He can walk!

Yes, my husband John was able to walk the next morning after back surgery. He was in a wheelchair for 3 weeks prior to surgery.  The PT lady in the hospital was amazed how well he walked and the doctor released him that day.  Wow, back surgery and only one night in the hospital. Praise God!


 is my word to consider for 2018

 – –  how we take it for granted.

Continue reading

All the Time?

All the Time?

Pastor – “God is Good!” – response People – “All the Time!”

Pastor – “All the Time!” – response People – “God is Good!”

Our church service begins with this ritual.

Many times, I think – All the Time?

When a loved one dies?

When the diagnosis is cancer?

When your spouse leaves?

When your child rebels?

When your husband has been in pain for ten days?

You get the picture – many times we don’t feel like God is Good – all the time.

Nothing was working out.  No one returned my calls.  It did not seem that God was good this Monday.  No one seemed to care.  I shouldn’t say that- family and friends kept in touch with me constantly– they cared.  The prayer chain at church was active. The medical community was not responding.

I awoke with such optimism Monday morning – that someone would help – we would get an appointment that day for my husband.  John was not able to stand without excruciating pain or walk for ten days.  He had an MRI at the ER on Tuesday before Thanksgiving and was sent home with pain meds and prednisone.  He had a herniated disk. Now, he was out of both medicines and pain not improved.

As the hours dragged on and no calls I was anxious, ok, I was depressed.

Finally, at 4pm I received a call from our local doctor’s office. I rushed to town to get the prescription.  Then to the pharmacy to have it filled.  It was then my cell phone rang – a neurosurgeon’s office – could we be there at 8:50 the next day?  Yes, someone does care.

The next morning our son helped me get John in the car and loaded the wheelchair.  We left our house at 6:30 am for the one and half hour trip over the mountain to Gainesville.  It was a beautiful clear day the sun was shining and warm for late November.  I drove around to the front door to let John out.  Amazing, a handicapped parking place right in front.  I don’t like to pray for a parking space – but God reserved one for me that day.  After a few pulls and tugs I was able to get the wheelchair unloaded.

I rolled John in the office and before we got settled in for the wait (he was being worked in their schedule) he was called back to see the doctor.  The doctor came in and showed me the MRI and X-ray and said his disk was completely pinched and he needed surgery as soon as possible. Everyone in the office seemed concerned and the doctor was concerned about his pain level – he scheduled surgery the next week.

They called the hospital to try to schedule preop for that day.  No openings – Preop on Friday.  Oh, no go over the mountain again in few days?  John could not make that trip again.  But Yeah surgery scheduled!

I got him in the car and then tackled the wheelchair.  After several lifts a lady appeared and said, “Here, let me show you how to do that!”

We went to lunch.  John said, “Why don’t we go by the hospital and see if they can work us in for preop today.  Sure, enough someone else cared and after an hour nap in the waiting room they put him through preop procedure.

God was certainly good that Tuesday.  On the drive home, I recounted all the blessings – Praise the Lord for a safe trip, beautiful sunny day, parking place right in front of office, surgery scheduled, a lady to lift wheelchair and preop done.

But was God good on Monday when I was so despondent and distraught?  Sure, he was – he gave me the strength to keep pressing on.  Even though I didn’t feel like he was good, he was working all the time.

Seeing the goodness of God on Tuesday helped me get through the next week before John’s surgery as his pain increased even with strong medication.

Where are you today?  Do you feel that God is Good all the time?  My experience is miniscule compared to my friend who lost her husband or another friend facing cancer or someone whose spouse leaves.  But I know God can meet you even in those times.

There are many scriptures to encourage us that God is Good and that He works for our good.  Here are a few from New International Version (NIV):

Psalm 73:1                          Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

2 Corinthians 9:8              And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Philippians 2:13                For it is God who works in you to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Romans 8:28                      And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


This song by Casting Crowns – speaks to our times of doubting that God is Good all the time!





The Porch

View from my swing

View from my swing

A cup of green tea and my Bible accompany me to the swing on my screened-in porch.  The humid July day requires the ceiling fans to be pushing the small amount of cool air available for a few hours.  The furnishings remind me of people in our past who have blessed our lives and to pray for them.

The black wrought iron table and chairs were on my in-law’s porch the 11 years they lived near us – just off Shekinah Lane.  The overflow of relatives sat at this table for many family gatherings.  So this set reminds me to pray for family.  Also, on the table is a twig man made by talented neighbor – bless her Lord.

Warning sign

Warning sign

The “Do not Pee from the Porch” sign brings a chuckle of a Sunday School class Christmas party.  The sign was transferred around through a White Elephant game.  We won it.  Dear friends sharing the celebration of Christmas with fun times. Bless them Lord. Also, my grandson who the sign applied to when he was younger.

A wood plant stand was made by a boy at Teen Ranch in Michigan causing memories of our “boys” who are now men –  praying the short time they lived at the ranch they were exposed to the Gospel in flesh patterned by staff who loved them in the Lord.

A plaque from my daughter-in-law encourages “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” She is going through a time of physical pain and can use this thought and my prayers.

Plants thriving in the heat of summer – one from former co-worker, another a gift from a neighbor when my husband had surgery.  These plants have grown, been divided and are flourishing.  May my prayers increase the blessings for my friends.

Tall table for a view

Tall table for a view

A tall table and three chairs make our mountain view easier to see – a gift from neighbors who are struggling now with major surgery.  Please heal and restore Lord.

Wicker chairs from a new friend look so elegant on our porch.  Bless my friend as she helps me finish my book, Shekinah Lane, to be printed soon.

Welcome wicker

Welcome wicker

Can’t help but think of my economical husband who did not want me to purchase furniture for the porch.  Did he know, or did God know that I needed these gifts to help me appreciate family and friends, and pray for them in my quiet time on the porch?

Zephaniah 3:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”


Do you think before you speak?

During a recent bout with laryngitis I was reminded of the number of words a woman uses daily versus the number a man uses. Louann Brizendine who wrote The Female Brain concluded that women use 20,000 words per day while men use 7,000. More recent studies do not agree with his findings. But in my house, it is so true.

Only able to whisper for four days was frustrating enough but when your husband is hard think.before.speakof hearing and especially cannot hear a whisper, it was double exasperation. I wrote him notes to communicate. At one point even resorted to charades to get him to “listen” to me.

When John returned from an appointment I was waiting for him to tell me what the doctor said. He conveniently handed me a hand written note from the doctor (she is female) telling me how she changed his medications.  Since I usually accompany him to visits she knew I would be interested in new information.

At lunch in a restaurant, I tried to get John to talk to me by motion with my fingers. He said, “I don’t have anything to talk about.” Do you see why I agree about the number of words a man speaks in a day? I could have talked all during lunch.

Thankfully during this quiet time, I was reminded of my recent commitment to “be positive in my attitude and speech toward my husband and family.” Since I had to either whisper, write a note or act out my desired communication, it gave me time to think instead of just react. Many times I just say what comes to my mind instead of filtering it through a desire to be positive and concerned how it will be accepted by the recipient.

Possibly my heavenly Father was helping me keep my commitment. Ok, Lord, help me think before I speak and please help me be able to converse above a whisper soon.

Psalms 19:14(KJV)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

First not possible without last

An evaluation of my book proposal arrived.  The same questions were posed, the same things I have been wrestling with for over three years – Who is your audience? Why are you writing? What is the thread that will pull the book together?

After searching my first five chapters and the questions presented by the editor I answered the questions.  Who is your audience? – My family and friends mostly, really anyone who wants to follow God (although I learned that if you say anyone that means “no one”).  Why write – to show how God worked in our lives.  What is the one thread to pull it together?  – The glory of God.  Seemed simple enough to me.  But it was not enough.  Or it was not clear enough.

Examining my writing and trying to answer the questions, I prayed for wisdom to help me find that thread and something people who read my book can grasp for their lives.

Then the inspiration came.

I just reviewed the chapter about our time in Mississippi and the small church my husband served that needed a piano player.  We prayed for a piano player and God provided five piano players.

I was one of the piano players in the Mississippi church although not much of an answer to prayer since I was very limited in ability.  Although I have not played much since my husband retired from preaching ten years ago, I was impressed – no God seemed to speak directly to me,

“Go downstairs to the piano.”pat.piano

Even though my piano skills are still limited, I love to play old hymns and choruses and worship the Lord.  Thinking the Lord wanted me to worship and take my mind off the book for a while, I obeyed.

The hymnal was open to the chorus on the right side of the page “Oh How He Loves You and Me.”  Surprisingly I picked up the song in A flat and remembered the chord inversions and arpeggios I learned years ago in an adult piano course.

After relaxing my mind I turned to the left hand page and the song was a familiar hymn “My Saviors Love.”  You may know it better by the first line, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene.”  After playing this song for a few verses, I thought, “Ok, the love of God.  Yes, that’s what I am trying to convey in my writing.”

Then I noticed the scripture listed under the title of “My Saviors Love.”  It showed, “The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.”  Then I observed the scripture reference Galatians 2:20.  My life verse is Gal 2:20.  A chill of confirmation of God’s purpose.

I always concentrated on the first part of that verse – Christ living in me –  and how I determine to live by faith in the Son of God.  Yes, but it seems God wants me to focus on the last part  – for the first is not possible without the last.  Here is the verse:

Gal. 2:  20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Then I looked at the scripture under the song, “Oh How He Loves You and Me.”  The verse is John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”  Another Holy Spirit chill.  This is the concept used in my book introduction from John 17 where Jesus shares his high priestly prayer.  Here is an excerpt:

In John 17, known as the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus, verse 23 says God loves us even as he loves Jesus.  Hard to comprehend he could love us that much!  Reading this chapter again recently I realize not only does God loves us as much as He loved Jesus, but Jesus shared the glory God gave him with us that we may be one so that the world may know about him.  That is powerful.  God gives us his Shekinah glory through Jesus.

John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Have I found the thread to pull the book together?  I’m not sure.  I do know that the purpose of the book is to share the stories of our lives and help readers know that Jesus loves them and gave himself for them.  They cannot live for him until they truly comprehend how much he loves them.  For the first is not possible without the last.


My Sister Needs You

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with the needs around you?  How can I encourage my sister?  I worry for her, her health, her state of mind.  What can I do?  I feel so helpless.  Lord, please help me to extend hope and encouragement to her.

Her husband is terminal.

She has no husband.

Her child is wayward.

She received a bad report from the doctor.

Her life is so busy with children and responsibilities are so great.

She is facing an empty nest.

She is alone.

She is taking care of an elderly parent.

She doesn’t know how she will pay her bills this month.

Then I find the verse in Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


God’s word always comes through with just what is needed.  I may be helpless but he is able in every situation.

Please Lord give her your peace.  I cannot begin to know her pain, feel her hurt, and comprehend her desolation.  But you comfort the grieving, uplift the discouraged and give faith when there is no hope.  Be her rock, her refuge and her redeemer.  Be her husband, her hope, her haven of rest.

Help her to realize that Jesus is interceding for her and me too Lord.

 Psalm 62:6 NIV)Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 91:2 (NIV)I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Isaiah 54:5 (NIV)For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;he is called the God of all the earth.

Romans 8:34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one.  Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.



Thank you Jesus for interceding for my sisters and for giving me your word to strengthen my faith in you.  You do all things well.

Remember sweet sister Jesus is interceding for you!  And I agree with his prayer!



Forget to pray?

We arrived at the doctor’s office and they prepped my husband for surgery.  The doctor entered the room and stopped, placing his hand on John’s shoulder, “I pray with all my patients prior to surgery, do you mind if I pray for you?”



Have you ever intended to ask for prayer and because of busyness forgot to ask?  In preparation for my husband’s surgery I remembered to eliminate vitamins and medicines that might be blood thinners.  His surgery was scheduled on our calendar.

Doctor appointments, preparing food for a friend, and playing golf the day before the surgery (because he would not be able to play for two weeks) filled my schedule.  I failed to contact family and let them know the specific time of the surgery.

Sometimes we think we can handle it, right?  “I’ve got this” we convey to others.  It was only a minor surgery to remove a small sore on his arm.  The doctor had biopsied it a few weeks before.  The result was basil cell carcinoma cancer.  Not to worry right?

The day of the surgery, I talked to my sister on the phone and told her the results of the biopsy.  She shared with me that her husband’s skin cancer began as a basil cell carcinoma.  Her husband died two months ago from skin cancer.

Kind of changed the scenario.  Maybe it was not just a minor surgery.  No time now to contact people to pray.  I needed to be at my computer, just can’t text that much information on my phone.

How often do we have the attitude “I’ve got this.”  In the busyness of life we somehow think we are in control of things.  The smartphone keeps us organized with our calendars and to do lists.  We are self-sufficient in so many areas.

The definition of self-sufficient is: – able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid; capable of providing for one’s own needs.  We operate that way most of the time, don’t we.  At least I do.  Sure, I pray and seek God’s guidance and help.  But we need others to come along side of us and share the burdens of life.

Here are some suggestions to help us remember to ask for prayer:

  • Plan ahead – place prayer request on your calendar
  • Email friends and family of need
  • Contact your church
  • Share need with prayer groups
  • Facebook – good for prayer requests

Praise God, he had someone pray for my husband even though I forgot to ask for prayer.  What a comfort the prayers of the doctor were to my remorseful soul.  Thank God for a Christian doctor.

Are you drifting into self-sufficiency and not relying on the prayers of friends and family?  Maybe it’s time to seek the support of others.  But most important, seek the all sufficiency of God.  He is our greatest resource.


2 Corinthians 3:5 King James Version (KJV)

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;