God’s Faithfulness on Display

She stepped forward, pausing momentarily to set aside the music stand before flawlessly performing her entire flute solo from memory. With the air of a seasoned professional, she brought the mouthpiece to her lips. The audience watched silently, eyes glued on the teen whose body flowed in harmony with the melody she performed. Few among them knew her backstory, which is a profound testimony of God’s faithfulness.

More than a decade ago, her grandmother adopted her from parents who were heavily addicted to drugs. Taking custody cost every financial resource her single, working grandmother could muster, including her retirement savings. Moreover, with health issues stemming from prenatal exposure to drugs, this girl endured years of physical and emotional disorders. At times, it seemed an impossible task. Her grandmother consistently demonstrated that trusting in the Lord is the answer to overcoming every obstacle.

This pair have faced more than the average share of trials. Her grandmother had to find a way to work full time while managing her granddaughter’s homeschool education. They took on side jobs that allowed them to work together as a way to make ends meet. True, many friends came alongside them throughout the years to provide childcare, help with occasional meals, and run errands. But, as the grandmother attests, it is the prayers that God has faithfully answered with outcomes that awed and thrilled all who have participated in this journey. 

There is much to learn here about God’s faithfulness:

  • Pray – Make prayer a priority. Often, people call on the Lord as a last resort. This story is an example of what can happen when we call on God first, and trust him to provide the best, if not always the easiest, answer to our requests. It serves as a reminder to make your needs known to the Father, who gives generously to all who ask.
  • Persevere – I doubt anyone would have faulted this grandmother had she held back on providing the best possible education and musical instruction for her granddaughter. Her choices required countless personal sacrifices that she willingly made. This is a reminder that whatever is happening in life right now, “don’t quit” doing what is right. 
  • Participate – It takes a lot of humility to admit a need in a culture that praises successful individuals. But, God calls Christians to live in community and to share our ongoing needs with trustworthy friends. We all need help at some time along life’s journey. Your willingness to run an errand, bring a meal, or babysit for a few hours might seem insignificant. In reality, you may be doing the exact thing that is needed in the moment. Better yet, step up and offer to help before a request is made. 

Many friends who stood by this young lady and her grandmother through the years were present to watch her recital, blessed to experience the joy that resulted from God’s answer to their prayers and support. It’s a reminder to this writer that our Father rewards those who persevere under trials and to be thankful for all he has given. Gratitude is the word. 

When we pray, remember to begin with worship to God for who he is and thank him for all he has done for us. Trust that he understands our needs better than we do ourselves. The Lord will reveal his plans for our lives at the perfect time. That’s when we see his faithfulness on display.

“Let us not become weary in doing good,

for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

It Says In Romans …

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20).

One of the first knee-jerk responses to being wronged is a desire to take revenge. When someone attacks us, either physically or emotionally, the human urge is to settle the score, to redeem our reputation, or to literally throw a punch. By contrast, God admonishes us to take a different approach. 

Rather than strike back, we are told to stand down and allow the Lord to handle the situation. Why would God command us to respond in this way? The answer is right there in Romans 12, plain as day. In a military context, to stand down is to stop the action and allow a rapidly escalating situation to cool down. Taking a confrontive approach only fuels an already volatile situation, sometimes to a point that causes irreparable harm.

One of the most famous examples of interpersonal relations gone wrong is a feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. What began as bickering escalated to murder and continued for some 30 years until so many lives were lost that the U. S. Supreme Court became involved. To this day, there is still uncertainty about how the feud even began.

There are great lessons to be learned from the Hatfields and McCoys about the way we respond to wrongdoings. If we repay evil for evil, we not only damage our reputation, we prolong the downward spiral of destruction. As Christians, we dishonor our Heavenly Father. But when we repay evil with good, we display the same kind of compassion that was shown to us by our Lord Jesus. That’s enough reason to bite your tongue and unclench your fist.

When Christ sacrificed his life for us as the sinless Lamb of God, he did what none other could do: He offered salvation to everyone who would put their faith in Him. Our job as believers is to act in a way that draws others to the same saving grace of God. It’s akin to helping a lost soul find safe passage out of a burning inferno.

Speaking of burning, those coals mentioned in Romans are about humility. It’s a necessary part of the saving grace that Christ offers: acknowledging that he is God and we are not, that we are powerless on our own to save ourselves from the wrath of God. So the next time you find yourself confronted with any kind of evil, stand down and call out to Jesus. He’s got this.

Romans 12:20 plays a pivotal role in Stormy Encounters, my teen/YA fiction book scheduled to release March 14, 2023. It’s the kind of message parents and grandparents want younger generations to read. Watch for it on Amazon.

One Good Thing about 9/11

Prayer Focus

The entire nation was shocked when two planes piloted by Islamic Jihadists demolished the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. Our collective sense of security was shattered. Repercussions rippled across our nation and around the world as the horror of the attack sank in. The act of terrorism did, however, serve to unite American citizens under the principles of freedom that are the foundation of our government. 

American flags appeared on homes throughout neighborhoods, non-church goers attended worship services, and the airwaves were bombarded with stories of near misses, survivors, and heroes who experienced the atrocity first hand. That unity crossed the boundaries of religion, ethnicity, and political ideology. Patriotism soared. “Never Forget” became the rallying cry. 

Sadly, within weeks people began to retreat from their united front. Flags flew less frequently and churches were no longer filled as the impact of 9/11 waned. Freedoms previously experienced by travelers were forfeited in the name of safety. Many of our grandchildren who  were infants or not yet born in 2001 have no recollections of airports without security screening or schools without metal detectors. 

Now, 21 years after that horrific act, some school systems are altering references to the event of that day from their curriculums. We are told it is to counter prejudice against people of certain ethnic and religious groups. With a spirit of love for all mankind, we are instructed to teach accurate historical truths to the generations that follow.

Do we need another foreign assault to bring us together? Hopefully not. The next assault against Christians is likely to come from within a nation that has forgotten the laws set down by our Creator God. The battles we face are in our homes, schools, and communities. As members of the army of God, our duty is to pass along God’s Truth to our children’s children.

“ And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws
as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely
so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.
Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
(Deuteronomy 4:8-9)

As it relates to God’s Word, “never forget” is the cry every Christian grandparent needs to exclaim. Our grandchildren are depending on us. If there is any good lesson to learn from 9/11, it is the call for Christians to stand in unison and profess the Word of God to all nations.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash.

A Gem of an Idea

Creative Pursuits

It started with a broken bracelet. Then came the YouTube video tutorials followed by an in-person class, where I made my first pair of earrings. Jewelry making has turned into one of my favorite hobbies. I turned out many gifts and custom-made items for special outfits of my own. It also provided a natural opportunity to have conversations with grandkids and others, both boys and girls, while teaching them how to create their own gifts and personal accessories.

Girls adore the necklaces and bracelets they make themselves; more is better seems to be the rule. I think it’s the freedom to choose the exact components they put in it. Even my grandson occasionally accent his camouflage tee shirt with the masculine bracelet he made from black and silver beads with charcoal gray stones. He also has made necklaces for his mother and sister using their favorite colors and charms. These reportedly get lots of hugs when he presents them to their recipients.

It might be because I started this hobby from a repair perspective that I often hunt through yard sales and flea markets for broken or out of fashion jewelry with interesting beads. I like to pair these finds with store-bought beads, stones, and leaded crystals in one-of-a-kind patterns. For me, the most enjoyable part of the process is seeing how individual components work together in different combinations to create something that is better than the sum of its parts. It’s a lot like observing how we, as uniquely created people, can work together and end our time feeling more upbeat than when we began. 

Making jewelry together, or for that matter, sharing any hobby together, opens the doors to talk about deeper concerns of life. At times, children who are working on a jewelry item with me will drift into a conversation about something that is troubling them or one of their future hopes. It’s an organic way to drill down to the crux of the matter without pressure or pretense. We may end up sharing a prayer of thanks or a petition for intervention to God.

Give it a try. We all need time to refresh our minds and renew our souls. Allow yourself the simple pleasure of engaging in a favorite activity or hobby. It could be anything from fishing with a grandchild or teaching kids how to make bracelets to, well, you fill in the blank. Relax, enjoy the time, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and conversations.

Then drop me a note and tell me about your hobby.

Fatherhood on Display

During the course of one week, I had the opportunity to twice witness father-and-son interactions that give me hope for future generations. 

The first encounter took place at a retail establishment. While I was waiting in line for the cashier, a father and son entered the store with packaged goods and delivered them to the store office. When I finalized my purchase and stepped toward the exit, this father and his son approached the door at the same time. We all stopped. I gestured for the son to follow his father out of the store, but the father told his son, “Let the lady go first.” The son stood still, respectfully looked at his father, then at me. It struck me that here was a father teaching his son, by example, how to serve the community and how to be a gentleman. “Thank you,” I said, before exiting the store. I pondered, “How many of today’s problems would be averted if every father made the effort to train his child in this way?”

Within a week, while leaving a movie theater, a similar situation occurred. As I walked toward the exit, I came across a man who was holding the door open; a young boy was standing inside. The two exchanged glances and the man motioned for me to exit. The boy stood still until I passed through the doorway before he too left. Once outside, they chatted about the movie and what they would do next. This time, my sense of hope were piqued.

It is important to mention that these father-son family units were of different ethnic backgrounds. In a cultural climate where much rhetoric is expressed against one or another’s ethnicity, what I witnessed is the powerful, positive influence of lovingly engaged fathers in action. Today’s children need committed fathers who are intentional in the way they discipline and train them. 

These are the things I learned from my encounters:

  • Fathers deserve our respect. For too many years, our culture has relegated men to the unnecessary heap in regard to families. That is not God’s plan, and as we can see in our culture, the idea that fathers are not needed to raise children simply does not work. Also, please ignore any preconceived notions that exist about ethnicities.
  • Many good fathers are giving their all to raise their children to be respectable gentlemen and ladies. In the future, when I am in a situation where it is appropriate, I will thank the father for the good work he is doing in the presence of his child. Children need to see their fathers being respected for fulfilling their role in a godly manner.
  • Families matter. I believe it is time to encourage young men and women to marry, and stay committed to each other in the Lord, before they have children. That means I must be willing to share my life experiences with them, including how God helped me and my husband through the tough times by relying on God. Transparency counts.

I am now intentionally observing how fathers interact with their children wherever I go in public. It is heartening to see fathers of young boys or girls patiently listening to them, giving their child a gentle hug, or carefully explaining something to them. Raising sons and daughters is a challenge, but the best of men are out there giving it everything they have. I appreciate them, and I hope you do too.

Superpower Grandparents

I posed a question to a panel of theologians at a family camp designed for Christians. It went: “How would you counsel Christian grandparents to leave their faith legacy for their grandchildren when their parents are unwilling or unable to do so?” A large, collective groan from the attendees confirmed that I am not alone in this need. The panel members, all of whom were in the midst of raising young children, gave tenderhearted answers. Thankfully, they confirmed much of what I already am doing. They also offered added insights.

Their first bit of advice was to pray; pray for our grandchildren and for our children. (Note: It’s never too late to pray for your children.) There is never a time when prayer is not needed. There is never a time when we know better than God what our families need. There is nothing we are experiencing that God cannot change in an instant. I am reminded to lay my burden on God and then step aside and get out of His way. 

Secondly, one pastor reminded us that we are Superpower Grandparents. As the Farmers’ Insurance commercial tagline says: “We know a thing or two, because we’ve seen a thing or two,” grandparents have experienced what our adult children are now going through. It’s not that we swoop to the rescue wearing flowing capes, it’s that we care enough about our family members to prioritize their eternal salvation. We hold a powerful influence over the lives of our grandchildren, demonstrated in the way we speak and interact with them, and the example we demonstrate through our conduct. Second to their parents, we are the most powerful influences in their lives. I encourage you to use this influence wisely.

Finally, we exert a powerful influence over our grandchildren in the messages we speak to them. You have probably heard the saying that children live up to the expectations people assign to them. As influential grandparents, let’s remember to speak positive words into the lives of our grandchildren. When children grow up hearing things like, “You’re never going to amount to anything,” or “Why would anyone want to be your friend?” they believe it. When they hear us say things like, “God has a wonderful plan and a purpose for your life,” or “I thank God for allowing me to be your grandma,” our grandchildren internalize those positive affirmations. 

At the end of the Q&A at camp, one of the panelists strongly suggested that grandparents write blessings that grandchildren can read throughout their lives. It doesn’t matter if your words are profound. It does matter if they come from the heart; that’s what makes you a superpower grandparent. Ask the Lord to give you the words to reinforce your grandchildren’s walk with God.

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10-11

You can stand up against evil. I have learned to rely on God when…

Start Summer With a June Blessing

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7

June is the typical start of summer, a season when school-age grandchildren have more free time than during the entire school year. They don’t always know how to use it wisely. To put it another way, even the best behaved ones will probably end up getting themselves into some sort of mischief.

As a child, I found endless ways to get in trouble, even with an overly protective mother watching over me. It is almost guaranteed that your grandchildren will need forgiveness for something they do. Be generous. They need to know your love is given unconditionally, regardless of their failings. 

In Luke 15, Jesus addresses Pharisees and teachers of the law with a parable about a lost son. It’s a complicated account about two sons that make disheartening choices, and a father whose love for them never wanes despite their behaviors. I encourage you to read this parable before you consider what you might say to a grandchild who needs to experience your unconditional love. Then you have the proper mindset to write.

You are loved even when you mess up. God’s love never ends. I know He forgives us because…

Cookies Made for America

The last Monday in May, Memorial Day, is set aside to honor all American soldiers who died in the line of duty. And, my grandson wanted me to make cookies with him. This provided a perfect opportunity bake cookies while teaching him about the sweet freedom we have as a result of sacrifices others have made on our behalf.  

While we baked, I made a point of telling him about our family members and friends who served in the military. There were many. Sadly, the stories included one about someone who did not return home from World War II. We used the colors of the American Flag for the cookies, as a way to help us remember to honor all who made such a sacrifice.

These cookies use simple ingredients and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. I was surprised by how easy they were to make. They are a visual reminder that a price has been paid for freedom, and we are its beneficiaries.


1 cup softened butter

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1-½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2-½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

Red and blue food coloring


Cream butter; add sugar gradually; blend in vanilla, salt, and flour. Divide dough into three equal parts. Leave one part white, tint one red, and tine another part blue. Shape portions each color into ½ inch thick strips. Place strips side by side on a lightly floured surface Roll out lengthwise into a rectangle 14 x 3 inches. Cut with a large round cookie cutter so each cookie has a three-color stripe Repeat with remaining dough. Reroll the extra dough to create marbled cookies. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. You get approximately seven dozen cookies.

We have been given a godly command to teach younger generations why we have faith in Christ. Likewise, as citizens of the United States of America, we have a duty to teach young ones about our countrymen and women who died in the line of military service. I hope this easy-to-do idea inspires you to express your gratitude for the many men and women who gave their all in a way that inspires today’s children to become the patriotic citizens of tomorrow.

You May Bless Your Grandchildren

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

I reminded my grandson again today that the last month of school is a time to finish strong. I try to put things in a positive light as much as I can, knowing kids respond more positively to that approach. I sure did when I was a kid. 

The main point I hoped to make with my grandson is that he has been gifted with certain characteristics and abilities from God to use for His good purpose. To that end, I am encouraging my grandson to develop and utilize every bit of talent, skill, and wisdom he possesses.

Among those is the discernment to know right from wrong. That is, to recognize the moral code God has embedded in each of us. You know what I mean. We all feel that pang of guilt when we do something that grinds against what we know is true. Because we are uniquely created, each one has a different set of wrongs to battle. In your best, most supportive voice, how would you address those characteristics in your grandchild?

Take a moment, or more, to think about it. Then begin to write…

You won’t go wrong if you do what is right. When you give your best in all you do…

Showers of April Blessings

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

One of the most popular verses in the Bible, found on coffee mugs, wall hangings, or bookmarks is Proverbs 3:5.

I suspect this is because we find comfort in knowing God looks out for us. When life is going according to our plan, it is a lighthearted reminder. And, when we face the inevitable difficulties of life, this verse becomes a spiritual lifesaver, especially when it is accompanied by the next verse, Proverbs 3:6, that reads “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”. 

God never fails to deliver on his promises.

When my grandson was less than one week old, I asked him to give me the opportunity to teach him about Jesus. God’s faithful response throughout the decade that followed made it clear that he wants me to follow up on my commitment. Whenever my path seemed to be heading to a dead end, an opportunity opened up to continue with biblical training. 

What the Lord has done for me, he can do for you. Your testimony is uniquely your own, however, the command to bring your faith to light with grandchildren is common to all believers. It begins with your request for favor over your grandchild, and your unique style of sharing your faith in God. 

You can always count on God. I know God will care for you. Trust Him when…