Friday, December 28, 2012

His Presence

   My family has come and gone and they've sucked the energy right out of this house. I'm sitting here in the sunroom today, marveling at the quietness and stillness. But the house doesn't seem empty. There's a Presence here. His Presence. The One whose birthday we celebrated on Christmas.
   This cloudy, wintry day is trying to pierce me with its' coldness all the way inside. The Christmas tree is tilting to the left and the Santa is in a puddle in the yard. In times past, my mood would plummet also. But not today. There's a Presence here. His Presence.
"The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His Life brought Light to everyone. The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it", John 1:4-5.

A Happy and Blessed New Year to everyone of you!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finding Jesus

    In the midst of all the craziness of moving and Christmas I found this beautiful poem by Rachel Holley in "Pursuing the Christ: Prayers for Christmastime" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. It has reminded me of the need to pursue time with Jesus, even in, especially in, this time of year. It has inspired me to dig in, to set my mind steadfastly, on the Word that became flesh and made His home with us as I go about my busy days.

"I found You in the spaces in between
I found You in the dark and not the light
I looked for You in drama
In the earthquake and the fire
And found You in the quiet.
You were waiting for me there.
I looked for You in miracles
In the loud, in voices raised
I looked for You in gatherings
In signs, in prayer and praise
But I found You in the gentle breeze
The still small voice, the darkened cave.
I found You in the spaces
between sleeping and awake
I found You in the waiting
The worry, in the fear
I found You in the sleepless night
I found You in despair
I found You in the questions
No loud answers anywhere.
I found You in the silence
Silence full, not silence void
I found You in the spaces
You were looking for me there.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


   Women are champions of multi-tasking. This month, I'm surely heading for a gold medal. Not only do I have to buy presents for a large family but I have to get packed up to move to our new house on December 21, just in time for our daughters and their families to arrive for Christmas. On top of that I have to mail out photo cards, wrap presents, decorate, and bake cookies.
   My husband isn't such a mutli-tasker. He, instead, zeroes in on one thing and exerts all the considerable force of his energy towards accomplishing that goal. As soon as we decided to buy our new house I would ask him daily, "When are we going to move?". And he would say, "Not until after the first of the year". But I kept asking him because I knew what he would eventually say, "I think we can be moved in by Christmas". So here we are.
   I think Jesus must look down with sadness on His children here on earth. We have managed to turn the majesticaly simple time of His birth into a hectic, stressful conglomeration of materialistic consumerism. If I take a little time each day to sit quietly and listen to His voice, I can hear Him say, as He did to Martha, "there is only one thing worth being concerned about". "But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her", Luke 10: 41-42. NLT

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


   I have an adorable, redhaired, 7 year old granddaughter named Isabella. I love her to the moon and back. Her family comes from Oklahoma to share Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with us. It wouldn't be a holiday without a "Bella Meltdown". We don't know what is going to set her off but we know that something will. Anticipating this, we try to make things right for her but it's never enough.
   This Thanksgiving, her two 16 year old cousins were sitting at the adult table instead of playing with her. One Easter, when she was 4, we hid her eggs in a seperate place so they would be easier for her to find. We didn't do that again. Last Christmas, we were taking pictures, and the teenagers had on jeans but she had on knit pants.
   As I was thinking about the "Bella Meltdowns" this week, I thought that is probably how God looks at me. He has given me everything and more but I want that one thing I don't have. And when things don't turn out the way I think they should, I shed a few tears, or shake my fists at God and rail that it isn't fair.
   God yearns for me to be thankful always and praise Him continually; yet He is not surprised when I have a meltdown. And still, He loves me to eternity and back. "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God", Ephesians 3:18-19. NLT

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No More Lonely

   I am an only child. I was lonely much of the time growing up. My parents both worked and I spent a lot of time alone. After the abuse I tried to make myself invisible and never felt like I belonged to whatever group I was in.
   One of the great blessings of my life was marrying into my husband's family. Now I have two brother-in-laws and their wives and families, two stepsons and their families, and our two daughters and their families. We all get together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
   Being with family during the holidays is my favorite time. I can't wait until they start arriving today, even with the invariable drama, tears, and bickering. Even so, family is a good and precious gift, and I thank the Lord for mine.
   "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God the Father, who created all the lights in the heavens", James 1:17. NLT

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Faith In Adversity

   I've written before that I think Charles Hadden Spurgeon. British pastor in the 1800s, is my soulmate. His writings ("Morning and Evening" devotionals) resonate so deeply in me. I've read that he also suffered from depression, and painful gout, in his life. Maybe that's why I relate to him so. This is what he wrote on Monday:
   "No flower wears so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes as sweet as that which springs in the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity."
   Aren't those beautiful snapshots of faith in adversity? I believe that these past two years have been the hardest of my adult life. I lost both my parents a month apart. I've battled depression and back pain. I just haven't felt good. I've wanted to give up.
   But Jesus has given me the strength to persevere. In truth, He's been the only thing that I could hold on to. His love for me has never faltered. Indeed, I've found that His light shines forth more brightly in the darkness..
    "That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. So we don't look at the troubles we can see now, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever", 2 Corinthians 4: 16, 18. NLT

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Only Jesus

   Christians were divided in our USA presidential elections this week. People I love were on both sides. All I can say is we all need to heed the words of Psalms 118:8-9: "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in princes."
   It doesn't matter who is head of our country, Jesus is the One on the throne. As Christians, let's quit focusing on political issues and instead focus on showing love to the unloveable.
   As Christians, let's focus instead on being Jesus to that person who doesn't know Him yet but desperately needs Him. As Christians, let's give a shout out to the Gospel so loudly that all can hear.
   As Christians, let's start a revival in our country and let's begin by allowing Jesus to start a revival in our hearts. Jesus is our only Hope. Always has been. Always will be.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Settling In

   The couple took our first offer on the house and four acres that God has so Graciously provided for us. We're excited to move. Our closing date is January 9th, so we don't have to move during the holidays. Praise God for how He is working all this out for us.
    Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because all the family gets together, without the stress and drama of Chriatmas with the family. Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
     After Thanksgiving, we will have to start packing up in earnest. Not to mention all the Christmas stuff I have to do. It makes my head spin just thinking about it. But until then, I'm going to settle in under the shadow of the Almighty, wrapped in the warm blanket of His Love, soaking up His strength, song, salvation, shelter, and sanctuary.
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of The Almighty", Psalm 91:1. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

House Shopping

For the past year, my husband has been dragging me along to look at houses with a few acres. He is a very high energy person and now that he is semi-retired, he doesn't have enough to do. We built the house where we've lived for seven years because it has no yard, except a bit in front and that's all he could keep up with while he was working full time. I love this house because it has a loft where I can paint.
When we first started looking, we tried to buy 4 acres, close to our son, where we could build. But that didn't work out. I've been going along, silently hoping we couldn't find anything and I wouldn't have to move. A month ago, we found a beautiful house that I fell in love with. That didn't work out either and I was ready to wash my hands of the whole process.
God is sooooo Good! God constantly amazes me with how perfectly He works things out! This week, the 4 acres we originally tried to buy, close to our son, along with a lovely old farm house came on the market. It has everything and more that my husband and I wanted.
"Now all glory to God, who is able through His Mighty Power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen", Ephesians 3:20.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Voice

"The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep recognize His voice and come to Him. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His Voice", John 10:3-4. There is a popular reality tv show, "The Voice". Some of you may have watched it. The contestants have lovely singing voices, and there is fun comradery between the four judges. But there is another, better Voice, The Voice of The Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. This Voice cares for His people, keeps us from harm, and communes with us tenderly. This Voice leads us through our life, loves us through our pain, and lightens our pathway. This Voice surrounds us with Peace, saves us by His blood, and smooths out our rough places. I am for Team Jesus! "But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them", Isaiah 26:7.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

41 Years

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary Wednesday and I think that deserves a blog post. Our lives portray the absolute Goodness of God's Grace. Only His Grace could have brought two damaged strangers together and made it work. We are total polar opposites in every way. He likes white bread and I like multi-grain; He sleeps cold and I sleep hot; He loves mayonnaise and I love mustard. You get the picture. We made a commitment when we were first married to stay together. This was not just our wedding vows, but a deep down knowing that one of us would never ever leave the other no matter what. Leaving was never an option. However, there were times I would have killed him if there had been a gun in the house. It hasn't been easy. We've weathered the storms of my depression and dysfunction because of childhood sexual abuse. We've weathered his two serious, life-threatening health issues. We've weathered our daughters' teenage years full of pain and addiction. Only God's Grace could have brought us this far, and I praise Him for my husband, my friend, my companion. "I said to the Lord, "You are my Master. Every good thing I have comes from You", Psalm 16:2.

Friday, October 5, 2012


My first grandchildren (the boy and girl on the left), turned sixteen this week. It brought back so many memories of God's Goodness. My daughter-in-law's water broke at 30 weeks. She was rushed to the hospital where they tried to put a stop to things. I remember so clearly the fears, the prayers, and then the miracles. They were born at 2 1/2 pounds each. They had to stay in incubators in the hospital for six weeks. The family had to learn CPR before they could go home. At home they were attached to heart monitors for six months. When I see them now, tall and healthy, my heart is so full of praise I can't contain it. It could have had a very different ending, but by God's Grace it didn't. "Let each generation tell its children of Your Mighty acts; let them proclaim Your Power. I will meditate on Your Majestic Glorious Splendor and Your Wonderful Miracles", Psalm 145: 4-5.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jesus Alone

This past year I have had an enforced time of sitting in my comfy chair because of the pain in my back. I have been feeling good about myself because I have spent the time doing Bible studies and reading Christian books. Because I like to do those things. But I was convicted last night at church (another Bible study)  that I have been too much doing and not enough being. That's right. I can sit in my easy chair and do too much. Because being is harder than doing. Our fast-paced society makes it hard to just sit in Jesus' Presence. But I'm resolved to do that. I'm going to spend some time each day reading the Word and being with Jesus alone. I'll let you know how it goes. "My heart has heard You say, "Come and talk with me". And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming", Psalm 27:8. NLT

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Team Jesus

I live in a little college town where just about everybody lives and breathes according to what their beloved football team does during a Saturday night game. This year, they have lost two in a row. It's unthinkable! But understandable, because last spring they lost their coach after a big scandal and an interim coach has come to hold his finger on the dam to keep it from breaking through but it's not working. You've never seen so many people venting their frustrations on call-in shows, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You get the picture. But, why? Why pin your hope on something so fleeting, so worldly? Why not pin your hope on Jesus, who never disappoints? I, for one, choose Team Jeaus. "I love you, Lord; You are my Strength. The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Savior; my God is my Rock, in whom I find protection. He is my Shield, the Power that saves me, and my place of Safety", Psalm 18:1-2.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fixed On

I've been discouraged because my all over body pain has come back with a vengeance as I've been healing from my breast reduction surgery. It seems while my mind was focused on my breast pain, I didn't notice my other pains and thought they were gone. My pain management doctor says our minds play tricks on us like that. Hmmm! There's a lesson to be learned from this about controlling my mind. I just need to fix my mind on Jesus as I go through my day, and all the other stuff will be less important. Fix means: to remain stable, to attach, to be glued. I resolve right now to keep my mind glued to Jesus and watch the other junk fall away. It's even Biblical: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all those whose thoughts are fixed on you", Isaiah 26:3. "So we don't look at the troubles we can see now, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever", 2 Corinthians 4:18. "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise", Philippians 4:8.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I love zinnias! We had a whole row of them across the front of our house this summer. They lifted their perky, colorful faces to the sunshine and winked at me every time I walked by. Only a few hardy blooms remain, stricken by drought, fungus, and a husband eager to prepare for fall. But a few persevere, not willing to sucumb to the end of summer, and they daily lift my spirit.
I can relate. Now that my back pain is better, and my breasts are healing after my breast reduction surgery, the allover body pain I've had for six years (which may be fibromyalgia), has come back with a vengeance. But I'm going to persevere. With God's help, I'm going to confess that Jesus is my Healer instead of confessing my pain. I'm going back to my pain management doctor and see if I need a change of medication.I resolve to keep my focus on Jesus every day and not give in to the pain that threatens me. I choose to claim the promises of God spoken through His Word.

"Let us hold tightly, without wavering, to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promises", Hebrews 10:23.

"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. So we don't look at the troubles we see now, rather we fix our gaze on things which cannot be seen", 2 Corinthians 4:16, 18.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Mighty Savior

I ran across this Bible verse in my reading this morning and I'm going to let it speak for me. Because, really, what more needs to be said? Have a wonderful day! "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His Love He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs", Zephaniah 3:17.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Three Ls

My life-long tendency has been toward depression. It's a comfortable place for me to be in. I can lay on it or wallow in it, like an old soft blanket that wraps around me and asks for nothing. If it weren't for Jesus' Three Ls, I'd never throw it off. But Jesus has offered me Light and Life and Love. So I pray every day that He will shine these into all my cracks and crevices, and dispel all the darkness in me. Because what He offers is so much greater than what I have settled for. "I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark," John 12:46.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Worth It All

"You crown the year with a bountiful harvest, even the hard pathways overflow with abundance", Psalm 65:11. This has been the most difficult year of my life, health wise, but it has also been a year of overflowing blessings. I suffered with severe upper back pain for a year and a half. After 3 specialists, 2 chiropractors, numerous pills, pills, and more pills with an injection or two thrown in, the last thing left to try was breast reduction surgery, which I had on July 31. And my back pain is gone, praise God! Alas, my front hurts awfully bad right now, but that will heal. Praise God there was an answer for my back pain! It's been hard, and still is, but this past year of enforced quietness, stillness, sitting, sitting, and sitting has resulted in more time basking in God's presence, in prayer, in the Word. And that has been worth all the pain. "For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and He will guide us until we die", Psalm 48:14.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Family's Visit

My daughter and two precious granddaughters,
ages 19 months and 7 years, visited last week.
 As I told them , it was the only fun I have had all summer. And then the news came on about
the shootings in Colorado:

and I held them a little tighter
and I kissed them a little longer
and I told them how much I loved them
and I realized my back pain wasn't so bad
and I praised God for their safe trip
and I prayed for the families in Colorado

"How precious is Your unfailing love, O God. All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your
wings," Psalm 36:7 NLT

"For I hold you by your right hand-I, The Lord your God. And I say to you, Don't be afraid.
I am here to help you," Isaiah 41:13 NLT

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Lamp

There's a darkness in me, I'm sorry to say. It slipped in when I was a little girl, alone and damaged. But I'm happy to say, there's a Light in me also. And the Light in me is greater than the darkness. Praise God! "O Lord, You are my Lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness", II Samuel 22:29.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smiling, not Screaming

I'm so tired of going to doctors who all tell you something different. It makes me want to scream. In fact, this week, after having an injection in my spine, and going to three different dentists ending up in an extracted molar this morning, I was ready to start that screaming. But when I looked up I saw Jesus. I realized Jesus had given me the strength and peace to make it through this week. I realized Jesus never tells me three different things. He is Truth. I realized Jesus walks me through difficult days by holding on to my hand with His strong right hand. When I looked at Jeaus, I no longer felt like screaming, I felt like smiling. "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My Righteous Right Hand", Isaiah 41:10.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Because of Grace

I asked God to give me a verse for this time I'm going through. And He gave me an easy one to memorize, James 4:6, "But He gives greater grace". Really, isn't that what it's all about? Because of greater grace, He shed His blood on the cross for us 2000 years ago. Because of greater grace, He was victor over death and rose to live again. Because of greater grace, He is seated in the place of honor at God's right hand. Because of greater grace, He is constantly interceding for me in my trials. Because of greater grace, He lives in us and gives us His power to overcome all. Because of greater grace, He is giving me the strength to make it through this most difficult time in my life. Becuse of greater grace, I give Him my love and praise for giving me His greater grace.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

God's Words Are Life

Praise the Lord, my back pain is a little better. Jesus has given me the strength and grace to make it one day at a time. "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always", Psalm 105:4. I'm learning a lot through this. I'm learning when Jesus is all I have, Jesus is enough. I'm learning to let go of trying to figure everything out myself and let God handle it all. I'm learning to keep my eyes on Jesus not only when I'm home alone but when I go about my daily activities. I'm learning God's Word has life in it. "Give attention to my words, for they are life to those who find them and health to their bones", Proverbs 4:20-22. I'm learning to be like Moses who "kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who was invisible", Hebrews 11:27.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Jesus is Enough

i haven't written my blog lately due to my severe back pain. I've mostly just been trying to get through each day. I'm a little bit better. But enough about me. What I want to say is that I could not get through this without Jesus. He is my constant companion. Every day I'm living in the strength of his powerful right arm. I've claimed the promises in the Word and found them to be true. There is life in the Word and He is slowly but surely giving me new life. He is slowly but surely changing my heart that had become hardened. And if He does that then all this pain will be worth it. "O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress", Isaiah 33:2. "Come boldly to the throne of grave, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need", Hebrews 4:16.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Restore Me

Pain Envelopes my body Winding its way through Seeking to get beyond My hardened heart And close enough To the hot healing Touch of Jesus To melt into My heart And restore me to wellness. Thank you to my blogging friends for your prayers. I am still in constant pain. I have an appointment in the morning with a pain management doctor. I pray he can do something to help me. I know Jesus is my only real Healer and I can feel Him working on me spiritually as well as physically. It warms my heart to know that women across the country I haven't ever met are praying for me. It means so very much to me. God Bless you all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hard Times

I've been having a hard time getting my blog done lately. I don't like to complain about my problems but instead want to glorify God with my writing. But everything is a tremendous struggle for me right now.

I have severe pain in my upper back area from a bone spur in my neck pressing on a nerve, plus I was diagnosed Wednesday with polymyalgia rheumatica, an inflammatory arthritis disease

So I'm a mess, puddled at the feet of Jesus, begging for greater grace. I honestly have to sit in my chair after breakfast each morning and pray for God to give me the strength and grace to get up and take a shower and get dressed. And if it's a day to wash my hair, that takes another measure of energy and power.

But praise the Lord, that is exactly what He does for me. He says in 2 Corinthians 12:8 "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness". I am finding it to be true that because of Christ, "when I am weak, then I am strong", 2 Corinthians 12:10.

I've had some hard days this past week, days when I didn't think I could live with the pain and sickness another minute. When I drop my hope on the hard edges of life and it shatters into pieces, then Jesus picks up the pieces and puts them back together, ties the hope with a red bow and gives me a big hug of grace. And I can make it another step, then another. He never disappoints. I will appreciate prayers for my healing, dear friends. Thank you so much!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thankful for Little Things

My youngest daughter, Carrie, is having a hard time. That's understandable because her husband recently broke a vertebra in his back and is home recovering from spinal surgery. That in itself is difficult because he is facing a long recovery, and can't do anything to help around the house.

Every day something new happens that she has to deal with that keep piling up and adding to her burden, like the sink disposal goes out, the iphone quits working, and the e-mails don't go through.
You know the frustrations. We've all had them. "When it rains it pours" and she's had a gully-washer at her house.

She called me this morning in tears because her 16 month old daughter fell out of her little rocking chair and gashed her forehead, and she was on her way to the doctor. I assured her these kinds of things happen to little ones all the time and she would be ok.

But I could tell my daughter was at the end of her rope. (She lives 4 hours away so I can't be there to help her.) I prayed on the phone with her and asked God to give her strength to make it through this and all she has to deal with today. I claimed the promise for her, "as thy days so shall thy strength be", Deuteronomy 33:25, and assured her that she could do "all things through Christ who gives her strength", Philippians 4:13.

Then when I got off the phone I prayed some more. I asked God to show up in a real and tangible way and make this easier for her to deal with, since she was beyond overwhelmed. She didn't call the doctor, but was just going to show up, hoping it would be quicker than the emergency room. I thought that at the least, she would have a long wait at the doctors, and at the worse, they would tell her to go on to the emergency room.

But God did answer my prayers and He did show up in real and tangible ways. When she got to the doctor's office they put her immediately in to see the doctor. The doctor told her the baby wouldn't need stitches. He pulled the cut together and put some tape on it. He said it might leave a little scar but nothing to worry about and it would heal quickly and well.

My daughter called me back to relay this news and she was feeling better. I told her to focus on the little things that went right each day and not on the little things that went wrong. There are always little things in each day to be thankful to God for. I need to remember this myself.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

God Gives Greater Grace

My youngest daughter's husband fell and broke a vertebra in his back Saturday while camping. He had spinal fusion surgery last night and it appears successful, although he will have a long and painful recovery, six months to a year. On top of that, he does not have health insurance. He runs a handy-man service that his step-father owns and like many small businesses they cannot afford insurance. I'm so worried for them because they have my two little granddaughters to care for, and they hardly have enough money to buy groceries and diapers, much less pay off a huge medical bill.

But I'm not going to fall into despair. I'm going to pray for them. I'm going to surrender this to God. I'm going to fall at the feet of God and beg for mercy and grace for them. I'm going to believe that when we have great problems then God has greater grace. "But He gives greater grace", James 4:6. I'm going to trust in God's unfailing love. "But I trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me", Psalm 13:5-6.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Doing The Right Thing

A little drama unfolded in the area where I live this past week. Actually, it was a big drama. I live in an area of the "Bible Belt" and an area where "Football is King" and these two collided and caused quite an explosion.

The head football coach of our university's team (who is married and has four college age children) made a series of very poor, selfish choices. In a week's time he went from being on the pinnacle of the world to experiencing a long and painful slide to nothingness.

It all started with a motorcycle ride on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The motorcycle crashed on a curve and ended up in a roadside ditch. The coach ended up with broken bones and lacerations. He was transported to a hospital and released four days later with casts on his broken bones and a brace on his neck.  He oversaw spring football practice on the day of his release from the press box and all seemed well in our little college town.

But, alas, the truth has a way of coming out. When the state police released their report it was discovered that there had been a blonde woman half the coach's age riding on the back of the motorcycle. The coach had told everyone point blank that he was riding by himself.

It escalated from there as these things have a way of doing. It was found out that he had recently hired the woman for an administrative position on his staff that 139 other people had applied for. And that he had given her $20,000 for an undisclosed reason.

Our athletic director put the coach on unpaid leave while he sorted through the whole sordid mess. Our fans polarized into two camps: those who wanted to keep him regardless of what he did so we would have a chance to compete for a national championship; and those who thought that honor and integrity were more important than winning and wanted him gone sooner rather than later.

Praise God, our athletic director did the right thing. He fired him immediately, at a loss to the coach of several million dollars a year salary, stating that no one person was more important than running an honest program and that the student athletes needed a coach that could be trusted. Unfortunately, doing the right thing doesn't happen often enough in college athletics today.

I told this story because I think it's a good illustration that God's way is the only right way to go. When a man (or woman) tries to go his own way, the temptations of the flesh and the pull of the world are too much to overcome, and you will end up losing everything that matters.

"Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts", II Timothy 2:22. NLT

"Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth. Give me purity of heart, so that I may honor you", Psalms 86:11. NLT

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cross Gazing

This week, I'm going to spend more time gazing on the cross. I can't think of any better way to spend my time. When I gaze on the cross:

*I realize that I am less than nothing, that no good thing lives in me except what I have because of Jesus.

*I realize that because Jesus lives in me, I have all things; he is the remedy for all my ills, the solution for all my problems, the fulfillment of all my longings.

*I see a love so lavish, so vast, so all encompassing, that it takes my breath away and knocks me to my knees.

*I see a body that raised up to take the full measure of punishment so that I wouldn't have to take any punishment for sins I've committed.

*I see unmerited favor, unexplainable riches, grace that looked upon the mess of my life with lovingkindness and faithfully transformed it into something beautiful.

* I see the end of my dead end life that was going nowhere good, and the beginning of a great love that opened my eyes, softened my heart, and set my feet on a solid path.

*I see the precious blood flowing off of His pierced body, and I want nothing more than to drink that glorious blood until all that's left of me is His blood flowing freely through my body.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Bridegroom

Weddings pop up all over the place this time of year. I love the idea that Jesus is my bridegroom. I like to think about Jesus looking at me and seeing me as His innocent bride; pure as the white lace and satin of an elegant wedding gown, as untouched as the petals of a white rosebud.

Because of the abuse, I didn't feel like an innocent bride when I married my husband. Instead I felt damaged and dirty. I went through the motions of wearing the white gown, knowing inside that I was not the pure bride that the white was suppose to symbolize.

My innocence had been stolen from me as a young child and I hadn't felt clean since. But Jesus changed all that. His crimson blood washed me clean through, made me "white as snow".

In a class on the Blood Covenant at my church, the teacher, Linda Apple, gave us some information on a bridgroom according to the Hebrew tradition:

"When a young man decided to marry a young woman in ancient Israel, he would prepare a contract oe covenant to present to the young woman and her father. The most important part of the contract was the bride price, the price that the young man was willing to pay her father in order to marry the young woman.
The bride price was generally quite high. The groom was willing to pay it. This was an indication of the love that the young man had for the young woman. If the bride price was agreeable to the young woman's father, the young man would pour a glass of wine for the young woman. If the young woman drank the wine, it would indicate her acceptance of the proposal.
At this point, the young man and woman would be betrothed. Betrothal was legally binding, just like a marriage. The bridegroom would then leave to prepare a place for her. She would bathe herself, make herself beautiful for him, and consecrate herself as a way of showing she was betrothed. She didn't know when he would return. She had to be ready for him. When the bridegroom returned, as he neared her house to get her, he would shout and blow a ram's horn as a way of letting her know he is coming and for her to gather her things."

I am so thankful Jesus sees me as spotless and wants me as his bride. I'm awed over the price He was willing to pay for me. He has given me His cup and I have accepted it. He is my bridegroom. I am His bride. He has gone to prepare a place for me and I am readying myself for His return. The we will celebrate.

"The time's drawing near
When He will appear
And, Oh, We will stand by His side
A strong, pure, spotless bride.
We will dance on the streets
That are golden
The glorious bride and
The great Son of Man".
(We Will Dance by David Ruis)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lessons From a Toddler

My daughters and their daughters have been here this week for Spring Break. It has been a lot of fun. The youngest granddaughter is 15 months old. She is a non-stop dynamo; the "Energizer Bunny" and "The Roadrunner" all in one, with a little bit of "sugar and spice and everything nice" thrown in.

I had forgotten what it's like to be the mother of a child that age. That's why God gives babies to young women and why He made it physically impossible for women my age to have babies. She wore me out, she wore us all out, but she never wore out.

My daughter has to constantly hover over her because she thinks she can leap off the top steps, put small and sharp objects in her mouth, and stick interesting things into electrical outlets. She doesn't yet know fear, or safety, or that her way isn't best.

It reminded me of how God takes care of us. He is concerned about the smallest details of our everyday life and He protects us from countless dangers that we don't even know about. We think our way is best so He has to teach us differently. We hurt ourselves over and over until we learn the lesson that His way is the best way. Praise God that He is patient, kind, and loving towards us, like a mother is towards her little toddler.

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you", I Peter 5:7. NLT

"Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm", Proverbs 19:23. NLT

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Up To My Neck

In the words of Charles Spurgeon, "Sad hearts have a peculiar skill in discovering the most disadvantageous point of view from which to gaze upon a trial. If there were only one slough in the world they would soon be up to their necks in it, and if there were only one lion in the desert they would hear it roar".

Boy, does that describe me! I grew up with a "glass half-empty" view of life. Certain that because of the abuse I was damaged beyond repair. Like Eeyore, searching out the only thornbush in the meadow then sitting under it and lamenting my helpless fate.

My attitude is no small source of frustration to my eternally optimistic husband. He sees everything in the world through "rose-colored glasses". I wish I was like that. I used to have a pair of sunglasses with rose-colored lens and I understood where that saying came from. Everything looks better through rose-colored glasses. In the spring the trees are greener, and in the autumn, oh my, the colors are neon bright.

Alas, now I have a pair of transition sunglasses with plain-Jane brown lenses. I miss my rose-colored glasses. But with Jesus help and an unshakeable faith, I can still see the world as if it's brighter than it is. I can allow Jesus sun to shine down into the darkness. I can look for good in the midst of my chronic health problems. I can be up to my neck in sunbeams.

Charles Spurgeon says it best, "Faith's way of walking is to cast all care upon the Lord, and then to anticapte good results from the worst calamities. Out of the rough oyster-shell of difficulty she extracts the rare pearl of honor, and from the deep ocean-caves of distress she uplifts the priceless coral of experience".

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God's Way

I've been praying this past year that I would become Jesus-conscious and less self-conscious. Because of the abuse, I've grown up self-absorbed, spending copious amounts of time and energy each day battling depression and trying to feel better. I've reached for the world's quick fixes time and again (whatever will medicate me, vegetate me, numb me or enable me to escape the quickest) instead of relying on Jesus' power to help me.

As often happens in God's way, things get worse before they get better, as He matures us and grows us up in the faith. OUCH! That usually hurts! I find myself in that situation now. In dealing with this chronic pain condition, there are no easy answers from the world. My tendency is to spend even more time focused on myself as I try to find solutions.

 But there are no easy remedies, so I'm kind of forced to depend on God more; claim His promises more, search the scriptures more, pray more, cry out to God more. And the result is that I've become more focused on God. Amazing, how God's way is just the antidote for whatever ails us. Amazing, how God knows just where to lance, stitch and bandage to facilitate healing. Amazing, how God's way is to bring good out of whatever bad life experiences we are dealt.

"Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days so shall thy strength be", Deuteronomy 33:25.

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel", Isaiah 43:2-3.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Daffodil Season

My husband and I returned home from our getaway to Florida to sunny skies and daffodils blooming in the front yard. It feels so good to have escaped winter. We had a wonderful time in the 80 degree warmth and beauty of Naples. Naples is one of the prettiest cities I have seen in the USA.Too bad it's such a long drive down the length of Florida.

I was able to get my walking program for my back pain going well down there and I have continued to walk 45 minutes to an hour every day. But I am still in a lot of pain and I'm trying to get an appointment with a Rheumatologist to see if I also have fibromyalgia. This journey I'm learning to navigate living with chronic pain is hard. When I'm in pain all my thoughts tend to focus on the pain and I lose my focus on Jesus. Then I'm really a mess.

I am praying that Jesus will help me keep Him as my singular focus. When I think about how bad I am hurting, I try to refute that thought with "He was whipped so we could be healed", Isaiah 53:5; or "Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows", Isaiah 53:4.

It's a constant battle most days but everything seems better now that daffodil season is here, the season of hope and change. And the rose bush is budding out, heralding the season of new life and new beginnings. And the sun is shining brighter, the season of lengthy light-infused days is around the corner. And the popsicle blue skies remind me of the goodnes of life, of the simple pleasures of each day.

"I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven, we keep looking to the Lord our God for His mercy", Psalm 123:1-2.

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress", Isaiah 33:2. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sculpted With Perfection

As I stroll peacefully
Along the seashore,
I see the shells.
They line the sand,
Telling their story,
Similar to mine.
Created by The Artist,
Sculpted with perfection,
Uniquely, carefully.
Carried away relentlessly
By powerful waves,
Battered, Broken, Polished.
Surviving still, so their
Story can be told
To people like me.
Each delicate formation
Is a picture of the good God
Who created me well
And loves me still.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Naples Is Nice

My husband and I are having a great time on our "run away from the snow" trip to Florida for the month of February. Naples is a beautiful town. We are staying in a friend's house this week across the street from beautiful Vanderbilt Beach. For Valentine's Day we walked across and down the street for a lovely lunch on a patio overlooking the beach. The weather has been picture perfect. Between 70-80 degrees with sunshine and blue cloudless skies. Every day I'm amazed at the beauty of God's creation. He really is the most amazing artist. Nature is so beautiful that it cries out "God did this! God did this!" until we're knocked to our knees in awe at the wonder of it all. I hope you all had a wonderful day with your husbands and sweethearts. By God's grace my husband and I still enjoy each other's company. This trip has been a test of this because some of the time we have been sleeping in a van size RV and that is up close And personal living arrangements. But so far we are getting along and having fun. All praise goes to God on this Valentine's Day for His Love, His Grace and His Goodness. Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sanibel, Seashells & Sunshine

My husband and I are a week into our month of February "escape to the sun" trip. We are staying in Ft. Myers Beach. Today we went to Sanibel Island and collected shells along the beach in the bright sunshine. It is wonderful to be taking lots of walks in this warm weather. I'm feeling much better. God is so good. And His creation is never more beautiful than around the ocean. There were pink and dotted and all kinds of lovely shells in the sand. And we saw several unusual sea creatures that had washed ashore. My granddaughter identified them for me. At 7 years old she's something of an authority on sea creatures.
I can't believe it's been a year since I started my blog. Sometimes I think I should quit writing it because not many people read it. But then God reminds me that I'm doing it for Him and it's between Him and me & I do it because He told me to & I want to honor Him. It's not about anything else. And I enjoy doing it for God who has done so much for me. I'll post pictures of my trip if I can figure out how to do it from my iPad. I love all the friends I've made doing this-an unexpected bonus. "Wish you were here"!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My husband and I are officially becoming Snowbirds Thursday. We are heading south to the beach for the month of February. I am so looking forward to it. I hope to get my walking program going and strt feeling better in the warmer temperatures. I'll keep you posted, providing I can figure out how to blog from my iPad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Three Promises

 I'm trying to control my constant back pain with the exercise and walking program my doctor has put me on.
So far, there's been no change in the pain. Thank you, sweet friends, for your prayers and please keep praying for me.

I'm resolved to not let this get me down. My pastor gave a sermon Sunday on Jeremiah 15 that I'm claiming for myself. There are three promises that God gave to Jeremiah in Chapter 15:

1. verse 11-"I will take care of you". I know God will take care of me through this as He has through all the other things I've been through in my life. He loves me. That's the bottom line. And He wants the best for me. As I surrender this to Him, He will provide me with everything I need.

2. verse 19-"I will restore you". I don't believe Jesus wants me to live halfway alive. He wants me fully alive, complete, and whole. His death on the cross 2000 years ago accomplished salvation for me. And He has the power to see that it's worked out in my life.

3. verse 21-"I will keep you safe". Satan wants nothing more than to trip me up over my health problem so that I'll plunge headlong back into depression. But God is my protector, rescuer, and helper. The One who is in me is greater than the one that is in the world. I put my trust in Him.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Heaven-Born Faith

My blog posts have been sporadic to nonexistant lately. I have been in severe back pain that is getting worse, for six months. When I am in pain, that is all I can think about. I got a diagnosis yesterday from a spine specialist. I have cervical spondylosis which is a fancy term for degenerative arthritis in my neck and bone spurs that are pressing on nerves. This is causing pain in my upper mid back, my right arm and right side. He put me on an exercise, traction and walking program. The other option is surgery which neither my doctor nor I want.

I have been really down and feeling hopeless and frustrated and like I will never feel good again. The best thing about my diagnosis is that several weeks ago I woke up one morning and the first word that came to my mind was spondylosis. I wonderd where in the world that came from so I googled it and when I saw what it was I thought "Jesus is telling me what is wrong with me". When the doctor gave me the same diagnosis it made me feel so good that Jesus does love me and that He does care about what I am going through.

Heaven-born faith is what I want regardless of my circumstances or how I feel. Charles Spurgeon explains what that is: "It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but it is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the lift of our Father's countenance is hidden. A faith which can say in the direst trouble "Tho He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" is heaven-born faith".

Please pray for me that I will have faith that does not waver through my pain, that I will start feeling better, and that my pain will subside. Thanks so much! I've missed you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Resolve

In 2012, I resolve to yield my heart to Jesus, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, "as a highway made ready by His grace, that he might make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it".

And in the words of my pastor Sunday, I resolve to:
*Do more than exist, LIVE.
*Do more than touch, FEEL.
*Do more than look, OBSERVE.
*Do more than hear, LISTEN.
*Do more than listen, UNDERSTAND.
*Do more than think, REFLECT.
*Do more than just talk, SAY SOMETHING.
*Do more than read, ABSORB.. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year

*Jesus is the Creator of new life.

*Jesus is the Author of new stories.

*Jesus is the Timekeeper of new starts.

*Jesus is the Instigator of new beginnings.

*Jesus is the Promise Giver of new creations.

*Jesus is the Transformer of new hearts.

*Jesus is the Renewer of new thoughts.

*Jesus is the Remedy for new attitudes.

May we all be the recipients of Jesus' newness in this new year. Praying for a happy and healthy new year for all of you. Peggy