Tag Archives: Gospel

Blessings of Boldness

Being bold and courageous is hard and sometimes risky, but it’s always worth the risk. Last week when I posted my 6th Anniversary post, I mentioned that I was going to share on Monday about the blessings of being bold. But one of the two things I planned to share didn’t go as I had planned and so I didn’t write that post. After God added another blessing to the mix, I’m now ready to share.

Several weeks ago I wrote a post about my personal experience with Planned Parenthood. I was terrified to post it, but I did, on a Wednesday evening thinking no one would see it. That one little post ended up getting more views and shares in three days than I’ve ever had for any post. Some of my posts have been viewed more over the long haul, but never in such a short period of time.

Then, about a week later, I got a comment from Randy Alcorn (okay, it was from his media relations specialist) asking if he could re-blog that post. Of course I said yes, because being re-blogged by an author with his credentials is a great blessing for a relatively unknown author like me. Plus, it meant my story now has the potential to touch even more lives and be a blessing to others. His post including my re-blogged post went live on Monday here.

The next blessing came when I was bold and courageous to share my story in church this past Sunday. We are doing a sermon series on how God changes lives, and He has definitely changed mine. It was hard and risky to share my story, but it was well worth the risk. Afterwards I got lots of hugs, plus a few people who said they had been through something similar and that what I shared helped them. I also received some follow-up notes from some members of our church, including a handwritten note that came in the mail (those are my favorite kind).

I was all set to share the link to the audio of my testimony in my post on Monday, but it turned out that the recording got messed up and you couldn’t really hear it. There was a lot of static and my voice was so quiet that even when the static stopped for a second or two, you couldn’t hear me. I was so upset, because I knew there were people who had asked me to send them the link because they wanted to listen but weren’t able to come to our church that morning.

So, because I didn’t have the audio to share in this post, I had decided not to write it. Then I mentioned to my awesome husband that the audio had been messed up on my testimony and he replied, “I recorded it. It’s on my phone.” I was so happy and felt so blessed that he cared so much to have recorded it. I was able to upload it to SoundCloud and create the recording below.

And the triple blessing in all of this is that I discovered how easy it is to use SoundCloud and embed a SoundCloud clip into my blog, so now I can add audio readings of some of my poetry, too.

Anyway, the lesson for me this week is that God is good and often works to bless us even when we think He’s forgotten us or doesn’t care. That is the story of my life, but it’s also the story of the recording of my story. I was disappointed that He didn’t make sure the church recording of my testimony worked out, but He had a plan for me to see how much my husband loves me. And how much He loves me.

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My Blogging Anniversary: Pondering Deep Water Faith

Today is the 6th anniversary of the day I started this blog. I decided to see what I had posted that day. I’d forgotten how excited I’d been to start blogging; I posted 4 articles in that one day!

I thought I’d share one of those posts today and how things have changed since I posted it. The title of that post was “Deep Water Faith in the Shallow End,” and it said this:

I posted this awhile back in my notes on Facebook, so if you’ve read my notes you’ve seen this. But I’m having so much fun with how easy it is to blog, I thought I’d post this here, too. I can’t believe how  easy this is.

“Deep water faith in the shallow end” is a line in a song by Casting Crowns called “Somewhere in the Middle.” I’ve been listening to that CD in my car lately, and this line has really stuck in my head. As I hear it, I realize it applies to me. I have deep water faith. I trust that God can do anything and that with Him so can I. I trust that His plans for me are far greater than I can imagine, and that I will never be alone or lost as long as I follow Him.

And yet, here I stand in the shallow end of life. I don’t act on that deep water faith very often (though when I do I am amazed at the results). I wonder why I don’t just plunge into the deep end and grab hold of what God has in store.

The line of the song before this one is “reckless abandon wrapped in common sense.” Maybe that’s it. I listen too much to the common sense the world has taught me. I hear about what can’t be done and I think it to be true. I need to remember and believe that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Now that’s deep water faith.

So what’s changed since I wrote this? Well, God has literally taken me into deeper water than I ever thought I’d go when I went snorkeling in 2014, and when I snorkeled again in 2015 in even deeper waters. He did that by calling me to trust in Him, to have deep water faith. He used that literal deep water experience to teach me something about Himself and His faithfulness.

As a result, I have begun to venture into figurative deep water in other areas of my life, especially what I’ve been writing on my blog. I’ve written more about my story of suffering and pain, and how it led me to healing and redemption in Christ. God has given me the courage to share so much that I once felt I had to keep secret.

The results have been amazing blessings and a closer relationship with God. I’ll be posting about one such blessing of stepping out in faith and writing about my experience with abortion on Monday, but you’ll have to come back to see what it is.

But I still don’t think I’ve ventured into the truly deep water yet. I’m not in the shallow end anymore, but there’s still more I could write, that I know I need to write.

Last night I attended the Faith & Culture Writers Connection with guest speaker Romal Tune. One of the things he said resonated with me. He said that we are afraid to write what we fear we’ll be judged for, but that we have to remember that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). I realized that although there are certain things I’ve been willing to share, there are other things—I’ll call them the in between things—that I’ve wanted to leave out.

Then this morning I had an early morning dream—between being awakened by my husband’s alarm and finally having to get up for mine—in which I was going snorkeling, and someone I was with wanted to go out deeper. I refused, choosing to stay closer to shore in the reef area, because I was certain there were sharks in the deeper water.

And there probably are sharks in the deeper water of honesty and openness. There are those who will judge, but they don’t matter, because God has forgiven me by the blood of Christ. I will triumph “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [my] testimony.” Revelation 12:11.

And so, I’m going to venture into the deep water over the next year. I may not jump off the boat mid-ocean, but little by little, as the Holy Spirit leads, I will go into the deep water God has called me to.

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Grace and Mercy

The deepness of my soul You know
But still You don’t get up and go

Ev’ry mean thought and evil deed
Only point to my deepest need

Although I can never undo
All my transgressions against You

There is grace and mercy divine
I, Lord, am Yours and You are mine

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I Am a Reluctant Watchman

The Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today is offered by guest bartender Lynn. She is asking us to write about what the watchman sees. I decided to take my first line from the Isaiah verse she quoted, with a slight modification. This prompt was actually perfect for me this week as I’ve been writing more (in prose/essay form) about my personal experience with abortion. I’ve felt a little like the watchman, though a reluctant one.

I Am a Reluctant Watchman

Go set a watchman; let her announce what she’s seen
Declares the Lord our God
It’s not about me, knows the watchman, but where I’ve been

I don’t want to play watchman in our world today
I tell the Lord my God
It’s not about you, He replies, you must go this way

And so I speak the atrocities I’ve both seen and done
Trusting the Lord my God
Then I share the compassion of Jesus the Son

Murder I see and murder I’ve perpetrated
Grieving the Lord our God
For our own convenience children are daily terminated

Lies I was told and deception reigns supreme
Angering the Lord our God
I wish I could say this is only a horrible dream

But He’s set me a watchman to announce what I’ve seen
Glorifying the Lord my God
With the truth I learned when I was just seventeen

Choices made out of fear can never be undone
Whispers the Lord my God
But they can be forgiven by the grace Christ has won


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Stop Throwing Stones

If you spend any time on social media and have conservative Christian friends or follow conservative Christian feeds, then no doubt you have seen numerous posts lately decrying the murder of innocent babies. Especially with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the release of undercover videos of meetings with Planned Parenthood officials, it’s impossible to avoid these posts. I will admit that I’ve shared or liked a few myself, though I am always careful that the right message is coming across in the post when I do.

I see a huge problem with the way the pro-life position is presented in social media. If not done carefully and gracefully, it amounts to throwing stones at hundreds of thousands of women who have had abortions and lived to regret that choice. We know what we did was wrong and have lived with the shame of our choice—some of us for decades. We can’t undo what we did and your insensitive posting of “Abortion is murder” messages only causes us more shame and guilt, delaying the healing for many. Even those of us who know God has forgiven and redeemed us can be hurt by these posts.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am a conservative Christian myself, in the sense that I believe the Bible to be the Word of God and that it contains the whole truth about God and how His people should live. I am also pro-life, though I was not always. But on the abortion issue my heart is more concerned with the women who were lied to or were in a situation where having an abortion seemed like the only possible choice, and are now suffering from depression, suicidal tendencies, or PTSD, or who are just living a life of fear that someone might learn their secret.

One social media post I saw recently that illustrates the type of insensitivity I’m talking about is this cartoon:


Frankly, I don’t believe this is the scene in Heaven. Why would a baby in Heaven wish to be on earth? Why would a baby in Heaven “wish” anything? Wishing is for those without faith. People who know God pray, not wish. And these babies know God—they rest in His tender care.

I believe all of the babies who died as the result of an abortion are instead kneeling before the throne of Christ interceding for their mothers. I believe they are asking God to have mercy and praying that the Church would show them grace. I believe they are asking God to remind the Church of His words: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7). I believe our children want those of us who killed them—either because we didn’t know what we were doing or because we were between a rock and a hard place and couldn’t see any other option—to hear Jesus say: “Then neither do I condemn you. . . Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11).

The Church—meaning the people of God and each individual one of us—has to stop throwing stones at women who have had an abortion. We have to choose instead to show them grace and mercy, to help them heal in Christ. I say this as one who needs that grace and mercy every single day just to survive.


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The Allure of Alliteration

Driving to Seattle yesterday to go to a play with my sister, niece, and cousins, this poem started playing in my head, but I only came up with the first line and a few other words and concepts. The allure of alliteration led me to finish it up this afternoon.


Savior so sweet
suffering sacrifice
so steadfast seeker
shall savor salvation

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The Gospel Misunderstood

Today is going to be Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub (I think). At any rate, I wrote this for Open Link Night. It was inspired by several conversations I’ve had lately—some in real life and some online. So often the Gospel is misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians, and that makes me quite sad, because it is the best news I have ever heard.

The Gospel Misunderstood

Humans have selfishly gone their own way
I know ‘cuz for so long I did the same
Living my life by my greedy desires
I refused my need to call on His name

The Gospel is the Good News of mercy
Undeserved but offered freely to all
There’s no longer any need for penance
Only our repentance after the fall

Fear of punishment turns many away
Knowing deep down that their heart’s filled with sin
They think God judgmental and nothing more
By His sacrifice He welcomes all in

There’s no condemnation for me in Christ
He paid the penalty that I once owed
Although I endured the consequences
Redemption and friendship to me He showed

If you have rejected a vengeful God
Look closer and you’ll find amazing grace
Daily relationship with Him, who’s love
Will never leave when you seek His sweet face

Please don’t misunderstand the Gospel news
Clinging to sin that will be your ruin
Believing judgment all that God offers
When truly His love and grace He’s proven

Turn from a life that’s empty and broken
Turn, as I have, toward our God of love
Seek the peace that comes only through Jesus
The way, the truth, and the life from above


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I Was a Seed

Brian Ens is running the show at dVerse Poets Pub today and is asking us to write a poem in any form. The catch? We have to explain why we chose the form that we did.

I decided to write a Rondeau. I selected this form because it is a bit irregular in that each stanza has a different number of lines, it includes an element of repetition (which I like to do anyway in my poetry), and the iambic tetrameter requirement fit the first line I wanted to write. This poem was inspired by a Facebook post of a Mexican proverb that says, “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” This proverb reminded me of John 12:24.

I Was a Seed

You tried to bury me in shame
Obliterate my holy name
You didn’t know I was a seed
You buried me and I was freed
In my dark grave the Savior came

So now in Him new life I claim
Bold and strong I grow, not the same
You thought I was only a weed
You tried to bury me

As if emerging from the flame
Wholly knowing I’m not to blame
Glad because of your dirty deed
Content that I’m a sprouted seed
Thankful your actions did not maim
When you tried to bury me


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No one whispers to you
what they whisper about you
to others

Though they might
taunt and tease

And while there may be
truth in the taunting
it’s never the whole truth

Only God knows
the whole truth
your whole heart
the pain in the depths
of your tortured soul

And He whispers to you
You are my beloved
What they say
doesn’t matter to Me
Don’t let it define you


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You Can’t Go Back to Tuesday

I’m working on my book proposal today. I posted the draft Prologue last week. I’m determined to finish the proposal this week so an editor friend can review it before I submit it to the publishing house editor who requested it at the Faith & Culture Writers Conference. I had a breakthrough this week when I realized the Chapter 1 I’d drafted started in the wrong place. This is the beginning of the new Chapter 1.

I’m planning to include a poem on the title page of each chapter. The poem for this chapter is one I wrote a week after the events recounted here.

You Can’t Go Back to Tuesday

Last Breath

in, out again
no other sound so dear
except if you spoke, one more time,
I’d hear.

I sat in that suffocating little room with my sister Suz, my brother-in-law Dick, and the shell of my sister Peggy. When I had arrived earlier in the day I wouldn’t have known it was her in the bed if Suz hadn’t also been there. I hadn’t seen Dick in 28 years; he’d changed, kind of looked like Grizzly Adams after a month in the woods alone.

And Peggy, she didn’t look like anyone I knew. The last time I’d seen her she didn’t look too bad. She admitted the cancer was back, but she covered up how bad it was pretty well. And she had been hopeful, ready to fight and win again. But she wasn’t going to win this time—she would breathe her last in that tiny, sterile room with just the three of us there.

I’d woken up that morning with plans to go to the dentist in the morning—even though I was dreading it—and then in for my annual mammogram and breast MRI. On Friday I was going to go visit Peggy in the hospital. I was told she’d probably be feeling better by then.

But Suz called early that morning and said Peggy had taken a turn for the worse. “You should come as soon as you can. Dick said she was pretty bad.”

I called my cousin Noryce to tell her what was going on with Peggy and to just talk. Noryce always has good advice and knows just what to say.

“I don’t know what to do. I have these two appointments I have to keep, but I want to go see Peggy. Maybe I can just wait until tomorrow to go,” I said. “I should have just gone to see her on Tuesday.”

Noryce, in her infinite wisdom, replies, “You can’t go back to Tuesday. What are you going to do today? What’s the worst that could happen if you cancel your appointments and go? What if you wait to go until tomorrow and she’s already gone?”

She knows the story of when my dad died and I wasn’t there. He had called me and said, “Come see me.” But it cost money to fly to Desert Hot Springs where he was and we didn’t have a lot of money at the time. So I bought an inexpensive ticket for two weeks out. He died a week later. I will always regret that decision.

So I called the dentist to cancel my appointment, worried that they would be upset and charge me for the appointment anyway. “Don’t worry about it. Go see your sister. Give us a call when you’re ready to reschedule.”

Then I called the hospital to cancel my mammogram and breast MRI. They were even more understanding given that my sister was dying of breast cancer. I don’t know why I was afraid they wouldn’t be.


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