God Chooses to Use the MOST Unlikely People – The Lyin’ Hooker

I am always amused, and sometimes have to laugh, when I’m reading the Bible and come across those most unlikely people God uses.

Sometimes we are guilty of doing God’s choosing for Him.  How many times have we thought or actually said (yes, we’ve heard it), “So and so would make a nice Christian, or church member.”

On the flip side…have you ever looked with disdain at someone God is using for His greater good?

The spies, in Joshua 2, were told to go check out Jericho.   Imagine their surprise when they ended up on the porch of a prostitute.  “Wow, what are we going to tell Joshua?”  But they stayed, because she welcomed them, it was in God’s plan, and they needed help.

A lyin’ hooker.  A prostitute.  Someone who was accustomed to bedding down men for a living.  And there they were.


I can imagine what the women were saying, because women sometimes tend to be the worst at things like that.    (sorry, but it’s true)

Here we have one of those stories we’re afraid to tell our kids, and one we tend to make excuses for of why God would have chosen her.

But the fact is He did..and the 2nd fact is – He still does, and he honored Rahab for her obedience.

And only when we start seeing others with the eyes of Jesus, Who allowed a prostitute anoint His feet, Who gave living water to a woman who couldn’t hold onto a husband, Who allowed unclean women to touch Him….only then will we see the magnificent work of God in their lives…and in ours.


He Calls Me “Sis”

This is an exciting, scary and yet fun blog to write.   It will surprise many people, maybe even shock them, but I’m asking you to not read into it anything that is not there.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me personally, but please do not spread gossip or speculations.  And please understand that those questions may or may not be answered.

I felt this was the best way to get the news out, and since he is going to be a part of my life now, after 61 years of being without him, it will be difficult to not share news which includes him.

By writing this I want to honor the fact that my Mom gave life.  And gave it sacrificially.  Mom grew up in West Virginia.

I’ve known for many years that I had another brother.   While that always nagged in the recesses of my brain, I never pursued it.  After Bruce, my brother died, and then my parents….I felt like an orphan.   I’ve had such a hole in my life, especially with my own kids and grandkids living so far away.  Unless you’ve lived that, you have no idea that ache that is in one’s heart every single day.

I knew there was another sibling somewhere out there and began looking for him. However, I had such little information, my efforts were futile.

 I just gave up hope.

I never let it consume me, but I did pray about it, and left it in God’s hands.   Well, this week God answered my prayers!   My brother found me!   Through efforts of his wife, and moving of God, I now know my brother….at least by phone.

We talked…we laughed, I cried, we treasured the fact that we both have a sibling now!   And some of his statements I am treasuring in my heart;  “It’s great I have a sister.”  “I’d love to get together,”  “I just can’t believe I have a sister now!”

And I can’t believe I have a brother now!

Lane was raised by my Mom’s aunt and uncle who could never have children, so he was an only child, and has been for 70 years.   Until now.  Now he has a sister, now I have a brother again.   Neither of us knows when we will meet personally….but we’re both hoping for it.  A huge thanks to his wife, Vanessa, who searched and searched for the rest of his family.

He calls me “Sis!”

I wish Mom could have known him.   It’s my understanding that there were times, when he was little, that she watched him from afar.  I can only imagine the pain of that.  Thankfully, I know God has now taken her pain away.

We’re trying to put some pieces together, answer a few questions, speculate on some others.  But….we do know we love one another.

Hoping you will share in our joy.


Texas, You Will be Different

Devastation mounts as over 20 counties are flooding as I write.   Here’s my heart.

Texas, you will be different when all this is over.

You will have seen the worst…and the best.  You will have seen the worst devastation you can imagine, and you will see that God can rebuild and restore.

You will have seen the worst in people as they loot, steal and take advantage of you, but….

you will have seen the best in those who tirelessly, hour upon hour, risk their own lives to rescue, serve food, give of themselves, give resources, give clothing, diapers….and the list goes on.

You will change.   You will now have memories nobody should ever have to deal with, but you will have people to talk with about those memories, as you and your neighbors band together to rebuild.You will change.

You will no longer take for granted a dry, clean house, nor the sun that shines.

You will know somewhere in the backs of your minds that people are rioting and hating but HERE…..http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/august/songs-of-praise-fill-the-air-in-houston-shelters

You will have heard and seen the praise to God in song, and the prayers lifted up in your behalf.

You will have lost about all you have in this world….but..

You will realize that your most prized possessions and loves mean nothing compared to the love and lives of family, friends and strangers.

You will wonder where God is, and yet…..

If you allow Him….He will show you through the sunset, through love of others, through His many surprises.

Yes, you will be changed, different.  And I don’t pretend to know how hard it will be. But if you will allow us, the rest of the world, to love you and care, you will know that we have changed also – as we care for you.



My dream – Too Busy – For Jesus and Others

I had a vivid dream last night.   Some of our family was home, and a few of my best girlfriends had come to see me, all at the same time – and I wasn’t even sick!  Ha!   However, my family was with friends and my girlfriends decided my house needed cleaned, laundry needed done, and food needed cooked.  There were some weird things – you know how dreams are – like the toilet paper roll was way up on the ceiling.   Where did that come from?!?!  You would have to be 10 feet tall to get to that thing!

But the essence of the dream was clear.  Nobody had time for me.   I begged them to just come talk to me – we didn’t have much time! They would for a few seconds or couple of minutes, and then go right back to cleaning and cooking and their other peeps.

I woke up immediately, it seemed.  That’s another thing about dreams…you never know if it’s immediately, if it lasted 2 hours or 2 seconds, if it was real or….oh, was it real?

Different from other dreams, I could recount this one.  For a moment I was sad – at first for myself.  But then – then the story of Jesus with Mary and Martha came to mind.   The account in Luke 10 haunts me, I have to tell you.   I like things to be just so when I’m having company and could easily side with Martha.

Luke 10:40 reads, “But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities…”    AND WHO WAS SHE SERVING? JESUS, OF COURSE!!!!   She was SERVING Jesus.   Something we’re told we need to do, should do, ought to do.  We’re guilted if we’re NOT doing!

But Jesus, very gently, shows Martha the better way by admonishing and lovingly correcting her; Mary had chosen the better way.

Two ways – to do or to be.   To serve or to sit at someone’s feet…namely Jesus here.   To be busy or be with.   Presence or preparing.   Distracted or focused on another.

I believe there are two lessons here.   First, God wants us.  Not what we can DO for Him, but what we ARE to Him.  We are His treasured possessions, His people and He wants to be our God.   Do you take time to just spend it with Him; Absorbing His word, silent in His presence, listening for His direction?

Secondly, how are you with people?  People you love, people you don’t like?  Those who are easy to be around, those who are needy?   Remember, Jesus also said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  (Matt. 25)


The Desperation For Jesus…His Daughter

Crowds were pushing and shoving and everyone was trying to get to Jesus.  Above all, one woman was desperate, but she was unclean.  She had been bleeding for 12 long years and with doctor after doctor came continuous disappointment.   Now, one last hope.  She had heard about a Healer, and she was going to get to Him if it was the last thing she did.

She didn’t care about who was in her way.  She didn’t care what others would think.  Her desperation was driving her to nothing else but touching his clothes, if that was all she could get.  She knew it would be enough.  She just needed Jesus.

I’m sure some in the crowd had to know this woman and her physical issues.   They knew if they touched her they, too, would be unclean.

But it didn’t deter her….she just needed Jesus.

Jesus, Himself, was on His way to a synagogue official’s house.  If she touched Him, He would become unclean also.  He wouldn’t be able to complete that task.

But she didn’t care…..she just needed Jesus.

People would most likely scold, ridicule and scoff at her.  Who knew what they would do to her.

But that didn’t matter…..she just knew she had to get to Jesus.

And she did, and immediately Jesus knew.  He knew power had gone out from Himself and He asked (although I’m sure He knew), “Who touched my robe?”

His disciples thought He was crazy for even asking such a question, and the woman….her boldness turned to sheer terror.  No worries….the beauty of an encounter with Jesus took over as He called to her, “DAUGHTER!”

I can’t imagine what was going through her head as He issued one of the most precious titles a woman can ever hear….DAUGHTER.

No more disappointing doctor visits, no more enduring the stares and jeers of people, no more shame.

How desperate are you for Jesus?  How passionately do you seek Him?  Is there a part of you that is “unclean”, that needs the touch of Jesus?   Do you have shame from something?  Do you need to hear Him say to  you, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over?”

Seek Him….He wants to call out to you, “Daughter…”


A Girl, a Baby and a Hopeless Situation


Thirty three years ago, President Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

Forty one years ago I was in bed, by doctors’ orders waiting for the birth of my child.    Alone, scared, in poverty.   Abortion had just become legal.  Why in the world would I not go ahead and abort?   I had just recently become a Christian and most certainly it would have been easier in that respect, right?  I would not have to try to explain how I’m now a Christian, but also now pregnant and unmarried….to a small Missouri town.

I was entering my senior year of high school….the complications of a child would definitely affect that as well.   And an abortion could have secretly taken me out of the horrific shame I was about to endure.   Or so I thought.

As a new Christian, my faith was fragile.  However, I knew I could not take the life of my child.   I began praying that God would give me a father for my child.  I told God I didn’t care if he loved me or not, as long as he loved my child and would help me raise him in Christ.   I imagine God was smiling, thinking, “I think I can one up you on that.”

As the months went by, I got larger and larger, and the shame grew with my body.   I wanted to finish high school, but every day I walked in the school, I fought back the tears because I knew I would endure the stares and the whispers.

My parents had recently divorced, my dad had disowned me over the situation,  and my mother was trying to eek out a living for us as a retail clerk.   But I continued to pray.

January came and I began bleeding so the doctor ordered me to bed. On a cold morning in February the pains began and Dustin was born shortly before noon.  He was perfect, all 9 pounds and 3 ounces. Now I was even more scared.  I actually had a child I could see, for whom I was responsible!

Somehow, only by God’s power, I finished high school.  That was such a miracle, as 2 months after Dustin was born, he was hospitalized for a week and nearly died.   And again at 6 months!

I continued to pray for a daddy for him, but I was in a small town, with a bad reputation.  I knew I had to move.  I also knew I would probably never be in ministry, which was my original dream when I became a Christian.

Through God’s provision I got a job in Joplin, Missouri with a Christian street counseling ministry called His Place.  I was a secretary to the director.  But honestly, I think it was more of a charity case situation that he put me on payroll.

There was a His Place counseling center in Joplin on Main Street.   Once in a while, in the evening, I would go down there and I met some wonderful Christian people who worked there.

I met Tom, and it was love at first sight….between him and Dustin, who was now one year old.   Tom was  a student at Ozark Bible College (now Ozark Christian College), and he was just as poor as I was.   But eventually, we became an item and somehow knew God would take care of us.   I was living in a tiny little house on Jackson street in Joplin, making $65 a week and paying that much in rent.  Those were the days!
2116 jackson, joplin

I soon knew that God had brought us together and Tom loved, protected, played with and disciplined Dustin in every way.  He would bring over sack lunches from the college on weekends, so we didn’t have to buy food, as there was very little money.   He sold pop bottles to buy milk for Dustin.  He taught Dustin about God.   But he also seemed to love me.  This was confusing to me.   My dad had disowned me, guys had used me, but this man…he loved me.  He loved both of us.

Tom, me, Dustin age 2

So, we got married.  It just seemed natural to make ourselves a family.  We knew we wanted to have another baby soon, so there wouldn’t be a huge age difference, so 3 months later we announced another child on the way.  Jed was born in Hawaii a week before our first anniversary.  Tom had wanted to go into the ministry and we had moved there soon after we were married.  He served a church on the North Shore.  He lovingly adopted Dustin there also.

Tom, Dustin, Jed newborn

I would be lying if I said that this has all been easy.  There have been many tough times.   There have been seasons of desperation and doubt.   Life was rough in those first few years especially, but God fulfilled my hopes and dreams of a father, husband and even now…nine grandchildren.  Oh yes, I always have to add….we simply don’t get to see them enough and that is another rough season.

But we have always trusted God and He has always cared for us.   There are days we lean in hard on Him.  We know our Savior, Jesus, has taken it all for us.   And we will continue to trust.

Only God could receive the glory for taking  a little girl, a baby and a hopeless situation and infusing hope, redeeming it.  His hope, His future, His plans. Funny, there are days my faith is still fragile, and especially during those times, I go to Him.  God, the Creator of life, Who gives life, still loves me and continues to work in my life.  He takes hopeless situations and gives them hope.


Reasons Why I Still Believe People are Staying in Church


Every week, it seems, I plod through another article of why everyone is leaving the church.   I’m weary of it.  Can we please talk about why people just might be staying in church, or even searching?   Can we at least take a moment to see the good in some of our churches?

Can we also take into consideration the areas of the world where the church is flourishing?   Maybe not in the mega-arena forums to which we’ve become accustomed, but the church of Jesus Christ IS growing.

Church building the man built himself

Here are just a few reasons I believe in the church of Jesus Christ, and trust that people are still going and have not deserted the bride of Christ.

  1.  People are still drawn to the cross of Jesus Christ.  Daddy and 1st Christian CrossJesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”  Most churches still speak of the death, burial and thankfully – resurrection of our Lord and Savior.   He is still being lifted up, and people are still drawn to Him.  Let’s not minimize the power of this fact.
  2.  People are hurting and broken, and many still know that the  church offers hope.  Sure, we’re all broken, but many of us have  come to know the healing power of Christ, and we care about  those who haven’t.
  3.  We may be losing some teens, and that is tragic (it’s tragic when we lose anyone), but there are  plenty of great parents who are determined to raise their  children in Jesus.    Also, there are still some great Youth Ministers.   Granted, there are some who are still “entertainment minded,” but I know of many who genuinely love the kids they teach each week, and are extremely conscientious about how and what they teach.  Many children are being blessed and for a lot of those kids, it’s the one safe place   they have to learn about God.
  4. Worship leaders (please – let’s not argue over terminology right now) may sing some new songs, and may wear skinny jeans, however – many of the hearts of those I know are focused on Jesus.   Music focused on Jesus, whether hymns or contemporary, is still speaking to hearts and touching those who love our Lord.
  5.  Finally, I believe people are staying in church because they know we have a Savior Who shed His precious blood for her.   And nothing, not a country going under, not persecution, not apathy, NOTHING can stop the church of Jesus Christ, because she is powered by the Holy Spirit Who is with us, and Who speaks to our hearts, guides parents, speaks, teaches  and loves through preachers and youth ministers, and sings through song leaders.



The division of Christians with the dilemma of refugees

I have considered, at length, the dilemma facing Christians with whether or not to receive refugees in our country.  I have nothing new to add to all the posts, blogs and articles that have been eloquently written, for both “sides.”

I have my own opinions but I will not use this forum to debate them. Instead, I want to use this space to cover another concern…one that I think is more serious and pressing.

That issue is how Christians are treating one another in all these writings and different venues.

I have seen words of vehemence, accusations and condescension, as well as calling other’s Christianity into question, way too many times.

As I was reading in Ephesians today, I was further burdened as I read the words Paul wrote in chapter 4, verses 1-3.  “Therefore, I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.  Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” 

Some of the words I have read have been anything but humble and gentle, as accusations and opinions have flown.

Attacks have been made against Christians instead of perpetrators who have created this crisis of refugees.   Neither have other religions or countries been confronted.

Instead, Christian against Christian, in anger and pride (in my opinion).

Scripture has been used to create an atmosphere of guilt.  Honestly, I can find Scripture to use for both sides of the argument.

I am so disheartened by all of this.  Satan must laugh as he’s using another event to turn us against one another.  As he’s mocking one of the greatest commandments, and also the chance, once again, to prove to the world that we love one another.

There are other concerns I have about all this, and a little off subject. But one is the fact that there are plenty of opportunities that we pass up every day to help those we do know.  Needs of which we are certainly aware, whether emotional, financial or spiritual.  For Christians AND non-Christians.  Yet, countless people are able to argue a dilemma that is greatly charged with controversy.

Please, can we step back a moment and give God a chance to work in this?   Do we really have any choice in the outcome, at the end of the day?  And can we please love one another as Christians, and reach out to needs that are at our fingertips?



5 Ways to Use THE Red Cup for God’s Glory

Red starbucks cup

You would have had to be visiting Santa at the North Pole to not have heard about all the Starbucks fun with “the” cup,  this past week.

I like Starbucks…we buy whole beans, grind it and take our own everywhere we go.  Never buy the bitter stuff in the cup, or the foo-foo stuff that would add about 10 pounds in one sitting.

Having come out on that (that we don’t – gasp – boycott them), if you can stand another post on this….here are some suggestions for using all this for God’s glory.  Yes, even Starbucks.

  1.  Go hang out at a Starbucks to get to know people.  You will certainly find interesting individuals who may be hanging out there as well, because they’re lonely, searching for meaning, trying to appear cool, or whatever.   As a Christian, we claim to have what the world needs…let’s take it to them.
  2. Use the cup as a bridge to talk to people about Jesus.  Red.  I mean – this is a perfect tee-up.  “Have you heard about the hoopla that Starbucks created with this cup?”  “What do you think?”  “Do you know what red means to me?  It means the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  He sacrified it for you and for me…have you ever thought about that?”
  3. Leave a great tip for the servers in the Name of Jesus.  Not a tract, not change from your purchase, but a deliberate good tip…and tell them why.  That God wants them to be blessed.   No strings attached…just love them in this way, in Jesus’ Name.
  4. Take a fellow Christian out for coffee and have true fellowship…at a Starbucks.  Pray together, laugh together, study the Bible, love them in the Name of Jesus, in front of everyone there.  Maybe, just maybe, someone will see you and wonder…what is it about you that is different?
  5. Don’t shame or ridicule, but get into decent conversations with others as to why or why not they patronize or don’t.  I have seen a lot of attacks on Christians who have chosen one or the other.  Get to know people…don’t belittle other Christians for their choices, but find out why.  Intelligent discussion can be much more persuasive than sarcasm or shame.   And that is what we should want for one another in the family of God.  Perhaps the Starbucks cup will help us grow together as brothers and sister in Christ.  🙂

And, Merry Christmas to you all!  May it be filled with the true joy of knowing Jesus Christ, our Lord…Who came as a baby – to die as the Perfect Son of God…for you.

Persecution of the Soul

sad woman to use

We have been protected in our country from the touch of persecution for decades.   At least the outward touch.  But I am coming to learn that there are different forms of persecution.  We have a dear brother and sister who are living the torments of a persecution that can be seen.  Saeed Abedini is imprisoned in one of the most notorious prison camps of the world, in Iran.  He is there for his faith….nothing else.   His wife has beautifully and painfully written of her/their journey over the last three plus years.  That is one example of fierce outward persecution.

We are seeing people lose their jobs for taking a stand for their faith, here in America.  Something, 30 or 40 years ago, we wouldn’t have dreamed would happen.

But there is another persecution that I believe is a sinister tool of satan.  I am convinced it haunts and oppresses us, especially Christians.   I call it persecution of the soul.   Some might call it depression.   It is unseen, yet can be deadly.  Completely misunderstood in our Christian circles, it holds a stigma for those of us who struggle with it; one we often carry for life.

Because of that stigma, we try to hide it….another tool of satan.  He does his best work in the dark, hidden corners of life.  But we are afraid to bring it out, because of the vilification of our faith by others.

Christians applaud and readily pray for those who take a stand and lose a job, but many times criticize and demonize individuals who fight battles in the depths of their inner beings, and are still able to stand,  because of Jesus.

I love what a brother, who struggles with depression and anxiety, recently wrote in his blog, “Read the Bible. It’s full of crazy people like us killing it for God.”   Unfortunately, we want to look at the victories in Scripture and not embrace the  broken people God used to fulfill those victories.

So here are some things we don’t need and others we do.  I believe I can firmly back these up with Scripture, by the way.

What We Don’t Need

We don’t need more faith.  Jesus told us that all we need is the faith of a mustard seed and we could move mountains.  Some days we do just that – just by getting out of bed, and especially by trying to be real, authentic Christians.   We have walked in the deepest of valleys and gone through the darkest of our hearts and minds, and we continue on – not just living, but using what we have learned for others.   Compassion has been honed to a perfection in us.

Because of that compassion I am able to stick with people longer.  I am able to listen and care at a deeper level.  Is it always easy?  No. Do I want to throw platitudes also?  Sometimes, but God quickly reminds me where I’ve been and I realize we are all in this journey together.

I am convinced that God uses people who have been in those valleys to reach and touch others more than He is able to use the pride of those who look down their noses at fragile Christians who struggle with emotional issues.

I put my faith into action, in spite of depression or anxiety, every time I take a breath.   Every time I return good for evil, each moment I go on living.

We don’t need scripture verses thrown at us….we have the ones that pertain to us (and our “disorder”) all memorized.  Ouch….she said she doesn’t want God’s Word!   This is a tactic satan also uses….twisting someones’ words.   Did you hear what I said?  We don’t need them thrown at us.  I am closer to God than I’ve ever been in my life; through prayer, His Word and meditation, and those long, dark nights.  Yet, I am also being more attacked than ever.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Satan knows our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and he will stop at nothing to bring us down!  And the closer we try to draw to God, the more He attacks.

We don’t need to pray more about it.  I have had people ask me if I have prayed about it.   After NOT throwing a bowl (or knife) at them, I calmly try to reassure them….THAT SEEMS TO BE ALL I GET DONE DOING!

We don’t need to be told to care about someone else.  For many of us – that’s all we do….care about others.   We burn ourselves up caring about people because we understand their pain and/or need.   I am constantly trying to look out and away from myself.  It’s such a slap in the face to have someone suggest I reach out to others, when I am continually trying to help, even sometimes while dying inside.  If you know me at all, or care to get to know me….if you look at what I’m doing, you know.  Enough said.  You know.

We don’t need rejection.  First of all…this goes so against the teachings of Jesus Christ, I can’t even fathom rejecting someone.   But also…your rejection can send us further into the depths of despair.  Is that what you want?  Why would you reject me?  I’m your sister in Christ, Who died for me.  You are commanded to love me and accept me, ask Christ loved the church.

What We DO Need

Love, mercy and compassion.  But you say, “I have to keep affirming my love, and I get tired of listening.”  And?  Your point would be? Isn’t that what we’re called to do?   Even the first characteristic which defines love in 1 Corinthians is patience.  I’m not seeing anywhere in Scripture where we’re told to care about someone one time and that should be enough.   I can’t find any place that tells us to judge if someone is deserving of that love.   I don’t see it.   I do see a God of compassion as one of His greatest attributes…and we are to strive to be more like Him!

Reassurance we are loved.  Yes, I believe I just talked about that.  But this is definitely one thing I can’t hear enough of.  I was rejected and abandoned as a child and teenager.  I know of some who are miraculously delivered from such upbringings, and even worse childhoods.  My husband, Tom, gave me the most precious words of comfort on this when he asked,  “Who is stronger…those who are miraculously delivered, or those who have to fight it every…single…day – and keep going….stronger in faith, stronger in Jesus Christ?”

We need looked out for!  Most people see us as strong, because we’re constantly posting Scripture on social media, or offering to pray, or listening, or caring.   But we need care also.  Not lectures, just care…and love.

WE NEED TO BE KNOWN!  Have you even tried to get to know me?  Do you know WHY I struggle with depression?  Do you know how much I pray about it?  Do you know what part of Scripture I’m currently studying?

And more – do you know me or do you care to know me?   What I like, don’t like, what makes me laugh, what makes me sad.  My favorite food, if I like to cook or not.  Do you know anything about my family? Have you listened to me talk for even 5 minutes?  Do you know my favorite vacation spot?  My fears, my victories?  My regrets?  My accomplishments?

So…can we please sit down over a cup of coffee, or tea, with some chocolate….and get to know one another, the way Christ would have us fellowship?   Loving one another, listening, caring, sharing His Word and praying together.

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be the one God uses to help me face another day.

Author, Speaker

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