God is Faithful

mary-and-joseph-603772[I first wrote these words 6 years ago on my personal blog. I was just recently reminded about these events. I pray this story encourages you as it did me once again.]

As I have mentioned before our family celebrates the Christmas Advent. We really enjoy this tradition and the devotional from yesterday especially good. I would like to share some of it with you.

The subject was on Gods faithfulness.

Matthew 2:19-23 (NIV)
 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

This is not the biggest part of the Christmas story, but It so resonated with me. As I think about how Mary and Joseph felt at the thought of going home. Here again another angel had appeared and told them they were safe to go home. I can only imagine the Joy and excitement but also the fear and  uncertainty as they faced a long uncertain journey. The bible doesn’t say, but I wonder if they still were trying to process all that was going on in their lives?

I mean think of the year (or two) they had just had. Unexpected Angel visits (truthfully that would get me right there.) An unplanned pregnancy, an almost divorce, a long journey 9+ months pregnant, for a census that could cost them dearly. A home birth in a stable. Strange encounters with unexpected guests. Blessings beyond their dreams. A death threat to their child who P.S. was the SON OF GOD! Another long journey to a place they had likely never been. More Angels. Another long journey home, and the uncertainty of what they would find or how they would be received.

I could easily look at their circumstances and think; “My goodness, look at what you have been through. Why would God let all this happen to you?” “Why?”
But that’s not what they did. They trusted God, and they had faith. Though I have to believe that as humans it may have been shaky faith at times. I have to think that when the bible says,
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 NIV
She was really just trying to get a grip on what was happening in her life. But, no where does it say she got hung up on the, “why?” She knew that God had been faithful thus far and trusted that God would remain faithful. Which probably made the whole ordeal look more like:
When they received unexpected Angel visits: God was faithful and revealed his plan. When Mary was found pregnant they had faith that it was as the Lord had told them. Even with the stress on their relationship and all the trust issues this pregnancy brought on, God was faithful and saw them through it. God was faithful in giving them safety during their long journey. God was faithful and provided a place to have their baby. God was faithful to provide for their needs as these unexpected Magi brought them gifts. Even when the life of their child was threatened, God was faithful and gave them time to escape. God faithfully brought them to Egypt and provided for them there. And God faithfully called them home. And faithfully directed them to Nazareth. God had provided for all their needs. He had seen them through what was surely one of the most difficult season of their lives. At least up to that point.

Just as assuredly as Mary and Joseph had to be people of Faith, they had to know that they weren’t alone in this. It was just on their shoulders to believe. They had God with them (quite literally actually. Which is a bit ironic if you think about it.) And God was faithful. He didn’t leave them wondering what to do. He didn’t drop the ball. And just as He did his part in being faithful, they did their part in having faith and trusting that God knew what He was doing.

Which makes me think about my life, and more specifically this past year. I’ll give the short version: Our family moved 1,800 miles in JANUARY this was our second cross-country move in 10 months. We came home to a house that was too small, We struggled to restart a business and find work and make ends meet. This all put a huge strain on our marriage.  I became pregnant unexpectedly, and just when I had come to grips that a third child was on the way… I had a miscarriage.  Follow that by an intense grieving period. Only to have my husband have a serious back injury that will likely forever change how we live or make a living, and couple that with the financial strain of a loss of income ….and that brings us to now.

Roses right? No, and I don’t think my story is unique. I know we all have years like this but what I am learning is that its the perspective we have. God is faithful but, it is also my job to have faith. And so when I rehash this story NOW it looks more like this:

In January for reasons unknown to us we were led back to Michigan. God was so faithful to give us safe travel. God so faithfully through our friends and family prepared our home for us, with everything we needed. God faithfully provided a job for Kyle, and gave him many of his old clients back. God faithfully provided for our every need as we re-started this business. Even with the stress of Kyle working so much, God was faithful and saw us through some of our most challenging “married moments”. With an unplanned pregnancy, and the subsequent loss of the baby. God has been so faithful to comfort me in my grief and to teach me how to lean harder on HIM. Praise the Lord for that!!!!

Even now as we struggle with my husbands injury and a loss of a large part of our income. God is STILL faithful. We have not gone hungry, All our needs are being met. Be it by groceries given to us, or the anonymous gift that arrived in the mail, to the many gifts of friends and clients,  to the unexpected job I have had sewing items for a friend. God has been faithful. And I can walk forward in the assurance that not only HAS God been faithful, He will be faithful.

I only just now, feel like I am coming to grips with all that has happened and I realize I have a choice; I can look at all that has happened and ask “why?” or I can look back and thank God for all the times he has been faithful.
Thank Him, and move forward knowing that I am not in this “life struggle” alone, that like Mary and Joseph, God is with me.

As a final note, the following are some of the key scriptures that I have prayed and meditated on. I can’t help but wonder if Mary or Joseph thought of these words as they walked out their faith? These verses are written  and posted in my house. They have offered me great hope and strength. I would like to share them with you that you also may boast of Gods faithfulness.

A reminder to have faith:
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

When I get hung up on the “why?” of things:
Isaiah 55:8,9 (NIV) (
I love this whole chapter but these verses in particular)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

When I am worn out, and do not think I can handle another thing:

2 Corinthians 12: 9,10 (NIV)
9 But he [the LORD] 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My Prayer:
May these words edify. May they touch a soul. May Gods faithfulness be evident. And may we remember Your great gift to us, your son Emmanuel. Truly God with us. Amen.




Smoke and Aaron – A Testimony


I started this with the intention of sharing my horses story. Boy was I wrong. It ended up being about us, our journey and story together. It tells how God has worked in our life. I was hoping Smoke’s story would inspire or touch at least one person. Now I am hoping our story will inspire people to believe and not loose faith. I want to say thank you to my friend Rita for inspiring me to write this. I also wanted to thank a horse named Snickers and his friend Annie for sharing their story with the world. God has used these great horses the people from Western Days Ministries to inspire me to and serve God. I hope you enjoy, God Bless.

Twelve years ago this year a horse was born that would change my life forever, and I didn’t even know it. He was a grulla quarter horse named “Look of a Legend’ or “Schat” for short. I was sent a message through Facebook and knew my wife at the time would not turn down a free horse, especially one that was registered. So I decided to take on another “project horse” not really knowing anything about this horse.

On the three hour drive home I thought about what to name him. I decided on Smoke On The Water. “Smoke” for short. I got home about two in the morning and turned him out to pasture with the other horses. The next day I got Smoke out and realized I had my work cut out for me. Smoke was very high headed and very hot. He did try hitting me with his head when I was riding him, and he was mean and very pushy on the ground with no regards to anybody. He pushed me around and bit me many times. He had my whole arm in his mouth on several occasions. One night when I was feeding the horses, I was just about to open the gate to exit the feedlot, when I turned around and there was Smoke. He looked at me than my foot;. He did that about 3 or 4 times and than stepped on my foot and pushed me over. Smoke than looked at me than my chest and did that about 3 times. He than stepped on my chest and twisted his foot. I herd a loud crack and felt a lot of pain. I panicked, rolled out and came up swinging. I was in defensive mode. He finally backed away. I ended up with a cracked sternum.

After that I worked on building a bond with Smoke the rest of the winter. I did ask for Smoke’s forgiveness. It took me a lot of very frustrating rides on him to start to figure him out. He was always high headed and wanting to go. So, I let him go one day. We ran for about 3 or 4 milaaron-smoke-3es until Smoke slowed down. When Smoke was slowing down I could see a beautiful smile on his face. He was truly happy. I later found out Smoke was never allowed to go above a walk in “training” or at all in eight years. I just recently found out he was shown in western showman ship when he was 5 years old. The young lady that showed him was always kind to him and treated him right. It wasn’t until he was put into training the next 3 years when his story changed. Smoke was a very small 5 year old. He was put into 2 different trainers over the next two-and-a-half years. Where the owner spent thousands of dollars trying to make him into something he’s not. He was hit in the knees when he wouldn’t stand to be trimmed. He also has rope burn on his back right leg from being tied up to trim his feet. They tried to use the fear method and all it did was turn Smoke into a train wreck. That first year we overcame a lot!

I’m a firm believer in having an all around horse, just for the fact I cant afford a lot of horses. I needed Smoke to be able to work cattle and to be used for my son to ride as well. So he needed to learn how to neck rein. That was a task in its self. I taught Smoke two different kinds of neck reigning. Up high is for working and going fast and down low is to go slow and for kids riding him. I also had to teach Smoke how to move off of leg pressure. Once all of this was done it was time to learn how to rope. This didn’t go very well at all. I finally had enough one day and pulled my old cow horse Molly out (Who I retired the previous fall.) I could see smoke come into the feedlot to watch us, but he hung back. When I started to build a loop and roping he drew closer to the arena. I kept watching him out of the corner of my eye. He watched us closer and closer almost studying us. When I was done I looked at Smoke and he nodded his head and trotted off to the back pasture. I thanked Molly and turned her out. The very next day Smoke acted like he has been roped off of all of his life. I’ve never seen anything like it. By that fall we were roping and dragging pretty decent together.

I ended up getting a divorce and that spring we left my farm. The first day at the new place Smoke and I moved to, a big Percheron did a double leg kick at me. I didn’t have time to move but Smoke threw himself between us and took the full kick for me. Thankfully he didn’t get hurt and was just sore. We had to move 2 other times in the next two months. The last place I lived I boarded with a lady, she invited me to go to church. I was really scared and nervous to go. But I went. It was the first time I had ever been to a church and could relax. The people were great and I was able to really focus on the message. I started to look forward to going.


Before we moved I had started using smoke for dragging bulls and barrel racing. Smoke loves working bulls almost more than anything in the world. The one thing Smoke loves more than working bulls is his kid, my son Ty.
Ty lived down south with his mom and I decided I wanted to be closer to him. I made the move to the Wayland area. Smoke does anything for Ty. I know it was hard for Ty and Smoke not seeing each other for 3 months until I moved to Wayland.

When I moved down here I didn’t have a place to live a job or a home for smoke. Because of this I only had one choice on where to keep him. The only good thing was that they had cattle there that we worked all the time.

A lot of things ended up happening in my personal life and I didn’t set foot at that ranch for a month. I had a friend groom him and love on him for me. I would sit on the side of the highway and just watch him. When I went and got him I parked across the street at a friends house and had another friend go and get him for me so I didn’t have to set foot on the property. When I met them in the road he had his head down and looked depressed. When I said his name with tears down my face he took a deep breath and wrapped his head around me. He walked a little taller with a pep in his step when he got in the trailer. I hauled him to where he is now.

We’ve had a lot of ups and downs together. While we were out riding one day that summer,  – they just laid gravel on the road – and a truck decided to floor-it when they passed us throwing gravel at us and almost knocking me off of Smoke. Smoke started backing away from it and almost ended up going in a ditch backwards. Luckily a van that was right behind us blocked the road until I could regain control of Smoke. The following week we were out riding again and the same truck did the same thing again except for going the other way. After that, I couldn’t ride Smoke on the road anymore with out him freaking out or getting really hot. We could be in the hay field 400 yards away from the road and he would freak out and act crazy when he looked over and saw that spot in the road.

There was a time in there that I couldn’t drive because of medical reasons. It was very hard for me to get to the farm to take care of him. Basically to feed him and that was it. I lost the bond that I had with him. I had a very hard time riding him because he was so hot. The only time he acted normal was with Ty. Ty could ride him anytime and he would be fine. I was at an all time low and told him the only reason I didn’t sell him was because of Ty.

Then came the day when everything was going wrong and I broke down crying on my knees and told Smoke that I hated him. I just sat there on my knees crying. Smoke stood there and then came up to me and wrapped his head around me. I just melted into Smoke and asked for his forgiveness. I stood up and said, “Lets do this a different way.” I told him we were going to put God first. Since then we have crossed a huge mountain. We have been road riding and can walk quietly past that one spot in the road. I ride with Ty and his pony and other horaaron-tyses. Then one evening I decided to see if I could crack a whip off of him. I was very nervous because all I had was are longe whip. I had to remind myself to put God first and it will be ok.

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
PSALM 121:8

So I grabbed the whip and got on Smoke.

Through Christ all things are possible. When I doubted, God showed me He is the ultimate Horseman. Smoke pretty much just stood there.

We also did something I didn’t think we could do, but it was Gods will that we do it. This past summer we loaded my saddle bag full of Western Days flyers and road 8 miles one way to Wayland. We took Division all the way there. (Division is a major road that people treat more like a highway.) We rode through subdivisions and the park talking about Western Days. And for the first time in my life I found myself sharing God’s word by myself.

We rode through downtown Wayland to my churches office. We got caught in a thunderstorm at the stop light down town. The tall buildings echoed and the thunder and made the lightening sound a lot worse. When we were at the stop light a semi turned towards us and it made me feel like I was getting boxed in I couldn’t imagined how it made Smoke feel. But he handled it fine.
As I look back at it now, I realize it was God saying “Look I got this” just have faith. Since those days Smoke and I have had the privilege of dragging bulls and being a part of Western Days Ministries events in both Allegan and Adrian. My pastor has also done a video on us for church, using our testimony and sharing my story after I was baptized.

There are so many things I could keep writing but I will just say this. God is great, very forgiving and never quits on you, so don’t ever quit on him. As for Smoke and me? Our story has just begun, but with God riding next to us it will be a great ride.aaron-smoke-2

God bless
Aaron Mulka and Smoke

Learning to Wait


I hardly know where to begin. It seems as if God has been working double-time in my life. But, I guess the beginning is the best place to start, so I’ll go back there.

The last time I posted I talked about the beautiful reminder I had received about how when we are weak that is when God’s strength can truly be revealed. Through this observation I am discovering just how beautiful it is to step back and really let God do his work. 

It should have been a normal day, filled with normal activities. We had plans to do school (we home school) and I had fun things to do in the evening (kind of a Mommy’s night out.) However, the day didn’t start out at all how I had planned. I had been fighting a small head cold that week, and on this particular morning I woke up with a magnificent headache. I don’t get migraines often, but when I do, I just cannot function. That day was no different. I found myself inevitably in the most worshipful position I know–Face down on the bathroom floor, begging for God’s mercy.
Now, of course I am a believer in Gods ability to heal. I can praise him that in the past I have received His miraculous grace and had a migraine healed immediately.
But, sometimes God has other plans for how He shall be glorified through our circumstances, doesn’t he?

So, back to the headache. It was bad enough that I just was not doing well. at. all. With four little ones at home I needed help. My husband had some flex time and mercifully came home.  My first, “Thank you Jesus!”
The day was also very wet, windy and dreary. Not twenty minutes after my husband had been home and we hear a loud Crack! Swish! BOOM! A quick glance up confirmed our roof was still intact, but a look out our front window confirmed that one of the Huge Cottonwood trees out front had lost a major limb that extended across the yard and over the drive way. 
I went back to bed. 
A short while later my headache finely abated. My second, “Thank you Jesus!”
I came downstairs only to find that my husband was now not feeling well. So, we traded shifts, he went to bed and I took over with the kids.

I have to admit that the hours after a headache are so sweet to me. I am always so grateful to be able to be a present, functioning human being. 

Anyway, looking out over the yard I surveyed the damage. The limb did fully extend over our drive. There was no getting around it. It was far to big to just pull it out-of-the-way and we don’t own a chainsaw, Nor do we have a tractor that could pull it the rest of the way down from the tree.

But, rather than fret and worry, and try to figure out on my own exactly how we were going to get this mess cleaned up. I decided, no, I’m just going to be patient and let God do his thing. 

I decided to trust that God would take care of this in His timing. The result? A surreal amount of peace. Quite an experience, especially for this born fretter.

The only thing I could do was clean up the outlying small branches that would make it a bit easier for whoever would arrive to help us remove the tree from our drive way. 

So, that’s what I did. Just worked on the small stuff that I could carry. 

Not, long into the project we got a phone call. It was our neighbor. He said he and his son would be by in a bit with a chainsaw and a tractor to help us out. 

Now, I do have to say, that I am certain we live in one of the most wonderful neighborhoods. We have some fantastic neighbors, who love the Lord and walk out his love and grace every day. So, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would volunteer to help us. But, at the same time it was. Because, normally I’m the one fretting and trying to work out exactly how we are going to do something. I’m not very good at just waiting on God in his timing (Thank goodness He loves me anyway.)

Soon, that tree was but a memory. 

 Gratitude is the feeling that you get when you are thankful for the grace and provision you have received. But I am convinced that no feeling is sweeter than when we take a minute to thank God for the thing that he is yet to do, or does without our even asking. To know that God truly has our care and best interests in mind is truly so sweet. 
And it remindes me of what Jesus said in Luke 12:22-31

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[c] shall be added to you.

So, you might think this was but a little test. However, it taught me a big lesson. 

Dear Lord, 
Thank you for all the ways you provide for us throughout the day. I’m sorry I don’t praise and give you the credit more often, for truly every good and perfect gift comes from You. Thank you for taking care of the little details in my life. Lord, may I not forget how you have saved and provided in the past, so that I may trust you more fully in the future. You truly are a good, good God. Thank you. 
In Jesus name, Amen.




Once upon a time, I used to ride and train horses. End story. 

Why would I end it there? Because that was years and years ago. Lately, God has had me on a different assignment. But, God has known my heart all along. He put a love for horses in me when he built me. But, I also needed to let them go for a season. 

Well, it appears I am entering a new season in life. One with less diapers and more bridles. This spring, we bought a horse for me. It’s been a lot of years since I’ve had a horse to call my own. And this is not just any horse, by-in-large this is my dream horse: A four-year-old off track Thoroughbred.

I have always loved Thoroughbreds. They just have a nobility and strength about them that I am just drawn to. So, when this guy popped up on craigslist a few months ago, I felt that indescribable tug at my heart. But, I wasn’t sure he was really for me. After all, I had been in the midst of a completely different season of life. But, I prayed the simple prayer, “Lord, if it is within your will. Please?”
Well, apparently it was within His will. I was able to bring this big boy home and it has been both wonderful and deeply hard at the same time. Because, my skills as a rider are, “Once upon a time…” and I feel I haven’t fully caught up with where I need to be today to really help this horse.

God is so good though, because He is doing something by which I am astounded every day. You see, when I first got this horse (by-the-way, his name is RockIt,) I was kind of thinking of him as a little drop of blessing just for me. You know, that little window of sunshine that you just know God let you see on an otherwise stormy day. And so he has been. But God’s ways are always so much more succinct than mans, aren’t they?

Through this experience I am learning something so deep that even I had no idea the need existed. I’m learning about “Thorn’s in the flesh.” Which might sound a bit weird to you.
Please let me explain:
I would guess w
e’ve all probably read Paul’s exhortation to the church in Corinth, reminding them that if they are going to boast, they should boast not in what they can do, but in what they can’t. Because God is glorified more when we are weak, than when we are strong, right?
I’ll just let you read it for yourself:

I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~2 Corinthians 12:1-10 [emphasis mine]

You see, I’ve lived a lot of years on the memory of when I was strong. When I used to be able to ride and train horses with such confidence. But, today? Today, I lack confidence in my ability and I realize that due to lack of time to exercise it, my timing is quite rusty. Therefore, I often have this overwhelming sense of frustration and just feel really weak. 
This might not be your typical “thorn in the flesh” but it is teaching me something. That even though I am not as strong as I was, perhaps, in my weakness I can learn to rest more in God’s grace, in this area, and in so many other areas of my life. Because, in my weakness, what I do accomplish can be used to glorify the One by whose power I was able to accomplish anything at all. Sure, I can ask that God take away the hard stuff, or give me supernatural power to overcome a situation. He certainly could choose to do that. But, if He doesn’t? I can at least rest in the fact that I am still under His all sufficient grace. And whether it takes me a month or 10 years to accomplish something with this horse, I hope that all you will see is how God has worked in me, though I am so very weak.



Am I a Missionary?


Do you believe that you are a missionary? Do you believe you can make an impact for the Lord where you are right now?
I have been pondering lately just what my mission field is. Of course I can say it is my home. I’m a mom and I am honored (and often humbled) that I get to be on the front lines of ministering to all these little people.
But, I wonder, do I have another mission field?

I just got done reading the books of Acts and Romans. Talk about relevant! I am always awed by the boldness that these men had for sharing the gospel. For the lengths they went to make HIM known to people and of course I am amazed at how cheerfully they endured persecution.

Here’s the thing. We live in a world where we make hundreds of connections with people every day. Whether it be online or in person, and we need to believe that every encounter we have with another person matters.

What if the only version of Christ that people saw was your Face Book Page?
I think most of us treat Facebook like our living rooms. It is a comfortable place for us to get real with our guest but not too real. I mean, let’s say we keep our living rooms relatively picked up and ready for company most of the time (unless it’s 11am on a Tuesday and you have 4 kids, well then…)
I digress, the point is we feel fairly comfortable sharing our life with friends and acquaintances in our living rooms.
And that is good. I believe God wants us to be authentic with people. But he also wants us to be ready to share the gospel too.

Wait. That’s all good if your a “mature” Christian and all. But, I just got saved, or I am really struggling with God right now. I can’t be a missionary. 

I hear you. But what about this:
About 13 years ago, I was just finding my way back into my Saviors arms. Sure, I had grown up in the church and actually knew my Bible pretty good. But, I had not been living like it. I knew things were not right and something had to change. I was trying. (God is so good that way, he never gives up on us, does he?) Anyway, at that point I was partying on Friday night and getting up to read my Bible Saturday morning. And I’m going to rest in the fact that God was at work in my heart. Well, on this particular morning I had been reading my Bible and one of my friends showed up at my door. So, I did what friends do, I set the Bible aside and invited him into my living room. Well, it didn’t take him more than a few minutes to notice the open bible, and make a comment to the effect of, you really believe that stuff? Of course the fact was I did and still do. We started talking about things. Just talking. Did I have all the answers? No I didn’t and I told him so. In the end he did the most surprising thing, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Okay, how do I do this? I want to be a Christian, but I’m probably not going to be as good at it as you.” ….

And this is where I confess I failed.

I’m sure you would like to read this story of how I aided in the salvation of this friend. But the fact is I retreated. In that one sentence I was so convicted and convinced that I was under qualified to be a missionary in that moment, I think I said something like, “I’m not good at it.” and then changed the subject. Unfortunately, we lost touch over time. To this day I don’t know if this friend ever received Christ. I hope, but I don’t know.

Here is the take away though, the truth. No matter where we are in our walk with Christ, be it only for one day or if we have walked with him for 100 years, we are qualified and even more so we are called to be ambassadors for Christ.
Some of Jesus’ last words to his disciples were:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Mark 16:15

I believe those words were for us too.

I also believe these words are for us:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Romans 8:1

By His grace you are qualified.



On 9/11

I have to believe every generation has that moment. The moment when something happens that you will remember for the rest of your life. That one day that happens in slow motion and challenges every fiber of faith in your being. 15 years ago today, was that moment for me. The terror attacks that happened on September 11, 2001 are forever etched in my memory. I was a mere 19 years old. Up to that point I was pretty sure I had life figured out. I was living and doing my own thing.
However, on that day, I will never forget hearing the first report on the radio while at work. I remember I just shook my head certain this must be some kind of joke. I remember the moment the radio DJ’s voice changed, and how we all dropped what we were doing to go watch the news in the break-room. I remember trying to call my best friend who lived in Washington DC and who’s father worked in the Pentagon, and how cell phone lines where down and calls, even local ones could not get through for days.
It was a time of such uncertainty, and yet such brilliance. As the day slowly wore on, we could see the workers, and the first-responders, heroically doing what only God could put in their hearts to do. Our Country united in a way I had never seen, and have yet to see again.
I remember that on that day we all looked to or for God. We tried to grasp the enormity of this event. How it would affect our lives and the lives of those around us. I remember that first nudging to care about my neighbor and the stranger as the same blessings from God. I remember the heartbreak as each story unfolded, the pleas from mothers and fathers, those looking for children. The children. The stories of the children lost, and the last phone calls made. My heart still aches for these who were most affected by the horrific details of that day.
As the evil railed and warred against the good, I remember the stirring in my heart, that searching for where God was, and that strange calm and courage that I felt beneath all the fear. Knowing, I once knew a God bigger than all of this. I looked for Him and found strength and peace to keep going, one step in front of the other. I remember that as each day passed following September 11th, that still calm heart voice getting stronger, that feeling that life could never be the same, though I really had no idea of how or what changes were to come. 
 Yes, at 19 I had that first moment when the world seemed to stand still and the thing to do was to try and find God in it all. 
September 11th marked the first time I saw the war between good and evil played out before my very eyes. And I have ONE to praise for the battle victory over that darkness. Sure the war is not over, it can’t be, not yet. But, I know now where my help comes from. I know who is bigger and brighter than any shadow that is cast over our lives. I would rather this not have happened, and I pray my children would be spared from their moment in future history. But, regardless, I rest in the knowledge that God is over all of it. 
Peace to you as you remember your moment on this day. 
And to God…

Aba, Father! I cry out and praise you in the same breath. God, you are good. So, good. And yet we are lost and do not remember the great things You have done. Let us not forget that in the midst of the evil in this fallen world, YOU are with us, You do not forget us. let us remember that you triumph always.
Father, I have lived to see a time when our nation united under you. And now I live in a time where we are so very divided. Let this not continue to be so. May we remember how good and how pleasant it is for us to dwell together in unity.
As we remember how our nations history was changed on September 11th, let us also remember how we rallied to live as one nation under God. Thank you God, that nothing in this world has ever happened, that there is nothing that you do not know about, or that will happen that your hand is not in. Help us to see YOU in it all. Thank you for your continued blessing upon us. I pray you will see fit to continue watch over bless our nation.
In Jesus mighty name, Amen. 


Divine Connections

2 Cor 2-14

I don’t normally write articles during the wee hours of the morning. In fact, I don’t normally write articles. But since I can’t seem to sleep, this seems a good use of my time. It is 3 a.m. and I am still reviewing in my mind some events from last evening and pondering with awe at how God uses divine connections and timing to meet the needs of people. Let me explain.

I suppose I should begin by explaining the events that are still fresh in my memory. Picture this: It is Sunday evening. I have just finished teaching at my home church, something I have done for the past three years. The service went well, the people have dispersed, and I am planning to take my husband out for ice cream – sort of a “date night”. Then the pastor asked to talk with me, and we talk – for 30 minutes – while my husband waits patiently in the car. My schedule has been delayed. This is not how I pictured my evening going. When I get to the car, I find my husband comfortably reclined and listening to the radio. Time to leave; he turns the key and, you guessed it, dead battery. Good thing the pastor has not yet left. He helps us get the car started. Another delay to my schedule. Finally, we are off. My plan is to visit a new ice cream place in a neighboring town – about a ten minute drive. Nothing noteworthy about the drive, just normal conversation between a couple married for 28 years. As we enter the neighboring town, I glance down a side street and notice that someone appears to have a bonfire inside their garage. Wait! A bonfire INSIDE their garage?! This is not right. In an urgent voice I ask my husband to turn around. Once parked outside this garage, I exit the car, race up the steps to the house and start pounding on the door. The owner comes to the door, sees the flames, and rolls into action. In less than five minutes, he has moved his car out of the garage, my husband has moved a trailer out of the driveway, a garden hose has been used to douse the flames, another passerby has dialed 911, and the fire is almost out before the first responders arrive. It happened so fast.

Reflecting on the events, I considered the following things: Lots of other cars drove down the same road as we did and no one stopped. If we had not been delayed by the pastor and the dead battery, we would have passed that area before there were ever any flames to notice. If we had taken much longer to stop, the small propane tank surrounded by those flames would have exploded spreading the fire to neighboring houses. If we had gone to the closet ice cream place, we never would have been on that road. My point is this: I believe God put us in the right place at the right time to make a difference. We are not heroes, my husband and I. We are ordinary people like you. I just happen to believe we serve a God who delights in using ordinary people to positively impact the lives of others.

Needless to say, the owner of that garage was very thankful that we had stopped. We were able to give the glory to God, and then we parted ways. We will likely never see that man or his wife again; yet, during those few minutes on a Sunday evening God orchestrated a divine connection for the man’s benefit. I doubt the man will forget that God showed up on his behalf.

God is in the business of intervening on man’s behalf. He always has been. Take a minute to consider the number of times a “coincidence” with no reasonable explanation has occurred in your life. God is alive and well and looking out for people just as he has been since the beginning of time.