Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pack Lightly

Packing for the beach! My son and his wife are meeting us for a week at the beach. This time we even get to bring the dogs. So I am busy packing and filled with anticipation and joy. My kayak is already secured on top of the van, and the beach toys and chairs are already neatly tucked alongside the skim boards and boogie boards. Sand shovels are stowed as well. I am considering what wonderful sand sculpture we should do this year. Last beach trip, I overpacked. I used not even a third of the clothes I brought. This is almost always the case. I carry too much baggage.

God nudged me about this issue. It is unfortunately true of my life in general. Instead of letting go of the worries that tend to choke the joy out of today, I hang on. I pack far more worry and angst in my little head than is of any use, and is a very heavy burden. Why do I do this? I gave my life to Jesus 30 years ago. I know He washed away my sin, and I am free, eternally loved, and spotless in His sight. Why do I keep repacking all that useless crud and strap it to my weary back?

I don't know about you, but I need continual reminders to pack lightly. Let the burdens of the past go. It is so much easier to travel with just a day pack, and God has promised that today's burdens are all we need consider.

I am consciously packing lightly for this trip.  When I arrive, it will take no time at all to unpack and rush to the restorative peace of the ocean that stretches like eternity to the blue horizon.

Psalm 55:22 

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 11:28-29 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Hebrews 12:1 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Galatians 6:1-3

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Difference Between Life and Death

I was asked to bring one of the women I counseled to choose life rather than abortion to a video taping for a pro-life organization fund-raiser. I love this young lady. She has become like a daughter to me, and she agreed to do the video, despite being a very shy woman. She did great and will be a powerful addition to the video. However, I think it is safe to say that a movie career is not in my future. I got through introducing myself and faltered for a coherent thought...or really even for intelligible words. My sidekick, Mary, a fellow counselor, felt similarly. I sputtered, Mary less than me, but polish is not the first word that will come to mind to anyone watching my performance. The good thing is it was not about us, but about the sweet brave woman who chose not to abort, despite very difficult circumstances. She was sincere, and genuine, and will break a few hearts with her struggle and the desire to do the right thing despite it being very, very hard.

I won't tell you specifics. You should call Monroe HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center to see how to attend the September fundraiser to help support this fantastic ministry that provides the free mobile ultrasound for the abortion mill sidewalk counselors. Then you can watch my film debut yourself, starring in the role of "struck mute by the camera."  However, I heard God reminding me of many things through the experience. First of all, very bad choices can come from listening to others. Listen to God. He is always always directing you to the correct path, however hard it may be. Secondly, family should not step back and be silent in matters where terrible assault to God's will is impending. Family should always lovingly but without flinching direct young people on the path of righteousness before God. If family abdicates that responsibility, society crumbles. Thirdly, when we stand in the gap for God, we can change life or death outcomes. We should never fear what others think to follow Christ. He is the only one we should seek to please.

I hadn't actually known the depth of angst in the sweet woman I have counseled so many weeks now until last night. She has always been unemotional, until last night when with few words but such depth of sincerity and honesty, she remembered standing on the precipice. She was unable to speak for a moment through the tears, describing the hopelessness and despair she faced.  The challenges have not changed since that day, but she does not regret her decision to let her baby live. What she said is reverberating in my heart. What changed her mind was she discovered there were people out there who would help her, people who cared. That made the difference between her child living or dying that day at the abortion mill.

Oh Lord, I pray you  move my heart to be someone who cares, and who seeks the Glory of God, not of men. Let me commit not to my complacency and comfort, but to my Creator and Christ.


John 5:44

How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 

Romans 12:15 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


It was a discouraging day as a pro-life counselor on the abortion mill sidewalk yesterday. However, I know that the results are not up to us. All we can do is be obedient in speaking words of truth and love and let God change hearts. However, it is wayyyy more fun when we know moms have chosen life through our efforts. Instead, I watched a mom who clearly wanted to hear what we had to say be pulled into the abortion mill by her boyfriend. She looked at me mournfully, hesitating and started toward me, but her boyfriend put his arm around her and pulled her in to the killing place whispering words of death in her ear. She and the baby are the collateral damage of the pro-abortion crowd.

Feeling the need to have time alone with God, I drove directly to the river. My kayak is always in the car, ready for action. All I need is in the kayak. It literally takes me two minutes from the moment I pull into the marina parking lot to the moment my kayak and I are skimming across the river. I thought about that as I heaved a sigh of contentment when my beloved kayak and I hit the water. I am always prepared to kayak. I have a swimsuit and water shoes in the car, and the kayak is already loaded with my life jacket, emergency supplies, paddle, and duck call. I also have a Kazoobie Boat Horn, to alert any ships that may be bearing down at top speed upon me without noticing me. I have salt to sprinkle on any leeches that may attach should I pop into the river to cool off, and benedryl should I disturb a low-hanging wasp nest. I have emergency food, and emergency warm clothes. I have a waterproof bag for my phone, a super absorbent towel, and emergency toilet paper.  I am fully ready for any eventuality.

Am I as prepared for Christ's return?

He told us He is coming again. When He does, time is up for the unbelievers. Have I alerted as many as I can as often as I can? Am I as prepared through prayer and study to speak the word of life in all circumstances as I am to kayak whenever I pass a body of water? All of us will be called to give an accounting of all the good and bad we did while waiting for Him. Am I busy doing good, tilling His soil, harvesting His fields?


I hate to admit this, but I suspect I am more prepared to kayak at any moment than to meet my maker.
How about you?

Proverbs 24:27 

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.

1 Peter 3:15 

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Luke 21:36

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Proverbs 6:6-8 

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

Romans 13:11 

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

On Fragile Wings

Father Lord, as I venture out to the Abortion mill sidewalks, the terrible place where mothers sacrifice their children in their despair, selfishness, hopelessness, and disillusion, may I be your heart, speak your words, extend your comfort, and draw them from the precipice they are about to tumble over. May I reflect your light, drawing them like moths towards your brilliant glorious mercy and grace. May they respond with fragile gossamer wings compelled to abandon darkness and flutter with what little strength they have into your presence. Amen.

2 Corinthians 12:9 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Psalm 34:17-20 

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Not Alone

One of my favorite Bible passages involves hopelessness. If that were where it ended, it would be my least favorite, since I just need to look around me or read the news to get a panorama of hopelessness. However, when Elijah in 1Kings 19 despairs of living in this land where he feels completely alone in following God, God reminds him he is not alone. God reminds him that 7,000 followers of the true God who have not "bowed the knee to Ba'al" are hiding and protected nearby. That remnant is a source of comfort and strength to the despondent Elijah. He is not alone.

A few days ago, I had posted information about my two new books on Facebook. I have joined a zillion author and book promotional sites to try to create a buzz about my new books. I always peruse other authors work, and read current books by emerging authors every night. Half the time, if not more, I am shocked and disgusted. The writing is often terrible, and the draw appears to be lurid explicit sex scenes and violence. Also, the occult and depravity seems to sell well. Wholesome books that anyone can read to their children without fear, with uplifting and inspiring messages, seem to be passe. I sometimes feel like Elijah. Why bother? Why not just give up? The world does not want what I have to offer, what I feel compelled to write because of my love for Christ.

But then, like Elijah, I received a message of hope. I got a message from a stranger asking me if I had ever heard of Clean Indies Reads? It was a group on Facebook of over a thousand authors who wrote and promoted  "flinch-free fiction." The authors on the group have the same philosophy as I do - good writing, good story line, uplifting message, no explicit sex or gratutitous violence. And then this angel of mercy told me, "If you want to join, you need to be recommended. I will recommend you."
God has preserved a remnant!!!
I joined the group instantly. I told the group it was like emerging from the sewer and diving into a pristine, glacier-fed, clear lake. They immediately swarmed around me, with welcoming messages and instructions to set up a twitter account and they would all help me promote my books. I had a twitter account, but never ever used it. I had 3 "followers." I asked a million (stupid) questions, and by the end of the day was getting the hang of Twitter. It may take me some time to build a following, but it's ok.
I am not alone.
PS - two new clean books with an inspiring message you can safely read:
1 Kings 19:10-18
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Delight in the Lord

I am beginning to meet and know some of the regular midweek kayakers on the river. One is a woman with a very well-trained German Shepherd. The sweet dog lies obediently on the grass while her owner takes the kayak off the top of her car. The dog quivers, and watches with unblinking eyes. Sometimes she crawls forward, her tail thumping, her ears perked forward.
"Stay," says the owner.
The dog stops and breathlessly watches as the kayak is lowered to the grass. She cannot contain a soft whine of anticipation.
The owner drags the kayak to the shore, and the dog bounds after her. She splashes into the water and is already swimming halfway across the river as the owner begins paddling in the kayak after her.

I watch the dog swim, and the owner paddle until they are just distant dots on the horizon.
This is what we should all be like, I think as I watch them, every morning as we open our eyes, and stretch our arms and our legs, and feel a full breath of sweet air fill our lungs. Praise God for the blessing of life, for awakening to a new day, for new beginnings, and hopes and dreams in this beautiful world He created for us.


Lamentations 3:22-24 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

I will be taking a break from my daily blog for a few days. The next few days are chock full, and I have ideas for the sequel to my new book, The Bark of the Covenant, that I need to give my attention. Be strong in the Lord, and Lord willing, see you when I resume.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Destined for Greatness

Yesterday was a day of miracles. It was a day of the compassion and generosity of others reaching out to the weary and downtrodden. I am humbled and blessed by watching the hands and feet of Jesus in action. One of the "saves" who chose life on the sidewalks of the abortion mill a few months ago,  who I will call Ruth, has been making monumental strides in good choices and pulling her life together. A whole host of Cities4Life supporters and Jesus-loving friends of mine have donated school needs for her older kids, diapers and supplies for her two year old, and financial assistance for her own college dreams. Additionally, in a couple of months, they will sponsor a phenomenal baby shower that will cover all the new baby's needs for the first two years. These wonderful friends also donated money to cover a 3D ultrasound of her little baby. During the hard days, the thought of the 3D ultrasound kept her chin up. I was the very grateful one allowed to bestow all these gifts upon her, but please be clear, this was all a blessing from the body of believers and God, not me.

I have been involved with her for several months now with ongoing counseling, spiritual discussions, and help contacting/finding resources. She had finally gotten childcare arranged so she could return to school and all was in place for her online college plans. Yesterday morning finally arrived -- the day of the ultrasound! I couldn't wait! My car was brimming with gifts the many Christ lovers in our community had donated to help her. And then I got a text from her. The school plans had crumbled. She had thought it would be free, but it turns out it would be several thousand dollars she didn't have. She had rejected community college, believing she could not get her degree online, and she didn't know how else to do her classes with a newborn. I called the community college in her area and asked for the academic counselor. I was connected to a delightful woman, T. I explained the background and situation and how ideally we needed full financial aid, online classes towards a degree, as well as advising and help in choosing the best major and best classes.

T was clearly sent from God. She confided that her own life story was remarkably similar to Ruth's story. T had felt utterly hopeless at times, but always trusted that God would help her as a single mom who wanted to turn her life around, and she refused to give up. She is now an employee at the college, and pursuing her master's degree. She would be happy to personally assist Ruth in every step of the way, she told me.

As we discussed the best plan, I mentioned Ruth was due in late November which is why she needed online classes.
"Well, finals are the first week in December," said T. She paused.
"Do you think she could do the actual classes and when she has the baby, finish the last bit at home? She would likely be only a week or two from the end of the semester," I asked. Ruth had always wanted to do actual classes but could not imagine how to do so with an infant on the way.
"That is entirely possible," said T, "The professors are usually very willing to work with women in this situation."
"And then she could do online classes the following semester, and be home with her newborn?"
One of the major roadblocks in the community college route for Ruth was not being able to do physical classes with her newborn, but also not being able to get her full major in classes offered online alone. This plan suddenly opened new doors. Is God not amazing!??

I called Ruth instantly and gave her T's number.
"Call her now," I told Ruth, "Submit your financial aid form today, enroll in the college, and then meet with T to register for classes."
Ruth called T, and texted me they had talked. We couldn't discuss it however, since both us had to now hop in our cars and head to the ultrasound facility. Sweet Pea 3D Imaging is the name of this incredible place in Concord, that has become a partner with Cities4Life and provides wonderful service to the moms we refer to them.

The picture in this blog is Ruth's baby boy. I almost cried to see him on the ultrasound! He sucked his thumb, and smiled at us repeatedly. To think this was the little boy who had almost been killed a few months ago by a mom who felt there was no other choice, no hope.

I piled my carload of gifts from all my friends and Cities4Life supporters into Ruth's car. She could not speak at first. She only smiled and lifted the gifts one by one, noting it was her older son's birthday next week. She had not had anything for him. Now she had a trunk loaded with goodies. One friend had given me a new painting for Ruth with a beautiful Bible verse on it. Ruth held the painting and gasped.
"I love this," she said, hugging me. She asked me to send the hugs on to all the wonderful donors.
Then I handed her three boxes of diapers. I knew this past month she had to buy diapers and ran out of money for gas...and food.
"I never expected all this," she said quietly.

"And how did the chat with the college counselor go?" I asked.
She told me she was now scheduled to take placement tests and then register. It looked like everything was miraculously falling in place. The financial aid award should be back within a week, just in time to pay (or we pray for Ruth not to pay) tuition. The check another friend had sent to cover the "seat fee" for the other college will help cover book costs.

"You know, when the other college called me," she said, "To tell me how much money I would have to pay, I asked her if there was anything I could do. She said no. I told her, 'Thank you for destroying my dreams.'  And then I cried and cried. But now I think maybe it was not what God wanted me to do."

"When God closes a door, He opens a window," I said, one of my favorite mantras of late, "Nothing is impossible with God." One of the favorite things I like to call out to the mamas at the abortion mill in the 15 seconds I have to help change their mind is this: "That baby you are carrying within you is a unique and wonderful human being, created by a loving God for a unique and wonderful purpose you will never know if you kill her today. She may be destined for greatness. Please let her live."

Look at that little boy in the picture above. Such a short time ago, he was destined for death, but my prayer is he is now destined for greatness before the God his mama is seeking to serve.


Habakkuk 2:3 

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Psalm 138:8 

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

John 16:33 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 55:11 

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Singing in the Rain

It was a monsoon on the sidewalks of the abortion mill Monday. I haven't seen such torrential rain since being in the outer bands of a hurricane. While being a pro-life sidewalk counselor at an abortion mill is not a place one usually associates with "fun," I do have some fun fellow workers. As the rain poured forth in buckets, and lightning clashed and thunder roared, Celia began dancing with her umbrella. We both seemed to have had a similar childhood and knew all the words to the song, Singing in the Rain. Now please know that 99% of our time on the sidewalk is spent in spiritual warfare between the forces of good and evil. Most of the time is gut wrenching and serious-- deadly serious. But for a few brief seconds, when there were no cars pulling in to disgorge their sorrowful occupants and no one was standing on the abortion mill porch for us to plead with, Celia and I danced and sang.

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place

Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

I paused in our dancing and thought of those words in the context of the place we were standing before:  
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place

Oh, if only that were possible! No mothers that we know of who came to that terrible place chose to let their babies live that day. The abortionist arrived, but wouldn't get out of his car until a worker from the mill came to his car with her umbrella. She held it over him as he scurried to do his deadly work. I called out to him, "You can hide under the protection of that umbrella. What protection will the babies have that you are going in to murder today?" He didn't answer. I don't know if he could hear me over the thunder and rain, even with my megaphone.

There was one hopeful event. A taxi cab driver dropped a woman off and on his way out, paused at the driveway to talk with one of the counselors. He thanked us for being there. Some years ago, a counselor like us had stopped his mother at the doors of an abortion mill. She decided not to go through with it. He owed his life to a sidewalk counselor who begged his mother to let him live. He asked for our literature, and promised that now that he knew this location was an abortion mill, he would try to talk the women he drove there from making such a horrific decision.
"Bless you for being here," he said.

God always does that. In the midst of the most terrible places, He sends beacons of Hope. I don't think He minded us dancing for a few moments, even in that place of death. His work is hard, but it should not be without joy.

A lightning bolt struck within a hundred feet of us, and Celia decided we should leave. Our dancing in the rain, and hoping stormy clouds would chase everyone from this evil place ended, as we dispersed with heavy hearts, but not without hope.

 A training session for those interested in bringing hope to the sidewalks of Charlotte abortion mills is scheduled for this Saturday. If interested, please contact Lisa Metzger at


Romans 12:12 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Romans 5:2-5

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Isaiah 40:31 

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 39:7 

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Who Rules Your Heart?

I finished my volunteer artwork for the pro-life fund raiser...finally. It took much of the day, after church. And then I discovered that my phone had replicated my contacts list multiple times. Some contacts were copied as much as ten times. Thus, I had a few thousand contacts when in reality, I only have a few hundred. I called Apple Care.

Apple Care is the best customer service in the world. They are clearly trained as follows:
OK repeat after me, trainees -- the customer is always right.
Even when the customer is a flaming idiot.
Which all customers are.
Treat them like they do not have the intellect of an amoeba.
Always tell them, "That must have been so frustrating for you," when what you really want to say is, "Check your hands to see if you have opposable thumbs because I am thinking you got stuck in the evolutionary progression from moron to human."

Despite their extensive training in not making you feel like an idiot when you are, the Apple Care people do sometimes get exasperated with me. The first Apple Care helper had to get his manager to help me, and that wasn't even to fix my phone...that was just to figure out how to plug it into my computer. He was unfailingly polite throughout the ordeal, and I think tag-teaming with the manager was to insure he didn't launch a nuclear weapon on my home to end the phone call.
"Why is my phone replicating my contacts all by itself?" I asked the manager, after we successfully got the phone synched to my computer.
"We don't know the answer to that," said Apple Care, "But I am sure it is frustrating for you."
"You bet it is!" I replied, "So how will you fix it?"
"Well, we can't...but we are sure it is frustrating for you."

In the end, I had to delete, one by one, all 4,000 replicated contacts. This took most of the night, which is why I have no energy to pull out a wonderful spiritual lesson for you this morning. I will give one meager offering. Sometimes life is meaningless with stupid tasks that will tax the best of us. Nonetheless, patience and kindness to those around us when we feel least able or willing to extend it is proof that God has dominion over us. He is definitely not done working through this with me...


Isaiah 41:10 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 34:18 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 5:7 

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Philippians 4:7 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Before the Lord

"Best intentions become regrettable sin and simple fatigue becomes uncaring action." This was the warning in my Bible study today from the Moravian Daily Texts. This is so true! I certainly know about fatigue and best intentions. Sadly, sin is always crouching at the door, particularly when we are vulnerable through pride and weariness.

Yesterday was my third solid day of hours and hours drawing for the upcoming pro-life Resource Center fundraiser, and then I had scheduled an "author takeover" with a Facebook book club in the evening. For an hour, I was to talk about my books and field questions. It was right when I often go to bed. My author take-over hour was to be followed immediately by a different author take-over.

During the author take-over, I was encouraged to start several different "threads" or discussions, and then go back and forth engaging the members. It was all through typed comments - no video, or audio. It was much more difficult than I had thought. I had trouble even staying caught up with one thread, let alone a few. I finally gave up and just stayed with the single thread. It was a lot of fun. Many, if not most of the members are authors themselves. I thought the hour would drag, but the members asked lots of questions and it flew by. I took the opportunity (as I always try to do) to talk about God. And before I knew it, my time was up. I don't know if I will get any book sales from it, but I did get to talk about my faith and the source of my inspiration. The next author had started his thread...he writes about dark erotica.

I wanted to support other authors but I just could not. There is little less offensive to me than the erotica genre, and throw the word "dark" in, and I am out of there. I hoped my discussion of God would linger. In my weariness, it struck me with great dismay. There are starkly opposing world views everywhere I turn. I know God wins in the end, but the battle until then is not for the faint-hearted. I saw the titles of some of his erotic work, and thought of the abortion mill where tomorrow I will counsel pregnant women to choose life, not abortion. The majority of  them are unmarried, and I wondered about how best to fight for what I believe in with a culture that finds sexual liberty outside marriage desirable. I quickly exited the book club discussion.

I am reading Isaiah right now, and just hit a passage about  Hezekiah, a king who sought God, coming against the taunts and threats of God's enemies. When he receives a letter from the enemy, we are told he immediately "reads it and spreads it out before the Lord." This is what I need to do more of! Take no action when confronted with sin, or evil, or despair before spreading it out before the Lord.

As I went to bed, I noticed a problem with one of the "final" drawings for the fund-raiser. Asherel, my daughter is helping me with the technical aspects of the computer files. It has taken us both several hours over several days. I sent her the file to let her know we weren't done. I fell asleep quickly, dreaming about driving a bus, beyond the size of anything I had ever driven, down narrow, winding streets.

Isaiah 41: 10
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 37: 14-20
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:16 "O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A New and Wondrous Place

I needed a break from non-stop artwork for the fund-raiser I am working on. I had finished all I could do, and handed off the detail work to my assistant in this effort, my daughter, Asherel.  I dashed out to kayak. However, since the sky looked threatening, I went to a little lake closer to me than my regular river spot. I kayak there often when I need a place place nearby. If I hurried, I could outrun the forecasted storm. Alas, the entry road to the little lake was closed! What to do now? I began meandering towards Lake Wylie, knowing the storm would probably hit before I could kayak. I didn't quite have the heart to turn around since I hadn't kayaked for days in lieu of volunteer work. At least I would look at the lovely lake. I admit, I was feeling a little sorry for myself. Then I passed a sign that said "Lake Access." I have seen that sign before, but always continued on to the public launch that I am familiar with. This one was closer. Since I figured it would storm before I would arrive at any launch site, I decided to explore.

I meandered down a beautiful road that had homes with steep backyards sloping into the lake. And then, I finally saw the public access launch site! The sky had brightened and storm clouds receded. The weather would likely be stable at least long enough for me to kayak an hour, and here I was at a beautiful section of the lake I had not kayaked before!  I quickly unpacked my boat and glided onto the lake. It was a little inlet of the lake with spectacular homes dotting the shore. Pine and rocks lined the hillsides. No one was on the water, except an occasional motor boat. (There was one snake - maybe a water moccasin - but since this is a happy blog, we won't talk about him.) It was gorgeous, and so peaceful. How glad I was that I had gone off the beaten path and explored something new!

It is easy to become so stuck in routine and the familiar, that we become hesitant to strike out beyond our comfort zone. New ventures take time and courage, as well as faith. We must have faith that the new thing will be better in some way than the old, or why bother?

This is true to add excitement and adventure to life, but it is also true spiritually. Since most of us grew up being familiar with the story of Jesus, we forget what a tremendously new thing this Son of God was. He turned everything people had believed about the spiritual life on its head. Most importantly, rather than prove to God we could be good enough to enter His presence, He proved to us we never would be. Despite this, He loved us so much that He would replace our terrible burden of constantly striving and failing to be good with a brand new thing -- the substitute of Jesus' righteousness and perfection. When He looked at us, He would not see our sin, but instead our acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. What a weight of sorrow falls away when we accept this simple, though hard-wrought offer. It is a new way, but when I veered onto this path as a young adult, I realized it was far better than the old way.

As I kayaked along the beautiful shoreline, I could hardly contain my delight. I began singing, and thought how happy I was to have chanced upon this new and wondrous place.


2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Isaiah 42:9 

Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Revelation 21:1 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

Romans 8:1-39 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Treading Water

I am working on a project for a pro-life fund raiser. I spent an entire day, 12 straight hours working on a design, as a draft. The photo above is just a portion of it. In the end, they decided that was not the direction they wanted to go, so I can use it for my blog. I spent the next full day working in a different direction. If they don't like that one, I am not sure I have what it takes...

However, it was not wasted time. I learned a ton of stuff about my computer art program that I thought I had understood pretty well. It turns out, I had a whole lot more to learn. I am so grateful for the time spent on the art project because ultimately, it will make me a better graphic artist.

Time spent in God's work is never wasted. I don't know about you, but so often, I feel like I am just spinning wheels. I am going as fast as I can nowhere, it seems. There are many verses that describe God's people feeling sluggish, or stagnant as they are seemingly just treading water. God tells us in those situations, the solution is: 1. understand He sees that you are working the best you can, and in your apparently fruitless labor, He knows you are laboring in love. 2. He urges us to continue with diligence until our work is done, no matter how hopeless it may seem at times. 3. He counsels that we not become lazy or apathetic because the results do not seem worth the effort. In the end, through faith and patience, we will receive what has been promised if we do not give up.

I suppose, it is always better to labor without result in obedience to God than to move mountains in defiance of Him.

Hebrews 6:12
so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
- See more at:
Hebrews 6:12
so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
- See more at:

 Hebrews 6: 10-12
10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Hebrews 6:12
so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
- See more at:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Using One's Gifts

I love to draw. I love to create. I love to spend hours lost in a scene that is completely erupting from someplace I can't even name that was created when I was created. I wonder what an evolutionist would say caused the human ability to draw...or even to want to draw? What survival benefit does drawing produce? I would posit that drawing may even reduce survival benefit. When I get caught up in my artwork, I often forget to eat. If breathing weren't automatic, I'd forget that too.

So why was the gift of artistic skill created? Why were any gifts of skill in any area created?

I was at the abortion mill yesterday, meeting with the wonderful people who provide the mobile ultrasound unit for pro-life purposes. We are hoping I have enough artistic skill to help them with the graphics for a big fund raising bash. I don't know if I have the skill, but I am willing to try. Anyway, I decided after the meeting to spend a second day at the mill, hoping to talk some mamas into saving their babies. At one point, the "security" man ( a vile young man who spews obscenities, plays music with offensive terms and themes) walked up to me. He listened to me calling out to a woman entering the mill, and then he made some disgusting remark.

"Young man," I said quietly, "You are young and healthy. You have your whole life before you. Are you using your talents in a way that makes you proud?"
"Yes," he said, "I'm going to hellllllllll!!!!!!" He laughed.
"Does that make you glad? All the choices you could make in life, and you choose this?"
"Helping women kill their babies!" he said gleefully, "I am a murderer!!!" He cackled.
"You know, God doesn't want you to go to hell. He created you for a wonderful purpose and longs for you to return to Him. He doesn't want any of us to waste the life He has given us. He gave us talents to use for His glory. Make the first right choice, and the next one will be easier, and if you choose enough right choices, one day you will become a righteous man."
He was silent and moved away. I didn't go into the full theology - no one is righteous except by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, repenting of our sin, believing in Him, and giving Him lordship of our lives. Lots of the counselors on the sidewalk have spoken with this young man at times. I was just adding a little to the discussion that I hope is swirling in his head.

In Exodus, God specifically calls Bezalel, fills him with God's Holy Spirit, and gives him artistic talent for a purpose. Better yet, God tells us He gives ALL men abiility for a purpose. And then, He tells us the purpose! I just love finding answers, don't you?

So, are you ready? Here is why God gave us artists the ability to produce art in His own words:
"That they may make all that I have commanded you."

Translation: God gave us talent to be used in fulfilling His commands and plans for us. We are to use all gifts, artistic or otherwise for His glory. The young man ushered women in to kill their babies, laughing and smiling. All of us sidewalk counselors cheered when a mama pulled out of the abortion mill and told us she had chosen to keep her baby.

How are you using your talents for God today?


Exodus 31:2-14 

“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Perfect Vision

I had my yearly eye exam yesterday. I love my eye exam. First of all, nothing about it hurts. It is all innocuous and easy. Sure I get a little stressed when I can't read the tiniest line of letters the doctor shows me, but besides a little sweaty palm when I think I should be seeing better, it is a piece of cake. Especially bumped up against the dentist or the dermatologist who is forever cutting off suspicious moles. Yes, I will take the eye doctor any day!

I do have a slight issue, however. Since I wear contacts and my near vision is growing worse as I get older, I either need bifocal contacts (expensive and lots of folk hate them) or the ingenious solution I have used for years. One contact is for near vision, the other for far. Somehow, the brain interprets the visual field accurately, and I can see both near and far clearly! However, if either of the prescriptions is off at all, I see neither near or far very well.

Of course, there is a spiritual message in this. I was thinking how we often are focused on events in our current life, our immediate situation, what is near to us in time and place...and forget about the bigger picture, the time and events in the future. On one hand, it is certainly good to live in the moment. But when we are also cognizant of what is further down the road for us, it can and does often change the choices we make now.

Here is a perfect example. The women who feel they are in impossible circumstances and choose abortion are caught in the here and now, the immediate crisis. Yet really, 9 months of pregnancy is but a blip on the screen of life. If they truly cannot support a child, many couples are waiting eagerly to adopt babies! The abortion-minded moms are not thinking about the ramifications ten years, twenty years, or longer from now. However, there is an enormous body of evidence that many if not most women experience deep regret, shame, despair, and depression over that "quick solution" to kill the baby. They have "near vision" (which in and of itself is faulty in my opinion) but no "far vision."

Here is another example. Many of us love to read the New Testament and apply the truths of Jesus' words to our situations...and of course, this is all good. However, if we are ignorant of what is foretold in Revelations, or the many passages that proclaim what the future holds for children of God (such as intense trials and persecution), we may fall away or be completely side-blinded by struggles when they come.

Both near and far vision are critical for us to see clearly. It is true for our eyes, and it is true in walking with God.

I am proud to say that with my one near contact and my one far contact, the doctor announced I had 20/20 eyesight...perfect vision!

Philippians 3:13-14 

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18-19 

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:1-21 

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Power

Yesterday was a depressing day at the abortion mill for the sidewalk counselors. The sun was relentless and it was oppressively hot. The longer we stand there as the morning wanes, the smaller the patch of shade becomes. Soon we have a choice. Stand in the shade, on the other side of the street, or remain in the brutal sun where the girls can hear us call out to them. My lips have become so parched and burned that the outer edges are a little swollen and raw. I may have to break out the umbrella hat. (I just am worried that my umbrella hat might not convey the proper gravity to this terrible place.)

Cars streamed into the abortion mill parking lot all morning, like I have never seen it. Only one stopped for me. The woman was stony, but polite.
"I respect what you all are doing," she said, "But you don't know why I am here and it is none of your business."
She repeated we didn't know why she was there a few times, and I said, "Yes we do. All they do here are abortions." That silenced her. The man driving her never spoke, but we had the sense that he was not sold on abortion. Despite her icy anger, he did not roll up the window or drive away. So I launched into my plea along with Rebekah. We were quite surprised that they listened. Even Ice Woman was clearly listening. They finally agreed to take our literature and the man finally spoke, "We are going in, but we will discuss what you have told us." They drove into the parking lot and entered the only place hotter than the sidewalks at that moment.

As far as we know, no one chose life while we were there. Wilting from the heat, we all finally evaporated from the scene, all wishing we could stay but there is only so much one can do. And despite feeling terrible that not a single woman overtly responded to our plea, we all know the results are not in our hands. We do not have that power.

However, all of us, no matter what we do in service to God do have some power. We have the power to choose to obey His commands and promptings in our life. We have the power to stand so close to the evil He has asked us to fight reaching a hand in to those who are perishing that our eyeburns singe and our lips swell. We have the power to stand in the light. We have the power to speak on behalf of the voiceless whether they listen or not.

And then we have the power to go to bed at 7:30 pm and sleep twelve hours, dreaming of babies held in the arms of mothers who love them.

Acts 1:8 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 6:14 

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

1 Corinthians 4:20 

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

Ephesians 6:10 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Ephesians 1:19 

And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

2 Corinthians 13:11 

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

2 Timothy 1:8 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Building Resumes

I met someone on my run yesterday morning walking a dog that looked just like my dog, Honeybun. I stopped and asked her if she knew she had a Carolina Dog.
"You know, some people have told me that!" she said.
"Yes, she looks just like my dog. I was wondering if you had taken my dog!"
She laughed and we talked about the characteristics of Carolina Dogs. She had just moved to the neighborhood, so it was nice to get to know her. And it was wonderful to meet her dog. There are now 5 Carolina Dogs I know of in our neighborhood!

I told her that I had just written a second book about Carolina Dogs, hoping she would ask for a hundred copies. She didn't...but she did ask my name. That is a start. There are other promising book promotions on the horizon, besides trolling the neighborhood for readers.  I received a request for an interview from a major magazine in the Cell Tower Business for my last book, and a potential interview request yesterday for my recent dog book. Nonetheless, promoting oneself as an author is HARD WORK, and with a billion other authors out there, success is almost impossible. (PS- my book is really inspiring and encouraging...the link is : )

However, I loved our sermon this Sunday. The pastor asked, "When did you last tell someone about Jesus?" I could honestly answer, "This morning." No one may read my daily blog or read my books, but every single day, I tell someone about Jesus. Maybe I'm not as terrible a failure as I have been feeling lately, at least in those terms! And every Monday, today included, I will be on the sidewalk of the local abortion mill with my megaphone, telling the women of the love and sacrifice of Jesus on their behalf, begging them to sacrifice their own selfish desires and fears rather than the precious life they carry within them. I remind them that little person was created for a special purpose by a loving and perfect God who sent His own son to die for the sins of humanity. How could we not step forth in faith and trust Him in response to a love like that? I will not receive fame or fortune from that message...though I may be cursed and spit upon. It has happened out there!

Don't get me wrong. I WANT fame and fortune. I want it BADLY, probably in equal amount to how much I don't want curses and spit. I want the ease and comfort and (let's face it) fun of financial security. But more than anything, I want God to be pleased with me. I suppose if we are building a resume, it should be that we can stand at the judgement seat of God one day and list a few good things we did with all we had been gifted with in this life. My salvation, once I trust in Jesus, is never in question, but God's pleasure with how I lived my life will be questioned that day. I doubt God will care if I am a famous or rich author. He probably will care whether or not I squander the talents He gave me to use for His glory, and to obey His command to go forth, and tell others about His precious gift of redemption through Jesus.

The new neighbor walked on with her Carolina Dog, and I realized she had only asked my first name. She could not find my book without a title or my last name. Oh well. God knows my last name.


Hebrews 13:5 

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

1 Peter 1:24 

For “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,

Proverbs 19:1 

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saving Lives

I went kayaking today early in the morning before the hordes descended. I had the river to myself, so I sang hymns out loud, and watched the turtles. As I was peacefully skimming along, I came upon a dragonfly in the water. He was clearly in distress. Apparently, dragon flies cannot submerge in the water, or their wings get wet and too heavy and they cannot fly. I knew he was going to be turtle breakfast or fish food any minute.

Tough luck, Dragonfly, I thought as I passed him by, and continued singing about God's love.

Yes, you heard that right. I passed right by that dragonfly in distress, as though he were not a creature of the very God I was praising, and as if I didn't have the power to help him. I paused as the words caught in my throat.

You should be ashamed of yourself, Vicky.
I am.
Then get back there and do what you can do. It may already be too late.

I kayaked quickly back to the dragonfly. He was arching his back and whipping his fearsome looking tail about, trying desperately to escape the water. I stuck my paddle under him, but the effect was not exactly what I had hoped for. It washed the water over him, and now he was in very dire straits. I circled back, and held the paddle above him, as he resurfaced. I hoped he could grab on to it with his flailing legs. After 5 or 6 very pathetic tries, with me half killing the poor creature, he finally climbed on the paddle. Since we were right next to a tree limb sticking out of the water, I set my paddle against the limb. He gratefully climbed on the tree limb, and spread his sodden wings to dry.

"I wish you well, Dragonfly," I said, as I continued on my journey.

Oh Lord, may I never pass by those who are in need when I have the power to help save them. After all Lord, you did that for me... a few million times.

Friends, who have you rescued today? Who within your sphere of influence is drowning and needs a helping hand?

May I suggest, if you are having trouble coming up with someone, contact to see how you can help abortion minded mothers choose life...and save two souls! Contact Lisa Metzger at for information on the upcoming training session in Charlotte.


Hebrews 13:16 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Philippians 2:4 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Luke 6:38 

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

1 John 3:17 

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

Matthew 25:35-40 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

James 2:14-17 

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Galatians 6:2 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The New Sixty

My senior artists at the nursing home were thrilled to see I had brought a Model T Ford photograph for them to draw. They all said they were, "Of course too young to have owned one themselves," but their parents all had them.  I had a full class, all regulars now. It seems to be a highly popular activity at the Nursing Home. One lady always shows up late, always seems a little 'out of it' mentally, and never seems to understand why she is there. And every time, I put the picture in front of her, hand her a pencil, give some instructions, and leave hoping against hope she will catch up. When I check on her periodically, she has drawn a beautiful picture that looks remarkably like the model. And every single time, as she stands up to leave, she tells me, "I'm not much of an artist...." and looks at her lovely drawing as though wondering who drew it.

The whole class drew earnestly, and all chatted about their memories of their parents' Model T Ford. I am getting tough on them as their skills increase. I actually point out where they have not drawn portions well, and show them how to correct that area. They are the best students I have ever worked with, always eager to fix what they have done wrong, and never defensive about it. When we finished, I surveyed their work, and said, "You know, you are all improving! I am so thrilled! Are you seeing that you are getting better?"
"Yes," they all said.

One lady stopped me on my way out.She had been an art major in her high school days, she told me, but then career and children took over, and she had not drawn in decades.
"The first class with you," she told me, "I was not very good. I didn't think I could do it any more....but now..."
She proudly held up her drawing of the Model T Ford.
"Are you happy with it?" I asked her, smiling.
"Yes," she said, "It is all coming back to me."

Ninety years old is the new sixty! I hugged her and told her no one is ever beyond learning new things.
"No," she agreed.

As though that was not rewarding enough to give me a reason to live, I had a wonderful blessing from two of the young mothers I counsel who chose life rather than abortion. One texted me to tell me that she would read her Bible, and that she considered me a blessing. (Awwwwwwww!) The other was in despair as she didn't know how she could pay for the huge list of back to school supplies for her other children. I put out a Facebook plea, and within minutes had 4 people text me that they would supply those needs.

Lord Jesus, some days I am so overwhelmed by your love and the wonderful beauty of the souls of human beings that I could cry. I know we humans are often a deluded, despicable lot, but I am also amazed at times by the kindness and love of fellow Christians, who desire more than anything to show your love to others. Thank you for that incredible blessing. Thank you for people who have walked this earth for twice as many I have, but still recognize that life is a gift to be seized with joy and passion and we should never stop learning, never stop loving, and never stop seeking the miracles of God.


Proverbs 16:31 

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

Job 12:12 

Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

Psalm 71:18 

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Psalm 92:14 

They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,

Friday, July 11, 2014


It's that time of the year when I go through the cycle of hair obsession. When beach vacation looms and the heat of the summer is oppressive, I always go through terrible angst. To cut, or not to cut? My thick and hot hair is like a small bush right now. Yesterday, I went in for my complimentary bang trim, and my hairdresser, who I have used for 4 years now said, "I can't believe you still have long hair."
"I know," I whined, "Neither can I. It is so hot and so much trouble...but when I cut it, I always cry."
She looked at me, smirking.
"What?" I asked.
"You look good in short hair. You should cut it. All that blow drying and washing and styling. Short hair is so cool and so easy."
"I know...."
"How about this," she suggested, "Send me pictures of you with short hair and I will send you my ideas."
So, I sketched my current hairdo, and my potential hairdo. I considered opening it up to a Facebook poll since my sisters REFUSE to discuss my hair with them.

I am immobilized by the pros and cons.
Pro: long hair more feminine /   con: long hair more hot
Pro: short hair much easier to care for /  con: short hair upkeep requires trims every 6-8 weeks
Pro: long hair can be pulled back into ponytail /  con: annoying long hair always just pulled back in pony tail.....
Etc. etc. etc.

Sometimes it is best not to over-think an issue. Honestly, I am shallow, but not so shallow as to think the decision about my hair really matters in the grand scheme of things. I bring up the hair issue as a humorous illustration. However, indecision in spiritual matters can mean the difference between eternal life in Heaven, or eternal damnation. There is nothing funny about careening from right to wrong in this choice.

We are reading "I don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" by Norman Geisler in our family Bible Study. Do you know that rather than come to the conclusion that the intricate design necessary for life had to have had a designer, many scientists propose that life was begun by aliens visiting the planet? (Of course this ignores the obvious problem of who created the aliens...) Or they will claim that life can spontaneously erupt given infinite time, but bump up against the fact that there wasn't infinite time...the universe had a beginning. (Pretty much everyone agrees with that now as the evidence for the Big Bang continues to build.) Or the one I find most intriguing to avoid the need to suggest a Creator outside the confines of space, matter, and time: parallel universes. Seems to me this doesn't avoid the need for explaining the origin of the fact, it multiplies the need for each and every parallel universe...(But if there is a parallel universe, I want to see the parallel me with short hair before I make this to cut or not to cut decision.)

Another case of indecision, tottering, swerving, wavering between right and wrong: Is the baby inside the womb human?  I bump up against this all the time now in my volunteer work as a pro-life sidewalk counselor at an abortion mill. I have heard the most convoluted arguments to support the view that somehow the baby inside the human mom, created in conjunction with a human dad, with unique human DNA, and a beating human heart within 3 weeks, is somehow not human.  This argument helps some to justify killing the baby through abortion. If we can just call "it" a blob of tissue, and remove any disturbing talk of humanity, we can eradicate "it" through whatever gruesome means necessary and keep our souls clean. Can't we?

The book of James warns that double-minded people are unstable. Instability results when we are not on firm footing, not properly anchored, or on crumbling foundations. Spiritually, if we aren't building our lives around the truth of God's revelation to us, the restoration of a holy relationship through the atoning death, resurrection, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, we will ultimately totter. All creation speaks of His presence, and the Truth. When we know His word and the sacred value He puts on all human life, many issues we struggle with become clear.  Why do we vacillate? I suspect our eyes are on a mirror, reflecting our needs, rather than focused on the One who has the power to grant or destroy every need ever created.

Oh Lord, hold me tight when I totter! Never let me disdain your firm foundation. Give me wisdom that I might not be double minded, blown about by whatever is expedient or popular. Let me stand on the rock-solid foundation of Christ.

(PS- I'm leaning towards the short hair, at least last night I was. This morning, I'm leaning towards the chin length bob...)

James 1: 5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Isaiah 28:16
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
 "Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
'Whoever believes will not be in haste. '