Thursday, December 1, 2011


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 1-4

Papa Elf: "And where do the reindeer get their magic from?"
Buddy: "Christmas spirit, everybody knows that."
Papa Elf: "Well, silly as it sounds, a lot of people down south don't believe in Santa Clause."

Papa Elf: "And every year less and less people believe in Santa Clause. I mean we have a real energy crisis on our hands."
Buddy: "Oh."
Papa Elf: "I mean just see how low the clausometer is."
Buddy: "That's shocking."

The movie, Elf with Will Ferrell has become one of our most favorite Christmas movies. The kids even made snow flakes and paper chains to decorate our living room like Buddy (Elf) does in the movie.

It seems all the great classic Christmas movies have a similar theme, whether it’s A Christmas Carol, A Wonderful Life or A Miracle on 34th Street someone concludes life is better with faith, hope & love.


Even The Grinch decides; “Maybe Christmas….doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Buddy the Elf epitomizes child-like faith. Of course you know I’m not going to suggest you believe in Santa or even trust the people around you because even the best of them will fail you. However, Jesus said if you humbled yourself as a child and trusted Him you would be greatest in the kingdom. (verse above)

Walter: "So, go on."
Buddy: "Go on with what?"
Walter: "Are... Are you gonna sing a song or something or can I just go back to work?"
Buddy: "A song? Uh, yeah. Anything for you, dad. (starts singing) Um, I'm... I'm here with my dad. And we never met. And he wants me to sing him a song. And, um, I was adopted. But you didn't know I was born. So I'm here now. I found you, daddy. And guess what? I love you. I love you. I love you!"
Walter: "Wow, that was weird."

Buddy has unconditional love for his newly discovered, "daddy", even though his dad rejects him at first, that doesn’t stop Buddy from continuing to reach out to him. At one point Buddy’s brother Michael, says to his dad, "Buddy cares about everyone, all you care about is yourself." So, of course, in the span of just a few weeks his dad has a change of heart just like Scrooge and the Grinch. Things in movies have a way of working out in 90 minutes, but in real life they may take a little longer. So, I say we should love God and those around us and trust God with the outcome. I’ve heard it said you can have JOY, if you put Jesus first then Others and then, lastly, Yourself.

Gimbel's Manager: "Why are you smiling like that?"
Buddy: "I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite."

My quotes came from: Moviewavs

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Me saying the One Minute Sermon 2

I redid it! This goes with my Chains  post on addictions. I wanted to wear the Marilyn Monroe earrings my sister sent me for my birthday! I mention Marilyn in my speech. I don't think it's "better" really, idk what do you think? I was tired when we did this one. It's different anyways. Should I do over the do over? lol

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Me saying the "One Minute Sermon"

I may redo this because I'm better at it now but for now here it is.....
This goes with the September 2010 post on Chains. 
This was recorded in February 2011.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cliff Hangers, Pot Stirrers and The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27

Anyone who reads anything I write knows I’m very fond of analogies and/or metaphors. Jesus was also. He said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. He compared Himself to bread, water, light etc. He is portrayed as our bridegroom, the lion of Judah, a lamb lead to the slaughter etc. Christians are compared or described as salt, light, sheep (unbelievers as goats) etc. So, with that in mind, here we go again......

The Itsy Bitsy Spider!

10-18-11 Oh the irony! Well, this itsy bitsy spider made the most beautiful web ever and he WAS IN the house not outside...

Some months ago I had a dream. I was in a house, it wasn’t like my house but it was just the same. You know, you’re in a totally unfamiliar place in a dream and your like “This is my house” Weird huh? There were cobwebs everywhere! What a mess, so I had to find the spider. I hate spiders! I have to agree with Ron Weasley here; I would prefer to follow the butterflies any day! (Just thrown in for the other Harry Potter fans out there). So, I found the spider on the web and knocked it down and it ran off under something. You know what I hate even more than bugs and or spiders? Squashing them! I mean, that’s what I got married for! “Bob! Bob! There’s a spider… can you come kill it for me?” Incidentally, in this dream, I called Bob and waited and he didn’t come, so I knocked the spider off it’s web and then I woke up! Before I woke up though, I remember thinking, “Well, that did no good, the spider is still alive and he’ll be back and he may grow even bigger- ugh! I can handle the itsy bitsy spider by myself but big spiders? Yuck: I’d rather not” This was one of those dreams that definitely meant something and I woke up and knew immediately what it meant. I had a situation arise and I didn’t want to do the unpleasant task of “squashing it”, so I knocked it off it’s web perhaps- I wouldn’t even say I did that actually. More like I gave it a few flies to eat! Anyways I did not deal with it properly. I should have got the unpleasant task over with and squashed it! I even asked a friend about this “problem” guess what she (figuratively) said? “You’re gona have to squash it” But, no, I’m too much of a wimp for that. I want to keep the spider as a pet, why? why? I hate spiders! Which brings me to my next analogy. I have been too fond of cliff hanging!

Cliff Hangers

When my kids were young they used to watch a show on PBS called "Between the Lions". "Between the Lions" is a very clever and I thought funny show with muppet type characters, designed to promote reading. When we ended up with our first two feral cats I named the girl one after the mama lion on the show. It fit “Cleo” because she was golden like a lion! There were/are different segments on the show like: “Chicken Jane” (a spoof of “Dick and Jane”) The segment I want to talk to you about is called, “Cliff Hanger”: “Cliff Hanger is a cartoon lantern-jawed outdoorsman usually featured hanging off the side of a cliff, holding onto a branch. Each episode presents Cliff with a preposterous situation of some kind, which he attempts to use to his advantage by reaching into his backpack, pulling out what he calls his "trusty survival manual", and following the instructions provided there….The cartoon then ends with Cliff's baleful catchphrase: "Can't -- hold -- on -- much -- longer!"” (From Wikipedia)

I consider cliff hangers to be people who want to do right (i.e. Christians) but instead they do “just enough to get by”. They see how close to the edge of the cliff they can get without falling off. Like in the movie, “Crazy Stupid Love” there’s a recovering alcoholic in a bar! Hello!? Like a person on a diet going by the bakery to “browse” ! NO, no, no, no! You get the point? This is why I encourage teens NOT to date exclusively or get real serious with one person. If you want to wait until you get married to have sex, why find a person your attracted to to “go steady” with, so you can be around temptation more frequently? So you can “make out”? See how far you can go without “going all the way”? It’s just asking for trouble- it’s “cliff hanging” “Three-quarters of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year.” (From

But I really can’t point the finger about “cliff hanging” because I did this myself but I didn’t have a wise older person guiding me, like you young people that I hope/pray are reading this and taking it to heart do! Please learn from my mistakes! I beg you, then they will have seemed to have some purpose (besides making my high school years miserable!) If you want to read more about my experiences see my September 2010 blog post titled, Average Girl

Bob and I didn’t get married because I was pregnant –I just didn’t know I was yet (pregnant with Sarah when we got married). Mercifully, it was almost 9 months exactly after we were married that Sarah was born, so she “seemed” a “honeymoon baby”. If I could go back and change anything; I would have Sarah really be one of those “honey moon” babies, I wouldn’t change WHEN I had her, even though it was hard being parents so young, it was well worth it. Bob says Sarah is a beautiful young woman because of me, which is sweet although he did have a little to do with it, but really? It’s all because of God! We couldn’t have done it without Him!

Cliff Hanger has a “Trusty Survival Guide”- you know? The Bible is like that to us! We need to follow it's instruction! “Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Some other examples of “Cliff hanging” are; when you’re trying to get out of credit card debt but you still have that card in your wallet, “just in case”. Again, I am guilty here. Gee, I wish I had more examples of what you should DO than NOT DO. If you really want to live for God and you don’t read your Bible, pray and go to church regularly- that’s cliff hanging! How about you want to live a long healthy life, yet you smoke? I do this with my dieting, how many carbs can I eat- how many times can I “cheat” and still lose weight? Or not gain? I’ve fallen off that cliff a couple times! Do you have a temper and get into these stupid “debates”? Oh yeah! “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.” 2 Timothy 2:14 Do you want to be a faithful husband and yet you look at pornography? Watch out! You "Can't -- hold -- on -- much -- longer!"

What about flirting when you’re already “taken” (or flirting with someone who is “taken”?) “Why does your heart carry you away, and what do your eyes wink at, that you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth?” Job 15:12-13 You say, “Oh but what’s the harm? I’m not doing anything wrong.” You’re just “flirting with disaster”! I’m usually fine if the man doesn’t start flirting with me (or if he’s old or ugly-ngl), if he starts flirting with me, then I want to flirt back, where is this going??? Nowhere that I really want to go! And a note to the single guys: girls like to be flirted with but they don’t like a “flirt” who flirts with every attractive female he sees! You need to CHILL! I actually have a “what to do” example when I stopped it before it started! I was in Dollar General with Lydia once and I saw this man come in, I don’t want to give my “type” away so lets just say he looked a lot like Bob :- ) He was wearing a suite (Every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man!) So I say to myself, “Susan, don’t even look at him again…don’t see if he’s looking at you!” Job 31:1 says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a woman (man)?” Way to go! Thank you Jesus! Victory! It happens once in a while, hopefully more often all the time. Don’t let victory go to your head, though, again been there, done that. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12

Pot Stirrers

Pot Stirrer ; A person who feels it necessary to try and create more drama in regards to a situation/argument/debate in which they are an outside observer. Usually by way of a comment or statement.

Now I come to my last analogy; the “Pot stirrers” the “Pot stirrers” are the bad influences that encourage the “Cliff hangers” in their “sport” and many “Cliff hangers” are also “Pot stirrers” they like risky behavior and “living on the edge”. I confess to having done this also. My teenage daughter who’s somewhat anti-social appeared to be interested in someone and I confess I started stirring the pot! Me?! The “Don’t date when you’re a teen” woman? Thankfully my “pot stirring” was unsuccessful. What a hypocrite I am! Thank God for REPENTANCE and thank God for FORGIVENESS Otherwise I’d be SUNK. “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land….” Isaiah 1:18-19 Drinkers often have a “drinking buddy”, overweight people have “eating buddies” etc. This is why we should be careful who we hang around! Don’t hang around people who encourage you to sin! If you’re a Christian why would you want to encourage others towards sin? Jesus had some pretty harsh words for people who do this: “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones” Luke 17:1-2 (Amplified)

I want to encourage people towards God, towards obedience, not away from it! Like this verse in Daniel I quoted in my “Light” post: “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to STIR up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

Lord, I confess to You that I’ve been a “Cliff Hanger” and a “Pot stirrer” and squeamish about squishing spiders. Please forgive me, help me put my armor on (Ephesians 6) and “fight the good fight” 2 Timothy 4:7 because I want to be Your “Warrior Princess” and “Warrior Princesses” aren’t wimps! Amen

Friday, September 23, 2011


You put the light in me, The Spark, the shot to the heart
You are the hope that leads me out of the dark You let Your love shine down So that the world could see You put the light in me…..Brandon Heath

A number of things in my life recently have put “light” on my brain. First off; Bob and I work in Sparks –it’s a part of Awanas. Awanas is a church program for kids where they have fun (like games and stuff) while learning Bible verses. Sparks are the K- 2nd graders and Bob and I are leaders with the 1st graders. The Sparks are represented by “Sparky” the firefly.

There are many verses in the Bible about “light” These in Matthew usually are the first to come to my mind especially as I think of “Sparks” : You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:14-16 Part of the “Sparks” song says, “We are sparks to light the world…”

In the Disney movie “Tangled” Rapunzel is drawn away from the evil witch who she thinks is her mother by the lights she sees every year on her birthday. They are lanterns released by her parents who are the King and Queen! You can draw the parallel to Christ (our King) sending out His light of the Gospel to us while we are still in the clutches of the Devil.

For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 Amplified

Last Monday morning I didn’t jog, so I jogged that evening. As I jogged around our circle and was headed home I saw the full moon rising and it was beautiful! I was reminded of how the sun is what makes the moon shine, the moon doesn’t make it’s own light. In the same way, we are to reflect God’s light in our lives. It is said that when Moses went up on the mountain and talked with God, when he came down, “his face shone” (Exodus 34:29) “Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

Last Tuesday after I picked up Lydia, I took the recyclables. While I was there I met a really neat lady named Joan and found out she’s Ian’s friend's grandma. She invited me to the monthly “Womens Aglow” meeting which was the very next day. It’s a Charismatic women’s group that meets once a month. It was an awesome meeting, I was late but it was still wonderful.I even made it back to Lydia's school just in time to play my flute for the 1st graders music class! There it was again! The reference to light. These women are “Aglow” with God’s Holy Spirit!

I just finished reading a book by Marilyn Meberg that’s called, “Tell Me Everything; How to heal from the secrets you thought you could never share.” It’s about how it heals us when we’re able to confess our sins and bring them to God (and to a trustworthy person) and receive God's forgiveness. This is step 5 in the 12 steps, by the way and I know many would not agree with this but the 12 steps are in the Bible and they are for EVERYBODY! We are all powerless over the sin in our lives and we all need to surrender to Christ because He is THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE US! Not just any (inferior, little, FAKE) “higher power” will do!

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3: 18-21

These words from a “Tenth Avenue North” song come to mind:
Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us “Healing Begins” –

Marilyn Meberg talks about Lazarus and says, “Breaking out of our tomb means repenting of our sins. The key to an abundant life in Jesus is to open up our grave of secret (and sometimes not-so-secret) sins, confess them, talk about them, repent of them and let the redeeming light of His love burn away the infection they have caused.”

But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18

I have a journal I got at Hobby Lobby called “Everyday Blessings: Spiritual Refreshment for Women” It has a short note on every page on different subjects. I was just at the page that was titled, “Righteousness” It had the verse above (Proverbs 4:18) Then it said, “God knows where you’re going. As you journey on the road towards God’s purpose and plan for your life, the light of God’s love grows brighter with each step, bringing you closer and closer to Him. The more you know Him, the more quickly you know His will and His ways and can more assuredly step out in faith towards His righteous cause. Your steps are sure because your path is well lit with the goodness of God. You’re on the right path.” I thought that was pretty awesome because it was like “just for me” God can also speak directly to you in any way He chooses. He knows who you’ll listen to, who will grab your attention. The question is: ARE YOU LISTENING? DO YOU WANT LIGHT? OR DO YOU WANT TO STAY IN THE DARK? THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

The word “Light” is in the Bible almost as much as the word, “Peace”! Here are a few of my favorites:

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:3

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. Psalm 43:3

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God. Isaiah 50:10

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. Matthew 6:22

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. Matthew 10:27

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:4-5

From November on my Mary Engelbreit calendar and it says on the bottom, THERE'S A CRACK IN EVERYTHING-THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN. LEONARD COHEN

Here's some other posts about the opposite:
 Trust Him in The Dark
Whose Afraid of the Dark?

Friday, September 9, 2011

2001: A Story Odyssey:

Seeing as it's the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 I decided to post this. 2001 was an unforgettable year for the Storys and our nation! Bob gave me my website for Christmas 2002, so the 2001 letter is not on there. The last letter I wrote was 2008s about heaven- mentioning my brothers deaths had made my Mom sad- I hadn't meant to because I was talking about our hope of heaven- then in April 2009 Mom passed away- so there have been no more Christmas letters but last July I started this blog- so.......the story goes on....

These Christmas letters were a painstaking process! I would start thinking about what to put in them in August. But many times God would lead me in a totally different direction by December which was the way 2001 went. I have had “long versions” and “short” which are the ones I would usually send out. I’ve actually become pretty good at editing. Interestingly, by the end of 2002, our family and Chris’ had both joined Karrie's church! These are the two new friends I mentioned in this letter. I never would have imagined it but that is the way 2002 went! Also, on a somber note, I never would have thought I would be sharing the verses at the end of this letter in less than a year at my brother’s memorial service.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only forgotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!” Claire, 5, quoting John 3:16 as she was learning it for Awanas.

Dear friends and family,
We hope this letter finds you all well. We’d like to share with you some about 2001: A Story Odyssey:

By far the high point of our year was January 28th. That was Lydia Ellen’s birthday: she weighed 10lbs.1 oz. and was 221/4 ins. long. It was the longest labor I’ve ever had: starting Sat. [Bob and I were sent home in the middle of the night!] and finally ending Sun. evening. I know all the prayers helped us along , it was announced that I was in labor Sun. morning in church! Lydia has been our first bottle fed baby. The children all enjoyed feeding her and I still nursed her occasionally.

Another high point of our year was July 21st. This was moving day! Yep, that’s right, we are FINALLY IN our house! Many thanks go out to all our friends who helped us move [it was a BIG JOB!] and those who came to help us CELEBRATE. It has taken awhile to get settled and unpack. We’re still working on it!

Sarah and Teddy BOTH earned the privilege of going to Awana Scholarship Camp this Summer. Sarah also went to youth camp again. The topic was “Fearless Faith” and the verse on her T-shirt which she wears frequently is Gen. 50:20-21; “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good …Therefore do not be afraid…” It’s what Joseph says to his brothers who sold him into slavery, so that many bad things happened to him in Egypt. But in the end Joseph is a leader in Egypt and saves his family and everyone else from the famine. I believe this verse says so much: to me personally about this year and to our nation about the terrible tragedies of Sept.11th : Let me explain, what was a terrible day for us all, has bound our great nation together: “United We Stand”. We have been called to prayer by our own President. I also hear that many Muslims are rethinking the terrible ERRORS of their FALSE RELIGION. That these men were so deceived to think that they would go to Paradise for “destroying the enemies of Allah” killed thousands and themselves shows the power of the LIES of SATAN. Too bad they did not follow “the one true God, Jehovah and His Son, Jesus Christ” His word says, “Thou shalt not murder”. When all is said and done, the TRUTH will prevail!

I was exhausted again when Fall came this year! Last Summer I lost my break to morning sickness, this year to moving! Sarah started at Peach County High School on August 8th as planned. I was beginning to desire some relief, so I considered putting the others in school also. I did not have any peace about putting them in and we had not yet found their birth certificates so we couldn’t. We kept them home. I felt a great peace about that decision . I found help from an old book I have by F.B. MEYER called “The Secret of Guidance”. I had read it awhile ago, but went over it again to make this decision. So we tested Teddy and Ian [they did very well!] and sent for everyone’s books.

Meanwhile the other decision to put Sarah IN public school has been going smoothly: So far she has never missed the bus, which leaves at 6:50 AM every morning for the 30-45min. trek and she made the honor roll! Soon we will find out if she got in the gifted program which she was tested for. [She knows that regardless of what they say she’s still gifted in our book!] Still most of her friends from church go to different schools, she is learning to bloom where she is planted, and I do believe it’s where God wants her to be for now. She came home from school one day and was singing: “Come and go with me to my Father’s house, come and go with me to my Father’s house…It’s a big big house with lots and lots of rooms, a big big table with lots and lots of food, a big big yard where we can play football, It’s a big big house, It’s my Father’s house.” It’s a song by a Christian rock group called, Audio Adrenaline. She said “Mama, I want that CD, it’s their ‘best of’ album.” [called “Hit Parade”] I thought I’d get it for her since she was working so hard for her good grades [hard, especially when they put her in Algebra II Honors!].

In October my parents came to visit us and see our new house. I enjoyed shopping with my dad for an electronic piano. While we were out I got Sarah her CD. I also enjoyed shopping at our antique mall, here in Byron with my mom. I found more great antique books. Book collecting seems to end up being the homeschooler’s favorite hobby and I do often end up reading some of these books I find to the children for school. We are now almost done with the Christian fiction [The Story of Reuben Inch] I found while out with mom that day. Also in October we had “The Children of the World” at our church for a concert. This is a group of children from different countries who are traveling around raising money for World Help. World Help provides food, clothing, shelter and an education to many poor children in 50 different countries through child sponsorship. We, in America, DO NOT know what “poor” is, yet these children do. What we call “poor” over here is “rich” over there. I was supposed to be in the nursery that night, but they didn’t need me. Bob stayed home with the others and Sarah and I went as she has Awanas after church on Sunday night. We were so blessed by their singing many songs we hear on Christian radio and Sarah’s new CD: “Come and go with me to my Father’s house…” Their accents and hand motions made it even better!

It only took us 9 years to finally get Claire her lessons!

Sarah played soccer again this year, of course. Teddy , Ian and Claire started Karate in September in a class for homeschoolers. The boys have already earned their yellow belts! We’ve been very blessed to meet more homeschoolers: We were at Karate that morning of the 11th as in tears I watched the towers fall and prayed with Karrie. Another new friend from Karate, Chris was going to have “The Children of the World” at her church and needed more people to house them. So on November 13th and 14th we were pleased to have Leonard and Mark from the Philippines and Moon their chaperone from India. I just can’t help but remind myself that if I had put them in school I would have missed the opportunity to meet Karrie and pray on the 11th and Chris and house these children!

Well, maybe you’ll come to my house sometime. If not , that’s OK, I hope I’ll see you one day in My Father’s house. ( AGAIN the IRONY; I know I sent a copy of this to my brother Paul who was in prison unable to come visit us. He passed away August 24th, 2002 and I WILL SEE HIM ONE DAY in My Father's House!) Jesus said “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Thomas said “Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way.” Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life . No one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 14: 2, 5-6.

Yes, I did put the 2000 Christmas picture in the 2001 letter!

Merry Christmas! May God Bless you all! Love, the Storys [Bob, Susan, Sarah, Teddy, Ian, Claire and Lydia]

P.S. If you would like to send a tax deductible gift to World Help, here’s their address: World Help, P.O. Box 501, Forest, VA. 24551. Here's their website:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

While I'm Waiting by John Waller {Fireproof music video with lyrics}

This is how you fight for your marriage...My Mom did it- and you know what? My Dad was still there to tenderly care for her the last ten years of her life because she lived it- she did it :-) I was glad she didn't listen to her angry teenage daughter saying "Divorce him" If your marriage is failing just try this- what have you got to lose? Your family? BTW my favorite part of the movie is where he takes a sledge hammer to the computer because he's addicted to internet porn- I stood up and cheered....

See the video here:
While I'm Waiting- John Waller (From the movie, "Fireproof")

Casting Crowns - Slow Fade

This song can be powerful---let it “sink” in- “be careful little eyes what you see” (if I don’t make eye contact he’s not gona wink at me) “be careful little ears what you hear” (he won’t flirt with me if I’m not listening- perhaps I should put my fingers in my ears and say, “LA, LA, LA- I can’t hear you!”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Love Story

“Everyone of us is just one step away from ‘stupid’” Brother Jerry

This morning as I was taking Lyd to school there was a little orange cat on the side of the road, I saw it start toward the road as I sped along in our Toyota Sequoia and said aloud, “No!” Lyd was like “What?” and it turned around, away from the road and I breathed a sigh of relief “Thank-You Lord”- That would surely have ruined my whole day! Because I love cats….and our Sequoia. It made me think of how many times my life has gone like that; I’m poised (yeah-OK I’m the cat) at the edge of the road unaware that there’s a crazy driver speeding around the bend….but something stops me….Oh, I remember a verse (or story) I read in the Bible that said I shouldn’t go this way! Better turn around--- Wow- God I almost got squashed- Thank You for saving me from making that “stupid” choice!

Sometimes when God speaks to me- it’s kinda surreal- now really I guess I am “weird” but I think God wants to speak to everyone. It’s just that everyone’s not listening. They think God’s gona say, “You have to live a life of celibacy and go preach to the poor people of Africa” And those two things are the total opposite of what they desire. They may want to marry a beautiful person (hey who doesn’t?), settle down, start a business, raise some kids….Psalms 37, verse 4 says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” So, try listening; by reading your Bible, going to church, reading, going to the movies- wait- Did I just say, “Going to the movies”? Yes, I did. God speaks to me through movies, songs (even secular ones), books (even secular fiction ones!), situations (like a cat crossing the street!?) and always through people! (Like maybe through the blog of a mad housewife!) Even people who I may think are not “wise”. Kinda like when I was 15 and preached to my sister about living with and sleeping with her boyfriend (they weren’t married). Yeah, I’ve been “preaching” a long time! She said, “Wait until you meet someone you really love, Susan” Well, that was a wrong choice I later made which made me into a “Hypocrite” I wrote about that on my website: My Story  but let me tell you about some good choices I've made.

In the last part of my senior year of high school (1984) I had been “going steady” with Bob. But by Spring Break I had broken up with Bob for what I think was the third time. I was mad at him and feeling guilty because of us going too far physically. Breaking up with him was as much my punishment as his. I still loved him and God still wanted us together. (But I should also say here that I was, at the time, confused about BOTH of those things!) Later I found this verse: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” I Sam. 15:22 God wanted us to be together, but He didn’t want us have sex outside of marriage. Why couldn’t we do things together without rushing into the physical stuff? Things like; eating, going to the movies, bike riding, lots of swimming (I like to swim and we lived in South Fla.) Bob had gone out with someone else but they were “just friends”, yes they were, that is until I broke up with Bob. It was Spring break -there is something about Spring, isn’t there? Love is in the air….or maybe that’s just lust!? Bob (we were ‘still friends’) and Rudy had invited me to go to the beach. It was back to me and my two boyfriends! Looking back at that whole situation I don’t know why I didn’t milk it for all it was worth! It started in the Fall of 1983- I liked Rudy-no Bob-no Rudy-no Bob- what the heh, I’ll just date both of them! We did all go out together sometimes, the three of us. If I weren’t so insecure and wanting my Dad’s and every other guy's attention I could have just left things that way. But I had to have a “boyfriend” so I had to choose and I chose Bob. Me having a boyfriend always made Dad nervous and it was at least getting his attention, which I got very little of, so why not kill two birds with one stone? So I had my boyfriend and Dad’s attention for the first time ever!

Anyway, back to Spring Break (’84) and the beach: I saw the under classman whose locker was above mine there; he harassed me everyday- one time he stood up on a bench as I walked by and proposed- he was cute but, “Does he even know my name?” I wondered. That was about the only “nice” thing he ever said to me. “Eat your heart out, bud!” I thought, “See, I date college guys…two of them!” I was about to have my bubble burst, however. “Pride goeth before a fall” Prov.16:18. Bob went to make a phone call (his so called “friend”), so Rudy took this opportunity to tell me that Bob and his “friend” weren’t just “friends” anymore “What!?” Rudy replied “You guys are broken up, aren’t you?”. I was devastated… Song of Solomon says, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is as strong as death: jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” Ch.8:6. My plan had back-fired-big time! I was in such mental anguish (like a knife in my heart!) I realized it wouldn’t hurt so bad if I didn’t love Bob. So now I had to choose again. Could I forgive him and take him back? Did he want me back? Gee, what happened? By June 1984 we were back together. It took me longer to forgive HER- I dreamed I was driving a Mack truck once…right over HER. LOL

It was at this same time that I was praying and reading my Bible alot because of my friend's cult I had got involved in. Years later when I asked God when was I "born again" He told me it was in May 1984 when I was in my bedroom crying and convicted about Bob and I.

THAT was the very best choice I've made in my whole life! Bob was the second one!

My 18th Birthday (October 1984) Bob bought me a beautiful jewelry box that plays, "Love Story" :-) See my brother in law, Jay? He was about 10, I think- he bought me a bell for my birthday and I still have it! He asked us once, “Are you guys gona get married?” I don’t think I said anything– Bob said, “She’s the kinda girl I’d like to marry.” Here’s another secret…….THAT comment scared the begebbers outa me!

Claire's comment on this photo of Bob and I: "Your so...not old!" lol

Recently God spoke to me through a very secular (not appropriate for young viewers!) movie called, “Crazy Stupid Love” which I blogged about already. Here is the link to that:
Crazy Love: Stupid Lust

This movie really made me thankful. Here was a redheaded 44 year old married 25 years….OK God always “hits His nail right on the head” Ok if you don’t “get it” yet, hold on: I am a 44 year old redhead that’s been married 25 years! My life could be this bad movie! Actually my life almost WAS very similar, but I made a choice to turn around away from the direction I was going; I made the choice to listen to and OBEY what God was telling me to do! And I am so Thankful! Oh, did I already say that? There were two times I almost “gave up” on Bob and our marriage; In 1992 we had only Sarah and Teddy and I met a young man at church. I came dangerously close to having an affair but didn’t- instead we had Ian :-) Boy was that a good choice! Psalm 127:3 says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."

Me and Ian

If I had made the wrong choice would Ian, Claire and Lydia even be here? I don’t know and I’m so so glad I didn’t find out….Then 2000, in the middle of building this house I said I never wanted, I was lonely and one of the young men who coached Sarah’s soccer team started flirting with me, so I flirted back which was a bad decision- Well he started it- I can be somewhat emotional and was I perhaps overreacting or imagining things? I mean this was surreal! Was this adorable 19 year old really flirting with a thirty something, overweight, mother of four (with low self-esteem)?! Bob was busy building the house and I was like a single mom, at this point. This is what I wrote about in another article on my website: Exploring Catholicism

I call him “Michael”. I realized right away that I was in deep trouble, so I enlisted some friend’s help, three of them and I said, “Help me, ‘cause I’m sinking!” They offered advice, support and best of all; PRAYER. Elizabeth said, “I’ll just pray you won’t see him anymore” which worked because soccer ended and he didn’t coach on Sarah’s team anymore. I did still have a kinda long battle to get that guy out of my head! I still had more lonely and stormy days left with Bob building the house and I prayed I’d never see “Michael” again and I haven’t. Absence makes the heart grow stronger-- not fonder- thank God! Another helpful thing is what Bob told me- yeah I told him- that’s just me; straight forward and honest and Bob IS my BEST FRIEND (besides Jesus). He said, “If that ever happens again and you really care about him, you won’t- 'cause I will kill him.” (I jokingly call Bob "Spock" sometimes because he acts like he doesn't have any feelings but that is not true!) Proverbs says, “For jealousy is a husband’s fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.” 6:34

So instead of an affair and divorce that time we had Lydia and I really love my Lydia! And you know what? I really really love my husband and I’m glad I didn’t give up on him and he didn’t give up on me! I even found a verse in Song of Solomon about my hubby: “His locks are wavy, and black as a raven.” S of S. 5:11 But what helps you make the right choice, even more than your love for your family? It’s your love for God. Joseph said when he was propositioned by Potiphar’s wife; “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

I want to share the note one of my three friends wrote me after I talked to her about Michael (she lived out of town). I mentioned her in April: Another True Story: Oh The Irony!  Later she left her family, what was the difference? I mean between her and me? She never called me! Oh how I wished she had! I could have helped her the way she had helped me! But she never called and her family was torn apart- four kids the oldest in high school I think, left to be raised by their father….horrible scars that still need healing…

Dear Susan,
Thank you for your note and the letter of your testimony.
I am praying for you and I do believe you will do the right things as you face each situation because you are motivated simply by your love for God. That alone is to be our sole reason behind anything we do, isn’t it?
I encourage you to trust the Holy Spirit within you to show you the paths each day that He has ordained for you to walk in, and then walk in His peace. Commit all that you are into His care- and all that you are not but would like to become. Trust Him to change what He wants changed- He may surprise you and change things you wouldn’t have imagined.
Be blessed my dear friend. Know the love God has for you.- Become certain of it. Love, Melissa

I love it that tonight my posse (My posse means; Lydia, Brooke and Kamari) made turtles at (Brooke’s) church because they were talking about: PERSEVERANCE (The Tortoise and the Hare Story).

Let me explain. When Bob and I were going out, after all that mess I just wrote about, we went to the beach one night and we saw a sea turtle laying her eggs!

So, ever since we, especially me have a turtle thing- there’s one in my garden and I just got one from my aunt, that’s a beautiful piece of jewelry….Once I squashed a turtle on my street! I felt awful! But later on I realized something (God was speaking to me again) when I get into these “almost” situations- I am “squashing the turtle”! The “turtle” represents Bob and I. PERSEVERE in your marriage! Don’t squash your “turtle” or the “cat”! Never give up! Don’t let your life become like a bad movie! It’s your choice….Don’t cross the road!!!!

I'm so thankful for my FAMILY!!!!!

A good book I read on the subject: The Walk Out Woman: When Your Heart is Empty and Your Dreams Are Lost  by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray

And I continue to blog along the same lines: Seven Steps to Victory But What if I Stumble?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crazy Love- Stupid Lust

Love is patient. I Corinthians 13:4

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. Ephesians 4:19

I just recently finished reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. Perhaps I’ll blog more about that at a later date. I saw a movie a couple weeks ago, same two words, with the word “stupid” appropriately put in the middle. July 31st was Claire’s 15th birthday and we all were going to see “Captain America” with her on the 30th, but Sarah had already seen it- So Bob and Ian, who refused to see what Bob called “The Crazy Stupid movie” ( My boys are SMART), took Lyd to see “Captain America” and Me, Sarah and Claire saw “Crazy Stupid Movie” uh I mean “Love”. In hindsight, I should have said, “Sorry Sarah but we’re going together to see, ‘Captain America’- just come again”

People have really given that word, “love” a bad rap, I mean it stinks? It’s a battlefield? Now it’s crazy and stupid too! Well, I guess Francis Chan agrees with the crazy part and so do I; God must be CRAZY to love all us STUPID people! The Bible says, “God is Love” (I John4:8) I wrote about the dead poet Charles Bukoski who wrote, “Love is a Mad Dog From Hell” which also isn’t true! They really should have called this movie, “Crazy Stupid Lust” That’s what always makes what they call “love” stink. What’s “love” got to do with it anyways? Right? Cal (Played by Steve Carell) is a great father and has only “been” with his wife, he’s so sweet the babysitter has a crush on him! But enter the stupid wife (really, does she have to be a 44 year old redhead whose been married 25 years?) who wants a divorce because she’s slept with someone at work and she’s having a mid-life crisis. Really?! I wish someone in the movies could have their mid-life crisis without the affair and divorce! Believe me, it can be done….but only with God. He gives us the “fruit of the spirit” and one of those fruits is “Self-control”! Then there’s Jacob (played by Ryan Gosling- yeah, OK he’s very cute), the 30 something womanizer who has to come in to “fix” Cal! Hello!? There was nothing wrong with Cal! OK I know, "nobody's perfect" lets just say his faults are less than his wife's- too bad it doesn't stay that way! So, then Jacob “fixes” him by getting him to sleep with various women. It would have been great if he just dressed him up, got him to start working out, even got him going on a date, but, as usual Hollywood goes too far! I’ve always had trouble with the steamy car scene in “Titanic”! Come on! In 1912? I don’t think so, it would have been more romantic (and realistic) with out that and the nude painting-IMHO, why not paint a picture of Kate Winslet’s beautiful face? There was something that I found amusing and made this crazy movie not totally purpose or moral less (it does have a “moral” as in “the moral of the story” but not “morals” as in “standards”): It was how Hannah (Emma Stone) kept calling Jacob, “the hot guy from the bar” and he says “My name is Jacob” - the tables are turned! How does he like being “objectified” like he does to women? So, Jacob realizes by the end of the movie that all along he wanted what Cal had! And Cal also realizes that what Jacob taught him wasn’t that great, after all. This is really tragic! But, as always, Hollywood really downplays all the bad consequences of wrong choices, in fact they call what God calls “evil” “good” and the “good” is “evil”. In the book of Isaiah God pronounces “woe” to people like that. (Isaiah 5:20) Into everything in this movie that could really be called “love” they insert Satan’s counterfeit: lust. I’ve heard it called “Loves Opposite” which is so true!

Into Cal and Emily’s marriage; infidelity, Cal’s 13 year old son, Robbie is “in love” with the babysitter, Jessica- could be a sweet innocent crush, until she opens his bedroom door unannounced. The babysitter’s “in love” with Cal- at least they tastefully have Cal oblivious to it (even if he was aware of it, it’d probably be best to ignore it), but untastefully she takes nude photos of herself intending to give them to him. This is only because she hears what a “ladies man” stupid Jacob’s turned him into! This is why women succumb to being the pornography- they think that’s what they have to do to get a man’s attention, which is very sad. Neither women nor men should just “settle” for Satan’s counterfeit! Hold out for God’s best for you! Why doesn’t Jessica realize that if he responds to her pornography, that it’s not love and he’ll no longer even be the one she loved. She tells Emily that their kids are the only ones she baby-sits who “want to stay up to see their Dad when he gets home” If he has an affair with the babysitter they’re not going to want to see him at all! Why can’t Jessica just think, “Someday, I want to marry a nice handsome man like Cal”? But, no, Jacob has to step in and ruin him! At least Cal realizes he “messed up” before the movie ends and says to Emily, “I should have fought for you.” But there are no signs of Emily (played by Julianne Moore) ever repenting at all.

Plugged In  says,

“(Cal) realizes his fault in the crumbling marriage and sees that he should have fought like everything for their relationship. He's loved Emily every minute of every day since they were 15, even when he's "hated" her. And through his overly familiar inattention, we see the importance of nurturing a relationship at all stages, with both small gestures and large displays of affection.”

Jessica, the babysitter, does by the end of the movie “give up” on Cal but Robbie doesn’t give up on her and says, “You like my Dad and in a few years I’ll look like him….I’ll wait.” Awwww….wait but….Hollywood HAS TO ruin it: Jessica gives him her nude pictures to “get him through high school” Oh please!!!! Pornography does NOT “get you through” it weakens you! It lures you in deeper and deeper until “having lost all sensitivity, you give yourself over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” (Ephesians 4:19) I met a woman named Melody, a while ago whose husband was like that, he ended up having numerous affairs and giving her a venereal disease! What struck me about Melody was: she was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen! She looked like a super model, seriously! So, if you're one of the many women whose husband is addicted to that stuff- don’t think it’s because you’re inferior to the women he’s looking at!

You may ask, “What should Robbie do? While he waits for Jessica?” Well, hopefully she’ll “give up” her “PlayBoy” aspirations! Robbie should play sports, make music, do art, go out in groups, learn about girls by being “friends” with them- protect them by not telling dirty jokes about them and not looking at pornography. Did you know you’re objectifying women when you do that? Did you know that’s what the infamous rapists/serial killers looked at? Men are supposed to honor women as “the weaker vessel” not just use them for their own pleasure. True love does WAIT. Trust God and He will fulfill the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37)

I’ll end this with an appropriate quote from Joni Eareckson Tada’s devotional, “Diamonds in the Dust”- it’s title is “LOVE”S OPPOSITE”

“Many would agree that hate is the antonym of love, but consider this: Lust is love’s opposite….Love can always wait to give, but lust can hardly wait to get. Love is never self–seeking, but lust always places it’s selfish desires first. Love is patient and kind, but lust burns with impatience. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. On the other hand, lust twists the truth and delights in whitewashing evil to make it look acceptable…In fact, if your looking for a definition of lust, flip to I Corinthians 13 and replace the words “lust is not” for “love is”….Is there someone whose time, attention, and affection you crave? Perhaps it’s not a person that you grasp for, but position or power. Desire for someone or something (like a substance?) becomes inordinate when it becomes consuming. So ask yourself this honest question, “How much time in a day do I spend thinking about this person? Or this thing? Or this position?” Also, “Where or to whom do my thoughts drift when my mind is relaxed?”….If an extraordinary amount of time is spent seeking this person or thing in your thoughts, then take the advice of Colossians 3:5, ‘Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature….impurity, lust, evil desires.’…Lord, I purpose to set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. Reveal those things in my life after which I lust, and then help me to mortify them in my flesh. May my life reflect love, pure and truthful”

Oh, so what's the "Moral of the story"? Lust stinks! True love is patient and never gives up! Just like it says in the Bible!

Oh hey here's some good reading on the subject:
Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris
(This used to be called "Not Even a Hint")
Every Man's Battle by Steven Arterburn (They also have "Every Young Man's Battle")
Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge (They also have "Every Young Woman's Battle")
For teens: I Kissed Dating Goodbye- by Joshua Harris
Blazing Grace is an excellent website!

The story always goes on. For more on this topic (SEX) we all love to hear about:
Sexual Healing  One Thing: Why I Hate/Love Men Who Holds Your Heart?

Friday, August 5, 2011


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….Hebrews 12:1-2

Summer break’s over…..:-(

I took a break in July and considered stopping this (Blogging that is). I’ve done it for a year now and I want to work on my book or perhaps I should say books? I have written a lot, I am a prolific writer! I have a ton of stuff in my journals, on my computer and out in cyberspace, it’s about time I lay aside my fear of failure and try to find a publisher. Did I hear God say I was going to be a writer or not? 

However, one reason I thought about discontinuing the blog was realizing I have often had the wrong motivation for my writing/blogging, even facebooking. Am I trying to draw attention to me? No, He must increase I must decrease. I should draw attention to Jesus-not me. I’ve even considered taking the whole blog down---- sacrificing it to show God I am serious. But He doesn’t require this of me. He requires obedience not sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22) He wants to cleanse my motives, not “give up” what He has called me to do! And it does not matter what anyone else thinks- even my family- God has called me to write; About Him, how awesome He is, How much He loves us all, How He’s working in my life and my family, How much joy, peace and hope He gives us! Oh wow, I could write and write and write………

I woke up this morning tired and discouraged, I wasn’t even going to go to the park and jog today (I thought the same thing yesterday- but went anyways), but I dressed to work out, took Lyd to school and went to the park, I started thinking of scriptures, like Philippians 4:13, and my favorite one to go over in my head while running is 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, also Hebrews 12:1-2 (which is above), I also prayed for a bunch of people as I jogged…and you know what I jogged the whole way around twice! Which is 1.4 miles :- )

I started jogging back in April. A number of different things inspired me to do this. 1) I was in a panic; not only was I still struggling with those last 10 lbs- I wasn’t even able to lose them the previous summer (2010) Since 2008, when I lost 30lbs- I’d gained back 10lbs. over the holidays/winter and lost it again in the summer of 2009. Now, I thought, “I better not gain 10lbs this winter!” Well, I did, that meant just 10 more to gain and I’d almost be back where I started from! All totaled I had lost 40 lbs. since giving birth to Lydia in 2001- it just took me 7 yrs to lose the first 10lbs! It took my doctor getting on my case at Christmas-time 2007 for me to lose the 30lbs in 2008! He also told me how to do it- Low carb (he actually told me to just eat vegetables and meat, but I also ate fruit) The #2 reason I started “trying” to jog; I was reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book “Made to Crave” in it she describes how she got back into jogging by walking/jogging she called it “walogging”. I’ve been hearing Lysa for awhile on K-Love doing a short parenting piece for her ministry, “Proverbs 31” but somehow I ‘clicked” with her more in print- And Claire “acts” as if she also despises Lysa (as she does me), “Turn it off! I can’t stand the sound of that ladies voice!” lol So much “deep” thoughts on why we overeat (incompleteness? Fulfilling the longing for a father? Hmmmm sounds familiar?) Why should we pursue this? Just to get into those skinny jeans? No, to get closer to God! She’s a “Jesus Girl” just like me, striving, pressing on towards His higher calling. You know I highly recommend her book, I might even read some more of her stuff when I’m done with Kathy’s “Crazy Love” book! She says you don't have to use her eating plan- but it is the same as mine! (low carb) And oh the #3 reason I started running in April is because I was hypo-manic -I have already wrote about this: Oh The Irony!
I had extra energy so I wanted to “burn it off” in a constructive way!

Back in March something made me think about “running” also but it was the negative side of it (i.e. running away from God). I may write more about this at a later date. In March I was still struggling to forgive my Dad, long story, some of which I’ve already shared. Matt, our associate Pastor (actually the pastor at our Southside Kathleen campus) preached a sermon on Jonah, it’s title was; “Everybody Runs”. It made me realize that I wasn’t really forgiving my Dad, if I wouldn’t go see him. I had planned on going on a cruise (getting on the boat to Tarshish) with Bob for our 25th wedding anniversary instead! We will still do this, just not this year! So that’s when I decided we needed to go to California to visit my Dad, my new step mom and other family. We did this last month and it was fun!

I found a couple quotes about “running” in my “Letting God” devotional book by A. Philip Parham about “Running from God” Parham says, “Yet to run from God is futile. There is nowhere to run. We’ve tried that escape route before, but it doesn’t work, because He still knows. We might as well give up- we’re caught. Then what happens? If God knows, what then? Punishment? Prison? Put-down? Never! God wants us to be free! He wants us to be well! He loves us! We may want to run, but we don’t need to. It’s unnecessary….” (May 24th)

Here is some info I found online: The Benefits of Running

"According to Running USA’s State of the Sport 2010 report, an estimated 43 million total runners nationwide enjoyed the sport in 2009. That’s up 6.7 percent from 2008. Actually in the last nine years, total running/jogging participation is up 40 percent, running/walking on the treadmill is up 38 percent, walking for fitness is up 21 percent, and trail running is up 16 percent."

"It may seem surprising to learn all of the different ways that running can improve your health, but the truth of the matter is that these are only a few of the many benefits that it can offer to your body. Running really is incredibly beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, and you will find that even short runs can leave you feeling more energized, more focused, and better able to enjoy all that life has to offer."

I say these verses in my head when I run and it pushes me on:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Sometimes we’re running along and stumble and I find that I can often get in an paralysis analysis, “What happened?” or in condemnation, “Really, Susan, how could you? You know better!” God says, “Get up! Press on! Keep going!” “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” Proverbs 24:16 In another devotional I like, “God Calling” I found this: “You must not feel the burden of your failure. Go on in faith, the clouds will clear, and the way will lighten - the path becomes less stony with every step you take. So run that you may obtain. A rigid doing of the simple duties, and success will crown your efforts.” (June 27th )

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory. Psalm 149:4 (Amplified)

Someone shared a quote by this French guy, so I looked him up and found I really liked many of his quotes. Here’s one that mentions things I think we all need to learn! : “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.” Anatole France

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

“A wise person maintained that we can only do four things with our life; (1) Run away from it, (2) Run along with it, (3) take hold of it, or (4) Surrender to it……Finally, with the grace of God, we stop running away, stop running along, and stop trying to run everything, and just stop and surrender to our Lord and to our program. Then we let Christ, our Higher Power, run us. To be run by Christ is to run with power and purpose because He impels us and propels us with His love.” Philip Parham, “Letting God” (June 24th)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Your Heart torn to Pieces or Peace in Your Heart?

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14

I’ve recently discovered my word for 2011! At the beginning of the year on K-Love they spoke about picking a word- in place of a “resolution”; to be your “focus” for the year- for awhile I struggled with it but I couldn’t decide what word God wanted me to use- so I said “maybe God doesn’t want me to choose one word” and I left it at that…until I realized God had picked a word for me…..PEACE

“Now think for a moment about the meaning of this word “peace”. Does it seem strange that angels should have announced Peace, when ceaselessly the world has been stricken with War and the fear of War? Does it seem to you the angelic voices were mistaken, and that the promise was a disappointment and a cheat?” T.S. Eliot Murder in the Cathedral from the quote at the beginning of the book I’m reading now, (“Seeking Peace” by Johann Christoph Arnold)

In my post about Heaven, "The Never Ending Story" (January 28, 2011) I said that this “Peace on earth” (Luke 2) Christ came to give is not the absence of war (at least right now), it’s a peace with God which passes understanding. (Phil. 4:7) It’s Christ who died on the cross so we can go to heaven and experience a life without pain and suffering, war and death!
Jesus said in Matthew 10:34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
And in John 16:33, He says,
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

How Ironic; In the midst of a “war” within my soul came the last day of school and the party- I had asked Lyd’s teacher (during it), if I could say the “One Minute Sermon” for them (they had heard it before) and she said, “No” (Could offend the parents present) I simply said, “OK” (in the past this would have “set me off”) I still was able to say it for a few of the kids after the parents were gone.

Then getting ready to leave with my posse (Lydia, Brooke & Kamari) and Brooke has to say “bye” to Ms. Randall, meanwhile Kamari is back at Ms. William's (Lyd and Kamari’s teacher) class and has started wiping down the chalkboards----And I’m fighting a losing “diet” battle and eating Brooke’s delicious lemon bars (Mom used to make these!) wondering “How long are we staying here? I have to pick up Claire @ 4:00 pm” Then we all start cleaning, moving desks etc. I ended up back in Ms. Williams class “Isn’t Kamari done yet?” I was thinking, well, no, so Ms. Williams starts talking about me coming to read and play my flute, which I’ve been doing throughout the year (usually every other week) and I can’t believe my ears, wait I’m annoyed with her, right? No way! She says, “You can tell when someone’s ‘anointed’ (This is a word Joyce Meyer uses frequently and it means you are walking in the power of God’s Holy Spirit!) You had this peace on you when you came in the room…” And she also said I was a "blessing" - What!? This was the best compliment I could ever receive! Better than the one I received the month before…way better! So I beamed “Thank-you…that means a lot to me!” I was so glad I didn’t do what I wanted to do; I was thinking, “Come on, girls! Schools out for summer, lets ditch this place!” So, I started telling Ms. Williams how often that word (PEACE) has been coming up lately; First, Lydia and her best friend, Brooke were obsessed with Peace signs! They had them on shirts, purses, Jewelry, book-bags and this has gone on for over a year now.
On my Joyce Meyer CDs, that were not specifically about, “peace”, she kept talking about how she’s so much more peaceful than she used to be. I have a similar personality to Joyce’s- that’s why I can relate to her so. She was, as I was very “tempest tossed” like a verse I heard from Isaiah.

I decided to memorize Psalm 34 a while ago, one verse says, “Seek peace and pursue it” The “Made to Crave” blog by Lysa Terkeurst I was reading had a post about, “choosing peace” instead of overindulgence (i.e. guilt and shame), I thought, “Wow, I never thought of it like that” The verse she used; Psalm 34:14!

Then the verse was on my Mother’s Day gift!

Bob found this for me at Good Will for Mother's Day! Well, that means he didn't go looking for a candle thing with my verse on it. (Bob DID NOT even know I was “stuck” or “focused” on this verse! But he knew I LOVE candles) He just found this! Cool, huh? I think so! Funny thing though it says, "Proverbs 34:14" it's "Psalms" not "Proverbs" perhaps that's why it was at Good Will? idk and I don't care! I Love it!

This (peace sign) was out with some "Spring" stuff at Dollar General where Lydia, Brooke and I would go every Wed to get snacks for Scrap-booking- it was the last one! All three of us wanted it- but I saw it first! :-)

“There are two mighty forces at work in each of us, evil and good, and in the battle between them we are judged and forgiven over and over. It is in this-in the ongoing fight- that we experience true peace.” Glenn Swinger from, “Seeking Peace” by Johann Christoph Arnold. Arnold continues; “Glenn’s observation is crucial to understanding the paradox above, “I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” for it touches on it’s deepest meaning. Christ’s sword is His truth, and we must allow it to cut us deeply and repeatedly when sin crops up in our lives. To harden ourselves or protect ourselves from it is to close ourselves to God’s mercy and love.”

The word, “Peace” is almost in every book in the Bible!
Here are some verses I found recently and some of my old favorites. You can find some yourself, if you go to and type, “peace” in the key word search…

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14

The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I give peace and prosperity, says the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2:9

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…. Hebrews 12:14

Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John14:27

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:11-13

The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. Numbers 6:23-26


Friday, May 27, 2011

The Warrior Princess (Part 2 He Loves You Snow Much….More)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12

Well, trying to finish this before we dive into Summer….End of school party today, soccer banquet tonight and Tomorrow night Sarah comes home!!! But she’ll only be around for a day, because on Monday Sarah and Teddy go to CA to see our (my) family. But they’ll be back just in time for Teddy’s classes to start and his 21st birthday! (June 9th). In July the rest of us will be going to CA.

“The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus is an awesome book, I read back in February, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since. So here goes…..I love this book from the beginning where he dedicates it to his daughter, Mariah, the warrior princess, until the end where Erwin says, “He (Jesus) leads us as warriors of light to risk our lives for the deliverance of others. Again our own weapons are love, hope and faith, and they are our only defense. Yet we above all know that they and only they liberate us and fulfill the deepest longings of our souls.”

Back in January (the 15th) I wrote a blog post entitled, He Loves You Snow Much...More

In this post I told about how I felt God was saying He loved me through it snowing on February 14th, 2010 when I was going through a lot of bad stuff with my Dad. Right after telling someone that (on a Friday) we had a beautiful ice storm the next Monday!

I know people think this stupid and ridiculous of me- but who cares what they think! I know God loves me! As if that wasn’t enough something else happened to confirm it. On Friday January 28th (Lydia's 10th birthday!) I was watching Joyce Meyer (It was probably a recorded program since I record them) and Erwin McManus was on her show and he told a story about a girl he knew in college who lead worship at a Christian fellowship he went to. He said one day she told him about her past life of drugs and living with her boyfriend and then said she didn’t feel God anymore and concluded that He didn’t love her and her boyfriend was coming to pick her up because she was returning to her old life.

When she accused God of not loving her Erwin, a very new Christian became upset and said that if there was anything God could do for her to show her He loved her then He would do it. “For some bizarre reason she immediately responded by saying, ‘Well, then I want it to snow’” It never occurred to Erwin that she would say something like this but he did answer her by saying, “God is going to make it snow for you.” Then Erwin panicked afraid he could be wrong, but he “got down on his face before God” This is a good place to be- I’ve been there a lot lately. Joyce Meyer says we should always seek God like we’re desperate! Where did he live? I’m assuming Southern California because it’s where he lives now, but he doesn’t say. Wherever he was, it wasn’t somewhere it snowed very often. The girl, whose name is Beth, went around campus saying God was going to make it snow because He loved her. Erwin, after praying fervently, went to sleep. He awoke to his roommate walking in saying, “Have you looked outside?” “I remember taking a deep breath just before I pulled open the shades. I don’t know what I was expecting to see, but I saw snow everywhere. Evidently it had started snowing almost immediately after I began my soulful conversation with God.” This story is in Chapter 3 of “The Barbarian Way” under the heading, “Mystical and Miraculous”. Erwin says, “Later I would go to seminary and learn that God doesn’t speak like this anymore.” But he says it was too late for him, he had already experienced God in the mystical and miraculous. Those who brought him to faith didn’t take the time to civilize him. They didn’t try to make him like them. “They brought me into the presence of the living God and knew that His presence would both consume me and transform me.”

Perhaps my Father-in-law thought my “Love” story was sorta soft, (I know my sis didn’t like it). One thing my Father-in-law said was, “All we have to do is read about (how) the apostles were used by God and what it has done for people, even though they were tortured and killed.” So, this about being a “Barbarian for Christ” can balance out the other story and funny (ironic perhaps?) that it has a story in it about God showing a girl He loves her with snow! Also ironic is the “flack” I received from a frienemy who I didn’t know was reading my facebook. “Frienemy” is a word I heard that I liked- a combo of “Friend” and “Enemy”- she is a friend who has turned into an enemy. She left some unkind comments on my post about love! Of all the things I write, you would think that the least controversial? God loves you- you have a problem with that? Then I foolishly left those comments up-to show everyone how ridiculous this person is and my sister “likes” them all! OK OK these are people I’ve prayed God would show His love to! So, I can be angry and blow them off now, right? No, I have to forgive them and keep praying for them.

I want to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only…I want my faith to be something I live everyday. Jesus said to follow Him and He doesn’t lead us to what’s comfortable and easy. But it’s what’s better in the end. (In a note from Sarah)

Erwin talks much of John the Baptist who was beheaded as Jesus was going around preaching the gospel. I think people sometimes don’t really see things in the Bible (I know I’m like that), you read it, but it doesn’t really “sink” in. Like I remember when I realized Jesus washed Judas’ feet! Wow, that was BIG- think about it- He knew he was going to betray Him and He washed his feet! So John sends word to Jesus, “Are you the One or do we seek another?” (Matthew 11) Jesus sends someone back to tell John what’s going on, but John still gets beheaded, what gives, Jesus? Erwin explains, “…His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness.”

May 5, 2011 Status: Dear Lord, please help me! I see my need to “get radical”, cut off my hand, pluck out my eyes if they cause me to sin! Help me REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR WORD, take every thought captive, walk in the Spirit and NOT fulfill the lust of the flesh. I’m a “warrior princess” and if I’m not going to be serious about You, I’m going to fail and Lord I do not want that!

This subject brings to mind an old Jill Phillips song called “Live by the Sword”
You stripped me down to basics
You left my heart exposed
There is no pride in times like this
No one said it was easy
No one said it was fair
But nobody’s happy when it is
Lord, I need your loving arms to carry me
When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see
I know you know what I desire to do
So help me follow even when it’s not easy to
If I want to be real in this world
Then I have to realize
If I am going to live by the sword
I'm gonna have to die by the sword

“The original call of Jesus was so simple, so clean, so clear: ‘Follow Me’ He wants us to surrender our lives to Him and follow Him into the unknown. And if it means a life of suffering, hardship, and disappointment, it will be worth it because following Jesus Christ is more powerful and more fulfilling than living with everything in the world minus Him. Have we forgotten this? Have we become so refined and so civilized that the benefits of our faith have become more precious and more valuable to us than the Benefactor of our faith?” Erwin McManus

This is a poem I wrote back in September (2010):
The Way
“Do not be surprised” I heard my Savior say,
“Yes there are thorns, but this is the Way
You are not above your Master,
The Way is rough and not faster,
They hated Me
They’ll hate you too
Press on, know what you’re called to do,
Abide in Me, I’ll not steer you wrong,
Although the way is steep, the road is long,
Always stay pliable and sure to bend,
You cannot compare now with then,
Your time is short and soon will end,
Then you will be with Me in glory,
A wondrous end to your beautiful story,
Walk along with Me,
And remember, the best is yet to be!”

Don't run! Stand and fight!

2015: For this and more of my poems get my new- 1st book!  The Seven Story Tree