Saturday, December 31, 2022

Courage For 2023.


A very wise and Godly man once told me, "There is only one correct interpretation of scripture. If you and I disagree on the meaning of a portion of God's Word it can mean that I am right and you are wrong, or that you are right and I am wrong, or we are both wrong." Those insightful words inspired me to always search for truth not confirmation of something I already believe.

In these difficult days, discernment and wisdom are vital tools. We need these gifts to guide us through each day, so we are led by indisputable truth rather than a convenient truth. I rarely speak of what has been referred to as "The Great Awakening", but I am well aware of it and have experienced my own inner stirrings and eye-opening, heart wrenching awareness of the truth around me. 

I clearly remember when it first began. It was a summer evening in 2015. This is NOT a political post, but it does include a politician of the day. I was a "Never Trumper" and was frustrated by what I saw as unsavory politics. Yet, I had discussions with my husband about the need for someone who could speak for the people. I groused about there being no way for simple folks like us to be heard by the people in power. And then, while listening to Donald Trump on a news clip it was as if a veil was removed from my eyes. I suddenly and clearly saw him as the voice for the people that I had been longing for. I only share this because it was the beginning of my coming awake to the reality of our evil earthly experience. 

Evil had possessed our society in every arena for centuries, and like so many others, I was unaware. I knew intellectually that evil exists but had not fully opened my eyes to how real it is. I didn't grasp the depth of its hold on society.

It's interesting and terrifying to know that while we are blind, we don't know that we can't see. We have been thoroughly deceived. 

While we are lost how do we find our way? First, we cry out to God, then quiet our hearts and minds and listen. And be willing to admit that we might be wrong about something we hold dear. Do not claim to have all the answers. Each day seek God's truth while lightly holding onto our own truth. Trust the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

It is my belief that difficult days lie ahead. I don't know for how long or how challenging they will be, but life's experiences have taught me that we are not alone. The Father is with us and always has been. He knew all of our story even before we'd taken a single breath. 

As we step into 2023 taken hold of courage and faith, be ready for change. I pray that each of you will discover a confidence you didn't know you possessed and feel the peace and love of our Creator who cares for us and will lead us along a path of His choosing. 

Do not be afraid. Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.  Our Father knows where we are going. Cling to Him.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, December 12, 2022

Too Scared to Move?

Eek! I could barely look at the photos as I searched to find just the right one. I really do not like heights, and I can assure you I will never find myself on a cliff like this. But I wanted to give you the idea ... you're frozen, are afraid to move, even an inch. But God says, "Go. You've got this."

What do we do? Will we let our fear cripple us? Will we remain immovable, or will we trust and allow God to guide us?

I've been there. And I hate it. Being stuck is always a struggle. It's not easy to find the right answer and let go of fear. Questions assail us. What if this is not the right thing to do? Am I hearing God right? Have I misjudged the calling? What if I fail? What if I let people down? What if I let God down?

It's a terrible thing to be afraid. I came across a saying a few days ago that comforted me, though.  


I was so happy to read that. It reminded me that we can't ruin everything because God is in control. He has this thing, whatever it is, handled. We can take a risk. There is a beautiful adventure awaiting us, something that brings us joy and offers joy to others.

I'm not saying we should go off willy-nilly without a thought. We need to weigh things out and spend serious time talking it over with God, but ... 

There is a beautiful verse that speaks to this. Isaiah 41:13 says, "I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you."

This verse makes me want to cry. I can see it. God takes my hand. I feel his sturdy, steady grip. He won't let me fall. He'll see me through whatever is required of me.

If we can just keep hold of that image, there is so much more we can do. Life is laid out before us, full of possibilities. We can still have a grand adventure. 

And we can make a difference.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pick Up The Stone


Recently I spoke at a women's retreat where the topic for the weekend was the "All Consuming Fire of God". There were four speakers and we each presented a different niche on the topic. I spoke about God's way of using ordinary people to carry out His will. It is because of the "All Consuming Fire" that we are able. 

A Biblical example I used was David, the son of Jesse and the eventual king of Israel. He was an ordinary man, at least that's how he appeared to others, but to God, he was special. As a young man, David was a shepherd, but that was only the beginning of his story.

Early in his journey, David had an encounter with a Philistine called Goliath who was a giant of a man and charged with doing battle with the Israelites. Goliath challenged any one Israelite, but no one came forth ... until David, who was still a boy. 

David was confident that he could take down Goliath, but not even his own brother believe he could do it and King Saul took a great deal of convincing before he consented.

Soldiers tried to dress David in heavy armor, placing a bronze helmet on his head and forcing him to wear a coat of metal plates. They gave him a huge sword. But David knew he couldn't do battle that way. With permission from King Saul. he shed the armor and picked up five smooth stones from a stream and placed them in his shepherd's bag.

Everyone watching must have thought him foolish. Why would he set himself up for failure?

Sometimes it looks that way to others when we stand up to a giant. But these were David's words as he approached Goliath. "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, whom you have defied." 

David knew where his power came from. And he stood, unafraid.

With one stone, David took down Goliath that day. If he had fought man's way and in his own power, he most certainly would have been defeated. But David wisely listened to God. It required much from him to do so. He had to believe, he had to pick up the stones, stand up to Goliath and then throw the stone. 

Sometimes we have to stand up and throw the stone. God gives the power.

It's not easy when we hear God's direction and others see foolishness. But if God is speaking to you, stand firm. Believe. 

There are many giants in this world that need to be faced down. We each have our own way, our own skills. God knows this when he asks us to serve Him. Trust Him to know best. With the Lord we can do anything, without Him we are doomed to failure. 

In these trying times we are facing battles we never imagined. The only way to win is to listen to the Living God and to obey Him. 

Let us do battle together, supporting one another and praying for one another. We are not the enemy. Look to The Father and He will show us the way. 

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon


Friday, October 28, 2022

Love One Another

John 13:35 

"Your love for one another will prove you are my disciples."

Would you say this accurately describes your experience in the Christian family?

My answer is that it "mostly" does. Through the years I have shared my life with many lovely, remarkable people. I am thankful for my Christian family. However, some of my most painful experiences have been at the hands of other Christians. The arrows slung by my Christian family hurt deeply. The attacks always come as a surprise, and I am never fully emotionally prepared. I guess I expect better from the people who are supposed to have my back. 

The fruit of the spirit is described this way in Galatians 5:22-23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

The fruit is available to each of us; it is given by our Lord. Christians aren't expected to be perfect, and we shouldn't hold one another up to an unrealistic standard, but we should never wallow in cruelty, dishing out anger and disappointment at those we should love. We can do better; we have the Lord. 

There is a lot of hatefulness in the world. It is most easily seen on social media. There seems to be no-hold's-barred kind of mentality there. When we are tempted to jump in and sling an arrow it is wiser and kinder to stop, take a breath and ask ourselves what God would have us do instead.

The same harmful and evil behavior we see in the world can be found in our churches, though we try to keep it hidden. 

One of the most painful experiences of my life occurred within my church. The sin unfolded in secret, and I believe manifested out of good intentions, but the enemy knows how to use our weaknesses and he is skilled in manipulation. 

When the evil was released and revealed it manifested in what I would best describe as spiritual abuse. Hunger for power and control was wrapped up in a spirit of self-righteousness and it fed flames of destruction that burned through our Christian family. A devastated church was left in its wake with wounded souls strewn about, some to never recover.

Even now, it grieves me to think of it. It took me a long while to sort it out and to release my hurt and anger ... and my disappointment. Over time, God helped me see what had taken place and replaced my hurt with love and forgiveness and a commitment to be aware of the wiles of the enemy and to pray for my beloved family. 

Because I am a writer, the natural way for me to release some of the hurt and doubt was by writing a book, The Heart of Thornton Creek. While creating the story I grew to understand that the power of the abuser is not different than any other kind of abuse, except the abuser uses the Word of God as a whip. Oh, how it must grieve The Father.

So, why am I talking about this now? We have been living through harrowing times and I believe the days are going to become more difficult, at least for a while. In the midst of hardship, it is easy to allow stress to rule and we sometimes strike out at one another when we're feeling afraid and uncertain. But we need each other now more than ever.

I encourage you to spend more time in The Word, more time in prayer and to be watchful for the enemy who prowls around like a lion in search of those he can devour. Let's not allow ourselves to become his prey.

Love and mercy are more helpful than a whip.

Grace and peace to you from God,



Monday, October 03, 2022


Ooph seems like a silly title for a blog, but it's what I feel right now. It is day ten since my surgery. I am grateful for a competent, dedicated surgeon and all the medical professionals who helped care for me before and after surgery. But ... I have to admit to hoping I'd be a little further along at this point. Still, I am glad to say that I am moving forward and getting a little better each day.

I can't wait to feel "normal" again. I hope soon. However, I'm doing my best to behave myself and living within my healing restrictions.

It seems a good time for reflection. What have I learned thus far?

  • Praying friends REALLY help. SO much went right, and I could feel the kindness of those praying for me and the situation.
  • A relationship with The Father goes a long way when facing a giant. I was especially aware of His presence when I was wheeled into the operating room and knew none of what was about to take place had anything to do with me. It was all in God's hands.
  • Good health comes at a cost, but ill-health brings a much greater toll. We need to take good care of ourselves. I'm educating myself so I can do a better job.
  • Worry is not helpful. During the months awaiting surgery I made a concerted effort to keep worrisome thoughts at bay. I practiced NOT THINKING about my cancer and the "what-if's" that came with it. Peace was always close at hand.
  • God is good and is always watching out for us. The tumor was growing while I was unaware, but God knew. Getting an MRI on my back was not an accident. The timing was perfect, pointing out the presence of that ugly little hitchhiker.
Psalm 91:14 - 15 says, "The Lord says, I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them."

Praise the Lord.

I have a way to go before I can get back to my garden, which in another few weeks, will simply be closing it down for the winter and preparing the beds for next season. I missed a few weeks harvesting time, but I'm happy with what I accomplished this summer and look forward to next year's season.

In six months, I will have a scan to make sure the cancer is gone for good. I'm already practicing perfecting my focus - trusting God. I am in His capable hands as are you.

Gracee and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

Tuesday, September 20, 2022



Today was another one of those days I dread. My nephew, Daniel Leon, passed away. He went suddenly, without warning. We were not ready to say farewell. 

Daniel was an intelligent, fun and entertaining young man. He could make a party out of the simplest gathering. He always had a good story to tell or an intriguing idea to toss into a conversation. He was a great cook and at most of our gatherings he would end up in the kitchen. His life wasn't easy. It was complicated and challenging, but he always had a smile for those around him.

There is a big hole now, where he lived his life. Like so many others we've loved, he has moved on. We've lost too many, more than I can count. But I know with little effort I could recall everyone who has touched my life and then stepped into eternity. 

Every time we lose someone to death, I am confronted with the complexity and mystery of life and death. How can a person's powerful spirit be here one moment and then gone the next?

I am reminded of how precious the time we've each been given is. We dare not take it for granted. And I remember the moments when I allowed small-mindedness, petty complaints or a lack of gratitude to take residence in my thoughts - Such a waste.

The Lord God tells us to love one another. How different our world would be if we could do this one thing. And then to remember to tell one another how much we love them. 

I love you, Daniel. And I already miss your big smile and your powerful bear hugs. 

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon  

Friday, September 09, 2022

New Beginnings


An important anniversary passed yesterday. It has been two years since the Archie Creek Fire hit our little town, eating up 72,000 acres in twelve hours, destroying 109 homes, and a total of 856 buildings. It then went on to gobble up 131,542 acres in all. 

When the fire came through, people in this community were devastated, shell-shocked and struggling to get their feet under them. Why would God allow such loss and sorrow?

I can't answer that question, but in all the months since, I've witnessed the goodness of God and of the people here. In the days immediately following the fire people came together, helping one another in any way they could, even giving up trailers for neighbors to live in and donating so much clothing and household goods we had difficulty finding enough space to store the items. People gathered together in the kitchen of one of our churches and prepared food for those in need. And one of our local restaurants served meals free to everyone who walked through their doors. It was remarkable.

Even after two years, help is still being offered.

To this day, we remain a closer community. 

When I look out my windows, I can see my neighbors. Before the fire we all lived tucked away among the forest, and it's been difficult getting used to the change in my view. At first, I felt exposed and uncomfortable, but I'm growing used to it. I will always miss the lush forest that used to surround us, but I like being able to see my neighbors. There's something about looking out at other homes that makes me feel more a part of the world.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I took a drive to look at some of the more devastated areas. We were happy to see that the forest is slowly coming back and there are new homes sprouting up everywhere - beautiful homes. 

So much of what was lost can never be replaced, but we do have a new beginning going on all around us. I was reminded of Romans 8:28, which says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."

The enemy may have meant the storm that came upon us for evil, but God has used it for good. I know there are many who are still heart broken, whose wounds will never fully heal, but with God it is possible for us all to grasp the positive changes that have been bestowed upon us.

When I look out upon my neighborhood, I am reminded of what a blessing it is to be part of this exceptional community. 

So blessed. So loved. So grateful.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Even as I write this, there is a fire north of us near the community of Oakridge. Last I heard, it is blowing up and some are on a level 2 evacuation notice. Please keep the people of Oakridge in your prayers.

Monday, August 08, 2022

A Bright Light


While in Las Vegas a few weeks ago I had an interesting encounter. At the end of a long day of therapy, I walked out into the evening heat. I was looking forward to a quick meal and a visit with my husband. A man I'd never met was waiting for AAA to help him with a flat tire. He and the doctor were standing in the parking lot visiting. The doctor introduced us and then went on his way. 

While I waited for my husband and he on AAA, we had a brief chat. I'd never met the man who was also a patient at the clinic. He seemed very nice, and we visited for a few minutes. 

He stopped talking and fixed an intent gaze on me. I couldn't imagine what he was thinking. Then he said something surprising. 

"You're a bright light," he stated while lifting his lips in a whimsical smile.

I didn't know how to respond. A momentary silence settled between us. Finally, I responded, "I'll accept that. Thank you."

His smile grew even warmer.

Just then, my husband arrived, and I said farewell. I never saw him again, but his words have stayed with me. 

A Bright Light.

I can't know for certain what he meant, but wouldn't it be wonderful if I was a bright light in this dark world? A scripture comes to mind, one I've heard many times through the years.

Matthew 5:14 - 16

"You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket, instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father."

I know that I am not always a shining light, in fact, I can sometimes be more of a candle snuffer. But I want to be a light. I want others to know the same Heavenly Father I do.

We all can be a light that reveals the love and hope of our Lord, which is needed especially in these dark and uncertain times. For no matter what evil may befalls us, it is not greater than God nor more powerful than Him. Our Father holds us in His hand, forever loved and protected.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

Tuesday, July 26, 2022


Life is interesting, isn't it? Sometimes challenges come up that require a leap of faith. I've had to do that a few times over the years, but it's never easy. It kind of feels like I'm launching myself into space without a guide wire to hang onto. One of those leaps confronted me a few weeks ago. And because I decided to leap, I ended up in Las Vegas for more than a week where I received healing treatments that I wasn't completely sure I even believed in.

Since 1991 I've lived with chronic pain that began with a serious auto accident. I have a list of painful conditions that I'll leave for another day, but recently I was diagnosed with of renal cell carcinoma. Ugh. 

I was scheduled for surgery to remove the kidney and the tumor and was all set to get it taken care of, but then I heard about another possible option. It could be like a miracle, not just for my kidney but for the rest of me as well. New clinics popped up all over the country, but there were long waiting lists. When I called the office in Las Vegas I was surprised to discover the clinic had room for me, but I had to go right away. I had only a few hours to decide and when I discovered that making the trip meant I'd have to postpone my surgery by almost two months I was anxious about such a dramatic change of plans. But God was waiting for me when I reached out and took his hand. I knew He had my life under control ... no matter what. I took that leap of faith, my hand firmly in his. 

In recent months I'd been hearing about new technology for health care and hoped that someday I'd be able to give it a try. Well, July 4th was my day, at least that's when I got a green light from the clinic in Las Vegas. On the 5th Greg and I set off for Nevada. That was on a Wednesday and Friday morning I walked into the Las Vegas Holistic Clinic. 

The clinic offers many paths to wellness, but I was there for EES, the Energy Enhancement System. If you'd like to do some personal research on it here is a link,

I've never taken part in a healing process like the EESystem. But the science is good, and I am convinced that it works. There are some incredible new technologies being released for the general public.

I can't take the time here to explain the intricacies of the system, but in a nutshell, it creates an atmosphere where our body can do what it was designed to do - heal itself. The poisons on our planet have made it nearly impossible for our bodies to function the way they were intended.

I spent eight days in Las Vegas, and a total of 60 hours using the system. I do not know yet what has happened to my cancer. I had a CT scan this morning and I'll keep you updated. What I do know is that my body underwent many changes. The arthritis in my hands, feet, neck and back is much improved. What had been excruciating is more of a nuisance. My vision, which had become very poor due to macular telangiectasia type 2, is much improved. The vision in my left eye is markedly better and my right eye is coming along. Most of my life, I've been a terrible sleeper and I am now sleeping well and waking feeling good. I have a lot more energy and, my balance is much better. I stopped using my cane two weeks ago. These are just the most obvious changes. There are others.

I believe my healing will continue as long as I treat my body and spirit well. I don't know if this is the answer for others, but it has benefited me. Even if my cancer is unchanged or even if it's worse, I am glad I went to Las Vegas. I learned a great deal. Some is just about practical living, how to take better care of myself (now more motivated). I learned some interesting things about me during the long hours of quiet and prayer. One is that I'm braver than I thought. I can do the hard things. I can take a risk.

While at the clinic I met some remarkable people. I am grateful to them for their kindness and their concern for me and for others.

My message? Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones. Life is uncertain and can be downright scary, but if we're to reach out and taste the variety and beauty of life we can't stay locked away in a place where we feel safe.

From time to time I will let you know how my health journey is coming along. And I pray that each of you will embrace a way of living that serves you well and brightens your days with hope and joy.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, July 02, 2022

You Can Do It!


We all have challenges. Granted, some are more difficult than others, but through our lives we're going to experience some tough stuff. 

Gardening is a big part of my life right now. See my smile in the photo. I'm loving it. 

I grew up in a family that gardened. My mother had a gorgeous dahlia garden. People driving by our place would sometimes stop to admire the profusion of flowers and my mother often sent them on their way with a bouquet in hand. That garden gave her such joy.

My father worked hard at his job and when he came home, he went to work in our vegetable garden. We had less than an acre of land but managed to grow enough to feed our family of seven through the year. We worked together planting, harvesting and preserving what we grew. It was hard work, but I have many fond memories of those summer days.

After settling into a family of my own I was drawn back to what I knew when I was young. Over the years, I've made many attempts at raising vegetables. Some years I've had a plentiful crop and some not so plentiful, but I've always enjoyed my time outdoors among the plants.

This year is no exception, but I can't lie, it's getting more difficult. My seventy-year-old body is complaining, actually it's been complaining for many years due to injuries I sustained in an auto accident in 1991. Being active has been taxing for me. Staying busy can hurt, but there is something in me that refuses to give up. Some of the years between the accident and now I've been sluggish and sedentary. It just seemed too hard to do more than was necessary. And as I've aged it's become a bigger obstacle.

Three years ago, I told myself that I wasn't going to allow another day to go by when I wasn't moving. I started taking more steps, finding reasons to walk from place to place. And I began strolling through the beauty of my country neighborhood. When spring came that year, I decided to put in a garden. With the help of my husband, children and grandchildren we created one. 

It wasn't easy. The effort created more pain but getting out in the sun and working in the dirt was good for me. It was such fun to put seeds in the ground and watch them sprout and grow into edible food. It warmed me from the inside out. I had so many fun conversations with my grandchildren and heartfelt conversations with my daughters. 

I treasure those memories. And the people I love most will have those special moments to hold close when I am gone.

I want to encourage you to try harder. Reach for those things you know nurture you. If the challenges in your life have pulled you down, made you want to give up, or to curl up with a blanket in front of the television or a computer, maybe there's a better choice. Maybe it can be different. Better. 

If your challenge is a physical condition you might need to get an okay from your doctor if you want to push a little harder, but if he says okay, then do it. Oftentimes we can do more than we think. Tune out the commercials on television that try to convince us all that we're sick and need more meds. I'm not against medications, but so much of that stuff we see is more about making money than helping the human race.

God gave us the garden, He gave us the earth, He gave us His creation for our benefit. Just taking a walk out in the fresh air with the sky above us and the earth beneath our feet will raise our spirits and feed our soul. Challenging our minds and our bodies makes us stronger.

Sometimes vegging out on the sofa is what we need, but it's not all we need. What is it that you love to do that you've given up on because it seemed too difficult? Pick up again and let it nourish you. 

I can't spend hours in the garden or walk difficult trails through the forest, but I can do some of it. I thank the Lord for spurring me on to do more. And I'm continuing to seek out new delights. 

We have limited days on this planet, let's make the most of them.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, June 17, 2022

For The Children


If anyone asked you if you love your child, almost certainly you would say, "Yes. Of course I love my child." And we do. Yet, we sometimes we let them down. 

We can't be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. It's an impossibility. So I want to say right up front please do not beat yourself up for what you may see as failures. Failure is part of life. It helps us to learn and to grow. However, I encourage you to listen to the Lord. He can change your life and that of a child.

What can we do as parents to nurture and teach our children in the ways of the Lord? How can we fail less?

Children need so much. There is a long list that begins with love and not enough space or time here to cover it all. It would take a book or two or three. And I'm not qualified to write those books. But here is what's on my mind today.

 All this week, our church has been putting on a VBS program for local kids ages 4 - 12. There was a good turnout of children eager for fun, goodies and news about Jesus. There was singing, stories and games. Experiences laid down in a child's memories.

Of course, many weren't there.  I understand extra activities can't always be fit into a parent's schedule, but we need to try ... for the kids. Some children were ill and others had conflicts or were out of town on vacation. There were multiple reasons. But some were not there because they had no one who cared enough to get them there.

Even as I write those words I cringe. It sounds harsh. And maybe it is. I apologize if I'm being unfair. All of that must be between you and God.

 I have a soft spot for VBS. It was part of what motivated me to seek Christ. It planted seeds in my little girl heart. Those seeds remained hidden until I was an adult and sent me in search of my Savior. He was waiting for me and knew I was coming to Him. Just the idea makes me teary and so very thankful for the neighbors who invited me to VBS and who made sure I got there. 

I grew up in a good solid family. So much of who I am is because of the honorable and upright lives of my mother and father. But Jesus wasn't part of our life.

We went to church on an occasional Easter or Christmas, but that was pretty much it. My mother in later years used to tell me of an incident that was wedged in her heart like a thorn. I was about ten years old and had a terrible, tragic kind of day at school. When I came home I was distraught and I asked her if she could tell me how to pray. I needed Jesus. As my mother told the story tears would well up in her eyes. All those years ago, she didn't know how to answer my question. And felt that she had failed me. 

I didn't meet my Lord until I was twenty-three. A long and painful journey led me to Him. Even if my parents had introduced me to Christ as a child I still might have taken that same terrible journey. Only God knows. But I know Him now and I'm thankful for that.

I wouldn't undo my life. It has so much to do with the person I am today. I am imperfect in many ways, but I know my Savior and we're walking the path of life together. Sometimes I think about how wonderful it would have been to grow up in a family that placed God and His Son Jesus at the center of our lives. That would have been a beautiful gift, but that's not how it happened. Yet, God had a plan.

Children don't know that the world is a dangerous place where evil does its best to bring them down. They don't know that satan hates them and longs for their eternal damnation. We want to protect them from the ugliness. We want them to have a beautiful and joyous childhood. We, the parents, grandparents and friends have the opportunity to protect them and teach them of God and His love and of the beautiful world that He created for us. In fact, kids are counting on us to do that.

Are we letting them down?

How many Sundays have we decided that getting ready for church is too much trouble? Or that a special program for the children is too much work? Or we're just too weary to spend time sharing the love of God with the little ones and helping them discover who God is? It is pure joy to experience the happiness of a child who giggles at a frog in their palm or a butterfly on their fingertip. And Bible stories shared and discussed can be riveting, especially when the questions a child asks cut straight to our heart.

What if this is the time, the only time for that child - the one who is counting on you? Will you take a few moments to pray with them, hold them close, or discover God's beauty together, maybe travel to a VBS meeting or children's church while your little one chatters on about the wonders they see in the world?

We can be the difference. There is no greater blessing than to partner with The Father as He draws children close and tells them how much He loves them.

Experience the wonder with them. You will not regret it.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

Sunday, June 12, 2022



A few weeks ago, a band of men in our church headed out into the foothills of the Southern Oregon Coast. They spent four days together at a remote campground.

In the weeks preceding the retreat there was a lot of talk about shooting guns, sleeping in, and kicking back around a campfire while eating roasted meat. All that sounds fun, but I was curious about the real reason most of the men trekked out of town to band together.

My husband has attended many retreats through the years and most often has returned rejuvenate and ready to jump back into life. I asked him about why he was going on this one and after chatting about it I decided it might be fun to send a questionnaire along with the men to see if I could gain more insight. 

I know what women's retreats are generally like. There are activities planned to encourage fellowship between the ladies, good teaching, quiet time allowed for meditation and big chunks of time just for fun. And usually if we have a dedicated hospitality leader the women will likely find a chocolate on their pillows. 

So, what is it the men are looking for? 

The guys were good about answering the questionnaires. They offered me a better understanding. 

In recent years it has been my observation that society has done a great disservice to our men. We have insisted that our guys should be something they are not. And if I deciphered the questionnaires properly it's clear that that is part of reason the men gather. Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in a time of need." It's not easy to maneuver through this life without good and true friends. Time away, together, encourages bonds to be developed and deepened. It's an opportunity to put down the roots of true and lasting friendships.

A few men mentioned Proverbs 27:17. "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." The men are serios about their faith. They recognize the need to be held accountable, which requires true friendship. With the help of others and the Holy Spirit a man will learn what it means to walk humbly and upright before the Lord.

Yes, the guys wanted to have a good time, to kick back, have some delicious and likely unhealthy food, talk about things like cars and football and they did a fair amount of shooting. I even heard that some of the teen boys had a hands-on lesson in how to skin a fox.  Eww ... yeah, I'm a female who doesn't find that appealing. But that's the point ... I'm not a guy. Men need to get away from the daily grind and spend time with other men. It's part of building Godly relationships.

The "fun" activities help to break down barriers and to encourage the men to connect. And then they can get down to what is really important and why they showed up in the first place.

When I went through the questionnaires it was clear, the guys wanted to close the distance between one another and get acquainted on a deeper level. They valued the teaching and personal time with God. They found things to admire in each other and they began to see some of the men as role models. We all need those.

Several men brought their sons. Offering time for fathers and sons without the distraction of cell phones or other devices was appreciated by the dads and I would guess after a bit of grousing, the sons were also glad for the opportunity to disconnect. Creating an opportunity for meaningful interaction cannot be overrated. 

Although the world would like us think that none of this matters to our men they would be dead wrong. The enemy lies to us. We need to stop listening to him. 

Something else happens at these retreats. Men are reminded that it's okay to be men. There is pressure placed on men to be more sensitive, kinder, to be in touch with their feminine side, but maybe we need to rethink this a bit. I do want my husband to be sensitive and kind but I also recognize that he is not me. He's a man. Men think and behave differently than women. And that's how it should be. I Corinthians 16:13-14 says, "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."

I think we need to step back a bit and recognize that our guys need to be guys. If they were meant to be women, God would have created them as such. Though I have whined a bit through the years about my man sometimes being too tough, I am thankful he possesses that part of himself that drives him to be strong and protective. Me and the kids have depended on him. We've trusted him to watch out for us. And to be tough when we needed it.

The men won't find a chocolate on their pillow when they turn in at night, but the friendships and valuable conversations, and spiritual growth that takes place on their forays into the forest will stay with them and help them along life's journey. 

Yes, retreats are fun, but they are so much more. The next time you hear of a retreat being organized for the men in your church, encourage the one's you love to join in. They will be happy they took the plunge and so will you.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Seek Truth


As a child, one night I was awakened by our barking dog. No one shushed him. I listened and heard sounds coming from the kitchen. At first, I thought I must be imagining it, maybe it was a remnant of a dream. But the sounds continued, the dog growled, and the rest of the house remained silent. I waited, hoping someone would wake up and check it out, but no one stirred except my sister in the bed next to me. She was no help. She pulled the covers over her head and pretended nothing nefarious was going on. I wished I could convince myself she was right.

The noise continued and I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to know. I got out of bed and opened the door that led into the hallway. 

Someone was there! I could hear them. I shouted, "Who's there?!"

Footsteps ran toward the front of the house and charged out the front door with our barking dachshund in hot pursuit. And then the household woke up.

That is a snapshot of me. I have to know. It's easier for me to handle challenges if I know what I'm up against. That's how I've always been. And will likely always be.

However, recently when an MRI came back revealing a growth on my left kidney, I found myself wanting to avoid calls from my doctor. Did I really want to know the truth? No. I wasn't ready to know.

After a CT scan had been done, I actually ignored the first call from the doctor's office. I wasn't ready yet. However, I answered the next call and was told I have a tumor, which I've since discovered is cancerous. We - the doctor's, God and I are going to take care of it.

That incident got me to thinking. We believe we want to know the truth about circumstances in our life, including the truth of God's Word. But do we really? Would we rather pull a blanket over our head and refuse to see? 

Sometimes the truth is hard to look at. But ignoring it never serves us well. At the very least, if we're unable to act upon whatever it is we discover, we will know better how to pray.

I have been dealing with a good deal of frustration about how so many people seem unwilling to look at what's happening in the world these days. I have had little empathy for those who refuse to see. But this incident with my doctor has reminded me that sometimes we just need to be patient and wait until a person is ready to hear. 

Most of you very likely know that something is weird in the world. Things are off. Something IS wrong. And you have not looked to see what it is because you're not yet ready to know. But what is happening is truly dire and we all need to know. Now, possessing a little more compassion, I am praying that you will pull the blanket off your head and seek the truth.

Do not be faint of heart. God will not fail you. Really. 

Like the cancer growing in my kidney, if I ignore it ... it will destroy me. Why would I allow such a thing? 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, May 21, 2022

A Word to the Church


I decided it is time for me to reread the book of Revelation. Right off, God set me on a personal evaluation. 

Revelation 3:22 says,

    "Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."

This is the last line of the first four chapters in the book of Revelation. It is repeated seven times in those four chapters. Clearly it is important. 

What does the church need to hear? And who is the church?

In each of the seven churches John addresses their strengths and their weaknesses. He gives only one answer to correct their course - listen to the Spirit. 

If we look at the church in these challenging days, it seems clear that many have lost their way. Too many focus on things like appearance, number of attendees, money and building projects, and even trying overly hard not to ruffle feathers. There are additional sins, some too horrible to mention here, though they may soon come to light.

I am no better than any other. I am a sinner, found by my Lord and lifted up out of a pit of despair. He set me on solid ground. I am forever grateful for His mercy toward me. 

God wishes that none, no not one, would be lost. He extends the gift of eternal life to all. But the choice to grasp his outstretched hand is ours to make. When we accept His gift, we become His children. That is so amazing! It is a miracle.

As children of God, we are part of the church. When we first stepped into the new us we were overjoyed and excited to learn all we could. But, as in the Church of Ephesus, over time some became distracted and lost their first love. What a great personal loss and a loss to the world, that looks to the church for direction, encouragement, hope and love. 

Even if we have been distracted or disheartened, we are not lost. The Lord will renew His Spirit within us and then we, the church, can do much to reveal light to the world. We can't conjure up the light - truth is light. We need to know the truth and let it rule in our hearts. And then as it says in Matthew 5:15, "No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket." 

Shine brightly. Be good to yourself. Take time for renewal. Read God's Word and be quiet before Him.

Close your eyes. Quiet your breath. Open your heart. Whisper His name - Jesus. Listen. 

He will speak. He is in you. 

Remember ... we are the church.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Are We Called?


Recently I connected with a Christian who felt it was her responsibility to make sure I understood what it looks like to obey Christ ... to follow through with what God had asked of me. Interesting thing is that God hadn't spoken to me about this, at least not in the way this person expressed. It's possible I might not have been listening, I'm an imperfect Christian. But when considering what had been said, I believe the Holy Spirit was not speaking to me through this individual.

God says, "Be wary. Be wise. Be attentive."

God has called each of us to our own unique walk of service. In these troubled times there is great need. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. But then I am remined that God is the one who places my steps. My path is not the same as anyone else's. He will guide me. He will not overburden me.

The person who confronted me implied that taking a vocal stand about the leadership in this country was not a Godly way to serve. That the only avenue for someone like me was to display quiet "Godly" behavior. Paul immediately came to mind. What would have happened if he'd remained quiet? What about Stephen? And there's Peter ... plus a long list of other saints who strive to serve humanity and Father God.

Many are called to be prayer warriors. I would hate to think what our lives would be like without them. And there are others have been directed to take a more public stance. There are many ways we can stand up to the enemy, but they each must begin with The Father. Do not conform to common thinking, that's not what God is asking of us.

Do not be afraid. Seek God. Spend time in His Word. Listen to Him. Pray. 

And then, do what it is that He is asking of you. It could bring conflict but go forward anyway. God will not send you out alone. He is with you. He is your strength and your power. 

We are called to battle. Ephesians 6:10 - 20 says it perfectly. 

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God's ambassador. So, pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

When the scripture says, "Put On all of God's armor" it is not a suggestion. It is a command. After we have done so then we can stand and do battle.

There are many different battlefields. In them all, may we stand together ... in the mighty power and in the love of God. I am praying for all of my Christian brothers and sisters. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, May 06, 2022

A Powerful Weapon

 Study the picture above for a few moments. Look at each face, each smile. 

Did anything happen?

No. Really. Did you feel anything? 

Did you find yourself smiling? I did. I felt happier inside and, without even trying, a smile settled on my lips. Isn't it amazing how wonderfully made we are?

For many months our smiles have been hidden behind masks and in some places they still are. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everyone in the office had to wear a mask the entire time we were in the building. Needless to say, spirits weren't so high, and everyone was quiet. 

We are in a war, a war of good against evil. Did you know that? Have you felt it?

There has long been a battle waged in the heavenlies, but this is a bit different. The enemy is threatened, and he is doing all he can to destroy the lives and eternities of people around the world.  This could be described as World War III, though the fight isn't typical. It's a war of ideas, it's technological and uses mind control to bring about changes in our core values. We need to win this war.

It's not easy to stand up to the pressures brought down upon us by the government and even our family, friends and neighbors. In order to win we need to carefully consider how to go about doing that. It begins with our hearts and our spirits. We need to be right with God and trust His Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us courage, wisdom and strength.

We need to know the truth. Seek it. Do all you can to gain knowledge.

No war against tyranny was ever won by complying. Therefore, we must NOT comply. Don't wear your mask. Don't cover your smile. When you are out and about, look at those around you and offer them the beauty, encouragement, strength, and joy that can only be shared in a smile. It's a beautiful way to connect. We are humans and we need to be reminded every day that we are significant. We are one species, yet we are individuals with no other just like us. When we link arms and stand together, we are stronger.

Let's remember to look at each other and keep smiling, keep connecting, the way God intended. 

On so many of the trips I've made into town over the last two years I found myself deeply disturbed by what I found and what I felt. As I walked through stores people were often silent. They didn't look at each other. They didn't talk or laugh. It was incredibly sad. Fear was palpable. That's not how we are meant to interact. The enemy knows us well, but God has created us to overcome.

It's not easy to go against the flow, to stick out. And I'm not here to toss guilt toward anyone. However, I want to remind each of you how special and wonderfully made you are. God created each of us and He knew what we needed in order to thrive on this planet. One of those things is each other.  

I do not know what the coming months will bring. God does. We can trust Him. He is our strength. 

What I do know is that we will fare much better if we keep our eyes on The Father instead of on problems that arise or even our government authorities. 

I am not one who disobeys laws. In fact, I tend to be a rule-follower. However, in these special days there too much at stake to simply go with the flow. I urge you to use discernment, reach deep inside, seek God, listen well and obey the higher authority. He will guide you. 

And for today, use that beautiful smile God gave you. Share it liberally as you go about your day. It truly is contagious and good for the soul. And God knows we need more of that.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

Friday, April 29, 2022

The Holy Huddle


I once heard Sunday church referred to as the "Holy Huddle". The pastor explained that Christian brothers and sisters get together on Sundays for the huddle. Just like in football, we go through the plan, get the instructions, maybe even slap a few butts (give lots of hugs), and then execute the plan by going out into the world to share the hope and beauty of God's Word.

Hebrews 10:25 says this. "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. 

The Apostle Paul would not have mentioned our gathering together if it wasn't important. 

I love Sunday Church - meeting with God's people, my Christian family. We get together and share the news of the week, the struggles and triumphs. We share in worship and prayer. We get quiet and attentive and soak in God's Word as it is taught by dedicated leaders. In my little country church, that is usually our much-loved pastor. It's our Holy Huddle.

But church is more than just a Sunday meeting.  Sadly, there are many who believe it to be something menacing, to be feared and avoided. Tragically that is true in some circumstances. But mostly I believe the enemy satan is trying to persuade people to stay away from what will make their life better, richer.

I've heard many negative comments about the church, especially during the last couple of years. Christians have long been targets of the world, but it seems more so in these difficult days.

There was a post on FaceBook by a person who had tried going to church, only to find people who cared more about looking holy rather than being holy. Some parishioners were more interested in what someone else was wearing rather than what the pastor was saying. And those visitors saw the people in that church as fake Christians. We can't know a person's heart, only God sees that, but let's be real ... There is a lot of hypocrisy in our world and that includes the church.

I have been blessed to experience the best from my Christian brothers and sisters. There have been dark times in my life that I'm not sure how I would have made it through without them at my side. I am forever grateful for my Christian family.

The church isn't perfect. It's made up of people from all kinds of backgrounds, but one thing we all have in common is we were lost before we were found.

From time-to-time, I've seen poor behavior from fellow Christians, but honestly not very often. My personal experience has been that of sharing life with good, honest, caring people. People who love me just as I am and who will come alongside and help when I am in need. They work hard and have a heart to be all they can for Christ. They understand how great a price was paid for them.

Church, the family of God, is like a sanctuary for me. I feel safe and protected among those who share my faith. I can be myself and enjoy being part of the family. We look out for each other.

If you don't have a church family, please get one. It might take a while to find a good fit, but there is a family waiting. God picked them out just for you.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

Friday, April 22, 2022

In the Details.


We often take things like flowers for granted. They are simply a part of the "ordinary" world we move through every day. But let's stop a moment and consider the perplexity and beauty of one single flower and then multiply that by a world full of flowers. Who did that? How is it that each is special, an intricate design?

The wonder is all about God's detailed creation. He is involved in the details of life, including our everyday existence.

I was reminded of this the day my husband and son were in a terrible accident. Those of you who follow me know the details so I will spare you here. But there is something more that happened on that day that has stayed with me. God was not surprised. And He was in the details.

At one point, the car my guys were riding in as it rolled down the embankment, hit a fallen tree. God made sure of the exact placement of that tree. It hit the car exactly between my husband and my son and crushed in the roof. If it had hit on either side, one of my loved ones would almost certainly have died instantly.

And then there are some little things. When my daughter-in-law heard what had happened, she knew she had to get to her husband. She grabbed up the first pair of boots sitting on the front porch and pulled them on. They fit her perfectly, making it possible for her to run the mile down our snow-covered road to the scene of the accident and once there she was able to direct the EMT's. Without her it would have taken much longer for the firemen to locate the car, which had gone down a 300-foot embankment.

When I arrived at the spot on the road where Greg and Paul had gone off, I realized my cell phone was nearly dead and I didn't have a way to charge it. I needed an adaptor. One of the men who was there helping, Micah Long, pulled one out of his coat pocket. He held it out to me and said, "I saw it on the counter when I was leaving this morning and put it in my pocket. I didn't know why." God knew.

Cell phones mattered that morning. My son had put his phone in his coat pocket. He doesn't do that, except on that morning. When the car stopped rolled, he was still conscious and called 911 to get help to him and his father. If he hadn't had that phone the situation would have been much worse.

And then there's the little detail about my husband and wearing his seat belt on our road. He doesn't like to put it on until he gets to the highway. But that morning he was wearing it. Thank the Lord!

There are more details including some I'm sure I don't even know about, but I think you get the point. God knew what was coming, and He made sure that everything and everyone was in place to bring about a happy ending. I am grateful for His kindness toward us.

You may wonder why God allowed it at all. I can't answer that. But I do know that we all have learned much from this experience and we are walking closer to our Heavenly Father. And once again we are reminded of His presence in our lives.

We are not alone. God is with us.

Thanking Him for His goodness and His mercy.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, April 15, 2022

What's Good About Friday?


Good Friday is a day to commemorate the death of my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the day he went willingly to the cross. He was betrayed, beaten and executed. He gave up His life for me ... and for you.

This Good Friday is extra special for me. 

Just five days ago my cell phone rang. It was my son, and he was calling from his car, which had tumbled down a 300-foot cliff. He and my husband were still inside and alive. Paul had already called the EMT's and was waiting for rescue. 

They had gone off the road about a mile from our home. My dear daughter-in-law sprinted down the snow-covered road to help and to be with her husband. My daughter Sarah and I quickly got dressed and drove down the hill to the crash site. 

When I arrived at the scene, and peered off the edge of the road, I was stunned at how badly damaged the car was, which now sat on a flat spot 300 feet below. My husband had just been loaded into an ambulance and my son was still inside the car. A thump of apprehension went off inside me. I'd been praying, but now my prayers became more specific.

Everyone who has seen the wreckage has no good explanation for Greg and Paul's survival --- except for God's love and intervention.

That morning, since getting the phone call, I had been a bit discombobulated, and yet I felt peace in my core. And the only reason for that stillness inside of me was because of The Cross. Because my Lord had gone to The Cross I had no need to fear for my loved ones. Even if they were to perish that day I knew they were well. Because for a believer to be absent from the body means he is present with the Lord.

I don't want to lose my husband or my son and if that had happened I would be deeply grieved. But I would also be comforted by God's promises to me. 

And so on this Good Friday I am so especially deeply grateful for Jesus sacrifice. He made a way. All we have to do is to trust Him. His love covers all of our sin.

If you haven't met Jesus He's waiting for you. He loves you and is holding out His hand to all who will accept His gift of redemption.

My husband and I are humbly celebrating this exceptional day together.

Grace and peace to you from God,




Friday, April 08, 2022

Take A Chance


In 1979 Greg and I drove through Douglas County Oregon on our way to visit family in California. In May it was breathtakingly beautiful in Oregon. We returned home to Washington State with Oregon in our heats.

We lived in a new home in a lovely neighborhood, and Greg had a great job. We were not unhappy, but a longing for change grew in our soul. We knew we belonged in Oregon and couldn't see ourselves living any other place.

The country was in a deep recession at that time. And Douglas Couty had an incredibly high unemployment rate. Jobs were not just few and far between, they almost didn't exist. But we were certain Oregon was where we belonged, so we prayed for guidance and made plans for the move.

Our friends and family thought we'd lost our minds, but we were confident and courageous ... and a bit foolish. After all, we were young. 

We decided to make a trip down to search for property but didn't find just the right place so we returned home with our dreams a bit bruised but intact and we still hoped that one day we would become Oregonians. 

Not long after that a property opened up that we were interested in, and we made a deal.

Our home sold quickly, and soon all was in readiness. We headed south with our three-year-old son and newborn baby girl. It was a new beginning.

Forty-two years later I am still enchanted by the beauty of my hometown with it's warm and friendly residents. I can still drive down the highway or step out onto my deck and be captivated at God's handiwork and feel deeply blessed that He has allowed me to live here.

In this place, we've experienced deep joy and wretched sorrow. We've raised our children and have lived alongside our grandchildren. We've celebrated birthdays and heavenly home-goings. We've cheered for local athletes and been impressed by the talented folks in our little town. We've also shared the deep sorrow of a community that felt as if it had lost everything only to discover we were not undone ... that God is with us.

All those years ago, Greg and I could have done the "sensible" thing. We could have stayed put where we were comfortable and "safe". I am so thankful for the young, confident, courageous and yes, a bit foolish, us. I'm glad we didn't allow fear to keep us from stepping out and daring to live a different life, the one God wanted for us. 

Here I am gazing upon the beauty that surrounds me and praying I still possess that same spirit of adventure that helped me to take a risk. I would hate to miss out on whatever God still has in store for me.

How about you? Are you ready to step out? 

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon