Winter’s Celebration

Frosted white trees splay in celebration, their shimmering coated branches reaching for the heavens and cascading towards the earth. They are fat sparklers’ explosions, fireworks frozen, the surrounding fog evidence of their jubilance…and that a great burning light has been here. Dark green conifers bearing white loads of snow march through groves of jubilant trees, like great stiff-haired mastodons carrying away the burdens of the world.

A sense of pristine silence permeates the air, the hoarfrost and deep snow dampening the sounds of cars passing by. It’s dangerous driving in this frozen bliss…the velour gray sky and the overwhelming beauty are distracting. One needs to be in a solitary vehicle inching along, or walking in this ethereal place, with opportunity to gaze, stop at will, become lost within this living art, and commune with the Artist.

It is near otherworldly…perhaps to capture our attention? To remind us to slow down, take time to look and see? A foretaste of life beyond this temporal plane?

Hoarfrost – congealed dew drops. Snowflakes – ice crystals. Frozen, crystalline miracles silently appearing out of thin air. Each form, each crystal a fabulous work of art that reflects that great burning light, then…melts away. Oh, to have the capacity to begin to understand the majesty of our Creator! Nature is singing praises, glorifying the Most High. Let us pause, too…to see, and praise, and sing!


Psalms 89: 11 “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.”

Psalms 47: 6-7 “Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.”

Psalms 148: 8-9, 13 “Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 9 Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars”

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.”

This Christmas Day

God Himself put on our skin 
Knows our mind games, our life race
Came to defeat the sin we’re in
Walked this dusty earthly place
Gives every single person choice
Transforms us by His matchless grace
Desires we hear, obey His voice
Trust and grow in Him

Oh the thought that God Most High
Would care enough to bend so low
To redeem each wayward child
To sacrificially Love us so
To lift us up and up again
Strengthening for keeping on
Closer drawing us to Him
Giving us a glad new song

And yet, and yet when life turns rude
When we’re brought low
Forced to look
Yanked out of our expected things
May our costly humbling bring
This Christmas Day remembering
Christ’s incarnation holy place
Was in a stable crude

No matter what this day may bring
We can entrust all to His hand
For His birth, His death, His LIFE
His unending sacrifice
His LOVE forever draws us in
To want to dwell in His embrace
To gaze upon His Holy face
N’er be apart again

Merry Christmas, Trinity
Father, Holy Spirit, Son
Thank You for each blessing given
Thank You for immeasurable Love
Far beyond what hearts can kin
Let these praises raise to heaven
To glorify Your Holy Name
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Messiah, Savior, Immanuel…my King…


LORD, help us to think more on the meanings of Your glorious name (so many more than listed above). We cannot comprehend the countless ways You have Loved, cared for, and lifted us…Thank You, LORD, for the amazing things You have done! Thank You that still Your nail-pierced hands are reaching towards us, desiring that no one should perish. Thank You, our Father, for this Christmas gift today and every day…Yourself. We bless, honor, glorify, and praise You. Amen.

Luke 2:11 NKJV “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Matthew 1:23 ‘“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”’

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The Broken Lantern

A newly crafted lantern, shined and bejeweled through hours of careful attention, sat proudly on the shelf in all its glory, waiting to fulfill its purpose. The shop hummed busily with browsers, many hands touching, grabbing, turning, checking the lantern from all angles. Did it meet their needs, was it just right for their intent, would it function as they desired? Long days went by and still the lantern waited on the shelf. Finally purchased, with a group of other lamps, the lantern was moved…to yet another shop, another shelf.

Knocked to the floor more than once by a hurried patron, the lantern lost a bit of luster, though still was of use and worth. Several times it had been lit, tried for display, examined for value, tested for brilliance. Still, never purchased. Never quite just right.

Years went by and for unknown reasons the lantern was never chosen. Humbled from its loftiness, it became dusty and old fashioned, pushed back behind the newly-styled creations. Still the shop owner kept it in working order. One never knew when the right buyer would happen by. It was unique, one of a kind, whatever that meant to the rush-a-by world. Yet the cracks and dents it now wore deterred those who craved glitter and shine. The lantern had long given up its dreams of brilliance. It just sat on the shelf, reconciled to dust.

A tiny child scurried through the shop door one cold winter evening, as if blown in by a gale. “Child, what is it?” asked the kind shopkeeper. “Why are you out so late this dark night?” Rubbing her arms through her thin coat, she looked up at him as her words came tumbling forth…“A lantern, I need a lantern for the stable.” “Whatever for, child?” the proprietor patiently asked. There was no need for a child to request such a thing, a potential fire hazard. He would not lend to that possibility. And on a night like tonight? She should be home in bed! “It’s not for me, sir,” she replied, as though understanding the reasons for his hesitation. “My father, the inn keeper, needs it for guests.” “Guests? Guests in a stable?” “Oh, yes sir, and please hurry. The lady is near to having her baby. We need a good lantern that will last through the night and for several days. Please hurry, sir! The lady is in pain!”

“Yes, yes, alright child. Let me find the one I have in mind.” The shop keeper knew of the inn in the neighboring district, and that during this time of census the city was filled with travelers. Considering the child’s story plausible he searched his shelves for the old lantern, his mind resolved he would offer it in charity. It was a little thing he could do, and the lantern would go to a place of need. Lifting the lantern gently from its dusty spot, he wiped it clean, filled it with oil, and wrapped it carefully for the child to carry. “Mind your steps now, will you?” he spoke, suddenly feeling quite grandfatherly towards the girl. “Oh, yes sir,” she smiled widely, bending slightly in respectful bow before cradling the lantern and rushing out the door.

“Father! Father! Here is the lantern!” she shouted running up the path to the stable. “Thank you, daughter,” her father smiled with appreciation. “You are just in time. All is ready here, and we will leave this lovely couple with your lantern to give them light and warmth through the night.” Lighting the old lantern the inn keeper hung it on a post near the place the husband was tending to his wife.

As the night transpired a wondrous event occurred in that stable, under the watchful eyes of the barn animals, and the glowing warmth of the lantern. A tiny child through long labor was born, a child who would one day give up His life for the whole world. Over all a holiness covered that stable, and somehow for many days the lantern glowed on and on, its oil never diminishing. Its light shone on visitors, shepherds and lambs, those who brought gifts. It provided warmth and comfort for the young family and their tiny babe. It moved with them to a nearby humble home, til suddenly one day news came that they must flee.

“Dear child,” the baby’s mother spoke softly to the girl, who could not seem to stay away from the beautiful three, “We must leave now, and wish to thank you and your family for the kind care you have given us in our time of need, and for this light you brought to us. Please give our blessing also…we shall never forget you.” While the husband tenderly helped his wife and child onto the back of their trusted donkey, the small girl looked on in wonder. “I shall never forget you either,” she whispered as the family carefully, yet with haste, began their long journey.

Having taken the lantern from their hands the girl walked slowly to the inn. “They’ve gone,” she told her father, “with blessings and thanks for all we’ve done.” “Yes,” the father replied gravely. “It was time.”

Walking toward the lantern shop, her father having instructed her to return the borrowed gift, the girl wondered at all she had seen. She wondered, too, that the lantern had burned so long without additional oil. “Did you fill this with special oil?” she politely asked the old shop keeper. “No, no my dear. Why do you ask?” Cocking her head with a puzzled look she replied, “It has been burning constantly since you lent it. No oil was added. How can that be?”

The old man, a seeker of truth, had wondered at the birth of the child in the stable, the visitations to that humble place, the brilliant star that had marked its location. “I believe, child, there has been a miracle or two. This old broken lantern has been waiting for its purpose to be fulfilled. And while it was being used for such, it burned brightly. Only Yahweh knows and works to completion His purposes for each of us, and for all things.” The girl nodded slowly, as she recalled the events that had occurred since she had first come to this shop. Miracles indeed. Miracles that would enlighten her whole life.

The lantern was spent. Though it had performed brilliantly, gone were its desires for recognition and glory. Looking at the lantern one would never know the mystery of its transformation. Broken, yet fulfilled. Imperfect, yet chosen. Limited, yet supplied. In humility it had shone for the King of Kings.


Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The Bluebird

Did a bird in fact flit by
Blue iridescence blazing
Or was it but a moment’s glimpse
My mind’s eye then amazing

Color blazed through gloomy gray
Of sky and soul in winter
Rarely seen in busy town
Mountain birds its kinder

Yet blue it flew to bright the day
Reminders in my sorrow
That gladness pierces even gloom
God-sent a bright-winged arrow

Oh bluebird take my love and fly
To those my arms are missing
And pierce them with your glad surprise
Of joy and heart-filled blessing


LORD, thank You for those perfectly timed occurrences that turn our eyes off our gloom and onto the brightness of Your presence and promise. May all who mourn today see You, Your provision, Your great abiding Love. You know our sorrows even more than we do…comfort us, I pray. Thank You, Lord, for joy amidst our suffering. Only in You may we experience such a thing! Bless You, LORD! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Matthew 5:4 NKJV
“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted”

Psalms 124:7-8
“Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth”

Holiday Book Gift Guide 2022

Merry Christmas blessings and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

The Holiday Book Gift Guide, and link below to nearly eighty books written by members of a Christian writer’s group, was graciously compiled by friend and fellow member, Lana Scroggins. Many different genres are included, each book with the author’s brief description and link for purchasing.

Little Bit in the Great Wide Forest, my children’s book inspired by and written/illustrated for our grands, is also in this guide.

May you find messages and stories of hope to strengthen you and those you love. No matter what circumstances life has brought or brings your way, God bless and keep you and give you peace!🎄🌟

Holiday Gift Guide 2022

Snow Fences

Undulating with the land 
Lining roads like concert chairs
Or spiked hair on shaven heads
Stalwartly just standing there

Oft’ a perch for falcon’s rest
Summer frame for winding vine
Holding firm they pass the test
Braving weather of all kinds

Catching troves of tumbling weeds
Flat toothpicks knit in stout rows
Cannot bind the blowing wind
Yet guard roads from drifting snow

Countless passers-by go on
Hurrying yet to places fair
Through gusting winds, o’er slippery roads
Safer for snow fences there


Thank You, LORD, for the myriad ways protection is given as we travel through this world. Please bless all whose efforts bring ease, safety. and comfort to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Kansas Wind

It skips across the rolling plains 
Down grassy streams, o’er rippled ponds
Bends trees and landscape to it’s will
Then swirls away to somewhere Oz

Clutching steering wheel tight
Rocking through buffeting sounds
Will we also fly away
Spinning up and round and round
To land in someplace Oz

No Munchkins seen along this path
Not yellow-bricked but asphalt gray
Roads leading home eventually
Miles by step, years by day

Perhaps the birds in glorious flocks
Soaring, twisting in the light
Are darting in and out of Oz
Will take our wonder with their flight
Into other realms

No matter where these winds do blow
Or wondrous stories left behind
“…no place like home” rings in our hearts
Belonging’s quest a home to find


Ecclesiastes 1:6 NKJV
“The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit”

Hebrews 11:16
“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

Philippians 3:20
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

Note: The old movie “Wizard of Oz” comes to mind every time we drive through Kansas. Last year I wrote a short piece titled Somewhere In Kansas. If you’d like another peek at Kansas you can find that post alphabetically in the Musings Library. When in Kansas hang on to your hat!

Those Things Between

What are those myriad things that wash against our souls, tidal waves lapping, churning, that retreat only to return again? Crests that are braved leaving us weathered and worn before the relief of calm, sun’s piercing light scattering the grey, blowing the gale away?

What when those tides are words and looks, voice inflections, or body speaking differently than lips? What of hurts buried deep, covertly eroding strength while unresolved things sit like festering infections begging for light and air to heal? Is it you, is it me, or is it things that divide us?

How do we heal our individual hurts so that we do not erect barriers, separate, disconnect ourselves from each other, from those we love the best? Or them who might have hurt us the most? How to walk the road together, taking down the barriers, brick by brick, to bring back the joy known before tenacious pain? How to keep the tidal waves at bay so no further abutments are built? How to live well in a world full of crashing waves and tumultuous storms, things bent on defeat? Let us dwell not on the storm, but look beyond to help and heal, and keep walking together. Let not the things isolate us from one another.


LORD, help us have the strength to stand, the wisdom to navigate the changing tides of one another’s behavior, Your Spirit’s guidance to direct our hearts and emotions in Love, and the patience to build connection. May we build up, not diminish others; see clearly Your will how we are to respond; wait on You before rushing ahead to “fix things” on our own; and remember always to call upon You. Gentle us, LORD. Please start here with me. Thank You for knowing those things that are between me and others…things I must repent of or that I need to forgive. Heal our hurts, LORD, and heal the hurts of all the weary souls around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Jeremiah 7:23 “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’”

Hebrews 12:14-15 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled”

Psalms 107:29 “He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.”

Thanksgiving Thoughts 2022

Transplanted seedlings we were once 
Or perhaps some started here
In this valley verdant green
With rivers, mountains, trees and streams

Deserts near for those who would
Leave this vale where they did start
Planting new shoots far away
In climes calling to their hearts

Yet our roots are intertwined
No matter how far they have grown
Not seas nor land nor death itself
Have severed ties so deeply sown

Such gratitude this thankful time
Memories sweet and hard too
This treasured gift our heritage
Plus blessed gift of life with you

Like the spreading aspen grove
Whose roots entwined grow far and wide
Would our roots, our legacy
Bring new growth, our best abide

May the Love that has upheld
Good we’ve known along the way
Guard and keep dear family, friends
Now, tomorrow, every day


“Now thank we all our God
With heart and hand and voices…”


The hymn “Now thank we all our God” was written in 1636 by Martin Rinkart, later translated by Catherine Winkworth:

1 Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

2 O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.

3 All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven
the one eternal God,
whom heaven and earth adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.
(Psalter Hymnal (Gray), 1987)

Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) was the Bishop of Eilenberg, Germany during the Thirty Years' War. Since Eilenberg was a walled city it became a place of refuge for fugitives of the war, and also a place of famine and disease due to overcrowding. In 1637 at the height of their misery, Rinkart was the only clergyman left in the city who could perform the 40 or 50 necessary burial services daily -- one of which was for his wife. As if that weren't enough, the city was sacked three times by invaders, one of which imposed a large tribute payment upon the people. During this time, Rinkart managed to find the time to write 7 dramas and 66 hymns.
The hymn "Nun danket alle Gott" was originally titled "Tisch-Gebetlein," or a "little prayer before the meal." This humble prayer of thanksgiving is laid out simply and beautifully in the first verse, but it's the next two verses that expand the hymn's focus and have given it its lasting appeal. You can see the Thirty Years' War pressing on his mind in verse two:
And keep us in His grace, And guide us when perplexed, And free us from all ills In this world and the next.
After a verse of thanks, and a verse that asks for strength during the trials of life, he ends with a paraphrase of the doxology as if to say, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, may the name of the Lord be praised." --Greg Scheer, 1995

Notes and hymn copied from

Seat Belt Gymnastics

A love hate relationship has developed toward a certain two inch black belt, no matter its promises to increase my safety when I am buckled in. During our cruise along Interstate 80 I have begun a crash course of in-car gymnastics…or is it wrestling?…with a seat belt that is bent on ratcheting my neck into upright and locked position, barely any allowance to breathe. Meanwhile, dear hubby is practicing patient endurance and hazardous driving skills while testing out the smart features of our car…today’s novelty: in-lane assist, something that wants to keep the car always in the middle of the lane, though hubby prefers to direct the wheels himself. Thankfully he can turn off that mechanical advantage. Accompanied by the car’s random beeping tones, hubby’s commentary of signs and sites outside our windows, the thump thunk thump of wheels on the road, the wind swirling past closed windows, and the pressure of the seatbelt against my right arm holding the belt at bay so I can breathe, I have to laugh at my focused grumpiness over a seatbelt. And now that my butzinsky is finally comfortable on the gel pad that I have had to squish around to get just right (does it sound like I’m singin’ the blues?), I have to move to relieve pressure on my left elbow that is smushed against the center console. Through all this geriatric fidgeting and fussing my husband calmly drawls, “The weather is deteriorating.” I look up to see flat white sky meeting the earth.

As we pass “somebody’s little piece of heaven,” a small abandoned homestead with outbuildings long weatherstripped and forlorn, my husband’s narrative continues. “Did you see that? The outhouse has been blown back by the wind at a 45 degree angle!” Not long later…“We’re going to see snow now…This is going to be interesting…Yep…The weather she’s a’changin’.”

My arm lets go of the seatbelt and I submit to its relentless restraint as the white sky begins to spit snow. The car’s 72 degrees gives me another point of gratitude as we zoom along in comfort through 20 degree Fahrenheit weather. It is 11:55 am, nearly high noon and the earth is being dusted with white. Snow skiffs swirl across the highway playing catch-me-if-you-can with eighteen wheelers. Along our drive from Idaho to Tennessee for Thanksgiving we cross the Continental Divide at 6,930 ft. above sea level, then again at 7000 feet. Skimming the wide high plains of Wyoming we are still beneath white sky nearly three hours later, with variable road conditions as we follow sand trucks and snow plows, are baptized with sand pelting our windshield as trucks pass by, temperatures dropping to 15-11 degrees. Mercifully we have had only two minor slippery slides.

After a break we are on our way again, only to return after nine miles to fill up the gas tank. “It’s 5:25 pm and feels like 10:00,” dear husband states. I must agree. It’s darker than dark but for flashing caution lights on vehicles making their way along icy roads. My faith is being tested as my senses feel we are careening much faster than we actually are. Our destination forty-five minutes away seems just short of forever. I have to trust my driver. The current 7 degrees begs we stay warmly entrenched… in our car… on the road.

We know beyond the darkened sky there are glorious vistas, and though restricted from our view they will surely come clear with the new day. Free-to-see views will be as welcomed as unbuckling this purposeful yet restrictive seatbelt. Somehow now, near the end of this day, the belt has miraculously let go its ratcheting hold. I wonder if those gymnastic stretches had anything to do with it.


LORD, help me see with new eyes the good purposes You have when restrictions cramp my style. They can be painful, irritating, annoying, uncomfortable, adept at bringing out the worst in me. And yet…many are set for my protection, and my healing. Thank You that You help us learn and adjust. Thank You that You are beyond restriction, make all things new, and that we can hope in You! Thank you for Your great mercies and grace towards us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Micah 2:7b “Is the Spirit of the LORD restricted?”

Revelation 21:5a “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Winter’s Surprise – Haiku

Foggy days and nights
Winter’s dawn brings glad surprise
Hoarfrost’s sugarcoat


Thank You, LORD, for the exquisite wonders You have freely given us…the glories of Your creativity! Help us to be ever-mindful of all You have given. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Job 37:10-11 NKJV
“By the breath of God ice is given, And the broad waters are frozen.
11 Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds.”
John 3:16-17
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Light in the Darkness

People slumbered seeking their pleasure
Whiteness covered the moon
All that was known could cease without measure
Darkness persistent, creeping, determined
Threatened to overtake soon

E’en in that nighttime light even greater
Beamed n’er extinguished
Constraining the dark
Brings hope to masses awake from their slumber
Shines on a weary world stark

Come to the Light here in the darkness
Shadows flee where Truth’s come to stay
Moon’s but reflecting light from one greater
Truth blazes on, and will forever
Stand in His radiance today


2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

John 8:12
‘Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”’

Before Saying, “Aye”

How enlightening are word searches. Looking up the word “aye,” I was intrigued by some of the synonyms listed in Webster’s online dictionary:

“Synonyms-Adverb (1)- always, e’er, eternally, ever, everlasting, evermore, forever, forevermore, indelibly, permanently, perpetually

Synonyms-Adverb (2)- all right, alright, exactly, OK (or okay), okeydoke (or okeydokey), yea, yeah, yep, yes, yo”

This ancient word holds much deeper meaning than a simple, flippantly tossed, “yes.” It connotes long lasting effects. Picture our ancestors voting on serious subjects. We are no less challenged today.

In Matthew 5:37 NKJV, Jesus instructs: “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

With long to everlasting, eternal meanings to one’s “yes” or “no,” it causes me pause to consider with whom or what I am standing in agreement or dissent. Not just in my everyday decisions, but especially when exercising the freedom to vote. On what basis am I making my decision? Is it based on emotion, as unsteady and capricious as shifting sand? On the opinions of others that may be driven by fears, lies, or hidden self-centered motives? Or is it based on firm unchanging truths that sink not beneath my feet?

There is much to consider when agreeing with something or someone. Before saying, “aye,” I must take the time to pause, consider, pray for discernment, then ask myself, “Am I agreeing with truth or error?” When we seek the LORD’s wisdom, He leads us into His life-giving, unchanging truth. The firm foundation on which to base our decisions. Having learned His promises are trustworthy, I can heartily say, “aye!” to Him! And to seek His wisdom through all the issues we face each day.


Father, teach us Your truth. Give us ears to hear and hearts to follow You. Thank You that Your desire is to give us life, to “give us a hope and a future.” Draw us ever closer in Your presence that we may know You, and experience that personal relationship with You that You offer us. Teach us how we may preserve, and grow in, the love and blessings You have bestowed on Your creation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalms 62:8 NKJV “Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

John 18:37 ‘Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”’

1 John 4: 1-6 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

An Ordinary Grand Display

Mountains brown like baked potatoes 
Appaloosa painted hills
Higher yet the piney forests
Stand snow-flocked, regal, still

Golden carpets flutter under
Gloried trees yet shedding leaves
Fall is falling all around us
Winter blowing icy breeze

Clouds perform ethereal dances
Shapes from white to darkest grey
Faint vermillion bands of color
Burst from sunlight’s grand array

Oh magnificence unfurling
Greets our enraptured eyes
Grand displays of earth and weather
All along our homeward drive

An ordinary day unfolding
God’s glories given to impart
Such beauty quietly revealing
Living moving divine art


Psalms 19:1 NKJV
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”

Isaiah 61:11
“For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

An Early Winter Light

Shimmered light illumines grasses 
Flowing o’er the mountain plains
Angus cattle dotted masses
Stud the glorious morning scene

Hoarfrost, snow skiffs kiss the meadows
Trees and all above ground things
Wear new luminescent garments
Ethereal, ephemeral bling

Filling space ‘twixt earth and heaven
How can one rightly describe
Beauty beyond words or pictures
Light inviting, “Come abide”

Surely heaven’s glory’s spilling
Mirrored glow of grand design
Calling us to higher mountains
Promised dwellings so sublime


Psalms 72:3 NKJV
“The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness.”

Isaiah 52:7
‘How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”’

Isaiah 54:10
“For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, ”Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”

Habakkuk 3:19
“The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.“

Extending Grace

{How long the wait, is the cry}
{Before things run without a hitch}
{Problems popping ceaselessly}
{Seem to go indefinitely}

{Pulling thoughts around me firm}
{I know the answer, indubitably}
{If only others would agree}
{Work things out the way I see}

WAIT! Could it be a larger view
Helps reveal a deeper truth
Of a picture greater than
One’s own mind can understand

Perhaps that person’s life’s a mess
They’re floundering in painful place
Could this lesson be for both
Learning more that thing called grace

Unmerited favor, grace defined
“Unmerited”…do I comprehend
The countless times that for me
Grace was offered…graciously

Yes, I’m called to do the same
Love those too whose hurting souls
Have failed me in their woundedness
As they struggle to be whole

Grace extends forgiving hands
Forged through lifetime’s endless trials
Patience turns longsuffering
Gifts of Love that will prevail

LORD, help us to remember that
Our sense of time is very short
When healing’s growth seems so slow
Keep our eyes on Love’s full goal


Romans 5:8 NKJV
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Isaiah 30:18
“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.”

When Life Falters

Air thick, like tree trunks without roots her steps were faltering. Would she topple over taking one step to the next? She could see, talk, move her limbs…well, you know the drill…check heart rate and rhythm, squeeze fingers, touch nose, see numbers of fingers in peripheral vision…it was just her legs and equilibrium that were off. She staggered, lumbering through the air, towards the bathroom. Some things needed tended to no matter what else was a-shakin’. She did her business, drank two glasses of water, and walked the walls back to bed. No problem.

The last few days had been embellished with a couple of visual events, evidences that indeed her body was aging, though she was only shy a month of turning seventy-four. At least the fleeting events were pretty…tiny neon blue geometric ornaments dancing in her eyes one day, neon red a day later, her own private internal Christmas tree lights. “I wonder if colors in heaven are like that,” she mused. “People who’ve experienced NDE’s have reported such things.”

Slipping purposefully into bed, no faltering in that move, she lay wide awake ruminating over the info she read late last night about visual colored lights. Could be anything from retinal issues to migraines to brain tumors to strokes. Hmmm. She’d wait and mention it to her retinal specialist at the next appointment since the rest of her vision seemed unchanged. As for the staggering…she got up again, took two staggery steps, and sat back down. Time would tell.

“Good morning, honey,” she greeted her husband, four years her senior. “Now it’s my turn to unload on you.”

“What’s up?” he asked, listening patiently. As she described her morning body antics, “Uh huh, yes, uh huh,” were his calm replies.

“It happened a second time a few minutes ago when I stood up,” she remarked.

“Well, yes,” he returned. “I’ve had that going on for quite some time. It’s like my gyroscope gets out of whack and needs time to resettle.” His signature laugh enveloped her.

“Well this is different from those times I have to put my head down when I start to walk.”

“Yes, it’s different than that,” he confirmed.

“You know, people on my side of the family have had strokes.”

“Yes, I know. We’re getting old. It’s part of aging,” he smiled.

Thinking of the many times she had listened to his interesting reports of goofy body experiences, after a pause she laughed, “Just sayin’, now it’s my time to start unloading on you. Pay back time!”

He grinned, walked over and gave her a good morning kiss, “Okay, partner.” His eyes twinkled.

Oh yes. They were doing that old couple thing just like her parents had. “Laughing All the Way to the Cemetery” was the title of a short aging memoir her mother had written for the family, and often laughed at her own aging surprises saying, “It only gets better from here.”

“Yes, indeed,” the now-aging daughter smiled to herself, holding fond memories of those loved ones who had embraced aging well, “it only gets better from here!”


LORD, thank You that You have known us before we were born, and You alone know the number of our days. Turn our eyes evermore on You. Grant us the peace of aging gracefully no matter what life brings. Give us wisdom to seek help when needed, to believe Your words to “fear not,” and to rest in the assurance that You are always with us. May the beauty of Your Holiness shine through this gift of life You’ve given us. With all praise and glory to You, Father, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jeremiah 1:5a NKJV “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;”

Psalms 71:18:20 “Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come. 19 Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You? 20 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

Psalms 39:4-5 “Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am. 5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.” Selah

Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

A Game?

How arrogant the game pieces were posturing themselves on the checkerboard, full of their importance, strength, and imagined power, flexing themselves like kids in a sandlot ready to duke it out. So self-important they neglected to learn who they were, who made them, what they were made of, and what was their purpose. Were they bowling pins just waiting to be knocked down?

This world might feel like a game. Players positioning themselves to their advantage, building on others to get to the top, playing by someone’s rules, or cheating to get the prize. It seems vitally important to discover who the Creator is of this life we find ourselves in. What does He say about all this? And is it really a game?

Long ago I began asking some basic questions…”who, what, when, where, why, and how?” Not only to figure out myself in this big amazing life experience, but also to learn of the Creator.

My college years were rich fodder for learning things the hard way, and being enlightened when there was literally no other place to look but up. Chemistry, then cultural anthropology studies, including the religions of man, gave me much to consider as I sought to find the truth of things. It was during that time I began to personally know the Creator, and to find this place is not a game after all, but a real life and death journey on to…more life, or a living death. With choices…to listen, learn, and grow…or, like children unwilling to mature, ignore the parental call to come home, choosing instead to keep playing the worldly game.

There seems to be an inherent thing in the souls of mankind, something that propels us forward. Like the earth spinning on its axis, we get caught up in the inertia of our own spinning selves, losing focus of where we are ultimately going. In all of history there has been but one perfect human being who sacrificed Himself for the lives of all mankind, living through this life, through death, and returning to witness to us the reality of life beyond here. In all the religions I studied, and historical accountings of true events, the man Jesus Christ of the Bible is the only one who has done this. Why would I not listen to the one who intimately knows the Creator of this place, and wants us to know Him? There was a sense of completion, a peace beyond this world, that came to my soul when I asked Jesus to teach me about this place. It was the singularly greatest thing that has impacted me…a life-long learning journey of trust and faith towards the next part of life’s journey.

Though my body is aging my spirit is vibrant and alive. Living on into eternity is a thrilling prospect, especially when living beyond into a life of health, joy, and peace rather than into the tragic throes of death. What’s the contest? Where’s the game? There is none…it is a real situation with real consequences. I’d much rather side with the Creator and learn His plan! I want to get out of here alive!


Thank you, LORD, for the gift of life and our time on this earth. Please teach us to heed Your voice, and to grow fully into the persons You created us to be. Thank You that we are each unique, fashioned by Your design and purpose. With the freedom to choose that You have granted us through free will, give us the wisdom and understanding to choose life! In Jesus’ name, and for Your glory, Amen.

Hebrews 12:9 NKJV “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?”

Proverbs 8:33 “Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.”

Isaiah 45:22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.”

Revelation 1:18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

Braving the Door

“Why am I afear’d to go out the door?”

Embarrassment crept around me unbidden, like a specter’s shroud. Had this feeling slithered in under the door or risen up from some long ago wound? Frankly, it felt weird…afraid to go out my door to the front yard? Was I losing my marbles? What was happening? Was this a reflection of a deeper fear? Or a hypersensitive pain-body in me (a subconscious reaction of accumulated, unresolved memories to any similar perceived threat, whether or not it was real)? Goodness knows, the anxieties of the world were swirling around at a fevered pitch. How did I get pulled into this emotional state?

The more I thought of it, marbles collected, I finally concluded that my fear was emanating from a deeper stronghold, perhaps an embedded lie that I had given place to in my mind. Like all of us, I have had many embarrassments and humiliations throughout life, and continue to learn how to overcome them. Yet again a taproot from a still buried thing (it only takes a shred to regrow) seemed to be invading my peaceful space, like those persistent, prickly weeds in my garden.

Asking God for understanding of my experience brought insight and resolution of that strange feeling. As I leaned with God into my confusion, the light of His truth eventually cleared the capricious emotions and thoughts that had spun me off like a dizzy whirly-gig. Honestly facing my fear and weirdness, explaining out loud to the LORD what I was experiencing, was cathartic. It helped bring to light hidden stuff that was shackling me. My experience to find calm in that storm was to literally, as goes the well-know hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Turning my eyes to Him, seeking His light on the subject, diffused the power of the confusion and hidden things. Light overcame my darkness! God is so good! He neither leads us through a place alone, nor overwhelms us with a lesson we are not mature enough to learn. He works all things together for His good purposes in us. Time and again His promise to never leave nor forsake us has proven true.

May our eyes seek God’s light. No matter the path forward in overcoming our personal challenges, Jesus knows intimately our needs. In faith, praying sincerely and simply as would children, pouring out our hearts to a patient, loving Father who yearns to wipe away our tears and quandaries, is my go-to way of calling, “Help!” As the Master Gardner of the original garden, He especially knows how to rid us of those hidden, dormant weedy things that fill us with fear, steal our joy, or threaten to overtake our peace. Though human attempts at yanking out weeds might bring temporary, symptomatic relief, for deeper healing l need the help of the One who knows how to finally dig out the roots of hurting buried things, and to replace worldly lies with unchanging, eternal truths. He is the One who breaks whatever binds us, gives us the power to overcome, and finally sets us free from all that imprisons. He IS the door to internal peace, the one I can go out of and come into, without fear!


Lord, thank You that You are ever-present, no matter where we are or what situation we might be facing. Thank You that You are greater than all our challenges and fears. Lead us, LORD, into Your presence. Bring to light those hidden things that ensnare us, rob us of life. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and goodness that follows us all the days of our lives. Teach us trust as we walk through shadowed valleys, drawing courage and understanding in Your presence, and in the process of healing. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV “Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

John 10: 7, 9 “7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” “9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

For the lyrics to Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus click on

Bird Psalms

Peaceful silence wakens morn 
Love’s own Spirit hovers near
Offered coos of mourning doves
Whisper holiness most dear

Softly comes the serenades
Comforting whenever heard
Such exquisite joy expressed
Humble psalms sung by a bird

Then in quiet mountain dark Springs surprise and glad delight
Just outside my window frame
Owls are hooting in the night

On and on the concert rings
Lyric notes in varied keys
Such a blessing are these sounds
Floating smoothly on the breeze

Songs from feathered throats when raised
Warm my heart and fill my cup
Day and night creation sings
Praises uttered, lifted up


Psalms 150:6 NKJV
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!”

Mountain Invitation

Mountain meadows turning golden 
Fall nips with crystalline air
Tiny pine trees scattered random
March t’wards next Christmas fair

Russet cattails border ditch banks
Glow in sunlight’s slanting rays
Fallen barns heaped in the grasses
Testify of bygone days

Roadways ever bearing traffic
Streaming constant changing times
Still the mountains stand steadfastly
Monuments of God’s design

Rest, indeed, the air breathes to us
Now that fires have burnt and gone
Pause, partake of mountain vistas
Relax amidst the wild bird song

Contemplate here without bother
But for pleasant forest sounds
Let go strife and all that ails you
Throw it up to higher ground

Come, the mountains bid yet to us
Stay awhile here in repose
Let the breeze through pines and aspens
Lift worn hearts, refresh your souls

Oh, the mountains, grand creation
How can one still not believe
Majesty in beauty splendor
Witness glories unperceived


Jeremiah 6:16a NKJV
“Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.”

Psalms 72:3
“The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness”

Isaiah 49:13
“Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.”

A Holy Dance

Pirouetting on full point 
She was a whirling top
Held position in her place
Until the spinning stopped

With graceful leaping far from it
Arching high into the air
Flying free, loosed from her trap
Where she had entwined there

Such abandon was the dance
From winding into free
Energy swirled tightly close
Then flung out joyously

Reflection of earth’s tensions felt
Healing’s joys of glad release
The dance portrayed reality
Hurts into grace poured free

For most such precise
Would drain them full to stop
Not so the dancer’s entity
Dance filled her to the top

Dance on, oh dancer, joyously
Fling bright to heaven’s sky
Waves of blessing flowing long
Dance praising God most high

Dance gloriously, rejoice again
Salvation o’er death won
Let beautiful expression given
Devotion in dance spun


Psalms 149:3 NKJV
“Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.”

Psalms 30:11-12 HCSB
“You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackclothand clothed me with gladness,
12 so that I can sing to You and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.”

Come Alive!

Ever bid a wounded animal come to you? When rescued with gentleness an invitation is given to receive loving care. Imagine the response if harshly approached: retreat, avoidance, a defensive snarl or bite, or perhaps in weakness no response at all. What then of people who snarl and snap out of their conditioning or woundedness, push away by association, certain they will be poorly treated or judged no matter how tender the approach?

When God allowed humans free will to choose, our hard-headedness fought, and keeps fighting, to be at the top of the list of ways we push God and others aside, certain we can save ourselves without help, direction, and wisdom beyond our finite minds. Yet mercifully, God still opens Himself to us.

Though the fight or flight mechanism might be life preserving, it can become a barrier to reconciling hurts and differences. Often overlooking the spiritual part of us we miss the deeper message of reconciliation as our hurting souls, so entrapped by our woundedness, stay in a protective mode. “Come alive” is an invitation to change our ways of trying to fix the wrongs of things by listening to God’s higher ways of righting things. To leave old gnarly ways behind and grow into new. It changes my prayer from lament of worry to rejoicing for the good God has given and has in store for all who come to Him. To speak to my own soul to “get up and walk” into learning God’s ways rather than dwelling in my sorry mess.

“Come alive” is a call to come out of those tombs in which we reside. Like Lazarus bound in grave cloths, dead for several days, resurrected when Jesus Christ commanded him to come out from the grave, we, too, are invited to come into the light, leave behind death, lies, and sin that destroy and strangle us. Again and again we are called by the Rescuer. Will we respond? God’s holy, sacrificial, redeeming, transformational grace bids us to come to new existence every day and, like wormy caterpillars emerging from death’s cocoon, learn the freedom of receiving wings to fly!


LORD, let us hear Your voice calling us to come to life. Thank You that with unfailing love, grace, and mercy You keep reaching out to us to make us new. Help us to be vessels of reconciliation in a world desperately fractured and divided. Heal our wounds as You free us from things that imprison us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 11:43-44 NKJV “Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Ezekiel 37:5 ‘Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.”’ (See Ezekiel 37 about the army of dry bones.)

For great inspirational music check out Lauren Daigle’s song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)”.


What voices am I listening to
Defining life, how I should be
Not only in the world around
But also what I think of me
Do they tell the truth

Have you ever heard inside
A voice insisting you are small
Diminished in some unique way
Not good enough, somehow wrong
Just because you’re you

When I found in Christ my self
Known, beloved, cherished well
Forgivable, redeemed, made new
Pulled from the very gates of hell
Could hope grow up in me

When those plaintive voices heard
Are brought to Light, examined full
Next to Truth from heaven reaching
Lies are discarded, Truth beseeching
Through God’s unchanging Word

Truth’s pure voice guides how to live
God’s grand design, for our best
Correction’s not an awful task
Redemption from the lies at last
Brings healing, makes us well

Could I shout out loud enough
The Truth God’s shown my hurting soul
That others caught in lies’ tight webs
Could find their freedom sure as well
Unending joy to know

“Come and See” what’s in store
For those redeemed from sin’s hard grip
Walk into God’s Kingdom life
T’wards the ever dawning light
And Love’s eternal shore


LORD, thank You for Your immeasurable love. Give us ears to hear and hearts to listen to and heed Your voice, that we may discern and reject the seductive lies that entice us away from You and Your best for us. Teach us to abide in You, to trust and rest in Your direction and good will. Thank You that You are Truth, and the One who forgives and makes us new. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 15:16a NKJV
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit”

Revelation 3:20
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Psalms 32:8
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

John 10:27
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

Note: The phrase “Come and See” is also an invitation for all to “Come and See” the fabulous series THE CHOSEN. With many ways to view it, I especially like The Chosen app. This fully viewer-supported series has pay it forward opportunity if one so chooses, but may be freely viewed without contribution.