Get Both Free!


If you’ve been waiting to read the rest of our story, you can get the e-book now. For 5 days, November 28 – December 2, it will be FREE on Amazon before it goes up to the regular price.

If you’re waiting for the paperback version, pray. It’s been a 3 day nightmare of formatting issues I’ve never experienced before. But, God will prevail and I’ll keep you posted for the print version too.

Not only can you get the NEW RELEASE free, but I’ve made The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater FREE through this Thursday so you can refresh your memory or read the beginning of our story for the first time.

If you read our story years ago and need a refresher of hope or if you’ve never experienced what trusting God for next steps is like, you can read our incredible story here. FREE this week only. November 27 – December 1

We pray you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of beautiful memories. May these next weeks leading up to Christmas draw you into the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus as we anticipate celebrating his birth.

Why Faith?


Fort Myers Beach at Sunset 2018

These are days of walking by faith.

If ever there was a time in which we must cling in faith to the unseen God—YH WH, Yeshua—by the power of his Holy Spirit in us, it is now.

But why?

Unless someone has absolutely no contact with the world, the events all around us from natural disasters to various forms of political unrest, are obvious. We have entered a time when no one is immune in some way or another to many forms of destruction of property, finances, beliefs, families, etc.

And while there is nothing new under the sun, according to King Solomon’s words in the Bible, the challenges experienced by millions over thousands of years have escalated and compounded in recent years.

So what holds people together? What is it that makes us persevere in the face of multiplying hardships?

Faith.

Every night most of us go to bed without questioning whether we’ll wake up the next morning. We sit down on our favorite chair not imagining its collapse. For many, turning on the shower or lights doesn’t make us hesitate and wonder if they will go on. Every day we exhibit some form of faith.

But if we engage in all those daily activities without giving a thought to having faith, what do we do when faith actually makes a real difference in how we think, live, and treat others?

According to Hebrews chapter eleven, it’s by faith that we understand this world was created and is sustained by God. A loving God who made each of us so intricately that science is still just figuring out how it all works.

People all through the ages have sought God and listened to him instruct them in his ways, many of which seem crazy.

By faith, Noah built a massive boat to save his family from rains that had not yet been experienced. Abraham and Sarah had a child at the age when most people have already passed away. Moses raised a stick to split a sea to save his people. Rahab believed in a God she had never known and saved her family when Jericho’s mighty walls crumbled. David, as a young shepherd boy, slew a giant with a sling shot and stone, and became a king.

That’s only a few of the countless stories passed down through the years.

Some might say “tall tales.” But I’ve seen God do enough crazy and miraculous things in my life and in the lives of others to know the truth of what God will do when we have faith.

That same chapter says that people have conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained promises, shut the mouths of lions, stood in the midst of flaming furnaces, and escaped death. They routed armies, fought various battles, saw their sick healed, and some even experienced loved ones raised back to life from the dead.

In every case, their weakness or fear was turned to strength and courage because of faith.

We can certainly use some of that today, don’t you think?

Imagine if each of us had faith enough to believe that giving a bottle of water or a hug to someone might change their life. What if we gave a few extra dollars to help buy someone’s groceries or a meal? Maybe faith looks like traveling to a disaster area to help pull people from fire, flood, or rubble. (We’re seeing that happen here in Florida right now.)

Faith might be worshiping God in public to offer hope, praying for a neighbor, or running for an elected office. Even simple social media posts created in faith encourage thousands, or millions.

It’s true that some have been and are currently being tortured and killed because of their faith. Persecution is real and not only happening in Ukraine, Armenia, or China. Those who choose faith in Jesus are empowered by God so that even if their body is harmed, they will live forever.

God tells us that those who put their trust in him will never be disappointed. He will never leave us and is always faithful to us whether we are faithful to him or not.

There will come a day when we will each be in the presence of Almighty God. He knows whether we believe what his written word, and his living word, Jesus, says to us. We’ve either responded to his love for us by putting our faith in him, or we’ve turned our back in disbelief.

If now is the time for faith, that day will be the one that matters most.

What have you put your faith in?

I choose Jesus.

Don’t Be Surprised


Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Every day I see a new headline or post that makes me shake my head even though I know that I shouldn’t be surprised. Over two thousand years ago, Jesus told his followers not to be alarmed when famine, wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, and disease would start taking place all at once in multiple areas. He said that people would hate and betray each other and many believers would be deceived.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul gives a list of how many would act. He said that people would:

  • Not acknowledge God
  • Claim to be wise
  • Idolize people and lifestyles
  • Degrade their bodies with one another
  • Lust for the same sex
  • Commit indecent acts
  • Have depraved minds
  • Be full of evil, greed, murder, and deceit
  • Gossip about and slander each other
  • Be God haters
  • Be arrogant, insolent, and boastful
  • Be senseless, heartless, and ruthless
  • Know the truth, but deny it
  • Encourage others to do the same

Sounds a lot like television, movies, social media, politics, and the news, doesn’t it?

He also reminds us that one has only to look and acknowledge creation around us to know there is a God who made everything including us, so we have no excuse.

Everyone has free will. God loves us, but he won’t force anyone to love him back. If the act of giving up himself, his son, Jesus, to die on the cross and take all our sinfulness on him isn’t enough to show his love for us, what would it take for people to respond with gratitude, praise, and love in return?

But I understand that the majority of people won’t.

It makes me sad to see the heartbreaking mess the world is in, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus warned us. So did Paul, who was once someone who murdered those who followed Jesus. No one is beyond God’s grace. He doesn’t want anyone to be separated from him. But if that is someone’s choice, God loves them enough to allow their choice and let them go their own way.

Maybe things aren’t too different than they were then. Maybe they’ve simply escalated to where they are now. Perhaps, it’s just that now we have the technology to see everything all over the world as it happens so we are aware. But we’ve been warned.

And we have a God who loves us and will see us through to the moment when Jesus returns to draw those of us who love him to his side. In the midst of all the evil, heartache, and chaos, Jesus is our hope and peace.

I may be surprised when I see the things that are happening in the world because I can’t understand why people would choose those things instead of an abundance of peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (The fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we receive Jesus.)

But I’m not surprised. He told us not to be alarmed. I believe Him. I’m resting there in the midst of the storm until I see him face-to face.

Bitter Betrayal


We are approaching World Day Against Human Trafficking at the end of this week. July 30th marks a day when all over the world, more people will be made aware of this atrocity. This post titled Betrayal that I read recently on Red Tent Living, took this to new depths for me. I know that evil in the world is increasing and being uncovered. We as Christians are not perfect, but being perfected by the power of the Holy Spirit. But it seems that we are seeing a wider chasm between those who truly follow Christ and intentionally live that out daily and those who claim the title, but revel in the world’s spiraling downfall of sin.

Is there a more brutal betrayal?

On a residential street lined with leafless trees, I had just reached my car, feeling relaxed from a massage, when my phone rang. My husband was coming home. He worked so much my heart leapt. Maybe we’d get take-out and watch a movie as we snuggled up. Yanked from my reverie, I heard, “I’ve been accused of sexual harassment.” Suddenly, the overtime, the snazzy outfits, and the STD he’d explained away took on new meaning. I collected my wits. This wasn’t a phone conversation.

In a panic, I called my counselor and left a message. I can never repay her for calling me back that night and grounding me as the earth quaked beneath me. I’m not sure how I drove home safely.

In the privacy of our home, I learned that the harassment my husband was dismissed for was only the tip of the iceberg. There are no words for the pain of discovering that my beloved—the one man I had begun to trust, who knew my story of being trafficked as a child—was purchasing trafficked women. How could my beloved…the charming, respected, Christian leader…be a “john”? I well knew that Christians purchase trafficked women, but I’d married a good man, hadn’t I?

I reeled from the data of his unchecked sexual addiction. It was so like my childhood abuse, and he…suddenly so like my perpetrators. The level of duplicity, lies, deception, heinous sexuality, cruelty, and remorselessness… Perhaps the most difficult of all his betrayals—he had used my story to get in with women and to fan the flames of his twisted desires.

I tried to gather the pieces of the man I so desperately wanted him to be and put them back together, but they no longer fit. I couldn’t unsee the other man. Who would believe me? I couldn’t. And yet, I knew this other man; my abusive childhood had habituated me to betrayal. I used to question how I could have married a good man. Heartbreakingly, I now knew that he fit into my story like a missing puzzle piece.

Divorce wasn’t supposed to be my story.

We were supposed to be holding hands in old age. But it became clear he was committed to not engaging his brokenness, and I began to believe I was worth more.

As a divorcèe, I have learned that even in this modern era I am an outsider. A friend once told me, “The stigma of divorce is still very real.” I didn’t want to believe that but, sadly, it’s true. A thousand experiences conveyed this; I’ll share two.

Though few knew the details of my husband’s betrayals, in a coupled world there was immense societal pressure to repair or tolerate his addiction. It was bewildering and excruciating how seldom any responsibility was placed with him. This painted for me our cultural view of women. It didn’t matter what the betrayal, how profound it was, or how repentant or unrepentant my husband—it was my fault and mine to repair.

My childhood trauma is easy to blame, but his addiction pre-dated our relationship. And even if it hadn’t, what we don’t say is that there are things that no one should ask of his or her spouse. I’m not sure how it became woven into our cultural belief that men can’t help themselves, but they have as much agency as women, and it has been used to wield great harm. Dear reader, my husband chose to break our covenantal vows. He chose how he broke them. And he chose not to seek healing.

If I may be so bold, I know some of you may have a similar story. Your spouse also has agency and you deserve to be honored. However it comes about—whether through your spouse’s repentance or your leaving—you deserve more.

As I mourned, I came to see my trauma as a death. The death of my marriage. The death of my beloved in my life. The death of our dreams for the future. The death of my hope of having children in my arms. It was the rending apart of lives intertwined for a decade and a half. But I began to realize that in our culture we have no traditions of mourning divorce. There are no flowers or cards. No meals brought by friends. No mourning clothes. No bereavement leave. No funeral. No graveside service. No marker upon which to weep. I was wholly alone. It was me and my four-footed friend trying to wake for another day, sort out how to make ends meet, and fight for the hope of a brighter future…a future too far off to see.

I am in a better place now, but it’s still a battle. Every weekend, vacation, holiday, and child’s laugh, I’m reminded how alone I am and the dreams that once were.

The author prefers to remain anonymous.

I applaud this woman for choosing to move forward in spite of horrific situations. To survive being trafficked is horrendous enough without living through this on top of it. I pray her story will encourage many others in their journey.

You can do your part in the fight against trafficking.

If you have been a part of this–whether by choice or coercion– know that it is never too late to turn around. Jesus already forgave you and by acknowledging that, he can make a way out where there seems to be no way.

If you would like to help, but you aren’t sure how, you can become educated through reading or participating in local, national, or international organizations who are in the fight. Here are some I support and learn from:

  • A21 https://www.a21.org/– based in Australia this international group fights with awareness, intervention, and aftercare
  • Not for Sale https://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ – originally based in San Francisco reaches areas that are most impoverished to create better situations to reduce trafficking where it starts
  • Bridging Freedom https://www.bridgingfreedom.org/ – based near Tampa, FL is a safe house where trafficked children can heal

There are many others, but these are my current personal choices which I support from the proceeds of a couple of my books that deal with trafficking. I give half of the proceeds from those sales each year.

For this week, July 25th – July 30th, by purchasing either Dangerous Ground or A Mighty Wind, you will get to enjoy reading a novel while learning a little more about this subject AND you will be giving to an important cause at a crucial time. I will donate 100% of the proceeds to these three listed organizations. It can be a way of you giving to help those in this situation. Perhaps you would like to share a copy, give a couple to friends and family, or donate some to your local organizations!

Thank you in advance from those who are healing or still need rescue.

In the Name of Submission – Last Words


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Last time, we left off with I Peter 3:1 telling wives to submit to their husbands. You can see the first post here.

We continue talking about submission and hopefully unpacking more of what it truly means.

I believe Peter starts with wives for a couple of reasons. (No, he’s not picking on us.)

First, I think it’s because God set up the order of a family. In Ephesians, he lays it out clearly. Christ is the head of the church. He is over the family. The husband is now entrusted with the well-being of his family under the headship of Christ. Then the wife is supposed to be covered by her husband, as Christ covers (loves and protects) his bride, the church. After that, the parents are the covering for their children.

Starting with the wife confirms that order.

Secondly, it seems that based on many passages in the Bible, women have so much influence. We are the “helper,” but the word translated like that sounds kind of lame. Like a token we say to our two-year-old for being mommy’s big helper. Encouraging, but we all know our child’s help is minimal.

Thankfully, that’s not what it means.

In the Hebrew, it actually means strength, warrior, working alongside. (This is a great post that goes into more depth. https://www.chasingsacred.com/helpmate-the-real-meaning-of-the-word/)

Think of some women in the Bible:

  • Mary (Jesus’s mother),
  • Deborah (prophetess)
  • Jael (killed a man with a tent peg – Judges 4:21)
  • Esther (saved the Jews)
  • Abigail (saved her people)
  • Rahab (prostitute who saved the spies)
  • Mary & Martha (sisters of Lazarus)
  • Lydia (business owner who led a church).

And those are only a few.

Every one of these women understood submission as part of the influence they had in their situation.

Peter tells women, in this first verse, that their husbands (and probably others) will be “won over” or influenced by their behavior without a word. Because when we are submitting for the sake of Jesus, we will be beautiful because of our purity, reverence, and our quiet and gentle spirit.

All without fear. Perfect love casts out fear. Submitting to God puts our trust in him. His perfect love for us means we don’t have to fear anything.

See where we’re going with this?

And lest you think that God’s focus is only on wives, verse 7 calls out husbands to act “in the same way” so that their prayers aren’t hindered!

Hindered prayers is a pretty serious consequence of not submitting with consideration and respect to wives while viewing them as heirs of God for the sake of Jesus. Paul says it this way in Ephesians 5:23 “Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.”

Don’t think that God doesn’t hold everyone to the same standard!

After Peter charges spouses—the relationship that mirrors Christ with his bride—he gives some specifics.

What does submission look like?

Verse 8 tells us to live in harmony. That may not be done easily, especially if another person isn’t feeling the tune you’re playing, but as far as it depends on you, be in harmony. (Romans 12:18)

We start by being sympathetic to other people’s hurts and pain. How are they feeling? That means we need to humble ourselves and not be set on our opinion, agenda, or feelings first or only. If we first seek to understand their perspective, it’s easier to show love and compassion.

Peter goes on to say in verse 9 that we are to be a blessing to others. Treat them kindly. Even if they insult us, answer that with kindness. Not always easy, but the Holy Spirit can make us able to do it with sincerity.

Finally, in verse 14 and 15, Peter reminds us not to fear. That was a hard one for me. My past situations gave me the view that I couldn’t really trust certain people so it was hard to submit to them. But I’m learning that when I’m submitting for the Lord’s sake, I can trust Him to cover me and help me choose to honor and respect them.

We can only do this when we “set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts.”

Submission begins with understanding the humility Jesus showed to submit himself to God and go to the cross. He tells us to have a gentle and respectful answer for our hope in him. He forgave us. That is our hope, the source of our love, and what makes us able “to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

For me this has been a huge lesson and offered me freedom in place of my misconceptions about submission. I hope it has been helpful for someone else too.

Jesus, I surrender (submit) all.

The Answer to Everything


What would you do if you could have the answer to everything?

Would you pay for it? Sell everything you have for it? Go without eating to get it? Would you go off alone for days if it meant you could obtain it?

What if I told you that the answer to everything is within your grasp, totally free, and the only thing you need to give up for it is yourself?

What is the answer?

You may be surprised. But it makes sense.

God’s presence is the answer to everything. Every prayer. Every need. Every dilemma, tragedy, crisis, challenge, or question.

We see this in the story of Moses.

Most of us have heard the “legend” of the burning bush. A particular movie even satirized it by making it a singing bush. But when we look more closely at the story in the Bible, we see the way it can relate to our life.

Moses was a baby who was supposed to be killed, but by a miracle, he was saved and actually raised in the palace of the king of Egypt by the princess. Growing up, he had every privilege. Fine food, clothes, servants, education, and status even though he was born the son of a Jewish family with a price on his baby head. (Only God can do something like that.)

He grew up and realized his true identity meant he had a role to fulfill, but he tried to do it his way and ended up slinking out of town after murdering a man.

So, forty years later, this humiliated (humbled) murderer is tending sheep, not his own, but his father-in-law’s sheep—an honorable, yet humble profession—on the far side of the desert (talk about alone time), when God appears.

In a bush. Burning with fire.

Naturally, Moses is intrigued and decides to check it out. How can a bush be burning, but never burn up? Physics defied. But that’s God for you.

First thing God tells Moses is that he’s on holy ground. In other words, Moses is in the very presence of God. Then God gives Mo (you don’t mind if I call him that, do you?) some specific encouragement like “you’ve got this” and instruction “say I AM sent you and use your staff.” Mo wasn’t very confident anymore after forty years living in the desert with sheep, but God gave him a sidekick to help him. (I love the way God reunites families!)

God told him up front the basics of what would happen. The king (Pharaoh) would resist, but eventually come around after some serious plague persuasion, and then the people were supposed to ask their neighbors for gold and silver to take with them. (Why would they need gold and silver in the desert?? That’s another story.)

Here are some things I love about this story:

  • Once again (see last week’s post), God came to someone (Moses) when he was alone, far from anyone, minding his own business. God calls us where we are at.
  • God does whatever it takes to get our attention. He knows what will turn our head and make us take notice. Granted, today, if any of us saw a bush on fire, we’d probably be quick to take a video and post it on social media.
  • God sees us. He told Moses that he saw the misery of his people.
  • God is concerned for the condition and circumstances we’re in. His love for us is great, and his heart breaks when we are hurting.
  • God has a good, spacious, place for us beyond the current situation. He never says it will be without obstacles, but it will be great. Milk and honey may not be your jam, but the idea is sweet, nourishing, and abundant.
  • God promises to bring us out of our misery. We have to be willing to do what he says to get out. He does his part, but without our obedience it won’t happen.
  • God has more for us than simply taking us out of a bad situation. When he removes us, he lets us take abundance with us and leads us somewhere better.

We all know the part of the story where the Israelites come to the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army hot on their heels. Ever been in that place where it seems like there’s no way out?

God parts the waters, the army drowns, and the people make it to the other side safely.

What was the answer to all their questions? Prayers? Needs?

God’s presence. He saw them. Sent help. Went ahead of them. Cut off the danger behind them, and then led them with fire by night and smoke during the day.

Okay, so today, we may not have smoke and fire, but when we accept the presence of God through believing in Jesus, we have God’s spirit—Holy Spirit—living with us. In us, to be exact. Surrounding us, covering us, filling us up.

But it’s easy for us to let life’s circumstances draw us away from God’s presence. After all, when the hot water heater breaks and leaks all over the floor, it’s understandable that we might be focused on water around our ankles and forget the Spirit of God that we don’t see is right there with us.

Let’s say something like that happens. And even though we’re surrounded by crisis, when we know that God sees, has a plan, knows what we need, and wants better for us, we can take a moment to rest in his presence that is there even when we think we might drown. Let him send rescue. Remember that he wants to take us out of misery and give us more. Ask him for instructions.

So, what burning bush has he sent your way lately?

Well Done


It’s no secret that evil in the world has been uncovered and increased in recent months. Suddenly, chaos runs rampant through every nation and life doesn’t make sense on any side. Vicious men spill innocent blood. People are fleeing for their lives. Lawlessness abounds.

Whether you know Jesus or not, the facts are obvious.

For those of us who are familiar with the Bible, we are confident that Jesus is returning soon for those who love him. He promised that when we began to see these situations, we were in the beginning of a time when we would soon see him face to face. (Matthew 24)

Most of us anticipate that day with great hope and expectation.

But, what are we doing while we wait?

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells three stories that give us a clear picture of what our time of waiting should look like.

First, we are to be prepared. We often think that we’ll have plenty of time to get ready to meet Jesus. Tomorrow we’ll stop indulging in something not beneficial to us. Next week we might start going to church. We can get into a relationship with God later. Maybe we think we’ll have a chance to scramble at the last moment when Jesus arrives. But in the story of the ten virgins, he makes it clear that if we aren’t waiting in prepared anticipation of him, we will miss living with him for the rest of eternity.

Secondly, God has given us various things to steward, or manage well while we wait. He’s created us with characteristics that can bless and encourage others. His plan is for us to use our gifts, talents, finances, and resources in the best possible ways. We can’t let fear or our poor understanding of situations to cause us to mismanage those things. In the story of the servants, the ones who used what they were given well, were given more. It didn’t matter how much they were given to start with, it was about what they did with it. They were commended with a “well done.”

Lastly, people all over the world have needs. Some are in our neighborhood or at our job. They are hungry, thirsty, lonely, sick, without daily provisions, and in captivity—either prison or in bondage to wrong thinking or addictions. Jesus said that when we do anything to help one of these, it’s as if we are doing it for Jesus. When we love him, we show his love by caring for those he loves.

How do we know what we are to do at any time?

Pray. Ask God. What do you have for me today?

Whenever he gives us a nudge to spend time with him, use our resources to help someone, or visit someone who needs a little encouragement, we need to obey the nudge. Soon, in the midst of this crazy world, we’ll be in the presence of Jesus hearing “well done.”

The Joy Set Before Him


“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2-3

It was for us, you and me, that Jesus endured the cross and rose again to life. Because of his sacrifice, we can be in relationship with the living God now in these last days on earth and forever in heaven. Never underestimate the power of his love and grace for us. No matter where we’ve been, what we’ve done, or who we think we are or aren’t, God created us, has a plan for us, and redeemed us through Jesus.

All we have to do is say “Yes. I want that relationship. I’m sorry for going my own way. Thank you, Jesus.”

Four-Letter Words


My husband and I watched a Disney movie recently and noticed how often in this PG rated film four-letter words were spoken. I’m not surprised, just saddened by the way we’ve lowered our standards over the years and especially these past few months.

The Bible says,

“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.” Ephesians 4:29

Using swear words is unwholesome.

Let’s be real, the world doesn’t care. And all of us are human. I’m sure we’ve all gone through a season of “unwholesome” or let a few words fly from our mouths that don’t benefit anyone. I know I have.

But maybe we could replace our thinking of four-letter words. There are plenty that would be more uplifting and would build people up. Here’s a few I’m learning to embrace.

REST – In this crazy, faster than the speed of light teched-out world, we’ve forgotten how to rest and what rest is for. God created rest. He worked to create the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Rest gives us time to process everything in our lives. It creates space for us to dream. We are refreshed when we take time to rest. What if that time of rest was not only for recuperation but for preparation? Beginning each week from a place of rest instead of thinking we need to catch up makes the dreaded Monday, a fun day. Snatches of rest during a day makes us more productive. According to Alex Pang, PhD., something he calls “deliberate rest” is a practice of highly successful people. Maybe God knew what he was talking about when he told us to rest on the Sabbath day and let the land rest every seven years.

LOVE – As the old song says, it’s what the world needs now. Hatred, violence, and fear run rampant in the absence of love. The Bible tells us that God’s perfect love casts out fear, and as followers of Jesus, we’ll be known by our love for others. Being truthful, kind, compassionate, and considerate in how we talk about and to each other as well as how we treat people shows love and changes our world. God IS love. Let’s embrace Him and show love.

MEEK – I’ll bet that’s not one you expected. Meek has gotten a bad rap as meaning weak, pathetic, or a doormat. But it’s true meaning is humble or gentle. Jesus chose humility when he came to earth. He didn’t answer accusations or defend himself when he faced betrayal and a mock trial. His meekness was actually him choosing to control the power he had, lay down his rights for something far more important (relationship with us – let your mind and heart grasp that), and treating people with kindness and gentleness when he had every right to mock or destroy them. If we choose meekness, we will be humble and gentle in our dealings with people.

HOLY – Set apart. Hallowed. Special. Everything of God is holy. He also calls us holy, because he created us in his image, and he calls us to hold holiness as something sacred. That means we honor God. Set him apart as the only God. There is none like him. He is to be praised. And we are to set ourselves apart from anything that doesn’t bring him glory and honor. We also need to honor ourselves and others in the way we speak and act.

HOPE – If one thing the world needs is love, the other is hope. I write and post about Jesus being our hope. He is our only hope, a living hope. No person, situation, government, money, circumstance, etc. can truly offer us hope. When we place our hope in things, we may be temporarily relieved, but eventually disappointed. People fail, things fall apart, circumstances change. God is faithful no matter what. Only Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

WAIT – We might feel like this could be a swear word. We’re used to everything from food to text replies happening in seconds. If our computer takes more than a few seconds to load, we fuss. Stop lights in my town are three to five minutes long (NOT exaggerating!) and people don’t want to wait. I’ve seen more people speed through red lights here than any other place I’ve lived. But learning to wait is good for us. It keeps us from making rash decisions, or saying something in a moment of anger. Waiting means we can let God secure better things for us in his timing than we could ever get for ourselves. We gain more patience as we wait and that makes us more pleasant to be around.

Those are just a few of my new four-letter words. Are there others you’ve been exploring lately?

Let’s change the narrative, as we say these days, and start using some new four-letter words that build up and benefit others as well as ourselves.

Unshakable Hope


A few months ago, a mysterious illness infiltrated my body. (No, not covid.) The signs were subtle at first. Some swelling in my ankles and aching in my arms. It rapidly progressed through my body and currently holds me hostage with severely swollen, aching arms and legs and sometimes debilitating stabs of pain. Test results are all normal. I have no other symptoms apart from fatigue and an occasional headache. The doctors are stumped. I am on a three month wait for a specialist.

Not fun.

But God.

Whether I am afflicted or healed, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has made every day, and I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.

As Jesus believers, we pray each day for healing, believing and claiming that by his stripes, I’m healed. And I believe I will be. It may not be today or tomorrow that my healing manifests, but it will be one day according to his plans. Plans I don’t understand, but that are always good.

So far, I’ve learned to trust him more. I’m learning to wait well. My mind is a battlefield, and I can choose to embrace God’s presence, hope, love, and joy, or I can believe lies and be filled with fear, anger, despair, and self-pity. Each day, and sometimes multiple times a day, I have the choice.

Days are better when I choose Jesus.

Today I watched the memorial service for a blogging friend of mine who went home to Jesus on December 30th. He wrote a blog called Unshakable Hope and lived with ALS for 24 years after the doctors gave him three to five to live. I met him because of this blog. He has been such a source of encouragement and faith building to me. As his two daughters shared some questions they asked him, and played his robotic responses while he was confined completely to a wheelchair with no voice and no ability to move, I was once again inspired.

Bill talked about the passage in Scripture where Paul asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh. He commented that our trials here are fleeting and temporary in light of eternity. Now as I wait on the Lord for healing to manifest, I am encouraged by this man’s incredible life. His wife, Mary, has been his caregiver all these years. Her grace and patience humble me. Bill reached tens of thousands of people through his blog that he wrote with eye recognition software. How can I live my life daily in this affliction so that it has eternal value?

How can I consider my current situation close to what he’s lived with? I only hope that I can live it with faith, grace, and unshakable hope like he did no matter how long it lasts. In light of eternity we live a fleeting moment.

Today is the only today we have. Tonight it will be gone, and tomorrow will come. What will we choose today?

I don’t know what the rest of my day or my tomorrows will be. We don’t even know how many tomorrows we’ll have. But today, I live for Christ in response to his love for me. No matter what comes, his love, his presence, peace, joy, and hope are beyond measure.

Will you choose him today? Whether you know him or you don’t, he loves you. He chose you. He has a plan for you.

In honor of my blogging brother Bill Sweeney. He chose Jesus.

If you’d like to see Bill’s site and posts, you can read here.