Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Before I left Mom & Dad's house Tuesday, I paused for a moment in front of their fireplace.  Over the fireplace is a picture of our entire family that was taken in front of that very fireplace.  I stood there and wept.  I felt such a great loss.  Even though I had never lived in that house, it was home.  Wherever Mom lived, she made that house a home for all of us.  I felt that I would never be able to go home again.

In our last lesson on the book of Revelation with Beth Moore tonight she referred to the book, "The Prodigal God" by Phillip Keller.  In that book he talked about how we all have a longing for our childhood home.  This deep longing is innate within each one of us.  We search the world over but no matter how hard we look, how much money we spend, we can't find it.  We are actually longing for our true home.  Our heavenly home.

What a beautiful description we have of the paradise that God has planned for us in the Book of Revelation.  Jesus will triumph over His last enemy, death!  We will have very full eternal lives in a perfect, glorious setting!

One of my grandmother's favorite songs was "Home Sweet Home".  Every time we visited my grandparents, she asked my Dad to sing it in church.  As he sang in his beautiful tenor voice, tears would stream down her face.  When I was little I wondered why she always wanted him to sing it when surely she knew it would make her cry!  I understand it now.

We are headed for a home filled with the light of God's glory!  A home that knows no sadness, no tears, no death!  I can so vividly see Dad standing at the front of the church, pointing his finger heavenward as he sang the chorus:
Home, sweet home, home sweet home, where I’ll never roam.
I see the light of that city so bright, my home, sweet, home.

Beth advised us tonight, "When you feel that longing for home within you, smile and whisper toward heaven, 'I'm longing for home.'  When we get to heaven we will finally get to the place we were stinkin' longing for!"

Revelation 22:17 (New Living Translation)
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.

Anyone who desires is welcome.  Jesus is calling you home.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Springfield, Mo to get some of the things I wanted to keep from Mom and Dad's house.  My sweet, hard-working friend, Steven drove me there and did all the "real" work in loading everything up (thank you, Steven!!).

As we were finishing up a young man stopped to talk to us.  He had driven there from Texas to walk door to door and sell security systems.  He started off his spiel with, "Did you know there was a double homicide in this very neighborhood this Spring?".  Apparently he didn't do his homework well enough to realize he was at "the house". 

I think I'd rather dig ditches than to attempt to make a living preying on people's fear!  No man made security system in the world would have saved Mom & Dad that fateful morning.  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Ruler of the Heavenly Armies had been protecting them their entire lives!  He did not sell them short that day either.

I remember my Grampa Willingham's faith in God's providence.  If he got sick and ended up in the hospital, it wasn't because God couldn't heal him.  It was because someone at the hospital needed to know that God loved them.  If his car broke down, it wasn't because God couldn't have kept it running.  It was because someone at the shop needed to know of God's great love for them.  Nothing happened to him by chance.  He knew God was in complete control.

Mom and Dad lived their lives the same way.  They saw God at work in even the smallest detail of their lives.  April 25, 2011 was no different.  May God receive all glory!

Psalm 91:1-3 (The Message)
 You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
   Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
      I trust in you and I'm safe!"
   That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
      shields you from deadly hazards.
   His huge outstretched arms protect you—
      under them you're perfectly safe; 

Matthew 6:33 (The Message)
 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

God is my strength.  My security.  He is in control and working in my life and yours.  Right now.


Monday, August 29, 2011


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride...

That's the beginning of beautiful song we generally sing around Easter time.  For the past several days it's been running through my mind when I'm lying in bed at night and when I first wake up in the morning.  But it's not the first verse that's stuck there.  It's the end:

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul my life, my all.

How else could I possibly view Christ's love for me?  I am compelled to give my all for the Master.  After all, He willingly gave His life for me.  Willingly suffered, and bled, and died.  The song is based on Paul's writings.

Galatians  6:14-16 (The Message):
For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them! 

But the truly amazing thing is that Christ died in order to set me free.  What a paradox!  I am freed from the bondage of sin and the powers of hell only to become a slave to Christ.  So what is the good news about that?  Set free only to be compelled to give my life and my all.  I can't explain it.  It's something that must be experienced in order to comprehend it.

Galatians 5:1, 13, 14 (The Message)
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.  It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom.

Let God transform you, then fly!  Soar! 
Free at last!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


In one of the articles Dad wrote fairly recently, he said that we have a serious problem among Christians today.  Surprisingly, he said the problem was with the Bible.  It's not that the Bible is so difficult for us to understand and interpret.  It's not that the Bible is outdated and irrelevant to our lives today.  It's certainly not that the Bible is inaccurate.  So what's the problem?

The problem is that we do not believe it.  Consider this passage:
John 14:12-14 (New Living Translation)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!"

Do you believe what Jesus said?  How about this passage:
Mark 11:22-23  Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.  I tell you the truth, you can say  to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.  I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.

There are numerous other similar passages but I think you get the point.  Do we believe and practice what Jesus said?  Dad concluded his article with this:

Jesus clearly taught we are to be the light wherever we go and dispel darkness. He commanded us to heal the sick and cast out demons, but we have largely disregarded this repeated command.

The Kingdom of God has come. Jesus died for our salvation and has seated us with Him where we have access to our heavenly Father. Jesus sent the Holy spirit to make us to be like Jesus.
“ He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17 New King James Version)  Note, “As HE IS, SO ARE WE.”   Jesus said that we are to do the works He did and even greater works (John 14:12). We are not to make excuses for the miracles in Jesus’ day (Check Barclay’s commentary concerning the feeding of the five thousand.)

For the first 300+ years of the church miracles were a common occurrence, but they did not cease. Now in these last days, God is awakening His church. Revival and miracles are spreading across the world. May we not be left behind.

I must ask myself, Do I believe?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


It was 4 months ago today that my parents were stabbed to death in their home.  Police are still diligently working on the case.  My prayers, and the prayers of so many others are that justice will be done.  I truly do want an opportunity to offer forgiveness to whomever is responsible for their horrific deaths.  Even if justice never comes through our justice system, I know in my heart that God's justice system is perfect.

Psalm 94:12-15 (The Message)
How blessed the man you train, God,
      the woman you instruct in your Word,
   Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil,
      while a jail is being built for the wicked.
   God will never walk away from his people,
      never desert his precious people.
   Rest assured that justice is on its way
      and every good heart put right.

I know God will provide justice in His perfect timing.  In the meantime, life goes on.  Where would I be without my precious friends?  I am so blessed by my many friends all over the world and am grateful for every one of them but the ladies of my Bible study group are truly a gift from God!  We study the precious Word of God together, we pray together, we share each others burdens (and never gossip about them!).  I know God brought them into my life to strengthen me through this time.  I am so grateful!

Mom & Dad were blessed with many friends as well.  I keep hearing from people who were touched by them and who remained friends with them for years.  They had so many friends that they shared Christmas cards with and caught up then.  Many friends they would see at the General Baptist annual meeting and catch up on kids and grandkids.  Friends that prayed for each other and encouraged each other.  How blessed they were!  I thank God for all of their friends who continue to pray for our family!

Romans 12:11-16 (The Message)
Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody. 

Thank  you, my dear friends for your love, support, prayers but mostly for your friendship!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


A year ago last fall I got tickets to a Beth Moore Live weekend in Springfield, IL.  I took my Mom and my oldest daughter, Sarah.  None of us had ever been to a Beth Moore event before and really didn't know what we were in for.  We had no idea what she would be teaching on.

This one happened to be about John the Baptist.  At first I thought, "Really?  John the Baptist?"  I thought I knew a lot about John the Baptist but as the seminar progressed I realized I knew very little about John the Baptist.  It's amazing how Beth brought the Scriptures alive!

My parents had come up for the weekend as had my daughter and her husband.  While the 3 of us went to the seminar, my Dad, son, and son-in-law golfed.  Later we had a family dinner in honor of Sarah's birthday and my birthday.  It was a big weekend! 

As I was in the kitchen working on dinner, I heard Mom talking to Dad.  She had her notes out from our 6 hours of study.  She was excitedly sharing all the highlights with Dad.  She kept saying, "I wish you could have been there!"  It was so sweet that she not only wanted to share with Dad, but she was excited about what she had learned!

Dad was very demonstrative.  He often got very excited over anything to do with the love of a God, a new understanding he had of Scripture or in a worship service.  His excitement was contagious.  Mom was very quiet and reserved.  When she got excited, I paid attention!  The next year, I got tickets for all of us, Mom, Sarah, Dad and I to go to a Beth Moore weekend seminar.  I wanted Mom to be able to share the experience with Dad.  I'm sure they discussed all they had learned the entire trip back home!

In this weeks Beth Moore Revelation study, Beth was sharing about the rejoicing we will experience for all eternity.  The phrase, rejoice and be glad, was not used together often in Scripture.  The definition of glad from the Greek "agalliao" means to leap for joy, exult, rejoice with exuberance, etc.  Talk about excitement!  Revelation 19 is the beginning of the rejoicing as we've never before experienced it!

Revelation 19:6-8 (The Message)
Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder:

   The Master reigns,
      our God, the Sovereign-Strong!
   Let us celebrate, let us rejoice,
      let us give him the glory!
   The Marriage of the Lamb has come;
      his Wife has made herself ready.
   She was given a bridal gown
      of bright and shining linen.
   The linen is the righteousness of the saints.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Mind 3

I just have to share one more thought from Dad's article, "Get a New Mind Set" with you.  It's such an important topic and the article is fairly long but I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.  Dad went into a lot of detail about healing and deliverance that I might share at a later date but for now I feel I need to share more about acquiring the mind of Christ.  Allowing God to transform us.

I'd like to challenge you to memorize Romans 12:2.  I like it best in the New Living Version:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Just for comparison, look at how it reads in The Message:
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Ok, I admit it's shorter in NLV but what I like most about that version is the word LET.  It's not you or me doing it.  It's the work of the Holy Spirit in us but we have to allow it.  How do we do this?  Focus on God.

Dad ended his article with this thought:
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to make us into the likeness of Christ. He will do it if we yield our self to Him. Paul says we are to think like Christ. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
(Philippians 2:5 American Standard Version) 

John tells us that as Christ IS (present tense) so are we. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1John 4:17 ASV) 

It is up to us.  Do we want to be used of God and “Prove His will” here on earth? Do we want God’s will done here on earth as it is in heaven?  Remember, “All things are possible if we only believe.”  So let’s take it from Jesus. Let's get a new mind set.  Let God be glorified here, in our church.  


Monday, August 22, 2011

New Mind, 2

Do you ever wonder why there is so much fascination with the occult?  Why anyone would openly align themselves with the devil?  We have within us a desire to see supernatural things happen.

Dad said in his article:
I have come to believe that the normal Christian life includes miracles, spiritual intervention, and revelation.  Its nature is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, and a sense of well-being and purpose.  Sadly, most of these traits are not common among the majority of Christians. But God has put in every believer a DNA that longs to see the impossible.

We are not to pray for supernatural events in order for people to be impressed by us but rather for God to be glorified in order to bring God's Kingdom to earth.  In Dad's article he said that we are to PROVE God to a broken and hurting world.  Imagine that! 

I'm sure you are familiar with The Lord's Prayer.  When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray He said pray in this way, "Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."  We are to pray for God's Kingdom to come to earth.  Our minds must be transformed to be of any use in God's Kingdom!

Dad went on to say:
The mind is important as a powerful instrument of God’s Holy Spirit. It is the gateway into the kingdom’s activity here on earth. The mind has to be renewed in order to bring God’s kingdom activity to reality here on earth.  The RENEWED MIND, then, reflects the reality of another world in the same way Jesus shone with heaven’s brilliance. It is not that our thoughts are different, but that our way of thinking is transformed because we think from a different reality from heaven toward the earth!  That is the transformed perspective. That is how we are able to prove the will of God. We prove the will of God when we bring the reality of heaven here on earth.

Colossians 2:2-4
I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we've been shown the mystery! I'm telling you this because I don't want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or "the Secret."

Lord, Help me to release control and LET you transform my mind!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Mind

In the summit I attended recently a young pastor spoke about having an audacious faith.  He based it on the Scripture in Joshua 10 when in the midst of a battle Joshua asked God to stop the sun.  He was running out of time before darkness ensued.  He needed more daylight to finish the battle.  Can you imagine such a request?  Would you dare to ask such a thing of God?  I don't think I'd have the faith to do such a thing aloud in the presence of so many people!  What if nothing happened?  How stupid would I look?

In the past several years Mom & Dad had been experiencing that kind of faith.  They had begun seeing many miracles of all kinds but mainly in the area of healing.  Dad had been working on writing much of what God had been showing them concerning supernatural events.  One article Dad had written and sent me was entitled "Get a New Mind Set".  In it he had outlined how church doctrine had changed over the years regarding miracles.  Unfortunately thru the centuries the mainstream church began to teach that miracles were for Biblical days.  However, God began showing Mom & Dad He still worked supernaturally. 

Of course, over the years Mom & Dad had seen God's Hand of protection and provision working thru their ministry.  But now they were experiencing miraculous healings!  Things that had happened to them in the past could have been construed by some to be coincidences but what they were experiencing now could only be described as supernatural!  Eyesight restored, backs healed, legs healed, cancer healed...they were acquiring a long list!

That was what the young minister, Steven Furtick, was proposing to us.  He is so sure that God still performs miracles that he wrote a book based on Joshua 10 entitled "Sun Stand Still".  I haven't finished it but as I was reading it I reminded so much of what Dad wrote that I had to stop and go back to Dad's article that I had not looked at for well over a year.

I know this is getting long so I'll write more about it later but I wanted to plant the seed in your minds (and remind myself!) that God does indeed still work in supernatural ways today!  One of the Scriptures Dad referred to in his article was one that God has been speaking to me about for years. 

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

Joshua 10:12-14 (The Message)
"The day God gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to God, with all Israel listening:
   "Stop, Sun, over Gibeon;
   Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley."
   And Sun stopped,
   Moon stood stock still
   Until he defeated his enemies.

 (You can find this written in the Book of Jashar.) The sun stopped in its tracks in mid sky; just sat there all day. There's never been a day like that before or since—God took orders from a human voice! Truly, God fought for Israel."

God is fighting for you and me, too!  Dare to ask for the impossible!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


In the early 1980's my Dad gave me a book on fasting.  I wish I could remember the name of it.  I've either loaned it to someone or given it away.  It talked about all the health benefits that come along with the spiritual benefits.  The book advised that the best way to fast was for a 24 hour period that covered more than one day.  Eat breakfast then abstain from lunch, supper, and breakfast the next day.  End your fast with a salad at lunch.  It made a lot of sense.  Flush out your body.  Of course, the author recommended drinking a lot of water during that time as well.

Dad had begun fasting in this way and encouraged me to give it a try.  Especially with all the processed foods we eat it is a good idea.  Of course, the spiritual benefits are vast, too.  Fasting brings you closer to God in a way I can't describe.  It also increases the effectiveness of your prayers.   

I began fasting one 24 hour period every week and did pretty good at sticking to it for a number of years.  When I became pregnant with my youngest daughter I stopped fasting and didn't return to it for years.  I know Dad continued to fast even though as he got older he didn't do it as regularly as he had.  Several years ago, God began speaking to me about fasting again.  I mentioned it in one of my Bible study groups and one of the ladies in my group, Catherine, said God had been talking to her about fasting, too.  Like me, she had once fasted regularly but had gotten out of the habit.  We decided to begin fasting and praying one day weekly.

I was amazed at the immediate difference in my prayer life.  Our prayers were answered in amazing ways.  I felt we were a part of unleashing God's power in our community.  It was awesome.  Even after Catherine moved to Quincy we still prayed together over the phone.  After Mom & Dad died, fasting became more and more difficult for me.  Now I haven't fasted in weeks.  I need to get back to it.

Please pray for me as I strive to get back to my routine of fasting one 24 hour period every week.  After all, look at the example Christ left for us.  He often fasted and prayed.  If you're not in the habit of fasting or perhaps never tried to fast, I'd like to challenge you to commit to fasting one 24 hour period each week for 5 weeks.  See if it doesn't make a noticeable difference to you physically and spiritually (of course, if you have any physical problems, be sure to consult your doctor first).  

If you'll join me in this, please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

Matthew 6: 16-18 (New Living Translation)

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.  But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.  Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


In this week's lesson of the Beth Moore DVD study of the book of Revelation that we're doing Beth talked about the importance of our testimony.  According to Revelation 12 Satan will accuse us to discredit our testimony.  Our testimony is one of 2 things that we possess to overcome Satan.  Beth said no wonder he tries relentlessly to attack it.  We need to turn the attack back on him.  We've been covered in the Blood of the Lamb and try all he wants, Satan cannot uncover it.  Isn't that amazing?  No matter what we've done in the past, our testimony is that God's grace has covered it all!  Praise the Lord!

My brother Stephen is such a godly man yet he can be so hard on himself!  He does so much for others but he doesn't seem to realize how much he gives and how much he influences others for the Lord.  Why is it that we have so much trouble seeing the good in ourselves?  Satan works hard on us to make sure we belittle our testimony.

In one of Dad's little notebooks (he always carried one in his pocket - he never knew when a sermon idea or other inspiration would hit him) Dad had written a short outline about the soul winners and prayer warriors in our family.  He mentioned his great-grandfather and his grandfather.  I just have to share with all of you what he wrote next in his own words:

Stephen - you have been and are a man of prayer
I bless you with this desire to be a soul winner
God has a soul winners crown for you
Man's greatest End - It deserves your greatest care and desire
Glorify God
From your youth you were different from your brothers
You cared so for animals
Most live for themselves without regard for others
You have not sought riches, honor, pleasure, false hopes, dreams
You have a heart for God
Time is a vapor
I pray God's best for you - prosperity, power in the Spirit - confidence in God alone
The way up is down
To be low - high
Contrite spirit - rejoicing heart
Repenting soul = victorious
To have nothing is to possess all
To bear cross is to wear crown
To give is to receive

Stephen, forgive me for sharing this with everyone but I wanted to impact you with Dad's own words over your life.  His prayers are in a gold bowl as incense in the Throne room of God!  I love you, my dear brother!

Revelation 5:8-10 (The Message)
Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God's holy people. And they sang a new song:

   Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals.
   Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women,
   Bought them back from all over the earth,
   Bought them back for God.
   Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God,
   Priest-kings to rule over the earth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Can you imagine the magnitude of God's creation?  I watched a program about all the universes that God created.  Just trying to grasp our universe is pretty mind boggling but our universe is a drop in the bucket compared to the vastness of all that God created.

Did you ever wonder why God created so much?  Wouldn't one universe have been enough?  Why not stop at 3?  Surely 100 would have been plenty.  Yet scientists estimate there are hundreds of billions of galaxies!  Why?  And why, in the midst of all those stars, why would God even think about me? 

Here's an interesting fact.  Most of the stars we "see" no longer exist.  They have long since burned out.  Technically, they're dead.  My niece, Elisa, posted a sermon on Facebook a few weeks ago.  It was about outliving your life.  Just as the stars in the sky continue shining hundreds of years after they are gone, our lives can still be a beacon for others for decades and even centuries after we have died.  It was a powerful message.

I thought how my Great-Grandmother's life affected my Dad and my Mom.  They both loved Dad's Grandma Phillips dearly!  She profoundly influenced them both.  Through them (and the rest of Dad's family) her legacy will live on.

In the same way, Mom & Dad are still shining down on us.  We can follow The Path in the light of their shining example for the rest of our lives.  My children and great-grandchildren can bask in the light of their loves for years to come!

Daniel 12:3 (The Message)

Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever. 

Mom & Dad certainly fit that description.  They certainly lived wisely and helped countless other to get on the right path to life.  Mom and Dad not only prayed for their living family members they prayed for their great-grandchildren who had not yet been born.  They prayed for their great-great grandchildren.  They prayed thru the centuries.  Not only will their prayers affect generations to come, the light of their lives will guide my great-great grandchildren and their children!

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Mom & Dad loved books!  They instilled in my brothers and me a love of reading.  Since we moved a lot, "things" were constantly sorted and tossed.  When we returned home from Guam, space was a premium so items that were brought back were carefully considered.  Even though I have very few things from my growing up years, I still have a lot of my books from childhood.

When Mom & Dad gave us books, they would write in the front of them.  Sometimes it was a note about me or why they wanted to give this particular book.  Sometimes it was just a date and occasion (Birthday, Christmas, etc).  When they received books if the giver hadn't written in the front they would write who it was from, the date and occasion.

It was common for us to discuss books when we got together.  I remember when we all vacationed together for Mom & Dad's 50th wedding anniversary we were sitting around one evening and Dad asked if we had read any good books lately.  That opened up a long and lively book discussion.  I remembered thinking later, I wonder how many families discuss books on a vacation?

Just last December we were all together for my grandmother's funeral.  We were sitting around the motel room in Poplar Bluff, Mo and Dad said, "What book are you reading now?"  We took turns going around the room talking about our latest book.

It was very interesting in going thru their things to see the books, who gave them and when, etc.  It really brought home to me how important books were to them.  It wasn't just the idea of having a book to put on the coffee table or bookshelf either.  It was what they could learn from them.  They read them.  They underlined and highlighted them.  They lent them to others.  They referred back to them in a study or while writing an article or Sunday School lesson.

Their lives were like that.  So very useful.  Worth keeping around to go back to in order to learn more from them.  A great resource!  So many times, my kids, brothers, nieces, nephews, and I (and I'm sure countless others) would pick up the phone or e-mail a question - something we were trying to figure out, or for advice with a problem.  It could be anything from a question about Scripture to a recipe.  If Mom & Dad didn't have the answer, they would work to find out.  Always the advice was sound. 

I miss not being able to run things by them anymore but I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge they instilled in me.  And I am grateful for the example of their lives, just one of which was to never stop learning.  Until the very end, they both read voraciously and studied with intensity.

Lord, never let me think I have learned enough!  Keep me hungering and thirsting for more of you and your infinite wisdom!

Psalm 27:4-5 The Message
I'm asking God for one thing,
      only one thing:
   To live with him in his house
      my whole life long.
   I'll contemplate his beauty;
      I'll study at his feet.

 That's the only quiet, secure place
      in a noisy world,
   The perfect getaway,
      far from the buzz of traffic.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Silence, Part 2

On Friday, I mentioned hearing Mama Maggie Gobran at the summit last week (see post "Tough Calling").  In her talk she said one of the best ways to hear from God is through silence.

If you recall I wrote about silence on August 8th.  I mentioned how God had been speaking to me about the importance of being silent before Him.  It's a big part of waiting on God.  I thought I was doing good to be silent for 15 or 20 minutes at a time but Mama Maggie talked about God calling her to silence for a day at a start.  Then she would be silent for 2-3 days at time.  Then a week or two at a time until she got to the point where she would be silent for a month at a time.  All in an effort to draw near to God.  To hear the voice of God.  To gain direction from God.  To glorify and praise Him.

Wow!  That takes it to a whole new level!  Since I sell real estate, I don't know how I would do business and be silent for days at a time but even if I didn't work at all, I don't think I could accomplish that.  But I can do more than 15 or 20 minutes!  I believe that's what God cares about.  Starting where I am and pushing it a bit further.  What can I give him today?

That is true praise.  True worship.  True sacrifice.

I will do my best to be silent before God.  No TV, no radio, no iPod, no talking, no Facebook, no e-mailing...well you get my point.  I have no idea how I'll be able to do with this.  I'm one to always have something going.  Music, writing someone, talking on the phone, singing...something.  To be honest, it was a stretch for me to do 15-20 minutes once or twice a week.

Pray for me that I'll have the strength to do this!  I know God is leading me on a journey.  I know he wants me to do more in my life for Him.  I feel I need to carry on and help fill the void that is left in Mom & Dad's absence from this earth.  Even though I know I'll never come close to replacing them, I can do my small part.  Pray for me to hear from Him.  To follow His call even if it is a tough call!

I'm so grateful for all of you who lift up my family and me in your prayers as we continue the journey Mom & Dad began!

Lamentations 3:25-30 (The Message)

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
   to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
   quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
   to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
   go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
   Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
   The "worst" is never the worst.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tough Calling

In the summit yesterday morning Mama Maggie Gobran spoke to us thru a heart of love and humility in such a way that it moved me very deeply!  She serves the poor in the slums of Cairo, Egypt.  There, Christians are looked down upon and struggle to survive.  The poorest of them collect garbage from the packed streets of the city and take it back to "homes" (generally just an area where the pile the garbage and sleep & live among it).  They sort thru the garbage for items that can be recycled for money.  This is how they survive.

Mama Maggie left her comfortable home and her teaching position at American University in Cairo to serve these forsaken people and their children.  She answered the tough call God put on her life.

As she was talking, God showed me that Mom & Dad had also answered every tough call he put on their lives.  Moving thousands of miles away from home with 4 small children was just the beginning of tough calls.  When they were on Guam, they only called home one time in over 5 years.  Phone calls were just too expensive.

It seemed that every time they became comfortable in a spot, God would nudge them out of their comfort zone and into a new adventure.  Each time the call came they answered.  They did not let the world dictate to them or measure their success.  Like Jeremiah, they kept going and doing what God called them to do and did not measure their results.  After all, the results are up to God.  

What is God calling me to do?  I have been contemplating that for some time now.  At least now I feel I have a better idea how to hear from God.  I just have to implement it.  More on that to come!

Psalm 95:6-7 (The Message)
"So come, let us worship: bow before him,
      on your knees before God, who made us!
   Oh yes, he's our God,
      and we're the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.
 Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks;"

In silence I must listen!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I've been in the Global Leadership Summit all day today.  It's simulcast from an amazing church, Willow Creek, in the Chicago area.  It was exhilarating, educating, uplifting, and draining all at the same time!  There's still another day left.  I can't wait to hear all the amazing speakers slated for tomorrow. 

Today, Cory Booker, the dynamic young mayor of Newark, NJ gave quite a stirring talk!  Despite his many degrees from universities like Yale, Oxford and Harvard, he attributed his parents as being his greatest teachers.  He stated that the best gift God ever gave him was his parents.  I have to say that I feel the same!

How grateful I am for the things I learned from my parents and the many gifts they passed on to me!  Because of them I know the love of God firsthand and have received salvation through His infinite grace!  Because of Mom & Dad, I know that faith works.  Because of them, I know that I can trust God. 

No matter what may come my way, even their horrific deaths, nothing will shatter my faith and trust in God.  As my oldest brother said at the funeral, I don't know why this happened but I do know God is still on His throne and He is in control. 

In our Beth Moore DVD study of Revelation last night, Beth said that the ultimate weapon Satan has over us is death.  The fear of death can be stifling to some.  Praise God, Jesus not only rose from the grave, He conquered death!

I Corinthians 15: 54a - 57 (New Living Translation)

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
 O death, where is your victory?
      O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mom & Dad did not fear death.  I will not let Satan have any victory in their deaths!  As my dear friend, Sheryl prayed with me after they were killed, "Lord, be glorified through their deaths!  Satan will be truly sorry he ever thought this evil act would put an end to their ministry!"

Thank you, Lord for the amazing gift of Mom & Dad!  May you receive all the glory!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The morning I received the phone call from my brother telling me that Mom & Dad were both dead, the ladies from one of my Bible study groups showed up at my house literally within minutes of me calling them.  It was a Monday morning.  They all work yet they immediately left their jobs and were there for me.  I was amazed at their support.

That was just the beginning of the flow of love, prayers, and support that God lavished upon me and my family.  It truly has been amazing to see God's love in action!  I have saved every card and kept a list of all that others did for me in the minutes, days, and weeks that followed.  I can't express how every prayer, every card, every act of kindness touched me!

Last Sunday at church, Dr. Ross spoke about the importance of community in the church.  The book of Acts talks about how the people met in homes and supported each other.  Of course, if they were meeting in homes, then they had to be in small groups.  Homes were small.  (You can hear his sermon at

We do a lot of social networking via computers these days but it seems that face to face communicating has lessened.  I am blessed to be a part of several small groups.  Some that I lead and others I just attend but they're all important to me.  I get so much out of each of them, things like: encouragement, love, education, support, friendship, advice, someone to listen, someone to help, prayer, intercession, accountability.  I could go on but you get the point.

Mom & Dad loved their small groups.  Mom had been a part of Bible Study Fellowship (commonly known as BSF) as well as mission groups, Sunday School groups, etc.  Dad too had men's groups and Sunday School groups that he was a part of as well.  They also hosted Bible study groups in their home.  They knew the value in small groups.

Jesus taught in a small group.  He had 12 disciples and He often taught them alone away from the crowds.  It is good to worship and praise God together in corporate worship (church) but it is also important to learn and grow in the safety and intimacy of a small group.

Mark 9:30, 31a (The Message)

"Leaving there, they went through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know their whereabouts, for he wanted to teach his disciples."

Acts 26:46 (NIV)

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts."

If you're not a part of a small group, I would encourage you to find one or start one!  You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


It's so easy to get caught up messing around on the computer, watching TV, texting, e-mailing, etc that I lose track of time and think, "I can't believe I've wasted 2 hours doing that!"  God has been stressing to me how important it is that I use my time wisely.  After all, God gives me time.  Every day I wake up to face a new day, I need to give thanks to the Lord that I have another day!

On the Saturday before Mom & Dad died, we had a family gathering at my daughter's home in Edwardsville, IL.  She and her husband are expecting their first child and they had just found out the sex of the baby.  Sarah made all of us travel to her home for the unveiling.  She wasn't telling anyone...not even her own mother!  We had a wonderful time visiting together.  My brother, however kept texting and running in to check things on the computer.  He was trying to help his daughter find a good deal on a rental car since she was leaving for a Florida vacation.  He was so preoccupied that it was almost as though he wasn't there.  It certainly didn't occur to any of us that this would be our last family gathering with Mom & Dad.

I'm not saying this to make my brother feel bad.  He was simply trying to help his daughter.  He lived near Mom & Dad and visited them often.  He had no idea that would be the last time we would be together with them.  The problem is that none of us have any guarantees about tomorrow.

I found a note of Dad's regarding time.  Here's what he wrote:

  "How Do We Spend Our Time?"
Fasting our time.  There are 168 hours in a week.
         56 hours to sleep
         50 hours for work/school
         20 hours for getting ready and eating meals
         15 hours for recreation (sports, entertainment, hobbies, etc)
Total 141 hours 
27 hours left for Bible study, prayer, worship, and interceeding.
What are we doing with our time?

Good question, Dad.  What am I doing with my time?  Am I using it in such a way that it will have eternal effects?
Psalm 63:5 (The Message)
"I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips. It's time to shout praises! If I'm sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection. Because you've always stood up for me, I'm free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post."

Ever since Mom & Dad died I've had trouble sleeping.  Once I'm asleep I have trouble getting up.  God has really been dealing with me about getting up early enough to have a decent quiet time with Him before getting on with my day.  My schedule is really messed up!   From now on if I can't sleep, I'll spend the hours being grateful to God for all He's done for me.  I'm going to do my best to get up earlier.  Then perhaps I'll sleep better.

Proverbs 6:10 (The Message)

"So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
   How long before you get out of bed?"

27 hours...hmmm...can I spend that long in Bible study, prayer, praise, and worship?  I'm certainly going to try!

Monday, August 8, 2011


When we were kids we traveled a lot.  With 4 kids in the car I'm sure it tried my parents patience every time!   Mind you, this was way before in-car DVD players and large SUV's!  We would end up playing some sort of game to pass the time.  Mom's favorite game for us to play was MOUSE.  It was a contest to see who could be as quiet as a mouse the longest.  Of course, once we were old enough to figure out it was just a ploy to gain Mom a little peace and quiet, we didn't want to play.

There's a lot to be said for silence.  The Bible certainly says plenty about it!  Being silent before God is one of the best ways to hear from settle your spirit as you wait on Him and rest in the Lord.

Psalm 65:1-2 (The Message)

 Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God,
   And also obedience.
      You hear the prayer in it all.

Silence and obedience is praise and prayer to God?  Who would have thought that?! It does make a lot of sense.  Think about can we hear from God if we don't shut up and listen?  I'm sure all of you have had friends that monopolize the conversation.  It's not conducive to a growing relationship.  It's no different with God.

Like me, Dad was a talker.  He loved people and loved talking to people.  Mom was the quiet one.  She would listen and observe but in a crowd or even a small group she did very little talking.  But they both knew how to be quiet before God and they valued their daily quiet time with the Lord.

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

In The Message version this same verse reads:

"Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
      loving look at me, your High God,
      above politics, above everything."

I like that.  Step out of the traffic.  Take a break.  Rest.  Listen.  Be still.

Revelation has a phrase that is repeated often (I counted 7).  In The Message it reads:

"Are your ears awake?  Listen.  Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches."

God is speaking to you.  His Spirit is blowing.  Are your ears awake?  Listen!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wedding Day

Today is my wedding anniversary.  My husband and I were married for 25 years before we were separated.  He died a few years after that.  We had many problems but there was no doubt I loved him dearly and he loved me and our three children in the best way he knew how.

Admittedly, I had a big heads up over him in the marriage department.  My parents set as good an example of love between a man and a woman that you could find this side of heaven.  I witnessed the growth of their love throughout their lifetime.  Of course, my Mom's parents set a pretty good example for her as well.

My Gram was a farmer's wife, a nurse, a Sunday School teacher (of an adult class), a missions supporter, etc.  My grandfather (Pop) died when I was a little girl so I don't have as many memories of him.  I do know he was in church every Sunday.  He prayed before his meals.  He was extremely generous.  He kept many families alive in the depression years by giving away much of the food he worked so hard to raise.  Every Sunday after church, he would invite many people over for dinner.  For most, it was the only real meal they ate that week.

My Dad had a fantastic example of Godly love in his parents and his grandparents.  Dad's mom died when he was a little boy.  My grandfather remarried and his young wife pulled the family together and took care of all of their children always treating them all as her own (she had 2 children, Grampa had 6 children and later they had one together - a real "Yours, Mine, & Ours" long before the movie came out!).  My dad also spent a lot of time with his grandmother during those tough years.  My great-grandfather died before I was born.  When I was about 20 I was visiting Dads Grandma (she was in her late 80's then).  I asked her how long she and Grandpa had been married.  Without hesitating she said, "It will be 75 years this June."  I said but how long were you married before he died?  She replied, "I married him until death do us part...and I'm not dead yet!"  It was then that I realized she still wore her wedding ring.  She was married whether he was with her or not.

I am so fortunate to have such a rich spiritual heritage!  It's fitting that I'll be spending this day at my oldest daughters baby shower.  She and her husband are expecting their first child, a son.  (My Dad presided over their wedding.  Unfortunately she was the only grandchild he was able to marry.)  They have chosen the name Jayden Troy.  Jayden means God has heard, God will judge, thankful.  Troy means soldier.  God has heard and blessed our family with this precious little boy.  I pray he will be thankful and a warrior for God's army!  Go get 'em, JT!

I'm blessed to already have a grandson, Kristopher (named after his grandfather, my late husband).  While he never got to meet his grandpa, he did get to spend some time with his great Granddad and Great Granny!  Grandchild number 3, a girl, is set to come into this world in November.  My family is growing!  Three beautiful children and soon three wonderful grandchildren!

What a great thing we started on August 6, 1977!

Psalm 127:3-5
Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
      the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
   Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
      are the children of a vigorous youth.
   Oh, how blessed are you parents,
      with your quivers full of children!
   Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
      you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Friday, August 5, 2011


For the first 3 days after receiving the news that my parents were murdered, I didn't even get dressed.  I agonized, cried, tried to keep up with phone calls, texts, and e-mails.  I watched the news from Springfield, MO via the internet.  Eventually I had to get dressed and hit the road for Missouri.  The night before I left I couldn't sleep a wink.  I kept thinking of how Mom & Dad were killed.  How could someone do that to them?  I kept thinking of Mom on the phone frantically trying to get the police there to protect Dad while Dad was doing his best to fend off the attacker to protect Mom.  I knew they each would have been more concerned for the other than about themselves.  I was mad at God.  After all, look what His Word says:

Psalm 91:9-11 (The Message)

   Yes, because God's your refuge,
      the High God your very own home,
   Evil can't get close to you,
      harm can't get through the door.
   He ordered his angel
      to guard you wherever you go.

Mom had written Psalm 91 in her notebook and had it marked as being very important.  I know she & Dad claimed God's promises & trusted Him to protect them.  What happened?  Harm had certainly come through the door!  Mom & Dad had served God faithfully all their lives.  Wherever He called, they went.  To the very end, they were both striving to do His will for their lives.  Even though they were both 79 years old, retirement from their walk with Christ was unthinkable.  They remained active in God's work, hosting Bible studies, writing Christian material, developing Christian workshops, mentoring, praying and studying God's Word for hours everyday.  Dad had even committed himself to walking his neighborhood for 6 weeks leading up to Easter knocking on doors and inviting his neighbors to church.  I just didn't get it.

The next morning I received a text from my friend, Susan, who told me that she had been praying for me and my family.  She had cried out for God to allow her to take my pain so I wouldn't have to carry it alone.  As she prayed, God spoke to her.  He told her that He had taken my parents souls before their physical bodies were dead.  He assured her they had not been afraid!  How amazing!  What reassurance!

He even revealed to her their last words.  He told her they uttered, "Lord, take me, I am Yours."  He showed her that right up till then, Dad was praying and witnessing to his attacker.  God is Sovereign and He certainly owes me no explanation yet He gave me one.  He is true to His Word.  I can trust Him!

Psalm 91:14-15 (The Message)

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
      "I'll get you out of any trouble.
   I'll give you the best of care
      if you'll only get to know and trust me.
   Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
  I'll rescue you, then throw you a party."

Enjoy your party, Mom & Dad.  You've earned it!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


The day before my parents were killed, they were at my house for Easter.  Leaving Mom, my youngest daughter, and grandson in bed, Dad and I went to the Easter Sunrise service at my church.  After the service we ate breakfast at church.  As we were visiting with others, Dad began to share all the ways God had led him and our family through all sorts of situations from financial difficulties to life-threatening incidents.  These stories were fascinating and miraculous.  It was no wonder faith had come so easily for me as a child.  We lived it!

Some of Dad's stories I had heard before but others were new to me.  I thought how could I have been his daughter for 53 years and not known some of these things?  I'm sure I was better off not knowing many of those things at the time.  God does the same thing with us.

Mom, my daughter, and grandson joined us later at church where we had an amazing worship experience.  Later as we were eating lunch I began retelling some of Dad's stories to my daughter.  Dad picked up and added more stories with Mom chiming in as well.  It was a perfect time together.  Such a rich treasury of how God had blessed them, provided for them, and protected them through years in His service.  I am so grateful for that precious time!  Of course, I had no idea that in less than 24 hours they would both be dead.

In the same notebook of Mom's that I talked about yesterday Mom had written Matthew 18:10 and Psalm 91 at the top.  Matthew 18:10 says, "Watch that you don't treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly.  You realize, don't you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?"

Below those scripture references Mom wrote Philippians 2:3 Consider others better than yourself in some way.  Everyone matters to Jesus.  Hebrews 1:14 - Angels keep their focus on God - ready to do His bidding - they are limited - NEVER love angels more than Jesus. (Caps & underline Mom's)  

I wondered why Mom would put emphasis on never loving angels more than Jesus?  I know she and Dad experienced so many instances where angels must have worked overtime but I never thought about putting angels higher than Jesus.  I'm sure Mom didn't either but she did know people who worshiped angels.  Perhaps she was just reminding herself not to be infatuated with angels.  Like her, they are servants of God.

A few months earlier Dad told me how he had been seeing angels floating above their bed in the middle of the night.  One night he looked up to see the angels he had become accustomed to and as he was looking at them, Jesus appeared in their midst.  He was so excited to see Jesus Himself!  That happened just a few months before they were killed and it was the last time he saw the angels in the middle of the night.

I felt that God held their angels back early that April morning.  That feeling was confirmed for me in the study of Revelation I talked about yesterday.  Jesus could have called a legion of angels to protect Him while He was tortured, ridiculed, and hung on the cross but He didn't.  In our lesson last night Beth Moore made the comment that she was certain that His angels were just itching to get in the fight.

Why wouldn't God allow them to protect His Son?  God held them back in order that we could be saved.  In I Peter chapter 1, Paul talks about how the prophets foretold the gift of life God was preparing.  In verse 12 of The Message version it says, "Angels would have given anything to be in on this!"

Satan thought he won a great victory when Christ's blood was spilled.  Little did he know it was God's plan all along.  I'm sure the enemy was celebrating the day my parents were killed but little did he know that it was God's plan all along!  May God be glorified!

Genesis 50:20a "Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Show Me

The day after my parents funeral, some of my family and I were going thru things at Mom & Dad's home looking for important papers.  I stumbled across one of many notes that Mom had recently jotted down while studying her Bible.  Well, actually, God slapped it into my hand.  It was clearly no accident that this particular page in one of her many notebooks was now staring up at me.

At the top, she had written:

SHOW me your ways...Psalm 25:4
 God is Sovereign
Nothing can touch me except what God allows in order to accomplish His purpose for me.
(Caps and underline were Mom's)

What comfort to know that nothing could touch them except what God would allow and it had a purpose! Just what is God trying to accomplish?  I'm still mulling that one over.  I'm certain it will be years before we will see all the ways God is bringing good out of this tragedy.

Some of my daughter's friends were upset when their small group decided to take the summer off.  They didn't want to quit studying their Bible together so I offered to purchase the Beth Moore DVD set on the book of Revelation if they would commit to tackling such a tough subject.  What a blessing this has been!  This week we were studying Revelation 11.  Beth ended the lesson tonight adamantly stating that no faithful witness of God can be taken one moment before their witness is complete.  I felt God was saying that directly to me as a salve to my aching soul.  Although I certainly miss my parents, I know their work here was done.  Otherwise, they would still be here!  While I know God didn't send someone to kill them, He did allow it.  His angels had faithfully protected them throughout their entire lives.  This time, they were held back.

I've read and re-read many of Mom & Dads notes in the months since they were killed.  When I was looking at this one again today it struck me as funny.  Mom would always say, "I'm not a hill-billy.  I'm a swamp lily."  She was born and raised in Missouri whose motto is "The Show-Me State" and here she was asking God to "show me".  But at age 79 Mom had lived as a missionary, a pastor's wife, a church planter, a Bible teacher, a mission group leader, a speaker at many conferences - well, you get the idea.  Didn't she already know God's ways?  Why was she asking God to show her?  She had then jotted:

"Show ME your ways..."  
God says to me: God will instruct ME IF: I humble myself.
"He guides the humble in what is right..."  Psalm 25:9 (caps were Mom's)

Why would my meek, sweet mother need to think about humbling herself?  Did she really need more instruction from God?  Didn't she already know the way that is right?  Why did she need God to guide her?  It dawned on me.  Mom was a "quester"!  She was actively seeking to know God more fully.  To follow His ways.  To humble herself before Him.  She wasn't satisfied with a lifetime of study, prayer, and obedience.  She was still very much in the race and pressing on toward the finish line.

What are your ways, Lord?  Why did you allow Mom & Dad to be killed in such a violent way?  I know you have a plan. Will you show me?  IF I humble myself?  Hmm...

At the end of the page Mom had written:

"Show me YOUR WAYS..."
Proverbs 14:12 - Am I willing to let go of my misconceptions & my ways?  (Caps were Mom's)

Good question for me!  Oh Lord, that I would let go of my misconceptions and my ways!

Show me Your ways!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Waiting on God.  I've wrestled with that concept for years.  I'm so impatient!  Why do I have to wait?  Why can't God work on my schedule?  The Bible is so full of Scriptures admonishing me to wait.  And to rest.

That's a nearly impossible task for me.  Rest in God?  Wait on God?  How do I do that?  I need help and I need it now!  I need patience and I need it now!  I have to be doing something.  Accomplishing something.  Working on something.  Studying something.  Doing...something.

But still God says WAIT.

I must get better at that.    At church last Sunday Pastor Michael Paulson delivered a terrific message on REST.  Do you think God is trying to tell me something?  (In case you don't know, I'm a member at First United Methodist Church in Springfield, IL.  You can hear the sermon online if you'd like.  Just go to

Is it possible to wait without resting?  I don't think so.  While I'm waiting I might as well rest.  It would be good for my body as well as my soul.  It's no wonder I had pneumonia a few weeks ago.  Always pushing.  My body rebels and God whispers, rest and wait on Me, my child.  He speaks volumes to me thru His Word.

Psalm 62:5-8 (The Message Version)

"God, the one and only—
      I'll wait as long as he says.
   Everything I hope for comes from him,
      so why not?
   He's solid rock under my feet,
      breathing room for my soul,
   An impregnable castle:
      I'm set for life.

   My help and glory are in God
      —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
   So trust him absolutely, people;
      lay your lives on the line for him.
      God is a safe place to be"

Romans 5:3-5 (The Message Version)

"There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!"

God is developing "passionate patience" in me.  I like that.

God does pour generously into my life.  God is my "safe-harbor-God".  He is trustworthy.  He is solid rock under my feet.  He gives me room to breathe.  Perhaps I can wait.  I can rest in Him.  He is in control.  Everything I hope for comes from Him. 

I can do this.


Monday, August 1, 2011


Ask any of my kids and they'll tell you I was a control freak.  For years none of them would drive while I was in the vehicle (well, not once they completed their required amount of driving in order to get their licenses).  I admit, I was not a good rider.  I liked to be the driver.  Even when my husband was alive, I did the bulk of the driving.

In April, 2011 God showed me loud and clear that I was not in control.  As much as I liked to think that I was in the drivers seat, I learned that I controlled nothing.  When my brother called me with the shocking news that my Godly mother and father had been killed in their home in Springfield, MO, I thought this is going to be a tough lesson in forgiveness!  I'm still going down that road.  The killer (or killers) still have not been found.  I pray that they are.  I want the opportunity to forgive them.  I know in God's timing that day will come.  Now I want everything in His timing, in His way, not mine.

I was so glad God had pushed me deeper into His Word in the years before this horrific event occurred.  I do mean pushed!  It was what I needed to really dig into His Word on a regular basis.  Several years ago, God called me to lead a lady's Bible study.  Such wonderful women.  What a blessing!  Then He told me to take a Bible study to ladies at our local jail.  Another beautiful blessing!  Not long after I became active in jail ministry, He led me to facilitate another wonderful group of ladies in a Bible study.  With 3 lessons to prepare along with my Sunday School class and small group that I was a part of, I was finally delving into the Word.  God knew what He was doing.

In the days that followed the phone call from my brother, I kept going back to one of the Scriptures that God had laid on my heart.  I had meditated on it for several years as I worked on turning the controls of my life over to my loving Father. 

Romans 12:2 (New Living Transalation) says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but LET GOD transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

I'm doing my best to rest in God.  To surrender control to Him.  To LET God transform me into His humble servant so that I will know and do His perfect will for my life.