A Longing Fulfilled

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:10


It was 3 years and 3 months ago today.

My sister and I had traveled to Nashville, TN, to pitch an idea to a publisher about creating retreats-in-a-box, kits with everything a church needs to have an in-house retreat. Our retreat was entitled YOU-nique: Embracing God’s Design for You.  It’s purpose: to help believers realize that they were born ON purpose FOR a purpose so we need to live our lives WITH purpose.

On the morning of our meeting, my sister rose early and, thinking I was still asleep, took her Bible into the bathroom for a time of reading and meditation.  A few minutes later, she came out running, shaking a piece of paper, and screaming, “It’s here!  It’s here!”  After scaring me half to death and then calming down, she explained.

A few months earlier, Cyndi and her daughter had attended a Mother-Daughter Weekend event in Houston, TX, hosted by Mercy Ministries of America and the singing group Point of Grace.  They went to see Point of Grace; they returned talking about Mercy Ministries, a non-profit organization that helps young ladies overcome life-destroying habits, situations, or abuse (see post article “Mercy Has a Face,” dated 11-2-09).  That morning Cyndi had pulled out of her Bible a brochure on the ministry and realized Mercy Ministries’ (MM’s) corporate headquarters was based right there in Nashville, TN.  “We have to go and visit them!” So she called, set up an appointment, and got directions.

While meeting with the publisher, I shared with him my firm belief that, while women come in for a retreat, some type of ministry must flow out from it; therefore, each retreat needed to have a mission action project.  “Take, Mercy Ministries, for example,” I said.  “YOU-nique’s message tells us that we are God’s very own works of art, giving the learner a greater sense of self-worth.  And because MM deals with girls who have very low self-esteem that results in acting out in dangerous ways, then doing a project for MM would be a great mission project.”  The publisher liked our idea and promised to give it consideration.

We left the publishing house and headed out to find Mercy Ministries.  Though MM did not do tours on this particular day of the week, they listened to Cyndi’s heartfelt plea and relented.  We were blown away by all they do to help not only enrich lives but to literally save the lives of these beautiful young women.

Before leaving the campus, Cyndi and I looked at each other and said almost in unison, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come back here and lead these girls through the YOU-nique retreat?”  What an awesome dream!

Fast forward 3 years and 3 months.  Here we are again, my sister and I.  We are in Nashville, TN, scheduled to visit Mercy Ministries tomorrow.  Though the retreat-in-a-box idea did not become a reality, the study book YOU-nique: Embracing God’s Design for You did get published by another company!  And Cyndi and I are scheduled to lead 17 MM counselors and program directors through it tomorrow.  They will serve as a jury, so to speak, to decide if YOU-nique is something they could use for their small group counseling sessions in all their homes, both here in the US and abroad!

Cyndi and I had a dream over 3 years ago; we did nothing to bring it about.  God remembered our dream and He worked it out far better and far faster than we could have ever imagined.  By a miraculous chain of events that could have only been orchestrated by God Himself, we had the opportunity to meet Nancy Alcorn, the founder and president of Mercy Ministries.  Less than 3 weeks after meeting Nancy, here we are, only a few hours away from a “longing fulfilled.” 

This God of ours: isn’t He something?!praise

Not to us, O LORD, not to us

but to your name be the glory,

because of your love and faithfulness.

Pslam 115:1

Precious Little Secrets


As I sit here on my couch, drinking  my last cup of coffee for the morning, all I can say is, “God, you’ve done it again. You’ve wowed me beyond words.”

God has shown me much favor the past 2 weeks.  Again and again, I’ve looked up and said, “God, I don’t know what else you could do that you’ve not already done.”  And it’s as if He said, “Well, I know.  How about this?”  And I’m wowed all over again.

God has done some pretty wild and wondrous things these past 14 days. And He’s done some precious and personal things, too.  I’ve shouted aloud to my friendsHEART about the wild and wondrous, but I think I’ll keep the precious and personal to myself; keep them just between Him and me. 

If you’re married, you might  know what I mean. It’s like those precious little secrets between you and your spouse: an intimate moment, an inside joke, a learned lesson, and so on. Later, even much later, you can be in a crowded room and hear, see, or smell something that sparks one of those memories. You look at your spouse and find he’s already looking at you — and smiling.  You laugh together without ever having said a word. You know what he’s thinking, but it’s a secret. A precious, intimate moment between bride and bridegroom. 

That’s what I’m feeling right now as I sit here and look up at my Bridegroom.  Without a word, He knows what I’m thinking, what my heart is feeling. And though I can’t see it, I can feel His smille. A precious, intimate moment with my Husband.

At this moment, I know I am absolutely loved.

At this moment, I know I am absolutely secure.

At this moment, I have absolute peace.

At this moment, I have absolute  joy.

[You can go now, but I think I’ll just linger here a little while longer.]

Wimps in Giant Clothing

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,

but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…”

1 Samuel 17:45

Giants. They’re everywhere. Problems that seem to have no answers. Enemies that seem larger than life. Deep, dark valleys that seem insurmountable. When facing a giant, look very closely: most giants are really just wimps in giant clothing.

Take Goliath, for example.  A Philistine champion who stood 9 feet tall, Goliath was covered from head to foot in armor: a bronze helmet on his head, a 125-pound coat of scale armor on his body, and bronze graves on his legs. He held a spear as big as a weaver’s rod with a 15-pound point at the end, along with a bronze javelin slung on his back. And as if all that weren’t enough, a shield bearer stood before him.  Pretty fierce presence, right?  And it was working.

King Saul and all of the Israelites were dismayed and terrified at the sight and sound of Goliath. Each morning, the Israelites would take their battle positions and start shouting their war cry. While they were still shouting, Goliath would come out from the Philistine camp and defy the Israelite army, calling for Israel’s champion to come out and fight him one-on-one. And every  morning Israel ran in great fear back to the camp. This went on for 40 days.

Enter a young shepherd boy named David, sent by his father to bring his 7 soldier-brothers some good home cooking. When David arrived, he couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. “What?” he asked.  “Who is this guy that has the gall to defy the armies of the living God?” Reports of David’s comments reached King Saul. David & GoliathDavid appeared before the king and said, “Let no one lose heart. I’ll face the giant!”

Now get this picture: The average adult Israelite is less than 6 feet tall and David was just a young man, probably more like 5’7 or so. Goliath was over 9 feet tall! (Put a yardstick on top of your head to get an idea of the difference.)  David was in simple shepherd clothing; Goliath was covered in armor. David had only his staff, 5 smooth stones, and a sling; Goliath had huge, heavy-duty weapons. 

In spite of Goliath’s ferocious appearance and words, David knew he was just a wimp. What tipped him off? Even with all his massive size and weapons, Goliath never came out from behind his shield-bearer! Wherever Goliath went, his shield-bearer went before him. What a big chicken! What a wimp!

David understood wimpy giants; their bark is worse than their bite. While Goliath moved toward David spewing his venomous threats and taunts, David calmly and confidently replied, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…This day the LORD will hand you over to me…for the battle is the LORD’S…” Then David “ran quickly toward the battle line,” took out his sling and stone, and “without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine…”

When facing a giant of any kind, you need more than just a war cry, just a bunch of windy words. You need faith. A simple, smooth stone flung in faith hits its mark every time. Why? Because “the battle is the LORD’S”!

So no matter what giant you come up against, respond to it like David did: Run right up to the battle line, look it right in the eye, and declare victory in the name of the LORD. More often than not, you’ll find that the giant is merely a Goliath — a wimp in giant clothing!


I’m Just a B.L.O.G.!

You’re witnessing a new experience for me: blogging!

A blog (short for weblog) is really nothing more than an online diary. It’s a chronological journal of personal thoughts and musings. I never was good at keeping a handwritten diary or a journal, but this electronic version might not be too difficult.

Please, feel free to peek into my diary as I pour out my heart to God and praise Him for how He works in the lives of His children.  And feel free to comment!

Come, let’s  be B.L.O.G.’s together —

Believers Lovin’ On God!

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