Welcome

Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WAIT!!!

 
Before you indulge, sorry, eat that wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, ponder on this for just a minute.  Matthew 5:6 say, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”  As good as that turkey, potatoes, and gravy will be, to be filled with righteousness is even better.
            I used to think it didn’t sound right; it wasn’t humble to say or even think, “I am righteous.”  But that was because I didn’t completely understand the word.  When I trusted in Christ 40 years ago, I exchanged my sin for His righteousness.  The bible says our sin was poured into Christ at His crucifixion and His righteousness was poured into me (us believers), at our conversion.  It was a gift I gladly and humbly accept.  I am righteous, not because of anything I have done, but all because of what Christ has done for me.  I am clothed in it.  When God sees me, He sees His Son.  He doesn’t see my sin, He sees His beloved.  How awesome is that?!  That is something truly to be so thankful for!  Now what I can say and feel good about is this…I am righteous in God’s eyes.
            Before you bite into the turkey, remember to thank Him for already filling you with His righteousness, and then go ahead and fill up on that wonderful meal.  Don’t forget to thank the cook also!

“The righteous eat to their hearts content.
Proverbs 13:25

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Bed Time Story


Once upon a time, on a glorious spring day, nine little chicks met for lunch. Eight of the nine knew each other as they had attended the same church at one time or another. The ninth little chickie only knew them through the blog they shared. How fun it was for little chickie, who had been blogging with these chickens for a year and only knew their names, to finally meet them face to face and witness each wonderful, individual personality. There was the baby chick (although already very mature and wise), the momma chicks, and some grandma chicks. All were interesting, wise, humble, funny and very much in love with the Lord. What an awesome gift to have met eight wonderful new chicks all in one day!

In this world where so much hen-pecking goes on, it was refreshing to meet these lovely chicks, who discussed favorite scriptures, songs, and good advice handed down through the years. These were not hen-pecking chicks, these were praising the Father kind of chicks. Because they were obviously mature, outstanding, wise women, this little chickie about lost her feathers when she sat at this table and also heard stories about Viagra, bras, and slurpie drinks. She laughed so hard she thought she was going to lay an egg!

There are some funny creatures out in the world who think “the believers” are boring, have no fun, and are just plain ol’ fuddy duddies. Well, they certainly have not met little chickies eight new friends…nothing boring or stodgy there!

Although little chickie had just met these chicks face to face this day, she felt loved and protected within this flock. It reminded her of someone else she knew who loves her and protects her with His wings. She read in her Bible Psalm 17:8 which says, “Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” This verse is talking about the wings of her God, her Savior. She doesn’t think He literally has wings, but believes His all encompassing holy power and love covers her as a momma bird’s wings cover her children and protects them. This makes little chickie feel protected and loved, and feels like she will always be ok, because her God will always be there for her. And how awesome that He sends little flocks with real wings, (arms), to come around to praise with you, to hug you, and give a little piece of himself to you through those with skin on.

Little chickie observed the head chick at the table give a book titled, “Whispers of Encouragement for Moms” to their waitress. She was very good at her job, but chickie noticed she looked tired and thought she saw a sadness in her eyes. When asked if she was a mom, she replied yes, but that it can be really hard at times. She did not look joyful. Little Chickie felt for this woman and wished she had got up and given her a hug. Why didn’t she? Little chickie prayed for this waitress later, praying she would find encouragement through the book given to her, and also from our smiles and politeness to her during their lunch. And if she doesn’t know about the abundant life offered, someone would share with her. It also made little chickie realize to be more ready when opportunities arise. She was so thankful that the head chick was more on the ball!

This little chickie clucked all the way home praising and thanking her Heavenly Father for these real feathered friends. That evening as she fluffed up her feathers and settled into her nest for the night and said her prayers, she saw a yellow sticky note pad on her nightstand and cackled herself to sleep. (You had to be there)

If there is any moral to this story, it might be to step out and always be willing to make new friends. You just never know who God wants you to meet. The other is more a reminder that as long as you stay under God’s protective covering, we need never be afraid, life never need be boring, and to go out and share His love with others; especially the unbelievers. Introduce them to this Savior who saves and protects, teaches and grows and loves with a love like they have never known. Tell them about the abundant life He offers. You just might need to take them to lunch and have a cackling session. Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness a new bird entering into the flock!


OH…and if the ol’ rooster at home asks what chicks talk about over lunch, just casually mention Viagra, bras, and slurpy drinking. You’ll fall over with laughter from the puzzled look he gives you. (Who says believer chicks don’t know how to have fun?! J )
The End


This bed-time tale is dedicated to…Teresa, Ruth , Lynnmarie, Becky, Amy, Betty, Molly, and Amanda.

PS ~ I feel led here to say the Viagra story was G rated and had to do with a sweet, little girl sitting in church. She was given a sticky note pad and pen to keep her quiet and occupied in big church.  On the pen was an ad for Viagra.  She didn't know in her young mind what that was. Unbeknowst to her grandparents sitting next to her, she began to write the word on each sticky note and when everyone stood up to sing, the little girl stuck a note down on everyones seat to find.  Surprise!!!  :) 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hope Everywhere




I love the little things! I always have but being a counter of blessings, learning to write them down after Ann Voskamp's dare. . .I seem to notice all the more. And I believe that was one of the points, to notice and give God glory for all, even the microscopic. Sometimes the microscopic actually is enormous if we just not look, but really see.

The name of my church is Living Hope. We have a non-profit organization in our town that helps the homeless and needy whose name is Hope House. I am part of a Bridge Outreach Ministry for the homeless, a place where they can come for Hope. It is a dear place in my heart.

When I began to look for a publishing company for the book I had written, I chose one in Nashville and sent my manuscript there. A couple of weeks later, I received a very nice, encouraging but none the less, a rejection letter. But I was not dejected. I had hope because I believed in what I had written. I really believed the story came from God himself and I had the privilege of writing it out. So I prayed for the next publishing company. I believe I was directed from Hope Himself to the next place. I sent my manuscript off again. Three days later, I was accepted. The word hope is in the name of my publisher.

I am not surprised. God has amused me so much through my journey into the homeless community and through this journey of writing. I had no experience in either and there have been so many mishaps and yet, success happened. I have experienced so many blessings through new friendships out on the streets, seeing and feeling grace, growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. When I thought I couldn't do something or I was scared, I always heard the whisper, "I can do it through you, I will be with you."

That is my Hope. . .Jesus. He is the  true Living Hope and it's His House I will dwell in forever because I received the gift, the gift that came into a manger and the same gift who hung on a cross.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . .
First Peter 1:3

Hope in the stable. . .Hope on the cross. . .Hope in my heart. The four letter word may be small, but what it is, Who it is, is not. I am seeing Hope all around and not just in the names of things.

Do you see it?

If you are one who has not seen hope, felt hope, know where it is, please write me. Hope is all around. If you cannot see, I will point you in the right direction and we will pray for you to see. It would be the best Christmas present you would ever receive, a Christmas present that is not just given one day a year, but each and every day.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Sunday, November 16, 2014

$4.19 A Day. . .Could You?

WARNING!
Telling the cold, hard facts. If it sounds tough, please forgive me!
But sometimes we just need to hear. . .and to understand.




The average SNAP (known as food stamps until 2008) allocation per adult in the state of Kentucky is $4.19 a day.  Think about when you go out to lunch or dinner, how much do you spend on your meal, just for yourself.  And think about what you spend if you're paying for your family.  I know, we do it too.

But my mind goes to my friends out there on the streets.  Many of them eat because of SNAP.  Do you think they feel hunger pains?  Do you think they get to have treats like we give ourselves?  If they do have the treats, then they are not getting a good meal.  And a good meal for them would be a bologne sandwich and maybe an apple.  This doesn't sound too bad, but if that's all you got to eat, how would you feel?  Would you get cranky over time?  Would you start to feel bad physically?  Would you be prone to falling into depression?  I know I would just start to really crave a good juicy steak, potato, salad, and bread and tea after awhile.

But most people I befriend out there do not complain.  I have heard a few complaints about the food at the one shelter in town but other than that, only one complaint came from the bridge when we ran out of food and that man apologized later. He was taken care of.  I hear people who have MUCH complain about such silly things, things that do not hurt their comfort, and yet complain, complain, complain.  And then I hear ones who complain about the ones out on the street. . . "if they would just get up and get a job, they wouldn't have it so hard". . .if they would just and on and on and on.

I would like to challenge those abundant complainers to walk in the others shoes for one week and see how they feel. With no shelter, little food, feeling unloved, everything we take for granted stripped away. On top of that, imagine if you had been beaten the years you grew up by people who should have loved you, raped by men who thought only of themselves, parents who thought more about there booze than their child, or parents who didn't even care for you and left you in the foster care system, taking your chances on who got you, having to drop out of school, never graduating because your parents needed you to make money, or you needed money because they weren't taking care of you.  Your self esteem might just be stripped down to the bare bones.  If you had a sense of humor, it just might have fled. If you were considered friendly, you just might change after awhile in these conditions. They pay a pretty high cost for their upbringing.

And yet, these people are resilient.  Some have kept their sense of humor in spite of the former beatings and rapes and other abuses.  They have a toughness about them and a fighting spirit that keeps them going.  Yes, some fell into addictions.  They fell into something they thought would take them away from it all.  Most of them now, after years of this kind of abuse, have gotten away from that or are trying to. If you ask them, how do you do it, more times than not, they will tell you Jesus or point up to Him and smile.  Jesus paid the ultimate cost.  Some of them are starting to believe this. Some who believed as a child and ran away are coming back.  Some still need time. They all need love. And they all go on eating on $4.19 a day and they all still smile at me when I come around and give me hugs.

Could you live for months, years on $4.19 a day?  

Some of our workers have taken the 4.19 challenge. They multiplied 4.19 x 7 and that is all they are eating on for one week. That means they have had to cut out soda, coffee, and tea. They are eating P&J sandwiches, lots of eggs, drinking water. They have been getting headaches, cravings, and are missing the things they like to have on a daily basis. I bet after awhile, they just might get cranky. But after a week, they can go back to their regular way of eating.

Next time you go out for a meal, give thanks, and then please, pray for the homeless and hungry. And if you would like to take it a step further, please donate food to the food banks in your community.  In ours, two of those places would be HOTEL INC and Hope House. A little compassion goes a long way.

Thank you!
 
When I was hungry, you gave me food. . .
Matthew 25:35

Written by one who had the church bring her food when she was a little girl. Written by one who had a glimpse long, long ago.
Now she sees others and shares their stories.