Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Find Me

Hi Readers, God 'n me has moved to WordPress. My new blog address is:
I'm still learning how to place all the elements on my new blog site, so please be patient as I study all the wordpress tutorials. In another week or so I should have pictures and links up and running again. In the meantime, please follow me to this new site.
Thanks so much for your patience.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Reminder: I've Moved

Dear Readers, this is just a reminder that my God n me has moved to WordPress. The new title is God and Me and my blog address is
Thanks. See you there!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Word

Hi readers:
I am in the process of moving my blog over to WordPress. If you would like to read my latest Wednesday's Word, you can find it on
Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Moving!

Hi Readers: I am in the process of moving my blog posts to WordPress. If you'd like to follow me over there, you can type in this address:
and my blog should come up.
If not, please let me know by email:
Thanks so much!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Eternity Begins Now

When a person comes to Christ, his or her eternal life begins immediately.
Sure, there are wonders to anticipate in the future.
But Christ promised abundant life right now.
This abundance consists of His loving presence, His power, His protection, His provision.

Can you think of another philosophy or religion that offers that?
I can't.

In all other religions, the disciple is required to perfectly live up to some strict standard, sacrifice his happiness, even his life for some far-off reward in heaven.
Or perhaps he must try, in another life, to improve himself.
The reward is always far off and un-seeable.

But the wonders of the life of the Christian is Christ.
The absolute joy of a relationship right now with Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the Creator, the Savior who loves me just as I am.
The life that He gives me is one that is lived in the power of Christ.
Because our merciful Lord knows that we are puny and that we cannot successfully live out God's requirements in our own power.

And the other wonderful thing about the life in Christ.
We can KNOW where we'll be after our physical life has ended.
Not just hope.
Really know.

I have failed so many times to meet God's requirement for perfection.
I do not deserve heaven.
But one day I pleaded for Christ to save me.
He gave me His righteousness.
I did nothing to deserve it.
As surely as Christ never lies and has promised to give eternal life to all who trust in Him,
I can know where I'll be when my physical life has ended.

Even now, when I do or say things that displease God, I still know that because Christ died in my place, I have not lost my relationship with Christ. His love calls me to ask forgiveness of Him and the person I have wronged. 

My eternity began the day I received Him.
I do not have to wait for eternal life someday way off in the future.
It has already begun.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." (John 3: 16-17 NIB Bible)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Like Little Children

When I was a small child I found the world of adults—particularly my parents— gargantuan, scary, and incomprehensible.
The things they conversed about sounded like gibberish.

They could do things that seemed god-like, such as lighting a pilot light, driving a car, or going to sleep in a dark, dark room without needing a night-lite.

Who else but a god could read a newspaper and understand it, let alone enjoy its contents?

Who else but a god knew how to drive from our house to some strange place we'd never been before?

And who but a god knew the order of our days: when to get up, what to wear, and if the events of the day were going to diverge from the ordinary?

So when my god-like parents determined that it was time to take a nap, I did not question them.
When food was placed before me, it did not occur to me to ask for menu options.
If my parent-gods were pleased with me, my world felt secure.
If one of these gods was displeased, I felt shame.

A few years passed.
I went to school, socialized with my peers, and learned to do god-like things like read and write.
By ten, my parents were no longer gods. Sure, they were people to be admired, even feared at times.
But they no longer dwelt on Mt. Olympus.

I let them know by my words and body language that I no longer accepted their orders and instructions just because they proclaimed them.

I ceased to be a little child.
This is as it should be for the growing child. He or she must begin to learn how to live independently.

But in the supernatural world of the seeker of Christ, or the disciple of Christ, to be child-like is exactly what we need to be.
To recognize that the world surrounding us is gargantuan, often scary and almost always incomprehensible.
And to trust that our Father knows what is best for us.

Unlike the little child living under his parents' roof, I will never grow so mature and knowledgeable that I won't need Him.

I need to keep reminding myself that...
He is the Alpha and Omega
and I am just a wee small babe in constant need of protection and guidance.

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matt. 18: 1-3 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday's Word (July 17th)

Wednesday's Word:

Xenophobia: noun
Pronounced: zee-no-fo-bee-a
Definition: a deep dislike of foreigners

Last week's word was wangle.
"Perhaps I can wangle a deal with the used car dealership by offering my old car as a trade-in."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday's Thought (July16th)

Tuesday's Thought:

"That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
(William Wordsworth, poet)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sooner Rather Than Later

Saturday, I went to a writer's seminar down in Denver. It's about a 65 mile trip back to Estes.
I had to go through Boulder, which has pretty heavy traffic.
I was tired and annoyed by traffic lights and just wanted to get home as quickly as possible.
But I needed gas pretty soon.

I could have stopped at the Conoco on the main drag.
But it would be so much easier to get gas once I got into Estes.
I didn't feel like getting out of my car.
And I was tired.
And the gas is cheaper up the hill.

The way up highway 36 was clogged with slow-moving RVs and I gritted my teeth at the 35 mile per hour pace.

Once I reached Estes I noticed that traffic was especially heavy. I thought, it must be the rodeo that's brought extra out-of-towners and tourists. It's crowded enough during the summer months because of all the tourists coming to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.
 I proceeded to the gas station on Highway 34 and filled up.

But getting out of the gas station proved impossible.
Drivers coming west on 34 were so anxious to get through the intersection of 34 and 36 that they pulled up bumper to bumper and blocked all the business entrances.

Getting over three lanes so I could turn toward home was going to be impossible.

I glanced to the east. An unending stream of cars extended beyond view.
Maybe I could back up and take another route.
Nope. Three cars had pulled up behind me.
They were probably hoping I'd pull out and just shove my way into the thick of cars.
But when traffic is backed up the way it was that evening, you don't mess with peoples' good will.
It's in short supply.

I felt my blood pressure rise. My stomach knotted. My breathing turned shallow.
I tried to calm myself, but the primitive part of my brain was screaming, "You're trapped!"
A free spot opened in the right turn only lane.
I took it. Better to be on the road even if it's not the right road.

I drove way up the hill, beyond the Stanley Hotel, made a legal u-turn and got myself in the right direction.
Getting home should have taken me four minutes.  It took over twenty.

Okay, so it wasn't the worst crisis a body can face.
But all of this could have been avoided if I'd simply gotten my gas down the hill in Boulder.

I guess the moral of my story would be this: since you don't know what's up ahead, you may as well take care of essential business now, when it's do-able.

The Word of God seems to agree with this moral:
"Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well." (Ecc. 10:6 NIV Bible)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

They Keep Coming Back

Darn these weeds.
I hate 'em.
We've got big, furry weeds and thistles. Round-up spray takes care of them.

But then there's the dreaded "white weed."
That's not its real name; we just call it by its appearance.
I've been told it's a noxious weed and needs to be removed so it doesn't take over.

These "white" weeds emerge from the ground as a single seemingly innocuous stem.
But if you don't pull them out then, more stems sprout.
Eventually the weed takes on a kind of bowl like shape and grows wider and taller.

Then, as if to mock me, this ugly, prolific weed sports a couple of pretty white flowers at the very top.
You have to reach down and grasp it at the very bottom, then pull straight up.
If you don't do that, the stems will break and the root will remain to regrow more stems.
Not only that, but if you don't wear garden gloves, the weed leaves tiny stickers in your hands and forearms.

I've tried the easy solution: dumping poison on them, but it only burns the stems. The weeds are untouched.
No, the only thing for it is to pull them.
Backbreaking labor.
And another thing about these "white" weeds: they like to grow right up inside the foliage of some nice welcome plant. Those sneaky infiltrators!

I've been tempted to bulldoze the entire yard just to rid us of the white weeds.
But I'd sure hate to lose all the other wonderful flowers and shrubs.

What a great illustration for us as Believers. We need to root out any sort of evil the moment it emerges. Otherwise it grows and spreads and causes us no end of trouble.
And don't you just hate that?

The Apostle Paul warns us: "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4: 31, 32 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday's Word (July 10th) for the Week

Wednesday's Word:

Wangle, verb
Pronounced wang-l
Definition:  to obtain by scheming.

What a great word. Did you already know it? Can you use it in a sentence?

Last week's word was vacuous.

"The girl always sat in the back row of class wearing her familiar vacuous expression."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9: Tuesday's Thought

Tuesday's Thought:
"You can't test courage cautiously."
Annie Dillard, writer

Note: If you'd like to grow your vocabulary gradually, try checking out my Wednesday blog: Word for the Week. Each week I present another useful word to help make your prose more effective.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Don't Get Skunked

When we lived in Paradise, California, a skunk used our backyard as his private highway.
I believe he lived under a large shed which still sat on the vacant lot next door.
Skunk had his nightly routine down.
First he scratched for grubs around the shed.
Then he moved to the grassy area right outside the master bedroom.
Since it's warm in Paradise in the summer, we kept the windows open at night.
I could hear his nightly forays outside our bedroom.
His next activity was checking out the bunnys' food that fell from their hutch. This was on the opposite side of our backyard.
Sometimes Skunk got his schedule a little mixed up and he'd cross our backyard an hour early.
Which meant that he'd be in our yard when it was time for our dogs to go outside for their nighttime potty.
One particularly warm night we had all the windows in the house open.
Daughter Kiri opened the kitchen door and let Dudley and Sprite run outside.
She left the door open since they usually did their business quickly, then ran back inside.
On this occasion, they tragically intersected with Skunk, who automatically let 'em have it with both barrels.
Dudley and Sprite, frantic to escape the noxious spray, raced back inside.
Now I know we've all smelled skunk odor as we drive down some local road.
That's bad enough.
But have you ever smelled skunk fumes close up?
Holy Cow! It's unbelievably repulsive.
Kiri ran into her bathroom to retch.
And I, fighting the same urge, screamed for my husband to grab the dogs. The spray had coated their fur and they were running around the house trying to get away from the smell by rubbing against our furniture.
If the neighbors had overheard us, I'm sure they would have called 911. We sounded like we were dying.
We wiped the dogs' faces, then put them back outside. There was nothing more that could be done for them until morning when I could buy some odor remover.
We directed fans toward the windows, then hid in our bedrooms with doors shut for the rest of the night.
It took several days for the dogs and our house to return to normalcy.
I went to our local pet supply and bought several bottles of the enzyme cleaner that helps remove skunk odor from fur. I chuckled as I set them on the counter. "Boy, I'll bet our dogs have learned their lesson about skunks."
The store owner shook his head. "Not a chance. Dogs never learn that lesson. They'll go after a skunk again and again and get skunked every time."

A few months later Skunk met his doom when he decided to take another route through the neighbors yard just behind us. Their big black dog dispatched him discreetly and with amazing skill. We never smelled Skunk during that deadly attack.

Still, I remembered what the pet store owner said: "they never learn."
Gosh, I hope I learn my lessons better than my dogs.
I hope I don't keep repeating some stupid act over and over expecting a different result.
By the way, isn't that the definition of madness?

Do you ever notice yourself doing or saying something habitually that always ends in family strife?
We all have patterns of behavior, both good and bad.
Perhaps some of them need amending.
So you don't get skunked.

Here's a rather graphic proverb:
"As a dog return to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly." (Proverbs 26: 11 NIV Bible)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dependence Day

I love my country.
Founded on the principles of liberty, equality, the rights of man under an eternal, unchanging God.
Today we celebrate our independence from the tyrannical government of 18th century Britain.
We love the word independence.
Free, free at last.

We love to say "it's a free country."
As children we say to our older brother or sister, "You're not the boss of me!"
As teens we say to our parents,"I want to do what I want to do."

As adults we chafe under laws or regulations that prevent us from driving as fast as we want to, or parking where prohibited, or wearing shoes and shirt, or playing our music as loud as we want.
We want independence.

We think of independence as a good thing...always.

Surely, independence from a tyrannical government is a good thing.
And I thank God that brave men and women risked their lives to ensure our freedom.

But is independence always a good thing?
How about our independence from God?
Many morally blind people in our country are celebrating this.
And work through our government to force this independence on the rest of us.

Apart from God, we are, at best, morally feeble.
And always supremely selfish and bent only on our own interests.
It is only when we submit to the Lord and invite Him to fill us with His Spirit that we possess His power to love as He loves, to care and invest ourselves for others, to forgive, to govern ourselves wisely.

It is not a good thing to be independent of God.
Today, as we celebrate our country's independence,
let us also celebrate with even greater joy, our DEPENDENCE on our indescribably wonderful Lord God.

Jesus said:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5 NIV Bible)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2: Tuesday's Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan."

Monday, July 1, 2013

We All Want Connection

I volunteered to help teach the four and five-year-olds Sunday School yesterday.
There were three of us adults in the class, which was just about perfect, considering that each of these kids has a strong personality and tremendous energy.
A little later in the hour, two other kids arrived. The boy joined right in for the lesson. But the little girl—I'll call her Joni—proceeded straight to a table and climbed underneath.
We teachers welcomed her and invited her to join the group.
But she remained there for the duration of the lesson and song-time and nothing I said could induce her to leave her spot.
Which was a bit of a problem because she distracted the other children and some of them tried to climb underneath the table to join her.
After song-time I said, "Okay, it's time to wash our hands and get ready for snack time."
Immediately our little Joni jumped up and rushed to the head of the line for wash-up.
I helped her suds her hands and rinse and dry them.
She ate her graham cracker with gusto and quickly downed her dixie cup of water.

I sat down next to Joni as the craft items were place on the table
She dove for the crayons and stickers.
Hmm, this little girl sure fooled us. She had seemed shy when she entered the room.
"Can you write your name?"
She looked at me as if I were crazy.  Without a word, she deftly wrote her name at the bottom of her sheet of paper, then glanced up at me as with a cute but pugnacious thrust of her tiny chin.

She placed her stickers amongst the words, "Jesus loves me."
Then colored with a skillful hand.
Joni insisted that I sit nearby so I could see how well she was coloring.
She did color remarkably well.

After she finished the craft, I said, "Can you draw other things?"
"Of course," she said. "Wait till you see how well I can draw a horse."
She turned the sheet over and grabbed another crayon. "Now close your eyes and don't look until I'm finished."

When she was done she told me I could look. Sure enough, she'd drawn a very recognizable horse and even added a saddle and stirrups.
We spent the rest of craft time talking about My Little Ponies and I told her about my granddaughter's collection of My Little Ponies.

After the Sunday school ended, one of the teachers remarked, "Well, it looks like all Joni needed was someone to connect with."
Arriving late, Joni saw that we were already involved in an activity and found the area underneath the table a safer place to be.

I've seen this with grown people too.
Not that they hide underneath tables!
I work in women's ministries and have seen grown women arrive at a women's social, then turn around and go home if they do not quickly find an available table to sit at with women they already know.
But once they're safely situated, they talk and participate like old pros.
 Just like Joni.

Folks, let's turn our eyes outward and notice others.
It's so easy to only think about our own schedules and our own friends.

Look around. Is some person sitting all by himself at church? Go sit with him.
Who's that couple in the lobby at church? Go over and introduce yourself.

How about that nice family three doors down from your own house? Invite them over for lunch.
And if you are lonely, call somebody and invite them to do something together. Don't wait for somebody to call you. Make the first move. People will love you for it!

Everybody wants to be wanted.
Sometimes the connection is as simple as trading stories about My Little Pony.

"Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he had received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4: 7-10 NIV Bible)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday's Word (June 26)

Wednesday's Word:
I apologize for being late with Wednesday's word. I simply forgot to do it yesterday!

The word for today is:
vacuous, adjective
Pronounced vak-u-us
Definition: lacking expression, unintelligent, empty

Last week's word was umbrage.
"I take umbrage at your suggestion that I murdered my husband!"

Book Suggestions

I don't do this very often, but I've recently read three very interesting books from three very different genres.
If you're looking for some summer reading, may I suggest:

The Snow Child,
 by Eowyn Ivey, published by Little Brown and Company

If you love literary fiction, this fairy-tale take-off will captivate your imagination and your heart.
Set in 1920s Alaska, The Snow Child is about a childless older couple who are homesteading. Isolation, grief about losing a child years ago, dreary weather and the challenges of farming nearly crumple Jack and Mabel. But one evening they fashion a beautiful child out of snow. The next morning she is gone, but they begin to see a little girl running around near their cabin. Who is she and why does she seem to appear and reappear magically?

The Gift of Fear,
 by Gavin De Becker, published by Dell

This non-fiction book held me spellbound. It begins with the case study of a woman who'd been raped by an intruder but managed to escape being murdered by following her inner warnings.  De Becker says that we all have amazing powers of observation about our environment and the people in it which tell us to beware. But since we humans tend to ignore or rationalize away the signs, we fail to avoid dangerous circumstances.
Gavin De Becker is one of the nation's leading experts on violent behavior. In this book he will show you how to spot even subtle signs of danger before it's too late.

Candle for a Corpse, 
 by Marilyn Leach, published by Pelican Group
This is cozy murder mystery with Birdie Elliott (a kind of Murder She Wrote sleuth) as the adorable British vicar's wife/murder investigator. Leach's writing ensconces you within a charming English village populated by all sorts of unique and peculiar characters. As you turn the pages you'll feel as if you've been transported into Birdie's very British world of constables, vicars, lavender gardens and afternoon teas.

If you read one of these books, I'd love it if you would comment on my blog afterward!
Have a great day, and enjoy some time each day for reading.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's (June 25) Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that.
It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
Bear Bryant, football coach

What do you think?
I strongly agree with Bear.
As a music teacher, I see lots of students who want to sing or play like a superstar. But it's the rare student who has the discipline to prepare, practice, sacrifice leisure times, and study in order to really succeed as a performer.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dust Yourself Off

I received scores from three judges for a writing contest I'd entered recently.
The first two judges loved my excerpt and gave me glowing scores and remarks.
The third judge hated everything about my piece. He/she couldn't even muster any constructive comments.
Third judge's score was a whopping 40 points (out of 100) lower than the other two judges.
If her low scoring had followed with constructive suggestions such as: "this paragraph needs an action beat," or "add more description of the environment in this section," I'd have received her evaluation with appreciation.
But, nothing.

So, I will chuck her unbelievably low scores.
I'll push my jaw back in place after it dropped to the floor for ten incredulous minutes while I perused this judge's low score.
And I'll dust myself off and "get back on the horse," so to speak.
I'll study what the positive judges said and put their advice into practice.

If I were a new writer, this negative and (non-constructive) evaluation would have really messed with my mind and heart.
I wonder if judges realize that their comments have the power of life or death over aspiring writers, even established authors.
This judge wrote his/her comments with a kind of "got-you" attitude.

But I've already published lots of articles and stories and devotions.
And last year I semi-finaled in a national writing contest.
I've got more publications coming out in the fall
and my literary agent is shopping out one of my novels.
And I have four more novels waiting in the wings.

I've experienced both rejections and acceptances and I'm getting used to the idea that the writing industry, just like the music world I used to live in, is fraught with emotional upheaval.
There's nothing new under the sun.

So it doesn't shock me so much when I see how subjective the evaluating of manuscripts can be.
And I don't take it personally. Well, not as much as I used to.

And the main reason I don't get so bent out of shape by a lousy evaluation is that God has called me to write.
So what is one fallible judge's opinion compared to the Lord of the entire Universe? 
Of course I have much more to learn in my craft. What writer doesn't?
But I won't let one little, negative evaluation thwart the plan that the Lord has for me to write stories that glorify Jesus and comfort and encourage readers.

So if you're reading this, still smarting from a similar negative evaluation at work, at church, in sports or the arts, at home, wherever, please don't let it stop you.
Get back up, take a big breath and ask God how this experience might teach you and make you a better person.
Only small people stay down.
Be big.
For God's sake, be big!

"Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning." (Proverbs 9:9 NIV Bible)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Want Cherries!

On my last evening in San Diego, we went to Anthony's. It's a nice fish restaurant right on the wharf, sandwiched between tour ships and museums.
My almost four-year-old granddaughter, Kaya, especially enjoyed the little bowl of cherries that the waiter brought to help keep her from squirming as we adults finished our meals.
Actually, the cherries were supposed to be for everyone, but Kaya didn't know that.

 I savored the last spoon-fulls of chocolate mousse, and Wayne and Kiri shared a lemon cake that was supposed to have a bit of rum in the batter. I couldn't taste any rum in it at all, but Kiri insisted she could.
The waiter brought the check and while Wayne pulled out his charge card, we ladies took the two girls out to the front of the restaurant.
All of a sudden, Kaya began to wail, "My cherries, my cherries! I left my cherries in the restaurant."
By this time it was simply too late to go back to reclaim her remaining two cherries. We tried to explain to Kaya that after you leave the restaurant, the workers come to your table and quickly remove all the dishes and food that we left.

But Kaya wouldn't be reasoned with. She kept wailing about her cherries.
By this time, Wayne rejoined us and we walked along the sidewalk enjoying the sights and listening to the waves lap against the ships lining the wharf.
And still, Kaya kept up her lament. She sobbed, "I want my cherries," sniff, sniff, "I want my cherries."

Wayne and Kiri and I all tried to distract Kaya by pointing out interesting sights and by talking about plans for going to Disney Land.
I don't know what Kaya will grow up to be. But I do know that whatever it is, it will be the kind of job that requires intense focus and persistence.

My granddaughter kept up her plea for cherries all the way home, up the stairs, into the house, and even while being tucked into bed. "I want cherries."
What should have been a pleasant drive home became an exasperating half hour of listening to a alternately whining, then sobbing preschooler.

After the kids had been put to bed, we older folk chuckled about Kaya's persistence.
My granddaughter's intense pleas for "cherries!" reminded me of Jesus's parable of the unrighteous judge and the widow who kept coming to him for justice. (Luke 18:2-5)

Because the widow refused to give up and kept crying out to the judge, she eventually wore him down and he gave her what she sought.

Kaya didn't get her cherries, but she had the right idea about not giving up.
She's figured out what a lot of us grown ups haven't learned: don't give up.
If you want something enough, keep asking for it, or working for it, or pursuing it, and most of the time you'll get it eventually.
It may not be today, or tomorrow.
Eventually you'll get your "cherries."

But first ask yourself, "Is this "cherry" that I want a good thing?
If you're not sure, go to the Lord:
  • Ask the Lord to help you discern if the thing you are focused on getting or achieving is pleasing to Him. (Sometimes, the "cherries" you desire are not what is best for you.
  • Study the Bible so you know God's mind and heart.
  • Commit your life to pleasing God. Submit to His answer even if the answer is 'no.'
  • Pray every day and often..not just for what you want, but for God's blessings on others.

"In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'" (Luke 18: 2-5 NIV Bible)

Monday, June 17, 2013


Kiri and I and the girls went to the beach yesterday.
It was the perfect San Diego beach day: 74 degrees, slight breeze, just enough to keep one from getting overheated under the bright sun, and not crowded.

Once settled on our plot of sand, the surf beckoned. Three-year-old Kaya and I frolicked in the waves, moving further and further out till the waves swooshed over our shoulders. ( Never fear, moms, Kaya was in my arms the whole time.)

Little Kira was more content to stay close to her mother on the beach towels.
Kaya and I returned, dripping and goose-bumped.
Then Mom took Kaya back toward the shore to look for sea shells.

One thing about sand: it gets everywhere.

No matter how careful a beach-goer is, those little grains get in your hair, your clothing, your food, your shoes, and onto your towels.

Some people don't like going to the beach for this very reason.

I say, go for it. Get as sandy as you want for a couple of hours. Immerse yourself in the sandy experience. Let the waves knock you over while tiny grains of sand invade your bathing suit.
Pour a bucket of water onto a patch of sand. Mix it in and then use your shovels and kid molds to make sea turtles and castle turrets.

Sand get in your mouth? Wash it down with a swig of bottled juice.
Under your fingernails? Run on down to the waves and scrub the sand out.
Sand in your ears? Well, you can shower it away when you get home.

the sand is like us

Whenever I sit in the sand and play with it I think of the Old Testament verses where God tells Abraham He's going to make Abraham's descendants as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore.

I pick up a few grains and rub them between my fingers. They're rough and scratchy. But just one grain can irritate your eye and get in your mouth and set your teeth on edge.
Just one grain of trillions can do that.
Let that be a reminder to me that if I am one of Abraham's descendants, even I, a single grain of sand, can influence the world.

Just one tiny grain of sand.
Not that I want to be an irritant, like a grain of sand.
But sometimes, especially in these days of affluence and apathy, our culture needs an irritant—a tiny grain of sand—to spur us into movement.
To start being effective.

Do you think, when God spoke of Abraham's descendant, that He was already picturing each one of us, His children, and the role that we would play in our designated times and places?

"The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said. 'I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.'" (Genesis 22:15-17 NIV Bible)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sea Dragons and Knees

My visit to San Diego is nearing the end.
I'll be flying home to the Denver area in a few days.
It's been very satisfying to see my daughter recover from her knee surgery.
She's looking forward to resuming her active lifestyle and competing once more in jiu jitsu.
She limps slightly, but that will end once her repaired ACL completely heals.
The scars will fade.

A few days ago we went to an aquarium where I saw a nursery of sea horses at various stages of development. In the same room were the horses' cousins, the leafy sea dragons and weedy sea dragons.
If I hadn't read the info underneath the tanks where these creatures floated, I would have passed, never noticing them.
Only the eyes, swiveling to take in their environment give the creatures away.
The "weeds" and "leaves" that surround the sea dragons are actually appendages.
God, in His creative glory, has bestowed on these little sea creatures the ultimate camouflage.
Sea horses can't move very fast. They have tiny dorsal fins that wave rapidly to propel them from place to place. And tails that wrap around sea plants to help anchor them.

Amazing! God is truly amazing.

When I see a tiny creature so blessed by God, I remind myself that if my Heavenly Father can put such care and thought into the creation of a sea dragon, then He certainly can devote care and thought to my many concerns and requests.
Right now, one of my prayer requests is that Kiri's knee heals so completely that she will not re-injure it.

When Kiri tells me about the complexity of her knee surgery and how the doctors took part of her hamstring to fashion it into a makeshift ACL, I praise God because she is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Doctors, God bless them, have learned how to cut and suture.
Then they wait for nature (God)  to heal the wound.
But no doctor could create a human body, no matter how much scientific knowledge and advanced technology he or she had.

Only God could fashion a sea dragon, or a human knee!

"For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place;
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in Your book
before one of them came to be. " (Psalm 139: 13-16 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday's (June 12th) Word

Wednesday's Word:
Umbrage, noun
Pronunciation: um-brudge
Definition: offense, sense of slight or injury

Are you skillful enough to use this word in a sentence?

Last week's word was taciturn.
"Judy's talkative nature starkly contrasted with her husband's taciturn ways."

Tuesday's (June 11) Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself 'I have failed three times,' and when he says, 'I am a failure.'"
S. I. Hayakawa, U.S. Senator and sematicist

Monday, June 10, 2013

Road Trips

My daughter and I were discussing travel plans. She and her husband and two daughters are planning to come visit us later this summer.
They'll fly out to Denver. Which is a good idea because their girls are very young and very restless.

On the other hand, I love road trips and always have.
My daughter shudders when I express my love for the open road.
I say there's so much freedom when you're in a car.
You can stop and get out when you feel the need. You can't do that in a plane.
You don't have to sit next to a NRS (not-recently-showered) passenger or listen for hours to a squalling baby.
If you see something of interest, you can pull over to investigate.
I love to see the geography change as the miles unfurl.
I love to race the sun toward the finish line when we're driving west.
I love to read the license plates on cars and make funny words out of them.

Bruce and I keep a travel journal in the car.
When we go on a road trip, I pull it out and log all the interesting things we see and all the restaurants, convenient gas stops, and tourist spots we visit.
We even write about rest stops so we remember which ones are awful, or well cared for, and which ones offer museums or playgrounds or gorgeous vistas.
We time how long it takes to get from Loveland to Casper, or Billings to Bozeman so we know next time.

In Washington state we admired miles and miles of a beautiful yellow crop. Never did find out what it was because the lettering on the sign was too small to read. But I appreciated that Washington farmers post signs to inform passing motorists what the crops are along I-90.

As we drove along the Columbia River I tried to imagine how Lewis and Clark had built makeshift boats to carry them downstream toward the Pacific.

I miss the days when we took our first road trips with our own kids and witnessed their delight in Yellowstone's geysers or viewing bison up close through the car windows.

I suppose that most die-hard road trippers love the process of getting "there."
And most flyers either don't have the time, or would rather skip the stuff along the way.

Like the road trip experiences, I'm learning to enjoy the process of "getting there" in my writing profession,
as well as journeying toward emotional and spiritual maturity.
There are times when I'd like to just get there quickly.
But then I'd miss experiencing hills and valleys, deserts, and beautiful vistas, places of refreshment.
I wonder what Jesus saw and experienced along the way as He traveled the dusty roads of Nazareth?

Are you the get-there-quick type or the enjoy-the-journey type?
Or are you a combination of both?
Leave a comment about your travel preferences.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Flight Delays

My husband dropped me off at Denver International Airport with plenty of time to spare before my flight to San Diego.
That's okay.
An airport is a great place to people-watch.
It also has long stretches of space perfect for walking.
Lots of tourist type stores for browsing.
Book and magazines.
Chairs for lounging.
An uninterrupted time to read my email or ebooks.

After two hours of doing all of these things, the time came to board my flight.
The important people boarded first.
Finally, we peons lined up and shuffled forward, dragging our chains—er, carry-ons.

The airline representative at the gate, who'd spent the last hour intimidating and snapping at anyone who dared to request an upgrade or seat change, now had to pick up her microphone and explain to a hundred and fifty irate passengers that a mechanical malfunction would delay us for an hour.

I sighed and headed down the hall to get another iced coffee.

Later, another unfortunate announcement made us wait an additional two hours.

I really don't like delays.
Who does?

An airport delay is annoying, but at least we know it will usually only last a few hours.

The delays I struggle with are the ones that I know God has to power to stop, but He doesn't.
Why do I have to pray for years and years for a loved one to be healed, or for another come to faith in Jesus?
Why, when I'm praying for a really good thing, does God not answer right away?

(Rhetorical question here, folks! Please do not attempt to answer this question for me.)

A friend once said to me, "God tends to answer prayers at the eleventh hour. He seldom answers prayers before we're played out!"

Who knows what the Lord is doing behind the scenes to make the "rough places plain."
Just like those airline mechanics: I'd like to get going right away, but not at the expense of my and the other passengers' safety.

Would I be safe in the air if the plane was not properly prepared?
Would I be safe if God answered my prayer before I was properly prepared?

Delays always cause me to to have to readjust my expectations.
Not pleasant.
Very inconvenient.

But necessary for me as a child who continues to learn that God can be trusted, even during delays.

"Bessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway." (Proverbs, 8:34 NIV Bible0


Wednesday's (June 5th) Word

Wednesday's Word:

taciturn, adjective
Pronounced: tass-i-turn

Definition: uncommunicative, saying little.

Would you like to try using this word in a sentence?
Leave your sentence in the comment section of my blog.

Last week's word was saccharine.

"The woman's saccharine smile and tone of voice led me to believe that I was the most special of all her boyfriends."

Monday, June 3, 2013

Let Us Love

I'm in San Diego helping my daughter, Kiri, care for her two little girls.
Kiri is a brown belt world champion jiu-jitsu competitor.
I'm so proud of her. She's worked very hard to achieve this dream.

Two years ago she felt something in her knee pop as she competed in the World Championship.
She says her knee felt very unstable, but it never got very inflamed or especially painful.
Then, this past season as she trained for June's World Championship her knee began to bother her a lot.

She saw an orthopedist who sent her in for an MRI.
Sure enough, her ACL was completely torn away from her knee.
Apparently, she'd been competing and training for the past two years with this condition.

So, a couple of weeks after knee surgery to repair the ACL (they took some of her hamstring and fashioned it into a new ACL) she's hobbling around not listening to her husband's advice to use crutches.

Kiri is so used to being physically tough that it's very hard for her to let someone else take care of her.
I'm more than willing to help with most things, but Kiri jumps up and gets to it before I can.
So I'm learning not to wait for her to ask me for help.

My granddaughters are learning that I can be trusted to make them breakfast, get them dressed, and even draw some pretty neat pictures for them to color.

I treasure these few weeks that I can leave memories of me with my granddaughters.
I brought them both luggage tags that look like animals. Kaya's looks like a horse and Kira's is a little green frog. This morning I wrote their names on the tags with indelible marker.
I explained to Kaya, "Now, when you come out to see me and Grandpa, you can attach your luggage tag to your bag and everyone will know who your bag belongs to."

Later in the day, I will drive them all down to Kiri's physical therapist so she can do her strengthening exercises. While she's in treatment, Kaya and Kira will play blocks with me.

I love being a part of my children's and grandchildren's lives.
I also hope that my activities with them will plant some special memories.
I pray that I can build a special bond with my two precious granddaughters.
So that they know that I love them, think about them constantly and that they are being prayed for each day.

I want them to know that, just as I am willing to drop my usual life to come out and spend three weeks with my daughter, that I would do the same for them.

Then, when they are a little bit older they will begin to understand that this is how God operates: that He invests constant care and vigilance for His children, too.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for loves comes from God. " (1st John 4:7 NIV Bible)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hurt Before Healing

The Process of Healing

I had my second round of injections in my back yesterday.
To prepare me, the nurse put in an IV. It took her a couple of tries since my veins are so small.
And even though they now inject a little lidocaine to numb the area where the IV needle goes in, invariably it hurts.
Good thing I'm pretty stoic when it comes to pain.

The door was open to the surgery room, so I spent the next half hour watching the surgery nurse get prepared for my procedure.

She lined up three small stainless steel tables. The sight of them made my toes tingle with apprehension.
 Next, she opened three plastic bags each containing a disposable gray-blue blanket. These were placed over the three tables.

Then she opened scads of plastic-covered disposable needles and dropped them, untouched—yes, I was looking to make sure she didn't handle them—onto the tables.

A few minutes later, they came out and escorted me to the table and told me to lie facedown with my head on one pillow, stomach on another pillow and the last one just below my knees.

"Okay," the surgery nurse said, "here comes the sedation." She injected a clear fluid into my IV line. "And here's the  painkiller."

My lips turned numb, my head swam. Next thing I knew, my face was scrunched into my pillow.

In spite of the painkiller, those needles hurt.
Please God, make these shots count, I prayed silently.
I'm going through a lot of pain to get rid of pain.

It's seldom pleasant to improve one's condition:
  • Getting physically strong after being weak requires a willingness to challenge our bodies
  • Losing weight takes discipline, planning and re-training
  • Learning requires time, focus, discipline and practice
  • Healing from an injury almost always requires a painful surgery, or painful physical therapy
It shouldn't surprise us as Christians that becoming more and more like Christ requires a daily—sometimes painful— choice to deny our natural inclinations in order to choose the way that the Holy Spirit leads.

Healing from emotional or spiritual wounds follows that same path as healing from physical hurts:
  1. You have to recognize the need to get better
  2. You have to desire to get better
  3. You have to start searching for appropriate healing therapies
  4. You have to listen to an expert who can tell you what steps to take toward healing
  5. You have to do what you've been told even when it hurts or takes longer than expected
  6. You have to persevere
  7. After your healing, you bless others by helping them find their own healing.
The road to emotional or spiritual healing is never pleasant.
 It's easier to do nothing,
 or point blame or bitterness at others,
or compare yourself favorably with someone who's much worse off than you are.

But none of these three inactions draws you or I closer to Christ.

We must be willing to experience a little pain and inconvenience for a time...
so that Jesus can claim more and more of us.
(and He won't leave you alone in this quest for wholeness. He'll empower you!)

Perhaps you'd like to read the entire 12th chapter of Hebrews.
Here are verses 12 and 13 of that chapter:
"Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday's (May 29th) Word

Wednesday's Word is:

saccharine, adjective
Pronounced: sack-r-rin or sack-r-een
Definition: 1. an overly sweet countenance or attitude, 2. overly polite

Last week's word was raconteur
Used in a sentence:

"We can always count on Uncle Bob to be the party's raconteur with his funny stories from the old days."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday's (May 28) Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it around. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say, meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it."
(Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jurist)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gardens of Mercy

I had hurt my neck and the doctor told me to "take it real easy" for a few weeks.
Weeks stretched into months and despite physical therapy and pain medications, the spasm in my neck was unrelenting and agonizing.
Spring arrived, but because my neck had not yet healed, I couldn't bend over and work on planting or tending all the plants in my garden. I had always loved working outdoors. The scent of flowers and freshly mowed grass brought sunshine into my heart.

 But now, I felt so helpless and useless. I even needed help taking care of my young children.
Friends from church took turns coming over each day to cook, and clean and tend to my two little boys.

One day, when my loving husband, Bruce, could see how depressed I had become, he said, "Dena, I think you'd feel a lot better if you could fly out to California to see your parents and your brothers and sisters."
A few days later I stepped off the plane in Oakland, California wearing a neck brace and carrying little but my purse and a tiny over-nighter.

The next couple of weeks passed quickly. My parents, in hopes that a little fun would take my mind off my physical misery, arranged visits with aunts, uncles and cousins who all lived in the San Francisco bay area.
It was wonderful to see my relatives, but after my two-week visit I missed my husband and children and my friends.

Even though I still felt very depressed about my painful neck, it felt so good to return home.

Bruce carried my bag upstairs. When I stepped into the Master bedroom, what I saw stirred my heart with delight.
Sitting everywhere were pots of live plants and flowers: miniature rose bushes, geraniums, mums, ivy, ferns, impatiens, lilies, and daisies.
Their gorgeous scents mingled and swept into my nostrils. Tears welled in my eyes as my husband wrapped his arms around me.

Bruce explained that my friends, knowing how sad I'd been that I couldn't work in my garden, had tried to bring me comfort by creating an indoor garden for me.
That afternoon, God seemed to whisper in my ear, "Your friends love you, and so do I."

There is something sublimely healing in the knowledge that you are thought of with love and affection.
Years later, my hearts still warms at the memory of the friendship and concern represented by all of those wonderful plants.
This kind act seems like a small thing. After all, no one donated a kidney, or sent me on a cruise to the Caribbean.
But that my friends knew me well enough to recognize that my soul longed for the beauty of flowers, spoke volumes to my heart.
That evening, as I settled into bed amongst my indoor garden, my pain eased a bit.

(This blog post was written in honor of Wayman Publishing's quest to encourage readers with true stories of how we can bring comfort and healing to the hearts of those we love by little acts of kindness.)

If you buy any of Wayman Publishing's books you will automatically be entered into their sweepstakes. For more information, visit this link:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Learn From the Trout

The other day, as I did my three-times-around circuit of Lily Lake, a ruckus just yards away from the lake made me jerk my head around.
Under the log bridge that is part of the trail, a small stream exits the lake and tumbles down the hill in the direction of Estes Park.


A patch of ice lingered next to a narrow part of the stream. Here, a lucky raven had snagged a small trout and hauled him up and onto the ice.
Seconds later, two other sharp-eyed ravens swooped down to share the take.
Croaks, cackles and screeches ensued.
Apparently no one wanted to share.

Under the deadly onslaught of the three black-plumed sisters, the little trout zipped back and forth across the ice like a hockey puck.
Finally the victor snatched the now mangled fish off to a corner and greedily tore into it.
The losers flapped off and settled to watch in nearby Ponderosa trees, still voicing their outrage.


The most interesting thing about this true-life adventure in the wilderness wasn't what happened on land.
It was the reaction of the other small trout who had witnessed their comrade's tragedy.

They hesitated between the  bridge and narrow icy spot where the other trout had met his fate.
One foolhardy fish made a dash for freedom through the hazardous chute. By now, he's probably gliding with the beavers in Fish Creek somewhere near my house.
Unless an otter got him!

The other little trout appeared to weigh their decision and then opt for safer waters under the bridge.
But even that sheltered spot wasn't entirely safe.
A pair of mallards paddled under the bridge.
The trout instantly dispersed, each making panicked darts around rocks, seeking hiding places.
One of the ducks made a half-hearted dive at a trout. But the fish escaped and zipped back into Lily Lake.

We tend to think fish are pretty stupid. But what I saw that morning at Lily Lake convinced me that they're actually wise little creatures.
  • They witnessed the ramifications of making a foolish decision: death.
  • They backed away and consulted with each other: a wise action.
  • They took shelter behind solid structures when another danger arrived: good judgment
  • They prudently chose to remain in safer waters: they'll live long enough to reproduce!
I wish I was always as wise as a trout.
By the Lord's grace, He has spared me from facing many unpleasant consequences of my foolish decisions.


The behavior of God's creatures can teach us a lot about right living. After all, The Lord has built into each of his birds, fish, and mammals instincts intended to preserve their species. If only we'll observe and apply nature's principles, we may spare ourselves and our loved ones grief!

Let's put this in human terms:

  • When faced with a risky decision—like the stream and the raven—consider what has happened to those who made the same decision.
  • Consult with others, especially those considered wise. ("Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22)
  • When danger lurks, recognize it for what it is and avoid it. ("Flee from sexual immorality." 1st Cor. 6:18)
  • Think about your life not in terms of what pleases you right now, but in terms of what will ultimately provide you the longest, most productive life. ("Be careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:15-16)

"My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you life down, your sleep will be sweet." (Proverbs 3: 21-24 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday's (May 22) Word

Wednesday's Word is:

Raconteur, noun
pronounced: rah-kon-tur
Definition: a teller of interesting anecdotes, a story-teller

Can you use this word in a sentence?

Last week's words was "quail."

"My heart quails when I meet an editor."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's (May 21) Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"He who guards his lips guards his life,
but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Do Look Back!

Years ago I worked as a wilderness camp counselor in California. One of our mentors was a man who'd had training in wilderness survival.
He took us out on walks through the wilderness and instructed us about how to navigate in unfamiliar territory.
One of the the most important points he made was this:
As you make your way through the woods, always look back. That way, if you have to return the same way, the terrain won't seem unfamiliar.

  • Note landmarks that you have just passed. 
  • Make a mental note of how steep the terrain is.
  • When you look back from where you've just come, are you facing north, south, east, west?

Look back. Look back frequently. So you remember the trail.
This excellent advice from my mentor has helped me when I'm hiking up in the backcountry of the Rockies.

The Bible has something to say about looking back, too.

The Lord told the Israelites to remember their days as slaves in Egypt. (Deut. 5:15)
They were to tell their children about what God has done to free them and to provide for them.

The psalmist states: "I will remember the deeds of the Lord....I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds."(Psalm 77)

Jesus has told us to remember His death by taking communion. Whenever I do, I stop focusing on my troubles and remember how wonderful Jesus is, how much He loves me, and how much I love Him.

It is easy to get discouraged. But when I remember all that God has done for me, His answers to my prayers, His protections and provisions over the years...
then my walk with the Lord becomes secure once more.

Look back frequently.
So you remember the trail.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." (Psalm 103:1,2)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Performing With God

This weekend our church choir and orchestra is performing Mozart's Requiem.
The score calls for  soprano, alto, tenor and bass solos and quartets.
I'm the alto soloist, which is quite a thrill since I get to sing with Kara, our marvelous choir director and professional singer, Jeff, one of our extremely talented tenors, and Keith, a bass from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
So last night we had our first rehearsal with the conductor, Arturo, and the orchestra.
I'm a pretty good singer. Used to be really good back in the day. But as I approach my sixtieth...well you know. Doesn't the song go something like this?:  "The old grey goose, she ain't what she used to be!"
However, as I stood with Kara and Jeff and Keith, their glorious voices made me sound better.

That's how Jesus is.
When He is standing with me, I sound better.
I think better.
Love better.
Understand better.

What a privilege, what an honor to partner with Jesus in "making music."
Without Him, our sounds would be rather puny, and the audience would surely hear all our inconsistencies of tone, pitch, vibrato.
But the Lord breathes life into all He has called us to do.
Enables us. Inspires us. Stays close.
His harmonies explain the meaning of our individual lines of music.
Weaving them into a comprehensible whole.

Thank Him every day that He has called you into a relationship  with Him. What a joy it is to be able to accompany Him throughout His day!

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday's (May 15th) Word

Wednesday's Word:

quail, verb
pronounced: kway-l
Definition: to flinch, to be apprehensive with fear.

Can you use this word in a sentence?

Last week's word was: palaver.
Used in a sentence:
"Jane rolled her eyes at her daughter's palaver over the lead singer of the boy band."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday's (May14th) Thought

Tuesday's thought:

"Forget past mistakes.
Forget failures.
Forget everything except what you're going to do now,
and do it."
(Will Durant, historian)

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Guitar is Broken!

A couple of days ago, I had a very satisfying practice on my classical guitar, Aria.
At the end of my practice, I reached over and set her in her guitar stand, and stood to stretch out my sore back.
As I walked past my guitar, my hip lightly bumped the heavy music stand that held a couple of big guitar books from which I'd been sight-reading.
The stand toppled. It should have fallen away from me.
But no. The stand fell straight toward my guitar.
Like one of those movies where the tragic action happens in slow motion, the main character attempts—by running, diving, or springing—to avert the tragedy, all the while mouthing, "Nooooooooo!"
A corner of the stand hit Aria and she fell backward.
I made a dive for her, missed and grimaced in horror as she hit the wood floor.

Maybe she's okay.
Guitars do fall sometimes.
It wasn't a bad fall.
Maybe I'll be lucky. 

I picked Aria up and turned her gently.
Then moaned when I saw the crack.
A big one.
Right along her shoulder.

Bruce heard my moan and came running upstairs.
"What happened?"
"Look!" I cried as I turned the guitar so he could see the crack.
I sank onto my chair, still holding Aria. Tears sprang to my eyes.
(I'm not usually a crier, but this just got to me.)

The next day I took Aria down to Boulder to my favorite Luthiers.
Don examined the guitar.
I held my breath during the suspenseful interval of time.
 When Don finally looked up, he was smiling. "Yep, we can fix her."
I exhaled all the air that had been screaming to get out of my lungs for at least 60 seconds.
"But we probably won't be able to match the wood perfectly."

I didn't care. Just so long as Aria was fixed and ready to make beautiful music again.

Don quoted me a price that seemed reasonable and said it would take about 3 weeks for the repair.
What a relief. Now I'm counting down the days when I can bring my guitar back home.

Aria is a special guitar. Not custom made, but well-made, nonetheless.
With a lovely tone and lots of resonance.
It hurts not to have her close.
Her strings and her sounding board, are an extension of hands and a heart that desire to worship and praise God.
The two of us have spent many hours in the quiet and privacy of my office...
playing and singing,
offering sacrifices of praise,
finding refreshment and encouragement,
and, I believe, pleasing the Lord.

What is your instrument of choice?
Your voice, the piano, drums, tambourine?
Have you ever been separated from music?
How did it feel?

"Praise the Lord.
Praise God in His sanctuary;
praise Him in His mighty heaven.
Praise Him for His acts of power:
praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise Him with the harp and lyre,
praise Him with tambourine and dancing,
praise Him with the strings and flute,
praise Him with the clash of cymbals,
praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord." (Psalm 150 NIV Bible)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tell Her!

My husband has the gift of encouragement.
I'm so grateful to God that He put us together.
Because I need lots of encouragement.
(Of course, my gifts build up my husband, too.)

Years ago I used to come home after a day spent with various women's groups.
I'd tell about all of my conversations and then say something like this:
"So and so sure has a special way of making all the women feel significant."

Then my husband would ask, "Well, did you tell her?"
"Tell her?"
"Yes." my husband would say enthusiastically. "It probably would have made her day to tell her what you were thinking."

Tell a person to their face what wonderful things I was thinking about them?

Now, that's a novel idea!

I wasn't raised in a family where that was done, and I never thought that my words could hold such power.
But the next time I attended another Bible study I made it a point to speak words of encouragement to a woman who demonstrated a gift for listening to others.
When I came home, I told my husband what I'd said to my Bible study friend.

By coincidence, the following Sunday, our friend, Jeff shared that he had been talking to his friend, Greg at the Seminary a couple of weeks earlier. Jeff's friend shared that he had a lot of things to think about concerning his studies and asked Jeff to pray for him. Jeff doesn't remember specifically what he said to Greg to encourage him, but they prayed together.
A few days after their conversation, Greg called Jeff and thanked him for listening to him and encouraging him.
Greg said, "I had already made up my mind to give up my plans to enter the ministry. I felt so overwhelmed and discouraged. But then you told me I had a special gift of caring for others and that I should press on. Jeff, if it hadn't been for you being there and listening to me, I would have given up."

By the time Jeff—a calm, unemotional, intellectual guy— had finished sharing his story with the Sunday School class, tears rolled down his face.
He said, "I never thought a few words coming from me could have the power to change the course of another person's life so dramatically."

Coming on the heels of my husband's nudge to start sharing encouragement with women, Jeff's story left a powerful imprint on my soul.

We may never know what is going on inside another person: the struggles, the discouragement, the fears, the doubts.
But God does.
He wants us to be His instrument to speak blessing into another's life.

When you feel a nudge to speak words of kindness, don't just think about it.
Do it!

"He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious
will have the king for his friend." (Prov. 22:11 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday's (May 8) Word

I apologize for missing last Wednesday's word.
We had a big snowstorm and our power was out that day!

Wednesday's Word is:
palaver, noun
Pronounced: puh-la-ver, with accent on second syllable
Definition: tedious fuss and bother
trouble, red tape, commotion, bother, nonsense, carrying-on

Last week's word was "obdurate."
"I remember some students from year's back because of their obdurate personalities and the challenge I felt to help them learn to be more compliant."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday's (May 7th) Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"My motto was always to keep swinging.
Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field,
the only thing to do was keep swinging."
(Hank Aaron, Baseball player)

Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm Sorry for Hating You

Have you ever talked to someone whose self-concept was worlds apart from how you view him or her?
I have, too.
Then I wonder, if these people view themselves in such a contradictory way, maybe I do that, too.

Years ago when I was in college a friend and I were talking in the student lounge of the conservatory.
"See that girl with the red hair?" my friend asked while pointing at a young woman who was passing through the lounge.
"Yes," I said.  "D'you know her?"
My friend leaned in toward me and whispered, "She thinks you hate her."
"What?!" I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I've always been nice to everybody and would hate to be thought of as a snob or, well, you know.
My friend continued, "She said every time you walk past her in the halls you look so mean."
I stared at the departing red-haired girl. "I don't even know her. How could she think I hate her?"

This conversation with my friend bothered me for days. I simply had to talk to that red-haired girl and straighten things out with her.
I'm happy to say that I found an opportunity to talk to her, and before long we became good friends.
Later, she told me the reason she thought I hated her was that I didn't smile at her in the hallways.
I apologized for not returning her smiles and explained that I tend to be distracted with thoughts of assignments and go right by people, not even seeing them.

I'm a friendly person; really, I am! It's just that my head is in the clouds lots of the time.
I hate that about me: I don't see people even when they're right in front of me.
Classic introvert.
Over the past three decades I've tried to keep myself more in the moment, but I don't always succeed.

It's great when you can recognize an area about yourself that needs—for the sake of better people relationships— improvement.

I'm really glad my friend helped me discover how my distracted, serious expression intimidates people who don't know me well.

I'd like to apologize to all those people I've inadvertently snubbed.
I'm sorry, truly sorry. I'm really not a snob.
When I ignored you, my eyes were turned inward.
My brain was possibly having a conversation with one of my novel characters,
or I was working out a complicated scene.
99.99 % of the time this has nothing to do with how I feel about you.
99.99% of the time I really like you... even love you.

Now that I've confessed my problem, you have my permission to get right in my face the next time I walk right by you with glazed eyes.
Get right up close and shout, "Hey, I'm here. Come out of that introverted brain and notice me!"

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bad Bird!

We're under attack from a wood pecker.
I wish I'd gotten a picture of the little black and white vandal.
He's been pecking on our house for at least a month now.
And such nerve!
When I rush outside and yell, "Bad bird!" at him, he doesn't fly away.
Maybe he's waiting for me to do my crazy dance.
Hopefully the neighbors haven't witnessed me outside, hopping up and down, waving my arms while yelling at my house.

The recent snow makes for great snowballs, but my aim isn't good enough to land a bird-bomb.
Once that melts I'll probably have to buy one of those giant water guns that shoot water about twenty-five feet.

Last year it was those pesky, destructive ground squirrels that made me crazy.
This year, well, I'll most likely have to contact some wildlife expert who can advise me about the best method for repelling woodpeckers.

What amazes me about wildlife is their persistence.
God has programmed into each species what to do to survive and procreate.
And they don't stop doing what they do just because I'm upset about it.

Thursday, 10 AM
Woodpecker: drill that hole.
Me: "Bad bird!"
Woodpecker: drill that hole.
Me: "Get away from my walls!"
Woodpecker: drill, baby, drill.
Me: "Agh!"

Thursday, 10:30 AM
Woodpecker: drill that hole.
Me: "Bad bird!"
Woodpecker: drill that hole.
Me: "Get away from my house, you evil bird!"
Woodpecker: drill, baby, drill.
Me: "God, help me!"

Thursday, 11 AM
You get the drill. (Pardon the pun.)

I suppose I should admire my black and white adversary.
I could take lessons from him in focused persistence.
If I worked at all of my tasks with such stubborn assertion, there's no telling what I could achieve.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's (April 30th) Thought

Tuesday's thought:

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
(Albert Einstein, physicist)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dancing With God

Last night my husband and I attended a dance recital held at my son and daughter-in-law's church.
Our three year old granddaughter danced in one of the first performances.
About ten little girls scampered onto the stage along with our granddaughter, Autumn.
The audience sighed out a collective "ah."
Of course tears welled up in my eyes at the sight of these darling three year olds in their spring green tutus. They looked like little fairies.
As the evening of dances went on, older dancers performed their routines.
The evening culminated with the most advanced dancers.
The dances and the music stirred my soul.
Oh, how I wished I were young again!
To bend and twist, leap and twirl.

I'm learning another kind of dance, though.
Infinitely more stirring and satisfying to the soul:
the dance with God.

There are many references to dancing in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament.
  • King David danced without reserve when the ark of the covenant was finally carried into the city of Jerusalem.
  • Miriam, the prophetess,  older sister of Moses, led the women in dances and songs of worship to God.

I think of myself of the shy wallflower that the handsome and noble Prince notices as I sit on a chair, far from the fun and excitement of the dance.
He approaches me, and I blush that such a great man would even look at me.
And then my heart leaps when He stands before me, extends His hand and says,
"Would you care to dance with me?"
For a second I"m afraid. Will I look like a fool? What if I stumble and fall?
But He takes my hand and gracefully leads me to the dance floor.
Gently, he places his hand on my back and guides me in a waltz.
We twirl and glide, circling the floor, melting in and out of the swirl of other dancers.
I am alive, exulting in the freedom and the sublime beauty of music and the delight of movement.
I feel no inhibition, no uncertainty in my steps; I do not doubt my partner's capability to perfectly lead me in this wonderful dance.
I look up into His face and find Him smiling at me with such joy and affection that I know it was no mistake that He chose me as His partner.
He loves me!

"Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing
and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in His people;
He crown the humble with salvation." (Psalm 149: 1-4 NIV Bible)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eyes Up!

I've been teaching piano for about 35 years.
One thing that's a constant is:
 beginning students do not want to look up at a musical score for fear that their hands will get lost on the keyboard.
Some kids quickly acquire the skill of  looking up at the musical score, then looking down to check where their hands are, then looking back up.
Others struggle.
I had one student recently (('ll call him Jon, not his real name) who, in spite of my constant reminders, kept his eyes glued to whatever his hands were doing.
Sometimes I'd take a large notebook and place it over the keyboard so he couldn't see what his hands were doing. This helped remind him to keep his eyes up on the score.

Just like the student who's trying to build his speed and accuracy on a computer keyboard:
you don't achieve much speed if you continue to if you use the "hunt and peck" method.

Over a two year period, Jon clung to his old, safe, ineffective method of staring at his hands.
Even when he couldn't remember what notes to play.

Me: "Jon, your fingers don't know what to play."
Jon:  staring at his fingers as if waiting for them to think up the correct notes.
Me: "Your fingers are waiting for your brain to tell them what notes to play."
Jon: still staring desperately at his fingers.
Me: "And how does your brain know what to tell your fingers?"
Jon: "Oh, right, I have to look up at the music."
Me: "Right!"

I find myself behaving a lot like Jon at times.
In my life as a Christian, I know very well where to look when I am perplexed or troubled.
But many times, looking upward is the last thing I'll do.
I'll spend way too much time "staring at my hands," as if somehow these brainless appendages can direct me toward the right way to go.
I'm getting better at consulting the Lord, first thing.
But for me, it's still a daily challenge to break the old fleshly habit of trusting my fingers rather than the score.

The crux of my challenge is this:
The new nature that God has birthed in me knows that God knows best.
But my actions prove that I trust my old self a little bit more than I trust Him.
My "fingers" may let me down, but I've known them all my life.
And I'm still in love with my fingers.
It's a scary thing to rely on the new way of reading and following the "score."
But if I want to make music that God has designed, I'd better get my eyes up, away from the old finger method!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight."
(Prov. 3: 5, 6 NIV Bible)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday's (April 24( Word

Wednesday's Word is:

Obdurate: adjective
Pronunciation: ob-dyoor-it, with accent on first syllable

Definition: 1. stubborn, 2. hardened against persuasion or influence

Wanna try to use this in a sentence? I'd love to see what you come up with.

Last week's word was nabob, a wealthy person of influence.

"All I've got to do to get this bill before the American people is to call a couple of the nabobs in my address book."

Tuesday's (April 23) Thought

Tuesday's Thought:

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games; 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed."
Michael Jordan, Basketball player

Monday, April 22, 2013

When God Delays

During Sunday School, a friend shared about her son's challenges in graduate school.
I shared about my constant battle to give the Lord the reins on my life, especially concerning how long it is taking to find a publisher for one of my books.
Another friend talked about her struggle to understand God's will when her grandchild died suddenly.

Everyone of us expressed our ultimate trust in God and our submission to His will.
But our humanity cries out for the "why"s of our individual tragedies or injustices.

I said, "My fleshly eyes want to see the reasons behind God's delays to my prayers, or his "no"s.

But, scripture says:
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for." (Heb. 10:38)

And this is not a blind faith. A stupid, ignorant faith that says, "don't worry, be happy."
No, this is a faith based on:
  •  the reliability of scripture,
  •  the faithfulness of God,
  •  the testimony of hundreds who witnessed His death and resurrection, 
  • the faithful testimony of Jesus's disciples,
  • the writings of secular historians who were Jesus's contemporaries, 
  • two centuries of evidence of the power of God to transform lives,
  • fulfillment of prophecies,
  • archeological evidence,
  • and our personal experience of the work of the Holy Spirit within ourselves and those we love.

When we cannot understand God's answers or why He delays in answering a godly prayer, we cannot say that:
God is not good.
No, we already know that God is good and is never not good. (James 1:16)
We cannot say that God doesn't care.
We know that He cares for us, not only because His Son died for us, but because His word says repeatedly how He loves us. (1 Pet. 5:7)
We cannot say that God doesn't know best.
We know that the infinite, omniscient, Alpha and Omega, Ancient of Days, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the One not bound by time, Who always has been and always will be...
has more than just an inkling about our circumstances! (Rev. 21)

Every morning the battle begins anew. My heart and my mind begin to question and get upset about the things that I've earnestly prayed about.
"Why, God? The things that I'm asking for are such good things?
Yes, I know that you want me to learn to trust you.
Yes, I know that the work of the Spirit is to transform me.
Yes, I know that I am to live by faith and not by sight.
Yes, it is possible that you are preparing the way for others involved in my prayer,
But... "

Then I sigh, and lift my hands up toward heaven to release my prayer burdens.

For I know that when God does answer, it will be on His terms, way better than I could ask or imagine, and will be by His provision, not by anything I have done, and will be for His glory, not mine. (Gideon in the book of Judges—chapters 6 and 7— is a great example of this.)

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5: 16)

(All scripture verses are taken from the NIV Bible)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sittin' on the Shelf

Years ago, as a young wife and mother, and a baby in the Christian faith, I got super involved in our church.
I was there just about every day.
Prayer ministry,
bible studies,
children's ministry,
a touring singer,
a teacher and mentor,
partnering with my husband to lead a Young Married Sunday School class,
regularly entertaining friends and new church attenders.

When I look at my journals from that period I see a common thread of thought:
I had to do it all.
Notice the focus on self.

It wasn't that my faith was not genuine.
It was.

But I think my understanding of "works" was incomplete.
I knew God loved me.
But I also felt that somehow God would love me and value me more if I kept busy in His house.

Then I hurt my neck and was laid up for months.
I felt as if God had simply stored me in a dark coat closet.
There I sat, despondently watching a slim light at the bottom of the door while the world of church ministry went on without me.

How I struggled with not being involved.
I felt so useless.
That's when I discovered an unpleasant truth about myself:
I wasn't convinced of God's love for me. I felt I had to "work" for His love.

My earthly experience of feeling devalued as a child and needing to work for my parents' love and respect had colored my faith in Christ.

Fortunately, the Lord intervened in a miraculous way and communicated His great love for me.

I sometimes wonder how great it would be if every busy server in the church were to be put on a shelf for a period of time.
It's a great way to reevaluate what you truly think about your value and significance in God's kingdom.

Have you ever been "put on a shelf?"
Did God teach you valuable lessons while you were in a condition of "uselessness?"

Here are some of the truths God showed me during my period of convalescence:

"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you." (Heb. 13:5)

"For You created my inmost being;
 You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:13,14)

"...the Lord disciplines those He loves
as a father the son he delights in." (Proverbs 3:12)

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Eph, 3:18,19 )

I needed my time on the shelf. It was painful, but enlightening.
The Lord showed His faithfulness, His sweetness, and His goodness during this time.
And I fell more deeply in love with Him.

(All scripture verses come from the NIV Bible)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday's (April 17) Word

Today's word is:

nabob, noun
Pronounced: nay-bob, with accent on first syllable.
Definition: a wealthy person of influence

Have you ever used this word before?

Last week's word was:
elaborately cunning, scheming, unscrupulous

Used in a sentence:
"The senator's machiavellian plot to discredit his opponent was overheard in the men's restroom."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's (April16) thought

Tuesday's thought:

"Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person."
R. Buckminster Fuller, philosopher

Monday, April 15, 2013

He's Not Like the Weather

Colorado weather is notoriously changeable.
Up here in Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, seasoned hikers know to pack for all types of weather conditions.
Years ago Bruce and I and our three kids took a hike in Roosevelt National Forest. The day was sunny and warm. Not a cloud in the sky.
We didn't know about Colorado weather then, having recently moved from New York.
In the middle of our hike, clouds swiftly rolled in, drops of rain smacked our heads.
Soon thunder crashed overhead and lightning zipped alarmingly close.
Within minutes we were all completely soaked. None of us had brought jackets.
We ran the two miles back to our car, dodging lightning strikes the whole way.
Once safely inside our minivan, I said to my husband, "From now on, we never step onto a hiking trail without some kind of jacket and head covering."

Now that we've lived in Colorado for many years we know that the weather out here is treacherous.
I harbor ambivalent feelings toward our weather people. They seldom get it right.
If they forecast a big snow storm (like last week), then we get a dusting.
If they say it's going to be sunny and warm, you can bet that we'll get snow.
Last year we lost a brand new table umbrella to an unexpected bluster from the west.
The thing snapped in the sudden wind and flew several houses away.

One thing you can count on: you can't count on the weather!

Because of the unpredictable weather it's hard to plan social or sporting events.
You don't know what you're going to get.

Aren't you glad that God isn't like Colorado weather?
Isn't it great that with God you always know what you'll get?

If you cry out to Him for mercy, then mercy is what you'll get. (Psalm 28:6)
If you confess wrong-doing, He will forgive and restore. (1 John 1:9)
If you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

He doesn't change.
He is not capricious: sometimes happy to see you and in a good mood.
Other times in a bad mood and anti-social.

Nope. God is the same.
He always loves you.
Always wants what's best.
He's not testy or moody.
He's always holy.
Always keeps His promises.
Never abandons His children.

What a God!

I guess that's why so many believers in the Bible have referred to Him as their solid, immovable "Rock."
"He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He." (Deut. 32: 4)

The weather in Colorado may change, but you can count on the unchangeable-ness of the Lord.

"I the Lord do not change." (Mal. 3:6)

You may be down one day, and upbeat the next.
Not God.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17 NIV Bible)

Praise the Lord He's not like Colorado weather!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Get Ready For The Tickle-Man!

When we were just little kids, my dad occasionally displayed his more playful side.
This usually involved chasing each of us down, then tickling us till we howled for mercy.
It went like this:
Dad would lunge for the oldest kid, Jay. (There were five of us.)
The rest of us would stand and watch him get dumped onto the couch and tickled.
Jay, being the oldest, and being so dignified usually only got a few seconds of tickle time.
Then it was Lee's turn. She'd make a half-hearted attempt to flee, but Daddy would catch her and give her the same treatment.
Then on to Lori, who had been watching Lee's tickle torture. Lori was obviously enjoying herself immensely.
My twin, Royce, got an extended time of tickles. Probably because he would spring away and make my dad work extra hard to catch him.
Last, I got the tickle torture.
Mine was the worst, of course, because I had to witness four people ahead of me.
The fearful expectation of tickling made me breathless. I could run fast as a small child, so my dad had to chase me down the neighborhood block until I couldn't catch my breath anymore. Laughing hard, he'd seize me, sling me over his shoulder and carry me home like a sack of potatoes.

A fun memory.
But I wonder why none of us bright children thought to hide ourselves while one of the others was getting tickled?
Maybe we thought we didn't have the right to absent ourselves from the tickle game.
We were all very obedient and compliant children...
even when we knew we were doomed by our lack of action.

Still, it seems strange that all five of us stood by, witnessing the "torture" of our brothers and sisters and did nothing to elude the calamity which was soon to follow.

Sometimes, I suspect, it's not always good to unquestioningly accept our fate.
As adults, we need to take action to ensure our safety at the first hint of danger.
Not when it has already arrived:

  • If it is building a nest egg, start now, not later.
  • If it is getting out of debt, start today.
  • If you have just had a baby, start today to lead him/her to Christ. Not when they're older.
  • If it is repairing a relationship, don't wait till the damage is irreparable.
  • If it is fixing something broken in the house, don't wait till it costs thousands. Fix it now.
  • If it is giving to a charity, or getting involved in a ministry, and you've been thinking about it for years, what are you waiting for?
  • If it is taking action to protect your children from a bad influence, act now. Don't wait to see how things go.

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action..."  (1 Pet. 1:13 NIB Bible)