Free to be...

>> Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I look bad in this picture but even so, I wanted to share because these two friends that sit beside me have taught me much about living life.

To the right is my friend Norma.  I sought her out years ago when I was told she has fibromyaliga.  She invited me to her house and I've clung to her since.  She's taken me to doctor appointments and cared for me in times I've really needed some special attention and a woman's touch.

She has such an enormous heart for God and actively shows it.  Jesus shines through her in awesome ways. Because of infirmities, God put us together and I'm grateful to Him for that.  She stood beside me in really rough weather and was and is, a strong anchor for me.  She's taught me to live and love, for sure.  I have grown much and don't cling to her like I used to, which is a very good thing, and it frees her up to minister to others who need her like I did and still do but in different ways.

To my left is Marilyn.  I met this graceful lady through Norma.  Actually this is Norma's sister.  They both are Canadian bred and have accents that bear witness to that fact.  She lived close to Chicago and Norma would let me come along for rides to go see her.  She grew to be, not just Norma's sister and a way for me to get to spend more time with Norma, but she became a good friend.

Her life was hard.  She lived with so much pain but she faithfully served God all of her days.  A month or so ago she was in a car accident and never recovered.  Yesterday she passed away.  She's now with Jesus, walking on healthy legs now.  I'm sure she's found a group of women to take under her angel wings and minister to.  She loved to laugh.  She loved to teach.  She loved to worship.  She loved to live life to the fullest and wouldn't allow her physical body to limit her.  Now she's free to be...

I'm so happy she's free to be...

"May (God) keep us centered and devoted to Him, following the life path He has cleared, 
watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms He laid down."  (1 Kings 8:56)


Time to Laugh...Time to Cry...

>> Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eccles. 2-8 "A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace."


Not Ever... -- Friday Fiction

>> Friday, June 25, 2010

I am hosting Friday Fiction. See the link below to read great stories. Don't forget to leave a comment. We don't know what you think about them unless you tell us - good or bad:)

Not Ever...

The young girl, Sarai, looked out the door. She thought of all she was losing on this day, the day her mother said should be most happy. She gathered up the jars and walked to the water hole. Even so early, it was hot. Her dress clung to her. Sweat dripped from her thin body. She got down on her belly and leaned over. Such a little girl thing to do but she didn’t care. Her reflection looked back at her. Her eyes showed fear. She was not happy, not one bit. She was frightened. To be torn from her mother’s arms so abruptly made her shiver. Sarai touched her reflection with her finger tip. The water rippled out, distorting her face. This she could relate to. Confusion reigned in her thoughts. Tears flowed from her eyes and fell into the hole.

Sarai picked herself up and brushed away the tears with her apron. One filled jar she balanced on her head. The other she carried with her free hand. She made her way into the quiet house. Her mother sat in the corner with Sarai’s baby sister suckling at the breast. She herself had only been weaned eleven years ago. Sarai longed to be there again, not torn against her will from the only thing she knew, the only people she loved.

Tehevita winked at her daughter. “This is your day, Sarai.” The girl sat at her mother’s feet and put her head in her mother’s lap.

“No Mommy, I’m scared.” Tears bubbled up from her eyes.

Tehevita tore the little baby from away amid squeals and squalls. She lay the baby down and took hold of Sarai’s face in both her hands and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Iscah darling, remember how men are looking at you?”

“Mommy, I want to run and play, I don’t want to keep house with a brother I barely know.”

“You are the most beautiful woman in these parts, my dear. You must be careful. Men will want you. Be on your guard. Abram is a good man, a very good man. Your father did well in arranging this match. You will be safe with him.”

Her eyes downcast, she mumbled the words her mother wished to hear, “I understand.”

Her father nodded to his daughter. “It’s time, Iscah. Your groom waits.”

She kissed her mother and whispered, “I’m scared.”

“All will be well. Trust me.”

Sarai walked behind her father, head down, not wanting to look into the neighbor’s eyes. She concentrated on one foot and then another as she made her way closer to the bridal dinner. She tuned out the giggles from her friends and the whistles from the young men. Suddenly a small boy ran past the wedding march. Someone scooped him up and out of the way just a second late. Sarai tripped.

She gasped and reached out to grab onto her father’s robe but a stranger caught her into his arms instead.

“My bride, my Sarai.”

The girl peeked up and saw a tall, handsome man. “Master?” His eyes bore into her own and she blushed.

He bent down and whispered into her ear. “Not master. I am your husband and you my wife.”

With that, the wedding feast began. Sarai picked at her food, knowing full well what was expected of her afterwards. She would cleave to her husband as she had been taught to do at her mother’s instruction, but in her heart, she promised herself she would never love him. Not ever…


I'll post more of the story next week.  Hope you stay tuned:)



>> Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In my reading today, day 24, lots of things jumped out at me.  For one thing, the second born of David's son's arranged for himself to become King. It wasn't the Lord's will, though.  When David heard about it, he had Solomon anointed King of Israel. He was put on a donkey and the people shouted and sang. Sound familiar? No wonder the people thought a famous person was coming when Jesus was on the donkey going down the road. They all sang hosanna and praised Him.  -- Traditions.  It helps when we understand these things. See what reading the Bible like this is doing for me? It's intense but I'm getting such a good look at things.

Okay, here's something else: 

As King David got older, he got colder. Happens today, too.  I guess instead of turning up the heat and piling on more blankets, a virgin was chosen to keep the King warm.  She did some housekeeping for him and lay beside him. What a chore.  I wonder what they talked about?  Did he sing to her?  Maybe she sang to him?  Her name was Abishag, the Shunammite.

Later, David's second born, who tried to claim the throne for himself, even though he knew it would be Solomon's, asked Soloman's mother, Bathsheba, to request a wife for himself from Solomon. He wanted none other than sweet Abishag.

I didn't remember who this woman was. I couldn't figure out why Solomon was so mad and had Adinijah, his own brother, put to death.  So I did what any woman trying to figure things out nowadays does - I Googled it:)

Because of Abishag's position, a servant of the King, it could have placed Adinijah as king. A commoner was not allowed to marry a servant of a deceased king. Good thing Solomon was wise or he may have lost his position.

Know why David never made Abishag his wife? Tradition says that kings were only allowed to have 18. She would have exceeded his limit. Wow. Crazy:)

Know what else my Google research told me?  Abishag, the Shunnamite, may have been the same woman Solomon writes about in the Song of Solomon. I can't wait until I get there and check that one out.  Pieces of knowledge like this makes the Bible come alive that much more.


God rewrote the text of my life...

>> Monday, June 21, 2010

Today is the 23rd day of a pretty intense Bible reading schedule.  Let's see, if I could do Math in my head I could shoot out how many more days I have, but alas, I can't. Oh, I probably could but that might strain my summer brain. Can't have that happen, can we?  Someone can tell me how many left in a comment:)  

Today I read about David.  It's clear as can be the sins in his life that caused God's hand to move away from him for a bit but David always moves back to God.  He has powerful writings he shares with us, too. Awesome writings.  This is what he wrote after he was installed as king again but it was also after his son Absolom was killed.  David loved big, sinned big, and lost big but God is bigger and He loved David even more than big, he forgave his sins in a big way, and He returned to David what he lost in big ways.  And he does the same for us today. Our God is an awesome God. For reals. Forever.

21-25 God made my life complete
      when I placed all the pieces before him.
   When I cleaned up my act,
      he gave me a fresh start.
   Indeed, I've kept alert to God's ways;
      I haven't taken God for granted.
   Every day I review the ways he works,
      I try not to miss a trick.
   I feel put back together,
      and I'm watching my step.
   God rewrote the text of my life
      when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. 
(2 Samuel 22 - The Message)


You Got a Friend in Me

>> Saturday, June 19, 2010

Best friends are hard to come by and sometimes they are dropped into your lap. At times they are there for a season and then, slowly, before you hardly realize it, they're gone and new ones have replaced them.

As you get into your 40's, close to 50, friends are just as important as ever, maybe more important. Your kids have grown up. You're usually less busy. You have time to develop relationships.

Friendships are gifts from God. He created them, afterall.  He was a friend to Moses, it says so in the Bible. David and Jonathan were the best of friends.

True friends keep each other accountable. They keep them on their toes. They know the strengths and weaknesses of each other. They tease and poke and prod and love on and encourage. "As iron sharpens iron, so one (wo)man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17 NIV)

Last night my daughter and I, along with other girlfriends, went to see Toy Story 3. To see the whole gang together was awesome, along with new friends, of course. Some were missing, like Bo Peep. Friends move on. They are called to other places at times. Their presence is missed but a true friend is happy for them.

God fills in the gaps. He knows exactly what we need and He knows the right timing. Through the amazing friendships I've had in my life, I've learned more about myself. I've learned to laugh and I've shed many tears. I've grown up. They've grown up. Some of us have moved on. Some friendships have stood the test of time. Many made a mark on my life, both good and bad, and that mark can never be erased.

Some are online friends and others are nearby. It doesn't matter. A true friend is a blessing, whether we ever meet in 'real life' or not. Hopefully your best friend lives in the house with you. Jim and I have grown in our friendship with each other through our 27 years of marriage, and some of that is because of special friends who have taught me how to truly love and laugh.

 Sometimes it's hard to wrap my mind around the awesome friendships in my life. And to even say one is closer than another is hard for me, they all have different parts of my heart, equally important.

But one person does have a very large spot in my heart. Neither of us know why God brought us together but it's very apparent that He did. We overcame many obstacles to get where we are now. 2,000 miles apart doesn't seem to be a problem when once, we never thought we would ever meet in person. Now I've lost track of the times we've been together. Every one knows how close we are. Our husbands have accepted it, phew. So glad.

Because of technology, we are able to spend time 'together,' by webcam, texting, and the phone. I'm grateful for that but nothing compares to going down the escalator at the airport, eyes fixed on the other, so close, yet so far away, and then the gap closes and soon we're face-to-face, then locked in a tight hug.

Best friends are gifts from God and I am so blessed to have many in my life. They impact me in major ways, but best of all, they ALL point me to God when my way gets mixed up and confusing.


Labyrinth -- Friday Fiction

>> Friday, June 18, 2010

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by our own Hoomi.  Enjoy your Friday by reading some awesome stories!


Startled, Joseph jumped out of bed. A familiar woman’s voice captured his attention from a deep sleep. “Light on,” he ordered. An amber glow filled the room. Quietly, he went to the hallway.

“Kate’s room,” he whispered. The floor moved at a smooth pace taking him down the narrow passage. He opened his daughter’s door and saw his deceased wife projected, bigger than life, on Kate’s wall.

“Never forget the books we’ve read, no matter what. Okay?” She tickled the little girl.

Video Katie giggled, “Okay, Mommy.”

Real-life Kate wiped tears from her cheeks. Joseph sat down.

“I miss her, Dad.”

“I miss her, too.”

“She asked me to remember the books, but I can’t.”

“It’s my fault. Mom wanted you to love books, too, but the times we live in make it dangerous. I want to keep you safe.”

Katie scooted close and put her head on her dad’s shoulder. “Are they outlawed?

Joseph picked up her PRS, personal retrieval system. “Our government supplies us with these instead.”

“Isn’t that the way it’s always been?”

“I think you’re old enough to know the truth. Get dressed and meet me at the escalator.”

“But it’s the middle of the night.”

“That’s the only time we can go.”

They rode down from their home high atop the trees. The natural air so stifled, it was hard to breathe. Once on the ground, they stepped over debris of times past.

Father and daughter skirted away from police strobe lights that towered above them until they were in a barren spot in the middle of an open field. “Stop here, Kate. This is a secret place. There’s no telling anyone.”

“But there’s nothing here.”

Joseph knelt onto the grass and pulled up a lever. A door opened. “This is the Labyrinth.”

“It’s a basement, right? We learned about these in school.”

“It’s sort of like a basement.” They crept down steep steps.

Kate gasped when he turned on the light. There were ten rows of shelves that started in front of her and spanned out into the edges of darkness, each taking their own direction: right, left, and some down lower into the ground. “This is why it’s called Labyrinth, right?” She tiptoed to a nearest shelf and ran her finger across the objects. “So many books!”

“They hold words that describe our past and predict our future; words that make us laugh and cry. They teach us what we need to know.” Joseph searched for a special one then took it off the shelf and held it out to her.

Katie turned it right side up then backwards. “Where do you turn it on?”

Joseph chuckled. “It doesn’t come on, Kate. Open it up. See the words? You read them right on the page.”

“But the PRS has written works. What’s so special about these?”

“What’s in the PRS is what the government allows us to know.”

“Mom used to come home sometimes with a pile of books hidden in her coat. When I asked where she got them, she said I would find out when I’m older. Oh Daddy… Mom was killed because of books, right?”

“Mainly for this one book in your hand, the number one banned book of all time – the Bible. She was brave, much braver than me. This book tells us all about our Creator.”

“Our Creator? What do you mean?”

“Your grandfather was a pastor. He encouraged his congregation to memorize the Bible so they could keep the Creator’s words in their hearts. He believed books wouldn’t be allowed much longer. The people didn’t listen. About a year later, the government seized all the books in our land.”

“But this place…”

“Grandpa busied himself collecting all he could and built this shelter to hold them all.”

“And Mom?”

“Mom was in church when the police came and shot her dad, all because he dared read a Bible to the people. She took his place. She kept up his mission.”

Kate gasped and edged closer to Joseph. “Police came to our house and I hid under the bed. All these memories are coming back.” She shivered. “Mom and Grandpa are heroes because they saved books?”

“They saved books and taught out of the Bible. They’re martyrs.”

“Tell me more about our Creator, please? I need to know this book.” Katie pressed the Bible close to her heart. “Don’t worry, Mom will be with us. We’ll be safe.”

“Mom won’t be with us but our Creator God will.”


Reflections while Mowing:)

>> Thursday, June 17, 2010

Today I mowed. One would think that time could be well spent praying. Sure. Yup. Of course. But first, listen in on my thoughts...

"Veggie tales, veggie tales, veggie tales, veggie tales..."  Are you singing it with me yet?  And then I start making up words because my kids are too old now for me to remember the right ones. Okay, besides that, I like making up silly words to songs.

Of course, that didn't last long. About five minutes into it, I wondered how long I'd been mowing. Ummm...about five minutes, in case you missed that:)

And then, as I close in on a gap, you know - circling around to scoop up that last bit in the area - I break out into - "Dizzy, dizzy, so very dizzy..."  (Busy, busy, verrrry busy... - you know the song:)  Must be a Veggie Tales theme today, I guess. But in all fairness, I was making myself dizzy!

I look out into the yard to admire my handiwork and I realize that what should look like this:

DOESN'T!  It looks more like a haphazard race track with grass clippings flung all over the place. Oh well. My husband can't complain.  Well, he can, but he doesn't do much better than me.  All's good there.

But it's a big yard - no more time for admiration - and off I go again. Around trees and under low-hanging branches.  Ever have one of those moments when you think - "Oops, I hope this isn't a mistake?"  Yeah, well, I got scratched up. If it would have happened just once, that's understandable. You know, live and learn? But to do it over and over again? Wow. Yes, I left my brain inside in the airconditioning.

Another thought - latte. I need a latte. But I overcame that one. At least until I went inside. That was one of the first items of business.

I was driving along, getting the hang of the rhythm and letting my mind wander until...I hit something and it stops me fast. So fast, in fact, I almost get flung off. I have bruises to prove it.  That makes the times the, "Oops, I hope this isn't mistake," is less scary.  No thoughts to this one.  Bang. Done. Lived to tell about it, though. And...I didn't kill the mower. Jim will be so proud or amazed. Yes, amazed. Truly amazed.

I did get a little praying done. I prayed that I wouldn't get too burnt. Prayed I wouldn't kill the mower. Prayed that my silly decisions wouldn't cause an accident. Prayed that my husband would rise up and call me blessed when he saw all I accomplished. Prayed I would stay alive to hear the blessing.

And then I stopped.  Wobbly, I got off the mower.  My hands still shake from the vibration.  I had so many thoughts that raced through  my mind on that mower. Lots of bloggy ideas, but, alas, they stayed in the grass clippings, I do believe. All you get here are the crazy, random reflections while mowing the grass:)

By the way, it was a close call, but I didn't plow into the pool.  Phew. Maybe I should go jump into it now. Then I can write my next blog: Reflections while Floating on Back:)

P.S. I did all I'm going to do. It's up the He-Man to get 'er done the rest of the way. And FYI: the only thing he told me about it was, "Next time mow blowing the clippings out so they don't bunch up and burn up the belt." O boy. I'm such a blessing. There. I said it. I feel better now:)

P.S.S.  He-Man did thank me later, much later:) A very nice thank you. Gotta love him.


Set-Right, Put-Together Life

>> Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Who says the Old Testament isn't relative to us today? Come here, on top of this mountain ledge while we listen to Moses speak to the Israelites.

"Attention (everyone!)
God , our God! God the One and Only!
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love Him with all that's in you, love Him with all you've got!"

Write these commandments on your heart. Talk about them. Take them with you wherever you go. Teach your children:

1. No other gods, only me.

2. No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am God, your God, and I'm a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I'm lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.

3. No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won't put up with the irreverent use of his name.

4. No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as God your God, commanded you. Work six days, doing everything you have to do, but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day—no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you. Don't ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and God your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That's why your God commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest.

5. Respect your father and mother—God your God, commands it! You'll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well.

6. No murder.

7. No adultery.

8. No stealing.

9. No lies about your neighbor.

10. No coveting your neighbor's wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either—nothing that belongs to your neighbor!

Deuteronomy 6:25, "It will be a set-right and put-together life for us if we make sure that we do this entire commandment in the Presence of our God, just as he commanded us to do."


Beautiful Mess

>> Saturday, June 12, 2010

A friend posted this YouTube video this morning on Facebook. What a message.  Enjoy Amy Grant's, Better Than a Hallelujah. 


So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?

>> Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm in Day 11of my 90 Day Challenge but I have to admit. Shhhh... True confession time here: I got distracted. At least it was about what I was reading.

Numbers 11:4-6 The riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, "Why can't we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt—and got it free!—to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna." (The Message)

The Israelites were fully taken care of. Every morning when they woke up, breakfast was waiting for them. Manna waffles, bamanna bread, manna souffle...  It was good for awhile but then they grumbled again. It was never enough for them. They daydreamed about those leeks and onions by the Nile. They seemed to forget the whippings and the hard labor.

Okay, I digress again. I remembered a record I had when I was a teenager in the 70's. Of course, I don't know where my records are, not that I could play them anyway, with no archaic record playing machine:) But ohhhh! the beauty of the internet! It took me a little while because I had no idea who sang it or what the title was, but I did it - remember Keith Green? I couldn't find a good YouTube video to watch but it's a good recording. Take a listen.  Maybe it will bring back fond memories, it sure did me.

Good memories, huh? What a funny song but also a toe-stomper, too. Aren't we the same way? We always have something to complain about. We need to take some time to see how far we've come and how much we've grown. I'm still getting used to a life that isn't filled with constant chronic pain. Yes, I said getting used to. I have to learn to travel in a much stronger body. It's a different experience, a different mindset. I believe I've been walking in a miracle, a slow one, but a miracle, none-the-less. If God had made it happen quickly, my body wouldn't have been ready for the drastic change maybe. Or maybe my mind wouldn't have been ready. Like the Israelites, I had to walk around the dangerous enemies because my faith wasn't big enough to allow God to work? Hmmm... I'll chew on that one.

I certainly don't want to go back to Egypt, not that I've made it to my Promised Land yet. It's been a long walk in that desert but I see myself continuously moving forward with some detours along the way, of course. It's a hard life. I have close Christian friends going through a divorce, something they never thought in a million years would happen to them. The economy is jerking many around, causing people to lose homes and savings. It's a hard life for sure (and then my mind starts humming, It's a Hard Knock Life, from Annie.) It's a constant journey. Continual education. A faith-experience (I use a hyphen here just to prove that I do use hyphenated words at other times, not just to get around my 750 word limit in the FW challenge:) and i digress again...

I can sit here and let my heart hurt and my mouth rail against the work of the enemy or I can cleanse my heart and mind and let God back in. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He worked miracle after miracle. He's the same God. The very same. Soooo....I (another way to get around the 750 word limit, by the way) Soooo....I choose to watch God's hand at work in all situations. The unjust will get their just rewards. God promised. And we have our Promised Land waiting for us in Heaven.

I do NOT choose to go back to Egypt. No way! Bring on those manna-burgers, God. Send your manna-provision from Heaven. Let it rain down on all of us today. Help us all be grateful for it. Open our eyes and let us see You working. Don't let the enemy block our view. Take off our sunglasses and let us see Your glory!


Hearts Awakening - Bethany House book review

>> Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hearts Awakening, by Delia Parr was extremely good. I don't think I've read anything by this author before. I highly recommend her.

The two main characters in this book are as different as night is to day. The odds of them ever coming together were not in their favor except that God had it in His perfect plan to fulfill both of their lives.

Ellie is a spinster, a very hard thing to be in the 1800's.  Jackson is a widow with two little boys. His life was filled with trauma: orphaned at age 8 and shuffled from home-to-home, he was filled with bitterness. He fell in love with a woman who didn't love him back and married a woman he couldn't love back.

Ellie and Jackson's lives get mixed up and transformed into one. The messages in this book are full of hope and promise. I dare you to check it out. Soon, you will lose yourself in its pages.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me this opportunity to read their high quality books for free!


Super Sinner/Super Savior

>> Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today's church service was awesome. I worshiped and felt God's presence there in a big way. We had a worship leader being voted on, Jim Coonce. He did a really good job.

One of the songs we sang went right along with Genesis, the book I read this week for the 90 day challenge: Glory to God, by Steve Fee. In fact, it goes with Exodus, too, and every other book in the Bible, for that matter.

I hope you listened to it or maybe listening to it as you continue to read. Isn't it awesome? As I stood in worship with several hundred others, I was swept off to another place. At one point I gasped for breath. I couldn't sing. All I could do was sigh and bask in His glory, God's glory. It was wonderful. I could say it was the worship leader that led me there. Maybe he did. He did have a part, that's true, but if my heart hadn't been prepared from the days before, I wouldn't have had the experience I did.

What do I mean? I spent hours and hours with God this week while working toward meeting the 90 day challenge. That's it. That's the key. Worship leaders can be awesome and talented but if we haven't spent time with God outside of church, they won't be able to lead us anywhere.

Remember what happened to Moses in Exodus when he spent time with God?

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.

When I read this account, I questioned myself. Can others tell a difference in me after I've spent time with the Lord? Does that radiance cause others to shade their eyes when I walk by? Well, that's certainly not the case, but I hope they can tell by my actions, words, and general demeanor, that I am God's child and I love spending time with my Daddy.

I'm certainly not proud of the fact that I'm a pretty super sinner, but I am in good company. As much as a super sinner I am, I have a Super Savior that has redeemed me. He paid the price for my past, current, and future sins.

Once we've been with God, alone or in a crowd of others, we can't hold onto our sinful selves. We've felt God's presence. We've experienced His grace and mercy. When we walk away, we feel the afterglow. We've been transformed. Renewed. Revived. Different.

What happens when we leave the building, almost always? Life hits. We fall down off the mountain or maybe shoved off a cliff. Life happens. That's why we need to constantly be spending time with God. We need that transformation power every day. We need that renewal. We need revived. Oh my goodness, we most certainly need to be different!

Jesus paid the price for us and what a high price it was.

"Praise the One who paid my debt, 
and raised this life up from the dead.
Praise the One who paid my debt, 
and raised this life up from the dead. 
Praise the One who paid my debt, 
and raised this life up from the dead!" 


Gully Washer - Friday Fiction

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

My very good friend, Vonnie, is hosting Friday Fiction today.  Won't you go there and read awesome stories?  You won't be disappointed!  Happy Friday!  

My story didn't place yet again, on the top 40.  How sad is that?  But...I like it and I hope you do, too.  The topic was inspiration or writer's block.

Gully Washer

I slouched in the chair, computer on lap, television remote in hand, flipping through channels. Totally uninspired, I groaned and moaned. My husband walked by to check out the noise.

“What’s going on? Sounds like you’re constipated.”

“I can’t think of what to write. Actually, that’s what it feels like…constipation. I’m blocked – completely.”
“I could run to the pharmacy for you.”

“You’re so clever. Wish you could, though. Oh, to pop a pill or eat prunes to get my creative juices flowing again!”

Rich left me to my misery. I supposed he figured we both shouldn’t have to suffer for my inadequacies. Constipated and inadequate…wow! I decided I was out-of-balance. How I came to that conclusion, I’m not really sure, except that’s usually my problem.

I closed my laptop...tight…done for the night…maybe for life.

‘Tossed and Turned’ would be a good title for my sleep. Sweat poured off me, and I kicked away the covers. I believe I kicked Rich a couple of times in the process. Constipated, inadequate, out-of-balance, and add hot flashes to the mix. What a sorry excuse for a ‘Proverbs 31’ woman I was! My eyes began to drizzle down my cheeks and my nose plugged up.

“What now, Kay? I’m trying to sleep.”

“I know,” I hiccupped. “I’m sorry.” That’s all I could say before the drizzle turned into a gully washer. Rich flopped the other direction, his back towards me, of course, and snored, deep bass snores that keep me awake almost every night.

That got my thoughts swerving in a different direction. After almost twenty-seven years of marriage, Rich no longer looked at me the same. The thought made me cry even more…high-pitched, hiccupy cries that I couldn’t stop if I wanted.

I rolled out of bed to fill the front room with my misery, and filled it I did: constipated, inadequate, out-of-balance, hot flashes, and frumpy. I curled up in the recliner, tissues nearby, and my Bible perched on my lap.

I fell asleep, Bible unopened. A deep sleep rested my soul until a voice woke me.


I jumped up and hobbled to our room to see what Rich wanted. He lay there sound asleep, still snoring, so I went back to the recliner until I heard it again.

“Kay, are you listening to me?”

I jumped up and ran back to Rich. Still sound asleep and snoring.

This time it took me a bit longer to fall asleep myself, and then I stayed in that dreamy half-awake state when I heard, “Kay, I’m here to help. Are you listening?”

I stirred a little, “God?”

“It’s me. I’m here to unconstipate you. “You need to unplug and listen.”

I proceeded to blow my nose since it was rather plugged.

“Not your nose, Kay, unplug from all the distractions in your life that pull you away from Me.”

After our ‘chat’, I fell back into a deep sleep. In fact, I probably snored myself, but a more feminine noise, ‘Puft, whiff, wooo.”

Amazed I slept all night in that chair, I tentatively stood and stretched while I listened to the crackle of my bones.

I looked up ‘whisper’ in my Bible concordance and it led me right smack to 1 Kings. The Lord didn’t speak through the wind or the earthquake or the fire. He spoke to Elijah in a whisper. God had spoken to me in a whisper just enough to get me unconstipated – His words, not mine.

My laptop called to me and I surely hoped God didn’t mean to unplug that. My fingers swept across the keyboard. Sentences filled the screen. I hardly breathed until my thoughts were exhausted and a complete story written.

God pulled me through that crisis. I sat, ‘relieved’ from my torture in more ways than one, if you know what I mean, but then tears threatened to spill again. Wow! I wonder if all middle-aged women have such a roller-coaster ride through this time of life.

A quick learner, after only about fifty times God’s taught me this lesson, I ran directly to Him, no phoning a friend, or griping to my husband first, either.

“Okay Lord, You took care of the constipated writer part of me. Now can You work on the inadequate, out-of-balance, hot-flashing, frumpy me?” Light drizzle, a little heavier, weather alert’s going off – and there goes another gully washer.


Sixteen Brides, Bethany House Book Review

>> Thursday, June 3, 2010

Late last night I finished reading, Sixteen Brides, by Stephanie Grace Whitson.  Bethany House is a wonderful supplier of awesome books, by the way.

Sixteen Brides focuses on women who were fooled into coming West to start their own homesteads.  Really, the man that got them there was supplying the men of Nebraska with potential brides and profiting from it. Some of the women were okay with that plan but others were mortified.  The ones that were, as we find out,are strong in her own way.  They surprised themselves just how much, as they planned their living arrangements and food with very little help from men, which was almost unheard of at that time period.

Mrs. Whitson portrayed a very rough existence for these pioneer women but they rose to the task, together, as a group.  Many of the women did end up brides and all of them grew in their faith and in their independence and strength.

This is a nice book to read late at night when the house is quiet or as you wait for swimming lessons to be over or just anytime.  And now...on to the next book!

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