Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Lights Are ON!!!

Yesterday I wrote about a marriage seminar my brother-in-law attended and as a result, bought the DVDs to share with others.
I shared about the new revelations that were revealed to me concerning being the kind of wife my husband needs. It is something I cannot leave behind yet. I feel compelled to share just one more post about what it meant to me in order to bring some closure and completion to my readers. Maybe a bit more inspiration or enlightenment to motivate any of my readers to look at the source.

I know that my heart has always pursued being the best wife I could be for Kurt. I have always believed that I was his "Eve;" that God had shaped and formed me in my upbringing in my particular family to be the one and only complimenter and completer for Kurt. I have always strived to read and learn as much as possible to be a godly Proverbs 31 woman and a wife that Kurt would value "far above rubies."

Yet I have always felt the lacking. I have not been able to attain that assurance that I was all that he needed me to be. I was clueless. The light bulbs were there.....I just could not turn them on. I felt like I was circling in a room where there were 6 light switches on the wall, and I had only ever been able to get 3 or 4 switched on all at once! There was always the need for that last measure of light to see the whole picture in understanding my husband, the "man," the masculine image of God.

The Love and Respect lessons met this need...or better said, God used the teachings to reveal to me those final missing elements. All six lights were suddenly on, blazing and giving illumination and understanding to what my feeble mind could not come up with on its own power.
I now understood why I had not really been respecting Kurt as he needed to be respected. I had not been giving him the confidence that he needed, even though I had been standing on the sidelines cheering with all that was in me for years! I was cheering through a "pink megaphone."

He did not hear. It was not in his language... sigh.....

As I was up in Justin's room working out, I realized all that had been unveiled before me in those videos in our family room this past weekend. I wept... With joy, for what the teachings would do to change me from here on out... With sadness and grief, that I did not know this for the past 27 years. I thanked God for His grace to cover a multitude of sins committed unintentionally, and for His mercy to empower us with new life to begin anew time and time again!

I do not want to start laying out all of the principles and exciting revelations that this dedicated couple is teaching, because they are the messengers being used by God. I am just being a relay runner. I only hope that my witness for what has spoken to me will be the spark to make you go and see if it will be the light switch being turned on for you for the first time ever.

My sisters, your marriage to your man is only for this life. That relationship will not be...in Heaven. You and your mate became brother and sister in the Lord, when you were saved and adopted into the family of God, and He became your eternal Father. The way you are treating and respecting this man who lives with you is actually how you are treating a son of God Almighty. God, his Father, is watching you as you support or tear down this man. HE is watching you as you love or despise this man. HE is watching as you inspire him to move closer to Christ, or influence and push him to move away from Christ.

Whether you have been married 1 year, or 5 years, or 20 years, or 50.... way back when, that man began his journey as an adult male. He looked out and sought a woman, the "female" whom he wanted to walk beside him in his journey on this earth. The one that he hoped and prayed would be there for better or worse, having confidence in him, not in his performance, but for his heart, a heart that was willing to die for you.

You are that one. He chose you. How have you risen up to fulfill his dreams? Are you feeling like you are in some darkness? Are his faults and imperfections starting to color your original commitment and vows to your Lord to give your best, no matter what???

Did your mate ever promise you that he would be perfect? Did he ever claim to understand the feminine mystique and boast of great wisdom to become the excellent husband? More than likely not. Most likely, he is like all other "good-willed" men with a heart that wants peace in his life and home. He just wants your respect, and he only wants to love you, if somehow he could figure out how.

Over time, that moment at the altar fades, and the wonderment of love and awe and cherishing dulls with disappointments in expectations, and failed responsibilities.

My sisters, we are not so righteous that we can take less than 50% of the blame!

Just because you are the "loving and nurturing" half of the relationship does not excuse one ounce of your failures and shortcomings to meet, halfway, that wonderful man God made for YOU .

And while I'm on a roll, consider the role you are playing out in your sons' lives, especially if they have moved beyond pre-teen years. Are you starting to see and treat them like men? (yes, they are young, but they are MEN, already in the making.) Are you respecting them for their manhood, or are you still treating them like a boy who needs a mama?...Something to ponder.

What about your daughters? How might they react and respond to their future husbands based on your words and actions with your husband displayed before their watching eyes?

Maybe your sons and daughters are already married and you are anxious about their current marriage relationship. This may be just the answer!

I know you do not have the full picture of what was taught in this seminar. You may be sitting there already disagreeing with me. You may be saying to yourself right now... Boy, this girl's had a "mountaintop experience", and she's got that campfire song, Pass It On, ringing in her head. Well I wouldn't blame you if you were feeling somewhat skeptical right now.

But, if you ARE disagreeing, I encourage you to go click on the link. That's all I'm asking. Who knows? You may just have a 6-light bulb moment in your life like me. You may be unbelievably changed in your understanding of the "mysteries" that God has put in the other half of His perfect couple in the Beginning. And think of how you might go out and impact and influence the marriages of others! You could begin to see the ripples from God's Hand working out His grace through the changed lives of men and women who were hungering for His righteousness in their lives.

Wouldn't that make it worth everything? If you are searching for some light in your marriage relationship, please...pray and listen to the following message:

If I didn't believe that it could be the answer for some of you... believe me, I wouldn't be writing this today.

God wants you to walk by faith, even when marriage just doesn't make sense, even when you simply cannot "see," because some of the lights are off. Will you trust Him with your marriage? You did many years ago at the altar. Won't you continue to do so today? God's grace covers all that you will give to Him, and His blessings are abundant!!

I am thankful to David for pursuing knowledge, and starting ripples that are spreading. I intend to keep them going. :-)



Monday, March 30, 2009

A Revelation on Love and Respect

Kurt and I watched some excellent material about marriage on DVD this past weekend.
It was presented by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, including one session by his wife, Sarah.

The biblical principles they are teaching are based on the verse from Ephesians 5:33.

" However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

The greatest obstacle in this whole challenge is:

How can a woman respect a man who doesn't show love to her? (or at least she sure doesn't feel like it!)


How can a man love a woman who doesn't show respect to him? (or at least he sure doesn't feel like it!)

And so the cycle begins, and that is why men and women are literally going crazy trying to figure out this whole love and marriage thing!

After viewing the series, I was deeply convicted and grieved to find out that I had been making some MAJOR mistakes in our marriage when trying to connect with Kurt. (A more realistic way of putting it would be>trying to CORRECT Kurt) I was doing what I knew to do... with information I had taken in through numerous books by excellent authors. I filtered it all through the computer in my "female" brain.

I always have been genuinely "good-willed" in my intentions, and passionate in my heart to try and either better, or restore our marriage. Knowing what I know now, (yes I do claim unmitigated ignorance in a large number of my tactics) I am persuaded my number one mistake was my approach. I, "female," was moving toward a revival and restoration with "male," armed with wife viewpoints, female mindset, and "pink" communication. As Dr. Eggerichs so bluntly puts it, I was not "speaking the mother-tongue" of my husband, and was doomed to fail Every Single Time! No wonder Kurt always retreated so quickly.

There's no quicker way to get to the heart of another person than to confess your wrongdoings (whether they were done willfully or in ignorance), humbly ask forgiveness, and commit to starting anew. Inspired with new and radical insights to start walking the path you have been travelling, but now in a new direction... can be quite exciting! :-)

If you are having troubles in your relationship, or think you have a pretty good marriage, but lack a closeness for some reasons you can't put your finger on, please consider listening to the training of this couple. Maybe you know of someone else who could use these new truths to work on. It will be an eye-opener, I promise!

I thought I had read it all, and heard it all, and tried it all.....NOT SO.


Please see the following link for sources.


I passionately believe that if revival is ever going to take place in this country, it's going to start in the homes. God works through families. He always has and He always will.
Please carefully read these selected words from Dennis and Barbara Rainey found in their book, Moments Together for Couples.

The Warning.

"And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Exodus 34:6-7

Did you know that what you grow and cultivate in your garden today could spread to your offspring? Did you know that a sin you now tolerate could still be tormenting your great-grandchildren in the year 2140? That's four generations from now....
Whether you like it or not, your children are becoming just like you. Their little eyes are watching to see how you relate to your mate, how you pray, how you walk with Christ on a daily basis. They hear your words and subconsciously mimic your attitudes, actions and even your mannerisms...
And as time goes by you'll find that they've "inherited" some of the same tendencies towards sin that you learned from your own parents. That's why so many children from broken homes, for example, grow up and fail in their own marriages... I think that God uses our kids to get our attentions. He wants to rule in our lives, but as long as we feel we can succeed in our own power, we won't listen to His Spirit...

Your kids will grow up to be like you. Is that a sobering thought, or an encouraging one?

We can stop the chain reaction by our repentance and confession. God in His grace stands ready to forgive us and grant us favor. You can, by faith, stop even the most tyrannical control of a sin that has beset your family for generations.

The good news is that God also gives us a wonderful promise: Your righteousness can still be influencing others a thousand generations from now. That's encouraging!


To all my sisters (or brothers) reading today's post... Please if not for your sake, then for the sake of your children or grandchildren, decide today to do whatever it takes to change the areas in your own life that are affecting, if not destroying your marriage. Purpose to take a chance, step out in faith, and ask God for a revelation that might just radically change yourself, your partner, your marriage, your home, and ultimately the future of your most precious blessings in this world, your children, and their children!

Kurt and I humbly bow before God for what HE is doing in us. We kneel before an awesome God who desires to do AWESOME, even miraculous acts for us on behalf of His Son, Jesus Christ. Here sits one woman speaking for two people to say we are SO glad that HE does! :-)

Below are the four most important reasons in our lives that we prayed for God to change us, before it was TOO late!

I close with the motivating words of a highly acclaimed 4-star general.


The Blessing.

"As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments."- Psalm 103:13-18



Sunday, March 29, 2009


My two sons are back from RENOVATUS. :-) safe and sound and very tired...
They said the retreat was Excellent!
Kameron has a bad toe from wearing wet socks the whole weekend! Jonny stayed awake the entire night last night. (expecting sleep-ins in the morning.)

It rained the whole weekend here!
But today..... the SUN came out. Hurrah.

My busted water pump is fixed on my van. Yes!
Thank you dear and wonderful hubby. I am grateful for you.

Kobe has gotten all of the baby rabbits out from under the chicken coop. Yes, a dumb bunny decided to have her babies in a yard with 4 dogs carousing about!!! :-( And of course he found this out this morning and did all of this dirty work while we were TRYING to get ready to go to church!)

The request for more $$$$ from our "UNCLE SAM" has been addressed and prayed about and mulled over, and we are taking care of that mailing tomorrow. WE are still watching and waiting to see how God will tie up all the loose ends. :-) :-) AND you will hear about it!

Kurt and I watched FIREPROOF this weekend and really were glad we did. Great movie!!

We also watched some marriage seminar dvd's on "Love and Respect" that our brother-in-law attended. They were eye-opening and EXCELLENT!!! We both are very grateful that he purchased the set and is sharing the great and motivating principles they contain. We learned some new stuff, even after (almost) 27 years!!!!!

So now our family is all back together, except for Justin, who we are constantly thinking about and praying for. We miss him. Hope he was able to write today. I'll be listening for Mailman Mike on Wednesday!!!

Blessings and Exciting Days for you this week in the Lord.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


This morning I moved a rug runner that had been in my living room ever since we replaced the carpeting with hardwoods. As I was cleaning where it had once lay, I noticed the difference between the flooring that had been covered and protected and the floor that had not had covering.

Wow, what a contrast! The previously covered area still had the original glow and sheen of the polyurethane. It was a rich honey colored oak, and beautiful as ever. The area outside of the boundaries where the runner had been was dulled and not so shiny. The glow had been worn away by the traffic of humans and animals over the years. I never would have noticed this if I hadn't removed the rug.

This visual opportunity presented a contrasting life lesson to me. When we bring our children into this world through the miracle of birth, we are so awed and amazed at the wonder of it all. Everything about the experience is fresh and new. We are energized and committed to bringing each child up the right way. Providing for them...loving them... teaching them...disciplining them.

We pursue the words we have read in Deuteronomy 6:

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."(5-9)

We choose to cover them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the words we hear so often at infant christenings and baptisms. This is a lofty goal, and if we are wise, we will intentionally heed the charge of Scripture.

In moving the rug, this morning I was given a word picture reminder. Covering our children in the home, providing that safe and spiritual haven from the world and all of its pull on our children is our greatest charge as parents. They need to be protected in their formative years.

They need to be coated with the love and security of mom and dad. They need to be prepared with the upbringing of God's Holy words. They need a covering in the home that does not allow the evils and pull of the outside world to creep in and invade their "haven of goodness."

Though I speak of the duties of a mom and dad in this vital calling for the sake of our kids, I address my sisters especially.

To the right you may have read the following Scripture verse and quote from Elizabeth George:

"...admonish the young women to love their...children" (Titus 2:4)

"The world is tugging at our children's hearts, pulling them down and away from God. Loving our children means we are willing to get down in the trenches and fight to turn our children's hearts toward God -toward His Word and His ways."

In a society today that is literally overrun with those who would seek to draw our children away from the truth of Creation, away from the faith that there is a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, away from the very foundations that you have so carefully and prayerfully laid day after day, Be On The Alert! While they are ours, under our charge, we have got to be willing to get down, and get dirty, and fight with all that is in us to protect what we know is the Truth. It is the strength of your Lord that will enable you to battle and WIN! But you can NOT be less than fully committed every single day.

And for the sake of your kids and of Jesus Christ your Lord, be discerning!! Inspect your "haven walls" of protection. Search to make sure there are NO leaks or breaches where the influence of the outside world is creeping into your home, sullying and weakening the very work of your hands and hearts. Do NOT be about excusing things the Lord may bring to your attention; certain habits or routines that have slowly and subtly penetrated into your family life. If they are causing a prick in your conscience, if you feel a conviction rising up, don't ignore it!! This is what the enemy would call his most victorious moment. He works his best in a slow and deliberate drifting into your life, when you are not watching.. if you are not daily on the alert.

It's a slow fade.

What you once did NOT do, what you once did NOT condone, what you once did NOT allow, has all too soon become doable, condoned and allowed. And sisters in the Lord, all of a sudden that spiritual coating and protecting you chose to pursue for your infant children is being threatened. The very covering you are placing over your home and your family is being invaded, and you are caught unaware.

Look to your ways. Look at your daily habits. LOOK and SEARCH OUT and SEEK. Is there anything occurring in your home, entering your doors, that the little eyes and ears you have determined to protect and preserve are possibly seeing and hearing, and you have become dulled to it by the new "traffic" now walking across the spiritual thresholds of your borders?

Maybe the "little eyes and ears" are not so little anymore. Maybe your youth themselves are the ones carrying in some of the attitudes and habits that would attempt to undermine the very lessons you have fought to put in place.

It's a slow fade.

When the values that were once black and white in the fresh beginnings of your zeal to raise those precious new infants, have started to become gray over the wear and tear of time and by unattended breaches in your walls, rise up. !! Renew your commitment and your strength and your discipline to attack the enemy. Get in the trenches and engage in the battle of your life for your kids. Keep that covering and protection IN PLACE. It will make all the difference when you have to step back and let them go.

It is then that you will see the striking contrast in their lives. They will be beautiful and prepared. The parental covering you dedicated yourself to provide under the guiding hand of the Lord is now able to be removed. It is the changing of the guard. Your charges must now pick up the watch, and protect the beauty of their "glowing finish."

Check out the walls, the guiding principles of your home. Check out the habits of your daily routines. Do you see a dullness where once there used to be a beautiful glow? Let the words of God provide the necessary tools you need to sand, cover and polish your home life back into the "once upon a time" glory of fresh commitment and zeal. Stick to your guns! Be strong. RECOMMIT your goals to your God! Do not allow your home to be in the spirals of a slow fade....




Friday, March 27, 2009


Renovatus is the Latin word for "renovation."

Renovation means: the act of improving by renewing or restoring.

This weekend, March 27-29, 140 middle school and senior high students and 20 leaders from our church, Christ Covenant in Matthews, NC, are part of a 3-day spiritual retreat where the emphasis is on prayer and the greater grace of a closer walk with Christ. The theme this year is "Greater Grace" from James 4:1-10.

Please remember our students in prayer and join us as we all cry out to God for revival and restoration for our youth, our families, our churches, and our nation.

This is a local event this year.
If you know these two young men below, we would ask your prayers for them especially as they are asked to dig deep and see what God is calling them to do through their lives to have a closer walk with their Lord and impact a world in need.

Thank you!!

Kameron and Jonny on their way to Renovatus!



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Please Be Patient, My Heart Is Being Perfected!!

II Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward Him, so that He can show His great power in helping them."

This verse was in my daily reading today in my continued trek through the Old Testament. It has always been one of my favorites, and I have memorized it. I have pondered the meaning of that verse, especially the "perfect heart" part.

God searches the earth for godly men. The story of Noah in Genesis chapter 6 unveils a very wonderful example of this truth. God scanned the lands looking for any goodness that would give Him joy in what He had made. He saw nothing but wickedness, and He was brokenhearted. He was even sorry that He had made man. In verse 8 there is a glimmer of hope, for a man named Noah was found to be righteous. God saw his heart. He was a pleasure to the Lord!

I believe that God still searches for people whose hearts are perfect toward Him.

My family likes to work on puzzles together. :-) Sometimes we are looking for just one particular piece to finish a specific portion of the puzzle. Our eyes are straining... searching for that one perfect piece that will fit. Out of hundreds of pieces, we are looking for something that stands out.

So what does the perfect heart look like to God, I wonder? Out of all of the thousands of people roaming this planet, when God the Father looks for a "heart perfect toward Him", how should it stand out? What is the picture stamped on that heart, like the sought after puzzle piece, that allows God to see it?

Certainly God does not require that our hearts be "perfectly perfect" in order for Him to show us His great power in our lives. The definition of perfect is: "without defect or blemish, faultless." This certainly could not define our hearts!

Are our hearts....ever perfect in this life? I don't think so. Are we not still in a great struggle of good and evil, right and wrong every single day? Paul states this very principle in his letter to the Galatians.
"For we naturally love to do evil things that are just the opposite from the things that the Holy Spirit tells us to do; and the good things we want to do when the Spirit has His way with us are just the opposite of our natural desires. These two forces within us are constantly fighting each other to win control over us, and our wishes are never free from their pressures."
(Gal. 5:17)

Does this sound like a heart that is "perfect toward God? No!

I turned to II Peter to try and grasp what this "perfect heart" position would look like.

"Do you want more and more of God's kindness and peace? Then learn to know Him better and better. For as you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life; He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us! And by that same mighty power He has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings He promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us His own character. But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do. Next learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have His own way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Peter 1:2-8)

Wow! If we look back to the reference on Noah, we read that "he always tried to conduct his affairs according to God's will." (Gen 6:10)

Now here was a man who must have "worked hard to be good...and learned to know God better." We know he certainly "discovered what God wanted him to do, as God gave him through HIS great power everything he needed for living a truly good life."

This lifelong journey of a heart being shaped and sanctified is a step by step, day by day progression. As the Father and the Holy Spirit work together, this is what I believe a "heart perfect toward God" must look like.

Have you ever felt at times that your heart is just not good enough to catch God's attention as He is searching for those "outstanding children" who give Him joy in His creation?

Do you ever feel the motives hidden deep in your heart that drive your actions are less than perfect under God's scrutiny?

"The heart is the most deceitful thing there is and desperately wicked. No one can really know how bad it is! Only the Lord knows! He searches all hearts and examines deepest motives so He can give to each person His right reward, according to His deeds - how he has lived." (Jer. 17:9-10)

Do you ever wish that you could get a grip on how to really know God better so that you could discover what He wants you to do?

Would you confess that you don't always (first time around) try to conduct your daily affairs according to God's will?

Be challenged by the words of Brother Lawrence,

"Let us begin to be devoted to Him in good earnest! Let us cast everything besides out of our hearts. He would possess them alone. Beg this favor of Him. If we do what we can on our parts, we shall soon see that change wrought in us which we aspire after." (The Practice of the Presence of God)

In other words, let's intentionally be committed to our Lord. Let's get rid of anything that occupies our heart and our attentions more than God, for He is a jealous God and does not wish to share our devotion. If we plead our cause...if we act on the convictions of our hearts, we will see and experience His presence, His great power and His everlasting love that we seek.

The bottom line is: When God's eyes are sweeping across Charlotte, I want them to pick up on a heart that resides on Woodberry Road...a heart that is "standing out" in the crowds of mediocre and second-rate faith. I want my heart to be passionate, in such a way that it is on fire, and it lights up the spot where God's eyes stop as He considers and weighs my heart-motives! I want the reward of knowing that He saw a "perfect heart", bent toward Him with ALL diligence and desire to give Him honor and joy!!!

See our hearts, Lord, as you search back and forth... Step by step, give us a more perfect heart that pleases you. Give us reassurance that you are a patient and loving Father who knows exactly where we are in our growing journey, and always loves us with an everlasting love.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders! (Proverbs 12:25)

More than likely there is not a day that goes by that any one of us does not run into someone who is facing challenging circumstances in their life. Because of the current state of the Union, America is full of people who are hurting. They are fearful, depressed, angry, hopeless, and so much more. The condition of our economy has caused tremors that have been felt in the homes of people far and wide. No one remains unaffected.
Men and women who have lost their employment have been impaired by the enemy that would use insecurity as his crippling weapon. They are left tending their wounds rather than attending to their source of strength in the battle. Rather than eyeing their Maker, they are watching their funds go down the tubes and shaking in their boots, literally wearing their anxiety.

Because of this mindset, marriages are suffering, and families are experiencing tension within the very four walls of the home that should be their haven from the world. Children are left wondering if they are going to have food and a place to sleep at night.

What is our part in all of this? How can we as Christians share the reason and the hope to inspire people to carry on, to look beyond the current status of today's woes, to "see" a better tomorrow?

I believe a word in today's verse is our answer. Encouragement!

Definition refresher > the act of inspiring with courage, hope or resolution.

When we are talking with fellow Christians, brothers and sisters in the Lord, we need to remind them that our eyes are to be on The One who is in control, not the market and our funds. There is nothing our God is not aware of. Spur them on to "hang tough" to what they already know! Encourage them to remain steady, not to waver in their faith. Show a personal resolve that refuses to be shaken, and challenge them to the same! Shout out a cheer in favor of our Lord.


When we are with those that we know are not fellow Christians, we need to be sure,.. very sure that our lives are speaking out loud as we walk through the crises of the day. It is not with our words that these people will be impacted. It is with our very attitudes, our actions, our courage, our resolve to press on with an attitude that all is still good and well, no matter what. They will watch us more than they will listen to us. The language that we would speak with our mouths about a God that they do not intimately know will not be understood without some form of interpretation. That source of interpretation is our faith coming to life marching down the streets of uncertainty with a confidence that shows certainty. This is what we are called to do.

For such a time as this, we are to be a light shining out in the darkness of hard times. God wants to use us for His kingdom while we tread the soil on this earth. He has given us this treasure in us, the Holy Spirit, to empower us and lift us up. He wants us to reassure others, Christian and non-Christian alike. He wants us to be a powerful motivator to them to not give up, to hang on to courage, to know that their burdened hearts can find the answer they seek.

To all my sisters out there.....BE THAT PERSON!
Make it your goal to go out today with purpose. Be that light shining on a hill, sharing the hope in you that God has portioned.
Remind your brothers and sisters in the Lord Whose shoulders they are standing on. Encourage them to believe that with God they will be comforted and cared for. In Him they will walk the stormy seas, and in so doing, be made more than they ever could be. They are secure when they are anchored in their Maker and Lord.

A word of encouragement! Speak it and Live it. Encouragement can do WONDERS for someone who needs it. By God's grace, do your part.



Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." Eph. 3:17-21

This post is really a long time in coming. It is something I have been "feeling" for some time in this current season. I have watched my teens as they have changed before my very eyes. The frightening thing about it was that it was obvious. It wasn't as if I awoke one day and all of a sudden my preschoolers were high schoolers. I could see them and hear them blossoming, unfolding, developing...how else can I describe it? They went from shorter than me to taller than me, even towering over me. Their voices, (the boys) suddenly dropped what seemed 3 octaves.

Suddenly Katie was a beautiful young woman with all ages of males turning to look her way, when they weren't aware I was watching.

All too soon Justin was leaving with a courageous determination in his walk and on his face to confront the rigors of intense training on Parris Island.

My kids were growing older and I was sensing it, but somehow it caught me off guard. Here I was homeschooling my kids and somehow I was trying to keep a grip on this season, holding on for all I was worth. My "baby chicks" were young adults.

I kept talking to myself with reassuring conversations that I had done my job. I had beseeched God for His help in unveiling the truths of Faith, and the reality of a God who is real and alive and intimately desiring their relationships with Him. I had tried my best to live my faith out loud, though many a day it was poorly done, I'm sure.

Kurt and I have prayed over the salvation of our kids. We know that they have all accepted the Lord as their Savior because of the gospel and the faith they were taught for better or for worse by their mom and dad.

No matter how many times we floundered and fell and literally marred the true picture of God's love and grace as parents, we know that they are resting in the palm of God's hand. They are "rooted and grounded" in a biblical upbringing.

Now, I assure you that we are not naive enough to think that they will leave this haven where their faith was taught and nurtured, and not be tested. We know that they, like their parents before them, will leave home and go out to begin making and living out their own lives. We know that they will face their own unique trials, and sufferings and storms. We know that there may come a day where they question the faith of their childhood, the footings their parents laid down for them to build a foundation on.

I know that this will truly be a difficult thing to witness. It is always, always painful to see your child suffering and know that it is not your call to step in and give deliverance. Our watch is when they are under our roof, under our care, under our provision. When these "new adults" come under fire, stand face to face with their fears, battle their own spiritual giants on their own two feet, far be it for us as parents to interfere and rush in to save the day!!! God is using life's circumstances in their own crucible of testing to forge them, purify them and strengthen them.

We MUST release them to God. We must encourage them to leave and become independent of us and increasingly more accepting of their "own faith" through the Holy Spirit within them. It is not until the point of questioning their "mom and dad's faith" occurs in their lives, that they will "work it out, and name it as their own personal faith. It will not be truly REAL, until this changing of the guard takes place. We have guarded and protected their faith up to this point. Now they will be charged with the watch. It is their turn to feel the calling to stand and defend the very truths they must know and believe in. Even staking their very life on it.

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12)

We claim this verse for our Treasured Four as each one leaves home to pursue their own calling in this life. As they have always obeyed and respected us as their parents, we pray that our absence in their independent living will make way for God to be in that "place". He was ultimately the One they were submitting to all along. We hope that they will know this truth as they work out their own salvation and faith with a reverent fear for a God that they can personally call their own.

Those we hold nearest and dearest are the ones we most want to have the safety and peace of God, to never have to face hard times. Yet all the while we know that only in those times will they break out and come forth even stronger as they acknowledge that the faith of their generational fathers and grandfathers truly is the one and only saving and redeeming faith. It is the anchor which will hold them in their storms, and they will KNOW because they have conquered and lived to tell of it. They will have experienced the desperate helplessness on their own with nowhere to turn but towards the face of God, and He will be there waiting to reassure them, to reinforce His grace and power in their walk on this earth.

God give all parents strength as they turn loose, and watch the precious pieces of their hearts take flight!! May we have an unwavering resolve to trust Him for His best for our treasures. For really, they were never fully ours. They were only entrusted to us for a brief moment in time to love, to hold, and to cherish as a gift from the very hand of their Creator. May we have the fortitude to stand back, and pray God's ever watchful protection and covering over each of our adult children as they go out and stand on their own two feet. As they are walking the paths of "faith-challenging" steps in their own independent lives, may God continue the line of Christian believers and defenders through them.

I pray Kurt and I will cling to His promises and trust Him to do as He sees best for each one of them, to fit them for service for His kingdom.

We believe with all our hearts that He WILL. We believe that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. In turn, the prayers of parents saved by God's grace, committed in their hearts to living for Him will have their prayers attended to. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we would ask! God bless our children with all the spiritual blessings of Heaven.

May they stand true to the God who has brought them through their youth, saved them and named them His Own. And whatever season of questioning comes their way, may they come out stronger to fight the good fight, able to accomplish all the fantastic plans God has for them as they finish the race that lies before them.

Katie, Justin, Jonny, and Kameron,
We are here for you whatever this life brings.
May our love give you roots, and help you find your wings....
We love you.

Amen and Amen.


Monday, March 23, 2009


Proverbs 31:26,30
"When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says....Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn't last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised."

Today I read in II Chronicles on my journey through the Old Testament. The passage was about King Solomon and the time during his reign where the Queen of Sheba came to visit him. She wanted to check him out. Many great and almost unbelievable tales were being spread far and wide of this man's wisdom and wealth and works. She made the long trip to see with her own eyes, and "to test him with hard questions." (9:1)

By the end of her inquisition, she was exclaiming, "Everything I heard about you in my own country is true! I didn't believe it until I got here and saw it with my own eyes. Your wisdom is far greater than I could ever have imagined. What a privilege for these men of yours to stand here and listen to you talk! Blessed be the Lord your God!" (9:5-7)

As I pondered this passage, and why God had chosen to place it in the great narrative of His Word to us, I was reminded to glance back to this part in the story of Solomon's life and reign. In II Chronicles chapter 1 God had told Solomon to ask for anything he wished, and God would give it to him. As we know, Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to rule properly over the people that God had placed under him. And in chapter nine, there is the confirmation that God delivered, and then some!!!

This man was wise beyond his years. He surpassed every man that had been before or has lived since his days on this earth. Because he loved the Lord, and wished to follow in his father's footsteps, who was a man after God's own heart, He asked for the better portion. Because he did, God gave him all he asked for and more...great wealth and honor.

My thoughts ran to this verse in Proverbs 31, that much quoted chapter about the characteristics of the godly woman. "When she speaks, her words are wise." Wise? Where in the world would I dare to place myself in a self-inventory of whether my words are wise or not? With what rule of measure can I gauge my speech, my advice, and my chatter as I pursue the virtues of the godly and biblical woman?

Surely it cannot be from any source that arises out of my own knowledge gained from "life", and personal experiences, and the reading of books that challenge me to better character! If this were so, then all women on the earth would have some measure of good wisdom simply because they lived! Not so! This great source of wisdom could only be the One that the great King Solomon himself received from. It is a supernatural rendering of wisdom that we cannot obtain on our own. It must be graced upon us by God Himself.

I don't know about you, but as a daughter of God with many women around me during the week, chatting and sharing, and exchanging information, and revelling in all manner of conversations about our children and our husbands and our daily events, I NEED this measure of wisdom!!!!!

I need a God of power and grace to enable me to speak carefully and with full measure of discernment. I require His ears of compassion and His language of love and empathy showered upon me in order to speak any word of wisdom or kindness in those moments of conversation with sisters.

Who am I to speak with any fruitful or "selective pieces of advice" to another woman in this world? I am the least of these. I have nothing to give, little to offer that would have any value, if I do not ASK it from my Lord and Father. Only in realizing the worthlessness and inability I represent as a weak minded woman, an undisciplined "trainee" in God's usable resources here on this earth do I arrive at the point where I fall on my knees and plead for wisdom to speak for the honor of my God.

As a mom and wife, I kneel in a position of great "neediness" to fulfill the calling of God to be a Proverbs 31 daughter. Wisdom from above is VITAL! Without it, I cannot survive these roles. If I rely only on my own resources, and advice from other well-meaning women to gain the knowledge necessary to pursue this path, I will not achieve success. My children and my husband will be left wanting.

To my sisters in Christ, I throw out this challenge. Look upon the choice of King Solomon. Ponder what he chose for his life and calling in this world. Ask yourself,... what am I longing for? What is your vision for yourself in your hour-by-hour, day-by-day "rule" over your activities and calling? Would you rise up and choose God's Word to arm your words with all that is needed to serve and edify those around you?

ASK GOD FOR WISDOM! Know in your heart that the One who loves you more than you can fathom will give to you what you ask. It is His promise.

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5)

You will not need to wonder if the words you offer are just added flow to a conversation. You will know that you speak from a heart that has sought out the "better portion" from your Father! HE will give you words to honor Him and to profit another's need for encouragement and godly growth. Your sisters will feel energized. Your husband will feel blessed. Your children will feel secure and loved.

How are you feeling about yourself as you "check out" your supply of wisdom? Are you feeling like you are half-full? Are you looking to a wrong source to be filled?

How do you measure up to the challenge, "When she speaks, her words are wise"?

Run after this trait in your walk to be a godly woman in this world. Let your source always be the One who desires to give you beyond what you could even imagine! Put your requests for wisdom into gear, before you open your mouth to use your tongue.

I know what I desire. May no words that I utter ever dishonor my God and my King. May the language I speak in my home never tear down the ones whom I love. May the conversations I hold with other sisters never be idle and in vain.

Let's pursue this common goal together! Let us honor our Father with our tongues. His Word is alive and still speaking words of wisdom to us today, even as HE Himself spoke to King Solomon in the days of old. Seek out the rich blessing of God's words to you, so that your words will be His words. When others come to check you out , to "test" you with some of the "hard questions" in their lives, will they go away marvelling at the power of your God and His answers? Will they be inspired to worship the true and living Lord?

Truly the loftiest goal we can have in our lives as women of God is to search for Godly wisdom and apply it to our hearts! May His words of wisdom and kindness be your defining rule today!



Sunday, March 22, 2009


"The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined." Ps.50:1,2

As I sit at my window, the sun is rising. It is beautiful. A blazing orange sphere in the sky, so bright I cannot look directly at it. It is another day. This event tells me so every time I witness it. Why do I love to get up and be a part of this moment in time?

There are days I want to stay in my warm bed. Stay put. It's so comforting. It's where I want to be at the moment. My body tells me to stay....just stay. My mind tells me...get up... just do it!

My heart tells me arise...you will miss out on something that strengthens you, that inspires you. It is the desire of my faith calling out. Go and see. God is releasing a new day. The sunrise is unfolding across the sky...she waits for no one. She appears in all her glory and announces the new day.

I know why I love to view this daily event. Every 24 hours it reminds me that all is new at that moment. Another day of life is presenting itself full of possibilities and unknown opportunities.

I only have to be a witness of this moment in nature to realize that God is here. He is in all that moves and breathes in this world. He is in the sunrise, orchestrating the beginning of something beautiful about to have its start. And He will remain throughout the entire day overseeing and controlling all that is to be. And as the day slowly fades, He will paint the ending, thrusting His Creative paintbrush across the wide expanse of the heavens giving it His final touch of beauty and affirmation. It is His way of saying, I am still here. I have ordained and remained, from beginning to end, this moment in your life.

The next time you see the sun rising up above the horizon, peering out, watching to see who is anxiously awaiting her dramatic entrance into the new day, remember that it is God-ordained.

It is the very picture of God announcing a new beginning. Allow yourself to be moved as you witness the birth of a new day! Feel yourself get excited about new opportunities. Yesterday is gone. It will not return.

Today is here. Who or What will influence you in all you do today? Chances are it is whatever you start your day with, in the first moments, as you arise and step out.

Our God is awesome. Even if man will not choose to recognize Him afresh in the new beginnings of another day, nature itself will. The very drama of the sun rising each morning proclaims that the hand of God has done something inexplicable in the creation of this world. He has put this world in its place, in an infinite universe. He holds all things together. He is the Sustainer of our lives, our very days.... every day. He loves us. He keeps us. He longs for us to arise and see the Hand of our God sweeping across the skies shouting His presence is still in our world.

Rise up, and reclaim in yourself what God proclaims. It is a new day. Go out with the assurance that Your God has set it in place. He is watching and waiting to see what you will do with this limited amount of hours, what you will accomplish in His name, before the sun sets and ends another day.

Praise your Lord with all that is within you. He is continually renewing you, every day. Watch the sun rise tomorrow and feel this miracle take place. He awaits for you to be a part of His plans. He wants you to know and believe that with HIM you can do anything.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee." Ps. 84:11,12

Every day is a new gift from God. What you do with it is your gift back to HIM.

This piece of music is absolutely one of my all time favorites for inspiration, as is the movie it was written for. Watch this beautiful video and see if you can not help but be inspired. Go out and pursue every day, compelled to live for the ONE who gave you the gift of it.



Saturday, March 21, 2009


Today's post is dedicated to the 4 legged furry members of this household that you see in the slideshow over to the right. :-)

This family loves doggies. We are of the mindset that supports the following quote: " dogs don't make up our whole lives, but they make our lives whole." Canines sure do give their humans unconditional love!!

They are there with you through thick and thin, always ready with a loving paw, a big kiss, and a friendly awooooooooo!

For the better part of 3 years, Katie and I were involved in organized rescue for all breeds of dogs. We helped found a new rescue in Mecklenburg County and served as board members and as one of the regular foster homes for dogs rescued from the shelter. The boys helped out various times at adoption events and fundraisers. The whole family pitched in to help nurture and rehabilitate abused or neglected dogs so that they could be adopted into acceptable homes.

There is a corner in the living room dedicated to all of the furry friends that passed through our home and our lives during that 3 year span.

Throughout this time we also loved and enjoyed our personal family dogs who were good 4-legged ambassadors for the cause of how a loving family can change the life of a dog.

SAM is a Black Labrador-Shepherd cross with maybe a little something else thrown in the mix.

We saved her at the age of 4.5 weeks from a family in the Toys R Us parking lot trying to pass these yellow and black pups as a wolf mix. Now we would not be opposed to saying that Sam may have some Black Bear in her, but wolf??? no go. She mostly likes to lay around the house or in the yard 24-7, and is prone to having crazy fits every time Dad comes home from work...

Sam as a baby.

Sam the Bear today, all 89 pounds of her!

GIDEON is a very furry Border Collie-Great Pyrenees cross. He was rescued from the County shelter at 8 weeks of age, and is now the current canine angel in residence. He is a velcro dog attached by love to Mom. He is the sweetest dog ever, and Dad calls him the "dog in whom there is no guile". He is the aroooooo arooooo talker, and will bark at a blade of grass moving. His fur is what embellishes every item in this house. :-o

Gideon, the irresistable puppy.

Gideon in all his glory on a beautiful autumn COOL day!
I love my country!

ROB ROY is a Sheltie - Eskimo Spitz cross with possibly a bit of terrier thrown into the mix! He was whisked out of the County shelter at 8 weeks of age and has been working his cute little way into our lives ever since. He is Justin's shadow. Now that Justin is at Parris Island, he seems to be searching for a new Master that he can serve as a padawan to. (as he was for Justin) He is an adorable doggie and very well behaved, keeping himself cleaner than a cat. His nickname is Woobie.

"Woobie" at 8 weeks.

Rob Roy with his French look. (Pierre, please)

Just don't get fireworks! Scary!!!

KOBE is a Golden Retriever-Collie cross. He was pulled from a high kill shelter in SC for rescue and fostered at our home. After one failed adoption, he ended up back here, and worked his way into our hearts, and joined our pack. He is a renegade and a cowboy. He can dig his way to China and back in a day, if allowed. He is Dad's dog, mostly, since that is the human who gave the thumbs up and the compassionate resignation to allow Kobe to stay.

Pitiful and a bag of bones at the shelter... :-(

Kobe today, happy, secure and beautiful.

Where's the parade?

Last and never to be forgotten is little Annie Grace who is no longer with us. She was a breeder dog rescued at about 9 years old. She was a Silky Terrier. She had been used and abused most of her life, it was obvious. She ended up having cancer and several operations which kept it at bay for a while, but in the end it had come back (tumors) and she was half blind and just about totally deaf. She was a good little girl, and I miss her much! She was allowed retirement here in our home for her last 3.5 years. I'm sure she was glad for it. I sure was.

Annie at the point of rescue, poor coat and skinny.

Sittin' pretty.

Annie, happy, full tummy and my sweetie.

And that's all the "tales" of our furry members. They are a huge part of our lives, and we feel happy and privileged to have saved some homeless creatures and to be good stewards of God's animal kingdom.

If you ever consider a furry family member, please consider adoption. It is a wonderful thing!A dog will never let you forget how grateful he is that you gave him another chance in life.



Friday, March 20, 2009


"Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord's mighty power within you...pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit's wishes. Plead with Him reminding Him of your needs..." (Ephesians 6:10,18)

The victories of one day do not mean they will automatically win the trials of the next! Every day I must persevere in my faith. I cannot be half-hearted in my devotion to my Lord. It is only with uncompromising commitment to Him that I can ever achieve anything beyond a "shallow" walk with Christ.

Every day by searching His words, I am learning God's heavenly principles to apply to my earthly walk. It is up to me to put those lessons to work. I can read and learn all day, every day. I can be filled up with enough "good stuff" to last me from now until the end of my days. But if I do not use it, I am going to abuse it or lose it.

It's not what I know. It's what I do. It's what I am. It's how I live....that will impact the world around me. I need to understand that I am unable on my own to do this very thing. I must realize how helpless I am in myself, and the need of God's power to help me "walk the walk." In and of myself, I CANNOT be genuine. There will always be some measure of pride, or lack of faith that will erode my witness for Jesus Christ. It is only by God's grace and His giving to me the very gift of faith that I can even carry out such a high calling. I am totally dependent on Him to make my life usable for His purposes.

So I commit afresh every morning. I come before my Lord and submit my spirit to do whatever HIS will is for me that day. Even if I stumble and even if I fall!...I will not lose His love or grace. HE will set me back on the path. He will guide me and give me strength to persevere!

He will shower over me the courage and the confidence to press on, and I will know that He is full of mercy, forgiving me and cheering me on!

Hear the words of Brother Lawrence:

"Ah! knew we but the want we have of the grace and assistance of God, we should never lose sight of Him - no, not for a moment." (The Practice of the Presence of God)

Translation: If we only knew how very needy we are of God's help and grace to make it through every day we walk on this earth, we would never, ever let ourselves be far from Him in our minds and hearts...not even for a minute!

God longs for us to look to Him for all that we need. What an awesome thought that He loves us so much. He cares to know us and to help us through this life. Not because of who we are, but because of Who He Is! Pursue Your God!


Thursday, March 19, 2009


"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:11-13)

There are two things I need to share today. Both of them are equal in importance.

The first is a desire that I have had for some time, and this blog is an attempt to follow through on that pull. I am striving to be a more transparent person, one who opens up to share what all God has done in my life. Being a "very private" person, this is a large challenge for me.

The next point is a direct result of the first point. I am sharing a private moment that occurred yesterday as I wrote my Wednesday blog. (spoiler - transparency about to take place.)

I was sharing the need for all of us to be "battle ready" and ready to face the enemy whenever he comes and thrusts that "buttstrike" hit. In the midst of that challenge, WHAM!
I was hit hard. I was searching for some true video footage of Marine pugil stick exchange with the most pressing goal to find one that had no language. In the process, some unacceptable words were coming out of the speakers in my previewing and editing. My hubby did not know what I was doing, and there was a brief exchange of comments meant to clear up the situation. I was offended!! He had been offended!! The roaring lion was out to DEVOUR!

Let me remind you of what I was (writing to myself!!!!) in this most public journal of mine.

"This I know. When Satan comes my way, and he will, I want to be ready. I don't want to be caught off-guard. I KNOW that if ...I have met with my instructor and listened to His words, if... I have prepared with my trainer and applied those words to my heart each and every morning....afresh...I am going to be ready. Fully trained, yet fully dependent on the ONE who is standing with me, reinforcing in my heart and mind all that I have in HIM."

Now let me fill you in on another confession I need to make. I slept in 'til 8 yesterday! I did not get up early to have quiet solo time with my Lord FIRST, and then get my blog post done. I was doing my blog post first, and then going to move to my time with the Lord. THERE WAS A TESTING TAKING PLACE - IN MY FACE - RIGHT THERE, RIGHT THEN - and I was struggling.

I am glad in my heart to say that there was one victory in that I did not verbally unload a barrage of self-centered and defensive words on my soulmate.

But in my spirit, a battle took place. I was defending myself with him in my thought-life. Afterwards, when the smoke had cleared and the small battle within myself was over, I realized what the enemy had done. He had quietly crept in and thrown a smoke bomb into our little bunker. It caused confusion between my husband and myself. The ensuing smoke cloaked Satan and rather than opposing the true enemy, we were duking it out with each other!!! We were fighting the wrong side! And I feel sure, that deceiving thief of joy and peace was just standing out on the perimeter cackling as we finished the job for him.

To any of my sisters who may read this blog today. Please take this thought away from here.

Remember this! Whenever you are having an unhappy exchange with your husband; disagreeing with the one who is your BEST battle partner, - you are targeting the wrong enemy! Your husband is not the enemy. He is just the one that Satan would use to push your buttons exactly in the place that it will offend the most!!

Always pursue the wisdom and alertness you need from that "fresh" daily time with your Commander-In-Chief before you do anything else. It will help your discernment to visualize the true enemy through the smoke screen he will place in your field of vision.

And finally, let me share the words that God laid out before me as I went and spent time with Him after this skirmish took place. I am in I Chronicles on my journey through the Old Testament. King David is instructing his son Solomon as he steps up to take David's place.

"Solomon, get to know the God of your fathers. Worship and serve Him with a clean heart and a willing mind, for the Lord sees every heart and understands and knows every thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him..." (28:9)

I felt the sting of that one in my soul. I may not have audibly attacked my loving husband, but I sure did do battle in my thoughts...and God heard it all. I needed to clean out my heart and my mind and go apologize to my most precious partner and battle buddy.

God is an amazing God. In the midst of a book in His Word about the Temple, duties of the workers, lists of inventory in the Temple, there was that one very specific passage where a King addressed his son about the importance of seeking out the Lord, and keeping his heart and mind stayed on HIM. Right there...waiting for me... at the very time it would pierce my heart and speak volumes at the time I needed it most. Can I repeat this?....Our God is an amazing God. He is intimately involved in our lives.

Transparency completed! :-) I hope that my lesson is a reminder or a fresh insight to you that it is vital to go to our Lord FIRST! Then we will not have confusion about the battles that will come our way. We will target the Real Enemy and have victory in our walk and in our mind. And the ones who are closest to us will not suffer.

Let the Word of God speak to you. Know that God is in this world with us. Rest in Him.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009



We received a letter from our dear son on Parris Island. I am still amazed at how much joy and excitement can rise up in a body just from seeing a small envelope with a military return address waiting there in the mailbox.

Justin mentioned that they had trained with the Pugil sticks and he had taken a decent buttstroke to the side of the head. His comment? "Still Feels Good!" :-) (Mom says, Ouch)

"A pugil stick is a heavily padded training weapon used by military personnel for bayonet training since the 1930s or 1940s. Similar to a quarterstaff or Japanese bo, the pugil stick may be marked at one end to indicate which portion represents the bayonet proper and which the butt of the rifle. Pugil bouts are usually conducted with hard contact while wearing protective gear such as groin protectors, American football helmets, hockey gloves and chest protectors or shinguards such as worn by baseball catchers. Other pugil sticks may be built with integrated handguards. Because of the potential for injury, military procedures for pugil bouts are often quite detailed. The word "pugil stick" is a neologism from the Latin noun pugnus (fist), the source for other English words such as "pugilist" (boxer) and "pugnacious" (eager to fight).

I know that these young men are in intense training for serious, life or death situations. What they learn and go through in each phase of their combat exercises may save their life or the life of a fellow soldier. It is vital that they "Get It!" The pain and bodily punishment they experience in boot camp is just one more stage of learning and retaining in preparation for the real stuff. That is the day where they must "put out" and remain standing at the end.

I noted that they are well protected with body gear in these exercises. The purpose is to learn, but with NO injuries. They are protecting their bodies while they train and prepare their minds to react correctly.

You know where I'm going with this. We have an enemy. He is well-trained. He is constantly on the move to bring us down. His name is Satan. It is within his power to do battle with us. So many times he knows right where to strike to knock us down! We can be standing, and fighting, and all of a sudden we are blind-sided. We have taken a buttstrike to the head and we are reeling. Sometimes these hits can literally take us off our spiritual feet. We find ourselves lying dazed, wondering what has happened, and how in the world we ever allowed ourselves to get in such a state.

We, as soldiers of our Lord Jesus Christ, are going through training every single day. Our instructions come from God's very mouth. You can find them all in His Word. The Holy Spirit is commissioned by God the Father Himself to speak and train and prepare us.

I'm sure it is with an intensity and level of love and desire to see us "battle-ready" that you and I are not capable of comprehending. God wants us ready for those "buttstrikes" that Satan is going to thrust our way. He wants us wearing our gear, our armor, (Ephesians 6:10-18) that having done all of this, we are "able to stand" when the conflict is over.

This I know. When Satan comes my way, and he will, I want to be ready. I don't want to be caught off-guard. I KNOW that if ...I have met with my instructor and listened to His words, if... I have prepared with my trainer and applied those words to my heart each and every morning....afresh...I am going to be ready. Fully trained, yet fully dependent on the ONE who is standing with me, reinforcing in my heart and mind all that I have in HIM.

Remember the quote I borrowed from John Piper in an earlier post? "Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons." There is no soldier who would walk into a battle without his weapons. If you have ever read the Rifle Creed, then you know a Marine's best friend is his rifle, it becomes his "brother". It is always by his side.

You and I know in our hearts that God's Word for instruction, and our Faith applied for battle readiness is what we must attend to. Let your guard down one time, be caught without your weapons, and you experience the results. It hurts, it is wounding. We do not want to experience the pain of unpreparation again!

The next time you are standing in a face-off with your enemy, that roaring lion, who is out to devour you, be READY! Know that you have entered that day and had your serious meeting with your Instructor, that you have tended your weapons, that you are Battle-Ready.
The Lord is our preparation and our strength. There is nothing so glorious and praiseworthy as a moment of victory against our enemy and a celebration offered up to the one who trained us, and stood with us. This is the stuff Christian lives are to be made of. The next time you take a "buttstrike", be prepared. Even with some pain, you might have to say like Justin, "Still feels good," but you will be standing. And that is a win. :-)

If God be for us, who can be against us?!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Facing Your Giants


We have a God who revels in doing the impossible! We serve a God who takes delight in letting the underdog win! We follow a God who was, is, and always will be The Miracle-Worker.

Nothing, Nothing... is impossible for your God.

Do you believe it?

As the Egyptian army approached, the people of Israel saw them far in the distance, speeding after them, and they were terribly frightened...But Moses told the people, 'Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch,...The Lord will fight for you and you won't need to lift a finger!' and the Lord opened up a path through the sea...so the people of Israel walked through the sea on dry ground...and of all the army of Pharoah that chased after Israel through the sea, not one remained alive. (Gen. 14:10,13,14,21,28)

But the Lord said to Joshua, "Jericho and its king and all its mighty warriors are already defeated, for I have given them to you!...The seventh time, as the priests blew a long, loud trumpet blast, Joshua yelled to the people, "SHOUT! The Lord has given us the city!"....So when the people heard the trumpet blast, they shouted as loud as they could. And suddenly the walls of Jericho crumbled and fell before them, and the people of Israel poured into the city from every side and captured it! (Joshua 6:2, 16,20)

The Lord then said to Gideon, "There are too many of you! Send home any of your men who are timid or frightened"...so 22,000 of them left...but the Lord said, " there are still too many...divide them into two groups decided by the way they drink...I'll conquer the Midianites with these 300!" the Lord told Gideon. It was just after midnight and the change of guards when Gideon and the hundred men with him crept to the outer edge of the camp of Midian. Suddenly they blew their trumpets and broke their clay jars so that their torches blazed into the night. Then the other two hundred of his men did the same...then they just stood and watched as the whole vast enemy army began rushing around in a panic shouting and running away. For in the confusion the Lord caused the enemy troops to begin fighting and killing each other from one end of the camp to the other. (Judges 7:2,3,5,7,19-22)

David talked to some others..."Who is this heathen Philistine, anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?...Don't worry about a thing, I'll take care of this Philistine... I have done this to both lions and bears, and I'll do it to this heathen Philistine too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who saved me from the claws and teeth of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!"... David shouted to the giant..."Israel will learn that the Lord does not depend on weapons to fulfill his plans - He works without regard to human means! He will give you to us!"...As Goliath approached, David ran out to meet him and, reaching into his shepherd's bag, took out a stone, hurled it from his sling, and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and the man fell on his face to the ground. So David conquered the Philistine giant with a sling and a stone. ( I Samuel:17:26,32,36-37,47-50)

So at last the king gave the order for Daniel's arrest, and he was taken to the den of lions. The king said to him, "May your God, whom you worship continually, deliver you." And then they threw him in....Very early the next morning (the king) hurried out to the lion's den and called out in anguish, "O Daniel, servant of the Living God, was your God, whom you worship continually, able to deliver you from the lions?"...then he heard...."My God has sent his angel to shut the lions' mouths so that they can't touch me, for I am innocent before God; nor, sir, have I wronged you,"...and not a scratch was found on him because he believed in his God. Daniel 6:16,19-22)

Well, how much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith......(Hebrews 11:32)

This past week, Kurt and I received some mail from our "Uncle Sam" that was not welcome news. It was unexpected. It was a giant that appeared in our lives disguised as a small insignificant piece of paper with numbers all over it. God was allowing another circumstance in our lives to keep us pulled in close.

We are getting another chance to work out our faith. Will this giant be seen as an obstacle, another bump in the "hard" times of our life? Or will this giant be seen as an opportunity?...A moment to grab hold of the FAITH God has grown in us, turn our eyes to God, believe, and watch to see how He will work great and mighty things once again that we would not have seen, if this giant hadn't shaken our world?

When we believe, as I said yesterday, that NOTHING happens in our lives that is out of God's perfect and good will for us, then everything, E_V_E_R_Y_T_H_I_N_G! can be viewed as God working on us again. We will make much.... NOT of this circumstance that has been delivered to us, but much of our GOD! The ONE who delights in doing great and unexplainable things to show His power and love in our lives. Stay tuned for the continued work of grace that God is doing in this family's life! :-)

What giant are you facing in your life today? What circumstance is pressing in on you that you are feeling the weight of it's ability to crush you and your family? What attitude have you chosen to carry through your trials? What doubts are you allowing to trip you up in your faith for your all-powerful God?

Of all the voices calling out inside of you, which one will you choose to listen to?

Listen to the Words of GOD!! There is a common thread running throughout the entire Bible of a God who loves His people, who delights to deliver them from their enemies. He truly revels in using the small but faith-filled to defeat the mighty powers of this world. Look to Him and feel Him strengthening your faith! Get a "new grip!" "Stand Firm!" "Mark out" the path you know you should be taking! God wants to reveal HIS Power to you!

"So take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong." ( Hebrews 12:12-13)