Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Purpose or Problems? That is the question

What is my hope? Where is my focus? Is it on the purpose of my life or upon the problems of my life? Do my eyes stay on the goal or upon the obstacles? Purpose driven or problem sluggish?

The book I am currently reading…and am only into the 2nd chapter…is hitting me smack in the face. Convicting. Awakening. Thought-provoking. (This may turn into a book review as much as about the impact it is having on me.)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tis the season of Praise and Thanksgiving

O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged?
Trust in God!
I shall again praise Him for His wondrous help;
He will make me smile again,
 for He is my God!
Psalm 43:5 tlb

From Hope 4 You, Carole Lewis writes, “Praise and thankfulness are closely intertwined, but are also distinctly different. When I praise someone, I am affirming a truth about who that person is. When I thank a person or am thankful for someone, I am affirming a truth about what the person does. I don’t fully understand why praise has the power to renew hope; I only know that it does.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grief Turned Relief

Seasons come and seasons go and I believe…I’m pretty sure…that I am just about out of my 24-month season of loss and returning to a season of life. Of course, only time will tell.

My upbringing teaches me to “pull up my bootstraps and stand tall,” however, with each loss my strength to pull and stand erect weakened. Depression pulled me further and further into its abyss. And my body followed.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stalwart Power

Now may the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace in believing
so that you will abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 nasb

The God of hope: Steadfast. Dependable. Unwavering. Resolute. Unshakable.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I’m still here…

This is less about following my website/blog theme of being challenging, encouraging, and inspiring  to Live Out Loud for Jesus, and more to let you know that I’m still here.

So much has happened in my life over the past few months, that writing anything has been difficult (death of two loved ones in a week, children & grandchildren came for a fabulous family vacation, and the start of our relocation).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quiet Places

A comfy chair in my bedroom, away from the stack of dishes waiting to be washed

At a dirty wooden park picnic table with birds singing, leaves rustling, a breeze flipping my Bible pages

On a log along the trail in the valley or the mountaintop swatting flies and mosquitoes away from my face

In a tent with a flickering Coleman lantern swaying in the night breeze

At a crowded restaurant where wait-staff rush by my table with clanging dishes on their tray

In a parking garage with cars pulling into spaces, doors slamming, drivers talking on cell phones

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

39 years of wedded bliss…well, almost

I would never claim that every day or every year of our marriage has been blissful. We have had powerful arguments, slammed doors (house and car), and thrown regretful words…including the word divorce.

“Love the Lord God with all your heart and mind and strength…” 
Matthew 22:37

“Love one another as I have loved you…” John 13:34

“God is love…” 1 John 4:8

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

After the storm...

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. Blue sky dotted with billowy white clouds. The first of my storm clouds have passed with less threatening ones on the horizon. Bittersweet peace protects my heart and mind as I survey the aftermath.

Much has happened in the past month. Much of my anxious waiting has passed with it.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Eye-opening, Veil-lifting, Faith-reviving

Last week, after reading only the introduction from a book received free for my Kindle, my day began with the most positive, joyful, hopeful heart I’ve had in a year or more.

I was excited to continue reading and I was not disappointed. Chapter one opened my eyes, lifted the veil, and revived my faith. Confession of sin and remorse rose from within.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Waiting in The Wings

I wait…and I wait.

I pace rather than pray.

I weep rather than praise.

Waiting is hard work, but it seems to be the work God has called me to do at this time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z End

For the past two years I have been frustrated, guilt ridden, and overwhelmed by a project I began six years earlier. At one point another person volunteered to take it on, but found it more than they could do. So, it returned to me partially done but in a format I wasn't familiar (nor had the software). Basically, I had to start over.

Little by little I plugged away at it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Joyous Pain

Pain can come in all types of packages. Physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain affect all of us at some time or another. Sometimes all at once.

However, the Bible tells us in several different places and ways that pain is a certainty. It will come. It will be hard to endure. For me, pain always seems worst when uncertainties come into play.

How we handle them is the proof of our faith.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Immovable, Steadfast in the Waiting

Therefore, my beloved brethren,
 be firm (steadfast), immovable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord...”
1 Corinthians 15:58 amp

 On my journey to stay steadfast in the Lord, staying put and waiting are not as easy as moving and doing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hold Fast to Wisdom

“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away 
from the words of my mouth”
Proverbs 4:5 nasb

“Hold on to wisdom,
and it will take care of you.
Love it, and it will keep you safe.”
Proverbs 4:6 ncv

Monday, April 14, 2014

God’s Guidance through Grief

Ready to write again

Over the past week, I slipped into some depression and couldn’t bring myself to write. However, because of it, as God restored my strength to remain steadfast to the A-Z blogging challenge, He also redirected my original “G” post idea. So, here goes…

“When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.”
Psalm 73:21-22 niv

Despite having a 2-session bad experience with a counselor recently, she did give me one wise thing to ponder. 

GRIEF: Consider your losses, and grieve

Monday, April 7, 2014

Firmly Rooted, Established in Faith

“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it…It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by God’s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.” Hebrews 11:1, 3 (ncv)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Encourage Another

“The scriptures—Old & New Testament—are for our instruction and encouragement, that by our steadfastness and encouragement, we might hold fast to and cherish Hope. God gives us perseverance and encouragement for unity on this journey of following Christ, empowering us with patient enduring steadfastness—So that with one voice we glorify and praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [Messiah]” Romans 15:4-6 (my paraphrase)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Determined – Decided - Dogged

“…Wherever you go, I will go;
 wherever you live, I will live
Your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
Wherever you die, I will die,
and there I will be buried.
May the Lord punish me severely
if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more. 
Ruth 1:16-18 (nlt)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Called to Live Out Loud 4 Jesus

We have freedom now,
because Christ made us free.
So stand strong.
Do not change and go back 
into the slavery of the law.”
Galatians 5:1

Because Christ made me free through His death and resurrection, I am Called to live a life as a freed person. Free of the shackles of sin. Free from the slavery of the law handed down to Moses. Free to Live Out Loud 4 Jesus. Free to walk with Him. Free to enter His courts with praise.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Build Steadfast Endurance

To build our physical bodies we workout with isometrics, Pilates, aerobics, calisthenics, walk, and/or run. We discipline ourselves with healthy foods and lifestyles.

Sometimes we enlist the help of a partner or trainer. We join clubs or buy home-gym equipment. We set goals with timeline charts. We sign up for marathons and the like. All for the purpose of a healthier, mean-lean body.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Accept Adversity

“Walk in the Light of the His presence; stay on His path with steadfast steps Ps. 89:15-16

 This year, God gave me the word Steadfastness to study and apply to my life. It’s been a tough year, but the study encouraged me to keep my eyes upon Him. So I decided to use my notes for this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge. I hope it helps you to keep your feet on the path and your eyes upon Him.

Steadfastness: disciplined, persistent, determined, stable, firm-standing; even paced, not running, not crawling

“Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you?” Mrs. Job scorned her husband has he scrapped the ulcerous sores covering his body. “Curse God and be done with it…die!”

Monday, March 31, 2014

A-Z April Blog Challenge

Tomorrow, I begin the A-Z Blog Challenge with hundreds of other bloggers. I hope I don't overwhelm my regular readers with the 26 posts of April (every day except Sundays)using the alphabet to direct my patient as I take on the challenge! As always, the purpose of this website blog is to inspire, encourage, and challenge Christians to live life out loud for Jesus in a world where we're not really welcome. Please pray for my words to do just that and more as blog hoppers in this challenge come from all walks of life. Some will become new followers of the site, while others will avoid it like the plaque. No matter, this site is about glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ all the time, to let His Light in my heart shine brightly.

 Please leave your comments during this A-Z challenge

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

They Get Me

art trade by kaitousamurai2

“For where two or three
have gathered together
in My name,
I am there
in their midst.” 
Matthew 18:20 nasb

Support groups come in all types of packages for all types of people in common situations—weight, grief, alcohol, depression, divorce, cancer, etc. People turn to such groups to find counsel, solace, information, and encouragement to keep pressing forward.

Over the years, I’ve belonged to a few. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trying to comprehend it all

It is surreal…unbelievable…bizarre…

One year ago, I was sorting, packing, cleaning, and fixing up our house for the soon to be new owners of our home of just over 10 years. At first the thought of moving again was exciting and romantic. So, in February 2013, I wrote “Just Two of Us

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In Like a Lion...running like a Cheetah

March came in like a lion and I'm running like a cheetah...hoping it will slow down like a lamb.

With only 11 days come and gone, I've been busy, busy, busy... traveling 1900 miles to/from writers' conferences, market researching for a devotional book, keeping up on household chores & grocery shopping, plus losing an hour of sleep for the time change...and it just dawned on me that I didn't blog this week. And today, I started doing our tax returns, which I'd planned to hire done this year but I've done them for too many years to let go.

I have some updates about the conference, moving plans, and excitement concerning the devotional book research...but it's all going to have to wait a few more days.

Until then, I'm praying for spring to come to you quickly...the flowers bloom profusely...the birds whistle a happy tune...and God showers you with blessings beyond your wildest imagination.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

O Spring, Spring! Wherefore art thou, my precious Spring?

Many across the United States and Canada are crying out for Spring to come quickly. The winter-weather-woes are rapidly sinking into full blown depression. The extreme cold—below freezing temperatures (32ºF/0ºC)—plus snow and ice has held its grip for a couple of months. And my heart aches for them. My prayers are lifted for them regularly.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Consider How to Stimulate One Another"

I will stand like a guard and watch.
    I will wait to see
what the Lord will say to me.
I will wait and learn
how He answers my questions.”
Habakkuk 2:1 erv

A writers’ group is about support and accountability. So today, Saturday, February 22, 2014, after our discussion the writers of our new Christian group in Billings, Montana, shared what we’ll commit to do between this meeting our next one. Things like “write” “finish” “complete” were among those commitments.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Need to Tell You Something

Dear readers, friends, and prayer warriors,

I have been keeping something from you for months—six months to be exact. About two months after getting the keys to our long sought out Billings’ house—while unpacking, decorating, and making upgrades—my husband’s new employer asked if he would be willing to move to Denver. Yes, we are moving…again. *moan*

Monday, February 10, 2014

Searching for Sanity with author Lindsey Bell

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

I want to introduce you to my sweet friend, Lindsey Bell. We met at the "Called to Write" conference in Girard, Kansas, several years ago, and then ran into one another at the "Heart of America Christian Writers' Network" conference in Overland Park, Kansas. We've stayed in touch ever since.

Lindsey Bell is a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, chocolate lover, and the author of Searching for Sanity, a new parenting devotional with practical applications.

She has stopped here on her blog tour to encourage those not-so-new moms.

Friday, January 31, 2014

"Searching for Sanity..." by Lindsey Bell

Instead of pulling her hair out or banging her head against a wall or running outside to scream like some mothers do, Lindsey Bell took the sanity approach. She reached for the scriptures and looked for a better way. Using parents from the Bible—the good, the bad, and the ugly—she gleaned from their actions and God’s preferred reactions to raising kids.

Lindsey Bell is a stay-at-home mother of two little boys, a minister’s wife, chocolate lover, and my friend. A couple of months ago, my sweet friend asked me to be a part of her debut book, “Searching for Sanity: 52 Insights from the Parents of the Bible.” I was thrilled to accept and honored to write an endorsement for her and the book.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Healing Balm of Gilead

[This is not what I intended to write today. It is, however, what God intended. I don’t know exactly where this is going but I must start from where it began.]

“Because my people are crushed,
I am crushed.
    I cry loudly and am afraid for them.
Isn’t there balm in the land of Gilead?
    Isn’t there a doctor there?
So why aren’t the hurts 
of my people healed?”
Jeremiah 8:21-22 nasb

Monday, January 20, 2014

Crushed and perplexed, but not destroyed

“We are pressed on every side by troubles,
but we are not crushed.
We are perplexed,
but not driven to despair.
We are hunted down,
 but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down,
but we are not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 nlt

The same day after writing and posting my last blog, something happened that shook my soul. I won’t share the details, but it certainly perplexed me.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Exposing myself…not because I seek your pity, but rather your prayers

“…We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. 
2 Corinthians 10:5b ncv

Creation; the act of turning chaos into order. When God called the universe into order, The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep…” “In the beginning God created…” and brought order. (Genesis 1)

Where chaos lives, life is out-of-order

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Steadfast: firm, persistent, determined, disciplined

Happy & Blessed New Year!

Out with the old…in with the new!

Leave the past in the past and set your face toward the future…

2013 was not a star-studded year for me—physically, emotionally, or even spiritually—