Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Yes, I will go to any lengths for a visual image...

"But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]."  John 16:13

As my prayer partners & I prayed this morning, I had a new revelation from this verse.  Actually, it was during a time of discipline (from God, not my prayer partners).  I was being corrected about my desire to set everyone straight...because, of course, I am right and they are not. 

I was discussing how my gift can be a blessing or a curse--depending on if I'm walking in the Spirit or the flesh.  (And can't they all?)  But mine, particularly.  I was being reminded that Romans 12:12-21 has an order I need in my life.  I need to be praying, giving, being hospitable.  I need to bless those who persecute me.  I need to rejoice and weep with others.  My goal needs to be harmony, unity.  I should not overestimate myself.  I need to live at peace with others.  I need to leave the way open for God to do His own disciplining...kind of like I was getting at the moment.

And then came John 16:13. 


If the Holy Spirit doesn't speak His own message on His own authority...(are you getting this?)...why do I think I can?  He only gives the messages the Father gives Him.  Wow!  Talk about submission.  Talk about respect.  Talk about agreement.  Talk about...what I need to do!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The week in Grandkids

This past Wednesday, Caitlin & Alexis came to spend the night---so their parents could celebrate their 9th anniversary.  That night, David, Ryan & Addie came so that David could rehearse with the choir and band at our church.  (David is leading worship at our church for 2 Sundays while our music minister is in Africa!)  I took these pictures that night.

This is Caitlin with her Uncle David.  He was repairing her laptop.

Addie was busy eating, but stopped to smile.

Ryan did the same.

Lexie posed for me, too.

Look at those beautiful dimples!!

Superman appeared and made many striking poses for the camera.


Sisters...sisters...there were never such devoted sisters. (Most of the time)

The dreadful man appears and tries to bite off Superman's ear.

But Superman responds with an uppercut.  Wait!  Who is that unmasked man??  Clark Kent??

Alexis and her Dippin' Dots


Beautiful cousins--Alexis & Addie

Oswald Chambers

I thought this was so good today that I wanted to share it. BD

Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven —Luke 10:20

Jesus Christ is saying here, “Don’t rejoice in your successful service for Me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with Me.” The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service— rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. Yet you will never be able to measure fully what God will do through you if you have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour “rivers of living water” through you ( John 7:38 ). And it is actually by His mercy that He does not let you know it. Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose, as long as you continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7 ).

Our tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make their request for help on the basis of someone’s usefulness. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, not some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God— something of great value to His Father. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory . . .” ( Hebrews 2:10 ).

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Did you know that we are Christ's inheritance?  "By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones)..."  Ephesians 1:18.  His inheritance is in us.

Have you ever received an inheritance?  Is there a family joke about what you hope NOT to get should someone die?  I received one once.  I had an extra set of grandparents in my life.  They were actually not related to us at all...but they were "chosen family."  I'd known them since I was 6 months old and we loved one another.  They left me their prized possession.  It was a china cabinet that my grandfather had made.  And it was....atrocious. ha!  I had no idea what to do with it.  It was handcrafted with a large scalloped (And I mean scalloped!) edge with a bad stain job.  In fact, I can't really remember what I did with it but my siblings loved that I got it!  I tried to give it to any of them but they insisted they knew MY name was on the back of it.  (I only wish I had time to tell you about my grandmother's cole slaw and my brothers...no wonder they weren't chosen for the prize!)

Now I know that Jesus doesn't feel about us like I did about that china cabinet.  But just knowing that I'm his inheritance throws a completely different weight on the idea.  How rich is His inheritance in me?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


As spring was turning into summer this year, I made a conscious decision.  I wasn't going to complain about the summer.

Now...I'm not a summer person.  As a child, we didn't have sunblock lotion, so this little redhead usually looked like a burned clam.  And as a family, we lived at the lake all summer!  So not only did I get sunburns, I'd usually get water blisters, too.  We also didn't have Aloe Vera gel.  It's easy to see why I don't like the sun...or heat.

But as it began to get warmer this year, I noticed a growing trend on Facebook.  People were complaining.  They began to complain about the rain or storms in the spring and began to complain about the warmer weather.  It made me think of the children of Israel wandering in the dessert...murmuring and complaining.  So I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to participate.  I have my favorite seasons and absolutely love and enjoy them.  And I realized God created summer for those who felt the same about the sun and heat.  So I decided to grace them to enjoy what God had created especially for them.  And I wouldn't complain.

But this week....oh this week!  I've felt fall in the air!  And it's my absolute favorite season.  I got married in the fall.  I love everything about it---the cooler weather, the colors, the smell, the way the sun hangs in the azure blue sky---all of it!

And then comes winter.  It's also my friend.  Please, please don't complain about the snow this year.   Grace me---because I'll be enjoying it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seducing Spirits & Doctrines Demons Teach

1 Timothy 4:1-2

"But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared..."

Have you been seduced lately or know someone who has?  Have you heard a doctrine which demons teach through a hypocrite or liar whose conscience is seared?  Have you even met one of those hypocrites or liars and recognized their seared conscience?

Beware!!  These things will turn you from the faith.  Seriously.  Beware.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This morning, I met with my prayer partners.  We began talking about the thoughts we were battling in our minds.  And we all were.  Battling, that is.

JP made the comment that she had begun stopping and praying when those thoughts came in.  And then she said this, "That's captivity."  She was referencing II Corinthians 10:3-6.

I instantly had a picture in my mind!  (See above.)  We're either prisoners of our thoughts or our thoughts are the prisoners.  They either hold us captive or we hold them captive.  Who's going to be the captive--me or the enemy (the source of most of those thoughts)?

Are you going to be a prisoner to your thoughts or are you going to make your thoughts the prisoner? 

I'm sorry I'm so repetitive, but it's a HUGE thought!  The Bible says in I Timothy 4:1 that there will be seducing spirits in the last days.  We have to be able to discern Truth from lies.  We have to be walking in the Spirit to be able to discern.  Whenever a thought comes into your mind that accuses you, examine it!!  Is it Truth??  Or is it a lie?  Are you harboring an offense?  Then make that thought a prisoner.  Forgive where forgiveness is needed.  Pray for that person who has taken residence in your mind.  Bless them. 

I'm thinking I'll give these hostages to Jesus.  He'll know what to do with them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

Matt, Zach, Amy & David

With everyone posting photos of their children's first day of school, my mind went back...well, lots of years ago.  Here's a run-down of my 4 kids' first day of school.

Took him to kindergarten and he grabbed the door frame and wouldn't go in.  The teacher began to gently pull on him to get him in...while I was pushing.  We finally broke his grip and Andy & I made a quick dash out....only to get out to the car and find Matt running after us.  Process repeated.

Took her to kindergarten with perfectly curled hair and an adorable dress.  She skipped down the hall and told her dad & I to stay where we were...she knew the way to her class.  And off she went!

Took him to kindergarten and only made it half-way down the hall when he balked.  His principal (a friend from church) saw David start crying and took him into a broom closet to talk to him.  (I know...what????)  He finally came out and made it into the classroom.

Took him to kindergarten and he went pretty willingly, considering he knew lots of kids in his class.  I walked through a crowd of crying  mothers and got in my car and yelled, "YESSSSSSS!!!  All 4 kids in school!"  And then my friend and I planned a celebration lunch together with our husbands which became a tradition for the next 13 years.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Black-eyed Bride

How reprehensible is this photo?  You just don't see many photos of a bride with a black eye.  Makes you wonder, doesn't it?  What would you think if I told you that she did this to herself...right before her wedding?  I'm sure you'd be like me and ask, "Why????"

And I'd agree with you.  Why would a bride give herself a black eye...right before the biggest day of her life?  I'm sure we have the answer if we think a bit.  Why would a bride...

Exactly.  Why are we...the bride of Christ...not only giving ourselves a black eye, but beating each part of our body to a bloody pulp?

Answer that, and I think we have the answer to the photo above.

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready." Revelation 19:7

Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm kind of melancholy tonight.  I'm not really sure why.  Probably because I haven't felt good (laryingitis) and there are just lots of emotions going on out there.  Watching Amy's kids go off to school....hearing about Zach's dr's. appointment (good news, bad news---dr. doesn't think it's his thyroid---so now what?)...re-reading Marcy's post about her mom.  I just feel sad. 

And you know what?  That's good.  I'm a person who's never allowed herself to feel many emotions.  Suppressed, I think they say.  Probably why I have lots of canker sores.  I wish I'd let myself have a good cry when my kids went off to school or when Amy tore her nose open on a coffee table.  I just felt the need to hold it together.  In control.  Excuse me while I psychoanalyze myself.  Yeah, probably a control freak.

But...I think I want to turn over a new leaf.  I hereby give myself permission to cry, scream, be hysterical if I want.  If you see me with red eyes and no makeup, you'll know why.   I think I'll go have a good cry.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Please don't be my mother

Sometimes I hate posting what God is teaching me.  But I always think if younger women should be reading this, it would be so awesome if they could avoid the same mistakes I've made.  So here we go...I'm baring my soul.

I have to preface this by saying I have the best husband in the world.  Ask my mom.  She loves Andy and has told him repeatedly through the years what a great husband and dad  he is.  He's the best.  He doesn't get angry very often.  In fact, it's so rare, that we all remember those special times he did!  And they were special.

But I seem to have a natural tendency to do those things that will cause him to sternly rebuke me with:  "Please (he's not perfect---he doesn't always say 'please') don't be my mother!!"  And he's not referring to his own mother.  He wants me to quit controlling.  My art of controlling, I might add.

We married women all have that tendency.  It was given to us the day we got married.  That curse was placed on Eve and each subsequent wife.  Of course, Jesus came to break all curses...but we have to appropriate it.  I've tried....oh, how I've tried!  I don't like being controlling.  And yes, I've examined it and know exactly why I do it.  Thank you very much.

As I walked with my prayer partner this morning, I think I had a breakthrough (after only 35 years of marriage).  We were discussing this very subject and I told her that I needed a picture or something to grab ahold of to "get it!"  And this picture immediately came into my mind.   I wouldn't "mother" an unruly child at a restaurant...I would expect his own mother to discipline him.  That child isn't mine.  I have no right.

Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  My husband isn't my child to "mother" either.  He doesn't need my instruction, correction, or suggestion.  He has a Father.  And it ain't me. 

Please Lord, let me pass the test I know You're about to send!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And the winner is....

I'm feeling...I'm feeling...

And the winner is....

Ryan!!  You can send me your mailing address on facebook and we'll get the leader's kit sent your way. 
Congratulations!!!  You're gonna love it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Holy Vocabulary by Michael Kelley

Holy Vocabulary by Michael Kelley.  Wow!  I've followed Michael's blog long enough to know that his heart and mind intrigue me---so I wanted to read his book.  

This book is promoted as a guide to understand the language of the Christian subculture.  Michael's premise is that we've used some words so often or heard them so much, that they've lost their meaning even to us, as Christians.  True.  I also believe it would be a helpful resource for non-Christians to understand where this subculture is coming from.  It's designed as a small group Bible study and even has a leader's kit available.  Check it out here.

But...this book is so much more.  You will find nuggets of treasure throughout this book.  Michael is a deep thinker who is able to put his thoughts on a level where they're easily understood.  There are also footnotes that give a scriptural or historical note, send you to watch something on Youtube, or give you a random thought from Michael's brain.  He has a way with words, a great sense of humor, and a way of hitting the mark in your heart.  For instance, this, from the chapter on "LOST":  
"It's humiliating.  After all, we should know where we're going.  We're educated, sophisticated people.  We're grown-ups who pay the rent and the TiVo bill.  We're self-reliant, yet when we're lost, we find ourselves standing in front of the beef jerky and slurpies with our hats in our hands begging for help."

I would have told you that I really had a handle on all of these words before reading the book.  After all, I'm old enough to be Michael's mother and grew up in the generation where these words were used and explained often.  But as I came to the word "REPENT," God moved on my heart.  I saw my own heart through his definition and explanation and repented.  I can't tell you the number of times I would have to put the book down, have a little talk with Jesus, and deal with my own heart.  My book is now full of orange ink which marks incredible quotes and insights by Michael.  If you're intersted in reading more, I've put a few on facebook.  But better yet, just get the book.

This book would fit any small group--from the baby or carnal Christian all the way to the Greek scholar--and any age group.  In fact, I had my own small group in mind as I read, knowing it would hit the broad spectrum of that group. 

Michael has sent me an additional copy of Holy Vocabulary to give away to a reader of this blog. If you want to be entered in the drawing, all you need to do is post on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter feed about the Holy Vocabulary giveaway with the tag #holyvocabulary, linking your readers to where they can order the study (threadsmedia.com/holyvocabulary). Then, come back to this page and post a comment with a link to your social network post. I'll randomly choose one winner from those who posted to receive the leader kit.

You're gonna love it---I promise!  I give Holy Vocabulary 5 out of 5 stars.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It is not good...

Have you ever noticed how quickly a man will remarry after his wife dies?  I hadn't noticed until I was a young adult and the mother of one of my girlfriends died.  Her father remarried within 2 weeks!  WOW!  

I know my mom used to talk about how lots of widows became vultures whenever a man became a widower.  Casseroles found their way into his home in hopes of getting his heart.  And the fight was on!!

I googled the U.S. ratio of widows to widowers and found this: 
"There are more than 13.7 million widowed persons in the United States, over 11 million of these being women. (American Association of Retired Persons 2001) Female survivors have been outdistancing their male counterparts by a continually widening margin and now represent approximately 80 percent of the widowed population in the United States. In 1940 there were twice as many widows as widowers; by 1990 the ratio of widows to widowers had climbed to more than 4 to 1. This ratio is expected to widen in the future."

Those statistics easily explain the fight in the preceding paragraph, don't you think??  I know I'm skipping all over the place, but the point I wanted to make is that you see LOTS of widows who never remarry.  But very few widowers remain alone.   (I know...I think on some things way too much!)  But one day as I pondered this (yes, I pondered this more than once), a verse popped into my mind:  "It is not good for man to be alone."  Genesis 2:18.  So there you go! 

I've tried to prepare my kids.  I've told them that should I die first, to expect their dad to remarry.  In fact, I bless him ahead of time.  I've seen so many situations where a person remarried after the death of their spouse and lots of their kids never adjust.  Many feel like the new spouse is trying to replace their parent who died.  Or they feel displaced--or they just know their family will never be the same.  But when you see that "it's not good for man to be alone," it becomes a little easier.  It was in God's mind all along.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I'm going through an audit at Living Water.  My auditor just emailed and said he needs about an hour with me to ask some questions.  And actually, this is less time than he needed last year.  I'm already sweating today just thinking about tomorrow!

I hate audits.  I'm not an accountant.  I'm just a mom who knows how to balance a checkbook who happens to direct a ministry.  There are some things my auditor will ask for and all he'll get back is a blank stare.  What is that?  And where did I put it??

But as I sat here and thought about this upcoming question/answer appointment, I was thankful when I thought about my relationship with God.  He is an accountant and He does keep careful track of all we do.  But the difference with God is that I can come to Him and ask Him to clear my account--and it's over...done away with...never to be remembered!!

I just feel sorry for those who will have to stand before Him some day and give account.  That alone would have been enough reason for this girl to come to Christ and ask forgiveness of every sin!! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rebecca & Prayer

We prayed.  We asked.  We believed.  We reminded God of His promises.   We obeyed. 

We learned of Rebecca through our van drivers one day.  They knew we had been there with medical doctors before and thought we might be their last hope for Rebecca.  They told us of their friend who was very sick--throwing up at least twice a day.  We had no idea what was wrong with her.  But we were willing to visit her and find out if there was anything we could do to help.  As our team visited her, they led Rebecca and 6 of her family members to Christ!!  We were in awe.

Pete, Loren & Tina spent the next day taking Rebecca to the hospital and learning she had Hepatitus B.  They also learned the doctors wanted to do three blood transfusions and really gave her no hope.  They learned, too, that it would cost about $30,000 U.S. dollars.  None of us had that.  When the rest of us returned home that night from our long trip, we found 3 very sad friends.  They'd fought to get help for Rebecca---as much help as they could afford.  At least she was in the hospital and her family was very appreciative.  In fact, Rebecca's aunt later told Tina that she'd told Rebecca that night, "You now have a new Mama--an American Mama!" because Tina had fought so hard for her.

The next day, we all met to pray.  We poured out our hearts for Rebecca.  We already loved her deeply.  We asked God to heal her.  We all imagined what would happen if Rebecca walked out of that hospital healed!!  Doctors would know God was real.  A whole village would turn to Christ.  I remember someone reminded God how much this situation seemed like the situation of the paralytic's friends lowering him through the roof to Jesus.  The van drivers had brought her to us---and we were bringing her to the Great Physician.  We knew we had no power...no help for someone dying of Hepatitus B.  But we knew God did.  And we asked for a miracle.

And then we went to visit Rebecca in the hospital...a bare bones hospital.  We were all so moved.  Rebecca had such a sweet spirit.  She had to be in pain, but her smile lit up the room.  She had no fear.  Loren felt led to read the Word over her and then he and Pete sang the Word over her.  You knew the presence of the Spirit was in the room.  We all believed.  We went out into the waiting room with Rebecca's parents and discussed the hospital situation.  The hospital wanted more money---and these parents wanted to do everything possible for their daughter---even though their life savings was depleted.  All her mother could do was sit there and cry.  I was moved with compassion.  I couldn't imagine my own daughter being in that situation.  So I sat with her and prayed over her with my tears mingling with hers.  She couldn't understand a word I said...and yet, she could.  And that day, Rebecca's father came to Christ.

We collected money among us.  And we came up with $700 U.S. dollars.  It was enough for now.  We left with heavy hearts...but believing hearts.  I kept asking God what He wanted to do.  (Faith comes by hearing a word from God)  I heard nothing.  I asked for a sign (and reminded Him how He answered our prayers a few years ago with rain)---and it began to rain.  As we got on the bus, Ember began singing "Healing Rain."  We believed God was going to heal Rebecca.

The next day, they did a blood transfusion.  And then the next day, Loren called the family---and REBECCA answered the phone!!  She sounded wonderful!  Our hope was high!!  We just couldn't imagine God doing this any other way.  Why would He not want to glorify Himself through her healing?  What better way to guard these new believers' faith?

But we got home and found out Rebecca died the day we touched down in the U.S.  Her funeral was the next day.  I wasn't mad at God.  I wasn't even disappointed.  I knew Rebecca was in His presence.  I was just reminded, once again, that God's ways are not my ways.  His ways are higher than my own.  I don't know what He's wanting to do through this situation.  I don't know how He's crafting this family's faith.  I don't know what He's wanting to display to these doctors or to this community.  And I don't know but that His Word will spread faster because a few Americans, who loved God, got involved.

I know that we did what we were supposed to do.  We were moved with love, we gave, we prayed, we believed, and we obeyed.  And just like when we share our faith----the results are left up to God.  He knows best.  I don't understand it...but I trust His heart.

And besides all that, I've been thinking on Rebecca.  Can you imagine being a 23-year-old girl who is dying and has no hope?  And some people show up and tell you about Jesus---and you believe!  And before a week is up, you are in His presence? 

Can you just imagine???