Friday, May 29, 2009



Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.


The following is a quote from Jan Karon's book, Home to Holly Springs. A man was explaining, to Father Timothy, why he wrote a poem.

"I wrote it while Mama was praying; asking God what he wanted her to do about contacting you. Mama was sitting with her back to the window that looks out to the garden. She had her Bible open on her lap, but she was reciting the words from memory, as she often does. I happened to look up from my book and saw something so remarkable that the breath went out of me like a shot.

I saw my mother's soul."

I do not know that I have ever seen another's soul. I have seen my Grandma read her Bible. I can still see her. Her whole being absorbing each word she read. I can still see those hands. Gently holding her Bible. Did I see her soul?

I have seen fathers walking with their child. Holding their hand. Keeping them safe. Did I see the father's soul?

I have seen mothers sitting beside the bed of a child. Just watching the child sleep. Did I see the mother's soul?

I have seen one person praying for another. Did I see their soul?

Have I ever seen a person and had the "breath go out of me like a shot?"

Know what? It doesn't matter. It does not matter if I see another's soul. It only matters that God sees your soul. "Find rest, O my soul, in God" --

When life throws you curves. When life throws you wonders. When life throws you upheavals. When life throws you a calm day. When any of these happen, God is there. He is your rock, salvation and fortress.


Have you seen another's soul? Have you entrusted your soul to God?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Rejoice. Rejoice. O Lord in you I rejoice. You are the keeper of my soul. You are my rock. My salvation. My fortress. I trust you at all times. When my life is hectic. When my life is peaceful. When I can see the wonders of your world. When I can only see a small corner of my life. No matter what is going on in my life, I will not be shaken. My soul finds rest in you. Amen

Friday, May 22, 2009



and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also - not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand -- with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.


I once wrote that with grandchildren, I would never run out of stories. How true!! I want to tell you about a conversation between our daughter and her five-year-old son.

Terri: "What did you do while you were outside?"

Timothy: "I baptized Jamie so she would go to heaven." (Jamie is a dog.)

Terri: "How did you baptize Jamie?"

Timothy: "I put her in a bucket of water."

Terri: "Did you take her out of the bucket?"

Timothy: "Yes."

And this is how you know Terri is a seasoned mother of four boys. Without missing a beat, this was her reply.

Terri: "Okay, go wash your hands for lunch."

I am sure that with son number one, Terri would have worried that the dog might have drowned. That Matthew might have been bitten trying to put that poor dog under the water. Matthew or the dog might have gotten sick because it really is not warm enough yet to be playing in the water. And she would have washed Matthew's hands to make sure they were really clean, not just dried off. (After all, those hands just came out of water. Timothy believes you should only wash one hand if the other hand is not dirty. Yes, he can wash one hand without getting the other one wet!)

Where is all this going? We learn from the children. Jesus said we are to "receive the kingdom of God like a little child." Timothy knew being baptized was important.

I do not remember my baptism as being a "big deal." It was part of the Confirmation Class I took along with the rest of the kids my age. Just something we did. We were baptized and joined the church.

Baptism should be a big deal and I am not talking about the 'sprinkle, pour or dunked' debate. Or the 'at birth or older' debate. I am talking about true baptism.

Baptism of your soul.

Galatians 3:26-29 -- You are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Baptism of your soul is when you know you ARE a son or daughter of God. When you know you ARE clothed with Christ. When you know you ARE one in Christ Jesus. When you know you DO belong to God and ARE heir to all the promises.

That, my sisters and brothers, makes baptism a big deal.


Have you been baptized? Do you remember your baptism? Would you like to be baptized again or renew your baptismal vows? If you have never been baptized, are you ready to take that step? Your minister would be thrilled to help you with any of your questions or decisions.

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Lord and Savior, Baptism - When I close my eyes and think of that word, I see the Spirit descending on Your Son like a dove, as he was baptized. I hear you proclaim, "You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." That is what I want my baptism to be. I want it to be a time of repentance. A time when my sins are washed clean. I want my baptism to be a time when I welcome the Holy Spirit. A time when I take with open hands all the promises of your word. I want my baptism to be a time when all the angels, authorities and powers hear you say to me, "You are mine, whom I love. With you I am well pleased." In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Friday, May 15, 2009



Yet not as I will, but as you will.


I know I have talked about Jan Karon's Mitford Series before, but one of the things I have been doing, while I am confined, is to read these books again. For the third time!! It is like visiting old friends. The Mitford Series is about Father Timothy, an Evangelical minister. At age 60+, Father Timothy meets the love of his life, Cynthia.

This time, I noticed some points I had missed. (The prayers in bold are mine.)

Father Timothy told Cynthia he kept trying to get it right. He had been trying to do this since he was a boy because he had never been able to please his father. So, here he was, a minister. A friend to many. And still trying to get it right. Know what Cynthia told him? She said, "Only God has to get it exactly right."

Lord, let me trust in you to get it right. Amen

One day, Father Timothy was driving. Just enjoying the day. Thanking God. Then he had a thought -- Suppose for a moment that God began taking from us the many things for which we have failed to give thanks. What would be left?

Lord, let me never forget to be thankful. Thankful for everything from each breath I take to the smallest grain of sand on the beach. Amen.

One day Father Timothy saw how happy Cynthia was and asked, "What are you celebrating?"

Cynthia replied, "Being alive. We breathe, we run around in our underwear, we go to the store, we dig up the tulip bulbs or plan to, we make soup and pay the electric bill, and we never stop to think - we're alive! This is a gift!"

Lord, thank you for the gift of life. Amen

Buck came to the house one day. He stood in the doorway as in a trance, taking in the Christmas tree ablaze with tiny lights and the train running around its base. Suddenly the rector saw the room with new eyes. He had been passing in and out of this room for days, scarcely noticing, enjoying it with his head instead of his heart.

Lord, let me walk through life, seeing each day with new eyes. Let me never just walk through this life you have given me. Amen.

Whenever Father Timothy or Cynthia had to make a decision. Whenever they needed direction. Whenever they needed to turn it all over to God, they prayed the prayer that never fails: Thy will be done.

Thy will be done. Amen


What book have you read that inspired you? Do you have books that you read twice? Three times? Why?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


My dear Lord, I do trust you to get it right. I have to because it is for sure that - on my own - I never will. I keep messing up. I try and try, but there is always something I leave undone. Something I don't undersatand. That is why I trust you. Trust you to get it right. I am also thankful. Thankful for my hands, my eyes, my feet. Thankful for the air I breathe and the stars and the moon and the sun. Thankful for trees and books and aardvarks. Thankful for laughter. Thankful for the gift of life. Let me see my life with my heart. With new vision. Let me see the little things. Clean laundry. A glass of water. A sunset. Let me see life in all of its brilliance and wonder. And as I go through my life and face decisions, let me always turn to you and, with faith that you will get it right, say, "Thy will be done." Amen

Friday, May 08, 2009



For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 1 Thessalonians 2:7


What do you picture when you hear the word Mother? Depending on your age, the person would be wearing a dress, slacks, jeans or shorts. Her hair would be long. Short. Somewhere in-between. The hair might be gray, blond, brown, red, black or orange. And size? Mothers come in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8 and 30. They are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100+. Some are still in their teens. No two mothers are alike. Some smile and laugh easily. Some are serious. And, let's be honest, some are good mothers and some are not. Just like so many things in life, we do not get to pick our mother. And sometimes, other women add more to our lives than our own mother does.


My Grandmother -- My maternal grandmother lived with us in the winter because we had a furnace and indoor plumbing. Grandma shared a bedroom with my sister and me. I can still see her doing stretches and she could bend over and touch the palms of her hands to the floor. I can see grandma's hands as she stirred mush. She made good mush! I can see her hands crocheting. Mainly, I can see her hands holding the Bible. She held the Bible with great reverence.

My Other Mother Lois -- I work auctions and I called the lady that provided the lunch wagon mom. She listened when I needed to talk and she allowed me to cry. She listened when I told stories of our family. She gave me hugs. She filled a spot in my heart that needed to be filled. Mainly, I see Lois serving hot dogs and pie. Her hands busy. Her hands feeding people. Her hands serving others.

Spiritual Mothers -- Spiritual mothers can be any age. Spiritual mothers are teaching me to pray. I see their hands folded in prayer. Cathie is one of my spiritual mothers. Spiritual mothers are teaching me to study. I see their hands holding a Bible in one hand and a study guide in the other. Gracie is one of my spiritual mothers. Spiritual mothers are teaching me how to serve as Jesus served. I see their hands preparing meals for funeral dinners, making prayer shawls, serving communion and holding a baby while a mother can attend the worship service. Margaret and Anna are two of my spiritual mothers.

My Mother -- I saved mother until last. As I have grown, in years and faith, I love my mother. I cannot say that was always the case. Because of years and having children of my own, I understand mother a little better. Because of faith, I can see the things mother did for me and understand mother loved me, as she knew how. I see mother's hands sewing a special red birthday dress. I see mother's hands making a cup of hot chocolate for me when she knew I would be cold coming home from a football game. I see mother's hands finally holding a Bible. I see mother's hand gently, for the first time in my life, touching my cheek, in a soft caress, just days before that same hand took the hand of Jesus. I see mother's hands, waiting to, once again, gently touch my cheek.

So many women have touched my life. Mother. Grandmother. My other mom. Spiritual mothers. I am eternally grateful for each woman that has helped me learn. Grow. Each has been put in place by a loving God to serve as an example.


Can you name the women who have influenced your life?

Mother's Day can be very hard when you do not or did not have a good relationship with your mother. If this is the case, try to place in your heart the image of one person that encouraged you. That taught you what love should be.


Because each of us has such a different relationship with our mother, I am asking you to say your own prayer today. If your relationship with your mother and other women in your life is good, praise God for blessing you. If your relationship with your mother is not quite so good, ask God to give you insight that you might find common ground or even just one thing for which you can give thanks. That is a place for you to start. Also look at your life and thank God for the other women who have taught you. Encouraged you. If your mother is now with God, have a talk with her.

Friday, May 01, 2009



And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


Rain, Rain, Go away -- Come again another day.

That is the chant of everyone in our area. Fields sit waiting to be planted. Fertilizer is ready to serve its purpose. Anhydrous is getting claustrophobic in the tanks. Farmers are getting extremely anxious. Farm wives are wondering what to do with all the bread and supplies they had ready for those meals-in-the-field.

To say we are having a bit of a wet spring is an understatement. And people are getting on edge. Those farmers want to get in the fields. They want to get the corn and beans planted. They want -- They want to do what they were born to do: Farm.

Sometimes we think our work is the most important thing we do. Our work is who we are. But is it?

Have you heard of My Utmost for His Highest? This book of daily devotionals was prepared from writings of Oswald Chambers. I read this book in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I am working on 2009. I have underlined. I have made notes. Many times, I have put questions marks because I do not understand. When I started this writing, I was not sure where it was going. To be honest, I don't usually know where my writings are going. They just seem to have a mind of their own. But, as I wrote, "But is it?" I remembered something I had read.

December 18: The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us -- "I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine." God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

Sometimes we think our work is the most important thing we do. Our work is who we are. But is it? The answer is yes, if we are allowing God to do His work through us.


Are you allowing God's work to flow through you?

Do you have a prayer you would like to share with others? Or would you like to tell how God is using you? If so, leave a comment.


Hello God, I am ready. Ready to fulfill the purpose you have for my life. The exciting part is that you want to use me. The scary part is that I am not always sure I can do your bidding. Sometimes I am held back by what I want to do. Or what others think I should do. Or -- oh so many things pull me one direction or another. Please show me the way I should be going. Show me the work you have planned for me. The work you have equipped me to do. Lord, I do love you and I am ready to serve. Amen