Saturday, December 27, 2008


Why is it so hard to love our family well as compared to others in our lives? I struggle with this question often, but especially around the holidays. I ponder how I should act and what I should say even with simple phone conversations. It causes me great stress and burdens my heart to the point at which my inner spirit yells a blood curdling, "RETREAT!". An about face withdraw seems to be my best defense against a good tongue lashing towards others who, in my eyes, truly deserve the harsh treatment of honest words!


In the agony of my defeat, I become quiet almost to the point of silence. I withdraw and hold my weapon clenched behind my teeth with lips sealed. Unfortunately, I can not hush the random thoughts of anguish and hurt which swirl within my mind. So many "whys" get asked bouncing between the right and left brain followed by tears of pain. Have I once again expected more from others than what is able to be given? I wish the word "expect" could just be dropped from the whole English language.


I don't like disappointments, but life is full of them. I dislike greatly the walls we build to protect our hearts, but everyone of us does it. A negative word is never forgotten, but we have all done it to another. I guess these three things are why I'm holding myself back from visiting family. I don't want to be a disappointment, build walls, or speak a negative word. I figure time heals all wounds and in time I will get past the anger and be able to love well again. The best medicine for a tongue that wants to lash out is to stay away from that which arouses the tongue to anger, pray, and seek the face of Jesus.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Grown Up Christmas List

This is mine and my husband's favorite Christmas song! Click the link below and have a wonderful Christmas!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvuTHCLB3o0

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hush My Child...Love Jesus


Hush now do you hear me sing,
I sing to you a song of peace.
The day comes near,
When I was born,
To quiet the ache of the soul.

Hush now do you hear me sing,
I sing to you a song of joy.
For though I was born,
That I might die,
Hope arose from behind the stone.

Hush now do you hear me sing,
I sing to you a song of love.
Sing back to me my sweet child,
There is no greater gift I should want,
Than for you to believe in me and rejoice!

Do you hear him? He is waiting and longing to sit awhile and talk with you. Slow down from the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season...just five minutes...and let Christ sing over you! Let him renew you with his peace, fill you with his joy, and lavish you with his love!
Click Below Link and Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

All Paid Up

As I shopped for groceries, my son asked if he could have a small chocolate milk as a treat. I put it in the cart with the rest of our things and began to check out. The chocolate milk was the first up and the cashier asked if we wanted it left out. Of course my son wanted to carry it so the lady put a bright orange oval sticker on the container of milk. In bold black letters was the word PAID.

I didn’t think much of it at first, but as we left the store my son stuck the sticker on the palm of his hand. He chuckled and said,

“Look mom I’m paid for.”

I glanced down at his hands and my mind immediately flashed to Jesus on the cross. As we walked out to the parking lot and the misty rain hit our faces, I agreed with my son. I told him he is paid for…. by the blood of the lamb. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin so that we might find freedom in Him. He paid a debt he did not owe all because he loves us!

So remember this Christmas...Jesus came that He might die...die to give us life!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Play Your Drum


It was evening, but the sky was bright, lit by an amazing star that brought brilliance and joy to the darkness. The sound of a baby’s coo from the manger’s straw floor and the sight of a man and woman gazing in wonderment made the night glow even brighter.First, cattle appeared, then goats and sheep, followed by shepherds from the fields. They came…they bowed…they wept kissing the baby’s hand and the mother’s cheek.

The boy watched from afar between the rails of a fence. His drum and drumsticks, the only thing he owned, lay quietly beside him as he continued to watch unknowingly the event of a lifetime. He witnessed others come and set gifts down as they bowed before the babe. The little drummer boy was so intrigued and wanted so much to get a little closer. Hours had passed and now sitting beside his drum, he came to the exciting conclusion that this child must be a King. This child, he thought, must be the one his grandfather had told him about…the child that would come to save the sin sick world.

O, how he wanted to get a glimpse of the baby, but he had no gift. How could he walk up to a King and have no gift to give? His chin collapsed to his chest and he closed his eyes in utter disappointment of not having something fitting for a King. His eyes felt wet and when he opened them a tear drop raced down his cheek. He raised his hand to wipe the tear and the sound of his drumsticks rolling off the top of his drum caused him to look at his only possession.

“My drum…I’ll play my drum for the one who will save me!”

He picked the drum up, slung it around his neck, and stood tall clasping a drumstick in each sweaty hand. He took a deep breath and began to play, prrrr rump pa pum pum…his feet began to move and march in military style…prrrr rump pa pum pum…those who were standing…those who were bowing…the animals and the baby’s mother looked towards the small boy. The sound of his drum echoed sweetness to all! Tears flooded the drummer boy’s face, but he dared not stop giving the only gift he had to offer. It was all he had to give his King!

Will we as God’s children choose to get off the fence and give back to our King the gift He has given us as the little drummer boy did? Will we be bold enough to put Christ back into Christmas and march to the beat of a different drum by using our God given gifts to echo the sweetness of Jesus to those around us? Do you fear your Lord enough that you dare not stop giving the only gift you have to offer? If you feel you have no gift to give, share the one gift that has been given to you…the story of Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Myrrh at Christmas Time

Did you know myrrh was present at the birth of Christ, used in His death, and will be smelled in His return?

Birth of Jesus - Matthew 2:11 – The Visit of the Magi
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”

Death of Jesus - John 19:39-40 – The Burial of Jesus
“He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy five pounds. Taking Jesus body the two of the m wrapped it, with the spices in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.”

Jesus Returns for His Bride - Psalm 45:8
“All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia…”

Psalm 45 is a song in praise of the king on his wedding day and depicts a foreshadowing of Christ. After the exile this psalm was applied to the Messiah, the promised Son of David who would sit on David’s throne. (taken from NIV Study Notes)
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The Scent of Jesus

Often I crave alone time to just sit and think about Jesus. I imagine in my mind different scenarios of what it must have been like to have lived during the time of Christ and actually see him face to face as he spoke. How deep was his voice or did he sing tenor? How would his hand have felt as it brushed over top of mine walking amongst the crowds? Did Christ have a scent that lingered which would remind me of his presence throughout the day long after his departure to the next town? Would this scent cause me to seek him even more with the desire to capture another moment of grace in his presence?

At the birth of Jesus, the magi brought the new King incense and myrrh
(Matthew 2:11). What is the origin of these two gifts? God instructed Moses to “Make an alter…” in the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 30:1) and on this alter Aaron was to burn incense every morning and also when he lighted the lamps at night fall. The fragrant smoke that rose from the burning of incense symbolized the prayers of God’s people. God commanded Moses (Exodus 30:34-35) to make the incense from equal parts of gum resin, which is taken from the middle of hardened drops of myrrh. This was very rare and very valuable. Also, the closing flap of claw shaped snails called, Onycha, was rubbed with an alkali solution to remove impurities; it was then soaked in the fermented berry juice of the Caper shrub, or a strong white wine, in order to enhance its fragrance. Galbanum, a rubbery resin, was added. Last, pure frankincense was tapped by slashing the bark of the Frankincense (Boswellia) tree found in Lebanon. The sap bleeds out from the tree as resin and is called “tears”. These trees are also considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that the trees sometimes grow directly out of solid stone, which the tree attaches to by means of a sucker-like appendage. The deep roots and its sucker like appendage prevent the tree from being torn away from the stone during the violent storms that frequent this region; the “tears” from these hardy survivors are considered superior due to their more fragrant aroma.

Myrrh is identified with an aromatic gum exuded from the leaves of the cistus rose. Its oil was used in beauty treatments (Easter 2:12) and was sometimes mixed with wine and drunk to relieve pain. Jesus was actually offered this drink mix when he suffered on the cross (Mark 15:23), but did not partake of it. The most amazing thing about myrrh is that it was brought to Christ at his birth by the magi and his body was wrapped in linen strips scented with myrrh at his death.

The harden drops of myrrh are considered very rare and very valuable and so are we as children of God. Yes, they burned incense in the Tent of Meeting as directed by God, but now we have Jesus. He surrendered all in the garden of Gethsemane as his sweat was like “tears” of blood. He loved us so much that just as the Frankincense tree was slashed to retrieve the good resin, so also was our Lord flogged by Roman soldiers that through him we remove impurities of sin in our own lives and become good once again. Jesus enhances our fragrance as children of the light as we grow in our knowledge of him and allow his love and grace embrace our daily walk. We need to cling to Jesus as a “sucker-like appendage” growing from the Solid Rock and know we will prevail in unforgiving environments and violent storms. Having joy despite the trials will label us as “hardy survivors” and superior in the eyes of Christ with our fragrant aroma!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

True Treasure of Christmas


Do you allow Christ's energy to struggle deep within you or do you wrestle with your own selfish desires and allow these to drive your actions?

I would hope most would choose the latter of these two choices and struggle with the energy of Jesus rather than that of your own ambitions. How powerful He is making us more than conquerors, but how often we forget the power of the King who has supremacy over all things.

"He is before all things and in Him all things hold together." Col. 1:17

Do you close the front door in the morning and rush off to start your busy day and leave Jesus standing at the window waving goodbye with tear filled eyes? Christ desires so much for us to realize our true treasure is fullness in Him and not chasing the ambitions and material things of this world.

Please do not be preoccupied with your "to do" list this Christmas season, but realize, as Christ desires for all, the treasure of this season is not the gifts we give or the gifts we receive..the true treasure is fullness in Christ Jesus!

Lord,

may we please you in every way,

live a life worthy of the Lord,

bear good fruit,

and grow in the knowledge of the Jesus!

Amen

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

True Peace of Christmas

The picture below is beautiful indeed. The view out the window with filtered sunlight peeking through the branches of the now naked tree drew me to seek a better look. I heard the chirp of the red bird whistling a sweet melody to his fellow friends and squirles waved their tails wildly in the air as if to give me a hardy hello. It drew me...spoke to me to come closer...to come out and join in the good time. I came awe stricken in a daze like state toward the window to partake of what I thought would give me a sweet sensation of peace and joy...



But then...

a sudden thud...

as my head bangs against the wall...

for the window I sought ...

was not a window at all...

it was a shadow...

giving me a false belief...

of what I thought was the real thing!

My hands reached upward to rub the spot where I was whincing in pain. The sudden thud brought me right out of my starry eyed state and made me realize I was deceived. I sought beauty and peace where it could not be found lured in by sights and sounds which made my heart desire a false contentment.

As I lifted my head from my hands, a true warmth overcame me. I looked up and to my right...and there before me was the true window.

Don't let the shadows of this holiday season lure you into false belief that "things" will make you happy and bring you joy, peace, and contentment. For soon after you will realize this idea is false. The only true peace received is that which comes from our Savior...Jesus! How he longs for you to seek Him and not the shadow!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Give me Joy!


If anyone ever thought when they become a Christian life would instantly be easy and good, they were sadly mistaken. I've personally known Jesus for almost 32 years. He found me at the young age of ten and I've tried...earnestly tried to live a respectable love filled life for Him.

I fall short...I fall very short so much of the time.

Sometimes I just loose it. I crash and burn. I really don't understand why Jesus still chooses to love this disobedient, judgemental, at times very angry soul. I sit here at this very moment with tears streaming down my face and breathing through my mouth because of a terrible cold. I stand and look in the mirror at the red blotted face and bloodshot eyes and wonder what God really sees in me. What is my purpose? I feel like I let so many, especially my family, down. What people see in me, I do not see in myself.

I'm hard on myself. My dad always use to tell me the six "P's".

Prior...
Proper...
Planning...
Prevents...
Poor...
Perfermance...

But no matter how hard I plan to prevent a poor performance on my part, I still end up disappointing many. Including disappointing myself which leads to deep unworthiness. An unworthiness not only to God, but to all whom I love and care for most.

Depression is an awful thing for anyone to have to deal with...I should know...I struggle often with this to the point of total breakdown. I saw this green t-shirt at Wally world. It was a pretty green. What I liked most about the shirt was what the studded gems on the front spelled...JOY. I wore it Thanksgiving day. I wanted to be reminded all day long that even if I didn't feel joy I wanted to see it and read it and remind myself that I have every right to JOY! My heavenly Father whispers to me even now that, YES...yes I do have a right to JOY! Thank you my Lord!

Even though I walk through the shadow of death...I will fear no evil for thou art with me thy rod and they staff they comfort me...Peace I give you...Peace I leave you...in this world you will have trouble but take heart...for I have overcome the world. Count it pure joy my brothers when you suffer trials of many kinds knowing that the testing of your faith develops perserverance and perserverance must finish its work so I may lack no good thing. The Lord is close to the broken hearted and those crushed in spirit. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.

I repeat and repeat these Bible verses in my mind when I get this way...depressed...and I write. So sorry if this post seems rather joyless, but it helps heal me and bring me back to Jesus.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spiritually Coherent Lives


During my time with the Lord today, I read the daily devotion for November 25th in the book “The Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. He questioned his readers about their “spiritual coherency” by asking if we were more coherent of the things of this world or more coherent of matters concerning the cross.

What does coherent mean I pondered. Well I thought I knew what it meant, but I had to look the word up and be sure… dictionary.com stated the physics of coherency was relating to or having waves with similar direction…capable to thinking and expressing yourself in a clear and consistent manner; a “lucid thinker”… sticking together.

Which led me to look up lucid…easily understood clear perception or understanding…shining or bright.

So I ask, are you spiritually coherent this day? Are the waves of your life, good or bad, going in a similar direction…back to the cross? Do you think and express yourself in a clear consistent manner always sticking to the Lord Jesus shining as a bright star that others might see Christ in you? In everything we do there must be a clear and concise trail that leads back to the cross. If there is not and our path lingers too far to the left or too far to the right, we are not thinking with a spiritually coherent mind.

I always use to tell my players when I coached basketball they needed to be able to do the fundamentals well. It would make them a better ball player and enable them to do more to help the team down the road. If they found themselves going through a bad streak, I would preach get back to the fundamentals and often spend time with them before or after practice working with them to become better at the basics. In order to stay spiritually coherent we need to get back to the fundamentals. These include praise, prayer, reading the Word of God, and a solid church foundation where your soul can be fed and nourished by fellow believers.

I think I need to get back to the fundamentals and practice what I preach…lol!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Untouched Beauty


A peaceful calm rests upon me when I awake in the morning to a fresh fallen snow. It is so breathtaking to see the untouched beauty from our creator before the sun erases the glistening fluff or we track our footprints on the soft ground causing the mud to rise to the surface in the outline of our shoe.

We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving and soon the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season will be upon us. But let us remember that Christ is a part of Christmas. He was the fresh fallen snow God sent from heaven. He was the pure and breathtaking beauty of God in the flesh. He came to give us peace and calm our anxious souls so hope might be revealed and free us forevermore!

So I plead and I ask for all to look deeply within your own heart this Christmas season and please do not trample on the glistening snow...our Savior and best friend...the diamond given to us from God..., but sit quietly, listen, and view all that Christ wishes to reveal to you. Admire His stedfast love for you and let His love reach out through you to touch the lives of others!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

He Won My Heart


I want to be close to Him,

just touch the hem of His robe,

feel the breath of heaven against my face,

I do indeed as He lavishes His grace!
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I cry tears of joy and not of pain,

for when they pierced hands,

He pierced my heart,

I'm in love with the one who gave His life for me!
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So you see why,

He won my heart this day and forever more,

He gave me life...He gave me hope,

He loosed the chains of bondage from this wounded soul!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beauty of the Father in First Snow


The first snow,

glistened upon the ground,

bringing beauty,

only the King could create.


The white diamonds,

set gently upon the branch of the pine,

whispering words from my Savior,

I AM.


All was still and quiet,

with only the chirp of the cardinal,

singing to my soul,

how great Thou art.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Kiss and A Wink from our King


After writing my last post, I've come to the realization that some might not know the meaning of a God wink or King kiss. A God wink is when you see God's blessings in the little things. The Lord smiles upon you in sweet admiration of His dear child.

When you are reading scripture, hopefully daily, and a specific verse seems to just jump off the pages and slam dunk your emotions stirring you to feel the closeness of God or find the answer to a prayer...you've just been kissed by the King!

I hope this helps you understand my lingo. I also hope for many God winks and King kisses for you soon! If you've had a God wink or King kiss I'd love to hear your story!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God Winks & King Kisses - My Heart Belongs to Him!


I feel forgetful and my mind is in a state of haziness. I have not been feeling well as I have been suffering with sinus congestion and a cough. A good nights rest has avoided me for several days now causing my eyes to feel very heavy.

Frankly, I feel as if I have been avoiding God to a certain extent these past several weeks….not intentionally…but when I pondered my life’s situation at the moment I wondered why I did not feel God close to me. I have felt lately as if I am in a dark room with no light and I’m feeling around with my hands and slowly shuffling my feet trying to get a sense of direction and not bump into anything. But to no avail the bumping into things just keeps on happening and I find myself constantly saying,

“O that hurt!”

I guess I’m just tired. All the moving we have done over the past seven years has finally taken its toll on me mentally and physically. It has not been an easy road. Especially since this all started when my kids ranged in age from 6 months to 7 years. Now my oldest is almost 14 and my youngest 7 and we’ve lived in six different places during this span of time. My husband has said,

“This is it…we’re not moving ever again.”

I’m thankful for those words. I don’t think I could do it again.

This post is just a rambling of sorts. My mind still feels in a fog. But a friend encouraged me to write. It’s my gift from God. It’s something I do well. At least I think I do. My friend also knows that writing helps me heal. Crying does as well…I’m doing that right now too.

I just need to focus on the God winks and King kisses. I need to sit in my saviors lap awhile and just talk. He knows my heart…my every need…my hurts…my pain. But somehow just being with Him calms me. My heart belongs to Him forever!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Random Facts about Me


Michelle at Ripples of Peace has tagged me for this fun and interesting MeMe.

SEVEN RANDOM/WEIRD FACTS ABOUT MYSELF:

1. I once asked a mother of twins if they were identical...they were boy and girl twins...lol...very blonde moment!

2. I love to cut things by hand on a wooden cutting board with a big butcher knife!

3. Love coconut!

4. Participated in Junior Miss contestant as a junior in high school. I missed the drees rehearsal because of a basketball game! I'm no beauty queen.

5. I once went on a walk with my cousins on a country road in Western Pennsylvania. We were chased down by a very large German Shepherd. I pushed my younger cousins to the ground so I could climb the tree, but I wet my pants...they didn't...lol!

6. Threw a wet tea bag on my parents white ceiling in the kitchen and made tea bag footprints. My brothers thought it was so funny...mom didn't...lol!

7. My younger brother and I decided to make popcorn on the stove top for the Friday night football game. We forgot the oil....lots of smoke....lol...moved the pan of burnt popcorn off the burner and set it on the plastic table cloth....the pan stuck to the plastic table cloth...in a panic we took the whole mess to the barn and hid it so mom and dad wouldn't know what we had done. However, we couldn't cover up the smell of burnt popcorn....lol!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How to Pray


It seems many of us struggle

from time to time

about how we are to pray.

Just follow this simple acronym

as you lift your heart in prayer

Praise Him,

Repent and confess,

Ask,

and

Yield!

P
Praise God with a thankful heart!
•God gave us Jesus!
John 3:16

•God never leaves us!
Deuteronomy 31:6

•God lavishes His love upon us!
Ephesians 1:6

•What are you thankful for?

R
Repent and ask for forgiveness!
•All have sinned a fall short!
Romans 3:23

•Forgive and you will be forgiven!
Mark 11:25

•Confess your sins to Jesus.
Be specific: lies, disrespect,
disobedience, sneakiness.

A
Ask and receive!
•Seek and find!
Luke 11:9&10

•Ask Jesus to help you or
someone you love.

Y
Yield your life to God!
•The Holy Spirit will guide you!
John 14:26

•Have faith and believe!
Matthew 17:20

Most of all remember

the friend we have in Jesus

and how he longs to hear

from us each and every day.

What are you waiting for...

pull up and empty chair

and talk as if Jesus were sitting

next to you

but....

be real,

be true,

most of all

just be you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Cost of Living


Loaf of bread $2.29

Gallon of milk $3.55

Gallon of gas $2.65

Box of Ritz crackers $3.99

Dozzen eggs $1.89

Candy bar $.99

Apples per pound $1.79

Bannans per pound $.59

Case (12) soda $4.99

Pound of butter $2.01
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Jesus death....priceless

I'll never know just what it cost to see my sin upon the cross!

Thank you Jesus for giving me life!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Glimpse of Grandma


She sat in Bible study slight in frame and sitting a bit lower than her younger hopeful scholars. Her Bible lay open between her elbows which rested comfortably on the table and her hands hung gracefully above the precious Word of God as I glimpsed a bit of shimmer from her pearl nail polish.

She had no resemblance to my Grandmother except she was older or should I say wiser in her years. Grandma has been gone now for almost five years and I miss her dearly. I often pray to my Jesus and talk to him about just how much I miss her. Even though she is in heaven with her Savior, I feel deep in my heart she is closer than I think…even though we may be separated for a time. Often during this prayer time with my Lord, I will ask him to tell her I said hello, I miss her, I love her, and I can’t wait to see her again! I don’t know if the message gets relayed to my Grandma or not, but I know she will be part of my welcoming committee when I get to heaven.

I had lunch at my home after the morning study. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with other women. She came to the luncheon as well walking in with her cane and light cream colored jacket. My grandma also used a cane in her last years. When I came and sat at the table where she sat, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful beaded jewelry with intense purples, soft pinks, and a hint of magenta. It matched perfectly with her sweater. She probably didn’t realize I had been watching her so much today. When she left, she turned around slightly on my brick side walk with the crunch of leaves beneath her feet and said, “I forgot to say thank you.” I walked from my font door to meet her on the walk way and embraced her with a hug. It was a sweet hug. I wished it would have lasted forever. I wished even more when I pulled my head away from hers and smiled I would have been looking at my Grandma.

Tears stream down my face this moment as I write this piece. I am thankful for Flora today. She gave me a glimpse of my Grandma this day. I am thankful that God allowed me a taste of what I have missed for almost five years.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cooking in the Kitchen - A Gift from God


Today is such a blustery day in Eastern Pennsylvania. The wind whips and breaks the last few leaves off the trees causing separation from its limb of life until next spring. The rain bounces in a pitter pat against the glass of the windows and then rolls down the panes much like that of tear drops racing down the face of a broken heart.

Although it is beautiful to sit on the couch and watch the stormy day from our french doors, when it rains or snows my soul is stirred to move to the kitchen. There is nothing better to lift the spirits of a dreary day than the smell of good food. I finished the pumpkin seeds in the oven first which the kids pulled from our pumpkin carving over the weekend. Lots of salt was needed! I then made cut out sugar cookies in the shape of leaves and pumpkins and sprinkled them with orange and black gems. One fell apart when placed on the cooling rack. I'm not kidding...the cookie screamed my name and begged me to eat it....lol....I did. It was very tasty!

Finally lunch time rolled around and I decided to cook up some angel hair pasta. I sizzled some fresh mushrooms, red onions, green and red peppers, spinach (aren't you proud of me Michelle), with some fabulous fresh garlic. It was quick, easy, and wonderfully scrumptious!

I love days like these in the kitchen. I wonder sometimes since I love preparing food so much, what job will God have for me in heaven? Will I help prepare for banquets of celebration and joy or might I be so privileged to cook for Jesus every day. Wow! What a thought!

I believe my coffee is done and another cookie is calling...lol!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hospitality - Genuine or Superficial?


Sometimes I really wonder if people understand a true relationship with Jesus. As I watch how people, even Christians, interact with each other I’m baffled and stand aghast in dismay. How can people have a relationship with an unseen God to the naked eye, when they have difficulty cultivating fellowship and hospitality with one another? Actually, when we belong to a church body a relationship turns into kinship because we are part of a family…the family of God and we often refer to ourselves as brothers and sisters in Christ.

A wonderful relationship is more than simply saying,

“Yeah, she’s my friend. I’ve known her for years.”

A meaningful relationship is more than spending time together. The art of friendship is genuineness with each other and ridding yourselves of superficial talk. You’re real with each other. You support each other. You encourage each other. You even get mad and sometimes hurt by the friends choices and words, but you know you can express your pain in love, get over the hurdle, and replace tears with laughter where joy in fellowship abounds once again.

Christ desires this meaningful relationship with us as well. A true relationship with Christ is more than simply saying one believes in the Great I Am. Sure to have a this fellowship does mean spending time in prayer with our Abba, but are we genuine when we talk to the Lord or are we superficial without all the details. Are we vague at best without specifics of our honest feelings? Do we understand and realize we are allowed to get mad at God and talk through our anger and tears and allow Jesus to replace our tears with peace and joy?

Maybe the lack of hospitality I see in many churches today isn’t so much that we don’t get along with each other, but perhaps we have forgotten the relationship which should come first; our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we “get real” with Jesus, we will be able to “get real” with each other. The lessons we learn in our kinship with Immanuel will carry over to the very people we love the most and those who need to be loved when they walk through our church doors for the first time. We need to seek each other with open arms as Christ seeks us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Handshakes, Hugs, and Hellos



Sweaty palms gripped the steering wheel and an anxious heart made my foot press unknowingly further down on the gas pedal until my eyes caught glance of the speedometer. As I gradually slowed the car, I prayed and asked the Lord to ease my fretting over my children attending youth group for the first time at a new church. The onslaught of questions and statements flooded my mind as we pulled into the parking lot.

“Would anyone notice we were new?”
“I hope people are friendly.”
“I hope they don’t just stare at the new people.”
“Would this congregation be kind and welcoming to my children?”
“Is this the place where the Lord would have us worship and be fed?”

Question after question followed by statement after statement flooded my mind until at last I took a deep breath and released my grip from the wheel to enter the unknown.

My family and I have relocated several times in the past eight years and each time I know it is imperative for myself, especially as a stay at home mom, and for my family to get connected to a church body. I get very anxious (even though Paul warns us to be anxious about nothing) over the entire process of finding a new church family, but also excited for what God has in store for us as he opens doors to new friendships of everlasting proportions.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Upon entering a church for the first time, a “warm fuzzy” environment with an embrace of love which seems to envelop the entire church body in a bear hug is essential and key to my family ever attending for a second time. After entering some places of worship, we did not make it past the sanctuary doors because the glares and stares portrayed an unfriendly environment. These unfortunate Sunday’s were met with great sadness followed by brunch out to soothe our dismal encounter.

“Greet one another with a kiss of love.” I Peter 5:14

If we make it to a pew, preferably the back, I observe the people of the congregation. I want to see deep devotion, care, and love (very essential) between the parishioners. I like handshakes, hellos, and hugs, followed by a greeting of genuine friendship. A rare sighting of a greeting with “a kiss of love” as Paul speaks of scores extra points. However, I get excited when my observing is interrupted by a tap on the shoulder and a fellow brother or sister in the Lord greets and welcomes us. Hey, they noticed the new comers! Above all, I must see love! I must feel love for without love God does not exist for God is love…hands down!

“Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God, everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I John 4:7-8

Not only do I observe how the congregation interacts with each other, but I also look at the age of all who attend. If all I see are canes, walkers, and white hair a red flag goes up. I begin to look for the youth and young couples. If I don’t see them I believe I may have stumbled upon a stagnate church afraid of change. This may be judgmental on my part for which forgiveness is needed, but I have children who also need fellowship and friends with the same values. It is my God given role to raise them in the way of the Lord and to provide them with a secondary means of learning about Jesus surrounded by a church body.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Prayer


Dear Heavenly Father,

Imprint your hand deeply upon my heart this day. Let me feel the hard press of your mighty love that whatever my eyes might gaze upon or sounds my ears may hear; let it make me constantly aware of your presence and cause me to lift praises of thanksgiving to my awesome God!

Amen

Thursday, October 16, 2008



Remember to PRAY about your VOTE!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jesus is Coming Soon!



When I was younger and heard others talk about the end times, in my mind I always thought...."hmmmm you are just trying to scare people". I don't know what has happened to me, but within the last six weeks, I must confess, the Holy Spirit has impressed upon me often that indeed...JESUS IS COMING SOON!

I'm not writing this to cause people, especially people I love, to be afraid. Nor do I think I can predict the day when Jesus comes for no one knows the day nor the hour of His arrival. I am writing so you might be ready for the return of our Lord.

During my prayer time, I have felt very impressed to come before the Lord with a contrite heart. A heart of confessing my sin and a heart seeking to turn from evil...do an about face...look toward the light and away from wicked ways. The word “wicked” includes all deliberate, willful disobedience—not just violent crimes such as murder.

I beg you all to come and know the Lamb of God for time is short. I desire to dance on the streets of gold with all of you. I hope to meet you at the tree of life and walk the winding river of life where joy abounds for evermore. I hope for you to come to know King Jesus and for those who already have made Jesus Lord of their life...I pray you too would come before Abba our father and talk awhile having a contrite heart willing to turn from your wicked ways and walk in obedience to our Lord!

"I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16

"If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14

I will continue to... "Forget what is behind and strain toward what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for that which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

To God be the glory forever and ever! Amen! Love and Peace to all from a humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

www.peopleunitedinprayer.org
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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Results are In...The Good & Bad


Some of you may know in the past month I have been going through some tests for my heart. My current doctor found what he thought was a heart murmur. This was followed by an EKG which showed abnormal rhythm of my heart. They then sent me for an echo-cardiogram. The results of the echo are good and bad.

All four of my heart valves leak. I think I'm still in shock over this and have not talked about it much to anyone. They are concerned mostly about the left side of my heart which includes the aortic valve. They have diagnosed me with Mild Aortic Regurgitation Disease.

There is nothing I can do for my heart at this time. I'm to live my life as I have been living. The doctor put me on no restrictions. Every two years I have to go back for an echo cardiogram and see if there have been any changes. If it worsens in two years, I will have to go on medication to slow the degeneration down and have an echo ever year thereafter. If at anytime I feel very winded and tired after going up and down the steps for example...there is a problem....if I feel faint or lightheaded when I stand from sitting or laying down....there is a problem...if I get an unexplained cough and my ankles start to swell....there is a problem and I will have to go in sooner rather than later for the echo. That is the good news. The bad news....down the road I am looking at a valve replacement. When, we don't know. In some people this progresses quickly in others it could be years.

I am at peace with everything and I praise God the doctor found the problem and I believe in two years a miracle will happen and I will be healed...my heart made whole. Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Who leads? Who follows?


I awoke in the middle of the night to a twitch or more like a muscle spasm in my left bicep muscle. It was very annoying causing me to lift my other hand and put pressure on the point of irritation to stop the nuisance. When I was confident the twitch had stopped, I released the grip of my hand but soon the muscle was having fits again. I couldn't sleep and as usual when I am awakened during the night I began to pray small utterances. The more I prayed, the more I craved more alone time with my Jesus. So not wanting to rouse my husband from his sleep, I grabbed my pillow and went to the couch downstairs and spent a marvelous time in conversation with my best friend Immanuel. I spilled my guts talking to him about my troubles, my kids, and my husband. Some points of contention within my own heart brought my eyes to tears and I sobbed and cried some more. After several minutes, the tears stopped and a peaceful calm rested upon my shoulders enveloping every ounce of my being. My troubled heart settled and joy did abound once again. The annoying twitch had ceased.

How wonderful our Father is to us. He longs to hear from us, but so often we get so busy with our "to do" list we often leave him in the dust behind us. If only we would get it through our thick heads...He must lead and we must follow! In John 15:9-10, Jesus himself talks about how to make our joy complete...REMAIN IN HIS LOVE AND OBEY HIS COMMANDS!

I plead with all of you today; if you feel you've lost your joy and troubled waters have flooded the chambers of your heart, take some time to sit in the lap of Jesus and talk awhile and be rejuvenated with grace and love of our Abba! He will calm the storm and the flood waters will recede and be no more.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Prayer

Lord I pray you take me to the garden this day. Please hold my hand and lead the way to where you placed the ashes of my life. Show me right where you dug the whole and laid the ash to rest. Lead me to where you covered the cinereous with the dirt from which I came and from which I shall return. Let me breathe deeply when we reach the garden so I may smell the fragrance of the lily which has grown over the very spot you placed the ashes. Remind me my Jesus of the beautiful woman you have made me despite my downfalls and faults. I know I still have buds which have not yet opened and still need to bloom.

Pull me into your lap sweetly and sit awhile and comfort me my Prince of Peace. Sing to me Jesus…sing to me…I want to hear you lullaby this night. Rock me in your arms and tenderly lift your nail pierced hand and brush the hair away from my face so I might clearly see your eyes. I need to see your eyes. Let my soul then sing back quietly and the reflection of the cross be etched in my eyes for others to see. O, Lord let them ask what is different and in return let me boldly reply…

“It is Christ in me the hope of glory!”

Amen


"Provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:2-4

Cholesterol Results


Willow Angle...it's a green color with a little bit of brown...I picked it this morning along with some mocha glaze to put over top using a brush technique. I have some other things in mind to go along with these two colors and was buzzing with excitement as I walked through the back door. I was going to have lunch, turkey spinach multi grain wrap with low fat mayo and carrots, and then get to painting.

The phone rang interrupting the first bite of my lunch. It was my doctor informing me of the results of my blood work which I had drawn on Friday. It wasn't good. My overall cholesterol 273. My bad cholesterol(LDL), which should be 100 or lower, is 185. My good cholesterol(HDL), which should be 50 or better, is only 42. My doctor said,"Sorry I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but your best choice is medication." He is going to wait until after next Tuesday, pending the results of my echo cardiogram to prescribe the necessary meds. I did not expect these numbers to be good, but they are worse numbers than the blood test 7 months ago.

It is hard I will admit. The "what if" syndrome creeps into my mind causing emotions to flow freely, but I must quickly douse the fire of fear knowing one thing has not changed. My Jesus is still the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the one person who will not disappoint or fail me. He is my Prince of Peace. I will put my hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water and raised Lazarus from the dead. He is my Immanuel!

Monday, September 1, 2008


The white batter poured from the large measuring cup and hit the hot griddle with a sizzle. I quickly grabbed a few chocolate chips to sprinkle on top of the batter of the fluffy pancake.As the hot cake cooked, the sausage patties sputtered and crackled in rhythm while my sense of smell was heightened by the minced pork and made my mouth water and desire a taste.

When your doctor says your heart may have a problem and you know you already have high cholesterol due to heredity, you look at your three young children and know you have to make some changes. Please understand, I'm not an obese person. I have gained some weight over the past three years due to the stress of so much moving. I hadn't been eating as healthy as I should and fast food was a quick and easy alternative when a house showing was on the agenda. My love to cook and bake does not help my heart health situation either.

So, while I truly enjoyed making my children, niece, and nephew breakfast this Labor Day, I settled for some oat bran cereal and a cup of coffee. I have also purchased a book called,"The New 8-Week Cholesterol Cure" by Robert E. Kowalski to grasp a better understanding on reversing my current heart health. I have also purchased some vitamin supplement to gain more vitamin C which aids in the protection the lining of my artery walls, vitamin E, and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. I also found the beta-carotene is also great for my heart. So if I start getting an orange tint to my skin...it's because of the carrots...lol!

I had my blood drawn on Friday to see where my cholesterol stands (it was nearly 300 with a high amount of harmful LDL 7 months ago) and the doctor also wanted to test me for Diabetes. I'll keep you all updated on the results of this blood test. My echo-cardiogram is scheduled for September 9th.

In the mean time I will, "Trust in the Lord with all thine might and lean not into thine own understanding, but in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall make thy paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Cry of My Heart


Tuesday morning ...

7:45 am
I stomped around our living room teaching the famous Mickey Mouse Show theme song to my son. You know the one....M-I-C....see ya real soon...K-E-Y...why because we love you....M-O-U-S-E...Mickey Mouse....Mickey Mouse....yeah you remember. Actually I was inserting the letters of our last name...J-A-C.....O-B-Y....A-N-S-K-Y....trying to teach my youngest son how to spell his last name for school. It was a wonderful fun filled moment indeed!

7:55 am
I'm in the car with all three of my children taking the two oldest to school. As always, I turn down the radio and pray aloud for all three of my kiddos. It is soon followed by utterances from my little ones telling me something they are thankful for today.

8:20 am
I return home with my youngest and we enjoy some reading time out loud together before his time to go to school.

8:55 am
I take my youngest to school.

9:15 am
I stop and get a cup of coffee before I go to my doctor's appointment.

9:40 am
The doctor suctions wires all over my body for my EKG.

10:00 am
I sit in utter shock as the doctor shows me my EKG and explains the abnormalities of my heartbeat. He feels two valves may be affected, but wants to schedule and echo cardiogram to get a better picture of what is going on with my pumper and be sure the aortic valve is not affected.

10:15 am
Tears well up as I try to control an irrational outburst as the nurse schedules my echo cardiogram.

10:30 am
As I travel home from the doctor's, the wet drops can be held in no longer. My mind races from one scenario to another about what might happen to me. What about my kids....what about my husband...question upon question....fear upon fear kept building.

After a phone call to my husband to tell him the news of the doctor, I cried some more. But in the distress of the moment I remembered the first sermon I heard Pastor Tim speak. The Sunday service was focused on Proverbs 3:5&6. It was my life verse during my teens years and young adult life. "Trust in the Lord with all thy might and lean not into thine own understanding and in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall make thy paths straight." Pastor Tim asked the entire congregation a thought provoking question.

"What is trusting in God with all thy might?"

His answer simple.

"Knowing God in every step you are in."

Do you think it was coincidence this thought came to my mind at that very moment or do you think it was a God moment. I clearly, unequivocally believe it was God through his precious Holy Spirit speaking a truth to me I needed to hear. I began to pray seeking the comfort and peace which could only come from the Father of heavenly lights.

How quickly life can change. I went from singing the Mickey Mouse song with my youngest son to the sad cry of my heart...literally and emotionally. My echo cardiogram is scheduled for September 9th and while I wait I will try to live and love each moment for my Jesus. When I look beyond to the unknown and Satan tries to strike me with fear, I will call upon my friend and Savior to take every thought captive. I will live in joy and not allow Satan to win the battle of my mind for my God is greater and I have already won the victory through my Immanuel! Praise be to God forever and ever! Amen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Exhilerating, Beautiful, and Full of Hope

Last evening I went for a nice long walk. I slipped my mp3 player into my pocket and pushed the earphones deep into my ears. I was longing to listen to some good praise music and take a stroll with Jesus.

As I pounded the pavement, my arms swinging in full motion to get the most of my exercise, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of my Savior in the nature surrounding me. It was exhilerating as the the sun began to set in it's brilliant array of orange and yellow. The sight to my eyes was breathtaking as I gazed beyond the landscape to the the tall hills in the distance. When I got to the peek of the highest hill I would have to climb, I wanted to run...I wanted to run and scream with my hands held high proclaiming just how much I love my Lord. I wanted to, but I didn't thinking my new neighbors would think I was a crazy woman and not allow their children to play with mine....lol!
Jesus my friends makes life exhilerating, beautiful, and full of hope. I'm just an ordinary person, but knowing Jesus makes me extraordinary ! It gives me great joy to serve such an awesome man! A man who gave his life for me....for little 'ole me!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We have all heard the "redneck" jokes, but have you actually had to live out being a "redneck"? This week a baby tooth which never fell out decided it was time to leave. Unfortunately, I had no ivory above to replace the now vacant spot. Yes, I lived being a "redneck" with a gaping whole viewed by all in the front of my upper row of teeth. Fortunately, I got in to see a dentist quickly and she took the lost bicuspid, bonded it to the two teeth on either side of the gap, and after sitting in a chair for an hour and a half with my mouth opened wide; the gap no longer existed. A big praise God for that one!!!

It will be a week before I see the dentist again for a consultation on an implant. An implant is not a procedure which will happen quickly. In the mean time, they will fit me with a "flipper tooth". But for now the dead baby tooth sits glued to my other teeth. I'm to be very careful and not even chew on that side of my mouth. At times I feel I can't even talk as pressing my tongue to the roof of my mouth to make certain sounds hurts a tinge, but also I fear the glue may come loose and the tooth will go flying! Now wouldn't that be a pretty site...lol!

This morning was Sunday and as always it was church day. As they began to sing songs of worship, I soon realized, singing was out of the question. Well unless of course the parishioners in front of me wanted to be taken out by a flying tooth...lol. So I mouthed the words self conscience that others might think I was not participating. Then they sang the song We Fall Down. ...

We fall down
We lay our crowns
At the feet of Jesus
The greatness of
Mercy and love
At the feet of Jesus

And we cry holy, holy, holy
And we cry holy, holy, holy
And we cry holy, holy, holy
Holy is the Lamb

I often dream of the day when I will see Jesus. I picture myself falling to my knees and touching the feet of my forever friend. How I long for our skin to finally meet. Tears will fall on this joyous occasion and I will reach for the hem of his robe to wipe the salted drops away. I will breath in deeply and smell the fragrant myrrh and aloes that gingerly dance in the air around my one true King. I will cry holy, holy, holy is the lamb. He will lift my chin with the tip of His fingers... gaze adoringly into my eyes...I will smile...and looking like a "redneck" with my missing tooth He will love me just the same with an embrace I shall never forget!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Everything New


Goosebumps formed over my entire body and the chill of air condition made me long for the hot sun which I viewed from the pew in which I sat. I wanted to get up and leave the Wednesday evening service and warm my shivering body. Actually, I wanted to run...where...I don't know...but any place that would bring familiarity back to a lonely soul.

I fought the tears nearly allowing them to spill from my hazel eyes to my newly sunned cheeks from the day at the pool. I held the salted drops in...how...I don't know...because with every song... I couldn't sing and had to tell myself to just breath deeply as I bit the inside of my lip.

I gazed at the bracelet I choose to wear. A gift from a friend I had left behind in Iowa. I moved the jewelery counter clockwise around my wrist until at last the silver cross appeared. I missed my friend and her kitchen table where we talked until our eyes grew weary and longed for sleep.

Everything is new. I couldn't call one person by name and sadly none approached to say hello to me. O how I longed for someone to notice my sad heart. They seemed to want to love their church family well and even prayed for continued unity. But I wondered... were they so caught up in themselves that they missed the chance to welcome with hospitality the new person who wanted to be included and feel a sense of family?

The pastor's message was wonderful and I found myself reminded, indeed I was not alone, but my forever friend still sat beside me comforting my lonely heart once again. My Jesus never leaves me nor forsakes me, but always pursues me and my heart which longs for his love.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hero to the Rescue

As the raging waters rise in Iowa and violent tornadoes rear their fatal blows, I sit anxiously watching the news in Pennsylvania praying our home in Iowa is kept safe. We have recently moved to the Keystone sate and left our home, which has not yet sold, empty and void of our children's laughter. After five days of severe rain totaling 11 inches as of yesterday morning; more torrential downpours were expected last evening.

When the realtor we enlisted to care for the sale of the home called and informed me of six inches of water in the basement of the historic Taft house,
I frantically began to call church family members to find someone who would sump pump the soggy mess to the street outside before the rains would come again and reach the furnace.

Finally after three phone calls, I reached my heroes! I would just like to express my sincere appreciation to Jeff Davis and Mark Schultz who came to our rescue and within an hour of making my request known were at my home and began the process of pumping the water out.

Although we only lived in this area of Iowa for 10 months, we connected with a wonderful church family at Oak Hill Baptist Church. These two men are both members at this place of worship. They are family to us because of one common denominator...Jesus Christ! Although I may naver make it back to the town founded by Mr. Taft and see these caring brothers again, I will definitely request of the Lord to have them greet me or I greet them at the pearly gates with a huge hug, a kiss of friendship, and a mighty embrace of thankfulness!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I watched a most interesting movie last evening. Actually, I only saw the last 45 minutes and I didn't even catch the title of the movie. The film portrayed a middle aged man named Jacob who was actually Christ in the flesh walking the Earth. No one in the town knew this Jacob was Christ, but he changed the people's mentality with his exuberant love. After a priest witnessed this "Jacob" bring a gentleman back to life, the towns people began to wonder, "Who is this man?"

Jacob was sent to the Vatican because of this miracle to meet the Pope. He was told, when people get to meet the Pope they usually bring a gift. When Jacob appeared before the Pope he handed him a sack of wood working tools wrapped in burlap that he had used to carve intricate wood pieces. The Pope invited this Jacob to sit beside him and Jacob proceeded to tell the Pope a story about his childhood which the Pope had never told anyone before. The Pope was astonished and Jacob told him, "Now go and do the work in which you pledged yourself to do."

The Pope clutched the burlap cloth in which the tools rested as he starred to the floor; his eye wet with tears. When he looked back to speak to Jacob...He was gone. The pope knew it was Christ Jesus. The movie ended.

So my question for all of you, would you recognize the Lord Jesus if he were to sit beside you this day in the form of an ordinary man. Would he be pleased with the work you are doing in your everyday tasks of being a mom and wife; father and husband. Is your life filled to overflowing with exuberant love or has your heart become hardened allowing hate and anger thrive and arise from a soul made to love...made to love by the hands of God.

Just as Jacob (actually Christ) gave the Pope tools. So also has Jesus given us tools to use as we walk the face of this Earth...the holy Word of God found in the Bible. In the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we relive the intimate details of Christ and learn by his example how we too should live our lives. Christ is the ultimate testimony of love winning over all!

I plead with all who read this today, pledge yourself again to live and lead the life you promised to Jesus when you accepted him as Lord and Savior of your life. Love like you've never loved before...talk to Jesus like a phone conversation with your best friend...and I know in doing this you will recognize him and fall to your knees and kiss the Kings feet if he should happen to sit beside you in the park today!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I am deeply in debt. I don't know how I will ever repay the amount I owe. I've tried by working harder and longer hours, but it never seems to be enough to make up the amount I need to repay.

My debt you see is not that of monetary value. My bill is repaying a man who gave His life that I might live. My friend...my Jesus gave his life for me. He died that I might gain a profit of hope eternal. He died that I might gain an asset in knowing Him and his great and endless love.

Christ does not want me to think that I owe, but only asks that I love...love Him. He is not my debt. He is my asset! He is my profit! He is my all in all!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Letter from Jesus

Dear Child,

How heavy your burdens seem to bear this day. Could you possibly make it through one more rough day at work, one more trial with our child, one more conversation with a negative person, one more betrayal of a close friend, or the hurt of a loose tongue full of lies?

Remember when you go through these times, if it seems the world hates you, keep in mind that they hated me first. There is no trial we encounter that I have not experienced already.

A rough day at work…..I had many rough days convincing people who sent me.

Another trial with your child…..I have had to deal with disappointments in my children’s bad choices countless times.

A negative person….Have you thanked me today?

Betrayal of a friend…..a beloved friend kissed and betrayed me.

A loose tongue full of lies…..I was crucified for the lies people told of me.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)

Love,
Jesus

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Imagine


Please click on the video bar and play the song before reading.

Well it is February and that is a good thing! It means January is over and March is coming. It means Spring is on the way with warmer weather! This year the lent season starts this month with Ash Wednesday falling on February 6th. February is also my birthday month, but there is also another anniversary I still morn over in the month of February. The death of my beloved Grandma on February 25th. It will be four long years this month since I received the phone call from tear stricken father who told me Grandma was finally home. I fell to the floor in agony crying out no...no...she was suppose to wait until I got home one last time to see her...hold her hand...whisper that I loved her in her ear as I embraced her with a hug.

The picture above is one of the happiest days of my life. I married a truly wonderful man that day and I got to dance with my Grandma. I look at that picture today and I see two women who resembled each other more than I realized. Our faces...especially our noses...and the hands with fingers seperated. I long for that touch again!

I can't imagine the glory God has bestowed upon one of his faithful servants and I'm happy for her...truly happy. But I also get homesick for heaven to see her again. Sometimes I just close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let my mind wonder about the day I will see her again. I've even prayed and asked the Lord to have her meet me at the gate to welcome me. And on some sad days when all I can do is cry and wish she were here...I ask God to tell her I miss her and love her still. I want to hold her hand and walk the winding river and sit and talk under the tree of life. While I wait I know she would want me to...

Delight myself in the Lord and find my joy in Him. She would tell me to be known for my gentelness, and never forget the nearness of my God. She wouldn't want me to worry, whatever comes my way...she would say...tell Him every detail and the peace of God that no one understands will come to you. Just tell Him every detail and His peace will come to you.

I know on my next wedding day, when Jesus comes to take his bride, I will dance with her again!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Beacon of Light

It was about four years ago I was shopping at the mall in Davenport, Iowa. I went into the Christian Book store to only browse with no intention to buy a thing. But there was this beautiful painting of a lighthouse set on a hill. A white clapboard home sat close to the lighthouse in the painting with whimsical green grass swaying in the ocean wind in the forefront of the picture. I stopped and stared for a prolonged period of time at the painting. The clerk interupted my peaceful daydream state asking if I needed help. I said, "No, I was just looking." She replied, "The picture is half off." I quickly called my husband and asked if I could purchase the picture to which he answered, "Sure".

The picture has now hung on the walls of three different homes. Twice I have placed it in the dining room and with this past move I decided it matched our bedroom perfectly. I placed it on the wall right where I knew I could wake up and imagine the ocean view. Most often when I stare at the picture I am fairly close, but our bedroom is now very large and I placed a recliner on the opposite side of the room as the print.

The other evening I was sitting in the recliner and a paused from my reading to look up at the lighthouse on the wall. I did a double take squinting my eyes in disbelief. Could it really be I was seeing the face of Jesus in the light house where the beacon of light would arise to warn those at sea. I jumped from the chair and got close to the print. No, I didn't see Christ at this angle. I went back to the chair and his face appeared again. I called my son to come look at the print from the recliner...he didn't see it at first, but after about five minutes the Saviors face revealed itself to him as well. My son was amazed. Wow! What a pleasant surprise!

Sometimes when we are in the midst of a storm we get to involved...we are to close to the situation to realize God's intended choice for the plan he has for our lives. Alot of times we choose wrong in hastiness not taking the time to step back, pray, and wait on the answer from the Lord. It took me four years to realize Jesus was hidden in the painting of the lighthouse as the beacon of light. I just needed to take a step back, view it from afar, and Christ revealed his face to me!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Skepticism Extinct

What is the one thing we will be able to take with us from this Earth to our heavenly home? Those of you who know me have probably heard my answer for this question. The one thing that we will be able to take with us from this Earth to heaven....drum roll please...fellowship.

When I invite other sisters in Christ to come over for coffee and we chat, laugh, ponder, and pray...it reminds me of how it must have been for the disciples with Jesus when he walked this Earth. The relationships we build with other brothers and sisters in Christ while here and now, will continue in the heavenly realms. I love having friends over, but I will truly revel in my passion for hospitality when I am in heaven preparing to dine with my beloved Jesus and other saints.

Instead of tears caused by the sorrows of life, joy will abound in jubilant speech as we pass through the pearly gates and reach our our final destination. Skepticism will be extinct. For all who enter Zion have faith... without doubt...in the one true King!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Press On!


I get so lonely sometimes. I wonder why God has brought me to this time and place. You see...I grew up in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania. All my family is there...friends...memories...are all left between the hills and the valleys of a place I called home for so long. My family and I have moved several times in the past six years. We have lived in five different homes during this span of time and in each I have packed and unpacked making my house a home for my husband and children. The latest move, which took place this past July,has now placed us in North Central Iowa amongst the cornfields, cows, and pigs.

I press on!

I get sad sometimes. I long for someone to know me. I want people to realize the heart that lies within me...my heart which seeks to love others...but a heart which also desires to be loved. I often feel like I'm in a glass bowl with my hands and face pressed against the clear invisible barrier watching intently what others do and how they act. I begin to rap my hand against the glass, "I'm here!" I yell. But to no avail, people just keep walking past me with smiles, simple waves, and occassional hellos.

I press on!

I get mad sometimes. I get tired of false accusations from people who judge me without really knowing the person I am. I'm a tender hearted girl who has overcome much in my lifetime. Yes, I'm sure there may be others who have been dealt worse cards than the ones I once held in my hands, but who are they to cast the stone?

I press on!

So I will sit and wait in the cistern as Joseph did knowing that my Jesus has not put me there to harm or injure me, but to fill me with his refreshing rain. When I am filled and ready,he will lift me out to acheive greater good for his purpose than I could ever imagine.

I press on!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just As I Am

Please click my video clip below and then scroll back up and read my blog for today.

The year was 1977. I was 10 years old as I watched the Billy Graham Crusade one summer evening on television. He gave an alter call to thousands in the stadium that night and one little girl, me, who watched and listened with tear filled eyes. As this song played, “Just As I Am”, hundreds of people stood and walked to center stage to accept the call of a lifetime. Even though God had chosen them long before that evening, they stood to acknowledge their one true friend…Jesus. I also came to this realization that evening, Jesus loved me right where I was at…he always did…and continues to love that childlike tender heart even today. Even though there have been many times in my 31 year journey with Jesus where I walked away from him and sinned until it hurt……. he never walked away from me. He kept me safe in the palm of his hand. And as the potter with clay, molded me into the beautiful woman I am today. I take no credit for who I have become and the things I have achieved, but it is Christ in me the hope of glory! I continue grow in my faith walk even though at times I have conflict and trials. But every day my Jesus bids me to come…just as I am…he welcomes me and pardons my sin sick human frailties. He also bids you to come and partake of the living water and thirst no more that you also might find joy amidst the questioning, hurt, and anguish. He loves you more than you know…..and you’ll never know until you come to the Lamb of God.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


We miss so many of the beautifully wrapped gifts from our Lord. We get busy and don't take the time to admire the beauty He reveals through His own creation. When I took my children to school this frigid morn, the sun shined brightly dancing on the freshly fallen snow. I was blinded only for a moment and then thanked my Jesus for the new day. I thank Him for the car I have to drive, for the house that I call home, and most of all for the three gifts who giggle in the back seat. A cup of hot chocolate with a dallop of whip cream and drizzled with sweet syrup brought warmth to my bones at the coffe house. Thank you Father for providing so I am able to raise my kids without working and be able to buy this cup of co-co. It is the little things we forget, but it is the little things we need to remember.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Father's Dream


As the cold artic winds blow over Iowa, the presidential campaign is in full swing with super Tuesday just a few weeks away. I don't know about you, but sometimes the news coverage and politician retorhic, can sometimes be rediculously overwhelming. I get tired of HillBill, the Obama family is not the next "Camelot", and Mit's negative ads show his true character!

However, one thing I have enjoyed is watching the older daughters of some of the candidates help their daddy's campaign. Last night, NBC evening news did a piece on two of the candidate's daughters. Meghan McCain and Sarah Huckabee have taken on the spotlight in support of their fathers, both reaching out two hope sway younger voters to choose their pops. Meghan writes on her daily blog and Sarah keeps her dad running on time to campaign events. What caught my attention as I watched with admiring eyes, is the last sentence Brain Williams reported.

"Two daughters working to help their father's achieve thier dream."

I quickly jotted the phrase down and read it over and over. One question came to mind,

"Am I helping my Father achieve His dream?"

I think it is a question we could all ask ourselves. When we meet Jesus face to face will his say,

"Thank you for helping me achieve my dream of salvation for all and love one another as I have loved you."

Will it be followed by the phrase,

"Well done good and faithful servant."

It is something to think about and consider now isn't it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Glistening Snow


I woke up this morning excited to see how much snow had fallen. Forecaster's were predicting 2-4 inches throughout the night. My arms were folded across my body as I embraced myself trying to fight of the coolness of the morning. I reached for the ivory curtain, pulled it back a bit, and peeked a glimpse of the freshly fallen snow. The sun still lay asleep, but the lamppost light made the snow glisten as if diamonds had been planted in the white fluff. How beautiful it was for my eyes to behold. A smile pushed it's way to the front leaving sleepiness behind and I thanked my Lord for this precious day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Autism


Which do you choose?

There are those who ignore the clear signs of a child having Autism. They refuse to believe that there is anything different. Often times, this denial proceeds to embarrassment and shame of the Autistic child. The child suffers tremendously wanting only for you to try and understand their world. If only these people would realize how much early intervention would help the child begin to cope, their shame would turn to praise and peace would abound.

There are those who are angry about a child having Autism. These people point fingers of blame to others they believe have caused this turmoil within their family. They often concentrate more on "who did it" then the needs of the child. They forget the best solution lies within themselves...that love wins over all.

Then there are parents who have embraced their Autistic child in arms of love. Some days are tearful and weary, but they always rise up for the challenges that are ahead thanking God everyday for the beautiful gift he has given! A thankful heart is one that is filled with love that spills over to the child. These parents show devotion and zeal towards their child, but their passion touches the lives of those around them compelling others towards fondness and appreciation to all children affected by Autism.

A special thanks to all parents who are willing to make a difference in the life of a chld with Autism!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Big Brother Right Again

Remember when you were little and there was nothing like your big brother or sister proving you wrong. Even worse,if you are the big brother or sister,having your younger sibling prove you wrong. Let's all rewind and replay the scene as we would leave the arena of embarassment in anguish with arms folded in disgust and billows of steam raging at full throttle from our ears and nose. While we stomped away, we heard the snickers and taunts of our kinfolk emphasize the magnitude of their rightness. Yeah....you remember!

Well, I was reminded only a few short moments ago of such a scenerio as my big brother has told me to push the limit with my writing. He critiqued me....in a loving way. I am thankful for his input and value what he has told me. As a matter of fact, what he wrote back to me is worthy for everyone's eyes and not just my own. So here is his critique on my writing "Doorbell Ringing" my first post...

I think Jesus wants you to go further, dig deeper, and ask the harder questions. What would Jesus really do if you answered the door looking the way you do and spouting off to the kids, dog, and hubby. We heard him knock or even if you opened the door by chance and there HE is, look at it from Christ perspective when you opened the door. I am sure Christ is smiling the door is open and hope is filling the room. Engery begins to build at the door and everyone wonders what is going on becuase the silence is deafaning.

Then Jesus speaks; I am hear to help, what can I do for you right now? What would you say then? How would you act? Would you hurry him in the house so noone would see, fall to your knee in all the forgotten worship you have not shown, or maybe shout out to the neighborhood in a way that says, HEY! Look at me, he picked my house!

I would hope you would invite Christ in; not just because he holds the power of life and death, not because he is the Alpha and Omega, and not beacuse he is the Son of God. Mostly, because he is your friend! The one person who has NEVER judged the way you look or corrected you for yelling at someone too harshly. He's the kind of friend who goes to the luandry room, starts another load of wash while you're folding the clothes in the dryer. He's the kind of friend you will play a game with your kids while you go have a nuclear meltdown. He's the kind of friend you can celebrate best of every experience even when you have fallen 35,000 feet through the roof of your house, and each floor, only to arrive face first on the basement floor.

"I am always there for you my child. I will NEVER leave nor forsake you. Even when you can see me, feel me, or hope... I AM!"


Thanks big brother!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Doorbell Ringing

What a profound thing....I'm getting older. My kids are getting older. My husband is getting older. I ponder for a moment about time. What has passed and what I need to do right now to get me to what is on the agenda for tomorrow or maybe next week. All the while, I stay very busy often exhausting myself to misery on the couch by eight at night unable to locate joy on the remote and searching for something to watch on the tube that isn't a rerun.

My life seems out of whack at the moment with clean floors and undecorating after Christmas a top priority. I spent the entire day making piles of things to pack away and vowing never to use gold tinsel upon the tree again. Why? All in hopes for a good impression if someone perhaps came to the door? Utterly silly! I asked myself,

"What if Jesus came to the door today...what would He have thought?"

First, I would have probably yelled at my kids and my husband to grab the dog so he would not escape upon opening the door. Second, I would have realized I was still in my flannel pajamas at 2 pm and had not donned my face paint. Thirdly, no comb had run through my hair which was made fun of only moments earlier by my kids. Last, but not least I didn't even realize that Jesus was knocking because I was to busy running up the stairs informing my husband that he would have to answer the door.

Jesus has been knocking at my door wanting to talk awhile with me. Clean or unclean....Jesus will meet me right where I'm at this very moment. Christ knocks longing for me to open the door of my heart and talk awhile with Him. He is the answer to my unclean house. He is the only one who can rid me of the piles of packing I have accumulated.

Excuse me, my doorbell is ringing and I'm going to answer it this time!