Worship Break

I was driving down the road at the end of the week, listening to great music and telling God what a great job He had been doing in taking care of us. As I listed some of my blessings–and I’ve got a LONG list!–I thought, “How can you NOT tell people how good God is every time you get an opportunity?!” I mean, that seemed like a no-brainer! (It still does, by the way.)

Not many hours later, I received a call from a friend who had a friend who was in charge of an upcoming women’s conference and one of her speakers was suddenly unavailable…and it was a whole week away! Would I consider stepping in to help out? Oh, and by the way, they’ve got a LOT of women coming!

Well. Really? What other answer could there possibly be except, “Yes, of course, I would be delighted to do that!” Seriously. Delighted! I think I may have actually laughed out loud and said, “Really, God? This soon? You’re calling me on it THIS soon?!” I mean, He already knew that I was scheduled to do the devotional portion of our Ladies’ Bible Study for most of the Tuesdays in September.

Yes, indeed, He knew that…and yes, indeed, He was calling me to do this new big thing, too. The theme for the conference is to be “Broken Into Beautiful,” after all, and Mike and I commented that if ever there was a theme for our lives, that one would have to be close to the top because we are always broken…and He is always beautiful.

So, I gulped really big and started thinking about how I should prepare this week. The phone rang. I answered.

“Becky, my co-teacher and I are both going to be out of town this coming Sunday and after we heard you speak on Tuesday, we just looked at each other and said, ‘She’s our person for the job. Would you be able to teach our Sunday School class this coming Sunday?'”

I have to tell you that, at that point, Mike and I both broke out into full-scale laughter! It took a little bit for me to answer because we were both laughing so hard! I am absolutely certain that the sweet lady on the other end may have decided that she had called the the wrong person after all. And what could I possibly say, except: “Yes, of course, I would be delighted to do that!”

And just like that, I had four preps in one 7-day period of time. Fortunately for me, God has been gracious and provided such overlap in study topics that it has been much simpler than I could have ever planned. I don’t have to address the whole conference at once, just do a couple of hour-long break-out sessions–and, truly, I guess it’s good they’re giving me a time limit because I could do an hour of how God has worked beautifully in my broken life while standing on my head! The Sunday School lesson is on a chapter that we’ve just been studying in Bible Study and the next devotional time…well, God’s already got some ideas for that and, while I know some of them…I’m still waiting on the rest. I guess it’s a good thing that it is 4 days away from now. (grin…there’s still time!)

It’s been a week of prep time, now, and I’ve got to tell you that I’m tired. I’m ready for a break from words and yet, here I sit, typing away. My grass looks like its been taking steroids and there are all kinds of house chores that have been put on hold this week, but I’m getting ready to go worship tonight with what we hope will be a big group of ladies who are meeting at our church tonight for a coffee-dessert-and-worship experience that they’ve entitled, “Thirsty.”

SONY DSCI love that. Thirsty. Even after a week of recounting blessings and being in the Word and talking to God, I can’t wait for this. In fact, I almost feel like it is my reward for the week. It seems like an answer to prayer to go and just rest before the Father and hear praise set to music and worship while we munch away.

Even in the telling of our blessings, we need to take time to just rest, you know. Tonight, that will be my role. Someone else will take the mic and lead…and I will just worship.

Oh, I wish you were here to go with me!

Grace & Peace! (oh, yeah, and WORSHIP!)


Mercy drops…

It started off slowly. Drop…drop…drop…so slowly that you could almost ignore it…except for those few wet blotches on the wooden banister of the back porch landing.

“There’s nothing on the radar,” he called out, and I decided right then to just tell God a big old “THANK YOU!” for each and every drop.

We need them. Every single one…and we need them to bring their friends.  We’ve been dry. For awhile.

The week has been challenge-full. It started with an accident. Crashing, folding metal right at my driver’s side door. We were all mobile under our own power at the scene, however, and that was all God.

A few days later, we watched a second tow truck haul away the second vehicle…in need of a pricey new fuel pump, but at least it happened here in the driveway and not where I couldn’t get to the rescue.

Brakes in need of repair on the motorcycle…it seemed God’s suggestion that we just stay put.

And so we did.

We had quiet week nights here at home prepping for upcoming tests and waiting out the healing while bruises faded and peace reigned and ease of movement began to return.

All in all, it’s been a good week. Maybe others wouldn’t think so, but I know better.

We’re all still here and there’s the gift of rainfall coming down right now, the ebb and flow of drops making it too fast now for me to count blessing for each drop…and trying to just the same.

I curled up on the ancient glider on the screened-in porch and just rested in the cooling rain-breeze telling God “thank you!” for all we know (and all we don’t!) as our little bird friend took refuge in the front porch corner once again.

Welcome back, bird. We’ve been missing you.

Oh, Father, help us not to miss You. There are puddles in the driveway…with standing water on the ground…praise!

“Mercy drops ’round us are falling, but for the showers we plead!” ~Showers of Blessings, lyrics by D.W. Whittle, 1883


I was on my way to buy cat food early yesterday morning when I saw her with her uncombed hair wild about her wide-eyed face. She was reaching into a garbage can for something to eat. We were both startled. I smiled and said, “Good morning.” So did she.

I was already halfway in the door and focused on my to-do list for the day when it happened and I guess my mind just didn’t make the leap in time. Really? Cat food was more important than people food?

I hurried through my errand trying to get back outside in time to see that she had real food for breakfast, but she was gone.

Long gone, I’d guess, because I looked.

I saw friends from church on their way into another store, but I didn’t see her.

I looked at the two different kinds of cat food I had just bought and thought about how long that money would have fed her.

I saw someone–a person–looking for breakfast in the trash can. Really? Here in this land of plenty?

Early this morning a far away missionary friend posted about her gratitude for rain and running water. Her gratitude for the rain was tied into the knowledge that families all around her were dependent on the water from the sky to meet even their most basic needs. She wrote about how she had the privilege of turning a tap for her water while others close to her were washing their clothes in muddy puddles. My response to her post? “And still we whine…”

It’s true, you know. We live in such privilege, such abundance, and yet, we still whine when things (even little things) don’t go our way or according to our schedule. I’m convicted of this. I’m guilty of this–and now I’m blown away by these two incidents back-to-back. Really? We are surrounded by people in need and we still have the nerve to complain about what we lack because the multitude of our blessings are still less than we desire.

If you’re reading this post, then your life is a blessed one–and I don’t care what other troubles you’re facing right now, that statement is true. You have access to the internet and that means power and I’ll bet it also means you have access to running water and food choices that don’t include whatever someone else decided to throw away.

I know problems are universal and that we can’t meet every need from just one pocket, but we can make a difference when we see the opportunity. I missed mine yesterday because I was too focused on something that wasn’t nearly as important as a person.

Don’t miss yours.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’   Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  Matthew 25:35-40


Autumn Lavender Bloom

Lavender Bloom

When I get on my treadmill in the mornings, I see a small sticky note that I placed there quite some time ago which says,

“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~Frances of Assisi

I put it there on purpose to remind myself that sometimes those things that we need to do won’t always be all kinds of fun or even be our end goal, but they’re still necessary so we can get to where we want to be.

So where do YOU want to be? What is it that you feel deep in your soul that you’re supposed to be doing? Have you started toward it yet?

Change isn’t always comfortable, but if we want our lives to BE different, we must choose the often unfamiliar and, sometimes, even the uncomfortable get where we need to be. Choose what is necessary today…even if it feels like it won’t really make that much difference. Not every step forward has to be a giant leap. Get in the habit of doing something toward your goal every single day and see how God can use your consistency and His faithfulness to build something wonderful into your life!

It’s up to you! You have today. What will you do with it to get closer to where you want to be?

(And now, it is time for me to get on that treadmill and then get started pulling weeds out of the back flower bed…and, yes, I know. Sometimes we just have to do what is necessary…I’m preaching to the choir…again.)

Grace & Peace!


I waited until later to publish this one…on purpose. I knew, you see, that yesterday’s news would be today’s as well. I also knew that so much would be said yesterday (and probably for a good while to come!) that my words might get lost in the clamor. I’m OK with that. What I’ve got to say won’t change a lot of people’s minds, but maybe–just maybe–it might help someone else out there calm down and focus on something other than the hoopla in the news. Everywhere I’ve turned today, there have been rainbows and recriminations. Even as I type, there’s a rainbow at the top of my screen…and it wasn’t there yesterday. I suspect it will still be there tomorrow. Some things are going to be different now. Some things won’t change at all. I plan to be one of those “things” that don’t change. As far as I can tell, my mission is still the same one that its always been. God said I was supposed to love people like He loves people. He didn’t say that I’d always understand them, approve of their actions, agree with them, or even always like them. He just said I was supposed to love them. So, in case you were wondering, the answer to the unspoken question is a resounding “No.” I am not upset by the conclusions reached and published by five people whose job it is to interpret the laws instead of making them. I wasn’t wondering what they thought yesterday, so their opinions don’t hold that much appeal for me or change my thought process today. I don’t agree with those five people, but I am still called to love them and I plan to do so. And what about those people who are so excited and happy about this ruling? Well, the answer to that question is a “yes.” I have friends and family who see today’s news as a victory. I haven’t changed my mind about them, either. So, yes, I loved them before I heard the news and I see no reason to change that now, either. How can that be? Well, I’m realistic enough to know that I don’t have to believe someone is right before I choose to love them. Realistic? Yes. That word is appropriate because I don’t know of a single person on the planet that I’ve agreed with 100% of the time. In fact, if I was waiting until I found someone I agreed with on every single thing, then I wouldn’t even be able to love myself! (To understand that last sentence you need only remember the last time you said you were “on a diet”, but decided to have that big ole brownie anyway.) Loving someone like Jesus loves them means I am called to love regardless of their choices or opinions…and it means I will still be speaking His truth to them every time they’ll let me. You see, I’m a firm believer in telling the truth. I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, therefore I am called to tell the truth. What concerns me, however, is the number of people who aren’t speaking His truth in love…and we are called to do that, as well. It matters, people. It matters a lot, so I don’t plan to do that differently, either. The main thing you need to know about me is that I won’t be different today and I won’t be different the day after or the day after that…because I’ve already been changed. I’ve already made the decision that God knows best and that Jesus came to make a way so I could spend eternity with Him and I already know that He wants me to tell others how they can be changed, too, so here it is: God loves YOU! He sent His Son Jesus to die for you and He’s not waiting on you to get cleaned up or change on your own before you get to know Him. He loves you just like you are today AND He loves you enough to know what needs to change about you…whether it’s something that you’ve made public or not. He’s not worried that the task will be too difficult for Him. He’s also not concerned about whether His Word (the Bible) will suddenly become popular with the people on the Supreme Court or with the ones on the Main Streets all across the world or even with those who might sit in pews with all kinds of sin in their hearts this weekend. The Unchangeable One came to change us into the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29)…no matter where we live or where we stand on this issue or any other. He came to make us righteous and when we become righteous because of His sacrifice (2 Corinthians 5:21), that’s when we’ll be able to love like He loves…and that will be what changes the world.

Do you know?

Hello, there! I know, I know…I’ve missed you, too! (all seven and a half of you who’ve been faithful to keep checking back here. ha!) I’ve been keeping pretty busy around here and, as I wrote before, God’s just had me being quiet even in all of the busy. Given all of the chaotic news in the world lately, a little quiet has seemed even more necessary than normal. I’ve been edging from my regular introversion toward full-on hermit…with occasional forays into the world of hysterical laughter with wonderful friends.

Along with cleaning out cabinets and closets, ignoring the growing weed collection in my flower beds as I’m roaming out in the yard, recovering chairs for the back porch and taking as much time as I can with my husband, I’ve also been pretty much camped out in Psalm 91…for WEEKS now. There’s still too much learning/brain and spirit marinating going on about that for me to even start sharing right now, but I’ve also had THIS keep popping up here lately and I do feel like I need to share it.

cropped-heartFor this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)

Did you see it? It’s what we ALL need right now:  “I pray that YOU (emphasis mine, but do you see that this is personal?)…grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Could there be anything bigger than that? Is there anything any of us need more today? Do you know that for yourself? And if not, can you just take a second and tell God that you’d really like Him to show you that? He really will do that for you, you know. And if you’re already learning this–because the vastness of this blessing is so great that I wonder if we can ever stop learning it?!–isn’t there someone you know who needs to start knowing it, too?

I get that we can’t hide from the world and still be effective in reaching those who really need to hear this, but I sometimes wonder if we don’t stay silent because we’re underwhelmed with our own resources. Here’s a little hint for all of us:  When we just start loving people like HE loves them, then we’re not dependent on our own resources…we’ll be walking out the wonder of God’s resources!

Do you know? and Do you know someone else who needs to hear this, too?

Grace and Peace!


Well. This has been quite the week for news, hasn’t it? More than that, it’s been quite the week for anger and vitriol and finger-pointing (from every side) about what is right and what is wrong–especially if your last name is Jenner. Interestingly enough, it is just barely mid-week and the main story in the news…isn’t really the main story…for any of us.

Somehow, in the midst of all of the goings-on, I think we’ve managed to miss a few things.

Here’s the real news:

  • There’s actually something wrong with all of us. What’s wrong with us is that we’re all flawed and we’re all sinful…all of us.
  • NONE of us have gotten it every bit right so far…and we never will as long as we’re still on this planet.
  • Perhaps the saddest news of all is when someone (anyone!) is unaware of who they are created to be…in Christ.
  • When someone doesn’t have that knowledge, it is absolutely impossible for their lives to look like they have that knowledge.
  • LOVE does not equal APPROVAL of every action or attitude. It isn’t even acceptance of every action or attitude. Love is a lot tougher than that…and a lot more resilient than we ever give it credit for being.
  • If I focus on the things that still need to  be fixed in ME, I won’t have time to finger-point…at anyone.

Here’s the better news:

  • God still loves us!
  • God didn’t wait for us to get it all together and act like we should before He decided to love us…or show us how MUCH He loves us!
  • There’s still time to act like we know and believe that.

SONY DSCHow will you LOVE today? How will you LIVE HIM today? How will you entice the world to want to know our God today? (Hint: They ARE all the same thing!)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  John 3:16-17

Grace & Peace!