Thursday, December 31, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!"
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's holy people. Revelation 22:20-21

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram's horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with the strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing
praises to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:1-6

As we move oh-so-quietly from 2009 to 2010, my wish for this upcoming year is that you and yours will know love, good health, happiness, security and the peace that surpasses all understanding, which is HIS gift to us all. Be safe and above all, know you are loved and prayed for!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Forever...then Rome

Happy Anniversary sweetheart...I was blessed to be your wife and I can't wait for the day when I can once again look into your sweet eyes and say, "I love you."

Your True

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him."
Genesis 2:18

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And a little child shall lead them...

**Please scroll down and pause my player**

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 KJV

Luke 2:8-14 KJV

Merry Christmas...from my home ~ to yours.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh for just one more moment...

The actual song begins at the .40 second mark on the video...

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But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Psalm 3:3 NLT

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can it be

**Please scroll down and pause my player before watching video**

And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.
Romans 15:33

Friday, December 18, 2009

Then and now...

This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.

How long, O Lord, must I call
for help?
But you do not listen!
"Violence is everywhere!" I cry,
but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber
the righteous,
so that justice has become

The Lord replied,

"Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed!
For I am doing something in your
own day,
something you wouldn't believe
even if someone told you about it."

Habakkuk 1:1-5 NLT

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lover of my soul

My Bride ~

There are many things I have to offer you as your eternal Husband. I offer you everlasting life, I give you anytime access to Me. I give you unspeakable joy, an abundant life, and an eternal home. As My Bride, your prayers reach the heavens and people's lives are changed forever because I hear your every word whispered to Me. But there is more, My beloved. I command My angels to stand guard over you. There are many things you have been spared of without you knowing. Just be blessed in knowing I have covered you wherever you have gone, and I will continue to cover you until you are finally home with Me once and for always.

Your Prince and Sole Provider
excerpt from His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your Prince
by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Praise the Lord, you Angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels,
who serve him and do his will!
Psalm 103:20-21

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uneven exchange

What can we bring to the Lord?
What kind of offerings should we
give him?
Should we bow before God
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands
of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn
to pay for our sins?

No, O people, the Lord has told
you what is good,
and this is what he requires
of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with
your God.

Micah 6:6-8 NLT

So little asked; so much given...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shame and pain

Today I'd like to request prayer for 6 people I've never met. A family. Husband, wife and four children - 2 boys, 2 girls. The woman is a professional acquaintance of mine although I've never met her face to face.

In the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, violence exploded in this family's home. Apparently not for the first time. Violence against the youngest son and then against the mother. The oldest child, a son, 17, called the police.

The husband and father was taken away - leaving behind emotional, physical and financial devastation.

There is more than violence involved, much more. This family could certainly use our prayers. In fact, the wife and mother - Denise - has asked for them.

So, on behalf of Denise, Brian, Haley, Gage and Maggie would you pray for healing, for peace, for comfort and however else you feel led?

I would also ask for prayer for the husband and father, Steve. His story is a tangled, convoluted, ugly, sordid that only the Father will be able to make right. So I will be lifting him up too.

**UPDATE** I've just found out that Denise is suffering from nightmares (how sad...understandable, but sad). And if she is, I can only imagine what the children's sleep must be like. Would you add restful and restorative sleep to your prayer list for this family? Thank you!

*Scroll down and pause my player before watching video*

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
John 3:19 NIV

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Forgiven and Loved

Because it never hurts to hear it!

*Remember to pause my player before watching video*

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."
John 8: 1-11 NASB

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 NASB

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Treasure hunt

"A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek Him to find her."

I don't know who is responsible for the above quote, but I love it!! And the same is true of a man's heart. Beautiful...

Ladies - is your heart lost in the Lord? Men, how about yours?

I can think of no better time of year to lose ourselves to Him than we prepare to welcome our newborn King! In your quiet time, immerse your heart in the knowledge of all that GOD gave up in order to become man and live amongst us. As humans we can't even take it in! Yet He gave it up willingly. For you and for me. If that's not love, then I don't know what is.

"A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek Him to find her."

Yes. Amen.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 NIV

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Something to tuck away

I have received a number of emails over the past year asking how to reach out to friends who have lost a loved one. I know it is not easy...I've been in your shoes, wondering what to say - feeling bad when I say something and they start to cry.

But having worn the shoes for the past 13 months today, I know some things now that I didn't know "then." And when I come across something helpful, I want to pass it on so that you, in turn, can help others. Death is something that will visit us ALL, in one way or another; and as is true with all of life's hardships, the more prepared we are - the better we'll fare. In the case of helping someone who has lost a spouse, I offer the following "letter." I do not know the name of the author, so I can't give credit...but I can tell you, it's a bulls eye. This is one to tuck away in your Bible to have at the ready. Maybe even reread it occasionally...I'll thank you now on behalf of "them."

Please talk about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more comforting to cry than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk about him, and I need to do it over and over.
Be patient with my agitation. Nothing feels secure in my world. Get comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know when my tears may flow. Just sit with me in silence and hold my hand.
Don't abandon me with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be cared about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."
Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I feel only if you really have time to find out.

I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel that you don't see me.

I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. My grieving may only begin 6 months after my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for watching our children and grandchildren grow, the places we will never get to go together, and the hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled and I will never be the same.

I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be, and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear. Both are okay.

I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just not acceptable.

When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't make it worse by telling me I'm not doing this right.

Please don't tell me I can find someone else or that I need to start dating again. I'm not ready. And maybe I don't want to. And besides, what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren't. Whoever comes after will always be someone different.

I don't even understand what you mean when you say, "You've got to get on with your life." My life is going on, I've been forced to take on many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget and there will always be times that I cry.

I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in my own way, and in my own time.

Please don't say, "Call me if you need anything." I'll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:

(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.
(b) Send me a card on special holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.
(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I may so no at first or even for a while, but please don't give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you've given up then I really will be alone.
(d) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples, to walk into events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same situations where I used to feel so comfortable.

Please don't judge me now - or think that I'm behaving strangely. Remember I'm grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I'm experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before and one that can't be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes.

Don't worry if you think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don't tell me you know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my life. What I need now is time to grieve.

Most of all thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank you for praying for me.

And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need me as I have needed you - I will understand. And then I will come and be with you.
~author unknown

To the (b) I would add send a card on your friend's wedding anniversary. If you don't know it, ask. Trust me - that date is very meaningful to them.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Monday, December 7, 2009


They're not always pretty, these lives we lead.

Times are tough these days and so many struggle financially. People deal with addictions of all kinds. Marriages crumble. Loved ones get sick. And sometimes they die. Life is hard...people are sad.

But one truth I know, probably better than I know just about anything else in my life. Through it all, God is faithful. He is constant. He is rock-solid. You can lean on Him. You can cry to Him. You can fall to your knees in anguish wondering how you will ever get up again...and He is there.

And little by little, as you begin to pick up the pieces, you will find that He has been holding them all in the palm of His Waiting to help you build something beautiful. To Him be all the glory...

**Please scroll down and pause my player before clicking play**

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More to follow

Sorry for the blurriness...this was taken on the last K-Love Friends and Family Cruise my Sweet Hubby and I went on in January 2008. It's from the last night, which always sweetly closes with an informal late night gathering in the main atrium...just a good old sing along with some of the leading names in contemporary Christian music. Recognize this man through the blur?! It's Aaron Schust, and if memory serves, he was singing his #1 song (Dove Awards 2007) - My Savior My was an awesome time of fellowship and worship. And a beautiful memory.

"My Savior loves, my Savior lives, my Savior's always there for me.
My God He was, my God He is, my God He's always gonna be..."

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:13

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanks Beth!

I love when you really "connect" with a Devotional. Beth Moore writes such Devotionals. In fact, pretty much everything she writes speaks to me. So, you'll understand if I think that she was writing just for me today, won't you?! Here's what Beth had to say to me...ahem...

Self-made fortresses not only keep love from going out, they keep love from coming in. We risk becoming captives there.


Faithful, loving Lord, according to Your Word, two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).

Help me to form healthy relationships and find support in those who encourage me to get back on my feet and walk with You when I fall. Between You, me when I'm willing, and a good friend to hold me accountable, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

You warn us, "He who separates himself seeks his own desire; He quarrels against all sound wisdom" (Proverbs 18:1, NASB). Help me to be very careful not to isolate myself.
From Praying God's Word Day By Day by Beth Moore: A Year of Devotional Prayer

I love that she put that line in there "me when I'm willing"...that one line will resonate with me all day, I just know it. So thanks Beth, I really needed this one today!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sugar and Spice

You always will be.

Happy Birthday Jennifer
We love you

Dad and Mom

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Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
Zephaniah 3:14