Saturday, November 29, 2014

Flesh Eaters

Our fuzzy, furry Lucky has a wound in his neck. He is so covered with wild fur, it is hard to get a good look at it, but it looked like a nasty scrape. I put neosporin on it, and prayed he will be fine. If it looks worse by tomorrow, I will him to the vet. Really hoping that won't be necessary. He doesn't seem to be in pain, or discomfort, unless I try to fiddle with it much, but he let me clean it and put the antibiotic on it. Unfortunately, I think it looks larger than when I first saw it yesterday morning. I have a neighbor whose dog was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The venom from that wonderful creature eats flesh. I sure hope that is not what bit Lucky.

The bite from a Brown Recluse starts as a tiny wound. Gradually, as the poison begins to work its way in the area, the flesh disintegrates and the wound grows. If you want to gross yourself out, look online at Brown Recluse Spider wounds. It can become massive and very hard to heal.

I think negative thoughts have a similar manner of destroying us. What begins as a little bit of anger or irritation or negativity, inflates the more we dwell upon it. It grows bigger and uglier, and pretty soon what started as just a thought, has become a whole pattern of thinking, that then controls our behavior in a terrible downward spiral.

That must be why the Bible says "Take every thought captive for Jesus." Every thought. All behavior begins as just an idea. It would be best if all our ideas are bathed in God's radiance rather than letting poisonous ideas fester.

2 Corinthians 10:5 

 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Philippians 4:8 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Isaiah 26:3 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Instant Miracles

As I do every year, I set up Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. It took me most of the day, but by late afternoon, the whole house was decorated, including the trees. There was one very strange event. My mantle piece swag of pine with pre-lit lights is very beautiful, and was an indulgence a couple of years ago. It is very well made and looks like real pine. It fits the mantle perfectly, and the little white lights are a beautiful counterpoint to my Christmas tree decorated all in white and crystal. I artistically weave a shimmery silvery white lacy ribbon along the swag, and then place real pinecones that I brought back from the California Redwood forest. (Yes, I think technically that is not allowed. Shhhhh.)

Anyway, I completed all those careful tasks, and plugged it in. No lights. In dismay, I brought it to my husband and asked if he could find the bad bulb and fix my beautiful mantle piece pine swag. He took apart the fuse on it to see if that was the problem. Nope. Then he tried replacing the bulbs one by one. It still wouldn't light. It was not cheap, even two years ago, and I was very dismayed. So, it sat on the counter, in all its darkness and despair, and we stood sadly gazing at it.
"I don't know what to tell you," he said, "I've done all I can possibly do."
"I guess I could get another one," I sighed.
Suddenly, the pine swag lit up. All by itself. Neither of us were touching it.

I brought it to the mantle, wove the silvery ribbon along its length, placed the pinecones, and plugged it in again. It lit up instantly, a beautiful counterpoint to the Christmas tree with it white lights and crystal ornaments. Was it a miracle? Perhaps. It wasn't working, and then it a flash. Instantly. All by itself.

I have often wondered at the miracles in the Bible. None of them are gradual. Instantaneously, the leper is healed, the water turns into wine, the ax-head floats, the single last drop of oil fills countless jugs, the loaf of bread feeds 5,000, the Red Sea parted, the blind man sees, the crippled man walks, Jesus raises Lazarus from death. No miracle I can think of slowly developed over time.  In the flash of a moment, God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

Why? Why are miracles sudden and complete? In nature, things slowly evolve, or change. Day slowly turns to night, youth slowly grows aged, seasons slowly give way to new seasons. But God makes everything new, everything different instantaneously. One moment, we are dead in our sins, destined for Hell, and in a flash, with one word of faith, we are ushered into the Kingdom of God. In a moment, we are no longer doomed, but irreversibly bound for Glory. This is to me the greatest miracle of all, and it happens even now. Miracles abound every time a sinner accepts God's gift of atoning grace.

That's what I thought about as my mantle of light flashed on.

Mark 16:16-20:

16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lighting the Way

Something has always really bothered me about Black Friday. It somehow seems wrong to celebrate with gratitude all we have been blessed with by God on Thanksgiving...and then go out on a shopping rampage the next day. I know I am one of the very few people on earth who seem to feel this way, but the whole concept of Black Friday is jarring to my soul. Don't get me wrong -- I am as tempted as anyone by a super sale. It is a matter of timing. Since families gather on Thanksgiving, it seems the time they have to spend together enjoying the bountiful grace of God should not be spent in crowds of people ready to bludgeon each other to death for the limited xboxes at 90% off.

I usually set up the Christmas tree on Black Friday. I like the continuity of the focus on the season of celebrating Jesus. I like to light a fire in the fireplace, and play Christmas music. I love to set up my Christmas tree and lovingly place the crystal ornaments that came from my mother's tree. She and Dad don't set up a Christmas tree anymore. It is too difficult as they grow older. So I try to make my Christmas tree as close to the spectacular beauty of hers each year, and remember the magic I felt as a child gazing at those lights reflecting so much joy and anticipation.

I didn't know Jesus as a child, but I think deep inside my soul, He was known nonetheless. That anticipation was more than just a greedy delight in all the presents I knew would be forthcoming. It was an anticipation of hope, of something much better than what was now visible, a belief in a place where the aches of life would be soothed, and a light much brighter than that on the tree would light the way.

John 8:12 

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 1:5 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

1 John 1:7 

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Ephesians 5:8 

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Nothing left to do but put the turkey in the oven. Yesterday I made make-ahead fresh cranberry sauce, make-ahead sweet potato casserole, make-ahead mashed potatoes, and make-ahead string bean casserole. I set the table, bought beautiful new gold candles, and placed the Cornucopia centerpiece overflowing with flowers. Therefore, today I get to just sit and enjoy the blessing of doing nothing but sniffing yummy smells. What a blessing breathing is.

MMMMmmmmm. Every breath I take is a gift of God. My prayer for me and my family and all of you is that our hearts would overflow with gratitude not just today, but every day, for every moment that God gives us, for every breath we take whether it contains the scents of a feast or of a famine. The breath itself is the blessing.

I put my little illustrated children's book "Tommy- A Story of Ability" on sale for 99 cents the next two days. It is a true story  about a blind, deaf puppy with a heart overflowing with gratitude for all he had...rather than despair over all he didn't have. It is a great reminder that we all have worth and value. The sale starts at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

Seemed appropriate for this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Philippians 4:6 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Hubby is in NYC for job training and flying home tonight. A big storm is forecast. Praying it holds off, or it will be just me and my currently sick daughter eating our twenty pound turkey. I enjoyed watching all the facebook posts of anxious mothers counting down the hours till their college kids arrived home. Family is so important. I wish my boys were coming home, but it becomes difficult with jobs and other obligations of adult children. I wish all my extended family was near. It is the great tragedy of the industrial revolution that families began to move apart. I just don't feel that is the way it was meant to be.

It does make me long for heaven for a reason other than the constant presence of God and the absence of pain and sorrow. All my loved ones who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior will be there. No more saying goodbye. No more aching hole for those who are absent, and distant. No more empty places around the table.

But for all you families that are able to gather with loved ones, bless you. Enjoy. I am happy for you. Love each other. And for all my family that is scattered in distant places, I am thinking of you and dreaming of a day when we will all be together again.

Proverbs 15:17 

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

Hebrews 10:24-25 

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Matthew 18:20 

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Colossians 3:16 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Hebrews 10:25 

Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Change the World

Watching the news reports of the looting and rioting over the Ferguson decision, I am deeply saddened. I am saddened by executive orders that reward lawless behavior. I am saddened every Monday as I stand on the sidewalks of the Abortion Centers in our city pleading for life, and watch the parking lots overflow with women seeking to terminate the life of their own child. I want to change the world, but what can one person do?

I thought I would be alone at the abortion mill yesterday. My regular team members were sick. However, when I showed up, one sweet young lady, Anna, was there. She is only 20 years old. She knew I would be alone, and drove an hour to be sure I would have a helper with me. Later, two others showed up and we all grieved at the very heavy crowd of cars in the parking lot. Holiday weeks are big business times for the abortion mills. People off from work and home from college flock to dispose of their babies. A rather incongruous way to show Thanksgiving to God, don't you think?

The first woman who pulled over to speak with me was a mother dropping her daughter, who works at the abortion mill. She waved goodbye as her daughter dashed into the facility without looking at me.
"Do you believe in abortion?" I asked the mother when she told me why she was there.
"Does your daughter believe in God?"
" fact we go to Elevation Church."
"Does your daughter understand that by working here, she is promoting abortion?"
The woman agreed.
"Do you agree abortion is an affront to a holy God who says do not murder?"
She agreed it was.
I gave her a pamphlet and urged her to speak with her daughter. I told her of a group that will help abortion workers seeking to leave the field.
"Please speak to her," I begged, "As a mother of an older teen, I know how hard it is as they get older, but trust she is still listening."
As she drove away, I was astounded (again) by the number of church-goers who do not take a stand against such an obvious defiance of God's commandments. I want to change the world...but what can one person do? Maybe we can change the world by planting one seed at a time.

I spent a long time on the speaker, which we know they can hear in the mill, talking about how this Thanksgiving could be the time when the mama would look back with either deep remorse and regret, or with gratitude for the new life she carried within her. The choice was before her. She had the power to change her destiny and leave with shame and despair, or relief and joy. God, the author of life, would not leave her alone. A path that seemed impossible would be cleared by the same Lord who rose from the dead and conquered sin and death once and for all. This Thanksgiving week, take the first step of faith, and heed the still, small voice urging to let her baby live. Maybe we can change the world by speaking a message of hope and faith to one roomful of people at a time.

Two women ended up choosing life. One was particularly touching. She came out of the mill, and got in her car. As she drove out, she rolled down her window and stopped to talk with us.
"I couldn't do it," she told us, "I was crying my heart out in there." She wasn't crying now. She looked joyful. While talking with us, she got a text, "Oh that's my boyfriend," she said.
"Please don't let him talk you out of this," I encouraged.
"He didn't want me to do it," she said, texting him back, "He is happy. I'm glad I didn't do it."
My fellow counselor gave her our new mama gift bag, telling her she would never regret this decision for life. I gave her the adorable hand knit baby booties from my friend Carrie High. She also took our literature with my name and phone number on it and I told her to please call if she had any problems and needed help. Then she let me hug her. We counselors high-fived and hugged each other as she drove away. The angels were dancing in heaven and we were dancing on earth. Maybe we can change the world one baby at a time, with one small gift from one faithful person at a time.

As soon as my time there at the mill ended, I headed off for another blessing. I had already made a date to meet one of my "saves" (L) from the abortion mill who I have been friends with for many months now. I was bringing her family a Christmas tree, and then taking her and her new baby out to lunch. The little Christmas tree had been in our attic for some time. I was glad to give it a new home. It was zipped in a bag, and I hoped it would be in adequate condition. As I lifted it out of the bag for the family, the little one-year-old niece of L watched with wide eyes. L had told me that the year before, all they'd had was a tiny potted 6-inch pine sapling for a Christmas tree.

Anyway, to my delight (and the one year old's), the tree was covered in garland and already bedecked with lights.I'd forgotten I'd left all that on it when I stuffed it in the attic in the zippered bag.
"I don't know if these are still working," I warned the uncle, who was also there when I arrived. He ran to get an extension cord as I fluffed out all the limbs on the 4 foot tree. The whole family stood around as he plugged it in. Glory be to God, the tree lit up, without a single light missing! The one year old stood transfixed, and reached out to touch a light. Maybe we can change the world with one small sense of wonder and tiny miracle at a time.

My lunch with L was wonderful. We talked the entire time about God. She had many questions as she has begun reading her Bible and wants so much to understand what she is reading. I noticed the waiter standing nearby listening as I answered her questions. Two for one, I thought! L was very curious about baptism, thinking she should baptize her baby. We went through several verses talking about baptism. In the end, she decided that baptism of babies was not scriptural, since baptism involves repentance and recognition of one's sins. However, she thought perhaps she would like to be baptized. I smiled at her, told her how wonderful she was, and I would see what we could do about getting her baptized. Maybe we can change the world by one small step of faith at a time.

It was a wonderful day. As I dropped L and her sweet baby back home, I returned to my car. It was a very hot day - mid 70's! The family had a puppy in a crate on the front porch. It was panting. It was full in the sun, with no water. I had asked L to get the poor thing water, and as I turned on the car, she still had not reappeared on the porch. I started to drive away, feeling guilty as I was certain she had forgotten. Then I remembered what I had said to one of the "friends" of a woman in the abortion mill who told me she would not try to talk her friend out of the abortion.
"It's none of my business," she told me.
"We are our brother's keeper," I told her.

I stopped the car. I got my waterbottle and a little plastic tub. I filled the tub with water and opened the puppy's crate. He licked me gratefully and then dove into the water, lapping it with vigor. There was an old sheet on the porch. I covered half his crate with the sheet so it blocked the sun. He lay down in the shade wagging his tail at me. Later I texted L and told her it was hard on a pup to be without people, water, and shade, and I hoped they would let him inside. She said, "OK." Maybe we can change the world by one small act of compassion for one small defenseless creature at a time.

I am just one person. What can one person do?

I want to change the world. Oh Lord, I want to change the world.


If you want to change the world one small person at a time, please contact Lisa Metzger at or go to


Genesis 4: 8-10
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Finishing Well

Rainy Sunday. It rained all day long. After church,  I spent the whole rainy day editing my newly completed first draft of my book, while my poor daughter slept all day with the illness that I came home from NY with. It was one of those days when I didn't do much but sit in my corner chair with my computer on my lap, and so I didn't think God had sent me any message really worth blogging about.

But of course He had. He is always speaking.

Initially, I had puttered about, reading email, reading Facebook, checking weather reports. I am not normally much of a procrastinator, but I really hate editing and that was the task before me. Besides, I didn't feel great, and it was almost Thanksgiving. Maybe my time would be better spent napping and thinking about turkey. With a sigh, I decided just to do a read through without major changes yet.

I had thought my first chapter of my book was really good, and was surprised to find, as I began the read through, that it stinks. It needed total reworking. At first, the changes seemed so monumental that I didn't want to work on it at all. Despite not generally being a procrastinator, I strongly considered just paying for someone else to edit it. (Future edits will have that privilege, but the first few drafts must be done by me or it is not my story.) Instead of following the strong urge to set it aside, I spent the whole day working on it, and by the end of the day, was wondering if it was possible the whole book was as terrible as that first chapter. It is possible. I still have a long way to go before I will even be happy with Chapter One. How will I muster the will to change every chapter if needed to the extent needed in Chapter One?

I realized that my vision for the message had changed in the course of writing the book. By the time I had finished it, the first chapter no longer fit. The ending transformed what the beginning needed to be. Again, as often happens in the creative process for me, I thought of God as creator. He sees the whole picture, beginning to end. What makes sense to Him having that timeless perspective would be impossible for us to grasp, bound as we are by time. Unlike me when I edit a manuscript, we cannot go back in real life and change the beginning when we reach the end...much as we often wish we could. God of course knows that, and so He gives us the opportunity to change the ending. What matters most to Him is not where we start, but where we end. There are, in a sense, portions of our life we can "rewrite", through repentance, sorrow, and forgiveness. Those can alter at least some of the dire effects of the past. However, not always. Still, there is hope while the life-story  is yet unfolding. Finishing well is what it is all about!

However, when the beginning in real life is not optimal, and the middle is littered with sin and wrong turns, and the finish line is distant and covered with booby traps along the way, it seems easier to put that whole business of "finishing well" off. Charles Spurgeon comments on this dangerous tendency:
It is by little procrastinations that men ruin their souls. They have no intention to delay for years--a few months will bring the more convenient season--to-morrow if you will, they will attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied and altogether so unsuitable, that they beg to be excused. Like sands from an hour-glass, time passes, life is wasted by driblets, and seasons of grace lost by little slumbers.

My Chapter One has to be worthy of the ending. And everything in between must be my best. And the ending must be glorious! I have a lot of work before me. The work will not disappear if I wait, but as Charles Spurgeon notes, a delay can turn into years...and a wasted life, or a book never written. What I have begun, it is best to labor upon until I have finished well.

As Charles Spurgeon proclaims hopefully:
Oh, to be wise, to catch the flying hour, to use the moments on the wing! May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, for otherwise a poverty of the worst sort awaits us, eternal poverty which shall want even a drop of water, and beg for it in vain. 


2 Timothy 4:7 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Acts 20:24 

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Proverbs 16:9 

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Psalm 90:12

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

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.

James 4:13-15

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Ephesians 1:10 

As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


When I woke up yesterday morning, the poison (allergens) from my allergy scratch test must have invaded my body. I felt really icky, and my poor forearm where the scratch tests were done was swollen with a red circle about 6 x 3 inches. As the day progressed, the swelling went down, but I didn't feel well all day. I was worried and a little wretched.

So I read a lot of the Bible and wrote the last chapter of my sequel to Bark of the Covenant. The rough draft is done! Now, to the (dreaded) first edit. I really liked my last chapter. It made me cry. I like it when my books move me to tears, as long as they aren't tears of despair. These were happy tears, tears that my characters had overcome adversity and prevailed. I love fiction. It is so much fun being able to make everything turn out exactly as you want it to. We all know that isn't true in real life.

Yet even in novels, we all want the characters to go through some sort of struggle and ultimately reach some sort of victory. Without the struggle, the book is dull, and the victory hollow. In fact, the more challenging the struggle, and the more impossible the likelihood of a positive outcome, the more satisfied we feel if the main character prevails in the end. And better yet, we like it all to look hopeless till the last page, when our hero is rescued in the nick of time. We all understand at some level that the greater the trial, the greater the importance of the lesson and the life changing character of the protagonist.

But how we rail against God when He works that way!

I wrote my last page and cried. A good sign. A sign that the struggles moved me.  While I grieved for the troubles my characters had endured, when they made it through stronger and more faithful than ever, I rejoiced. And was relieved. Even though all along, I knew they would overcome.

This morning, the swelling was gone and I felt 100% better. It had not been fun throughout the whole allergy test procedure and aftermath, but good information was gleaned and I spent a day reading God's book and finishing my own book because I didn't feel like moving. The adversity resulted in gain!

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 John 5:4 

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:5

Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 5:4-5 

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 3:9 

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

1 John 4:4 

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grow Up

Just in case there was any question, allergy scratch tests are NOT FUN. In fact, they are so far out of the realm of fun, that they should not even be allowed in the same universe as fun. I sat on the table, awaiting my scratch tests to determine why I almost died eating a snickers bar, when a child in the room next to me began screaming.
"No no no, I'm all better! I don't need a shot! No no no!!I'm scared! It hurts!!!"
Good thing I wasn't ALREADY scared to death about the scratch tests....The doctor came in and we listened to his cries together. "He's a very sick boy," she told me, "But he really doesn't want to be here."

The doctor was very kind, but did not seem to feel I needed someone with me at all times in case I had a massive allergic reaction to the scratch test.
"Only 1.5% have problems," she assured me.
I told her my self-diagnosis, oral allergy syndrome, and she concurred that it sure sounded like that is what I have based on the allergies I know of. Still, a targeted scratch test was important.

For those of you who don't know what a scratch test is, all you need to know is it is outlawed by the Geneva Convention, or should be. The doctor makes a little hole in your arm (which isn't supposed to bleed but GUESS WHO bled?) and then deposits particles of the allergens in the hole so that you will not only hurt, but if you react, itch like crazy. She makes a hole for each allergen she is testing for. It is as totally delightful as it sounds.

MOST patients do not have a vasovagal reaction and almost pass out, however.
"I don't feel so well," I said weakly.
They lay me back and sprang into action, with blood pressure monitoring, oxygen monitoring, and worried looks as they called the doc in.
She checked me, noticed my hands were ice cold, but assured me this was NOT an allergic reaction but a vasovagal reaction. Basically, it means I psyched myself out with fear.

I did indeed have a strong allergic response to birch, almonds, and hazel nuts. I knew I was allergic to hazel nuts. I didn't know about birch, but it fit with my syndrome exactly. I have never paid so much money to learn so little and have so much NOT FUN. I also reacted to salt water, which is the control, and which no one reacts to. That means that in general, I have hyper-reactive skin which was really ticked off about all the terrible stuff that was being done to my body. It goes with my hyper-reactive personality. Due to the hyperactivity of my skin, they had to kind of guess what I am allergic to, despite my pain and suffering to endure the tests. They told me it would be best if I and nuts parted ways permanently.

I think they were as glad for me to leave when it was all over as I was.

I had prayed on the way in, and had read the book of Lamentations as I sat waiting for the doctor. Listen to the passage I read, which was on my daily Bible reading plan for the day:
“Lamentations 1: 12-13
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
    Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
    which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted
    on the day of his fierce anger.
13 “From on high he sent fire;
    into my bones he made it descend;
he spread a net for my feet;
    he turned me back;
he has left me stunned,
    faint all the day long.

I decided I would forego my Bible reading till after the Scratch test, torment, and fainting was done. So, as the itching intensified from the test sites, I read portions of a book I had just downloaded written by a friend. It is satire, and I figured laughter was just what I needed. Here is the portion I read:
"Itchy scratch, itchy scratchy, scratchy itchy scratch..."

I kid you not.

I think sometimes God is not quick to comfort. Sometimes I think He wants us to confront our fears, particularly if they are not well founded.  Honestly, while the test was not pleasant, it really was far from unbearable. It was my fear that made it so much worse than it really was. Sometimes we really must be forced to endure things to discover that we can. It is not always kindness to coddle us. 

I have lived this truth many times over as a parent. I sometimes have had to force my children to go through things they have no desire, understanding, or inclination to do. (For example, all of them hated making telephone calls to ask for information. Similarly, all of them were very shy and hesitant to thank the waitresses who brought them food.) Despite their intense discomfort, I insisted without pity that they must do those things or they would never grow up to be mature, responsible adults who must do those things.

Maybe God in His infinite wisdom was telling me without pity to GROW UP. He uses physical realities to suggest spiritual truths all the time. We are never to settle where we are spiritually. We should never be yelling, "No no no, I am all better! I don't want to do this! I'm scared! It hurts!" We all need to be in the presence of the Great Physician, doing whatever He feels we must do to be spiritually strong and healthy. We are always to be growing and maturing in our faith and trust, and sometimes it is hard, very hard. But the alternative is worse.

Thank you Lord. (but I am NEVER getting another scratch test.)

1 Corinthians 14:20 

Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

1 Corinthians 13:11 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Ephesians 4:14-15 

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Hebrews 5:12-13 

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.

Ephesians 4:13 

Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Hebrews 6:1-3 

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Time is Short

Yesterday was a day dedicated to service. First, I went to pick up a month of food and a Thanksgiving Dinner from a fantastic Christian Ministry - Common Heart. (Great ministry to support:  I then drove the bounty to the family of one of my abortion mill "saves" who chose life and whose baby is now 2 months old. I have been very involved with this family for several months now. I have come to love all of them. I don't agree with many of their choices, but they are truly wonderful people with good hearts. The young mama prayed with me to receive Jesus a couple of months ago, so I try to send her daily Bible verses to keep her focused on God.

Anyway, I delivered the food and had a wonderful time visiting with L and her mom. I could only stay half an hour because out of the blue, L's sister had called me a few weeks ago. She was also pregnant, single mom, had also considered abortion, and had also in the end let her child live. She was due in January. She has little money, and nothing for the baby. Through donations from friends and my sister, I cobbled together a good bit of baby supplies including a crib, which I was to drive to her yesterday afternoon. She had a rare afternoon off from work, so she could go to her doctor appointment. I offered to take her there after dropping the supplies, thus saving her an hour bus ride.

As soon as I brought all the supplies into her apartment, I felt compelled to speak about God. It literally seized me with an urgency that seems to grow more and more as I get older. Charles Spurgeon once said, "Do you desire to speak for Jesus--how can you unless the Holy Ghost touch your tongue?" That is how it the Holy Spirit grabbed control. Charles Spurgeon also said, "If the Holy Spirit be indeed so mighty, let us attempt nothing without him; let us begin no project, and carry on no enterprise, and conclude no transaction, without imploring his blessing. Let us do him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from him, and then depending alone upon him, having this for our prayer, "Open thou my heart and my whole being to thine incoming, and uphold me with thy free Spirit when I shall have received that Spirit in my inward parts."

I'd prayed on the drive over, feeling this was an important "divine appointment." Don't let me blow it, Lord, and may you speak through me. This was the first time I'd met her. I unloaded all her new baby supplies, and within moments, we were discussing where she was spiritually. That led to a discussion of who Jesus is. She didn't have a clear answer. She believed in Him, but couldn't really say why. She didn't seem to know much about Him, or the Bible, or faith, or salvation. Long story short, I talked with her about who Jesus was, what He did, and the story of salvation. She was very receptive. At the end, I asked if she wanted to pray with me to ask him into her life. She did! After we prayed, with time very short now, I talked about life style choices and God's laws that are meant to protect us (with special emphasis on purity and marriage before sex and children.) I know many will be disgusted with me, but I believe with all my heart that without the gospel and without a message of purity and following God's commands, a culture of single parenthood and abortion on demand will not change. We talked about how she couldn't change the past, but she could change the future.

She listened and then said, "I agree with you." That doesn't mean her life will change necessarily, but it is a start. And I trust God will work on her heart, because yesterday she became one of His children. Her sweet sister, L, promised me that from now on, each Bible verse I text to L, she will forward on to her sister. One by one perhaps a culture can change...

But time is short. I think we should all feel a sense of urgency.

Matthew 9:37-38 

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

1 Corinthians 9:22 

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

Isaiah 6:8 

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Matthew 24:6 

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

2 Timothy 3:1-4 

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Luke 21:25 

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,

Revelation 3:3 

Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

Matthew 24:36 

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

2 Timothy 3:1-17 

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stirred by the Spirit

On my drive home from NY, as the snow on my roof melted, there was a most disturbing occurrence. A drip drip drip began to bathe my left thigh, coming from somewhere above me. I tried sopping it up with a napkin, but it continued to drip. Finally, I duct taped that entire portion of the ceiling, which didn't stop the drip, but at least directed it to drip on the floor rather than on my leg.

So, I brought my car to the dealer yesterday. I hate going to the dealer because it always seems to cost so much more than independent repair shops. However, figuring this might require body work and specific Honda parts, I reluctantly made the appointment. I was sure we were in for thousands of dollars of repair. I don't trust car repair shops in the first place, but I really don't trust dealers.

"For now," said the service rep, "We will quote $150. We will call you when we know what is causing the leak."
$150. Yeh...right. Probably would end up ten times that amount. I went for a walk since they told me it would be at least two hours, but hopefully not more. I had lunch, and they called even before I finished.
The leak was caused by corrosion around the roof rack, and was now fixed. The bill was $150. I paused. $150?  What was the world coming to??? An honest car dealership????

As I walked back to the shop, I was scurrying across the parking lot when an announcement blared from a sound system.
"Bible study starting in 5 minutes. For all those attending, our bible study will begin in five minutes."

I stopped in my tracks. I looked around me, wondering if there was a church perhaps next door to the dealer. There was not. Just more car dealerships. The announcement was repeated. There was no doubt. The Bible study announcement was over the car dealership's PA system.

God is full of conundrums and enigmas. Cyrus, king of Persia in the mid 500's BC, controlled and ruled over a vast empire, including the Israelites who'd been in captivity since the Babylonian conquest. He was not a believer of the One True God, by any means. Like all people other than the Israelites of that time, he believed in many gods. Yet, this pagan king allowed the Israelites to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, and even urged the Persian people to pay the Israelites money they would need for supplies and sustenance!

You just never know where you might encounter hope and the Spirit of God. You never know when God will smack your preconceptions in the face, and bring about a surprising turn of events. You never know who God will use to accomplish His plans. You are almost never told why...but out of the most unlikely places, God's presence is revealed.

I intend to give this particular dealership my business in the future.


Ezra 1:1-11

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where we Dwell

Coldest day so far this year was yesterday. Brrrrr. Made me think of Christmas. And how I have nothing for anyone...and only 6 weeks till Christmas. EEEEk. So I leafed through a magazine with unusual gifts for those loved ones who have everything. How about this one: a battery powered spaghetti swirling fork. For those of us who can't master swirling spaghetti on a fork manually.

Now I have to say I was intrigued by the bluetooth capable ear muffs with an optional heating component. And then there was the automatic hair regenerating scalp massager. hohoho.

I am still plodding through the book of Jeremiah. It is not an easy book - not very cheery at all. Jeremiah is the prophet of doom and gloom. Still, if God inspired his message, we need to take heed. Here is the verse I read before writing this blog:
Jer. 49:4,31
4 Why do you boast of your valleys,
 O faithless daughter,
 who trusted in her treasures, saying,
'Who will come against me? '

31 "Rise up, advance against a nation at ease,
 that dwells securely,
declares the Lord,
 that has no gates or bars,
that dwells alone.

It sounds like God is not totally pleased with nations that are overflowing with wealth, ease, and comfort..and dwell securely not in God but in their their automatic spaghetti swirling forks. I think we should be paying attention. Where are you dwelling securely today?

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 John 2:16

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 Timothy 6:9-10

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Luke 12:15 

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hands-free Pro-Life

I was coming down with a cold and it was frigid POURING rain Monday. But I had missed last week as a sidewalk counselor at the abortion mill due to my exciting NYC book signing gig. I really didn't want to miss it this week, but truthfully, I felt pretty awful. I warned my team I wouldn't be there. As coffee and breakfast kicked in, my cough subsided and I considered how gleeful Satan would be if I didn't show up. So I decided I would go. I took a cough drop and headed out in the deluge.

I had not yet dared to wear my hands-free umbrella hat at the abortion mill. I thought it might be too whimsical for such a horrific place. However, my wrists were sore from all the driving and raking of last week. Holding an umbrella for 3 hours would not have been easy. Also, I decided it might be a catchy gimmick to get abortion-minded drivers to stop to talk with me before turning into the abortion mill. I put it on.

Two other counselors had forgotten their umbrellas, so I found two for them that I had in my car.(Those were just regular handheld umbrellas.) It was torrential rain. The gutters filled with water. Sadly, the cars streamed in as abundantly as the rain. If it wasn't such a sobering mission we were on, it might have been a lovely scene, all those colorful umbrellas on the sidewalk.

My umbrella hat had just one slight problem. It was gouging holes in my skull. But other than that, it was great. I was able to hold my hand up to stop the cars, while waving the Cities4Life literature in the other hand. Personally, I think it should be part of our official ministry outfit. I just hope I am not bordering on kooky with my umbrella hat, enormous belly pack filled with our pamphlets, and my blue megaphone held around my neck with a dog leash. I like to call my style: nouveau pro-life chic.

Despite the somber and cold waterfall of rain, three women chose life! I was so glad that I had decided to go, and be a witness to such bounty and evidence of God's working in the hearts of those women.  A woman driving another woman rolled down her window and told me she had chosen life for her baby. She looked relieved, as they so often do.
"Would you like handmade baby booties?" I asked
"Yes please!" she cried.
As she chose her pair from my dwindling selection sent to me by my friend Carrie High, I asked how far along she was.
"11 weeks," she said.
She looked a LOT more than 11 weeks pregnant.
"Well congratulations," I told her, placing my umbrella-free hand on her shoulder.
"Oh it's not me that's pregnant. It's my daughter."
I glanced at the smiling young woman beside her.
"Well then why are you choosing the booties?" I asked the driver.
"Cause I like them," she said, "I can't help myself."

I laughed and waved with my umbrella-free hand as they drove away, and thought how very glad I was to have stood for three hours in the pouring rain. And I also considered how grateful I was for my umbrella hat. It made it so much easier to hold the literature, my megaphone, and the baby booties when the time came. I also thought how hands-free ministry is certainly not the same as hands-off ministry. We are clearly to be reaching our hands out to seize every chance God affords us to bring souls to Him. If our hands are clutching other things, like prestige, comfort, money, or selfish desires, they may well not be free for the things God would have us grasp. And if we hold our hands up, and tell God no way are we touching that mission He is prompting us to lay hold of, how many blessings of His victories through us might we miss? How many souls praying for a sign from God to turn away from this terrible decision might be lost?

Right before we left, a couple we had been fervently praying for came out of the mill. They had stopped on the way in, taken our literature, and gone in anyway. As they came out, I stepped up to the car and they rolled down the window. The woman looked very serious.
"Did you decide to save your baby?" I asked.
The woman was silent. The man said, "We got an ultrasound. Now we need to talk. We have not decided yet."
"Do you think abortion is wrong?" I asked.
"Yes," he said, "But it's not the right time for a baby now."
"Is it financial issues?"
"'s just the baby wasn't planned."
I looked into the eyes of the woman and said gently, "You don't want to hurt your baby, do you?"
She gazed solemnly at me without answering, but her eyes seemed beseeching. (Of course, she could just be wondering where to get a hat just like mine.) Anyway, I think the couple will keep the baby based on what I saw in her eyes. At least for now, the baby is safe. Her hands were folded across her stomach. Protective hands.
How comforting it is to know our job was done, that God had them firmly in His hands. Glory to God that His hands are always free to uphold us.

1 Peter 5:6 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

Ezra 8:21-23 

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

Isaiah 49:14-16 

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

Psalm 110:1 

A Psalm of David. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Isaiah 41:13-14 

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Since I organize homeschool ski trips in the Charlotte area, the Ski Mountain Group coordinator contacted me yesterday morning:
"We have snow! When is your group coming?!"
I love to ski, but coordinating the ski trips is not easy. Anyone who has ever coordinated any group activity knows what I am talking about. I replied to the Ski mountain group coordinator that I would arrange it as soon as I could find a date that worked for me.

Then I sighed. Much as I enjoy skiing, I don't do this for me. I do it for my daughter. The group rate is the only way we could ever afford to ski, so I do the hours of work so she can snowboard, which she loves to do.  Most of her friends are in the same boat -- without the homeschool group rate, they can't ski either. So I do this for them too. And then I fill my van with all the kids it can fit and drive the 3 hours each way so they all have this wonderful opportunity. It is a lot of work, and the older I get, the less excited I am about the early morns, the frigid cold, the late evenings, and all the chaos as I get all the tickets, dispense them to the group, get all the kids who traveled with me all their equipment, and then do that long, late night drive home. It takes me an hour or two to get everyone in my group taken care of before I am able to ski, hoping no one under my charge breaks a leg.

Will any of them remember? Will any of them even notice how hard it is and that I do it for them? Will any of them realize that I think they are worth all the trouble or I certainly wouldn't do it?

When I was in NYC, I went to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is magnificent, though scaffolding blocked its grandeur as it is being renovated. I walked behind the scaffolding to one alcove where no one else was. In the alcove was "La Pieta," the statue by William Ordway Partridge of the nail-scarred body of Jesus sprawled in His mother Mary's lap. I stood there looking at the very life-like marble sculpture and felt all the sorrow of a mother. How Mary must have felt, holding her dead man-child in her arms, seeing His wounds, knowing His suffering!

As I stood there, gazing at the realistic nail holes in His hands and feet, I felt ashamed. Ashamed that I do not thank Him continually for what He did for me. Ashamed that I forget the agony He endured, and am so imperfect, so sinful despite knowing what it cost Him. Ashamed that I don't dare at times to speak of Him to others, knowing I will be rejected. Ashamed that sometimes I don't remember Him, and forget how hard it must have been...and that He did it for me. Ashamed that I take for granted what His mother must have suffered holding her dead child in her arms, and that He knew what terrible pain and grief she would bear.

And yet, the Bible is filled with the verses of His love for us. He knows we forget, but He still loves us, He forgives us, and then he extends to us countless opportunities to remember Him instead. He must think we are worth it, or He wouldn't have done it.


Romans 5:8 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:5 

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.

2 Peter 3:9 

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2 Corinthians 6:2 

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Jonah 2:1-10 

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head

John 3:17 

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Fire in my Bones

Home from my great once-in-a-lifetime adventure of my NYC book signing and presentation. I had a rather severe migraine driving the last leg home, but other than that, I am safe and sound and glad to be home. Honeybun was ecstatic when my van arrived. My hubby opened the door and both dogs came racing out to greet me as I turned off the car. Honeybun leaped into the front seat with me, beyond joy. (Later, a certain teen barely looked up and said nothing, not even hello... which shows you why everyone needs a dog....)

I had fun listening to the audio of my talk while driving home, reliving the excitement of the day. Once home, I spent a good hour unpacking, and putting everything away. I wondered how quickly the dailiness and duties of life would rub away the delight of feeling so special and alive.

In the hotel, the morning before driving home, I had gone to the fitness room, and read my Bible while running on the treadmill. I was day-dreaming as I read. Concentration is not always my forte. I thought about how I had wanted very much to glorify God in my talk, but wanted to be sensitive to the fact that this was a book signing/talk, not a sermon. It was all I could do not to mention God too explicitly...and then, at the end, one of the sponsors asked me about the spiritual significance in my books. My cousin who was taping the whole thing ran out of power right then, so it was not caught on tape. She told me that while I had been enthusiastic throughout the speech, at that moment, my eyes lit up and it was clear it was what I had been yearning to say all along.

This is the Bible passage I was reading as I considered my cousin's comment:
Jeremiah 20:9  But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

I totally get this. When you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is real and has orchestrated a grand event for you, you know you MUST speak of Him. To hold it back is like sticking a finger in the hole in a dam. A fire shut up in my bones if I don't speak of Him. Yes.

As I drove home, I listened to a sermon. The pastor talked of how we must one day stand before God and give an account of our lives. Did we try to bring souls to Him? If not, we will hang our heads in shame. A fire shut up in our bones is not where it is meant to remain. The fire is meant to be light to the world.


Matthew 5:14-16 

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

John 8:12 

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Matthew 5:16 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Luke 8:16 

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

Acts 13:47 

For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Being Entertained by Angels

I may have to spend a few months basking in the glow of my Manhattan book signing.  Apparently, the crowd expressed  interest in me to come back with my dog books, and the Manhattan firm (Meridian Designs) invited me to do this again! I told my brother that I am pretty sure the sponsoring managers of the NYC firm are angels...or else I am in some cosmic test tube where the scientist is mixing reality with Vicky's dreams to carefully observe her response to overabundance of joy. Next Manhattan signing will be in the spring, however. Angels or not, it is cold in November.

Anyway, below are the links to the youtube videos of my speech that I gave at the book signing. First one is the intro by the firm and by my brother, then my talk on the reason I wrote the book, and finally the hero of my book speaking. I was terrified...until I started speaking. And then, it was as though the Holy Spirit grabbed my tongue and took over. There are four youtube videos because my incredible, wonderful cousin Sue videotaped it using my camera per my request...and the battery died. The very beginning of my speech is cut off, but she lost only brief moments of my speech as she switched to her phone to videotape the entire presentation. She might be an angel too. We don't necessarily recognize angels when we are with them so I think it is a possibility. The lesson is, treat everyone as though they might be angels, because....they might be.

 Her power gave out before the last question where I was asked about the spiritual symbolism in my book. I was sorry that part didn't come out because God was in this whole thing from beginning to end. He's always in all things from beginning to end. The message of the tower in my book is the message of God - though we topple, He is firm in the midst of storms, transmitting His message of Hope and Salvation to all who will listen, and to all who despair when their world crashes down around them.

Part One- Book Signing

​Part Three​


Psalm 91:11 

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

Hebrews 13:2 

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 1:14 

Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Psalm 103:20 

Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Message Worth Hearing

Sometimes blessing flow as though a pipe in heaven burst wide open. It was a magical day in Manhattan for my incredible, pinch-me-am-I-dreaming book signing in Manhattan. My zany, fun Aunt Val took me all over the city despite her painful injured feet. I saw more than I ever hoped to see in our day of wandering. And then the book signing -- mobs of people, every book sold, and best yet, I didn't pass out while giving my presentation. The best question was about the spiritual underpinnings of my book -- that it wasn't really a book about towers but something much more important. So I got to speak about God to a roomful of captives. Many later came up to me to tell me they were believers and the spiritual message was the best part of the night. Amen and amen!!!!


Psalm 37:4 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:5 

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Matthew 6:21 

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Being An Example

Well, sadly I must leave my folks today and head on to my NYC book signing, then home. I decided in my last day here with my parents that I would try to finish the very last 5 foot border of heavy wet leaves all along the perimeter of their yard. I had initially decided not to do that last bit, as it would be very hard, and besides, most of their yard was now clear.

However, it was a surprisingly beautiful day and it seemed that I really ought to finish the job. Their next door neighbors never rake their leaves, and to make the yard more of a problem, they also have several unfinished projects strewn about their property. I noticed those neighbors watching me as my leaf pile grew and grew on the curb. (This is a very civilized town where a giant leaf sucking truck comes and sucks up the leaves dumped on the curb.) The neighbors watched as I raked the leaves from our lawn adjoining their property. It was a stark difference as I labored. Their yard covered in age old leaves; ours now neat and raked clean. I felt a little like collapsing but the end of the whole project was in sight. I labored on.

The neighbors pulled out their mulching lawn mower. As I raked, I noticed them take down one of their unfinished projects and put it away. I grew wearier and wearier but I was determined on this last day to finish what I had started. Completely. The neighbors were now both puttering about their yard, putting away clutter that had adorned the front yard for the entire year or more...My leaf pile on the curb grew.

Finally, every portion of my parent's yard was leaf free. I was completely exhausted, my hands ached, my throat was parched, and I couldn't quite move my fingers. BUT, I had done what I had been certain I could not possibly do in one week. The neighbor's were now mowing their lawn. I came inside, and mentioned to my parents that I thought I had shamed the neighbors into getting rid of their leaves.
"Nah," they both said.

We went to lunch, and when we returned, the neighbors entire front yard was clear of leaves.
"I would never have believed it," said Mom.
Incidentally, my parent's yard looked wonderful.

You never know when you might be an example to others and spur them on to good works. Or perhaps, if they know that you love Jesus and desire more than anything on earth to honor Him, they might even desire to know Him too. It certainly couldn't hurt to try. Good examples have a way of snowballing.

Warning: I will be en route to NYC and then in NYC for my book signing over the next two days, and likely unable to blog for a few days. Prayers that I might not be speechless during my speech and that God would be glorified would be much appreciated.

Matthew 5:16 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Ephesians 5:1-33

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

James 4:17

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:17 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.