VBS Amen to Our Spot Cleaner Jesus


You heard of sins of omission and commission… BUT now you will hear about the sin of chocolate cake. 

I titled this” SPOT CLEANER JESUS” but it also could be called “Why I should ONLY do vacation Bible school science experiment demos OUTSIDE”… LOL

So I THOUGHT it was a good idea, a chocolate cake to look like a rock and I DID have a tarp down but apparently it was not wide enough, and the kids climbed on it anyway.  I will always see in my head the kid who grabbed a piece to try to eat!…. Here I was worried about the oobleck being messy, but NO it was the CHOCOLATE CAKE that went too wild… 

I used cake layers for a demo of pretend solid foundations, like small tomatoes, jello, pudding, and oobleck (cornstarch and water as a non-newtonian solid) which my eager assistant awesomely tried by squeezing or punching these items to see if they are solid and would make a good foundation…. These were NOT solid foundation materials, building upon them would only give FRUSTRATION.

Yeah the kids laughed and of course oobleck was a hit! And as always the kids loved ALL of VBS. Big kids too! The most important moment is when they all prayed to let Jesus into their hearts. That’s the point of VBS, learning the LOVE of JESUS is always near.

Our lives, if not built upon faith, will only build our frustration. HAVE FAITH IN JESUS! He is heart-holding help.

VBS lesson #3 stuck with these children: “Jesus is my FIRM FOUNDATION!” Yes, the WISE builder, building upon SOLID ROCK, is our example of how we are to build our lives upon Jesus’s WordHis Truth, His Actions including LOVE, GRACE, and FORGIVENESS.  We are to be wise life-rs and reduce our frustrations by following Him. (This is so true!)

On my apologetic knees after VBS, cleaning the chocolate cake from the nice red carpet, alongside our 2 AMAZING shepharding pastors (also on their knees cleaning), I used a spot cleaner and a vacuum, and I praised God for their dedication and their calm cool demeanor (thank you God, we learned that at VBS day #1, a Moses example, God helps us keep our cool). They had an action plan with vacuuming then water then spot cleaner. It worked. This reminds me of our own GREAT SHEPHARD JESUS with an action plan before time began. Jesus works! Jesus is I AM.

Then and now, I can only think that JESUS will have a list of our many sins and be always holding a well used bottle of “spot cleaner” for us, but in TRUTH, He will have ALREADY washed us clean by His blood. Yes, we can and should ask Him each time we know of a sin we commit, yet He ALREADY did “the dirty work” and He went to the far reaches of the depths of separation of sin from God. He took on God forsakeness for sake of our unity back to God, our Father, bridging the chasm of separation. He filled in the cracks with Himself. 

With earthly oops we try remedies by making amends, which we should. Yet in all we do and don’t do, know and don’t know, it is ONLY in Jesus where all our sins are forgiven. You may want to stay in prideful “woe is me” – but you are ALREADY cleaned Heavenly. Jesus IS the One Who sets us free.

FORGIVENESS not from our AMENds but is by giving JESUS the great AMEN, saying I believe in You, Jesus. You are my Rock, my Savior, my Firm Foundation. I need Your Forgiveness and You tell me that You have given it just by my faith.

PSALM 103:8-12

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so GREAT IS HIS LOVE for those who fear him; AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST, so far has he REMOVED our transgressions from us.

AMEN AMEN Thank God!


The Wise and Foolish Builders – Matthew 7:24-28

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Pop your Corn not your Fuse, at VBS and in Life


I could eat all through many bags of POPCORN before I figure out every kernel of information that God is assembling for me, trying to teach me, help me with. And I still wouldn’t grasp even a fraction. And there would be so many crumbs on the floor too…

Patience is what God has with us. Patience for us to learn – to LEARN our purpose to SHARE HIS LOVE. 

Moses BLEW HIS TOP, we learned in our VBS lesson, day one, at my home away from home away from home church family. Love this church and their Pastors, and love hearing the Bible Story. We learned that Moses BLEW HIS TOP overreacting to angry people COMPLAINING and their whining made him SNAP.  He was supposed to simply speak to the people (who were wandering the desert) assembled around a rock, he surely was simply supposed to thank God, and the Lord would provide water, and instead he chastised the people and hit it twice and didn’t give God glory for taking care of them. Yes, water still came out of the rock and the people and livestock drank and were saved, but that’s NOT how God wanted Moses to behave. Moses was punished in being prevented to physically cross into the Promised Land given by God to the Israelites. Moses messed up, like us, like me. Thank God for Jesus and GRACE. God took care of Moses, don’t worry, but like our overreacting, we have to sit in God’s timeout chair sometimes and WAIT.

VBS, I love Vacation Bible School, and that I was able to “pop in” again to my friends’ church to help. All day this direction filled me with joy and purpose and I felt a bubble of good protection driving thru unknown back roads, thick traffic and sketchy streets. I felt peace to what I could present even when I knew I should have taken more practice etc, but God purposes His PEACE over our plans, so “on with the show” we must go. His POP is not in our circumstance but in HIS FAITHFULNESS. I had lots of supplies yet it was the Holy Spirit who did all the work God needed.

And what a blessing of VBS energy. The BEST week of the year. And WOW, the welcoming hands and hearts of the children for Jesus to make entry into their lives. POP goes the Spirit. Give a big volcano WHOOSH cheer for GOD’S LOVE drawing near!

In my prep, I was especially intrigued by the ongoing theme of POPCORN.  ALL DAY. Corny? Well yes, but no joke that God’s been cooking up something, and He simmers the lessons for us too and keeps us coming back for more. Popcorn I thought was a good *and tasty* overreaction of explosive power, so I put on my popcorn earrings and went to the store for supplies and saw popcorn and popcorn movie supplies, but everything was stuck together and I just had to pass on it. God said it’s not needed, just go with what you have… I bought what I thought was needed for the wrap up show, but it’s Him whom we call upon to show up.

God’s plan continues even in mini failures and of course in “our” victories. All Victories are His. God has true control. My 1st experiment did not live up to my expectations. The popping bags didn’t pop, my science demo was a dud in my opinion, fizzled out, blew it but not up. Rats…  I stayed calm. Pop your Corn not your Fuse! Sure, at home it went great… and here I was afraid of an OVER explosion and never got it. However we got one good bag to pop, I had a fabulous volunteer scientist helper, and we had the fabulous drama therof. The show must go on. The kids LISTENED, which is amazing at VBS energy. The big volcano at the end was cool and worked… maybe I am just asking God for too much big excitement when I should just be one of His kernels of sharing. 

Pop your Corn not your Fuse.

My joy was in speaking freely of the comfort of Jesus and how He teaches us thru His Word, including the amazing ways to calm down, I was blessed at the attention of the crowd when I mentioned a key time God kept me calm from a road rage incident.  I used the Words I know come from Him: Forgiveness, Grace, Patience, Joy. God applied a bubble of His protection when approached. These emotional calming words are like scissors to cut open the bag and release the pressure. I still remember the display of the scripture: Proverbs 15:1 — “A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” 

I wrapped up and Pastor wrapped up VBS day 1 and it was all good and we wrapped up the clean up and made it to our cars with a storm looming overhead. Safe. A bubble of protection.

God showed me a bigger storm that evening and reminded me how blessed I was and am! I never used that popcorn I bought, only to stress eat. But in the school parking lot to the side of the street were a homeless man. I got back out of my bubble car and give him the bag of popcorn, couple dollars, and my dollar store Bible I had for the demo. I just felt blessed to have a warm car, a home to go to. We are blessed with a warm Savior and a Home to go to.

Storm – the lightning storm was SO INTENSE and really cool… I drove towards it 30 minutes nonstop, realized that it was OVER my house, my kids kept calm, the cat not so much. I took food orders and thanked God to fund them (and not cook). I said to my daughter: these are “popcorn storms” – ahhhh God, here’s another popcorn analogy.  Popcorn storms seem to come out of nowhere, just like in our lives. But God can handle them. Let us keep our wits about us. And yes, even a wrath of fierce proportions is no match for a God of protection. 

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:18-19

In life, we don’t need to constantly be inside the whole bucket of popcorn excitement,  which is great for the first five minutes, then too much. We need a steady pace. We need to know how God keeps us going DAY by DAY and we need to not blow our tops in overreacting to everybody and everything. We need to stay the course, stay calm, keep going. Each day is a new day.

I Lava Lava Love VBS teaching me.

I love God’s FAITHFUL children and HIS FAITHFULNESS. 

Thanks God, You ARE my Rock, my provisions from Your Living Water. 


Numbers 20:2-13

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.

Get It? Got It? GOOD


I’m starting a new Bible study in the book of Romans, a letter to friends (and us) by apostle Paul, some say the greatest apostle because, among other reasons, his preaching reached Gentiles and Jews in the crucial corners of the early church (thru personal visits and many letters written while God moved him to and fro)… and from those places the Gospel (Good News about Jesus) spread to the rest of the world and back. You and I are likely knowing about Jesus due to the Holy Spirit working thru Paul’s preach-reach. His testimony always spelled out the FULFILLMENT of the scriptures about Jesus being the foretold Messiah. The Old Testament is the Foretold Testament.

Paul is an example of tremendous achievements and STILL falling really short of perfection. (Be Still and still be needing Jesus). Face it, we too fall short and it’s never going to be where the definition of perfection changes. Jesus is perfection and instead of changing Himself (which is impossible) (and why would He), He changes us – both in how we behave but in especially how we appear to God our Father. “Covered in the Blood”.

Atonement needed and granted. Sacrificial Substitutionary Atonement, in place from Adam’s time, is given once and for all by Jesus’s sacrifice. Perfection poured out on those falling short. God knows we need it. God knew to give it. God bless that we got it.

A crucial Bible-based message I heard multiple times is that we don’t get right then come to Jesus – we come to Jesus then get right. And what doesn’t get right gets Jesus because we will never achieve perfection, no one will. Not Paul who came as a murderer and not us who come as we are. All sin is equal and falls short. Jesus doesn’t move the bar, He is the bar, He just makes the bar into a bridge. He wants us to be with God forever. 

Come as you are, let Jesus take care of the rest. To “get it” we have to “get” Jesus, understand that we can’t “make amends” but “get got” by Him, by His Sacrifice.

Get it?

Got it?




Romans 1:1-6, 14-17

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures  regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.


I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Moses Rocking Anger, Jesus Rocking Stability


Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”  David in Psalm 16A new day. Trusting the Lord in every Way. He is our ROCK SOLID foundation!

Preparing for a friend’s VBS, I was reminded of the story of Moses and water from a rock. Another day’s story is remembering God is our rock upon which we are to build our lives. The VBS theme is about keeping your emotions in check! Listen to Him to find out.

I remember Sunday school, 15 plus years ago, teaching little kids about the water from a rock story, thought it was cool. Moses tapping a rock and water coming from it. I remember placing a milk jug with water inside a crumpled paper bag that resembled a rock and making it splash. I remember us reaching into the rock and pouring some water to drink, being grateful because the Israelites were so thirsty in the desert and God provided… cool story then and now… but what I NOW realize is that Moses was just supposed to speak to the crowd near the rock, NOT hit it. SPEAK and ACT to show God’s faithfulness, not chastise the people at that moment, even if you think they deserve your anger over God’s Grace. Accept a blessing and not over dramatize your hand in it.

Anger. Anger is one allowable emotion but vengeance and frustration and acting-out which goes over board – that was NOT on God’s agenda for Moses to display that day. Not usually what He wants from us too. God’s punishment to one of His favorite sons, Moses, was earthly harsh. Moses’s earthly future was severely affected and he was not allowed to cross into the Promised Land. (Don’t worry, God did not abandon Moses all together and blessed him.) 

In contrast with struggling in the desert, David a shepherd of God’s sheep and His people, future King, would write (in Psalm 16) what we also should realize: God’s faithfulness. We should tap into His ability to hold us safe BEFORE we blow our top or hit an anger overflow or cave after an entitlement challenge. We should realize that with God, “I will NOT be shaken.”  David had much personal experience of God providing and God rescuing. Perhaps we all need this reminder of God’s comfort. Perhaps we need to remember before we whine about the times that we are being displayed for others to see how we handle our lot in life. Others also notice when we don’t give thanks but they especially notice what shakes us up.

Moses (and that rock) were shaken up. The staff powerfully used in previous incidents was abused in channeling anger frustration in full view of the people whom Moses had been trying to convince to trust God. Frustration showed cracks in Moses’s faith, very visibly to the crowd. When we show our frustration, we show that we are not trusting God to deliver. Surely we are human and will need to vent, stumble, lash out. Thankfully we have Jesus, rescuing and recovering our sins.

Moses started a tough journey. David learned of Moses’s missteps and saw God’s faithfulness. We have all these examples, and the saving Grace of God thru Jesus. Let us rock our firm foundation rather than lash out to rock anger. Let us show that we honor Him as Holy. Let us hold onto our Lord as He is holding on to us. He IS our firm foundation. 



Psalm 16 of David:

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”  

I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


Moses caving into anger and frustration:  Numbers 29:2-13

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. SPEAK to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?”  Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.


Jesus teaching trust in God

The Wise and Foolish Builders

Matthew 7:24-29 

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Change of Shell or Scenery: Christmas the Crab, Apostle Paul, and Us


Although the cat will contest that she was the MOST neglected those two weeks that we were away on vacation, it was actually Christmas the crab who had the least attention. And while we were away, Christmas took on a new shell, a lighter weight one for sure, and maybe more roomy? Maybe not. At any rate, it’s a different style and a change of shell (even temporary) when you are not afforded a change of scenery except a short few minutes out of the aquarium once a month or so… (The cat actually gets a lot more attention, including her “net time” outside. No, it’s not as good as exploring outside but it will have to do. She escaped yesterday but all three of us surrounded her as she slows down so curious about outside.) 

Christmas moved back to his regular shell a few days later, maybe just not the right fit, who knows. Christmas seemingly never gets a change of his limited living space. But we do! We often have an opportunity to step away from the norm, to take a vacation day, a weekend away…. at least hopefully we do and hopefully we take advantage of it.  Change of scenery is what I appreciated during my recent vacation with all the sightseeing activities and new opportunities for learning, and just sitting outside with no mosquitoes, unlike here. I’ve now had dozens land on me in just a few days back home. 

In our vacation destination there was a hum of life late until the evening. In the countryside there were birds chirping and the hum of quiet – yes quiet makes a noticeable buzz of a vacuum of removing stress, matched with brilliant sunsets. In the countryside I heard dogs yammering to each other.  Dogs are allowed in parks and dining patios, castles and everywhere. A dog’s life is not having to be working except companionship… however we have to work, and what a blessing for vacation… what a blessing when we become companionship and others to us.

Plus vacation meant knowing happily that I took the journey. One week later now home, the vacation feeling slips away but remembering to sit and relax remains, and knowing that entering storms does too. God will always be with us in all situations. We have to hit the ground running quite often. 

What most I noticed in me was reminding myself to NOT have to hussle (except for one airport connection, and when we had to get to that boat tour). I mentally had to say to myself, SIT HERE! Absorb the moment. Take advantage of the change of pace and to relax. I noticed that I didn’t need chewing gum at all this vacation to deal with stress!

Stress – we flee from it but sometimes the Lord sends us INTO the storms not just out. Sometimes He calms the child instead of the waves. My scripture connection is with Paul being moved around but with purpose. 

Apostle Paul was one of those people God sent into situations,  storms, changes of scenery. (Even many months, God said “Sit here” – and Paul took the time to write letters which are now crucially in the Word.)… 

Paul, traveling with Luke (Dr. Luke who wrote down the book of Acts), got a major change of scenery when he being taken prisoner to Rome, was held up in bad seas and crash landed in Malta. A change of scenery came happily when he recognized the people who loved him in Rome. A change of scenery purposefully when he was speaking to the Jewish leaders in Rome. God told Paul that he would go to Rome because God wanted him there.

Today, where will God take us or command us to go? Where will we crash land? What prison will still be purposeful? What people will He drop in front of us? Hmmmm…

Yesterday I got an unusual call, I didn’t even blink, it was like automatic motion. I was listening to a prayer service on the radio and the preacher teacher Pastor Joe said pray with the people who had stood at the service because they just were feeling at the end of their rope, throwing in the towel, needing prayer. Immediately I was driving by 3 people abandoning their broken down car on the turnpike, parked safe, they decided to start on foot. I felt the frustration on their faces before I saw them, just kinda knew to pull over and said hop in. I believe God’s timing is perfect and I believe we are all called into action if we pick up on tiny clues and big ones. It was about 20 minutes out of my way (10 up 10 back) but I still got my kids’ food orders in, pizza picked up etc. Three at home fed, got home fine). And they did have a destination of a brother’s repair shop and a plan and although someone else surely would have helped, this seemed like it was presented as a window God made available to me to do this. 

In the car we did have one of the best faith conversations that I think I have ever had, speaking of Jesus and Heaven, Revelation 22 and Rapture, mega churches and little ones, how we were raised, etc… (of course the music I had on and the cross dangling from my mirror probably cued the conversations). This was a bigger condensed conversation with strangers traveling than with close relatives nearby. I think this is how Paul felt his opportunities for preaching teaching conversations. Presented. God’s change of scenery brings opportunity. One of the three said he had just asked Him (the big Him) for a safe ride, and that’s when I pulled up. We ARE God’s taxi service aren’t we? as well as His passengers? Yes.. 

No, I don’t normally pick up strangers, but God just gave me the right feeling at the right time and action and ability, and a semi-empty Subaru too. It will be a distant memory soon, like my vacation memories fade, but the feeling of God calling me into service? So clear.

God’s change of scenery brings opportunity:

That’s a clear call. 

God knows all.

Answer God’s call.



Acts 28:23-end

They [the Jewish leaders in Rome] arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.  Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

“‘Go to this people and say,

“You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”  After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Jesus Holds all the Cards


Reading Chronicles in the old testament is more than just a laundry list of names of fathers and sons, heritages and genealogies. Reading the section (chapters 11 and 12) about King David and his gifted warrior followers is as if Jesus is reading the descriptions of each of His bubblegum baseball warrior pack edition cards… Jesus wrote the cards, the HIStories, and kept His cards hidden protected and safe. Jesus knew how to stack the deck for David. This deal of His Plan was not from cards up His sleeve but of those held close to His heart. 

David loved His Lord and was loved by his people as a shepherd. David, promised by the Lord to be made King of Israel, was also made into a House,  a line of descendants promise including Jesus in flesh. No wonder Jesus held and never traded away any of these cards. 

We too are held by the Lord and dealt into life scenarios. Our challenges overcome by God are recorded and we should give Him credit for His Victories. We should compare notes on our saves rather than our failures. Sometimes He shuffles the deck and reshuffles, and we need to trust His deal, even when we can’t understand why we are where we are. God knows how the cards fall, we should follow suit. He knows how to bring JOY to Himself in our gathering with Him.

Everyone loves a good leader, respects a coach, wants to trust the King. With David, the Lord set him up for success. If David drifted, the Lord took him back into His Hand. He drifted and we drift. The Lord kept His promise to keep His House, in and from the earthly house of David. What the Lord builds, stands. It’s not a house of cards, ready to fall, but solidly kept with the Lord, it’s a house of us all.

With Jesus our ultimate King, THE Lord, our Lord, we can be sure He DOES hold all our cards in His Hand. 


1st Chronicles 11-12 (beginning and end bracketing of scriptures):

All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

David Conquers Jerusalem

David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there said to David, “You will not get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.


All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king. The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

1 Chronicles 11-12 NIV;KJV – David Becomes King Over Israel link:https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chronicles+11-12&version=NIV;KJV

Chronicles of our Family Trees


When I started over abundantly explaining our trip to an AMAZING vacation place to a couple fellow church goers back home, one just abruptly stopped me and chuckled at my zeal…  I get it, I am just still processing amazing times, but know the fleeting nature of memories. Another said “I hope you wrote this all down” – I have – but really of course it’s too much information for others unless you are me, with my eyes – and we are all our own eyes of the world. It’s too much info right now, but I have memories for later. I know that we all have vast memories that are all our own. Jesus too. And yet He DID write it down. Not everything and we will just “have to take His Word for it”…

My volumes of interesting memories that I could spew in words or with thousands of photos on Facebook are a tiny blip of eternal time, my family trees but minor representation of how Jesus’s Word spells out HIS family – not just trees but memories and knowledge and love.  In 1st Chronicles, Jesus’s Word says: All Israel was listed in the genealogies recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. They were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. Then Jesus’s Word spells out their resettlement: Now the first to resettle on their own property in their own towns were some Israelites, priests, Levites and temple servants…

God all hoped theywere all accepting to be led. Loved, lost, led. That’s life.

So good, bad, unfaithful, all of the above, were chronicled in the Word, all were loved, both the lost and found. Can you imagine if Jesus as a 12 year old in the temple started listing out all these names!??!! WOW. If Jesus was at the beginning (He was) then He knew all and loved all, just as He loves us all today.  It’s mind blowing. Jesus’s Word lays down these tracks of genealogy for history sake but isn’t this just like knowing every artery and vein and hair and skin cell of Jesus’s genealogy includes knowledge of his brothers and sisters in intricate weavings of people and places… These are the recorded names that Jesus valued to have included in His memory banks, as He does for us now.

Aren’t you glad that thru Jesus, we are saved and presented to God as names cleared of sins rather than our laundry list of mis-steps? God has us on His lists. 

Then continuing names after name, the Word in Chronicles condenses the tales of King Saul and King David. And we see dedication in the writings of direct lineages and why the people rose and fell. It was based on faith and faithfulness.

Our memories are enhanced by love and physical presence, so is our knowledge of Him. Our devotion and worship comes from the Holy Spirit. 

We will lose our memories and mental health and our writings too – leaves do fall off our family trees – but we won’t lose our Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus will never lose us. We are written in Him.



Here are small excerpts about Saul and David, a HUGE chapter in our own history of loving the Lord:

Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse. All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

David gathered followers but it was the Holy Spirit of God who arranged the commitment:  

Other Benjamites and some men from Judah also came to David in his stronghold. David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you.”

Then the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.”

So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.

To give God the GLORY


What reason should I give God when I pray for good health? 

Because I want it? Maybe 

Because I deserve it? No

So that I can give Him the GLORY?! YEAH!

What reason should I give God when I pray for my family’s good health? 

Because I want it for me? Maybe 

Because I want it for them? Naturally 

Because we deserve it? No

So that when He delivers, I can give Him the GLORY?! YEAH!

What reason should I give God when I pray thankfulness for pulling me thru something, covering me, raising me? 

Because I also worked at it? Maybe 

Because I deserved it? No

So that I can thank Him for His Mercy? And give Him the GLORY?! YEAH!

What reason should I praise God when in trials? 

Because they make me stronger? Maybe 

Because I want out of it? Maybe 

Because I think I don’t deserve them? No

So that I can give Him the GLORY?! YEAH!

What reason should we love Him?

Because He deserves it? Well, YES

Because He wants it? YES

Because He waits for it? YES 

Because He loved us first? He did

Because He is LOVE, the LOVE, of LOVE and for LOVE?

Naturally YES YES YES YES. Faithfully YES. Forever YES. 

Love of fruition

Love of fruitfulness 

Love of faithfulness 

Love of God.

Glory for God’s Grace. 

Glory for God’s Gifts.

Glory for God’s Goodness.

Glory to God is good to give 

Praise to God be the Glory.

Give Him the GLORY. Yeah!


Time to Trust God – Travelogue


Yesterday I erased time – not really, I just switched timezones and flew from Europe to the US on an eight hour flight. Since I never was in darkness, even though my body clock said 2AM, I didn’t sleep on the plane.  Actually watched 2 great classic movies: “Robin Hood” 1938 with Errol Flynn and “To Kill a Mockingbird” 1962, one of my favorites with Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall. The theme throughout the movie was it was a sin to kill or do harm to something or someone who helps you and does you no harm – like it is a sin to kill a Mockingbird. It’s important advice as we roll thru life to not be disgruntled complainers or troublemakers when people are just trying their best. Good to be good travelers. It’s important to be “keep the peace” people and just know everything at the end, plusses and minuses will even out. Go with the flow! And we flew with the flow! Time enough to trust God! 

We ate REALLY well on the plane, 2AM body time was 8pm home time, so snack at the end of the flight was breakfast quiche and ice cream and more swiss chocolate, something for every time zone… It was a good traveling day,  although long… Train bus plane train train car ride home. 12 hours travel in 6 hours clock time due to 6 hour difference of time. Cat napped on the train. Good travel. Good to be home.

My time yesterday (erased, perceived or real) was a GOOD time for TRUSTING GOD, as well as on this whole trip – every moment was/is an OPPORTUNITY TO TRUST GOD. I did and He never left us, as my travel pouch scripture card reminded me: “I Am Always With You”. It caught my eyes in multiple financial transactions, each passport check,  etc. I trusted His presence, protection, planning and peace. Especially during plane takeoffs and landings, and realizing these people do this for a living and must trust the system for safety,  so should I.

Relying on God also came in REALLY HANDY – most handy – when the check-in agent of the most courteous Swiss airline told us that our big tickets from Zurich to the US were standby only – we were set for the first leg, an hour flight – but would have to check at the gate there and certainly trust our luggage would continue OK. Wow – I never expected that – seems a computer would know better, but there we were with a choice: Trust God or not. Glad I chose to trust Him!

We DID make the connection WITH a seat. We made the connection even if only a short planned one hour layover, which already COULD have put us on edge as American news outlets have been HYPING delays, but we had NO DELAYS and in hindsight,  we figured it was a minor glitch thing with the seat assignments (we meaning the dozen or so people on the same boat not assigned seats) and we saw MUCH efficiency and VERY courteous crews. (The only classic pushy airport agents were the active crowd control ones in the US, which is probably why they put those ladies in those necessary jobs, LOL). My scripture connection is here, 1 Chronicles 6:31-32: God assigns jobs to people, like us: caretakers, musicians, and yes especially flight attendants, customs officers, crowd control, AND CHOCOLATE MAKERS! We too have purpose and jobs to do, He gives us talents and skills.

And YES our luggage made it back safe, as verified by the smart “airtag” tracking devices that my smarter daughter installed… (and as verified by the travel chocolate I am about to eat right now. 6 hours of sleep, thank God!

I purposely chose Swiss airline and Zurich for the return trip. I decided the layover in Vienna, on our way over, was a safe choice because you could drive if needed, which we didn’t. We always arrived early for check-ins, hustled ourselves to step lively to the gates, be patient in security, and TRUST GOD. Just because God is IN CONTROL doesn’t mean you don’t cooperate and comply and do your part, check the flight trackers and hustle!

My part was trusting God and staying calm. I said that to the agent, to the fellow in the line with us who was from the US and the perfect chatty line companion we both needed. I said it to my daughter, who was absorbed in protocols for traveling (and cautioning me for not talking to loud, or not doing all those things which would embarrass her). I said if we are stuck, we were still on vacation, and we would eat MORE chocolate in Switzerland! Trust God and trust my word on the chocolates, it’s good chocolate! And we had plenty of both connection time and chocolates. (And blessedly packed 49.5lb suitcases home, each at the limit! Thank God for escalators and wheels and helpful co-travelers.)

My Facebook scrolling on the trip home brought me the sad news of one of my US cousins, My cousin’s death (a tremendous supporter encourager, she would have loved these travelogues), who passed from reoccurring cancer, age 66. She trusted God, I know she did, and was filled with joy through and through. She was a champion for ovarian cancer awareness, and a contagious JOY-germ. And through Facebook I just saw news of a church friend my age (whose daughter is the same age as my daughter) who is now diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, I don’t know the whole story, but God does. This IS a clear time to TRUST GOD. My prayers for His Peace and plan.

There’s always plenty of time to Trust God and a need to trust Him. How many times do we realize that in hindsight. How many times does Jesus as the Word tell us to TRUST GOD! Endless times… and that’s the point, we ARE on an endless time continum WITH GOD, if we just take an opportunity to step on His conveyor belt, His escalators, and that eventual Heavenly Elevator. 

We prayerfully has much more time on this planet to keep making this time for travel. But if we don’t, we will accept and change conveyor belts. Trust God and He will book the plans! “Book the Plans”, get it? Jesus is the Word in the Book! Book my plans Lord!

Lord, Thanks for taking us on Your Flight.


PS God never goes on vacation, but He is always with you on yours…


2 Chronicles 6:31-32

These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there. They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them.

No Bugs – Travelogue


I achieved something this vacation, sitting.  Sitting without need to scurry to the next event. I sat at lunch in the Old Town’s square and in the outdoor and inner courtyards under tents, and I sat and enjoyed both the company and the setting – and I appreciated the sitting.  

This old city feels both like an oasis of a hidden gem in a bubble and also the pulse of the most vibrant and easy city to visit. Huge but 100% manageable. It’s the city that doesn’t scare. Walking and trams and subways are easy. The people are amazing and history blends ingenuity with influences over a thousand years recorded and certainly longer into unknown times. The future? This city, it seems, could still run for a while if someone pulled the plug on the rest of the world. 

I would return and return…  How blessed on this trip to being a world traveler in an “easy” place with backup support as we are introduced to and revisit so much family, including some “world travelers” in my cousins, with whom we had dinner near a vast park stretched across the huge walking overlook (greens and flowers and skateboarding and young people hangouts) – which gave tremendous views accross the river. This is an area where people live, not just be touristy. And oh the views!!! There was even a local band concert setting up in that park overlooking the views.

The views of the city are from a different angle from each vantage point, we went north south east and west – and even UNDER things on this trip. Different angles and you notice different things, and I am meaning both the picturesque views and life point of views. We have different angles to see life. We often do need to sit in a café and ponder them, talk about them civilly and with experience.

No bugs… that’s a main reason I could really really enjoy outside this trip. No mosquitoes. Yes a fly found us a few times, usually just one, but I had a flyswatter and good skills from my childhood of swatting flies at my grandparents farm and house… SWAT. But outside? One fly on occasion, one yellow jacket here and there, some gnats at the woods, but no mosquitoes, none. We could sit. I could sit, I needed to sit!

This day needed to sit at the mall Starbucks WI-FI area because we walked and walked… 20,000 steps, 8 miles, 29 flights of stairs and we only did 2 towers! Good towers!!! A clock which is a marvel of longevity, even if the figures and mechanisms needed replacing time to time, especially when it was shelled by the Nazi’s at the closing moments of WW2. The protest/war/disgruntledness of sore losers, the last minute swipe of intending a mental attack on the nation’s spirits while on your way out. This clock walls and metal survived the fire, the sculptures were remade. The building (about half) was restored. One section was not.

We visited the art deco building next door to the mall (with the WI-FI) and the national museum a few blocks over, but those will have to wait for the next trip! We went to famous statue site of protests and victory gatherings when communism and the iron curtain fell. My cousin asked about the atmosphere in America with the changing presidential regimes, I said people are polarized and on opposite sides politically, separating us, but really people tried not to talk politics in mixed company to keep the peace. No bugging each other when you can keep the peace.

No bugs on the sitting in trip, but we did see spiders! I remember taking a peak in yet another root cellar from the 1700s, as a fortified mound in my cousin’s backyard, and there was a HUGE spider, size of a silver dollar. Spiders, however scary, are good for bug control. We too need to gobble up things that bug us to move our lives in peace. We need to set aside bugs and decompress on vacation. I’ve enjoyed this bubble of no bugging. Like walking the boardwalk one last time last night in perfect weather…

My scripture connection is to the attempt to dishearten the people by the Nazi’s (and yes there were concentration camps near here). War IS hell, but the people have survived and thrived… and the people who still worked the fields (farm fields, stone fields, trade fields) still stayed, and THRIVED.

It’s a beautiful city. God is good to let us be here.

See the world to see the uniqueness of each place. Enjoy the view!


Scripture from in 2nd Kings, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it…… 


He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.

Yes, St Nicholas, there is a Holy Spirit – Travelogue 


We had delicious plentiful hotel breakfast in the “winter garden” after watching the sunrise on the beautiful famous bridge in this heart of the “Old City”, a great way to start the day. Our hotel is just 3 minutes walk to the bridge, and only 20 minutes walk UP to the castle. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.

Our first stop after just a 10 minutes walk, past the hundreds of shops and touristy snack to Starbucks shacks, is the special gorgeous Baroque St. Nicholas Cathedral – oh the opulence of ornateness – Marble prettier than Gold, and trust me there’s a lot of Gold! And Silver!

Church visits here are a MUST see. Many/MOST people don’t go to regular church, but tourists flock to these scenic ones… This one amazing is decorated and created old Baroque to the max. Worth the minimal entrance fee. Priceless are the views that don’t cost an arm and a leg to see, plus the exchange rate is so good, that the four star hotel is “inexpensive” in American standards – and breakfast is included. And each castle/church entrance fee has been less than $10. WOW.

I absorbed the energy of the effort put into creating this cathedral but the spirit was not in the marble only in the marveling. And then UP the steep hill we climbed to main attraction of the day – the 14th century Castle – WOW! We and many many people visit the church chapels and cathedrals within the inner castle as well as the golden lane of inner village and the vast old royal residence (extraordinary coat of arms paintings on the ceilings). Although you feel like on top of the world already in views, we made it UP the 287 steps within the tower, whew… Breathtaking views and steps.

OH THE VIEWS! Made us extra hungry for dinner – stylish fancy good, yummy, BEST cheeseburger I think I ever had, and those sweet potato fries! I have a spiritual connection to sweet potato fries, LOL.

Spiritual connections???

I wondered on our way back and forth walking, while wandering across the bridge sunrise and at peak tourist volume: What exactly IS the attraction to just a bridge? It IS historic 1300’s and it IS a nightlife and daytime hotspot! Tourists tourists tourists! A must see and must be. And yes the sunset was as special as the sunrise. But what’s SO special? If there’s anything that the stealth and open Holy Spirit understands, it’s that these Holy Statues DO teach a story, a story of Jesus and of FAITH. Also the castles teach perseverance and preservation, the castles all seemed to have a Cathedral or Chapel. These ornate stained glass windows do tell stories, if we seek to know what is pictured, otherwise we just marvel at the colors. The gold leaf paint does cover leaves of Bible Truth if we look past just the shiny gloss. There’s a connection to opulence of course (and perhaps the money back then could have been spent on something else more fruitful), then again the preciousness of all these works keeps them preserved today. These treasures can’t be taken up to Heaven, but perhaps some Holy Spirit connection can be squeezed into the view of the people seeing them today. Who knows what this person or that will gather from the grains of gold. We do know that each person has a Holy Spirit connection and Jesus bought their ticket.

As for all the “uncoolness” of church these days or people’s “cold shoulder” approach after seeing church hypocrisy in their lifetimes – all I can say is my fellow visitors who number in the hundreds of thousands to millions are CHILDREN OF GOD, in various relationships with Him, AND that they took thousands and thousands of photos of Jesus today, of God’s devoted saints, of mother and child, of Jesus’s anguished face, and of His angels JOY.  Even a photo of a bird on a saint tells a story of anguish in people not knowing, not understanding.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION – stained glass and these ornate story statutes ARE memory makers – maybe someday Jesus will appear to them and they will remember the smallest thread of faith from a facebook scroll or instagram instant.  OLD BRIDGES are on which people can NEWLY WALK WITH the HOLY SPIRIT, when they realize that call of God as His Children. If anything, we know that it was important enough then that these medieval and Renaissance people both built and protected these earthly treasures of thoughts divine – and that we preserve and persevere in trying to understand how something so ornate is just a vision now rather than a worship place. These are just flat rocks and gems without the spirit. No, I DON’T feel Holy Spirit in inanimate objects or marble – or gold – but because God has made that gold, and we have knowledge of it, let us now use it and all these items as lessons for faith. Now, let us connect the dots of teachings and items, of love in action because of our faith that can reach back into time before time began.

Yes, St Nicholas (formed later into Santa Claus), there IS Faith and our Holy Spirit fosters Faith. Yes Virginia, there is a FAITH TO FOSTER. 

It is said that the CROSS stands up and down to remind us that we connect to God in love, the CROSS left and right to remind us we connect to His PEOPLE in love. Let’s cross in our faith as a bridge. 

The bridge of Faith is well worth maintaining. 


I’m With the Band – Travelogue


There is no denying that I don’t look like my mom’s side of the family – as I don a bucket hat and slather sunblock on my freckles (from my dad’s side) for each day of sightseeing.  But we all mix and express gene-pools differently anyway – but in love we fit in.

My relatives are HARD WORKING! And they are loving and my great joy is to cause opportunities for get togethers and reminiscing and fun. Sunday morning was a MUCH needed late sleep-in before we packed to leave. Then breakfast pie, lunch (a traditional meal, yum!), and after travel 20 minutes we arrived to see cousins in another branch, for second lunch – grandma and mom, with kids my kid’s age – english speaking These are connections for future trips (both to and fro).

I pulled out the old photo album scans and family trees (going back to the 1700s) in front of all these young and eager cousins and watched their eyes pop! I watched them all connect their Instagram accounts to each other (FYI -Facebook is for the older generation, LOL)…

So cousins in these distinct branches are not knowing each other but living only 20 minutes apart and now are realizing how close they really are. That is something the Grandma’s knew and something for us to rekindle. They thanked me for connecting, but I said: “that’s just my job!” – yes it is… See, I think that I am both appreciative of these connections here on earth (love the hugs) and I am getting a jump start for Heaven where I pray my great-grandparents will introduce themselves to me and me to their great great great grand-familes… we are all connected back to Noah if we know-a it or not…

It was now time to leave these country cousins – car to metro to hotel… My cousins sat in the back of the reception room but I both wanted to check in American style, but personally since that’s me, as well as explain I am local connected too! “I’m WITH the band!” a roadie or groupie might say at a backstage of a concert. 

We all marveled at the closeness to the action, and beautiful CLEAN room. It was booked online and I mentioned that it was suggested by my cousin who really IS in the band, my cousin is the guitar player on the weekends for bringing patrons into the restaurant.

“I’m with the band” – but I am not saying I got better treatment because of it, because we all get great treatment here. My room however had only one set of stairs to climb, and a best view of the action,  and view of the quiet mornings. And no worries, the double windows make it super insulated quiet or open to be part of the scene but home… fun!

I will miss my family,  like I already do, on both sides of the pond. Gratefully we fly now rather than swim!!! Family creates the connecting bands of our heartstrings – I am thrilled to say both “I’m WITH the Band” – with Love – I’m IN the band!

We walked before bed to the town square attractions. The crowd CHEERS for the shows, not elaborate but it’s old and cool and a shared experience. We love connections! We sense connections!!!

My scripture connections…  recounting family histories is from 1Chronicles, the Lord traces names from Noah forward – roots of the family tree that bore Jesus in the flesh into the world. There were MANY family branch lines of kings of Jerusalem and Judah before and after exile. It starts with names we recognize then not so much, but bits and pieces of stories are shared again and ! In this scripture is the line to David, from the lines of Judah (son of Jacob, Isreal), where Jesus traced His earthly birth, it’s the people not the place, as they moved and moved and moved. Jesus too with Joseph and Mary moved and moved, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Egypt, the Sea of Galilee – moved so much the uninformed people said: how can you be Messiah?… You didn’t follow the predicted lineage! But Jesus did! His birth IN the lineage and Jesus also IS the lineage as the Word. You can take God out from Heaven but you can’t take Heaven out from God. 

Jesus IS with the BAND!



Don’t Miss the Boat – Travelogue


Don’t miss THIS boat!

We were on time for the Prague cruise boat, and even got there early to have a seat at the cafe, but when Grandma gave the signal, we skedaddled to catch our ride! We didn’t speak her language but knew exactly what she meant! Time to go!

Don’t miss the boat! Or the bus! Or anything!

Saturday found us with the second half of a branch of our loved family that I stayed with in my previous trip – but now with many grandkids running around, we just visited for the afternoon and lunch the next day – And took the Saturday sight-seeing boat ride! A town organized tour by the retired “pensioners” as my cousin translated on her phone… That’s how we communicated all morning, my cousin translated using the Google app – the bus to the boat and as needed on the cruise, 2 hours down the river, UNDER the famous bridges, and with unique views of the scenery – old and new. We were even channeled thru a lock to move up then back, it was perfect weather. The heat broken by needed rainfall. 

Back on the bus, and we walked up the hill to the house with cousins to a barbecue party- wow it was a festival of enjoyment. Family is family. 

My great-grandparents came on boat to America, never to see their family again – a few photos came in the mail – but no hugs – never to feel hugs from their family again. One great grandfather was escaping being forced into an army in the turn of the century. They felt the need to leave. Little money was something preventing their travel back home later – but more of an issue were the huge world wars. They couldn’t travel. They wrote letters. They hoped. They accepted the separation. They put their energy into the next generations.

I feel this connection to family on both my mother and father’s sides, yet these hugs after the big party are hugs not knowing when or IF we will see each other again. I pray we do. I hope to travel frequently (money well spent in my opinion)! It’s more than quite the blessing, it’s the full circle of the boat to the plane to the boatload of family. It’s putting your energy into the next generations, just like this trip, just like raising or lowering a ship in a lock, just like anything – pay it forward.. 

I’m so much enjoying this boatload of family love !!! Never want to miss THAT boat!


PS my scripture match with this is the bad rulers over Judah Israel and Jerusalem, 2nd Kings 21, etc… divided kingdoms and wayward kings…  my grandparents were escaping the bad ruler too… they hopped on the boat. Imagine my life would not exist if they didn’t. I am glad they didn’t miss the boat. God can use even the evil days for good.

Manasseh King of Judah, 2nd Kings 21:1-6
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

What’s in the Book? Travelogue


I couldn’t understand the tour guide but it was a great tour of one of the oldest castles and chapels, just 20 minutes from homebase. It was 12th century wow, WOW WOW WOW! and we did get a tourbook to read in English about the place, so I wasn’t totally lost. (The torture chamber needed no explanation, yikes! The Rack! Water torture. Solitary confinement – they dropped you in from the ceiling for the guarantee of a long painful death. Ugh. Ugh!)

Gratefully the rest of the tour was a pleasure to see original 12th century beauty and 17th-18th century renovations. And oh the views! Here is where good king lived before he went away then returned to be King. There were not the rooms with the pure gold because this castle was for residence and it’s treasures were raided 4 times at least, and it had a fire about every 100 years. The thick walls survived but the treasures not so much. However the Chapel was so beautiful, restored in the 1700s, I think. The Gothic-era throne room is so large. They accumulated tremendous portrait paintings. And the library would blow you away, newest books are 1700s, oldest are 11th century German ones. There are German copies of the Bible (a page opened to the laws of Moses I am told) and tremendous spiritual paintings. I could see and know the meaning of the paintings because I have read The Book, the Bible, yet it’s the faces portrayed in joy and anguish that we appreciate mentally absorbing. These books stand like a library frozen. I kept wondering what info is in the books we don’t know. What’s in the books?

My cousin then took us home, we rested until her mom and extended family came by. They have a new memory album and want to fill in the book for the family tree, she remembered the package my great grandfather mailed from America up to the 1940s – he mailed clothes and other items, they mailed him mushrooms which are so traditional to harvest from the national forests here. In her book, she will organize her memories, in the trees organize what family she knows, hopes to fill in what she doesn’t know. What should be in the book?

This brings me to my scripture readings, old testament, the people found a book of info they didn’t know, the laws of Moses. King Josiah tried to understand these laws of love, pages of instruction maintaining connection with God. Scriptures are filled with connections and family histories and lineages too. Yes, the book is the direction and recording, but inquiry of the Lord is the connection. 

I have inquired of my family roots, and those connections have brought me love 1000-fold over and over. That’s what we need to research family trees for, not riches but reaches. Meeting cousins. Knowing love.

That’s what’s in the Book: LOVE!!!


2 Kings 22

The Book of the Law Found

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord….

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.  …. Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, she was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter. She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ 

Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.  Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”

Fruit of Our Family Tree – Travelogue


Blessed to BE,

Blessed to SEE,

Fruit of the Blossoms 

From our Family Tree.

It is NO surprise that in the sky this mid-summer pre-dawn, the cup of the Big Dipper is upright and “holding its water” here in the countryside. (In the US, it’s tipped over by the end of summer, summer “runs out”). Here, my cup is FULL of God’s love and blessings, summer and family, experiences and JOY. This early wake up is no surprise God finds some time to write, I am BLESSED. Blessed to reconnect with family. Blessed to connect new generations with each other. Blessed to be on vacation, BONUS TIME. (Blessed to fund vacation with bonus money too) Blessed by having one more week here and more family to see. Super Blessed to BE and SEE the Fruit of the Blossoms of our Family Tree.

Our great grandparents born humble but ambitious made great families of hard workers. The overlook (in the photo) to the river was beautiful. Beautiful weather and view, we sat APPRECIATIVE.

Like I have said, this is a trip of a LifeLine, reconnecting us as opposed to a trip (once) of a lifetime. My daughter super blessed and ready for this trip – to take a vacation break like me – see architecture and history from the ground floor – and for her to meet her family, see where her roots are from (1/4 of her family tree). This tracing of family roots is the dream of many in America, the solid tracks written down by very appreciative children.

Love our family when we are together. These are hard working people who love their family, their gardens, house rebuilding, cooking, even know how to sew. My US family connects in perfectly. And as the generations absorb the info from their parents and grandparents, we all absorb the love freely given. Love is never supposed to be kept for yourself but shared. Fruits of the spirit are to be shared. I ate currents from the yard. And we had fruit pie and sauce from home-grown apples, fruit cobbler from home-grown blackberries, goodies from home fridges, LOL. Fruits of the yard even in drought. I appreciate this quiet time here. I urge you all: take vacation in parts, to decompress, to see, to connect and learn, all to bear further fruit.

We are family, and do it yourselfers, but I realized when I wrote: “This tracing of family roots, written down by very appreciative children” – that the statement 100% applies to our Lord and His/our Family Tree. Jesus being the Word wrote down, being the Tracts we must discover in us, being the Bible Himself, from His Our Father’s Love, He IS our Vine to nurture us. Our Vinedresser God prunes our lives, makes us stronger to bear His fruit. We ARE blossomed by His Love to bear His Fruit. Psalm 1 speaks of “be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Jesus was the ultimate “do it yourselfer” – taking our sin burden so we could be home with God. I am SO APPRECIATIVE of my brother and Lord, Jesus, wanting the best for us forever.  No wonder we also want the best for our children. 

Cool… Fruitful… BLESSED!



John 1:1-5

Jesus said: “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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.


Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Good Kings Rule! Travelogue


It’s more than folklore, good Kings are remembered for their goodness. 

We visited the castle of someone considered a really good king, AMAZING, my second trip but first inside the chapels. This was the first tour in memory for my young cousin. I thought so cool that he was able and eager to absorb history of his own land, and now appreciate its beauty, instead of just being a place to live. A tourist in your hometown. Yummy food and touristy village atmosphere below the castle too. Did I mention that I love being on vacation? Home was salad dinner and cake with the cousins around the kitchen table. Family is family!

This castle was not intended as a residence but as a fortress, each building a separate fortress, for preservation of the valuable relics and jewels. This king is portrayed as a preservationist and the ornate GOLD chapel a miniature homage to the New Jerusalem in precious metals,  stones,  and portraits of the saints. AMAZING. 

This good king traveled his whole reign to all the regions and strengthened the ministries. So key, that he was depicted as placing some relics, like a thorn from Jesus’s crown and a nail from His Cross, into the ornate jeweled Cross, part of the crown jewels now. There are said to be 3 relics preserved in the building, stones from the tomb, but 200 others lost, stolen, given away, like breastmilk from the virgin Mary. Yes, they may not be believable as relics in today’s reality to have been genuine, but the faith was real. The faith of the King was real as to believe if they kept good, they would be with the 144,000 saved in apocalypse Rapture return of Jesus, all on the way to the New Jerusalem. I’ve never seen before so much actual depiction of the Book of Revelation, most don’t teach it, these chapels depict it in painted wall murals.  WOW. The 4 horsemen to the earthquakes to angels… 

They kept this castle protected by taking all the trees down and able to visualize anyone trying to invade, worked well until 1600s and one army got all the way to but not in the main structure. They had stockpiled food, were under siege for 7 months, but prevailed. The wood bridge was purposefully burned to keep the invaders away. We walked the reconstructed bridge inside, first a cold basement used for food storage in the seige, otherwise used as a prison. Then up to the Holy Chapel. AMAZING. 

My scripture readings of Kings went from good king Hezekiah to bad king Manasseh, his son, (He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.) Bad kings ARE bad, leading people astray. Good kings lead people to worship. The best and ONLY King we need to worship is Jesus, who did it ALL. Nothing we can do, nor any earthly king, can take away what Jesus already did for us to save us. 

I am certain from walking around these castles and cathedrals (a confirmation of my feelings from last time) that God in the Holy Spirit indwells in the people not the buildings or relics, not in the Gold or money, but in the Spirit. The amazing things He has created are of Him, and Good, the people are Very Good. The people are whom He will save (not “good” people, but sinners who believe, saved by Grace).

One note in the gold chapel, with gemstones hanging representing the jewel stone types in the New Jerusalem, there are depictions of the sun and moon, but I know from the book of Revelation that those will pass away. I found one tourist, who was near the end of my English-narrated tour, to whom I could mention in Spirit and Truth that God Himself with Jesus will be ALL the LIGHT in the New Jerusalem.  All Light, no night. Now that’s a GOOD King!

Jesus is our KING!


Good Bad and Indifferent – Travelogue


It’s so good and NOVEL for me to be on VACATION. Unheard of for me to take 2 weeks off. Great flights, to Europe, easy in the middle of the week. Even loved the cute flight food. My daughter is VERY ready to learn all about travel and to be the independent woman she will be, yes a world traveler. And already she corrects me, I’m “just a tourist”, LOL …

We are blessed. Staying with my cousins in a village of just a few hundred people, with one coffee house, one restaurant, one store…. We have the first floor of their house which they are refurbishing, so this second kitchen has a teapot and pretty much all we need here, especially peace and quiet. The only bad was the pesky fly overnight, but today I found the flyswatter.

Going to a castle today from the 1300’s. The castles may be old, but the love never gets old. This week is already filling up with love of new old family, and I still haven’t hugged most of them yet. Looking forward to that. God Loves covers the miles apart.

The oldness of some buildings is quaint to us, but might be considered “run down” to others here…. the big church building here is from 1770, not officially abandoned but not in daily use, only used at Christmas. The doors are propped open with gates locked – and although exposed to the weather, it doesn’t really get as much rain as it gets vandalism… but the solid construction is fine and hearty. I know people in the US who say “look at the lack of people in the churches” – well Europe is way ahead of us there – the indifference is strong – the Lord is stronger however and those of faith do exist, like my cousins, but it is said that Europe is less and less “religious” – even if they do have the old churches and cathedrals that stand up to time.  Someday we will see how this all pieces together, but for now it’s like being a spiritual tourist into a time forgotten.

My scripture reading matches the church issues – so much comes and goes – there are good kings and bad kings – churches open and close – but the Lord never changes. Learning about King Hezekiah, we find that when presented with the future plans God had for his people, he thought, well I’m ok now. We do think just in short time frames of our time on earth, but God is ALWAYS knowing BIG ETERNAL everything. We need to think more long-term, more God-term. Love will survive above all.


2nd Kings 20:17-21

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”

As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?  Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.

Trust Trust Trust – Travelogue


There’s no feeling like stepping out from a car and realizing you REALLY ARE going on a trip. This trip is 11 days, family and freedom to wander thru the wonders. Doesn’t matter the prep, how much or little, I stepped out of my friend’s car today and WHOA, reality hit, I better be ready now. Give it up to God, He’s in control and you HAVE to believe that now. No turning back. 

The train I knew, flying I knew, 50lb weight limit I knew, longish lines and outrageous prices I knew. Trusting God? That’s all faith. That’s all Him being Him, us being dependent upon Him. That’s not us being weak, that’s us being smart. We NEED God to be God. Good thing He IS.

In every moment, we need Him. Just now, after I started to write, the flight crew paged for “if there was a doctor on board”.  If I couldn’t sleep before, I can’t sleep now. I pray. We are 3 hours from our first stop. Not sure what’s going on with them, but the Lord knows. We wait on Him even when we DO know. We have to have faith always. 

I am carrying a rock on this trip, in my backpack – usually it lives in my car. I painted it, it says “God is in control” – He is always, not JUST when I remember He is. I like this rock and I love the Rock, Jesus, because He has us covered either way, we live because He loves. I also have a card of Psalm 40:4 near my passport: “Blessed is the one who TRUSTS in the Lord.” 

And one more card in my wallet window: “I am with you ALWAYS.”, Matthew 28:20, this is Jesus telling us He IS God and with us. We must begin here, He is here, every bump of turbulence, every unknown is known to Him. 

Worship in Spirit and in Truth.

Trust IS the first step of worship.


PS, no news on that passenger, no news is good news. Good news is God news, the plane is still flying, God still IS in control. Amen Amen 

God is in Control

A Trip of a LifeLine


 A Trip of a LifeLine 

I am preparing for what might be considered a trip of a lifetime, perhaps I am, but since I’ve been blessed to be on many “trips of a lifetime”, to many places, and some places twice, I am going to consider this a trip of a LIFELINE instead of a lifetime. A lifetime is once so YES, I consider my repeat trip to my ancestral homeland as connecting and reconnecting a Life LINE of family, faith, friendship, and future… And since this is my daughter’s first time overseas, you could consider it a trip of a lifetime for her, YES, and I do pray a spectacular trip, but I also want it to be a lifeLINE, the first of MANY trips here! 

With family here, she gets to meet her generation as well as the younger and the older, those up to her grandmother’s generation, and we can look at photos and learn some stories of survival and thriving. Instant family will be in sight from just a flight, we are sure blessed alright!

A trip of a LifeLine: How could I not think of my great grandparents who left for good reasons and never got to visit back, the world wars, local wars, the finances too… This is not a cheap trip, but worth every penny to us. 

A trip of a LifeLine: Likewise, how could I not think of the Lord coming to earth and stepping out of Heaven for Good Reasons and never turning back. That was not a cheap trip, but worth every soul, to the Lord.

A LifeLine, one Life at a time. It’s worth the trip. With Jesus as our LifeLine, we will be fine.


Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 4:7-13

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Psalm 68: 18-20

When you ascended on high, you took many captives;
you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious – that you, Lord God, might dwell there.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

In Good God Hands


It’s in good hands I leave home while I travel, I leave home in God’s Hands. 

It’s in good hands I rest my worries, I leave them in God’s hands. 

It’s in good hands I trust work will get done, or at least won’t fall apart, I leave it in God’s hands. 

It’s in good hands I put my stress, ego, mind, body, soul, life, loves, hopes, flaws, strengths, confidences, weaknesses, boldness, humility, humanity, whole-kit-and-kaboodle-ness, I PUT THEM IN GOD’S HANDS. 

Because He already has them. Because He knows what to do with them. Because He is a Good God. Because He IS GOD.

In Good God Hands.


Psalm 24:1-2, 8-10 (of David)

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods…..

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory.

Reprise Post: The Whole Kit and Kaboodle


Jesus, the Way, gave away the Whole Kit and Kaboodle of Himself for all our eternal lives.  Not any human measurable items, not riches nor fame, a Gift from not just hands, but heart and whole, Jesus gave it all.

Hands down. Jesus gave it ALL. 

Like the Father watching for His prodigal sons (and daughters) to return after venturing out into the world, God waits for us to return. And God in Jesus comes after us. Likewise, God gave away His richest most valuable treasure, gave away His Son’s Life for all to be redeemed, freely redeemed our sins for welcoming home all whose names are in the book of life to stay alive forever in GLORY. Oh, His Joy for when He sees us turn the bend for home. And who is in the Book of Life? All of us who believe in the redemption of Jesus for our sins. All who realize where our treasure really is. All who call Jesus Lord and Follow. We have to be Willing to Lose our Lives for Him.

We are already called to be in God’s SUV “Savior’s Ultimate Victory” biggest car wagon of Life with Jesus in the driver’s seat driving us home away from our junk. Even if we packed it – he just leaves the hatch open and it flies out the back. His Venture to Victory now becomes the finish lap to collect His Treasures: US!!! 

Jesus removes our burdens, His Yoke is Light, because He has ultimate horsepower under the hood, and each of us gets a saving faith trip. Anything we think we need to carry – baggage of treasures or trash – is placed on the roof and Jesus hits the gas and it flies away – we don’t need it – we are in the car and on our way. Freed for forever. (Just buckle your seatbelt so you don’t lean out the window looking back at your old life left behind. Let the dead fall under road tread.


And the unbelievable part? It’s a free ride, already paid, a toll was paid by the Driver. We slide thru the scanner and all is removed from your history bank account, all is credited on account of your faith.

Our hands feet and hearts are freed to work in acts of faith as from our calling and what we are driven to say, act, be is to benefit all weary travelers, all those who need to hear “Dump your junk” – “Ride with the King” – “Lamb Lyft” – “Saved by Grace” – “Riding on the fumes of faith” – “Not Worthy Wanderers Welcome”- “Low Rider’s Dip Trip” – “Was, Is, Is To Come Taxi” – “Shining Stars Shuttle” – “Almost Home”… 

The ultimate bumper sticker: “GOT JESUS?”

Gotta go, “My Ride is Here”.



Philippians 2:1-15

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death —  even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

Reprise Post: Stay on Track


God showed me an important scripture that brought me solace and peace. A personal message that God revealed – it connected to me when I asked for some gem of the day. It comforts me to stay on the right track by praying and asking, working and wondering, for particular and all people to HEAR HIM, for them to know Him, to taste His forgiveness and to know His lift. 

Yes, it’s the whispers of scripture to our hearts, souls, minds which overtake any other background worldly noise. If you ask and pray, God thru Jesus, the Word of God made flesh being the bible Himself, will answer your prayers before you ask. Before Him, no prayers are wasted. It is OK – and CRUCIAL – to ask God in prayer for people’s ears to hear. People we know and a multitude we don’t. God is telling us to stay on track and trust Him working within each person.

The scripture, an old testament little gem, 2nd Chronicles 30: prayers by the king for people who had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate... But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

A second gem:

For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

The train tracks of earthly life that we are on ARE HIS and return to Him. We have an engineer conductor and a caboose – an Alpha and Omega – JESUS… and for Him to move us, we have a Fireman Holy Spirit in charge of shoveling more coal into the boiler for steam.  The caboose has grips to hold on to and stairs to climb. I climbed the caboose in joy this past weekend – and even sat in the seat with a bird’s eye view.

For those traveling with the Lord, you can stand and wave, for those who leave the sleeper car, the fresh air feels great and refreshing, and for those who ALMOST missed the train, there’s always a hand up for helping everyone. 

We are the hands and feet of God – securing, pulling, hauling, holding ourselves AND anyone who we can come alongside with. Invite all to see what it is like riding with the Lord.

For those who know and don’t know Him, our prayers ARE heard. God’s spirit is telling us which side of the train to lean out – to watch and wave – to ask and pray – to reach out and save. God has been tracking all of the people and reaches for each one by name.

HE KNOWS where His train is going – to find and bring all HOME. His tracks are laid down in LOVE from His One heart. For out of Judah, the Word was commanded to come, Jesus came to Earth to bring us all along. Let us continue to pray for particular and all people to HEAR HIM, for them to know Him, to taste His forgiveness and to know His lift.  

Ears and Eyes OPEN!

“All Aboard!”


2nd Chronicles 30:1-27

And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.

Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.

Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord.

And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron. Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord. And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.

For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.

For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one

That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.

And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord.

And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the Lord: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers.

And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.

And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem. Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven. 

Reprise Post: No Baggage – Just Love


No Baggage – Just LOVE

I do love visiting with people, that’s just part of my nature… and having spent every other day for a short visit to my grandmother’s nursing home from my birth until age eleven, I understand the temporary nature of nursing home visits and the importance… And I have empathy for the permanent situation they are in… It seems like a routine of flying in like a bird feasting on love and smiles and flying just as quickly out…

Some folks entering may be overwhelmed with the sadness of the people’s situation… Some may be caught up (especially with their own family members) in the guilt of such a short visit as well as feeling the pain of seeing them decline…and not being able to drop their baggage of the inevitably grave situation…

Visit briefly, flutter in like a bird… share Jesus’s pure love, while dropping your own baggage at the door…

You are called to have compassion, as in Romans 12:15 (KJV) “15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”…   With this recent visit I was reminded how nice visiting the nursing home is… Nice isn’t sufficient a word… I LOVE visiting… The first man I met grabbed my hand and wished me peace. He became my go to guy for music inspirations. Joe. Such a sweet exchange… Smiles come from all the people, especially when they see the kids… I get to share smiles and hand holding, no prep work needed… Abundant Grace gifts of community all around. As a friend from our church led the service, my daughter prepped the communion cups… My shy guy just looked cute… I thought I would ask them what they wanted to sing, and being it was the 4th of July weekend we sang some patriotic songs… and I suggested Amazing Grace… they loved singing of course. After the service one woman said how much she appreciated the service, and could understand the message…

Many well wishes and compliments abound from these lovely people. We are not family, so there are no expectations, no entitlements, just affirmations of community, just free love to flow back and forth. After service they “dashed” off to bingo… I could envision them concentrating on their own boards while keeping a watchful eye over each other’s numbers… Keeping a watchful eye over each other’s lives… On the way out I met a man, a veteran, who couldn’t hear me, said he was a paratrooper jumping out of planes and lost his hearing from that, and he didn’t get the health care he needed as a vet… He told me in his youth that he could catch fish just using his bare hands… Hmmm…. He just scooped his hands to show me how easy it is to catch fish.

These people held my hands as I held theirs but truly they captured my heart… Through the love showered on me, it reminds me that I am just one of the lucky fish that HE, our Heavenly Father, caught in HIS hands. No entitlement expected, just an affirmation that I appreciate of His LOVE. Telling me to live my life in a way that when I am weak, I am strong…

The scripture reading (2 Corinthians 12) was fitting and a comfort to me and hopefully to them… God knows there’s pain, anguish, loneliness, personal battles… a thorn in your side…. Paul reminds us to remember to stay humble, to stay weak so that we stay connected to God, and look to Jesus to show us the way to true inner joy and peace… The cross you carry, no matter how painful, is there to give you hope, it’s your way to your salvation into an eternal life….


2 Corinthians 12 (NIV)

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Reprise Post: Feel the Love – Fill the Bag



I keep hard copies of my chapters of writing in a “Subaru… Feel the LOVE” bag – yeah cool… Yeah BLESSED.

Got the bag from a very spiritual friend, who thoughtfully got it for me at a car show a couple of years ago… He was the one who called me out of the blue to wish me a happy mother’s day and we caught up from a long while… How blessed I could share how God had changed me…

How blessed also I was this morning to have someone check on me, worried I was ill with my head down, when actually I was just so deep in thought sitting in my car, writing a text…. It’s nice to have thoughtful people around isn’t it???

Just counting blessings… And Subarus…

and writings…

Reprise Post: God’s Recycling


God’s Recycling, 28JULY

For VBS, I know the final take home cost of our sanctuary decorations this year was zero…. Not even the tape cost us, all was donated, reused and trash picked… most of the materials were donated (even the food)… Enabling us to keep under the total expenditures way down, WOW…

Yeah, God provides…

I especially like to use trash picked stuff because I remember God takes us, picks us up, removes our trash baggage of sin with Jesus death and resurrection, and reuses us, washes us clean, and reminds us we are loved… And gives us eternal life….

Dust to dust we are all made from God’s reuse and recycling…

Thanks God for picking me up, dusting me off, and focusing my eyes on you!


All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Ecclesiastes 3:20

For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.  Ecclesiastes 12:17

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19 NIV

Reprise Post: What’s in Your Garden?


The rainbow text message photos from a local friend called to me to get off my chair and outside. And WOW, a FULL rainbow, start to finish, and it was a double too. Not much rain but a reign of blessings and promise and hope is always signaled when we remember God’s promises. The previous day there was a rainbow too.

Tomorrow, I don’t know about rainbows in the sky, but will God’s promises still be there? Yes, promises and hope from God are ALWAYS shining thru, it’s up to us to blow away some of our clouds of life and notice the silver-linings and promises fulfilled – then embrace the Lord in thanks. He will help us plant good things in our lives so that He can water them. He sends the rains and rainbows. 

When Moses instructed his people about the new land God gave them, he spoke of the Lord sending the spring and fall rains. These were agricultural folk, dependent upon the land and their livestock. But we are rarely more than simple gardeners, only a few seeds here and there for colorful flair and the joy of working the soil. Oh, the vibrant colors of Fall, the harvest season are feast for the eyes. The cool crisp feeling also gives us a reminder to prepare for the winter (even if it is raking up leaves in shorts). 

Some things seem easy and yet all is not all easy for so many and this life may seem to bring us storms or we feel we have too much rain or not enough. Hopefully all our angst is only seasonal, and prayerfully many do have a storage tank of rain to spare and share. We do have MANY blessings. My onerous task this morning was NOT working my farmstead but opening a can of spaghettios for my son’s lunch. Times have changed. He didn’t venture to the fields for work, but to school in a car with a friend after a trip to the local haunt for a breakfast sandwich. Our milk and honey promised land is flowing in conveniences and blessings. So, that also means we have more time to think about THANKING GOD. And isn’t’ that what our promise pledge should be? THANKING GOD.

And what about planting our fields? Our gardens? Let us now make GARDENS OF FAITH, FIELDS OF FORGIVENESS, and take on the praiseful barnstorming of worship, in our vast landscape of thankfulness. 

We are to till the soil for others now too, soften our hearts and look for seed planting openings. Let’s open opportunities for sharing. When the people ask: “What’s in your garden?” Let’s reply: “I’m cultivating HOPE, FAITH, FORGIVENESS and LOVE.”

Our lives change, our burdens differ, but the Lord is the same. 

God keeps His promises. 

Let us also keep the HOPE. 


Moses teaching how to live in a new land, Deuteronomy 11:8-15

Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.  But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

Reprise Post: Broken Chains


I knew I had to write about broken chains while popping adhesions of scar tissue in my shoulder during physical therapy… So, many parallels to the release of us from the weight of chains, of life-stress holding us down… The adhesions popped with active stretching after my post-op inactivity laid down a rare case of tremendous scar tissue. These were painful powerful releases of my shoulder’s mobility from chains… I heard many pop over the course of four months… yes, I heard them as powerful as I felt them… so when the doctor said there was no choice,  time for more surgery, I REJOICED because I needed this opportunity to move from 70% mobility to 100%… A precise calculated cut of tissue… Surgery the price I gladly paid for my shoulder freedom. 


Can you imagine this tremendous visual of God breaking our physical mental emotional chains in order to be free?…  God calms our hearts, cheers our hearts, cleanses our hearts… God paid the price by sending Jesus to do this for us! A ransom for our bondage. We walk away from our gates of prison. 

Jesus lets us break free of the chains of the world crushing in on us, radically freeing us from the chains of sin – God frees us with a Savior! 

God wants us to move forward and exclaim the freedom He grants us… We are to spread the Good News… Jesus came to free us. 

There’s a praise song “Love Came Down” “LOVE broke thru the darkness, now I can finally see, Paid the price for my freedom, No more chains on me…and the Savior came, and He took the blame, changed everything… “

At our women’s retreat, my beautiful spiritual friend spoke about these chains being broken –  BUT WE NEED TO LIFT THEM OFF... I can see her doing the movements of removing chains… We have to stand up to shake them off.

God broke our restrictive chains, but it is up to us to realize that we are free to live in His LIGHT… GRACE is not something we deserve but we are gifted this freedom because God LOVES us!

It’s a process… It’s walking forward… It’s following stepping stones to the LIGHT… The path is narrow but it is sure… Look for the lighted stepping stones… even take a step in JOY.

Step out of your chains. You are released.

Keep walking in the LIGHT to new life… Forever…  Keep walking away from your chains. 


Here are two scripture stories about being released from prison chains –

Acts 12 NIV

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.


Acts 16

Paul and Silas in Prison

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Reprise Post: Ping


Jesus is just adjusting your antenna…

We are loved by God, so much that He keeps us thinking about Him… it might make us think (well I certainly did) that we are crazy contemplating Him so much, but He knows it is for our own good… it keeps us bearing His fruit and that means because of Him we are spreading the meanings of His Word and encouraging others…

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8  (and Psalm 1)…

God is “pinging” us… Yes, like a cell phone, if we were lost in the woods, the ping might help find us. The ping goes BOTH ways – towers and phones – both actively involved in communication…. Isn’t that what happens with God and us too? It’s not God pinging an inanimate object, like a rock, it’s God pinging the SPIRIT within us! We are filled with His SPIRIT, we can answer back, He can stir our souls because we ARE made of His stardust…. Even those souls who don’t know Him personally are His children… He pings them all.

How will we hear? What will we hear? How can we discern thru all the noise?

Perhaps the SPIRIT within each of us is constantly adjusting our antenna?…. Click-click, click-click, is how my Grandmother’s T.V. box for the big roof antenna would sound…

Yes, we can ask Jesus to hold His hands behind our ears like a receiving dish for God’s ping! We can ask Jesus to hold His hands behind our hearts as well, to heal our brokenness… Not simply like the fairytale boy with his finger in the dam to stop it from breaking, no.  Jesus can hold His hands behind our hearts to allow HIS living water to flow thru our hearts and back out thru those same cracks to nourish others… Jesus allows us to show His healing thru our brokenness… Living Water moves…

That’s us – broken but on the mend – less us, more Him – lost but found – but NEVER really lost to God, He has been pinging us all along…

The amplification of His signal drowns out the noise, we become a tree next to the noisy rippling life-giving stream, bearing more fruit, connected, rooted in the Living Water… Have you heard the pings of those fellow people calling to God? Messages in a bottle? I bet you have…

Number one message – God loves you – He wants you to accept your brokenness to accept His healing – He loves you no matter what… And guess what? it’s not just love once a day at the “same time, same God station” – it’s eternal – forever… And why? So that we LOVE HIM and LOVE all His Children… we can show our actions are from His phone conversation in our ear because we picked up HIS call…

Jesus asks: “Let those who have ears, hear”…



Reprise Post: Devotion in a Car Wash


I sat in a powerful automatic car wash and I knew there had to be devotion in that experience – somewhere… It was already formulating AUTOmatically in my head and when I saw the last sign to “DRY-N-SHINE” – AUTOmatically I knew that was God’s message today and always… He wants us to SHINE HIS LOVE!

My car wasn’t awful dirty but certainly it could have been cleaner… (what am I saying?  My peanut shell crumbs and life dust go on and on, purple bird poop from parking under trees was nothing compared to the inside explosion of who knows what!)…. Likewise I deceive myself into thinking that my life my soul are not as awful as I could imagine (What am I saying?  My sins of omission alone and self righteousness go on and on, and oh the mistakes, the bird poop of the soul…).

Despite of all of our humanness, the Lord finds ways for us to cleanse, to find His Way – Living Water in a car wash – a soul-soaking cycle for SAVING. Every car is dirty, every soul is a sinner – all sin is equal – all soul-saving means savoring the Savior.

Inside the wash, my car was on a single track, I had to put it in neutral and let the machine do its work automatically. In life we can look for the narrow but sure path – and we have to actually put our agendas in neutral and let the Spirit take over. Let Jesus do His work – automatically the Spirit pulls us, DON’T even think about putting it back in gear…

Inside, the car was dry, warm and dark! While the whirling bristles and flashing lights outside were like lightning and thunder, I felt the calm in the storms. Under God’s wings we are safe and sound – even if we see the enemies about – even if we hear the roar of earthquakes – calmness will help us hear the whispers of the Lord.

The car got not just one, but many many swirling brushes – many many slapping flaps…  One round of clean up is never enough, nor is it sufficient if you skip the hidden areas… Likewise sin and life require lifting the dirt under the dirt… our Savior understands and comes to clean continuously…

Actually, I really wasn’t worried about how the outside looked at all, I really wanted the unlimited time to vacuum and to sort my car on the inside. Jesus doesn’t worry about the outside of you either, Jesus wants to look inside and vacuum – first you can take out the big chunks out by hand – bottles under seats and logs from eyes… God wants you to feel beautiful. GOD LOVES YOU!

At the vacuum stations, my red car neighbors were arguing about scratches, on the gas cover. I stood grateful for realizing that my life scratches, most of which are of my own doing, car AND soul, were being washed. My dents are like Mader’s tow truck dents from the movie “Cars”, they are my memories… My tears, my thorns are my humility reminders, my smiles are in that car too… My joy is measured in miles… Eternally smiles and joy are in the Lord, as eventually we will enter the body shop of Heaven.

And at the end of the car wash what sign do I see illuminated? “SHINE!” Car buffing came included with this ultimate wash package. SHINE! Guess what? Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to each of us and forevermore so that we can SHINE. We are sent out into the world, driving to wherever His SHINE is needed.  His LOVE flows miles and miles. 

You know this shining up of my car did not cost me anything today!!!… I texted and got a free wash – a top of the line wash for FREE!!!… (yeah sure now they have my number)… You know what? OUR choice to follow Jesus is FREE-ing and doesn’t cost us anything either but it does cost us our own lives. Jesus has got our number and He will forever be pinging us to find us. We can hand our lives over in exchange for His, because He gave His life in exchange for ours – FOREVER… Free washes, free salvation, the owner of our souls already paid…

Of course it is not my boast to SHINE – it’s NOT of my own doing – it’s not even going to prevent me from having new sins, life is life, we mess up.  However, the ability to shine is going to give me a chance to heal and to tell others of my healing by the Body and Soul Shop of the Spirit.  It is in humbling gratitude that we know the splashes of mud will come, we are bound to repeat our need to be cleansed, we will have remorse, and when we repent we will be forgiven, re-cleaned, souls refreshed.

So take your mud and your scratches, those in your car and in your life and keep driving forward – for you are now commissioned – you are cleansed by the Living Water- it’s time to for you to DRY-N-SHINE!



Reprise post: Pollyanna



I have been called Pollyanna, often…. I forget the hard times I remember the good times, I have no idea why. I just know that I have very little right to complain, especially with how much God has blessed me.

Last time I was called a Pollyanna…. My thought was “good for me, sorry you’re not one too”, “sorry for your downer attitude”… I have to say that I should pull back my Pollyanna now and be more pensive.

From 8th grade on, when I turned into an outward-facing person, I walked away from my shyness, left it behind, I have been an enthusiastic person ever since (annoying yes, sorry)… Do I choose to show my dark places? no, not usually, and it is I who choose not to dwell there too long – or perhaps because I know God has new things for me – or because look how He has delivered me SAFE THUS FAR.

Just like this book passage states (photos attached) from a book my Pastor gave me, the writer talks about a man who looks on the bright side even in tragedy. I know someone in real life who did this, an amazing 87yr old retired coach, was a greeter at my children’s school and then the local tire place where people sat and waited and wow blessed if he came to talk to them….if I could be half as enlightened as he is at 87yrs of age, well that would be awesome…. He ALWAYS SAID: “HOW BLESSED AM I?” We always agreed – blessed and blessed because he counted his blessings.

Let’s just say God figures out how to make our enthusiasm knobs turn up to 11…. and plug it into the right channel.

The book passage acknowledges these types of people: “This true jouneyman of faith lived as a pilgrim. He didn’t deny life’s challenges. He understood that no place in this life is permanent. We just have stopping places, not staying places.”



152 pollyanna 1
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Reprise post: Guard Rail Prayer Rail


Friday night could not have predicted Sunday night memories of a great weekend… The Mercy of the Lord abounded to me… You could say that this is TMI for a devotion,  but this story is the truth: God rallies us – He rallied me when I asked… “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Seeking the Lord’s intervention…

That Friday afternoon I had FOOD POISONING! YEAH food poisoning, knew EXACTLY what food must have caused it… But Saturday I had major plans for my Polar Plunge with 8000 other crazy fun people, plus my daughter came home this weekend. On Sunday I wanted to be singing at church AND my son had been planning a rock climbing excursion with friends.


And so I put my plans in His…

And God rallied me… 

I turned my plans over to Him and He turned my life around. Why? Maybe because I ASKED. Maybe because of my stubborn willpower or maybe because I am greedy for my own plans? At any rate, that weekend with so many great memories now was ONLY made possible by God, requested by my fevered prayers at the guard rail, humbled and hurling…. if it’s TMI so sorry,  but a guard rail makes for an impromptu Friday evening, side of the road, PRAYER RAIL… I knew EXACTLY what I ate wrong (my fault)… At that guard rail I went through hell and back in 5 minutes… I was SURE it was food poisoning not viral (an added fevered prayer was that I didn’t want my family to get sick. They didn’t, and I had no other symptoms, my body rejected that poison soon after it went in)…

I made it. God made it better as soon as I collected my thoughts to pray. 3 hours later I felt recovered and I knew WHY. He’s saved me from worse.

Today my face, and my bagged eyes, are still flushed and bruised from all that guard rail trauma and strain. But I made it, Lord.  God is good.

I prayed being so very aware that I had to SURRENDER ALL my plans to Him… how I recovered so certainly and quickly was because of God… I was so surprised,  maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that God can answer so specifically… 

He does.

Guard rail and Prayer rail… ALL GLORY TO HIM.

Amen Amen Amen

(Thanks God! Really, THANKS…)