Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I don't understand the ways of God so much of the time.
Maybe I am not supposed to understand.
If I did, would I need Him?
Psalm 46:10 says:

Is that what it means to be still? The dictionary says that still is to remain stationary, or to remain at rest. It also says to remain calm and tranquil; free from turbulence or commotion.

But today its hard to be still.
Its hard to be at rest.
Because I just don't understand.
I don't understand why GOD you took Troy Gray home to You.
He was only 29. He had Kelly and their two sweet children who are 4 and still an infant.
Why not take me Lord? I have lived. I have had my children and watched them to grow into adults who love you. I have been married for a long time to such a wonderful man. I had 31 years of a nursing career, and the last 4 encouraging college kids to spend a lifetime walking, running and experiencing life with YOU.
I have had the joy of my grandsons.
I have had lifelong dear dear friends. I have lived.

Troy? He was in the prime of his life. YOU were using him for Your forever Kingdom purposes. And yet, YOU decided to bring him home to You.
Of course I don't understand that.
I don't understand either why You also took sweet Katie Parsons May home in July. WE all had prayed so much for her to get her lung transplant.

Maybe, like I said earlier, its not for me to understand.

The second part of the verse is easier for me to comprehend:
That part I get. YOU ARE GOD.
I believe You.
I trust You.
I know YOU have our best in mind.
I know YOU want us to have an abundant life-the kind only You can give.

So even tho I don't understand YOUR ways LORD, once again, I choose to trust you.
You even tell us in Your precious WORD: Who has known the mind of the LORD? Who has been His Counselor?

And in the 55th chapter of Isaiah you again remind us:
My ways are not your ways...My thoughts are not your thoughts.

So today , in a day where my heart is way too sad, I choose to believe you.
And I thank you for Troy's life. I thank You for sweet Katie's life.
Please tell them I will see them soon.
And I really am trying to be still.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


This is the time of year, when we spend so much time figuring out what to give people we love dearly, for Christmas.
My problem is: Christmas has become so over commercialized. Its become a way for the Retail in America to stay afloat. We are bombarded with ads thinking we need this, we need that.
Kids change their minds hourly to what they might want depending on what they see advertised on TV.
My email box is overflowing with "SALES". My mailbox brims with catalogs.
I love giving gifts. I always have.
But I am so concerned that we have really lost the true meaning of Christmas.
I vividly recall years ago, taking our children to see "Christmas in the Park" in downtown San Jose. We walked by the large Nativity scene and I overheard a woman say loudly, "What does that have to do with Christmas?".
Do you see the "CHRIST" in Christmas?

I do love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year. I put up decorations and leave them up for a month. Although up in the mountains where we now live, the folks keep them up for 2 months!!
I love to give gifts. I love to bake goodies. I love the fact that I can be with the people I love the most.

I have had my 2 grandsons gifts for months now. Kellen is getting a San Francisco GIANTS bed comforter. I think he will LOVE this, and he certainly needs no more toys.
Jax is getting a wagon-because I think all kids need a wagon and somehow I forgot that with Kellen.
I have bought some other gifts for my kids. But they are small.
Instead, the past few years, I have given them gifts from World Vision.
All of us can really buy what we need. We have all that we need.
But giving them gifts that help others has such more meaning to me. In time, I hope they see why I choose to do this.
This morning I literally shed tears as I looked at the possibilities of the gifts online. I chose carefully and prayerfully. You can be sure that every year someone will get something to do with medicines that are needed. I spent 31 years being a nurse and my heartstrings break when I read the stories.
Instead of wishing I had more money to give material things to my loved ones, I wish I had tons of money to give to all the items listed.
I would love to encourage you to give to World Vision.Or to Heifer. Or to Samaritan's Purse. Or to Advent Conspiracy.
These are the gifts that are life giving and life changing, that won't be forgotten a month after the decorations are put away.
This morning I read in a devotional: "I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10). To me, to live abundantly, means to give generously.
Christmas is for giving.
Let's just make sure we give gifts that are worthy of the money we spend.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We went to Texas on Thanksgiving Day. All 10 of us.
No the title isn't misspelled.
It was Thanksgiving in Aggieland.
Scud went to Texas A&M for college. All four of our kids are Aggie fans because of their dad.
They all wanted to go to a game at A&M.
So for Scud's 60th birthday, the kids gave him (and all of us) a trip to Texas to see the Ags play Texas. Could be for the last time and we had no idea when the trip was planned and tickets bought. A&M is joining the SEC next year, so they may never play their dreaded rivals again.
BUT we had an absolutely amazing time. Despite the last second win (literally)by tu.
We toured A&M, had breakfast with 4 guys Scud had a bible study with all four years in college, got lost in the texas back country and ended up in the Woodlands at Sharon's home with a visit with Nanny and Sharon's family.
This was the first time Elouise had her children, her grandchildren and her great grandsons together in one place. Who knows if it will happen again?
WELL almost...Kellen and Jax got sick, and then when we got home, Katie and Nate got sick too.
But truly, I thank God for the most enjoyable time and for kids who love and respect their dad immensely.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This past Saturday was the anniversary of me beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Forty years ago, while driving home from college (Univ of Puget Sound) in my green VW bug, I remember asking God to come into my life and take control. I had spent the previous evening with my friends Bill and Dave-who were college roommates, playing the devil's advocate. Both my friends were followers of Christ and wanted me to know that God would never leave me or forsake me once I began a "new life" with Him. I asked so many questions, and they gave me answers. We talked into the wee hours of the morning and I remember wondering how the heck I was going to stay awake for the 12 hour drive back to Palo Alto.
But as I drove, I reflected on our conversation and after a few hours, it seemed right to ask Jesus to come into my life.
40 years later, I consider that to be the BEST decision of my life.
I never walked away from Jesus, but there were times in the early years, that I went sideways a little-trying to live the life of a follower of Christ and a college sorority girl.
I have had tremendous joy and tremendous pain in these 40 years. I have been blessed beyond measure. I have an absolutely amazing man to share my life with. I have 4 wonderful children and 2 incredible sons by marriage. I have 2 cute little grandsons who always can make me smile and laugh. And I have an invaluable support system of some of the kindest,caring, loving and forgiving friends imagineable.

The pain I have experienced has left me raw and vulnerable. It has stripped away my pride and made me feel helpless often. But I have never been without HOPE, because I have the stability of a GOD who will always uphold me.
It is the pain where I grow and learn lessons that otherwise probably would have escaped me. The ones that after the suffering has lessened, I realize that Jesus had something so important to tell me. Painful lessons that I would not trade. Lessons that taught me of the extreme faithfulness, love, grace and mercy of God.

40 years of walking with Jesus. Two thirds of my life trying to become the person that He envisions me to be. So extremely grateful that God never has given up on me.
Now, I can't even fathom what my life would be like without Jesus Christ. I would not be who I am today or who He wants me to be tomorrow. I know I would be more selfish and self-absorbed, more concerned about my wants than anyone else's.
Thankfully, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt , that this life is to be all about JESUS and very very little about me.

I am so so grateful that God has allowed me to know Him. I cannot imagine my life now apart from Christ. Now I just want to know that with however many years that I have left in this life, I will use it for His purposes, for His Kingdom...and happily do so.

Psalm 142:5
"YOU are my place of refuge. YOU are all I really want in life"
Amen and Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


We make countless decisions everyday.
We make many of them without really even thinking. For instance, we get out of bed every morning-we could decide to stay in bed.
And then some of our decisions we think about maybe just a little. Like what will I have for breakfast, or will I have breakfast?
Then there are other decisions that weigh a little more on us. Like which college should I go to?? what career path should I take?? Should I move? Should I stay?
But what about those MAJOR decisions...those life changing ones? Like getting married.
Is this THE ONE? That one decision can change your life for a very long time. Well unless you are Kim Kardashian, and then it will change your life for 72 days.

I bet that Joe Paterno is really thinking over his decision right now to just report what he heard about his coach that was abusing young boys. That one decision has now affected so so many people. And JoePa's career, a brilliant coach who has the most wins of any college coach, has now been ended and marred by that decision.

And Bernie Madoff. He made decisions over and over again to lie, cheat and steal people's money. Why? Because he was greedy. He will now die in prison. His son ended his life because of the guilt and humiliation. I'm pretty sure he would take back all those decisions if he knew the final outcome.

What about the egomanical leaders who kill people to get their way? Who devise schemes to utterly ruin people's lives? Recently, we have watched Sadam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gadaffi lives end -all because they were individually responsible for killing thousands upon thousands.

What about the young man who has gotten his girlfriend pregnant? And now she wants an abortion and he wants the baby?? Would he have had such casual sex if he knew the heartache he was now experiencing?

And what if you are cheating just a little? On a test? Or a paper?? Thinking that no one would notice or care. What if that started a habit of taking things that didn't belong to you? I can't believe that Bernie Madoff started his cheating and stealing just recently.

We often think our decisons don't really affect others.
But they do. Sometimes people get deeply hurt by our decisons.

The decision that has affected my life the most is one I made 40 years ago. The decision to believe that God loved me so much, that He wanted a relationship with me so desperately, that He sent His One and only precious Son to take on my sins. So that we could have communion with one another.
That decision that I made on November 19, 1971 is the BEST decision I ever made.
That decision has had the most impact on my life.
That decision has slowly, thru 40 years changed me to realize that life isn't about me, but its all about GOD. The ONE who made me, who created me for His Glory.

What about you? What kind of decisons are you making? Do you realize they could last a lifetime?? and then some??
My prayer for myself, and for you, is that our decisions would be made so that they would reflect God, reflect the person that He envisions me (us) to be.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Little Things...that bring me joy

Its been close to a month since I last wrote anything.
Many times i feel like I have nothing to say of relevance or importance. Today may be one of those days. But as I sit by our woodburning stove, seeing the fog outside that is thick and the fresh new snow on the ground, I am grateful for a home with heat.
Which makes me think of those who are homeless and pray that God will provide warmth for them and a place to sleep.

I love the first snow of the year. It is white, pristine and clean. I know it won't last. I know more will come. And wonder what our winter might look like.
My two cute labs lie right beside me and I'm thankful for them; they bring me alot of joy.

I've enjoyed football more this fall than in many years that I care to remember.
The Niners are GOOD again and that's been awhile.
The Stanford CARDINAL have always had my heart-since I was a little girl. And their QB will probably win the Heisman.
I've also enjoyed watching the Oregon Ducks. My son Todd went to the U of O for a brief period and he is an avid fan. So looking forward to next weekend when we get to see the Stanford/Oregon game in Palo Alto.

My three small groups of girls that I do bible study with bring me Great Joy each week. To watch them want to grow in their relationship with Jesus brings me unspeakable heartfelt praise to God for allowing me this incredible privilege.

Last week I was able to take care of my favorite two little boys while their mommy worked hard. Anytime I get to spend with Kellen and Jax is pure joy for this Grammy, even when they are not feeling so well.

And this past week , i have had the joy of studying God's Word in a Beth Moore bible study on Daniel. I am starting my third week and already I have the strongest desire to be a woman of total integrity, one who is not intimidated by the culture I live in. Already God's Spirit has convicted me in some areas and I am thankful for how much HE loves me in spite of how I act. God loves me so much He won't let me stay the way I am, but keeps molding me to look more like Jesus.

I know the Holiday season is upon us. I just want to be grateful for all I have been blessed with. And I want to use what God has given me to help others. And I want to keep being thankful for the little things. (thank you to Katie Bruce for teaching me about this!!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


SOMETIMES, its just really hard to Trust GOD.
These past few days have been like that for me.
Oh, I know, HE is Trustworthy. I know HE is deserving of my trust. But sometimes, with the circumstances of life, those ones that I have absolutely NO control over, but the ones that cause me anxious moments, I lapse in my trust of GOD.
This week two of my small groups are looking at the name of God that is JEHOVAH RAPHA.
I have experienced so many times where GOD has healed me emotionally and spiritually.
I know that HE has redeemed my past. I know HE has healed deep hurts inflicted on me and those that I deeply love and care about. I have rejoiced in His healings. Praised Him for His healings. Told others about these healings. I am forever grateful for them.

But the physical healings?? Those are the ones that puzzle me. I don't get it.
So many many times in the Gospels, JESUS completely heals so many different types of diseases. Why don't I see that today??
I completely understand that physical illness and disease was never part of God's plan. That because of sin, all types of sickness and disease entered our world. I practiced nursing for 31 years. I know sickness and disease. I have been confronted with the horrors of cancer, the debilitation of strokes, the loss of newborns. I have wrestled with this for years.
I believe with all my heart that GOD can heal ANYONE.
It just doesn't seem that HE chooses to do this much nowdays.
I have way too many people on my caner and debilitating illness list. I pray for these dear ones daily. Too often they leave my list because God chooses to take them home to Him.
And that's the hard part. I want so much for their to be a cure for all cancers.
I want Pulmonary Hypertension not take another precious life. I want babies to be born without heart wrenching malfunctions.
I know GOD uses all these things for His Glory. That's the part I too often forget...that its about HIS GLORY...not what I want.
And what about those precious people who suffer from chronic illnesses and pain? Too often they are overlooked. We tend to think of them as not as sick as someone with cancer or a debilitating disease.
BUT they are in pain. Their bodies don't work the way they are supposed to. They hurt each day. Not necessarily with the pain that comes from cancer or a horrific injury. But everyday, life is a struggle. Everyday, they must choose to keep on. Choose to not let their pain get the best of them.
Those are the days, when I hear of their struggles, when I pray for my dear friends coping with cancer, when I pray for their loved ones watching them fight, that its hard for me to Trust God.
That's the part that tears me up inside.
Why is it so hard to trust my GOD? He has never proved untrustworthy.
I don't have the answers to that.
All I do know is that where else would I go?? Who else can I freely pour out my heart too? Who gets it? Who understands the pain I feel? That others feel?
GOD sees everything. Nothing escapes Him. He aches too. HE is hurt when women and children are sold into slavery for sex, when children are kidnapped to be child soldiers, when millions of people thru out the world go hungry, don't have clean drinking water, can't get jobs, are poor and destitute (whether it be physical , spiritual or emotional).
I know my God sees and that He cares.
I know HE heals.
Sometimes, I just wish it was in my timing...not His.
As I read the Gospel of Luke this morning, I wondered if Jesus, in His humanity, ever wrestled with this. As He was on His knees in the Garden of Gesthemene, HE prayed,
"Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. BUT not my will, but YOUR will be done"

Everything is in God's plan. Its about His will...not mine.
I don't get it. And its probably not mine to get.
Every trial, struggle, heartache and pain we go thru..will not be wasted.
Each of those circumstances, as we come thru them, will help us Trust God more.
And that's what I'm praying for now. That I (and you) will Trust God more.
Its not about me. Its not about you.
O LORD , help me with my lack of trust.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crazy About:

Pinterest...its the latest rage. "everyone's doing it"...well mostly us gals. My daughter Katie has been on Pinterest for well over a year, and I actually have been introduced in just the past month.
You literally can spend hours looking at what others have done. From finding great recipes, to phenomenal fashions, to ideas for DIY-do it yourself projects, to things you want for your wedding, where you would like to travel, good books to read. I enjoy finding quotations that mean something or that are words to live by. But there's so many categories, that you can get lost discovering useful ideas.
I realized today that if I spent as much time focusing on JESUS as I do what might interest me on Pinterest, I would be absolutely addicted to wanting more of my GOD.
Today I choose to focus on:
The unbelievable , amazing truth that Jesus Christ loved me enough to die for me.
That my sins are forever forgiven and forgotten.
That HE longs to shower me with His blessings.
That HE constantly reigns down His Grace on me.
That JESUS is the Ultimate Healer.
That JESUS is the Ultimate Provider.
That GOD is always in control,even when life seems spinning out of control.
That nothing happens that JESUS is not aware of.
That GOD is able to meet all my needs abundantly.
That GOD longs to be the ONE that I turn to first when anything happens that rattles my world.
That JESUS is the ONE who will always watch over me.
That JESUS will never leave me or forsake me. That I am never alone.
That JESUS is true PEACE.
That GOD is the ONE who gives me my every breath.
That GOD wants me to have an abundant life.
That JESUS is the Bread I should hunger for and the Living Water that should quench my thirst.
That EVERYTHING begins and ends with GOD.
That JESUS is the Sustainer of all our lives.
That JESUS has always been, will always be the GOD who loves me without any conditions.
That JESUS envisions the person He sees me to be.
That no matter how many times I sin or fail, GOD will always be the God of second, third etc chances.
That I am loved and cherished by JESUS and His FATHER.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"One day as Jesus was preaching....great crowds pressed in on Him to hear the Word of God" Luke 5:1

I wonder if I was alive back then, would I have followed the crowds to listen to Jesus? To see Jesus? To be in His Presence?
I have to think that I would have. If I had heard about Him, I would have wanted to see Him.

But alas, I was born 1900+ years after Christ. So I can't actually "SEE" Him, but I know He is here and with me. I've been calmed by His touch. I have been awed by His Power. I've been comforted by His Presence. I've been given His Hope when mine was all but gone. He has been with me in my loneliness. He has forgiven me countless times of my sin. His Grace has sustained me. And His Love has overwhelmed me.

Would I press in on Him to hear the Word of God?

A little later in Luke 5 we read:"But JESUS often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer"
Jesus needed to be alone. He needed to be with His Father and share His heart and His concerns.
He needed direction for His day.
As I have written before, if JESUS who is GOD needed to do this, shouldn't I do the same?
Shouldn't I make time to be alone with God each day?
Do I think I am too busy to give God my time? Do I manage my time well? Or do I spend too much time on Facebook, or Instagram or Snapchat or Pinterest, or ESPN? Or perhaps I spend too much time watching mindless TV. How can I say I don't have the time for God?
How can I let my friends say that??
What on earth could possibly be MORE IMPORTANT?
Nothing in my life is more important. I may think there is, but I am only kidding myself.
This is as much for me as it is for anyone who might read this.
What Jesus says is important. What He wants us to do is needed.
But we must spend time with Him in order to make sense of our crazy busy lives. To get His Perpsective.
So I not only challenge you to dig into His Word, to spend time talking to Him about your life, I ask you to consider: what could possibly be more important?

Monday, October 3, 2011


This morning, I am reading Luke 4.
The beginning of this chapter tells us that Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, is led into the wilderness. There He begins a forty day fast, and obviously becomes very hungry. When He is weak, tired and probably out of most of His strength, the devil comes to Jesus and begins 3 temptations.
Satan literally promises Jesus the world and more if He would worship the devil.
First of all , I find it ironic that satan promises Jesus the world and all the kingdoms in it. Obviously he forgot that JESUS was the Creator of the world. But I digress.
With each temptation, Jesus responds by saying: "The Scriptures say...". Jesus knows the Word of God. The Scriptures come easily to His mind, because He has meditated on them and knows them.
Do I know them?? Do I have them hidden in my heart?? Can I come up with the Scriptures when I am being tempted? When someone needs to hear the TRUTH of GOD?
I was struck this morning with the realization that satan came to tempt Jesus in His physical weakness. When He lacked physical energy and strength after fasting 40 days.
Do you think God's enemy will work any different with us?? Does He come to us when we are strong and feeding on God? Usually not.
He comes to attack us when we are vulnerable. When life is throwing us curves. And even when we think we have it "all together" as we rely just on what we have.
That's when he comes.
But do we know the Scriptures to fight off the lies and temptations the enemy throws our way?? Do we immediately turn to Our God and Savior for help??
Do we realize that God's Word is our tool to fight? That if JESUS knew it, we should too?
Yes, Jesus was God. But he was also human.
His Word tells us that He too was tempted in every way that we are, so that He can come to our aid.
He knows the devestation of losing someone we love. He knows what its like to be rejected, criticized and not being welcome. Altho the Scriptures do not say this specifically, I have to believe that He was tempted sexually, because His Word says that He was tempted in every way as we are, and yet He remained pure and without sin.(Hebrews 4:15).
He didn't blame others when things didn't go His way. Jesus didn't respond in retaliation ever. He didn't hurt others when they hurt Him. Instead " He entrusted Himself to God (see 1 Peter 2:23).
HE knew the Scriptures because He knew how invaluable they are.
And if they are invaluable to Jesus, the Son of God, shouldn't they be just as important to us?
I have been flabbergasted by many who call themselves long time followers of Christ, who don't know the Scriptures. Who have never read the whole New Testament? Who won't read the Old Testament because they think it doesn't pertain to them or they don't understand why God worked the way He did then. I don't understand much of the time the ways of God now, but because I have a deep respect and love for God's word, when temptations, trials and deep pain come, I run to His Word for comfort, for strength, for Hope.
A dear wise woman of God (thank you dear dear Recie) once told me to ask God to give me a love for His Word. To pray that often. I did..sometimes not so often; but realized that 10 years later, I did LOVE God's Word. That my day is not complete without it. That I need to feed on the very words of my God.
I don't have the Bible memorized ...I never will. But today, today I make a committment to ask God again to help me know the Scriptures, to hide His Word in my heart.
So that the next time, life throws me a curve, or I am tempted, I can be like my Savior and LORD and say" The Scriptures say..."

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Today is my birthday!! Its also my dear sweet husband Scud's birthday too.
So today I am reflecting on my life. Its almost totally unbelievable to me that next year on this date, I will be 60. HOW CAN THAT BE?? Isn't 60 old?? I don't feel old, altho my body sometimes is so much slower to react than it used to be.
And then i have these little brown spots on my hands, face (that i try to cover up)and my legs too. and I also weigh more than I ever thought i those examples prove to me that age is sometimes hard to conceal.

But today I am reflecting on my blessings-which are too numerous to name them all.
First off, I am so thankful to know GOD, to know His Son Jesus Christ and have His Holy Spirit living in me. To know His love, His Grace and His Forgiveness for 40 years now. That is the biggest blessing of my life by far.
Then there is my husband. If you know Scud, you know how blessed I am to be married to him. We have had 35 years of growing together, loving each other and being patient with each other. He still makes me smile and laugh everyday. That is a huge blessing.
Then there are the children we call ours. Three that were born to me and one that God hand picked especially for me to love just like I had given birth to him.
Kristi, Todd, Katie and Ryan have given me such joy and have caused growth in my life.
And then there's Adam and Nate-two godly men who chose my daughters to partner their lives with. I couldn't have picked out 2 better son in laws if I had tried.
And then there's those two little grandsons who call me Grammy. I love these little guys so so much.

Another incredible blessing has been my friends. I have been blessed beyond measure by a group of women who have prayed for me, encouraged me, laughed with me, cried with me and supported me thru many many years. THANK YOU LADIES!! I can't imagine my life without you.

And then there's the countless friends, adopted sons and daughters, who have graced our home. The privilege of loving these kids, serving them, encouraging them in their faith, has blessed me more than they could ever imagine. I am more blessed because of these friends and I love them dearly.
GOD has blessed me again by allowing me to serve Him with college kids at Chico State. Really?? me?? I am 59 years old. What would college kids want to do with me?? I still don't have the answer to that one. But I have gals and guys who I love being with. I love their love of life, their desire to be who GOD wants them to be and who allow me to enter into their lives. What a privilege.
So altho my body might say you aren't as young as you once were. GOD is telling me that He can still use me for His purposes. That you are never too old to not be involved in ministry. That in actuality, the older you become, the more time you have to be used for His Glory. And isn't that what its all about?

Isaiah 46:4
Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you.

That's His promise to us...whatever our age!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


How often am I confronted with words that just creep into my heart, my mind and my soul and make me stop and ponder.
Well it happened again this week.
I have been reading Leviticus. Not what I would consider my favorite book of the Bible. It is actually (to sum it up quickly) a book about the laws and commands that God gave the Levites who would serve Him.
But on two consecutive days I read frequently:

"Be holy, because I , The LORD your GOD am holy."

"Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.

"I am the LORD who makes you holy"

"You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy and I have set you apart

OK I get it. GOD is holy. I have no problem with that at all. HE alone is true and pure and undefiled. HE is separate from all that is evil. HE does not tolerate evil. He is completely pure. IF HE wasn't, would I want to follow Him?

But He wants me to be holy? You to be holy? Isn't that asking a little much,Lord?
A footnote in my Bible, reads that for people, holy means being separated to God and from all that is unclean?
All that is unclean??
Like TV shows and movies I watch?
From music that I listen to?
From thoughts I have?
For the daydreams I have that might not be right?
From the people I hang out with?

Man, this is a tough one.
I am not being very holy. Don't get me wrong; I so desire to be holy. I want to separate myself for God, for His purposes.
But like I said, this one got me.
Holy isn't being "super religious" or "legalistic".
It is being who God wants me to be, who God envisions me to be, who God commands me to be.
I can not be holy if I rely on myself, I must rely on Him.
O LORD, help me to be holy, to be separated for you. Away from all that is unclean. Help me to be an example.

"Therefore, be holy, because I am holy."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The ending of summer

Today feels like summer is ending.
For you, it may feel over already if you are back at school or about to start school again.
For me, my first hint was that my husband went to church with me today. It is the first entire weekend he has had off since the middle of May.
Working at a Young Life camp where you never actually know what day of the week it is, summers for Scud always include working on what the rest of the world knows as Sunday. For him, its either day 1 or day 2 of the camping week. So to be able to go to church with Scud makes me know that summer is ending.
The next thing that made me suspicious of the ending summer was that it was warm and I decided to go to the pool to read and swim some laps. Woodleaf was completely empty. No one whatsoever at camp, not a single car in the parking lots. What happened to the 300-400 kids that were everywhere just a week ago?
Another clue to the ending of summer was how frantic I get when I see how bad the Giants are playing. I am sure they know the season is only 5 1/2 more weeks, but my mind and heart scream at them to pull it together.
I love summer. It is so much more relaxing than any other time of the year. I tend to read more books in the summer than the rest of the year. I have longer times with Jesus than any other time as well.

One thing that reminds me summer is NOT OVER is that I haven't been to the beach yet.
I am a beach girl thru and thru. I grew up spending my summers at my grandmother's beach house north of Ventura. I learned to bodysurf and surf. I loved walking on the beach for miles. I became a collector of sea shells at the age of three, and I can not go to any beach today without looking for shells. Hopefully next week, I might get the chance to take Kellen and Jax to the beach-at least for a few hours.

I am not ready for the routine of fall. Where I have to account for my time, book meetings, prepare studies. Mind you, I love being friends with college kids, but I love the beauty of no schedules that summer affords.
I have been told that I am flexible and usually handle change well.
Its just that I don't want summer to end. I want to own my time and my schedule.
But in reality, I don't own my time. You don't own your time.
We each have been given a certain amount of time to live on this earth. None of us knows how much time we have.
ONLY GOD knows the length of our days.
"Our times are in Your hands" say the Psalms.

So now I need to figure out what it is that I should be doing with my time. What is it God wants me to do?
As much as I hate summer to end, I am so grateful for the break of the normal routine. Thankful that I got to know and love 52 kids from all over the country in Arizona. Thankful for time with dear friends who served on assignment at Woodleaf during the summer. Thankful that because it was summer, Katie and Nate got to take a long weekend visiting us. Thankful that Kellen and Jax spent a week exploring our home and enjoying the Sugar Barrell. Thankful that I got to see college kids that I have come to love dearly, serve Christ here at Woodleaf.
Now its time to get back to work. Time to get back to that which God has called me too.
Time to enjoy the next season that God has in store.
But ...oh how I love summer!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Walking in God's Ways.

Today I started in 2 Chronicles and began to wonder how fast I would read thru this book. Well chapter 6 was all I needed to realize that God has/had something to say to me today.
2 Chronicles 6:14
"O Lord, God of Israel, there is no GOD like you in heaven or earth-you who keep your covenant of love with your servants of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."
and part of verse 30 in the same chapter says:
"so that they will fear You and walk in your ways all the time they live..."

What does it mean to walk wholeheartedly in God's ways, and walk in His ways all the time we live?

For me, it probably means to:
Spend time with God everyday and talk to Him thruout my day.
To obey what His word says to me because it is always true.
It means loving my family in the best way possible, always looking for the best way to minister and encourage them.
It means Loving and caring and encouraging my friends thru good times and bad.
It means not to be judgemental. OUCH that's a hard one for me.
It means to always be truthful, and to be loving when it might hurt someone.
It means not watching TV shows that have no worth to me (and movies as well).
It means being committed to who HE has called me to be committed to.
It means trusting God even when life hurts so deeply-like when people I love die too early or are so sick with cancer or other diseases.
It might me being with people when I am so tired and weary.
It means trusting God when I don't know the outcome.
It means Waiting on Him -NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES .
It means taking care of myself and my body. Woops another one I really need to work on.
It means maybe only having one glass of wine (Yes, I love wine).
It means realizing that I might be the only person that another person might see who knows Jesus-and am I truly reflecting Him?
It means trying my very hardest to be who He envisions and wants me to be.

That's my list (for now).
What does yours look like?
I would love to know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have been reading thru the Bible every year for somewhere between 15-20 years now.
Sometimes I read very slow and might only read a few verses in a sitting; other days I read fast and furious to get thru some of the Old Testament.
I know that God has a reason for naming all the people that occur. But for me, those names usually mean nothing. If they don't have a story connected to their name, I usually skim thru pretty FAST. But I realize they all have their own story, just as we do and probably if I were one of those names, I would be so thankful. Afterall, if you are named in the Book that has sold more than any other book since the world began, you would be honored to see your name included.
For the past week I have been reading thru the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
1 Samuel and 1 Chronicles mostly tells the life of King David. Quite a number of people are mentioned, but i couldn't tell you who they are. The past three days I have been reading in 2 Kings and in 1 Chronicles and quite a few verses captured my attention but I just want to reflect on two of them.
The first verse is from 2 Kings 6 verse 17 and says in part:

"Open his eyes that he may see"

There is a scared young man who thinks that those fighting against Israel are so numerous that they will be crushed in battle. The prophet Elisha prayed for this young man and the LORD opened his eyes to see all the horses and chariots and warriors that He had provided.

I want my eyes to be opened to see the things that God wants me to see. I want to see clearly with His vision for my life. I don't want to be discouraged when things don't go the way I had thought or envisioned. When life throws me curveballs that come out of nowhere. I want my eyes to be opened daily to the things HE wants me to see, because maybe, just maybe, His idea for my day is completely different from what I had planned. And I don't want to miss at all any divine appointments that He has scheduled.

The other verse just lept out to me, mainly because i have been reflecting alot on the verse in 2 Kings 6:17 and it is from 1 Chronicles 19:13b

"The LORD will do what is good in His sight."

The LORD's sight. He sees everything and misses nothing. Nothing we can do escapes His eyes. And even tho I am not there yet, I know that 2 Chronicles 16:9 says: "for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

God's eyes see perfectly clear. There is no squinting, no rubbing dirt out, no reaching for the glasses or putting the contacts in. He sees everything with spectacular clarity.
He knows when I am seeking Him, when I am doing everything I can to reflect Him in a way that is honoring , He knows when I am obedient and when I am not. He knows when I try and fool others to think I might be better than I am, but He sees the real me, all the time.
And so the times when I wonder what to do next, what He wants and envisions for my life, why would I not go to Him first? Because even if I go after what I want, what i desire and think I need and when it contradicts His ways, somehow -mostly thru pain and trials, I come back to Him. I come back to His clear perspective, His truthfulness.
Doesn't God always do what is good in His sight? Doesn't He know the best way? Even tho things don't always seem good to me; is my definition of good the same as His? I have learned over the years thru pain and suffering, that God does see clearly, when i don't. That HE sees the finish. HE sees the end of our trials. He sees the end of our suffering. HE sees the end of our lives when we just see the here and now.
So I truly want to see with His eyes. With eyes wide open to see what He does. To try and look at others thru His eyes and not mine. To be open to see what He wants and then to be strong enough, faithful enough, to do what He wants to be done, regardless of what my eyes might see as stumbling blocks.
Oh Lord God, open my eyes to see.
And may I always keep you in my vision.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WISDOM-learned from others.

WHAT IF you were the smartest man in the world? the smartest that has ever been born?? What if you had all the money you needed and were one of the richest men ever to live?
What if you actually heard God talk to you??
How would your life be different?
Would you need God?? Would you listen to Him? Would you do what He said?

Well Solomon was this man. GOD gave him wisdom unsurpassed by any other person ever born. He gave Solomon this wisdom because when God asked him what He would like from God, Solomon asked for the wisdom to discern right from wrong to be able to rule Israel and God's people the way God wanted. And then God gave Solomon wisdom and blessed him with riches beyond his imagination.

I realize that many people who have all the money they need, who don't have to rely on anyone for their physical needs to be met, have a hard time believing that they need God. But does money buy happiness, contentment? Yes, money can buy you things, allow you to have all sorts of toys, take unbelievable vacations that bring you happiness for a time, but money cannot buy you emotional ties, cannot buy you the relationships you crave.

God gave Solomon everything; blessed Solomon with so so much. And for such a long period of time, Solomon did right in the eyes of the LORD.
In 2 Kings chapter 11, things began to change.

"King Solomon loved many foreign women...they were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites "you must not intermarry with them, because they will turn your hearts after their gods. Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had 700 wives and over 300 concubines and his wives led him astray."

OK first of all, he had over 1000 women. That in itself is PROBLEM ENOUGH!! More than enough problems. Can you imagine 1000 women fighting for his attention?? And what they must have done to try and be with him?? Kind of grosses me out.
Its difficult enough for a man or woman to always love, always be kind and patient and forgiving to their spouse day in, month in and year in and out of marriage. But 700 wives and 300 concubines?? With that many he could see them each once every three years. There is NO WAY Solomon could meet the physical, emotional and even spiritual needs of 1000 women.

But I digress. The point of this story is that God clearly spelled out that foreign women would drive Solomon away from Himself.
Why is it that we have such a hard time obeying God? When He clearly tells us something, we can rationalize ourselves to believe, "He didn't really mean me in this situation". Or we think "I will do this thing just once and then never again".
Do I , do you, really think we know more than the One who created us?
Do you think God gives us commands because He doesn't want us to have fun? That He wants us to live dull, boring lives?
Absolutely not.
John 10:10 says " I have come to give you life and life abundantly (or life to the fullest)"

Is God telling you something right now that you are putting off doing?? A very dear dear friend of mine just broke up with her boyfriend. It took her two months to do it, but she did it. It wssn't fun, and probably wasn't easy, but in the end, she obeyed God, because she knew this was the right thing to do.

Solomon asked God to give him wissom so that he would do the right thing.
Further along in 1 KINGS 11 I read:

"As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God....Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD, he did not follow the LORD completely...The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord...Solomon did not keep the Lord's command."

From what I surmise in this is that once we decide to follow our own agenda even once, can cause effects in our relationship with Our God. Once we disobey the first time, isn't it easier to do something again?

Do we settle for something good, when God desires to give us Life abundantly? otherwise known as His Best for us?.
Are their gods in my lfe that are taking my focus off Christ? Am I allowing my family, my friends, my job, my earthly treasures, my wants and my desires, to come before my obedience to the LORD??
I don't want the LORD to become angry with me because my heart was turned away from following Him first and keeping Him front and center.
Solomon was the wisest man to ever have lived and he messed up.
How does that bode for me then?
I want to learn from Solomon's life that things that look appealing can lead my heart away from God. And what i really want is to have my heart always longing after God. I want to obey Him all the time. And when I don't, I want to go immediately to Him and make things right again.
Thanks wise Solomon...I am learning from your mistakes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I know this little boy who is three years old. He is absolutely full of life. He is non stop in physical activity and in talking. I love being with him any chance i get. Why?? Because he is my grandson.
We have this game. I ask him: "What is your full name?"
He answers me: "My name is Kellen, Big Car, Buster Posey, Cody Ross, Goofball, Lil Booger Gill"
Its a combination of all our own special little jokes and we laugh everytime he says it.
Kellen Loves Life. He LOVES BASEBALL..
My son Todd says Kellen has the potential of being the biggest GIANTS fan ever. And he quite possibly could be. He knows more about the GIANTS this year than his Grammy does.
Kellen and his adorable sidekick and little brother Jax just spent a week with us.
I had a blast (altho a bit of an exhausting blast) with these 2 little guys that I love so dearly.

Whenever Scud or I would ask Kellen a question about the Giants or anything else , he will answer us right away. But if you ask him a question and he doesn't know the answer or can't remember it off the top of his head, he will say "You tell me".
Its really cute how he says it so fast.
Scud says he doesn't even stop to think or try and remember, or try to pretend he knows the answer. He just immediately says "You tell me".
If you ask him again and try to get him to remember, he will think about it. And then you either get the answer or another "You tell me".

This phrase came to me this morning reading my Bible.
I am reading in 2 Samuel. David is now the King of Israel.
In chapter 2 I read:

"After this, David asked the LORD..."
then again in chapter 6

"And again David asked the LORD what to do?....So David did what the LORD commanded"

David essentially was asking the LORD for direction, and to me, he was saying "YOU tell me"
And isn't that what I should be doing? What we all should be doing?
Everyday? Thru out our days? Asking the LORD what is next? What is it that YOU want me to do? How do I handle this situation? Should we not be going to the GOD who made us, the ONE who knows us better than we know ourselves, to ask for whatever we need?

Don't we believe that HE is the one with the BEST answers?
Granted, we have questions and concerns that He doesn't answer immediately.
Presently, I have been praying and asking the LORD for His direction on a matter for a number of months now. For reasons known only to HIM, He has chosen not to show me yet what I am to do.
But one thing I do know, is that I am not to move forward until HE tells me to.
How often in our days do we actually consult God in what we are dealing with?
For me, the answer is NOT ENOUGH.
Sometimes I think I know what to do in situations and don't even think to consult the LORD.
When I write that, I think to myself: "Really Missy?? you know better than THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE?"
Who do I think I am??
I realized again this morning, that I need to go to God frequently thru out my days. To seek His direction, to try and ascertain His will, to invite HIM into every part of my life.
I realize this will be difficult to practice. But I am determined to try. I want His input. I need His input.
I want to be like Kellen and say "YOU TELL ME ".
And sometimes, to realize that He won't tell me right away. But to wait on HIM and His direction, will always be the BEST way.

AND I LOVE how God confirms His truth to me in so many different ways.
Right after reading this in 2 Samuel and writing in my journal, "YOU TELL ME", I picked up Oswald Chambers' devotional, My Utmost for His Highest and read:

Are we living at such a level of human dependence upon Jesus Christ that His life is being exhibited moment by moment in us?"

YEP, pretty sure God wants us to go to Him and say "YOU TELL ME".

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Love deeply, Forgive freely.

Today was a day filled with mixed emotions.
I went to the memorial service for my dear friend Amy's dad.
It was more a celebration of his life.
Wade was a man who loved deeply and forgave quickly. That was the message spoken over and over about him today. I wish I had known Wade better. He cared for others so deeply and the MOST important people to him were his family. He loved Kathy from almost the minute he laid eyes on her and loved her so well for over 43 years.
He loved his children enormously and taught them to love others just as he did.
I remember from the very beginning of my friendship with Amy how impressed I was with how she cared for people and made them feel so special. She learned this from her dad. He was her role model.

The Pastor today was from Wade's very small church in the Almaden area of San Jose. this was the very same church that Wade's grandmother helped to found. Jordan told us that Wade had told him sometime during his 15 month battle with cancer that he did not want to wast a single moment of his life and that it would be a shame if he did.
I wrote that down on the program because that's what I want to do.
I want to love people as well as Wade Douglass and Katie Parsons May did.
God took both of them to their eternal home a little bit too early for me. But I truly believe that God knows what He is doing. And that its ok for me to question and ponder. And like I wrote in an earlier blog, I need the reminder that this earth is NOT my home...this is where we pass thru a number of years that only God knows how many...until we reach our REAL destination- Heaven...where we will spend eternity with Jesus; free from all the trials of life on earth.
Because of Katie's life and Wade's life, I have been so challenged these past 3 weeks to change how I love and view others.
This morning I was reading my bible in the book of 1 Samuel. Its the story of King David. Actually 1 Samuel is the story of before David was king. He was the armor bearer for the first king of Israel, Saul.
But Saul disobeyed God's command and lost favor with Him and then the Lord appointed David to be the next king.
Saul became obsessed with getting rid of David. Unfortunately, Saul's son Jonathan, was David's very best friend. Saul was trying to kill David when Jonathan heard about it and went to inform David that he needed to run for his life.
But in chapter 23 and verse 16 we read:

"Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God"

That's what Katie May did. That's what Wade Douglass did.
They shared their faith and hope in Christ and loved others well.
I want to be like them. I want to be like Jonathan.
I want to encourage others to stay strong in their faith in God. Whatever happens to them, whatever might turn their world upside down.
Over three years ago, I joined the Young Life College staff because I wanted to encourage college friends that a relationship with Christ lasts for a lifetime. That life doesn't make sense apart from Christ. That we need Jesus everyday. That the more connected we are to HIM, the more we will be able to handle what life on this earth might throw us.
One of the greatest joys in my life has been encouraging Amy to stay strong in her faith. We've walked some pretty crappy roads together. But I am confident Amy's faith will stay strong in the weeks and years ahead because she wants to be reunited with her earthly father and her Heavenly Father forever.
Its not because of me, its because of the example of her dad.
Love deeply, forgive freely.
Thank you Lord God, for Wade's life and how You are using his life and Katie's life to want me to be a better lover of people.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

More to this LIFE???

Maybe its because the last two weeks have been filled with heart ache, sorrow and grief. Maybe its because I have been so sad for dear friends who have lost a loved one. Maybe the two deaths within 10 days of each other has me melancholy. Or maybe its because I've wondered if there's more to this life than living and then dying -and wondering what is the deal with the in between, the years after birth and before death.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says;
" God has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end"
Eternity?? in the hearts of men??
I have missed that lately. Why is it that we think this life, the one we are given to live on earth is all there is?? And we don't even know the length of this time we have.
27 years old-that is not enough time in my eyes. But God's eyes are different. He has the eternal perspective. The perspective of living on forever and ever. Of having eternity without pain and struggle and the storms of life. God has put into our hearts an eternal perspective; one that allows us to look beyond the routine of this life.
But do we??
I've lost sight of that. I see friends in grief, friends struggling with many different issues, families torn apart by tragedy and the unfairness of this life.
I've watched my own family struggle with health issues.
I have friends fighting cancer that eats away at their bodies.
I have one of my summer staffers from June struggling to breathe and make his muscles move in an undetermined illness.
I know people desperate to get out of the mental anguish they are enduring-wishing to be free from the demons that plague them.
YES, there has to be more to this life.
There is the promise of living forever with the ONE who created us and the entire universe we live in.
A promise of a life free from pain, worries and tears.
Do I believe GOD in what He says? Absolutely. Because otherwise none of this life would make sense.
Do I realize tho that what I do here on earth has an impact on eternity?? That everything I do here should be done for the glory of God? Sometimes, so many things I do seems insignificant and what I think would have no eternal purpose. But what do I know about God's eternal purposes??
Not really that much. But what I do know is that whatever I do here on earth is preparing me for eternity. Preparing me to serve Christ forever. Preparing me to see those I have loved that have gone before me and preparing me to greet those that will come after me.
I truly believe that we NEED to live, we MUST live with more of an eternal perspective. Realizing that what we do day to day is important to Our Father in heaven. And that what we do should honor God each and everyday that He has given us on this planet.
O LORD GOD, Please help me to live with Your eternal Perpsective each day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I wanna be Like JOB

Because of the course of events right now that are affecting my life and the lives of many that I know, I started reading the book of JOB in the Bible late last week.
Mind you, I am not reading fast at all. I'm trying to take in what happened to Job and how he dealt with the unfairness of his life.
If you are unfamiliar with this little book, in the first chapter, satan, the enemy of God tells him that he has been roaming the earth. Then GOD asks satan if he has considered his servant Job.
I read thru the Bible every year-so I know I've read this before, but I was astounded that God is the ONE who pointed out Job to His enemy. Then he lets satan loose to wreck complete havoc on Job's life. In a matter of hours, Job loses almost everything. He loses his livestock, his plants and worst of all, he loses all ten of His children.
I can't even fathom this type of LOSS.
And what does my new hero Job do?? After tearing his clothes and putting on sackcloth, he worships the Lord.
And that is just what the Parson and May families did too, when they lost dear Katie.
That's what I would hope I could do...but could I?
Then satan returns to the presence of the LORD and GOD again asks him to consider his servant Job.
Satan responds that Job hasn't forsaken God because his life wasn't touched. His own physical being. What i forgot to mention above is that in God's first conversation about Job with satan, he tells satan that he just can't touch Job's life.
This time, God tells satan he can't take Job's life.
So what does that enemy do?? He infects Job with boils, and burns and blisters that ache, and ooze and are extremely painful.
Job's faithful little wife says to her husband (probably in her deepest grief) "Curse God and die".
I have to admit, I probably might do this too, if I had suffered her losses.
But Job just calls her a foolish woman and says "Can we accept only good from God? and not the evil things? and again he says" Blessed (or Praise) be the name of the Lord".
Again....probably NOT my first response. But oh how I wish it would be.
So as I look at the suffering and the losses that are occuring this very week:
the Parsons and May families grieving the loss of precious Katie,
my sweet friend Amy, watching her father die and hoping that his suffering will end today,
to the Gray family in Arizona, fighting to live, Praying and pleading with Our Father, to heal Troy-to allow Kelly and their kids to enjoy a long life with him,
for Jamie Lisea's family, who are trying to do what is best for her sweet dad Bob,
and for my dear dear Hoch family, who have no idea what the future holds, but who most definitely know WHO holds the future; I hope and pray, all of us suffering and grieving with our friends, that we too, will be like Job, and praise and worship the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.
Because HE is in control. HE does see what is happening, HIS heart is breaking and aching along with all of us. And that for us to remember, that all of this suffering, pain and loss, was NEVER a Part of HIS plan. HE envisioned this all so differently. And that is what eternity will be like for us.
Again, I am looking forward to eternity.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life is Unfair...learning to deal with Grief

Today my heart is beyond sad. It is aching and breaking.
Our dear friend, Katie Parsons May went home to be with the GOD she loved and served.
Her battle with pulmonary hypertension has ended.
PH won this battle but Christ won Katie for eternity.
Sweet Katie had been waiting at UCLA's medical center for over 3 weeks waiting for a double lung transplant. Her disease had made her lungs almost unfunctional. Her heart was in failure too, but in better shape than her lungs. So we prayed and prayed for her heart to be strengthened.
Two days ago, she developed an infection and her kidneys began to fail. Yesterday she went to surgery and had a port inserted and was started on dialysis. We were all so hopeful. And then her heart, which had been working so hard, just gave out and Katie left this life and entered eternity.
I am not sorry for Katie. She is forever free of pain. She is now healthy and whole. And she is in the presence of JESUS, and is joyful. She fought a tremendous fight. She was courageous beyond belief. she cared for others until the very end.
Not only was she probably THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL I have ever seen physically, but her inner beauty even outshined her outward beauty. Katie had incredible pain in her life and yet she kept living.
AND then she and JOHNNY found each other.

Both of them had suffered extreme losses, and God brought them together.
On November 20,2010, I was privileged to be at their wedding. It truly was a celebration of life and hope and God's incredible grace.
That evening Johnny said he wanted to love and care for Katie for however long he could. Whether it be 6 weeks, 6 months , 6 years or 60 years.
God gave them an incredible 8 months together.
And Johnny loved Katie so well. She never doubted his love. And for those of us who knew her, that was the greatest gift she ever received.
Thank you Johnny May for loving sweet Katie so well.
And tonight my heart breaks and aches for Gary and Jeanne and for Hannah and Tots.
The Parsons have many many people who love them all over the world.
I imagine hundreds of people all over feeling this incredible loss and hurt and sadness that i feel and my family feels. There are so so many of us who are lifting the Parsons and May famiiles up to Our Lord tonight.
You see, the Parsons family makes everyone they are with feel special. Feel like you are so important and worth investing in. They love well. they teach us to love better.
And Katie Noel May was definitely a Parsons. She loved and cared for others with abandon.
So tonight, I am reminded again that life is unfair. That life doesn't work out the way we want. That the good can die young while evil people live.
But I want to remember Katie for the grace she extended, for how she loved others so incredibly well. How my life will always be blessed by the most beautiful blonde gal I have ever met.
That she would want us to go on. She would want us to live and she would tell us that she is forever happy now.
My heart aches for us...for all of us who knew and loved her. for all of us who know and love the Parsons and the Mays.
We will miss you terribly Katie. But our lives have been so enriched by knowing you and loving you.
Thank you Katie. and Thank you Jesus that you gave us Katie for a season.
Looking forward to eternity.

Friday, July 15, 2011

YOU want me to do WHAT?

Reading the Gospel of Mark this week has me thinking and pondering and ever so thankful that we have the WORD of GOD to speak the TRUTH into our lives-mine in particular.
Yesterday I was reading in chapter 6 and Jesus tells His disciples to "Come away with Me, by yourselves to a quiet solitary place". We all need to do that -each and everyday. We need our time with Jesus. We need to hear His Words, His Truth. We need to get instructions on how to live this day. We need His love, and His Grace and His mercy and Forgiveness each day.
Fortunately for me, living kind of in the middle of nowhere, its easy to get away to a quiet solitary place. Every morning in the summer, I grab my coffee, my bible and journal and head outside to have my much needed time with Jesus. I have the most beautiful landscape to look at and I thank God for His Creation. But I NEED my time with Him. Because if I don't, I have the wrong perspective on life and what it really is all about. I can believe all sorts of the enemy's lies and half truths if I don't spend time with Jesus. We all Need His Truth ...everyday.
WHY? Because if you are anything like me (and lets hope you aren't), we get too me centered, worried about my life, dwelling on what I want. And then my view gets completely skewed (pretty sure that's not how its spelled). And I think its all about me. And its not. Its ALL ABOUT JESUS.
Then today I was reading in Mark 8 and read how Jesus told us to deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Him.
OK...lets just say...that is often VERY HARD to do. Denying ourselves is to quit thinking about our own selfish make room for let Him be first.
And taking up our cross?? well I know so much has been written about that. But for me, crosses come in so many forms: anything that makes me put others ahead of me, suffering, pain, heartache, loneliness, depression, watching ones we love suffer or go thru terrible things....TAKE UP YOUR CROSS. Wow JESUS, that is a tough one...and then FOLLOW ME, which I wrote about earlier this week. That too, can be a tough thing to do.
Why in the world would Jesus ask us to do such hard things?
Because HE wants us to look more like Him than ourselves. So that our lives will draw others to the ONE who loves them completely and unconditionally. And to draw those who know Him already, into a deeper relationship with Him.
I want to obey this command with everything that is within me, but OH how I need the Holy Spirit's help moment by moment.
Still striving and struggling to be the person Jesus envisions me to be.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Come, Follow ME

Ahhhh LORD, sometimes it is just so hard to follow You.
It sounds so simple, right?
Just follow Jesus.
But WHERE are we going Jesus?? what if I don't fit in? what if I don't like it?? What if you have the wrong person in me??
That's what I want to do. With all my heart and soul. I want to Follow Jesus. I want to obey Him always. But yet, if I'm really honest, I have to say that sometimes its just really hard.
And sometimes its hard to figure out what HE wants me to do. Where HE wants me to be.
I started reading the Gospel of Mark today in my quiet time. And twice in the first 3 chapters, Jesus says: "Follow Me". Peter dropped everything and followed Him. So did Levi the tax collector. So why is it so hard sometimes for me, for you, to follow Jesus?
Is it mostly because we want what we want? Or is it because we are afraid of what He might ask us to do?? And really?? I think my life would be simpler, more enjoyable if I just followed Jesus. If I just kept my eyes on HIM all the time.
In the past couple of weeks, I have been hurt deeply by someone. And you know where hurt leads?? well for me its been to a couple of places?? One is completely doubting my self worth, who I really am, if I am of any value whatsoever to Christ and His Kingdom? the other place is to anger.
Oh how I hate to be angry. I hate how I feel when I am angry. I hate how it can consume me. Thankfully, I have walked with the LORD long enough to realize that anger only hurts me. And that I need to forgive. So if any of my summer staffers are reading this, I too, am now doing the Forgiveness Prayer. I know it works. I know that only because of Jesus' pure forgiveness of me, that I can forgive the one who hurt me. It just takes time.
I am the leper who came to Jesus and said, "Lord, if you are willing, make me clean".
I need to be cleansed by the blood of the spotless Lamb who gave His life for me.
I have a friend who has cancer and I read her blog this am. In the midst of her battling chemo and radiation, her body has suffered greatly. But she has never complained. She has used this whole cancer to draw closer and closer to Jesus. She is certainly one of my heroes. (You are the BEST, Lynn!).
I want to be like her. I want to draw closer and closer to Jesus the midst of the pain I feel right now.
I want to Follow Jesus-even if it hurts. Even in the uncertainty. Even knowing that it might be really hard.
Why? Because I have learned and realized deep down in the core of who I am, that life apart from Jesus Christ doesn't make sense at all. Life with Him, might not make sense at times, but life with Him, always has hope. I can know assuredly that I am not alone. That I believe His words to me that say: "I will never leave you, I will never forsake you"
With having parents who both died, and friends that have too, with leaving lifelong friends to move to Woodleaf when I felt so alone; I know those words to be true. They have taken me thru some really challenging times. Jesus will never leave me or forsake me.
That's why I want to follow Him. Because He won't leave me. I will never be alone. I will always have HOPE. And if you don't know need to meet JESUS and be comforted by His Love, His Grace, His Forgiveness and to know His Peace.
Come , Follow Me.
Yes Lord, I will. Even if its hard, even if it hurts, even when I'm scared.

Monday, June 20, 2011

TIRED...oh so tired.
I got home less than 48 hours ago from 23 days at Lost Canyon where I was incredibly privileged to work alongside 52 amazing college students. Amazing? what I really mean is unbelievable, spectacular and awesome beyond belief.
Yesterday I experienced the Summer Staff Blues. I missed these wonderful friends so much. I didn't have energy to do much of anything. Well I did vacuum because there was alot of dog hair around, and I did wash my clothes and because it was Father's Day and none of our kids were around, I tried to make Scud a nice dinner. He really deserves it as he has been the BEST dad possible for our kids and quite a few others.
But I was so tired. and today...tired too.
Altho I have done a bit more housework today, I went outside to read a book and quickly dozed off. And then I woke up hungry.
So I have this schedule of a newborn a little, stay up and then sleep some more.
And I wondered why its so hard to settle back into normal everyday life.
And I remembered the story of Elijah in the bible. Its in 1 Kings chapters 18-19.
Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal (those who worship false gods) to see whose GOD is real. In this story, Elijah mocks them and gets them to yell louder and louder to wake up their false gods. And of course, the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, the ONE whom Elijah serves, makes known His Presence in front of these foolish prophets and eventually all 450 are killed.
This does not sit well with Jezebel the wicked wife and queen of Ahab. She orders that Elijah be killed at once and frightened, he runs away, fearing for his very life.
Here is the story of a man who valiantly spoke of the power, the love, the protection of his God and yet because he was God's own prophet, he spoke up against the deception, the evil, the atrocities of his day and repeated over and over that GOD would not allow this to continue.
And God was faithful to His servant in the midst of these troubling times.
And yet we see Elijah running for his life immediately after he kills all the prophets of Baal.
This is a great reminder for me and my amazing summer staff.
WE, like Elijah, have just ministered for the LORD. We did all that we possibly could to make sure that the over 1000 high school kids that visited Lost Canyon had every opportunity to hear and see the love and kindness of our SAVIOR. Everything we did for 3 weeks, from cooking our meals, to washing the clothes, to making sure the sound boards were working, to manning the ropes course , the zip, the heist, the pool, the blob, the bikes-Everything we did was to show Christ in visible and some invisible ways.
And now, we are home ...tired, exhausted and needing some rest.
In 1Kings 19, an angel of the LORD ministered to Elijah. He needed rest and sleep. He needed to be strengthened, just as we do.
WE need to rest, to eat and most of all, we need to spend time with the LORD to be refreshed and rejuvinated in His Presence. We need a touch from Our Master.
So lets be like, sleep and get ready for the next step GOD has for us.
I love you Session 1 Summer staff of Lost Canyon and I miss you terribly.

Monday, June 13, 2011

TIME precious time is. Time is a gift . What we do with it says alot about who we are and what we are about.
Right now time has become a mystery to me.
Yesterday at 4:05pm, my watch stopped. My trusty little timex watch.

And time stood still. I was thinking I was so efficient doing my one on one summer staff evaluations until someone pointed out to me that it was 1 1/2 hrs later than 4:05. I didn't realize how much I used my watch. At camp, I am always looking at it to see what time it is and where I should be. And well today, I have been late twice already and feel a bit disconnected all because the battery in my watch decided to stop.
I actually went to town in Williams to see if I could easily get a battery. But NO...many watch batteries were seen, but none that fit my watch.
So time remains a mystery to me today.
But also on other days it does too. What do I do with my time?? Do I use it wiesly? Or do I act as if I had all the time in the world? and possibly waste it?
This week, time seems of the essence. I have 26 evaluations I need to do and then now I have 4 days left with this wonderful staff of 52 summer staff kids. I want to spend as much time with them as possible and squeeze in every precious moment that I can.
Which today seems like quite the task.But I don't want to miss this time, I want to take advantage of every single hour that I am given.
And then there is time in general...which we all have. And what we do with our time is our own responsibility. How much time have I wasted in my life??? Probably alot and now I am realizing as i get older, that time truly is a precious gift.
Just this week one of my dear friends was told of 2 of his friends death within 10 minutes of each other.
We don't know how much time each of us has. And we do not appreciate the time we do have. It really is a gift.
Only God knows how much time each person has and yet we need to treasure all the time we do have.
The book of Ecclesiastes says that "there is a time for everything...a time to be born and a time to die". I know from my many years as a nurse, that someone is being born right now as I type and someone has ended their live on earth.
What we do with the space in between our birth and our death is what really matters.
Am I using that time for God? To bring Him glory? To tell those that struggle and cope with life that HE alone is their hope? That HE exists beyond our time and has been God from Ages past into eternity?
This brief bit of time without a watch has made me realize that time itself is a very precious commodity. Oh how I want to make the most of all the time I am given. and i want you too to realize that life is short. Try to savor life with a deep reverance and appreciation for all the time we are given.

Friday, June 10, 2011

There's Hope for me yet

Right now I am two thirds thru my assignment as the women's summer staff coordinator at Lost Canyon.
I can't even begin to tell you how blessed this time has been. God has been so wonderfully gracious to me. I have 26 girls that I am to get to know , and lead. But by far, my most important job is to love them. And this has been very easy. They come from all over the United States...the south is represented in gals from Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. We have midwestern girls from Kansas and Iowa and Illinois. Of course California and Arizona and Nevada are represented and Sweet Angel comes from Hawaii.
We also have 26 young men with us and they too come from all over the country.
We are truly a diverse group of different races and yet we all are here to serve Christ.
I have been humbled by the stories of their lives. There are heartaches,tragedies and pain that seem most unbearable to me. I want to love them as they deserve to be loved. I want them to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a lifetime of walking with Jesus is worth it. That life doesn't make sense at all apart from Christ. That there may be joys,and happiness; but there also can be times of great challenge, frustration and yes, even terrible pain. Times where they may wonder: "GOD, are you even there?"
My heart's desire is that they will know the Love, the Strength, the Hope, the Grace, the Faithfulness of Our Savior. That it is something that will always be there for us;even in the midst of the darkest of times.
This has been such a rich time for me.
But it hasn't always been easy. This late 50's body isn't what it once was. I am tired tonight and know that we will be leaving at 6am to see the Grand Canyon tomorrow. So I know I need to sleep well tonight and encourage them to do the same. Because tomorrow afternoon brings our last group of campers for their "WEEK ONLY" and we need to be at our very best to serve them.
As an assignment team, we have had devotions every morning. As the entire camp, we have a booklet on the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthinians-the LOVE chapter and it has been very thought provoking and challenging.
Today we looked at ! Cor 13:5b "Love keeps no record of wrongs"
How many times have I kept records? and why??

I was very convicted and after our meeting, I opted out of our next meeting so that I could spend some time with the LORD getting my heart right.
So many Scriptures speak of our need for forgiveness.
I think the one I go to the most is Colossians 3:13.
Bear with one another (or make allowance for each other's faults)and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the LORD forgave you.
Luke 6:37 says:
Forgive and you will be forgiven

So I take that to mean if I don't forgive, I won't be forgiven. WOW...that is some serious words of Jesus. I want and desperately need forgiveness. So I must forgive, even when it means I have been offended, or taken advantage of, or someone has deeply wounded me or worse yet, someone I love.

So the pettiness and grudge I had against someone back home, was quickly confessed.
I was cleansed and forgiven for my lack of mercy towards someone.
And thankful that the Holy Spirit spoke deep into my heart and showed me that I needed to keep no records of wrongs. That keeping short accounts really is the BEST way.
And that Hebrews 8:12 is a promise I claim today:
For I will forgive their wickedness, and remember their sins no more.

Thank you Lord Jesus, that slowly but surely , You are changing me from the selfish unforgiving person I naturally tend to be, into the person You envision me to be.
There is hope for me yet!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am on a frantic, frentic pace this week. I have been writing devotionals, packing, cleaning and making lists all prior to my departure Thursday for Lost Canyon. I will be gone 3 weeks as the Women's Summer Staff Coordinator. So I feel like life is just going by so fast.
Yet, I had the wonderful time remembering yesterday how just one year ago we witnessed the marriage of Katie to Nate. Our yard has never looked better than it did that magical night. We had lights twinkling throughout our yard. We danced under the stars and tried to keep warm (dancing and drinking wine helped me!!). But it was such the perfect evening to celebrate the newlywed Bruce's.
I am grateful to have the time to reflect on that.
This past weekend, we had the enormous pleasure and fun of watching our two grandsons.
What absolute joy they bring Scud and me. Kellen who is 3 was in little boy heaven. He played baseball literally for hours pretending he was Cody Ross and Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez and Miguel Tejada. I seriously loved watching him. He truly has the potential, according to his uncle Todd, of being the biggest Giants fan ever.
Our dog, Cody, loves to chase and find lizards. Well one unfortunate little lizard tried to hide under a big rock. No obstacle for Cody...she just dug and dug and dug to get under that rock to catch the lizard. The best part for Kellen was that the dirt was red. Just like the infield of any given ballpark. So in order to truly be a baseball player, you must slide and get dirty. And slide he did. Over and over and over again. "Now I really look like a baseball player Grammy". I was a bit concerned that the red dirt wouldn't come out and would face the chagrin of his mother, but it did. Well, except for his socks. For some reason, red dirt never gets out of the socks, no matter how much bleach I use!!

And if he wasn't playing baseball, he was hiking around our yard. He took Gramps on a trail-going thru bushes and discovering all sorts of things. Grammy and Gramps' house is really an oasis for little boys.
And then there was Jax, who is 10 months old now and fast. Did i say FAST? Because if I turn around for just a second, he has moved so far out of my vison that its truly a sight to see. He is the happiest little guy. Not much bothers him-except if he sees his bottle or his food, he wants it NOW and lets you know in no certain terms. Oh how I love these little guys that I am blessed to be their Grammy. What a marvelous, wonderful amazing thing grandchildren are.

I do know why we have children while we are younger tho. These little guys keep me hopping. I am just as tired as they are at the end of the day. Kellen and Jax are non-stop busy and I get such joy watching them.
As I mentioned earlier, I too, have been extremely busy. Often when we get busy, we can tend to overlook the things that are truly important to us. Like spending time with Jesus. I have learned in my almost 40 years of walking thru this life journey with Christ, that the busier I am, the MORE I need to spend time with HIM. I need to get His perspective, I need to hear His Words. I need to be calmed by the promises of Scripture.
Yes I am busy. Yes I am tired and feeling a bit depleted. But oh how I need to find rest from my weary soul..and Jesus promises He will be all I need...if I just show up. I hope I am never too busy to be with Jesus. I need Him desperately. I suppose you do too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I love being with people. Having meaningful conversations. I love listening to what they have to say -whether its just about themselves or their deep thoughts on issues of life. But I have found that in today's world, it is extremely difficult to have someone's full attention.

I so appreciate the advances of the technological age. To be able to send an email across the world in a matter of seconds is mind boggling. To let someone know by text, either a message of why I am tardy or that I am thinking of them is wonderful. And Google?? well it has helped me find information faster than I ever could. I remember going to the Library and hoping that I could find the info I needed: were the periodicals in?? Do young people today even know what periodicals are?? Probably Not.

And cell phones?? They are truly amazing. And how far they have advanced. You can get any information you want on your cell phone today that you can from your computer-that too is something that I cannot fathom how they made that happen!!

And then there's Facebook. What an ingenious thing that Mark Zuckerburg invented. How fun it is to find old friends from high school and keep up with my friends daily. I love it. But I have found FB to be both a curse and a blessing. Truly it is addicting.

But I believe we have lost the art of communicating.

Today's youth communicate more by texting, Facebooking than they do by actually speaking words to each other. Often they are in the same room with each other, on their laptops and they communicate via chat on their computers rather than speaking words out loud to each other.

So today I am going to let you in on my pet peeve: that today's technology and all its advances have hindered us from being fully present with others.

When we are with people, we constantly check our phones for messages or the latest on FB.

Are we that important? Are we the President of the United States, where we make decisions that can be life saving on a moment to moment basis??

We have become what used to be known as rude.

Some of Webster's dictionary definitions of rude are: lacking refinement, discourteous,unmannerly as in ill mannered.

Granted, I am guilty of this too. But I try not to have it be often.

How often am I in meetings, when numerous people are checking their iPhones or Blackberry's?? All the time.

How often do I meet with my college friends and they check their texts?? Constantly.

Why have we lost the art of being fully present to those we are with??

To be fully there. To listen intently. Or to enjoy the activities we are engaging in together??

Why do we check our phones at a ball game??? Haven't we spent enough money on those tickets to be invested in the game??

And for us, as followers of Christ? Can we not be fully present to HIM?

Recently I was at our Regional Staff meeting, and we were given the TREMENDOUS privilege of spending an hour in song worshipping Our God. And while I was singing, the person in front of me was checking their Facebook and one to the side of me was looking at their emails.

I wanted to scream. Cant you even be fully engaged with the LORD?? Can't you put down your phone to just be with JESUS?

How much time are we on Facebook, checking our emails, texting our family and friends?? How much time is that in comparison to the time we invest in our relationship with Our God?? with our relationships with our family and friends? When we are giving them our undivided attention?

When I am with my 2 grandsons, I put my phone away-in another room so I won’t be distracted. Why? Because I love these 2 little boys with all that is within me and I don’t want to miss anything that they are doing or discovering. And it is such a special time.
And when I happen to be with my friends in San Jose.? Well my phone plays no part in our time, because my time with those dear ones is so far between, that I just want to be with them and never even have to worry “than I might be missing something”. Nothing beats spending quality time with Mary Kay, or Ruth or Pam or Jean or Karen (if I’m lucky enough to see her!), or my dear June.

How much time do we spend on our phones. Interrupting our being with someone to take this call??

Again I ask, are we that important?

I know this might rattle some of you. But can I just encourage you to try for a day, even half a day, to put your phone down when you are with someone? To be fully present to them?

It might surprise you the joy it could bring you, seeing things you might have missed!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

the Heart of Spring

It is finally spring at Woodleaf. It has been a very long time in coming.
We just finished the longest, coldest winter I have experienced in the 5 winters I have lived here. We had record snowfall and record rainfall. But hopefully it is over. But I remember last year. When we thought it was over and then on the night of May 22nd the snow came back.
You might ask how I know that was the date. Oh, because our daughter Katie was getting married here on May 23rd. Everything we had planned was for an outside wedding. We didn’t panic the night before, I actually laughed and wondered out loud “Really God?? at Katie’s wedding? After all she has been through?”
And the next day we woke up to blue skies and sunshine. It was a brisk day but it was beautiful. And I thank God for our many friends who prayed for a sunny day as they experienced the snow with us on the eve of Katie’s wedding to Nate.
I love springtime because it shows off the newness of life. When what has died in the cold realities of winter, begin to sprinkle the earth will beautiful greens and vibrant colors of yellow, pink, orange and red on the fields. Spring shows me that life has a way of starting again. That new beginnings are always possible. That the gloominess of winter bursts forth in the delightfulness of spring.
Wonderfully, it really looks like spring. The daffodils and tulips are blooming at camp. Yesterday I weeded two of the flower beds in front of the hotel.
And today I ate my lunch outside on my patio furniture that Scud had brought out yesterday. It was sunny and warm. I can’t tell you how blissful it was to feel the sun on my face and body and to be in shorts for the first time this year here.
I was delighting in the artichoke I was devouring. Its a California thing you know-these artichokes. They come from Watsonville and I wait for them each year and love peeling off the leaves and dipping them-today in a dill mayonaise.
As I was peeling them trying to get to the heart of the artichoke, I would cheat and pull away some of the leaves so I could be closer to the heart-the very most delicate and delicious part of the artichoke.
And then all of a sudden I had the realization that this is what God does with me. He pulls off the leaves to get to my heart. All the things that distract me, all the things that keep me from seeing Him in the midst of my everyday life. All the things that I think are important and deserving of my time. All the things that I want to give me pleasure. But often times, all the things that keep me from seeing who Jesus really is and what He is trying to say to me.

Its all about the heart. My heart. Your heart. He is trying to get to our heart so that we can see that He is really what is important. He is where we should turn, He is what should make our hearts beat. That the closer we get to Jesus, the more we should begin to pulsate with the heart of God.
Often I try to skip over the leaves of the artichoke to get to the heart. 
But always God goes directly to the heart because He knows that it is there that we truly feel, truly show our true selves. It is our heart that He can penetrate so that we see HE is what is what is absolutely vital to our existence.
And so as spring begins to show itself at Woodleaf, I am praying that God can begin a new work on my heart. A heart that is open to Him and all that He offers me, a heart that will let Him transform me so that my heart looks more like His.