Friday, October 21, 2016

The Artist

There is an app for everything and, with the right one, even I can create art.

I will never have an exhibit.  I will not receive an award for my creativity.  My name will never be listed under famous artists. 

But it is fun!  A swirl here.  A little color there.  Slowly a shape forms.  

My thoughts as I look at these?  The top picture is intricate.  The red one shouts.  The angels comfort me in the last one.

Yes, my iPad and I can create art.


This artist does not need an iPad.  Does not need a paint brush.  Nor canvas. 


HE SAID ……. let there be


HE SAID ….. let there be

HE SAID ….. let there be

Now doesn’t that just beat all!  HE SAID….  That is all it took.  He said.  (From Genesis 1)

Are you ready for the best part?

HE DID ALL OF THIS FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God must really, really, REALLY love us!

I flip the switch and the lights come on.  Of course.

I turn the tap and the water flows.  Of course.

I push the button and I have control of the TV.  Of course.

I put the key in the switch and the car is ready to start.  Of course.

I adjust the thermostat and the house cools down.  Of course.

I open the book and there are words on the page.  Of course.

I tell my hubby what to do and --- okay, maybe that one might not be such a good example.

There are so many things we take for granted.  When we take certain actions, we know exactly what the result will be.

Of course:
·         hubby – oops.  Forgot I was not going to use that.
·         there are words on the page – unless the printer ran out of ink.
·         the house will cool down – unless the air conditioner refuses to run.
·         the car will start – unless it is out of gas.
·         the TV will be operating – unless the cable is out.
·         the water will be filling the sink – unless there is a break in the water line.
·         the lights will come on – unless the storm took out a transformer.

Suddenly all of those “of course” times in our lives are not a sure thing.  Hubby may not follow instructions.  Appliances, cars and utilities can all fail. 


When I want to talk with God, He will be there.  Of course.

When I look for God, He will be there.  Of course.

When I have drifted away and I find my way back, God will be there.  Of course.

When I want to thank God for the sunset, the flowers and laughter, He will be there.  Of course.

When I wake up and when I fall to sleep, God will be there.  Of course.

When I feel joy or sorrow or peace or fear, God will be there.  Of course.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8
God WILL be with you.  OF COURSE!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NIV

Friday, September 30, 2016


I am glad to be back writing a weekly blog.  I have taken breaks before when we were going on vacation or life was just - well, just too much life.  I felt okay with that.  But the many weeks I missed between March and September were different.  I missed writing because I was lost.

I was seeking direction.  I was looking for the path.  I was listening for an answer.  And during this seeking, looking and listening, I was lost.  

I had been... but what was I to be now?  The problem was, I was willing to go down a new path, BUT the path should be pretty much like the old one.  I was good at... was that on the new path?  I always... would my always be there? 

Seeking, check.  Looking, check.  Listening, che--- and that is why I got lost.  My listening was more of a waiting to hear what I wanted to hear.  

Until one day when I was not listening at all.  It sounds silly, but when I was not listening, I heard the one question I needed to hear.  And when I heard the question, my Spirit immediately gave me the answer.

My path now?  My path now is a journey with yet undiscovered twists and turns.  I have thrown always away.  (Always is a bit boring if we are honest.) I am enjoying the wait until God shows me what my new role will be.  

The amazing thing is that, in the journey down an unknown path, leaving 'I was, I did and I always' behind, I realized I am no longer lost.  How can I not be lost on an unknown path?

Because, this is the path God wants me on.  An unknown path to me, but not to God.  He kept the path maintained until I eventually found my way.

No longer lost!  What sweet words.  And that means the blog returns.  I write with the prayer that my words will touch one person.  Will help one person find hope.  Will help one person realize their thoughts, doubts and fears are normal.  Will help one person find eternal life though Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Who is that one person.  I have no idea.  It is not important for me to know.  It is important for me to write just in case one person happens upon my blog and needs to hear God say, “You are not lost.  You are my child.”

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

Friday, September 23, 2016


“Here is a video I think you would enjoy.  Watch it and then bring it back,” I told …….

Well, I told someone.  The trouble is now I do not know where the video is.  It is out there somewhere.  I am sure it wants to come home but it does not know the way.  Some people I thought I had loaned it to said, “No.  I do not have it.”  Now I do not know where to search. 

And I am looking because I wanted to loan it to someone else. 

Where of where?  Think.  Think.  Poor video.  Out there.  Is it lost forever?


I have felt like that video.  Lost.  Trying to find my way home.  Wondering how I ended up where I did not want to be.

I may have felt like the lost video BUT I am not like that video.  There is someone who always knows where I am. 

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Psalm 139:2-3

GOD NEVER LOSES ME!  He never loans me out.  He never forgets where I am.

And when He (the good Shepherd) finds me,
He joyfully puts me on His shoulders and goes home.
Luke 15 parts of 5 and 6 (made personal)

GOD COMES TO GET ME!  Even if I should wander off, He comes to find me and brings me back where I belong.


You can feel lost and alone in a room full of people.  You can get yourselves into places you thought you would never be.  You can turn to friends or family and still feel like you are lost.

There is a place you can feel secure.  A place where you will not feel lost.  That place is as a Child of God.  A Child of a God, who takes you in His arms, puts you on His shoulders and safely places you in His flock.

My prayer for you this week is that you will feel the comfort of a loving God that is always there and always loves to hear you talk with Him.

Friday, September 16, 2016


I looked at the calendar and it says that this is day 260 and there are 106 days left in this year.  ONLY 106 DAYS LEFT!  Why it should only be …..

I don’t like knowing how many days are left in 2016.  Thinking about it sent my mind  into warp speed:  Next week is crazy busy!  Vacation with daughter and her family in three weeks!  Hubby getting ready to be in the fields!  Halloween!  My birthday!  Other people’s birthdays!  (One of those other people is our son who will be 50.   I AM NOT OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE A 50 YEAR OLD CHILD!)  Thanksgiving!  And Christmas! 

106 days left in 2016.  My mind has settled down and now the questions have started.  Will I use those days wisely?  Do I really have to do everything?  Am I allowing time for myself?  Am I allowing time for family?  Am I allowing time for God?


I can easily count how many days are left in a week.  In a month.  In a year.  I cannot count how many days are left in my life.

But about that day or hour no one knows,
not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,
but only the Father.
Mark 13:32

I do not know how many days I have left.  AND I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!  But, the same questions apply. 

  • Am I using my time wisely?
  • Do I really have to do everything?
  • Am I allowing time for myself?
  • Am I allowing time for family?
  • Am I allowing time for God?

Am I allowing time for God?  Am I allowing time for God?  Am I?  Am I?

Are you?

Friday, September 09, 2016


WHY.  Three letters.  A short word.  The definition is even short:  cause, reason or purpose.  And yet, this short, three letter word is on everyone’s lips.  Everyone’s heart.  You can see it in their eyes.  You can hear it in their voice.  You can notice the softer steps and the shoulders slightly bent. 

Why?  Why?   Why?

This short, three letter word is used over and over and over.  The “why” is usually followed by “if only?”  And we torture ourselves with these words.

There have been many posts on Facebook and articles in the paper and on the news about Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  But they are only articles until there is a face – a person – a family – a friend – touched by suicide.  And, when one of those that committed suicide, leaves an empty place in a high school class and brings grief and loss to your grandchildren, the articles become real and the news touches your heart.  And everyone begins to ask, “Why?”

Sadly, the question “why” rarely has an answer.  Why would this boy commit suicide?  Why was he that unhappy?  Why did someone not see it?  Why?  Why?  Why?

And then, “What if?”  What if he had received a phone call?  What if he had reached out to someone?  What if I had been a better parent/friend/ pastor/teacher/employer?  What if?  What if?  What if?

My grandsons.  The kids at their school.  The parents, family and friends.  They are all facing a loss they cannot explain.  A loss that hurts.  A loss that will require the slow process of healing.
My prayer for them is that they will find comfort and that they will not fall into the trap of “why” and “what if”.  I pray they will find a memory to hold in their hearts so they can say goodbye to their friend.

=   =   =   =   =   =   =   =

The most important thing we can do is to take seriously anytime anyone says they are thinking about suicide.  Or if someone keeps bringing up the subject, it means they could be contemplating suicide.  And tell!!!  You are not doing your friend or family member a favor by not telling someone.  Their confiding in you might be their cry for help. 

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and, each year, over 42,700 people commit suicide.  These are not just numbers!  The articles are not just news!

These 42,700+ people were our sons and daughters.  They were our parents.  They were our friends.  And we hurt when a suicide causes our grandsons to cry.

Friday, September 02, 2016


Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105

Have you ever been out for a walk, enjoying the journey down a lovely path, your mind wondering here and there as memories floated in and out?  Have you ever been walking along, in a familiar right, left pattern, sure where you were headed because the path was easy to see?  Have you ever been walking along, one step leading into the next, when you notice a bench – an inviting, comfortable bench?  The empty bench is waiting for someone to step off the path and sit.

I had been sitting on that bench.  And, it was not a good place to be!

Let me explain. 

Our journey – the path we follow – can become too familiar.  Too safe.  We can keep putting one foot in front of the other.  We can be doing all the right things.  Saying all the right words.  We can …..

… all of a sudden realize it is not the path we are supposed to be on.  And that is how I found myself sitting on the bench.  My path was no longer clear.  Or maybe the path was clear and I did not want to see it. To see the path would mean I would have to change.  I would have to divert from the path of the known and comfortable to the path of “LORD YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?”

So there I sat on the bench.  The name of the bench is indecision and, although that bench looked inviting, it was not a pleasant place to sit.  And I was not alone.  On one side was the voice of “this path is good.”  On the other side was the voice of “is this the path God wants you stay on?”

While I sat there, life went on and it was good.  But God has this persistent nature and finally, I heard the answer.  That is when I stood up and saw that, where there had been one path, there were now two.  One familiar and safe:  a good path.  One --

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

One was the new path God wanted me to be on.

Hubby and I have struggled with a decision for years.  We had both attended the same denomination for over 50 years and a local church for over 30.  We sat on the bench of indecision because of the wonderful people in the local church, as the voice on one side said “go” and the voice on the other side said “stay.” 

What we finally realized is that God has a new path for us and we have begun a new faith journey.  A journey that is no longer handcuffed to indecision.  We are exactly where God wants us.  We are on a new path. 

What about you?  Are you sitting on the bench of indecision?  

Friday, May 06, 2016


The other day, we were watching an interview with Sophia Loren.  The question was, “What is happiness?”

 She answered, “It depends on your age.”

 That made me think and I realized she was right. 

  • Happiness was mom saying, “Yes, you may go to the park.  Be back by five.” 
  • Happiness was a slumber party.
  • Happiness was receiving an engagement ring and then a wedding ring from the man I love.
  • Happiness was welcoming a son and then a daughter into our family.
Some things cause happiness during your whole life:

  • Happiness is reading a book.
  • Happiness is traveling.
  • Happiness is family.  And home.
It is funny how one thing leads to another.  I had finished reading a book, The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck, and had saved some quotes about Jack.  Jack is seeking happiness.  Seeking but could he let go of the past? 
“That’s the crux of it right there.  Are you ready to give up being angry? Because anytime you want to become a Gillingham, Jack, we’ll go down to the courthouse and make it all legal.”  “I’m thirty years old, Sam.”  “I don’t care if you’re a hundred. I’m telling you, I want you as my son. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you are a son right before you become a father?”  Jack glanced at Sam, who nodded, then turned for the house. “Take your time.” He might have been gone, but his confession hung around the garage, drilling through Jack and tapping his tears. “I want you as my son.”

"You have everything you need to heal from such a deep hurt, but you choose to keep walking around wounded.”

"When you walked in, I knew you were the answer to our prayer.”  An answer to prayer.  Such a claim caused Jack to torque inside, messed with his right to be angry, to play the victim.  Because if the God of all looked after him, even used him to bless someone"

As a child, Jack was sent to stay with Sam and his wife.  Jack was angry.  Jack closed himself off and never realized he was an answer to their prayers.  You see, they wanted a child.

Jack had not known happiness.  Did not have sweet memories.  He did not know how to love.  Or trust.  He just knew how to be hurt, to be angry.  He just knew how to keep people away.

Of course, the book ended with Jack finding happiness when he finally allowed his past to be just that:  the past.  Then he found God, trust and love. 

So often we do not realize that what makes us happy changes as we grow older.  So often we are not happy because, like Jack, we refuse to leave our hurts, anger and lack of trust behind us.

Of course, the book had a happy ending but your life can have a happy endings too.  The key?
God, of course.