Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mirror Mirror Off the Wall

Bezalel made the bronze washbasin and its bronze stand from bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Exodus 38:8 NLT

It must have been a great sacrifice for these women to give their bronze mirrors to Bezalel. For some, it possibly meant never being able to see their reflection again.

There are days that I feel Jesus is asking me to give my mirror to Him. There seems to be a “Call” from Heaven that is pleading to look at myself less and to fasten my eyes upon my Savior more. It’s not as easy as it seems. Giving my mirror to Jesus means that I can’t always be looking out for “me”.

There are days I fail. I clutch my mirror like a toddler clinging to his favorite blanket and insist on keeping it. On those days I am most miserable.

But there are other days that I take the mirror off my wall and give it to Jesus and a miracle takes place. I see life so much clearer. I begin singing a wonderful timeless hymn:

Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus.
I've lost sight of all beside.
So enchained my Spirit's vision.
Looking at the crucified.

I will begin this new year by taking my mirror off the wall and giving it to my King. Maybe there is someone I can love for Jesus today.

"Mirror, mirror off the wall.
Help me resemble the Fairest of them all!”

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Camel Lot

Today, December 30, 2009, our only son John Drake proposed to Natasha Stamman and she accepted. They took a sleigh ride in a restored antique cutter which was used years ago by another young couple in their courting days. The wedding is scheduled to be in early spring 2010. As I watched the excitement on John and Natasha's face I couldn't help but reflect back on this past two years. So much history has happened to our family during this time, we can hardly catch our breath. On June 12, 2008, John gave his daddy the gift of life when he gave Paul a kidney on Father's Day weekend. Then, one month to the day later, our firstborn Rachel Michelle wed Mr. Wilmer Nolt. You can imagine the emotions we all felt when Paul walked our daughter down the church aisle. Then, on August 9, 2008, our second daughter Rebekah married Mr. Zacariah Fox. Our eyes filled with tears again when Paul walked Beka down that same aisle. Our baby daughter Libby married Mr. Isaac Wendland on June 27, 2009. By this time Paul had three hospitalizations since his transplant. So, once again when he appeared at the back of the church to walk our baby girl down that familiar aisle.... we were swirling with so many emotions. On September 5th, Zach and Beka had their first child... a darling baby boy - Tristan Micaiah. Rachel and Wil are expecting our second grandson in March. If all this good news wasn't enough, now our only son will marry his sweetheart. God is sooooo good!

Life can be difficult, but God has been sooo kind to always allow joys to be on their way to us. The kidney transplant wasn't part of our plan for our lives, but just like Joseph in the Bible who found himself sold to a caravan of Midianites. He probably felt forsaken when he was thrown in that pit by his brothers, but God was directing the caravan. Whether they realized it or not they were being controlled by Divine providence. I hope I can always remember this. God knows where we are and He has perfect timing for our precise provision. Months ago He set the caravan in motion for us.

Get ready..... the caravans are coming......... and we will all be living in our own "Camel Lot." ;-)

Monday, December 28, 2009


My entire life I have been impressed by playmakers. You know who they are in your life. The ones who you can count on when the going gets tough. They say or do something that changes the whole atmosphere in a room. You can be in a volatile situation and these people show up or speak up and can diffuse the situation. They never become part of the problem, but very quickly are part of the solution. They may have a critical eye and can access a situation pretty quick, but they also have a keen sense of discovering solutions to offer to those "sticky" situations. Most playmakers are unsung heroes in our lives. We take them for granted in our early years, but as time goes by you find you cannot live without them. For all the playmakers in my life, I want to say THANK YOU! I hope each of you will take the time to thank the playmakers in your life. They make the journey here much sweeter and help you win at the game of life according to biblical principles.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jiminy Crickett

In 1981, my husband Paul was youth pastor at a church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. We had two beautiful children then and had just moved into a lovely three bedroom apartment, but then we felt the Lord was calling us to move to Floyd, Iowa, to pastor a struggling country church. We sat down and counted the cost. There would be a tremendous cut in salary. The tiny church could only pay $75 a week and the parsonage was nothing to be desired. In the natural, we would never have chosen to move to Floyd, but whenever we prayed, we both sensed a call from Heaven.

During one Wednesday evening service in Arkansas the Holy Spirit began to draw our hearts. I distinctly remember the Lord speaking in the depths of my soul and asking, "Will you go?"

I remember weeping and surrendering to His call. "Here am I, Lord, send me!"

The next day Paul and I sat down and had a heart-to-heart chat. He, too, had felt the same call. We prayed together and surrendered our lives to whatever God wanted. We would let Him choose the vineyard where He wanted us to labor in.

A few months later we were headed to the little village of Floyd, Iowa. Paul accepted the pastorate of the Gospel Lighthouse Church. We arrived on the last Sunday in August 1981. (Our oldest child Rachel was nearly three and our second child was nine months old. Our two youngest daughters hadn't even been born yet.)

The first Sunday morning Paul preached we had an attendance of 16. (Four of which were the Paul Phillips' family.) We were excited when a farmer and his wife responded to the altar call and gave their hearts to the Lord that first Sunday.

Every year the little flock grew, but there were financial challenges. I remember us praying for shoes for our little ones' feet and Jesus was so faithful to provide. We were learning to walk by faith and not by sight.

The Christmas of 1985, our oldest daughter Rachel had just turned seven. She had asked for a Crickett doll for Christmas. I went and priced one and was devastated when I realized there was no way we could buy the expensive doll. I remember crying and wondering if we should move to a bigger church, but when I knelt to pray I knew we were supposed to stay and be faithful in the lean years.

That Christmas there was no Crickett doll, but another dolly under the tree. Rachel seemed thrilled with her new doll, but I knew deep in her heart she really wanted the special Crickett doll.

Fast foward to this Christmas, twenty-four years later, God has been good to us during our 28 years of service. He has blessed the church above and beyond our wildest dreams and we no longer live in the old parsonage. God blessed us with another home. It was in this house, the home the Lord provided for us, where our family gathered tonight to celebrate our Lord's birth.

It was a full circle moment when Rachel opened her Christmas gift tonight. We bought her a Cricut machine. For all of you who scrapbook, you know the amazing designs this machine can make. Letters of beautiful fonts and adorable diecuts for special occasions. Rachel's eyes danced when she opened her gift and saw it was a Cricut machine. My heart skipped a beat, too, when I thought about how faithful the Lord has been to our little family. Rachel finally got her Cricut and after I thanked the Lord for His goodness all I could say was.... Jiminy Crickett!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Book Review

I was so excited to read Stephen Arterburn's new book Regret-Free Living. My husband and I have been in fulltime ministry for 30 years and involved in Christian education for the past 20 years. It's our hope to be proactive and help children and youth learn from mistakes and live a life for Jesus with as few regrets as possible.

I love Stephen Arterburn's writing style. His simplicity and transparency go right to the heart of the matter and he offers hope and freedom from unhealthy choices. Readers' spirits will open up as he shares from his own past mistakes and retraces his steps to finding spiritual and emotional health.

The book begins by enlightening the reader to the signs of an unhealthy relationship. Then he walks the reader through helpful healing steps, which will enable the reader to make peace with their past.

I highly recommend Regret-Free Living by Stephen Arterburn. His practical counsel guarantee to help those who are longing to turn from toxic relationships and begin building healthy relationships.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Memory

One of my Christmas memories can be found at this blog -


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Wife Happy Life

Jim and Cathy Burns have written a book filled with "timeless truths" in their new book "Closer."

This inspirational devotional for couples is overflowing with wisdom and practical advice intended to draw couples closer together. There is something about their "down to earth" simplicity, coupled with the longevity of their own marriage, that resonates pure authenticity on every page.

My favorite chapter "Reactions Speak Louder than Words" will forever stick to my marriage ribs!

Our three daughters were married this past year and you can be sure they will be getting "Closer" for a Christmas gift this year.

If there was a button I could push for TEN STARS I would.

Jim and Cathy, I've never met you, but thank you for this much-needed resource.

Until next time,

Beautiful Mess - The Story of Diamond Rio

Recently my husband heard Diamond Rio minister through testimony and song at a men's retreat in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was deeply moved by their testimony. So when I saw Diamond Rio had a new book Beautiful Mess, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy.

I loved how Beautiful Mess devoted a chapter to each of the six band members. You get a real feel for their unique backgrounds and marvel how the grandson of a coal miner would be singing with the son of a cultured classical pianist.

When lead singer Marty Roe begins to struggle vocally, the band almost fell apart, but they all hunkered down and weathered the storm together. The loyalty they have for one another is sheer inspiration.

It has been said if you find your "mess," you will find your ministry. Diamond Rio found their beautiful mess and out of it has evolved a story of hope and forgiveness.

The book also offers what is known as Nelson Free, where you purchase the actual book and you have access to download the book for free as an audio book and an ebook.

If you enjoy inspirational stories, you will enjoy this book.

Win a Copy of "One Noble Journey'

Hey Y'all,
You can go here to try to win a copy of my children's book One Noble Journey.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Review for One Noble Journey

Here's another review for One Noble Journey.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Princess and the Monkey Blog

There's a great review for One Noble Journey at the following webpage:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Virtual Book Tour

My official Virtual Book Tour has begun. Be sure to check out One Noble Journey's review at

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