Monday, January 30, 2012


Verse 1:

I walked out from my Father's
***** tried to find my own wa
My way led to filth and sha
***** yet I could not turn away
Father's love shone like a light,
*****through all my days,
**********all through the nights
assuring me that I'd be wel
come home.

Chorus 1:

Lost no more, for You, oh Lord have called me.
Lost no more, for You searched for me and found me.
Your loving arms enfolded me, put
a robe upon my back.
Father, You poured Your grace
on me.

Verse 2:

I spread my wings and flew away,
*****thinking only of my freedom.
But freedom turned to slavery,
*****I was shackled by my sin.
Then Father's love sang out my
*****broke through my chains and healed my pain,
and all I wanted was to fly back home.

Chorus 2:

Lost no more, for You, oh Lord have called me.
Lost no more, for You searched for me and found me.
Your loving arms enfolded me, put a ring upon my hand.
Father, Your grace has rescued me.

Final Chorus:

Lost no more, for You, oh Lord, have called me.
Lost no more, for You searched for me and found me.
Your loving arms enfolded me,
You welcomed me back to Your heart.
Father, Your grace has led me home.

In 2004, when Dave was a Saturday evening worship leader occasionally, and the Pastor had told him the coming sermon was going to be re: Prodigal Son, Dave decided that we might write a song for that evening to encourage the pastor before his sermon. It came out well. Dave wrote Vs. 1, I wrote Vs. 2, and we wrote the choruses. We've written separately and together in the past, several times, but this came out best... creativity but no fussiness while we hashed it out. That was a miracle all by itself!

Oh, and the Pastor loved it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Every year when January 22nd hits, and the pro-choice and pro-life groups hit the news, I always want to stand up and holler, "LISTEN TO ME!!!!"

The key: My son was born on January 17th, 1973. Last week he turned 39. And it's a miracle he was born.

In the Spring, 1972, I became pregnant for the severaleth time. I had had at least two miscarriages in the previous two years, and, while driving home from church that Sunday afternoon, the pain began again; I was only 6 weeks pregnant. It was the exact feeling and timing of the other miscarriages. I went to a Doctor immediately on that Sunday afternoon, and after checking me, he suggested that I not have this baby, that I let "Nature" bring this to an end. He gave me some pills to take "whenever I felt that pain." At home, even when in pain, I didn't take any pills; I'm not a medicine-oriented person. What I discovered many months later was that the pills would not have relieved the pain, but would have caused a medical abortion.

Occasionally, during the next several months, other doctors tried to convince me to let them bring the birth to an end. I was told that this baby would be a mental and physical vegetable, that I would always have to care for "it" and would never be free OR that the baby could die very soon and I would suffer from that death; "Mother Nature" had tried to free it "now."

Well, I refused. Can't say I wasn't scared about what the results would be. In fact, I was terrified during the pregnancy, especially when I was forced to be in bed for about two months and had this fear pouring through my heart and mind constantly. But, I knew it wasn't what God would want me to do, so I simply couldn't; sometimes I felt Him hold my hand and encourage me to stand in that rocky area.
The baby's Dad, my former husband, basically just told me to do what I needed to do. Except for one spiritual Mom who gave me a Word when she could, I walked through this alone.

[You must recall or know that in those days talking to a pastor about these physical issues was not reasonable, going to a counselor wasn't easy, and ultrasound wasn't a medical part of our lives. Life has most certainly changed now.]

The baby was due on January 12. On the 16th, I was rushed to Stanford University for the delivery. Labor had kicked in early t
hat evening. When the baby was being delivered, about 6:30 AM the 17th, the nurse asked if I wanted to look in the mirror so I could watch "it" come out. I was obviously more terrified than anyone, including me, knew it. I screamed, "NO!!!"

And then the baby came. And HE was not a vegetable. He looked like his sister who had arrived about 3 years earlier, he was an ounce different in weight, and 1/2 inch different in l
ength. That was all. Period.

I was in the hospital for a week. Didn't know anything about the abortion approval. In fact, I didn't know anything about that for some time; life was extremely stressful and my recovery took several months. Survival was my only focus then.

But to know th
at the Lord gave me a son at the same time that law came into being, and that He had helped me walk through those horrible times with very caring and concerned doctors, probably some of the most seriously compelled to do the best for me and the "fetus", still just fills my heart with appreciation for Him.

And for my son. And my son's son.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Every person, physically capable of doing so, walks. A person’s walk can be as unique as his laugh or voice or sneeze. Young “Jocks” swagger or strut, teenage girls saunter, older women mince along in staccato steps, briskly, and old men shuffle. Eight year old girls and ten year old boys have a style of their own, characterized by numerous detours and much sidewalk scuffing; adults call it dawdling.

Nicknames can stem from unusual walking styles. My mother was a tall woman, 6'2", who swayed when she walked. Due to her height, her walk was not unattractive. However, since walking is usually learned by imitation, her girls swayed, too. Being much shorter, our swaying was stiffer and more obvious to the casual onlooker. I lived uncomfortably with the nickname “Penguin” during high school as a result of my awkward gait.

With all of those various stage
s of walking, it's not the same as a march. Except for school marching bands or military units, we rarely do it. But marching is absolutely necessary to face forward in preparing for battles... whether coming or going.

Almost thirty years ago, most Saturdays during one stretch, I marched, by myself, stomping on sidewalks and street pavement. Life in those days was intense and filled with everyday anger and fear, and this was my "battling" mood. My fight. In Edmond, Oklahoma, I lived near an outside-of-town road, and I would hammer my way up the street.

Those marches led me from Pressure to Peace to Purpose.

Under Pressure, I knew the answers I was seeking and the help I needed, hoping they would be in my grasp by the end
of the trek.

During the first two miles I released the pent-up emotions
. Anger, frustration, sorrow or fear boiled freely to the surface, unhindered by the presence of family members or society’s emotional restrictions. To “stop and smell the roses” was out of the question during this portion of the walk. I prayed emphatically, “hollering” to God [and, appropriate or not, AT Him]. I shadow-boxed my Opponents, producing smiles and double-takes from passing motorists. I shouted my Enemies into submission -- Insistent bill collectors, overbearing employers, disagreeable coworkers, “impossible” family members -- and all the other demons and dragons were ejected from my life.

After the initial expenditure of emotion, my marching would switch a bit from stom
ping to release frustration to marching for and with the Lord. I would sing Scripture songs, such as “The Horse and Rider”, which glorified God for victory at the Red Sea. And, I would sing old-time "rejoicing" gospel choruses – loudly – so I couldn't hear my Enemies if they insisted on talking back to me.

Most importantly, I walked FAST, planting each foot solidly, focused solidly,
like a Roman soldier on the way to battle the Huns.

Once the Peace began, I started the second "leg" of my journey. I walked more slowly, more leisurely. Creative
ideas and solutions to the serious problems began to flow into my mind. I absorbed the Nature surrounding me, pausing to pick wild flowers, watch birds and squirrels, or have a “stare down” with a cow. The realization rose to the surface of my emotions that, no matter how disconcerting the present dilemma, when seen within the realm of our God-given Nature and the Eternal scheme, no problem is insurmountable. I gained the assurance that “even this shall pass away.”

The final phase of the walk was a victory celebration -- a Purpose. Bolstered by new resolve, refreshed and renewed by the clearing of m
y senses and the physical exertion, reveling in the freedom from frustration and anxiety, my steps quickened as I neared home. I was nearly always joyful – I had marched against and battled the “ghosts” of life -- and I had won.


This is connected to the Wo
rd Carnival, the focus is Marching.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


It's been a number of years since I've been in another country, serving the Lord, doing what I am called to do. Uganda, Costa Rica, Morocco -- in their nations; Bhutan, India, Sudan -- inside mine. Should be satisfied and content.


At church today a missions couple who are visiting from China were
sharing about their "God-job" over there. They mentioned the details of their mission work and their training and helping of others. They shared how a Tibetan had come to the Lord in their school...just shy of a miraculous miracle. What was my reaction? "WHEN CAN I GO??" [Have studied Chinese missions history for over 40 years.]

Yesterday I was looking at a World Vision list of countries with photos of both missionaries and nationalists serving the Lord and helping in very strong ways... sometimes the "strong ways" being simply to hold and help warmly and caringly. What was my reaction? WHEN CAN I GO??
[One of the first books I read after my salvation was the original World Vision book written in 1960: Let My Heart Be Broken... by the things that break the heart of God.]

I read blog posts from various places in the world... most of the continents, and many nations. And even as I read them what is often my reaction or response? ... WHEN CAN I GO??

Now, I realize, reading books, hearing stories, "seeing" the results of the sharing of the Word of God with others, helping, doing.... not all of us can do it everywhere all the time. I know that. My head knows that. My heart knows it... a beat at a time. My spirit knows the Lord is the One who calls the right people to the right place at the right time.

In spite of that basic knowledge ... today, while listening to this couple share with our congregation, my heart/soul/spirit reaction was/is: WHEN...CAN...I...GO???

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Sometimes life is frustrating and filled with anger and rage. That would describe my momentary stretches this past few days.

According to the recent report, there have been at least 15 shootings since the beginnin
g of the month here in Omaha... the beginning of our new year. Three men died.

We had three First Responders prayer times... one on Friday evening, two this afternoon. At all of them we had family members and neighb
orhood folks meet with us so we could comfort, encourage, and pray the peace of God over them, AND allow them to share their hearts with us.

On Friday night, the prayer time was held at a home just down the street from where J
oshua had been shot. The shooting was on Tuesday; he was on life support until Wednesday. Joshua, 22, had been part of a local Christian facility for some time. The ministry focuses on kids from the tough and poor neighborhoods and difficult family backgrounds. Many of that ministry's group members have been in gangs and on drugs. There's been more than one indication that Joshua had changed his way of life and was trying to turn a solid direction. Many of the friends and family who were at this prayer time... a cold and windy and dark time ... were Christians. Solidly walking with the Lord.

During the praying and sharing, of the 50 or so people, a bunch of small children were running in and out of the circle, the pack. Another few
guys in their teens and early twenties were Joshua's friends. And, among others, his grandma, mom, aunt, and one of his young boys.

The saddest aspects this event? His dad was killed, just "accidentally", last August.

Thursday, 3 PM, a 42-year old man was shot in front of his apartment; he died shortly after arriving at a nearby hospital. A 19-year old man w
as arrested today.

We met at the murder site this afternoon at 2:00 for the prayer time. A number of family, neighbors, and friends came. At all the murder sites I've been at in the past 3-1/2 years, I've never seen any harder-looking faces. Esp
ecially the women. Whatever the reason for the shooting, they lost George. Forever and ever.

Then, we went to a home about a mile from my house. This was even more disastrous.

It was a domestic situation, and we rarely go to one of those places. We don't want the neighborhood or the family to be upset, thinking that we are just nosy. This description might be hard to follow, but give it a try. In this case, Antonio, father of a couple boys, became angry because their mom, Kennetta, with whom he had lived for a few years until a recent breakup, had a new man, Davarus,living with her. Antonio showed up on Friday morning and shot and killed Davarus. Then Antonio took the young boys [8, 5, and 4 years old] into his car and hit the street. He was stopped and arrested just a couple miles away. The kids were OK -- physically, at least.

Because of the children and the future of their stress and "heart" damage, we went today. Turns out that, even though we planned to not be in front of the house, but would only be together up the street, we were actually invited to the property. One family member stood by the front door, the protector ... from some source the family has been receiving threats. Another young man, Michael, a family friend in his early 20s, prayed intensely. A little later another young man was with us, looked very sad. When I glanced a couple minutes later, he had a young woman in his arm, her head on his shoulder. Someone asked who she was and he said it was his sister. And the sister was Kennetta. I would never have imagined such a young woman being the mother of those boys.

We all encircled them, and a local pastor prayed very intensely for her. Kennetta sobbed and sobbed and clung to her brother. Michael, who had prayed earlier, came back down from the house and spread his arms around our shoulders, too.

At church this morning, I was telling my pastor about this day-plan on my schedule and what Friday's F.R. was like. He said something that touched me. Basically, that we tend to read a newspaper, glance at these horrible events, skim through, and then head on to something else. [My mind was saying "comics".. my tendency.] And he was not pleased with the automatic choices people make almost constantly.

So, I'm home. I'd like to spend more time editing and re-editing and perfecting this post, but I can't adjust it much better right now; too much on my mind and heart. But, also, I can't wait to send it out to the world. Why? Three families are walking through a stretch of life the vast majority of us never have to face. For them, my heart is filled with an intense desire that the enemy lose ENTIRELY. That these wives, moms, children, lovers, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters... and on and on... will turn to the Lord and find His kind hands touching their hearts.

And THAT is the blessing. We WILL be together; we WILL spiritually fight together; we WILL praise our Father together -- forever and ever -- AMEN.

Monday, January 9, 2012

ISAIAH 54:2,13

When I saw the word for the Carnival this week and it is "Fresh", I had no idea what to present. Prayed this week, asking the Lord to lay the thought on me. And it happened!
God surprised me, in many ways, at many times, in my life.

Originally, at a young age, I assumed I would have several children. Because I w
as "raising" my five sisters, I had no idea it would be any different for my whole life, being always in that overly responsible realm. It was the way our families had been operating generationally. So no options. Period.

When I married, at 23, having
come to the Lord about 2-1/2 years earlier, I assumed the same. My thought: Of course, the Lord would want me to have a few children now that I belong to Him and will learn how to be a good Christian mom.

And then something... actually SEVERAL things ... occurred. One: miscarriages and some dangerous physical damage connected to them. Doctors were worried, and since they we
re at Stanford University and treating me as a "test" person, that should be an indicator that it was pretty serious.

Two: my marriage was bad, to say the least, and I was impoverished, hardly able t
o feed my kids, let alone provide anything else.

When I read these verses in Isaiah 54, clear back then, in the early '70s, I was always filled with delight. The reason: the promise of the Lord that my two children would come to him. I relied on
those verses ... still do.

What is Fresh? When I open the
doors of my tent, while spreading further, the breezes rush through, fresh breezes. Over and over again I spread it out, lengthen my cords, strengthen my stakes. And every time the tent is spread further, breezes enter.

The reason for the expansion? More and more children... not only physical children ... but, as Isaiah's verse says in the Amplified, "spiritual" children.

During the past 40 years, young people and single parents and, now, not-so-young folks, are in my life. Various locations. Mostly in Omaha and Uganda from May, 1974 until May, 2009.

Now, life has, again, expanded. I have a pile of Bhutanese "kids"... from infancy to the 50s. Some arrived as Christians from Nepal, and a few are in my "tent". Others arrived as Buddhists or Hindus and are "seeing" Him and "hearing" His call frequently. Consequently, I never know when the tent needs to be readjusted, but my goal is to be prepared, have the cords and stakes ready for the expansion.

The "tent" life is filled with fresh wind, blowing out the sin that invades hearts and minds and spirits.

My life is blowing forth with a strong and intense desire for the freshness of our Lord to draw others closer to Him inside the "spiritual" tent that He has provided.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


In 1999, Dave and I went to Uganda for the wedding of Sam, our Ugandan son. When he and his fiancee picked us up at Entebbe airport, Adhe walked into our hearts.
She was a lovely and sweet girl, 23 years old.

During the 3 weeks we were in their area, we had a lot of time with them, except for their honeymoon days. Dave and I were involved in the wedding preparations, we planted gifts in their house where Sam had been living for some time. We brought some items from our home and bought some over there. It was very exciting for us. So happy to see Sam so blessed, so content.

When the four of us were in
Kampala, walking through one of the market places for electric bits and pieces, while Sam and Dave were hitting the shops, Adhe and I stayed outside, and she always had her arms around me and her head on my shoulder.

Over time, she talked about her life, and it was a heart toucher.

She had been abandoned by her mother very shortly after birth and left with her dad's famil
y. That grandma, her dad's Mom, loved her and took her into her place and cared for her. One day some robbing thugs came into the village and, at some point, Grandma, inside her home, was shot. When folks came to check on Grandma the next day, she was found dead... Adhe, about 2-years old, was wrapped on Grandma's back, not injured, but now deprived of that love.

After that she was shifted from family to family. When about 8, Compassion International too
k her on as a child. This gave Adhe schooling and helpful support. As a result, she has been a social worker in the Bush near where she lives, giving her life and time beyond belief in serving Compassion, grateful for all they did for her.

After that shopping stretch in Kampala, we were riding back to the orphanage where they lived [where Dave and I had worked when missionaries]. Dave and Sam were in the front seat. Adhe and I were in the back, and she laid down with her head in my lap and just clung to me during that long drive. Dave and I were leaving the next day.

She didn't say anything about her feelings at that moment, but wrote a letter after
we came home. I still have it. In it she described what she had been sensing and going through when Dave and I entered her life. She thanked Dave for being such a good Dad and showing Sam how to treat his wife... opening doors, holding hands, helping in practical ways... not always a "Ugandan" way of life. Sam had lived with us over there, which was how we met him when he was the House and Yard Boy on the property we rented near Kampala in '94. Then, when, in '96, miraculously the Lord provided a visa for him, and he lived with us here for 2-1/2 years, while we put him at a community college. During those years, both there and here, he saw how a man should treat his wife. ANYHOW... she was one grateful young lady and very appreciative.

What she said also in the letter, buried her in my heart in a way I had never expected, ever, ever...

The reason she had clung to me a
t the market and in the car was because she now knew she had a Mom.

Believe me, she does.

Right now she's suffering with migraine, and my heart wants to be in Uganda so I can just hold her, be with her. I know others are c
aring for her, and I'm not particularly skilled with their way of cleaning and cooking, so I couldn't step up and do a lot of practical help for her ... but that doesn't mean my heart isn't there. That I don't "see" my arms around her.

She is 36 today. And
I wanted to share about her. She's special... and the amazing part? She thinks I am. She respects and loves me no matter how I'm acting or what I'm doing or saying... or not.

And why?

Because I'm the Mom God has
given her.

What a blessing to me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


For years, just like many of you, of course, I've read the story of Jairus' daughter whom Jesus healed and then told her to "Get up!" And she did and began to walk around.

Somehow, I have just skimmed past
what the parents thought or said or how they reacted. I was reading it in the KJV today and just had to laugh. Their response: They were astonished with a great astonishment.

When I checked other versions, it's
pretty much the same, of course, but this had jumped out at me.

Now, of course, they were astonished. This much-loved 12-yea
r old was already dead, according to those involved in their home. Wouldn't we be crushed at the loss, and then astonished at that glorious change?

What it made me wonder today was, even though I've not walked through anything
like this, has the Lord made me "astonished with a great astonishment"?

The answer is YES!!

In April, 1966, He broke into my life when there was no "logic" for it, and because of that breakthrough my whole life is different, drowned in hope instead of buried in hopelessness.

He healed my heart twice in two different churches here in O
maha -- Oct., '84 and Feb., '85. I was headed towards stroke, heart attack or death in my late 30s... and He touched it twice in 4 months and the pain and abnormal heartbeats stopped. I was very "astonished with a great astonishment". Doctors, meds, nothing made a difference. He did.

He d
ropped Dave into my life in May, 1985. I would never have imagined a man like him. When we were casually talking one day, even though I was very frank with him about my background, he didn't even blink. He was much younger than I -- 14+ years younger -- was a youth leader, highly respected at church, a wonderful pianist, and a giver beyond belief, both then and now. Since Day One, he has always treated me with great respect. He appreciates me, and expects nothing. He wants me to be "myself", whatever that might mean, wherever I might be in life. He wants me to serve the Lord the way He calls me, period. For nearly 27 years, these never-anticipated-in-my-life years, I am often "astonished with a great astonishment".

A major blessing: Traveling to Uganda, Morocco, Costa Rica, England, Paris, Canada...and all around the U.S. since the late 1980s. Previously, I was rarely able to travel outside the nearest locations wherever I was living, because
of poverty and responsibility. But missions and serving was laid in my heart when I was 10 years old and Jim Elliot was killed in Ecuador in January, 1956... I read it in the newspaper on the floor in my living room in Tacoma, WA, and the desire to go and help piled into me then. I had very little knowledge of the Lord at that time. SO, from 10 to 42, I traveled very little... then that exploded in both time and distance. To having traveled, ministered, given, shared, loved... and been loved... I am overwhelmed with the kindness and joy that the Lord has placed in my life... "astonished with a great astonishment".

And I could place a mile-long list of wonderful friends and family the Lord has dropped into my life. The only reason I can't put too many details is if I forget someone, somehow, they might be hurt; and, if I mention someone who wants to be kept in the background they might be hurt... so I can't risk it. But, considering my former horrible behavior and my ugly lifestyle and the stresses even after the Lord broke into my life, to be blessed, loved and cared for by so many "sweethearts".... I am regularly "astonished with a great astonishment".

And how did this pour into me today?...

Mark 5:40 ... he [Jesus] taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. 41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


One of the first books I remember reading after coming to the Lord was The Cross and Switchblade by David Wilkerson. I don't remember how it landed in my hand, but I arrived in East St. Louis in February, 1967, and a month later would lay on the floor by the heat vent in the bathroom in the middle of the night and read this book. [The apartment didn't have any other doors, and light in the other rooms would have kept my roommate awake.]

So much of it stood out to me. I have read it many times over the years and given it away to new Christians, especially if they come from a tough background. It really is an amazing story. [Since reading the book I've been involved with Teen Challenge, a ministry developed by Wilkerson about 50 years ago.]

One of the aspects of the book that was laid on me was what the Lord laid on Pastor Wilkerson: to daily tithe his hours. This meant that, in spite of the hours serving the Lord in church, he would spend 2-1/2 hours reading the Word and praying. It usually was pushing midnight before he could finish. And, in time, through this obedience, the Lord dropped a newspaper article into his life and he felt called to go to NYC. Much of what happened seemed very insane to many people [including himself], but the door opened and his whole life changed.

Occasionally, the "tithing time" aspect is dropped onto me. Not often; just sometimes. The "call" to do so might last for a year, or only a few weeks or months. There's usually a change coming in ministry, family, lifestyle... a door opening or closing that I am not aware of or prepared for, and this always is a help.

Well, it hit me again last week. The first time in several years. The focus is to read devotionals, spiritual warfare books, prayer books, the Word, and worship and pray.

I'm not a "Resolution" person. Partly, because I'm not focused enough; easily side-tracked or drawn away from my "good intentions".

However, when this enters my life, I truly do try to be faithful in the reading and worshiping. Going beyond the "tithe" time occurs occasionally and I'm overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord in the everydayness of life

This isn't a very exciting post. Possibly boring. But I felt led to share this with you. Not that I'm telling you to do this, too. AIN'T!! But some of you who are friends and family or "God-family" can be accountability partners for me. You are free to ask me any time regarding my commitment. And I promise to be honest.