Tag Archives: christian blog

HAVE YOU MET WITH JESUS AT THE WELL?

well imageThe Samaritan woman? You know, the one from the Jesus at the well story? We could be great friends. I picture us meeting at Starbucks…

Hurried, face flushed, she places her Venti nonfat caramel macchiato on the table where I’ve been waiting, wondering why she’s late.

“You’ll never guess what happened to me this morning,” she’d say. “I met a man who knew everything about me. I can’t explain it. He knew the details of my past and present without me saying a word. He spoke and I walked away changed.”

“Yes, I know Who you’re talking about. I know Him too,” I’d say.
We’d be great friends. And boy, would we have some stories to swap. Yes, indeed. No, not the bourgeois ugly stories of our past. Why bore each other with those? Instead, we would share that glorious encounter with Jesus.  Like how she felt when Jesus spoke and asked her for a drink. A lowly woman, Samaritan at that. Not worthy to be near this man at the well, let alone serve Him a drink. Then, this stranger engages conversation revealing that He knows … her darkest secrets.
So similar is my encounter with Jesus. Alone, ashamed and broken. He beckons for me to approach. He points to a mirror reflecting all, even what no one else could know. Shifting my eyes from the mirror to Jesus, I stand awaiting shame, condemnation, certain death by smite. Instead in His eyes, I see something unfamiliar, new and life giving. I see GRACE.
If He had not revealed the soiled reflection in the mirror, would His love have worth? If He loved me only because He did not really know me, would that love matter? The power of my grace encounter comes from knowing that even with secrets revealed, He loves me. He silenced the nagging, gnawing words in my head that scream “you are unlovable!”
Like the woman at the well, I’m told to go and sin no more. And like her, my heart’s desire is to do as He says. Will I succeed? Yes, sometimes. Will I fail, yes, too often. But, when I do, Jesus will be there, at the well, asking for a drink. My prayer is that I will always be willing to serve Him, whatever He may ask of me. My gratitude for His Grace is undying.

 

John 4
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

TMI – TOO MUCH Information – Writing About S E X

bed2

Confession: I’m writing this blog because I can’t face the blinking cursor on the screen today. You see, I’m at the scene in my book “In Spite of Us,” when that three letter word… S E X… needs to be addressed. Blink… blink… blink.

I’m the Mom whom, when two neighbor dogs presented a perfect opportunity to talk to my children about… S… E… X… well… I choked, telling them a silly story about the doggie dance. Focus successfully diverted, we searched the car radio finding the perfect song to accompany their dance.

Fast forward years later? I still avoid the subject. At least, this time I have a legitimate concern. You see, I’m writing about two people before they knew God. A couple stumbling in the dark, clueless. Who are they? They’re not strangers or make believe characters in my head…

That couple is … us.

Keep in mind, I grew up with images of married couples like Lucy and Desi pecking a kiss on the cheek before retiring to their twin beds decked in matching chenille spreads. Both wearing more armor than a roman solider… her in the full boudoir attire – duster, nightgown, feather puff slippers, night cap and he all buttoned up in pajamas, robe, and slippers. It’s the picture our parents attempted to plant, unknowing that a sexual revolution would blow in with the sixties not only stripping off dusters and slippers, but leaving us without our bras for support.

Stop! I see you rolling your eyes… (especially my single friends). You know where I’m going with this and you’re right. Yes, If I had it to do over, I would honor the marriage bed today. Stop it… you rolled your eyes again. I know it sounds like I just downed a triple cheese burger, fries and large shake and now while bursting full, I’m claiming I would choose to abstain.

A little background… 

Thank You God that I’m not the same person I used to be. Time was when I thought God was some jerk in the sky hovering with his giant rule book waiting to smite people who wouldn’t obey. All this fuss while ignoring that people were hurting all over the world. So, I plugged my ears, froze my heart and turned my back on a nit-picking God of legalism.

But He didn’t turn His back on me. He stayed. Massaging my heart. Whispering… a truth. Revealing a lie. Never leaving me. Returning my scolding hand to His face with open, welcoming arms of Grace… for years… plus more.

Mind boggling transformation and brain renewal take time. It’s a process. Today I love God’s book of rules. I no longer picture a mean old rule mogul waiting to pluck the wings from helpless victims. Instead, I see a doting Father who wants His beloved children to receive the blessings that come when His loving and supernaturally thought out commands are followed.

Staring at the blinking cursor I’m still a little tempted to write my story all spiffed up and Christianized. But it wouldn’t be true. And worse? It would dilute the magnificence, the wonder, the super-sized power of His miracle. If the sins of our ancestors like King David and Bathsheba, were omitted so as to keep the story G-rated, the Bible would be a thin, trite paperback story rather than the Greatest Story Ever Told.

So, with God’s help, I will conquer the blank screen.

Note to our children… we apologize for the TMI and the PDA in this blog.

Note to our grandchildren… we were just dancing.

New Blog Name – “In Spite of Us”

ynAWarning … I’ve decided to walk the tightrope without the net. I’ve made some changes to the blog and I want you to know what to expect.
The main change is the name, “IN SPITE OF US,” after the book I am writing – one keyboard click at a time. Other than that, I will continue to post the same random stories but occasionally will share excerpts from the book or reflect on the agony of the writing experience.
“In Spite of Us,” is a book in progress about a completely unremarkable couple, doomed to DEATH by stupid choices. Two people coerced into a blind date, attraction acknowledged along with RED FLAGS waving. Yet, they continue… a stiletto heel and a biker boot… limping along with clashing lifestyles, heading toward a mass grave, overflowing with hopeless relationships. earsB

 

listenAtapeA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A double memoir told through the opposing voices of myself and my husband, TESTIFYING TO GOD’S GREAT LOVE. A God who never gave up on us.

smokeBdrinkA
My heart for the blog is to show that although my walk today may outwardly appear to be simple and ordinary, it is in Spirit, truly remarkable with His miracles around every corner. Yes, I still question and unfortunately whine with the best of the Israelites, but hopefully, before the Amen is spoken, Praise His Holy name.

 

prayAMy prayer is that the book and blog give glory to His deeds, lighting a path of hope for others, who may feel undeserving, as I once did and still do, without a huge daily dose of His Grace and Mercy.
I hope you enjoy the changes and keep following as I wrap my toes around that tightrope and reveal my heart. togetherB

SEIZE THE SUN – A Seattle Mantra

bikini2

You learn to seize sunshine in Seattle. As a teen in the late 1960’s, if the clouds parted and the temperature peaked 60 degrees, my newly licensed friend and I slipped bikinis over goose bump skin and cruised the lake.

In my mind’s eye, we circled Lake Tapps, in a yellow Corvette Stingray, hair sailing behind us, voluminous breasts overflowing our string bikini cups, every head turning our way. Reality recalls a sluggish Renault Gordini, empty bikini cups and a red headed, freckled little brother in the back seat, beaming a victory smile from the moment Mom said he could tag along.

Four decades later, living on the God blessed eastern side of Washington state, I still practice my Puget Sound training, seizing golden orb moments. Bikini days are gone, but I get a thrill knowing I don’t have to wear socks for several months and my car radio still blasts 60’s tunes.

Other defining summer moments remain, like barbecues, popsicles, hissing sprinklers and welcome evenings with lingering light. I even appreciate the sweaty nights in our two story air condition-less house and the pesky yellow jackets dive bombing my grilled burger.

Besides, summer mostly brings pleasantries. I even have pardon for wearing wide brim straw hats with big silk flowers, claiming, I need to protect my skin. The same skin I abused, days past, hat-less and nearly naked.

I certainly don’t usher in the season solo. The ratio of “howdies” and smiles is ten fold, strolling the streets in the summer, versus a gray drizzly winter day. Soon enough, we’ll be inside, noses pressed to windows summoning subliminal orders for the icicles to “DRIP AND DIE ALREADY!”

So, while it lasts, until my toes turn blue, I’m swearing off socks, parkas with hoods and mittens. I will embrace our Creator’s colorful, aromatic, fresh serving of summer with gratitude.

lake tappsLake Tapps

A DYSLEXIC VIEW OF GOD’S LOVE – A Tribute to our Loving Dog

He packed 110 pounds with broad shoulders, sharp teeth and Herculean strength, yet his ferocity showed only through his ability to love. This week, we said good bye to our big ole yellow lab, Gabriel, like the angel.gabe at work

As I mope around our big old creaky house, missing my shadow, I think how life slips away quickly, especially for our dog friends. Maybe that’s why they love so intensely. Would we love each other better if we knew time were more urgent?

I can even say he reflected all the traits we are called to carry – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and even self-control. Okay, sometimes he had trouble with self-control but only when provoked by pesky cats or chipmunks, or tempted with food.

I strive to love ALL people. Gabe loved freely. No matter who you were. You could stink like sweaty socks or week old garbage … oh wait, he liked that. But, you get the point. He loved everyone, even those who refused to share their food.
He was glad to see you if he was tired and even managed a tail wag when he was in pain. When we would yell and treat each other poorly, he would courageously nuzzle his nose under our hands. His big brown eyes begged for us to stop and forgive each other.

Gabe was somewhat of a local celebrity in Ellensburg, where he worked as the official greeter in our antiques store for more than eight years. He took his job quite seriously, strutting in his tie, like a peacock. He was a great employee and an effective advertisement, as customers returned wanting to see the big yellow dog, who greeted them at the door for a treat and a tummy rub.

I realize it doesn’t sound very Christian-like to say that my dog knew how to love others better than I do, but what can I say? It’s true. I will keep working on it.
To be loved by such a creature is a wonderful gift. God’s love is present in all His creations.

Gabe Aug. 2001 – April 2014

DÉ•JÀ VU THE SINS OF OUR FATHERS

blog6image2

I want to write something fun and light. A bandaid for my heart as well as yours. Problem is, when I ignore my heart it beats the crap out of me, pounding until… I GIVE.

So, go ahead heart, blab away.

One day I was watching my Mom iron a fussy, starched white blouse with a bow. Walking away, she says, “Don’t touch the iron, it’s hot.” The pain I felt testing her warning by placing my hand flat on the iron is my earliest childhood memory. OUCH!

After that, albeit not the brightest child, but with potential, I trusted that irons were HOT. Life provides unlimited lessons. I picture God shaking His head, like the good Father He is, cringing as I take an inevitable life-slap, directly after an I-KNEW-BETTER choice.

Truth is, sitting with my Father, discussing my rebellious nature and knack for selective hearing is often bittersweet. A time of intimacy snuggled next to our Heavenly Father, lapping up His mercy and grace like a rain-soaked kitten in front of the fire.

BUT…

When my children place their tiny hand on the hot iron? It seers my heart.

Even worse? When their adult choices go beyond a dollop of Aloe Vera cream and a scolding… it’s unbearable. That sense of dé•jà vu haunts while ghosts from the past point accusing fingers at not only my choices, but those of my ancestors. I smell the aroma from our historical family recipe, peppered with substance abuse, spiced with unresolved anger.

I’ve stared into this murky pool before. It’s behind me… beside me… and now… it’s in front of me, staring back through the eyes of my children. A family portrait in a gilded frame, eyes forward, posing behind smiling masks.

A tired script – been there – done that. A story written, told, shredded and burned. A noxious weed, pulled, and tossed only to sprout again, not in my neighbor’s lawn, but my children’s yard. A nasty bug, swatted, smashed, killed, and yet… it lives.

What can I do? I’m a Mom. Mom’s do… incapable of idleness.

Back on my Heavenly Father’s lap. Only this time we discuss my children’s choices. With no condemnation, He stirs the murky pool of my past mistakes with His finger. He comforts me while I spit pellets of but… but… but…

In the pool I see a brittle, cold, dying heart. It’s my heart. Or, it was mine, before He softened it. As He continues to stir the pool, four letters swirl to the top –

H –O – P – E

DÉ•JÀ VU THE SINS OF OUR FATHERS

blog6image2

I want to write something fun and light. A bandaid for my heart as well as yours. Problem is, when I ignore my heart it beats the crap out of me, pounding until… I GIVE.

So, go ahead heart, blab away.

One day I was watching my Mom iron a fussy, starched white blouse with a bow. Walking away, she says, “Don’t touch the iron, it’s hot.” The pain I felt testing her warning by placing my hand flat on the iron is my earliest childhood memory. OUCH!

After that, albeit not the brightest child, but with potential, I trusted that irons were HOT. Life provides unlimited lessons. I picture God shaking His head, like the good Father He is, cringing as I take an inevitable life-slap, directly after an I-KNEW-BETTER choice.

Truth is, sitting with my Father, discussing my rebellious nature and knack for selective hearing is often bittersweet. A time of intimacy snuggled next to our Heavenly Father, lapping up His mercy and grace like a rain-soaked kitten in front of the fire.

BUT…

When my children place their tiny hand on the hot iron? It seers my heart.

Even worse? When their adult choices go beyond a dollop of Aloe Vera cream and a scolding… it’s unbearable. That sense of dé•jà vu haunts while ghosts from the past point accusing fingers at not only my choices, but those of my ancestors. I smell the aroma from our historical family recipe, peppered with substance abuse, spiced with unresolved anger.

I’ve stared into this murky pool before. It’s behind me… beside me… and now… it’s in front of me, staring back through the eyes of my children. A family portrait in a gilded frame, eyes forward, posing behind smiling masks.

A tired script – been there – done that. A story written, told, shredded and burned. A noxious weed, pulled, and tossed only to sprout again, not in my neighbor’s lawn, but my children’s yard. A nasty bug, swatted, smashed, killed, and yet… it lives.

What can I do? I’m a Mom. Mom’s do… incapable of idleness.

Back on my Heavenly Father’s lap. Only this time we discuss my children’s choices. With no condemnation, He stirs the murky pool of my past mistakes with His finger. He comforts me while I spit pellets of but… but… but…

In the pool I see a brittle, cold, dying heart. It’s my heart. Or, it was mine, before He softened it. As He continues to stir the pool, four letters swirl to the top –

H –O – P – E

TOP TEN LIST – WHY I LOVE MY HUSBAND

Loved by many ...
Loved by many

As a single mom, divorced, bitter and broken, I made a list of “MUST HAVES,” vowing to flee from any man who couldn’t swear by them all. Thank God, I broke that promise.

Today, after 22 years of marriage, I celebrate Valentines Day, grateful for the Godly characteristics my Father in heaven instilled in my husband – most of which never made my original list of qualifications.

Here is my TOP TEN list today.  My prayer is for all, single or not,  to realize the wondrous plan God has for your life. I know the best is yet to come.

10. I love the way he loves his daughters. He speaks sweetly of them. Respects  who they are. It’s truly beautiful.
9. He brings me a cup of hot tea when I’m sick.
8. He treats other women like sisters, moms, friends. He shows them respect and genuine brotherly love.
7. He reads the Bible, hungry for more of God, eager for righteousness.
6. He prays.
5. He listens, even when I’m whining.
4. He loves my daughter and son and he is the best co-grandparent imaginable.
3. He cries. He weeps. He sobs. He laughs.
2. He loves me.
1. He loves God more than me.  By putting God first, he keeps our life  ship afloat.

The point is – give God a stab at choosing what’s best, you might just find out that He knows you better than you know yourself.

Go here to read the top ten Bible scriptures on love. heartbeat2

http://voices.yahoo.com/10-inspirational-bible-verses-love-3332686.html

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE BEST CASE SCENARIO?

Mrpotatoehead2The Naked Truth About Mr. Potato Head

No one ever asks me twice – “What’s the worst that could happen?”

     BE PREPARED became my childhood mantra, on a family trip to Yosemite Park in 1960. Showers were number one on the to-do list, after traveling three days in our new Aristrocat trailer. We had a quart size pickle jar filled with change – quarters, nickels, pennies and  … DIMES.

“No use wasting money… C’mon little Debbie,” said Grandma, prying my fingers off the doorjamb. She snags two towels and my new yellow flip flops with one hand, while the other locks onto mine, towing me down a dirt path to a dank building with a plank board sign reading, “SHOWERS 10 CENTS.” Inside, four cement stalls line the walls, each with a coin slot just like the mechanical pony outside of Woolworth’s Drug store back home.

Naked, as ordered, I keep my eyes fixed on Grandma’s crooked toes. The dime clinks into the slot, warm water relaxes my mind, curiosity slips in. Naked is not natural in our family, so nude to me is like the cartoon version of Porky Pig – pink, smooth, no hair. Nothing in my seasoned eight years prepared me for Grandma’s immense, pendulous breasts framing her round, protruding belly above a black furry patch staring back at me like an evil Mr. Potato Head.

Right then, I vowed – ALWAYS CARRY A DIME IN MY POCKET!

Adopting a “dime in my pocket” mind set can save the day. Heck, even the Boy Scouts pitch – BE PREPARED. My question is this – In preparing for the worst, do I also anticipate for the best?

I wonder how different my days would be if I packed my bags for BEST CASE SCENARIOS.  Am I prepared for the best thing that could happen? Do I watch for miracles? … Or just potential disasters.

What if the next time there’s a knock at the door, I fling it open in expectation of His wonder, grace and mercy? What if I remove worry, fretting and anxiety from my daily luggage and replace it with hope and expectations of His wonder?

Are you peeking around the corner ready for the biggest miracle yet?

Mathew 6: 25-34 NIV

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

STAR DUST FROM OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

momblog
Mom

One tear sways a stream, as the perpetual Seattle mist merges into a downpour.  I pull off  Highway 412, just past Greenwater, feeding  a CD to the slot. A doe and her fawn remain close by under an umbrella of pines, even after I open the windows to share Nat King Cole singing my Mom’s favorite song, “Star Dust.”  The hyper-alert doe keeps watch. As the rain sprays through the window, mixing with my tears, I say goodbye to my Mom.

Januarys end with her birthday, and this month more than any, she is on my mind. She left memories all over the place, like a child scattering toys around for the rest of us to trip over. The slightest tickle from any sense – an image, a voice, an aroma. A whiff of southern fried chicken and she’s before me wearing a crinoline apron in high heels, laughing at Dad, impatiently waiting on a drumstick.

That surreal, misty fog of a “say goodbye day,” married two polar feelings – pain and joy. Earlier that day, the doctor flipped the switch from on to off, as my sister and I kept vigil, witnesses to the air-brake hiss of the machines last breath.

The doctor said it might be hours, or even days before she passed. I don’t know how either of us would have remained standing had we not had our belief in a loving God. Even so, we were reduced from grown women to helpless, lost, scared children. Months of prayers, hand holding, tear dabbing. Hours of Bible reading to a silent Mom whose eyes never open. We have faith, but right now, it resembles that nagging mustard seed. Sisters wanting to be strong for each other, we keep our desperate prayer a secret – the one begging God to let us know that our Mommy will be okay.

A cup of  tea might stop the clock, at least for a moment. Shaken, we start down the hall toward the cafeteria when we realize we’ve both forgotten our purses back in the room. We opened the door to find Mom, smiling… eyes, not only open but seeking. Instinctively we turn, looking for what she sees. Our eyes fail to see more than a white wall, but through her eyes… joyous anticipation – promises fulfilled  – kingdom majesty.

Moments later, she stopped breathing and left the room. A lights out feeling… yet, there we stood, my sister and I, smiling, giggling, rejoicing. Oh, what a loving God indeed.

Enjoy listening to Star Dust at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjU6ZjrQulc

STAR DUST LYRICS

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that were apart

You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
A paradise where roses bloom
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love’s refrain