Monday, October 17, 2011

Aloha . . .

There are no excuses for the months without a post.  All I can say is that things have been crazy - crazy busy.  And human nature being what it is, the longer I went without a post the harder it was to get back into it.    I have let myself down . . . again.  How is it that I have been able to find time for all the other things going on in my life, yet have failed to take "blogging" time for the most important thing in my life - my relationship with Christ?

I am working in Hawaii this week and my husband was able to join me this trip.  This morning we went to Hope Chapel Waikiki - a place where I am able to get spiritually fed.  I LOVE this church and what this church does for the community. There are so many outreach ministries.  I LOVE the  praise music - many of the same songs we sing in our home church but with the Hawaiian style.  The message today touched me during the service, but it really touched me a couple of hours later. 

While my husband stayed on the beach, under an umbrella, I spent time in the water floating around on an air mattress.  Being on the water is total relaxation for me . . .  hearing the waves coming in, the soft murmer of people's voices, and the warmth of the sun.  A perfect time to think about God's creation and my relationship with Him.  I was going over the words I heard during church and was immediately convicted.  Let me explain.

Yesterday morning on our way to Hawaii I experienced something for the first time - going through a body scan at the airport only to be taken aside and told that because of an "anomoly" on my chest area, they needed to do additional screening.  When I asked the extent of the additional screening that was going to be done in the open with everyone around, I stated I was not comfortable.  So, I was told that I either allowed the search there or I would have to have a full body search in a private area.  I chose to be taken to a private room with two female TSA employees where I was the recipient of a very, very invasive body search. I told the TSA officer I was uncomfortable with where she was touching me to which I was told I had a choice - I could choose not to fly.  Sparing the details, , I will say that in addition I was treated and talked to very disrespectfully.  When they were done, I left so shook up that I cried and felt anxiety unlike anything I had experienced.   It was a horrible way to start a trip to Hawaii.

After church and while on the water enjoying God's creation, it became very clear to me - I needed to forgive the TSA workers for how they treated me  - I needed to let go!  Time I spent thinking about it, talking about it and wondering what was going to happen when I reported them to Homeland Security was time better spent elsewhere.  Thinking about them and harboring anger was not impacting them at all - it was only impacting me and those around me.

By the way, I realized what the "anomoly" was - I am pretty sure it was the trace amount of pink glitter above the scoop of the neckline on my top - I had a pink top and thought the glitter added a little fun. 

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3:12-14 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Veggie Tales At Any Age!

Veggie Tales was not around when our daughter was young.  Honestly, when I first heard them, I thought their voices were irritating although I understood they delivered positive messages for children.  I was a little surprised when I actually bought their CD. The reason?  It was the only CD for children that contained the song, Lord I Lift Your Name on High.  A favorite of mine, every Sunday School class I have ever taught ends with this song being sung by the children with the accompanying hand motions.  Every AWANA Council Time begins with this song.    This song says it all - Christ came to down from heaven to save us.  To save me and to save you.  So, I wanted to have the children sing to music; thus, the Veggie Tales CD.

Lord, I lift Your name on high
Lord, I love to sing Your praises
I'm so glad Your in my life
I'm so glad You came to save us
You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift Your name on high

Lord, I lift Your name on high
Lord, I love to sing Your praises
I'm so glad Your in my life
I'm so glad You came to save us
You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift Your name on high

I recently visited my granddaughters and took the CD with me.  I wanted to teach my almost 3 and almost 5 year old precious granddaughters my favorite song.  But that is not what happened - they taught me a song and dance.  

While I was going through the songs to get to Track 9, my older granddaughter started dancing to Track 3 and she told me she knew that song.  Come to find out, her preschool had learned a dance to Track 3 and would be performing it at their upcoming preschool graduation.  The song?  Track 3 Every Move I Make.  I love watching them with big smiles on their faces. I know God is smiling as well!  His children praising Him!

This is now my favorite song on the CD.  I can no longer listen to this song without remembering  the joy on my granddaughters' faces as they danced and sang about our Lord.  I undoubtedly have a smile on my face the entire song.  I also find myself making the handmotions when I am at home listening to the song.  But it is not just the memory of my precious granddaughters singing and dancing that makes me enjoy this song.

It is the words to the song - the words that challenge me to be a better Christian.  That every move I make and every breath I take is for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; that everywhere I look I see Him and am reminded that I have been truly captured by His Love.  

Veggie Tales is played constantly in my car and I rock out with them - no longer are their voices irritating.  Veggie Tales is not just for children!

Next week we are traveling 3000 miles to attend our granddaughter's preschool graduation.  Who knows, maybe I will post the video of her singing this song!

May you have a blessed week and may every step, move and breath be for Him.

Every move I make
I make in You
You make me move, Jesus
Every breath I take
I breathe in You

Every step I take
I take in You
You are my way, Jesus
Every breath I take
I breathe in You

Waves of mercy
Waves of grace
Everywhere I look
I see Your face
Your love has captured me
Oh my God, this love
How can it be


Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Will I Leave Behind?

I missed last week’s Thursday Ramblings From the Road.  Wednesday, I knew I needed to put fingers to keyboard.  But while I was able to do so, it was all work.  I was disappointed in myself and knew that I could not let it happen two weeks in a row.   So now I sit, pondering about what I should write. 

When I have the thought or an inspiration of what to write, I usually go with it.  This week is different.  I have felt the need to consider what you the reader will think.  So, I push it back and within minutes it makes itself back to the forefront.  After 10 or 15 minutes of “come forward” and “push back” it is clear to me that I should write about the original inspiration.  So bear with me, here goes.

A terrorist died this week.  There seems to be much debate over whether or not we as Christians should “celebrate” the death of another.  That, however, is not the subject of this writing.  The legacy lthe terrorist left behind is.

I have wondered at random times this week who is mourning his passing?  How many family, friends, or co-workers (?) are sad?  If he had had a typical memorial service, how many people would have waited for the microphone so they could share a memory? And, would that memory be funny or sad?   I am pretty sure I know how he will be remembered by most of the world, but how will he be remembered by those that he loved, those closest to him?  What is his legacy?

This caused me to think about my legacy.  While I am not comparing myself to a terrorist, I like him am a human being.    When I join my father and other loved ones in heaven, sitting at the feet of Jesus, what memories will I have left behind?  How will I be remembered? 

I want to be remembered as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and child of God.  Someone who lived for Christ.  Someone who internally and externally demonstrated the fruits of the spirit.  Someone who tried to leave the world a better place.  Someone who was seen as a Godly woman more often than she was not.  Someone who loved to worship through song.  Someone who loved teaching children about our Lord.    Someone with a sense of humor that admittedly at times pushed the envelope.  Someone who was truly blessed.  Someone who had a positive impact on others and spent more time building others up as opposed to tearing them down.  Someone who wasn’t afraid to share her faith with strangers.   

I cannot leave this legacy without God.  It is only through Him and with Him that I can become the child He wants me to be.  Every day brings it own challenges, but I cannot do it on my own.    Nor do I want to.  I have tried and it does not work!  This is the message I shared with the young woman sitting next to me on the plane last week. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

Have a blessed week . . .   

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh No. . . and Leprechauns

When I was about 3 ½ years old, we lived in Fort Devens, Massachusetts.  One night I had a nightmare during which I woke up terrified that there were bears in our house.  My mother came into my bedroom and held me, telling me I was just having a bad dream and that there were not bears in our house.  I did not believe it – there WERE bears in the house. And, they weren’t just any bears -  they looked just like Dancing Bear on Captain Kangaroo.  As I continued to cry, mom took me around the entire house, opening closet doors and even taking me down to the basement to prove there were no bears.  She then tucked me back into bed, gave me a kiss and I eventually went back to sleep.

I was reminded of this story when visiting my daughter and her family in Georgia this past week.  On the first night I was there, my 4-year old granddaughter told me she was afraid of leprechauns.  I had to stop a smile from appearing on my face as she was telling me that leprechauns are little, they carry a hammer that they hit you with, and they take your gold.  She even made a noise and told me that was the sound she heard from the leprechaun in her preschool classroom.   She was dead serious.   I reminded her that leprechauns were pretend, and we played a little game of “Is it real or is it pretend?”.  This game consisted of me saying something and she would say whether it was real or pretend.  Each time I said leprechaun she correctly said pretend . . . but I could tell she wasn’t quite sold.

The last night I was there, I was tucking her into bed when she brought up leprechauns.  I asked her why she was scared. She told me her teacher had read a story about leprechauns and that she had a scary dream about them that night.  I asked her if leprechauns were real or pretend. Again, she said pretend but was obviously still afraid of them.  I shared with her that when I am scared about something, I ask Jesus to help me – to keep me safe – to make it go away.  I asked her if that sounded like a good idea and she said yes. So, Grandma prayed with her little granddaughter.

What is the “leprechaun” in your life?   What is it that you fear – what keeps you awake or scares you during the night:  Finances?  Relationships?  Your Job? 

Do you let God get you through these fears?  Scripture tells us that worrying is not good. 

Proverbs 12:25
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

God wants us to need Him, to rely on Him to get us through our fears and worries. He wants to help us deal with the "leprechauns" in our life.

Philippians 4:6-7
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Will you let Him?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's In A Name? A Lot!

After becoming a Christian in 1981, I immediately began to attend Sunday School. [Garden Path:  It was a Single Adults Sunday School and was, in fact, where I got to know this wonderful man to whom I have now been married for almost 29 years.]

School is defined in Merriam-Webster as an organization that provides instruction.  So, in Sunday School we were instructed on God’s Word.  And, from time to time there were activities for the members of our Sunday School class. 

For many years, I continued to attend Sunday School until one day the term “Sunday School” was replaced with “Small Group”.  The core concept was the same; that is, to learn more about God and His plans for us.  And, from time to time there were activities for the members of our “Small Group”.

“Small Group” evolved into “Care Group” – a more appropriate name that captured the fact that we all cared about one another while learning more about God and how He wants us to live our life.  We truly cared about one another through pray, laughter, and tears.  And, our “Care Group” sponsored events and activities. 

Not too long ago, “Care Group” was replaced with “Life Group”.  At first I thought great, another change - why?    After all, we are the same group of people worshiping God and caring about one another – exactly what was described by the “Care” in “Care Group”. 

But then, upon deeper reflection and a discussion with a very special person, it dawned on me that “Life Group” better describes the purpose for the group's existence. 

“Life Group” is not just for getting together once a week, wondering what the snack will be or to share prayer requests.  It is not just to learn more about God and how to better apply His word in our lives.    The “Life” in “Life Group” hits the nail on the head – we are a part of one another’s life!   It is not a Saturday Night or Sunday Morning only relationship.   

The relationship the 15 +/-  of us have is strong.  We have a safe environment where we can freely share what is really going on in our life and know that confidentiality is maintained.   Through tough times (and we all have them)  my “Life Group” has been there to encourage, support and hold me accountable and I for them.    We get together as a group for game night, WII Bowling or football parties.  We have fun!  We enjoy one another!  We are a part of each other’s LIFE!  I will be so bold as to say we love one another. 

Several months ago during a “Life Group” get together, a member’s daughter (who is an RN) took all of our blood pressure.   I was surprised by a high read.  I have never had high blood pressure. Therefore, I attributed it to excitement over the football game, anxiety in having my blood pressure taken, etc.  Several weeks later she took it again and once again it was high.  That got my attention!  Discussing ways to reduce my blood pressure included a discussion on weight and exercise; the excess of one and lack of another – I will let you guess which is which! 

I made a commitment to myself that day that things would change. And, unlike anything I would have done in the past, I shared during “Life Group” that I needed to lose weight and begin to exercise.    It is not unusual for me to get a text message from someone asking how I am doing that week.  My “Life Group” is a part of my spiritual and my physical life, demonstrated by their actions and words.  Life would be tough without a “Life Group”.

How about you?  Do you have a “Life Group”?   Believers who love you no matter what?  Pray, laugh and cry with you? Hold you accountable and are there for you?    I sure hope so as life can sure be tough without one.

Heb 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


A few hours before catching my flight from Hilo to Honolulu, I took a short walk to Coconut Island.   This “island” is close to the hotel and is where I have enjoyed watching people fish from the shore; where I have seen a little toddler enjoying the water, wearing the same “outfit” he had on at birth; and where I can look in the tide pools for fish, listen to the sound of the water and feel close to God.   

Hawaii is a place of beautiful surroundings and beautiful people. I love the Hawaiian people.  I love their culture, especially their sense of “ohana”.  I love the Hawaiian word Kama'aina that means native-born, child of the land.

My father, a career Army soldier, was stationed in Hawaii when I was four. I attended kindergarten and first grade in Hawaii – wearing “slippers” (aka flip flops) every day, learning how to hula, and spending lots of time at the beach with my mom, dad and three sisters.  I experienced the beauty of Hawaii at a young age.  

I have very clear memories of celebrating May Day when I attended kindergarten when living in Hawaii.  It is Lei Day and to this day is celebrated.   Is May Day even celebrated anymore on the mainland?  I am mesmerized watching hula dancers, whether young or old or male or female.  The stories told with their hands and facial expressions; the gracefulness and at times the boldness of the dance.    The sweet sound of the ukulele . . . Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.   Hawaii is a beautiful place with beautiful people with a beautiful culture. 

So while I don’t have Hawaiian blood “or coconut” flowing through my veins, I live vicariously in the Hawaiian culture.

There is a small church I attend when here.  The doxology is sung in Hawaiian, the pastor is barefoot, the sound of the traffic comes through the open windows entwined with the sound of the birds, ukuleles join guitars, the truth of God’s Word is shared and I celebrate my Christian culture with other believers from various places and various stages of life.    This is a culture I chose that day in 1981 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior.   This is a culture to which I belong  and a culture in which I actively participate.  This is the culture I claim! 

Mahalo Jesus!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

R&B Kinda' Day

R & B is usually associated with Rhythm and Blues but for me, today, it stands for Rough and Blessed.

I am having the kind of day that makes me wish the day would just be over.  Today is my last day before a 10-day trip.  I do not have trips this long very often, and they can be rough.  Not the work during that time, but preparing to be gone.

Rough getting packed, rough getting business-related things up to date, rough making sure I have everything I need work wise for evening work,  rough making sure I haven’t missed anything in my packing, and rough trying to get things done around the house. 

I spent most of the morning running errands; things such as stopping by the hospital lab to get blood drawn, cleaners, bank, dentist, and post office.   Little things by themselves, but saved up they take up half the morning.    To top it off, I volunteered to work at our church tonight to talk about appreciating our leaders.  What was I thinking????    Combine all of this with being misunderstood during a phone conversation with a family member resulting in painful words being said to me. 

All of this made me want to crawl into a fetal position and close my eyes.  I refer to these types of days as “melt down” days. They happen maybe once or twice a year and are usually after a trip, not before!

Instead, I am at the computer writing this post and being reminded how truly blessed I am.  I am blessed to have a job.  I am blessed to have a husband who loves me more each day and fends for himself while I am gone.  I am blessed to be in good health and only need the lab work for a routine checkup.  I am blessed that I have clothes to pack and a house to clean.  I am blessed to have dental insurance.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with 5 to 7 year olds and witness firsthand their excitement singing the Veggie Tales “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” with all the hand motions.  I am blessed to have family. I am blessed to have friends with whom I can share and from whom I know prayers are being said on my behalf.  (Thanks CJ!)

But most of all, I am blessed to have a Lord who understands me – no misunderstandings there. He knows the REAL me and better yet, He loves the REAL me!

A dear friend gave me a daily devotional called Jesus Calling.  Isn’t it amazing  that today’s devotional read:

“I am taking care of you. Trust Me at all times.  Trust Me in all circumstances. Trust Me with all your heart. When you are weary and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter these four words:  I trust You Jesus.  By doing so you release matters into My control, and you fall back into the security of My everlasting arms.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.

Have a Blessed week! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In the Beginning . . .

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

The view from the plane was spectacular this past week descending into Anchorage.  I am always awestruck by the beauty of the snow covered mountains.   Evidence of God’s creation!

Seeing a moose in the wild still excites me.    Being in Anchorage a week, I knew the odds were good I would see one.  And, if all else fails, I have been known to ask a cab driver to get on the radio to ask if any other driver has seen a moose.  And, this week the “moose call” resulted in driving two extra blocks to see a moose.  I just watched it, meandering around someone’s yard, eating a bite or two and looking back at me from time to time.  Here is this large animal, supported by skinny legs. (He might have been thinking the same thing looking back at me!)   The moose – evidence of God’s creation!

One evening I was standing in the cold, watching the sky turn colors that reflected off the water and ice.  It is easy to forget about the hustle bustle of the world around you and instead marvel at the beauty God created!   The sunset – evidence of God’s creation!

The moon, not to be outdone by the sun, came out in full force the following evening.  It was so large that it caused me to pull over, get out of the car and just be amazed at the beauty God created.  The moon – evidence of God’s creation!
I love to sing and sometimes when I am experiencing God’s creation I sing.   This is one of my favorite songs reminding me of God’s creation

I Know My Redeemer Lives

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
and Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
and Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives:
Let all creations testify
Let this, life within me cry
I know my Redeemer lives, yeah.

The very same God that spins things in orbit
runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creations testify
Let this life within we cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives forever, I'll proclaim

That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He's alive and
There's an empty grave.

Which of God’s creation causes you to catch your breath? 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Morning's Ramblings from the Road: Flying Alone

When driving to the airport Sunday morning, I saw a Canada goose flying all alone – there did not appear to be another goose in sight.  This is unusual as they are usually seen in a flock, flying in the traditional “V” formation, sharing the same direction and working as a team with their loud (sometimes obnoxious) honking heard so clearly below. 

It is said when flying together, their flight efficiency is increased by over 70% compared to flying alone.  The geese in the back of the “V” honk as a form of encouragement for the geese in the front.    The leader experiences the most resistance from the wind and by honking, the others are telling the leader, “you can do it”, “keep going”, “we’re here with you”, and “stay strong”.   

The geese rotate positions on a regular basis.   As one becomes tired, it slips to the back and another advances, assuming the lead position.   If one falls behind, others will fall back and join it to show support and to provide protection.

That is how it should be with us as well.   When we fly with a “flock” of believers, we share the same direction with a common goal – to love and serve our Lord.  We lift one another up.    When we face challenges in our lives - and we all do - others in our flock “honk” to encourage us. And, when we fall behind, they support and protect us.

I have found myself from time to time being the lone goose.  I have felt the resistance of the air and the difficulties of flying alone.  Those are tired and weary times.  I am blessed to have people in my life that like the geese in the back of the formation, have “honked” their words of encouragement and at times “flown” down beside me to support and protect.  

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
   one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
   and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Entering the World of Blogging

Welcome to my world! 

Most weeks I am on a plane traveling somewhere in the United States to perform my job.   Being a "Road Warrior" has its perks . . . seeing parts of the country I have only read about, meeting so many people, and being able to see my granddaughters who live 3000 miles away when I am working in the area.  And, I can't forget to mention the "perks" of earning those all important frequent flyer miles and hotel points galore.  But in exchange for these "perks", I am away from my husband and our home.

One thing I am really missing in my life is a Bible study with other women. See, with my travel it is impossible for me to attend a weekly Bible Study.  I NEED to be in the Word and I  know it!  It has just been hard for me.  I have plenty of Bible Study books I could use.  In fact, I am looking at them all sitting so pretty on my shelf.  But to be honest, I need the Bible Study interaction with other women.  It allows for sharing, caring, and loving! 

A long time ago, I pondered the idea of starting a virtual "Bible Study" for women who travel like me and are unable to attend a "physical" Bible Study.    I  recently watched a video clip on Facebook about our big "buts". No, it is not a typo - I meant buts - I would like to do a daily devotional, BUT fill in the blank with any reason/excuse.  I would like to start a virtual Bible Study, BUT fill in the blank with any reason/excuse.

So, no more BIG BUT!!  This is the Day!

I don't know if other women have this void in their lives or if there is an interest in a virtual Bible Study.  But until that is known, I will have a Thursday Morning Ramblings from the Road and share a scripture, a picture or a story about how I knew God was with me that week!

Lets experience more about the wonderful Lord we serve!  Be my travel companion on Thursday mornings!

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24