Friday, June 29, 2012


It has been a very full week.  So full that I am certain I was engaged in a few details that were not in Papa's game plan.
There has not been one minute to sit, at least not while I had a clear mind.

Part of the problem was that I didn't speak up.
Our guys had decided that we should go camping as a family, which is a fine thing to do.  We did quite a bit of camping over the years and loved it.
They included my brother-in-law and his wife, who happen to have a good sized RV that would accommodate my honey and me.  A tent equipped with an air mattress would have been very difficult for him and not so comfy for me.
Matthew slept in his tree hammock, which looked really cozy, but it is definitely for a person with less aches and pains!  Besides the thought of sleeping in the open where bears wander through would have kept me awake all night!

So what should I have spoken up about?  The fact that we were driving four and a half hours, each way, to camp Friday to Sunday.  Too much traveling for so short a time.
In the end everyone had come to that same conclusion, so the next camping trip is going to be closer to home.  Yay!
Having felt unsettled about the plans, which I am certain was my God direction, I should have said something.

It is over now, but I faced a full week extra tired at the start.
Our youngest is celebrating four years of being clean and sober in two days and, of course, we want to help him with the celebrating!
His girlfriend decided she wanted to give him a party, which is our house.  :)
She asked very sweetly and I was glad to make our place available.
However, I should have known there would be more to it than just making our house available!

The more included shopping, a visit to the attic for games and such, getting extra chairs and tables out of the shed, preparing a couple of dishes get the idea....

This is not to say that she isn't doing anything, because she is, but she works and cannot possibly get to all the details.

For weeks one of my sisters and I have been planning a sister-weekend, which means her coming here to visit.  Guess when that is happening?
Number three son is coming too.
It will be wonderful to have more family here and I am looking forward to it!
However, this means making up beds and such.

In the midst of all the preparations for this weekend is the preparation for a barbecue I am putting together for the guys from the rehab.  This is scheduled for nine days from now.
I needn't list all that is involved for this extravaganza, but am very grateful for those who are helping!!

There are a number of other details that involve my favorite subject, insurance, that I could discuss, but I won"t...I'd rather not think about it!

Ray had a saying,
"It is either famine or glut!"
I think it is one of those times of glut!  My head has been spinning and I have felt stretched a little too far.
Too much running, not enough His feet.

Papa has not abandoned me.  This morning we had a scant few minutes to spend alone and He in His grace spoke to my heart....from numerous passages...

From Psalm Fifty-Five,,,
"Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall."

Then Jeremiah Seventeen...
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
Then He gave me a message for my friends at the rehab, who I will be visiting in a short while.
Taking the topic of the first of the Twelve Steps of AA we will discuss being powerless and weak and how we can exchange them for His power and strength!

For this I know I will have the power and strength for this is part of His plan for me!

Praise His Holy Name!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

He's in the details!

My guys loved to watch the television show The A-Team when they were young.  One of the characters would utter the line...
"I love when a plan comes together!"
...whenever things began to work in their favor.

That phrase has passed my smiling lips this week.

Though the weather has been oppressively hot and humid it can't touch the joy that envelopes me.

Songs of praise keep rising up in my heart and finding their way out of those same smiling lips.

I am planning the second annual barbecue for the guys at the rehab with a little help from my friends.  :)

This year contributions from local supermarkets is nonexistent.  As we calculated all that was needed to bring it all together to be able to bless the guys, it was easy to wonder if I had leaped before I looked.  The thought flitted through questioning whether God was in this or not.

In my heart of hearts I knew He was.  Each week He is evident as I visit with my friends.  He supplies the love and the words and knows just how to touch hearts.

Yet when everything doesn't line up you can wonder....

However, my philosophy is that I am to keep on going in the direction I believe He set me on until He shows me otherwise.

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to speak about the upcoming barbecue.  I mentioned that donations from the stores wasn't happening, as well as sharing what it was we specifically needed to bring it all together.

A number of people spoke with me afterward to volunteer a salad or a tent and even some clothing for the guys.  (We set up an area with clothing arrayed on tables, which the guys can "shop" through).

It was encouraging.  I felt Papa reassuring me that He was indeed in the details.
At that point I still didn't know where the meat and paper goods, etc was going to come from, but I wasn't worried.  Papa had it all in hand!

This Tuesday I received a call from our church secretary.  She wanted me to know that someone had made a donation for the barbecue and whatever else I needed for my rehab friends.

Then she told me the amount...five hundred dollars!
Oh my!  The One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills was at it again!

Of course, I do not need all of that money for the barbecue, even though they will now be eating steak!  :)
The rest will go toward the Christmas party we hold for them.

This brings two specific Bible verses to mind.
It is found in the Third chapter of Ephesians, verses Twenty and Twenty-One.
Care to quote them with me?

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen"

Oh, how I love when Papa brings a plan together!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Today I am pondering what it means to be part of the body of Christ.

He has called us to be one with Him.  The Spirit of our Savior dwells within those who are His.  That means that the Spirit will direct us to become more like Him.

Who is this One that we are to become like?

Christ means “anointed one”.

He was anointed as a prophet, priest and king, as were those who held those roles in the Old Testament.  Theirs, however, were temporary, while His are eternal. 

As His child I , too, am anointed.

Today in the Word, a devotional by Moody Institute, spoke about anointing the other day,
“Approved in 1563, The Heidelberg Catechism asks those being initiated into the faith, "But why art thou called a Christian?" The catechist answers, "Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of his anointing." To identify with Christ’s anointing is to agree to be used like His early disciples, as prophetic, priestly, and royal agents in the world today.”
One of my long-time favorite verses is found in the Second chapter, Ninth verse of First Peter,
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..”
I remember reading it out loud to a group of people on a camping trip, as it was my turn to share a spiritual thought.
We all attended the same church.  These people were the teachers and leaders of Bible studies and Sunday school classes.  I was new to the whole thing and thought that everyone else knew and that I just had found out.

After all they were sporting bumper stickers that said, “I found it!”

Well, when I read it, feeling great joy and excitement, I was very surprised that no one else felt the same way.  All just smiled mildly at me and sat politely waiting for me to finish sharing.

When I did finish everyone excitedly said…
“Okay!  Now that we finished that, let’s go hiking!”
Hiking??!! Who cares about hiking??  I wanted to discuss what this meant for us!

That was when I realized that I was seeing an example of what it means to be anointed… or not.

Jesus the Christ goes ahead.  He has blazed the trail for me.  All I need do is follow.

As His anointed one I can be certain that His Spirit will keep me on the path.  A path where I will be able to fulfill my role as His disciple.

Whether it be prophetic; speaking a good word to those who come my way….
Or ministering as His priest to those who need someone to come alongside them….
Or the role of His royal agent where I get to be His herald.

Whatever role, at whatever time, Papa; it is just a joy to be anointed as part of Your body!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dangerous Thinking

The year that I met and fell in love with Jesus was one of many discoveries.

One thing I discovered was that not everyone knew Him though many pretended that they did.
The church that I was attending was filled with many of such people.

As I began to learn from Jesus I became uncomfortable with what was being taught.

One day I went to speak with the pastor wondering if I was misunderstanding what he was saying.
He informed me that his Jesus was on the Cross.  I said that for me my Savior was not-He had risen!
His response was that my thinking was dangerous!

Dangerous to whom?  Him?  Certainly not me!

However, there are all kinds of thinking that can be dangerous even to those who embrace a risen Savior.
This morning as I wrote my morning pages a dear friend came to mind.   Many years ago she had come to me distraught over a difficult situation in her life.  Seeking to comfort her I, of course, spoke of my Comforter.

Before she left my home that day Jesus became her Comforter. 
How I rejoiced!

Unfortunately, though her focus was on Him she did not let go of her other “beliefs.”  Thus with time the Living God was relegated to the shelf of her other gods and their religions; He has been embraced as just one more help for life.

It grieves both Papa and me.

After stopping and praying for this dear one I began to reflect on how easy it is for any of us to continue to hold on to those beliefs and ideas that conflict with the truth of our God.

Maybe we aren’t embracing another religion.  At least not one that is considered a true religion.
I asked Papa to reveal to me any false thinking that I still cling to; that I allow to influence me.

Shortly after this I opened the devotional “Daily Moments in His Presence” by Frances J Roberts.
The scripture used was Luke Eleven, verses Thirty-Five and thirty-Six,
“Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
The commentary spoke of how we allow a little darkness in through inattention, which is destructive ‘because it often goes unnoticed and unrepented, and is a secret, unexposed sin."’”
We are urged to…
“Cast it out in Jesus Name, and refuse the robber who would take your dearest treasure, your singleness of heart in your love for Me.”
Papa had my attention.

But just in case I didn’t stay focused on these concerns He repeated the message once more!

Normally I read the commentary “A Slice of Infinity” every weekday, but I had not had the opportunity to do so yesterday.

This morning I opened the email and read Jill Carittini’s words.  The title of the piece is “Thoughtful Idols”.
Ms Carittini explored how idols can come in many different forms.  We can make our view of God our idol.  We can hold so firmly to our understanding of His teaching that it becomes our god.
Her thought that God calls us to rediscover Him again and again resonated with me, as did her picture of the mere hem of His robe filling our holiest moments.
She quoted a professor named Stanley Wiersma, which I believe summed up her article.
“When you are too sure about God and faith, you are sure of something other than God: of dogma, of the church, of a particular interpretation of the Bible.  But God cannot be pigeonholed.  We must press toward certainty, but be suspicious when it comes too glibly.”
I believe this is what my Holy God is saying to me. 
In my joy of being His and the confidence that brings I dare not think that I have the whole picture.  Oh, He is so much more that I could ever think or imagine, yet it is easy to settle into what is comfortable, what we think we know.

Jill quoted Job, Chapter Eleven, verses Seven and Eight,
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?  Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?  They are higher than the heavens-what can you do?  They are deeper than the depths of the grave-what can you know?”
This God of whom I speak is not one to relegate to a shelf or to keep at arms length, nor is He one that can be grasped.

Yet, this same God is the One who invites us to enter His Holy Place and drink deeply of His Love and Joy as He revealed more of Himself to us!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Priceless Nuggets

Papa has nuggets of truth just waiting to be discovered.  They are found, of course, in His Word, but are not limited to just this source.  We can discover them just about anywhere if we but approach with an open heart.

Today was a day of some very precious discoveries.

Opening the Bible this morning I found a few in the first chapter of the Gospel of John,
As I read I made a list of the words that were used to describe my Savior:

Reveals the Father
Explains the Father
Son of God
Lamb of God

What about Him, according to this list, would not draw us to Him?

Oh!  How beautiful Jesus is!

And this Beautiful One is the Lamb of God, who took away my sins!  The Son of God is my Friend and Companion, who has poured life, light, glory, grace, truth into my life and showed me the Father!

These treasures are a garland of nuggets that are of immeasurable value with which He graces each of His children!

All this I received by reading His Word for a few minutes!

He had something else waiting for me, so I am very glad that I continued to read,
“Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be call Cephas” (which translated means Peter.*
He gave Simon a new name, which Simon had no problem accepting.  Not once do you find him forgetting that he was Peter.  It was his new identity and he embraced it!

Papa reminded me that He has a new name for me, according to Revelation Two, verse Seventeen.  A name, written on a stone, which I will receive when I see Him, but I believe I catch a whisper of it of now and again!  I catch the glint of this nugget in the light of His love!

Today I had the opportunity to meet a friend for a light breakfast and some deep conversation.

She has some very serious health issues and it was my desire to be Papa’s instrument of encouragement.  I do hope that proved true.  I do know that I left encouraged, because as I spoke of His love and faithfulness my heart was lifted.

I was reminded of all He has done in my life.  The nugget of joy glittered within my heart.

A treasure awaited me in a very unlikely place.  I am listening to a book on CD.  It is “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand.

The book was written in nineteen fifty-seven, but is very applicable to the world we live in right now.

As I have been listening, the struggle of the main characters is emphasized by the fact that they need to deal with it on their own.  There is no hope of Someone greater than them to turn to.  They are it.
It is by shear power of their own wills that they stand.  At great cost.

Though I can draw many parallels to today’s world with their world and though I know many that are frightened by what is happening now I have peace.  The peace that comes from my God, who promises to never leave me nor forsake me. 
This confidence and the confidence that I know my God will prevail is a priceless nugget that causes my heart to rejoice!

Tell me what nuggets have you discovered from our God lately?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Plumbing the Depths

“We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate…the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us.”  Fredrick William Faber
The longer I walk with my Savior the more I realize how immeasurable His love is for each one of us.  We can never plumb the depths of this love, but we should try!

Paul puts it this way in his prayer found in the Third Chapter of Ephesians starting at the Fourteenth verse,
“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
When His love first broke through to me and I fell in love with my Savior,  the love affair of the ages began.  I marveled over His Love for me.  It all was new and so wonderful, but as I looked back I came to realize that it wasn’t really that new.  It was my awareness that was new.  He had been loving me all along!

The more I reflected over the journey I had been on, the more I recognized how evident His Hand of love and grace had been throughout all that path, which had led me into His Arms.

No I cannot say enough about His Love.  Never would I come close to exaggerating.  His love is that amazing!

As my friend and I worshipped our LORD together this morning the word complete came to mind.

He is complete.  We need nothing more.

Psalm thirty seven tells us,
“Delight yourselves in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Many interpret this to mean that they will get all their fleshly desires met.  Not at all.  We will be satisfied because we will find ourselves complete in Him.

What more could we ever want?

Yet, until we experience this for ourselves, we cannot understand it.  How could we be totally satisfied and yet seemingly be lacking things in our life?

We were designed to be satisfied by Him alone.  That longing, which often remains unnamed or undefined, is only met by Him.
It is the God of Love who draws us to Himself and satisfies us.  He fills us up to overflowing with His Love and then spills out on all who are around us!

So plumb those depths!  Jump right in!

His Arms are waiting to catch you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


One of the elders of our church, Mike, spoke on Sunday morning.  It was communion Sunday and the elders take turns sharing a mediation with us. Mike's was lead to speak on the topic of communion.

It was an encouraging message.  Papa used it to fill my heart.
While I listen to any speaker I take notes.  It keeps me focused and cements in my memory what God is saying to me.   One thing I wrote may not have been the speaker's exact words, but it is the message that I heard in my heart and penned in my journal.
"Healing and reconciliation come from communion with Christ."
I would need to remember and apply those words a little later that day.

Something else that I jotted down also resonated with me.
"You cannot accept His sayings apart from accepting Him."  
This got me to thinking how easy it is to read His Word without really connecting with the One Who's Words they are.

Why would we do such a thing?


When His Word speaks to my heart it is His Spirit saying that it is time to look at the issue that has been revealed.
Sometimes out of a desire to avoid exposure, I avoid Him.  Not because He doesn't already know all about me and my issues, but rather because I do not want to look at it myself, but stay in my personal form of denial.

He allows that to go on just so long.
Because He loves me (us) too much to not keep moving me (us) to all He has for His child(ren)!

My LORD has been speaking to me about being aware of negativity around me and recognizing it for what it is: lies from the enemy of my soul.  I take unkind words to heart and allow others to dash my hopes too easily.

Sunday afternoon I attended a baby shower.  Such activities are not on my list of favorite things to do.
Oh, I love babies.  Very much!  And I love being around one who is expecting.
I am just not very good at, nor very fond of, small talk.
Then having to sit through silly games:  Diapers filled with melted chocolate?  Want to sniff them?
NO thanks!  Chocolate would be ruined for me and we can't have that!!
Then there is the mound of gifts to be opened, one by one.  OOH, a box of diapers!
It wearies me, but I gladly went out of love for my friend, who is one of the dearest people I know!
And I was looking forward to catching up with a couple of people I hadn't seen in a while.

Where the true challenge came was when someone dear to my heart responded very coolly to me.  It wasn't me, but I believe because she is doing some of that avoiding of our God at the moment.  However, it saddened me.

Then others snubbed me.  I won't go into the details, but trust me, it was a snub.  They actually ignored me and then moved to another empty table, leaving me all alone.
Maybe I missed something?

Later I made a suggestion regarding a game when the one running it was unsure of how to handle it.  In the end they opted for a different approach.
No problem.

What was a problem was my friend's comment to a mutual friend, who sat next to her.
She remarked that my suggestion was a ridiculously, stupid one.  Who would ever handle the game that way?
Her words hurt.
Not because I had to be right, though I thought my suggestion a good one, but because my friend was so unkind in her remarks.  She wasn't even concerned that I had heard her.

I thought I had dismissed all of this, but realized later that I had taken it all to heart.
That night I could not sleep so I got up and sought communion with my Savior.  He lead me to the Fifth Chapter of Matthew.

What did the Holy Spirit have to say?
"See all that is yours in Christ?
Embrace it, enjoy it and rest in it.
Rest in Me."
His peace filled me and with it a love for those who hurt me and the instruction to treat all with kindness in the confidence that I am His beloved daughter.

How gracious He is!

I am reading through a devotional book based on the poem "Footprints in the Sand."
Today's reading explored Scripture that speaks of walking with the LORD.
In other words communing with Him.

Papa gave me so many treasures, as I read the various verses.
The offerings came from Old and New Testament books; ranging from Leviticus through to John's First Epistle.
Truly communing with our LORD results in many blessings.

A reminder that we are His.
The promise of a long and full life.
A fruitful life.
His Presence.

A communion so rich.
A Communion found in no other.

It begins for us with the Words of Jesus found in the Twenty-Second Chapter of Luke,
"This is My body which is given for you...This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."
We come to the Cross first, recognizing that He has paid the price and then receiving all that it means for us we enter into communion with our Savior.

Oh, how amazing that the Holy God, the Creator, the Sovereign LORD did all this for us in order to commune with us!

Mike ended by sharing the words to a song by the Side Walk Prophets.  Below I, too, will close with the chorus to their song But You Love Me Anyway,
"But You love me anyway It's like nothing in life that I've ever known Yes, You love me anyway Oh LORD, how You love me How You love me!"
Yes, He loves us anyway.  In spite of all our sin and weakness.
As we enjoy communion with Him, no other's words will penetrate our heart nor will anyone be able to dash our hopes!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Out of Control?

I could use two of me! Though  I doubt my little world is ready for that, but it certainly would be helpful at times.

For years I have tried to figure out how I can be in more than one place at a time.  No success as of yet and it doesn’t look very hopeful for the future.

I wonder if we could multiply ourselves, when the need arises, would we be doubly tired afterward?  That would not be good.  On the outside chance that it would be the case, I think I’ll end the pursuit!

You would think that after all these years I would have learned how to fit it all in.  I have learned to say no, which took practice, but there is still so much on the yes side of the page!

In part I think it is because so much sounds so interesting.

My life is filled with people.  I love people. 

Papa made me that way.

However, I also love to write and want to do more of it.

Papa made me that way too.

It is just fitting both into my life without neglecting my Honey and the running of our home that poses the problem.

My God, of course, has the solution for me.  It just eludes me now and again.

I do well for a while, but then things seem to spiral out of control.

This week, which is just ending, is an example of that craziness.

Every spring I get bit with the spring-cleaning bug.  Not a spring goes by that doesn’t find me pulling out the vacuum and rags with their accompanying spray bottles.

Once I am in this mode I seize every window of opportunity to check more off the list.

With the passing of years, I must confess, the cleaning has become slightly less thorough, but it is still much more than I do on a weekly basis.

Curtains come down, lighter ones go up after all wrinkles are ironed away.  And on it goes.

Over the past few years more has gone on the list, as Ray is not able to tend to anything that requires two hands or a ladder.  Our sons help when they can, but they are working more than full time.

The weed wacker and I have become acquainted.  It left my hands tingling and my arms sore, but not for long!

I do not mind any of it.  It would just be nice if I could tend to all of it without it cutting into all the rest of what I want to do!

What is frustrating to me is having thoughts that I want to get down on paper and then by the time I get my hands on that paper the thought is just a vague impression.

I have to trust that if it something from Papa, it will come back.

He is always speaking and teaching, of which I am ever so grateful.  I do not want to be so busy that I am not able to receive it.

A precious friend visited the other day.  We had a lovely walk, which included good conversation, of course.

Our talk always revolves around our Papa.  We commit our conversation to Him and He honors that by using us to encourage one another and share insights He gives us.

I was expressing my feeling of having dropped the ball where the writing of my book is concerned, but Papa spoke through Vanessa to open my eyes to what He has been doing in me which will benefit the book.

The writing had begun well.  My thoughts flowed.

Then I realized that I needed to reread this blog.  Starting with my first entries after Ray’s accident.
The reading stirred up all the emotions that I had not had the time for at the time. 

It took a good length of time to sort through all of it. 

Afterward I still did not pick up the writing.

Recently I have been feeling that I am now ready to get going again.

What came to light the other day was that it will now be a different book than I first thought.  It will be a more honest book.  One that talks about the struggles and frustrations, as well as God’s faithfulness.
The original would have been a little too nice.  The kind of book that I detest.  One that smacks of a sugary Christianity.

Now what is the point of this posting?  How do all my thoughts tie together.

Papa ties them together!

I need not struggle, not try to clone myself.

My life isn’t too full.  I just need to rest in the fact that He is ordering my life.

Whatever crosses my path and whatever urges I have, including spring cleaning are directed by Him.I commit my every day to Him and know that He takes that to heart.  And His heart is one of love.

This means the feeling of spiraling out of control is me not resting in Him instead of the I musts and the I shoulds.

It means that it is okay for me to clean until my heart is content and take long walks with friends without feeling I am neglecting something else.

No He wants me to enjoy the moment fully.  Whether it is with vacuum or pen in hand or enjoying one of the treasured people with whom He fills my life.

Proverbs Three, verses Five and Six say it well,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”