Saturday, October 30, 2010


Have you ever gone back and taken a look at old journals---or even old blogs you've written?  It's so encouraging to me.  Even though I've walked through some pretty tough things in my past, as I'm sure you have, God has been faithful.  It's been a journey of training for me.  I'm not the same person I was 30 years ago, 15 years ago, 5 years ago or even 3 weeks ago. 

I was laughing this past week, telling Amy about a paper I wrote my senior year in high school.  I had an English teacher who was also a published author.  He was very severe in his critique and we all tried to meet his high standards with our writing.  So for my final paper, I wrote about what was most on my mind---Marriage.  (Seriously!)  I made a high grade, but in red ink at the top of the paper, he wrote, "You might want to know how to spell the word when you write about it."  Throughout the whole paper, I'd written, "marraige."  Which only proves how much I knew about the subject at the time!  Amy was rolling as I was telling her this story.  She told me, "I'm sure when he was reading it at home, he was yelling to his wife, "Martha, come here!  You've got to hear this!!  It says here that if we do this, we'll have a successful marriage.  And we should try this...."

It's alot the same with my musings on here or in my journal.  I often write about things I have no knowledge of first-hand.  I know it only in theory.  But it's as if God reads what I write and says, "Ok.  We can learn about that if it's on your mind."  Not in a malicious way, but in a fatherly way.  And I praise Him for it.  I want to finish this life learning.  I want to grow and not be stagnant.  I want to finish well.

Even God keeps a journal and goes back and reads it.  Have you heard about it?  "Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name."  Malachi 3:16

Journals are a good thing.  It's a great reminder of where you've been, what you've learned along the way and Who has sustained you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg

I just finished this book.  I highly recommend it.  If you want to understand the Muslim world and what is driving Iran and the fervor surrounding their nuclear program, this book is for you!  It's a fiction book, but Joel C. Rosenberg has worked under world leaders like Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu and understands what is going on in our world. 
This book is a look into what the world might look like if the Muslim messiah, the Twelfth Imam, were to appear today.  David, a young U.S. CIA operative enters Iran to try to disrupt the nuclear weapons program.  What he finds driving this nuclear program are men who are trying to hasten the Imam's appearance by destroying Israel and the U.S....the small and large Satan, according to them.  David is in a race to prevent an apocalyptic war.
Through this book, you find a kindness in Joel's heart towards all people and his desire to see them come to Christ.  He even deals with Jesus appearing to Muslims all around the world and how thousands are turning to Him.  It's not only a great read, it's very informative.  I hope you'll get it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rhema Word

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day."  Habakkuk 2:3 (Amplified)

Have you ever had a rhema word?  God's word spoken to your heart?  This one was spoken to my heart about 10 years ago.  Since then, I've seen God's mighty hand at work.  It's made me realize God does have appointments---and He won't miss them.  When you see Him move in, there's no mistaking it.  He cares about the greatest details.   You might be surprised at what God uses.  It could be a misquoted verse that turns a situation around.  It might be an unexplainable light shining in a room.  It might be a woman you hardly know asking if she can pray for you---and praying right there in a room full of people.  All of these are things I've seen happen.  And sometimes, God doesn't want to use others at all.  

But if God has spoken it to your heart, take it to the bank.  He will make sure it happens.  And He won't be late.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Power of Prayer

How powerful has prayer been in your life?  What have you seen God do as a result of prayer?  I'm looking for some testimonies.  Please share!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Do-Overs

A thought came into my mind the other morning as I was reading a letter from Paul in the New Testament.  You can see the progressive growth in Paul's life through the letters.  And this was my thought, "It's interesting how God's message came through the progressive growth of a man like Paul.  And that God didn't go back and change a word of it!"

Think about it.  I mean...I know the scripture is God-breathed.  But God also used fallible men to write it.  And you see their humanness in their writings.  How many of us write something and then go back and destroy what we've written?  (You may not know this about me unless you read my blogs very often...but I frequently go back and rewrite some things on my blog.  For instance, I just inserted this sentence about 2 hours after I originally wrote the blog.)  I have a friend who has burned whole journals!  Look at David's writings in the Psalms.  Don't you think there were some songs he wrote that he wished he could change?  Even though they were God-breathed, I believe that these men were human enough to wish they could re-write history...or at least their letters and songs.

But in this instance, God didn't do Do-Overs.  He left them as they were.  I think it was to encourage see someone else's humanness and to see how God worked in those lives.  It's one time I'm grateful God didn't allow Do-Overs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thunder & Rain

It's raining in Borger.  Actually, it's rained off and on all day.  It's been wonderful!  But it wasn't until I heard thunder for the first time today that I realized how long it's been since I've heard thunder!!  I couldn't wait to get home from work and crawl into my warm bed and just get cozy.  I decided to run to Wal-Mart's Red Box and get the Babies movie after reading Lissa's blog today.  Then I had to run to United on an errand.  While I was there, I realized I hadn't eaten lunch and was hungry!  So I called in an order for fajitas at Plaza and went to pick up my dinner at 3:30 p.m.!!  Much to my delight, a book was waiting on my doorstep (in a very wet box!) which I'd pre-ordered a couple of months ago---the new Joel Rosenberg book.  I couldn't decide which luxury to indulge in first.  But I chose the fajitas because they were hot.  I plugged in my movie and watched 4 adorable babies during their first year.  By 5:00, I was in my pajamas and in my bed with a fresh-brewed cup of flavored coffee.  (Did I mention Andy is out of town?)  I turned everything off and read the first 12 chapters of my book.  And in the silence, I enjoyed the rumble of thunder and the sound of rain on my window.  A perfect, perfect evening.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I am amazed

I am amazed by God's goodness.

I am amazed by God's design.

I am amazed by God's grace...and His peace.

I am amazed by God's creation changing...yet He never changes.

I am amazed by God's longsuffering.

I am amazed by the longevity and enduring power of God's Word.

I am amazed by God's unconditional love.

I am amazed that God chases us down with He can set us free.

I am amazed by the details God cares about.

I am amazed by God's forgiveness.

I am amazed at the changes God is working in me.

I am God.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Don't you just love this time of year when all the ghosts and goblins come out?  You know I'm just kidding.  But I do have one ghost story to tell you.

Yesterday, Spanky brought by about 10 large boxes of books to Living Water.  A woman in our church had died and these were her books.  I began going through them to find the ones I wanted to keep for the Living Water library.  I just happened to pick up a book entitled Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer.  I thumbed through it and just happened to see 2 purple pieces of paper.  I thought, "Helen wrote some notes!"  And when I began to read them, I realized it was a prayer written for Ralph & Gayle White!!  I was blown away.  I didn't even know they knew one another.  I called Ralph and told him I had a message from the grave for him.  When I took it to him, I asked him if he knew Helen.  He didn't....which made the discovery even more intriguing.  Jodina happened to be there and she came to look at the note and exclaimed, "That's Tere's handwriting!!"  (Tere is her sister.)  We all looked at one another with question marks all over our face.  Jodina called Gayle to tell her about the note to see if she knew Helen.  She didn't.   We couldn't figure out how Tere's note got in Helen's book.  Or...if Helen actually wrote the note.  (Ralph & Gayle were blessed by the message, by the way!)

So this morning, in our prayer time, we called Tere to see if there was some connection we could make out of all of this.  We guessed that Tere had sold the book in a garage sale and left the note in the book.  But Tere said she still had her book.  From the message on the note, we guessed it had been written between 6-10 years ago.  Assuming Tere actually wrote the note, we were amazed that the note remained in the book, that it ended up on Helen's shelf, that it made it's way to Living Water and it came on a day when the White's had prayed for encouragement!  Proof positive that the Holy Ghost had been at work!  Amazing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Grandkid Time

David & Lindsey have planned a trip for quite some time and asked us to watch their kids.  They'll be celebrating their anniversary while they're gone.  So Ryan & Addie came Thursday night for some fun times.  Friday night, Alexis called to see if she could come stay the night.  Caitlin found out all of the local cousins would be together, so she asked to get in on the fun.

To top it off, our adopted students decided to go on a date and asked us to babysit 2-month-old Bentley Friday night.  So we had so much fun taking care of a tiny little girl added in to our Dietz mix.

Daddy David had given me a heads-up that United was having a pumpkin carving demonstration and pumpkin painting for kids Saturday morning.  We actually got to sleep in til about 8:30, ate breakfast, got dressed and made our way to the surprise.  They didn't know what UPP (the name of the surprise) stood for.  United Pumpkin Patch, in case you missed it, too.

We spent some time in Wal-Mart with the kids giving me some much-needed advice about what they wanted for Christmas.  It included some older kids writing a list.  I told them we'd rent a movie from the Red Box if they could agree on one together.  Oh my.  Unfortunately, Red Box didn't have a great selection for kids from 5-11, boys to girls.  Tears were involved.  So we ended up purchasing one they did agree on.  Movie time included popcorn and pillows and some fine concentration. 

Our movie has been temporarily interrupted....for tea time!

Ryan declared the tea wasn't sweet enough...

So tea time was over for this dude.

But the girls stayed til the pot was dry...using their infected English voices.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Floods predicted on Crockett St.

The end must be near.  It's flooding on Crockett St. in Borger, Texas!  Actually, my dishwasher or my disposal backed up into my basement sink...and into the floor...and into the basement living room...and on into the closet.  And I cried, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

And then I borrowed a carpet knife and began cutting up carpet and rolling it up (while trying not to touch it---hard feat!) and threw it out the back door.  HGTV has paid off.

Then I lit candles all over my house (nasty smell!) and grabbed my mop and Lysol...and bleach...and 409.  I couldn't find the mop pail, so I dunked my mop in the toilet and started swiping the floor.  Trust was a vast improvement over what was on my floor.

I went upstairs to grab paper towels and began mopping up my countertop after spraying 409.  Some of that gunk was glued down.  It looked like seaweed.  Maybe the ocean is backing up into Crockett St. in Borger, Texas!

The plumber is coming in the morning.  And I think the disposal is history.  Pray for my plumber...I want God to guide him so it's a quick, easy fix.  And I think he'll appreciate the prayers for his health and safety.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What do you smell like?

II Corinthians 2:15-16
"Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?"

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's a BOY!

Zach & Shanna went to the doctor today for a sonogram.

It was the sonogram where they would find out if they're having a boy or a girl.

They took 2 baby for a boy and one for a girl.  

Since they didn't want to know what they were having until the reveal party, they had the doctor wrap the appropriate outfit to reveal to us what they were having.  And....
It's a BOY!!

God's Silence

From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers:

When He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was —John 11:6

Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning? God’s silences are actually His answers. Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything comparable to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking Him for a visible answer? God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. If God has given you a silence, then praise Him— He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes. The actual evidence of the answer in time is simply a matter of God’s sovereignty. Time is nothing to God. For a while you may have said, “I asked God to give me bread, but He gave me a stone instead” (see Matthew 7:9). He did not give you a stone, and today you find that He gave you the “bread of life” (John 6:35).

A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that His stillness is contagious— it gets into you, causing you to become perfectly confident so that you can honestly say, “I know that God has heard me.” His silence is the very proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will always bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of His silence. If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, then He will give you the first sign of His intimacy— silence.

I loved this and thought it was totally worth sharing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Boy or Girl?

Daddy Zach--Who would have thought Zach would be a daddy way back then?

Will we have a little boy or girl?  Zach & Shanna find out tomorrow!  I hadn't even considered we might have a little redhead until Shanna's sister, Angela, had a baby this past week.  And her little Atlynn is redheaded.  That made me pretty excited when I found out Atlynn has red hair!  Zach & Shanna have a double opportunity for redheadedness.  Both of their mothers have/had (as in me) red hair--as does Zach.  We come from a long line of Irish redheads.  I have now become my grandmother.  With every grandbaby (and she had 33!), she'd look at it and say, "I think he/she is going to have red hair!"  Whether this baby is a boy or girl...or whether it has red hair or no hair (sorry, Shanna--I hope your genes are stronger!  We have a tendency towards bald babies!!)'s gonna be FUN!  I can't wait to find out if it's Claire or Dax.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Restrainers

Sunday, we were reading in Exodus about that golden calf that just jumped out of the fire.  Carl Duso talked about the point when Moses drew a line in the sand (quite literally) and told the people that those who were on the Lord's side were to come to him.  And the Levites rallied to him.  Carl asked the question (that I hadn't really considered before), "Where were the Levites when Aaron was making that golden calf?  Why were they not restraining him from sin?"  Did you realize Moses was only on that mountain 40 days and nights?  That's how long it took the Israelites to spiral out of control.  40 days.  40 nights.

Anyone could have been the restrainer.  Aaron.  Nadab.  Abihu.  The Levites.  The judges.  The men.  The women.  Anyone.  Instead, no one said anything.  Either they agreed that a golden calf was a good idea or they went and hid their heads in their tents hoping it would all go away.  And yet...they all paid for that sin!

What a lesson to me!  Am I being a restrainer from sin?  God told us to be salt and light.  Salt preserves and light exposes.  Christians are supposed to be The Restrainers.  Not obnoxiously, but humbly and by speaking the truth in love.  I think it's time to get our heads out of the tents.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Faithfulness of God

Can you look back on this year and name some hard things you've walked through where you saw the faithfulness of God?  Just in this year?  I'll start:
  • Locking Olivia in the van
  • Andy's heart stent
  • Everyone's air conditioners going out and thinking we had termites
  • A very tough trip to China
  • And recently, paying a $14,000 hospital bill and a $600/month RX bill
These were all difficult circumstances.  But the firemen helped us get Olivia out of the locked van--with a very calm Olivia the entire time.  Andy's surgery went perfectly and God provided financially.  We all survived living together (quite well, actually!) and everyone got air conditioners--eventually.  And no termites!  God used that trip to China to teach me much!  And amazingly, the hospital bill is paid!  And I know God is going to take care of that RX bill each month.

I'm so glad I blog (and journal).  It's great to be able to look back and see the FAITHFULNESS of GOD!

What has God done in your life this year?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen

This was my favorite book I took with me to read while at Red River---I was a reading fool!  This book was set in the 19th century in an English manor.  Actually, this isn't my favorite genre of Christian fiction.  But Julie Klassen held me captive from the beginning of this book.

Olivia Keene escapes her turbulent home and narrowly escapes assault by men in the forest as she runs.  She's focused on getting to a girls' school to apply for a position as teacher.  Instead, she ends up at a beautiful English manor where she overhears a secret.  The lord of the manor then attempts to control Olivia so that his secret isn't revealed.

There are so many layers to this book.  I was delighted (yes, delighted!) when Julie Klassen wove the beginning of the story into the end of the story.  I might have considered it a couple of times throughout the book, but it actually brought a smile to my face when it was unveiled.

I wholeheartedly endorse this book!  I give it 5 out of 5 stars!  You can become a book reviewer, too! 

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing Group for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist

This is another book I took with me on my trip to Red River.  This was a book with filled with suspense.  And if you like a good mystery, you'll like this book.

Rylee Monroe is a girl living within modest means while she supports a grandmother in a nursing home.  Her grandmother is afflicted with alzheimers, but holds the key to so many things in Rylee's past.  And Rylee is a dog walker for the wealthy families of Charleston.  The only problem is that the people she works for are being terrorized with break-ins.  And as you can suspect, Rylee ends up in deep trouble.  There's a love interest in the form of a reporter thrown into the mix who begins to show Rylee the stick-to-it-iveness that she's not known in men.

The end of the book was a total surprise to me.  I never suspected the real perpetrator.  I can recommend this book to you---I think if you like a good mystery, you'll certainly enjoy this book!

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  You can become a book reviewer, too!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing Group for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

This is one of the books I took with me to Red River to read on our trip.  It was a fun book to read.  Of course, I've always heard of Mail-Order Brides of the 1800's, but never stopped to consider there were men who totally took advantage of some of those women and their situations.

That's the premise of this book.  One swindler takes advantage of these women--mostly widows--promising them claims of land in the West but actually has plans to make money by bringing brides to men who've been in the West for some time.  I agree with my sister who read the same book in that it was hard to keep up with the 16 women, their names and their stories in the beginning, but it soon narrows down to focus on a handful of the women which makes the story move along better.  You wanted to cheer them on for their unity of spirit as they faced great odds in actually laying claim to the homesteads promised them.

I think Stephanie did a great job in telling a story I hadn't even considered before.  The characters she focused on were well-developed and she deals with issues common to women in the 1800's and now.  I recommend this book to you!

I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.  You can become a book reviewer, too!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing Group for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.