Our side yard is a butterfly magnet.  At least, it was last summer. You know how much I love butterflies, Lord!  So You filled the side yard of our mountain retreat with Butterfly Bushes.  Last summer, they were a favorite “hang out” for countless winged beauties! Today, they had only two words in their vocabulary.  Two words they seemed to shout at me:  “PRUNE ME!” So I did. I didn’t really know what I was doing.  My initial objective was to just snip off the old flowers that had dried to a prickly, brown mess.  But when I got close enough to snip, I noticed the spindly branches supporting the dead flowers.  New… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Empowering Life.

We “celebrated” Pentecost at church today. I put quotes around that word because I kept waiting for the pastor to pull a Paul Harvey.  Paul was famous for giving us “the rest of the story.”  Today, it seemed that an important part of The Story — the truly supernatural part — was left out… as if it really wasn’t there. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting… All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Empowering Life.

“We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.” Sounds right, I guess.  Sounds… responsible.  Deal with reality.  No wishful thinking.  But does “dealing with the world” mean agreeing with it?  Becoming more like it? I guess it all depends on your perspective.  What is Your perspective, Lord? “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  (Romans 12:2) The words at the start of this post were spoken just two days ago by… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Inspiring Courage.

Precious Abba! Woo Hoo!!!  I am now 28 years old!  Or, rather, 28 years young… particularly in light of Eternity. In biological terms, I am much older than that… 63, to be exact.  The 28 refers to my most important “birthday” — the day I was born into Your Family, and You welcomed me as Your daughter!!! Although the second is truly more important, it can’t happen without the first.  I am so thankful for both birthdays, Lord!!! My spiritual birthday actually happened two days ago, on May 20th.  I had been anticipating it for weeks, thanking You for it long before the actual day was here.  When the day finally… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Overflowing Joy.

Crops have a cycle… don’t they, Lord? We’re getting ready to plant our garden.  Some corn, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash.  Nothing major… just, we hope, delicious. We’re starting a month earlier than last year, but already we’re thinking we’re… behind.  The rain these last two days has set us back yet again.  We have to till the clay ground and add topsoil and manure before we can even get the seeds in the ground. The corn “gurus” say:  “Knee high by the Fourth of July.”  Really? Maybe with a healthy dose of Miracle Grow…  🙂 Then I got to wondering.  What about spiritual crops, Lord? What is the cycle of growth You… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Climbing Higher.

One of my dear clients made an “offhand” remark two weeks ago.  She wanted to find a Bible study to help her stay focused on Your Word, Lord, during the summer months (since her study of choice — Community Bible Study — was about to take its summer break).  She said it almost in passing, as an afterthought… or so I assumed. Until this morning.  We were scheduled to talk again today.  I knew the “homework” we were going to be reviewing would fill our time, so I wasn’t really looking for any other agenda items.  Then, out of the blue (!), I remembered her remark.  So I asked You the question,… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Seeking Intimacy.

Lord, Lord, Lord… Sometimes it seems You just set Your heart on blowing my mind and leaving me breathless — sending me head-over-heels with awe, wonder, sheer delight and heart-pumping JOY! And, yes… that’s an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!!  🙂 We headed out on our eight-mile bike ride today. Suddenly, for the briefest instant, this thought came into my head:  “Wouldn’t it be awesome if You pulled a repeat of yesterday’s Seven Messengers of HOPE?”  Did You whisper that thought to me, Lord, so You could then proceed to blow my mind?  In Your Word, whenever You repeat something, You are giving it special importance.  But why would I think You would want to… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Discovering Hope.

IF???  Hardly.  It’s more like WHEN and HOW Nature talks… isn’t it, Lord? Like today.  We went on our soon-to-be daily eight-mile bicycle ride along the Blue Ridge Turnpike.  The name doesn’t really fit the road.  “Turnpike” suggests a sterile asphalt highway with wall-to-wall cars, all traveling at warp speed.  Our local “turnpike” is more like a throwback to an earlier century — a two-lane road surrounded by trees and farmland, supporting only a handful of vehicles. That’s where You spoke to me today, Lord, through the seven different Messengers You sent… all with the same Message. The first three were Eastern Tiger Swallowtails — beautiful butterflies, “wearing” brilliant yellow with… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Discovering Hope.

We often say (and believe) that actions speak louder than words.  Maybe, in a way, this assertion also validates research studies claiming that nonverbal “cues” make up most (60-90%) of our communication.  Today, I could have cared less about studies.  I was looking at the evidence… up close and personal. Our waitress was young… perhaps in her late teens or early twenties?  She was extremely thin.  Her nose piercing was tasteful, as such piercings go.  She was efficient, but didn’t smile much… at least, at first.  What struck me most was the tattoo on her arm. I realized later why You had me sit on a particular side of the table, Lord.  It… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Discovering Hope.

Precious Lord! You did it again today… You pulled another “WOW-ie” on me! Even in the last few days, I quoted once again that favorite analogy You planted deep in my spirit long, long ago.  Shortly after the turn of the millennium — around the year 2002?  It was spoken by my former pastor, and its words ring as profoundly true today as they did when I first heard them: “Our life is like a sponge.  When Life squeezes us — which it will — what comes out shows what we have been soaking in.” Today, by Your amazing orchestration, I RAN INTO THE VERY PASTOR WHO SPOKE THOSE WORDS… seeing him for the… Read more »

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Posted by & filed under Embracing Love.