Would you like to go back?

I’ve had times when I longed for times past, hung up on fond memories.  Truth is though…and I’ve learned this well in life…you can’t go back.  You can only go forward.  You can try, but it’ll never be the same, and the only way to get anywhere at all is to go forward, not backward.

I guess what brought this line of thinking on is a funeral I went to this morning with my daughter.  It was for a dear, wonderful man who touched a lot of lives.  We saw people there that we haven’t seen in a very long time.  I met a Facebook friend there who I’d never met in person, too.  Turned out she had also known Ed for a really long time.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how short life can be, though Ed lived a lot of years.  But none of us knows when our time will come.  Sometimes it comes quickly, with no warning.  Sometimes it’s after a long illness when the end of that kind of suffering is quite welcome.  But it’s a point at which we all will reach someday.  Maybe for me it will be tonight, or tomorrow.  Maybe it will be 20 or 30 years from now.  I don’t know any more than most of us know.  But what I do know is that when my time comes and I meet my Lord, I hope He won’t find me dragging my feet, looking longingly at what’s behind me.  I hope instead, I’ll be right there in the moment that’s happening, and moving forward with a smile on my face.

Oh don’t get me wrong.  I will still reminisce from time to time.  I’ll still cherish moments reuniting with old friends and loved ones. I will relish moments when we can move ahead together.  It’s different than what we sometimes have a tendency to do though…when we try to recreate feelings and moments that are gone.  And anyway, it seems to me that we sometimes recall moments much better than what they actually were. :)

In any case, I realized I haven’t been here for about a week.  It’s been a busy week.  Glad to be poking in again, and hope you’re all well.

Love and blessings,


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Saw a movie yesterday that really affected me.


I don’t often do things like movie reviews, but my brother Steve recommended that I watch a movie on Netflix called, “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.”  I watched yesterday, and sobbed most of the way through.  It really brought back a lot of memories from my childhood…some not so pleasant ones.  Now, my mother didn’t look like the Julianne Moore character of the mother in the movie.  She looked tired, and worn, and wore old clothes.  But she worked her rear end off to keep us together, and persevered through the trials…never lost her will to live or her faith in God.  My father was often drunk and abusive to Mom.  He was prone to fits of rage, as the father, Kelly, in the movie.  Kelly is played by Woody Harrelson. And after my father had a stroke in 1979, Mom took care of him for the following 17 years until his death.  I wondered at times how she could do it…and how she could cry when he died, instead of just rejoicing.  Is that awful?  I don’t mean to be.  I just mean it to be honest about how I felt for a long time.  I have forgiven my father.

Regarding the story, and the pain I experienced in watching, I examined that.  I wonder sometimes if it’s a good thing to spend time remembering the painful things of the past.  But I think that yes, it can be.  But the movie is not just about depicting those painful things.  It’s about a woman who persevered and held a family together while the father seemed hell bent on tearing it apart.  It’s about forgiveness and even about restitution….can’t think of the real word I’m looking for there.  Restitution will have to suffice at the moment.

It’s also got a lot of humor in it, so it’s not all just doom and gloom.  But it’ll likely make you feel angry at times.  One scene with a priest really made me seethe, because I remembered an incident where Mom and I were sitting with a priest and hearing a cold, unfeeling, very similar response.  I realized after watching the movie that I’ve never forgiven that priest.  And I know that I must.

The movie is based on a true story…a book written by Terry ‘Tuff’ Ryan, one of the daughters.  I looked her up after watching, and she passed away in 2007 of cancer. The real children are shown at the end of the movie.

I watched the trailer, and in my opinion it is lacking to really give an idea of how good I thought the movie was.  There is some very strong language throughout.  The father frequently let loose in his drunken bouts of rage.

So this is my recommendation that you see that.  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments if you see it, or if you’ve already seen it.  Be sure you have tissues handy.

Love and blessings,


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Shekinah: God’s presence – 2 Chronicles 5

Anne Sikes:

Good devotional from Dr. Bob Dellinger’s “Bible in a Year Blog.”

Originally posted on Bible in a Year Blog:


Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 2-5.

What is a temple but a fixed place where God and man meet? By extension, then, it is a place where God dwells or where his glorious presence is found. After the time of the writing of the Old Testament, Jewish religious writers called this glorious presence the shekinah. The word is derived from the Hebrew word meaning dwelling or settling, like a bird settling or dwelling in its nest. Christians have adopted the word and its interpretation as the presence of the glory of the LORD. As Solomon completed the temple in Jerusalem and brought in the ark of the covenant, the glory of the LORD settled into and dwelt within the temple.

The priests then brought the ark of the LORD’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of…

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Do you know Christ?

You may respond, “I was born and raised as a Christian.”  You may say, “I’ve been to church every Sunday, serve as a deacon and on committees, go to Sunday school and Bible study every week, and I know every crack and corner of my church.”  Maybe you’ll tell me, “I attended Bible college.  I’m a Biblical scholar and know the Bible inside out.”  I want to tell you…not one of those things means you know Christ.  James 2:19 says, You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

So is it about some sort of perfection within us?  Heavens no!! Romans 3:22b-25a – For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  

So what is it, then? This: When you give Christ permission to occupy every crack and corner of you…you know Christ.  It is not about going to church.  It’s not even about merely believing with your mind…or even about knowing the Scriptures.  It’s about having invited him to be the Lord of your life so that the Scriptures are alive within you when you read them…the Holy Spirit is present within you.  Being a Christian is not just about some set of beliefs or practices.  It’s more than that, and yet complicated?  No.  So easy. 

Matthew 11:27-30 – “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

If you do not know Christ in that way, I pray with every fiber of my being that you will.  You need only pray and invite him to be Lord of your life.  Confess that you are a sinner and that you believe he died on the cross and rose again for you…to pay the penalty for your sins, and commit your life to him.  Really commit your life to him…not just to go to church every Sunday or to go through some sort of motions, but to let the Holy Spirit into your life to guide and comfort you.  You will not regret it.

I truly believe we are living in the last days.  No, I can’t give you a date and time. Some people say they can…but they’re wrong.  Jesus doesn’t even know.  In Matthew 24:36, Jesus says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” But all throughout the Bible there are things to look for that indicate the time is nearing.  Those things are coming to pass like I’ve never seen before.  And even if it doesn’t happen in your lifetime…when your life is over, you will be faced with the consequences of your decision to follow…or not.  But your choice will mean your eternity. 

Romans 14:11  “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” And Revelation 1:7 – “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

In the meantime, while I wait either for his return or for him to take me home, I can no longer even conceive of spending my days here without him.  I would not go back to life before for anything you could offer me. 

Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

John 3

Ephesians 3:14-21

Love and blessings,


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Grace…and grace

Grace February 10-2015

I’ve been kind of quiet today.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading blogs on here, and it’s been wonderful.  I’ve come across some really good things, from old friends and new ones on here.  If I’ve liked something on yours and haven’t commented, it’s just that today, I’m sort of stuttering on words in my head.  So don’t feel bad.  Believe me, there will probably be times when you’ll wish you could make me be quiet! :)

Grace is home from school today.  That’s a fairly recent pic above of her now-13 year old self. She sure has grown!  Anyway, she just got up about a half hour ago.  I was kind of worried about her, but she seems to be feeling better, and is in the living room now watching television.  I got to think about Grace though…and about ‘grace’.

I could go through a list of a ton of trials I’ve been through in my life…and I have probably done so far too many times.  I could go through a list of things I’d like to have…and again…I’m sure I’ve done that more than I should too.  Philippians 4:12 says, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (ESV)  That’s true in my life.  I still think about things that have happened or that I’m going through.  I still have things that I would like.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.  They’re things I can pray about, and that God cares about.  But I am much more content now.  I can’t say I have that perfected…but the secret of contentment is the knowledge of God’s grace throughout whatever comes…trusting him.

I can look at my granddaughter Grace, in fact, and see God’s grace in the midst of that time that she was born…going on 14 years ago now.  What a horrible period of time that was in our lives.  So much intense pain going on at the time.  Yet, her name was absolutely perfect for my daughter to choose.  She truly was an example of God’s grace that held us together during a time when my first husband, her grandfather, had just suddenly died.  Her mother, my youngest child, almost died after her birth due to complications.  5 days after we buried David was the infamous 9/11.  A lot was going on at that time, needless to say.

I guess my point is that life as a Christian is not easy.  One of the things that bothers me sometimes is when people say things that make it sound like it is.  Jesus said in John 16:33 (paraphrasing a bit) that in the world we’re going to have trouble, but to be of good cheer…he has overcome the world.  I think sometimes new Christians have been fed just the gushy parts that make them think if they come to Christ, all their problems will go away.  It’s just not true.  All you have to do is look around in the news today to see that…Christians being beheaded, having businesses shut down because of death threats and hate…simply because they are trying to faithfully follow Christ.  And in John 15:18-19, Jesus addressed that hatred too: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Still, there is no way I would trade life in Christ for all the love of the world, all the money and possessions…good health…whatever.  I’ve said it before and will say it again and again.  Life in Christ is better, in that regard.  It’s better, because as long as we seek to do what he says and live by the spirit and not the flesh…as long as we look to him and not to the problems…as long as we remember like it says in Romans 8:28 that all things will work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called together for his purpose, we can be at peace. 

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” –Isaiah 26:3

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Love and blessings,

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Never did get a nap

…and I sure am feeling it! I did get my messy kitchen cleaned up.  I got way too hung up on here trying to sort out the troubles with accessing ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ and so forth.  I know that at least in part, it’s a problem with my browser.  In any case, it can wait. It’s a bit frustrating when I come across a good blog and can’t really do anything about it.  But I’m sure it’ll get sorted out eventually, when my brain isn’t so weary, and with my son’s help for some of the computer stuff when he’s able.

May 5th today…Cinco de Mayo.  And it’s Tuesday.  Therefore, it’s going to be Taco Tuesday tonight.  Sounds good to me, anyway. :)

Love and blessings,


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After 3 A.M. and I’m still up

This is not a good idea.  I’m supposed to get up at 5, and as I look at the time on the computer, it’s 3:11 already.  But some days are like that.  Or some nights.  I have been reading some of your blogs, and just having some quiet time.  I know I had some very profound thoughts just a little while ago.  Should’ve made a note of them, because I can’t remember them now.  If’ they’re really all that important as I thought they were at the time, I will recall them at a later time…or God will give them to someone else who will share them in a more timely fashion.  He does that sometimes, you know?  I have had things I felt very led to share, but I put them off.  Then I would see someone else share the same thing.  We are unique.  We are loved.  We are valued by our God.  But we are not indispensable down here.  :)

It’s been nice going through some blogs…some old ones and some new ones.  There have been some that I can’t find, or that no longer seem to exist, or that like I have been over the last couple of years, the author of the blog is absent for some reason.  And there are others I simply have not gotten to yet.  I will.  I’m so glad to be back here.  Problems with the ‘like’ button aside, I sort of feel like I’ve returned home.  After all, I spent a whole lot of time here for awhile.  I got to know some of you pretty well, and then, like a wayward child, I took off and didn’t write home…didn’t call. 

We’re like that with the Lord so often, you know?  We take off on our own paths and get busy…seem to put him kind of on the back burner, or in some corner where we toss him a brief ‘hello’ from time to time, but don’t really sit down in his presence.  We don’t really talk to him…listen to him…read the word and really pray.  I’ve been like that lately, and I’m feeling it.  I vow to make that change and return to regular daily one on one time with God as my #1 priority…as it should be.

Good night, or good morning as the case may be. :)  And as always, with love and blessings,


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