Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Frowny Face Day

It's a frowny face day here today.

I feel pretty bad right now.

I had this great post that I wanted to write (now that was humble, wasn't it)...have all my notes ready, and things I am dying to share with you...but I feel terrible right now.

So off I go to bed.

One big praise, though...God provided a day's exactly what I'd hoped for, and the people are driving it to us...all the way from Queen Creek!

This morning, I was sitting outside doing some Bible study, and read a verse in 1 John 2 about asking God for our wants...when we're walking in righteousness. (I'm paraphrasing, I know.)

1 John 3:21-24
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
I just stopped right in the middle of my study and said,
"LORD, you know how hard this sleep thing is right now. I don't want to be selfish, but I really think we could use a bed in the guest room...I think it would help out so much right now. If it's Your will for us, would You please just work out the details?"

Then, a few minutes later, I came inside.

Now mind was 7:30am, and I'd been up since 3:30...anyone who knows me knows not to call me before 10, but when I came in I looked at the phone, and someone had called.

It was the lady that I had talked to yesterday about the day bed. She was calling to tell me that her husband would be happy to drive it to us!

The time of her call was the EXACT MINUTE that I was sitting on my porch asking of God for my need!


For those of you who don't know, driving to my house from Queen Creek is like driving to Phoenix from Southern Mexico!, maybe I should turn my frown upside down, eh?

Here's a picture of my new bed, as seen on Craig's List.
Thank you, LORD!
Now we just need to pray for a comfortable mattress. :)

Love you all...


Monday, June 29, 2009

Post Your Precept Classes on the Map!

Hey Everyone,

This came out from the's so easy to do!

Would you PLEASE take 2 minutes and enter your Precept class on the map?

For those of you who are in the Leadership Development class with me on Monday nights, please enter any classes that you know God is calling you to lead in the fall, also.

Well...for ANY of you who know what you'll be leading in the 'em, ok? :)

Love you all,

Hey all you who work so diligently every day to establish people in God’s Word!

Social media is conducting a “viral” experiment and could use your help!

Here’s the challenge:

·o To see how many inductive Bible study folks we can get on the WORLD map within the next 48 hours! AND, find out what they are or will be studying.

Please go to the below link where you will find more details.

Please SIGN the guestbook.

THEN, forward the link to those you know who are taking a Precept study or will be – come fall.

What a visual we hope to have by Monday morning of those who are being established in God’s Word – ACROSS THE WORLD.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why I Love Garage Sales...

The fruit of my spending therapy this morning. Remember the Alamo!
They built this with the $3 (antique) Lincoln Logs that I found at a sale..antique was their word.

They made this with no map, I gotta add....pretty cool, eh?

And...a few pictures from yesterday's cruise of the Baltics, with Toot-Toot the wonder explorer.

Ooh..that water looks good! I think I'm going to go jump in right now!

Happy Saturday everybody!

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Quick Update...

Hi Sweet Friends,

I just wanted to leave a quick update and let you know that we're doing well.

There are great advantages to being married to an engineer, and they have been well displayed these past few days.

Our house is in order.

Things are put away.

He's working like a mad-man to clear all the walking paths in the house, as my balance is still pretty goofy.

He's making sure that I'm taking my medicines on time.

In a word, he's amazing.

Oh, what a joy to know the gift of being one flesh with my husband!

I love this man so much! I can't imagine how people deal with illness and tough times, who don't love one another and don't know the Lord.

Thank you for praying for him...the prayers are working, and I'm getting the benefits. :)

On a side note, I have a dear friend who is going through a tough time in their marriage. Would you please pray for them? Please, pray that God uses this time to draw them together, to bathe them in forgiveness for one another, and to establish them in Himself.

Someone once said, "Just when you think He's all you have, you find that He's all you need."

I'm praying this very thing for my friends...that they'll find that the Lord Jesus is all that they need.

Would you join me, please?

OK...back to my update...

The kids are doing well, too. I guess I was so sick that I just didn't realize how hard it was on them not having me here. 5 days to them was an eternity, but I was pretty out of it for much of that time, so it was just different for me.

Now that Mommy is home, they are adjusting well.

They're such sweet willing to help, and so eager to please. Goodness, I love them!

I have countless things to be grateful for today.

I was able to get into the pool today, which was fantastic. I have always loved the water, and being in the pool just made so much of the awkwardness dissipate. Plus, I got my new Land's End bathing suit in the mail a few days ago...50% off with free shipping...and 2 sizes smaller than the one I bought a few years ago, and still a bit too big.

Life is good. :)

I've had such wonderful conversations with my sweet friends over the past few days, too...each one has meant so much to me. If we haven't talked yet, please know that I'm making my way down the list of calls to return, so I will call you soon!

Marilena, thank you for the spaghetti and meatballs...there is something so rich in love about your meatballs! I mean seriously...Italian food from a real live I-tal-ian...does it get any better than that?! I love you, sister! You will be joining us for Kinsman Redeemer, right? :)

OK...I'm off now. Would cherish your prayers for's still quite elusive. I think the steroids must make me hot, which makes it hard to sleep. Hey, maybe I'm burning something off...that would be cool. :)

Love you all...I'll get back to writing something about the Word one day soon...won't that be much more interesting? :)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Exactly To Begin?

Today's blog entry is going to be all over the place, so I thank you in advance for sticking in there with me through it...

The past week has been a whirlwind for us.

On Wednesday of last week, we had an appointment with my new neurologist, whom I like to refer to as Mr. Wonderful. This man has been such a blessing from God. He listened to us, and didn't pull the stuff that the first two doctors did.

Doctor #1 had the audacity to say to me, "I'm going to give you two choices, and you have to pick one. The first is that I can tell you everything that is wrong with you, but I won't make you better....yet, you'll leave knowing what is wrong.

The second choice is that I'll make you better, but I won't give you any answers.

Now, which would you choose?"

Stupid. Just plain stupid.

I should have held my Horshack hand up and waved it wildly in the air and said,
"I know. I know! Pick me! Pick me! I choose that you're a moron and you've just wasted my time! I choose that you pay ME for this appointment!"

OK...I forgot to tell you, I'm on big time steroid treatment right now, so this is your fair warning for some roid rage. :)

Doctor #2 - this is the one that I saw after the first MRI was done. This doctor's best answer was to put me on a mild anti-depressant, which she said would also help the seizing in my hand. I looked at her and said, "I gotta tell you, I'm not excited about being on an anti-depressant."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm not depressed."

"Well, you are anxious."

"How can you meet me for 15 minutes and tell me that I'm anxious?"

"You aren't sleeping."

"I've NEVER slept! I'm a type-A personality. I've got stuff to do, dreams to dream, people to share the Word of God with, mountains to climb, places to go, people to see..."

OK, so I didn't really go into it that much, but that's the truth of it. Sleep is a chore. However, the truth of that statement has become all too real as of late...sleep is hard to come by with MS, sometimes, and then the after effects of not getting enough are really burdensome.

Note however, that Dr. #2 totally dismissed my concerns about MS by saying, "This is a 30 minute appointment, and I really have to go. If you Googled those symptoms that you're reading to me, you'd see they all come back to Epstein Bar.

I wish that I had said to her then, "I HAVE Googled them all, and that's why I'm here...with my MRI in hand, and my list of concerns....why can't I feel my hands? Why can't I think straight? Why does my face seize? Why does it just about kill me when my friend or child rubs on my right arm? Why, why, why?"

But alas...there wasn't time in the appointment for those questions....

I think I should break for a bitterness-confession session.

I realize that I'm all over the place here...but after that is when we landed with Dr. Wonderful. He listened to us, he did his due diligence, he studied and restudied the MRIs, he called for new ones...HE DID THE JOB OF A DOCTOR!

One huge thing I've learned from all of this...if you're ever in need of a clear diagnosis, look for a Doctor who is a researcher. This is my doctor's heart, and I think it's what makes him so good.

He's also very humble. Even in the hospital when we were about to be released, he said, "Please know that if you want to get a 2nd opinion, I want you to do that."

I looked at him and said, "I've found my doctor. You are an answer to prayer."

To which he bowed his head and said, "Thank you, thank you. You're very kind."

So, here's the gist of it...

It's MS.

I'm not dying.

I am uncomfortable, and there are things in our life that will be changing, but we'll take them as they come.

I was in the hospital for 5 days, in which time I had 5 days worth of iv steroids to stave off the episode that began last Thursday night/Friday day.

I'm now on a 12 day steroid plan that is being administered at home.

My doctor, Mr. Wonderful, has found drugs for all of the nerve pain that are non-narcotic, yay!
I can already tell that they are helping, and no one is going to be beaten in my home, so that's a great side benefit. ;)

I hate taking narcotics! Then add narcotics + steroids....ooh, not good!

I'm tired, and weak, and having a hard time walking...but I think all of this will balance itself out as my body gets used to the new medications.

Balance itself is tough right I look forward to having it back again.

Now, I'm going to make a brief list of things that I'm thankful for today, it is in no way exhaustive...

God has used this present challenge as a platform for so many amazing conversations.

He gave me overwhelming boldness in the hospital...I got to pray over 2 chaplains, the sweet pregnant teen who rolled me to the car (whom I applauded for her choice to give life to her baby), the young man who brought my food each day...someone who had clearly just been born out of a world of darkness and who excitedly told me about his new baby girl, Genesis. We held hands and prayed for her, that God would raise her up to be a world changer for His Kingdom.

Also included was the young man who drew my blood, whom I was just led to ask, "Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?"

"Oh, yes ma'am. I sure do. I gave my life to Him 5 years ago. Now my wife and I are both living for Him."

People...these were not your usual hospital room conversations!

Truly, there is a boldness that comes out of weakness...we get to choose how we use it, will it be for God's glory, or against it?

I certainly wasn't perfect during my entire stay. I am on a fast track of learning right now...and my body feels like it's on a roller coaster, but I'm going to do my best to honor God through all that comes at us.

After all, I choose to believe that this is a platform that He's given us.

Oh my, I really could go on and on and on about all that God did during my time in the hospital, and about all that He continues to do...that will be another post, I suppose.

So many of you have asked what you can do to help, and so I'm going to be totally transparent with you here, and let you know....

First of all, that the meals you have been bringing are such a huge blessing to us right now! We're trying to figure out medications, and tend to tender kiddos, and grieve over not getting to go on our vacation, and...and....and...

And, we had used up all of our food in preparation for going out of thank you for the meals! They are huge!

To Ashley and Sandy...oh, how I've come to love you both even more these past few days. Thank you sweet friends, for just stepping in and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you to Kim and Lee and Peggy Sue, and Pastor Dave & Jodie, and Davina, and Laura and Carrie, and Jeanna and Janet and Chris and, I'm so blessed!

I can't fail to mention Natural Home Solutions...can you believe that our pest control company sent me a huge basket of pampering items?! How thoughtful is that?! See why I love them? It's scorpion season in AZ, so there's my them! ;)

I'm going to go back to the request area for a silly as it might seem, this is my #1 right now...

One of the things that has been the toughest has been not being able to sleep. Even with medication for it, there are just nights that rest is hard to grasp.

I want very much to turn our middle bedroom back into a bedroom. If I could have a comfortable bed in here, I could use this room on nights when I can't seem to fall asleep, or when I can't stay asleep.

I have this vision of a pretty place...I think that would be quite nice, having it be pretty.

But you know me, pretty doesn't ever have to mean expensive. are my requests:

#1 - A twin sized day bed, preferably one with strong wooden sides (to help me pull myself up). I'm thinking of one that looks kind of farm-housey. Is that a word?

#2 - An old farmhouse like know, everyone in the world had one of these a decade or so ago. I'd like to paint it black, and use it as my computer desk. The one I'm using now is very painful to sit at, as the way it's cut hits my arms at just the weakest point.

#3 - A tall file cabinet.

#4 - Black and white toille bedding set. Used is good. :)

I read recently, in a book that my sweet friend Lee bought for me (I love you, girl!), that upon discovering that one has MS, there is a deep need to put life in order. I've been feeling that for some time, and I guess that's what I'm saying...I need to put this area of my life in order so that when my body needs sleep, I can escape and get it, without feeling like I'm disturbing Shane.

Does any of this make any sense?

Oh, there's so much more to tell, but I am exhausted, and must go and rest now.

I love you guys so much, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for each and every precious prayer that you've sent up on our behalf these past few weeks, months and years.

May you rest easy tonight, knowing that you are precious to the Lord.

In Him,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Third Step Prayer

Many of you do not know this, but I was once married to an alcoholic.

I wasn't a Christian yet. Although I had heard the Word, I had not yet surrendered to Christ.

I was lost. Insane. Reeling. Desperate for a savior, so I picked him.

He was what they call a recovering alcoholic.

Most days, it didn't feel like there was much recovery going on. For that matter, I wasn't recovered yet, either.

Suffice it to was insane.

I still struggle with that term "recovering."

I remember years later when I worked for Arbitron, I was having lunch with one of my clients, and he said something that made me ask if he was a friend of Bill W's.

(For those of you who don't know, Bill W. was one of the founders of AA, and for one person to ask another, "Are you a friend of Bill W's?" is a way to maintain anonymity for both parties, yet at the same time determine if there is common ground there. It's not until both say yes, that they can begin to openly talk about alcoholism.)

After I asked my client/friend if he was a friend of Bill W's, he smiled and said,
"I was in recovery for years...then I met Jesus Christ. Now I'm recovered."

I love that!

I met Jesus Christ. Now I'm recovered.

For some of us, when we come to know Jesus Christ, a certain struggle with sin will be removed instantly. Maybe several will be.

I believe that's God's grace.

And, while our sin debt has been paid in full, struggle with certain sins will very likely remain.

I believe God allows these in order that we might remember from Whom our strength comes, and never go back to relying on self.

All of this to say, I've had this prayer going 'round and 'round in my head for the past few days, and wanted to share it with you. It's called the Third Step Prayer, and it can be found on
page 63 of the "Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous."

I spent a lot of time around the tables of AA, and Alanon, and I met some amazing people there who were living lives of honesty and openness....lives of short accounts and true integrity. It was through Alanon that I learned the tools of detachment, service and surrender.

I believe with all of my heart that God used my time around those tables, to draw me to Himself, and I will be forever thankful to Him and to the precious people there who mentored me, and taught me what it means to live one day at a time in submission to Christ.

There are certainly teachings within AA that I have a challenge with now, the big one being
"the God of our understanding," as it's so open to interpretation today, but I gotta tell you, I do understand the reason for it.

When people stumble through the doors of an AA meeting, they've often had years of false teaching about the Lord shoved down their throats, and they need the grace to come to know Him for themselves. They have bought the lie that God hates them, and could never forgive them, much less be willing to help them.

OK...that's a long intro. to the prayer that I still love today. I pray it ministers to your heart as it does to mine.

I love you!

God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.

Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.

May I do Thy will always!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Love It!

I trust that you all have noticed the recent changes to my blog.

OOH! I'm so excited! I feel official now! :)

My friend Chandy did all of the design work for me, seemingly overnight!

I love it! Don't you love it?!?!?!?

When she first sent the design to me for review, I loved the look of it, but was initially thinking that I'd use photographs of my own Bible, and such.

Yet, I couldn't get my act together to get that done. :) See my post on great intentions.

And, I just kept thinking about the picture of the wheat, and the Word...and found it pretty cool that our leadership development group is going through the study on Ruth right now...and that gleaning and sowing and reaping are all top of mind for me at this very moment.

So, I called her and said, "Let's go with it. I love it, and I just need to trust that."

And WHAAAAAAALAAAA- it was done by that night!

Thank you so much, Chandy! It's so pretty! I love it, I love it, I love it!

Thank you!

P.S. I even sent her an email last night to ask her if she'd like to make some money designing for others, and this was her sweet reply....

Nah... I don't need to make any more money. But I would be happy to make blog headers for anyone who would like one :) Perhaps if someone was compelled to render payment for my silly little services, they could just make a gift to Compassion or something...

Life's Little Pin Pricks

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

This verse has become quite special to me, quite personal in the past few years.

There's been a lot of suffering in my life. I'm sure the same can be said of most of our lives.

Yet, the reality hit me today...when I compare the sufferings of this life, with the glory that is to be revealed to me when I finally meet my precious Savior face to face...when I fall at the feet of my Abba in utter awe...when I see the splendor of the Lord and His majesty right before my eyes...when I kiss the face of my Savior...

EVERY SINGLE BIT OF SUFFERING that I've dealt with in my life will seem but pin pricks by comparison to the glory of God....the glory that is to be revealed to me.

AWESOME, isn't it?!

Just AWESOME when you soak in the truth of that!

Shane and I met with the neurologist today, and he showed us the MRIs of my brain and spine. I have 4-5 lesions on my brain, which is indicative of MS.

He also believes that the seizures that have been taking place in various parts of my body are symptomatic of epilepsy.

Evidently, MS and epilepsy and migraines can all be kissin' cousins.

Crazy, isn't it?!

I will have the great joy of a spinal tap soon.

Poor he was desribing the procedure to me today, I just said, "Don't tell me about, don't tell me about it,...please...don't tell me about it! Seriously, I chose to give birth to my babies at home because I knew that if I were to go to a hospital, I might not be able to handle the pain, knowing that there was relief available, and the thought of having an epidural just FREAKED me out!"

He said, "Oh..ok, then we'll give you Valium for the procedure."

Good man! I told you this doctor was a good one! :)

Here's the good news in all of this:

1. MS is not the death sentence that it once was. Thanks to drug therapies, it can be managed, and a normal life can be lived.
2. We've caught it early, which means treatment can begin soon, and thus keep the episodes at bay.
3. My dear friend Anna, who was diagnosed with it in December, is the one who told me that she wasn't buying the first Dr's opinion, and that is what propelled me to find a doctor that would listen to me.
4. God has allowed this in my life...I don't know why, but I know that He is sovereign, and that NOTHING happens in my life without His permission.
5. This world is not my home...this is all temporary compared to eternity.

Thank you for caring for me, for loving me, and for your precious comments...I love reading each one.

I hope that you'll understand if I can't address each email and each comment right now...we all feel like we're swimming in the deep end of the water these days, but please...keep them coming. They are such a blessing to me! I'll respond as I am able.

I must go now and love on my sweetie...he's processing all of this news, and I need to be there for him.

To God be the glory, great things He hath done!

Just watch and see, sweet friends...He'll be glorified through this, because my life is not my own. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives within me. :)


Blue Letter Bible. "Romans 8 - New American Standard Bible." Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2009. 18 Jun 2009. < b="Rom&c=" t="NASB">

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Greatest of Intentions...

Do you ever have those?

Great intentions?

How do they usually play out for you?

Now listen, you're going to receive extra credit for full-on, belly laughing honesty!!!

So play right!

I'm going to share with you some of my greatest intentions, ones which, may I add, I am convinced in my heart of hearts could quite possibly save the (my) world...that is...if they ever made it to fruition.

Then, you can leave a comment below and make me feel better by sharing some of your great intentions that have yet to be accomplished.

Won't this be fun?!

Listen...this is a way of ministering to the weary! I promise you! :)

Thanks for getting us started, Chandy!

Good intention List:

#1 Never forget a birthday of someone special to me, and to grandparents and great grandparents, and anyone whose birthday they think I should never forget, either.

#2 Learn to work an electric thingamagilie that can shape my front bushes into little Mickey Mouses, or round things, or yard art .... I think the point here is I just need to learn to do it. :)

#3 Take all the loose recipes I have floating throughout my house and put them into ONE perfectly sized binder, and categorize them logically. (Ok, i'm already asleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep just thinking about it, so I doubt this will be getting done any time my house, that is.

#4 Do 1/2 hour of arm work so I have super toned arms....ah, don't start cheering for me just yet..I'm still in session on that one. :)

#5 Go to plays and symphonies and poetry slams with my hubby, you know...the engineer.
I often wonder if he'd quite rather be forced to pull his hair out strand by strand....but hey, looking at him, that doesn't seem a fair fight. :)

#6 Finish my post about "Sweeter Than Chocolate" so you can see Pam's Heart for this study, and post it up here before everyone makes their final choices for the fall.

That's all....all the funny was really just to lead up to the fact that I have to finish my post for Pam. It's wonderful, just takes a little more time to make it pretty, and as I'm just a novice at this blogging stuff, it's taking longer than planned.

SO...I said her giveaway would be today....but I suppose it will be tomorrow.

I do hope that once you see the post, you'll please forward it to everyone you can...I want to help Pam get the word out, and I want to help YOU introduce your friends to a new way of studying inductively.

AND I want you and your friends to have a chance to win a brand new you'll have to be sure to comment. Ya'll did pretty well on the last one! :)

OH, Great Intention #7 - Get in bed before 1am.

I suppose I'll start that'n tomorrow. :)

Love you'uns.
Jes :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Little Story about Kay Arthur

By now, I'm guessing you know how much I love and appreciate Kay Arthur.
(Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's post, and you could win a signed copy of her book, "God Are You There? Do You Care? Do You Know About Me?")

God has used her in my life in a might way, to help me discover the truth of His Word, and I am ever thankful to Him for her.

Yet I do realize, she is just as human as I am, lest you begin thinking that I've got her on a pedestal. Even if I did, which I don't, she'd be the first to say, "Take me down from there!"

Yet God has used HIS ministry through her to change my life.

The Lord reminded of a time that she really ministered to my heart, and I thought I'd share it with you today.

First... a little explaining.

Today, I received an automated message to call our mortgage company. I don't know why, but I started to panic...I guess that with all of these health issues I've been battling, my first thought was, "Oh NO! Did I forget to pay our mortgage?! Oh NO!"

So I called the number, and when I finally got to talk with someone, it was this sweet-voiced older lady. I asked her, "How are you today?"

She replied, "Oh, not too good. Not too good."

And then she went right to business. There was nothing wrong, I hadn't forgotten to pay our mortgage, she just needed to update some things with me.


After we were through talking about business stuff, I asked her, "Mrs. Smith, is there anything that I can pray about for you today?"



More Silence.

Then she said, "Just peace of mind, please. Peace of mind."

I said, "Mrs. Smith, may I pray for you right now?"



"Yes, yes you may," she said.

Both of us knew that this call was likely being recorded, but I was so thankful that she said yes.

So I prayed.

And she wept.

And I wept.

In fact, I'm still weeping.

I don't know what Mrs. Smith is going through, but I could tell from her voice and her tears, that it's something heavy. Something heartbreaking.

And in God's perfect timing, He ordained that phone call today. I know it with every fiber of my being, and I said as much to Mrs. Smith.

She responded, "Oh yes, I know it too."

I love it when the Spirit of God tenders our hearts and calls us to minister to people right on the spot!

Then the Lord reminded me, I've seen this modeled by others.


I saw it modeled by my sweet mother when she'd open up our pantry doors and tell virtual strangers to take whatever they wanted.

Or when I was 8, and she went out of her way to take me to the nursing home in the area, and walk me around to meet each of the people there...and then have me play the piano for them.

She taught me to love, even when it isn't convenient, or easy.

I saw it modeled by my youth pastors, when they took us to "the other side of the track" to take Thanksgiving dinners to people less fortunate than ourselves.

And, I saw it modeled by Kay the first time that I ever met her.

She was leading at an event in Scottsdale, and I had been asked to be her shadow for the event.

At one point in the weekend, we had a break of a few hours, and someone there was treating Kay to a pedicure.

I walked into the salon just to check with her, to see if there was anything that she needed, and to let her know that if she didn't need me during that few hours, I was going to get a haircut.

When I turned the corner, and saw her sitting with the nail tech, her one foot soaking while the toes on the other were being painted, I was stunned.

I know I shouldn't have been. Although I didn't know her personally yet, I felt I knew her character from her books.

But still, I was amazed.

Lying open on her lap, was her Bible, and yes, it was all marked up!

There she sat having her pedicure, at the same time teaching the nail tech from the book of Hosea!

She was no different in that moment than she had been the night before when I'd seen her teach on the stage, in front of a room full of people.

She was letting the Lord use her to redeem the time!

Isn't that just the coolest?!

Not only that, but when I stepped in to ask my question of her, she introduced me to the tech by name!

Do we do this?

Do we care enough to ask the name of the person who is serving us?

Do we take the opportunity to share the love of Christ with them?

Do we pray for them when the Spirit of the Lord asks us to?

Just thoughts to ponder today.

Oh, before I forget...Kay also stopped and prayed with me that I'd get a good haircut!

Now that's a friend! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ten Years Ago Today...


We have a winner! Thank you for all of your sweet comments. I'm so thankful to read that the testimony God has given me, was an encouragement to you.

I'm going to be doing another blog giveaway in the next few days, for a copy of Pam Gillaspie's new book, and inductive study of Psalm 119, "Sweeter Than Chocolate." You can see my initial interview with her by clicking here.

That's going to be in celebration of my 200th post!

So if you didn't win this time...come back in the next few days, and try again. :)

Now for the winner....

Drumroll please.....

The winner is Chelsea.

Congratulations, Chelsea! I hope God will use this study to change your life, as it did mine.

Would you please email me at, with your address included? Be sure to let me know who to have Kay sign the book to, ok?

How fun that you're in our neck of the woods, too! I hope to meet you soon!

Again, congratulations, and thanks for reading my blog!

May the Lord richly bless you as you dig into His Word.

Ten years ago today, I had been home from an amazing honeymoon to Maui, for only 4 days.

On the third day home, it became very clear that the foundation upon which Shane and I had built our marriage, was a farce.

We'd been lying to one another on so many different points, that I wouldn't even know where to start in explaining it all to you.

We professed to be Christians, but we lived like the world. Our hearts were focused on ourselves, and our fleshly desires...not at all upon bringing glory to God.

We did what was right in our own eyes. We knew of the Bible, we even had some verses memorized, we'd served in church and talked a good talk, and to many people who didn't know better, we probably came across like good people...maybe even good Christians.

But we were rotten inside. Lost. Children of wrath.

When I read the below passage of Scripture, I see us in it. I do realize that this passage is speaking of Israel, of those who thought that the law would make them righteous, apart from's just that the part that talks about not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves tot he righteousness of God....well, that was me...that was us.

We took the Scriptures out of context, put them through the spin cycle, and did what was right in our own eyes instead of subjecting ourselves to the righteousness of God...Christ Jesus.

Again, people who knew us then would have likely said that we were Christians...that we had a zeal for God.

But friends, a zeal for God, that is not in accordance with the knowledge of His Son, His perfect righteousness that comes through subjecting ourselves to Christ Jesus, is empty and wasted zeal.

It cannot save. For the Bible makes it clear that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Christ alone was sinless, that's why He qualifies as the sacrificial Lamb of God. He was unblemished, perfect righteousness.

And anything less than perfect righteousness, will not gain one entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Praise God that when we put our faith in Christ Jesus, truly submitting our lives to His rule, His righteousness is imputed to us. God the Father no longer sees us as lost, but He sees us through the righteousness of Christ.

Amen, thank you Lord, and amen!

Romans 10:1-4

Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for {their} salvation.
For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

So, I'd like to share with you what happened to me 10 years ago today, and then I'm going to offer you a chance celebrate my 10 year (new) birthday with me, by registering to win a copy of the book that began my love for Precept Bible Studies...

We had arrived home from Maui on Tuesday, and Thursday night is when my world came crashing down around me. I realized, as I mentioned, that our marriage was a total mockery.

And I decided the next day, that I wanted out.

I called a divorce attorney who told me that it would be easy to have it annulled, and I set an appointment to do just that.

At the time, I was 29 years old making a bunch of money, and I knew that if I left, I'd be able to support myself well. I was trying hard to convince myself that this was the right thing to do.

I was so torn up though....I was supposed to go into work that day, and kept trying and trying to get there, but just couldn't get out the door. I was on a rage rampage...I knocked holes in the wall, I tore a few doors off the hinges...I mean, I went crazy!

I was so FURIOUS that what I'd planned, what I had orchestrated, had fallen apart in less that 2 weeks!

I remember going into our bedroom and cursing at God at the top of my lungs. I flung the "bomb" at Him over and over again, if you know what I mean. I remember telling God, "If this is how you treat those You love, I'm done with You!"

Then I flung the "bomb" some more. Punching more holes in the wall, cursing and tears, just blind fury.

And then, in that moment, all alone in my bedroom, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart so clearly, so definitively. No, I didn't hear Him audibly...but the words that entered my mind, my heart, were absolutely not mine.

They were from the Lord. I know, because my eventual decision to obey them, changed my life.

"You've given Me lip service all your life, but you've never given Me your life. This is the man that I designed for you from eternity past, and I have plans to bless this marriage, but I demand your obedience!"

And I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Lord Almighty was calling me to Himself, and that I had a choice to make.

It was literally a moment of do, or die.

Part of me cried out to turn from Him altogether, to curse God once and for all, and follow the evil one full force. To chase after the world, and all that it offered me at the time, and from a worldly standard, there was a lot being offered.

Yet another part longed for my Maker.

I knew that the choice I made in that moment was going to define me forever.

I remember really wrestling with my decision. I knew that following Christ was going to cost me everything... I knew my job would have to go, I knew my feminist mentality would have to go, I knew my world was going to be turned upside down.

And I had to think through whether or not I was really willing to give it all up.

Then, the tears came...the weeping bubbled up from the core of my being, and I fell on my face before the Almighty and said,

"You can have it all, Lord.

All of it.

I just want You.

Just You, Lord.

Please, forgive me....I've sinned against You so deeply, Lord.

Please, please forgive me and make me new."

That was the turning point of my life, sweet friends. 10 years ago today...just about at this very hour, I became a new creation in Christ Jesus. My sins were wiped away, behold all things in me were made new.

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Father God!

Thank You!

Praise You!

Thank You!

There's so much more to the story...but I want to tell you that the greatest gifts God has given me are His Son, His Spirit, and His Word.

About 2-3 months after I was saved, I took my first Precept Bible study, it was a study on the book of John called,

"God Are You There? Do You Care? Do You Know About Me?".

I had no idea at the time that the book of John is the perfect starting point for new believers!

Learning to study the Bible for myself through inductive study, truly changed my life.

Thank you Jack and Kay, thank you for being faithful to God's call upon your lives. Thank you for taking this tool of inductive study and allowing Him to build Precept Ministries, so that so people all over the world could learn to discover God's truth for themselves.

I love you both so dearly. How does one say thank you enough for your sacrifices?

Thank you to each and every one of you at Precept who pour your lives out so that others may learn the Word.

Shane tells people that he spent the next 5 years watching me...observing the changes that God was making in my heart through the study of His Word.

And then on June 27th, 2004, Shane too made a commitment to live for Christ Jesus.

Caedmon was just a few days later, and Brennan was March 9th of this year.

As I look back on the past 10 years, I am amazed at all that the Lord has done in my our lives.

God is so, so gracious.

My whole family knows and loves Him. What a gift that is!

He continues to mold us and shape us and grow us, and the more that I'm in His Word, the more I WANT to be in it. The more that my children learn the Word, the more they WANT to know it.

It's awesome!

I've gotten to the point in my study time now where I will just beg of Him,

"Lord...reveal Your mysteries to me. Take me deep, please Father. Teach me those points of truth that I haven't been ready for before now....I want to know You, Lord. I want to understand Your plans for mankind, so that I may be a faithful worker for Your Kingdom. I want to love like you love!"

Yes, today is a sweet, sweet day for me. Just to reflect on all that God has done in my life and upon how much He loves us...amazing.

Absolutely mind blowing that the Sovereign God of the Universe would care to redeem one such as I was.

May I live every breath in everlasting appreciation....

Now...for YOU...consider this a birthday party favor...if you'll leave a comment below, you can register to win a copy of

"God, Are You There? Do You Care? Do You Know About Me?".

Get this....Kay Arthur will personally sign it to you, or to whomever you choose!

So be sure to leave a comment!

I'll use a random number generator to determine the winner.

If you aren't registered with Blogger, you can still leave a comment. Just click the "anonymous" button, but make sure to include your email address so that I'll know how to reach you to get your mailing information.

Also, if you click the little envelope button just below this post, you can forward it to your friends so that they can have a chance to win the signed copy, too. :)

I'll close the comments on Saturday afternoon, so you'll have until then to register yours.

May this study change your life, like it has mine and so many others!

Blessings to you today, and Happy New Birthday to me! :)

Blue Letter Bible. "Romans 10 - New American Standard Bible." Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2009. 11 Jun 2009. < b="Rom&c=" t="NASB">