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Monday, January 30, 2012


Before King David was King, he was just a kid. A banjo-playing shepherd. Even on that day when he went to check on his brothers at the front and ended up fighting big, bad Goliath.

No problem for David. He had a pocket full of pebbles and a sling shot. 

But that wasn’t all he had.

1 Samuel 17:12 gives us the details. King Saul helped prepare David for the battle with Goliath. Saul put his own armor on David and even added a bronze helmet. Bronze, the metal; not bronze the color.

Wearing the King’s armor meant David was better armed than the rest of Saul’s army. When he was armored up, David fastened on a sword.

But then David tried to walk around. “I can’t go like this,” said David. “I’m not used to these.”

Then he took King Saul’s armor off, trotted onto the battlefield and killed Goliath.

King Saul’s armor might have been fine for another person. But not for David. It didn’t fit; not because it was too big for him. It didn’t fit because King Saul’s armor was man made.

And because David was already wearing armor.

He was wearing the armor of God.

We don’t hear about the armor of God until 1000 years later when Paul explains it in Ephesians 6:10-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This post begins a series about the armor of God; the armor we should be wearing—underneath everything else. Our kevlar underwear. War togs to protect the army of Christ. The super special, best of all armor made for the King. By the King.

King Jesus.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your protection. Help us grab hold of your armor and the protection you offer us against the Goliaths of evil in this life. Speak to our hearts about what Paul meant and help us apply these scriptures daily. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Will you think about Ephesians over the next few weeks with me?

Friday, January 27, 2012


My children's writing colleague, Janet Collins  has awarded me the coveted Liebster Blog Award (for blogs with under 200 members).  Thank you, Janet!

Janet can be found at where she encourages children's writers and adults who cherish children with special needs.

I hereby pass this award on to five other writers who have terrific and encouraging blogs. Please visit them often.

Pegg Thomas @

Deborah K. Anderson @

Pauline Creedon @ HosannasChristianReader

Terrie Thorpe @ 4EverHisChild

Samuel R. Choy @

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s blog chain. This month, our theme is “Quest.” Please visit my friends’ blogs by clicking on the links in the right-hand column. 


I was thinking about the theme—quest—when my word-play brain took over and I thought about the word “question.”  

Both quest and question have the same root “quaerere” to ask/seek (Middle English). The word “question” is “quest” + “tion.”  

The suffix “tion” turns a verb into a noun. Question: the seeking (of an answer). 

A quest involves a seeking; a planned, methodical searching. It can be an exciting adventure, too. But it is never helter-skelter or meandering.

It might involve flying by the seat of your pants though. That’s okay as long as your pants have a directional locator set to a trusted GPS. 

In the quest to know God, our trusted GPS is God’s Perfect Scripture. It teaches us about the character of God. It shows us examples of right (and wrong) living. It shares wisdom and hope; unity and peace; love and faith.

Scripture is our ultimate travel itinerary in our quest to know God; our cheat sheet to help us answer the question of our quest: who am I in God? God loves questions; questions that help us in our quest to know and love Him more.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for providing us with a GPS for our quest to know you. Please show us more of your glory today so that we will worship you more. Amen. 

WHAT ABOUT YOU? How do you use your GPS (God’s Perfect Scripture)? Are you a start-at-Genesis quest-er? A daily devotional quest-er? A book-by-book studious quest-er?

Monday, January 23, 2012


It's still January and still early enough to set goals for things we'd like to focus on in 2012.

Over the last 2 weeks I've shared my spiritual goals and my writing goals in the form of SMARTER GOALS. Keeping things simple, here are my personal goals in list form.

Please share yours...

FINANCIAL: return to working the stock market; pursue new business venture “Your Classy Bash.”

HEALTH: outlaw as much white food as possible; better meal planning. Continue regular exercise but “up the ante.” 

OUTLOOK: Be a ruby (Proverbs 30:10 “a noble wife…is worth far more than rubies”) in all areas of life.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us do the things we should do but haven’t been. Help us do better the things we have not done well. Help us do all things for your glory and according to your purpose. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have any personal goals you’re working on this year?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Every month I create prayers based on the names of people we love. This ongoing list of names and prayers can be found at the top of this blog, on the tab titled, “PRAYING NAMES.”

If you would like me to create a prayer based on a specific name, please leave a comment below. I’ll research the name and include it in a future month.

Donald, Don:             world leader; dark stranger 

Heavenly Father, I pray that Donald will live his name. I pray that he will be a leader in YOUR world; reflecting your light and holiness to others; illuminating the darkness and bringing others into your family so that they are no longer strangers to you. Amen.

Erma, Irma: complete; war goddess 

Heavenly Father, I pray that Erma will live her name. I pray that she will find completeness in you. I pray that you will use her life to fight evil in this world to your ultimate glory and honor. Amen. 

Sebastien, Sebastian: revered 

Heavenly Father, I pray that Sebastien will live his name. I pray that he will understand his own worth to you and to others. I pray that he will especially understand the reverence owed to you. I pray that in all things, he will revere you above all else in his life. Amen. 

Shirley: bright wood; bright meadow 

Heavenly Father, I pray that Shirley will live her name. I pray that she will be a bright and restful spot to others in an otherwise dark and secluded world. I pray that her light will come from you as she reflects your light of life to the world. Amen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s blog chain. This month, our theme is “Quest.” Please visit my friends’ blogs by clicking on the links in the right-hand column.


Do you speak gamer language? 

1337-speak (pronounced “leet” speak) uses numerals to stand for the letters they resemble visually. E.g.: 

the numeral 1 = the letter L
the numeral 3 = the letter E
the numeral 7 = the letter T

1337 = LEET

Keyboard shortcut talk: We all know LOL (laughing out loud). How about ROFL (rolling on floor laughing); TY/NP (Thank you/no problem); AFK (away from keyboard)?

Catch phrases: On birthdays, our son reminds us (from the game Portal) that "The cake is a lie," meaning that a promised reward is merely a fictitious motivator.

So when I was thinking about the theme of quest, I was delighted to find this definition in computer gaming: a quest is an objective to be achieved. But this objective comes with a caution: "Strange things will happen if you perform quests out of sequence."

That reminds me of Jesus.

The Bible is filled with scripture prophesying Jesus’ life. A few of the many include:

Proverbs 30:4
Isaiah 6:9-10; 7:14; 9: 5-7
Hosea 11:1
Jeremiah 23:5-6
Psalms 22:18; 78:2 89:3-4; 110:1; 110:4
2 Samuel 7:12-16
Micah 5:1
Zechariah 9:9; 11:12-13
Haggai 2:7-9

What if Jesus had come out of sequence? 

What if Jesus had come to save all mankind for all time right before God wiped out humanity with the flood and started over? That would have been out of sequence. It would have been strange. 

What if Jesus had come to earth before the Old Testament Hebrews received the law? What if he had come before all those cumbersome obligations of legalism had weighed the Jews down? The “Good News” wouldn’t have been as “good” as it is. 

That would have been strange. 

Nor did Jesus come to earth as a rhinoceros. That would have been really strange. 

Instead, Jesus came at the proper time, in the proper sequence, and in the proper way for God’s ultimate plan and glory.  

On our own, we can’t just go from birth to death to heaven. That’s out of sequence.  

Part of the journey God means for us to participate in during this earthly game—our quest—is to find Jesus. To accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. To believe. To grow in our faith. To live our faith.  

We need to perform that quest in sequence. Otherwise, we will understand the painful gaming truth: the cake (the belief that we go to heaven as long as we’re good people) is a lie.  

There is only one truth worthy of our quest. Jesus. He is the truth, and the way and the life.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your truth in Jesus. Help us in our quest to find you, to grow our faith and to live our faith. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you find Jesus’ teachings where you least expect them?

Monday, January 16, 2012


As promised, here are my writing goals for 2012. I have turned each one into a SMARTER GOAL, but to make things simple, here they are in list form.

Book Writing: Finish first revision of I Am Esther by June; query print magazines to build genre platform 

Online Platform: Add website content, blog 3 times a week; write for online magazines; actively look for other platform ideas
Speaking: Pursue forum

Other: Help edit Pastor’s book, attend Spring SCBWI conference

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we want to be used by you. Help us be your hands and feet this year by using the gifts you’ve given to us. Let it be for your glory. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you a writer? What do you want to accomplish in 2012?

Friday, January 13, 2012


Happy Friday the 13th There’ll be three Friday the thirteenths this year: today, April 13 and July 13. Coincidentally, all of them are 13 weeks apart from each other. 
Some people think Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.
But Friday the 13th reminds me of Jesus. 
Why would people think this date is unlucky in the first place? There are different ideas about where the superstition came from.

The number 12 is thought of as a number of completeness. There were 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus, 12 months in a year, 12 hours on a clock. The number 13—one more than the complete number—was too many, irregular, infringing on proper laws of the universe. Therefore it was unlucky.  
  • There were usually 13 steps up to gallows
  • There are 12 witches in a coven plus Satan  
OK, those are bad.
Norse mythology believes that when thirteen people are seated together at a table, one of the diners will die. That myth-based superstition was strengthened biblically. In the case of Jesus’ Last Supper, not just one—but two of the 13 diners (Jesus and Judas) died.



Biblically, several other bad things are believed to have occurred on Friday. These are based on Christian “tradition” (long-held ideas) rather than scripture but here they are to shed light on where Friday superstitions might have come from. It’s believed that on Friday:
  • Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit
  • God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden
  • The Great Flood began on Friday
  • God struck down the Tower of Babel
  • The temple of Solomon was destroyed 


Jesus was crucified on Friday. We know that from historical records. Yes, that was horrible. No question about it. It was a horrible, horrible way for our Lord to die. 
But if Jesus hadn’t been crucified, hadn’t died as our blood sacrifice to cover our sins, then none of us would have the chance to spend eternity in heaven with him. 
And that’s a very good thing. 
We can never do anything on our own to earn entry into heaven. But Jesus did it for us; by dying on a Friday.  
That makes Friday a very lucky day for us. 

Thirteen people seated at the Last Supper? Mythology says at least one of them had to die. Praise God one of them was Jesus. 
I’ll be thinking about the number 13 and Fridays today and how they remind me of Jesus. 
Today—and every day since Jesus died—is our lucky day! 

PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus for dying for my sake. Please remind me every day that because of your sacrifice, every day—even Friday the 13th—is our lucky day. Amen. 
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you superstitious? About what? Why?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


One of my favorite cartoons growing up was The Adventures of Jonny Quest. It was about a boy who accompanied his scientific genius father on extraordinary adventures. Along for the ride were brawny Roger Bannon, Jonny’s friend Hadji and dog, Bandit. Together they used science and muscle power to solve mysteries and stop evil. 

That reminds me of Jesus. 

What if we lived our lives as if we were on a spiritual, Jonny Quest adventure? Together. As a team. 
  • You and I would be Jonny.
  • Abba Father would be Dad.
  • Bannon, the bodyguard, would be Jesus.
  • Mystical Hadji would be the Holy Spirit.

Plus Bandit. Because dogs are good to have on any adventure! 

Together we would team up to thwart evil and solve the mysteries of our spiritual life. 

In fact, as we quest through this world, we should always do so as part of God’s team; always seeking His leading; always following His guidance; always joining Him to fight evil. 

And always seeing God’s plan as the extraordinary adventure it is. 

Whatever our quest, wherever God leads us, let us embark upon God’s extraordinary adventure with excited expectation. 

Here’s a prayer I have posted in the place of highest honor in our house (the fridge). I read it daily. Pray with me. 

PRAYER:  Dear God, please turn my fear into excited expectation for what you have planned. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you had a chance to turn your fear of the unknown into excited expectation, by trusting in God’s leading?

For more about the cartoon series The Adventures of Jonny Quest, go to: indicates that a live action movie version of Jonny Quest is “in development.” Stay tuned.

Monday, January 9, 2012


This is a follow-up to Wednesday’s post on setting SMARTER GOALS.

I have five spiritual goals this year. I’ll share the first one as a SMARTER goal.


SPECIFIC: After a couple of years focusing on specific books of the bible, toward the end of 2011 I was anxious to read through the bible from Genesis to Revelation again.

I’ve done so in various ways before. Last July, I realized there is no rush. So I began at Genesis 1 and have been reading one little chapter a day since then. After 6 months, I’m all the way up to Numbers. This will take a while.   

MEASURABLE: Reading one chapter per day is measurable. In addition to the reading I also keep a notebook of questions or insights.   

For example, this morning, I read Numbers 23. Verse 10 stumped me. Balak had asked Baalam to curse the Israelites. After the talking donkey incident, Baalam sought God’s leading, saying: 

“Who can count the dust of Jacob or the number of the fourth part of Israel?” 

What’s the fourth part of Israel? That caused me to dig further. The Israelites had been divided into four camps. Balaam was saying that each camp was so large as to not be able to be counted. Multiply that times four and—wowzer—spiritually speaking! 

ACHIEVABLE: One chapter a day is almost not enough. But because I have had the habit of reading scripture daily, this goal is certainly achievable. 

RELEVANT: Reading scripture is relevant to spiritual goals; even more relevant to living. 

TIME BASED: Daily reading.  

SMARTER: I will evaluate and reassess quarterly. 

Here are my other spiritual goals in shortened version: 

2. PRAYER: One benefit to a person being prayed for is that they hear how they are being lifted up to God. When someone asks for prayer, I will be more diligent about praying right then and there—with them.   

3. LIVE MY LIFE VERSE with more intention: Esther 4:14 

Perhaps you have come [I am here] to royal position [as daughter of King Jesus] for such a time as this [I can be used right now].  

4. LIVE AND GIVE WITH GRATITUDE. See my post GRATITUDE for the huge lesson learned at my daughter’s wedding. I believed myself to be a cheerful giver before, but now I’ve learned to be a CHEERFUL—exploding fireworks and flower bouquets—giver. 


A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. (Proverbs 19:13) 

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9) 

It is better to live in the desert than to live with a quarelsome wife.  (Proverbs 21:19) 

It is better to live on the corner of a roof than to live with a quarelsome wife. (Proverbs 25:24) 

A quarelsome wife is like the constant dripping of water. (Proverbs 27:7)

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; (Proverbs 27:15) 

I’m not quarelsome. Really.  

But toward the end of the day, I am tired. Head-achy. Muscle achy all over. Those pains show up in my body language causing my family to sometimes imagine I’m upset, angry, annoyed.  

That’s not way I want the people I love to react to me. 

I’ll keep Proverbs in my head this year and try not to be perceived as a quarelsome wife.  Proverbs 25:24 is going on my fridge.


Are these goals merely “to do’s”? Maybe, but they will help me focus more sharply on Jesus. I’m also changing my breath prayer this year to simply:

JE [inhale] SUS [exhale].

"Jesus." Sweet. Like Him. 

PRAYER: Help us, Jesus do what we can to focus on you. Open our minds and our hearts to your leading. Show us ways to be used by you this year—for your glory. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have spiritual goals to share with us for 2012?

Friday, January 6, 2012


Just as each month has a birth stone, each month also has a birth flower. The flower for January is the carnation. And it reminds me of Jesus.
A Christian legend tells about carnations: Jesus' mother Mary cried while Jesus was carrying the cross to Calvary. When her tears fell to the ground, they became carnations.
Carnations have thus become a symbol of mother’s love.
When the second Sunday in May was selected as a day to celebrate mothers, Ann Jaris, the leader of the “Mother’s Day Movement” chose the carnation as a symbol of a mother’s unending love. A colored carnation is worn if that person’s mother is alive. A white carnation is worn if the person’s mother has died.
As for the meaning behind the word, some scholars believe that the word carnation comes either from the word coronation (to crown the king) or corone, which were flower garlands used in Greek ceremonial crowns—which included the carnation. Either base word reminds us of King Jesus.
Alternatively, it is believed that the word carnation comes from the Greek word carnis (meaning flesh), referring to the original color of the flower. By extension, carnis refers to the incarnation of God made flesh—as in Jesus.
Unlike more delicate flowers, the carnation is strong and sturdy—staying fresh for many days. Also, unlike the sweeter fragrance of others flowers, the carnation is spicy, remnicient of the spices brought by the magi as a gift to Jesus. The arrival of the magi is observed in January.

Happy birthday to everyone born in January!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for all the people born in January and for the lives lived for you. Thank you especially for Jesus. Show us things in this world daily that will remind us of Jesus and that glorify you. Amen. 

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Any special carnation stories? Or January birthdays?

See other birth month flower posts:  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year. 

Sure it’s already January 4, but we can keep saying that—through January at least. 

One of the things January means for many of us is that it’s time to set goals. Those New Year’s Resolutions. Yep, I’m one of those folks. Hubby and I set them every year. We even review them quarterly; revise where needed; evaluate; adjust. 

This year I thought I’d share mine with you. And you could share them with all of us. We can discuss, review, revise, evaluate and adjust together.  

Let’s take a few weeks to do it. This week, we’ll start with a quick review of how to set goals. Next Monday, I’ll share my spiritual goals for 2012. Monday, January 16, I’ll share my writing goals for 2012. Monday, January 23, I’ll share a few personal goals and we’ll recap together. 

Then stay tuned for quarterly goal reviews at the end of March, June, September, and December. We all need encouragement and a good nagging to keep ourselves on track and accountable. I’m here for ya, baby! 

Here’s the standard advice for setting SMART and SMARTER goals—nicely set out by Stephen Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” 

Goals should be: 

SPECIFIC: No fair saying, “I want to lose weight.” A better goal is to say, “I will lose 20 pounds in 2012.” 

MEASURABLE: Know how to measure your progress. A goal to lose 20 pounds has little meaning if you don’t know your weight when you begin.  

ACHIEVABLE: A goal also has little meaning if you can’t achieve it. You probably won’t be able to lose 250 pounds in 2012; but losing 10-50 probably is achievable. 

RELEVANT: If a goal has no meaning, you have no incentive to work toward it. If you’re 6’ tall and weigh 150 pounds, then having a goal to lose more weight is irrelevant. 

TIME-BASED: Plan ahead for your progress so your review will be more meaningful each quarter. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 2012 you might plan to lose 5 pounds each quarter. At the end of the quarter, you can check your progress and see how you’re doing, with your time-based goal in mind.

SMARTER goals, add Evaluate and Reassess. So each quarter we’ll evaluate how we’ve done and reassess the goals and how we might plan better for the next three months.

OK, friends. Now that we have had a little review on how to set our goals, start thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in 2012. Let’s put God first. Come back next week and we'll share our spiritual goals.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for making us teachable and changeable. We want to live better lives for you. Please help us do so. Inspire us with how you’d have us change. Encourage us and help us encourage each other. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Will you commit to setting some spiritual goals for 2012? Spend the week thinking about them and come back next Monday to share.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Baby girl and her new hubby headed off this morning to begin married life in their new home. The wedding is over but the celebration and rejoicing continues. 

I shed surprisingly few tears Friday evening—all of them, of course joyous. But later, when quiet time took over, the tears began. Not tears of missing my daughter; not even happy tears over her adventure with her new husband. 

These tears were tears of gratitude for the people God placed in my life. 

Everyone knows that a wedding can be a complicated event. Details to coordinate; people to organize; tasks to get done. 

This wedding could not have been accomplished without the generous time and physical labor of our family and friends. From the hours of set up Friday morning until nearly midnight Friday night, so many people worked cheerfully and with generosity of spirit to love on ussetting tables, carrying boxes and washing dishesso that our daughter and the man she loves would be gifted with a beautiful start to their marriage and celebration of their commitment before God. 

I learned on Friday how to accept that help; how much it means to the recipient (me) when others give of their time, and how much love is given and received in the process.  

On behalf of our family—thank you to everyone for making Nicole and Kyle’s wedding so wonderful.  And thank you to God for placing those people in my life.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for placing people in our lives. Show us how to give and to receive love and help when it is needed. Show us how to do so in your name. Amen. 

WHAT ABOUT YOU? When was the last time you were overwhelmed by the love of others and what they did for you?