A Time to Die

Sunset w

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

As a young child, I experienced a bit of trauma when my father died. I was only six years old and I don’t remember a lot about his illness or death but I do remember watching my friends have dads and wondered what that was like. Of course, because the main wage earner was not around, we experienced financial hardship. And sure my mom was exhasuted by the four of us! As I moved through different stages of life, I knew I missed out on something. But, it was simply a fact in our family and we moved forward in life.

Years went my and I married a great guy and we started having our own children. When we were pregnant with precious child #3, I started to get nervous. When my husband’s mom was pregnant with her third child, her huband died of a heart attack. I thought for sure that would be my future. Of course, I was wired for something like that since I grew up without a father in the home. My mom raised four kids by herself and I figured that was going to be my lot in life. I actually thought far more about the day I would be raising children on my own due to my husband’s death than I ever thought about my mom leaving this earth.

Moms are immortal, aren’t they?

It didn’t happen that way. Don’s still here and my mom died ten years ago. (She was the best!) And it has been so much fun to watch my kids have their dad in their lives! Watching my husband be such a great father to our kids has been a great thing. So many of the things I feared would happen, in fact, have not happened. But they were fears I simply had to face and move through.

There are days we feel like we are dying because of the agonizing heartache or the anticipation of pain or paralyzing fear of the future or the prospect (or certainty) of a challenging treatment plan. And yet, those are not the days our bodies die. We are all marching toward that final day but we don’t really know the circumstances surrounding our final breath.

We know it will come, eventually. It always does. Are you working on those things you’ve hoped or dreamed about? If you knew you had a short time left on this earth, what are the things you would focus in on and do?

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom. [Psalm 90:12 NIV]

I am at least halfway through my life. When did that even happen? I don’t fear death itself as much as I wonder about the pain that might be involved in the process of dying. But, no matter, I don’t know any of the circumstances surrounding my final breath.

But what if this is what I am facing in my remaining days?

  • Life without a special, precious someone
  • A difficult diagnosis
  • Financial hardship
  • Disability
  • Chronic Illness

I will cling to His promises. He is the God of all comfort. He sees the bigger picture. He knows this life is temporary. He knows and uses every trouble and trial for faith building  either in me or in others.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.        [2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV]

I trust that God is with me, strengthening and upholding me! And I trust He is with you too!

On the way,



Word Up!

popcornwOh, how I have missed home popped popcorn!

I didn’t know how much I missed it until we were visiting our friends in Texas. They had a huge batch that I couldn’t stay out of. Then, towards the end of our travels we stayed with another precious friend and we had home popped popcorn with her too. It was fantastic! And since we have been home we have made it at least three times. We have been on a bit of popcorn jag at our house lately!

Microwave popcorn isn’t the same. Air-popped popcorn isn’t the same. Movie theatre popcorn is close but there is too much crazy stuff in there and the price is insane. There is just something so wonderful about home popped popcorn with a little butter and salt. Mmm. Mmm!

Sometimes a close representation of something is ok. Sometimes it is what we have to work with, but it doesn’t exactly satisfy. And sometimes it is dangerous.

devourwTo be honest, my faith life runs into the same problem if I am not paying attention. I look around for something that comes close to satisfying that deep need but maybe it isn’t exactly top quality sustenance. There might be things I have to overlook while I partake. Maybe I am looking for something quick because I am out of time. Sometimes I just don’t participate because the substitutes are lacking and life gets crazy and I forget about it all.

We get distracted by false apostles all the time. But this isn’t something new:

“I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4

Be on guard! Distractions take our attention away from places that need our focus. It takes time, attention, and intention to remain steadfast in God’s Word.

Maybe we ought to start a new campaign. I love the idea of “Coffee Up” and I have seen it used by a lot of people. It’s an encouragement to grab that cup of coffee and get started on the day! How about “Word Up!”??? It can be that little reminder that no matter how crazy or crazy busy things are, one of the first things we need to do is have “a word” with God!

On the Road,




PrayerPoint ~ Good Enough ~ March 25

I do value a job well done, really, I do. But there are times when you do what you need to do to get by–and it simply isn’t your best work. Really, if I did my best work for every meal for every project, for every anything, I would be exhausted. Honestly, I am tired now and I know I am not giving my best effort.

What about when my best effort isn’t good enough? Or even a fair effort isn’t acceptable to the eyes that judge it. Am I a failure then?

Our son is in his 4th Semester of Spanish at the college level. It has been grueling to say the least. He has been frustrated, nauseated, and has put a lot of effort into it. The grades are low at the end of the semester. He literally just squeaks by. He cannot wait to get past this requirement (for his history major). He has had a tutor since Spanish II and just has a difficult time getting above a D on tests. But it looks like he has turned a corner because he earned a 100% and a 102% on his last two quizzes. We are all very excited. Quite frankly, a C would have been great so we are super excited and yet holding our breath…has he finally broken through the barrier? We pray so.

We are thankful for his persistence because if there was something he has wanted to quit 100 times, this Spanish thing would be it. We are thankful for the requirement for 4 years of a foreign language because it made him fight for his major–and he consider changing it many times. We are thankful he was open to every possible mode of assistance available to him. He  works hard for his grade–and it is still low most of the time. I never took a foreign language in college so I can’t say I wouldn’t be having the same problem. I am learning Hungarian on the side and it isn’t very easy for me, but I am doing it because I want to so it really isn’t the same.

Is there an area of your life where you can accept only being “good enough”? House cleaning? Physical appearance? Job performance? 401K earnings? Grades? Parenting?

Recognize and give thanks for your limitations–it gives God a great opportunity to fill in the gaps. If we are all about achieving and everything we touch seems to turn to gold then we are only setting ourselves up for the idea that we are the ones accomplishing everything. As we continue to achieve, it is easy to forget who allowed us the intelligence, connections, or the provisions for our success.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for working through me whether through my strengths or my weaknesses. Help me to recognize it is all Your work through me. Thank you for loving me when I fail.  In Jesus’ Name…

May God work in and through your week!

PrayerPoints ~ Weakness ~ March 12

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Weakness

Have you a weakness, hardship, persecution, difficulty? Join the club. Even though you might be inclined to look around and presume everyone but you has it all together, it just isn’t so. When it comes right down to it, everyone seems so busy working to look as if they don’t have any “issues”. And while I think I have insight into my issues, I kind of wonder what others think my issues are. Scratch that. That insight from a number of people might be enough to break my heart. Although, if you were my friend, it would be comforting to know you knew my “issues” and loved me anyway.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us this:
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

When I have strength in a certain area it is easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking I am doing something. Where I am weak and dependent on God then there is no question Who is doing the work. In areas of strength, it is easy to forget where the strength came from.
Being honest and transparent about your weaknesses is risky business. When you are able to lay it all out there for someone to see and they have the grace and mercy to love you in spite of that weakness then you know you have a friend. You might even find they love you even more because of that weakness and the fact you were willing to be honest and transparent.
When we are transparent about our lives, others can see God working in and through us. In our weakness, God gives us His strength and Christ’s power rests on us.
I’ll never get by living on my own ability–Amen!

PrayerPoint ~ February 26 ~ The Nose

PrayerPoint ~ The Nose

When I was mulling over the PrayerPoint for today, so many thoughts came to mind regarding the nose. A welcome aroma for me in the morning is coffee brewing. But there are many other equally wonderful smells–bread baking, fresh flowers, lilacs blooming, the sage and citrus fragrance from Yankee Candle.

But what smells great to me doesn’t always smell great to others. I have a friend whose husband is a pastor but she can hardly go to church because she has such severe allergic reactions to all the perfumes that are so prevalent these days. I find her whole situation fascinating and I try to do what I need to do when I am in her presence so as not to trigger a reaction because I love her dearly.

This might be my song for her because her situation is literally life threatening:
Ooh, ooh that smell
Can’t you smell that smell?
Ooh, ooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you. [That Smell   —  Lynyrd Skynyrd chorus]

As you consider your nose today, thank God for the blessing of your sense of smell (as well as a place to rest your glasses!). Recognize that you might have an extra sensitive sniffer while others might be oblivious to certain things (like a sour dishrag). And consider that the fragrance of God’s love is probably received differently by different people. As you share God’s grace today, may it be a welcomed aroma!
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. 
2 Corinthians 2: 14-17 NIV