WORD – Part 5: Expect Two Things

As I said, my WORD for 2017 is: LIFE.

Living my WORD, is not easy.  It’s a bit like being a mother.

As a mother, I know that I am loved by my husband and children, and I certainly do “being love” 24/7, even when it doesn’t appear that way. Once a baby comes out of a mother’s womb, there is little room for the “I”… and forgiveness is a constant flowing gift, both sought after, and offered,

because mothers deal with a lot of messes.

So, what of the “E” in LIFE?

“E” is for Expect.

Expect two things.

ONE: Expect to stumble. 

We will be unlovable.

We will not want to love others.

We will be selfish.

We will hold grudges.

Right? This is realistic because we are perfectly imperfect humans. WE WILL STUMBLE as we live LIFE out.

The Psalmist knew this well and encourages us:“…though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:24

so…TWO: Expect to be upheld.

Upheld conjures up a cradle image to me, cupped hands holding a soggy baby bird that fell from the safety of the nest due to the storm.

That is what the LORD does for us. And we can expect this loving care from him: to be held with gentleness.

This WORD: LIFE seems to have gone full circle…

You are loved.

Be love to others.

Get rid of the “I” and give dangerously.

Be forgiven and forgive others.

Expect, to stumble and expect to be upheld…and loved….round and round we go in this WORD: LIFE!

Love is the thread through it all.


There is always a song of Hope to be sung!

Have you read my published song of HOPE?

Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope is available on Amazon, just click on this title. Towdah, addresses key issues universally prominent in any kind of trial, even though this is a telling of my journey through cancer.

Happy New Year 2017

WORD – Part 4: The “F” Word

And now the “F” word:

not four letters, but eleven.





And being love.

“I”, giving dangerously.

and now, Forgiveness.

Receiving it, is freedom.  Offering it, fills up that life to the full.


Forgiveness is like a pry bar, it looses the nails of guilt & shame.

Forgiveness is like a salve, it soothes the wounds.

Forgiveness is like duct tape, it binds the broken back together.

Forgiveness is like a key, it opens the door to healing.

Have you been forgiven and felt the gift of freedom deep inside your soul?

If you acknowledge the Christ as your Savior, you no doubt understand this freedom gift.  When asked, Jesus gives forgiveness both readily and abundantly; free of charge to us.  He has already paid for the price of forgiveness with his life.

Yes, receiving it, is freedom.

Offering it to others is the rest of the story.  Jesus even said that we are required to forgive others, for if we do not, we cannot receive forgiveness from him.

Why is that?

The freedom gift is not one we can keep to ourselves, it is meant to be a shared gift; once we have experienced it, we must freely share it with others.

I think perhaps, it is an example of giving dangerously.

How often should we offer forgiveness?

This exact question was presented to Jesus in the scriptures.

His answer? Forgive a lot…more than we would find easy or comfortable.

Moral of the story? Throw down the stones and hug. Hug and offer forgiveness when someone has wronged you. In this way, you will be healing to another

and to yourself, equally.

In the offering of forgiveness, you gain life to the full!



WORD – Part 3: Give Danergously

Giving … and Dangerous is an unlikely pairing in the usual sense of phraseology, but not according to my pastor, Emmanuel Haqq.  His WORD to us on the January 2017 New Year Day sermon was: Give; Give Dangerously.  Said another way, give til it hurts – give sacrificially.

This is a perfect segway to the “I” in my WORD : LIFE.

“I” …is for I; me, my, mine, myself.


Sacrifice the  I; me, my, mine, myself desire for the sake of others, and give…give…give!

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must

deny themselves and take up their cross

and follow me.” Matthew 16:24


we have established the “L”  of LIFE is Love; demonstrated by our figurative whipping boy who died for us!

You are loved, and are to be love to others.

 Being Love means giving up the “I.”

Denying the “I” is what it’s all about, it’s what Jesus did on the cross and it is how we follow Him into giving dangerously.


Give time, energy, resource… stuff of the need and stuff of the delight.

Give when you are feeling it, give when you are not….Give when you are tired and weak and weary…and you will be filled.

That is not a typo.

You will be filled.

 The more sacrifice in the giving, the more filling in your life. Yes, giving dangerously gives us that life that John 10:10b speaks of:

“I have come that they may have life,

and have it to the full.” 


 Life to the full is being loved, and being love to others, and giving dangerously in the place of sacrifice.

Next time…the “F” word…..

P.S. Be encouraged to be a giver — recommended reading: The Treasure Principle, by Randy Alcorn

WORD – Part 2: The Ultimate Whipping Boy


I have the ultimate whipping boy.

Do you have a whipping boy?

Do you know what one is?

It is one who takes the whipping punishment for another, as is poignantly shown in the children’s classic story The Whipping Boy.  All childish things aside… figuratively speaking, I am not lying, I do have the ultimate whipping boy, and so do you; He took a whipping and a beating and he submitted even to death for me…and for you.

WHY did He do that?

I will explain by giving meaning to the “L” in the WORD: LIFE…



But God demonstrates his own love for us

in this: While we were still sinners,

Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Friend, do you know you are loved that much?

The first step in having that “life to the full” is acknowledging that you are loved so very much, that Christ died for you.

Friend, YOU are LOVED.

Do you feel it?  Do you know it?  Will you accept it?

When you accept His love – there is but one thing for you to do: LOVE OTHERS in the same way as Christ loves you.


When it’s neat and easy – love.  When it’s messy and difficult – love.

When the gifts are used or exchanged and decorations packed up for another year to wait in the attic… when

winter cold is set in and we move on with the routine of the days.

Remember, L = LOVE in LIFE.

Being loved, and being love, fills your life to the full!


WORD – Part 1: The One Reason the Baby Came

December 25th has come and gone, again; focus was: the baby in the manger.

January 6th, the last day of the traditional season of Epiphany has passed, again; focus was: the wise men visiting that baby.


Holidays concluded.

Gifts are used or exchanged and decorations packed up for another year to wait in the attic.

Winter cold is set in and we move on with the routine of the days.

But do we remember the WHY of it all?

The ONE reason the baby came?

“I have come that they may have life,

and have it to the full.” John 10:10b NIV

Rather than a resolution, it seems to be the trend to choose a WORD for the New Year…my WORD?


Jesus says: He came.

He came to earth as that baby in the manger. He grew and became a man and loved on people, as it is recorded throughout pages and pages of the Bible.  He was mocked and beaten and pierced and hung on a cross to die. He was wrapped and buried and put in a tomb. He broke out of that tomb and showed himself to many and then rose up into the clouds to be with the father in heaven, where he is alive and waits for the Father to tell him to come back and get His people..

 Most of my readers know this.

But why did He do it?

Jesus says: so, “that they may have life.”


Yeh? So? We, are the they, and we all have life right?  We are breathing aren’t we? Basic of all basic, I guess that is so…yet, there is more.

“and have it to the full.”

or in other translations:

“to give them a rich and satisfying life.” NLT

“and have it abundantly.” NASB

…what does this mean?

It means that Jesus did all He did so that we could have a FULL life with purpose and have life eternally.

THAT is the one reason the baby came.

Do you have life to the full?

Read and follow my posts in the days to come and I will share how we can have this LIFE to the full.

4 Anchors for a Tiny Sailboat

This is where I left you last Thursday, promising to give you an answer…

“What is fair anyway?”

Truth be told – the answer is: N O T H I N G.

“Life isn’t fair – get use to it.”

Don’t you hear your mother’s voice echoing in your head, as I do?

Someone will always get the bigger cookie first, the longest turn on the swing, the better card in the game.


when we get the biggest cookie, the longest turn on the swing, or the winning card in the game – — do we still exclaim, “It’s not fair?”

Of course not.

Suddenly the path of the exclamation goes from “Why me?” to “Why not me!

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Why did I have to get cancer? I do not know…but, why not me?  I am not above the perils of this world.

Four anchors held me as my life, like a tiny sailboat, tossed violently in the stormy sea of a dark trial. 

One: Accept Support.

Hand in hand, we opened the door and stepped out into the brazen sunlight, neither knowing what lay ahead.” (p. 6 Towdah)

Do you have support? Do not try to go it alone.  Call on your closest loves in life and let them hold your hand.  My aunt, who battled against cancer for nearly 12 years, told me, “No matter what, always let people help you, for if you deny them the opportunity, you squash the Spirit working in them and you lose out on a blessing.”

Two:  Stick to the Plan.

With a battle, there is a plan – always.  And once a plan is in place, everything seems doable.  Stick to it and fight with everything you’ve got!

Medically: follow through with the treatment plan.

Spiritually: pray; “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well;”

Three: Stay Vulnerable

“Without words, I drew close…Tears once again began to flow…Emotions gave way with an ever so gentle explosion of sighs and tears.”(p.34 Towdah)

Keep it real my friend. Embrace your humanness.

Four: Trust God.

There is a choice to make.  You can be swallowed up by fear or you can be cradled by trust. Seems a no-brainer to choose trust – I mean, who wants to be swallowed up! The next question then, is who do  you trust?  Entering the unknown territory of this trial, I put my trust in God as Joshua did.  Cancer, disease, sudden loss bring unknown territory and it is scary.

“Like a child, holding the father’s hand, I couldn’t bear it anymore and I turned with anxious asking, ‘Pick me up Daddy! I’m scared.’ ” (p. 30 Towdah)


Accept support.  Stick to the plan.  Stay vulnerable.  Trust God.



Admitting my Addiction

The  magnetic force is strong every night.

I cannot resist the pull. No matter the day, no matter the hour.

I admit it. Fully and with some shame.

I am addicted.

I plop on the couch almost without fail every night after most of the to-do list is finished and I zone out with my vice.


Have you ever played with magnets?  Take two magnets and put the positive and negative ends near each other and the pull is strong — the resistance is near impossible — the ends snap together and to un-do the attraction takes great effort.

Like I said:  “The magnetic force is strong every night” and I am drawn  — I am attracted and to turn away is near impossible.

I am addicted to Netflix mini series shows.

Castle, White Collar, Once Upon a Time, BBC specials like  Midwives & Doc Martin…..it is endless. One mini series concludes and I search for another.

I think, What is wrong with me!  I am a grown adult with goals and vision and purpose.

Yet I succumb to the glowing screen night after night, robbing me both of sleep and time…I look forward to the escape.

That’s what it is, isn’t it?

The escape!

We all seek it – just in different ways.  We want to escape the troubles in our lives.

And that is where addictions flourish – in the desire for escape.

It bothered me and it bothers me.  And so I began to ask myself,

Why? Why do I do this?


It is the story element.

I am addicted to story – a finished story.

Messy is all over my life.

Is it all over yours?

Troubles with people, troubles with finances, troubles with ailing bodies…ongoing…seemingly never ending — surprises that you don’t want..

things you cannot fix.

Life: messy and full of unfinished story lines…BINGO!

The unfinished story line drives me to desire escape!

My addiction fills the void of the unfinished – unfixed – messy stories and satisfies my desire.

I want the story finished. I want to know the ending. I want the final comfort in knowing there is an end.

Netflix mini series do that for me; they fulfill my need for the story’s end – TEMPORARILY.  I know it’s temporarily because as soon as one show’s final episode is seen, I am on to search out another series to be drawn into — that magnetic pull is so strong.


And so, I confess.

No fancy pictures in this post today – just words of truth…bear with me, friend – we are half way through and the best is yet to come!

And I confess I feel shame because I know I am sinking low and settling and eating crackers instead of chocolate souffle — hoarding pebbles instead of saving for the diamond — playing in mud puddles instead looking out over the ocean….

You see – there is a story that has been finished and I have been ignoring it.

The story of Redemption.

My messy has been redeemed. My life’s troubles have an ending…..and I know what it is!

Jesus Christ, my friend, my brother, my King, my Savior has bled, and died, and risen and finished the story for me – for us all.  The troubles are temporary and the troubles are part of the story being worked out – through the messy comes the glory with Jesus by my side..

The greatest story of all is before me; I need to turn my addiction toward the Author of it.  Remember, recall, retell, remind…..I need to turn toward Jesus and trust HIM for my story and rest in knowing that HE finished my story when He called me to himself and when His father adopted me as His child.  Jesus and His story includes my story and the story of all my loved ones.

It’s all in the trusting, my friend.


If I become addicted to anything — it must be to my LORD.

If I choose Jesus as my addiction… then, my life and my old addiction to Netflix mini series become like two opposing magnets….you know…when you try to put two opposing magnets together it is impossible to connect them – the force swerves and deflects and the two ends do not meet….they cannot meet.  And that is how it is: When I focus and stick to the Redemption story I am satisfied and replacement stories that temporarily satisfy cannot satisfy anymore – the magnetic pull is no longer strong to connect – but instead they oppose.

There it is. It is the truth.

Is there an addiction taking your eyes off the Redemption story — your story with Jesus?

Turn up the volume and listen to this….


Come trust alongside me, friend, in the true finished story of redemption….don’t let the messy and the troubles distract you.

We are heaven bound and nothing on earth will satisfy, nothing on earth will feel fixed, ever.

Come join me in addiction to Jesus Christ – the only ONE who satisfies eternally!

The BEST story is HIS story and our Story within it!

If you have to have a vice – let it be Jesus!







Simple: One, Two, Three.

Not sure of what I posted yesterday?

You are not alone;

…so Jesus, re-stated three things.

ONE: “I am the gate” John 10:7

Jesus, as the gate, means that all who enter through Him will be saved.  He is the one way to Salvation. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

TWO: “I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11

Jesus, as the good shepherd, means He is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, if needed.

THREE: “I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:15 b

And He did, because we needed Him to.

Simple: ONE, TWO, THREE.

And what do you think the reaction was to these things that Jesus said again?

The people were divided.  One side wanted to dismiss Him; the other side  entertained the ideas.   Neither side gained any understanding of the Truth; “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24

Jesus’ reaction?

“I did tell you…” John 10:25 a

  I am God; “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

So, here you have it.

Jesus and the Father are one; God.

Going through Jesus is the only way to get to the Father.

Just as He said, He laid down His life for ours;  HE CHOSE DEATH so that we could have eternal life.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27 & 28

My reaction?

NUTS.  Any one walking away from this offer is just nuts!

What do you think?


Need time to ponder?   Cook up a meal and mull things over?

Try: 1,2,3, and then NUTS!


It is my prayer that all who read this will gain understanding of the Truth.

And then…..

What makes something or someone  GREAT?

Is it size?  Is it power?  Is it amount?

I believe it must be all of these and more, especially when you add the person-hood of God in the following of it. There have been a few times that I have truly felt the edge of God’s greatness in my life. Yes, the edge.  The fullness would destroy me and any of us.  One of these few times has been when I awake from sleep. You know those moments when you awake in such a way that you suddenly become conscious of being aware that you have been given another day?  Before your eyes even open, the hearing of your own breath, or the distant noise from inside or outside your home tells you, yes(!) I am still alive! 005

And then,

the first thought you think, is God.

These are moments that I have cherished down deep because it is the down deep that speaks into these very moments about which I am trying to share with you.

Already eyes closed.

 Already surrendered.

All ready.

And the first words falling over my lips were, How great Thou art, how great Thou art.

Awesome completeness filling me.

My mind spurred on:

Oh Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made…


Yes, afterward. THEN my soul sings, considering the awesomeness of who God is and all the things He has made from ant to universe(s) beyond and all the things in between including the care of each hair on my head.


This is the edge of how great God is.

Great in size — who can fathom?

Great in power — can anything compare?

Great in amount — what can contain?

The answer is no one, nothing, and absolutely nothing; only God is great!

For me, for you, He did the great things.  All He has made, His Son not sparing, burdens gladly bearing, to take away my sins!  Yes, my souls sings when I am filled with the awesome wonder of it all.  You?  Overflowing with peaceful overwhelming-ness; the flood of praise comes. Then, my eyes open and I am divinely prepared for my day as my feet hit the floor.  When my soul is filled with How great Thou art in the down deep, joy fills and an un-containable appreciation for my God is evident.


sings my soul, My Savior, God, to Thee….

My mom shared this link with me this morning – yes, close your eyes and just listen and may these words be your words today; this child’s voice is a blessing!  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=565874703479003

An Inside Heart Giggle – Part 2

Thomas said to him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14: 5)

I can see it.  I can feel it. Because I have experienced it.  The urgent worry-full plea.  You know what I mean… obtaining that last piece of instruction; information that will get you on the right track for where you want to go…know what ya need to know!


Thomas wanted to know.

Don’t you?


And this is foresee-ably a BIG BUT….

Are you sure you want to know?

‘Cuz this is not a matter of preference, or a matter of question, or a matter of light concern.

This is a matter of Truth.

This is the Truth that filled my inside heart giggle yesterday.

Here is the answer.

The know.

The gift of the wondering.

Jesus answered, ” I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Surprisingly, the answer is short.  The information is easy to remember.

There is no confusion. It is clear.

What is the way?



Jesus is the way.  Not just the way…..


(here is that BIG BUT I warned you about….)

Jesus is THE way.  THE truth.  THE life.

If you want to come to the place Jesus is preparing.  If you want to sit down at the table.  If you want to enjoy the feast, the conversation, the laughter, and the sharing…..

You can take no other way. There is no alternative path. No short cut. No scenic route.

God the Father, the owner of the house, gave us all the invitation in John 3:16. 

God gave (His Son)

Whoever (that means anyone) believes….

Shall not (perish).

BUT HAVE (eternal life).….that is the where; eternal life in Heaven.

The invitation is to believe. To be saved.  To have the ability to enter eternal life.

THAT is where the table is.  THAT is where the feast is.

Believe this Truth my friends!

Anticipate with me.

Is your inside heart giggling yet?