Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She Gave All She Had

Last week was our turn to teach the Pre-K-K class for Sunday School. It's a lively group and we always enjoy it. Sunday, we had about 20, but they were so busy it seemed like more. The lesson was about following directions, but it seems like the Spirit was teaching a different lesson in the heart of one little girl.
About halfway into the morning, we take time to sing and praise the Lord and to take up the offering. I invited the kids who'd remembered to bring their offerings to go to the plastic bucket we use and put in their money. As they headed back to their seats, little Brielle came and looked up at me.
"I don't have any offering," she said.

"That's okay, Brielle, you can bring it next week." I replied and she scurried back to her chair.

A few moments later she found me again. This time she was holding a long pink balloon, one of those you can twist into animals and hats. She'd had it all morning and it was now only half filled with air.
"Here," she said brightly, a wide smile on her face, "This balloon is for God!"
Together we took the balloon over and put it in the bucket. I'm sure it made Jesus smile to see a bright pink balloon on top of all the pennies, quarters, bills and envelopes already there.

"I think God is very happy you gave him your balloon," I told Brielle as she happily took her seat again. One little girl gave all that she had that morning, joyfully and with all her heart because she wanted to give to God.

"... and a little child shall lead them."

Lord, may I be as cheerful and generous and pure a giver as this little one.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This is exactly the kind of book I was hoping to discover on my journey of "The Year of Reading Dangerously"

The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson

"'Yada Yada' to perceive, understand, acquire knowledge, know and discern." What a perfect name for a prayer group! When Jodi Baxter makes the decision to go with her boss to the Chicago Women's Conference, she has no idea the changes God has planned for her life.

"What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a foreign college student and a married mother of two have in common?" asks the back cover. But when this group of women, plus a few more, randomly winds up in the same prayer group, God starts connecting hearts in ways only He could. If you're a woman, you know what I'm talking about. One minute you're thinking you have nothing in common with that older woman sitting across the room and the next minute you realize you're sisters under the skin. It's this feeling that Neta Johnson does so well that makes "Yada, Yada" such a special book.

I wrote previously about a book in which I had trouble identifying with the main character. In this story, I was with Jodi from page one. As I became involved in the Yadas, I fell easily into longing for a closer walk with God, more vibrant praising, and especially a more powerful and positive prayer life. When you read the prayers of the Yada Yada sisters, you'll want to jump up, shout "Glory" and try a few of them yourself--at least I know did. I can honestly say this book has made a positive impact on my prayer life and I'm praising God for it. What could be better than being entertained and learning to walk closer to God at the same time? This is exactly the kind of book I was hoping to discover on my journey of "The Year of Reading Dangerously"

Full of good humor and compelling characters, along with some surprising twists and turns, this is one prayer meeting you don't want to miss.

P.S. Although I had hoped not to reread any author until the year was over, I confess I've already begun the second book (Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down)--I just couldn't resist!

Quaker Summer

Haven't blogged about the "Year of Reading Gloriously" lately but I'm still on track and have finished a couple of books, am into a third. As the holidays approach I've been super busy letting everyone know about "Christmas Miracles" a new book written and compiled by Cecil Murphy and Marley Gibson and others (including my friend and boss Twila Belk). Please check it out at There is also a fan page if you're on Facebook.

A good friend recommended Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson to me last summer and I finished it in early October. From the back cover:

"Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband, and soapstone countertops--yet still feels miserable inside? Yet when Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun in a downtown homeless shelter, she suddenly finds herself at a crossroads."

This pretty much sums it up. I had a really difficult time relating to Heather. In the book she says, "Every year I think there must be more to life, and every year, despite a new car or a trip to a new land, new milestones and triumphs in my son's life, or a redone deck, a pool, a spa, or entertainment system, I take stock and think once again, I was made for more than this. But I love my stuff." Hmmm. I am not a person who is preoccupied with buying things and I had some real problems even imagining Heather's affluent life-style.

But I could certainly identify with her struggle to do what God wanted her to do instead of going her own way. God calls Heather so far out of her comfort zone in such an unmistakable voice it's hard to ignore Yet she actually waffles until the night she has a kangaroo (!) hop across the road in front of her SUV. Talk about God getting your attention.

This book has memorable characters, true to (yuppie) life struggles and even some action sequences although it's best quality is the call it gives to Christians get out of our safe little small groups and insulated lives and begin to serve, as Jesus did, the "least of these".

There was one bit of "action" near the end that truly disappointed me. After spending the entire book encouraging women to go to the poorer parts of town, to the halfway houses and homeless shelters, an incident occurs that I would assume might be a major source of undoing all the good that had come before. I don't want to include a spoiler, but let me share an experience of my own to shed some light on why I wish the author "hadn't gone there".

For a number of years I played in a conservative church's all ladies handbell choir. On occasion we were asked to play for a men's minimum security prison. Each time it was a struggle for some of the husbands to allow their wives to go into what they perceived as a dangerous situation. In the end, we all went (and if I remember correctly a couple of husbands went the first time) and got our socks blessed off by the loving attitude and appreciation of the inmates. After the first time, you couldn't have stopped any of the ladies from going and no one felt the least bit threatened.

I know I'm somewhat unusual in that I'm that crazy Christian that sometimes picks up hitchhikers, gives homeless men caught stealing my "stuff" a sandwich and some clothes, and doesn't think twice about worrying I'll get hurt if I go serve at a homeless shelter. So I was saddened to see that issue come up in this book.

But basically this story will challenge you to step out where God is calling you and put aside whatever is keeping you from taking that step towards real and meaningful service to the kingdom. Give it a try.

"Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to find the life you were meant to live."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes…

“Didn’t Jesus help Papa, Grammy? Jesus will help us!”

Ok, your “grands” know the moment. You’re right in the middle of telling a real life cautionary tale to one of the little ones. Suddenly boom! Out pops a question that stops you in your tracks.

Last Saturday in the backyard with my lovely granddaughter Vallarie, we were having fun around one of her first experience with a “campfire”. She seems to be continuing a family tradition of being absolutely fascinated with everything about bright blazes. She kept asking me if she could put twigs, sticks or leaves in the fire. After a firm “NO” to each request, she would find a smaller twig, thinking that was the problem and ask again.
After about half a dozen such requests, we had a little talk about how fire was dangerous especially for children. To illustrate I began to tell her about the time “Papa” (her grandfather) got in trouble because he was playing with fire.

As a youngster living in dry southern California, he and some friends were setting small fires in a large field and trying to see how big a fire they could make and still stomp it out. Within minutes they had the answer –bigger than you think! The flaming field was soon filled with fire trucks, firefighters, and a furious field owner, not to mention angry parents and a very frightened and embarrassed little boy “Papa”. (Can you imaging the headline “Local Pastor’s Son Burns Down Vista”?)

“But didn’t Jesus help Papa, Grammy? Jesus will help us!” Vallarie interrupted emphatically. I had a little mental pause, but I can recognize a teachable moment when I see it and this one wasn’t for four year old Vallarie, but for 58 year-old Grammy.

“Well, yes, Vallarie, Jesus DID help Papa. He kept Papa safe from getting burned and Papa learned an important lesson. But, Papa still got in trouble for playing with fire.
Yes, Val, Jesus certainly DOES help us, all the time.” I said, silently thanking Jesus for helping me to answer her question.

Vallarie seemed pretty satisfied with that answer and so we got a stick and marshmallow and continued watching the wonder of fire. But for me the highlight of last Saturday was not the sharing the sweet experience of roasting a marshmallow for the first time, or the magic of watching the beauty of “sparkles” (as Vallarie called them) floating up on the wind. No the real treasure of the day was hearing the precious proclamation of a 4 year-old, the next generation learning and believing , that

“Jesus will help us!”

Thank You Jesus!
P. S. That is NOT a real fire in the picture!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I watched a family cross the street today...

I watched a little family cross the street on the way to school today.

Little brother is small, arms reaching up to hold tightly to

Big sister older and wiser walks alertly, so proud and careful. She holds onto her the little boys hand in love, looking both ways as they cross the busy street.

Holding tight to brother's other hand is Dad, straight and tall, wearing his son's small backpack. Upon his shoulders rests the safety of his children. They are trusting in him to get them safely to the school.

How like a Dad to let his daughter help lead the youngest along the way. Yet how obvious it is watching them that Dad is the true protector and shield against the dangers of this walk in the world.

And how this little scene reminds me of us. We are God's daughters and sons, so proud to give ourselves to help guide others on their way to Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. So thrilled to think we can help someone on their journey to the Lord.

But all the while, on the other side, holding fast to their hand, is our loving Father, leading, guiding, protecting, taking care of both of us. Our heaviest burdens resting lightly on His strong shoulders, He leads us home in safety and love.

Thank You Jesus for reminding me what an awesome blessing it is that You choose to use unworthy, but willing hearts to use, blessing us amazingly for Your work here on earth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ruth, A Portrait, The Story of Ruth Bell Graham

Another glorious read, I finished this book over the weekend and I enjoyed it immensely! Ruth Graham is a courageous, stubborn, strong, independent, humble, prank-pulling, soft-hearted, sharp-tongued,family-loving, make-up wearing woman who has had a life-long love for her God. I was inspired and encouraged reading about this woman who isn't perfect, disagrees with her husband (and he's BILLY GRAHAM) and tells him so and has led such a wonderful life of serving and loving Jesus.

Here's my review:

What a relief to read that Ruth Graham wears make-up! Seriously, this insightful look at "the woman behind the man" is the story of a real woman, strong, independent, and full of good humor and pranks, compassionate and absolutely in love with Jesus."After it was finished, we did not speak for eight years", Patricia Cornwell says about writing the biography of life-long friend Ruth Bell Graham. With a line like that I was hooked, knowing I was going to hear the true story of Mrs. Graham, not just a "halo polishing" portrait. What emerges is a clear picture of a woman who is in love with Jesus and sold out to God.

"Brimming with anecdotes from four decades this is a biographical journey with stops at many of our country's epoch-making events."From Ruth's childhood in China, through her days at Wheaton College, marriage to Billy, being the anchor for the family, the homemaker/house builder and "wife of Billy Graham" Ruth's character shines through. Stubborn, compassionate, funny, adventurous, accepting, humble, Ruth is as fine an example of a woman of God as you would ever want to read about. She is not perfect, but forgiven and has spent her life seeking to give that hope to other sinners. Some of my favorite stories were those about how unimpressed she (and Billy) is with the celebrity & celebrities that surround them. Ruth is definitely "no respecter of persons", but treats each soul as a precious child for whom Jesus died.

The cover notes end with "Patricia Cornwell has seen firsthand the courageous spirit of Ruth Bell Graham, and gives us a full, rounded, and intimate portrait of one of America's truly extraordinary women."I could not have said it better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


by George Cooper

"Come, little leaves" said the wind one day,
"Come over the meadows with me, and play;
Put on your dresses of red and gold;
Summer is gone, and the days grow cold."

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the soft little songs they knew.

"Cricket, good-bye, we've been friends so long;
Little brook, sing us your farewell song-
Say you're sorry to see us go;
Ah! you are sorry, right well we know.

"Dear little lambs, in your fleecy fold,
Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
Fondly we've watched you in vale and glade;
Say, will you dream of our loving shade?"

Dancing and whirling the little leaves went;
Winter had called them and they were content-
Soon fast asleep in their earthly beds,
The snow laid a soft mantle over their heads.

I've loved this sweet poem since my daughter brought it home one fall afternoon long ago when she was in second grade. Researching it today, I found it is also a song. Anyone else familiar with it?

The year of reading gloriously continues with a biography of Ruth Bell Graham
. Review will follow soon, I trust.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

WinterHaven by Athol Dickson

When Vera Gamble gets the news that her brother's body has washed up on a rocky beach in Maine, she makes the trip to Winterhaven to bring him home to Texas. Arriving on the remote island, she finds herself plunged back into visions and heartaches from the past. And is seems as if the people of Winterhaven have as many secrets as she does. Ghosts from the past and present create a sense of menace even as Vera meets romance in the form of the handsom Evan, the mysterous islander who found her brother's body.
This is a suspensful page-turner where nothing is as it seems, an intriguing and enjoyable tale to send a few shivers up your spine this fall.

As far as "The Year of Reading Gloriously" this had a very interesting background as Vera was the daughter of a troubled faiith healer. She is obviously a beleiver, but is struggling with her faith after the passing of her brother, mother and losing her father to Alzheimer's. How she struggles to come to terms with a loving God who has allowed such tragedy in her life is a part of this mystery.”
Other themes include faith healing, supernatural gifts and visions and recovering from life's sometimes enourmous heartaches and losses.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

I have been a naughty, naughty Blogger. I did read "Atonement Child" by Francine Rivers. I found it to be riveting story that wasn't afraid to tackle some of the heartache and politically incorrect topics in our country today. But I forgot to write my review until 1-4-2010 so I'm going to post-date it to make it easier to find. Forgive me.

What happens when you are trying your best to live for God and the unthinkable occurs?

A crime against a young woman, an unintended pregnancy, a wavering fiancé all have been done before, but Ms. Rivers breathes into her characters such life that you feel you would know them if you met them on the street (one of my favorite things in a novel).

This book contains a lot of good information as well as an excellant story. It may seem, at times a bit preachy, but the subject matter is certainly worth it. I'm glad she was able to share so much in such an unjudgemental and graceful manner.

If you have never read Rivers, this would be a great book to start with. I highly recommend it!

And as long as I'm at it, I think I'll start a new rating system. Since cardinals (that's right, the bright red birds) make me happy whenever I see them I think I'll have to give Atonement Child a 4 (out of 5) Cardinal rating.

That translates to "Read it--you'll be glad you did"

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Year of Reading Gloriously

Let me start out this post with a book/movie review of "Julie/Julia: The Year of Cooking Dangerously" by Julie Powell. I liked the book but MY favorite parts of J/J were the snippets about Julia Child rewritten by Powell from Child's 2008 book, "My Life in France". So as soon as I finished Julie/Julie, I began reading "My Life in France". I absolutely LOVED this book. Of course it covers much more than a year and we are certainly more familiar with Child than Powell, but it is a charming, romantic Cinderella story set just after WWII.
A week later I the movie, one of the best I've seen this year--worth the price of a ticket and then some.
Hope you find time to read "My Life in France" AND see the movie, too! You'll be glad you did.

So inspired by Julie Powell's decision to give her life meaning by setting the goal of cooking all the 522 recopies in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and blogging about her experience, I've chosen my own experiment to see how my life is impacted. It is MUCH less formidable, but I don't think I'm feeling quite as lost as Ms Powell was feeling when she began to cook. And being lazy, I NOT going to cook but instead, I think I'll read! It's less fattening that way, too.

For the next year I'm going to read only books written that espouse the values Jesus Christ came to instill in us. Exactly what this means, I'm not sure, but that's part of the experiment. To read well written, life-affirming, redemptive literature and record my thoughts (reviews, I hope) and any insights that come.

This is not a science. I don't have a number goal in mind of how many books to read. I will read fiction, non-fiction, "Christian", non-"Christian" authors, and I'm inviting any and all suggestions for reading.

Since I began this post in August and it's now Sept, I'll backtrack a bit and fill in the books I've read since I began this quest.

The first book in the "Year of Reading Gloriously" was Atonement Child by Francine Rivers (review will follow in next post).
Happy reading to you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Five things I'm thankful for today.

5. Air conditioning! (up to 91 degrees outside)
4. My sister Sammie, for so many reasons but today, for working for an airline & hotel so I can get cheap tickets & rooms. Whoo-hoo, you rock Sammie!
3. For cherry picking pictures to remember all our cherry picking fun with daughter Stasi and granddaughter Maggie last month.
2. For Twila Belk-my boss, friend and one of the coolest chicks I know. (Twila, you also rock)
1. For thunder and lighting, rain and gardens. God's nature rockin' it in the su-su-summertime!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ten Things to Love about "Wall-E"

10. Wall-E replacing the Pixar light light bulb. Too cute!
9. Watching the amazing emotion conveyed in Wall-e and Eva's mechanical faces.
8. Wonderful, sentimental songs from "Hello, Dolly!"
7. The adorable post-apocalyptic Jiminy Cricket (the cockroach).
6. Watching a story told with so little dialogue, and (mostly) great music.
5. Non-violent, good natured humor.
4. Eva. A real kick butt independent wo-bot.
3. Wall-E The sweetest little trash compacter ever!
2. The opening with "Phantom of the Opera"'s voice floating out in space, nothing but black screen and Michael Crawford (as Cornelius in "Hello Dolly") singing! What a surprise.
1. Wall-e's outro(end credits). Cave drawings, hieroglyphics,Greek key, mosaics, etc, etc, ending with bucolic Impressionism. Loved the development of the new civilization and the art history lesson! And if that wasn't enough, we get the movie replayed in Atari art.
What a blast!

see for an amazing analysis.

BTW, just read that Wall-E also appears in the short "Your Friend, the Rat" on "Ratatouille" DVD. He's a futuristic spacecraft driver in which humans and rats are happily seated.(from /

Leave me a comment and add your own 10 (or less) things to love about "Wall-E"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanks to "Stuff Christians Like"

Read a really fun post on a new blog I just found called "Stuff Christians Like." You can find it in my "Following" sidebar.
He wrote about massages in church and here is my comment on his post. (Because I'm lazy and trying to do more blogging)
When I was younger I thought that massagers, nail clippers, goof-off-ers, were quite brave, in a devil-may-care sort of way. In the "good old days" our church taught that if you distracted someone from hearing the gospel and they went to hell, their blood was on YOUR hands. It was a real incentive to me to listen.
Imagine my chagrin when one night during a "revival," Vance Havner stopped his sermon and watched silently as my sister and her friend rose from the front pew and headed out the back door, past about 20 rows! Five minutes later when they returned, he waited just as silently as they walked back to their seats. At which point he picked up right where he had left off.
As for me, being easily distracted, neck rubs and the like are what have driven me to the front row. I'm happy up there just watching what's going on in front of me, and anyone behind me who is doing distracting things is safe from being glared at and judged by me. And I am saved from becoming a self-righteous prig. At least that's how I'm hoping it's working.
Loved your post, BTW. Was reading the one about saving pews, saw this one, and had to read it--sign me up for PAMIC.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day

I write those words with a touch of sadness. It's been five years since I've been able to greet my own mom with them. Mom and Dad both passed away in 2004, within 8 weeks of each other, and I've been missing them more than usual lately.
My mom did not have an easy life. She was an only child, greatly doted on by both parents and she lost them both in her early forties. She was so close to her mom, it was like losing her best friend, too.
Three out of four of Mom's children got into drugs and spent time in prison for it (you"ll have to guess if one of them was me). She lost a son and a grandson to drug overdoses. She had a crazy mother-in-law, worse than most. All this in addition to the usual heartaches and tears that come with raising children.
But in spite of it all, my mom was a hoot! I don't remember ever seeing her in a bad mood--sad sometimes, but never just crabby. (Too bad I didn't follow that example.) She somehow managed to bring joy and laughter into our home no matter what crazy circumstances were going on around her.
One of my favorite Mom stories started one day when I smelled something burning. I went into the kitchen--no mom. As I looked around, I spotted her sitting on the cement stairs on our small back porch.
"Mom", says I, "I smell something burning!"
"It's me!", she replied, a wry expression on her face. Then she began to laugh. She'd left the gas on too long before lighting the oven and had singed off her eyebrows. So there we sat on the back porch, moaning and laughing.
Later in life, Mom struggled with some dementia, including a very active "fantasy" life. When she was in a nursing home briefly, every day as she finished her lunch she would stand up and thank everyone for coming to her "birthday party".
But we were blessed--Mom was never angry or mean and only got frustrated when we insisted on dragging her back into reality. We have some pretty funny stories from that time, usually with Mom laughing right along with us. Over and over again we heard from those who helped us care for her how sweet she was.
I think the real gift that Mom was able to give her children through the life we saw her live was the gift of incredible hope. No matter what was happening, Mom was able to treat each new morning like the new beginning it was. She showed us by example how pointless and foolish it was to hold a grudge, to waste time being angry, and how to let go of petty and selfish grievances.
Mom was generous with all she had (which sometimes wasn't much). She loved her garden and grew the most beautiful roses, but I think she had as much joy in sharing bouquets with the neighbors as in growing the roses. I think to be a gardener one must be a person who hopes.
My sister and I have noticed many times our tenacity in holding onto hope even when there seems to be no reason at all. We're like the little girl who gets a big pile of manure deposited in her yard for her birthday. Instead of tears and tantrums, she dives right in and starts to dig in all that crap. When she's asked what in the world she's doing, she replies,
"With a pile of poop this big, there must be a pony in here somewhere!"
Thanks, Mom, for teaching us to keep digging for the pony.
So in spite of the circumstances, I say,
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom!"
to you, Mom. Although I miss you lots, I'm glad you're happy in heaven now, reunited with your beloved Sam, and Mark, and Jason and your mom and dad, too. Thanks for all the hope and I know I will be seeing you again.

If you're reading this and your mother is still with you, give her an extra hug for me and don't neglect to tell her what she means to you. In the spirit of my mom, I'm hoping you'll do that today

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Paperback or hardback, I LOVE BOOKS!

Who doesn't love books?
They are our quiet, portable little friends just waiting for us to pick them up and spend some quality time with them. They will go with us anywhere--to the beach, to the airport, to doctor's waiting rooms, inside or out, our papery friends accompany us. Heck, we've even been know to take them into the bathroom!
My books don't need to be plugged in nor have their batteries changed. They never "crash" and if they're dropped, they simply go down with a thud unaccompanied by the groan, gasps and screams that accompany the "going down" of their cyber counterpoints. I once dropped a small paperback into a hot tub. A few seconds (on low) in the microwave and a short stint in the clothes dryer and I was able to find out "whodunit". Tell me the laptop you can do that with!
And how patient are our little library buddies! Don't have to push any pesky pause button for them. Just a little scrap of paper is all they require to pick up right where we abandoned them in their selfless efforts to entertain us. But please do refrain from bending down their corners.
I buy both paperback and hard back books for different reasons.
Paperbacks are so easily transported on trips. And after I've finished, one of my very favorite things to do is to just leave the book in a busy place, with a little note for whoever finds it to read it and pass it on. I love the serendipity of that and imagining who will find it and if they will enjoy reading it as much as I did. And I feel I'm saving a fellow traveler on the road of life from being stranded with nothing to read--a fate far worse than a flat tire, in my book.
If I really love a book (or if it's really cheap) I'll buy a hard back. Last hardback I bought was "Atonement" (hardback, $1.25) at a church book sale in Pasadena, CA. Inside the front cover was a guy's name from CO, followed by a woman's name (she was from L.A.) and phone number in a different handwriting. It was a small mystery in itself. As for "Atonement", it remained in CA with my niece, Monica, who hopefully found it as entrancing as I did.
Although we all know "You can judge a book by it's cover", my son being quite enamored with the art work on the original Harry Potter book covers was given my copies of the earlier versions. How absolutely wonderful is the book that is a beautiful on the outside as on the inside!
So, in the end, for me it all comes down to what is INSIDE the book, be it paperback, hard back, from Amazon, Borders or the Davenport public library. A good book is worthy no matter what the form in which you read. (Even--maybe, e-books--but you still can't drop those in the bathtub!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

God Answers Prayer! -- Try connecting with Him.

I've recently been reading a book that has had a major impact on my life and I wanted to share it with as many people as I could, in the hope that they will be blessed as I have been by this book. Peter Lundell's new book, Prayer Power--30 days to a Stronger Connection with God is one of the most helpful books about prayer I've ever encountered, and I've been a believer since 1958.

What I love most about this book is the simplicity and directness in teaching about prayer. The short chapters and 30 day format are perfect for a new believer, for anyone seeking God and a great "refresher" course for us "seasoned saints". Peter writes with great insight sharing stories from the lives of many believers as well as his own experiences in learning how to connect with our loving heavenly Father. It would also make an ideal study for a small group. An appendix in the back, containing "Growth gages and suggested activities" allows the reader a practical method of evaluating their prayer life, where they are and how to move towards for a closer connection with God. (End of commercial-ha-ha)

Personally, I am so thankful God brought this book into my life at this point in my life. Because of some pretty chronic pain due to arthritis, (resulting in a total hip replacement in Sept. 2007) I felt impressed to grab on to one of Peter Lundell's suggestions about praying scripture for myself.
The scripture was Mark 11:23 where Jesus says "If anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him". As Peter suggested, I replaced the word "mountain" in the verse with the word "body" and said "Be strengthened" instead of "thrown into the sea".
In faith, I began to pray, " Body, be strengthened!" and (hopefully) "not doubting in (my) heart but believing" that what He says will happen--specifically "it will be done for him".
God has answered that prayer in an amazing way. Shortly after I had begun to pray, I "just happened" to see an online auction for a membership to a local gym. Hmmm, could this be the beginning of an answer from God? With only 4 hours left in the auction, I prayerfully placed my bid and got the membership for one half of the usual price.
That happened about a month ago and since then I've been able to exercise several times a week and regain more strength and mobility than I would have thought possible. (Did I mention I also had a hip replaced in 2007?) I'm now almost off the Ibuprofen I had been taking, up to about four or more a day, usually. And yesterday for the first time in at least 5+ years, I was able to do something I haven't been able to do for years--put a sock on my right foot almost normally! (OK, I get excited about the little things but just imagine if you always needed help to put on your socks--not fun).

Joining a gym was not something I was even considering. I had no idea how God would "strengthen" my body. But what an awesome Shepherd we have who knows how to lead each sheep to exactly the right pasture--or gym in my case. And God even took into account how I much I LOVE a bargain, arranging the ½ price membership to the gym! All this has just happened in the last thirty days. I am so grateful to God for the way He keeps His word!

As I continue reading the book, Prayer Power, I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises God has in store for me. If you are longing to know God better, to see His Hand at work in your life, to have a stronger connection with God, please join me and give Prayer Power a try.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to see thousands of answered prayers all over the blog-o-sphere!?!
Feel free to post yours here!

(for more information go to

Monday, February 23, 2009

Psalm Song

Last week I had one of those mornings when I was so aware of presence of God and how awesome and amazing is the love He pours out on us DAILY! The life-giving sun, the birds singing His praises with joy and even the promise of spring waiting impatiently to bloom out on us just sends me into an ecstasy of thankfulness. A truly joyful heart.
My scripture I was reading that morning just happened to be Psalm 36 and as I read it became a love song to God's love. Hope it blesses you.

Psalm Song 36
(in 6/8 time for you "sons of Korah")
Unfailing love
As vast as the heavens
Faithfulness reaching be-yond the clouds
Your righteousness Father is like mighty mountains
With justice as deep as the oceans
And you care for me, Lord
How precious is
Your unfailing love
All humanity hides neath your wings
Lord from your hand
Do we receive mercy
And we drink with delight from your rivers.
For you are the fountain of life
And the Light by which we all see
Yes, you are the fountain of life
And the Light in the darkness we see
Pour out your love
On those who love you
Give justice and mercy
To honest hearts
Forgive our pride
Don't let sin destroy us.
For sin is defeated by your sacrifice
Unfailing love
As vast as the heavens
Faithfulness reaching be-yond the clouds
Your righteousness Father is like mighty mountains
With justice as deep as the oceans
And you care for me, Lord

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yep, just tried it again and sure enough it worked fine! Maybe it's a ploy so I'll leave this on all the time.
Help--google hates me. Whenever I try to leave a very nice comment on someone else's blog, it keeps telling me I have the wrong password. BUT if I go in and open by blogger account, it usually works fine!
I'm starting to get a little UPSET!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trials of Technology

Hi--I'm Gail, a grandmother of 5, book promoter, singing teacher, wife, reader, born-again beleiver. And right now I'm just trying to get my Google blog account to work!
No matter how simple I try to make my password, usernames, email address, no matter how many times I write them down when I try to leave a comment for someone's cool comments I wind up resorting to being anonymous!
I am a person! I have an account! I am thinking of changing all my cyperspace persona to "Anonymous". I'm just not sure if I'm spelling it correctly.