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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Cruel Taskmaster

Time can be a cruel taskmaster.  One hand of the timepiece stretching toward the riches of future joys and one holding tight to the memories of the past.  I see it even in the d├ęcor of my own home.  The Victorian stylishness of days gone by slowly replaced by African treasures, new technology grace our work spaces and beautiful gifts of paintings, quilts and furniture fill our rooms.

In all that shifting of time sits a lovely coleus plant and whimsical giraffe where a birdcage once reigned. I miss Sylvester’s little voice that brought so much joy and laughter to our lives. 36 years ago, he called to me from across a pet store floor. “Hedddddo There”.  I fell in love immediately and never once regretted the moment I took him home.  Oh he was precocious and ornery and sometimes hard to handle but we were partners in life. Through the good and bad, happy and sad we stuck together.  We moved across states together, mourned the loss of Phil and Georgana while rejoicing in the delight Roy’s love brought to our home.  We came to Christ together, watched Barney and sang every Frank Sinatra song we could remember.  He sang with all his little might like he did everything.  He was so proud to show off his tricks to everyone that came over. He loved little children and was tender while talking to them. He poo-pooed Alex and gave us the raspberries when he didn’t like something. He was his own personality. And spoiled rotten. But I didn’t care. He was my best friend, the child I never was able to have, my companion, our pride and joy.  Roy & I are both grieving our loss.

There were few quiet times in our house! Now there are way too many. Ouch.

But that ticking hand; moving through seconds, minutes, hours and eventually days, takes away the immensity of pain and reminds me to look up as God so lovingly massages my grief yet again. His Grace is so sufficient, so amazing, so unrelenting. Africa looms ahead just 2 short weeks away. Products still need shipped, missionaries still require resource hunting and fundraising for more still ensues. Fall is in the air and with it comes my favorite season of the year. Crisp weather, ground-soaking rain and the promise of holidays.

This year will not look the same as most of my past life. But that is the mercy of Papa. Joy comes in the morning – a fresh, clean fragrance of what is to be.  The air crackles with expectation. There is nothing holding us back. Nothing to keep our feet planted. Eden’s Song will flourish throughout the nations. Our hearts will heal; the place left void from Sylvester’s death will be open to more of God’s goodness and pleasure. Eyes, weary from stress, tears and mourning, will sparkle once again.

The simple chime of another hour passing reminds me there are things to do. Time to move on. Deep breath. Head up. The nations are calling and we are ready!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

We Get To Do This (Thank you, Lori Salley, for another incredible quote)

This morning I had to battle overwhelming discouragement, sadness and hopelessness! It is so NOT like me that I was able to see it for what it was. The enemy’s plot. Watching my little birdie boy decline is breaking my heart and at the same time so is the provoked racial division, the hurricanes, fires and floods, the immaturity of rioters, looters and murderers (in the name of some cause) and all the other negative things jamming our social media and news outlets! 


I have a good friend who has been through 2 near death experiences…a bout with cerebral malaria and recently another disguised as a cancer threat. One of the things she heard God tell her during this last ‘scare’ was “We get to do This”.  It’s become a mantra for me (and many others) as we go through things.  I’m so sad to lose my little friend of 36 years, but we get to do this.  I’m sorry to see our country being torn apart by a small percentage of people that want to cause division, but we get to do this. I’m hurting for those devastated by the storms, but we get to do this.  We get to come together. We get to praise God in it all. We get to thwart the devil’s plans by rebuking him and gather together in truth. We get to rise up as a church, a body of Christ, and claim what we have been given authority and dominion over.

It is time to take it all back. It is our decision to sit back and watch it all happen around us or stand up and fight! We can raise our voices against racial divide as we are all one in Christ. Together we can command the storms to stop, terrorism to cease, rioters to stand down. For this reason He says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine (as dawn) upon you and give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14). Paul was not talking to sinners but to one of the best churches in the NT. Tozer writes, “Some of the Ephesians were in a somnolent condition, that is, they were morally god but unenlightened. They were religious but unanointed. It is perfectly possible for a good, faithful, loyal church member to be spiritually asleep – being in a spiritual state that parallels natural sleep. When your husband, your wife, your child, your relative, your friend or you go to sleep tonight, the fact that you are unconscious and out of the running for a while is not bothering you. You know that normally you will wake up again. You are not dead, but you are cut off from your environment, all but that which is reflex-breathing and a few other things. Likewise it is possible to be a Christian, to be in the church and yet be asleep spiritually.”

I am proof that everything going on around us, personally, physically and/or spiritually, can be overwhelming and cause us to want to bury our heads for a bit. But I encouraged myself this morning with this reminder and pray it encourages you as well. We get to love, undergird, encourage, embolden and keep each other in the fight.

WE GET TO DO THIS. Together with our Triune Godhead and each other. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Today, I am wearing a T-Shirt that our dear friend’s from Show Mercy Intl gave to us. It states “Living on Purpose – Be the Difference”.  From the day we met Mike & Lori, 8 or 9 years ago now, I have embraced their mission statement. Live on Purpose. I even titled my to-do list the same so I would remember to prioritize what needed to be done according to God’s plan.

To live on purpose takes on a different meaning almost daily.  Some days my purpose is to run through the administrative to-do list resolving paperwork, email, website, travel and (yes, even) Facebook issues that keep the ministry flowing. Other days involve total attention to our teams or missionaries and their needs. I walk through days of praise and intercession; prayers for friends, family and the two nation’s God has put in our hearts. Once in a great while I even do my nails.

But today Living on Purpose means embracing my immediate family. Sylvester hasn’t been well and I find he is a bit clingier than I’ve known him to be in 36 years. He wants to be held and petted, kissed and loved. I can’t say no. I can’t be too busy. For all these years Sylvester has been there with and for me. The many moves into new homes, jobs and routine changes, Phil’s death and the ensuing years of grief, gaining a new Daddy. Even while Roy and I travel and leave him with babysitters, he sang, chattered and been the ‘home’ we return to. He is simply a joy.

Now we may lose him sooner than later.  I try not to wake up every day wondering if this will be the day that he can’t handle the pain any longer. I sing his normal songs with him and whistle the tunes we’ve perfected over the years; Roy plays with him in a less rowdy way yet still gives the boy the business that they laugh over. But in the back of my mind I grieve. I’ve had the little buddy over ½ my life.

Grief is balanced these days, though.  I’ve lost babies, a sister and a spouse. I know without a moment of doubt that my Papa always brings about the best for us because His grace is so very sufficient & His plans are always exciting. Steadied by the extraordinary love from the incredible man I get to share the rest of my life with, I look forward. And, frankly, I am strengthened with the belief that when I hit Heaven Sylvester will fly up to meet me.

I’ve learned a lot in these 60 odd years of life God has taken me through. Hello’s are usually tempered with good-byes, but good-byes are temporary in Jesus.

So today, I choose to Live on Purpose by doing laundry, mopping floors, vacuuming rugs and cooking our supper all while laughing, singing, joking and making the best of each minute. I choose to let a smile graze my eyes as the breeze blows through my overgrown bushes in the front yard and the sun warms my face. I may even read a book and/or study for the upcoming training in Kenya.

But one thing I will absolutely do…Praise the One who gave me life and that in abundance! My main Purpose in life is to share His goodness with everyone I can. Even though there are always valleys to walk through, we can be assured. Me in Him; Him in Me. Never alone. Always being cared for.

“Nothing is more powerful than His presence. Whatever mountain stands before you is reduced to dust before the One who lives inside you. So, keep your eyes on Him. Continue peering into the unseen. Listen to what He is saying and shout it from every platform He provides. Allow him to shape your perspective and to use you in unlikely ways and in unexpected moments.” (Bob Hazlett – Think like Heaven. 2015)

Living on Purpose – Be the Difference. It’s a powerful way to live.