Wednesday, March 14, 2018

You are not Alone...

Loneliness...I don't think there is a human being on this earth that has not experienced this emotion in their lifetime. This emotion can be felt if you actually are alone OR even when you are surrounded by lots of people. So though it is conducive when you are in an alone status, it certainly is not always reliant upon that state to show up!

 I've read that people that talk to strangers in public are most likely to be lonely. So the next time you're with your Mom in a store and she holds you up because she yacking with strangers, give her a break will ya...she may just be lonely for some conversation, someone that will make small talk about the things you may consider mundane. So be patient! 😀

 On a much more serious note, the cases where people meet strangers online and develop relationships, even to the point of sending them money and sharing all there personal information; even actually moving to a foreign country to be with them, are dangerous and are fueled by loneliness.

 The other day I ran into someone that I had not seen in years and when I asked about her husband, she shared that she is now divorced. She shared about her journey these past few years and one of the things was about overcoming the fear of being alone. Thankfully she is doing well, but it was a process. Though abuse was not the issue in her case, people have remained in abusive relationships because they have a fear of being alone; sounds crazy but human emotions can be sensitive and easily persuaded negatively.

 In the years that I have been a widow, many people have asked "How do you do it?" To be honest, at first I would get a little peeved and think "Well how do you think I do it?" 😀 but with God's Grace and more patience and understanding, I have come to know that people that ask this question are really sincere and want to know.

 Someone once said that the word "alone" can mean "all-one". When you think of it, God really did make us "all-one". In the book of Genesis , God did give Adam a wife, Eve, and all the animals to keep him company, so He never intended for us to be alone, but He also created us to commune with Him. He is an ever-present God that is ALWAYS there when we find ourselves without people around or even those times when we are in the midst of a crowd or our families...and we feel alone. We CAN be "ALL-One" with Him, because He will never leave us, on that you can depend! If you are feeling lonely today know this, The Lord IS with you.

Whatever you may be going through, you are not alone. Trust Him today... let's pray... Father, we come to You today and even though we may feel alone, we trust that as You promised, You ARE with us. I pray today for every person that is reading this to begin to know that You are with them and as they go through this day let your Presence be manifested. Let them know that You have created them to be ALL-ONE with You, for You are an omnipresent and omniscience God, that You are everywhere and know ALL things and You desire to commune with us... amen ♥️

Saturday, March 10, 2018


“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1-2

 A few days before the snow storm that hit us in this area, it was a beautiful clear day, chilly but just seeing that blue sky and sun encouraged me to go out and do a little yard maintenance. One of the things that really needed to be done was a large bush that desperately needed trimming. I had put it off long enough and decided to dive into the job. Pruning can be a tedious process, different than trimming where you can go in with clippers and just whack away the overgrowth to re-shape the hedge or tree; on the other hand pruning involves cutting off the dead, infected or unproductive branches and leaving the good ones.

While pruning, with the removal of the "bad" branches it gave me a better view of the things in the bush that should not have been there; small limbs that had fallen from a neighboring tree and numerous poison ivy vines. The pruning also allowed me to uncover and make room for a small holly bush that was being dwarfed by the overgrowth. Though I was happy about the good job I had done, I did feel a little guilty at first that the cardinals that loved the bush would have less branches on which to lounge, but I also knew it would not hinder these resourceful birds from enjoying nature.

 Of course you know where I am going with this right? LOL When it comes to our lives, there are times when we need some pruning. Things may appear swell and great on the outside, but we know that in order to further our growth and to be fulfilled, there are things that have to go. When we submit to God to help us in this process, it is not always easy and can be a vey tedious process. Some things , attitudes and relationships that we have held on to for years,they have to go for many reasons. By cutting back and letting go, it will give us a better view of the things that we have hosted in our lives that should not be there, things that may have been passed down to us and some even have become "poison" in our lives. The pruning also will uncover things that have been dwarfed and need more "Son Shine" in order to develop and mature; and by letting go it also will encourage those that were dependent to spread their wings and be more resourceful in fulfilling their own purpose. It is a matter of trust...

 Do we trust God enough to give Him the pruning we trust that He wants the very best for we believe that less IS really more when there is less of you and more of Him? That bush doesn't look so good right now, but I know that this spring it will flourish, produce beautiful, healthy foliage and bask in the sunlight.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

You are so loved!

Several years ago, my late husband and I were involved with prison ministry through our local church and had been for about 18 years total. I will never forget one of those Sunday evenings that we were scheduled to go, we both were very tired physically and mentally from the work week; and to be very honest I just did not feel like going!

 We both had a love for the incarcerated and enjoyed sharing the gospel message to them, but that evening we were just TIRED. My husband, a man of reason, convinced me that after some dinner and a short nap we would have a different perspective on going...well I did feel better after that but I still did not want to go... but we did.

 There was silence in the car for the whole 40 minute drive to get there. Usually I would already have the list of songs that I would be singing, the accompaniment music in order and our equipment prepped to go, but I had no idea what I felt that I should minister to these people...not one thing came to mind. My husband on the other hand had his message prepared and ready to go but I was so distracted by my feelings that the excitement and anticipation that I usually felt when going to share was simply not there...basically, I wasn't feeling it y'all.

 We got there and I did manage to get through security and greet all the staff and then the prisoners with a sincere smile and when it was my time to get up and sing at first I must have looked like a deer in head lights... "Lord help me", I whispered to myself and when I opened my eyes to look around at the faces before me, I knew immediately what song to sing. I opened my mouth and began to sing without accompaniment... "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong..." By the time that I got to the chorus, every prisoner, every staff member and every guest was singing along with me... "Yes, Jesus Loves me, Yes Jesus Love me, Yes Jesus Love me, the Bible tells me so."

 After singing that little song several times over, needless to say there were many tears in that room, including mine. You see when the simple words of that song hit our hearts, those words went beyond our indifferences, our guilt, our pain, our hopelessness and yes even our weariness. Singing together that Jesus loves us no matter what we may feel, gave us an assurance and the courage to go on.

I am so thankful that we went that evening, if not I would have missed seeing the transformation on the faces and hopefully the hearts of the people. It changed me...

 Just want you to know that YOU also are SO LOVED by Him. No matter what you may feel like, believe that Truth, He loves you with an everlasting love. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Sunday, February 25, 2018

To do what is good, what is right...

" him who knows what is good (right) to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17

 I admire how the Graham family displayed the coffin of Reverend Billy Graham at the North Carolina property. It was a beautiful,simple wood coffin that had been made by a prisoner, there were very little flowers surrounding it. It is said that he called himself a "simple country preacher" and this is how his family believed that he would like to be memorialized, without the adornment of a fancy coffin and an over abundance of flowers.

This display was quite a contrast to some that I have seen. Some with gold inlaid coffins, the remains dressed in "kingly" attire, even changing the attire for the numerous "celebration" services held for these individuals...but sadly some of these left this world in the wake of unresolved scandal and division among it's followers. Along with all the outward, even glamorous memorializing of these individuals, there are still questions left unanswered and people left broken in the mystery of the individuals' legacy.

Billy Graham was not perfect and I don't believe that he ever said that he was, but to me, he lived his life simple and true to what He KNEW to be Truth, God's Word. As for me and many others there is no question to what he believed and stood for. I believe that it is when we begin to add our own opinions and personal justifications for the way we want things to be, is when we get in trouble. That is why it is important to speak Truth...

Truth can hurt sometimes, but I have found that though it may hurt for a season, if it is truth, it will stand the test of time and you will come out stronger. Do what you know is right to do, sounds simple, but it can be very challenging at times. We are humans that care about what others think of us, we want to be appreciated and admired, fun to be around; but sometimes standing for what is right will put you in direct opposition with those you want approval from.

I am sure that as well respected as Mr. Graham was and still is, he also had many enemies because of His stand for the Truth that he knew and shared publicly. We are accountable for what we know. For those of us that are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, bosses, how many times have we held children, students, employees, accountable for what we KNOW they KNOW is the correct, good, right thing to do and they choose not to?

When we don't know that is different and no good parent would punish their child for something they did not know...but if they do... God who loves more than any parent could, would not hold us accountable for what we do not know is good/right...but when we DO know and choose willfully not to do it...we ARE accountable and must repent and do what we KNOW is right.

Can you tell that this has been a lesson for me, many times if I am honest and yet...I have learned that it is far, far better to do what is the good and right thing to do than to desire man's admiration and approval. God is always cheering for us to make right and good decisions, so that we can hear what Mr. Graham heard as He entered his heavenly home "Well done, good and faithful servant..."

A merry heart...

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." Proverbs 17:22

 Can I be honest? For years I have dreaded the winter months of January and February; because in the past during those times there have been a lot of heartache and sadness. Combine those feelings with the predominately dreary weather and I really did not look forward to this time of the year. But last November I prayed and told God that I no longer want to live in that dread. He has made a season for everything and I was choosing that if He allowed me to live during that season then He and I was going to make it different from the past years, that it would be different this time...

When I began to intentionally stand against those feelings of depression and heaviness, even sometimes saying out loud "No, I will NOT go there.", I began to actually feel as if I was if Someone had come along beside me and lifted the load that was trying to overtake me. For real... I laugh a lot and I like making people laugh; but I have learned that those that are comical, sometimes can be the saddest people around...some of the funniest comedians have autobiographies about the depression they've had to battle, sadly some even losing that battle...

 I'm not a professional, but I believe that the enemy of our lives wants to extinguish the gifts that God has given to abusing and confusing those things that were meant for good. But we must be aware of the tactics "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." I Peter 5:8

 May I encourage you today? Keep going forward...when the distractions come to weigh you down and try to convince you that you simply cannot make it another day...Laugh! That's right Laugh Out Loud! Because YES...YOU...CAN ! In Nehemiah 8 it says "...the joy of the Lord is your strength..." Happiness is dependent upon current circumstances, but JOY comes when you know that you know God is with you. Trust Him and you have that guarantee.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

His Shelter...

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalms 91:1-2  

I have posted this picture of me at Laguna Beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean so many times and I know that my FB friends are sick of it and rightfully so, but it really was a milestone in my life. A pivotal time. So what do we do with milestones and pivotal times? We remember them in times when we need encouragement. Encouragement to carry on.

 I remember looking out over that vast ocean and thinking that all the things that I had experienced in the previous years, though they may have been heart breaking, devastating, eye opening and even thrown for a loop...STILL all of that could not stand against the beauty and awesomeness of God almighty! There were times back then that I felt like I was being peeled like an onion and every layer that was being revealed though it was painful and left me feeling spiritually vulnerable...deep down inside I knew that somehow it was for my good. In my limited knowledge of God's character at that time, I DID know that He is a restorer and would never disappoint me.

It was a time of the beginning of renewal, a time of beginning to take off the spirit of heaviness and replace it with a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3) It was a time to trust that when I truly lived daily in that secret place of God Almighty and rest in Him, I would be able to have the assurance in my heart that He truly is my protector and rescuer.

 There are those today that feel vulnerable...maybe because of past or even present may feel unprotected. Situations have come up that you were not expecting, truths have been revealed that threw you for a loop, people were not what you thought they were, you've lost your trust in the very ones you thought you could depend upon... please know this, you can trust God. We should never put such high expectations on humans, after all that is what we are...human. Put your faith in the One who created a vast ocean AND be the power that holds it back from overtaking us.

Live in His Shelter, rest in His Shadow

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Steel Magnolia

Definition of a STEEL MAGNOLIA... "(chiefly Southern US) A woman who exemplifies both traditional femininity as well as an uncommon fortitude." -quote from the online Your Dictionary.

 My Mom gave this swag of Magnolias to me years ago while on a visit home in South Carolina during the Christmas season. I display it year round because it brings sweet memories whenever I see it. We both loved Magnolias. My Mom was a "Steel Magnolia" in every way...strong, resilient, full of love, and speaking the truth, all while being a real Lady. That is my earnest desire also...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

How Great ThouArt!

One of my favorite hymns "How Great Thou Art". I am sure that there are generations of folks by now that have never heard of this song, but it is a staple for me when I need to declare His greatness over my life. This hymn actually derived from a poem written in the late 1800's by a Swedish gentleman, Carl Boberg; who was so inspired by the view from his window by the sea, after witnessing a thunderstorm with lightening and then seeing the aftermath of a beautiful clear sky.

 My sweet memories of singing this hymn goes back to my childhood and hearing the St. John Methodist Church choir sing it. My mom who was a in the choir would sometimes let me sit with her in the choir loft. So I had a ring side seat! That tiny choir loft with my sister sometimes playing on that antique (even then) piano, my Mom singing in her sweet soprano voice among the other not so perfect voices, and me sitting on the steps and following along in one of the old hymn books, is a treasured memory for me.

Back then, when the choir would sing "How Great Thou Art" , even as a child, I understood that God was not only bigger than I was, but He was more important and bigger than anyone and anything! 

Those Sundays in church were followed with a delicious Pot Roast or Chicken dinner with all the trimmings; then later we would eat our dessert while watching the "Ed Sullivan" show and cheering when a black person or group was featured, like the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips or comedian Dick Gregory! You see we lived in a small town that was still holding on to segregation laws, so when we saw "us" on TV, it was a celebration! Amidst it all God kept our family, rather it was worshipping together at church or sitting around the TV eating our banana pudding. He is a Great Almighty God! He is the God that created the magnificent universe that inspired Carl Boberg many years ago to write the poem that resulted in the hymn; and He is the same God that created us, love us, and knows our every need.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mold me...

"Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me."

 Yesterday morning the words of this simple chorus written around 1926 by Daniel Iverson, came to mind; and as I began to sing it, it brought back the early years of my walk with the Lord. Some of you reading this may remember this worship chorus. It always took me to a moment that I knew was serious..."Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me" words I admit sometimes sung with hesitancy, because I knew that it meant some changes would come with the commitment. But you see, when God changes you, it is always for the good and it IS good.

We all want to "grow", expand our borders, go to the next level, conquer the horizon, get deeper, wiser, stronger or whatever we want to call it. But you see, with "growing" there is stretching, with expansion there maybe some temporary discomfort and to conquer that new horizon, we may have to go someplaces that we don't want to go...

I love the analogy of us being the clay and God being the Potter. You all have heard stories of how the Potter creates a masterpiece of art from a lump of ordinary clay; but have you ever thought about how the clay has to submit to the Potter in order to become that masterpiece? The clay has to be of a material that is pliable and easy to work with...if not it cannot withstand the shaping and designing by the Potter. If the material is too brittle or stubborn it will break at the first kneading and if it is too soggy or weak, it cannot be gripped in the Potter's hands...

The Potter's wheel is nothing to be afraid of nor to dread, because the sole purpose of the Potter is to lovingly create a masterpiece that when seen, will draw the attention of those that see it to Him. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be so brittle or so soggy that I cannot be the right material in the Potter's hands. There maybe some times of discomfort, some stretching, some pressing in and holding on, but trusting in the goal of the Potter and the work of His will become His masterpiece.      

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Close to the Brokenhearted

January is the month of my husband's passing, and though it has been many years (almost 16) there still is a place in my heart, a scar if you will that reminds me of his absence from this life. Needless to say this whole month brings back memories of some of his last days here and I would be lying if I did not confess that it is hard on those days when the memories are crystal clear.

 This morning actually while reminiscing, the Lord begin to intercept my thoughts about my husband and bring to mind people that I know whose hearts are broken also. Some from things in the past, others who are experiencing heart break even now. I began to go through my "mind rolodex" (I'm showing my age), what today would be my "mind contact list" and through all of the people that I know whose hearts may be broken or breaking; even to the people that I do not know personally, but through public conversation or just seeing them on the street, that impressed me that they were going through some hard times. Face after face came to mind, and what started out as reminiscing my loss, became a time of sweet commune with God for others. Isn't that just like Him? To lovingly and patiently divert my compassion to others even in the midst of my need. He gave us the perfect example when He hung on the Cross, suffering horrendously and yet He took the time to remember the thief that hung beside Him that cried out to Him in repentance.

 Many of you reading this are heartbroken, I'm not a psychic and don't want to be, its just fact, we all have had our hearts broken; whether through the loss of a loved one, rejection, deception, abandonment, all kinds of get the picture. So I say to those...The Lord is very close to you, even now when you may feel that He is no where near you and your situation...He knows...He sees...He cares and He loves you. People ofter speak of having scars as a negative, but I say that they are "healing marks". I have a few physical scars from past surgeries, accidents around the house and I even have one from when I was a kid and fell off my bike down a hill...all scars yes, but they also are proof of healing. I would be careless to make light of anyone scars and the stories behind them, but I do know this...when we turn our brokenhearts over to the Lord, the memory of the experiences may never go away, but He replaces the awful pain with His unconditional love. When we allow Him to heal our wounds and brokenness, the scars become just a reminder that we made it through and are still here. Still here to share that if we made it through the pain, others can too.

 I pray for you today my friends; Father, I come to You today in the name of Your precious Son Yeshua...Jesus, our Redeemer of not just our sins, but also the Redeemer of our broken hearts. You know what it is like to hurt both physically, mentally and spiritually and You are touched and moved by those things that affect us the same way. I ask today that You make Yourself known to my friends , right smack in the middle of their pain and suffering wherever they may be, that You heal their hearts, give them Hope and restore their Joy, like only You can do. You are ALWAYS waiting patiently for us to surrender our needs and ourselves to you. Thank You and Amen

Monday, January 1, 2018

JOY@ 2018

"... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

 A thoughtful and precious gift from 2 lovely ladies (you know who you are); one of my favorite books, Anne of Green Gables, with the pages fashioned in to the words "JOY". Unbeknownst to them, they have given me a daily reminder that as I seek and serve the Lord it will produce JOY.

 The character Anne of Green Gables, always looked for the good in situations, sometimes to others frustration; but her Joy in seeking the good and best in life caused others to eventually want that Joy too. We do not know what this next year will bring. While some are glad to get out of 2017, there are others that worry what will the new year bring. We know that we can not stop time and 2018 is coming regardless.

I pray that those who have invited the Lord into their hearts and lives will have Joy; and for those who have not given your hearts and lives to the Lord will invite Him in so that you too can have His Joy. The scripture above states that Joy is one of the fruits of HIS Spirit. I do wish you happiness which is good though sometimes temporal and dependent upon circumstances, but Joy that is produced by God's Spirit is sustaining, strengthening , encouraging.

 That is what I pray for you, God's sustaining, strengthening, and encouraging JOY ! May you and your families experience the Love of God in your lives and homes like never before. May you have Peace, His Peace... and may you have His Joy that gives you strength. Have a blessed New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017


My cactus bloomed! Well one bloom anyway. But you know that I couldn't be more happier even if it was covered in blooms. See, I have watched this cactus from its rough start from being on a clearance rack on its last leg with the Walmart compost pile being in its possible future. To be honest I didn't have much hope of it making it either, but I repotted it, put it in a sunny spot and tried not to water it too much. The rest was to just watch it acclimate to its new surroundings and respond to the love and attention it was getting. So there ya go, a BLOOM and a pretty one too! I knew that eventually it would happen.

That is sort of how we are, at least I was. The Lord found me (or I found Him) when I was in a mental and emotional state of no hope, maybe hope for the compost pile of life, but that's about it. But when I finally looked up ('s a long story), and surrendered my heart and life to Him, He took me in and nurtured me back to a life WITH Hope; and as I began to acclimate, adjust and respond to His Love and attentiveness, I began to grow. I am learning to bloom where I am planted, being who He made me to be, to love myself so that I can really love others the way that He does (Matthew 22:37-38), to trust that He delights when He sees me handle a situation the way that He would. Do I hit it every be honest, no. But I believe that He is just as happy with my one "Bloom" at a time, as He would be if I had hundreds of them!

 "...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6