Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Lump of Clay!

Hello precious one. This picture reminds me of a time when life was "normal". Our 4 youngest sons went with us to New Mexico for an exciting week of family camp at the ultimate Boy Scout camp, Philmont.

While everyone else was doing scout "stuff" I got to attend several different classes of my own. One of those classes was learning how to "throw" a pot. Pottery was fascinating to me. I could not wait to try my hand at shaping a pot. You have to throw the clay onto the wheel. Sure wish I could remember why but all I know is that you could not just place it on the wheel. Then with the wheel moving I had to keep my hands on it trying to mold it as it went round and round. It sure wasn't easy. In the hands of a master potter it looks effortless but I can attest to the fact that for a rookie the pot sure didn't look quite right!

I was reminded earlier this week that my life is like that clay on the wheel going round and round. God truly is the Master Potter and desperately wants me to allow Him to mold me. If I go by how I feel I sure don't "feel" like he is actively involved in molding me. I feel the silence more than anything.

What do you do when all you hear is silence? Perhaps my prayers are just bouncing off the wall? Perhaps God's face has turned away? Every now and then the doubts creeps in. Sometimes I feel like I could write a Psalms like David did. How long oh LORD will you wait to deliver us?

I have no clue why we are facing the giants we are facing. We have come to realize that our biggest fear which is losing mental capacity is coming true for us. How can a brilliant mind like my husbands be so compromised? How can someone in his 50's face that on top of everything else? How can I as his wife protect his dignity with balancing his freedoms?

I would have never guessed in a million years that we would be in this place, but here we are. All I know to do is seek the wisdom of those who have gone down this path before and adjust as we learn more. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will be faithful to the end. Even when we don't "feel" like God is listening we know that He loves us and will never forsake us. For now that has to be enough.

Enough. I will rest in that enough is enough. I will praise Him that the God of the Universe is molding and shaping me even in the silence.
How are you doing? What do you do in the silence?

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gratituesday February 28

Good morning precious one. I bet you thought I had left the planet! Last week I posted that I was heading out for a little R&R with my sister Robin. As I left for the airport that morning the snow started rather unexpectedly . At one point it looked like we were going to have a blizzard. I was so excited to be leaving the snow and heading to warmer weather.

When I landed my sister picked me up in a Mini Cooper with the top down! To be honest I had never heard of the car but it was just like my sister, cute and sassy! I marveled at the blue blue skies, the palm trees, the green grass and best of all, flowers. Everywhere we went there were flowers in the ground. It was so weird to see flowers blooming in the dead of winter.

I spent 2 amazing days with my sister. We sat out by her pool, we soaked in the sun, we talked and we talked and we talked some more. And yes, we exercised our livers! We went to the gym both days and worked out. We also went on a Segway tour. Now I had seen these contraptions in New York city being used by police officers. It never once occurred to me that they would be difficult to manage. Let me just say I was wrong!

These machines only stay upright if you balance on them. It is all in the toes and heels. The more our tour guide talked about safety and how to actually use one the more I was scared. Of course she saw my face and at the end of our instructions she pointed to me and said I was the first one to get on since I looked petrified. How can such a simple machine be so hard to manage? It took me quite a while but I finally figured it out. Once I did it was so much fun. What a great toy!

I came home refreshed. Two days of beautiful weather, wonderful sister bonding time and stress free living made a great getaway. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to go. A special thanks to our folks who cared for Rich while I was gone and a special thanks to my brother in law who supplied the buddy pass so I could come.

Thank you God for reminding me that there is still beauty in our world and to give me a little taste of heaven!
In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gratituesday February 21st

This is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

In just a few short hours I am jumping on a plane and heading to sunny Arizona for a little R&R with my sister Robin. This is the sister that taught me about the importance of exercising your liver. Yep, I bet you didn't know it's important to exercise your liver? Each and every day I have been told. What, you don't even know how to exercise your liver? Are you kidding me? There is only one way and that is through laughter. Not the little chuckle here and there but the deep belly laughs that tickle your toes laugh. Laughter keeps your liver healthy, honest!

So, now that you know please find some laughter today. Let your joy be in the LORD and share a laugh with someone on Gratituesday.
Till next time.
In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, February 20, 2012

Walking Out Their Faith

Happy Monday morning. Time to get up and start the new week. I have spent the past week on the issues surrounding abortion. Today I would like to finish up by sharing with you some great news and valuable resources for those who continue to suffer in silence.

There is a group of 39 young women who have all been impacted by the devastating affects of abortion. They are going to start a walk on the steps of the largest abortion clinic in the United States, Houston Texas. From there they will spend the next 21 days walking to the courthouse where Roe v. Wade started in Dallas. Along the way each of the young women will share their testimony by live web cam on their website. The walk starts on March 17th and will end on Good Friday April 6th.

Dr. Alveda King is the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. This is what she said recently, "So many women from so many walks fo life are coming together to cry our to the heart of God and speak out to a nation. It will bring young and old together in healing and restoration, uniting all women and every ethnic group to fight abortion."

All of this reminds me of one of my favorite passages in scripture.

God of All Comfort

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Cor 1:3-5 (ESV)

God is the God of comfort. We are challenged to live out our faith by taking the comfort God has given us and turning around and offering the same comfort to those we come in contact with. Never, ever be afraid my precious sister in Christ. God will wipe away every tear and make all things new.
I hope this series has opened your eyes to the plight of so many women and babies. May God give us a heart of compassion and the courage to stand up and be a voice for those too tiny to speak for themselves.

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


There are not too many words that bring a huge sigh of relief like the word, you are forgiven. When you have carried a burden for so many years and finally bring the heavy burden to the cross Jesus whispers, you are forgiven.

Remember the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11?
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

John 8:7-11 (ESV)

By all "rights" this woman could have been stoned to death. It is what she "deserved" after all! However, Jesus refused to join the mob. He was modeling a new way of treating people. Precious forgiveness for all those who ask. With a heart bowed low he brings forgiveness. That forgiveness extends to you and I sweet sister.

Are you carrying the burden of abortion? The message is, you are not alone. That burden can be taken away at the foot of the cross. Jesus makes all things new. You can walk away restored. That is the best news of all.

There are organizations that help post-abortive women find healing. Focus on the Family helps spread the news about such groups. Tomorrow I want to share with you some of these women. Let me leave you with these words;

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gratituesday February 14th

Today is Gratituesday and I have a confession to make. I have done a lousy job recently of being grateful. I have lost sight of the plan God has for my life. My attitude has not been God honoring. I have just really struggled. I post on caring bridge updates for my husbands health and I shared that I was pretty discouraged. Not long afterwards I got a note from precious friend and sister in Christ. This is what she said;

Dear Jill,

I am so glad you don't lose sight of the fact that God is love and that He loves you both so much. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Don't let him steal your joy or destroy your spirit. Thank God during this difficult trial.There is strength in praise. When you praise Him the burden gets easier and the load lighter. Remember to smile and find joy in every little thing that you can. This will destroy the discouragement that the devil wants to destroy you with. Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials. We love you and Rich and pray for you and your family daily.

The same day I got an email from Ann VosKamp's blog. This is what she said about the really tough times in our lives. She says to sing.

“It’s what my mother said too, Ann: When it is hardest — that is when you sing the loudest. The devil flees at a hymn.”

"The devil flees at hymns" To that I say amen. Today I am grateful for friends who will tell me the hard things and I thank God for women like Ann VosKamp who are authentic and will sing when all they want to do is give up.

So for today, I will be singing Abide With Me. Want to join me?

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, February 13, 2012

At the Foot of the Cross

At the foot of the cross. It is there that burdens are brought and hopefully left. It is where the pain of loss, any kind of loss is laid down. It is at the foot of the cross that all sins are wiped away. The Son of God carried the burdens, the grief and the loss and buried them all. He proved victory over death.

I have been writing about "E" and her decision to abort her baby this past week. Abortion is a travesty that happens over 3,000 times each day. The silence can be deafening.

Shedding innocent blood is wrong and grieves the heart of God. But, what about women who decided to abort their babies in their youth? You can walk into any given congregation on a Sunday morning and there are women who grieve in secret. Know one knows their secret so they carry it to their graves. My own extended family carries the burden of abortion.

That brings us back to the foot of the cross. For every woman who carries this burden I want to share that God is in the heart business. He can heal any broken heart. He is the only one who can redeem the time. Yesterday in worship we sang a song and in the middle we sang this, "Your cross has spoken mercy over me". It is at the foot of the cross that mercy occurs. Come join me there.

Tomorrow I want to share the story of a group of women who took their experience with abortion and turned it into a ministry. See you then.
In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I love the picture over to the left. Do you ever feel like that little kitty walking by a row of big ferocious German Shepherds? If you don't you ought to be!

Yesterday I shared the story of an innocent baby being killed at Planned Parenthood. It is a story that is played out every day in this country with little fan fare.

Would it be different if terrorists bombed one skyscraper each and every day killing 3,000 each time a building blew up? How long would it take for the nation to be up in arms? Would we tolerate that many people dying every day? Of course not! Yet, that many pre-born children die every day.

I was asked to meet with "E" and share our journey of adoption as an alternative to abortion. She agreed and a meeting was set up. We waited but she never showed up. In the end she did not want to hear about adoption. Why? I prayed for understanding. I could not get her out of my mind and prayers.

I searched for answers. How does someone make a decision like that? Here's what I found. In "E"s community the mama rules. The mama is the one who raises the children. Marriage is not common. Dad's are sperm donors. Adoption is considered the worse choice. Mama's don't give their babies away. So when another baby comes along and you are afraid your mama will kick you out of the house you "fix the problem" in the easiest way possible. In one public school in our area our congregation hosts Teen Mops. There are over 40 high school girls pregnant. 40 in one school? What's wrong with this picture?

When is the time right to stand up for godly principles? How many babies have to die before we say enough is enough? When will we have the courage to speak up? It is not politically correct to say the things I have said and I know some will be angry with me. Tomorrow I want to talk about courage. Until then let me leave you with God's words.

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Josh 1:6-9 (ESV)

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shedding Innocent Blood

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you , for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalms 139

This very day a young high school girl by the name of "E" will walk into our local abortion clinic, sign away the life of her baby and then climb up on the cold hard steel table and allow the baby inside of her to be killed. She will go home afterwards and pretend nothing has happened while her already 2 year old will play around her.

I am sickened by "E"'s decision. A crisis pregnancy center did an ultrasound for free and showed her the baby. With tears streaming down her face she took the picture with her, but yet did not change her mind. Supposedly her mom would kill her if she found out she is pregnant again and kick her out of the house. She would rather let the baby die then give the baby to a couple who desperately want children.

Today this tragedy will play out in hundreds of cities all across our nation and for the most part it will all be done is silence. Who will stand up for these babies who have no voice? Around 3,000 babies will die today. Does anyone care? Are we so busy with our own lives that we shut out the plight of the most helpless in our society?

Innocent blood will be shed today. May God have mercy on a nation that allows such a travesty.

Till tomorrow

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gratituesday February 7, 2012

What a wonderful weekend. We moved to our new apartment and brother Bill and sister in law Martha came to help us get settled. Bill and Martha used to live in Florida but just a couple of months ago accepted a new job in Columbus Ohio. They are only 4 hours away. Bill and Rich are making good use of the time.

I am so thankful that we are having time to make memories with them. God has used many different people to encourage us. The LORD surely knows we need it.

I am thankful for family who are seizing the moment and that is all we are promised. Go out and make it a good day for serving the LORD. Happy Gratituesday.

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Loving God

Good morning to you all. We left off with the question, How can a loving God send someone to hell? This question goes to the very core of God's nature, which according to scripture is unchangeable. He truly is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

God hates sin. He can't be partakers of the darkness. God is light and in Him there is no darkness. Listen to what the Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 3:8

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

How can a loving God send his own creation to the very pit of hell? He does NOT want any of his creation to be separated from him! All through scripture God is depicted as a loving Father, wanting the best for his children. But like any good father he doesn't want his children to go astray. He wants us to obey him, even obey when we don't understand. When we don't obey there are some natural consequences.

When we first started raising our children I had a lot to learn. The idea that I had to be consistent was foreign to me. Thankfully I had a wise husband who showed me the errors of my way (insert smile) We chose to give our children natural consequences. Again that was a foreign concept too. My husband must have layed in bed at night dreaming up natural consequences for our kids. I can remember one time the boys had been told that if they threw the baseball in the house it would break a window. They went through this phase of tossing a ball till one day... You guessed it, they broke a window. Not just any window either, they broke a very large window in the dining room. In the adult world when you break something you have to pay to get it fixed. So, that is what they did. They had to dump out their piggy banks and pay for a window instead of getting the new toy they were saving up for! I don't recall them ever playing ball in the house again!

God, our Father and Master of the Universe does NOT want his children to come to harm. He wants us all to follow him. He begs and pleads for us to be obedient children. He even sent his only son to provide grace and mercy. Now here is the rub, if his children chose not to follow then there are natural consequences. That consequence is the ultimate consequence, separation from God forever. So the answer to the question is he doesn't want his children to turn away from him but like any good father there will be consequences to our behavior.

More on Wednesday.

In Christ Alone,


Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Gate

Yesterday we talked about John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress. In this allegory Christian is on his way to the Celestial City. He meets up with two guys, Hypocrisy and Formalist, who jump over the wall taking the easy way. These guys have taken short cuts their entire lives. As they walk with Christian they come to a crossroads. Up ahead a choice has to be made. There are three different routes to take. There is a steep cliff made of rocks that leads to the Wicket Gate. The other two options are to go around the cliff at the base from either the right or left side. They have been told the only way to reach the gate is to climb straight up. Since Hypocrisy and Formalist have done things the easy way they chose to not climb towards the gate and they both die.

This was probably one of the most profound parts of the book to me. I can so relate to these two clowns. Sometimes it is just so easy to go around the cliff. Climbing is hard work. Isn't the easy way better LORD? How many of us don't even think about the steep climb because we avoid it like the plague? Everyone else is going around the cliff. Why do I have to be different LORD? Why do you make the climb so hard? Oh wretched woman that I am, who can save me?

There is only one way through the gate, only one. How many times have you heard "we all love God in our own way. Every religion is fine, they all lead to God. To me my god is Buddha or another Muhammad." Let's see what Jesus, God's Son who is the LORD or LORD and King of Kings says.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

So we come back full circle, exactly how goes to heaven or who doesn't? Jesus is our shepherd so we need to hear his voice and these are his words not mine. The popular phrase, all roads lead to God are simply not true. We need to enter by the narrow gate period. Few find it which breaks my heart but that is God's way.

Tomorrow I want to look at the question, "If God is a loving God why would he send anyone to hell?

Till then I want to encourage you to spend some time thinking about heaven and imagine what it might be like.

In Christ Alone,


Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Does Everyone Go To Heaven Part 2

I love the Sermon on the Mount. When I read it I can't help but think of Jesus pouring out his heart to his children. He has only a short period to instill the values that are so important to him . Can you picture yourself sitting at the Master's feet and hearing the passion in his voice as he shares the values he wants his children to embrace?

Toward the end of this chat Jesus says this;
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matt 7:13-14

Enter by the narrow gate. It's a gate that is filled with with lots of travelers going the easy way. Now that reminds me of Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan. Christian is a man who needs his burdens lifted so he carries them toward the Celestial city.

"The Holy Way beyond the Cross is fenced in with a high wall on either side. The walls have been erected to force all aspiring Pilgrims to enter the Holy Way in the proper manner, through the Wicket Gate. As Christian is passing along, two men — Formalist and Hypocrisy — climb over the wall and drop down beside him. Christian finds fault with this and gives the wall-jumpers a lecture on the dangers of trying shortcuts. They have been successfully taking shortcuts all their lives, the intruders reply, and all will go well this time.

Not too pleased with his company, Christian proceeds with Hypocrisy and Formalist to the foot of Difficulty Hill, where three paths join and they must make a choice. One path goes straight ahead up the steep slope of the hill; another goes around the base of the hill to the right; the third, around the hill to the left. Christian argues that the right path is the one leading straight ahead up Difficulty Hill. Not liking the prospect of much exertion, Formalist and Hypocrisy decide to take the easier way on the level paths going around the hill. Both get lost and perish."

Cliff Notes for Pilgrims Progress

This is a powerful message that I don't want us to miss. I will be pondering this message today and will meet back here tomorrow.

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".