Friday, September 30, 2011



How do you worship? Do you worship with your head bowed? Sitting quietly? Is it good to worship in more than one way? Is it okay to dance? Be confident? Bold? Courageous? Fearless?


David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 2 Samuel 6:14

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. Psalm 27:3

The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Acts 4:29

Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Philippians 1:14


I do not think there is one set style to worship God. Sometimes our worship is quiet. Peaceful. Using songs that bring memories of tradition. At other times our worship uses songs set to drums and guitars. Is convicting. A bit noisy.

Today I would like to encourage you to be CONFIDENT and BOLD. David was confident and bold when he danced in the streets. Danced with shouts and trumpets. David was so excited to be bringing the ark home that he could not wait until he was home, within the confines of walls, to praise the Lord. No way! This worship demanded dancing! And shouts! And trumpets!

The scriptures tell us to be bold as a lion, to speak with great boldness and to be more courageous and fearless.

Do you want to sing: Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! Or do you want to boldly and with confidence sing: JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN TODAY, ALLELUIA!

Do you want to ask: Father forgive me. Or do you want to courageously (Because it does take courage to admit you have sinned) ask: FATHER FORGIVE ME.

Do you want to tell: For God so loved the world. Or do you want to fearlessly tell: FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD!

Spending quiet, prayerful, personal, listening and study time with God is extremely important. We each need these times of worship, but do not limit the way you worship God.

Be bold!

Be confident!

Be courageous!

Be fearless!

As you spend time in worship, shout to God, "ALLEULUIA!" And, if you are really fearless, dance in the streets.

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Bold. Confident. Courageous. Fearless. Lord, these are new terms when I think about how I worship. Can I just sorta be over in the corner and watch? Can I just think bold? Can I --My dear, loving God, give me boldness and confidence when I sing. Making each word important and each song a statement of my faith. Give me courage when I pray. Making each prayer honest, holding nothing back. Give me fearlessness when I tell others about you. Making each statement a truth from your Word. Amen

Friday, September 23, 2011


Men might not understand but women will. I am tired of our dishes. I did like them when I bought them probably 15 years ago, but they say farm fresh and we no longer live on the farm. They also have apples and, well, I just am ready for some new dishes.

I looked and I looked. I knew I wanted Corning Ware so I checked every pattern they had. Then there it was! Just what I was looking for so I began watching their sales. Would they put that design on sale? Could I get a really good buy?

I am a Wal-Mart shopper only when I can not find something locally, but I went online and there were my dishes. And for less than I could get them from Corning Ware. Even with a 20% off coupon! I ordered the dishes September 14.

It has been fun tracking my dishes. I am not exactly sure where they began, but they arrived in Greencastle, Indiana on the 18th. They left Greencastle on the 19th. They arrived in Coldwater, Michigan on the 20th and they left there on the 21st. Hopefully the next stop will be Wabash, Indiana.

Just for fun, get out a map. Find Greencastle, Indiana. Now go north into Michigan to Coldwater. Now come back south into Indiana to Wabash. My dishes have had quite a journey!

Now, get out another map. A map of your journey with God. What would your journey be like? Would it be a straight line from your birth to God? Or did your journey begin later in life? Has your journey been by the most direct route? Or, at times, has your journey taken you right past your destination?

SCRIPTURE: Please read Psalm 139

Psalm 139:8-10 -- If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

This is my favorite Psalm. I have not always known where my dishes were, but it reminds me that God always knows where I am. God knows where you are. God knows because God holds fast to each of us with His right hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now you want to know a secret? God loves you when you take the most direct route to be with Him, but God loves you even when your journey to Him takes the long way home.


Yes, there is usually a question but today there is an activity. Get a piece of paper. Write GOD at the top. Write your name at the bottom. Now track your journey. Be honest and mark those side trips that you wish you hadn't taken. But be thrilled to mark the times when you stayed strong, with your destination fixed in your heart.

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

I can see you smiling, God. You have been tracking me since the day I was born. If my journey was marked by push pins and yarn, it would look like a jumbled mess. It would look like I did not know where I was going. My God, even when my journey took me in the opposite direction, in my heart, in my soul I knew my journey would lead me to you. Thank you for tracking me. Thank you for knowing where I am when I feel lost. Thank you for holding me fast in your right hand. Amen

Friday, September 16, 2011



And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. -- Ephesians 2:22

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ – Acts 20:35


One simple idea, a quick flash in the brain – But it is a small thing. Is it really worth the trouble? I only have two coupons and it takes five.

That is the way my mind worked one morning as I looked at the coupons our local grocery gave away. When you spent $50 at one time, you received one coupon. Then, when you had collected five, you would receive a $10 gift card. The problem is I only had two tickets and knew there was no way to get three more. What to do? What to do?

Then I thought, “By themselves, my two coupons are worthless, but what if other people at church had one or two they could not use? By themselves mine are no good, but if I could put them with others, we could use them in to help the local food pantry.”

Cliff Notes version: We asked for coupons. We donated $40 to the food pantry. $40 they did not have.

Ephesians tells us we “are being built together” and Acts tells us that we “must help the weak.” As one I could not help, but together we could help the weak. We could help those struggling to make ends meet and in need of assistance with food.

Was this a big help? Not really. $40 will not go far but together, with donations from others, small contributions add up.

I am very thankful that we do not need assistance with food. But there are times I need help. Times when I am weak and when those times arise, I am thankful I know just where to go for help.

Romans 8:26 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.


Where do you turn when you are weak? When you need help? Do you have ideas that could help others but think they are too small?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Together. Lord thank you for the opportunity to help others when they are weak. I pray I never think an idea is too small to help.

Together. Lord that is such a comforting word. It means I do not have to go through life alone. I can go through life together. Together with family, friends and sometimes with strangers who want to help me.

Together. Lord that is such a powerful word. It means I do not have to go through life alone. I can go through life together. Together with you. When I am weak, the Spirit knows how to intercede for me. Intercede when I am too weak to even pray.


Friday, September 09, 2011


If after reading this title you choose to not read my blog this week, I will understand. But this week I have decided to take a stand. I fear too many are being politically correct. I fear this will be the downfall of many faiths and our country.


From The Message, by Eugene H. Peterson

Write this to Pergamum, to the Angel of the church. The One with the sharp-biting sword draws from the sheath of his mouth – out come the sword words:

“But why do you indulge that Balaam crowd? Don’t you remember that Balaam was an enemy agent, seducing Balak and sabotaging Israel’s holy pilgrimage by throwing unholy parties? And why do you put up with the Nicolaitans, who do the same thing?

Enough! Don’t give in to them; I’ll be with you soon. I’m fed up and about to cut them to pieces with my sword-sharp words.


As the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 approached, I found myself having many, many questions. The main question: Why are we not speaking out? Why are we not taking a stand?

A stand for our beliefs. Are we willing to weaken our faith in the name of unity? Are we willing to remain quiet because we might offend someone?

A stand for our country. Are we willing to allow the values of our country to be lost because our elected officials have become entrenched in words like Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative and Independent?


I believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Do I know how to explain this? No. What I do know is that God the Father comforts me, encourages me and has prepared a place for me when I leave this earthly body. I do believe God the Son came to cleanse me of my tiniest sin. Because I am cleansed, God the Father will remember my sins no more. I believe I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

I do not have the right to force my beliefs on others, but I do not have to water down my beliefs or integrate what I believe just so everyone is happy. God warned the church in Pergamum. They were allowing people to compromise with the world and with pagans. This is what I see our churches doing today.

I am instructed to be a good neighbor and love my enemies. I have no problem working beside and with individuals of other faiths, races or nationalities. I do not want anyone to suffer and my heart breaks when I see hungry and mistreated people wherever they are. But I do not have to agree with or approve of other beliefs just to present a unified front.

I do not have the right to kill someone because they do not agree with my faith. But I do have to right to speak out against a religion that will not censure, stop funding and remove from the Muslim or other faiths the “radical” faction that wants to kill anyone that does not believe the way they do. The shooting in Norway, the bombing in Oklahoma City, the Westboro Baptist Church protesters and the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001 are all wrong. Radical factions are not limited to one faith nor one country, but no faith should continue to support and defend the radical factions. And when a faith continues to do so, they should not be asked to hold hands in unity, they should be held accountable.


I am first a Christian. Second a wife. Third a mother and grandmother. Then I am an American, but I am very concerned for the country we are handing to our children and grandchildren. I may be politically incorrect, but I believe:

I believe we need to return to strong family values. Parents need to be parents and not friends. They need to set boundaries. They need to teach their children values instead of allowing them to learn from the street, television, computer games and overpaid athletes. We need to teach our children about responsible sex, that love lasts more than one night and being there at conception is the beginning of being a parent not the end. The education of our children needs to be a priority. This education must begin in the home and continue in the schools, with the parents being involved in reading and math instead of just the Friday night ball game.

Every citizen is as important as any other and should be treated equally. Until we quit checking a box for race, sex, income and nationality, this country will be divided.

I am proud that our country has opened its arms to people, although I am also sure the original Americans wonder if things might have been better if they would have sunk those ships instead of welcoming and feeding the strange new people. I am proud of a country where people choose to live. Where individuals and families run to escape persecution, starvation, torture and death and wish to make this their home. Their country. Who bring their dreams and hopes of a better life. But we are one country and we need to be united under one flag and one language.

I welcome all who enter this country legally but I refuse to be labeled unchristian because I support the enforcement of illegal immigration laws. I honor the office of President but refuse to be called a racist because I do not support the agenda of our current President. Neither of these have a thing to do with race or nationality. It is my right to support laws and disagree with agendas.

Laws should be applied equally whether you are employed by a private or public company, self employed, unemployed, retired or working in the government. Our rights cannot harm others. Being mad at someone does not give you the right to shoot them. Having a rough time does not give you the right to rob someone. And nothing gives you the right to physically, mentally or emotionally abuse children.

As much as anyone, I hate to pay taxes but the only way this country can survive is by everyone contributing at the same tax percentage without deductions and exemptions. This is not a new idea, but it is fair.

I believe companies should either keep manufacturing in the USA or be forced to build overseas facilities equally compliant with USA environmental regulations and wage scales. The USA does not make anything anymore. We can blame this on strict environmental regulations and union demands for extreme benefit packages. I believe in a days pay for a days work but our citizens cannot work if the companies receive tax incentives and then leave the country once those incentives expire.

Our elected officials have passed so many laws no one knows what they are. They pass laws without reading them. They pass laws to get their name on a bridge. They pass laws – Our elected officials have forgotten the foundation upon which this country was founded. They are so removed from living they do not understand being without a job, being homeless, being broke, or living a normal life with shopping, cooking and paying their own way. They are so removed from living outside Washington that the only thing they do know is how to listen to lobbyist, exempt themselves from the laws they pass and spend our money. It must stop.

Our country is extremely blessed in compassion, patriotism, a call to duty and resources. But we are also at a crossroads. We no longer have the funds to finance the world. We have assisted in wars to protect the freedoms and lives of strangers. We have given medical, financial and other forms of relief following natural disasters. And we are told, by the very countries we assist, that we do not do enough. We purchase products from other countries that can be found within our own borders. We are willing to have the landscapes in other countries destroyed, to drive our cars, but unwilling to create jobs and develop less expensive energy on our own soil.

Do you know what I just realized; I have written much more than I had planned, but there just didn’t seem to be a stopping point. Also, I have written more about what I believe about our country than what I believe about my faith. I wonder why? I know my faith is solid because the foundation is solid.

Is the USA still solid? Are we standing on a solid foundation? My fear is that we are not and an even bigger fear is that our country is like a snowball, rolling down a mountain, getting bigger and bigger. Rolling away from its foundation so fast no one will be able to stop it.

No one? Oh, yes. There is one.

Lord, What power lies in my hands? None. But I do know where the power is. Thank you Lord that the power is in the heavenly realms not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Only you know what is to happen tomorrow. For today, give me patience and understanding. Give me strength and courage to stand on a strong foundation of faith and be loyal to what I believe. Close my ears to those that try to weaken your word. Guard my Spirit. Awaken this country, Lord. Remind them of the values of truth, honesty and justice. You have richly blessed our land, please open the hearts of our people and give us guidance and direction. Amen.

Friday, September 02, 2011



Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19


Yes, I know. We have become a throw away society, but give me a break!

A couple weeks ago at church, Joyce asked, “Did you notice we have a new clock in the kitchen?”

We all looked and sure enough, a new clock and it was working. The old clock would stop at odd intervals so someone was always resetting the time. Joyce finally just bought a new one.

She then said, “But I put the old one under the sink.”

I asked, “Why? If it is not working, why didn’t you just throw it away?”

A few days later, Bill and I left on vacation and the first morning he told me his travel razor quit. We decided we would find a Wal-Mart and get a new one. Bill left for his coffee and it was my turn in the bathroom.

There – sitting in the travel case – was the razor that no longer worked! Were we going to haul it all the way back home?

I met Bill downstairs and asked, “Why? If it is not working, why didn’t you just throw it away?”

Yes, I know we have become a throw away society, but we have also become a society that hangs onto things that are no longer of value. Things that are broken and just clutter our lives.

What broken things are you holding onto? What have you stuck under a sink, broken and useless, but taking up space? What have you left in your suitcase, broken and useless, but carrying it everywhere you go?

Our lives are full of burdens and God is more than happy to bear them for us, but we need to remember: IF IT’S BROKE AND USELESS, THROW IT AWAY.


What broken and useless items, habits and past hurts are you holding onto?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Dear Lord, God and Savior, Thank you for bearing my burdens but give me wisdom to look at my life and see the broken, useless parts I need to throw away. The things I need to throw so far that I can no longer retrieve them. Amen