I can tell people sometimes think I am long-winded by their glazed eyes and staccato “yeah, yeah”s, but I prefer to make myself clear by way of an example. Kind of like a parable.

I wonder if people got impatient with Jesus. He often used parables when trying to get a point across. On the other hand, life didn’t seem so rushed back then.

I get it.

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” Matthew 13:24-30


Life can be messy sometimes.

Have mercy on those who are living their testimony of faith in real time.

There is always something to learn and challenges to overcome. It’s not over until it’s over.

The power of love conquers all.

Have mercy.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life,neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39


We don’t kill the Wolf Spiders. They are big and scary looking but they kill the deceptively dainty and venomous Black Widows.

“Every living being deserves respect, but children, animals, and the elderly deserve protection.”

Someone commented this and I considered the words carefully. I often hear that respect must be earned and I ask myself, “Do I respect every living being”? How can I respect a person who does heinous things on purpose, or harms people while lifting others, or abuses the innocent?

I think this is the dilemma a lot of people struggle with. When is the line crossed that allows for protection over consideration? When does one man’s need and wants override the need and desires of another? Whose family comes first? Is it biblical to have respect for everyone? I went to the Bible.

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
1 Peter 2:17

I learned that honor is a fundamental value placed upon each person as a child of God created in His image. It’s SOUL VALUE, knowing we all started the same with no physical restrictions or definitions, but having an intrinsic need for a Savior. We all have this need. At about the age of one, it starts to become subtly obvious.

The brotherhood is the body of Christian believers. You will know them by their fruits. Not that they are perfect and sinless, but because they know they aren’t. They turn away from sin. They don’t give up and live their lives in the flesh because perfection is impossible, and they don’t abuse God’s patience. They feel their need for a Savior intimately and don’t take His forgiveness, mercy, and grace for granted.

Children, let no one mislead you! The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Yeshua is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. Ben-Elohim appeared for this purpose—to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God practices sin, because God’s seed remains in him. He cannot sin, because he is born of God. Loving Children Emulate His Actions.
It is clear who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil by this—anyone who does not act righteously or love his brother is not of God. 1 John 3:7-10

Fear in this context means respect. Respect God and be obedient to His Precepts. God’s commandments are the way of wisdom. Hindsight can be very painful when we choose to ignore and disrespect God.

We honor authority because God has placed those in power by way of His allowance. Trust the Lord’s all-knowing wisdom, but keep in mind that those in leadership also come under God’s authority, and His commandments cancel orders against them. Our opinions and wishes are powerless in the grand scheme of God’s plan, but He hears us!

That’s why we pray that His Will be done and for the strength to accept and follow through on our part in a way that is pleasing to Him. That’s our choice.

What if we don’t know what His Will is? For now, we do, because we trust Him.



God is holy. We are not.

Never has it been brought home as clearly to me when I was a caregiver that people are closest to seeing the holiness of God when they are in a fragile state, and Satan knows it.

Twenty years ago, after trudging through a mucky decade of my life, I came out on the other side and felt a calling to give back to the world out of gratitude to the Lord. My church had a Stephen Ministry program that trained caregivers to biblically minister to the grieving, hurting, confused, and sick. I prayed about this because, mind you, this was a massive step of faith for me. I was used to being the needy one, not the one called upon to help. But I learned worldly neediness is diminished in helpers who rely on the Lord for their strength and guidance.

After interviews, two other women and I began the 40-hour training that included monthly continuing accountability and support meetings with more seasoned Stephen Ministers. As caregivers, we “ministered” to the people matched to us by the coordinator. Over the next three years, I helped a new divorcee, a woman raising her grandson because his parents were addicts, and a mother navigating the world of teenagers. All were angry and fearful, and some felt guilt. I could empathize.

Later, I spent five years volunteering in hospice care. This ministry also was a calling I would never have chosen for myself because I had minimal experience with dying people close up, only from a distance. 

I wondered why God led me to do this? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I’m repulsed instead of loving? Fast forward 3 1/2 years to Mary, my last hospice care receiver, a tiny black woman with a sweet smile. I wrote about Mary in this 2018 blog post titled “Blessed Are The Merciful”. 

On the day Mary left to be with the Lord, she was lying in her bed, wide-eyed and confused. Her daughter was there along with her husband and the chaplain. After visiting Mary almost every Saturday for a year and a half, Mary’s homecoming day was when I first met her family. As soon as she saw me, she reached out and smiled. Even if she didn’t know who I was, she knew I was the one who played her favorite 40’s music, decorated her room, drove her outside and around the hallways in her wheelchair, and sat with her while she ate lunch. She knew I was there for her. I loved her, and paid my respects at her funeral a week later, sitting conspicuously in the back. No one knew who I was.

Mary went to be with the Lord in August 2011. In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and died in November 2017.  In His sovereignty, God knew what was ahead.

I learned through volunteering that we could teach and bless others and learn and be blessed by those abiding in the most vulnerable of places.  

God prepares us and orchestrates for His highest good. He makes sure everyone has something to give, even if it’s to warn us how NOT to live our lives.

In our humble condition, we are the closest we will get to holiness on this side of the veil without the Holy Spirit to help us.

If you are questioning and wondering why the Lord is leading you in a direction that seems strange and impossible, trust the Lord. Even if you are being discouraged, lack encouragement, and have no confidence, trust the Lord. Read God’s Word. Ask a trusted, biblically-sound friend, and continue praying for clarity. That ‘yes’ may actually contain a ‘wait’ clause.

 “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16


No description available.

A friend once said that when couples marry, one family is usually more dominant than the other. I can see the truth in that statement, especially when blended families are involved. One family has close extended familial relationships, and the other doesn’t. Some have the means to travel, and others all live locally. People get along, and people don’t. It happens.

Holidays are trying for families who jump through hoops to accommodate everyone’s plans. I remember. Still, sometimes it seems like one family consistently gets the short end of the stick. It’s not fair, but how they handle their slighted feelings is the difference between being considered or left behind. We know.

Hopefully, we’ve raised our children to grow into considerate adults who love their parents and want to spend time with us. Even if the gift of time isn’t offered, a simple note or phone call on a special occasion or holiday can heal wounds, intentional or not. Some people have done everything right, had loving relationships with their children, and been surprised at how quickly and efficiently they were left coughing in the dust. Nothing makes sense to explain it. My heart goes out to them.

If you are a member of the favored family, think about how it would feel to be on the other side of the fence and how you would respond. Could you resolve to share these precious people with others who love them? Inviting the other family to your home is kind and generous. But please remember every family deserves to keep their own traditions alive and spend time alone with their loved ones in their own way.

The gift of time is precious. I know it’s hard to hear when you are already stressing, but it’s like slapping your family in the face at Christmas to eat a meal that took hours to prepare, open presents, and run in two hours. It’s even more hurtful to forget your family completely. If you can’t spend a few hours, maybe it would be better to choose another day to celebrate. It really doesn’t matter when, you know, because the Spirit of Christ is alive in the love you share together. Parents’ hearts are full when they are gifted with your presence (not presents), and when that’s not logistically possible? Please call!

For those who are feeling forgotten and alienated for any reason, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out and look for ways to serve in the lives of others. You are not alone by any stretch of the imagination. By focusing on others, the pain in your heart will be lessened, and healing can commence.

In those instances when the situation seems permanent, leave the door ajar for those who shut you out because, in their absence, their lives are a mystery to you. Someday they might need you to be the hand of Jesus if they come calling. What an honor that would be.

In the meantime, live righteously in body, mind, and spirit. Keep praying. That peace you crave will come.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are doing good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do this. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to take, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same.” Luke 7:31-34 TLV


Dear Lord, thank you for this day.

We are blessed because You are a forgiving and understanding God. You have already done so much for us, and yet you keep on blessing us.

Help us start the day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude, and let us take the best of each day to quiet our minds so we can hear from You.

Let us not whine about things over which we have no control. Let us continue to see sin through God’s eyes and acknowledge it as evil. And when we sin, let us repent, and confess with our mouths our wrongdoing, and receive the forgiveness of God. Please heal us, Father.

Continue to use us and bless us that we may be a blessing to others. Keep us strong that we may help the weak. Uplift and inspire us that we may have words of encouragement for others.

We pray for those who are lost and can’t find their way. We pray for those who are misjudged and misunderstood. We pray for those who are caught up in religion and don’t know Jesus intimately. We pray for those who don’t believe, but we thank you that we do. You never give up on us.

We pray for those who don’t know their worth. We pray these fragile folks don’t listen to the stinging disregard and evil lies flung at them to bring them down. May they accept to their very core that they are precious in your sight and worthy of all the good things you have in store for them.

We pray for the church and the fellowship and every member of their households. We pray for peace, love, and joy in their homes and that you provide for their needs. You are the most excellent Provider, Lord.

We pray that those who cause strife and discord within the body remember that we are all one in Christian unity, none better than another, and called to encourage, exhort, disciple, serve, and love each other.

When this world closes in on us, remind us of Jesus’ example; to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. It’s the best response when we’re pushed to our limits. When we can’t find the words, you already know our longings. Help us to be patient as we wait for your answer. May we learn to accept all things according to God’s will.

We pray that every eye reading this knows there is no problem or circumstance greater than God, and every battle is His to fight when we hand it over. What a relief it is to realize that He has already won!

As we go about our day and into the night, bless us, Lord, with your peace and presence and the wisdom that only comes from knowing You intimately.

Thank you, Heavenly Father.


Are you one of those people? You know, a card hoarder. I think it could be genetic.

My grandmas saved shoeboxes full of precious cards and notes given to them by friends and family over the years. One grandma had every birthday and anniversary of her kids and grandkids penned on the wall calendar in the kitchen. She had a stash of all occasion cards, and I don’t remember Grandma forgetting any of her four kids and their spouses, eleven grandkids, and four great-grandkids’ birthdays until her last years.

When my grandparents passed, the family found many of these tucked away old cards and letters, bringing back memories, love and laughter, and the answers to long-held questions for those who craved knowing more about their family history.

As a child, we lived on the farm, and it was a big deal to go to town to do the shopping. I got an allowance for chores from an early age and learned to save for gifts. It wasn’t a lot of money, but things didn’t cost as much back then. Dad usually ended up with Aqua Velva and a tie every year. Many farmers wear them, you know. Mom would get a pretty necklace or embroidered handkerchief from Woolworth’s discount store. If there was any money left, my little brother might get a trinket. I usually saved for something bigger for myself, like one of those tiny turtles eventually banned from being sold because children were contracting salmonella from them. It’s a wonder I’m alive.

Anyway, if I didn’t make one, picking out the perfect card was serious business for me. I would go to the drug store and scan all the cards for just the right one for whom I was buying.

I remember one year, I must have been around eight years old and spent a considerable amount of time browsing the cards for Mother’s Day, and the card I picked out cost a dime over what I had in my pocket. I scanned the cards again to find the second-best, but my heart was set on the first one because it was the right message. I counted my money again to make sure. Sigh. As I walked away to pay for second-best, I saw a glint out of the corner of my eye, bent down, and picked up a dime that was on the floor partially hidden by the display rack. Happy doesn’t even begin to describe my good fortune that I still remember 52 years later. I cared that much about the message and so did God.

When we moved last year, I sorted through cards, letters, and old handwritten prayers from decades ago. It was fun to read my detailed petitions and marvel at how God answered them. They brought back memories of lean times, uncertainty, my grandparents, pain, helping people, Mother’s Day when my children were little, birthdays, anniversaries, apologies, thank you’s, and singing songs long forgotten. Some were store-bought, but the most cherished of all were the sentiments scribbled on a scrap of paper by a child’s hand.

Occasionally, I’ll find a note in one of my bibles or a book that comes at a time when the message or memory is dearly needed. For a moment, I’m taken back in time and encouraged with love and hope. Sometimes that’s all it takes to change the path of the day and fill me with humble gratitude.

So if you are a note and card keeper, I encourage you to be selective. While old messages of encouragement and love are comforting and welcome, anything less than should be sifted carefully. Your heart matters. Cover it with loving words. We want to move forward with joy, not stall while looking behind.

God cares about the messages you keep.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8



Thirty-one years ago, after two weeks of sobriety in a treatment program, while watching the 700 Club with Pat Robertson on television, I chose this day to come to Jesus in complete submission, and on my knees, humbly admitted my sinfulness and asked for forgiveness. Jesus welcomed me with open arms that were full of love, and yes, He forgave and saved me from myself and eternal damnation. Never in my life had I ever felt the feelings that followed this gift. Suffice it to say, no drug, drink, or vice could ever compare!

I learned over the years that my faith should not be based upon feelings because feelings are not always factual. Seven years after this day of rejoicing, I relapsed for a short time. I wasn’t spending time with Jesus, and I didn’t have people in my life to remind me. I didn’t know how to follow Him on my own. I didn’t realize that reading His Word would shine a light on His path for me to walk on. Now, I nurture my relationship with the Lord, protecting my mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I’m assured of God’s love daily by reading the Bible and spending time with Him in prayer. In the past, when I had to be at work by 6 AM, my feet hit the floor by 4 AM so I had time to begin my day with Jesus. I fellowship with other believers who hold me accountable and remind me that God is in control and I am not. I love hearing how God works all things for good in the lives of others through their testimonies and encouragement!

Psalm 51:3-19 says, “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your mercy. According to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Behold, I was born in iniquity and in sin when my mother conceived me. Surely You desire truth in the inner being. Make me know wisdom inwardly.
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness, so the bones You crushed may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from Your presence— take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will return to You. Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God— God of my salvation. Then my tongue will sing for joy of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.
For You would not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it, nor be pleased by burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Even in the tough times, and there will always be times of pain, turmoil, sadness, and injustice until we are in Heaven, God sustains us and gives us hope when we trust Him. If you have ever wanted someone to take the load off your shoulders, God is the One. His shoulders are broad.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

You won’t be sorry.


Just as I can’t invalidate the feelings and first-hand experiences of others, they cannot invalidate mine.

Feelings and experiences are subjective and personal, which is why faith cannot be dependent upon them. Even scientific objectivity is fluid and constantly changing. A doctor once told me medicine isn’t an exact science. Well, that wasn’t reassuring to me! If science depends on fallible man’s perception and evaluation, how is it ever exact?

The Holy Bible, as the Living Word of God, has stood the test of time for those who love Jesus. Science can’t disprove it but instead is supporting biblical authenticity and reliability.

Our perceptions may question and threaten to cause doubt in our minds. But through faith and God’s Word and even scientific discoveries, we can know in our hearts that God is in control, always loving, protecting, and guiding for good.

Thank you, Lord, for being the constant in my life.

You are my rock.

“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2


In response to someone who asked why so many older couples are selling their homes and moving to places far away from their families to spend retirement:

I lived away from my family for over 35 years for various reasons, primarily job-related. Our children didn’t grow up knowing their extended families. We learned to live our lives independently, sometimes only seeing our families once a year on holidays or even less. In this absence, we created our own traditions. We didn’t have built-in free babysitters for going out. No big vacations, we camped. Rarely eating out, I cooked. I cut my kids’ hair, we wore second-hand clothes, and for years I made a lot of the gifts we gave.  You do what you have to and make do.

The best explanation I have for why we decided to move is God opened a door, and we gratefully grabbed at the opportunity to walk through it. We lived 35 years in Colorado. Now that we are almost to retirement age and our kids are all grown, we decided it was time to start over in a little warmer climate, in a more centralized location to our families, where it’s more affordable to live out the rest of our years. 

Most people are happy for us. We haven’t been treated very well by some. Others are just curious as to “Why?” because we now live in Oklahoma in a more rural area with a slower lifestyle and horses, cows, and steers as our neighbors down the road. On the other hand, you won’t meet friendlier people, and there is something to be said for a land covered with an abundance of tree species, wildlife, water, and green everywhere. It’s a different kind of beauty from Colorado’s mountains. Still, for a body and mind parched from the crowds and arid insignificance, it may not be for everybody but it’s an oasis of respite for us until the Lord calls us home.

I sometimes miss the old holiday gatherings from long ago with all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but this is a much different world in which we live. It was prophesied to be this way and has been in the works for centuries. Our dependence needs to be on the Lord, not our parents, children, families, or other entities. God is the Sustainer. 

Frankly, I don’t know how I would have made it through the thick of life without Him, but

I am looking forward, not behind.

Not that I have already obtained this or been perfected, but I press on if only I might take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua.

Philippians 3:12-14

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