Monday, September 14, 2015


I told you the funny story here of how my dad played word games with us as kids to help us stay interested and to learn the scriptures.

One of my least favorites verses growing up was...

"Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap, if you faint not."

The 2 parts I struggled with were...

"In due season"


"If you faint not."

I remember many times when dad would say:

"Be not weary"...  and I knew all the rest by heart. He was reminding me of the truth of the verse with just those 3 words, and I kind of inwardly groaned, knowing the rest of it already.

"In due season" meant then, as it still does today... in God's time. It means to keep moving, one step at a time, even when there is no visible sign that what we are weary of is about to end.

"If you faint not" takes it a step further... keep trusting and going about our daily lives, and God will answer in his time and way... if we don't quit! We will reap if we don't give up. So often it is almost overwhelming NOT to give up hope when we are waiting for God's answers. It's as though we think there might be another choice. 

When the rubber meets the road... we are to stand, and God will meet the need we are so weary of asking him about... if we don't give up hope. I have also found that he has met my needs even when it has been a very weak trust on my part, at best. 

It's a call to remember that God is alive and well, and our instruction is to keep trusting and knowing that his solution is coming... to STAND firm on God's promises which we already know from past experiences, are worthy of our faith.

I have probably been reminded of that verse 100's if not 1000's of times through the years. I only need to say those 3 words... "Be not weary"... and I already am standing straighter and taller in my faith.

Why? Because I know that the solutions are coming, that his promises are true, and that a lifetime of experiences have proven this truth to me, many times over.

So now, many years later, I still may have an inward groan when I am 'weary' of waiting, but I know with certainty that the 'due season' is coming, and that I will not quit!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Eve and I...

I remember reading the story of Adam and Eve so many times as a child, and thinking... I would NOT have eaten that apple!


When I began to read more in the Bible, and understand myself better, I knew that every story and each person, was me... in one way or another. I am a sinner, just like they were.

"There is none that doeth good, no not one", the Bible says. 

We were born with sin natures, and we have each learned by now that there isn't enough will power in the world to change those natures. 

God always knew it, and the provision he made through the death of his son on the cross, changed everything. 

I know it in my own life, you know it in yours. 

I wrote this little poem on an early blog, it still fits...

Eve in the garden, it could have been me, peeking through leaves, the apple I see...

Instructed by God to leave it alone, her mind started playing like a dog with a bone...

What was forbidden became the thing she wanted, the temptation was strong, she would not be daunted...

So she went to the tree, the one tree forbidden, and parted the leaves where the apple was hidden...

It was shiny and big and too good to be true, she called out for Adam, to beckon him too...

together they looked, touched and finally ate, the first picture of the human fate...

But God knew it all, right from the start. He provided a way for the human heart...

No wonder we call it man's good news, still...

the choice is ours, to win or lose... 

When you feel in the need for a good miracle, all you need to do is look into your own heart, and remember who you were before you knew Jesus.

Are we perfect now? Of course not, but have we been been changed? Yes, 1000 times over, and the process continues every day. 

Sinners, but forgiven! ALL God's work, none of mine.

Monday morning musings...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Name your 5 favorites!...

As usual, when I am working on losing weight, my mind is FOCUSED on food.

These days, healthy clean eating is becoming really important. I wish I had paid better attention to a dad who ate healthy his whole life, while the rest of us ate what we wanted to...

Today, for the fun of it, can you name your favorite meals?

Here are mine...

1. Dinner at Emma's in Tromso, Norway, 5 years ago when we went to our niece's wedding in my mother's birthplace. Everything on our dinner menu was so over the top that I can't even remember what all was there, only that I had never had better food in my life. Fish so fresh you knew it came from the water, 2 blocks away, that very morning. Each item was so specially prepared that the whole dinner was a once in a lifetime thing.

2. My mother's roast, potatoes, carrots and onions, every Sunday of my growing up years, which was baked to perfection as we sat in sunday school and church getting spritually fed. As we came in the door, she was already in the gravy making mode, and putting a salad together for our 'sit down' feast.

3. Norwegian pancakes like my mother made. Morning, noon or night, always wonderful. My brother used to come in later and eat them cold. There were never any left overs that he didn't finish!

4. Potatiskorv. A Norwegian sausage made from veal, potatoes and onions, hand ground and put into sausage casings and then boiled. She usually made little potatoes with melted butter and parsley to serve with them. It's a good thing I don't know how to make potatiskorv or I would be in big trouble!

5. Pappadeaux fried shrimp with ceasar salad and on a big splurge day... creme brulee. Every taste is delicious!

I have to add a #6... every bite of Thanksgiving Day meals. :)

So... those are mine, what are some of your favorite meals?

I have some eggs hard boiling, for lunch later, with a fruit smoothie. Balanced, healthy and good, but not even in the ballpark with the 6 listed above!

P.S.... Debbie just reminded me that I forgot to include steak and prime rib, and also anything Tex-Mex. Yikes!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Praying... or worrying?...

How do you know when you are praying... or worrying?

So many times I find that what I am worrying about becomes the prayer that I voice to God. I explain to him how things are, and then ask for his help.

Those worrying thoughts are usually me, analyzing and problem solving.

I found this little note my dad wrote - it was in one of his Bibles. Dad jotted down everything, especially when it was important to him.

"Worrying is not praying.
It is an urgent call to pray!
Worrying centers on the problem,
praying focuses on the solution."

When my heart and my prayers are focused on Jesus, the answers are in his hands, the safest place to be.
When I am worrying... I am trying to 'fix it'. I have done that more times than I have trusted God right at the beginning of a problem. Yes, he does expect us to use the brains he gave us, but the first step should be asking him for the solution, and then trusting him as I go, praying for him to guide the circumstances. I do that, but too often it is after I've worked it all around and hassled in my mind and heart as to what I should do.

Like someone said... 'when all else fails, pray'.

I do find that my thoughts and my prayers are all kind of mixed up together, and I often am praying as I am thinking things through. I am not on my knees, I am running around doing my day. But even those prayers can be worry unless I am trusting God. Praying can sometimes sound like the anxious thoughts that swirl. 

Focusing on the solution means I am focused on trusting God, even before the solution comes.
My mind and heart are stilled when I do that, with or without the answers.

There is always a sense of doing the right thing when I let go of what worries me, and trust that God will handle it. Sometimes the process of getting there is much longer than it  should be.

1 Peter 5:7 says "1 Peter 5:7 says "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." There are so many scriptures that teach this, but the big message for me in this verse is that little word ALL. Like my dad said, after he had studied that word at length... all he could find all to mean was all.

It's worth repeating...

"Worrying is not praying.
It is an urgent call to pray!
Worrying centers on the problem,
praying focuses on the solution."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

From chicken coops to castles...

It's funny the things I think about now, as I look back to our growing up years. I remember lots of it, but some happened even before I was born.

There is royalty in my blood! I wrote about it here. This is my castle in the Black Forest area of Germany. :)

It was not the kind of royalty that really means anything though. I would be a princess today if the tradition in my dad's family had continued. It didn't, I'm not. Now it is a castle for tourists. It still bears my dad's family name, although the spelling changed generations ago. My mother was born in Norway, she married dad, a preacher from America, and left a prosperous family in Norway where her dad was the mayor of Tromso and a successful business man, to become a preacher's wife.

That's the royal part of my family genes, but there is more...

Before I was born, my mom and brother often traveled with dad when he was preaching in other states. On one of those trips, the church where dad preached  'housed' the preacher and his family in what they could afford... it was a former chicken coop behind the main house. 

My mother remembers taking a broom to the dirt 'floor' and sweeping it out, and my brother happily played among the chickens who still gathered there. It's been a great story for our family all these years. 

Now, in retrospect, I can see the grace of my parents, the way my mom handled each new "adventure" is such an example to me. I can't imagine spending a night in a chicken coop, and it certainly would not be without grumbling and complaining.

Even though they never had much money, God provided things for our family that many others never got to experience. Taking the Queen Mary to Norway to visit my mother's family, spending summers traveling all around the USA as dad preached, entertaining in our home so many real heroes of the faith, from Corrie Ten Boom to Bill and Vonette Bright, and so many more. Names I now know to be the leaders of their day in the world of Christianity. They were my heroes of the faith. 

I had a rich childhood, one that I treasure, one that has helped to shape who I am.

From chicken coops to castles... what a journey in the faith my parents had. What they left for me was their example, in all of it. They had grace in the chicken coop and grace in their castle experiences, and balance to understand that all of it was part of life. I have drawn on their well of wisdom a thousand times in my own life.

I am reminded that The King of Kings had no place to lay his head. He didn't even own a home. His birth was in a stable. His death was on the cross. And yet... his life was lived with love and grace, and the examples and lessons he has given us are the very things that guide us as we move through life. 

Just as my parents knew, I also know... He is our King, and we are all a part of His family... we are all royalty.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Then and now...

I googled my childhood home yesterday, the one we moved to when I was 4 years old, the one my parents paid less than $12,000 for.

It last sold for just under ONE MILLION dollars.

My first thoughts were of my mother, as I looked at the realtors pictures of what the inside looks like now, and saw a huge granite and stainless steel gourmet kitchen. I thought of her and wondered what she would say if she could see it today. It made me sad in a way, sad that she didn't have the latest in high tech beauty all around her, she sure deserved it. 

Right on the heels of those thoughts were... so what? 

My mother was as happy as a lark in that kitchen. She cooked and baked for her family and so many others, and there was real joy in that room. There was lots of laughing, singing, some squabbling among the kids, and always delicious scents and the promise of good food coming. It was a room filled with love. I only hope that the ones who live there now are as happy.

All 5 of us shared one small bathroom. The bathrooms they have created look like spas. We had a huge backyard. There are now french doors leading to multiple decks with hot tub and all the landscaping surrounding it. It's a showplace!

My dad and brother took such good care of our backyard. We had flowers everywhere, and blooming fruit trees year around. We buried at least 2 guinea pigs named Squeaky 1 and Squeaky 2 in that yard. We hid the soft red 'spanking stick' from my dad, back there by the squeakey's.  He found it and dug it right back up!

I'm left with all the memories we made in that home, and a few walls that I still recognize. But oh my goodness... that small home has filled my heart for all of these years since. 

270 South Parkwood may be a California dream bungalow, but never did it shine better than when OUR family lived there.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Drinking fountains and sharing faith...

Listening to Greg Laurie in the car as I was running errands this week, I had to laugh at his description of how, during his high school years, as a brand new christian, he wanted to tell everyone in any way he could, about Jesus, and how his life was changed.

He stood by the drinking fountain in his high school and every time a kid came by and took a drink, Greg said... "If you drink that water, you will thirst again"...

He said each kid looked at him like he was crazy, and quickly went on their way.

Greg said... "It worked for Jesus, but it didn't work for me."

He began to learn about the Holy Spirit preparing each heart to hear about Jesus, and he began to pray, and approach things in a new way, as he moved forward.

I remember as a kid thinking I HAVE to share about Jesus and get people saved... one day in grade school, I was in the restroom and "Joyce" was also there. I thought... I will tell her and make sure she 'gets it'. After much coaxing from me, she prayed, but I don't know to this day if she 'got it', or was just anxious to get out of there and away from me!

I've also done the opposite, said nothing when I should have spoken in a situation. Of the 2, that extreme makes me feel the worst.

No wonder Jesus instructed us to seek Him first, to ask Him for openings and guidance and the right words for each situation. 

We will never be wise enough to know a persons heart. 

But Jesus does. 

When I think about how fast this life is going by, and that unless someone knows Jesus personally, they are lost... it makes me bolder to share the good news. I am not a drinking fountain stalker, but I do want to be ready for each situation that God places me in, and my desire to share the hope that the world is seeking is much more on the front burner of my heart than ever before.

We don't need the world, but the world needs what we have.

Even as I write this, I am thinking... wouldn't it be wonderful to see Joyce in heaven one day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This was a big one!...

Sunday was Mother's Day. Our plan was to go to East Texas, have lunch and spend the afternoon with our son Tommy and his family. The day began with storms, more were expected, so we decided to stay home.

Sunday night, with less than  a one minute warning, a level 3 tornado hit the small town of Van, Texas. It struck down BEHIND the area of the new building our son had recently built and occupied for their business, about a half block from them. It went on to destroy about one third of that small town. You have probably seen the footage on the news. One of their employees lost his home.

The first time I was in Van was when Tommy and Dedra were married in the beautiful Baptist church where right now they are helping to care for the people of Van who lost their homes. 

Tommy and Dedra live in Lindale, east of Van about 15 minutes. They are fine, all of Dedra's family is fine, many of them live in Van, and we are so thankful. 

It is such a vivid reminder of how quickly life can change, as it has for those who lost lives, homes, and all that they owned.

There are already many heart warming stories being told of the way people have gathered to pitch in and help this community. The schools have been seriously damaged, and not one person living in Van is not connected to someone who has been touched by this storm. They told us on the news last night not to bring any more supplies right now, they have been flooding into Van from everywhere.

We will continue to pray for all who have been touched by this, both in Van and all around our country. I will also continue to thank God that he heard our prayers and Tommy's business was spared.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rodney's bush...

This rose bush belongs to my friend Rhonda's mother. We all call it 'Rodney's bush'.

Her son (Rhonda's younger brother) died some years ago. On Mother's Day each year, this bush blooms with at least one pink rose, usually before anything else is blooming.

Last year Rhonda's dad died, and this year on Mother's Day every bush in the garden was green with leaves, but Rodney's bush was loaded with these pink roses.

As Rhonda says... "they are in cahoots up there!"

Isn't it just like God to send this mom pink roses right under her window, on Mother's Day.

There is no scripture that says this is so, but knowing the heart of God... why not? It's one of those special heartwarming things that He does for us, knowing that we need something extra to see that He is with us, even in the roses He sends our way. In the rose, He reminds us that He understands and loves us.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What I have learned about carrots...

Here is what I know about carrots...

I remember visiting farms as we were growing up. They always had carrots growing in the ground. It was fun for me, as a kid, to walk up and down those rows and see the green sprouts above the ground and know that a carrot was coming. I planted some seeds of my own, but as the tiny sprigs of green appeared, I gently pulled them up to see if there was a carrot on the end... long before the carrot had a chance to become one.

There are many carrots being dangled in front of us in this day and age, most of those carrots turn out to be nothing but a handful of weeds, or at the most, a HINT of a carrot.

A carrot is a good thing. It is healthy, and good for us, an important part of the vegetable food group. However... I am certain that they are referring to a fully grown carrot, not one that was pulled before it was fully grown.

Carrots and life??

Many times I have interrupted or hurried a process, (pulled the carrot too soon) that God was doing in my life, by becoming impatient before his lesson was complete.

There have also been a few times that I grabbed the carrot dangling in front of me. It was so tempting. Example: the face cream that promised instant results, wrinkles GONE within minutes. There are probably many more, but you get the point.

While I am thinking about carrots, I have to say that for all the years of our marriage, I have cooked and roasted carrots, with meatloaf, roast beef, etc. I always serve a nice portion on my husbands plate. It has never changed, when the meal is over, the carrots have been pushed to the edge of his plate, completely intact. He doesn't say anything and neither do I. 

One more random thought... my husband loves fresh carrots. Sometimes I forget to stick the fresh ones on his plate, so I am trying to do more of that. He always eats them all.

I am 'growing into carrots'... both on my plate and in my life. Like all other things, carrots are best used in the way God meant them to be.

See... it is possible to take one word, any word, and when you think about it for awhile, there is always more to it than just the carrot.