They Lived in Them

I took the leaf out of the kitchen table. Now I have a round table instead of an oval one. The centerpiece is a round placemat made of faux leaves. On it is a white candle embedded with cranberry flowers. It sits atop a black metal candle holder with copper wire wrapped around its stem. Between two of its curled legs is my new, cranberry colored, velvet pumpkin. Adjacent to it is a pumpkin scented candle in a copper tin.

My glass block has copper, leaf-shaped cookie cutters in it. There is a string of copper lights running through them. Next to it is a metal basket with leaf cut-outs on each side. I put a twine bow and leaf in the corner of the basket.

You might say decorating is my passion. Although it is not very spiritual. Or is it? I used to buy all sorts of things to decorate my house. Lately, I have used fewer things. I am even removing items from rooms. I envision what I want to use and see. I keep adding or taking away items until pleased with the result. Maybe decorating is spiritual after all.

“It’s your vision that fuels your passion. …once you line up your passion with God’s plan, there will be no stopping you. …instead of trying to stifle your passion, let God redirect it.” “The Word for You Today,” September 29, 2018

The family of Reuben’s passion was ranching. They had livestock and their operation kept growing. They outgrew their settled land. They had to expand.

1 Chronicles 5:9-10, “His family occupied the land up to the edge of the desert that goes all the way to the Euphrates River, since their growing herds of livestock spilled out of Gilead. (10) During Saul’s reign they fought and defeated the Hagrites; they then took over their tents and lived in them on the eastern frontier of Gilead.” The Message

The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh had a vision. They needed more room for their livestock. They needed more room for their families. They needed to conquer land occupied by the Hagrites.

How did they do it?

  1. They trained for war, 5:18.
  2. They were physically fit, 5:18.
  3. They practiced handling shield, sword, and bow until skilled, 5:18.
  4. God helped them as they fought, 5:20.
  5. They cried out to God during the battle, 5:20.
  6. God heard them because they trusted Him, 5:20.
  7. They acknowledged the war was God’s, 5:22.

I think the last one is the most important. No matter what we are battling, we need to remember the war is God’s. We train, take care of our bodies, and work on our skills. But trust God with the results.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


The First Great Hero

Reading through the genealogies, Nimrod caught my attention. They listed 39 descendants of Adam and didn’t say anything about them. They singled Nimrod out.

1 Chronicles 1:10, “Cush had Nimrod, the first great hero on earth.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Nimrod…early distinguished himself by his daring and successful prowess in hunting wild beasts. By those useful services he earned a title to public gratitude; and, having established a permanent ascendancy over the people, he founded the first kingdom in the world. …the towns but small forts. …at the head of his army went forth into Assyria…and builded Nineveh.”

“Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I” Notes on Genesis 10:8-11

Nimrod built Nineveh after the flood. God sent Jonah there. By Jonah’s time, it had more than 120,000 people, (see Jonah 4:11). It took Jonah 3 days to walk across it, (see Jonah 3:3).

Nimrod was a skilled expert. Every hero starts by mastering a skill.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


You Make God Tired

Last night, Pastor Monte Knudsen spoke about dealing with temptation.

“All temptation is common. …Temptation means you think about it, until you justify it, and then sin is conceived in you. …Flee temptation. …Take your thoughts captive. …Deny yourself. …Recognize the horrible cost of sin. …” Pastor Monte Knudsen, September 26, 2018

He read the temptations of the Israelites in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. They are the same things we are tempted with.

Today was a quiet day. I didn’t fall for any temptations. But, according to Malachi, “normal” days are dangerous.

“Most of life is not lived in crisis…when things are… ‘normal,’ our interest in God is crowded to the margins…and we become preoccupied with ourselves. ‘Religion’ during such times is trivialized…calling God into question or complaining…treating worship…as a mere hobby…managing our personal affairs (such as marriage) for our own convenience…going about our usual activities as if God were not involved. …Malachi…wakes us up…during the times when the only thing we are concerned with is us. He keeps us on our toes, listening for God, waiting in anticipation for God, ready to respond to God, who is always coming to us.” The Message Introduction to Malachi

Many things Malachi listed still happen today.

Malachi 1:7, “When you say, ‘The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority, ‘that’s defiling.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Malachi 1:12-13, “You profane me when you say,… ‘I’m bored – this doesn’t do anything for me.’ (13) You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Malachi 2:13, “And here’s the second offense: ‘You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Malachi 2:17, “You make God tired with all your talk. ‘How do we tire Him out?’ you ask. By saying, ‘God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all.’ And also by saying, ‘Judgment? God’s too nice to judge.’ ” The Message

I don’t know about you, but I feel conviction.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


A Name for Yourself

September 26. Grandpa Lester Lincoln’s birthday. It was my first due date for Derek’s arrival. (He didn’t cooperate.)

David was close to his Grandpa and Grandma. He wanted to name one of our boys after him. Neither one of us loved the name, Lester. But there is a connection to President Abraham Lincoln.

Lester’s grandmother was Mary Todd Lincoln’s friend. When David’s aunt named her son, Todd, great-grandma cried. That’s why Derek’s middle name is Lincoln.

We all want our name to live on. At the wedding reception, more than one relative hinted at Derek and Rachel becoming parents. They wisely informed everyone they were going to wait.

Someday, we will have a namesake. But there is only one Name that endures.

“…You made a Name for yourself that lasts to this day.” The Message

God honors His name and the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s a powerful name. We pray “in Jesus’ Name,” and we have access to everything He has access to.

We also need to honor our name. In our family, we do things because they are the right thing to do. Regardless of how others are acting.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


Don’t Put Your Life in the Hands of Experts

Now that Derek married, I’ve been dreaming. What should I do with his room? A family room during the holidays? Or a sewing room? How about a craft room with a big table? Or should I move my office down there?

My office doubles as a guest room. When our granddaughter stays over, I have to move out. She would not appreciate me firing up the Chromebook at 4 a.m.

On my last trip to the library, I was thinking about my office. I checked out, “Your Creative Work Space” by Desha Peacock.

One of the people she featured was Holly Becker of She started her blog in a 3-room, 1875 carriage house in 2006. She is an international bestselling author of 4 books and has taught more than 8,000 students globally about blogging, social media, interior styling, and photography.

I went online to check out her “Blogging Your Way” e-courses. Her September 4th post surprised me.

“…to write stuff here as I once did, regularly, and share what I love, what inspires me and to make it as non-commercial as humanly possible. …I don’t have ads here and I don’t use affiliate links. …” “When Everyone Goes Right, Go Left” Holly Becker of

When I started blogging in 2009, most blogs were text with a few photos. Now they are, as Holly puts it, “super gorgeous and full of perfect photos.” 

The experts encourage you to use ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and above all, “Search Engine Optimization.” I’ve watched bloggers who started writing from their hearts and sharing their lives. Then they do what the experts tell them – ads, affiliate marketing, etc. When their posts hit my email, I wonder, “What are they selling today?”

Psalms 146:3-4, “Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. (4) Mere humans don’t have what it takes, when they die, their projects die with them.” The Message

This January, I stopped posting to I shared most of my frugal tips and felt it was time to step back. I started occasionally posting to Instagram instead. I can share my creativity, and my life, without all the work of writing a post.

I never wanted to blog, I just wanted to write. I am not alone. On Twitter, @EricMWalk “liked” a post that said what I’ve felt all along.

“Having a real headache of a time with the technical side of blogging. …Can’t I just write and have everything else magically fall into place, like Cinderella with her little assistant birds?” @BigLawLittleLawyer

A weight lifted when I stepped back from I no longer write every day. I skip Sundays and write 2 posts later in the week.

Jesus promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, (see Matthew 11:28-30). The freedom I am enjoying is a real blessing.

Psalms 146:5, “Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing!” The Message

“Dear Mommy Bloggers, 

You are more than a mom. Remember to share what is on your heart.


©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


Fight for Your Wife and Home

Derek’s favorite childhood book was “I Love You Forever.” It tells how a mother rocks her son to sleep every night. First as a baby, then a toddler, then a boy, then a teen. Her boy grows up and moves into a house across town. His mother puts a ladder on top of her station wagon and drives to it. She climbs into his window, picks him up, and rocks him, back and forth…

Saturday night, I dreamt about that book. Derek and Rachel bought a 2 story house. I woke up from my dream thinking, “I need a longer ladder.”

Then I shook myself. I waited almost 26 years for him to move out. I’m done rocking him! I guess adjusting to an empty nest may take longer than I thought.

Nehemiah 4:2, “…Do they think they can get everything back to normal overnight? …” The Message

Marriage is like a wall. You set this boundary around yourself and your spouse. What many do not realize is you work on it. Every. Day.

Nehemiah 4:6, “We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall. The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work.” The Message

In the beginning, we had a heart for the work. It’s “You and Me Against the World.” But as the years go by, it is easy to neglect it.

Your wall will not look like your parent’s wall. It will not look like your friend’s wall. God designed your wall. It will protect your marriage while you fulfill His purpose for you as a couple.

Saturday night, before we went to sleep, David and I prayed. “We are empty nesters now. We were youth leaders when we were young. You called us to serve on worship teams during our entire marriage. Now that we have freedom, show us where we are to serve together.”

Nehemiah 4:9, “We countered with prayer to our God and set a round-the-clock guard against them.” The Message

In the wedding, Pastor Josh Cody instructed Derek and Rachel to fight. Fight for their marriage. Fight for each other. Keep God first and He will fight for you.

Nehemiah 4:13-14, “So I stationed armed guards at the most vulnerable places… (14) …’Don’t be afraid of them. Put your minds on the Master, great and awesome, and then fight for…your wives and your homes.’ ” The Message

Guard the vulnerable places. Don’t be afraid. Look to our great and awesome God. Fight for your wife and your home.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


He wept

The Fishels had Sunday off from the worship band – two were on their honeymoon. As David and I sang in the congregation, my mind kept returning to the wedding.

Derek started it. (He says I did.) He was halfway down the aisle to escort me to my seat. I turned to David and asked for his handkerchief. I wanted it for emergencies. When I looked back, Derek’s eyes were glistening and that made me cry.

He gave me a hug and said he loved me. I told him I wasn’t going anywhere. We laughed and cried all the way down the aisle. That was nothing compared to the tears when he saw Rachel.

❤ ❤

Their first date was on the 22nd. Her birthday is on the 22nd and they got engaged on her birthday. Her favorite flowers are sunflowers and “brown-eyed Susan’s.” They set the date for September when her flowers were blooming. But, if they waited until 2018, the 22nd was on a Saturday. Their engagement was for 18 months.

Derek watched the wedding party come down the aisle. Then he faced the front for Rachel’s father to walk her to the outdoor arena. He turned as the chorus of the song started – “Marry me.”

He tried to hold back the tears but broke down. We could see all the love he has for Rachel. All the longing during the long engagement. And all the wonder as he viewed his beautiful bride and realized, “She chose me!” He walked down the steps to claim her.

❤ ❤ ❤

During the worship service, as I remembered Derek’s face, Jesus spoke to my heart.

“That’s how I will look at you during the marriage feast in Heaven. I went through so much. I suffered. I died. I waited. I longed to pull you into my arms.

Like Pastor Josh, who officiated, God is on the throne waiting to unite us. He loved you so much that He let Me go. I came to earth to pay the price required for your entrance into Heaven.

He watched Me suffer. After I defeated Death, Hell, and Satan, He resurrected Me. I went home to Heaven to build you a mansion.

And Allison, Pastor Josh’s wife, is like the Holy Spirit. Unobtrusive and in the background but stepping up as God directs.

(Allison explained the cross and cord ceremony. Derek and Rachel braided together 3 cords attached to a cross.)

Allison pointed out the third chord is God. You need Him to make a strong marriage. The Holy Spirit is always drawing us closer to God.”

I cried during worship – overwhelmed by the love Jesus has for me. They say “men don’t cry” but Jesus wept, (see John 11:35). And when Ezra saw the sin that separated the Israelites from God…

“Ezra wept…” Ezra 10:1. The Message

Weddings are wonderful. Honeymoons are heavenly. But they pale in comparison to when we unite with our Lord Jesus Christ.

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


Prayer for Disaster Areas

The long-awaited wedding day is finally here. I am so excited! Derek and Rachel purchased a home and will start to build a new life together.

Yet, my heart breaks for those who lost everything in Hurricane Florence and the wildfires. They also are building a new life. They did not plan for this or look forward to it. They are looking at the dead bones of their former life.

This prayer is from Jeremiah 36, 37; Zechariah 10; Psalms 68; Hosea 13; and Genesis 8. This is not the first time people endured floods. Only the “Wind of God” can pass over the floods and make the waters recede.

Dear Father God,

  1. Bring life to the dry bones, Jeremiah 36:5.
  2. Come from the four winds and breathe, Jeremiah 36:9.
  3. Restore their hope, Jeremiah 36:11.
  4. Place them in their own land, Jeremiah 36:14.
  5. Join them into one in your hand, Jeremiah 36:17.
  6. Gather them on every side, Jeremiah 36:21.
  7. Make them one nation, not two kingdoms, Jeremiah 37:22.
  8. Save them and cleanse them, Jeremiah 37:23.
  9. Make their sons and grandsons dwell in their land, Jeremiah 37:25.
  10. Make an everlasting covenant of peace with them, Jeremiah 37:26.
  11. Multiply them in the midst of Your sanctuary, Jeremiah 37:26.
  12. Send rain from the Lord to put out the wildfires, Zechariah 10:1.
  13. Drive the smoke away, Psalms 68:2.
  14. Blow the smoke away, Hosea 13:3.
  15. Pass over the floods and make the water recede, Genesis 8:1.

Jeremiah 39:8, “It is coming and it shall be done, says the Lord God. This is the day of which I have spoken.” Modern English Version

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


Prayer for the Victims of the Hurricanes and Wildfires, from Jeremiah 34

As I cook for Derek’s wedding rehearsal, I pray for the victims of Hurricane Florence. I pray for those who live in the paths of the wildfires. I wrote this prayer last year after Hurricane Harvey.

Dear Father God,

  1. Search for your sheep, 34:11.
  2. Deliver them out of all the scattered places, 34:12.
  3. Bring them to their own land, 34:13.
  4. Feed them in all the inhabited places, 34:13.
  5. Make them lie on good grazing ground, 34:14.
  6. Seek the lost and bring back those driven away, 34:16.
  7. Bind up the broken and strengthen the sick, 34:16.
  8. Save your flock, 34:22.
  9. Bring them peace, 34:25.
  10. Cause the wild beasts to leave the land, 34:25.
  11. Let them sleep in the woods, 34:25.
  12. Make them a blessing, 34:26.
  13. Make the tree yield its fruit, and the ground its increase, 34:27.
  14. Make them safe in their land, 34:27.
  15. Deliver them, 34:27.
  16. Do not let them be afraid, 34:28.
  17. Plant them in a place of renown (prominence), 34:29.
  18. Do not let them be hungry, nor bearing shame, 34:29.
  19. Make them know the You are with them, 34:30.
  20. Remind them that they are men and You are their God, 34:31.

Jeremiah 36:9-11, “(9) For I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.

(10) And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it. And the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built.

(11) And I will multiply man and beast upon you. And they shall increase and bring forth fruit. And I will settle you as you were before and do better to you than at the beginning. Thus you shall know that I am the Lord.” Modern English Version


©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


Whether Something Shouldn’t Be Done

The hardest part of raising children is letting them stand on their own two feet. We want to cushion each fall.

When they marry, we turn their care over to their spouse. When bad things happen, we still want to step in and rescue them as we always have.

Esther 3:4, “…to see whether something shouldn’t be done about it. …” The Message

Derek had a rough time over the last two weeks. He left work one day to find his back window shattered. He had it replaced before he even told us about it.

The next day, he got a nasty cut at work. It was already cleaned and bandaged when he told me about it. He asked Rachel to change the bandage.

Then his phone started acting weird. He got on the phone with technical support. He had to drive 30 miles to get the problem fixed.

After the car window, David came to me and asked, “Should we do something?”

After an internal debate, I replied, “We are not his source; God is. We need to let God meet his need.”

Derek cut the apron strings last week. He turned to Rachel instead of us. That means we did our job well.

I have one regret. I didn’t know it was his last meal at home. Had I known it, I wouldn’t have fed him leftovers! (You guessed it – macaroni and cheese.)

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.