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Bob is doing great! Thanks for the prayers and kind wishes!

It is rare that two people (who happen to be man and wife) have similar surgeries within 6 months of each other. But then, Bob and I have shared many things over our 42 years together. So why not share the same surgeon (Dr. Alyene is the smiling doctor in the white coat on the wall next to Bob.) to do similar repair work on our spinal cords and vertebrae (Bob's in his neck; mine in my back). We were at the same hospital (Tri City in Vista) and even ended up in the same room (#110) and in the same bed!!! (Bed B).

Many of the nurses remembered me and were amazed to see how fast and well I am recovering. Now we feel doubly blessed to see how beautifully Bob came through his operation. He came home literally 32 hours after checkin. His pain has been very manageable and his ability to swallow was never impaired! Some people have extreme throat pain and trouble swallowing, But Bob is already eating soft food like pasta and eggs. His drain was out in 3 days and I have to watch him to keep him from spending too much time on the computer!!

We have both experienced God's blessing and healing and we are so grateful for all yours prayers. They worked!!!
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Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends...or in this case, his wife.

Please pray for my husband, Bob, who is having surgery tomorrow (Tuesday, November 7) on the spinal cord in his neck!

Over the past couple of years Bob has been losing the feeling in his fingers and hands and he was actually scheduled to have this surgery before I had mine last June. But without telling me, he refused to do it, knowing I would need his care.

Now it is his turn to be lifted up in prayer and nursed back to health.

Lord, please guide the hands of the doctor and bless Bob with a complete and speedy recovery.

In Jesus name,
Amen
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New York, New York! City of Love, Tears and Hope!

First, I want to apologize that it has been so long since my last post. "Facebook" keeps sending me reminders. But since returning from Hawaii and being inspired by the stunning beauty of God's creation, I haven't had much to say.

But now I do.

New York City is one of my favorite places. On my last visit there I shared some fun pictures of Central Park and the lively street scenes that make it such an amazing place to visit. And a year ago, the Brooklyn Bridge provided a joyful backdrop when our future son-in-law fell to one knee and proposed to our daughter, Michelle.

But on Tuesday an act of brutal violence was enacted by a deceived and dehumanized young man on one of those life-filled streets that took the lives of 8 people and seriously injured 12 others! Random acts of hatred are becoming far too common in the United States and in other countries and I, like most other people, have watched them on the news with tears in my eyes and a stabbing pain in my heart.

Who does something like that? How depraved and evil must they be? And how can anyone choose to put their hope in a god who would demand such pointless acts of violence towards the innocent to get to heaven?

But on Tuesday I was busy getting my travel plans in order for a trip to the East coast in November where I will be speaking at a pastors' wives conference. (More about that in a future post.) I will also be taking a couple of days to visit Michelle and her new husband, Adam, in Manhattan were Adam is directing a television show. Michelle and I were talking about my schedule and I could tell she was walking as she talked, double-tasking as usually. I had to turn down the volume of the news broadcast I had on (which was reporting on an accident between a truck and a school bus) so I could hear her better. When I asked where she was off to, she told me she was on her way to visit her old college roommate who lives in the area

A few hours later, after completing my travel arrangements and other WV emails, I turned on the news and heard of the horrible events. I knew that Michelle and Adam were okay, but I wrote her immediately to see how she was and say how grateful I was that she and Adam were all right. She wrote back with these words:

"Literally walked the path where it happened an hour before. A guy from Adam's crew watched it happen."

My heart stopped for a second as I realized that my child's feet had touched the very ground that was now soaked with the blood of the injured and except for a few minutes of time...and the grace of God...our lives could have been tragically changed forever.

Suddenly this tragic occurrance on the other side of the country seemed very close and the suffering of those involved became very personal. I have found myself praying for the people who lost loved ones and for the injured with fresh energy.

I have also found myself wondering how a young man whom his neighbors described as nice and friendly could give in to such darkness. There is so much here to talk about..the spiritual darkness that is rapidly casting a showdown over the hearts and minds of the young like the great "nothing" in the Never Ending Story and how we as the Church of Jesus Christ must do a better job of giving them an alternative...the "Something" that will meet their desperate need for hope and significance in life! But that also will be for future posts.

Now I just want to thank God for watching over my precious daughter and son-in-law. I also want to praise Him for the countless ways He keeps my family safe from the daily dangers we never see or recognize. Knowing that my Heavenly Father never takes His eyes off of me or those I love gives me great comfort in this crazy world. It also helps me refuse to live each day with an overwhelming burden of worry.

In our staff devotions today a reading from Our Daily Bread on the pointlessness of worry was shared. In the devotion a story was told about two men who meet in a bar. The first man tells the other how overwhelmed with worry he is. The other replies, "Oh, I found an answer to that problem. I just hired a man to do all my worrying for me. And he only charges $2000 a month!"

"Can you afford the monthly payment?" the first man asks.

"No, but that is HIS worry now," replies the second man.

We all laughed at the story, but I was immediately reminded that we also "have a Man" who not only offers to take our worries on Himself, but He already paid the price to do it!

Lord, help me to cast my fears on You every day, knowing that You care for me!
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A Wedding to Celebrate!

On September 2 our beautiful daughter, Michelle, married her long-time sweetheart, Adam Arkin, in a private ceremony in a garden overlooking the ocean in Malibu, California. We were so happy to be there along with Adam's daughter, Molly, and son, Emit, to celebrate this precious time with them.

Michelle put together this lovely collage of pictures and I only now figured out how to share it with you.

May God bless their life together and use their amazing talents and gifts to His glory! We love you!!!
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Rain Clouds, Rainbows and Purpose
.... all in 30 minutes!

Yesterday was one of the most perfect mornings I have ever experienced during the 30 years Bob and I have been coming to Kauai. When I woke up the skies were dark and the clouds threatened rain. But when we stay at our timeshare at The Cliffs in Princeville, I always start the day sitting in one of the wooden chairs along the bluffs to pray and just drink in God's magnificent creation.

I was the only one silly enough to brave the windy weather yesterday morning. From my front row seat on the cliff I could see the threatening clouds on my right and the beautiful blue sky on my left. As I have been doing for fifteen years, I read from My Upmost For His Highest as part of my devotions. Sometimes I think Oswald Chambers and I are related because he so often voices my own thoughts and feelings and the reading for October 11 was no different. I hate it when I am uncertain of what God is doing. I want Him to show me where He is taking me and how He is going to use me to make a difference! But so often all He says is "be still and know that I am God".

In my reading yesterday Oswald asked this question ( I am using my own words): Has God trusted you with a silence...a silence that is big with meaning?....If so, praise Him because He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with a silence that is not of despair, but of pleasure because He has seen that you can stand a bigger revelation. He is bringing you into the "great run of His purposes"for your life but the timing is a matter of His sovereignty.

As I sat on the cliff pondering this word of wisdom, a little bird caught my eye. It was sitting perfectly still on a spiky plant on the cliff in front of me. As I watched the wind picked up and big drops of rain began to fall. But the bird didn't move...and neither did I.

The clouds closed in around my feathered friend creating a foggy curtain behind him and as I watched something amazing started to happen. Stripes of irredescent color began forming in the grayish cloud. The colors deepened, starting to arch up and away in either direction.

As the rainbow grew and became more vibrant, I had to get out of my chair in order to capture it on my iPhone. Finally this iconic symbol of God's faithfulness reached from the top of Bali Hai on my left, (a landmark overlooking Hanalei Bay) and then arch over the ocean and cliffs to end right on the chair where I had been sitting!

Without using one word, God let me know that I can look forward to the "great run of His purposes" for me no matter how dark the storms of life may be or how silent He may seem to be!
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