Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My yesterday's feeling.

My goodness, yesterday was huge! Full of emotion! I was one continual emoting emotional feeling!!! Seriously, if you saw me this morning you would see for yourself yesterday's proof. I'm wearing the affects in my look! My eyes are fiery red and are burning immensely. But I wouldn't trade the vastness of my yesterday's filling of feelings for anything!

The man that I am voluntarily assisting right now is also a psychiatrist. So without necessarily meaning to he analyzes your every movement, every word said, every high, every low, and every erratic feeling for sure.... it's just by default, it's in his nature, it's what he used to do... and so even now still does.

I guess he has not until now met the likes of me yet! He certainly hasn't a clue how to take me. I emailed him my tear spilling news of joy about one of our girls being granted parole. He emailed me back a short reply. I returned another quick email. And then, he emailed again. Simply telling me this time, "Would you like to come here and talk.... I am clear.... What is really going on....?"

I shakeningly laughed when I read it. Shaking still from the excitement inside. I (again) wrote him back, "No. It really is because of my thrill for this girl. I just FEEL BIG! I'm a big feeler! I feel BIG about everything! Dare you forget that it was my "passion" that you said drew you to me in the first place to incorporate me into this work. May I NEVER lose that and become desensitized to it and lose the awe of this wonder."

Later I told him that I live scared to death of it... but always excited. I told him, "As long as I'm walking where God wants me to walk, I can trust Him to equip and do what He wants to! When I feel He's not in it, I'm outta here. But until then, I'm up for the duration! He's teaching me... and that's a good thing."

Like I said, I think I left him scratching his head totally baffled, still quizitivedly wondering. He's not used to me yet. I guess his feelers don't feel on the same scale as my feelings do! :)

I wasn't supposed to get to visit the prison today. Our group is "pre-testing" for the next study that we're about to embark upon. The man I am volunteering under doesn't allow us to come on those days. I've asked him if I could before, and his answer has always been "no." I so badly wanted to see this newly parole-granted friend! I wanted to share in her thrill, to tell her how thrilled I was, to just bask in this prayed-for moment together! Afraid of the answer if I asked, I didn't bother. Instead, I went to God. I asked God to move Mr. B. to invite me. And before yesterday's afternoon came to an end, I got an email from Mr. B's blackberry. Only two words were texted. He simply said: "Come tomorrow!"

I nearly died when I saw it! I knew God had listened and heard and cared and moved him! Still to this minute I can hardly contain myself. I am still speechless (well, ALMOST speechless (LOL)) with wide-eyed whoa-ed wonder of my Father! Just look what He does.... and He did!!!

Today was another day of incredible! In order to keep from overwhelming others I try to stifle most of my feelings while around them. But once by myself, my inside boils out.... and again I am totally besides myself.... the liquidized filling (tears) spilling out everywhere because of the overwhelmingness of these feelings that shakes me to spill them!

The girl was ecstatic! She couldn't stop grinning. I couldn't either. And she was just about as "speechless" as I've been! (LOL!) She was talking 90 miles a minute. She would have talked more, but she too had to control herself, for after all, didn't I say they were testing.

Wow! Fifteen years behind bars, but soon to be out soon! Can you imagine the freedom she feels? Oh Lord, bless her in her endeavors! Keep You in the forefront of her mind, her thoughts, her thinking, her actions ALWAYS! May she stay seated at Your feet! Continually bathe in Your Word! Talk with You constantly. And look to and trust You for every next step! May her awe of You never waver! And, Lord, may You use her to shine the whoa-ing wonder of Your Glory! In Jesus' Name, I pray! Amen!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I've been crying like an idiot all morning!

I am mush! Totally! Completely! My dogs are wondering what's wrong. They won't get off of me. They keep staring at my face. They don't understand. They wish they could do something.

I just got the news. One of my Life with Parolers was up for a parole hearing today. Her end of sentence date is logged as: 00/00/0000.... meaning that there is NO end of sentence.

Of course, "Life with Parole" is better than "Life Without".... because it means that parole is possible.

This sweet lady has been locked behind bars for 15 years. She's a 57 year old white woman paying for a crime that she once committed. Her mom is in her 90's. Her hope for this hearing is to get out in order to go take care of the one person that has been so faithful to her during the hard for so many years.. She told me that she wants to let her mom know that she's okay before her mom leaves this world to go home to the next one. Who can blame her? I'd want to too.

And now... just a little while ago I heard that her parole had been GRANTED!!!! I'm beside myself! I've cried like an idiot since! And if this is my reaction, you've got to wonder about hers! I won't be allowed to, but I so wish I could see her today!!!

She has great hopes for us when she's released. She has plans to open up a half-way house with me one day. Who would have thought? Who would have figured? Who would have planned it??? IF not for God! I can soo see it being part of our future! Wonder what that day will feel like then?

Today is another proof of one of my favorite verses that I quote often on here: "The LORD hears the needy and does not despise His captive people." - Ps 69:33.

I'll close with this one, a perfect picture of our LORD, Isaiah 61:1-3, "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor."

Dear Lord, thank You for feelings. Thank for tears that cry for another's souls joy. Thank You for sending Your Son to die to save us, to give us Life, to ransom and to redeem and to restore! Thank You for seeing those imprisoned, for loving them, and for working as hard as You do to set the captives free! Thank You for loving my friend, for helping to heal her, for wooing her to You, for whoa-ing her with Your wonders. Let her feel You close to her when she gets out. Show her Your way. Protect her path. And may her life be a total Display of Your Splendor! In the blessed name of Jesus, how I thank YOU. Amen!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My heart was about to burst!


My oldest daughter (Prissy) went with me on Saturday to a maximum security women's prison for training. Talk about exciting. Not necessarily the meeting itself, but the thought of her heart... her passion... her want-to... and where this first step could lead her. It was wild as a mom for her to go with me. My heart could hardly contain its feeling. If my heartbeats were bursting.... you have to wonder about God's and what His was doing.

It had never entered my mind before. I didn't ask her, didn't invite her, didn't encourage her.... she made the decision herself and it simply surprised me. Getting her signed up to go in was one thing. But walking through the bars as they clanked and down the hallways past the inmate girls in the dorms..... it had its own grandeured feeling! If given the opportunity I would have sat and cried. I would have loved to have stopped to visit mother and child with individual inmate to see what our sharing together could reveal. I would have loved to have stopped beside each bunk and held hands and prayed with the girls. Of course, that wasn't allowed and we would have been arrested ourselves, I'm sure, had my feelings moved me into do-ing such a compulsion! But unexplainably (without God) our hearts are drawn to them, our hearts want to help them, touch them, show them, share with them, love them.

I can't help but wonder at the journey and the opportunity that awaits us! I can't wait to see what God has planned and wherever He's preparing to take us.... to all the whoevers in the however-alls that He already foresees to change both our hearts and theirs as He woos and draws us closer to Him..... transforming us to look more like His Son with every day that passes on this earth!

Isn't she lovely! Isn't she wonderful!

Isn't she pretty....

Here's my youngest girl playing dress-up (which us girlie girls LOVE to do!) in a pageant at school. What a beautiful thing she is!!!! and what fun she had playing her part!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fanning the Flame of Fire Within...

Fanning the Flame of the Fire Within.......

Psalm 145 is a great psalm. I was studying it earlier and thoroughly enjoying the whole of it. But it’s the 16th verse that I wanted to share. The psalmist says to the Lord, "You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."

In his commentary, Charles Spurgeon had this to say about that verse, "In spiritual things, when God has raised a desire, He always gratifies it; hence the longing is prophetic of the blessing. In no case is the desire of the living thing excited to produce distress, but in order that it may seek and find satisfaction."

Oh wow! I love that! For I know that God gives us our desires so that He can fulfill it. He puts desires within us so that we will long for it... to make us want for the thing that He wants... it’s His way of making His will mine… His way of compelling us to pursue His plan and what He has purposed. God will raise desires in us in order that we will move into action toward accomplishing what the desire was given to be purposed to do. Lighting a fire and flaming a passion inside us to burn for what He wants our passions to be. Scripture said that He 'satisfies the desire'… Spurgeon replies that God 'gratifies' the desire that God Himself raised inside us.

I LOVE how Spurgeon calls it the longing that is "prophetic of the blessing." Wow! He calls the desire itself a prophetic proof (maybe?) of the blessing to come!

And he says, too, that the desire is not excited to produce distress inside us. No! Rather it's excited to cause us to seek until we find satisfaction of fulfillment of the desire that was given.

Incredible words of wisdom........ worthy of whoa-ed wonder and much pondering upon! It incites greater passion for the desire that's been given to me. I just thought that it might do a little inciting inside you as well.

Whhh Whhh Whhhhhhh.... may I help to fan your flame!

What is your passion, the fire of desire that burns inside you? Hmmm... wonder at the hugeness of what God is planning to accomplish with that that even now at this moment is a planted seed inside waiting the wonder of the day of its fulfillment?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"What did we pray, mom?"

We had been praying for the son of one of my inmate moms that had been charged with manslaughter. Earlier in February the jury found him guilty of the crime... though it's also based on heresay..... she says he did / he says he didn't. Nobody but God knows for sure. We have been awaiting the judges decision in his sentencing. Last week his mom found out that the judge sentenced him with the Death Penalty.

Oh my! Can you imagine?

His mom came to class last week only long enough to say that she couldn't come to class. She was too horrified. Devastated. Crushed. Heartbroken. And for a moment "hope deferred." She was totally soddened in sorrow, drenched in depression, hunched in hopeless. I felt sorry for her. I wanted to do something. But I can't.

I personalized it. I kept thinking of my son, and what if that were him? How would that feel? It's beyond me. Thankfully over my head. I cannot fathom. Nor really do I want to. 

Not only was she heartsick over her son. But she feels guilty. She's been incarcerated since he was very little, very young. Her crime was due to the influence of drugs. His was too. Not only wasn't she there to be a mother to him, but she feels responsible for the habit she passed down to him.

I worried about her all week and wondered how I would find her the next. She looked better. I asked her about it. I asked her if she had been able to hear from him? What she was thinking? How he was emotionally? How his relationship with God was?

To the last question she answered, "Oh my, he is so close to God. He is so trusting and relying on Him. He is the one that has been trying to console and pick me up. He told me, "Moma, what did we pray? And can't we still trust God with my life in His hands when it isn't the answer we would have chosen?""

Wow. That's coming from a boy... maybe 22 years old, judged with a Death Sentence... yet still trusting His Savior!

Monday, March 22, 2010

not running from... but finally leaving

Oh wow.... what are odds??? Without my youngest daughter knowing about my last blog or caring anything about it. Check out the words she pasted on a picture of her today. Wildly perfect!


It's amazing where a Memory Lane with take you.

I've been traveling down a long-ago road. Got caught up once again in an old yesterday's memory. It seems like an old movie I once watched.... sitting somewhere in the dark in a theater's chair, eyes fully fascinated to a big screen, jaws slacked, eyes bug-eyed with wonder, with popcorn and candy and coke. Anxiously anticipating the next moment. Curious as to what next would happen. Wondering if the end was going to end right, end good, end just as it should be? Excited it might. Yet scared that it wouldn't.

Some old roads once travelled are hard to make real again. Hard to feel again. Hard to fathom. While others can be sparked by the slightest touch, a faint smell, a tiny glimpse of something, a few notes of a song..... and then, it doesn't matter where you are, doesn't matter the year or the season, you're thumped back to a yesterday's year and living again a moment once lived.

Memories are nice to visit. But don't forget the movie's still on! The story's not ended! The drama still plays. The plot thickens. Still awed with wonder in hope for the continual happily-ever-after.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


(see previous blog)....

We "No!" grudges!

We "No!" anger!

We "No!" mad!... and we "No!" mean!

We "No!" hate!... and "No!" keeping a record of all wrongs!

We "No!" the fruit that's forbidden..... and temptation.... and lurking under the tree too  long!!!

We "No!" our eyes to look where they shouldn't.

We "No!" our ears to listen to what is not good for it.

We "No!" our lips to say what is harmful.

We "No!" complaining.... and grumbling... and ungratefulness.

We "No!" a whole lot more than we used to "No!" because we "Yes!" our Savior and submit thankfully to our Lord Jesus!

It feels good "No"-ing what we should "No" because we are ever growing in our KNOW-ing of the yes-es we have in the One Who died to save us!

Friday, March 19, 2010

What do you "No" because of what you know.... Or,


.......what do you "No" because of Who you know?

My husband surely thinks that I am the weirdest thing this side of heaven. I probably am.... but it keeps life from becoming boring. :)

But, we don't fight anymore like we used to. We stay in our own pasture.... in our own gardens.... in our own boundaries... not in our neighbor's fences..... no looking over our balconies at Bathshebas or King Davids! We don't gamble our life away... or abuse it.... or drink it... or drug it. We don't hate. We don't hold grudges. We don't spend great chunks of time being angry or mad or depressed or grumbling. We "No" better now than we used to "No." And we know what's important.


Because we know our Savior! And knowing Him makes No-ing what's wrong a whole lot easier!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A new normal!

Ah... I've barely had time for breathing lately... much less any extra time for blogging. I'm swamped in a wild world! Today, leaving one of the women's prisons, being escorted by a guard, hearing the clanks of the bars of the doors as they are clanked opened, then shut... I thought, I am feeling way too comfortable now in this world. This isn't normal!!! And yet more and more and more I'm feeling that I'm in my element. Who would have figured,....... but this is my zone!

We had four lockdowns the other day in the time I was there. Nobody batted an eye. I didn't care, didn't ask, didn't wonder, didn't worry. We were studying about God. Doing our thing in the midst of a sideroom of a dormitory where a slew of girls slept at night. The world could have fallen down around us. We weren't distracted. We weren't weirded-out. We felt safe. God's in His world, He's still in control, and though none would prefer the place they now stay, they all know that He has a hand in it. He has a plan. He has a purpose. They have a hope for their future!

It's amazing the things that I learn. I am more fascinated each time I leave. I learn a lot of the horror, but good things too. Today our study was rerouted to God's creation and the wonder of God that is found in it. One girl commented about the comfort of animals. Not just dogs or cats, she said, but a lot of the ones that most don't notice, that most are irritated with, that most would swat away or stomp to kill.

Ants are so exciting to watch, they said. Another oohed and ahhed over the fascination of a bee. Another.... (get this!), a praying mantis. She said that she's learned that they love to be petted! That they will arch their backs like a cat does... and would surely purr if they had a cat's motor.

Awww.... don't you know that God smiles as He watches His girls! Even the ones that are incarcerated! Maybe even especially those! Who else do you know that stops to pet a praying mantis... and appreciates the wonder that God made in them when He created such a creature?

"From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not WHAT???

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not WHAT???

Well, as the Psalm says, "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want."

Hmmm? Well, what does that mean exactly? Does it really mean that I'll never want?

I went shopping the other day with my youngest daughter. We were only there for a couple of items, but it had been so long since I've shopping... I mean like really, really shopping... that all of the sudden I 'want'-ed everything! I had GREAT want! I wanted things that I didn't even need. I wanted things that I normally didn't even like. I just wanted! I wanted a lot! I wanted it all!

I told Sabrina as I put my hands as blinders up to my face to shield my eyes, I said, "Sabrina, you need to get me out of here f~a~s~t, because I am one HUGE WANT right now! I'm nothing but a BIG Want! I have great need to won't my want, but my won't isn't won't-ing... my want's not listening!!! My won't is getting weak and if we don't do something quickly it's about to fail me!"

We laughed and basically ran to checkout before I couldn't won't my wants anymore.

I've thought a lot about that since then. Thinking that sometimes that's exactly what we need. Sometimes we have great need to won't our wants. But often it's the latter want that proves greater and our won't-er loses in the end, because our want-er bows to its wants submission.

At this moment as I type, it's not shopping I want. I want food! Lots of it! Rich foods! Fattening foods! Greasy food! GOOD food! Heavy food! But.. I'm trying to won't my food instead. I don't need it. I'm not even hungry. I just want to eat. Like I said earlier, and as I am reminded of daily, it's not always easy to won't your wants, but I am desperately trying to won't mine today.

I keep trying to visualize the spelling in my head. Rather than seeing it spelled as, "I want food!" I keep trying to visualize this spelling instead, "I won't food." And I'll won't it all night long until bed! I'm not sure how well it'll all work out. But I'm doing everything I can to take my mind off it and avoid the kitchen. I'll let you know how it went in the morning. And if I wanted more than I won't-ed.... or if my won't-er, this time, simply failed to won't it.

Okay, you're turn. Now, let me ask you. What's your want?

No, let's change that. What's your won't?

Tonight might you be won't-ing a drink for the sake of your Savior? Or, are you won't-ing a drug because you know it's harmful to you? Are you won't-ing an addiction because you're tired of it's prison? Are you won't-ing a guy or a girl that you've been falling for that you know that you shouldn't? Are you won't-ing something delicious that's astronomically filled with calories? Are you won't-ing a dress that you can't afford buying? Or is it a cigarette that you're won't-ing and that sounds so awfully tempting? Are you won't-ing to watch something online or on television that you know is forbidden? Are you won't-ing sex with a person that you've have no right to because you're not married to them?

What it is that you're won't-ing simply because your Lord told you not to, because He has your best interest at heart?

"The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want".... because He alone is our Provider and can satiate all of our wants... all of our needs. He alone can satisfy! He alone can fill! In all reality when you really think about it, all of our want wants Him!

Yes, the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want!

And maybe on some days it can be said, the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not won't. Meaning, that I shall not 'won't' what He's said. I shall not won't His commands. I shall not won't what He wants... nor won't where He leads... nor won't where He sends... because I'd rather obey Him, because I want to do what He wants!

Or maybe it's because the Lord is my Shepherd I shall won't all other wants that tempt me to bow and submit to it instead of bowing and submitting to Him.

We're all want-ers at heart. But when Jesus is our Lord, then He is our Shepherd, and then all of our wants are tied up in Him.

"The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want."

And because The Lord is my Shepherd I dare not won't Him!

Maybe after reading my crazy way of thinking next time you want something, you'll rethink it and simply just won't it instead? :)

Which are you? A want-er? Or won't-er?

Which mostly wins?

Sunday, March 14, 2010


"No man can redeem the life of another........ But God will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself. Selah." ~ Psalm 49:7a-15

Friday, March 12, 2010

Missing a boy called Beautiful!

I went to Malawi in the summer of 2005..... I spent last night looking through pictures and reminiscing about those that I met there. This little boy, the one with his hand out, the one in the front, the one in the brown, the one looking at you..... he's the icon of my trip. He's the one that I most miss.


Here's an entry that I wrote about him in my journal once back in the states several months later all by myself in a secluded cabin in Gatlinburg on Sept 25, 2005.
Sept 25 , 2005

I’ve typed like an idiot today! Typed with a ferocious fury, I know my time is short, I’ll HAVE to leave this place soon! Wow ~ it was incredibly wonderful to get to come here. And such a surprise! But I have to leave so soon! It was all I could do to get out this morning to go to church … for I felt a great need to hear God – and was in the midst of an intense moment! - and I knew that the getting up to get made-up, and all the taking-off for the putting-on, plus the drive, the time, the distractions of stops on the way back to pick up things ……… I didn’t want to miss a moment, but felt like I was missing more than a lot if I left. So, I cried, with tears streaming off the make-up just as quickly as I was putting it on: Lord, do YOU want me to go ??? … or to stay????? Asking Him, because I knew that He knew that it was Him that I was seeking and Him that I was wanting to hear. Either way, I wanted only to obey His will. I honestly felt that He would be happy with me whichever I did ----- but the convicted Church-of-Christ girl that was raised in me had me go. I went. ..,. and was greatly blessed in going. Though much time was spent between leaving the cabin and my return. I finally returned - after church and Books Warehouse and Wal-Greens – and immediately began typing like a maniac … I didn’t even stop to eat. I hadn’t had either breakfast or lunch, but my hunger for the moment was HIM and not food! It was about 7:30 that night before I stopped to fix a bite. But even then, I typed while I ate. Funny, as I walked the stairs down to the kitchen and back up again; I noticed out my window a man in a house across from me – seeming to be watching me through the glass. I’m not sure if he really was or not or if he even saw me, but I thought that if he was – and if he had been watching me in my fury of tapping these keys for hours, surely he must think that I’m a writer. And if I ran into him and he asked me if a was one, I thought: I’d tell him, “Yes! Yes, I am.” … and grin inside. It might not be the kind of writer that he was thinking … but yes, I’m a writer - because I sure do write a lot!!!!!!!! I figure that surely must qualify!

Just now, as I was closing all of the programs on my computer down, because it’s late; already 12:30 … technically, already Sept 26th … but I’ve still dated this yesterday; I saw again the hand that reaches out to mine …… asking for me to fill it! For I have my brown-shirted black African friend pasted on my computer as my screen's background, so his picture is constantly before me. All day long in my work here, I see him … reaching out to me!!!! I LOVE that child!!!! … and I WANT to feed him!!!! I want to put something in his hand!!! I want to FILL it!!!!! Oh, he’s so beautiful to me! Wonder where he is tonight? I somehow know that wherever he is, his hand still reaches out to mine!!!! … as my heart reaches out for his!

There are others in the picture - in the scene that spreads across my screen. One boy stands close to him in the very front on his right; he’s what we would call: in-his-face! He’s just that close!!!! He’s wearing a very worn and holey shirt, and just staring hard at the boy who’s reaching out to me. I wonder why he's so intent in his stare?

Wait! Wait! Wait!! - I can’t continue like this - I have to give the boy a name. He needs a name! I can’t keep calling him my “brown-shirted black African boy!” He has to have a name! Oh Lord, what shall I call him? What is his name? Lead me to his name. Help me to find it....................................

..................Ah! He now has a name! I have found his name: Yapheh! His name is Yapheh! His name is Beautiful! .. because he’s beautiful to me! Yapheh – fair, handsome, beautiful – he’s all three!

As I looked up the word, for I wanted to call him Beautiful, in the Hebrew – in the Strong’s Lexicon; I was expecting to see the word Tov. Tov is “good” in the Scriptures that talk of God creating in Genesis 1 and He calls it good. Yet, it’s also translated beautiful in other Scriptures. So this is the word that I thought that I would see, I was just double-checking, verifying before I labeled him though. And in doing so, I typed in the word: Beautiful – and my search displayed (to my surprise): Yapheh. Never heard of it! So I looked to see where God’s used it in Scripture. Look what I found: “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he [was] ruddy, [and] withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this [is] he.” - 1Sa 16:12 And I just felt a compelling, you know? I felt He was telling me to, “Go ahead . Anoint him with this name.” So, I did; he can considered himself anointed. Yapheh, it is! Beautiful! … And with his name, and blessed in such a way as with this Scripture (I do feel God led me!!! I had asked Him to!) … it causes me to wonder in my heart (now wearing such a name) just who God’s anointed him to be??

Already a bit awed with wonder at his name and the verse, my eyes were drawn to another verse that carries this same Hebrew word. I can’t even begin to type the feel I felt of the stirring that stirred within me when I saw it. It seems to be foretelling a marvelous thing!!!! I’m so awed at God’s wonders!!! Here is the Scripture that my eyes fell upon that captured and held my focus and my attention: “He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” - Ecc. 3:11

WOW!!!!!! God makes everything beautiful “in its time!!!” Everything includes everything, no? Let’s reword it here: God makes Yapheh beautiful in it’s time!!! God makes ‘Beautiful’ beautiful in it’s time!!! God makes Yapheh yapheh in his time!!!! Wonder what that time will be? Wonder at the beauty that awaits us? Wonder what Yapheh will look like? Yapheh’s eternity that God has set in his heart … already shows in the picture as he reaches out for it!!! And Yapheh cannot fathom what God is doing from beginning to end in him. I long to see it! I thank You, Lord, for the name: Yapheh!

In the middle between Yapheh and the one staring so intently at this face is a boy that smiles with his head behind yet between them. Smiling at the camera … and me who is clicking it.

There’s a boy to the far right, shirt left opened a little bit far before the first button is buttoned to hold it shut. This boy stands with his hand on his hip, looking as if to say, “What?”

Two others hold their hands high in the back … not appearing so much as to wave, but looking as if they are wanting you not to miss them but to see them! We all want somebody to see us, don’t we, Lord? You see them! You are the Lord that sees!

There’s one girl on the far left that stares too at Yapheh! Staring, too, intently at his face … as if thinking: Oh my goodness, you!!!!! … in awe at what’s about to happen to him. I am too …… for I keep finding myself staring intently at his face as they do!!!! Funny! I didn’t notice till now that they are doing what I keep doing.

Now the girl in the very front, standing next to the female-starer is sticking out her tongue with all her might. Face frozen in an awful look, as the tongue protruding pulls her brows to furrow and her eyes to squint. She looks like she’s being mean … but surely not! And it looks as if her tongue is aimed at the one taking the shot of them – need I remind you that that person is yours truly!?!

And then … a sea of more beautiful faces. Sear them on my heart, Lord! Make me love them! Make them mine! Spiritually so. I want to love them enough to not be able to forget to pray for them. I want to love them enough to not be able to not pray for them. …. So I’ll know that they have a someone in “Someone’s praying me through … it might be my mother, it might be my dad, it might be an old friend I forgot I had ….!” Let me be their someone! And make them ALL beautiful – in their time!!!!

Hmmm... It's been 4 1/2 years. I'm still impressed! Those girls and guys are still making an impression on me. It's obvious by now that God answered my prayer. He hasn't let me forget or dried up my love for them. They are seared on my heart. I love them immensely!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh, how I love these guys!

Awww..... I was looking through some old files tonight and found this! A picture of me right smack dab in the middle of Africa. What a fun trip that was! I loved those that I met there! And I so long to go back to see those children again! Ah, the memories! You can't go to some of the places I've gone without coming home a changed girl. Thank God for changes!... and the beautiful people He uses to rub off on us!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A pain in the "but"......

“Buts” are a pain! They’re frustrating! Aggravating! Exasperating! Infuriating! Wearying! Irksome! Disappointing! Maddening! A waste! Awfully sad! And most of the time… really stupid!

ARE THEY WORTH IT?  How much time in this life do you have to waste?

On this journey of mine that I’m traveling, I find myself stuck in a “but” more times than I’d like to. Thus in a "Genesis 11:31" way too much. It’s a discouraging verse, because, as I said, I’ve too often worn the shoes, been guilty of the same, done a similar thing. I’m good at a "but." I'm good at Genesis 11:31. I’d rather I wasn’t. I hate that I am. I've decided to change. I'm determined to get off of my "but."

Previous to Abram’s Genesis 11:31 (we see in Acts 7) that God had called Abram out of the place he was living and told to go to a place He would show him. He had been told to leave his country, leave his people, leave his father’s household, and to go to the land that God wanted him to. So. Abram did. He left. He got up. He began. He went. But!

Though Abram left, here is what he didn't do. It shows up in the dreaded verse that's mentioned above which says of his departure, “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to  Haran, they settled there.”

Abram left, taking with him more than he was supposed to…… “Leave your people,” he was told…. Yet, he took some of his people with him.

They set out as they should, as he was called…….They set out from… to go to….... BUT!

“They set out from Ur… to go to Canaan. But when  they came to Haran, they settled  there.”

Why do we do that? What makes us fail to continue?

Why set out….

“Set out” – It’s yalak in the Hebrew. It means

·        to go out,
·        to come out of,
·        to exit out of,
·        to depart from,
·        to go forward,
·        to proceed to or toward something.

Why exited out of, departed from, leave a place just as we are told, heading toward the place that God is calling us to……. to only "BUT"?




Don’t you sometimes hate the buts in your life?

·        “I meant to, but…”
·        I was going to, but…”
·        “It's a passion inside me, but…”
·        “I really want to, but…”
·        “I feel God has called me to, but…!”
·        “I know you said, but…”

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “but” as

·         except for the fact
·         on the contrary
·         on the other hand adds to the definition:

·         contrary to expectation
·         used to indicate an exception
·         except that

Again, why set out to go… to only "BUT" when we come to     ?      (a place) and settle there? Why not skip the "but" and continue on until we arrive at the place that God is calling and sending us to?

“They settled” – yashab –

·         they remained,
·         they sat,
·         they stayed,
·         they inhabited,
·         they stilled themselves,
·         they stopped and dwelt in a land they weren’t called to settle in.

“They set out from… to go toBut when they came to… they settled there.”

Woe, how often are we prompted, propelled, compelled, convicted to leave a place, a thing, a habit, a forbidden, a guilt, a regret, a shame, a mood, a fury, a bitterness, a comfort, a normal, a staleness, a dryness, a dwelling……. and we’re actually convicted enough to actually move, to leave, to go, to get out of it, to exit the place we’ve been told to get out of……..… and yet, we stop and settle in a place short of our promise land? Why still ourselves and stay just shy of where God is sending? of where He's calling? of where He's planned and purposed? of where He wants us to go?

What stills us and stops us from journeying on? from continuing and persisting 'til we get there?

It can be a whole manner of things. Fear…. Comfort….. Family….. Too hard…. Too much trouble….. Too unknown……. Too tired....... Discouragement..... Lack of money...... Lack of support...... Lack of time..... Lack of faith.....

Have you been called out of a place (told to: “Get thee out of”) in order to go “to” somewhere, and you did, you left…………"BUT"? Let's not get stuck in a "but" and miss our promised land adventure!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

God only knows!

The last several days have been busy. Yesterday was spent swamped in the prison system. Where I'm learning lots. Some things are overwhelmingly discouraging. Other things, because of our hope and our awe of God, prove just the opposite. It was a good day yesterday. I can see our God going before us..... going before them..... and preparing their way to get out before their door has been opened. Incredible! And inspiring! Upon leaving both of the prisons that I visited in, I left leaving girls with smiling faces, a joy in their heart, HOPE on their insides showing through to the out, despite the bars that they're still imprisoned behind! Like I said, it was a good day!

One girl who's up for possible parole release on March 30th is so excited! She has such hopes, such plans for when she gets out. Not only hopes and plans for her, but those hopes and plans also include me! (((**smile**))) She's been imprisoned for such a long time, longer than most. She's notorious on the inside. Most know her, and if they don't, they've heard of her name. They know who she is. She's a comfort to many. When anxiety comes, that's where most go, to ask her what's going on and to look to her for advice or for comfort.

She doesn't just want to get on with her life once she gets out. She wants to pave the way for others. To provide them with a home, a place to come to, because many have nowhere to go once they're released. That's where I come in. She hopes we'll get to open a place together. She's heard me talk about it. It's also her dream. So putting two and two together, she's factored me into her equation. I can't help but smile at her vision. I'd love to be able to do that. And what I don't know, where I can't relate, she can. I can easily see where we'd benefit and need each other.

Who knows what's in God's plans, but Him?! But, I do feel an urging, a stirring, a rumbling, an awakening, a hunger to do what surely I feel that He wants done. As I said about seeing Him going before these girls in so many things so vividly..... I also know that He goes before me... and He is preparing my path!

I can't wait to see what He's got up His sleeve. I know it'll be good! That it will not only bring Him glory, but that it will provide for those He loves. For after all, our Savior Jesus came to set the captives free!

How I love my Lord and the work He is using me for! What an honor in serving!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Obsessing Over Our Earthsuit?

Many of us are doing the So Long Insecurity book study with the LPM siestas. It's interesting... though sad really.... how many of us are so deeply insecure. I suppose, if truth be told, most of the time I act like I'm not. I'm a good pretender. I'm even successful enough at it sometimes that I fool myself into thinking I'm not. I guess some days I am more secure than others. But am I really?... when the truth gets to the bottom of it? I can be really insecure.... and I really don't wanna be!

Sadly, a lot of what us girls are obsessing and so insecure about are these earthsuits that God has put us in. We compare our earthsuits (our skin bags, our outsides) with all of the other earthsuits walking around. We compare the sizes, the shape, the stature, the beauty, or lack thereof, the hair that's attached, the age, the color of the skin, the smoothness, or if it's aged to wrinkles.

We get all caught up in that. We dwell too much on that! But we're told that God created our "inmost being" (Psalm 139:13-19). We're told that God looks on the inside (the heart)... while we're mostly prone to look at the out (1 Samuel 16:7). I think I like the inside look better.

You know, are earthsuits weren't made to look just alike. God uniquely made each one on purpose. And it can sag and bag and wrinkle... it can pimple and dimple and freckle..... we can lose the use of parts of it or some can be cut off........ but the outside isn't who we are.... it's the inside that is. Your earthsuit isn't you! You are you! Your character, your personality, your spirit. Dare we let our outside-look weaken the inside of us!

God fashioned and knitted our inner person, our innermost being. He created us to be just exactly as who He wanted us to be. He then stuck that inner into our out..... but the out won't be judged when Jesus comes back, the inside will. We won't even be wearing this outside anymore.


Then, why do we let our outside control so much of what our inside feels and what it thinks and the mood that we're in... when it is totally irrelevant to our eternity?

Surely God didn't mean for us to give so much thought and be so distraught over these earthly suits we're wearing! Though I know it's not at all a surprise to Him. We color it, and paint it, and plump it, and diet it, and exercise it, and dress it, and high-heel it up.... then, re-paint the face more, and re-fix the doo and spray it in place daring it to move.... doing our dead-level best to make it look like we want.... and then leave the house often disappointed when it don't.

It's an earthsuit for heaven's sake.... why get so caught up in it! And why let it let us wear an insecure feeling???

"Do not be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God" (1 Pet 3:3-4).

Again: "Do not be concerned about the outward beauty...."!!!

But.... are we?

Funny, how we obsess about the vehicles God has given us to ride in. It's a crazy obsession to have that way too many of us are wearing!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout!

"A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold rig in a pig's snout." 

Not meaning to overkill a subject (which I am prone to do).................. But! Piggy-backing off of yesterday's post.... while I was studying something else entirely I ran across a verse that surprisingly had "taste" hidden inside it... It was interesting to me and a bit humorous. I thought I'd share.......

Ps 119:66-68 says, "Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed Thy commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me Thy statutes."

The word judgment in "Teach me good judgment..." is ta'am in the Hebrew. It means:
  • taste!
  • judgement
  • decision
  • behavior
  • understanding
  • discretion
  • reason
  • flavor of food 

Wow. Teach me good judgment..... teach me good decisions..... teach me good behavior...... teach me good understanding..... teach me good discretion..... teach me good reason.......... teach me good taste!


Because, as the writer insinuates, I have strayed and was afflicted (because of my wandering), and since I've returned I have realized that You are good, You do good, Your commands are good, and I need Your statutes!

So... teach me good judgment, teach me good taste, teach me Your word, to keep me again from straying and from affliction, because, like I said, YOU ARE GOOD! (And can we add? I'm a wreck, a mess, wretched, I live in affliction from bad choices without it!) 

('Teach me good judgment, teach me good taste'...... Example (as in yesterday's blog) "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed [happy!] is the man who takes refuge in Him!")

Ah.... we have great need to be taught! Let me give you a prime example of why. Proverbs 11:22 very vividly gives us the greatest visual to prove it. It says, "As a jewel in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."  (Discretion here is our word ta'am, judgment, taste, etc.)

Another version reads, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."

Another, "A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold rig in a pig's snout."

Perhaps my favorite, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful face on an empty head."

A woman that hasn't been taught... A woman that hasn't "good taste".... A woman without good judgment, without good behavior, without good decisions, who lacks good reasoning, an empty-headed woman(!!!!)......... even a beautiful empty-headed woman........ is like a gold ring in the nose of a pig. It's ridiculous! It doesn't make sense! 

Okay............ so there's my humor for the day. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I had better get back to my studying... and while at it, I'll ask to be taught by my Father and ask Him to give me a greater taste for more of Him and His wisdom!

Man, just looking at that picture, I think I've seen that look..... I know that look...... I've worn that look! And honestly, it's not a fascinatingly attractive look on any human body! Hmmm... What was it basically that God was saying? Basically: A beautiful woman without taste looks about as ridiculous as a pig sporting a gold ring in her snout. It's crazy... and perhaps a bit embarrassing!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can I just say: Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!

Mmmmmm......... I cannot lie! These are my absolute all time favorites!!!!


I mean: YUM!

I cannot wait until Easter season comes! When it does I hoard up on these malted milk eggs. I buy them by the bulk. I fill my barns... only to empty them soon in order to fill my tummy.... and then hate that I ate them after they're gone.

BUT... in the meantime, when a bag of these things have been sitting in the heat of my car where I've left them all afternoon...............OH! Oh my! JUST RIGHT! They melt in your mouth and they're wonderful!

It's a good thing they're seasonal. I'd be round (very round!) and very egg-shaped if they weren't!

And it's not only me. My whole family (mom! sisters! and kids!) love them! My liking for them is so strong that it's sometimes hard for me to share. But I do! Because I know they like them just as much as I do.... and it's always more fun to salivate and savor them together!


Speaking of: Mmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

My preacher emailed me just recently. He told me that he was working on a message entitled: Taste and See that the LORD is Good and requested any thoughts or scriptures or analogies or illustrations that I might give him to help him in his preparation.

Mmmm.... taste and see?

Well, every since he asked me, this is what my mind keeps pondering....

The verse in Psalm 34:8 ("Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.") is challenging the afflicted, the one in trouble, the desperate, the one that is lacking, the one that needs help, the one that needs to find refuge... to look to the Savior, to cry out to Him, to run to Him... to taste and to see that He (the Lord) is good and that He truly is the refuge and help of all those that cry out to Him.

Fascinatingly enough, when we need help for whatever it is, when we're afflicted, when we're in trouble, when we're in want, or we're afraid, we're already seeking inside and out.. seeking for our refuge and help for where we'll find our comfort and deliverance.

When we're tempted (as was Eve in the garden), we're curious to the taste of the fruit that's forbidden. Can it give us the thing that we're seeking and hoping for? Even this, too (the forbidden), we're able to 'taste and see'... and Eve sees that it doesn't produce what it's promised.

When we're hurting or saddened in sorrow, we're often tempted to taste a drink, a drug, a snort, a puff, or even sleep... seeking our refuge in the numbing of ourselves. But we wake up... and the pain is still with us.

We'll taste food in unhealthy portions, eating way more than our need, hoping that it'll fill the something empty inside.... but instead, after we've gorged ourselves we're left ashamed, embarrassed, hating our bodies.

We'll try buying things, or clothes, or travel to different places... tasting and seeing if this satisfies our want. Could this be the refuge we seek for the absence of the thing that we're lacking and so longing and looking for?

Or, we'll seek revenge, or retaliation, madness toward another in hopes to get back (in hopes to feel better) at the one that's offended or hurt us... yet it only fills us with more fury and anger, more bitterness to defeat, a more horrible feeling.

Should our enemies be after us (as was prior to this psalm with David), where do we run to to calm our fear? Who or what do we look to in hopes to deliver us from the fury of our foe?

We're tasters. We're constantly tasting / trying / experimenting - seeking to know what works, what fills, what helps, what heals.

Where do you take refuge? What do you taste to see if it helps, if it's 'good,' if it protects, if it gives you the whatever that you're needing?
  • Eve tasted of the forbidden fruit. At times some us do too. Actually, all of us have at one time or another. What was the forbidden that you bit into? And did it do for you what you had hoped it would do?

  • Cain sought refuge in murder, he thought he could abade his anger by ridding the world of the man that fueled it. It didn't work. The fury wasn't inside Able, it was inside of Cain... and so his anger stayed with him, with the death of Able, it didn't kill it.

  • Some try to seek refuge in a cigarrette, a drink, a bar, a movie, tv, revenge (Esau), food, shopping, another man, a woman, abuse, reading, sports, activities. But is there true refuge in where you run?

Until you 'taste and see' the refuge of our Lord, you'll never taste and SEE the goodness of His refuge. The comfort there. The safeness of it. The healing despite what's happened. The wonder regardless of your circumstance. The peace despite the storm. The calmness despite the wind's blow and the thunder's roar. The hope despite the despair. The good despite the evil. The healing despite the illness.The joy despite the mourning.

The list can go on. But only God is a refuge, and a refuge that's good!

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."...... Blessed [happy] is the man that trusteth in Him, that seeks refuge in Him, that flees to Him for protection, that puts his trust in God, that confides or hopes in Him, that runs beneath the shadow of His swings (Ps 57:2; 61:5).

Deut 33:29, “Happy are thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of excellency!...”

I apologized my preacher for not being able to set aside the time that my brain takes to do a better job with this. But I hope that at least something I said could inspire a better thought inside him. May God show him what He wants him to say, and open the ears of those there sitting to listen!

And (should you be interested).... for a funnier example of a negative 'tasting'... you're welcome to click and go here: Yucky Things That Stick.

P.S. Dare you think this is all? More thoughts to come regarding all this tomorrow. :)