do a missions trip to Africa
2. study art history or US History at Patrick Henry College
3. missions in India

three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
1. a shared love for Christ
2. support and encouragement to be all that I can be
3. communication

two truths and a lie:
1. I haven't watched a movie in days
2. I haven't read a whole book in weeks
3. I haven't ridden a horse in years

three things you just can’t do:
1. sew a dress
2. a cartwheel
3. swim the English channel (or any channel, for that matter)

three things you want to do right now:
1. finish my notes for Sunday's message
2. finish my notes for the conference this weekend
3. have all my kids home with me

three careers you’re considering:
1. ha ha
2. writer
3. volunteer music teacher :)

three places you want to go on vacation:
1. a US tour with my whole family
2. Mediterranean ports
3. Europe

three things you want to do before you die:
1. influence young people for Christ
2. be a good - no, great (as in excellent) - grandmother
3. write books

three ways I am stereotypically a girl:
1. I like to look nice and have people think so, too
2. I love to buy things
3. I love decorating houses

three ways I am not stereotypically a girl:
1. I could be considered fairly adventurous (not timid)
2. I'm not afraid of mice
3. I like to sweat (somehow it makes me feel like I've done something...)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Practicing His presence

We all need those special retreats - times alone with Him and His word. But let's face it, there are many seasons when that is impracticable.

So I am considering Brother Lawrence (his letters and musings are collected in book form entitled "Practicing The Presence Of God") again. He found God on the job, in the kitchen, in the garden, in the midst of people and busyness. We can have His presence anywhere at anytime. We quite literally are without excuse. He is always with us.

I personally have enjoyed the knowledge of such promise throughout the busy years of mothering several small children. Knowing that I didn't need an hour alone each day in order to be in His presence was extremely comforting. He was there to enjoy, commune and fellowship with whenever I called, whether children were crying, playing, or fighting (and you thought my kids never did that!) He is an ever present help in time of trouble. You didn't really think that meant that first you had to sneak out the back door and find a quiet corner in the shade, did you? How fortunate that it doesn't come down to that!

I am just coming off a very busy season when little time was left for the luxury of quiet retreats. Yet I don't feel completely deplenished. He has been with me. And now I am preparing to give what I can to ladies at a mother's conference this weekend as well as preparing to share with my congregation this Sunday. It is a bit daunting, but I know that He was with me in those rehearsals (I just finished directing a full-length musical.) I am not "on empty" because I serve a God who is infinite.

This is not to say that we don't need those times away - even Jesus did. But He will provide them in His time, and if they are not available then we can have confidence that His life will flow through us. We must learn to practice His presence; to tap into that life-line of the Spirit.

Learning to walk in the Spirit is my heart's desire. I am done with carnal reasoning, limited expectations, fleshly fears. I want to do exploits, bold and daring. Walking on water doesn't appeal to my natural desires - but staying in the boat seems worse! Oh, to hear His voice, to step out in faith, to find Him faithful, to know His presence!

This is my desire!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dreaming of what's next

I should be cleaning or regrouping or doing laundry. But here I sit filled with passion, vision, and dreams for these young people that I love so much. I am thinking of summer missions trips with them - I've already called my church's missions director to brainstorm some ideas. I will need to talk with my husband (after all, he is the pastor!) I know he will be excited about my thoughts. I sure am!

And I am thinking about what musicals to do next year. And what to do for choir.

I am reminded once again of the need to find the potential in individuals. As adults, as nurturers, we must know that value exists in each and every person and must help them discover and believe that as well. It is rewarding and exciting work!

Here are some more pictures like I promised. Just go to her site and click on flikr!

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Take a look at some pictures of the show - these are from rehearsals. I will try to post a few performance shots in the future for those who may be interested.

Last night was our second and final night. The crowd was huge once again (both nights were over 560). Hope you get a taste of the fun by looking!