For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lent Day 16--Love in the Heart and on the Brain pt 3

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Foggy breath on the window and write love clear through.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Legos on carpet, love connecting pieces of lives and heart.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Paper colored with markers hanging over the sink, love in the suds.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Love to the rhythm of a rocking chair, baby on chest, or chest filled with heart aching...
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Speak it, write it, type 100 times and know...
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lent Day 15--Kindly Tell Me What You Mean

Love is patient.
Love is kind.


What does that mean?

Does anyone even use that word anymore?

I looked it up in the dictionary. That didn't help, so I looked it up in the thesaurus.

antonyms: affectionate, compassionate, considerate, friendly, gentle, gracious, kindhearted, kindly, loving, mild, sympathetic, tenderhearted, thoughtful, tolerant, understanding
synonyms: bitter, cruel, mean

"Jerri, love yourself more."

Be affectionate to yourself. Not so much.
Be compassionate to yourself. Mmm...I understand compassion. Keeper.
Be considerate to yourself. Did this yesterday.
Be friends to yourself. Huh. If I want to convey value to my friend, how do I do that? Keeper.
Be gentle with yourself. This brings up strong pictures and emotion. Keeper.
Be gracious to yourself. Nothing coming to mind.
Be kindhearted to yourself. I'm thinking of kindhearted people I know. This has some possibility. Keeper.
Be...kindly. No.
...loving. No.
...mild. No.
...sympathetic...Going to think on this.
...tenderhearted...not really.
...thoughtful. I know how to be thoughtful. This could be a big stretch. I like it. This could be the mind-altering one. Definitely keeper.
...tolerant. Are you kidding?
...understanding. I would too easily write this off as excuse. No. I need something far more

Compassion--Know you need some down time, and let it be okay. Know sometimes life is weighty, and a glass of chocolate milk is not. Go get a glass, sit down, and enjoy it. And don't let anyone or anything invade that time.

Let yourself hurt and know it is okay. Some things in life just hurt. Give yourself time to hurt. The house will hold till tomorrow. Give yourself time to grieve, and if need be, rearrange the schedule. Those who love you will have compassion, too. Who knows? Maybe they'll bring the chocolate milk. Some of them will even bring cookies.

Friends--You take time for your friends to let them vent, relax, or be just them. Give yourself the gift of time. You leave laundry to fold for them. You can leave it to fold for you. Jer, be your own best friend.

Gentle--I think of a mom with a small child who needs some extra TLC, a bit more time, a softer voice, a gentler touch, a bit more reassurance.

Be gentle with yourself. You are your first line of encouragement. I give you permission to be a great cheerleader and mentor.

Kindhearted--The person who handed me a kleenex when I needed one, the squeeze of the hand because no words were to be found, letting me with my big pregnant belly go first to the restroom.

"Doesn't take much to be kind,
just the realizing that sometimes that person needs to be first."

The words rock me, but some foundations are supposed to crumble.

Some would call it blasphemy, but the Voice asks close to my ear and deep in my soul...

"How can one know the powerful impact of being first if one is never first when she really needs to be?"

And I stop.

That says it all.

Love is patient--considerate, understanding, forgiving.
Love is kind--love puts a person first when she/he needs to be.

God loves you like that. It's okay for you to love you like that, too. :-)

Lent Day 14--Love in the Heart and on the Brain Pt 2

Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Write down.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Speak it out.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Etch it on the dust on your coffee table.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Make a pie crust and write it in the flour.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Dribble it on the frosting of a cake.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Whatever it takes. Just get it into your head so your heart can follow...

Love is patient.
Love is kind.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lent Day 13--Love is Patient

"Jerri, love is patient. You need to love yourself more."


No clue what that really even means.

I pull out the dictionary.

bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.
I think of the pastor's words: "People cannot forgive themselves because they are under the old covenant."
And I know he is wrong. People cannot forgive themselves because of the pain. Pain inflicted on the ones we love, on someone else, on ourselves.
My love evaporates in the presence of the pain...pain of failure, pain of shame, pain of consequence.
How am I to be patient when I am so good at inflicting pain?
Look at its synonyms.
It's hard to look at synonyms when all I see are the reasons to not be patient, but I breathe deep, ignore the wave of voices and shame and read...
considerate, forgiving, gentlemerciful, mild, thoughtful, willing to endure, calm, enduring, even-tempered, forbearing, persistent, understanding, untiring


How does one forgive the pain?

Understanding. Considerate.

I am trying to understand when Love speaks loud.

Love understands. Few people are malicious. Most simply don't know a better way, don't know their priceless value, don't know they have a right to be more than what they've always been.

Love considers the humanness of people, the fact they were created with a breaking point, and if things get bad enough, the imperfect will show through, but love understands that is necessary for people to see the perfection of my love.

Love forgives because it knows the people are imperfect, and when they are hurting, they hurt others, and everyone does it, and everyone wants to be released from the forever consequences of their moment of failure. Love looks at the possibilities, not the past.

Jerri, understand that you are not malicious, that you are learning your value, that you are learning better ways, that you are learning you don't have to be what you've always been.

Consider that you are human, and when you are imperfect, it makes you run to Me seeking my perfection to cover you, and I will never shame you for needing me.

Forgive yourself. Embrace the possibilities and quit flogging yourself with the past.

Love is patient, Jer. Be patient with yourself.

Love is patient. It understands, considers, and forgives.
Be patient with yourself.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lent Day 12--Love In the Heart and On the Brain Pt1

For Lent, the Lord has asked me to give up all things I feel like I have to do for Him to love me...and simply accept and rejoice in the love He has for me.

"Jerri, I want you to enjoy how much I love you."

Wow. Okay...It has been a lot harder than I thought, but it has also been amazing!

Last week, I was really struggling, and He said, "Jerri, love is patient. You need to be more patient with yourself."

In that sweet voice of His, close to my ear He whispered,
"Jerri, you need to love yourself more."

I know that rocks some of your boats. Before this is done, your boat may just capsize and sink. A bit unnerving, but not always a bad thing. All I ask is that you stay with me. I promise neither God nor I will let you drown. Remember, He's the one who walks on water, and who knows but learning to walk on water is learning to love yourself? When one hears the howling winds of voices hateful and shaming, it can be easier to drown than to rise and walk.

But Jesus is where the love is, and if that means getting out of our boats, I'm all for facing the waves.

Won't you come with?

And my invitation to walk in the place of the crazy deep worded wild,
"What I would really love is for you to love yourself."

Why? You are God of the universe. You don't need my approval.

"A great artist doesn't create because He has to.
He creates because He enjoys it,
...because He wants to impart beauty
...because He needs a place to put His heart...
It brings Me joy when you enjoy being the masterpiece...
when you enjoy My heart."

Really? That is all You ask? For me to love me?

And I look in the face of the Creator of the Universe and Lover of my soul who is asking me to take His hand and walk right into His heart, who is desiring to hide nothing, and I am lost and undone and...

And I know it is not just a feeling He is offering, and it's not just a feeling I want. I want to commit my heart to love and commit love to my heart, and I am not even sure what I'm asking for, except I want it seared in deep so I am marked for life.

But how does one do this? I don't know.

I don't know how to love me. I need you to teach me.

A smile that I feel to the core of my being. "Then let's start at the beginning. All you need to know today is this:

Love is patient."

Love is patient.

Still not sure if this water walking is for you? It's okay. All you need to know today is this...

Love is patient.

Speak it to yourself. Love is patient.

Write it on the mirror in your bathroom. Love is patient.

Marker tattoo it on your arm. Love is patient.

Index card it on your fridge. Love is patient.

Poste it on the bedroom wall in front of the side of your bed where you sit when your voice has gotten too loud and your heart too broken and your humanness too real. Love is patient.

And when your feet of clay become cement and water starts to rise and the voices of failures past want to scream loud and yours wants to agree with every hateful word they say...take the stopping breath that settles into silence...inhale the life...and speak forth the love...

Love is patient.

Give yourself some love.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lent Day 10--When Perfect Love Calls Faith Enough

There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
-- 1 John 4:18 --
This is love for God: to obey his commands.
And his commands are not burdensome,
for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world,
 even our faith.
-- 1 John 5:3-4 --

It's been the kind of day when I want to close the Facebook accounts, kiss social media goodbye, and close the curtains on the blogging fishbowl.

In fact, I had a blog in mind to write. Already had it written in my mind, actually.

I've had enough...of not being enough. Two bills missed during the intake of 11 different perscriptions and not enough intake of air. A computer break I can't fix. A garage door come off its tracks, and the irony slams me hard and teary. Still, in my delusion I thought I was doing okay. The bills were covered. The computer...who knows? The garage door functional even with the bumps and creaks, and the irony makes me chuckle. Not perfect, but not failing...

...or so I thought...

...Until the nice folks explained just how off track I am, how deficit my abilities, and how unuseful I am in my broken state. I really had no idea how totally not enough I am until these deeply concerned Christian folks told me.

And their voices are loud when there is no one at the dinner table to tell me otherwise, and a passing "love you" gets lost in the week of daily emails, calls, and texts letting me know these kind souls are praying for me because after all, they know I have a lot of healing to do and God will someday use it for His glory. They look forward to when that day comes.

I shake my head and sit in my floor and search the quiet. After fighting a virus that steals voice and air and energy for nearly seven weeks, do I have the energy...or fight people who steal Voice and Air and energy now?

Is it worth the battle when people can't see God in me because they can't see who I am in God?
If I make no difference with what I say what difference does it make if I say nothing?
And if all they see is the way I am not what they think I should be, how will they ever see what God says I am?

And I am battle-weary, and what is the point in fighting a battle I can't win anyway?

"Fine. The Christians win, God."

And I am done.

And the resignation letter rolls through my head.

Then I log onto my computer, and these random verses that sound like a not-so-random Voice blink at me, and I stop.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

And I sink deep on my floor, and my head rests on the wall. My eyes close, and the tears slip anyway.

My voice is lost, but my heart cries loud, "My greatest fear is missing you, and I if this is of you but they are missing you in it..."

They missed me in Christ.

My heart whispers quiet, "But He is Christ, and I am just--"


Yours...your servant...

They saw imperfection in how He lived. I saw perfection in how He loved.

To love God is to obey...and to obey isn't burden, it is blessing, so why do I feel so burdened?

And what do I do with days when I don't feel like I am overcoming the world but feel the world is coming down on me?

And the Voice whispers tender because really, I am ready to give way beneath it all, and I hear Him, "And your victory that overcomes...that keeps you out from under...that digs you out and holds you your faith. Jerri, do you have faith in who I say you are? Do you have faith in what I call you to be? Do you have faith that my Voice is the only voice, and if I say you are enough, all other voices are noise? Jerri, it is your faith. I am your faith. I am the One who loves you."

Yes, He is. He always is.

Where others see need, He sees the kneeling.

And kneeling is the accepting of love poured out...right where I am...on who I am..on all I weaknesses where He fights for me...

...The place He asks me to stand for Him in ways that cross others' ideas of "enough" because they don't understand the only way to be enough is to be put on a cross.

And crosses aren't pretty, and they aren't perfect, and they leave the one hanging naked for all to see, and the imperfections of the flesh are held up for eyes who can only see the inability to be like others.

But isn't that my Lent? Seeing the love in the cross?

The love people called faulty and failing, the perfection of obedience deemed a life to imperfect to be useful?

Isn't that the Lent I plead for in my asking for His love full? To look in the mirror and see that love alive in me? How do I see His love full in me unless I can see myself fully in His love?

And isn't it insanity...this love that hangs on a cross...that embraces the imperfections of the human flesh laid bare for all to see to be made perfect in the love of a God who sees perfectly?

My heart laughs joy. He isn't the voices demanding perfection. He is the one offering it.

The most perfect thing I can believe Him. And in the craziness that is the love He drowns me in, that is enough.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Without Words

I am very ill with respiratory issues. Talking exacerbates them horribly.

Prayers for me and my family as they continue to be amazing while I continue to seek medical and spiritual answers are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

JFYI, it is not asthma or allergies. Thank you.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lent Day 5--From My Journal

I keep pondering Psalm 90:14--

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
 that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Satisfy me in the morning...

I keep thinking breakfast. To be satisfied by breakfast, I have to fix it, but that seems to go against giving up the "have to" and things to do. So how does one get satisfied by breakfast?

....One has to be hungry....

One cannot be satisfied until one realizes how hungry one is.

But to be satisfied, one has to take time to enjoy the taste of the meal. It is not simply satiating hunger. It is allowing the meal to be...a gift, like someone made it just for you because they know what you like, and they made this food just for you, just the way you like it. It is thoughtful and personal and...more than a taste. It's a feeling of importance and value.

Lord, each morning, remind me to stop, be still, and enjoy how valuable I am to you so that I am completely filled with your unfailing love. How could I be anything but joyful when I know how important I am to you and how personal your love and provision for me is? If I start every day like that, every day of my life will be filled with you. Every day of my life...

And my "to do" is the self-discipline to be still and let the reality of your love soak into my mind and my heart.

When I think as someone deeply loved, my entire world will change because who I am will change.

Lord, remind be satisfied with being the one you love deeply.

Lent Day 5--Meditation of My Heart

Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Lent Day 4--From My Journal

"Jerri, love is patient.
You need to be more patient with yourself.

And love is kind.
Discipline for a child in rebellion is different than discipline for a child who is trying but doesn't understand yet.

You don't understand, but your heart is in the right place.

Be more kind to yourself.

I love you, Daddy."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent Day 3--From my Journal

Isn't it the most absurd of prayers that slip from my lips as soon as my eyes open.

"Lord, what do I need to do to experience this love of Yours?"

What do I need to do?

Isn't that what I have given up? The doing?

The doing that is never done well enough?

Isn't the doing the killer I'm supposed to be dying to?

I sigh repentence.

Lord, help me be today.

Help me be aware of Your gifts. You promise good gifts to the righteous and unrighteous, and maybe in knowing and rejoicing in Your gifts I will desire the right more and the unrighteous less.

And maybe in Your giving I will learn to give.

Jesus said He can only do or say what He sees and hears you do. Maybe if I see you more and hear Your heart I will be more like you, too.

That would be gift.

And I stop and think--
To be so saturated in Him that I drop Him...
To love Him so much that I love like Him.

To be filled with You...
I don't want to miss this...this love poured out. I don't want to miss one second of who You are, and instead of focusing on You, I am lost in the deathtrap of thinking about what pleases me so I can do what pleases me and experience Your love more. How is that any different than the doing I've done? Isn't this the very doing I am dying to?

It is still acting for You to get an action from you.

Oh, God, is this a dying I will have to do for the rest of my life?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent Day 2--From my Journal

I am quite lost in this ocean of love God has dropped me in, and if it weren't for the three confirmations He gave me, I would be quite sure I was mistaken.

I feel as though I have walked into the wonderland I always dreamed of but people said didn't exist.

Lord, show me how high and wide and deep and long Your love for me is.

Reveal or remove anything in my way of thinking that keeps me from knowing Your love to the fullness You desire for me to know. Show me thought habits that keep me from thinking and believing the depths of vastness of Your love for me.

Show me how to think about myself the way You do because Your thoughts are love-driven. Even Your thoughts of discipline toward me are love-driven.

Show me the thoughts I have about myself that prevent me from seeing myself through Your eyes.

Lord, show me anything in my thoughts or beliefs about You that do not line up with Your love for me.

And, Lord, I already feel it trying to come out and take control. I feel myself making Lent and these prayers and thoughts into a daily plan. The thoughts have already come into my brain that I need to do "this plan" every day. I honestly believe if I enjoy You everyday my heart will respond to You and I will pray because it is my response to You not because I'm trying to illicit a response from You.

Dear God, I want this to be all about being with You and what comes from being with You. Help me. Help me to die to my plans and my patterns. My "to do" patterns are prisons. You don't enjoy me in prison, so I give You the Jerri's "ooo.....this is good" plan. Please give me the "Jerri, I am God" plan.

If it's not of you, I don't want it, and when it comes to You, I want everything.

Lord, thank You that I can confess my flesh habits to You and You never condemn me. Thank You that You are my husband and my best friend and You are wholly on my side. Thank You that You desrie to see me be the best of myself not just for Your glory but because You enjoy my peace of mind and heart.

I love You because You loved me first. I pray my love for You would become deeper as I understand the depth of Your love for me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent Day 1--From my Journal

"Give up everything you feel you have to do for me and dow hat brings you pleasure.
I want to show you that it is not yoru actions that bring me pleasure...but you."

Today, on this first day of Lent, I am pondering this idea that the God of the universe wants me to know He enjoys me. I am pondering the idea that what God really wants is for me to enjoy His joy and pleasure in me.

Ludicrous, isn't it, that the God of the universe wants nothing more from me than to enjoy how much He loves me?

Prayer for today:
Lord, show me anything I do because I feel it earms me favor.

Show me anything I do because some warped theology says You expect me to do some miserable thing because somehow mental or emotional flogging makes me more godly and more pleasing to You.

Show me anything I do that comes from the idea that my being in mental, emotional, or physical pain somehow gives You pleasure.

Reveal my false or twisted ideas of what You are that drive these false ideas of who You expect me to be.

Giving Up--Part 2

I'm not a masochist. I don't believe in setting myself up for failure...because I know just what a failure I am.

Yet, I am entertaining the idea of Lent. In fact, I'm excited about the idea of Lent...and I think I am stupid. But I'm a junky, and I like excitement, so I'm in.

Still, I wonder: how do I start Lent when I already feel like giving up? When, honestly, there are so many things I want to give up? What do I do when I already know what a wretched failure I am and it is the always feeling like a failure that I want to give up?

I have no idea, so I do all I know to do. I start where I want to finish. I start with God.

I slipped into one of our favorite meeting places and find a place on the floor. Not hard to do in my bedroom, and we talk.

"I'm afraid to do this," I confess. "I'm afraid of feeling like a bigger failure. I'm afraid my failure will tell you I don't love you. I'm afraid...of being the me I am every day, the me that tells you how much I love you, and then does something stupid that shows I don't. But, I believe this is what you want. I believe this is of you, and I want to be obedient."

I take a deep breath and say, "This is all about you, so tell me: what do you want me to do? How do I honor you? What do you want to die so you can live in me more?"

I feel Him scoot close, lean against the wall with me, knees pulled up like mine. Then He leans close and whispers in my ear, "I want you to give up everything you feel you have to do for me."

I am silent.

"I want you to give up everything you feel you have to do for me and do what brings you pleasure."

I am confused. This is not Lent. Lent is supposed to be preparing the heart for the gift of sacrifice. Lent is preparing the soul to receive the life. Lent is remembering what a perfect Christ did on a cross for this imperfect Jerri. This is not Lent!

"I want you to give up what you feel you have to do for me because I want you to know my pleasure is not in what you do but in who you are. I do not love your actions. I love you. I want you to give up trying to earn that love. I want you to simply accept it from me. This is what I want. I want you to stop doing things for me and enjoy being loved by me."

"But Lent..."

"Is preparing the heart..."

"For the sacrifice of your Son."

"For the love that put Him there."

I am trying to understand what I am hearing when He whispers ludicrous.

"Jerri, I want you to give up everything that says I don't love you wholly, right now, as you are. I want you to give up everything that keeps you from enjoying how much I enjoy you."

Isn't that Lent? The giving up of anything that keeps me from His everything?

And I undone...and I give up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Giving Up--Part 1

I am not Catholic. I've never celebrated Lent. I never even think about Lent.

Until today.

A few different friends mentioned celebrating Lent, and I felt it. That spirit leap that whispers, "Oooo!! Pick me! I want to celebrate Lent!"

Okay. Hard cold fact. I don't want to celebrate Lent. Lent is miserable. It's about dying to self and self-discipline and self-denial and...I've given up a lot in the last few years, and I don't want to give up anything else. And good grief. What else does God want anyway?

There. I said it. I don't want to give up anything else.

And, yes, I am fully aware that none of it is mine anyway, and I am heart-shudder deep in the knowledge He has every right to ask for everything because that is exactly what He has given to me and for me, and who am I to withhold anything from Someone who gave everything?

And somewhere in this giving and dying and denial and misery that I know is coming...I feel excitement. How does one get excited about being miserable and realizing how little I really have to give anyway or how bad I am at giving it? Because I am bad at giving it.

Frankly, I'm really tired of being all too aware of how everything I'm not and how totally incapable of being anything other than "not" I am. Do I really need to know how much more I'm not? Do I really need to know how truly wretched I am? Am I not aware enough when I look in the mirror or when I have to repent for that statement I made about the lack of intelligence of the driver that annoyed me? Am I not aware enough when I hear my words come from my children's mouths in the same tone they came from mine and I wonder if mine grate on their hearts as much as theirs grates on mine?

Really. Am I not aware enough?

But I feel it. That excitement. And I hear it. That piece of me all giddy tugging on my thoughts saying, "I want to celebrate Lent. I want to give up!"

I stop.

I want to give up.

Yes. I want to give up.

I want to give up trying to be enough.
I want to give up doing my best only to feel like a failure.
I want to give up the self-loathing that comes from knowing how absolutely "not enough" I am.
I want to give up lying in bed at the end of the day and replaying every...single...thing...I...did...wrong.
I want to give up...

I just want to give up.

How do I even start Lent when it hasn't started but I already want to give up?

I start where I want to end...with Him.

Monday, February 11, 2013

What I Have to Give for Valentine's

Last week I mentioned wanting to give a great gift for Valentine's. I even hinted that I had an idea of what that gift would be.

I did a lot of praying and considering because I wanted to make sure it was God's idea and not mine, and it is still on my heart. In fact, I'm probably more excited about it now than I was then. So...

For Valentine's, I want to offer to pray for you, but not just a "lift you up in prayer where I'm sitting" pray for you. I want to take a bit of time, seek God's heart, and write a prayer for you personally.

I do this with friends and sometimes with people the Lord brings into my life, and with very few exceptions, He uses this to really bless people in ways that are so beyond my abilities.

This is how we are going to do this:
If you want me to pray for you, I need you to comment HERE. If you comment on FB, I may not see it because I don't see "share" comments. So, comment here. If you don't have a Google account, don't worry. Also, these comments will not be published. I will use them for the purpose of prayer and contact and then delete them permanently from my computer.

In the comment, give me a name. If you don't want me to have your real name, I'm totally groovy with that. Just give me any name. You can be "OceanOscar" and not like the ocean or be named Oscar for all I care. I just need a way to identify you. God knows who you are, but "Anonymous" is fairly popular and so are Dr. Who references. If you don't want to use your name, please give me a creative alternative so the chance of twins showing up in my inbox is minimal. :-)

If you want it to be sent to you privately, I need a contact email. Again, this is SOLELY for the purpose of this contact. Once I've emailed you, your contact information is removed from my computer permanently. If I do not have a contact email, I will post your prayer on my blog in a post containing all prayers with no personal contact information. I will NOT post anything that will shame or hurt you. I do not air personal laundry for public viewing. First of all, my God doesn't work that way. Second, that is just not acceptable, in my opinion. If I feel the Lord gives me something personal that would be inappropriate for public viewing, I will simply put in my post "Name: Please contact me" or something like that.

If you have something specific you want me to pray for, tell me. If you just want prayer, I'm totally good with that. Usually, that is where these things go anyway.

I will send out emails and post any non-email prayers February 14th, Texas time. I've never done this before, so I have no clue what kind of response to expect. Just in case, let's not push our time limits. The sooner you comment, the more time I have to pray and seek God, so please don't wait till the last minute, and if you find this after Valentine's Day, please don't think you missed it. God says you will find Him when you seek Him. Valentine's Day is a human concept. He loves you all the time. Send me a comment. I'll pray. He'll respond.

So there you go! The best thing I have to give!

I'm already praying it blesses you!

And for those wondering, yes!, absolutely pass this on to folks you know who will be blessed! I am a solid believer in spreading the love and blessing around. Like I said, I don't need to know the person I'm praying for. God already does, and I happen to know He absolutely loves them to the core of who they are, and maybe that is exactly what He wants to tell them....maybe that is exactly what they need to hear.

Share the blog. Spread the love. :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Like It or Not, It's True

I keep hearing people say it is time to stop doing the mamsy-pamsy Christian thing. We need to be blunt and real and call it like it is. I agree. So here is how it is.

Homosexuality is a sin.

How big is the sin of homosexuality?
It's as bad as having an abortion.

 How bad is THAT? It's bad. Really bad. In fact, it is SO bad that....

It is as bad as gossiping.
It is as bad as lying.
It is as bad as critical attitudes and slanderous talk.
It is as bad as being a heterosexual who is having sex outside of marriage.
It is as absolutely awful as judging other people for sins they commit because a person cannot see how to give grace due to the plank in their own eyes.

 Yeah. It's THAT bad.
Thank God His heart to forgive and His grace covers homosexuality and abortion...and that other really bad stuff as well.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Challenge of Valentine's Day--Might Not Be What You Expect

I'm once again thinking about Valentine's.

You know why? Because Valentine's is a painful holiday for me.

I don't like being single. This is not where I had hoped my life would be at this point, BUT this IS my life, and I'm determined to make the best of it...and to give the best of it to others.

Last year my friend Kristi Davis gave me flowers, a gift, and a card on Valentine's Day. I still have no words, but my eyes tear up.

I know others who are not where they had hoped their lives would be either, and this is a hard holiday for them, so I'm honestly trying to focus my thoughts outside what I don't have or what I won't get to what I do have and what I can give.

Obviously, I can't send everyone a card or flowers or candy, and I wouldn't if I could. If I could give anything for Valentine's Day, I would give...what I want.

Something personal.
Something all about me because I like feeling valuable.
Something...that gives me joy.

That is what I would anyone who needs it.

And I have an idea of how I am going to do that, but I have some details to figure out, so you'll have to wait for more information. I can assure you I believe it will bless others, and I am going to seriously enjoy it. :-)

In the meantime, may I suggest you prayerfully consider taking this challenge, too? Whether this is a great holiday or a painful holiday, take the step outside yourself, outside the joy or pain of what you expect to get, and ask what you can give.

Maybe it is one thing for one person. Maybe it is cookies for the neighborhood. Maybe...maybe right now Jesus is cooking up an idea for you beyond anything you can think or imagine. How crazy awesome would that be?!

So how 'bout it? You up for the challenge of Valentine's Day?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Dads, Your Boys Need to Hear YOU Say It

This morning a precious friend of mine shared part of his time with me. His heart was aching with the life hole left from his dad's passing.

He misses the friendship. He misses the talks. He misses the presence, but this morning, he wasn't missing what he lost. He was missing what he never received.

"I wonder if I made him proud.
I wonder if he was proud of me as a son."

I look at my friend, his generous heart, and his service to those in need, and I cannot fathom any man not being proud of such a son. I tell him that, but I know.

It doesn't matter if I tell him. He needed his dad to tell him.

So, dads, I'm telling you...

Your boys need to hear you say you are proud of them.  
Boys need their dad's approval, even grown boys.
Don't know how to tell them how you feel? Find a way.
You're the dad.
That is your job.

And no matter what he says or how old he is, your son needs you to be the dad...the dad who is proud of his son...and  tells him so.