Archive | June 2014


The guy behind was so close to my bumper I could almost see the color of his eyes! Granted, I was in the left hand lane, but I had a car in front of me and several beside me, so there wasn’t much I could do. I fumed. I honestly thought about hitting my brakes but figured he was so close it might dent my bumper. Besides, we were doing 49 in a 45 mph zone! What was he thinking?? I saw my right turn coming  up, so I had to maneuver my way into the right lane, which made me more irritable, knowing he thought I was doing it so he could pass. Never. As he sped by, I have to say my thought was, maybe there’s a cop up ahead. Suddenly that inner voice spoke to my heart. Oh, brother. I had brought it on myself. “Did you even wonder if perhaps he was trying to get to the hospital, or had a really good reason?” Of course not. Then I remembered a morning driving fast to the local hospital, wondering if I would be too late, and our precious grandson, just born, would not have made it. What if that man was in a predicament like that? Ok–confession and repentance time.

Five minutes later. I take a quick glance at a lady in her yard, and pray, “Lord, please don’t let me weigh that much some day!” He spoke again….”Remember when your mom and dad were coming down to FL, and there wasn’t anything in the cupboards but a can of corn? Your family could only buy spaghetti, pasta, beans, and biscuits! Not easy to stay slim on high carbs, and you didn’t–do you remember?” Oh, yes, I did. I had judged again. Within a few minutes. Confession, repentance.

“Good grief! I can’t believe her mom let her go outside in shorts that looked … well… worse than indecent,” I thought as a mom and her teenager walked into a store. “Maybe she hasn’t had the benefit of a godly upbringing, and is looking for attention,” He said to my heart. Oh, yes–I had judged again. Back to confession, back to the Cross.

Can I not go a few minutes without sinning, Lord?? Apparently not. I thought of the woman who was going to be stoned for adultery, and how Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11). I’ve often wondered, did He mean “big” ones  or all? Yikes. I would have had to laid down in the dirt and stayed there.

Having run all my errands, of which there were many, I came out of the last department store, excited about my purchases. Finding room for the packages was a challenge, but finally they were in, and I was pouring sweat. A temperature of ninety in Virginia feels like 110 in FL, and the sun was beating down. The car felt like it was120 degrees inside, but I turned the key for a/c. Nothing. No “click,” no rat-a-tat-a-tat, nothing. Not a light bulb lit, just deafening silence. Not good. I had just driven fifty miles, and it was fine! No, to answer your unspoken question, I really did not even think of yelling, “Praise the Lord!” I felt like kicking the car, but had too much respect for it to do so. My daughter would know what to do–she runs an auto parts store, and what she doesn’t know would fit on the head of a pin. Most men assume differently. Great, she’s driven an hour and half away, to another town; my husband is in FL, so I call my daughter-in-law to come try to jump the car. She does, it doesn’t. Obviously I need a lesson in patience, in gratefulness (it didn’t happen at a stop light), and probably a dozen other lessons.

AAA later, at home, in air conditioning, now almost seven and I get lunch… or was it breakfast? Does yogurt count for breakfast? This day has come, and as the Bible says so clearly “it came to pass,” and pass it finally has. I thought once about buying a wooden cross and tacking my sins up on it, one by one, but I can clearly see that the cross would have to be massive to hold them all. Yet He would do it again, just for me. Just for you.

Thank God, He did. Thank You for the cross, Lord. Thank You for the love, when I was dead in my sins and trespasses. Amen





Pizza sounded sooooo good! I had to decide: would it be worth it when it came back up? For nine months I had lost almost everything I had eaten, but this time–this time–I was giving in to my craving! So the pizza went down, every yummy, cheese-dripping, bite! And sure enough, within thirty minutes it was coming back.

Carrying this baby–and the future four–was an act of love, and I could hardly wait for her to get here. The agony of the birth itself, the long nine months when one goes from “normal” to waddling like a duck, the back aches, trying to get a good night’s sleep–all that was forgotten the second I held her in my arms. But. The glory of children is their Father. (Proverbs 17:6).

Not fair, Lord! We’re the one who feeds them, changes their stinky diapers, plays airplane with their food, remembers to write everything in the baby’s book, and smells like spit-up 24/7! We’re the ones who carry a two year old on one hip, a purse over one shoulder, a diaper bag over the other, and lug a twenty-pound car seat/carrier with the infant in it! But. The glory of children is their father.

The class stood at attention: some were Pilgrims, some were Indians, a few turkeys, and some had signs. Moms, for the most part, and tons of grandparents, were sitting as close to the front as possible, cameras flashing. The little one on the back row–the Indian–kept his head straight, looking at his teacher, but every thirty seconds he cut his eyes to the right. Finally, a light bulb was turned on in his face–his daddy had arrived to watch the program. The glory was reflected in his face. The glory of this child–my grandson–is his father.

Summer has come, and mom has to come up with tons of ideas as to how to keep the children occupied, especially during rainy days, when going outside is not even considered! Oh, the things we think of to do! Making tents over the dining room table, having lunch in the “campsite,” playing Hide and Seek. But waiting for that special moment when daddy comes home. The glory of children is their father.

A new car is needed now, one that will carry all the kids and all their gear, their musical instruments, and presents for parties, and mom becomes not only the nurse, the cook, maid, but now the chauffeur. But the glory of the children is their father.

God, how can this be?! We pour our souls into these children, we take care of every need, are You sure this is right? And He says, yes, it’s right. My Father is My Glory, and I want to be the Glory of your children, as well. And we say, “But God, what about all the homes where Dad has left, and Mom has to carry all the burden? He doesn’t even send money except when the courts make him!” And God says, he will answer for it, because I created him to be the glory of his children.

So–this week we honor fathers. Let’s make sure we honor those who go to work day after day, and bring home the money that takes care of a home for their wife and children; we honor those who are trying to keep America free by being willing to not only be deployed but also willing to die, if necessary, only being able to see their sweet babies on Father’s Day by way of a webcam; we honor those who try to make it to the school programs, the ball games, the concerts, and the camping trips. We honor those who are fathers in love and in deed.

And if, by circumstance, you are a mom who is role-playing the difficult task of being both a mom and dad, God Himself will give you grace and strength; teach them every moment that He has promised to be a Father to the Fatherless. And somehow, in all of it, He will get glory from your children.



The car seemed to reverberate with my frustration: “I CAN’T go on like this! I CAN’T do this anymore! I’m burned out, don’t you understand?!” In my muffled sobbing, what could my husband say? He knew I was stressed to the max, but at this point, late last year, there was no solution. I felt like maybe God was not hearing my prayer.

We walked on into church–of course I got my halo out of the glove compartment and put it on!–and soon the service began. After a time of praise and worship, our pastor began his sermon. He had my full attention in any case, but God, just to be sure my mind wasn’t wandering, had him question, “When is the last time you said you CAN’T make it, that you CAN’T go on?” As he finished his sermon, I sat stunned. God, the Almighty Creator, had spoken through our pastor. I knew he had just spoken by the Holy Spirit directly to me, and that I could go on another day.

How does it feel when the pastor says something that seems as though he may have been in your car, under your bed, or in a room nearby? Do you heed the instruction, the rebuke, the encouragement? Or do you think perhaps it is a “Love Note” that God is sending to you?

Lest you think I believe myself to be anything except a sinner saved by grace, I will tell you the next chapter. Saturday was the culmination of a rough week, as in “No. 8” stress level. I run a large sales business out of my house, and have had to be concerned about the economy like many of you. Each week I have seen sales go down, lower and lower. It has seemed that I’ve been under more pressure over the past year that the previous five put together. I have prayed fervently–constantly! Finally, Saturday morning I got up, and there, on the computer, was a bunch of sales! I was ecstatic–until I started hunting the items that had sold, and could not find almost one-fourth of them!! I have to say, in all honesty, I felt betrayed! When my husband came in, I was sunk in the depths of despair. Being me, I gave vent to the incredible hurt I was feeling: “If I’m going to have to be so specific in praying, not only for sales, but for sales that actually end up being found, paid for, acceptable, and the customer happy, what good is praying? What if He doesn’t love me? What if I’m not saved? What kind of loving Father is that?” And on and on–never at a loss for words in my hurt and anger, I talked until it was all out.

My husband stepped up to the plate. He reminded me of my salvation, and tried to encourage me that the business could survive even if we needed to redirect some of the aspects of it. I did what I always do in order to escape the crushing reality of stress: I went to bed. I can sleep 20 out of 24 hours if I’m trying to escape.

Sunday morning (yesterday), with our pastor being out of the country, we sat down in the church, ready for the praise and worship and the sermon. But God. Don’t you love those words? But God had other plans. Turning to John 11, the preacher began to lead us through the death of Lazarus, Jesus’ beloved friend. Can you imagine? God, in the flesh, comes to the earth, and makes true friends! It’s hard to wrap your mind around that. But then Lazarus gets sick…so they send friends to Jesus, knowing He can heal the sick. He tells them, “It will be okay–I’ll be along.” When He does arrive, Lazarus has been dead and buried four days, and Mary, Martha, and their friends all have the same response: if you had been here, he wouldn’t have died. As the preacher said, “You would have been able to keep him from dying, but look, now he is dead, You can do nothing!” Despite His miracles, feeding the poor, raising the dead, walking on water, and so many others, now, they say, YOU can do nothing! No wonder Jesus wept! And the pastor continued, what has YOUR faith been up against this past week, or month, or whatever time period, when you say, “You are NOT able to help me now! You can do nothing about my situation! There’s no use praying any more, for You are not even caring enough to show up!” Can we look at the past, and look at the miracles He has provided in our lives, and still say, “You are unable or unwilling to fix my problem?”

Conviction was heavy upon me, and repentance was on the heels of it. I was so ashamed! I was truly of a “broken heart” (Psalm 51), that I had doubted that the Creator of the universe, who has acted on my behalf so many times, could do nothing for me. Or perhaps I should say “would.” Do I know what He’s doing in my business? No, I don’t–nor do I know what He’s doing in your life. That’s where TRUST comes in. Maybe He’s waiting “four days” so that others may see the glory of God! As we sing so often, “Never once did I ever walk alone! Never once did you leave me on my own! You are faithful, God, you are faithful!”

Do you believe that? I do. I was there. I was the one He was speaking to.


“The man who isolates himself seeks his own desire.” Proverbs 18:1a


Few things equal the imagination of children! Being raised in a dysfunctional family, at an early age I learned the escape from reality that books afforded me. My aunt had many wonderful books, an actual series, by Arthur Maxwell, and I would sit in the corner behind a chair and read story after story. Later, my grandmother gave me a book by Grace Livingston Hill, which presented me not only with a physical book, but a way of life that grew into a hobby and collection that few rival. But my greatest feats were the fantasies I would make up as I lay in bed at night: I can still see the woods around me, the small cabin I (in my fantasy) lived in, the garden I grew, and the hermit life I lived! It was my dream–to be a hermit, away from people.

Although that didn’t happen, it has never left me, and over the years I can see our pattern of residences have almost all been on acreage. A couple of years ago it happened–as it does often to all of us who read God’s word on a regular basis–as I’ve mentioned before on other passages, that, as I started on Proverbs 18, this first verse jumped off the page and God spoke straight to me, that, in my fantasy of isolation, I was not heeding His desires, but my own. Ouch! Double ouch! We are to be “neighbors,” to “love our neighbors” (wherever we find them), and spread His word. It’s hard to do that if you don’t go into the world!

So, I rationalized. Don’t tell me you don’t do that. I do this, I do that, I minister here, minister there; go on short-term mission trips—-WHOA. Suddenly that one hit me, and for a very good reason. The last one I went on, nearly two weeks in duration, was long enough to love on the people, help with a project, eat their food, and tell my story. But, oh! was I ready to come home at the end of two weeks. I just spoke to a sweetheart of a sister-in-Christ who had gone for three weeks, which, she said, was too long. We wanted to get back to our comfort zone.

Where does all this go? If you read any of my blogs, you know I don’t take short cuts. I have to lay the groundwork before giving the interior design, and this design nearly took my peace away! You see, a short term mission trip is great because it is SHORT. We can get back to comfort zones, but also to responsibilities–I understand that. But we also miss a lot. I know–I got a letter yesterday, which some of you may have gotten also.

The letter spoke of a dire need that is never addressed in Christmas boxes, medical terminology, children’s school requirements (i.e., books, pencils, paper, etc). The need is much more crushing, but overlooked–in fact, the mention of it in a blog might be a “no-no,” I’m not sure! But a certain humanitarian organization, Gleaning For the World, addressed it in letter form, and it touched me like few things have: it communicated the crucial need of young girls when they begin their feminine cycles, and have nothing with which to keep themselves clean. They have to resort to used newspapers, old rags, corn  husks–use your imagination. They miss school, and are basically housebound for the week. As a woman, how can I NOT have considered this in the trips I’ve made to Guatemala, India, or sitting in my comfort zone, isolated? I should have thought of it in connection with the sweet young girls that were ministered to in the poverty stricken countries. Shame washed over me, and I realized a new kind of isolation had been in my heart: unmet needs that are not talked about.

GFTW has made a kit available which will help these girls. For a mere $15 USD, it will take care of six months worth of necessities these girls need. I had to come out of my isolated “studio” and put it on paper this morning before I could shake the responsibility I feel to reach out and give hope where there is none. You can go to and read the letter, I’m sure. But along with me, let us be pro-active in reaching the world for Christ: He Himself ministered to physical needs and then taught the spiritual lessons. I pray we do that as well.

Dear Lord, please forgive me for staying in my area of comfort when there is a world who is suffering at the hands of Satan, held bound by tradition, not knowing there is a freedom that is found when they give their heart to You. Help me reach them, not only with spiritual food, but with daily needs as well. Please, God, give me love as You love. Amen



The dust on the road made little “poofs” as I jogged down the path, no one but me in my world at the moment. I had not alarmed the birds, who continued to sing, and I could hear squirrels as they scratched in the leaves trying to bury a late acorn–or perhaps find one. I loved being alone, soaking in the beauty, and watching the creek, out of sight on the left, gurgle over the rocks as it went its merry way. How can everything not be alright in a world like this? The day was made to be enjoyed!

I slowed to a walk to savor every moment, knowing it would come to an end soon and I would have to return to my parked car, go finish my errands, and head home. Back to the computer, back to the business, back to the “daily grind.” But wait–first let me continue long enough to see what lies around the bend in the road! Anything this peaceful has to have a happy ending.

I decided to walk lighter, not making any more noise than possible, almost tiptoeing. Why? Maybe gut instinct, which had kicked in! I had no idea how far the path continued, but time seemed to have stood still for these precious moments. As I got closer to the bend, I was still soaking in the peace that permeated the scene. And then I rounded the curve, to the unseen. There, sitting quietly beside the path, about 100 feet in front of me, sat a mama bear, with two small cubs playing happily; after all, Mama was there to keep them protected. I stopped, backed up, and rounded the bend I had just traversed, and then flew on feet that would have won a marathon back to my car. I didn’t take that nanosecond to look back to see if she had been as alarmed as I, and was giving chase. I fumbled my automatic door key, but finally hit the right button. She was not behind me–all that fear, and nothing was chasing me.

I could not help but make the spiritual analogy: it’s part of who I am. How often do we think we can handle what might be around that next step in life, when we can’t see? May we never be so arrogant that we think we can go into any situation, not knowing the outcome, unless He is leading us there to do some work for him. We have no idea what lies ahead, but “He orders our steps (Psalms)” and leads us–unless we’re set on going our own way. Then He does not stop us, but let’s us proceed until eventually we get so lost, or so in conflict that we turn back and ask Him the way.

I pray I always go no further than God leads me. He has always BEEN faithful, therefore He will always BE faithful! If I am trusting Him with my eternity, how is it that I can’t trust Him with today, here, in this “nasty now and now”? Life isn’t always about beautiful paths and peaceful scenes: sometimes–ofttimes–it’s about the bears. But He is all we need. Is He all you need?

Dearest Father, when our hearts are so heavy that we cannot lift them, we think of the beautiful Psalm, now a song: ” Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God! But, Thou, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory and the lifter of my head [and my heart!]! (Psalm 3:2,3). Thank You for what You did for me on Calvary–thank You for the scars in Your hands and feet, and what they represent. Thank You for making Yourself so lowly and humble that You left heaven for us, who are so sinful! Thank You for the cross, Lord! Amen