Thursday, December 30, 2010


Just wanted to take a minute or so and tell you what a blessing it has been to meet you during this past year. I've gained some wonderful friends, people I can respect and admire beyond anything I ever would have anticipated.

Last year, for several months, the Lord [and Susie] prodded and pushed and encouraged me to take that step. After digging in my heels, as I truly did not want to go that direction, I finally knew it was the right choice. Since my first post, last New Years Eve, I have not regretted it for even an instant.

I know I should be reading more, digging further, and spending more and more time in this blog-life. Maybe this year I will be more disciplined in that arena, able to "meet" more wonderful people. That's my next goal.

So, bless you and yours. You are loved, respected, and appreciated.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The Manger and its Resident Baby Boy,
Camouflages the Sustaining
Power of the Holy Spirit:

– Strength to take one more step,
... forward ...
towards the Light,
With blackness t h u n d e r i n g
... from behind ...
threatening to overwhelm...

– Illumination to see Father’s Hand
working in the Shadows ...
molding, making, kneading...
transforming ...
clay to gold...

– Gratitude to our Lord Christ
and His Body
that undergirds with prayer when
life’s structure
shakes and trembles,
... imminent collapse ...

– Blessing of Love pouring forth
from sources unexpected,
at times unpredicted,
...easing hearts...

Surprising, Stunning,
Answers to Prayer
arriving from unfathomable places
through unimagined persons.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


After several weeks being buried in Revelation, I came across this poem I wrote some years ago. When I saw it today, I thought it certainly fit our "everyday" life in these days.


The Great Day is coming
When Christ shall return
And take to His bosom His own;
The ones who have served Him,
In spite of the cost,
Will worship at His glorious throne.

The Great Day is coming
When riches and power
Will rest in God’s hands evermore;
And the “moth that destroys”
Will vanish away,
As we share His vast, unending store.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I continued "God's Smuggler" today and read about Andrew and Corrie's wedding. Prior to the wedding, they had both been working very long and hard, Corrie nursing and Andrew helping in refugee camps. They were planning to go from Holland to France, but, after the reception and time with all their family and friends tiredness hit them. They ended up not far from home, staying in a small house trailer in a tree grove near a restaurant. That was it.

It brought back a funny memory for me. So much the same.

When Dave and I married it was a rainy, windy September afternoon. Dave had worked at the Air Force Base until noon, trying to get all the computer stuff in place for the stretch he'd be gone. I had done nearly everything needed for the wedding and had worked at an office until a couple days before. We hadn't arranged for anyone to prepare the sanctuary prior to the wedding or set up the fellowship hall or clean the church or pick up anything afterward and neither of us had family we could ask to stay. So, except for one couple who stepped in to help, after the reception we straightened things up, cleaned the kitchen, and made certain the church was prepared for the Sunday service.

The wedding began at 2:00 and the reception ended shortly after 4:00. We reached his house [which that afternoon had become "mine"] around 6:00. We had 3 hours to be alone, and then my kids [which during the service had become "his"] and their friends from church were going to have a chaperoned youth group night
there and we needed to be gone. [We realized later that we were foolish to allow that suggestion to hit; we should have had the kids go to the chaperon's apartment and give us the house, but sometimes wisdom doesn't kick in soon enough.]

We left at 9:30 and went to eat dinner. We hadn't eaten, except for a bit of cake, since before noon. We left a podunk Chinese restaurant about 11:00 and headed east for the interstate to go towards Sioux City, about 100 miles north of us. We had very little money, and we figured we'd find a cheap enough motel room to get us through the night, and that was all that counted.

As I mentioned before, it was rainy. When Dave started driving, the rain was slithering across the windows and bouncing quietly off the roof and hood. While we headed towards Iowa's I-29, and were crossing the Missouri river on the Mormon bridge, fewer than 10 miles away from the restaurant, Dave started to nod off. About 5 minutes later, when we reached the entrance to I-29, Dave pulled off the highway and I became the driver. He was out cold, almost instantly.

As I drove, I kept finding myself waking up in another lane, headed for the median or the shoulder. I just kept hollering at God to help me get where I needed to without an accident.

I honestly don't remember exactly where, but about 50 or 60 miles later, I pulled into a rest area. It was 12:30. We slept until 3:30. I continued to drive [he continued to sleep] and we reached Brookings, SD, about 6:30. The nice motel clerk charged us only $18 for a day rate as a honeymoon gift.

By the end of Sunday, after leaving the motel around 1:00, we reached our honeymoon "retreat" in northern Minnesota ... Susie's house ... where we stayed for several days. LOTS of rest, finally. What a blessing!

But the funny part for me is that when people talk about the wonderful places they stayed for their wedding night, the glorious candlelight and champagne and delicious dinners... I just mention that, as thrilled as we were to be married, and as much as we enjoyed our alone time, sleeping in a rest area on a very chilly night was most certainly not what we had anticipated.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I was reading one of the books the Lord has laid on me lately, and have read a number of times in the past, "God's Smuggler" by Brother Andrew. One piece jumped out at me today and caused a laugh on my part.

When he was a young boy before Germany had invaded Holland, he was testing a Christian village member to see if he had the same meanness as most folks do. Andrew climbed a ladder and covered the chimney with a window-sized glass which caused smoke to invade the home. Andrew had run across the road to hide and watch the man's facial expressions. The man came out, and found the cause of the smoke, climbed up on the roof and brought down the glass, and even though he didn't say any poor words, his face was hard. Andrew was happy to notice that the man was not perfect.

Some years later, Andrew, while walking past their house, was given a cookie by Mrs. Whetstra, the man's wife. When Andrew turned away to continue on to do his errands, he says: "Mr. Whetstra called after me. 'You can eat the cookie. Oh I know, sometimes that old stove of ours smokes something awful. But it's worked fine ever since I got my new window in.'"

"That night, lying on my bed in the loft, I got to thinking about Mr. Whetstra. So he'd known all along. But he hadn't told my father, as every other grown-up in town would have done. I wondered why...."
This reminded me of an incident that occurred in September of 1962, my senior year of high school. It was a sunny Saturday. My grandmother had come for the weekend and had been brought by a young man... I don't remember his name or age, although I think he was probably in his early 20s. He had brought her in his car.

While he was there, somehow I had the urge to do something way beyond what I'd ever done. I did not have a drivers license and rarely drove. BUT I decided I wanted to drive his car... and he let me get away with it, for some strange reason. Two of my young sisters got in the car with us. Somehow I connected with friends a year younger than me, Alice and Janet... Alice was driving her brother's car, and Janet, his girlfriend, was the passenger.

We lived in a small town, Klickitat, Washington. The town was at the Klickitat River and often, outside the town either direction, the roads passed with river on one side and rocky nearby cliffs or hills on the other.

For some reason, certainly insane while usually fairly sane teens, we decided to drag race on an almost straight portion of the road. One side was next to the river. The other side didn't have the cliffs, but did have a ditch... no such thing as a shoulder ... and some small trees. Also, some teens were standing next to the road, watching this idiotic, foolish activity.

When we took off, we hit the gas, of course. We went some distance, and Alice skidded, and the car spun around, and, thank God, did not go into the river. I slammed the brakes, and stopped nearly instantly with no damage. However, the other car did end up with the rear end braced against a tree, rear lights broken and a nasty dent. Her brother did not know Alice had taken the car ... and even though Janet was his girlfriend, that did not mean he wouldn't want to beat all of our socks off.

The owner of the car I was driving took over, kept my sisters, and left me there to deal with the situation. A couple of guys gave me a ride back into town a bit later after the other car's damage had been viewed carefully... and we three girls had figured out what kind of a lie we could put together that would keep us out of trouble. [See? 15 to 17 year old kids back in the '60s weren't much different than others in the present days ... and I bet we weren't the first generation to pull this foolishness off.]

OK, that's the story. Now the amazing part...

besides the fact that none of us ended up in a deadly crash or in the river ... my parents never heard anything about it.

The car owner didn't tell them, didn't tell my grandma. My young sisters didn't say anything. None of the "audience" or their friends told their parents who would have told mine. In a small town, EVERYTHING gets spread. My parents spent a great deal of time at the main local bar, and nothing usually got past them. However, this time... this ONE time... it did.

Later that day a local lady, Gladys, who knew me well, said she never wanted to hear anything like that again. I don't know how she found out so quickly ... she lived several miles outside of town in the other direction. Not everyone had a home phone, [thank heavens there were no cell phones with cameras or texting those eons ago, for which I'm extremely grateful], and yet, somehow, Gladys did hear about it. That evening there was a high school dance ... she came to drop someone off and she took my aside and nailed me big time, for which I am grateful.

So, there obviously are times when, even if we do something foolish, God protects us from the possibilities of legal or social or family actions that can ruin our future.

And...FYI, I've never... never, ever... drag raced even one more time. [How bright is that??]

Saturday, December 4, 2010


First off -- This is LONG, but breaking it into two or three posts, just didn't seem to fit, considering the circumstance. Just hope you can endure it; it will be worth it.
I often tell people that, as f
ollowers of the Lord, we need to trust Him that we will be in the right place at the right time.

On December 5, 2007, early afternoon, I was heading to Westroads Mall here in Omaha to
take some time to relax and snack and wander and enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations. I'd had a busy morning with my young grandson and was now free. My evening was going to be very busy, because it was time for the rehearsal for our Christmas play at church. I had four whole hours of freedom. I was so looking forward to that time, that quiet and blessed time.

About an hour
after arriving at the mall, I suddenly decided to go to the opposite end from my usual "wandering" location. I went to J C Penney's to see if I could find a sweater. Something significantly on sale... truly, TRULY on sale.

Found what was perf
ect for me, and, after the purchase, I was preparing to walk out into the corridor, but heard a man hollering loudly, it echoing down the hall, and I hesitated; I didn't want to risk walking into a fight of some kind. A few seconds later, a group came running through. All ages, all sizes, men and women. My first thought while watching them rush through was "what bus are they going to miss?" The last person, a well-dressed and high-heeled lady, glanced at me and said, "There's shooters here."

I looked at the lady who was s
tanding next to me, an elderly, small, sophisticated, white-haired, beautifully dressed woman. [I was dressed about as casually as you can and still show up in public!] I said, "I'll take care of you." She looked me up and down and said, "OK." -- She has always told people that I said to her "I'm your guardian angel." That wouldn't be anywhere near the truth; just ain't my style.

I called Dave quickly. He was at work at Offutt AFB, a few miles south of town. My phone signal wasn't very good, so when he answered
all I said was, "Someone said there's shooters here at the mall. Don't know if it's a rumor. Pray."

In the next few minutes the stress piled.
Penney's basement had a special delivery area, and the police invaded a good portion of the mall through that entrance. While I stood near the corridor, able to see a good distance down the hallway, the police rushed in. The store's corridor glass door closed, two of the officers faced the interior of the store, stone-faced, clutching rifles across their chests, looking at those of us who were there. A couple other officers ran up the escalator, guns in hand.

Partly because of my upbringi
ng, I'm not one that runs to hide in a closet. I always look for exits or prepare for a crisis, not backing down. So, in this situation, I moved a few feet and stood among the clothes racks so I could hit the floor if necessary. I wasn't afraid... I just knew I needed to concentrate on what was happening.

A few minutes later... don't kn
ow how long it was -- stressful, adrenal-style times overwhelm the normal time frame -- the store manager came through and said we needed to evacuate the store and head out the back entrance, then go across the parking lot and over to a strip mall with businesses and small shops ... the equivalent of a couple-blocks walk. When I reached the outside, I saw "my" lady again, and joined her and there was another lady holding her arm and supporting her. The other lady was an employee of Penney's and, as we were helping Alyce across the lot and across the street, Julia [I knew that by reading her name tag] suddenly said, "We haven't prayed." So, as we walked through the snow and ice and helped Alyce, we prayed that the Lord would protect and help and bring all of this to the right light.

Amazing to watch: it was COLD out, in the teens, and some people had no jackets or long sleeved shirts, because they'd dropped them or left them behind when they had to run, and some had small children, even those in strollers, were not wearing enough warm clothing. I tossed my bag to a couple young gals and said to just wear the shirt and sweater and they could keep them, but if they wanted to give them back I'd be in the office building a block away. [A few minutes later they found me and returned them. I was just happy that they'd been able to stay warm for a while before they'd worked out their problems.] Julia and Alyce had kept walking ahead while I stopped to talk to the young ladies. When I had rushed away from them after giving them my clothes, trying to catch up with Alyce and Julia, and was walking across the strip mall, headed for the office building, a police car suddenly cut between me and the stores, and a policeman jumped out of the car, and pointed his gun over the top and hollered to a guy who was walking on the sidewalk, "Stop!... Hit the ground!" The man, who had walked out of Penney's with the rest of us, did. [I found out later that it was because he was wearing a camo jacket and a ball cap, the only description of the shooter(s) the police had at that time.] At that moment, I called Dave again, and this time I burst into tears. Just overwhelmed. Within a couple minutes, another officer showed up, and the man was freed.

I went to the office building and helped Julia and Alyce. The only
funny part ... some of the ladies who had been forced out of the mall were in a hair salon, and, with the salon-style capes, their hair in various kinds of care, including perms and color-adjustments of one type or another, were sitting in the lobby of this office building. All I could think of was what a mess this could end up being for them.

A while later, the Penney's employees were called back to the building, so Julia left Alyce and me. A while later... [this is a constant phrase from that day... so little accurate time was known], I was able to contact Alyce's retirement center and let them know that she was OK and that I would bring her home. I had to walk a long way around the mall to find my car, but I made it in a few minutes, and passed through the police checkpoint, picked up Alyce and took her to her place. The office members ran out for her and just blessed my socks off.-- A few days later gave me a gift card with which I purchased a stone-style vase. [BTW, the reason she couldn't get home without help was because the center's van had dropped her off, but the police wouldn't let anyone enter the mall parking lots, so she would have been stuck there for hours. I just happened to be her protector, keeper, provider.]

Up to that point, there were only rumors regarding the shootings, the number of deaths, the number of shooters. It hit the news nationally, almost immediately. I was headed for my car when I decided to call my Mom in Tacoma, Washington, and warn her that if she heard about the mall, that she could know I would be OK. She said she was watching it on TV right then.

After dropping Alyce off, I headed home. When nearly there I realized I hadn't called my friend, Marge, to let her know I was OK. That morning I had told her I was going to be at the mall. When I called her, she became ecstatic... when this event had hit the news she had called others around town and her family members in other states asking them to pray for my protection.

When I got home, I was a bit in shock. Even though I remember the tiny details of my time at the mall and the drive home, I hardly remember what I did later, or how I felt. I, of course, turned on the TV and was buried in that news for hours... the rehearsal for that night was canceled, of course.

The final result: 8 murdered in one store, Von Maur, by a 19-year
old "man", who took his own life at the end. Several were wounded physically; many in the store and nearby locations suffered emotionally for quite some time, including the police who were faced with horrific bloodshed. The officers also struggled after facing terrified people, hiding in closets and fitting rooms, sometimes not realizing that, as a policeman opened a door, they were safe, not a target.

Ten days later, I went to the mall again. I needed to. Von Maur was still closed, being refurbished and remodeled. I just wanted to walk through and feel and see what I needed to ... I didn't need much healing ... just a nugget or two. I also went to Penney's to find Julia. When I finally saw her at a customer service location, and I moved through the line and reached her, she dropped what she was doing and ran around the counter and threw her arms around me and sobbed.

A few days later, the day before Von Maur was reopening, the memorial bits and pieces were going to be removed and put in storage. I went there to take photos and walk through the whole phase of healing, one more time.

Julia and I went to Alyce's center for lunch in early January. She, and a number of others, just blessed and thanked us so much for what we had done.

It's been three years. I still have the sweater and I wear it every December 5th, and will until it's one ragged piece of junk. I've lost track of Julia. Alyce recently moved to Branson, MO, to be with family. [OH, and her family members, who at first said to her, when she told them about the woman who had said she was her guardian angel, "You believed her!!? You really believed she'd take you home!?" now have some respect for me.]

But the point is... what I began this post with... I know that I was in the exact place the Lord wanted me to be at exactly the right time to help exactly the right person. I wasn't there to keep someone from being killed, or help the wounded. I was only there to take one elderly lady to a safe location and then to take her home.

It was worth it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fellowship Song


Let me count others
Better than I —
Judging men only through Christ’s loving eye.
Sharing the Spirit in unity, Lord,
Walking in accord.

Let peace rule our hearts,
Let love be our aim,
In joyful fellowship,
Glorifying Your Name.

Let me count others,
Better than I —
Touching their hands as they pass closely by.
Bringing sweet peace to their heart, Precious Lord,
Living in Your Word.

Let peace rule our hearts,
Let love be our aim,
In joyful fellowship,
Glorifying Your Name.

Let me count others,
Better than I —
Judging men only through Christ’s loving eye.
Sharing the Spirit in unity, Lord,
Walking in accord.

I wrote this poem/song many years ago. It most definitely is not a fancy, heart-bending, heart-rending piece. Very basic. But, when it comes to fellowship, it's true. It's a good one for me to remember... keep the Lord's eyes as my focus on others, and not a critical, cynical, hyper-judgmental approach to life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thought you would enjoy seeing the photos sent last week. A CD with piles of photos will eventually come to us from Make-A-Wish, but these just made me grin like crazy. Seeing Jack so happy was a huge treat. I was told that the crew sang "Happy Birthday" to him and Mark Harmon was especially warm-hearted towards him. I've never been a NCIS fan, but I'm thinking about it seriously at this moment, just because the cast and crew were such a blessing to our family by being such a blessing to Jack.

Hope you like the photos.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I am buried in Revelation, my latest Scriptural intense focus, which, when the Lord drops a Book onto my plate, usually means reading the book over and over until the He moves me on ... so far it's been about 7 times this month, plus reading one Revelation-oriented commentary book. [Last time it was Luke, which I utilized for a number of posts last Spring.]

In that Revelation commentary book, someone had asked
the author why the judgment for people who died didn't occur immediately upon their arrival to the Lord. [Not going to fuss about all the differences in terminology/theology re: that event.] His answer was that just because the person was now gone from the earth, the continued effects of their life could go on for quite a long time; who they loved, who they blessed, how they served the Lord.... or, in all these options, didn't.

As some of you wou
ld assume, I thought of my husband. [No, he ain't perfect, I guess... but I hardly ever see him as anything but a huge blessing.] He's a quiet man, but servant-hearted and giving-oriented who can remodel homes, refinish floors, fix electric problems, handle plumbing, interior and exterior painting, build and fix computers [and give them away], and, on top of that, he's a wonderful musician. He thoroughly enjoys teaching others [especially piano and computer]. He's done all of these tasks in our homes, neighborhoods, town, other states, and in Uganda and Costa Rica.

When he dies, which I hope won't be any time soon, his effect will linger. The youngest of his present piano students, for instance, is 7 years old. He began with her when she was 5. He has about 16 students, from young to adult, and loves working with them. To have more and more would be a huge blessing to him. [Over the years, he's had many, many students, some who are now worship leaders, on worship teams, or teaching others.] The students love him. He's patient, creative, flexible, and warm; he hasn't scared any of them. Most of them move forward quickly because they want to please him. My assessment: Dave will "ripple" for a long time.

When I think of the ripple effect our lives have, it makes me stop and take a look at where I'm headed, what I'm doing, what my attitude is, and how I need to assess and reassess the questionable points. Doesn't mean I expect the Lord to keep nailing me for errors, but that He'll touch my heart and keep me moving in the right direction.

Just as all of you, I'm sure, I want to ripple, for a long time, in a good way and bring m
ore and more blessing to the Lord.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Make-A-Wish Foundation

My grandson, Jackson, turned 16 today. A week ago, Make-A-Wish contacted his family and said that he could go to L.A. from this Sunday to Wednesday. He and my daughter left Omaha yesterday morning. He's out there now going to Universal Studios, and meeting NCIS actors. The desire to go out there for this reason had been placed with them some years ago, and now, suddenly, it happened.

When Jack was 2-1/2, he was hit with a strange, and supposedly, non-serious kidney/immune system illness. Expected to be free of it by the age of 5 for certain sure -- all the doctors and nurses and specialists were convinced it would go that direction.

Well, over the years it increased and increased. He lived on prednisone and then meds to counteract the steroids. It was so hard. He had been a very extroverted toddler, and then, by the age of 3, was isolated to avoid any illness that would toss his body back into the horrific mix. It was that way for years.

In April, '09, after a number of ups and downs, his kidneys totally crashed. He was on dialysis 3 times a week until last Christmas Eve when he had a transplant... my daughter being the donor. His recovery was amazingly quick, and he's been doing well. He still is on a number of meds, of course, and has lab work done every week, but he's free of that constant frustration and fear that was poured into his heart over those years. [And so are we. I cried -- and screamed at God [sorry, if that seems offensive] -- so much during all that time as I watched what he was going through.]

So, for him to be out in L.A., being treated like a special kid, meeting actors, having his dreams fulfilled... has filled my heart with gratitude towards this organization, the donors, and my dear Lord.

What a treat.
The photo of Jack was taken five days before the transplant.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Last Saturday I walked into the large apartment with my Bhutanese "nephew", Bijay, who is 18, and I met his grandparents.

They are 85 years old. "Grandpa" is a bit taller and burlier than other refugees I have met. "Grandma" has limited hearing and is very short and very, very thin. They arrived in Omaha around midnight October 31st. A couple days earlier they left the refugee camp and made it to Kathmandu. They flew from Kathmandu to New Delhi to Brussels to Newark to Chicago to Omaha. They hadn't seen TVs before and don't understand what a computer is. [Yes, the young folks over there have that info, but not all the older ones... it's just beyond them.] They, like the others, lived with very basic housing, no internal appliances, no running water, limited, if any, electric power, outhouses, of course... and on and on. And NOW? An old "mansion-style" home reformed into apartments --with ceilings at least 10 feet high, water [hot and cold and baths and showers], a gas stove, a refrigerator, nice furnishings donated to their family,
a TV, and a computer -- a total of 9 family members living in this large 2-story place with 4 nice-sized bedrooms, something they could never have imagined -- and on and on. Leaving a camp they'd lived in for 18 years after being kicked out of Bhutan and placed in Nepal, in a very hot and tropical area -- and now here while we are headed for a normal Great Plains winter; ain't warm.

When I left the apartment and started towards home, the title is what came through my head. Can you imagine? Can I imagine it? What it would be like to be at that elderly age, never having gone anywhere -- ever, ever -- except as absolutely necessary, no trains, few roads. Now traveling all the way across the world... in a plane, over oceans, passing through enormous, over-flowing airports, given food they've never seen before, weather they could hardly imagine -- a whole different life.

What a blessing to be able to contribute in small ways to help them adjust... warm clothing, toiletries, familiar foods [a lot of theirs is similar to the Hispanic choices and we have large grocery stores with those products], and simply being welcoming and friendly. [Of course, churches, immigrant organizations, and other groups are providing 99.9999% of their needs -- but Dave and I are able to pop some small bits into the mix -- Saturday, Dave gave them the computer; yesterday, I, the anti-bug person took some BUG KILLER products-- yes!]

And MY blessings? Every time I'm in one of the several apartments I'm connected to, "my" Bhutanese bless me with juice or sweet Nepali spiced tea, and sweet rolls. And the biggest blessing? They laugh and laugh "at" me while I'm trying to explain English words and phrases to them in an animated manner -- my usual hand-active way -- or taking a shoe off and chasing down a roach to kill it. I'm so welcome around them. For the first time since I lived in Uganda I really feel "at home" -- welcome, loved for my facial expressions, appreciated for the smallest possible contributions to their lives.

However, even I, a fairly adventurous lady, when I'm 85, IF I'm ever 85, I sure don't think I could take the amazingly brave and challenging steps that were forced on "Grandma" and "Grandpa".

I can hardly imagine.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Testimony

When I lived in the world in my sin and my shame,
You came to me often, You whispered my name.
You said, "You're a princess, not the orphan you feel".
I didn't believe You; the shame was too real.

So You sent some to tell me, "Life's more than this pain."
And my heart filled with longing to break those strong chains.
A teacher, a friend, a man on the street,
Passed by just to tell me life could be complete.

How I wished to believe them, I sought to be free,
For the freedom I'd found didn't satisfy me.
I lived in the '60's, a child of rebellion
Churning forward and back in a black, fire-hot caldron.

But You wove the web tighter, this Love-web You'd spun,
And You tightened Your grip so that I couldn't run.
And I couldn't resist You--I had to be saved.
From the curses of Sin, Death, Hell and the Grave.

I still wasn't happy although You'd received me.
The patterns of sin and abuse had deceived me.
For You were a Father, and Fathers are cruel,
With promises broken and strong hands to rule.

I learned to obey You, to yield to Your Way,
But lived in deep heart-pain, as day followed day.
As month followed month, and year followed year.
With no hope that the sunshine would ever appear.

And when a dear friend died, I mourned and I wept,
But You chose then to touch me; a promise You kept.
In the night hours of sorrow, You said, "You'll be free.
You learned to trust this man; You'll learn to trust me."

And in time that's what happened, and I'll never know how.
But I learned to walk with You like a small, trusting child.
My life wasn't easy; day by day chaos reigned.
But I knew that You loved me, so endured life's sharp pain.

Through more years of darkness, oppression and sorrow,
I grew to trust for today, and to hope for tomorrow,
For I knew since You loved me it brought You no joy
To watch as I suffered, while I saw sin employed.

And one day it happened. My bonds dropped away.
And grateful and joy-filled, I faced a Bright day.
But – without the constraints of life's darkness and pain,
In freedom, I stumbled, tripped up by those chains.

And the torment endured was new every day.
I thought Your mercies had fled, so I withered away.
Winter's ice-blasted fingers encircled our town
And, my soul, like the grasses, turned lifeless and brown.

I forgot there's a truth, in the soul and the earth:
Winter is fleeting; with Spring comes rebirth.
And You said, "Child, Watch! As Spring comes to your door,
Like the robins and lilacs, your soul I'll restore.”

You spoke the word "Queenly" to my heart every day
And reminded this waif of a much nobler Way,
And gently restoring your Fatherhood cover,
Enhanced it, with grace, as my Soul's Holy Lover.

Now with Savior and Father and Lover and Friend,
My soul knows no darkness when shadows descend.
In Your love and Your kindness my heart safely rests,
And I am, among women, most wonderfully blest.
I wrote this some time ago, based on Song of Solomon, but even today, I know that without His faithful and forceful and never-ending reconciliation, there would be no hope, no true life. I'm one grateful God-child.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


In the spring of 1978, Susie's family suggested I read a new book, All Creatures Great and Small. I was told that I would laugh. On Mother's Day after church, I buried myself in my bedroom with a bag of Heath candy bars and the paperback... and read for a few hours... and laughed a lot.

Over the years, I have read that book several times, and all the others that came out through the amazing brain of James Harriot. Sometimes there are several years in between the reading phase, and a few months ago I started again. Slowly... very slowly. Am just starting book number 2, All Things Bright and Beautiful. I usually read a chapter when I'm grabbing a quick lunch or ready to doze off before turning out the light. [My husband happens to love these books, too, so it's fun to share bits and pieces with each other, as one or the other is reading them. Again.]

Today, something jumped out at me, and I've been thinking about it for a few hours. NO, James Herriot didn't pour scriptures into his books, but sometimes, whether he planned to or not, godly principles slid in.

This one:

It was March, freezing cold, windy, lamb-delivery time. James, the veterinarian, was out and about on hilly, hard fields, or the occasional shelter, but always either bringing forth the babies or helping the moms. One day James was standing with the farmer, Rob, before the rapidly growing flock. "Look!" Rob cried. "'There's that awd ewe with Herbert [a small previously rejected lamb]. Over there, on t'right-- in the middle of that bunch.' They all looked the same to me [James] but to Rob, like all shepherds, they were as different as people and he picked out these two effortlessly."

OF COURSE, this made me think of that wonderful portion of scripture, verses 14 and 15, when Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me--

Even as [truly] as the Father knows Me and I also know the Father -- and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep. [Amplified.] [And, as you know, a number of other verses in that chapter are fitting to this piece.]

To read the Herriot books, to see the sane and insane sides of him and his partners and customers and animals, is usually very funny-- only occasionally a serious head-shaking experience for me.

But, today, this was the wonderful, joyful story that hit my heart and soul ... and tapped my spirit... because I know that as that pushingly independent, striving, but rejected little lamb, which I resembled in years past, I now know that I know that I know that the Good Shepherd cares for me and will do all that is needed to keep me in a loving place in His flock.

Tonight? Another small portion to read... and more to go.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Recently, the Lord laid Revelation on me to read, probably over and over -- He's done that before. It ranks right up as a favorite book, and I enjoy it... it thoroughly excites me.

Well, in chapter 7, it has one of my favorite portions. The host comes from every nation, tribe, people, language... then the angels and four living creatures... and then they all fall prostrate before the throne and worship God and the Lamb of God... and this verse just explodes -- I have it underlined big time and read it with a loud, roaring, "hallelujah-ing" voice:

Amen! (So be it!) they cried. Blessing and glory and majesty and splendor and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and might [be ascribed] to our God to the ages and ages (forever and ever, throughout the eternities of the eternities)! Amen! (So be it!)

=========WOW!!!! ===========


Last May when I visited Susie, this is what it looked like from my favorite sitting site (sight) in her house.

This time? Change, BIG TIME. [Bare feet to warm socks, if nothing else... but, of course, that doesn't count the green-to-brown outside world.]

What did I do this time? Slept and slept, rested, rested, and rested some more. So much needed... and didn't quite realize how the Lord had laid my rest up there in place, no pun intended [at least originally].

In the 4-plus days I was there, I went o
nly into the nearby town and back... a total of 6 miles. Considering it's about 530 miles each way, from my house to hers, I usually pile another hundred or so
aking some side trips and visits... but not this time. Except for going to a local Christian community center with a great clothes-for-sale shop, it was only being "home" with Susie. [BTW, God really opened a great door: I was able to purchase, for next to nothing, approximately a dozen winter jackets and other warm items for the Bhutanese refugee family I'm involved with here, and piles of sheets, blankets, towels, comforters, and on and on. Totally stuffed my trunk and 1/2 of my back seat. Handed them out yesterday, and the their joy of receiving was thrilling to see.]

Had nice dinners and visits with her local family members who came over; had a real treat of a time with a local man born and raised in Zambia with his missionary parents [also locals]; he returned to the States after high school in '96, about the same time Dave and I returned from Uganda. How exciting to talk to someone who has been in Africa and has a true heart for it ... and has brought some of it home with him. Got my adrenalin flowing big time!

So, here're the "bits and pieces"...

I was painting Christmas tree and shelf ornaments in 1977. This was the one I made for Susie. Amazing to see it still today. What a blessing to have a friend who shows continued appreciation for the small things. [My painting ended by 1978; ain't done it since. Glad it fit into her life at just that right time.]

And then the big one, a really nice photo of the two of us. What a treat to have this. I can hardly wait to print it off and frame it.

So any deep and intensive Truth that invaded our lives while I was up there? Any insights into all that is happening in the world, both outside and around us? Nope. Hardly any at all, which is very rare with us. So, nothing to share in this post that will change lives forever. But our time was quiet and pleasant.

Guess that should be worth as much as anything else.

Monday, October 25, 2010


When we lived at New Hope Uganda, an orphanage, AKA Kasana, sunrise was always a blessed surprise for me. One reason: I'm not an early riser. And the mornings when I woke up by 6:30, I'd jump out of bed and rush outside to see what the sky was doing... whether pink and blue, as was in my previous blog background ... same tree, same place as this one ... or with orange and gray and gold and white and filled with clouds intensely swirling overhead.

On those days, at those moments, I rejoiced at this wonderful godly creativity, His lovely fingers wiggling out and about, swiveling and pulsating along the horizon. As I watched the sunrise unfold more and more, I would jump for joy and praise Him.

Even today, all these years later, when I look at the photos, all I can do is grin and feel my heart sing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I met Jill nearly 7 years ago. The Lord had sent me over to Uganda to help in the town of Soroti -- He hadn't told me HOW I was going to help, just that I WAS -- and my first stop was at the orphanage north of Kampala where Dave and I had worked, where our "son", Sam, and his/"our" wife and daughter lived, so I could get myself focused and organized.

Jill was dropped into my life in a funny way. I was staying with another British lady at the orphanage and they watched Britcom videos on Saturday evening. Jill and I laughed just as loudly and at the same time and we just hit it off.

I was leaving for Soroti on December 3rd, and she was allowed to go with me. Quickly it became obvious we were either going to be friends or enemies by the time the jaunt up there was passed before the Christmas break -- we slept in the same bed most of the time, worked together all day in a small office, and had very little time apart.
We both saw and heard horrific stories at the Rescued Children's Camp, and we reacted differently... after hearing the stories and returning to the YWAM compound where we were staying, she pulled the sorrow into her heart and walked in silence; I cried, screamed, slammed walls.

She pushed me to pursue the needs of a young girl who was caring for her brother in the local hospital. I had become so tired and stressed from the various heavy experiences, that the "one more step" was almost beyond me. Between her desire to take the step and the Lord pushing me, it was done ... and the girl, an orphan whose brother died the day after we stepped in to help, is now 18, and is my granddaughter.

A few months after my return home, a young woman Jill had been caring for who had been struggling with cancer, died, and Jill crashed. Her church arranged for her to return to Worcester for a few weeks so she could rest and gain her strength back.

I was able to go
for a visit, and, overall, we had a wonderful time. I had been in England before, attached to our layovers from Uganda, once staying for a week, but had never been in her home area, not far from Oxford and Bath. She and her friends took me out and about and I so enjoyed my time there.

I also happened to be there about this time in October on her birthday and we walked to the downtown area for lunch. It had been storming in the Wales area and the water was hitting their portion of the river Severn very strongly and it was overflowing the banks ... and along with the water, came the swans.
I was taking pictures and suddenly felt a strong whap on my thigh. Startled, I looked down, and a swan was whacking my purse with its bill, assuming there was lunch in there that I needed to share with it. [That was obvious from watching people tossing pieces of cookie and sandwiches to them.]

Today, Susie was talking about geese and ducks she has seen while out taking photos, and suddenly I remembered the swans, and then the time in England, and then that it was Jill's birthday about now, and THEN how we had met and what a wonderful friend she was at the beginning and now what a wonderful sister she is to me...

She will have a 3-month break this coming summer, and as she has done before, may take half of the time to come and visit me and my family, and I will take her on trips to various places -- but the main one will be up here to see Susie again.

Isn't it amazing to see how the Lord opens doors and pops wonderful little surprises through them, surprises we could never have anticipated? In November, '03, God sent me to Uganda and when God nudged her, Jill laughed her way through the door --- and we've shared our lives ever since.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I'm getting ready for my trip up to northern MN to see Susie. I leave tomorrow morning, so have lots of bits on my prep plate and didn't want to be interrupted.

A while ago, the doorbell rang. And 5 of the Bhutanese were standing outside, smiling.

After we visited for a few minutes, the young man told me their main need ... someone to work with them to learn American English. Many of the young folks had gone to school at the refugee camp and most of the classes were in English English --
they even have Shakespeare classes! However, our terminology and pronunciation and syllable emphasis is a real challenge for them.

I couldn't think of any books that would be a help as we moved forward. And then the young man [who will have been in the States a week as of tomorrow] mentioned having a Derek Prince book in Nepali and I have the same book in English. When I get back home we're going to try to work out a time for Bible study -- using common scriptures, such as John 3:16, in both languages -- and also use the Prince book as a learning/training time.

We all became very excited at what the Lord is opening for us.
I -- a non-other-language-adept-person -- can help them become more comfortable with our language. How cool is that?

The last neat part: when they drop in occasionally, before they leave, they always ask me to pray for them. And even though their language understanding is limited, they just love to have me lift them to the Lord and rejoice and praise Him for bringing them to our country and our neighborhood. They always leave with smiles and laughter and hugs and lots of love. Makes my spirit sing, to say the least.

NOW I'll get the last of my chores accomplished so I can hit the road early in the morning, but I just needed to share this blessed moment.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pharisee Interview

A scribe asked a Pharisee, as part of a survey, “What would you do with Jesus?”

The Pharisee answered with great detail and heart-filled hatred.

“I’m happy to tell you what I'd do with that blaspheming rabble-rouser. I'd stone him. With pleasure.

“Ever since he emerged on the scene here in Jerusalem from that God-forsaken area up north, he's been nothing but trouble. We can't maintain order. We had everything running smoothly here. Sure, we all despise the Romans. There is always a plot fermenting to overthrow them. The fools who do that plotting are normally discovered and crucified, but, then, what can those rebels expect? They know the risks.

“The Romans are difficult to live with at best, but this man, Jesus, has made it worse. He has divided the populace with his talk of a new kingdom ... a heavenly kingdom. Who does he think he is? He SAYS he's the son of God. HUH!!

“Would the son of God -- our most Holy, Almighty God -- allow prostitutes to touch Him... allow beggars and lepers with their filth and running sores, to handle Him? IF Jesus was truly the son of God, he'd know the Law and what IT says about the unclean and impure.

“You know what I think? I think he's an opportunist ... crazy ... power-hungry. I don't know what his goal is, but, if nothing else, it obviously is only to further his own ends and increase his own following. And that end can only be destruction. For all of them.

“And for that I wait – impatiently. It will be a great day for this nation when that man is dead. The sooner this man Jesus is condemned and removed, the sooner we can regain our control. And the sooner we can get these Roman eyes diverted from us and back on their own problems. And we will be free.

“So, what would I do with Jesus? I would kill him.”