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Monday, October 15, 2018

BIRD ID-JUST A DAY IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS

Due to technical difficulties I struggle to put a photo of a bird on this page. With determination tho I hope to be successful soon.

Let me tell you a true story, my encounter with Penny, the bird I met in the Rocky Mountains. I have a witness to this visit from my new found friend. I even have video, which I am trying to make available to you. Nevertheless, I will attempt to describe this pleasurable moment in time, "A moment in time" sealed in my sometimes failing menopausal brain of mine. I loved this story, as you may or may not know, I feel truly like birds are my friends. A gift from God.

Lord I need to know you are here, that you are real. The answer appeared within moments as over 10 beautiful male cardinals appeared on the trees right in front of me. I have written about that moment in the past.

This time in the Rocky Mountains as I gazed, on a long hike, at the beauty of God's nature. Penny was right above my head on a branch, my friend and I stopped chatting and (we noticed something was going on, yeah, mmmm) there the bird was. It would move to the next tree ahead of us. If only I could could eyeball height and come up with that for you to picture in your mind, all that I can say is it was not that high up. Getting back to the story, the bird kept leading us down the path swooping ahead tree by tree. "Are you going to say anything, I'm videoing you?" I ASKED THE BIRD!
I guess I am all crazy for talking to birds, but why not?! These moments mean to me, Jesus is alive! I am not worshiping nature or mother nature. I am reminded! Reminded  of Jesus promise, if I take care of the birds, how much more will I take care of you (paraphrased my words). Simply, I got your back!

Is nature another addiction, a place for us to control our emotions? Well, I pray never, it invigorates me to seek God in His creation. My soul glorifies the Lord with the singing of trees, the whistle of wind and bird songs. Enjoy it with Him in mind. We live to love the Lord with our body, mind, soul and strength.

As I awoke this morning with the negative question, why even get out of bed? I'm running for your heart, sings musical group Third day, Soul on Fire. I need a word from the voice of truth, not my negative Nelly brain of mine! 

Friends I want you to consider running till your Soul is on fire. Read a poem or a phrase from the world, see if you feel like getting out of bed. I in fact got distracted on Instagram and my helplessness was at still at the forefront of my mind. It got me nowhere. Till I stopped and asked for help to focus. I read this, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement (the voices in my head) you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord." Amen.

Look closely at these words beloved. You are a part of the heritage of the Lord. Ask. Run till your soul is on fire. I can't describe it, I didn't have all the answers for my day, I just had like a shot of caffeine to the heart. I was caffeinated! That's the words I put to my strength. My thoughts no longer went to, I'm going to stay in bed to let's go, God where we going...together we went, got dressed, washed my face, ate breakfast, chatted with family members, and now I am writing. I'm thinking some form of exercise after...What about you? Check it out for yourself!

We covered much ground today. Nature power, Word power....all worked to invigorate us...by the author, perfecter, creator of my soul, JESUS! Shine on friend. Shine on!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

28 SEPTEMBER SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT







First Congregational UCC
235 South Kenilworth Avenue
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
(630) 832-2580


Thursday, September 13, 2018

LOOK! LOOK! LOOK AT THAT...

Look there...and there...look, look, look...she jumps up and down anxiously, kind of like she has to go to the bathroom, grabs her daddy's face moving it each way as she wants him to see what she is seeing. She asks, "Can you see it!" Picture the dad either kneeling down looking fully into her sparkling eyes or just waving saying, "Yah, Yah"! Her eight year old eyes are satisfied or disappointed.

As I sat in my backyard I saw the different shades of green, birds, sounds and was like "Daddy you created that and that and all...for me to see. Wow! I was inspired to draw sparrows from the scripture, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care (Matthew 10:29 NIV)." Beloved you are valued. Your value may be diminished by negative feedback from your roles as a co-worker, spouse, friend, grandparent, and relative. We can not rely on those roles to define us to validate your longings for approval. Only God can STAMP your heart with that kind of love.



Rest my friend. Is this part of what Jesus meant, when He said, "Let the little children come to me"! He knew they appreciated the little. He knew their pure hearts lead us to remember. To be in the moment. To sit and be still. How did we loose that wonderment? Wonder of  the gifts of the day. A butterfly that swoops by you, a bubble with a rainbow shown through it, a thank you from a person who you open the door for. All are gifts of love from the Father. Be in awe of a song that redirects your negative thoughts.

A prayer:
Father give me the ability to see what you see. Amen.

Monday, August 27, 2018

CUP OF JOE

...flavor. I see myself cup the white ceramic mug with my hands, gazing at the swirl of  artistic heart-shaped cream, lifted it near my nose and sniffed in the rich aroma and tasted the bold flavor, "MMM", a savor sound from my mouth. A soothing calming moment and I mean a brief moment , for we all know what comes next;  jittery burst of energy, the much needed focus for the day. 
Pause for this fact: Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world. Proud american fact, not! I hope you understand that I am not against coffee or about to get on my soap box. Just think of the feeling of expectation (for a cup of coffee) when we drive-thru or get out of our car, wait in a line, order and then drink. All for the exorbitant price of 3 to 5 dollars. 
(Are we paying this much attention to the One who promises to replenish us and fill us every day no matter what? Seriously, FREE REFILLS!)
I liken this experience to my reading the bible. Ok, hang in there with me for a moment. You know, you get your favorite mug the one with the perfect handle, perfect size, perfect portion, perfect feel and weight. I pour and then it happens, the taste is amazing and it is bliss! When I start reading the bible my cup is sometimes empty and slowly as I read, the words pour into my body, mind and soul. I wish I could put words to it. I flourish! Sometimes I have to read the passage three times. But then it happens the rich bold taste of the word convicts me. I get stuck on a phrase or word, person, observation of the writer; something powerful happens to me. Like I said it's bold. You know many of us need our coffee daily, our mind and body say so!  I don't feel weird admitting that I need the word daily just as I feel the need for coffee. I know the benefits, the promises and the strength I receive from it. I am jolted every time. It helps! I'm talking about the word now. It can get intertwined. They seem to have the same effect. I call out "Help!" feeling hopeless, but I am not. The promises come to mind. I must understand them.


The word supplies these truths:
God is who He says He is.
I am who God says Iam.
God can do what He says He can do.
I can do all things through Christ.
God's word is alive and active in me.
Can you understand these 5 points with confidence? Do you know where they are in scripture? These are essential elements to fill your cup to the brim! In fact, let it over flow! 


Pray with me:
Lord you are the caffeine I need each day.  Help me find time to fill myself with you.  The reward is power, love and sound mind. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Start your reward card today. Get your journal out and record the visits.
Big prizes ahead if you do!

A comment from a special friend in response to this article:
"Prayed the prayer filling my day with the word & can't wait to add to my reward card via journaling!"


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

WHOSE THE BOSS?

THE SCHULENBERG PRAIRIE, AT THE MORTON ARBORETUM

Forty five minutes had gone by...this plant was told to be amongst the wildflowers at the
Schulenberg Prairie, Morton Arboretum. The experts who identify plants, record their findings, classify them but could not find it. No wonder, the tallgrass was at its peak with thick and lush flowers and grass everywhere.

But then among them all it appeared....
the beauty of the bright purple flowers...

Ironweed


 - Vernonia fasciculata

They felt like giving up.

They felt so disappointed.

"Let's move up the path and find other undentified plants." "Yeah, let's give up."
"Is giving up an option?", I questioned.
"Wait, what did I just ask? Is giving up an option? Did they look hard enough. Did they ask the recent spotter the right questions? Did they listen correctly? 
Did they really want to record this today? No excuse to give up because of weather, it was just right today! Were they tired? I could hear and see the frustration on their face.They turn to their guide book and photos, retrace their steps, why can't they find the flower?

My mind wanders to the times of when I am in my own personal struggle. Trying to map my way out. All the frustration, disappointment and hopeless feelings crowded out any possible positive thoughts. Further thought leads me to where I always go for condolence, solace, rest, a safe place.
In the nape of my fathers shoulder. I sit, rest my head, close my eyes and breathe.

What have I been reading in the book recently? 

I just read the story 'The Validity of Jesus' Testimony', or in my words "WHOSE THE BOSS", where the religious leaders brought a woman who committed adultery before Jesus. Should they stone her to death, for the law says to? 
Jesus is quiet.
Jesus squats down and writes something in the dirt.
Jesus speaks, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." The people began to leave starting with the oldest.

I thought about reading that in the moment. Hopefully, I am getting wiser, as I get older. Knowing who Jesus is...the doubting of who He said he was, Him and God are equal, is no longer a question anymore to me. The next thing Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will NEVER walk in the darkness, but will Have the light of life with them.  

I pray my mind always take my struggle and filter it through His fingers, because I believe he never lets me walk in darkness, and I have that life with me, He helps me to do that. How it was filtered in this moment. A scan of truth makes a list come to mind:
Jesus is real. Believe. He challenges the crowd to cast the first stone if they had not sinned. He knows that we all do sin. The oldest walks away first (they have a longer life of sin).  He doesn't judge. He thought the woman suffered enough, by being dragged by men across town. He releases her and asks her gently to sin no more. She walks away frightened, challenged, but changed. He repeats he is the light of the world. Believe it.

For me I could recall this story many different ways at different points in my life.
Don't judge.
I'm a sinner too.
I'm older, I should know better.
Life challenges us to react with value and morals.
The light of the world is with ME so I can walk, learn, do life. My boss. What He says matters.

Miraculously, we found the flower soon before giving up happened. It was glorious. It's on the charts now as a finding for everyone to know. Someone else can now come find and see for themselves.

I pray the same for you. That when circumstances that arise good or bad, you will filter it through the grace of Christ. Joy will bubble up and cause a reaction.

Check it out.
Lord help each of us to find Jesus amongst our tallgrasses of life, so we can calm down and wait. Amen.

Friday, July 13, 2018

MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF PEACE

I ask. I need to hear.
He answers.
He is the channel of peace
Healing.
His voice so sweet.
He calms. He is reassuring.
I have rested.
My heart is full.
Disruption comes like a tsunami.
It wants to steal my joy.
I ask. I need to hear.
Make me an instrument of your peace.
He calms. He reassures.
The peace like a river flows.
I am grateful.
Thank you Jesus for your heart.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

TRAVEL LIGHT

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.

I like to say Travel with me.

He is always with me.

ALWAYS!

When I pray and there seems to be no answer.

His goodness is there!

When I am waiting for an appointment.

He follows!

I am so grateful, that I have a plethora of stories that the narrative is completed.

Guess who was with me the whole way through?

Stop! Think of the those stories.

Ponder, meditate on His faithfulness from the past, so you can rest assured that the future will have its story also!

I am so grateful for Psalm 23. It has a basic message.

TRAVEL LIGHT!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

PURA VIDA

"The sounds of the earth are like music. Oh what a beautiful morning. Oh what a beautiful day. Everything is going my way." I sing the end, "Everything is going to be okay."

Just got back from Costa Rica and the lush green rain forest. Oh the earth from plants, species, birds are all singing and making music.

How tremendous of a blessing it was to view God's creation.




Friday, June 1, 2018

CURIOUSLY, FLOURISHING, LOOKING UP

"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your names is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints" (Psalm 52:8,9).
I love when I pick up a devotional and flip through the pages and a verse catches my eye.
It starts with reading, leads to a word that sticks out...the word makes me curious then I look it up, which leads to me making a list or asking myself more questions. I look at commentaries and blogs. I'm curious! What does it mean for me? Jesus, I pray, I need you today. Lead me! I get lost. Lost in the truth of what really matters. I need the deep connection. I am flourishing! He is nurturing my soul. My soul is quiet. It is well. It happens, again and again. I delight in the visit. I don't want to leave, but the world calls and I must go DO instead of just being. Being with the Jesus, my creator.

Flourish: to break forth, to bloom.
How interesting. Every Tuesday recently I've gone to the Arboretum to work in the Tallgrass Prairie.
In early in April, the prairie was flat and dead, but it is growing exponentially each week due to the increase in rain. Am I blooming along with the flowers? Maybe. I know for sure that I need to trust the Lord and His unfailing love forever. I like that David reminds me FOREVER. Not just when I feel like it. Do you need an answer from God about what's up! What's going on? I do to! But no answer is coming.

I stumble upon this random verse and it answers the question "What do I do?"

TRUST
PRAISE (For me that includes worship and reflection on Jesus).
REVIEW (Have I seen God's provision before? Remember, Reflect, Relish those moments.)
THANKFUL (After that review, I can't help but be thankful.)

Look up!
Look up!
Don't look down on earth! Not many answers come from there. Look up!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Honestly, it is so magnificent to be sitting at the computer right now writing.

Your closets may be clean, your spices in alphabetical order, but how's the space between your ears? When the pace of life leaves little time to process and organize our thoughts, our minds can become cluttered with "woulda, shoulda, coulda". When the temptation to put ourselves down or compare ourselves to others strikes, defeat and condemnation can lure us into faulty thinking.

"If the counter ain't clear, then I can't think straight"! That is the saying I created in my home. Seriously, for some reason I have it in my head that the day really stops if that counter ain't clear.
I must send you a pic! Really it makes sense, let me explain. If we are ready to set down our computer and make a workspace, the desk can't be full. If it is then you just cannot think straight. Our mind is the same. If we have the daily schedule, alerts, calendar, bills, others schedules, conversations with others not completed, electronic check-ins, concern for others and finally world news. Add, emotional, imagination, impulsive, false thoughts too all of the prior thoughts. Your counter/desk is full. You are probably struggling to get things done. Focusing is hard. 

The bibles refers to the word "mind" fourty eight times!
The bible says this

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

WALK IN THE PARK



I am thinking of the times I have rode my bike or walked in the park.
Especially when I come upon a deer.
It's absolutely refreshing.

Restoring, reassuring, a bit of fresh air.

The breath of fresh air that God puts in your lungs is life.





Thursday, March 22, 2018

THE SON IS RISING

While just coming home from a long drive, Nebraska to Illinois, I saw this!
THE SON IS RISING!

My thought! What a gift! I literally know I was just speaking at a Christian women's connection in Nebraska about Jesus' love. Sharing Jesus arrival on earth, ministry, His unjust criminal death on the cross He suffered, His resurrection and then His ascension. This message written in the sky "The SON is Rising". Indeed He is alive and seated in highest honor in heaven praying for us all!

Friends, do you feel peace? Or are you struggling to find meaning here on earth? I saw this cross and was filled with joy. Jesus came to earth and had so many things to say and teach us while he was here. Have you ever read what He said? He calls to us all, listen, walk, talk with me for I am humble and gentle at heart.

Jesus, humble and gentle, knows everything about you, He created you, He loves you, turn your face toward the SON and talk to HIM. He listens well and joyfully is patient. No question ever offends Him. Tune in. He will answer back. Never harsh, never sarcastic, never with anger, but with gentleness. Have you ever met anyone with perfect love?
It is a gift to meet Jesus and personally walk and talk with Him.
That peace you are craving for sure...will disappear...the fears will be dispelled and...well, you will feel loved. Like you have value and worth. 

I saw the Sandhill Cranes that are migrating in central Nebraska for 6 weeks. They are so amazing! For thousands of years over 600,00 stop to migrate. The noise they make is so cool. 


 Sandhill cranes are tall. I could sit for hours and watch them flap up and down and make their noise. This visit was a gift from God.



Friday, March 9, 2018

SANITY COMES FROM CERTAINTY

Feeling a little insane? The schedule is crazy? Life is crazy?

You may ask:
I don't understand?
Why me?
I don't get what's going on?
Can you clue me in?
What's the reason?
What's going on here?
What's next?
What do I do now?

Asking too many questions?

Been there done that!
Can you identify? (Now I'm asking you a question.) Sorry, there is a point to this.

Possibly ask:

How do you want me to view this situation God?
and
What do you want me to do right now?

My answer as I prayed and asked was:
Go to John 17 (Jesus' last words before the cross.)

John 17:8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them.  26. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the LOVE you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
11. Protect them by the power of your name.

After reading this. My mind stopped the clutter, the chatter bantering in my brain. I was quiet. I was peaceful. My next thought was. Check your exercise classschedule. Okay I'll go to that. With the peace of God I went to my class.

I walked in His truth. He loves me. He died and rose again, conquered death for me. He forgives me. He knows that I am not perfect, but I am His. He is my protector. I AM HIS.

In the past God has given me a song to listen to. I have learned that listening to it once is not enough. It takes about 3x. With ear plugs. After my mind is calm and I just do the next thing I peacefully think of things to do next. I like this one GREAT ARE YOU LORD ( by All  Sons and Daughters).

Everything we have is from Him.
Everything we are is because of Him.
We inherited:
His mercy.
His faithfulness.
His Holiness.
His atoning sacrifice.
His flawless character and infinite love and compassion.

Be reassured. Answers will come. Next steps will come. Keep calm and carry on.

Prayer: Lord, what do you want me to do right now? Thank you Father for being with me. Thank you for your love. I wait on you. Amen.

God wants to keep you sane. He did not give you a spirit of timidity but of Power, Love and Sound- mind. Stick with your certainty every time. It will bring you back to peace.



Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I've been left out! Not even an invite! A chance for me to say "Yes" or "No"!

I heard a young girl, junior in High School, say "I'm not even gonna try anymore."
Try to figure out her "Group" of girls she is part of! "Why?", I asked. She said it began years ago. She is so young. Years ago? When she was in middle school she was not included in a "Girl group". She basically said that she gives up and just waiting for college.

Giving up to find decent people to hang with. People who will build you up. People who will accept you for who you are. People who will include you and want the best for you. They would bring the best out in you.

Do you know anyone that can be on your team?!

I want to share a story about that.

(This story is the only miracle Jesus did and is mentioned in all four gospels.)

Jesus started His public ministry when He turned thirty. He had twelve disciples, walking, talking and learning from Him. One day he was tired from spending much time with the people. More and more people heard about Him healing and teaching. Crowds would gather just to be by Jesus. On this day Jesus got in a boat with idea to go to the other side and go to a place of solidarity to pray.
When he got to the other side there came a crowd. Jesus looked at them and HAD COMPASSION ON THEM. The disciples wanted to protect Jesus. They said, "It's getting late, lets direct the crowd to a town where they could find lodging and food for themselves."  Jesus said, "Let's feed them." His disciples said, "We have only these 5 loaves of bread and two fish." Jesus told the people to sit on the grass and then he took the bread and broke it, looked up to heaven and blessed it and gave thanks. Then He instructed the disciples to feed everyone. They did. There were over 5000 men and also women and children in addition. There was twelve baskets of food left over.

The disciples had temporarily forgot that Jesus did remarkable things. They witnessed them. They were being practical the lacked judgement. They just did saw they did not have the time, money or ability to feed 5000.

Jesus being God himself. Creator. Loved everyone. He reached across and wanted to take care of everyone. He did not leave anyone out! He blessed the bread, gave thanks. (He was teaching everyone.) He did not get mad at the disciples. He did not take charge and do everything. He included the disciples in the plan. They are participated willingly, remember who Jesus was. God took something small and multiplied (did it big). He does miracles. He is a miracle maker. He is acting like a father would. He lavished them with food generously. They got to have as much as they want. Jesus did the impossible. He was kind and compassionate. He includes everybody. He wants the best for everyone. There were even leftovers! He looks out for us all.

Jesus is the one to run to when you feel rejected, alone, left out. To look at your situation in light of the cross, death and resurrection of Christ will bring you peace. Let us say, "I will pray for those to come into my life that will have my back, will support me and want the best for me. I always have Jesus. The one who forgave me, loved me, took the punishment for me. I am seated with Him. He has His thoughts are for me. He will be my rock and protector. He is with me. He left the Holy Spirit who now lives in me. I can do all things with Him. I will be okay. For now better to be alone with Jesus than be with those who are good for me."
Grieving and being sad is real. But then we have to speak the truth to ourselves.
Wait. Wait on Jesus. Wait till the light of the world shows you His next steps.

Pray:  Lord thank you for loving me so much. At times you may want me alone so that you can protect me. Forgive me when I get impatient. Forgive these people who have been mean. I can be mean without you. Help me to find people who will love me and care for me the way you do. I wait on you to show me. Amen.

Friday, February 23, 2018

DO NOT MISS CALVARY

I was cleaning, moving, bamming (Shoving stuff in closets or cabinets. Out of sight!) I tend to move things on shelves and counters. As my husband watches me, lol! He is thinking why does she move things only a couple of feet? Explanation! It looked better today in the new spot. Could you laugh with me right now? Picture me moving things and bamming. Wait! In the end I did something and I felt productive. Now my mind is clear and I can settle at my favorite spot to read and write about HIM! Who?

Jesus, of course!

Lately, reflecting, imagining myself sitting at the foot of the cross. Seeing my Lord like that is very disturbing to say the least. I never want to see Him like that, really, yet I realize that reflecting on His pain brings me to a very humbling place where I question, "Why did you have to die in such a brutal way?" I like to also picture the risen Jesus, full of new life and meaning. Beckoning me to come to Him. Him giving me the faith to believe, He went to the cross for my sins. I am personalizing it here because that's my way of letting go. Letting go of my anxiety, impatience, waiting, my temptations, and worldview. To get back. Back to the view Jesus wants me to see. To stop! To see! Remember. Because of His blood my sins are paid. The risen Jesus is alive and seated at the highest place of honor. He sits in heaven and He went there so that the Holy Spirit can come live within me. In me I know that as I rely on this love I have life and peace. Essentially all I need. Satisfaction.

Love is here, love is now, love is pouring from His brow. All of our spiritual blessings, come from the cross.

I pray that as we prepare for Easter we take this time to pray for all of those held in captivity and need to hear the story of love of Jesus. Imagine a world where more new this love story!
To make it personal as I did here.

Pray: I want to pray that the eyes of the heart of_____will be opened. Opened so they will experience forgiveness and your eternal love for them. Amen.

Prayer, the key to everything. God is calling us to the cross. Calling us to Him. At the cross is love, hope, forgiveness and healing!

Facts to know: Jesus carried the cross about 8 football field (end zone to end zone length). The cross was possibly 6x14 and weighing about 300 1lbs. That is incredible that as wounded as He was that he went that far with that much weight.

CALVARY
It's about His story.
It's about who we become at Calvary.
But most importantly it's about Him.
His Mercy.
His faithfulness.
His holiness.
His atoning sacrifice.
How He traded His glory (Identity) for our shameful one.
His flawless character, infinite love and compassion.

Constantly remembering, where we will spend eternity, rejoicing not in us alone but in Him.
Crying out at any moment with those in heaven:
Holy, Holy, Holy...is the Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3).
Holy, Holy, Holy...is the Lord God Almighty; who was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 4:8).

Do you hang on His every word?
Do you remember who He is?
Who are you because of the cross?

He is the one who can set you at ease, give you peace.

In light of the truth of the gospel, how do we translate this into our everyday life today?
Gospel: incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, burial, bodily resurrection, ascension, and eternal reign of the son of God, Jesus Christ.

We can identify. We are CHRISTians. Being a Christian is not a program of self-improvement. When we identify and meet Jesus with our heart at the cross. Self-improving is our work. At the cross is Jesus work, substitutionary death (for our sin), burial, bodily resurrection, new life.
This is the work of Jesus. My old self has been crucified with Christ, I no longer live. The life I now live is by faith (Gal. 2:20). Another way put is the old is gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).




Monday, February 19, 2018

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING

Put Your Thoughts on a Shelf

Scripture Verses[1]
Phil. 1:6.  [B]eing confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

2 Cor. 10:5. (MSG) We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 

Phil. 4:6-7.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 2 Tim. 1:7.  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 
Ps. 139:14. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it!

1 Pet. 1:13.  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

1 Pet. 4:7.  Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Prov. 3:5-6.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.

2 Cor. 1:4.  [He] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
James 1:13-`5 When tempted…
Col. 3:13 Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
1.      Awareness- Think about what you are thinking.
2.      Accept- What needs improvement.
3.      Action- My project worksheet.
4.      Available- Walk humbly, freely. Help others.
Key to mind: When you look at Paul’s life; Paul’s sanity was protected by his CERTAINTY (God’s words.) Believe it! Let’s do life with Christ!





[1] All scripture verses are taken from the NIV unless otherwise indicated.



Monday, February 12, 2018

NATURE CALLS! STUPENDOUS!

My happy place, the Morton Aboretum. I remember for years I didn't go there. Many people said it was the place to go. I would tell myself, why should I pay money to enjoy nature. How can it be any better in there then the forest preserve down the block? On a whim I went two years ago and found it nice. I started only enjoying the bike path and not endeavoring any deeper into the park. Well, oh yeah I did lunch. Until one day I really looked at their website and started to consider if this place makes me so peaceful why not learn more. Thus began my whole new out look. The more I got educated about the woodlands, prairie and the rich history, Ding! Ding! Ding! - a light bulb alarmingly went off in my head.  Are you crazy, look what you have been missing! What God created I hadn't been paying attention. Nature calls! It never let's me down! This is stupendous!


Friends: I liken this to my relationship with Christ. I drifted through life on my own, in my twenties I was feeling empty and desperate. Significant transformation came when I was introduced to Christ and His ginormous love for me. It was great in the beginning even tho I did not know much about Jesus, but the more I picked up the bible and read about His life, way and truth, I marveled and wanted more and more. It was bliss. The more I learn, which is never ending, the more I appreciate the Father's love for me. It really is a love story. 

If we walk around life and do not dig deeper. We miss out! Diving in enriching! It is stupendous! 

I ask?
Have you asked Jesus to take your hand? Will you walk, talk, learn from Him? I had my favorite dinner the other night, a big juicy piece of Filet Mignon. The memory of eating it is there, but it kind of was a quick fix to gratification. Jesus is sufficient. He is better than that steak. 

All my days, I want to praise the wonders of His mighty hands. Every breath that I take is a reminder that He created me and He gave me breath in my lungs. 
Prayer: Father thank you for your stupendous love of Jesus! Amen.

Not Spring yet, but get ready God is calling us to His creation, nature!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

FROLICKING IN FREEDOM

I’m sitting in a spot at the Arboretum. I hear the tweeting of the different birds. I hear the voice of two moms walking by, babies in tow in their strollers. Quiet now. I hear children on foot approaching. Children walking. One yelping for a sandwich. One just eats contently her sandwich contentedly. The third girl pointing, quietly. They move along the path. One suddenly chooses to lay day down on the grass. They other two follow and do the same. All frolicking, giggling and content. Two get restless and get up. Wait! Oh, the third is up too! Now they are all up and walking down the path. One mother speaks up, “Why not keep walking?” “Yes”, one girl says and they all agree.”

I am sitting by a lake. A duck lands on the water. It approaches for landing on the water. I hear a stream of water part as the bird lands. Floating the bird quacks. It stays a while then drifts. Drifts away toward a rock. The duck is able to maneuver itself up the rock. Waddling his way along It pecks at itself. Perhaps to clean itself. Not sure. It just stands, looks around and pecks at itself, every few seconds, repeats, pecks.
The girls did not get very far. They have stopped to sit on a patch of grass along the path. On the other side of the path is that lake where I just observed the duck. Each girl proceeds to get up and down. One girls stands out to me, she lays for a bit speaks a bit. The mothers deep in their own conversation, appear to be ignoring the girls.
The one girl approaches her mom and sits on her lap for a moment. Wanting and loving the touch of a mom that only a mom can give. Now another girl observes this and sits on her mother’s lap too! The third girl who is bigger than the other two, not by much though, sits between the two moms. The one in the middle grabs her foot and straightens her leg. Then the girl on the right sees this and does the same thing. A minute and half lapses and the middle girl gets up, walks around them all then proceeds to grab the back pack they brought. She looks through it closes it up and swings it on her shoulder. It appears to be heavy. But as she gets it to properly rest on her shoulders it gets easier to carry.
I gaze out at the lake. The duck now sits on the rock resting not moving. Now two of the girls sit to the left of the moms. But suddenly the mom on the right gets up and then the other mom. She proceeds a few feet down the path gazes, all jump up and continue walking on the path. Mothers intently talking again and begin to walk ahead of the girls. One is sticking by the moms. She is the smallest. The one mom has the backpack on properly now. They are walking at a steady pace on the other side of the lake from me. They started right in front of me, but now they are completely in front of me across the lake. They are walking in the distance. Like the sun going down in the sunset getting smaller, smaller and then I see them no longer.
I am wearing a tank top. I realize I’m on a park bench that only one side of my arm is getting sun, so I proceed to another location where my other side will be exposed to sun. There is beauty all around me.
That Spring sun.  It was May 2015.  To my left was white tulips, seven in a cluster bunch down horizontally in a row, two more, five inches break then one more, about five inches more a cluster of four. Straight across from me is a lady dressed completely in black even black flat shoes, socks, black slacks, and black cotton blouse. Black purse sits on the table. She has those big black sunglasses you wear after cataract surgery. She has chin length sandy color hair with a hint of ginger. She places her glasses down low on her nose so she can look at her black smartphone. She is trying to look at the prompts on the phone to set it.  Then she places her glasses up right, lifts her phone to take pictures or possibly video nature. She makes a comment to a passerbyer, “Have a nice day”. The sun is bright, 70 degrees. Earlier it showed no rain today, but no sun either. So, this is a bonus.
She grabs into her black satchel and retrieves an apple. That reminds me I brought an apple, but left it in the car. She munches on the apple and looks around. I notice her shirt has a logo of the Arboretum on it and a lanyard with a badge on it. She either works or volunteers here. She takes her black strap and places it around her head. It is a cross body hand bag. Her break is over. She tosses the apple in the trash picks up a forest green cloth bag. (I didn’t see that before.) She proceeds to walk toward the indoors. She glances back as if she is making sure she has everything.

The building she is entering is the Arboretum main lodge. Big windows, some cedar siding. It is a low rise structure that is modern looking. Gift shop, cafĂ©, restroom and a patio attached. Guest central is available for questions and membership. 

Did you ever take the time to journal? Slow down to just observe? I did this as a exercise and really enjoyed it. I have done it several times since. Try it. It slows you down and the world is seen differently. It changes me internally, each time I do it. Permanently changes me!

Where is our childlike frolick?
Where did it go?
When did we loose it? Did someone steal it from you with actions or words?
Did someone say we have to be serious now?
When was the last time you stopped to just frolick?
Silly, free like?
I looked at the heart of those little precious girls. So simple. In life will someone take that fragile heart and yell at it or speak negatively to them? Will the trajectory of their life be changed from one tragic voice, tone or incident?
Not one person deserves it!
If you have stopped your frolick in freedom. It is never too late! It does not have to be the end of your story. You can choose the voice of truth, who views you as wonderfully complex!
How do you become connected to that voice?
How do you be driven by that voice?
Do we sometimes get driven by our own voice that has accepted what has happened act on that acceptance by reacting with shame or guilt (negative talk) and we work harder and harder to silence it? Pretty tiring!

Pray:  Lord I need you. I need to hear from you? Transform me! Amen.

Read the greatest story that transforms:
Phil. 2:6-11
The name above all name, seated at the highest honor transforms.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

YOU PULLED ME OUT OF THE DARKNESS

I was on my knees. Rock was all around me. I could barely see anything. No space around me. Just enough room to get through. I had never been in such a small dark place before. My heart was racing. I want to get out.  I was literally crawling around, and then I saw it. The light! The way out! Oh what a relief! I really felt claustrophobic. Let me explain. I was at Ladder & Box Canyon, Indigo, CA. I was at the base of  very high rock formations and it was like walking through cracks where only my body could fit. Frightening! It went on for miles and miles. I love goals, so I asked my daughter, who found this interesting place, "What's the goal?" We went up and down a few ladders through this very very narrow canyon. It's a loop and you will end up back at the main canyon. The goal is to get back? Dangerous. I felt the guy in the movie 127 Hours, James Franco was the actor, you know the one where he was stuck by a rock for 127 hours. I just kept thinking of that movie. Why would I go here? If something happens I pictured others asking, "Why would they have gone in there, it's so dangerous?" I finally asked, "Can we get out of here?" My heart racing! This just seems to dangerous. I'm loosing my adventure to complete fear.  Below you will see the narrow path. Yes, you can walk forward and we did, I just could not capture in a photo. Obviously the dark crawl spaces I could not get on photo. You will just have to trust me that I went there!




Was this an
a. adventure
b. adrenaline rush
c. God moment
d. all of the above

It was D all of the above. Sometimes in life we go places, do things, get stuck, get in dark places. We thought it would make us happy. Maybe for a moment, it did. As I sit here looking out my window in my happy place (you know the ultimate place where I read about Jesus, journal and pray. It is calm, restful, reviving!) I go there to be pulled out of the darkness of any life trials and be with God. He is able to pull me out.
Hey, with out adventure, I don't evolve, learn, realize that Jesus who pulled me out of the darkness many years ago, He is the light of the world, the true north direction, the way!

Be at peace.
Pray today:  God lead me where you need me. Speak into my soul where there needs more healing power, restoration. Help me trust you in areas where I have not been.

God pulls us out of dark! Soul talk,
HOPE, HEALING, FAITH, TRUST

Friday, January 26, 2018

60 SECOND LAINE-THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING

A friend called me frantic about a possibility that things will be changing in her company.
She vented to me all of the thoughts that came racing in her head.
What if they fire me? Or, what if they eliminate my position and don't offer me anything else?
What if they keep me on and I don't like the changes? They could make so many changes that I hate it here! I should really update my resume! But do I really want to go in another direction completely for work? I've been thinking about that one for a longtime. What do I want to be? Should I go back to school? Could I afford it? What would I go for? My other friend said I should really be preparing. My other co-worker has great plans, her resume is perfect. Another co-workers seems like she has no worries at all! Another said you should prepare to move this could really could affect me in such a way that I can't even pay the bills! Another friend, Suzy you know her, she always has the best advice, said I've always thought you should get your teaching degree. I would go back to school I suppose. Where would I find the energy?
Blah, Blah, Blah...

Do you do this? Have you taken one thought and ran with it like it was going to be the absolute gospel truth before you even do research? Don't you feel horrible after you blurt this out to a friend? Maybe you walk away feeling like you're nuts?

Stop!
Stop now!
Take a deep breath!
First I want to say you are not NUTS! I am so sorry that things are stinky right now!
Ask yourself to consider thinking about what you are thinking?
The beginning of healing is admitting you have a whole bunch of chatter going on in your head and it's like a field mine about to explode and that's scary cause you don't know if you will ever get that brain back again.
Been there; done that!
Do not be ashamed.
You probably have some legit reasons why things have gone wrong in the past.
Here's another thing to consider.
Stop blaming others for the pile-up and start taking responsibility for every day you live.
You maybe turning your computer off right now or about to.
You may think I maybe being harsh.
I want you to know that pain and hurts are legit.
Grieving is proper and in stages.
But at some point; I think the saying goes (gosh I screw up sayings)
Put on your big boy or girls pants and carry on. Well if that is not the saying it should be.
Do you get what I mean.
Example:
I heard a story of one raised in the ghetto that had been abused and neglected practically abandoned.
Yet on the other side of growing up they are thriving and getting along in life. Their story ended up different because they put their big pants on and figured out the powerful God tools to navigate healing.
Yep I said it!
Powerful God tools. Let's start a project.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

60 SECOND LAINE-JUST BE

Racing up and down the track. Soaring. Hair flying in the wind. My heart pounding, blood racing, adrenaline rushing, laughter pours out with fear and freedom both at the same time. That's how I feel in the moment on a roller coaster. The times I went to ride the roller coaster and I would get off the ride jolted and say, "What a rush, let's do it again!" I loved it when the line was short and we could ride over and over. Remember when you would plot out what line to get into, so you could experience the ride differently? Front row. Last row. Hands up. Hands down. You just want to experience it all.

The theme of many movies, TV shows I see today influence us to want an experience and want it now. It could be a real good thing, the character jumps into life and does something good, like finding their dream. It unfolds sometime over a lifetime. That's the part I forget, when I am inspired to follow a dream. The time. The timing. We see the movie in two hours. We read a book in days. The story from start to finish. 

We want to experience, feel. We are humans. A diverse race of beings living on planet Earth at this present moment. We were created with emotions and desires.

But, it is okay that just right now we sit, we rest and listen. Listen to your inner voice. Stop being critical and guessing what will be this or that and just be. Taking the moments to be grateful. To be at peace with just right now. Right this moment.

Prayer: Thank you God that you loved me so much that you left the comfort and safety of Heaven unconcerned for yourself, but had your human beings, that you created in mind and died a brutal death that you didn't even deserve. You were innocent. Yet you let it happen. I thank you that you did not let death hold you down. You came back you forgave. All for eternal security. Let me be okay, enjoy this supreme love today. In need of nothing more. Peace you left us. Amen 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

60 SECOND LAINE-BENEFIT

May I have your attention for one minute.
From my heart...I sit and write.
Sometimes when I sit, I don't know what I will write.
I love to write because I feel as if the message is what I need. I am talking many times to myself.
I am sharing to the public because, friends have said they benefit from these one minute message too!

As the new year was being ushered in I awoke very early in the morning. Early for me that is!
Two things came on my mind:


As we seek Him the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
Obedience is better than sacrifice. (Each day ask God to reveal what does that mean for you.
Listening to the nudge inside that says, "Say no to things or yes to other things." It's listening to the whisper. Follow that.)

God gives us many chances.
Take a chance.

See the results
Much mercy is available each new day.

PRAYER:  Help me to tune into you each day. Thank you for the benefits of doing that. Thank you for many chances. Thank you for never giving up on me. Amen.