Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quiet Moments With God - Amazing Love

People will always let us down.

We're just folks, weak and needy. We try to love well, but we fall short - we're imperfect, only human.

There is only One who loves perfectly, who loves always. Only One we can count on to never let us down.

My expectations of others and of myself are often unrealistic. Such expectations can leave me feeling trampled upon, disappointed, tearful and even angry. I've expected too much.

Last Sunday, I cried through most of our worship time, overwhelmed by the truth that God is the only one who will always love me - never disappoint me.

I knew that. I know that. But sometimes in the midst of my chaotic life I forget. And I set myself up for a big let down. Silly me.

I am comforted to know there is a Perfect Love.

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you."

Isiah 54:10

God offers these words of comfort. We can be certain He will always be there for us, even when we don't deserve His love, even on our worst day. He won't let us down. He will love us, anyway.

Praise to a God of mercy.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, July 11, 2014

Life In 100 Words or Less - Middle/First Child

It’s not easy being a Middle/First - #3 of 5, fighting for a place in the family and trying not to be invisible while driven to be perfect.

I wasn’t an easy child, just ask my mom. I took glee in instigating conflicts, was determined to be me and no one else, but wished I was athletic like Bruce, smart as Craig, gifted like Myrn and gutsy as Leslie.

I didn’t know I was special.

I’m still something of an emotional muddle – a middle/first – complex, driven.  But now I see I’m unique and lovable and finely crafted by the Supreme Craftsman.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Where are you in your family's birth order?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Journey - Where Eagles Soar

I've been bursting to share this news! Where Eagles Soar is almost here! The book, a true story, releases next month. 

You don't want to miss this one.

About the Story

Where Eagles Soar is the true  story of
Lily Sanders, who in 1947 moved with her 
family to a homestead at the edge of
an Athabasken village in the Alaskan
Territory. It was an ideal location
for her father, a mountain man and
hunting guide. It also provided a place
where the world could not see his brutality.

Though trapped in her father's heartless
schemes, Lily longs for his love and
approval. Seeking it, she traipses the
mountain trails at his side, learning to
bring down big game and to work as a
hunting guide. She runs her own trap-lines,
faces down wolves and mushes her dog teams
in races, including the Iditarod.

A tragedy, initiated by her father, leaves
Lily brokenhearted and strips away any
thread of hope that one day he might love
her. She vows to never forgive him and turns
instead to the powerful bond of love she
shares with her sweet-spirited mother and
her many sisters. together they share the
adventure, beauty and heartache of 
their wilderness life.

Bitterness holds Lily in its grip, but when it
threatens to crush her she refuses to surrender
to it and reaches for the unobtainable, where
at last she finds freedom, hope and joy.

Watch for announcements. Where Eagles Soar will be available soon.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, June 30, 2014

Quiet Moments With God - Where You Are

Warning - Transparency Alert

I struggle with fear from time to time. Yesterday was one of those days. While watching a program on television I dozed off. I woke up to a scene of a family playing in a water park and my response was not one you'd expect. Instead of enjoying the scene of a happy family, I was struck by a wrenching thought - I will never be able to do anything like that again. 

I was afraid. Were the best of my days behind me? Were my greatest joys and triumphs a part of my past only?

Sorrow swept in. I had expected more from myself, from my body. I'm sixty-two and in today's world that's really not all that old, except that my body feels old. 

The damage began in 1991 when the van I was driving was hit by a log truck (a story for another day). The accident left me disabled and since then I've struggled to remain active. Pain can be a tough adversary. Sometimes I get tired of the battle and don't want to fight any more. 

Most of my physical difficulties stem from the accident, but some of it is purely my fault. I haven't taken good care of this body God calls a temple. And of course age does have some negative qualities that we all live with.

I need to see, to know in my gut that there's more to my life than pain, suffering, tears and fear and to be reminded that God is in the  middle of it. And today when I went to Him, fearful and needy, He was there. He always is. 

He turned a light on His truth. The real truth, which is that the Lord came to set me free, from sin and death but also from things like fear, hopelessness and feelings of worthlessness. He told me to stop listening to the voices in my head and the lies of the enemy. My life is not over until it's over. There is still much to be done. 

And from the midst of my morning devotional reading these words leaped out. "As you follow me, I lead you along paths of newness, ways you have never imagined."

Wow! That sounds exciting. It doesn't sound at all like I've been put out to pasture. 

John 8:31 - 32 says this, "If you abide in My Word you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

My body may not allow me to do everything I want (whose does). But the Lord sets me free to live and serve and to experience new life every day. There is so much joy and peace waiting for me, if only I will set my heart upon Christ and upon the truth of God's Word.

I know that what I'm sharing is not foreign to you. For the Word says "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." We're all in this together. We all understand what it is to be fearful, or to be angry and to lash out in that anger or put up a shield against our sorrows. We also know a lot about courage, joy and jubilation.

I pray for you - that you will know the joy and peace of the Lord, no matter what circumstances you find yourself. For where you are, there He is also.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quiet Moments With God - What Is Your Focal Point?

I settled into my reading chair this morning and asked the Lord to speak to me. He is always faithful and I will hear . . . if I'm listening. Today as my eyes went to 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18 His Word gave me strength.

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

My mind returned to the birth of my new grandson. The memory is still close. My daughter's labor became so intense she started to believe she couldn't do it, couldn't make it through even one more contraction. Frantic, she asked us to help her find a focal point. She needed something to set her eyes on that would help her mind contemplate on something other than the pain.

In our sometimes difficult lives, we share the same plight. We need to contemplate on something other than our pain. The Lord in His grace offers us a focal point. We are to fix our eyes on what is unseen - the Lord. But He is not really invisible to us. He reveals Himself in the glory of creation, in the hearts of His followers, and even in the sweet fragrance of new life. 

Do not lose heart, focus on the things of the Lord and you will be filled with the peace of God and the certainty of eternal glory.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Life in 100 words or less - Gone

It happened at the county fair. My husband was with our son; I had our two little girls. I only took my eyes off Kristi for a moment, and then she was gone. 

Where was she? I searched for her face in the crowd. Called her name. Asked for help.

Had someone taken her? Oh Lord, no! Please no! Help me find her!

And then all of a sudden she was there, wearing a big smile, blonde curls bouncing. "I rode the merry-go-round!" I hugged her tightly. She was safe.

Fifteen minutes of agony. How do others bear a lifetime?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Journey - Forever Bonded

Life is made up of a series of events - births, deaths, marriages and sadly even divorces, triumphs, tragedies, joys and sorrows, pathways to travel and to complete. Sometimes we walk, sometimes we run our course which is littered with heartaches and bubbling with delights. But no matter what our journey looks like it is always better when we share it with others. 

I am sixty-two years old and have experienced the good and bad in life. I've been blessed to have precious people close by to share my journey. When the joys came and I was bursting to tell someone there was always a beloved friend or family member who would rejoice with me. And when heartache blustered its way into my life I've been fortunate to have someone to lean on, someone who cared enough to take my hand and to hold on.

The past year has been strewn with joys and sorrows. And this week has been exceptional. A new little person with his own future, his own path came into our lives. I was blessed to be there with his mother and father when he made his appearance, working alongside them to help a precious life enter the world. 

Sharing the momentous experience of birth produced a bond between me, my daughter, my son-in-law and this much loved little boy that will forever unite us. 

There was agony, but there was also ecstasy. And the blessed joy of a new life. 

Welcome to our family, Jase Lee Bayless.