Thursday, August 7, 2014

Broken, frail me can smile at the future

I was with two dear friends this week.  Each of us have gone through great agonies, we are still going through them, with some of the great agonies becoming great victories.  Each of us know pain and sufferings of long standing.

As we chatted, laughed, cried through our Bible Study one of these precious ladies turned towards me and asked,

"How do you do it?"

I didn't understand what she meant.  We had not been speaking of my agonies at all and I didn't want to~~~ but she was wondering how I was able to smile, to continue, to look to the future....  

Certainly, she knows!  She has been through so much, and yet, she has relied on the LORD throughout!  

But that day she saw me, and she needed to ask, she needed to know.  Her agonies through her life had drawn her close to the LORD, but that day, these last weeks, she had been grieving anew after losing a precious son to a car crash where the other person had been texting while driving.

I looked at her with such compassion.  This precious woman has given me hope every single time I have ever seen her~~~even at her treasured son's funeral.  Her faithfulness is a beautiful example which we all look to achieve, and yet, here she was asking me how I do it.  

We all need to be reminded of the LORD even when we know Him!

Of course, the LORD is how I do it.  This is not of me, I rely on the LORD.  The agony is in me, sometimes right on the surface, and other times so deep inside.  I live every moment remembering the agony, but giving it to Him, allowing Him to take it, to handle it, to work in me, to work in them.  

It is an all the time thing.  I live and breathe relying on Him.  Part of my testimony is that these have been the worst years of my life, and yet the very best years of my life, because I have drawn closer, and closer to the LORD in my agony~~~and isn't this our greatest desire to be closer to Him?

"I get up and do next things" for Him, because of Him.  Sometimes I do them with great gusto, praising His name, and other times I do not want to do them at all, but I do them, and I praise His Holy name.  Sometimes I can smile to the world easily, even though my agony is right there hurting so badly, and other times I smile when I do not feel like it at all, and I do not want to~~~but others need to be loved and encouraged ~~~so I smile and love on them.

I am not a super-Christian. I am broken, frail me.  I live in the moment with Him, for Him.  If you ask me what I did yesterday, I probably won't remember, and usually I do not even try to remember.  I am living right then and thinking of what comes next.  My life is for Him, and I want to have Him shining through me so others will see it. I don't have time for yesterdays.  

Because of Him, even in my agonies, I can smile and laugh at the future.

Proverbs 31:25
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles [laughs] at the future."

Moving on Day

Today I decided to "move on".  

It is a full day, and I am way too busy even to write this, but here I am.

I have accomplished one thing after another this morn in a rush so I could get to the things which must be priority today.  Just like "If you give a mouse a cookie"...I went from one to the other, never really breathing as I went.

Eventually the kitty was so thankful she was finally on the "list" and received her breakfast, and then I saw the pile of letters to be mailed.  So I grabbed them, and out I ran to the mail box.  On the walk back to the house I began to "slow down" in my inner person as I was admiring the flowers on the south facing porch.  I realized I must water them next, but there were those porch railing pots looking so lovely, although completely ridiculous.

In the spring I had planted them with a magenta wave petunias each and also a few "thumbelina" zinnia seeds.  When the seeds germinated I was so excited! How lovely these pots would be!  As they continued to grow...they never stopped!  First one foot high and then two.  Every wind storm we have received has blown the pots almost off the railings as the zinnias have been like sails in the wind!  

Today I decided to move on.

I walked right over and lugged those two pots off the railing.  The thumbelina zinnias are now topping 3 feet!  Although as lovely as can be, they are too tall for a flower box.  I placed the two pots in the crook of the porch and house right below where they were, so they are now filling up the space where day lilies have faded.  The flowers are still lovely and will be through the fall, but they will no longer be blocking the porch's view, being a sails in the wind, and looking rather silly for flower pot plants.

As I was moving the zinnia pots, I contemplated how I had finally decided to "move on" with them.  It took a few weeks of thinking how tall would these zinnias grow before they stopped, and what should I do with them.  Today became the day, and I did it.

In our everyday lives we have lots of things with which we must deal.  As precious children of God we have His wisdom, strength, and comfort to help us.  

Even so....there are many days and days where we hold on tightly to situations we have no control over.  Days rush by and even lifetimes fly by as we hold on to our pain, our situations where we have absolutely no control~~~we just "feel" and "think" we have control over them.

Through my own life I have held on tightly, and I have also let go of many things.  As my time as His child has progressed, I have learned the difficult lessons of letting go of things I never had any control over.  

The trite saying, "Let go and let God", is not what I am talking about, as we all know how serious our own pain has been.  Allowing the LORD to take your agony is usually not an easy thing to do ~~~ "to loosen the grip of your controlling hand"  of things which you have grieved over for so long.  Personally, I have had very difficult times of allowing the LORD to have my pain, and other times it has been as easy as breathing, I suppose because I trust and know Him and realize it is time to allow Him.

When we are His child deciding to move on doesn't mean we live in a dream world. 

"Oh, this and that never happened"

Our agonies, pain, memories, struggles, heartaches....remain in our minds, our hearts, but now the LORD is being allowed by us to work in our inner most person.  We have allowed Him to finally take what we never were suppose to control.

He has already been working on our heartaches, but now He can work in us as we allow Him to do so.  This all takes time.  We have lots of pain in there.  Lots of things which are still happening in our lives which are not over yet---so our level of agony is still high.  

When we decide to move on a whole new day begins!  A whole new breath of fresh air is given to us.  We can rely on the LORD to carry us throughout our trials which are too big for us to even think about, much less be able to control.

Our agonies, our struggles, our heartaches, our sadnesses....may still be there, but the LORD can hold them as we allow Him.  He has already been dealing with them in His way and in His time, but now we realize it!  

Today, precious ladies, begin to think of your big ol' pot of overgrown zinnias which you have allowed to sit there flying in the wind and blocking your view.  Think about moving them down and over to the LORD's capable hands.  Your grieving may continue, but as you allow Him to take control of what you have thought you had control over, He will help you even more so in your grievings because you are open to His almighty touch in your inner person.

How can we continue to live fully, and how can we smile?  How can we find joy in this evil world?  We can do this when the LORD God Almighty is our God and we allow Him to reign in our lives, our broken, frail lives.

Proverbs 3 :5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your won understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Monday, August 4, 2014

Your value is above rubies

"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10

Who are you, what do you do, what do you look like, and what is your age?

It does't matter. 
What matters is if you love the LORD
 with all your might and accept Jesus as your Savior.
"If you confess with your mouth 
Jesus as Lord, 
and believe in your heart 
that God raised Him from the dead, 
you will be saved; 
for with the heart a person believes, 
resulting in righteousness, 
and with the mouth he confesses,
resulting in salvation."
Romans 10:9-10
The world does not hold on to the value of people 
unless they are in some profession deemed important
by the world.

I was asked once, "Don't you have a job or something?"
"Whatever you do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks 
through Him to God the Father."
Colossians 3:17
 Mothers, homemakers 
are not held in high esteem 
and may never be again,
but this does not show your value.  
Your value as a mother, as a homemaker, as a person 
comes from the LORD.

Do not believe the lie
that you are not valuable.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? 
And yet not one of them 
will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

So do not fear; 
you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31

The LORD knows you and He sees you.  
He has not forgotten you.  
He holds you in the palm of His mighty hands.

Run to Him.
Draw near to him.
He is your strength and 
He is your comfort.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our affliction 
so that we will be able to comfort those 
who are in any affliction with the comfort 
with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, 
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 

But if we are afflicted, 
it is for your comfort and salvation; 
or if we are comforted, 
it is for your comfort, 
which is effective in the patient enduring 
of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 
and our hope for you is firmly grounded, 
knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, 
so also you are sharers of our comfort."
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Praise the LORD!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Controlling and Manipulting

Calvin and Hobbs
by Bill Watterson

"Calvin Ball" has been a silly joke in our family since we first read it in the comic, Calvin and Hobbs, years and years ago.

The term, "Calvin Ball" means that the rules change constantly for the person in charge - so that this person always wins. 

In real life some people play their own "Calvin Ball", although it is not child's play, but for  the destruction or at least, to the detriment of others. These people I will call, Master Manipulators, because this is what they are. 

How wonderful it works for a Master Manipulator to play their own "Calvin Ball".  They, somehow, in some way, achieve their power over others and then control these people by the manipulation of these individuals or groups of people just by making statements, or even using body language.  With this, seemingly at their own whims, the "rules" (their own made up rules) change to suit their own purposes, making it impossible to know what and how to behave so that the Master Manipulator will not become angry again.  The followers live a life of fear in the shadow of this tyranny.  This can go on a life time or until the person or people escape the Master Manipulator's control.

As life has moved on for us, "Calvin Ball" began to be noticed in real life situations as we encountered people who were masters at manipulating and controlling others.  At first we would think it couldn't be happening, that it was only a instance that "seemed" odd, but as the time continued the truth agonizingly emerged.  We would discuss all the of instances and sadly, realize it was, in actuality, real life "Calvin Ball" --- manipulation and control at its highest level.  Although, was devastatingly sad.

The "Main Line" cults play their own "Calvin Ball", controlling great masses of people, but individuals can play it masterfully, also, with great effectiveness as they destroy individuals, ruining the lives of the controlled.  

Christians are not exempt from being controlled or even being the Master Manipulators.  

Christian Master Manipulators are known for abusing God's Word for their own purposes.  

Beware of this in others!  Read and contemplate the Word for yourself.  If you have a notion and discern that this Christian Master Manipulator is twisting the scriptures he uses to say something the LORD never intended, then find a godly person not associated with this Master Manipulator to counsel with you. This may be your first step to freedom away from this Master Manipulator!  You do not want to continue to be controlled and manipulated by someone twisting God's truth.  This is abuse!

Any abuser uses control and manipulation (real life "Calvin Ball") to use and abuse people.  Anyone, intelligent or common, can be fooled by any kind of manipulator.  You are not alone.

Our hope must be in God, no matter if a Master Manipulator is controlling us personally, or controlling those we love. 

Continue to cry out to God for His strength and His help in the situation.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  


By Ted Griffin

Millions of snowflakes fall every year around the world, and yet no two snowflakes are alike!  If a hundred artists spent a year designing as many snowflakes, they couldn’t come up with the same variety.  Every single snowflake is completely unique.

Equally astounding is the variety of human beings who have lived, now live, and will live on the planet Earth.  

God has created each one of us as a unique creation!

Believe it or not -- no one else is just like you.  Your physical appearance,  your voice and personality traits -- your habits, intelligence, personal tastes --  all these make you one of a kind.  Even your fingerprints distinguish you from every other human being -- past, present, and future.  You are not the product of some cosmic assembly line; 

you are unique.

But the most important fact of your identity is that God created you in His own image (Genesis 1:27).  He made you so you could share in His creation, could love and laugh and know Him person to person.  You are special indeed!

The Bible reveals God’s total interest in you as an individual.  The psalmist wrote in one of his most beautiful prayers, 

“I will praise Thee;  for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).  

God knew you even before you were born.  Then, and now, He has plans just for you, plans conceived in love.

As we appreciate God’s constant concern for us, we really begin to grasp the awfulness of sin.  He loves you and me so much; yet how often we go our own way, turning our backs on Him.  God’s designs for our lives are then blocked; His mercies do not come to the unwilling.

But even when we turn from Him, we are precious to God.  He continues to love us even when we pay no attention to Him.  He still sees us as individuals with great value (Psalm 139:17-18).  

God is not an unfeeling, cold-hearted ruler of the heavens.  He feels our pains; He shares our sorrows.  He cares, and He considers each one of us important enough to love.

In fact, He loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die for our sins.  The Bible says that this is love: 

“not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation [full payment] for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Because you and I are special to God, He wants to forgive us and give us a full, meaningful life.  Can anyone be more special than that?

Yes, you are valuable to God!  

If you have never trusted Jesus Christ for your salvation, you can pray something like this today:

Lord, thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins and rise from the dead so that I can know Your forgiveness and live with You forever.   Right now I ask Him to be my Savior so that I can live as the unique creation which You intended me to be.

from Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Taste a little of the summer, my grandma put it all in jars.

Let those December winds bellow 'n' blow
I'm as warm as a July tomato.

Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper's ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma's put it all in jars.

Well, there's a root cellar, fruit cellar down below
Watch you head now, and down you go

And there's
Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper's ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma's put it all in jars....

Ah, she's got magic in her - you know what I mean
She puts the sun and rain in with her green beans.

And there's
Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper's ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma's put it all in jars.

What with the snow and the economy and ev'ry'thing,
I think I'll jus' stay down here and eat until spring.

And there's
Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper's ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma's put it all in jars.

When I go to see my grandma I gain a lot of weight
With her dear hands she gives me plate after plate.
She cans the pickles, sweet & dill
She cans the songs of the whippoorwill
And the morning dew and the evening moon
'N' I really got to go see her pretty soon
'Cause these canned goods I buy at the store
Ain't got the summer in them anymore.

You bet, grandma, as sure as you're born
I'll take some more potatoes and a thunderstorm.

Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper's ready, everybody come on in, now
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
My grandma put it all in jars.

Let those December winds bellow and blow,
I'm as warm as a July tomato.

Canned Goods by George Brown

A 50/50 chance

Over at The Thought Provoker, July 3, 2014, is a heart-stopping quote by Nancy Pearcy concerning raising our children in the LORD.  It considers the facts of the high loss our growing children, who are constantly wooed by and to the culture. 

When your heart begins to beat again, I encourage you to fight the good fight even more so for your children!  All that with which you "fill" their lives, all of your efforts to bring them up in the truth of the LORD, will be their foundation even if they turn away to the culture.  They can follow the world's lies, but their foundation, which you instilled in
them, remains, even if hidden.  They can seem to be completely and forever changed by the culture, but the LORD has had you and me, as moms and dads, fill them up with His truth.

If you are a mom of a wayward child after all of your loving them up in the LORD, grieve, but continue to pray, for you know the LORD is working even when we do not see a change at all.  You have laid a wonderful foundation in them.

We have spent time listening to Unshackled from Pacific Garden Mission many a time throughout our Christian life.  Time after time the stories began with the person's testimony of being raised in God's truth.  Circumstances or choices changed their direction towards the culture to whatever extent.  Eventually, in their waywardness, the person would recall things their family members instilled in them when they were a child, and these seemingly "tiny" events in their past turn out to be the very things which would bring them seeking the LORD again, and back to following Him in truth.

Grieving mothers...Oh, how I grieve with you!  The times we wait for our "waywards" can be so long and difficult. 

Remember The LORD is the One who is working!  

He is working in our own hearts, so make sure you are willing to allow Him to work and draw you closer to Him.  He is also working in our wayward children in their inner person, which takes time, especially when they are fight against Him.  

So continue to fight the good fight as your children are growing up, and when they are out of the home, pray, draw nearer to God, praise His name, live for Him, resting in His grace and mercy.

May all of this glorify the LORD!

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Life's Lines

"The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me."
Psalm 16:5-6

Stand behind your man

Two are better than one because 
they have a good return for their labor. 
For if either of them falls, the one will lift up 
his companion. 
But woe to the one who falls 
when there is not another to lift him up. 
Furthermore, if two lie down together 
they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 
And if one can overpower him who is alone, 
two can resist him. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Don't Quit

Poems from “The Best Love Poems of the American People”

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow - 
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt - 
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit - 
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.


*  *  *

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. 
The Lord is near.  
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer 
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests 
be made known to God.  
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, 
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, 
whatever is of good repute, 
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.  
The things you have learned and received and heard 
and seen in me, practice these things, 
and the God of peace will be with you.

Why cats don't like technology:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

from “The Best Love Poems of the American People”

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley - but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass - 
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail - 
Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch

Psalm 90:16-17

Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Praise the LORD!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Honoring mothers: ornaments about your neck

Proverbs 1:8-9

"Hear, my child, your father's instruction, 
and do not forsake your mother's teaching;  
indeed, they are a graceful wreath 
to your head and ornaments about your neck."

I have missed my precious mother so much lately.   I muse about her.  She was the glue of my family.  I wonder  ~"if only"~  she was here now, what would life be like.  

And yet she has been with the LORD for over 18 years.  

When I was 18 I had begun to mature and come alongside my mother in an understanding way.  A different relationship blossomed; even though she was still my mom, she was also my friend.  In my early 20's I was married, lived far away, and had little ones.  Our weekly letters and monthly phone calls deepened our closeness.

I was 40 when she died ~  so young.  I think of her every day; mostly with great happiness, joy, and thankfulness.  The LORD surely blessed me with such a precious mother.

I still wear her graceful wreath about my head, and her ornaments are about my neck.

I share these gifts with others, and all I see is her legacy in me being shared.

Praise the LORD!

I am so thankful....

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Mother's Day Week

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Train up a child

"Little children, headache; big children heartache"

An Italian Proverb

We raise our children:

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

This is a principle from God, but it is not a promise.

Many a parent has lovingly raised up their children in God's truth only to see these same beloved children turn from His truth into some kind of deception.  The world is evil and it pulls and pushes at all of us.

I have heard many mothers complaining about their troubles with their little ones.  For them---they are struggling---not realizing the hardest part is coming, and even more difficult is when their children are adults.  This is when we can only watch when they choose poorly.


"I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry."
Psalm 40:1

As a parent, how do we wait patiently?  How can we wait calm and patient when our treasured child has chosen a path of destruction?  How can we wait calmly when we can't do anything to help them/stop them?

In Psalm 40:1 the word, "cry" [here] in Hebrew means "scream" (I was told this).  

How appropriate!  When we are waiting patiently for some agony to turn around, we are usually in great anxiety and, at least in our heads, we are screaming, shouting for the LORD to hear and save!


Sisters in the LORD... are you waiting?   Is there a wayward child in your life?  Is there a wayward loved one?  Are you anxious and frustrated and then confused because your "waiting" doesn't seem to be patient?

"Waiting and patient" don't seem to go together.   I encourage you to continue.  Continue to draw near to the LORD who is our comfort.  As your time of waiting ebbs and flows you will learn from Him to wait more calmly.

Waiting is VERY active.  I do not mean "worrying", but waiting.  We wait in the LORD with great expectations because we KNOW He hears our cries.  

Waiting is always full and busy in our heads.  We think and pray and anticipate---no matter how long we wait.  As we learn to wait on Him our waiting becomes more patient. Somehow He works in us, frail and broken us.  We begin to rely on Him more and more. We begin to "see" that our waiting on our "waywards"  is more as He views waiting patiently.  We become more like Christ.

Precious sisters...continue to pray, waiting patiently for the LORD our God is surely hearing our cries, our screams!

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,saying, 

“In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 

For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 

‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” 

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says; 

now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 

I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. 

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:1-8