Monday, June 30, 2008

Yoo-Hoo! Calling all weaklings on the journey...

A couple of years ago, I began a journey through the Bible. I did so with the help of my church's online web ministry. It gave me a structured, convenient and efficient way for me to read a passage of Scripture, hear an application or testimony regarding it from a person each day, and then answer the tough questions for myself.

This year, I am privileged enough to be an author of one of the devotions, and it is featured today. If you consider yourself a weakling or are a big fan of Gideon, you might want to click:

Even more so, consider joining the journey to add some structure to your Bible reading routine. The devos are written by people at all walks of life and all different spiritual levels of maturity. So come on in and join if you dare. The Journey will start from your email inbox each day and continue with some questions to keep you going for quite some time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

LOL! ROFL! Smiley faces...:)...LLPF!!!!

Okay, be honest, how many times do you type the text "LOL" to show that something is funny? And every time you type that, are you really LOLing? Beeeeee honest now. I'm talkin to me-self too. Are we really just Liars On Line? (Liars-liars-pants-on-fire On Line) LOLOLOL!!!!!

Don't even get me started on ROFLing. If I were to ROFL every time I typed it, they'd have to put me on a stretcher and hospitalize me. Plus it's kind of a weird thought picturing everyone who types that stepping away from their computer and falling down on the floor to laugh. It's more like, Rattling Off Facetious Lingo. ROFL!!!!!

And I would be tragically amiss if I forgot to mention Mr. Smiley. I think he started the whole thing know kind of like Adam did? (Oh, and Eve too...winka) I have to ask: why do so many of us have deeply embedded frown wrinkles if the emoticons show their frowns upside down in their emails. I think maybe we're smiling on the inside. Yah, that's it!
Ahhhhhhhhh, a clean conscience. I feel so much better now. :)

We all are sorta justified though. When it comes to stuff as the cyber world turns, the rules are different than reality. The words are flat. Even as I look down at what I'm typing, these words...BORRRRRRING. ***snore*** So in order to bring the words to life, we add the text lingo and the images. Example:

I'm glad you liked my new dress. It was pretty before you spit your iced coffee on me when you were laughing like a mad woman. Ya KLUTZ!

I'm glad you liked my new dress. :) It was pretty before you spit your iced coffee on me when you were laughing like a mad woman. LOL! Ya KLUTZ! ROFL!!!! :)

Big diff, eh? The first one, depending on my mood, would've led me to believe the friendship had been tossed into cyber space, only to return no more. The second one would make me want to spew my iced coffee all over again in laughter.

You know, it kind of reminds me of the Word of God a little bit. Sometimes we think we have to "add to it" to make it more exciting to others, or ourselves for that matter. God has a little something to say on that:

"Every word of God is flawless...Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar."Proverbs 30:5a,6

There's that Liar, Liar, Pants on fire again. (LLPF) Saints, we do not need to spice up His Word. Why? Because it is already living. "For the Word of God is living and active." (Hebrews 4:12a) It's not just living, it is active. And to take it a step further, take 1 John 2:14b to heart: "I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God lives in you..." Wowzer.

WE can make our methods for teaching, preaching, writing and singing fun, hip, relevant, ever-changing and contemporary, but we must nevah-evah compromise the Truth of His Word in the process. No LLPF when it comes to my Saviour. Nope. But thank goodness, I can still add a little flavor to the flat words of my typewriter to help bring them to life.

Sooooooooo, FF2LF, ok? I'm going to DARFC, so CUL8r. G2GLYS!

FF2LF (Feel Free 2 Leave Feedback)
DARFC (Duck and Run For Cover)
CUL8r (C U Later)
G2GLYS (Got 2 Go, Love You So)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Parting Ways

***Posted for Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays. For more great fiction, click here:

Pastor Jim looked down at his Dockers to make sure they were zipped, breathing a sigh of relief when he saw that they were. Why is the entire back row laughing? He had just reminded the congregation about the revival next week, and he knew that wasn’t funny.

One chuckle after another began to spread throughout the pews. Did I put the wrong shoes on? “Tonight we’ll have a potluck following the”—Is that Ruth Stanley snickering? Now I KNOW something is wrong—“a scrumptious potluck following the service.”

As the nervous young pastor continued the announcements, he mentally reviewed his mentors' warnings of common embarrassing situations in ministry. No ink stain on my shirt…maybe my hair is sticking up. While delivering the attendance numbers, he combed his fingers through his hair.

By now, the entire back half of the room was whispering among themselves. I’ve GOT to keep going. Something must have happened in the back. Focus, Jim.

He took a deep breath and persisted. “Now I’d like to ask some of our long time members, Steve and Judy Patterson, and their beautiful daughter Hannah, to come and join me at the pulpit.”

The family came forward reluctantly. Darling nine-year-old Hannah covered her mouth with her hand, probably to hold in her giggles. Her little cheeks were as red as the roses on her dress. Steve Patterson looked terribly grim, while Judy had her head down. They’re acting weird, too…

Pastor Jim wrapped his arms around them as they turned toward the congregation. “Everyone knows this precious family, the Pattersons. They’ve been on the front lines of this church for many years—long before I came into the picture. Only God knows why Steve’s job is taking them away from us. We’ll miss ‘em dearly.”

Oh, good, everyone has stopped laughing, but nobody’s looking at the Pattersons either. What on earth is going on?

Clearing his throat, the pastor bravely carried on, though his voice began to squeak every third word or so. “If you’ll notice in your bulletin that Ruth Stinkelman has coordinated a Parting Party for the Pattersons. Thank you, Ms. Stinkelman.”

Now where did Ruth go? I just saw her before the service.

The cackles began again, but this time it was mainly the younger folks. Most of the adults were hiding behind their church bulletins. Steve Patterson gave the pastor a darted, angry look. Mrs. Patterson proceeded to hang her head, but little Hannah’s shoulders were giggling up and down.

The young pastor’s frustration finally came to a head. “Could somebody please tell me what is so funny?” He was visibly distraught.

Suddenly, a paper airplane landed smack into his forehead and crashed onto the floor next to him. “What in the blooming world?” the pastor snapped.

Steve Patterson picked up the makeshift jet, aka Second Baptist Church’s bulletin, unwrinkled the wings and sternly pointed to the ink circle on the announcement page in front of him. Little Hannah’s laughter could no longer contain itself, and her mother’s head, hanging moments before in embarrassment, began to bobble a little bit, too. Steve’s glare burned a hole in the side of the pastor’s face.

In a matter of milli-seconds, Pastor Jim’s face flushed several shades of red. He began to read from the bulletin: “Ms. Ruth Stinkelman has offered to host a—a—Parting Party…”

His eyes were wide open while glaring at his mistake, and the only sound he could hear was the thumping of his heart as it raced out of his chest. He couldn’t believe he had inadvertently replaced the ‘P’ in ‘Parting’ with a big, fat, ugly ‘F.’

The silence in the room haunted Pastor Jim, but he knew he must somehow break it. I just want to crawl in a hole and die. “I’m—I’m so terribly sorry…I…”

Little Hannah stepped forward to comfort him in total sincerity. “Oh, don’t worry, Pastor Jim, I’m sure doing the bulletin is a great big STINKY job.”

Hannah’s dad released a snort and a wheezing chuckle. Pastor Jim was stunned to see the whole congregation cracking up, including Ruth Stinkelman, who was fanning herself with her bulletin.

Looking down at the typo again, he shook his head back and forth. I’m probably never going to live this down, but…if I can’t beat ‘em, I may as well join ‘em. A big grin lined the Pastor’s face as he finally accepted the humor in it all.

Then the Pattersons gave him a Parting hug—‘Parting,’ with a capital ‘P.’

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Got Guilt?

Sometimes it's a song that breaks through a stronghold.

For years, I had been given over to a guilt complex. Not for any one thing. Just for all kinds of things. I would take responsibility for situations that were not even mine to take on. I would ask for forgiveness for something, yet eat my guilt away in Hostess products. I prayed for it to go away, but I could not overcome it.

Then our worship pastor introduced this song. My eyelashes got a bath, as well as my whole face as I stood in awe over the lyrics and the melody. It was positively anointed. It reached through and healed my stronghold. Snap. Just like that. I wish I had a video of my church choir and vocalists singing it, but unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera for the souvenir moment. Aha, but I don't feel guilty. Instead, I go to God. Tube, that is. I found this video on GodTube, and it is powerful as well. Enjoy the powerful lyrics, and if you are a visual worshiper, the film clips as well:

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain,
that is, His body, and since we have a great priest
over the house of God,
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us
from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:19-23 (NIV)

No more guilt. Not me. When I fail, I go to the One who forgives and gives me help to turn from my sin. I will not bask on the waters of self-righteous, self-pitying guilt. I’ll put my trust in His powerful, loving salvation instead.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life Lyrics

This devo is what determined the theme for my blog. It is a theme that resonates with me repeatedly, and I received more responses from my readers on this one than almost any other devotional. For those of you who don't know, I send out a devo from my lovinthearts website once every week or so (as God inspires me). If you or someone you know would benefit spiritually from receiving these, please click here and enter your email address. I would love to hear from you!


If I were to ask you what kind of song your life sings, what would you say? Is the melody upbeat, melancholy, traditional, or patriotic? What do the lyrics speak of? Maybe praise, lament, crisis, joy, pain, depression, truth, struggle, etc.

Just as the number of music genres is astronomical, and the combinations of the songs within those genres are endless, so it is the same with each of our life songs. And the genres and the artists morph over time, producing whole new styles and ways of people expressing themselves. It’s mind-boggling if you think about it. In the same way, we change as a result of our circumstances and our faith working in us; thus, shifting seasons leading to new tunes.

Every time I hear the song Lifesong by Casting Crowns,* it ministers to me, reminding me that all I do and say is my life’s song to the Lord. Sometimes, I mistakenly believe that if my rhythm isn’t upbeat, then it has no value. What God has shown me through the past several years of trials, though, is that it is not as much about the rhythm as it is about the lyrics.

Here’s an example. Throughout many Psalms, David’s tune is upbeat. One can almost hear the cymbals and drums as he sings out, “Praise the Lord, O my soul. All my inmost being, praise His holy name” (Psalm 103). Chapters before that, we hear from the same mouth: “Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.” (Psalm 86) Can you see anyone dancing the jig to that ditty? The cool thing is that whether David or any other Psalmist is upbeat, bitter, depressed or ecstatic, they almost always make reference to the Lord’s goodness or sovereignty.

So what about you? Think about the different lyrics your life has sung out to God and to others. Your melody may have had a recent change even as you’re reading this. This theme has been on my heart for awhile now, and it applies to me personally quite perfectly. In the last decade, I’ve walked through a season of incredible miracles, joy, prosperity, strongholds, depression, physical pain, emotional pain, loss and sacrifice. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, and each one has made its note on the chart of my lifesong.

My prayer for you and for me is that no matter whether the verses to our lives cry or laugh, yell or whisper—that our repeating chorus would be one chiming of faith, hope, love and Truth. Beg Him to help you remember all the situations He has brought you through, all the lessons He has taught you, and all of the ways He has blessed you. In doing so, may it begin a fresh and new refrain within you.

May our life’s lyrics be pleasing to You, our Lord, our Rock and Redeemer, Sustainer and Comforter, Friend and Father—Amen.

“I waited patiently for the LORD;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
a hymn of praise to our God…”

Psalm 40:1-3b, NIV


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Live to Die

Warm tears streaked down my cheeks yesterday. It was the first time I had turned on the radio in awhile. See, music has always been a HUGE part of my life, but the last few years have been particularly noisy and crowded, so I find myself enjoying silence more and more. For instance, if I turn the radio on, then my kids just get louder to talk or play over it. As a result, I sorta quit bothering with it.

My husband likes constant noise. When he's home the radio is almost always on, so it's on all throughout the house and even on the back patio, and certainly in the car. But when it's me alone as of lately, my preference has simply been-----sweet silence.

As I was driving to a meeting last night, I prayed the Lord would help the time to go well, and then I felt led to turn on the radio. Weird! No, I need to pray, Lord. I need the silence. I need to think. The knob, quite frankly, did everything but reach out and grab my fingers. So I turned it on.

Above all powers,
Above all kings,
Above all nature
And all created things
Above all wisdom
And all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

I couldn't find a kleenex, but a fast food napkin would have to do. What is it about that song? It's been out for years, and each time I hear it, it still falls fresh on me. I was drawn to belt out the chorus with my mucky, weepy voice.

"Crucified, laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground,
You took the fall and thought of me
Above All."

He lived to die.
He lived to die.
He was trampled on for me.
He thought of me.
Above all, He took the fall.
He lived to die.

It was in His dying, that I live in freedom today. I'm so glad He led me to turn on the radio and "give up" my silent moment. It was the most worshipful one I've had in awhile. And this morning, He continued, by leading me to 1 Peter 2:24:

He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.

Today, I want to live for righteousness and die to what my self wants. Just like He did for me. I certainly don't want to trample all over Him again. Not me. Not today. With His help, and my eyes on Him above all, I can live to die today.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mom's the Bomb!

Oh, how I wish I meant that in a good way!

I bombed.

My ten-year-old daughter lost her tooth last week, and she was so excited about using the money she would get from it for Vacation Bible School. She wiggled it and wiggled it, trying to get it loose enough to fall out before the last day of VBS approached. She succeeded in her part of the plan. But...

Imagine her surprise, when she woke up and found her tooth under her pillow instead of a dollar the next morning. Ouch! I bombed.

Morning #2:

My daughter came down the stairs with a HUGE grin on her face: "MOM! The tooth fairy left me a dollar!"

I didn't flinch at all, but I thought Oh no, I forgot again. I looked up at her and she's holding a dollar. Maybe there IS a tooth fairy.

"That's great, Sweetheart!" I couldn't let her see the panic in my eyes.

AnaLee had an ornery look about her, and that's when I wondered..."Yeah, Mom, and she left me a note too." She cleared her throat and read the note written on wide-ruled notebook paper:

Dear AnaLee, Sorry I was late. I had so many places to go! I hope you lose more teeth and grow bigger and better ones! --Tooth Fairy

Okay, I was onto her. (I'm a quick one...) She had manufactured the note and used her own dollar to test me. I decided the best plan for now was to ignore the subject until I could think it through. That evening, she came to me and asked, "Mom, is the Tooth Fairy real?"

"Why do you ask, AnaLee? You got a note and a dollar from her this morning?"

"But is she real?"

"Do you want the truth?"


"You sure?"


I worded it very carefully. "She's real if you believe she's real."

"I knew it! YOU're the tooth fairy!!!!" Her face was beaming, and she was so proud of herself for solving the mystery. I guess it's better than her finding out from another child. Then she'da been mad instead of happy.

So, yeah, I blew it. I used to be the Tooth Fairy. Now I'm the Bomb!

PS. I shared with her the "Rule." We don't share with ANYONE, no matter the age about who the Tooth Fairy may or may not be. Otherwise, she'll never get to be the Tooth Fairy when her time comes. ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Supernatural Acts of Kindness

***Posted for Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays. For more great fiction, click here:


Subject: I’m DESPERATE!

On 4/16/07 10:55 AM, Jennifer Miller wrote:


I’m sorry I haven’t called you back, but I don’t think I could talk if I wanted to. I’m really strung out taking care of grandmom right now. I’m so afraid she’s going to fall that I can’t even sleep. Sheer exhaustion.

The medicare office said they’d send someone over for TWO lousy hours a week, Lainey! How am I supposed to do all this and manage the kids, too?

I know this stress will pass, but PLEASE pray for me. I could use a supernatural touch.


After pushing the send button, I fell to my knees in prayer. Lainey will pray, Lord. But I feel like I’m beyond help. I know You’re there, but I beg you to let me feel You in a real way.

I spent the next few minutes pouring out my weary soul to the only One that could fully understand. A deep thump and a clank sounded. I knew that Grandmom had fallen and hit the side of the bed’s metal frame.

“MOM!” my nine-year-old screamed from the bottom of the stairs, “Grandmammy fell again!”

“I’m coming!” I yelled as I flew down the stairs.

When I got to her room, Grandmom was trying to pull herself up using the iron post of the bed. I stood over her and carefully grabbed her arms. “Here, let me help, ok?”

She smiled, and her eyes twinkled a "thank you," though they had that far away look in them again. “Okay,” she feebly responded.

While straining to get her back in bed, I gently scolded her: “Grandmom, you’ve GOT to stay in bed unless I help you, ok? It’s not safe for you to do it by yourself. Please use the bell to call for me, alright?”

It was only moments later that she was asleep again. Thank goodness. I tiptoed out of the room. My little ones were anxiously waiting outside the door.

“Mom, is Grandmammy ok?”

“Did she fall?”

“Yes, but she’s all right now,” I reassured them tenderly.

“Mom, Mrs. Jones called. She said that she wanted to bring you over some dinner tonight,” my daughter reported.

My youngest chimed in, “Yea, lasagna—YUCK!”

Oh, Lord, please give me patience!

The phone rang, and I saw it was my mentor at church. I can’t face her right now, I thought. Yet as the answering machine picked up, I heard her lift up a prayer on my behalf. It moved me.

The doorbell interrupted her prayer message, and the dog began barking at the door. What now? Impatience built with each disruption.

“Stop barking, Sally!” I snapped.

I opened the door to find my dear friend Laurie standing there. “I’d like for them to come and do homework with us for awhile, if that’s okay?”

My kids began to pull and beg at me.

“I don’t know what to say, Laurie," I spoke as the tears welled up in my eyes. "Um, sure...sure they can go. Thanks.”

She gave me a big hug and a knowing look. “Oh, and here’s your mail.”

I waved as she drove away with the kids in the back of her Suburban, and I collapsed into the first chair I could find. A feeling of thankfulness overwhelmed me. Thank you for the break, God.

As I remembered the pile of mail in hand, a card from my Bible Study group was on top. I hadn’t been able to go for several weeks, and it had just added to my sorry state of mind. When I flipped open the card, all of them had written a personal note, but it was the scripture in the center that grabbed me:

“You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
You encourage them and listen to their cry.”

Psalm 10:17

Oh, Father—You heard my cry…

It was as if God had reached down and caught my fallen spirit through the words and actions of the Christian friends He had provided for me. Refreshed and renewed, I went back to Grandmom’s room to show her the mail that had come for her: Two cards from her dear church friends, and a note from the Pastor. I was glad to find her awake.

We both cried together and spent some time by the side of the bed, thanking God for His supernatural acts of kindness.

***********inspired by my own life experiences***********

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WANTED: Body to Go with Lone Head

Oh my! If that title doesn't catch your attention, nothing will...LOL.

Yesterday, a storm blew in suddenly. The wind was blowing at about 50-60 mph (according to the news reports), and I was amazed as I looked out the window. I checked to make sure that my iron patio chairs were not going to blow away or through the windows.

Shocked as I could be, I gasped when a head blew over my fence and onto my patio. It was a doll head, thank goodness. But a head nonetheless. And it landed perfectly on the ground, staring there through the rest of the storm. It was actually kinda creepy! Ever since, I've been contemplating whether I should send an email out to the neighborhood through the Homeowner's Association forum. But what would I say that doesn't sound ridiculous? My conscience is going to have the better of me, though, because I keep picturing some little girl crying over her headless doll. I wouldn't be surprised if an email didn't come across the forum saying: WANTED: Head to Go with Lone Body.

Decisions, decisions. Make a fool out of myself or have nightmares about a little girl crying? Reputation vs. Conscience? I guess it's a "no-brainer," right?

What do you think? I guess I could always go door to door...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy FATHER's Day to my Always Father

Dear Lord,

Happy Father's Day to You--my always Father!

You have always been so faithful to me.

You have always loved me with an everlasting love.

You've never harmed me. You've always kept me safe.

You've never abandoned me. You've always held me in Your grip.

You've never abused the ones I love. You've always reached out to them with tender love and mercy.

You've never spoken evil or perverse words to me. You've always spoken to me words of Truth and Life.

You've never been about satisfying Your own needs. You've always provided and cared for mine sacrificially.

You've never said "I love you" and then shown me otherwise. You've always loved me faithfully and truly.

You've never been a coward to me. You've always shown up when I needed it, proving to be my Hero.

You've never had to apologize. You've always treated me flawlessly.

You've never abused me. You've always been my shelter.

You have always loved me with an everlasting love.

You have always been so faithful to me.

Happy Father's Day to You--my always Father!

Your Daughter

Friday, June 13, 2008

Half The Man/Fiction Friday

***For Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays. Go here to read more great fiction:

***In honor of the fathers out there who took/take the time to invest in the lives of their children. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

I didn’t care if it took the entire day. I was going to pore over every single journal. It was an emergency! My wife made sure of that. Why all the pressure?

Thank goodness Mom made me write my thoughts down every night as soon as I could hold a pencil. “Even if it is just one sentence, Richard, write something down about what you did or learned today, ok?” Mom would smile and hand me some kind of themed notebook and pencil to help pique my interest.

There was the year with the Scooby-Doo spiral and matching crayon set:

May 7th, 1974
“Daddy tot me how to rid my bike off traneng weels. He told me to keep my eye on the sidewalk and sit up strat. I almos rid it 2 tims.

July 25th, 1974
“I jumpd to daddy off the sid of the pool. I crid wen he let me go undr watr. I held my breth hard. He sad I almos swim.

“If I could just be half the man…”

And how could I forget the Superman notebook with the pencil that said, “# 1 Superhero” on it when I was eight:

Jan. 3rd, 1977
We all shared our New Year’s resolutions today. Dad’s was to read his Bible and pray more with me and Mom. I wadded up the paper in my pocket and said that mine was to read my Bible and pray more just like Dad. Getting better at beating my cousin on Atari didn’t sound good after his.

“If I could just learn to be half the man he was, then….”

“Oh, my Top Secret Spy journal!!!” I grinned sheepishly while opening the bulky, black binding. “There’s some deep, dark secrets in this one”:

May 29th, 1981
Well, I really screwed up this time! Mom found the super secret stash of not so super magazines that Ted and I hid under my mattress. Dad is going to skin my bottom when he gets home. Ted brought them over….I only peeked at them a few times.

May 30th, 1981
I’m not sure why Dad didn’t punish me. He wants to take me away for a 'special weekend, just us two.’ He said he had stuff to tell me about God’s unique plan for my life—all of it—body, mind and soul. The verse he read to me gave me a lot to think about.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30. This should be interesting.

Dad went from my hero to my friend that weekend, though he always found a way to remain in authority even through my teenage years.

“If I could just learn to be half the man he was, then maybe I could…”

My fingers marveled over the weathered, brown leather journal Dad had bought me for graduation. 'Jay Richard Morgan' was inscribed right above the Mark 12:30 passage he had used to minister to me so many times. It was my treasure.

November 12th, 1988
I got a letter from Dad and Mom today. Each one wrote a special note to me. Mom reminded me to eat healthy and study hard. Dad told me to try to save some of the money that I was making at my job in the mall. He wrote this on a separate sheet of paper:

“Son, above all, keep your heart pure. Remember that God will guide you through college and through all of life if you remember what we have taught you and you continue to watch the life of other devoted Christians. And someday you will be a wonderful husband and father if you take the time to learn His ways.”

Stinging tears were flooding my eyes, and the words became blurry.

“I really miss you, Dad. You were such a great example for me.”

My wife squeezed my shoulder tenderly. “You ok, sweetheart?”

“Yes,” I muttered as I put my memories back on my shelf. “I was just getting ready to come and tell you.”

“Tell me what, Sweetie?”

I looked her straight in the eye and blurted out like a Superhero. “If I can just learn to be half the man my father was, then…In answer to your question this morning, yes—I think I might be ready to become a daddy.”

She looked relieved as she led my hands to her tummy, “Well, thank goodness! You’ve got about eight more months to learn.”

Thursday, June 5, 2008


This is a fiction piece posted especially for Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays. See her button on the side of this page, click on it, and you'll get to read some more great fiction!

It must have been awkward for Trish to attend the Lifegroup at our church, since her non-Christian husband never came with her. My husband Tom and I were one of five couples attending the group. Trish was the odd woman out, but she found her place by leading us during the worship time.

She would praise so genuinely that sometimes I would open my eyes and wonder if I was on earth or in heaven. Whenever complimented, she would remark, “Please don’t tell me how pretty I sing. Tell God how awesome He is for singing through me.” The one word I would use to describe her? Anointed.

Then she suddenly ceased attending. Meeting after meeting, she would present one excuse after another as to why she could not come.

“Are you okay, Trish?” I asked when I finally got her on the phone.

“Yes,” she tried to assure me, “I’m just busy.” Her voice sounded strange—even fearful. I prayed for her before saying good-bye.

Another “Sorry, I can’t come,” message reached me the next week, and I felt led to pray.

Lord, You know Trish. I’m scared that she’s being abused or something. Help her to ask for help from her friends, Father. Please show us what to do.

Immediately after I rose from my knees, the Holy Spirit prompted me to invite the group to our place the following night. Tom and I had never done so before, as we were embarrassed about how small our house was, but I was going to obey God. Tom will forgive me for not running it by him first, I reasoned.

Jim and Tracy arrived first, and Jim brought his guitar as a result of some arm twisting. “Ok, I’ll do it,” he relented, “IF you guys won’t make fun of my old guitar or my crickety voice.”

“Deal!” I vowed.

Tom continued to greet the others at the door while I served the snacks and tried to find places for everyone to sit comfortably. It’ll have to do, I assured myself.

Trish was the only one who wasn’t there. Where’s Trish? How are You going to help her if she’s not here, Lord?

“Well, guys, welcome to our humble abode,” Tom announced.

Trying not to show my disappointment, I added, “I had hoped that Trish could come, but since I didn’t hear from her, I’m concerned. Could we pray for her?”

Keith White took the lead. “God has laid a prayer burden for her on my heart for some time, so I’ll pray.” We all bowed our heads, and I prayed with my mind with as Keith asked the Lord to “find a way to bring Trish back to us.”

A beautiful chord sounded, and then Jim sang, “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways, we cannot see….” *

As his finger strummed the strings of that old guitar, I was surprised how rich it sounded. After the song, Tracy said, “I’m always amazed when such a magnificent sound comes out of that ugly thing.”

Jim retorted, “Hey! Who you callin’ ugly?” That sent us into a wave of one-liners and laughter, until we suddenly noticed Trish standing just beyond our circle. She had walked through the front door without our noticing. Her eyes were filled with emotional tears that looked like they could flood our entire home if permitted to flow freely. Her voice broke through the silence, “God made a beautiful sound through that old beat-up guitar--and it made me realize that maybe you guys will still love me even when you find out that I’m even more beat-up than it is.”

I said, “Trish, of course we will still love you. What is going on?”

A wave of shock shot through my heart when she sobbed, “I’ve been having an affair. I’m such an ugly sinner!” The floodgates opened. “But I need help. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

I couldn’t breathe. We all stood stunned, but just for a moment.

What a nightmare, God. Please show us what to say and do.

We took turns praying over her, each of us committing to help her walk through the steps of restoration as stated in Scripture.

It could have killed our group, but it made us stronger instead. I was blown away by the power of God in our living room that night. The word Trish uses to describe our Lifegroup in her restoration testimony now? Anointed.

*God Will Make A Way—Words and music by Don Moen


This morning, I talked to God--just like I do every morning.

For the third morning in a row, I asked Him for inspiration for my devotional writing, as I've been in a bit of a dry spell. It's not that I can't write, or don't have anything to write about--I just don't feel particularly inspired. 

This is nothing new. These times come and go periodically, but I'm learning to embrace it more than I used to. Before, I questioned God. Before, I doubted my gift and my calling. Before, I got discouraged. Now, I wait patiently. Now, I remember Whose gift and calling it is to give and take away. Now, I cherish the extra time for Him to teach me.

I will wait on Him. Because His way is best. To "pick up my pen" and minister to others without His permission is reckless and irresponsible. I love Him so much. He has been so good to me. And He's never run out of patience for this stubborn daughter. Yes, I will wait on Him.

Psalm 38:15
I will wait for You, O LORD;
You will answer, O Lord my God.