Finding Joy

It was in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, Ft Bliss, that I first met Judy. Perhaps it was the heat, the lack of any color beyond melted butter and toasted cacti, or the distance to the nearest lake that masked the joy of the adventure, but the desert brought out the worst in me. I fell victim to a depleted spirit as we left the lush landscape of Arkansas and the closeness of family for our first duty station at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. With deployment looming and the day-to-day difficulties of being a mom with three …

Restored and Redeemed: A Marriage Story

Wedding rings

We all have a story to tell. I would like to think that mine is not much different than yours, but I know that it probably is. As I think about celebrating 41 years of marriage, I know there was a time that the word “celebration” would not have been a part of my vocabulary in speaking about my life with my sweet, precious, ever patient husband. God knew when I married this man that my relationship with him would be filled with so many ups and downs, so many trials, but also so many joys….and He knew that this …

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly… Birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why can’t I? These words, from the song made popular by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, were sung to me by my mother when I was a young girl and when I was a new mother anytime I got discouraged or down. No matter what I was dealing with, she knew when to spontaneously start singing, and it always brought even the slightest smile to the situation. Today I don’t hear my mother’s wonderful voice as often…guess we thought I out grew it, …

The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

Taking Time to Connect

I always say when God wants to minister to someone, He orchestrates a relationship! People are often more receptive when they are in a non-judgment zone. God sends people into our lives to prepare us, minister to us and sharpen us as we travel on our journeys. Proverbs 27: 17 (NIV), “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As I reflect on my own personal relationships, I just begin to thank God. I have had the awesome opportunity to encounter some wonderful people on my path. I have been the one encouraging and have been the recipient of …

The Lessons Were Hard

Deep under the covers, I rang in 2015 with my head fast asleep on my pillow by 8:30 p.m. Not exactly the life of the party. Six months after being diagnosed with a debilitating neuromuscular disease I was struggling with something nearly as incurable… unforgiveness. With my diagnosis of myasthenia gravis came an unprovoked betrayal from my own profession, my doctor. In twenty years of practicing medicine I never had a sick day. I returned to work the day after having surgery, not once but twice. Once I even performed surgery at 8 in the morning, changed into a gown and …

The Moses Model

As I reflect on my life and the people who have impacted it the most, I’ve realized I am always encouraged by the lifestyle of a leader. Those with leadership capabilities have characteristics such as charisma, knowledge and, most importantly, they are the voice of the people. Leaders are visionaries, able to see the big picture while allowing the real experts around them to execute it. Leaders understand that they must be able to convey their insight and ideas in a way that would make anyone believe in its usefulness. Leaders are always on purpose, fulfilling a God-given calling on …

It’s All About Jesus

  An evangelist friend of ours coined a phrase “It’s all about Jesus” for his region several years ago. Although we’re not in the leadership of this evangelist anymore, we still use the phrase often. Especially times when we feel that things are chaotic or we get into issues. Breathing this simple phrase can be a prayer of sorts to remind us, “It’s all about Jesus”. Oh beloved, for the believer “It’s All About Jesus” is more than a phrase. It’s our banner! It’s our comfort, our shield and our fortress. When the gates of hell whisper prevail we say …

Jesus

  “Now that we know what we have-JESUS, this great High Priest with ready access to God-let’s not let it slip through our fingers.We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality.He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all- all but the sin.So let’s walk right up to him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4: 14-16 When I am overwhelmed with shame about my past, difficulties in my present, or fear about my future, I would love to say I always go to Jesus and pour …

Jesus: Exceeding Expectations

  It was all too familiar. Here she was walking the stony rugged path outside the city gate once again. A familiarity she never wanted, never asked for but yet she was retracing those same steps that she had taken before. A trip that seemed to had only been yesterday. Just like the last time, she kept her eyes averted to the ground. She could sense all the people around her but at the same time felt completely alone. She could barely even hear the professional mourners over the cries of her heart. “What now?” “How could this have happened?” …

Sufficient Grace

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12: 4-5 Grace is defined by Merriam-Webster as a way of moving that is smooth and attractive, a way that is not stiff or awkward. Grace is the strength beyond your physical limitations to do what only you were created to do. It is given to us individually to bring …