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Monday, October 31, 2011




Plastic, handled pumpkins;
Felt pen ghouls on paper bags;
Spiderman pillow cases and Hello Kitty shams
match spiders and kitten costumes.

Neon neck rings announce 5-year old mayhem
Pudgy hands plunge into buckets of delight

Thank you!

+ + +


Eyes lit by candles.
Three days later
shrunken heads still sit on ledges
brought back to life by ants.

+ + +

May your jack-o-lanterns always stay fresh and your candy supply be endless! Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Halloween is a time for pumpkins and popcorn; trick-or-treat and tooth decay.

But it began as a holy day.

We’re saints, you and I

A “saint” in Christianity refers to a believer. That’s so for all varieties of Christianity, whether you are Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or something in between. A saint isn’t just those martyrs holding a title of Saint with a capital “S.”

All Christiansliving or dead—are saints. Not because we’re so good, but because we have been made holy through the blood of Christ. Sometimes in scripture this is translated as “holy people” or “God’s people.” But saints we are.

Christian history 101 

One of the first things the early Christian church did was to set aside November first as “All Saints Day.” Back in the fourth century, merely 300 years after Jesus, the Roman Catholic Church established this day to recognize martyrs who had died for their faith. November first ultimately became a time to praise God for His plan of salvation and to remember all of Christ’s saints (not just the ones with the capital “S”) who had died and returned home to Glory.

Whether you are a member of today’s Roman Catholic Church or not, the fact remains that Greece (home of Orthodox Christianity) and Rome (home of Roman Catholic Christianity) were the first two places where Paul and his gang took Christianity to the gentiles. It’s where Christianity took root and flourished. And amid all that flourishing, All Saints Day was founded—a holy day set aside by the Church for God’s glory.

But what’s Halloween? 

Christians celebrate the evening before Christmas as Christmas Eve. Similarly, early Christians celebrated the evening before All Saints Day, referring to it as All Hallows Eve. “Hallowed,” as we know from the Lord’s Prayer, means “holy.”  

This pre-All Saints Day observance gradually became known as “Hallows Eve” and eventually “Halloween.” The meaning? Holy Evening.

Today’s unholiness 

There is nothing holy about gangs of 4-foot tall aliens, fairy princesses and red-cloaked vampires roaming our neighborhoods with bulging bags of candy. And admittedly, the true evil one has a party every year as he encourages us to look to him for the glory, rather than to the true Master of the universe. 

But the fact that Satan uses a holy day for his purposes does not mean the day itself is evil. Does not the evil one use every day for his purposes? It is our responsibility as children of God to remember the holiness in everything—including and maybe even especially—days originally set aside by man for God’s glory. 

Christmas has become a commercialized season in the secular world. Should Christians therefore no longer celebrate the birth of our savior?  

Not on your eternal life!

Me and my house 

I will be spending this weekend in preparation for All Saints Day. I’ll be praying in gratitude for God’s plan and for including me and my loved ones in it. 

And if there’s any candy left in the bowl after the miniature ghouls and goblins have finished grabbing, then there’ll be one more thing to be thankful for. 

Holy Eve (Halloween) blessings to all.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please remind us that all of your days are holy days. Please show us ways to thank you for your plan and to see your holiness in everything. Please protect us from the evil one during these and every day. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you love or hate Halloween? What was your favorite costume from your childhood? Why?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain. Our theme for October is “harvest.” Please see the links to the right and read what my friends have to say about harvest.


My typical poetic style is to include as much horrible rhyming and as many groan-inducing puns as I can fit onto one sheet of paper.

Today I’m trying something different. I hope you enjoy these thoughts about one of the symbols of harvest time: corn.


Colored kernels on a cob

Dried husks tied in threes

Does the red taste different from the purple?

Or the black?


Green fields turned brown

Stalk tips touch the sky

Becoming mazes of maize



Candy corn,

like lost teeth looking for a fairy

Monday, October 24, 2011


Every room in my house is sprinkled with glitter. In preparation for baby girl’s wedding in December, we’ve got red glitter tulle. We’ve got silver glittered snowflakes. We’ve got glitter sprinkled curly willows.

In fact, once hubs painted those curly willows white and sprinkled them with glitter, he even stopped calling them crazy willows, creepy willows or spooky willows. Now he calls them “pretty.”

A little glitter can go a long way in turning whatever is crazy, creepy or spooky into something pretty.

This morning I noticed a sprinkling of glitter on the floor around me. No doubt it had attached itself to my body and I’d trailed it through the house as if I was sowing seeds of delight. Shedding glitter. Littering.

That reminded me of Jesus. 

Everything God makes is good and beautiful and shining. If God ever littered, ever had something He shed, sprinkling it as He went about, leaving trails throughout the heavens, it would appear to us as sparkling delight. God's litter. Glitter.

Now when I traipse through the house and find sparkles of glitter where there should be none, I think of God and imagine that He’s walking through the house with me (He is) and that He’s filled with so much glory (He is) that He leaves sparkles of God-litter wherever He goes. I only have to hold my head just so and let His light shine on it for me to see it sparkle.

The perfect way to hold my head just so? Bowed in prayer.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your sparkling delight. Thank you for leaving a trail of your glory for us to see. Help us see it today wherever we are. Help us to look just so and see that your light is shining on us. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a fun memory involving glitter?

Friday, October 21, 2011


Thinking back on Monday’s “Rainbow Reminders” and Wednesday’s “Harvest Moon,” what part of God’s heaven reminds you most of His glory? In what way?  

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you are in heaven. You reign from heaven. You fill the heavens with your glory. Thank you for showing us your glory in every part of this universe. Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain. Our theme for October is “harvest.” Please see the links to the right and read what my friends have to say about harvest.

When was the last time you stepped outside and gasped in wonder at an enormous, golden harvest moon? Hopefully you did so on September 12, when I reminded you. If not, you’ll have to wait an entire year for the next one. The good thing is: harvest moons are worth the wait.

But how could such a grand cosmic event occur? The moon was just sitting there in the sky last night; nothing unusual; respectfully doing its job of lighting the sky; not overpowering it.

It’s as if God decided one evening to make a point; to show us His power; to remind us that He is in charge.

The science behind a harvest moon is fairly straight forward.

A harvest moon is the full moon closest on the calendar to the autumnal equinox, when the tilt of the earth and its relationship to the sun are just right. Often, the harvest moon appears bigger and brighter or more colorful than other full moons, even though of course, it’s really the same moon.

·         It appears larger because of our visual receptors perceive a low-hanging moon to be larger than one that's high in the sky.   

·         The warm orange color results from the light reflected from the moon passing through more atmospheric particles this one time of year than when the moon is typically overhead. The atmosphere scatters the bluish part of the moonlight but allows the reddish light to travel a straighter path to our eyes.   

Science aside, a harvest moon can take your breath away.

It’s as if God placed the sky into a heavenly Photoshop program and clicked the plus sign, bringing the moon closer to us, bringing us closer to Him and reminding us of His glory. It’s as if God is saying:

I AM right here.
I AM closer than you remember.
I AM closer than you will ever know.
Pay attention.

We’ve all grown up with stories about the “man in the moon.” There are songs and poems and stories reminding us that when we look at the shining orb, sometimes we can imagine the face of a man.

But in reality, that man in the moon? It’s Jesus. And a harvest moon is reminder that Jesus is Lord of the harvest. Shine on!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminders in nature of your glory. Help us to remember that you are closer than we can even imagine. Remind us, Jesus, that you are Lord of the Harvest. Holy Spirit, work in us to live lives worthy of your plan. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you remember the first time you saw a harvest moon? What did you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011


Funny thing about the Bible: no matter how many times you’ve read it, God always seems to have something new to show you.

Let me tell you what I mean.

I’ve read the Noah story a dozen times. After Noah and his family left the ark, God made a covenant (promise) with him, with all people for all generations, and with all living creatures, that never again would He destroy all life with a flood. Then God set the rainbow in the sky as a sign of that promise.

Take a look at what God said in Genesis 9:16:

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Read that last sentence again.

Did you see what I never saw before? God said: Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember…”

Wow. The rainbow isn’t just a sign to remind us of God’s promise. The rainbow is also a sign to remind God of His promise.

Does God really need a reminder? Of course not.But it is nice to know He gives Himself a reminder about things that are important to his children.

It’d be like posting a note to ourselves on the fridge: don’t forget to kiss the kids goodnight. Are you likely to forget? No. But it’s nice to remind yourself. It forces you to think about your kids and how much they mean to you. And it’s nice for them to know it’s important enough for you to stick the reminder in the place of supreme importance: the front of the fridge.

The last rainbow I saw was in August while visiting my daughter at college in Idaho. I had only recently re-read Genesis. The revelation of the rainbow as a reminder was still fresh in my mind.

The rainbow God placed in the sky as we were leaving our daughter behind and returning to California wasn’t a wimpy half rainbow or a faded full one. This one was brilliant; a complete, double rainbow, stretching across the vast Idaho hills, encompassing the horizon and blazing forth the reality of God’s promise of love and care.

Thanks, God for the reminder and for remembering your children, especially when we have to leave our children to your care and return to our earthly homes three states away.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, you are worthy of our love and worship. Thank you for being our protector and provider. Thank you for loving us so much that you would give us this lifetime and then provide a way for us to spend eternity with you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What was the most beautiful rainbow you’ve ever seen?

Friday, October 14, 2011


As some of you know, I research the meaning of names. Then I create an individual prayer that a person would live the meaning of their name. After I post them here, I move them to the permanent ‘PRAYING NAMES” page at the top of this blog.

Please email me or leave a comment with names of loved ones you would like to pray for. Then join me in praying for our loved ones by praying the meaning of their names.

Here are the latest.

Lynn: from the lake

Heavenly Father, I pray that Lynn will live her name. I pray that she will live her life as if she is continually baptized in your holy, living water. I pray that she will know your living water as a deep, cool and clear lake. I pray that she will then take your water of life and share it with those around her, who may not know your love and grace.

Martin: God of war

Heavenly Father, I pray that Martin will live his name. I pray that he will become a soldier in your army, fighting evil and protecting the innocent in your name. I pray also that he will be obedient to your leading as commander in chief of his life.

Taryn, Tarin: of the earth (terra)

Heavenly Father, I pray that Taryn will live her name. I pray that she will live, knowing she is of this earth but that her eternal home is with you. I pray that she will remember her heavenly home and set her sights on you in all things. 

Wyatt: son of guy

Heavenly Father, I pray that Wyatt will live his name. I pray that he will remember that he is your son, your child and that he will live his life in a God-honoring and obedient way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It's Thursday.

Hey, wait a minute. What am I doing posting on Thursday?

Just before I left for vacation, lovely Debbie Dillon presented me with the "One Lovely Blog Award." Now that I'm back and the gigantic piles of laundry are folded and put away, it's time for me to pass the award on.

The requirements of receiving this award are:

1. To thank the giver and link back to her site. I did that immediately, but here it is again: THANK YOU, DEBBIE! Here's the link to her blog: writin4himcafe

2. Provide 7 random facts that folks may not know about you.

3. Pass this award on to 15 other lovely blog sites. Let them know you're awarding them. Link to their sites.

4. Copy the award logo and paste it onto your own site.

Here are those 7 random facts:

1. I hold an ancient (unused) black belt in karate.
2. I used to be a belly dancer in a performing troupe.
3. I’ve lived in 5 states and attended 9 schools between K-12.
4. I love turtles and model my life around them—slow and steady. And I tend to hide when I’m uncertain of my environment.
5. I’m attracted by small, shiny objects. If it sparkles, I’m interested.
6. I can barely see straight until I have my morning coffee. I don’t actually like coffee. That’s what cream, sugar and French Vanilla is for.
7. When I don’t write for more than a week I get crotchety.

Here are 15 wonderful, lovely sites (awarded in no particular order):

Cindee Snider Re, Breathe Deeply  you need to breathe deeply because Cindee’s poetry is breathtaking

Lynn Mosher Heading Home   Lynn’s solid, scriptural posts are meaty in a lovely way

Chris Henderson, The Write Chris – Chris is a Christian writer with a heart for encouraging other writers

Nona King Word obsession – Nona has a way of sharing emotions in her posts in such a lovely way

Taci Bonney Tracings  Traci courageously bares her soul and lets her readers see what a lovely soul it is

Tracy Krauss Expression Express   Tracy has such an appealing, no nonsense; yet friendly writing style

Pauline Creeden Hosanna’s Christian reader the clean lines of Pauline’s blog reflect the truth she writes so clearly

Marilyn Life 101 Understanding it all   Marilyn’s subtitle “U-Turns, Detours and Discovery” reflects how we sometimes grow in Christ

Sheila Hollinghead, Rise, Write, Shine Sheila’s conversational tone makes me feel like she’s sitting here chatting with me

Liberty Speidel, Word Wanderings I love Liberty’s mix of writing talk and life talk

Keri Mae Lamar how can you not love a site dedicated to helping moms build happy homes with Jesus?

Linda Yezak Linda is often funny; always professional with great writing thoughts

Sue Ewing, Little Bits  Sue has perfected the art of the first sentence “hook”

Although I sense that the lovely pink flowers affixed to this award lend themselves more to women’s blogs, I also love the following men’s blogs:

Chris Vonada I’m Just Thinkin’ Chris makes big points in a totally easy reading style

Keith Wallis wordsculptures Keith’s combination of poetry and pictures are perfectly lovely

Congratulations to all fifteen winners! Thank you again, Debbie. Readers--check these winners out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain. Our theme for October is “harvest.” Please see the links to the right and read what my friends have to say about harvest.


Scripture is filled with references to planting, sowing seeds, and harvest.  They refer to the bounty of God and the culmination of His plan for a spiritual harvest and bringing the faithful to Him at the end of the age.

Many scriptures reference the pain of growing crops and harvesting (Luke 19:21; Galatians 6:7; Mark 4:29; Galatians 6:9; Matthew 13:30; Matthew 9:37; John 4:35).

What I love about Psalm 126:5-6 is the focus on the joy of the harvest.  

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

This reminds me that although the process of planting the seed and caring for it is hard, not only will the harvest bring bounty, food for sustenance and nourishment; it also brings joy and thanksgiving.

In our walk with Jesus sometimes there is pain as He shows us our need to change. He may gently reach down and pluck at our spiritual weeds or he may take a sickle to them. There may also be pain in their burning. But the ultimate harvest brings with it spiritual bounty. It sustains and nourishes us eternally and brings us everlasting joy.

As we go out carrying seed to sow, we can carry Jesus’ good seed and then carry our sheaves home with us. Those sheaves of wheat get made into bread—a reminder of Jesus’ body broken for us.

One day we’ll get to head back to the barn with Jesus. There may be heavenly fiddles playing; golden-clad slippers tapping and King David leading us in a line dance with Jesus. A heavenly hoe-down for sure.

Until then, let’s keep sowing and planting; watering and weeding. And keeping Psalms 126 in mind that the culmination will mean songs of joy. With heaven’s amazing acoustics, all that singing will sound good even if you can’t carry a tune.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for seeds that can be sown and cared for, nurtured and watered by you. Help the seeds you sow in us grow to maturity so that your spiritual harvest will be bountiful and glorifying to you. Let us remain part of your eternal harvest. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a favorite “harvest” verse in scripture?

Monday, October 10, 2011


Jim and I and our two friends have just returned from paradise—officially known as the island of Kauai, Hawaii.

Now I need to do 17,531 loads of laundry, while contemplating how dirty shorts and smelly shirts can take up so much more room than clean ones.

While I’m waiting for the spin cycle, I thought I’d share paradise with you.

Wish you were there. Wish I still was, too.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the beauty on this earth and for giving us times of rest and relaxation by your commandment of the “Shabbat—rest from labor.” In all things, help us to remember to rest and relax in you. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What was your best vacation ever? When’s your next one?

Friday, October 7, 2011


I’m not here.

Well, technically I am here now. But when you read this I won’t be here. I’ll be there—in Hawaii. The tropics; hula land; on holiday. You know. Paradise.

Being on vacation though doesn’t mean I leave you behind. Rather, I’m taking you with me in a way because I’m thinking of you ahead of time; almost like I’m taking you along to paradise.

That reminds me of Jesus.

Before the beginning of the world, God was. He planned His plan in every detail; including the details of heaven and how He could make a way for us to spend eternity there with Him.

Enter Jesus. Well, Jesus was already there, too; existing along with the Father and Spirit, before the beginning. And their plan—THE Plan—was salvation for us through Jesus’ sacrifice. In other words, God found a way to take us along with Him to Paradise. 

Here on holiday, the sand is warm. The water glimmers. The fruit is sweet and the company is, too. It’s true paradise.

Maybe I can’t take you with me on this trip. But we can hang out in true Paradise together one day. Won’t that be heavenly?

PRAYER: Father, thank you for giving us glimpses of heaven by creating beautiful earthly paradises here. Remind us of our true home where you are waiting for us. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What place on earth comes closest to your idea of paradise?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain. Our theme for October is “harvest.” Please see the links to the right and read what my friends have to say about harvest.


The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15) is a powerful story, illustrating the way the Gospel is received. 

When the Gospel is preached, some people hear it but then Satan takes it away before it can be believed. When others hear the Gospel, they receive it but do not work at it to ensure that the seed takes root. So the tender faith does not withstand the tests of life. But the Gospel received by people who hear it, retain it, nurture it and grow their relationship with Jesus, produces a crop. A bounty. A harvest.

What about Jesus’ command that we be workers for his spiritual harvest? Matthew 9:37:

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Is there a connection between these two passages for our own lives?

We all want to be the good soil of Jesus’ parable. We also want to be the workers in God’s harvest. Sometimes we forget that we need to be workers in our own spiritual harvest.

God has sown the seed and we have received the good news. Still, we must continue to water our faith with the living water of Christ. We must allow Him to pull our weeds and burn our thorns. We must help Him place sparkling strips of divine foil in our fields to keep away the pests that could destroy our faith.

We must persevere in order to produce an abundant harvest in our own lives for Him.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for sowing your seeds of faith in my life. Please make good soil for those who don’t yet know you. Help me water their soil and nurture them. Help me also tend my own faith so that your harvest is abundant. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Who do you know that needs you to pray for them to be part of God’s harvest? How do you need to cultivate your own soil?

Monday, October 3, 2011


The birthstone for the month of October is the opal. Just like each calendar month is identified with a gemstone, each month is also identified with a flower. The birth flower for the month of October is the marigold. And it reminds me of Jesus.

The reason is easy to understand. Early Christians in fact, called the marigold flower, “Mary’s Gold,” reminding us of Jesus’ earthly mother and that Jesus was God’s precious gift to humanity.

It also reminds us of the three gifts the magi brought when they came to worship infant Jesus. Gold, incense and myrrh. The marigold flower has therefore come to symbolize sacred affection and grace.

The marigold’s beautiful golden color, often tipped with rust, reminds us of a late-harvest, which still contains the last warmth of summer. Harvest itself reminds us of God’s harvest of souls, through Jesus.

Although there is often a second, alternative birth flower each month, the marigold is by far the most well-recognized of the two flowers for October, the second being the cosmos. The cosmos, too reminds me of Jesus, as it symbolizes peace, creation and wholeness and reminds us that God created the orderly, harmonious, structured universe—the cosmos.

Happy birthday to everyone born in the month of October.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your beautiful creations that reflect your glory. Help us to remember you, Jesus, whenever we see a marigold, and to thank you for becoming human for our sake. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you ever lined your garden with the delightful, sturdy marigold?

For my posts about other birth flowers, please see: June (roses); July (larkspurs and lillies); August (gladiolas and poppies); and September (asters and morning glories).