Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Expecting a Pregnant Christmas

I love being pregnant! I loved being full with my children as I carried them in my womb. I also love meaningful and significant times of my life when I am full of the expectation of something new. To be pregnant, it takes a seed, the seed of a man placed inside a woman, or the seed of God placed inside our hearts.

Jesus spoke of His word as a seed, and told a story to illustrate the importance of the soil. It makes perfect sense to me that I must prepare the soil of my heart for the seed God wants to plant there. Again, it begins with expectation and the anticipation of the seed.

The first Christmas was Gods' planting of a seed into the world. Jesus was the seed that was buried and yet rose again producing many seeds and filling the earth. I am one of many seeds. It is my calling to die to myself and be planted in Gods' perfect garden for me so that I might grow and produce more seeds for His kingdom. It is time to be filled with God. It is time to be pregnant with the real meaning of Christmas.

Dearest Lord Jesus, You came to earth as a tiny baby. You rested in Mary's womb and let her mother You. I want to be filled with Your Spirit! I want to allow You to birth good works in me, works that will point others to You and become the seeds that will grow Your kingdom here on earth! I expect Your seeds to be planted within me and in anticipation I prepare my heart with good soil. Thank You for using me to spread Your word.

Monday, November 29, 2010


What do you expect from your Christmas holiday? Every year I wait in expectation of a new revelation of Christ. I want to know Him in a new way. My theme often takes me on a journey to see Christ in a new way. I expect my searching to bring me to a treasure, and He never disappoints.

What did Mary expect when the angel Gabriel appeared to her? Her expectations came from God's message to her. She expected that His word would be fulfilled as promised. God had promised a Savior to come to His people, Israel. He promised it would come to a virgin. Did Mary expect that promise to be made full in her? We don't really know.

We do not know her thoughts before the encounter, but we know she was ready to say "Yes" to God. She was prepared to give herself. I think she expected God to use her. It may have been her lot to be used in a small way, but instead God asked her to be used as the mother of His only Son! I believe she expected God to be with her either way. And He was.

I search my heart wondering if I expect God to use me? Will I expect those little things to which He calls me to be a fulfillment of His plan for me and the world? I confess I sometimes don't expect Him to use me. It is in the expecting that I keep my eyes on Him, ready to see His vision, hear His voice. In the expecting I become pregnant with His work and bring forth the fruit He has meant for me to birth. I must expect Him in my life if I am to be ready to say "Yes!"

Father of Promise, God of expectations fulfilled, You are my expectation. I expect You to reveal Yourself to me and use me. When I forget to expect You to be present in my day, turn my thoughts to You. I give You thanks for for Your wisdom in how to use a frail and faulty vessel such as me. Use me as You see fit. I am expecting You today!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Sunday of Advent

It is time to prepare for the celebration of Christmas. In the tradition of the church, Advent is the time four weeks prior to Christmas. It is the time of reflecting on His coming as an infant to save us from our sins, rest in His presence now, and preparing for His return as King and judge of the earth. I love preparing my heart and renewing my mind in Christ for the celebration of Christmas. Will you join me as I blog each day my thoughts, questions and meditations?

Each year I choose a theme for my Christmas meditations. This year my theme is "God with us." My theme is my focus in my every day devotions and in my preparations of giving and planning the seasons gatherings of friends and family. I find choosing a theme helps me to make Christmas real. It draws me deeper into Gods' truth.

I love Christmas! I love the lights, decorations, songs, giving, and all the rest! I love it most because, for me it is all about Jesus coming to fix all that is wrong in me and the world! He promises that evil will someday be wiped out, and I trust His word. His promise will be made true.

Christmas is promise. God promised a Savior and Jesus arrived as a little baby. He lived among us and revealed the love of God to us. Jesus promises that He will be with us always. He lives with us every day in our hearts. He also promises to come again. The question is, am I ready? Will I give up all I hold dear in this life to meet Him in the air? My promise is that this Advent season I will make preparations in my heart, soul and life to give Him all I have when He comes.

Emanuel, You are the God of promise! You are faithful to fulfill Your word. You deserve my promise and my faithfulness, but I cannot do it without You! Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit who dwells within me! It is only because of You that I have hope to celebrate this Christmas growing deeper in You, and eternity forever giving You praise! I am Yours, Lord.

Friday, November 26, 2010


There may have been some misunderstanding about my earlier blog. I am in no way against going shopping and getting the deals offered on Black Friday or any other day. I am not making a judgement over all the shoppers. I was making an observation of what I saw on tv last night. I was not judging them to be unchristian.

I am sorry if I mislead anyone to think that I was passing a blanket judgement on all participants of the day. These are simply my thoughts and opinions. I do not and will not claim to be right all of the time, nor do I think everyone needs to agree with me.

Thank you for understanding and reading even when you might not agree.

From Thanks to Gimmies?

Black Friday. Even the name sounds depressing. Yes, I know it is meant to pull the retailers out of the red and into the black, but it still does not sound like a joyous event. Watching those who participate confirms that the Giving of Thanks has passed and a time of Gimmes has arrived!

Last night the news reported that there were even some people who decided to forgo the "Thanks" and jump into the "Gimme this for Christmas" plan. I like a good deal just as we all do. It is hard to resist even when our pockets are squeezed. The stores draw us in hoping we will do some impulsive spending, picking up a few extra bargains. I have been known to be a sucker for that, so I stay away from this impulsive shoppers credit black hole. It is more than the grabbers at my checkbook that keeps me away though. I desire more from my holiday experience.

I do not want my Thanksgiving to be all about food, neither do I want my Christmas to be all about what I want or even what I can give. I want my mind to be aware continually that my Heavenly Father has given me all I need and even most everything I want! He gave me His Son. My holidays are to be a blessing to Him.

This reminds me of what I heard a preacher say as I listened in the car yesterday. He basically said that we cannot bless God without Him first blessing us! What a wonderful thought. When we go to God, asking for His blessing, our prayer includes that we will give Him the praise if what we want is given! We need Him to give to us so we can have what we need to give back to Him the praise. I guess it all starts and ends with Him, as it should!

Giving God, You are the one who blesses our every day. You give good gifts to us Your children, and we can only give You back what You have first given us. It is because of this that I know my holidays and every day should be my gift back to You. Thank You for all You do for me. Thank You for being with me always! Help me lead others back to You through my gifts and my celebrations! You deserve it all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


How long is your list? My list of things for which I am thankful is very long! I am a blessed woman. When I take time to reflect on all that is good in my life, I realize that God has poured out a flood of goodness over me. I am thankful!

My gratitude extends from the simple act of breathing and experiencing this marvelous world through my senses, to the enormous gift of salvation through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What more can I say but Thanks, Father God, for all that YOU have given me through Your generous heart. You are good and Your goodness fills my life! You are my only hope and my heart longs for You! I know that there are times when I do not see Your blessing and fail to thank you. I am glad to have a day of Thanksgiving for remembering all those ordinary days with everyday blessings that You have bestowed on me. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You. My heart is open to receive all You have for me. Let my hands be willing to reach out to others ready to give what I have received! I want to be like my son-in-law has said: Happy in thanks and giving! (Thanks Cliff.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day for us in the U.S.A. It is meant to be a day of gratitude for all our blessings. Sadly, I think it has become a day of stuffing ourselves in a festive way to begin the Christmas rush. I've already heard friends and family, even my own thoughts, wish the day were over and their Christmas to-do list completed. If we would pause for a moment and take the time to really look back over the past year and see the blessings we have enjoyed from a new perspective, could we enjoy celebrating with patience ?

Patience is not always a happy word. We want others to be patient for us, but seldom think about when others have to wait for us. We want patience, or so we say, but we do not want to wait for it! I think Christmas is a very impatient time of year. The anticipation of all its promises makes the waiting hard.

In the Catholic church where I grew up, we took time to celebrate Advent, the four weeks before Christmas. I like Advent because it causes me to slow down. I take time to empathize with those who waited so very long for our Savior, Jesus Christ, to be born. I consider our wait for Him to return in glory. Advent helps to fill me with patience for Christmas.

This year Advent begins on November 28. Until then, I will take a moment to pause and give thanks to my Father in Heaven for the richness of His grace and abundance of blessings. I will remember all the family and friends who have shown me love and forgiveness throughout the year. I will not jump into the busy rush that the world demands. I will be patient. I will consider Gods' patience with me.

Father God, You are the Master of the fullness of time! You have set the sun, moon and stars in place and march them across the sky to help us mark time and seasons. You set the pace, and yet, I try to rush through to the future. Forgive me for not enjoying Your plan. Forgive my impatience. I don't want to wait for Your best, sometimes. Thank You for all my blessings! You have given me much to be grateful. My list is long and I need time and patience to wait on You and tell You how wonderful You are to me! Fill me with Your Spirit of patience as I enter this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make my every day a day of gratitude and the spirit of unconditional love. Hold my time in Your hands forever!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I had every intention of blogging when I got home last night from the hospital (Patricks' surgery), but I was very tired. Though I did send out some emails and posted Patricks' news on FB, I quickly decided that I'd wait to blog.

Surgery is a blessing for which I am thankful! Surgery is needed when a decision is made that we can no longer live with things as they are. This includes the emotional and spiritual surgeries that we undergo throughout our lives. Cutting ourselves off from activities or people that prove to be detrimental to us is a surgical exercise we do under the supervision of our God, the Supreme Surgeon!

I am grateful for Patricks' surgical team. They studied many years and have done everything humanly possible to extend Patricks' healthy and active lifestyle. In the same way, I am filled with gratitude to God, my surgeon, who cares for me when I need soul surgery. He prepares me and then with my consent, removes the offending action or bond with the wrong sort of person, and then surrounds me with rehabilitating chances to change. It is all for my good. It is the only way, sometimes, that I can move on to a healthier and more productive life in Christ.

Supreme Surgeon, Healer of all my diseases and Savior of my soul, You are to be praised! I give my praise and thanksgiving to You alone for the times of successful surgeries in my life! I need Your forgiveness for the times in my life when I choose not to let You help me and refuse the surgery needed. Please continue to open my eyes and hound me with Your truth that brings me to my knees. It is there where I will submit my will into Your loving hands and allow Your two edged sword pierce my soul and separate the good from the bad. I am hear today to listen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aging Gracefully

My Mom is moving! She has decided that her house and yard, though small, are too much for her to handle. She is moving into an independent living center. We were informed this week. She already has her key and will begin the move as soon as possible!

This was a big surprise for all of the family only because even at the age of 80, Mom is already very independent. She has a job with AARP, volunteers at her church, and bowls regularly. She has, until recently, been determined to stay in her home. Her decision has brought out another round of discussions with the family concerning Mom and what should happen as she ages. The discussion is good, not only for Mom right now, but for me to look ahead into my aging experience.

Aging is not an easy process. Never is! It is especially difficult when it becomes apparent that we will continually lose more than we receive as we age.

We will all face these same issues, and we all will react differently. Some may fight to the bitter end to hold on to things accumulated throughout our life. Some may jump at the chance to get rid of it all and step into the simple life. It may be unfair of us to think that everyone will think or feel the same way.

People have long wanted to put a cookie cutter stamp on each stage of our lives. Those who resist make us smile with their out-of-the-box determination to live fully on their terms, or cringe at their battle against the status quo.

The important thing to me in all this is that my Mom has decided for herself. She has chosen the security of the independent living center, along with and the freedom to come and go as she pleases. She knows her limitations. I am happy for her, and I love her courage to make this decision. She gives me hope that I will be strong in my later years to make the decisions that keep me living abundantly, and release my family from burdens of my making. I want to have the strength and fortitude to release my life accumulations a little at a time and let only love and memories remain.

Ancient of Days, You are the author of life. You have a plan for each of us. It is Your desire that we live fully in Your plan making the most of each day given to us. We, Your creation, find it difficult growing old. We fight it until we can fight no more. I am sorry that I would rather fight than live in peace with myself and You. Thank You for my Mom whose courage and wisdom are examples for me. Thank You for leading her. I rejoice with her and ask You to bless her with peace and contentment. I want her to know You are with her all her days! Thank You, God our Father!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Our church is participating in the Operation Christmas Child of Samaritans' Purse. We are filling shoe boxes with small gifts for the children who are needy and will not have much for Christmas. Patrick and I are excited to give what we can. It is fun to imagine what a child might enjoy when they have so little.

Shopping for our shoe boxes has given me an appreciation for all we enjoy. Walking through the stores I was again amazed at the abundance that surrounds us. Huge stores with shelves piled high are not the exception. We have many stores to browse for our many items with various styles, colors, sizes, etc. Sometimes it really is too much. I have found myself standing before the shelves of some product and find it difficult to choose the item I want. Too many choices makes the choice difficult.

Are we losing something by having so much? Are our hearts hardened to gratitude when our every need is met with an array of choices?

As Thanksgiving approaches I want to remember those little children who delight in a shoebox of little gifts. When we need to tighten our belts this Christmas because of the economy this year, I want to remember that even in our meager gifts, we have so much more than we really need. Every day we should give thanks to God for the riches He has generously given us.

Generous God, You supply me with every need. In fact You provide me over and above what most of the world has. I have often forgotten Your blessings. I have not always appreciated Your abundance in my life. Forgive me! Thank You for opening my eyes to truth through the ministry of the shoe boxes. Soften my heart to give and to be grateful. Make me like You!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yo-Yos and Roller Coasters

Weighing myself is often an up and down experience. I don't weigh myself every day, but I still am surprised when I step on the scale to find it lower or higher than I expect! It is not only the scale that swings like a pendulum. My eating and exercise join in and are the reason for the unexpected yo-yo or roller coaster ride.

I know I am not alone in my struggle with weight. I look around and can see others who either are fighting or have given up the fight. I am not proud of my lack of discipline. I am not happy with how I look or the number on the scale, even when it is lower than I thought it would be. Because of my discontent, I try very hard to control my cravings and to get my body moving. The sad part is that I am not perfect, and I have not reached the place where those changes have become my lifestyle.

Every day I enjoy small victories, and mourn my defeats. I keep trying, even if the goal seems so far away. I always can count on God to push me, comfort me, and love me right where I am.

The Christmas season looms ahead with all its activity and delightful tastes. My goal for this holiday season is to stay in balance. If I get off balance I will try again. I will remember that Christmas is not about the food or about the fun. It is about Jesus. I think He wants us to celebrate, so I will. He also wants me to let Him be the LORD of my life, so I will, even in this struggle.

God of the harvest, You have created our senses and the things that delight them! We celebrate with memorable tastes, home-spun aromas, beautiful sights, and sounds that fill our souls with joy. But we sometimes over do or allow these delights to push You away. Forgive us, Lord. Thank You for sending Jesus so that we can celebrate the Good News of Your salvation! You are our reason to rejoice every day! Help us all to live in balance and in glory to You! Help us to enjoy the Seasons of our lives fully with You at the center!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Living Will

With all that has been happening with my Mother-in-law, we have had the experience of reviewing her living will. It is a simple document that expresses her wishes about life support should she need it. It has me thinking about what I would want my family to do on my behalf.

Talking it over with some of my children and their spouses evoked some strong emotion and maybe even some misunderstanding. If my will does not conform to theirs, someone must be wrong. I think that I should own my will and they can own theirs. The only place I see it crossing is if the situation itself is a grey area that could go either way and others, not myself, would need to make the decision.

My definition of Living Will is a persons' decision about how they want to die when death seems near. The fine line between euthanasia and a persons right to refuse care cloud this issue with heavy dark thunderous storms. While we walk in the land of the living, giving little thought to the process of dying, none of us would say we want to be trapped in a body that can do nothing, causing pain for our loved ones, and entombing them in financial and emotional burdens. We all want to live strong and we may, on this side of the walk, set our will to stopping life that would be lived in that state. The problem I see in this mind set is that the person responsible for making the final decision must agree to terminate your life and conscious mind. It would be different, however, if there was not brain activity to indicate the presence of the person lying in limbo.

Complicated? Very! Not every situation can be covered in detail by a document and even so there may not be time to review the paperwork before a decision must be made. Thus we have devised a simple basic statement that still leaves the family members to decide what should really be done and what the final wishes were.

Christians believe that a heavenly home awaits us through Jesus Christ. We have nothing to fear of death. In fact, it sounds faith filled to tell our family to just let us go and be with God in heaven. Is it? Is it faith to choose for ourselves when we meet our Lord face to face? Isn't faith trusting in God not ourselves?

When I have thought about a Living Will, I always hear Jesus cry out to the Father, "Not my will, but Yours be done!" As a follower of Christ should not my will be Gods' will? Should I not let God decide my fate? I am not saying that we do not need to direct the outlandish efforts made by good minded people who sincerely hope for the reversal of the death process. I am saying that we can let our wishes be known, making sure they do not cross over the line of playing God for ourselves, and then trust God for the grace we need to fulfill our life as He has determined.

God, Giver of life, You have numbered our days. You have chosen the way for us just as You did for Jesus. My mind cries out to understand. I would like to be sure and yet with our new technologies we are forced to make decisions meant only for You. Thank You for letting us see Jesus' struggle in the garden. It make our struggles real and gives us a model to follow. Let Your will be done! Let us love the life You give even though it may not be perfect. Let Your will be done!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nothing New

Ecclesiastes 1:9 states: "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." (ESV)

This topic is very difficult to write about. My mind wanders to the news stories of children kidnapped and forced to do unspeakable acts for the pleasure of those bigger than them. I am reminded of the anger displayed by those who use weapons to speak for them, even against the innocent. I think about the perversions we have embraced as a society by our silence or tolerance. All of these things and more are weighing on my heart today. But there is nothing new in any of it. We may think it is new because we have made sure it was hidden in the darkness for a long time, but it was there waiting to be set free by popular demand.

My thoughts all began when I started thinking of Christmas. In that silent night long ago we would like to think that the evil resided only in the King Herods and Roman soldiers of that time. I've learned from history that much of what we see in the news today was also rampant in the time of Jesus. That is why He came! That is why He still offers Himself as Savior to everyone.

My friends and family who follow Christ agree with me that the world seems to be more evil. Maybe we are wrong. Maybe the evil has been there all along and we were strong enough to keep it in the dark. Maybe we have been too lax in our spiritual warfare. We have closed our eyes and refused to see the enemy working to bring down the walls that kept them bound.

God, Our Father, Righteous Judge, Forgive us for not standing firm against the enemy! We have allowed him a foot hold in our nation and we seem powerless to rein him in. Thank You for providing us with the weapons that fight against the powers and principalities effectively. Thank You for prayer. As the world seems to be filled with evil let Your people rise up, stand firm and never give up our territory, our souls. Keep revealing Your truth so that we will not be deceived. We need You now, Lord!

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Excuses

My husband, Patrick is a middle school teacher. We have many discussions about the young people in his classes that choose not to learn. They are capable, even if it is difficult, but they choose not to put forth the effort. They "tune out," not listening to the lesson. They push aside the work before trying to think it through. It is frustrating for teachers and very sad for the students.

One of the things we often hear, not only with students in school, but also with Christians making excuses about not reading their bible, is "I can't understand it." It may be true. It is hard to understand new concepts at the beginning, but it need not stay that way. When we make excuses, we essentially begin the fulfillment of our own prophecy of being ignorant. Excuses prevent us from using the tools given to us. I heard a quote today that tells it plainly. "Losers make excuses, Winners find a way." (Author unknown)

If you have ears, hear. If you have eyes, see. Jesus told us to hear and see so that we would know. He could have easily have gone on to say, "If you have a brain, think!" Even those who cannot see, hear, or who have suffered the loss of some basic abilities most of us enjoy, have proved that we can learn. We can know.

Knowledge of our world or our God comes to us if we are teachable. The way has been provided. We must not let excuses block our path to knowledge.

What are your excuses? Are you willing to be teachable? If you have ears or eyes, Jesus says to hear and see!

Dearest Lord Jesus, You are the greatest of all teachers! You made the Good News known to us through parables wanting us to hear and see just a little deeper. I can find many excuses not to learn. I know that hurts You. You want me to know all that I can. I am sorry. Thank You for teaching me to hear and see Your word and Your world fully. Take me deeper into You so that I might know the truth. Break my excuses and help me find a way!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Happy Veterans Day to all our men and women who have served and are now serving our country. I am humbled with gratitude for their daily protection of our rights and freedoms. They and their families have offered sacrifices both big and small.

Leslie Wayne Williams was my boyfriend in high school. He joined the Marines and was sent to Viet Nam. He was one of our great service men who gave his life in the service of our country in 1969. His family gave their only son, and brother. They are all remembered today with a grateful and saddened heart.

Without our soldiers we would be at the mercy of evil men who would strip us of our God-given rights and freedoms. Without our soldiers we would lose more than we can possibly imagine. We need our soldiers.

In the same way we need to be soldiers against our spiritual enemy. Those who are disciples of Christ have been enlisted into an army of soldiers ready to do spiritual battle. We are commanded to take up our armor and use it wisely for our own protection and the protection of others.

*We must be honest with God,
*Apply to our lives what we know is true from Gods' word,
*Understand the Good News of the gospel,
*Hold up our faith having total trust in God; who He is and His plan for us,
*Being sure that we are freed from the bondages of sin,
*Know what is written in Gods' word.
With all of this, and in His authority we can stand firm against our enemy who is tough, but already defeated.

I give thanks for those veterans who have fought for our country. I also give thanks for those brothers and sisters in Christ who have taken up their postions beside me to help me fight the enemy through prayer. The battle rages. We need good soldiers. Chrisitans, we need you!

God the Almighty, You are Commander in Chief. Our orders have been given to put on our armor and fight the good fight. I am ashamed to say that I have not always been willing to fight. I have let down my guard at times and felt the fiery darts of the enemy. I would like to think that I do not need to fight this enemy, but I must. Thank You for giving me a vivid picture in our countrys' veterans who would prefer not to fight an enemy but obey their authority for the good of all. Thank You for supplying me with all I need, including a victory already won! Thank You for teaching me that, "We do not fight 'for' victory we fight 'from' victory"* Jesus, I give You thanks today for our many veterans of both the U.S.A. and Your spiritual army.

*This quote and much of the insight in this blog is from Chip Ingrams' study: The Invisible War. This blog shares my notes and my understanding of what Chip taught. Ephesians 6 is the basis of his study.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On the Brink

Picture this: You are standing on the edge of a cliff. The drop is far below your next step. You look out at the beautiful sky and the amazing landscape. You stand there quite still in apprehension of the possibility of falling over the edge. In fact you know that there is no going backwards. You can only step out and fly or fall. You are not in control, but you believe that the faith you carry with you will get you through.

I feel that way today. Today demands a step of faith. In truth every day demands it! I know that I cannot control the direction of my next step. I can only hold fast to my lifeline, my parachute, my kite, whatever God has prepared for my next journey. He is faithful. I can trust Him.

If my step begins a fall into a trial, I am sure My God is with me all the way and He will pull the rip cord at the right time for a safe landing. If my step is a leap of faith that finds wings to carry me upwards and on to an amazing journey, My God will be the "wind beneath my wings!" My part? "Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not unto my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths!" (Prov. 3:5-6)

There is amazing joy and a sense of being loved deeply when I rely on Him and His faithfulness. Today as I stand on the brink of something new, I can praise Him before my first step is made!

O, God of power and might! You are Faithful and true. You are just and righteous! You are the God in whom I trust! As I stand on the brink of my step of faith for today, I am apprehensive, not fearing that You will fail me, but that I might stand too long, or might falter in believing in Your goodness. Thank You for whispering encouragement, and declaring Your ever lasting love for me. Your word is my strength and shield. You are with me and I thank You for Your nearness. Lead me to You and Your heart! I love You, Lord!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Do you want to know a secret? I will tell you if you promise to not tell anyone else!

Nobody is perfect!

The funny thing is that not many of us are eager to let anyone else know this secret that really isn't a secret! We go to church, work, or even family gatherings and pretend. We put on a mask of being better than we really are. I know, for me, my mask includes not sharing my honest self with others at times. I withhold my opinions and my ideas, for fear that I might be rejected or thought strange. Since everyone else is doing the same thing it really isn't a secret, it is just a poor disguise of a secret.

People are very good at pretending that we are not afraid of what others think. We are very willing to say what we think others think we should say, or act as if we agree with others when we really don't.

What would the world be like if we let the secret out about ourselves? Would we feel free, or would we feel afraid of the quizzical looks and misunderstandings that would follow? I've tried it and I feel both. I feel free that I am being my real self, but when others stay hidden behind their masks I feel vulnerable and afraid. Sometimes I worry, that if people saw me for what I really am, they would not like what they see. It makes me want to hide again and it takes a bit of prodding to come out from behind my mask again.

I guess God really is the only Truth. He tells us outright that all have sinned and come up short. He not only reveals Himself in scripture but He reveals our true selves also. We must unmask ourselves before Him alone. Until we do there is no good that can come from revealing our secrets before men.

Holy Father, You see all things. The darkness is not a place where I can hide from You. It is only a place where my fears and insecurities breed. You are the God of Truth and Light! You do not hide Yourself from those who seek You. I need to come to You often during my day letting Your truth and light shine on me. I need You to reveal my secrets so that I may never be afraid to let my secrets be known to the world. Thank You for fixing Your all-seeing eye on me. Thank You for opening my eyes to know You. Take my mask. It is useless before You.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Breathing in the New

Life begins with a birth process and ends with an eternal birth process. Both are a death to a previous life and an entrance into a new existence! Both involve a struggle to break free from the bounds that hold us back from the next step in the process of giving God Glory.

There are times when the birth process into eternity comes way too soon. Some find the process quick and others find the process a long and tedious labor. Those who watch and wait may find the process an emotionally draining event. There is a mixture of joy, wonder, fear, sadness and heartache. There may be a deepening of faith or a new found faith in walking through these shadows.

Our natural birth is marked by the taking of a breath. Our birth into the eternal is marked with the expiration of this worlds' breath and the breathing in of a new. Christ followers believe that the new breath will be forever. It is a breath of the Spirit of God. We leave the womb of this world and enter the heart of God. His presence is our breath! His heart is our heavenly home. His life is our life.

Father and Eternal God, You have birthed a new spirit in us who receive Your Son, Jesus, as our Lord. You lead us along the way to our birth into eternal life with You. Please forgive us, Lord, for not seeing beyond this world into the true life that You give us. Thank You for each birth into this world, the birth of their spirit when they receive You, and the birth of Your children into their Heavenly place within Your heart. I pray today, for my Mother-in-law who may be struggling towards that beautiful place. If You would choose, I ask that she have just a bit more time here to enjoy the family who has lived so far away for so many years. If You have other plans, Lord, we will be glad in You and in the breath of life You give her. I trust You. Thank You, Lord for life!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Every day is filled with news. We follow the news of family, friends, local and even world news. Some news is good. It often surprises us. Some news is bad and it, too, can surprise us even if we are prepared for the worst.

This evening, Patrick and I will be traveling to Ft. Meyers to visit family. We had planned to go later this month, but news of his Mom being in the hospital made a change in our plans. We are preparing ourselves for the news of what is causing Mom's symptoms, praying for the best and hoping that the signs we are seeing are not what they seem to be.

News of what might be or what actually is, brings me to my knees. Messages of tribulation happening in the lives of our loved ones or even in our own lives are a call from our Heavenly Father to come and receive strength, hope and comfort. In fact He sent a special messenger to bring Good News to all the world! Jesus held in His nail scarred hands the strength, hope and comfort we need for our every day news.

What news is confronting you today? Have you heard the good news? Do you know the one who brings good news? Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him alone? If you know that He paid the price for every failure you have made, then you can live with Him forever in heaven!

We all have failed to live a perfect life. The good news is that God entered our world to live the perfect life for us. The good news is that we have been offered a free gift. God, the Son, took our place and our punishment. It is good news that we only need to believe and receive. Good news indeed!

Does this kind of news change your life plan? It should! It should bring a debt of love and gratitude to the One who made this news possible. Our lives can change when we hear and believe the GOOD news!

Lord and Savior, you are the source of all Good news! You even can make bad news work for our good. You deserve our trust and faith because You have done great things for us. Thank You for changing my life with the Good news. Thank You for changing the lives of my loved ones too. Thanks for letting me be a part of spreading the good news to others. Today i pray that You will be our good news when we see Patrick's mom! We trust You!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Today I am writing my 500th blog! It seems almost impossible. I still feel like a novice in the blogging world. 500 blogs is a milestone that I want to celebrate!

I have achieved some milestones in my life that were worth celebrating. Graduating from college, becoming a published author, and mothering four children into adulthood are some of the big ones. There are little milestones, too, such as finishing a cleaning project, organizing my closet, creating a craft project that makes a wonderful gift.

When I began this blog, a picture of the woman in scripture who found her lost coin after cleaning and searching her house popped into my head. It may have seemed a small feat to most of us, but to her it was momentous and worthy of celebration. Well, my 500th blog is maybe small to my readers, but to me it is a big deal.

Why is it so important to me that I've blogged 500 times? It is important because in the steps it took to get here I had to find persistence, commitment, purpose, and sometimes courage to go forward. I also recognize that in doing this blog, God has been with me whispering in my ear and revealing Himself to me. This blog is a gift to me, and I hope it is to my readers and to those who happen upon my ramblings.

My Lord and My God, You are the giver of good gifts. I am honored, humbled and blessed to be chosen by You to write Your message to the blogger world. I am among many that You have called, Lord, and I know that without You my work is futile. Thank You for calling and equipping me to do your will. Thank You for using me. If You choose I would like very much to continue for another 500 and beyond blogging messages. May they be from Your heart through mine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Vote

Yesterday I cast one vote out of millions. On the surface my one vote should not matter much.

Like a drop of water in a bucket sloshing around with many other drops, my vote seems to disappear. But what would the country look like if I chose to not cast my ballot, or did not share my views with neighbors and friends? I am not saying I am always right in my choices. I, too, fall prey to the ads or the voices of others'. I am saying that in our country the speaking out with our vote is more than saying we like this person to be our leader. We cast a ballot in union with others of like minds so that our collective voices might make a difference in the direction our country heads.

My one vote joins me to fellow citizens. My one vote makes me part of the living and breathing body of government. We are a government of the people by the people and for the people. My one vote is a privilege of my position as one of the people.

In the body of Christ, I only get the vote of joining. Even that vote was purchased by Jesus. My one vote for Jesus Christ as my Savior has admitted me into His body. My one vote does not change Gods' direction for the body but changes my direction to follow Him! With my one vote I have a privileged position as God's child.

Did you vote yesterday? Have you cast your vote to be saved? I pray you did and you have. One vote can make a difference!

Sovereign and Saving Lord, You have my vote to govern my life! Thank you for offering me the choice to be one of your children. Thank You for allowing me to live in the U.S.A. where my one vote counts. Help me to choose wise and virtuous leaders who look to You for vision and guidance! You are LORD!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


We have all seen the amazing domino constructions where, after hours of work, one little push makes everything tumble! I felt that way yesterday.

After working on the bathroom floor for two days, I placed the final peel and stick vinyl tile into place. My knees hurt from the hard floor and my back hurt from the bending. I was ready to finish up and clean up. We had a new toilet seat to replace the old one, and so we tackled that, thinking it would be a simple task. Unfortunately the rusted bolts burst our balloon of tired frustration and a hard tap of the hammer not only loosened the bolt but broke the toilet.

Renovation Realities! If something can go wrong it will! We bought the new toilet, but the installation stalled with wrong materials. So we wait and share one bathroom with six people for one more day....we hope!

The day did not end with only the renovation problems. A call from Patrick's sister informed us that his Mom is in the hospital for tests. The dominoes continue to fall all the way into the weekend. We will be going to see Mom in South Florida two weeks earlier than planned. More plans need to be changed.

Plans are changed everyday. Many are simple adjustments, but there are days when our plans fall like dominoes. It is hard to keep a good attitude in those times. I think it helps to remember that we might make our plans but God will direct where our steps will lead. (see Proverbs 16:9) Our plans my be laid out perfectly and yet, in Gods' sovereign way, He can help us grow in character and more like Christ through the plans we so carefully made falling over like dominoes. We may plan a bathroom renovation. He plans an exercise in patience and humility. We may plan a weekend of many activities. He may plan a memorable visit and time with those we love.

What are your plans for today? Are you willing to let the Lord lead you through those plans, even if it means a misstep in your estimation? The Lord is good and His ways are perfect. Look for the lesson to be learned and smile at His teaching method!

Rabboni, You are my favorite teacher, even when the lessons are hard. You are wise and good and I know You teach truth in all things. I don't always find myself being a model student. My spirit is sometimes unteachable. Please forgive me! Thank You for always being ready to lead and guide me through my plans. I want You to establish my steps in truth and on the solid foundation of Your word. Make me a teachable student!