Monday, November 23, 2015

Where's the Power?

Last week we experienced a strong wind storm, the lights flickered, and then our power went out. We were then without lights, heat and water for the next four days!
It felt like the wind had swooped in on us and blown it away.
Thousands of people in our community were hit by the wind storm, and left without power.
For us, we were very fortunate to have family and friends that still had power in their homes and welcomed us to come shower and stay warm. We had friends that offered us food, and a generator. It was very kind and helpful.
The experience was good, and eye-opening.
I saw the goodness of others, and I felt loved.
I witnessed how quickly things can change from normal to not so normal.
I was impressed with how well my children adjusted and sailed through each day.
I was incredibly thankful for everything provided to me from our loving God.
I felt blessed to still have power at our office.
It was Saturday morning when we heard our son calling from his bedroom with excitement "the lights are back on!" And, sure enough, the power had come back on. I was eager to take a shower!
I think we quickly forget how blessed we are. We've been given so much abundance and luxury, but we become accustomed to it all. It is sometimes easy to take it all for granted, but when the wind blew and it all went away, and it stayed away, I was more and more grateful. 
I like having power. I like to see in the dark. I like having heat on cold mornings, and I really love hot showers. I especially enjoy having water to drink. These are all wonderful gifts from God, and I am so thankful to have them back!
Praise Him today for all that He has blessed you with; it's the week of Thanksgiving. And, there's so much to be thankful for. 
Say That Again!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Going To The Other Side

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Matthew 14:22

There are some challenges in our life right now. We've been in the middle of a storm now for a very long time, like the disciples were when they crossed the lake. We've been riding the waves, up and down. But, lately, it feels more like the waves are overtaking us. This last Sunday in church the sermon was about the waves overtaking us, and one of the points he made was that Jesus told his disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side! Just go to the other side! There will be storms in between, but Jesus comes and calms them down. We don't even know how long it's going to take to get to the other side, we just know that Jesus said to go to the other side.
For me, there are many things that Jesus has said to me that does not coincide with what is happening now, but I have to keep my focus on what he said. It's challenging. Life circumstances do not look good, the waves bring moments of doubt and questions, but I'm not at the other side yet. 
I'm in the middle of the lake!
My husband, children, and I are not going to drown because Jesus put us in the boat and told us to go to the other side. 
When fear creeps in, and it does, I have to run back to my source and he reminds me that we will not be forgotten. 
Jesus, Say That Again!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

To Dance

Then he broke through and transformed all my wailing
into a whirling dance of ecstatic praise!
He has torn the veil and lifted from me
the sad heaviness of mourning.
He wrapped me in the glory-garments of gladness.
Psalms 30:11

I read a book by Brene' Brown that said to be really vulnerable with each other, we must learn to laugh, dance, and sing. Shortly, before that I had heard a man and women speak about the powerful effects of laughter, and how when we start to tell ourselves lies, it actually works to laugh at them. After all, isn't it God that inspired Solomon to say that laughter is like medicine?
Then, I remembered a retreat that I went to a couple years ago and they had a talent show. My favorite talent was a young woman that got up in front of everyone and sang a childhood song. There was a small thing-she could not carry a tune at all! But, her song was absolutely beautiful! 
This brings me back to dance.
There was a wedding a couple weeks ago. I had the honor of being in this wedding. This was an honor for me on so many levels that I won't go into, but I will say it nourished my heart. 
It nourished my heart as a friend
a woman
a mother
and a wife
At this wedding,  there was laughter and song and then there was the dance. 
We watched the Bride and Groom dance which was incredibly romantic, and, I know, the wedding is about them. But, this dance was about my husband.
I could see him standing on the other side of the dance floor and I knew the Spirit was telling me to dance.
Take note that neither of us have dance experience!
When I pulled my husband onto the dance floor, his smirk was priceless. We had so much fun! 
To dance with a crowd of people around us, but feel like it's just the two of us is heaven.  And, at that very moment, I felt like God had broke through years of grief and given me a glimpse of all the joy that is to come. 
We've had a lot of grief, loss, pain, etc yet there is joy to dance, sing, and laugh. God sees through the pain and breaks down the veil and brings gladness. 
Today, I am dancing in this.
Say That Again to me Jesus as I dance  before you.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Dash

There's a beginning.
There's an end.
And, there's the dash in between.
The dash in between is the life we live between being born, and dying.
The Dash.
It's full of our parents hopes and dreams, anticipations, cries, and maybe even disappointments. 
It's crammed with friends, possibly siblings, strangers, our own families.
 Or, maybe we are all alone.
The Dash; has stuff, lots of stuff. 
It's full of countless choices, thoughts, and decisions.
Maybe regret.
Hopefully rejoices.
Thousands of celebrations.
For some, it is short, way too short. For others, it is long.
It has a tendency to be riddled with fear as age creeps upon us, or maybe it is loneliness.
The dash is often accompanied by illness, anxiety, and stress.
So many hopes and dreams for this dash----
When I come to the end of my dash, all of these will be true for me.
Jesus holds them all, and so much more.
Dance in your dash.
And, when it comes to the end, even though there is sadness, I would like to think that my dearest friends have the courage left in their dash to dance for me!
Continue to Say That Again and Again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hope In God

O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God. 
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.
Psalms 43:3-5

Hope in God. As I look around at the world today, and even at things within my own family, there are things to be disturbed about. I need and want to hope in God. I need Him to send out His light and truth. I absolutely need Him to lead me. 
He promises to bring joy.
He says He is my Help!
I will praise His name even when I do not understand, when the path appears dark, I will pray for light, and trust that He is leading.
Because He is God, and God is good through every situation.

And, so I will again Rise Up into the light of Jesus and dwell in His truth and walk according to His Word all the days of my life. I will not fear the lies of man, but I will know in my heart all that God has said and have His joy deep in my soul.
Say that Again, Shout it out, Rise Up, and Say that Again!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Rise Up, Again and Again!

If every woman were to RISE UP to the God-given position created  for her, how would our world be different? If we each used our voice to speak out about not just the pain and the fears, but the joys and the dreams, how could we change each day presented to us?
What if we RISE UP to the challenges and say yes, if we believe in the dreams that seem impossible, and know that love is constant because love is God. What if, together we RISE UP and in our weakness and vulnerability, we are strong through Jesus!
 If every woman were to RISE UP and accept the gifts from the Holy Spirit, how miraculous would that be?
Gifts of prophesy, healing, and speaking in tongues.
A Word of Knowledge, Discernment, and faith.
As the Spirit anoints the Saints, He stirs within women today. I know He is calling me to RISE UP and lead in more ways than I have before, RISE UP and speak in different ways than I have before, and be bold! 
RISE UP, women of God, in every way, for your Creator is calling you!
Say That Again!

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Long Journey

The road between my family of origin and my home is very long. It took me two long days to make the drive there a couple weeks ago, and now, my husband and I are driving back to our home again. 
Just like the long drive, these last two weeks have been a long journey for me. 
An insightful journey.
Delightful. Sad. Peaceful. Irritating. Joyful. Frightening. Hopeful. Heart-wrenching. Maddening. Funny. Quiet. Exhausting. Changing. Spirit-filled. Life-giving. Wanting. Needing. Lonely. Free. Delivering.
My Mother died.
It still sounds a little strange to say it.
I learned some things about her that I didn't know, and I realized that all children have trouble, in various degrees, seeing their parents as real people. 
My mother died, and it stirred a lot of emotion inside of me. The first thing I wanted to do was run to Jesus and pray. I needed to be in a quiet space, someplace alone with Him. My soul was able to delight in His comfort, the peace of His love.
He moved me in ways I've never been moved before. 
Thirsting for more of Him,
and for His filling in the gaps of my family.
Sometimes there is pain, and a void that hangs in the room after a loss. A loss of many years, loss of trust, loss of hope, loss of faith in each other. Nobody knows what to do, or where to start, but I do know that God will lead the way. 
Feeble bodies, minds, and souls can be lifted up into the heart of God and be healed. Families that are pained, will be healed.
Journeys are long. This is a long journey for me. 
I am so thankful that I am not on this journey alone. For God has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
Say That Again, My Lord and Savior!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Four Old Ladies

My day was spent with four old ladies, much older than me. I drove them to church. 
Three of them squished their soft bodies in the back seat of my car and buckled each other in.
Each of them are over eighty.
We drove to a little white country church with a tall steeple, and sat on a narrow pew. The church was full, our pew was shoulder to shoulder saints.
We sang old hymns, and blessed each and every child. It felt like I had gone back in time.
As I drove the car, listening to the four old ladies, I was so struck by the cycle of life. Each of them with a story about a husband or two, children near or far, grandchildren that once came to play. And now, so many of the people they once had in their lives, are gone or busy. 
They have each other.
Old ladies, old friends.
These women, so rich in life, yet in so many ways forgotten. So faithful to turn to God in prayer, because they know that is really the only way to win the battle, yet so many times never asked to pray. Women with a wealth of wisdom and knowledge, yet so often pushed aside never to be heard. 
These women are thirty years older than me, a lot can change in thirty years! As I listened to them, and watched them, I prayed. I don't know what God has in store for me in the next thirty years, but I do know that I want more. I want more of Jesus, and more of His promises. I want more richness of relationship from family and friends, more love, growth, and wisdom. 
I want to be embraced, not pushed aside. 
I want all that Jesus has for me, to step into His Promised Land and thrive there.
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus!

Saturday, August 15, 2015


When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and your foot will not stumble.
Proverbs 3:23

I just drove over 1800 miles in two days. It was a very long road trip. For the most part, it went very well. Near the end of my road trip, I felt a little tripped out. I spent much of my time on the phone talking to my husband.
 I was exhausted. 
The second day of my trip felt much longer than the first day, and I took more breaks. So, by the end of the day, it was dark when I was nearing my destination. I kept praying for God to keep me focused and awake. My husband directed me on the lonely country roads. It helped to have his voice in my ear as well as my friendly GPS.
The 1800 miles of road tripping was really amazing. It gave me time to think, pray, sing, cry, and listen to favorite books. I thought a lot about previous trips with me sons, and thanked God for the blessing I have in them. 
I loved the long stretches of sunflower fields and the beautiful acres of tall corn growing in the sun. I praised God for the farmers I saw working hard in the dirt, and the numerous cows grazing in the pastures. 
Life is precious.
Every step of the way.
There are so many golden moments. 
In the midst of loss and sadness, there are golden moments before us, precious times. This is what I love about God, He lays out such beauty and peace.
In my 1800 miles I felt some major irritation, too. It was like walking through a dry desert with no water, but even that period of time, God blessed me. He pulled me through, very gently. 
He showed me my fears.
Jesus, sometimes I start to feel like I'm tripping out inside my heart, and I need you to calm me down. You are always there. You have promised that I will not stumble when I walk with You.
Say That Again!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

When Death Visits

My mother died last night. Both of my brothers were with her, I'm happy she was not alone. She needed to have them with her. She was 85 years old.
It feels strange to me.
It feels sad.
It's 2am, I woke up from a restless sleep. I was thinking about my mother.
I keep telling myself that I need to hold off on feeling or thinking about this right now. Today is a very big day, my ministry team and I have been preparing for it for months. 
I need to focus.
But, focus may be challenging for me.
I remember the day my dad died; it felt strange.
In fact it seemed unreal, I didn't even tell anyone.
It took about a week for me to soak it in.
A friend called me last night to pray with me; it was comforting. She knew I would have all kinds of swirling thoughts, and I do.
Swirling thoughts.
It's a new chapter in life. Or maybe it's a new book. I am now without earthly parents. It's a strange place to be, I don't think any child ever imagines it to ever really be a reality.
Now it is.
It jumps me to my own life and my own children. Someday, they will be without a mother. And, even though they will have the eternal hope of seeing me again in the Kingdom; it will still be a loss for them that will be painful.
Death is painful.
I am sad.
I am sad for many reasons. 
I am praising God for His mercy toward my mother. She wanted to go, she was tired. 
Father, You hear our cry, and You answer.
Say That Again!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Image Bearer

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

David says this:

Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule the works of Your hands; You put all things under his feet.
Psalms 8:5-6

God created Eve to be His Image Bearer. He was calling her into a deep intimate relationship with Him, a long walk. A life time journey. He wanted her to study Him. He called her to make Him her center. 
She was also called to walked daily with her husband and be in relationship with him, but he was not the one that determined who she was! She was not called to reflect Adam, she was called to reflect God.
And, together, they were crowned with glory and majesty. Together they ruled the works of God's hands, together it was under their feet.
Eve was called to be a helper (ezer)  Genesis 2:18
Ezer is used sixteen times in the old testament, and means "strong helper" as in Warrior!
Adam was alone, and he needed a warrior by his side. Someone strong, someone that could lead at times, make wise decisions, share God's Word with all people, fight, and play. There's no way he could've done it alone.
No man can stand alone.
As a strong woman with a calling I know that my purpose is to be an Image Bearer and God's Warrior. This is His original design. His calling on my life has purposed me to speak His truth to all people when His Spirit prompts me to do so. 
Because He has crowned me with glory and majesty, He has given me gifts to lead in battle, and that is good.
What will you do with your gifts and abilities that God has given you? How are you being an Image Bearer today? How does your ezer benefit others?
Father, thank you for creating me with strength in Your Image, show me how to continually speak Your truth!
Say That Again!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Shoulder News

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, Your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in my sight, You have been honored, and I have loved you.
Isaiah 43: 2-4

Eight weeks ago I had shoulder surgery. It has been a long eight weeks! 
Lots of pain.
Yet, God has healed my shoulder and my heart. And, it has been very good.
I saw the doctor last week and he said all is well. Nine more weeks and my shoulder pain level should be much less. (clap please)
Physical therapy is down to one  day a week, which I will find more manageable. (more cheers)
Last Saturday, I held my grandson. By this, I mean, I carried him around the room in my arms. This is a joy I have not been able to participate in for months. (cartwheels, cheers, and claps)
So, yes, it has been challenging. God has given me so much support through my husband. And, I have another friend that always takes the wheel when we go somewhere, so I get a break. 
And, so much more.
I'm praising God for His healing. 
I'm praising God for the support He has brought into my life.
I'm praising God for redemption!
Say That Again!

The Fountain

Last week as I was reading my Bible and worshiping, God gave me an image of a bubbling fountain. It was inviting, beautiful, and invigorating.
In Revelation 21: 6-7 He talks about the fountain:
And He said to me "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."
It says that He will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts!
I don't know about you, but I am thirsty EVERY, SINGLE. DAY.
I'm taking the drink; it's free!
If I don't take the drink, I won't overcome. 
Jesus is inviting. Jesus is beautiful. Jesus is invigorating.
Jesus is the Overcomer.
I have a shirt that says "A BLOOD DONOR SAVED MY LIFE"
that would be Jesus. 
His blood, on the Cross, has opened up eternity for me. He took my past, present, and future upon Himself, so I could be an Overcomer and live with Him for all eternity!
This is amazing news!
Take courage, my friends, and drink today from the fountain. He is there for you.
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Deep unto Deep

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and the night His song shall be with me-a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalms 42:7, 8

This last week my husband and I took a step of faith. It felt scary to me in a lot of ways, and we had to pray through it. I also needed to ask a couple friends to pray with me, because I was not feeling calm, and I wanted calm. God brought this verse to me immediately and I began to feel waves of calm come over me as we moved forward with our decision. I even woke up in the night, feeling assured that God was with me, singing me His lullaby.
Near the end of the week, God sent a friend with a gift for us; it completely redeemed our step of faith! It was so incredible and once again I am amazed by what God does and who He is!
He continues to call me into deeper places, because He is deep. He assures me that He will be there all of the day with His lovingkindness. And, when  the nightfalls He will still be there, singing His sweet song over me. It will be so constant, it will be the prayer of my life!
Before this step, He kept repeating to me "Hope in God" and each time I would open my Bible it would seem to fall to Psalms 43:5
Hope in God
For I shall yet praise Him, 
the help of my countenance and my God.
Deep places require hope, and all hope comes from God. I am learning that more and more. Praises to the name of God!
So today I will Say That Again!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


It's been twenty days since my shoulder surgery. In some ways it feels like months, not weeks.  Time can have a way of getting carried away, or just all mixed up. 
I've been moving very slowly, at least it feels very slow, the last three weeks.  Focusing on recovery with a positive outlook has been my goal, while still being real and honest about how I feel and what is going on inside my body and my heart. Sometimes those two positions collide with each other, and I'm left with a lot of crashing noises and messy pieces to sort through.
There has been so very much to be thankful for. God has abundantly blessed me with beautiful family and friends to surround me during this time and support me, my husband, and children. They have brought us food, given us rides, brought flowers, run errands, and visited often. 
There have been so many days that the pain in my shoulder has felt bigger than my courage. And, when I hear long term predictions of this being a 3-4 month intense struggle, I feel discouraged. Then, when the time is extended to two years before my shoulder is completely healed, I find that I really begin to struggle with feelings of despair. 

I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
with my voice to the Lord I make
my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
then you knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
they have secretly set a snare for me.
Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one
who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me;
no one cares for my soul.
I cried out to you, O Lord: 
I said "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise your name; the righteous shall surround me, for you shall deal bountifully with me."
Psalms 142: 1-7

At physical therapy yesterday he measured the stretch of my arm, and it is up to 80 percent! The last 20 percent is the toughest to accomplish, and I'm not moving beyond the 80 because of the pain I experience. The journey ahead, the 20 percent, could take as long as two years! 
When I woke up this morning, and I started to pray, the thought that  "it doesn't have to be that way" came to mind. God will stretch my arm in His timing, it's all in His control. I need to diligently do the exercises and rest in His care. Yes, it's going to be painful. And, yes I want to talk about that; it helps to process it. But, however long it takes, God will bountifully deal with me and my family. I feel afraid sometimes that it will be a long time, but if it is, He will replenish my strength and give me courage every day. He will give my husband all that he needs to manage as well, for this has not been easy for him.
There is so much to learn in the journey of life. God continues to bring me along and teach me about compassion, love, hope, trust, faith, and much more. Today I am asking Him to whisper words of hope over and over to me and I will continue to 
Say That Again!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Praise God!

We celebrated our 33rd anniversary yesterday. We went to the park with our kids. It was very nice. The weather was perfect. We walked through town and through the park and we ate dinner. For my husband and I it was so nice to be together and to think about all the years that we have enjoyed each other's company. 
We have had children in our home for 31 years, and they have given us a lot of joy as well.
There has also been much hardship, but God has walked with us and given us the needed support of each other. I feel very blessed to have been given the gift of family.
I believe the wings of God are sheltering us. He has lifted us up through financial struggles, health issues, a straining business, and ongoing issues. 

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be
in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in 
the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, 
And let us exalt His name
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my
They looked to Him and were 
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord
heard him, 
And saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalms 34:1-6

All these years, the Lord has heard me, and He has continually delivered me. I will praise Him, and Him alone will I praise! Because of Him, we have been blessed with 33 years, five beautiful children, three daughter in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren!
Say That Again, Praise God!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Surgery and Beyond

Last Wednesday I had surgery on my shoulder. It had been causing me a lot of pain for several months, and I was unable to move my right arm above my head. Actually, my right arm was basically useless because of the pain and because my shoulder had become  frozen.
I was nervous about surgery. But, God being so full of compassion and grace towards me gradually brought me to a place of peace. The day of the surgery I did not feel afraid. I was eager to get the job done! And, even though I still needed to ask my surgeon whether or not he knew exactly what he was doing, he was more amused than offended.
In surgery more issues were discovered than originally thought. He first worked on unfreezing my shoulder, and that was a lot of effort  on his part. He said it was the worst frozen shoulder he's ever worked on. I believe it too after seeing all my bruises from his hands and tools after working on me.
He also found calcium deposits in the tendons of the rotator cuff which he removed. And, then he removed a bone spur and arthritis on my collar bone. And, repaired a tear in the rotator cuff.
It felt like a lot, but I then understood where all the pain was coming from.
The first few days of being home went very smooth for me.  Even with my trip to physical therapy the day after surgery, I managed to stay on my feet pretty well. But physical therapy is NOT fun!
Now, as I am moving in the second week, and I have reduced the intake of pain medication, I am feeling more emotional.  
My husband is traveling. My shoulder is hurting. My day yesterday was dripping with nausea and pain. 
This feels like a very long story!
Through all of this, I have learned to value certain gifts even more.
It is challenging to live with chronic pain. It's challenging to pretend like it isn't there, and I think some people do. I know several people that have chronic pain, and they walk a lonely walk. 
But now that I have had months of shoulder pain, I am asking myself the question, "What would have helped?"
 And, how can I help others that are in similar situations?
Can I help with the house work once a week?
Can I help with the laundry once a week?
Can I go buy groceries for them?
Can I continue to bring them a weekly meal?
Can I help with the yard work?
What are practical ways I can serve someone in chronic pain that will ease their way of life?
Today is a better day for me, than yesterday. I'm thankful for that. God has blessed me with many friends and family to help me through the next couple of weeks, and I am so grateful. 
I would not have been able to go through this surgery and the days following without their help and support. This brings me back to the many people living in chronic pain. I think they need more support, more daily help, more of God's Kingdom people to walk beside them day by day.
We are all searching for strength and nourishment. I am finding it is so much easier to choose the path of delight when faced with adversity if I am surrounded with the support and love of family and friends, then strength and nourishment fill my soul and my heart reaches out to others to give them all that I have received.
Jesus, You have deeply rooted me, and You continue to strengthen me. I praise you through the pain, and the gain. 
I will Say That Again!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


This evening I received a phone call that was disturbing. It was one of those calls that brought bad news, and reminded me once again of the catastrophic damage of brokenness. 
I am broken, and I come from a broken family. 
Because of the sins of my father and my mother, I have experienced  abuse, murder, suicide, and addictions.
The phone call I got today was about suicide. And it was painful.
The enemy of my soul seeks to destroy me and everyone in my family. He wants all of us to bow to our circumstances.
I'm here to say that I am wearing a crown, the King of Glory has given me one! I am seated in heavenly places, because my Savior put me there. I have the Keys to the Kingdom, I am welcome there. I am praising my Father through the dark valleys.
Because of Jesus Christ the enemy of my soul does not have authority over me!
The ripples slide over my life and I'm amazed at all the experiences. I'm amazed at the directions God has pointed me in, the light He has shone along the way. 
I am blessed.
Today there was a loss, and it's hard to believe. I still believe in the plan of my Father.
Say That Again!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

God Delights in You

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from his temple. And my cry came before him, even to his ears.
Psalms 18: 6

I saw the surgeon  yesterday for my shoulder.  He examined my shoulder, looked at the MRI, looked at the x-ray, and asked me lots of questions.  He concluded that, yes my shoulder is frozen, yes the tendons have inflammation, the rotator cuff has large deposits of calcium, and yes, I am in pain. I agreed with him on all accounts. 
He suggested that I agree to a cortisone injection to try to unfreeze my shoulder and ease the pain, and go back to physical therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Then, at that point, depending on my progress, have surgery to remove all the calcium from the rotator cuff which is responsible for the pain. 
It all made perfect sense, but when he mentioned the cortisone injection I began to feel afraid. I did not want a shot! It didn't feel like an option to me, and I wanted to skip that part. At first, it was hard for me to voice my fear, but then I remembered the promise of Jesus promising to be strong and mighty in battle when I praise him!
So, I started to praise him.
As I began to repeat the name of Jesus in my mind and call upon him, the fear dissipated. I was calm.
The doctor gave me the injection, and it did not hurt.
Jesus destroyed my enemy, which was fear.
But then, later, as I was driving, my shoulder and my arm began to throb, and throb, and throb. It was horrible.
And I began to feel angry.

....and my cry came before Him, even to His ears
and the earth shook and trembled...
Smoke went up from His nostrils...
He bowed the heavens also and came down with darkness under His feet....
He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe...
He delivered me from my strong enemy.
He also brought me out into a broad place: He delivered me because He delighted in me.
Psalms 18: 6-19

God loves me, and you, so much that he will come down here and shoot His arrows at the enemy when you call to Him! And the enemy will scatter. 
He shot my anger; it was not helping me, it was my enemy. He delivered me and brought me into a broad place. 
He did this for me because He delights in me. 
Do you know that God delights in you?
Say That Again, God delights in you and in me!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The King of Glory

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Psalms 24:7-9

Each day brings a new challenge, I'm sure you all know exactly what I'm talking about. Life is full of busy schedules, kids, household stuff, etc. Then, sometimes bigger things come along. A friend calls and says she has cancer, abuse becomes a reality in the life of someone you love, or chronic pain begins to wear on the edges of your heart. It can all take a toll on everyday life, and it can feel like life is just too much.
This verse in Psalms was a soothing reminder to me all week long. What do I need to do?
Lift up my head to the God I serve and praise him!
When I praise him, He will come in.  And, when he comes he is mighty in battle, and he is strong!
I don't have to be mighty.
I don't have to be strong.
I just have to praise!

To you O Lord, I lift up my soul,
O my God, I trust in you;
let me not be ashamed:
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on you be ashamed;
let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Psalms 25:1-3

When I praise  him, I learn to trust him. In that intimacy with him, he takes my shame. 
Shame is my enemy. 
Fear is my enemy.
Rejection is my enemy.
What are the enemies that try to triumph over you? 
The King of Glory will come in and you will see truth. His truth. The King of Glory will come in and with praise your life, my life, will forever be moving closer to him.
Say That Again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Crevice

For several nights I've had a difficult time sleeping because of some damaged tendons in my shoulder. So, it has given me ample opportunity to think and pray. One of the words that has come to mind numerous times has been crevice.
I looked up the word crevice in the Bible, and I read this in the NLT version in Exodus 33:22:

As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

This verse is God speaking to Moses.
I've been asking God, what the word crevice means for my life. What is He saying to me?
And He answers me with the crevice of my mind. There was a time, that I would hide there. Yet, even when I was hiding in the deep, dark crevice of my mind, the glorious presence of God was there. His hand was there to cover me and protect me as He continued to pass by. The bright light from His presence would shine into the deepness of the crevice, and there was life, hope, and love.
Where are the crevice's in your life?
His hand is upon you. His glorious presence is there.
Say That Again! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

In The Tabernacle

Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
Psalms 15: 1

Big questions, and an important one too. The next few verses in this psalm answers the questions and they are rather sobering. I've been thinking about this chapter for several days, praying, confessing, praying some more.
Dwelling with Jesus is a big deal, here on earth, and later when He takes us to our heavenly home. And, yes grace does cover us, still as His children we will yearn to walk as he walks, and reflect his character.
The following versus make it very clear what that is:

He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.
And does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change; he who does not put out his money at usury, not does he take a bribe against the innocent. 
He who does these things shall never be moved.
verses 2-5

I've stumbled so many times, and God has graciously picked me back up and pointed me in His direction. He opens my eyes to His Words. Throughout my life I have done all of these things, and I praise him for his forgiveness. 

Dont gossip, love your friends, keep your promises even when it's not to your advantage, help others without charging interest, and by all means tell the truth! 
We are the TEMPLE of God, He paid the ultimate price for  the ultimate temple, our bodies! 
I am so grateful for his forgiveness, because there have been so many times in my life that I have gossiped, been unloving, not kept my promises, or spoken or believed lies.
His amazing and incredible grace. 
Because Jesus raised his hand and volunteered his life for me, because he volunteered to pay the ultimate price to live in the ultimate temple, I get to be FREE!
Therefore, through him I will not gossip, I will love my friends, I will keep my promises even when it costs me,  and I will tell the truth! 
Say That Again!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Evidence of Jesus

Let those who fear you come to me for evidence of your wise guidance. And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my heart and head held high.
Psalms 119: 79,80

The Psalms continues to amaze and comfort me every day. As I've been making my way through the chapters and circling promises from God I especially liked this one. This is one I had underlined years ago, but as I read it again it seemed new to me. As I've been praying about these words the last few days the Spirit has continued to affirm how much God answers this in my life every day!
"Let those who fear you come to me for evidence of your wise guidance." 
The evidence of God's wise guidance in my life is something I pray for all the time, and I believe His work and transformation changes me and shows others who He is. It is His amazing power that has changed my life and continues to bring me to new places of change and transformation.
I have felt for awhile now that the Spirit is prompting me to tell more of my story. I've been mulling it over and over in my head, not really knowing how to get started. There's a part of me that feels afraid, too. My past experience tells me that when I share portions of my story, people, even family pull away physically or emotionally. Or, I am asked to leave, or called names, or things just change. So, God and I go back and forth in trusting that He will work out all these details. I just need to listen to Him and obey. After all, the evidence of His wise guidance in my life throughout all the foolishness of my sin, is astounding!
It brings me to the last part of the verse, "let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high."
Isn't it more about what He has done, not what I've done? His incredible story, His amazing miracles, and enduring love for all of us? 
Oh sweet Jesus, let me be evidence of this! 
Say That Again!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Path Ahead

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalms 119:105

My shoulder has been in pain, and it's not getting better.  I've tried a  few things. Prayer of course, and I will continue to pray. I also tried denial, thinking that maybe it would just get better on it's own, but, that didn't work either. So then I went to a physical therapist. He gave me several exercises, and did massage therapy, ultrasound, and stretched my neck. But, still my shoulder persisted. So, I then tried the chiropractor. He moved all kinds of bones back into place, pushed on trigger points, and worked more on my neck. It actually helped, to a point. I continued my visits in hopes that I would gain full mobility of my arm, my right arm. But, this last week, the chiropractor said the dreaded word--DOCTOR!
He pulled out a surgeons business card and handed it over to me and strongly suggested I give the doctor a call.  My path is changing.
It is true that I am resistant to such a path, but God, once again is shining a light in that direction for me to follow. I called the doctors office, and he is very busy. I couldn't get an appointment until the 21st of April.  So I have plenty of time to pray about this and claim God's healing power.
Further along in Psalms 119, in the Message, it says this:

Don't disappoint all my grand hopes. Stick with me and I'll be all right; I'll give total allegiance to your definitions of life.
verse 116, 117

I do have many grand hopes about the path ahead. God has promised that His Word is a lamp to my feet, so I will continue to soak in His Word and follow the light that shines on my path---even when it leads to the doctors office, and possibly surgery. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me, He will stick to me like super glue, and I will be all right. In return, my life will be defined by Him. That is the healing power of Jesus that shines on my path! 
Say That Again!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Overcoming Enemies

Lord, have mercy on me.
See how my enemies torment me.
Snatch me back from the 
jaws of death.
Save me so I can praise you 
publicly at Jerusalem's gates, 
so I can rejoice that you 
have rescued me.
Psalms 9:13

I've been studying in my Bible about enemies. God has made it very clear that He WILL rescue me from my enemies. I've been thinking about the word enemy, and I've been asking God to show me my internal enemies.
What are the enemies that torment me? Maybe without even realizing it's happening? 
The enemy of judgments, rejection, loss of hope, being overwhelmed, lies, being negative, isolation, fear, hate, despair, and the list goes on...We all have something that we need to be rescued from.
I've been rescued so many times already. God continues to go into battle over and over for me and each time I learn something new. His mercy and His grace are about my heart and my soul.
It reminds me of the verse in Ephesians 6:12

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Sounds pretty negative to me, despairing, fearful, overwhelming, and something I most definitely need to be rescued from!

I lay down in sleep, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side:
Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O Lord, May you bless your people.
Psalms 3:5-8

Whatever enemy you may be facing today, God wants to rescue you.  Call to Him, "Slap all my enemies in the face!"  and He will come for you. 
Say That Again, O God!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Search Me

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
Psalms 139: 1

My husband put a song on yesterday by Brandon Heath, and it turned my thoughts to Psalms 139 right away. The song, When you look at me, is about being in the freedom of God's love.
No shame.
No judgment. 
No fear.
To be completely known, and still accepted, loved, and wanted. The good and the bad.
This is what Jesus has done for me.
He has searched me and even with all the shameful, fearful stuff...He still has chosen to know me.
Not only that, He pursues me.
He loves me, enjoys my company, does not condemn me or shame me.

You know when I sit down and rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
verse 2

I love it when I can look across the room at my husband and I just know that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. He gets it. There doesn't have to be a lot of explaining between the two of us, because we just know.
With God, it's far more than that. He knows me before I know myself. I can ask Him to tell me my own thoughts! He can sort them all out, and give them to me in an orderly fashion. He discerns my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path, and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
verse 3

I have nothing to hide, for God is acquainted with ALL my ways.
The song I referred to earlier has a line in it like this:
"To be found in my hiding place, and be received. I'm so relieved to be found."
God will always find me in every hiding place, because He knows ALL my ways. And, He can receive it all.
How does all of this apply to the Body of Christ?  To me as His Warrior?  
Do I search and know the Body of Christ?
Do I pray for unity of thought in His Body and the discerning Spirit?
Do I love His Body enough to show interest in all their ways, and walk the path with fellow believers?
Am I bringing Jesus and His light into the lives of others on a daily basis?
Search me, O Lord, and use me to Say That Again in the lives of others. Search me, and use me to shine Your light!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Take Courage

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. 
Psalms 31:24

God has been bringing the words "take courage" to my mind all week. I've read about it in my Bible, prayed about it, and asked God questions about it. Then, yesterday, I was given the opportunity to choose to take courage, or take fear. 
Yesterday was not a good day for me. It started out well with the usual Thursday trip to pick up my grandchildren. After getting settled at home we had an accident that caused pain for my grandson and we raced to the urgent care.
My heart was hurting.
My body was trembling.
I couldn't stop crying.
My mind was racing with so many thoughts; it was hard to focus on the truth.
My husband, son and daughter in-law met us at urgent care and the doctor took a look at our sweet grandson. His injury was soothed with medication and wrapped in bandages. He was given bundles of love and antibiotics and they went on their way.
But still, I was faced with the choice of taking courage or living in fear. The fear was growing inside of me on several levels. Even though I knew he was going to be okay. I began to feel afraid that  my son and daughter in-law wouldn't trust me with my grandson anymore. I felt afraid that I wouldn't trust myself. I felt emotions from an old trauma that happened 26 years ago when our son was hurt while left home with his grandma. 
But then, a friend reminded me that fear is not from God. She literally gave me courage. And, I realized that this was the moment God had been preparing me for. "Take courage!" I could choose to take the courage she was offering me, or I could stay in the fear that was overtaking me.  It was my choice. 
 I chose to take courage.
So today I am asking myself, "how often do I give courage?" If God is saying over and over again to take it, and He does. Then, surely we must give it.  I know for me it was an amazing strength to have a friend be very direct with me and encourage me to not let fear overwhelm me, but to have faith in the love of my family and take courage!

"There is no room in love for fear. Well formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love." 
1 John 4:18

Give courage and take courage today. Say That Again!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Front Row!

It's a New Year, and I'm looking forward to some decisions I've made about 2015. I don't know about you, but sometimes my schedule gets really busy. Way too busy. And, when that happens, I start to feel way too tired. When I start to feel tired, it's not good.  So, this is one of my decisions. I'm not going to be as busy, I have to slow things down, restructure, check my priorities, and pace myself.
Another goal I have for 2015 is to celebrate MORE! I want to let others know that I am celebrating their joys and their accomplishments. I also want to celebrate my own. The big ones and the little ones, all of them. I think that sometimes I have been too tired, or my thoughts have quickly moved on to the next thing before I have taken the time to celebrate. I want the people in my life to know that they should be celebrated. And, I want to be celebrated too.
I"m going to get back on my treadmill. That's about all I have to say about that.
There's a story in my heart that needs to be told, I'm going to work on putting words to it. 
I'm going to fill up my front row.  Are you wondering what my front row is? Well, let me explain:
my front row is that group of friends that hold the core values about relationship that line up with the Kingdom of God. They know their value. They celebrate each other. They are respectful, trustworthy, responsible, loving, and teachable.  They want to know who I am.
I want to be a front row friend to the people in my life.
I have a few other goals that involve my ministry, my family, and my heart. God has already began to answer some of my prayers in some interesting ways, and I'm thinking that the remaining pages of 2015 are going to a wild adventure!
So, put on your seat belt, the front row has a good view. Thank you Jesus for being in my front row, Say That Again!
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24