Sunday, December 20, 2009

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
II Timothy 4:7

This is what I am meditating on these days. I know - it doesn't sound very Christmas-y - but it's where I have found my heart settling.

I want to make sure that the energy I invest in battle is for the RIGHT THING.

I want to make sure that I FINISH THE RACE.

I want to have KEPT THE FAITH until heaven.

Here's probably something you don't want to hear...
Sometimes I get weary of the battle (I think they call that - "battle fatigue"), I get tired of running, and I feel my faith being pounded on.

The thing that encourages me along this line is this. 'They' say that after you work out, your muscles strengthen as you rest. The workout tears at them, and the rest builds them up to make them healed and stronger.

So, this week - this Christmas week - I'm not going to fight harder or run faster, I'm going to rest. And, I'm going to trust that God is repairing and strengthening me as I rest.

How about you? How about finding a time to rest in Him this week - so that you can be strengthened.

Ok, now let's all sing, "Away in the Manger".....

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Rock

PS 18:46...."THE LORD LIVES! PRAISE BE TO MY ROCK! EXALTED BE GOD MY SAVIOR!"

Today is the Monday that follows a Sunday. Pretty profound, eh? THIS Monday followed last night's Carols and Bells Concert. Between the weather (unusual freezing rain and ice), sickness experienced by people involved, families experiencing losing loved ones, & strategic light/projection bulbs dying - I would have to say that this has been the most challenging Christmas project I've ever tried to lead the charge on. Yesterday morning I got up (very early) and prayed - and read - and listened. My brain would not let me sleep, so I can't say the Holy Spirit woke me up, but what I heard was interesting.

The gist of it was this....wherever I walked I would experience the Rock under my feet. (Ok...get ready for this...) Then, I saw in my mind's eye a couple of scenes from an Indiana Jones movie. (I know, I lost some of you right there!) In one of the scenes from this movie, the actors were safe if they only walked on the special stones. Those stones spelled out YAHWEH. If they walked on any other stone they were in danger. Another scene showed the lead guy needing to get from one place to another but there was no bridge to get him there. What was required of him was to STEP OUT INTO THIN AIR. When his foot stepped out, a bridge appeared. Just what he needed, but couldn't provide for himself.

Ahhhhhh.

Last night the LORD was so faithful. I am incredibly grateful.

Today I'm saying - Thank you for being my Rock!

Ps 62:6 - "He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken!"

Friday, December 4, 2009



Today I'm thinking about courage.

15 1/2 years ago we moved to Grants Pass to pastor. The scripture that steadied my heart to make the move to Grants Pass from a church we loved in Salem was Joshua 1:6.
"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous."

So, today I am looking into the eyes of my Father saying, "Today I still believe Your promise. Help me to be strong and courageous."

In the battle that we (all) are a part of it is easy to forget the promises. But today I am crying out to see His promise fulfilled in this valley.

Why the picture of the spider? Well, it was on our garbage can a couple of weeks ago and.....I was SO courageous that I texted Dennis in the middle of his city council workshop to come home and get rid of that thing.

Yep, REALLY courageous! Hope to do better in the battle for Eternity.

God bless you with courage and strength and peace today.

Sunday, November 22, 2009






This week of Thanksgiving I am extremely grateful to be working with a wonderful leadership team.

We had a working/prayer/fun retreat together a couple of weeks ago which was a great opportunity for some pictures!

How really blessed I am to have people around that show me Jesus, encourage me to be courageous, and live out what love looks like.

I have A LOT to be grateful for - but, for today, I'm saying, "Thanks, Father, for allowing me to walk with many, many, many wonderful people."

Monday, November 16, 2009




I am thinking this morning about how prone we are to want systems and rules. THAT worked last time, so it must be what we should do EVERY TIME.

But God seems to think otherwise. Besides the absoluteness of the cross, and His love, His motto seems to be, "Trust Me." "Don't manipulate Me, or put Me to a level of your ability to understand - TRUST ME."

He healed by so many different, sometimes odd means. He used so many different types of people, and different types of stories to show us the Kingdom of God.

So - why, why, why must we insist that He perform for us the same way every time we pray??????? Rules and systems are much easier than needing to trust the goodness and grace and wisdom and power and authority and love of the God we say we love.

The pictures that I include with this blog are signs that show arrows directing the hiker to go in opposite directions. Opposite directions - yet at different junctions of the trail the need to go in the opposite direction is really important. If I decide to say, "the last direction I saw/heard said to go left so I will always go left no matter what the trail looks like - go left, go left, go left - that's my life's motto!" - I will actually miss the trail entirely - and maybe come dangerously close to the cliff.

Ps. 73:23-24 - "Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory."

Today, I am praying for an extreme awareness of Him holding my right hand. I am praying that I am aware of His nudging to go to the right or the left - that I won't have to to pushed hard to the right or left - just a nudge will be enough.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cousins



We all love so differently, don't we? What is meaningful to me might be corny or crazy to you. We love by taking the time to figure out how to love in the way that means the most to the other person.

Some people like words - some like presents - others respond to acts of serving or the expression of affection.

For our 2 year old grandsons the big deal right now is learning to share what they really like. And, it seems that what the other guy has always looks more fun than what THEY have in their hand.

Sometimes Oscar will just spontaneously hug Jack! It startles Jack a little but I think that Jack is starting to 'get' why Oscar is hugging him. They are learning how to love.

I John 3:18 - "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and Truth."

Let's pray together that we learn how to love people - not how WE want to be loved, but how THEY need to be loved.

Just something to think about....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Miracles

My Miracles - by Jeanette Webber
This weekend I had my own miracles - small ones, in the light of eternity - but miracles still. Danita and Oscar came and spent a couple of days with us. I actually carried him a couple of times. He's a little 'linebacker' for a 2 year old. I haven't really been able to carry him for most of his 2 years because of my stinky wrist damage. I carried Oscar. Pretty cool.

This morning I played the keyboard for Children's Church Worship. I'm sure they call Children's Church something really fun but I'm not good at remember the fun, code names for things so.......I was in Children's Church and they let me play - and I could play. I played all the songs Rhonda wanted to sing - without any pain. None. Pretty cool.

The funny thing is - no one else really noticed or clapped or said, "Hallelujah"! Only me, down in my bellybutton area somewhere, shouted - "THANK YOU, GOD"!!!!!! I can play the piano again - I can carry precious things again - and I can write in my journal again. Wow.

I want to encourage you to keep walking, keep believing, keep resting in Jesus, keep looking up AND keep looking around for miracles!

Jesus, please give my brothers and sisters an infusion of faith at this very moment that You are who You say You are, You do what you say You'll do, and they CAN believe in Your goodness - and Power - and Grace. Amen.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Just grateful

So, last night I played the piano for our night of worship. I have been able to play very little since the accident in the last (almost) 2 years. I certainly haven't played much since the last surgery. Last night I played for the better part of 3 hours. Last WEEK I couldn't play more than 2 songs without the shooting pain of a nerve being very angry in my wrist. And today - no pain.

I cannot put into words my depth of gratitude. First, for the wonder of the Presence of God that we experienced last night. Secondly, for the privilege of getting to play again. I came home and knelt down and . . . . felt such gratitude to our God.

That is really all I can say to you today - I'm so grateful.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wind


I like this bird because he is standing on a bench, looking at the ocean, in the middle of some extreme wind.

I want to 'stand' in extreme wind and enjoy the view!

My wind today is pain. Again. I have an EXTREME desire to lead worship from the piano this Sunday night when we meet to hang out with Jesus in worship and prayer. Physical therapy was rough today. It appears the scar tissue is re-attached to that median nerve that is sutured together. It appears that that nerve is slow in regenerating (which is a painful process). It's a windy day in my body today.

My heart feels the wind from what my kids and their kids are going through right now. My heart hurts as much as the damaged nerve in my wrist right now.

For today I'll lean on Ps. 61:4 - "I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." I might not be able to stand and enjoy the view today (like the mighty warrior woman I want to be), but I will listen to the wind from the safe place - the shelter of His wings.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Dreaded.....Garage Sale

This weekend, I participated in a garage sale with my neighbor. I totally understand that some people LOVE garage sales - I'm just not one of them. I deeply enjoy a good bargain - that's not the problem. It's the bargaining that I struggle with. The "I know you're asking a whole quarter for this set of bedroom furniture - but, will you take 15 cents for it?" deal. Can't do it. Don't want to do it. Won't do it.

This weekend I put stuff in a garage sale - the second time in my life to do so. I had fun with my neighbor - made some money to go toward the dryer we had to replace - and actually had some of my faith restored in humanity. Some people did do the bargaining - I think one couple even lied to get a bargain ("I only HAVE $2, not $3" - no eye contact, whatever). But one lady actually gave back a dollar that was given incorrectly as change, and one man rounded the total UP instead of down. (He gave us an extra 25 cents!)

What did I learn? Well, I learned that I really, really like integrity - even if it means that you don't make the sweet deal you could have made.

I learned that I probably wasn't listening to the voice in my heart that says..."and my God shall supply all my needs, according to His riches in glory" when I decided to do the dreaded garage sale. I felt like I needed to do SOMETHING to help with the bills we have right now - even if that meant (dun--dun, dun, dun...) a garage sale.

I am NOT saying that people should not have garage sales. I'm just saying that for me it was not an act of faith - or an act of trust - or an act of rest. It was an act of...'I need to do SOMETHING here!' That is not faith for me.

Why confess this here for you to read? Because, I want to be a faithful, faith-filled woman - even when the bills look huge or the kids are struggling or too many people around us are going through deep waters. I want to be found faith-FULL.

My God will meet all of your needs, according to HIS RICHES IN GLORY. Yay.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Focus, Focus, Focus...

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:16-18

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Rom. 12:12

God, please bless the meditation of Your Word...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doors........


I stopped at Target today - on my way to a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. After a quick walk-through I headed to my car. Two automatic doors opened for me upon my departure...one at a time....dramatically. I heard "ta-dah" music in my head as I walked through the open doors. So easy. I loved that. Made me totally smile.

I got in the car and prayed, "Lord, please open the door like that for me as I try to communicate with this doctor. I need to be courageous and I need to be clear." (These are challenging things for someone who struggles with confrontation.)

Not all the doors in my life open like that. Some take some muscle. Some take some patience, because they are revolving! Some don't open because I'm 'pushing' when I should be 'pulling'. Some don't open because they are locked and bolted shut for now.

The door DID open like that with the doctor. He quickly agreed to what I asked of him. We also talked briefly about the fact that I have a (once severed) working tendon, that was not surgically repaired, but is WHOLE again. 'TA-DAH!!!!!!!' I have a new open door experience. I didn't touch it to open it. I didn't have anything to do with the healing - but GOD DID. I have some work to do to gain back use and strength again - but can I say "TA-DAH!!!!!" too much right now? I don't think so.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Greatness of Manure...


I am amazed at how tenacious weeds are. I am amazed at their roots, and their motivation to even break through blacktop to grow.

Then, there's what I WANT to grow. I love flowers but they seem to need intentional attention to flourish! The weeds will choke out their ability to bloom to their fullest capacity. Hmmmmm....reminds me of the parable in Matt. 13 about the seeds.

I'm a fan of fresh vegetables as well. The ground they grow the best in involves....manure. I grew up in the Bay Area so I'm still a little surprised by somethings, I guess. A little manure in that plants life enriches it - a lot of manure can burn it.

When you and I experience a little 'manure' in life we need to keep in mind that that manure enriches us - it enlarges our ability to be fruitful. Don't resent manure experiences. God has called us to bear much fruit! (Matt. 7)

Yep, I just blogged about the greatness of manure. My, my, my.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jiggled and rolled...



Ok - so - these pictures of Jack trying to wear my reading glasses have nothing to do with 'jiggling and rolling', but he was so funny with these glasses on I couldn't help but share him! SO FUN!!!!!!!

After my last blog post, I received an email from a long time friend. She was reminding me of when we worked out together at a woman's gym about a million years ago. Part of the regiment of that circuit training included a couple of interesting machines. One involved a belt that you leaned into and it jiggled your....body....at a fairly rapid pace. (In hopes of shaking some of the fat cells loose, evidently.) You sat on the other machine. It wasn't terribly comfortable because it was a series of rollers that spun while you tried to sit on them. (In hopes of beating the celulite loose, evidently.)

I think I have exercise stories like some people have diet stories. Pilates (where I discovered I don't even HAVE a core) - the exercise ball (where I discovered I don't have the balance I thought I had) - hula hoop - kick boxing - eliptical machine - Curves - Slender Lady - walking - running - doing excercise V-E-R-Y slowly - doing excercise very quickly - free weights - not so free weights - the list goes on and on. A quest to find what 'fits' me! Whatever.

You could be asking, "why is she telling me this????" - and rightly so, I guess.

Heb. 12:1 - "...run with persevance the race marked out..."
James 1:3 - "...the testing of your faith develops perseverance..."
Rom. 5:4 - "...perseverance produces character, and character, hope."

In the physical I've looked for exercise that would be the most effective with the least amount of effort. There. I said it. What I'm challenged with is this....do I do that with my relationship with Jesus as well? Do I look for an experience - a spiritual adrenalin rush? Am I content with just hanging out with Jesus and His Word - abiding - doing what He's asked me to do even if it doesn't feel particularly romantic. What if I'm still struggling with things I thought I'd have whipped a LONG time ago? Will I keep going? Will I keep doing the next right thing and trust that spiritual muscles are being built up every day, whether I can see them or not?

2 Peter 1:5 - "...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance, and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I really want to be effective and productive. Let's be spiritual 'work-out' partners!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Riding a bike upside down...

Had a funny experience this week. It's been hot and I laid down on a hard bench for a minute. I felt something unusual. I felt the skin on my face....move. Really. I was looking up at the ceiling and it seemed as if the skin on my face was being pulled by gravity toward the floor. It's a weird feeling when you realize something you thought was securely fastened...is...loose evidently. When I stood back up gravity again pulled it to the floor. My skin is....loose....oh my stars.

My first experience with loose skin came after having our first son. I wanted to get back into shape after the birth so I went to an exercise class. For some reason, back in the olden days, one of the exercises that was a staple involved laying down, lifting your legs into the air, balancing on your neck and shoulders and pedaling an imaginary bike. Pedal, pedal, pedal. I haven't seen that particular move in an exercise class for a LONG time now, but back in the day it was mandatory for some reason. Anyway, I lifted my legs in the air and to my horror I felt and saw my stomach move from my abdomen to my chest. It was loose and now was falling toward my throat with enough force to choke me! Hello. End of exercise session in FRONT of people that day!

I have MANY exercise experiences that I could share - but won't right now. I guess for today I'm grateful that although I seem to be coming loose in some areas, the Bible says that Jesus has a STRONGHOLD on me. He will not loosen His grip on me. WE ARE TIGHT! Yay!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't give up!

"The most glorious promises of God are generally fulfilled in such a wondrous manner that He steps forth to save us at a time when there is the least appearance of it."
~Karl Heinrich Von Bogatzky

"As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." 2 Sam. 22:31

Don't give up! I mean it - DON'T GIVE UP!
Keep praying, keep walking, keep believing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"I sold the couch while you were gone..."

I LOVE things that make me laugh out loud! I really, really do. Our life is FULL of very intense life situations that people are going through and I find such a GIFT in laughter. It's kind of a balance thing to me. (Just like we need PRAISE to balance a burden of INTERCESSION - but that's another subject for another time...)

So, yesterday I had a couple of painful situations come my way. I 'work out' stressful situations like that by....cleaning (most of the time)....and cleaning out things (clutter, drawers, closets, etc...). Yesterday I decided to 'clean out' by putting some stuff on Craig's list to sell. I've never done that before. I'm a newbie Craig's Lister. I learned some things. One - if you put too cheap a price on something, chances are you are going to get A LOT of interest in that object. Evidently, a lot of people on Craig's list love a deal!!!!!

Here's the funniest moment of my day yesterday. Dennis went to have a pre-marital counseling session with a couple. They live out of town so their time together was longer than normal. Here's my moment.....when Dennis came home it was time for me to tell him that I had sold the couch while he was gone!!!! Oh my stars - you should have seen his face! He knew SOMETHING would be cleaned while he was gone but selling the furniture in that amount of time? Now THAT is something new in our 33 years of marriage! It'll make me laugh out loud all day long today!

The second thing I learned is that people not only want a deal, but will ask for MORE. One guy asked if I would deliver the couch and loveseat - - - to ASHLAND! I only put a $25 price on each to start with and he WANTED ME TO DELIVER!!!!

At this rate I'm NEVER going to get this last surgery paid off!!!!!! You know that I don't mean that - God has always and WILL ALWAYS provide what we need - some way - some how. But HE'S probably laughing at my $25 contributions to His plan!

Blessings again and again on your day and your life and your heart - and please, don't forget to laugh!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


No, this isn't my new tattoo....they removed the stitches yesterday from this last surgery. Although I was VERY glad to be past the stitch removal phase - the sight of this incision was a little startling.

Now I work on the 'work of healing'. I will need to intentionally inflict pain on myself in order to gain strength and grip and wholeness again. I've tried ignoring that I've had this surgery and that doesn't seem to be helping, so now it's time to be intentional.

I feel like I'm speaking to my brothers and sisters who are facing - head on - the forgiveness issue that we are teaching about at PCC. You've tried ignoring the hurt and that just hasn't worked. It's TIME, dear one, to be intentional. To TOUCH THE WOUND. To allow the oil of the Holy Spirit and the hand of the Great Physician to do what needs to be done for YOU to be free!!!!! It's TIME. I know it hurts but there is freedom on the other side - health on the other side - joy on the other side. It's worth it!

Blessings.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Are we having fun?






We are getting to see family of some sort for 4 weekends in a row. That is just amazingly fun.

Look at these little smiley faces! Don't they make you smile just looking at them? Oh my stars.

I haven't made it out of the 'can't believe how much this still hurts' zone after the surgery quite yet. Last night my mind was searching for whatever is '*true and *honest and *just and *pure and *lovely and of *good report'. I needed to direct my thoughts - where should my mind land in the middle of all of this pain. *Philippians tells us what to think on.......the Holy Spirit promises to be the Comfort we need....and Jesus says that He'll never leave us or forsake us - ever.

I'm just reminding us all the we don't usually need help remembering pain, but, remembering the good stuff is what will bring us Life and strength. Purposefully remember something or someone that makes you smile right now. And, thank God for that person or that experience that makes you smile.

"Count your many blessings, name them one by one - and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Today's the day...

Ever had one of those days that is THE DAY? You prepare for it and try to prepare for what it'll be like AFTER 'The Day'. Well, today is 'the day'. Wrist surgery #4. New doctor, specializing in hand surgery. New town. New day. I asked the Lord to please either heal my wrist or remind me of the pain (to help me with the surgery choice) and He chose the second option (yep, to my disappointment!)

I blogged about my wrist situation early in my blogging journey - it's the one with a lovely picture of my wrist a year ago - so I'm not going to go over the cause, etc. right now. Today's goal is release of scar tissue from the main nerve that was damaged awhile ago. And cover that nerve with a disolvable covering so scar tissue won't bring grief again.

Just using this way of sharing my life to answer some questions and ask for some prayer over this over part of my journey. I'd LOVE to play the piano in worship, hold my grandbabies, carry the groceries, write in my journal, enter my bookkeeping at Hull & Hull without pain. Love it.

I'm greatly enjoying the peace I'm experiencing today. I've been having a battle with fear because of my difficulty getting and staying sedated during surgery. But today - because of the prayers of people that I get to ride on - like riding a raft down the Rogue River - there is peace. Hallelujah. No really - HALLELUJAH.

I feel instructed by the Holy Spirit that God is going to 'do something cool today'. So, I'm looking for the cool thing!

Thanks for listening....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Face Wax

Ok, so, here's the deal....a person (who will remain nameless) gets older. You discover that you can't see things as clearly close up as you once did. In some ways that's a blessing. When you look in the mirror you actually see a 'softer' version of yourself! The wrinkles aren't as clear, and evidently, a person can't see the new HAIR that is growing on her face. New hair growing in new places. No, not like man-hair that grows out of the ears - other hair, that grows out of the chin and in between the nose and the lips. Really sad. But I (oops! I mean 'a person') have to face this new reality. Other people (like my husband) can evidently see this new ability to grow hair very clearly. So, I have now joined a new world called 'waxing'. A professional lady puts stuff on the offending area and RIPS it off - and moments later that area has no more surprise hairs. A painful experience that one actually has to pay for!

But you know, sometimes we need an outside perspective on ourselves. Someone who can tell us (hopefully with love, and less pain than the professional ripper) what they see that we can't see - both the good and the distracting.

I'm thankful for a God who does that, and for really good family and friends who will do that for me. They love me with or without the new extra facial hairs, I know, but at least I know what they kept looking at when we were talking now!!!!!

There will be no picture accompanying this blog entry......you should thank me for that!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


This is my lesson from Jesus tonight. I have been reminded that God used a donkey several times in the Bible for very strategic and important things. I'll leave it to you to figure out how that might have applied to me...

(By the way, if you click on the donkey so you can see it bigger, I THINK you'll see that it's smiling!)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sudoku Perspective


I am a fan of Sudoku. I'll admit to having to go the paper versions of the game because I cheat too much with my hand-held electronic game.

The weird thing is - I've really learned something from playing this game. Really. I've learned that my perspective changes when I look up and away from the puzzle! I fill in all the numbers that look obvious to me, then I explore the not so obvious ones and find those. Then, I get stuck. It doesn't seem to help me to keep staring at the puzzle, once I'm stuck! I need to look away - get my brain to focus on something else. When I come back to it an amazing thing OFTEN happens. I see things that I didn't see before.....there's an answer RIGHT THERE....right in front of me....but I couldn't see it before. Then, one answer often leads to another answer, and another, and another.

My brain does that 'mirroring' thing they talk about very well. That process sometimes wakes me up in the night, or keeps me from going to sleep at all. The answer seems to be....LOOK UP! Change your focus for awhile. It's like I'm asking for answers from God so intently that He can't get a word in edgewise! I have to intentionally look up, look away from the circumstance and look at Him to get new perspective, and often the key to the next step I should take.

That's what happens when I choose to praise Him in the middle of challenges. He gives me new perspective - and the grace and wisdom to take one step at a time.

One verse comes immediately to my mind....Jer. 33:3 ..."Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

What are your 'look up' verses? Would you mind posting them for us to read? Thanks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A New Day...

I love the ocean - I love the sound and the sight because it ALWAYS brings me back to the hugeness of our God. It SHOWS me what grace looks like - the wave comes in on the sand and removes the marks from yesterday - and offers a clean slate for today. New mercies for today. How I love that.

I have been amazed at how fast the things that are right in front of my nose (and yelling in my ear) have taken over my focus. I've been disappointed in myself. Dang, I'm SO HUMAN. Bummer! I so wanted to come home from the sabbatical and be able to hold on to the quiet in my heart, the rest in my body and the joy in my spirit - but it seems I still have to be intentional about what I meditate on - be intentional about sleeping - and be intentional about remembering the hugeness of our God. Hmmmm. A lot has happened in our fellowship family while I've been gone. People's grief and pain hurts my heart. "Find rest, my soul, in God alone - He is my hope."

The last 3 weeks or so have been full - full of family (which I so love) - reconnecting with some minister friends (who I love) - and sharing Jesus with some new friends in South Dakota (who were easy to love). I even got to see Mt. Rushmore (which was on my 'Bucket List')!

So, I'm grateful for a full life. And, I'll be hope-filled that He who began a good work in me will complete it....yesterday was very hard, but today offers new peace - Thank You, Jesus.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Out of Clean Socks...

I have no idea what people think a sabbatical is. Do they imagine a long vacation with lots of luxury and bon-bon eating?

What was my expectation? I really didn't know what it would look like. Our goal was to rest and to listen - and we sure did that. But we did it in a variety of places. From small and rustic - to larger with a washing machine! From quiet and solitude - to busy with people all around. The goal was still to rest and to listen. We read a lot, we talked a lot, we wrote a lot, we prayed a lot, we listened a lot, we walked a lot, we laughed a lot and we rested.

So, now I have to learn how to do that at home - at work - at church - in a room with people experiencing crisis - in a room with conflict - or with joy. In a room where hard decisions need to be made concerning family. Be at rest....and listen.

Ps. 62:5 - "Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone; my hope comes only from Him."

I'm quite convinced that when we add a lot of stuff to Jesus - in the name of being a good Christian - we find ourselves in trouble spiritually. ...Find rest, oh my soul, in God ALONE; my hope comes only from Him.....

Holy Spirit, please pour Yourself on my brother or sister that is reading this. Bring peace where their heart is troubled. You speak the word and heal them. Thank you. I pray and praise in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Path...


Ok - half of our sabbatical is over.

The question comes up - "So, what are you learning?"

My short answer for today is.....how we do today's part of the journey is important. Do I enjoy the part of the journey I CAN see? Or, do I miss the joy of today wondering where the path goes next - the part I can't see? I miss A LOT of beauty by being focused on where the path goes next. Today is important. HIS grace for today is important. HIS joy for today is important. HIS gift of today is important.

Enjoy your today!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sabbatical

I can usually tell where my stress or exhaustion level is by the level of my sense of humor. Seeing the fun in difficult situations has been a gift from the Lord. My mind is fuzzy, my body is shaking with fatigue and I can't think of anything to share that is funny. We leave for the Sabbatical tomorrow. Maybe one of the harder things we've done. Dennis' mom is stable and insisting that we go.....to the point of Wayne driving us to the airport to see that we get on that plane. I remember someone describing intercession on their behalf feeling like they have a soft mattress under them - one that they just lay back on. That's what I'm hoping for. A cushion of intercession that Vivian will rest on, and a cushion that we will rest on.

There will be another day that I will share..........when I'm restored and laughing out loud again....until then keep looking up, keep listening for His Life-giving voice. HE NEVER GETS TIRED - He really is the glory and the lifter of our heads.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Glass Challenge...


Dennis got me something really cool for Christmas. It was a glass pedestal serving bowl. I liked it because the opening was set at an angle and I like things that are a little different from the norm. (No comments on that, please!) He went out of his way to get it, brought it home to wrap it, put it in the box and pressed on it slightly to get it securely in the box and ....it broke into a million pieces. It was covered with bubble wrap so the pieces were contained but it was a sad moment. He felt so bad.....I received my gift, it was broken and we took it to the recycle together - all before Christmas day. I told him he probably saved my life - based on what happened to me last Christmas!!!

My sister, on the other hand, is standing in front of a cross she designed and built (with help) - made out of pieces of broken glass that she hand painted. Is that amazing or what? Her son, Phil is standing with her.

This picture strongly reminded me that God takes our broken pieces and produces such beauty and purpose out of them. He just has an eye for it! We might just see the broken piece in our hand but He sees how that broken piece actually fits (and looks beautiful) when it gets placed together with other pieces.

I am praying for you as I'm writing this....that you will find hope and faith in the Truth that tells us that you can trust HIM with every, every, every piece of your life.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Watchtower Diving Number 2...


If you look closely at the picture below (it helps to click on the picture and see the enlarged version) you will see the divers head - it's the spot behind the row of waves. I want to assure you he is unharmed and will dive many more times in his future.

My own 'watchtower diving' thoughts bring me to when I was asked to go alone into the maximum security women's prison in Salem - to tell my story and talk about how loving and being love by Jesus changes us to the core of who we are. I ended up going in every week for 2 1/2 years.

I'm reminded of being asked to go to Malaysia and share for 12 hours a day for 3 days about leading worship, and what the Word says about worship and worshippers. The kicker here was that one section of the ministry leaders that were at this conference didn't want a woman teaching them anything. (I didn't know that until I got there.)

Reality for me is that it is a 'watchtower diving' experience for me to let go of anxious thoughts and fears sometimes. To trust God - not gritting my teeth - but with abandon. I love our children fiercely and am not thrilled when they are in pain, or in painful circumstances. I absolutely want them to have strong spiritual muscles, to be mature and stable adults with depth. I want them to KNOW God, and they will KNOW Him by walking their own journey of trust with Him. I'm just telling you it's still hard for my mom's heart for them to be in pain.

So, today I'm also telling you that every day I CHOOSE to dive - to 'lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord' - like the Amplified Version of the Bible says in Prov. 3:5....
"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dennis jumping off a watchtower...


So, actually - this is NOT Dennis jumping off the watchtower - although he would do that if given the opportunity. We were in Mexico and this guy came up to us and said, "my cousin will jump off that watchtower if you give him $5." (The cousin's financial manager got a 5 from a bunch of people looking at the ocean in that spot!)

That guy jumped because he knew the spot he would land in was deep enough to be safe.

I want to trust God at such a level as to 'jump' when He says 'jump' - trusting that He knows the spot I'll land in. Beyond that I want to ENJOY THE FALL! Is that crazy? I'm not an adrenalin junky so I don't get the 'I do it for the rush' deal - but I want to enjoy the freedom that trusting gives to just enjoy the ride (or the fall in this illustration).

I wonder what YOU see when you look at this picture?