Tuesday, December 6, 2011

He Wants To

I've said it several times in the last few days . . . "and when I see Him, face to face, I long to hear Him say, 'well done, my good and faithful servant . . . enter . . .' " That is what really matters to me!

"Well done, good job, you did it, you make me smile, I am pleased, thank you , YOU LIVED . . . enter."

He longs to speak those words over us!

When my children were little ones perched around our kitchen table, eating food prepared by my hands, earned by his, blessed by Grace, my husband would say, "good supper, momma!" as he pushed his chair away from the table. Almost every meal.

Made me smile every time.

A few times, he forgot. Taking his hand and resting my head on his shoulder I would nudge his thoughts with a whisper, "please say it". Grinning he would repeat the familiar phrase he loved to say and I loved to hear.

The Lord will not forget . . . He will remember much that we have forgotten . . . because it is His nature to want us to know  . . . that He is pleased and blessed.

Lord, what might I do to make you smile today?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby Asaph

Our first grandbaby was born July 24, 2011. I arrived in New York City just hours before he entered the world. He was born at home, weighing in at 9 lbs. 11 oz. He is beautiful!
His parents, our son, Caleb, and his wife, Ashley chose the name Asaph because they love Psalm 73, a Psalm of Asaph. They had a friend die recently, a close friend, a young man that they loved very much. The Lord comforted their hearts with this Psalm of Asaph.
He will be called "Ace".
His middle name is Bernard, Ashley's maiden name.
I am reading through the Bible again this year and while I was caring for Asaph who was only a few days old, watching him sleep in his crib, I read in my daily reading 1Chronicles 15-16. Verse 7 of chapter 16 says, " On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the Lord . . ." the psalm follows.
What will be delivered into this little guy's hand to do for the Lord? I am not sure yet, it has not yet been revealed. Until I see it, I will pray for it, and for him, this little man that has stolen my heart.
I am home now and missing him so much. I keep asking the Lord if I really have to remain a Kansas girl forever. I could give it up in a heartbeat!

Friday, July 22, 2011



vibrant springtime
birds singing happy melodies
trees dressed in the greenest of greens
earth shouting happy
so happy to be alive
drink filled


breezes dare to blow
the heat around
weeds bow lower
cowering near earth
away from sun
earth baking
in the summer heat
green fades to brown
the thirsty
pleading to be quenched


rain returning
clouds  hovering
roots cease reaching
brittle leaves softening
all the wilting lift their heads
gazing upward ready
for the pour of heaven

a time of refreshing has come
life is renewed
hope revived
thirst quenched
heart heals

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Closet

"And Lord! hear me as I pray that Thou wouldest everywhere bless the closets of Thy believing people." Andrew Murray

My closets runneth over and there is no room for me!

I have been sorting, piling, purging with a toss here and a pitch there. I am overwhelmed. I even brought my daughter who is an expert with organizational skills (she even considered making it a profession . . . and, yes, I am her real mother!) from New York City to help me. Ashli has no problem letting me know that something is just not right for me to wear even if I do love it! I am so grateful for her honesty because it has helped me to discard apparel that I would probably hang onto until the Lord returns if it were up to me, just in case it would be the perfect thing to wear someday.

The bedroom closet that I share with my husband is rather small. tiny compared to the closets that are out there today. Some of my friends have closets that could be a small bedroom. So I decided to fix my dilemma by making the smallest bedroom in our house, the one closest to our room into a closet for me. I painted it a warm, welcome pink, added a few antique pieces, and some vintage art and "voila". It was so much fun fixing it up, but over time, I am afraid, it has become a catch-all the place to stash anything and everything in haste.

The day of reckoning has arrived and I am restoring the closet room to a healthy, happy state, meaning I am going to be very happy when the project is complete.

Once upon a time, most of a home was public with shared living spaces. The closet was one of the few places of privacy. Imagine all that might have happened in one.

I have been reading two books about the "secret place" Jesus called a closet. He said to go in, not to hide your stash or to find it, but to find Him. He promised to meet anyone who would be willing to make their closet a place to seek Him. Of course, I don't take this literal, but in a way, I do. I don't want to work so hard at filling my closet because I really desire more time resting in it . . . meeting Jesus there. I want my closet to runneth over with Him!

"Lord, draw us all in the closet nearer to Thyself and the Father. Amen." Andrew Murray

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On The Mend

Her white blond hair hung down the length of her back. She grinned then grabbed her momma's waist and leaned into her . . . shyness can overcome a girl of nine.

The U-Haul they had rented was parked nearby, ready to unload. They had brought it all the way from New Mexico to Joplin, full of goods for the needy ones. She had made a plea on their behalf, stood in the gap for the hurting, and the response was overwhelming. Friends and neighbors and some folk they didn't even know generously responded, bringing enough to fill a truck. A little child shall lead them.

She was going to take dance lessons this summer. She was. She wanted to . . . twirl, spin, leap . . . but she wanted to rent that truck more than she wanted to feel the wind beneath her wings. Even more so, she wanted to ride in the truck to Missouri with her mom and help people. There won't be any dance lessons for her this summer, maybe next year, she is on a mission instead, dancing her way into the hearts of the homeless.

Her daddy died three months ago. She and her momma cried and cried but all the ache would not go away. The pain of losing someone you love can hang on for a very long time. They chose to shake off their hurtful hearts and give to others who had lost more. It wouldn't bring her daddy back but it would make him very proud of her, even so.

A  little girl of eight came to sign up to receive free supplies for the victims of winds. I helped her and her momma sign the papers, writing her name and age in the designated box, and those of her sisters, too. I introduced her to my new little friend  from New Mexico. They were shy at first, strangers, grinning, then dimpled grins turned down to look at painted toenails inspecting the other's flip-flops. They went through the "store" together, pushing  and filling the grocery cart while becoming friends. My new little friends, girls, ages 8 and 9  found a place to mend in the company of one another.

Like I said, I didn't sit on a pew last Sunday. My twirly skirt remained on the hanger, but I got the message that the Lord wanted to teach me. It was delivered by a nine year old girl from New Mexico. It was about giving when you are hurting and letting the healing come. There is something about reaching out when all you want to do is cower in that liberates one from the heaviness of grief. I got the message, but more than that, the message got me.

 Did I just see her pirouette?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beyond the Pew

When mind is small it thinks on small things. My mind was fixed upon wearing my new pink twirly skirt to church Sunday. It is beautiful! Dancing is not required, it has a graceful, pretty flow when you walk across the room.

I received a call Saturday afternoon that caused my small mind to completely forget about the skirt. Thankfully.

I was called upon to help at a church that is helping the needy victims of the Joplin tornado. I have been wanting to help, asking the Lord where to go, what to do.

So Sunday, I put on my capris and my t-shirt and went to Joplin to be the church.

We are supposed to grow at church. I am told of those who have gained pounds as a result of church suppers. I am most likely guilty of that. It is easy to grow seated around a bountiful table, but we are supposed to grow spiritually seated around the altar. It can be easy to get fat there, too.  Yesterday I was called upon to exercise my faith, away from the altar feast,  with my hand outstretched toward hurting and broken people.

 Today the tears fall like rain.

I hope I never see destruction like I saw in Joplin ever again in my lifetime. Words do not convey, tv news reporters cannot depict, stories cannot reveal, cameras cannot catch how devastating the reality is.

My friend, Rosamary, spent nine 14 hour days there . . . yesterday was her tenth. I have spent one measly day, small, small sacrifice on my part.

I met a little girl yesterday. I am going to have to tell you her story. Think I will write about her tomorrow, that is unless I am called back to Joplin to work.

Please pray for the people of Joplin. 7000 homes were destroyed. Last I knew, 151 people have died as a result of that one damaging storm.

There are people who have lost everything. One lady said that she buried five family members and a friend.

So many are still in shock. Some are getting their bearings. The strong ones are sharing hope.

I will never be the same . . . amen.

Twirly skirts sitting on a church pew . . . what was I ever thinking?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Simple Phrase

He spoke it, I heard it, then I did it.

It was one of the most powerful phrases I have ever heard in my entire life.
He didn't say it the first time I went to him, nor did he give me the eternal nugget the second time that I called.
The tenth time I called him with questions he spoke this life changing message, a few potent words when acted upon.

"You need to read the Bible, then you will know what to believe."

Over thirty years have passed since those words were spoken to me. It has been nearly that many years since I last saw him . . . until the other day.

We were at the funeral of my mom's best friend, a celebration of eternal life.

I beckoned him when I saw his face as he stepped over the threshold of the church.

"I am indebted to you for eternity. You spoke a simple phrase that has altered my life. I am forever grateful!"

I reminded him of my story, of the tenth time when I called him on my quest for truth. Then I told him that I have read through the Bible so many times that I have lost count. It doesn't matter to me any longer how many times, I just want to know it better, know Jesus better.

A few people have been touched by the Word because that phrase was spoken to me. Might there be more?

I cannot express strongly enough the importance of that simple phrase. It was like a pebble dropped in a deep sea, the ripples it created continue to seek rest at the shore. Indefinitely they roll.

Thanking him has reminded me of a lot of things. Foremost, it has renewed a prayer in my heart . . . "Lord, give me power-phrases that will impact Your kingdom for eternity. Amen."

Thursday, May 19, 2011


We meet at the table, Bibles open, His supper on our minds.
Fellowship is sweet and full. Ministry flows from one heart to the other. Encouragement. The Lord has been working in our midst, touching the poor and helpless, lifting needy hearts with words of hope. We have seen it. We share.
Wealth of Word, wisdom rich words, pass one to the other. Hearts receive. Hollow of soul, filled. Thirst quenched.
We bow our heads and pray searching our own hearts, asking the Lord for a cleansing. Asking Spirit to find the wrong in our hearts, seeking revelation, the mirror of our soul. "Come Holy Spirit," we pray. Even the children still their chatter. Holiness settles in the room. We are baptized with His presence. Silently we confess.
We take the broken bread and give thanks for His broken body. Broken for us. We proclaim His death. The Father hears us testify. "He was broken for me. "
We lift our cups that symbolizes His blood. The juice, symbolic of the spilled righteous blood of Christ, the blood of the Lamb that was slain to save us, we pray and thank the Father for the blood of His Son. We drink this holy emblem together.
The obedient act of remembrance of Him brings a spirit of joy.
Happiness fills the room. Celebration! We must sing now! We must sing!
Song rises, praise is lifted high.

"What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow, no
other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus!"

There is twinkle in the eyes of the little ones.
The partakers have been strengthened, renewed, blessed until we meet again next week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I have been trying to find my place.

Where do I belong?

Write a book?

Speak? Where? When? To whom?


The prisoner?

The mom, the wife, the single woman?

I don't know for sure.

So I pray and pray and pray.

The ministry of intercession is hidden in cocoon of transformation.

I go to work day after day learning the ministry of kindness.

Oh, to be kind to those who are not kind. There are those who cannot be kind. They hurt.

Perhaps my words can bring healing to body, mind, soul, spirit. Let is be so, God.

I long to brush the back of my hand along the cheek of the orphan, wipe their tears away, and give them hope.

My heart yearns to visit the homeless in cities devastated by storms. Offer them my hand of service, my heartfelt prayers, hope for future days.

Ah, the biggest dream, to have my family, my adult children, all circled around me desiring another Bible story and prayer. I would begin the story but midway, relinquish my chair to one of them, to carry on.

This ministry I am involved in looks so different from times past. It has evolved into new places, new people, new ways. I am being stretched into it. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but when the cocoon is opened and my new wings are exposed it will be obvious that I have not been alone in the hidden place. The One who makes all things beautiful, in time, He is with me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


He yelled my name with sounds of glee when he spotted me walking toward the kitchen door where his little nose was pressed. I can't think of anyone in my whole life that gets excited like that when they see me. I lowered myself to look at him, his twinkle blues even with mine, but he was ready for hugs. After a quick but convincing embrace, he took my face in his little hands, looked into my eyes and said, "kiss!" then planted a moisture enhanced big one on my cheek. A holy kiss. I smiled the rest of the day!

This little man is joy on two feet! He has a joy wiggle in every step he takes! Delight defines him. Adorable! Wonderful! So much fun! Energy, busy . . . yes!

I honestly cannot get enough of him.

My encounter with Miah changed my whole day. Knowing him might possibly change my whole life. The joy wiggle is contagious. I splashed a jolly spirit all over a whole lot of people. Oh, the power of it!

I am heading back over to visit Miah tomorrow to see if I can catch it again!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


"He forever changed the lives of his children because he stayed thirsty." News Reporter speaking of Hashim Khan World renown Squash Player

Oh, God, let this be said of me! That would be my eternal plea.

Let my thirst for You influence the generations who follow me.

Let their footsteps run toward your altar, that place of joy where You reveal Your face, the deep well that never runs dry.

My heart is settled down and satisfied with the magnitude of Your greatest gift . . . my salvation . . .

thirst for eternal life, quenched.

But the thirst for the abundance of You in my life, Your righteousness, I am forever stirred, longing, always desiring another cup.

I bow before the well of salvation, with face to the ground, drink deeply from the water of life. You offer.  You fill.

Let these words be said in future days:

"She forever changed the lives of her children because she stayed thirsty . . . for more of God." spoken by My Children and their Children.

Give me grace to live a life that thirsts after You . . . forever!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Embrace of God, Husband, and Wife

Morning breaks.
We rise.
He holds out his arms to me, I accept the invitation, and step into his embrace.
I rest my head against his shoulder and he begins to utter prayer.
My words are quiet, yet spoken underneath his. Whispers of agreement echo his heartcry.
He prays for me, then for us.
Our children, one by one, brought before God. We name them and ask
the Lord's blessing on them. Then ask specifically, the things they have need of.
It is nearly the same every day, the prayer that we pray, and yet it is always new, fresh, and empowering.
We begin every new day touching God with our agreement. We press into an invisible triangle.
We have survived many storms under this invisible canopy . . . our God.
He has kept us together.
Our heartbeats are synchronized in these precious moments.
We rejoice in our God, our Maker. He who declared we should be one.
And we thank Him . . . each day.
He hears our prayers and praise, the harmony of our voices touch the heart of God.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I do not have newsprint lining the walls of our home, but I do have powerful phrases posted here and there. Words of inspiration to invite the soul to swell . . . wisdom expressed.

One of my favorite phrases lines an old crock: It is plain, really, simple, Oh, but it is the thought that made me plunk down too much money to bring that old piece home . . .

"families are forever" 

I am learning that sometimes forever has to be worked at.

A home was devastated this past week in neighboring town. A young mother, 38, was given a week to live. Cancer. She passed last Wednesday. But families are forever. She waits for the rest of her young brood to follow her someday to her eternal dwelling. She will meet them at the gate. I believe. I believe!

I have chased a bunny trail, I am afraid. I intended to share some of my favorite reads. Works that have moved my heart to better places. Phrases that have opened understanding and helped bring healing to my mind. I thought you might be encouraged by these works as well.

One of my all time favorite devotionals  is Tozer on the Holy Spirit, a 366-Day Devotional compiled by Marilynne E. Foster. Tozer is one of the very best writers ever! His works have inspired me so much!!! I have read through this devotional several times and will again. It gives wing to heart!

Other inspirational works that will never leave the nightstand beside my bed:

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg. This book is amazing! I will continue to refer back to it again and again. This book opens understanding.

Crazy Love and Forgotten God two works by Francis Chan. Books that were not written to make one feel comfortable. They are compelling! Very good reads!

Radical by David Platt. This book will stir you right out of your comfort zone. It challenges to the core! One of my favorite things about it is that he gives a plan to help you shake out of the zone. I LOVE that! The cover says, "This is a must read for every believer!" Great idea!!!

Prayer, the Heart's True Home and The Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.  Life changing works! These books are powerful and packed with wisdom! I love both of them and refer to them again and again.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I am reading this right now, nearing the end of it. Ann shares deep wisdom with beautiful phrases. I have drawn little pencil hearts all over the pages of my copy. Those little hearts mark the God inspired wisdom that Ann has received after praying through difficult times. I love this book. It is a treasure!

Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman. I could hardly put this book down! Mary Beth is honest and real and shares her heart very openly. My favorite part of this book was seeing how the Lord blessed this family with assurance after they lost their little girl. Their story is awesome. The Lord is magnified through this work. It is a blessing to read! I hesitated picking it up for fear that it would be too sad . . . it has it's sad times, but the next minute I would have tears from laughter. This is a great book!

Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. This book is amazing! It is definitely among my very favorite reads if all time! I cannot recommend this book enough! It has drawing power to take you to the deeper waters of the Spirit. I love this book!

Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. I read this book in one day. It is amazing!!! The first chapter or two were hard for me. Once I got beyond those two difficult  chapters I could not stop!!! The sub-title says, "A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back". I believe there is integrity in this work. I believe that you will be blessed by this read!

Going to read soon:

Between a Rock and a Grace Place by Carol Kent.  I read Carol's When I Lay My Isaac Down which is amazing. It is a must read for mother's who of prodigal children. It is liberating!!! I am looking forward to more of Carol's written messages. I got to hear her speak recently at an E-Women conference. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her testimony will stretch you!

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. I am looking forward to this read. Lysa's writing is awesome. She has touched my life in a multitude of ways! I am so thankful for her ministry!!! It has made a difference for me! She also has dvd's and a workbook for this book. It is on the New York Times bestseller list. I am expecting great things from this work.

There are so many more wonderful books that I have read that were written by some amazing authors. I did not list fiction this time, I do read fiction, and I love it!!! But I guess I always come back to the non-fiction stuff the most.

Would you let me know if you choose to read one these great books? Will you come back and let me know your thoughts? I would love that!!! Not only do I love to read, I love to share what I have read. That is probably my favorite part! Rich blessings!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bloomin' Joy

Joy! Feeling JOY in my being today! Stuff has been pushed out of the way . . . stuff that hinders and suppresses the Joy that comes from the Spirit! Today I am feeling joy bubbling, doing a happy dance in my soul! Circumstances are pretty much the same, but the load has been shifted. It is off of my shoulders. The One who now carries the load, He can manage the load! I am celebrating! Freedom of heart has come! Someone says, "Settle down!"

"No Way!!!"

The tomb is empty and my heart is full of LIFE! Death was not a difficult foe for God! Sin is painful and gives death license to rule. Sin had to be defeated. Jesus had defeated the first death before the cross. "Lazarus, rise!" Death surrendered to the Word of Life! The second death was defeated in the tomb of Jesus. Eternal death. Death that is a result of sin, defeated!!! Jesus defeated eternal death so that we might have eternal hope of heaven with Him!

Did you know that there are two deaths? When our flesh dies that is the first death. Most of us will experience this one. The second death happens when we stand before God and He says, "You cannot come in here. I do not know you!" However, there is good news! You do not have to experience the second death! Jesus defeated the second death and God was pleased with His sacrifice. Do you believe that? If you do, tell Him so right now! You have said that before? Tell Him again! He doesn't mind hearing it over and over again! Tell Him you believe!!!  When we believe, we will stand before God when our flesh dies and Jesus will step up and say about us, "I know you, good and faithful servant, enter into your rest." That is our escape from the second death. Are you jumping up and down yet???

How are you feeling today? Feeling JOY?

There is hope, my friend. I have been in a war lately. Hurting, struggling, disappointed, frustrated, etc. Now my focus has shifted! It has been readjusted and hope is blooming in my heart! Our time here is short! Eternity with Him is forever!

Nothing is impossible with God!!! The tomb is empty! Let's believe! And walk in JOY! Celebrate!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Thing

I read a devotion this morning that was penned by Charles H. Spurgeon over one hundred years ago. It is truth that resonates with the deepest parts of who I am. I needed to hear this message. I thought perhaps you would be inspired by it as well. My advice, pray before reading, pray during your reading, meditate, and pray after reading it. These are rich, rich thoughts, a deep well of cool water. I offer this cup to you. Blessings!

One Thing is Needful

One thing is needful. This one thing, according to this passage, is faith in Christ Jesus, the sitting down at the Master's feet, the drinking in His Word. If I may expand for a minute the "one thing," without seeming to make twenty things out of that which is but one, I will refer it to the possession of a new life. This life is given to us when by the power of the Holy Ghost we are created anew in Christ Jesus, and it develops itself into a simple confidence in Jesus, in a hearty obedience to Jesus, in a desire to be like Jesus, and in a constant yearning to be near Jesus. "One thing is needful;" that one thing is salvation, wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, through faith, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. The new heart, the right spirit, a filial fear of God, love to Jesus . . . this is the "one thing needful." . . . Ten thousand things are convenient; thousands of things are desirable; but there is one thing, one only thing, the one thing we have described to you, of which our Saviour speaks as the "one thing needful." And oh how needful this one thing is! Charles Hadden Spurgeon

Luke 10:41-42 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More Than Filling a Page

I have a goal this year. So far, I am on target to memorize the book of Colossians in one year by tackling two verses a week. It has been hard, hard work for me. I have had to be extremely repetitious and diligent in order to get the words to "stick to the pan". That is the phrase I pray when I am working on a verse that is difficult. Have you ever cooked and had a mess of eggs or gravy or something stick to a pan and it was really hard to scrub off? Me too! So I ask the Lord to make these words that I am working on to "stick to the pan of my brain". I have had to ask Him for that on almost every verse.

It is really something, though, when He makes it stick to my heart. A miracle has happened many times over the last few months . . . a miracle of revelation that only God can give. I pray that the transformation process that is happening on the inside of me will be obvious to the outside world one of these days.

It happened this morning. I am working on the final three verses of chapter one and this verse nearly leapt  off the page at me:

"To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me." Colossians 1:29

Should I share with you what that verse did to me? Or should I urge you to say it over and over, out loud, at least 100 times (like I have) and see what it does to you? Go ahead, write it down and say it over and over again. It will make much more sense if you read the previous verses. Paul is talking about admonishing and teaching. He is talking about disciplining, sharing the gospel, with sacrifice, for the sake of Jesus and His body, the church.

The verses in chapter one are so powerful! Paul didn't write to fill a page, he wrote words that would change the world.

I guess I had to ask, to what end am I strenuously contending? Am I adequately using the "energy which Christ so powerfully works in me"? I am humbled by Paul's words.

I have had a dream to write for more years than I can count. I don't want to write to fill pages with worthless thoughts. I want to write words that will strengthen the His body, the church. Help me to do that, Lord! Infuse me with Your energy to admonish and teach Your word. For Your glory!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At the Foot of the Cross

If I had been at the foot of the cross that day when Jesus was dying to save my soul from the pit of destruction, what group would I have been in?

Would I have been next to His mother, letting her squeeze my hand through her agony, and use my sleeve to wipe tears of sorrow away? Would I have been among the women who followed Him with all of their hearts who would not leave Him in the hour of His great suffering?

Would I have been standing with the mockers with the word "crucify" still lingering on my tongue, with my heart brimming with satisfaction as I watched Him carry a cross loaded with the invisible weight of sin upon His torn and mangled back?

Or would I have been with those gambling for His garments, the ones wanting to take home a souvenir? Would I have been willing to gamble and feel lucky should I walk away with a piece of cloth that He had worn? After all, wasn't this the garment that the sick touched and were healed from? Surely it would be a priceless treasure someday. Would that have been enough for me?

Perhaps some of the ones who mocked were the ones He had passed by, the ones who still had sickness in their homes, or loved ones who had been buried. Perhaps they had not been protected from the storms and tragedies of life. Perhaps He had walked passed them on the street and did not heal their blindness, or sorrow, or cover their shame. But He was dying for them on the cross. Their sin was included in the invisible load. Their eternity was being purchased with His blood now spilling before their eyes.

How long did the garments survive that they stripped from Him that day? One thousand years? Where are they now? Does it matter?

What perspective do you have at the foot of the cross? I have been imagining myself there with the various groups who were once gathered. As I reflect upon this horrible/wonderful day in time, I am perplexed of heart and soul. Whatever group I might have gravitated to at the foot of the cross, whatever place I would have chosen for myself, my Lord Jesus would have died for me. He would have carried the weight of my sin to the cross so that I could be saved from my sinful self, my life of destruction, despair and darkness. He would have gone to the cross so that I could have eternal life . . . Even when I was rejecting Him, He was dying to save me.

Jesus is a giver. What do I want from Him?

I want to know that He is near.

I want to have something to give . . . something deeper and more precious and more eternal than a piece of His garment.

I want to love Him enough to share with Him in His suffering.

And I want to share my eternal life with Him.

Can you imagine yourself with me on that day when Jesus suffered? You and I are standing at the foot of the cross.

Did you just hear Him say, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Can we do anything but run to Him?

I am reposting this as a submission for a She Speaks scholarship contest. She Speaks is a ministry of Proverbs 31 Ministries which is designed to  encourage women  who are commissioned by God to write, speak, and lead women, equipping them to become more effective leaders. Ann Voskamp , from Holy Experience has offered this possibility. I read Ann's blog which are some of the most inspiring moments of my day. Her book One Thousand Gifts is destined to be a Christian classic. Other contestants.   Please check out the other contestant's blogs. I am certain you will be blessed. Thanks for stopping by. Cheri

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Living Proof

One daughter and her husband are moving through this day with heavy hearts. Their friend didn't think he could take it here anymore. He was angry with his parents so he decided to climb the rails of a bridge and jump off. He would kill himself. That would hurt them bad enough! He never thought about the other people in his life that he would hurt.

I wonder what he is thinking now. Would he undo this if he could?

How can one get to this point?

Life is stinkin' hard sometimes! Is it not?

Have you ever wanted to ascend the rail of a bridge and end it all?

Have you ever been that discouraged, hurt, or angry? I hope not!

I sit here and ponder, how can I encourage you?

I must admit, there have been hard times in my life. And a time or two I begged the Lord to end my life and take me home! I did! I really did! It was in desperate times, times that I really couldn't see up or down or in or out or any other way around hard! It felt like life was going to be that way forever! But it wasn't. The devastating season of hard finally came to an end . . . oh, not the screeching halt I pleaded for, but gradually it all got better. Right now I am in the season of happy and fun and good. And THANKFUL for the Lord being  my anchor in the season of hard, because if He had not, I would have probably found my way to the rail of a bridge and would not be writing this right now.

Is today another hard day? Are there seemingly hundreds of hard days behind you and as far as you look you cannot see anything but hard days ahead of you? Can I tell you more about my Anchor? The One who kept me from the rail of a bridge? He can walk you through to happy days. I am living proof!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Dear Sweet Ladies!
I have a winner!!!
Thank you all for leaving a comment. I LOVE hearing from you more than I love writing! My husband drew the name for me and Susan, you are the winner!!! I will be sending the book to you very soon! I hope that you all will read it and be extremely blessed.
A young woman stopped by my house the other day and saw the book on my end table. She asked  my thoughts about it. She had heard the audio version of the book and was tremendously inspired!!! I wish I  had read such a book when I was in my late teens! I might have chosen a different course in life. I am thrilled for her!
We chatted about it for awhile and by the time she left we were all stirred up again! Let's live RADICAL for Jesus!!!
Blessings to all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Divine Encounter

Some encounters are designed to change your life forever. Today I had such an encounter. I met Andy Barrick via phone and in the first short minutes of our visits I was certain that I was experiencing a Divine Appointment. Please watch the video link that tells the story of his family's  testimony. I promise, no matter where you might be in your walk with the Lord, it will draw you closer. Watch to the very, very end, past Del Tacket's final word. Be blessed in every way. I am confident you will.
The most important encounter we will ever make is with Jesus. Do you know Him? If not, He is wanting you to. Run into His glorious embrace. You will never be sorry that you did!


Saturday, March 12, 2011


I am reading the book Radical by David Platt. It is messing me up, shaking some stuff loose, jolting my theology all over the place. I ordered ten more copies to share with others. Would you like one? Leave a comment below and I will have a drawing this next Friday. The winner will receive a copy.

I talked to a friend this morning who has not read this book, but he is living radically for Christ. He has a joy in his voice that is rarely expressed in most Christian voices. He is lost in love with Jesus and His Word and His people and His Work and he can't quit expressing and testifying to what he is witnessing in his life. He is living a radical lifestyle for Christ!!!

There is freedom in this kind of living.

There is tremendous joy in this kind of living.

Why do we hold on to so much?

Why am I holding on to so much?

This little book is so good, I promise you will not be able to put it down. It is on the New York Best seller list.
Thank God!!!

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I hardly ever get to see her. It is a busy season for her at work now and I barely get to hear her voice. The mug she gave me the last time I saw her sits on the cabinet, every day, I cannot bear to put it away. 

When she was growing up, we had a red plate with a message on it. A white pen came with the plate so that you could write special occasions or achievements on the back of the plate recording the reason for the use of it on special days.  We never wrote on the back of it. We never used it for those kind of days, we wanted it to be far more special than that. The pen is forever lost without ever having been used.

We believe that you are special every day so every one in the family could have used the plate every day, but we only had one plate. So, we, with joy would bring out the plate and surprise someone when we were setting the table on ordinary days. It was never planned, always random, always fun. It was one way of demonstrating unconditional love. It was a blessing to the recipient, one of our seven, to come to dinner and find the you are special today  plate at their place at the table. Just because!  

Sometimes the plate was set before a special visitor. 

 I was a young mom when I first used a red "you are special today" plate.  Aunt Jane set her red plate at my place when I was a visitor in her home. I don't remember how I purchased our plate, nor do I know where.It might have been a gift from Aunt Jane.  I really can't remember. It has been in our family so long it is part of home in our house. 

Ashli, my daughter, was asked about family traditions by her mother-in-law, "We had a red plate . . ." she began to tell the story, minutes later, they entered a gift store and there was a table fully set with red dinnerware, all saying "You are Special Today".  Cups, plates, bowls, pitchers . . . everything! Her mother-in-law had never heard of the Red Plate. Ashli had never heard of the whole set of dishes.

Ashli said that she wanted to buy the whole set, but of course resisted,  but  "had to"  buy the mug for me.

When you come for tea, I will be happy to share my red plate with you and pour you a steaming cup of flavored tea in my new red mug. 

Thank you, Aunt Jane, for sharing your red plate idea with me so very long ago! My family has benefited greatly. Thank you, Ashli, for purchasing a mug for me. When I see it I think of you and how special you are to me!!! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fifty Things

"Can you meet me at the Coffee House in the morning? I have something for you."

She is all sweetness in every way. Everyone loves her, who could help but?

I meet her when morning comes and we talk, and talk, and talk. Has it been years since we had a moment like this? No, but it feels like it. Words are deep and meaningful, quickly they shift to light and fluffy talk. Friend Corrie joins our fun. We laugh, really laugh. We are enjoying the richness of fellowship . . . heart to heart . . . and it deepens the unity in us.

Morning flies while we are absorbed in matters of heart, all too soon, it is time to go.

"This is your birthday gift, for you. I'm sorry it is late it took some time to put together," she hands me beautiful bags filled with treasure.

My heart is already blessed to brim. She is a gift to me, and I am so thankful.

She said that she got the idea from Hallmark.

She cut out hearts and wrote sweet messages on them, 50 things that she loves about me. She placed them in this beautiful punch bowl. Red cellophane wrapping brings the bowl to life and deep inside are hearts with messages scripted, just for me, 50 of them.

I don't know when I have ever been given such a precious gift.

I had a birthday a few weeks ago, I am 50 now, so she thought of 50 things.

A long time ago, I decided that this would be my year of jubilee. I made a choice to celebrate what is behind me, and celebrate what is to come, and be happy about it all.

But I must admit to you, it has been a harder one, this birthday. It really has.

The fifty hearts with script from the heart of a friend that brought soothing balm to the space I am in. Her beautiful words brought humility to my very being and I just had to bow down and say, "Thank You Dear God! Thank YOU!"

There was so much to thank Him for, it was completely overwhelming.

Perhaps we have a crowd of witnesses here, not just in heaven (Hebrews 12). Her thoughts make me believe so.

I want to pass this on,  you know, for someone who might need words from a friend. Words of encouragement, words of life, and inspiration. Powerful, beautiful, loving words. There are beautiful ways to love . . .

Thank you, my dear beautiful friend, and sister in the Lord, Christina! The world is better because of YOU!
Loving, grateful blessings! You have given me exemplary example to follow! Much love to you, Cheri

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pondering Seven Branches/Candlestick

"As the incense table was a type of their aspect towards God, as intercessors, so the seven-branched candlestick was a type of their aspect towards the world, as luminaries . . ." F.B.Meyer (referring to the lampstand in the holy of holies). 

Seven-branched candlestick . . . luminaries . . .

let us be light

illuminating where holy is holy

and where life is like night, barren of celestial planets sharing glory with earth

let us "shine like stars in the universe"

and Matthew 25 . . . sleepy virgins with lamps, five ready for journey

five pretending there is time . . .

let us be like the seven-branched candlestick filled

with fresh oil, pressed, clear for burning, fuel for holy fire that strengthens weary soldiers


seven luminaries (my daily prayer), eight, nine, ten, and every branch following

filled and ready to shine . . . for eternity

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


"There are all kinds of mission fields," I said looking into his beautiful blue eyes.It was the first thing that came to mind when he told me that he would be joining the Navy. We sow seed as we walk the path of life. 

I dressed him in his first sailor hat and suit when he was 6 months old. His Noah's ark toy was next to him. "Click, flash," his smile was big for the camera. Did the Lord already know then? 

We homeschooled when he was five. He was learning to read and write and memorize scripture and I loved being his mom and teacher and the love of his life . . . at that time. He loved stories, stories about George Washington were his favorite. I found a gorgeous bronze colored porcelain bust of George at a flea market. I decided to decorate Josiah's bedroom with an Americana theme. George was placed on his dresser.

Piece by piece old paper was taken off the walls, piece by itty-bitty piece. Then we painted. I put a border of  vintage American flags near the ceiling. It was beautiful! It was then that I found a wool navy shirt in a flea market. It was beautiful. I hung it up in his bedroom with other pretty decor that I can't even remember now. I will never forget that uniform! Was it seed? I was oblivious.

I keep pondering. I intentionally sowed seeds of faith into my children's lives. I purposefully sowed love and compassion for the lost, broken, and needy. I meant for them to learn patriotism and tenderness for others from me . . . but I did not intentionally sow seeds that would inspire a desire for serving our country into the heart of my son. 

I am too selfish. I realized this when he pulled out his dog tag, saying, "Mom, I want you to see this."
There was his name, and other pertinent information, then I saw it, what he wanted me to see. Stamped in silver it said, "Christian" across the bottom of the dog tag.  "They put this there so that if anything happens to me . . . " I cut in, "I know." I hug him. He doesn't see my tears. I am proud and honestly, I am scared, so I pray all kinds of prayers, big prayers, whispered prayers, tearful and happy prayers. 

The most important prayer is that his work will be done here as the Lord would will it. That he would have the integrity of Uriah, the tenacity of David, the obedience of Gideon, the courage of Joshua, and the armor of Ephesians 6, because

there are all kinds of mission fields. I want him to hear the Lord say someday, "Well done, sailor, welcome into your rest," after he has lived about 100 earth years.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sharing Birthdays

We shared a special day.

I was born fifteen minutes before midnight. My mother had been in labor for many, many hours (she reminds me) and finally I emerged from birth waters into the arms of the doctor just a few short minutes before the turn of the day. Therefore, I was brought into the world on my grandmother's 42nd birthday, her first grandchild of seven. Whew! I barely made it!

Being born on her birthday was one of the greatest gifts that the Lord ever bestowed on both of us.

January was always a lean month, especially when I was a child. Christmas gift giving and extra food for holiday celebrations had usually squeezed all of the extra out of spending and most of my birthday gifts were insignificant. In fact, I don't remember any of the gifts that I received on my birthday. Well, I do remember a beautiful winter coat that I received the year I was in middle school. I had drooled over the picture of it in the Sears catalogue for hours and hours. I couldn't believe it when I found it hanging in my bedroom. That beautiful warm coat was an exception. My mother was very conscious of our lack and always fretted about my gifts being small, but I never thought of it that way. Grandma, one of my favorite people in the whole world, shared my birthday and that was a wonderful gift to me.

She died when I was 42 years old on a very hot summer day. Days before her death, she had a vision that she was dancing with Jesus. "Right there," she pointed her long finger to a spot on the floor at the end of her hospital bed, "we were right there dancing, He and I. Surely someone saw us." My grandma was not demented in her final days. I always believed her story and I treasure the memory of her tale.

I turned fifty last week, this is my year of Jubilee. It has been eight years since Grandma left with her dancing shoes on.  Every year I feel the ache of her absence as my  life goes on and I keep having birthdays without her.

January 20th is a day that is usually extremely cold, someone is usually sick, and everyone's pockets are nearly empty, but I wouldn't want any other day to be my birthday. One of these days, when I stop celebrating my birthdays here, I will witness with my own eyes, Grandma dancing with Jesus. Reunited, we will celebrate our born again birthday together with all the hosts of heaven because that is the birthday that really matters.

"Your days for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I folded the hem on the scrap of cloth just so. I folded it at least ten times before she was satisfied.

"Now make tiny stitches, like so, in and out, in and out. Here, you try."

Grandma was teaching me to sew on a 9x9 scrap of cloth that would be nothing. It wasn't even a pretty piece of cloth. What a waste, I thought.

I wanted to sew like her. I wanted to be able to look at a picture of a really cute dress, make a pattern out of paper, pin it to a favorite fabric, cut it out and sew one for myself. She thought it a great idea to teach me.

She wouldn't let me begin my sewing hobby by making a dress. I was impatient with her method of small beginnings.

My ten year old mind did not enjoy the mundane and I totally lacked the vision for where this rediculous
task might take me. As a result, I am not the gifted seamstress my grandmother was.

I would get to the end of the "hem" I was sewing on my little square of cloth then present it to the judge, the gifted one, grandma. She would examine it, much like a jeweler inspects a precious stone. The verdict was the same every time, for ten times or more.

"Okay, honey, rip it out now and do it again. Your stitches need to  . . ."

It took a lot of patience to learn from her. She was excellent at everything! Originally, I thought she was born that way, but looking back on her method of teaching, I think she taught like she had learned, practice, practice, practice.

Until this moment, I never really considered the patience that it took for her to work with me. Selah moment.

Practice takes patience. Practicing the mundane can lead you to some great places! I wish now that I had stuck with it and let her teach me, but I gave up too soon, and now I live with the result of my impatience.

I would never choose to write on patience, but it seems to be the word that the Lord has stuck in my heart right now.

Love is patient.

Yesterday, someone said to me, "You should never pray for patience!"

They had no idea what has been stewing in my heart.

"Well, I won't! Thank you for reminding me!" I thought.

But the truth is, patience can get you places that impatience cannot. And I want to go to some places; with people, with accomplishments, with God that will take a lot of patience. I desperately need it.

I may not ask God for patience, but I am praying. I am asking Him to fill me with His Spirit. And His Spirit is patient and if He is in me, I will have it when I need it. Thank you, God.

"But let patience have its perfect work; that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:4 NKJV

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Love Is

1Corinthians 13

Love IS . . .

The verses aren't about rules or reasons.

They are descriptions 

Love Is  . . .

meeting us at the threshold is 

patience . . . 

preceding all others, the genesis of qualities, the captain that 

the others follow . . .

patience, the arbor that kindness, humility, and forgiveness  must pass through . . .

"the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect, complete, lacking nothing." James 1:3-4

When patience has its perfect work ... kindness, humility, and forgiveness are released from a well of living water within . . . an uncapped well that becomes a fountain and all who drink from it are refreshed. 

Patience . . . the benevolence of God. 

God is LOVE and LOVE is PATIENT and He is faithful to give us the fruit of Spirit . . . patience.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Under Construction

"End of Construction ... thank you for your patience." (as written on Ruth Bell Graham's tombstone you can see below)


She is gone but she has left a message, an unconventional sermon, which was so Ruth! 

I stood over her tombstone pondering her gratitude, her wit, her grace. 

Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of world renown evangelist, Billy Graham, ministered to me that day. That was four years ago and her words still speak to my soul.

I love new beginnings. I love that January causes so many to reflect on the past, and look on the present as opportunity to redirect and pursue new goals. I have been in that rank for many years.

This year is different for me. I feel like I am under construction.

"Aren't we always?"  you might ask.

Yes, we are, and Ruth would agree. But this year is different. The work I need is major!

I feel like an old, broken down homestead that is in much need of repair. Windows are broken, floors are sagging, doors lean against walls or cover holes in floors instead of hanging securely in place, plumbing and electricity need repair or replaced and ... the list is endless.

However, I have really good news. The Lord is not going to tear down the house. He is in the process of reconstructing as I write.

I am doing some things to help Him with the process, but I must tell you, that, mostly, I am letting Him do the  work.

Some of the construction is moving right along. He has helped me to get some garbage out. There is some woodwork that has been restored. The stripping came first, then the stain. Some of it is tedious requiring patience for both of us.

There was a heaping pile of pride, so, so large,  He has removed dump truckloads at a time. Just when I think He has gotten it all, the truck comes around the corner for another load! 

How I despise the smelly stuff!!!

 So, I am committed to taking one day at a time. I am listening. Following the lead of the Master Craftsman.

I join my grateful heart with Ruth's in saying, "thank you for your patience."