Tag Archive | Significant Encounters

Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (2)

Day 2.

Knowing that the readings needed to begin at 6:00, I knew I’d need to get up early to make it on time. I asked my husband to wake me up. He did as I asked, only with one problem, I told him a time an hour too late!

I woke up with a shout of the first readers name on my lips and leaped into action.That was the fastest shower ever, and I know the dog looked at me like I was a crazy person when I shoved him out the door! I dressed, then drove quickly to the court house, arriving a scant three minutes before my first reader. Podium and Bible in place, she began to read while I unpacked the truck and began setting up.

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Friday mornings schedule was full until just after lunch time with readers that had signed up on line ahead of time. Between lunch and supper was a very large empty space. My only thought was that God would have to fill it. It was then hat I began checking my emails, and to my great joy, people were still signing in on line, filling up those spaces.

There were a great many walk-ups, personal friends asking where they could fill in and wanting to be put on call. One man I had never met before, walked up and filled six time slots for he and his family.

Friday was an amazing success, because God knows what we needed, before we needed it, and we trusted Him to supply ALL our needs. (More on that later)

Two friends helped to load up the truck at 10:00, and off home I went.


Stories from the 99 County Bible Reading Marathon Muscatine County (1)

On day one of our Bible Reading Marathon, June 30, we woke up to rain. Not just a little rain, but a lot of rain. This is never good for the opening day of an outdoor event. But in our house, we say we choose the day, not the weather, and go about our business.

The rain did relent long enough to get our spot in front of the county courthouse set up. The goal was set to read the entire Bible from beginning to end, beginning on June 30, and finishing on July 3. The first reader arrived at the appointed time, and the reading began.

Our first “Group” of readers came from a local church. There were but a half dozen of them, and it was nice to know that they felt it important enough to come and read in the rain.

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We did have a canopy, but the rain was coming so hard, that it was leaking on us even under the tent. We used our umbrellas under the tent as needed.  I am fairly certain that from the street, it looks like a circus tent, but the reading went on.

We simply changed our minds from grumbling about the rainy conditions, to thanking God for the rain our farmers need, and also the fact that nearly every where in the Bible that it speaks of water, the Holy Spirit is involved. Rain down Holy Spirit, rain down. (God You Reign!)


That first day was really full on sign ups, with only one no show, that was not weather related. (That person ended up coming back more than once after missing the first time slot!)

The rain finally did subside, and although quite chilly, the rest of the day finished with great success.

It was decided that we would not go through the overnight hours, with safety being a large issue. So after the last reader at 10:00, with a little help from a friend, we packed up the truck to return Friday morning at 6:00.

God, You will need to make up for our lost over night hours so we can finish on time.

Stay tuned for story #2, you’ll begin to see why I say our God is Ever Faithful.


Coming Up Higher

When I considered beginning to blog again, I pictured myself crashing back on the scene with such intensity that I might even surprise myself.

Well, I surprised myself, but not in the way I had imagined.

Instead of dazzling everyone with my new found wisdom, I came back instead, full of knowledge that I am not the only one who knows stuff.

In fact, the more stuff I know, the more apparent it appears, that I don’t know half as much as I thought I did, and that much of what I knew was only good for a season.

The past several months have been spent on a variety of different issues. As I have stated, so long ago now, there is always an “Inside job” to be done.

Well when you think you’ve finished all that inside work – look out! Rest up.

You will need it for your next season, the one where Holy Spirit comes and says “Come, let’s dig a little deeper”, so that you can “Come up higher”.

My first response was a bit like kicking and screaming, I was really comfy there, however that response didn’t last long because I really want to know what God has for me, comfortable or not.

The simple act of saying yes to God brought on several months of digging deeper, it was an excavation deeper than I had ever known possible, and months of uncomfortable-ness on my insides.

It all began with a “random” conversation with a good friend that I had not seen in a long time. The conversation went from one topic to another, you know how they do.

I began telling her about a book I had recently finished, and the effect that a certain chapter had had on me. This brought her to tell me about a college course she had just finished. Since her major goes right along with what is on the insides of people, her class work fit right into the conversation, and my current comfort level.

                       Even though it was quite comfy, it was in fact getting a tad boring. “Move along, nothing to see here.”

Within a day or two, I was in possession of her school books, and beginning the long dig into my past.

Make no mistake, I had been back there before, and was pretty sure I had worked it all out, because remember, I know stuff.

All the questions I never knew to ask were there in those books. Plunging me deeper and deeper into why I was the way I was, and why, even after all the “inside” work I had done, there was still so much left to do.

Eight months. That is how long it took me. Digging and digging and then having to take breaks because the emotional toll it was taking on my heart was so exhausting.

So here I am. I will never say “Done with that” again, because I have seen what the effect can be when I think that.     I will just say that that part of my journey is over, and for now, I do not carry all the weight I carried before.

For now, I am comfortable with the past, and ready to see what is next.

I can’t say how this blog will go on, but I can say that it will, at least for now.

I’m traveling lighter now, and I’m not sure where to. God knows that.

A bit like Abraham before me, I will trust that He knows the way, and that it is good.


If you are at all interested in doing some “Digging” and “Inside work” and seeing what God has next for you –        Here are some helpful tools;

Finding Spiritual Whitespace – written by Bonnie Gray – Especially Chapter 22

The Ultimate Journey – Phase 1

Heartbeat – Show and Tell



I once believed that if I “thought too highly of myself” it was a sign of selfishness.

                I was told I thought more highly of myself than I ought.

I once believed that stating my abilities was bragging about how good I was.

                I was told I was a show off, and that I needed to stop it.

I once even believed that if I tried to show any of these talents, then people would tell me I was wrong, and that I actually had no talent at all.

                Sadly, they told me this, all through my life, and I believed them.

Many times these declarations came from those who were either supposed to look after my well being, or if not them, then from someone I had dared to step out of myself to trust.

I was taught that “I” statements, should be phrased as “we” statements.

Hence, I would not be attracting too much attention to myself.

Even my journals were phrased in this way.

I may not know you, but I do know something about people, and even a little bit about what makes them tick.

May I just start by saying that when we are small, and then even as we grow, we have the ability to be either weak or strong, healthy or sick, bright or dim, positive or negative.

Of course a lot of this comes from our genetic code, but I believe much, much more of it comes from what we are told as we grow.

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford


Here is a bit of what I already knew, I knew it because these scriptures said it was so;

                Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

                2 Corinthians 10:5 says that – We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.

                The Living Bible translation says that we can capture these rebels (thoughts) and change them into thoughts whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.

By re-working how I think in this way, I can choose God’s thoughts for myself.

I have it on good authority (God’s word) that it is ok for me to declare what God has put in side of me.

By declaring this truth, I am actually strengthening and re-strengthening the fact for my heart to know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am choosing an obedient thought instead of a lie.

When I capture all those negative thoughts placed in my mind, I literally take them, and trade them in. I don’t like those thoughts, and like returning a purchase at the store, I’ll choose some other thoughts.

I’ll choose the thoughts that God has thought about me all along.

I’ll choose the ones I was not able to hear for all the untrue ones that were loudly going off in my head!


If we choose rightly, the way we think of ourselves,

– The way God thinks of us –

We become His “Show and Tell”.

What day was more exciting than “Show and Tell”?

When we could share our most prized possession with the class!

WE – Are His story!

He is excited to show us off!

He absolutely loves what He has created!

He wants the world to see!

When we reflect HIS image,

People will see and know that we belong to a loving Creator God.


Now you may or may not know much about this God of whom I speak.

Whatever the case, please allow me to give you some of God’s own words to let you know and realize the way He thinks of you, the way He sees you.

Please allow God’s words for you, seep into your heart.

Please allow them to marinate your person with His extreme love for you.

I’ve given you a dozen verses to consider.

Then you may even wish to consider your own.

(Perhaps there is a little private “Show and Tell” between you and God in your near future.)

  • ·         Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship (poem, creation, show and tell), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


  • ·         Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,(nothing!) will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  • ·         Psalm 139:13-15 (NIV) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully madeyour works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. (You are not a mistake!)


  • ·         Isaiah 49:16See, I have written your name on my hand. (He knows your name!)


  • ·         Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (His plan is for you to CHOOSE hope by loving Him!)


  • ·         Luke 4:18-19 (NIV) The Spirit of the Lord is on me, (If you love Him, this means you!) because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free (That’s you too!), to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (You get to proclaim Him, you are not tied to the negative proclamations that the world believes.)


  • ·         1 John 3:1-2 (NIV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (Tweet that!) The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.All who have this hope (Yep. You again!) in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.


  • ·         Psalm 103:17-18 (ESV) The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. (Forever for you and your children if you love Him.)


  • ·         Psalm 28:7 (NIV) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. (Even if my body is weak, He can keep my spirit strong! The joy of the Lord is our strength!))


  • ·         2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God has not given us the spirit of fear; (Fear not, listed 365 times in scripture – One for each day!) but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


  • ·         Psalm 57:2 (AMP) I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]!


  • ·         John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Trouble is inevitable, Peace is available!)


This is all I have for you today.

It is enough for now.

God so wants to make these truths real to you.

Won’t you give Him a try?



Fearfully and Wonderfully Made


Significant Encounters – Valuable

Significant Encounters – Valuable

I was talking to a friend today about her recent visit to Aldis.

She was telling how the last time she was there; there was this mom with two teen daughters in tow.

Down every aisle, this mom was demeaning her daughters. Saying rude things about them, loudly.

Their eyes were downcast to the floor for the entire visit, and at the checkout, the berating was still alive and well, and the daughters were completely tuned out. Vacant eyes, unhearing ears, they have heard it all before.

My friend and I noted that if this is how they behave in public, then imagining a life for them at home is far from where our brains could even take us.

Here’s the concern; if this is what these two lovely daughters hear from the one who is supposed to love them the most, and protect them from evil, then whenever a boy comes along and says they are lovely, they will buy it.

They NEED to hear it. They will give away ANYTHING to hear it.

Moms! Beware! Be aware that you are poisoning your children. Your behavior is toxic, and sending them into the arms of evil – wherever they can FEEL loved.

How do I know? Because I was that daughter, the one who never heard the words she needed to hear. For me, it was not my mother, it was my father. He caused so much shame in me by the words he used, that I of course gravitated towards anyone who would just “Talk nice to me”.

Moms! I’m not getting on your cases. I’m pointing out a destructive behavior.       I know you love your daughters (and sons) However we are products of our environments.

There is no way you, specifically you, can teach or treat your children any other way than the way you were taught.

Oh wait! There is one way. Just one. HE is a person. He is THE Way.

I will be forever grateful that God, the Creator of the Universe, sent people across my path with a different way of doing things, a different way to be, and an actual set of steps I could take to be released from my prison.

He sent His one and only son Jesus to absorb all that evil that was tossed in my direction, for the most part, unwittingly by those who did not know any better either!

Here is what scripture says;

Matthew 12:34b (CEV) so how can you say anything good? Your words show what is in your hearts.

If you have never been taught differently, how can you ever know the difference?

2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV) Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.

When I acknowledged what Christ did for me that day so long ago, giving His own HOLY life, so that I might be saved from my own yucky one, He was then able to come alongside of me, and help me to transition into a healthier, more joyful and fulfilling life.

Please note; He will not come in uninvited. He is ever a gentleman, and will not encroach where He is not wanted. He is definitely “Invitation Only”.

Colossians 3:6-8 (CEV)  God is angry with people who disobey him by doing these things.  7 And that is exactly what you did, when you lived among people who behaved in this way.  8 But now you must stop doing such things. You must quit being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others.

These words are from the Bible they are in direct contrast to how our society operates today. Our culture is one who thinks of themselves first and someone else second, if they think of them at all. In God’s culture, He only wants the best for us, all of us, but there is one requirement, and that is that in order for His culture to be in force, you must choose it. Choose it of your own free will. If He forced you, you would then be a slave of a different kind.

Isaiah 55:8 (CEV) The Lord says: “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours.


2 Corinthians 10:5 (CEV) and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God. We capture people’s thoughts and make them obey Christ.

We CAN change the way we think. We CAN make our thoughts more like His.

How you ask?

Four things that will help;

1.       Ask God to help you. He loves to answer this prayer! His desire is or you! His desire is to love on you like you have never been loved before! He only wants your heart!

2.       Find a local Bible believing church with smallish groups of people who are willing to walk by your side. (Ask the Pastor there, he can help you)

3.       Get a Bible. Your Christian bookstore person can help you find the one that is right for you. If you cannot afford one, ask that Pastor for one!

4.       Read that Bible! Just a little at a time. Beginning in Psalms and Proverbs in the Old Testament, and the book of John in the New Testament (This will tell you about the life of Jesus – Use the table of contents, it’s ok)

This will be the most Significant Encounter of your life!

God values you, your children and your life, more than words can say.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.



Significant Encounters; Death of a Dream

In this post – http://wp.me/p1Deai-FE – Fingerprints, Heartbeats and Fresh Fruit – I said that “my past is not where I want to go, or stay” but I will need some examples from there to describe the journey to here.

I had a dream once, a big one. That dream was that my Mom and I would be in ministry together.

Her heart was to reach out to those who the world considered unlovely, to let them know that there was a Creator God who loved them so much, that He would wait for them to hear His still small voice, and come to Him for all their needs. He is infinitely patient, infinitely kind, and infinitely loving.

She told people that. She shared His love with them over and over until they got it. In essence, she was being just like Him.

Little did we know that her diagnosis in September, just six days after 9/11, would bring her to her eternal rest by Thanksgiving.

Her care fell to me, since we lived the closest to her. My new grandson, whom I was babysitting for, and I took the 40 mile trek every day to stay with her in her own home. In the evenings, the sweet ladies in her church stayed with her. Overnights became a nightmare for her, and it was decided that she would come and stay in our home until the inevitable happened.

Holy Spirit stayed with us too. He was a constant comfort as care became more and more difficult. The pastor from the local Hospice mentioned that the spirit in our home was different than most she encountered in homes with these circumstances. I was doing fine.

Mom’s funeral was the day before Thanksgiving. It was lovely. God’s love and an invitation to know Him were of course included at her request.

The following day, we emptied most of her home. An empty house in her neighborhood was just asking for trouble. I was doing fine.

The next little while was full of learning how to do things without having her along. I knew we were “Sidekicks”, but I never really knew how much.

Adjusting to her absence was not going to be easy, but, I was doing fine.

I had never experienced grief that closely before, so I really did not know what to be looking for. One by one, one thing at time, I began to have symptoms, strange symptoms. I ignored each one, until they could not be ignored any more. Lying on the floor, barely able to move from the pain, I knew it was time to get something done. I went with a list of 32 different symptoms to my doctor. I was not doing fine.

He said alone, all these symptoms seemed like nothing, but together, they became something, his tentative diagnosis was Fibromyalgia, for which he began to medicate me for. To no avail, I was still not fine.

After literally months with no relief in sight, and a recommendation from my gynecologist, I decided to leave the doctor I had known for all of my adult life, and go to one she knew personally, who would look further into what might be happening to me.

With a new doctor in tow, we began a long process of testing and testing and more testing, until finally the problem was found. The main problem was my thyroid. I was going to be fine.

That being found out, the medication began. It was about a year long process to find the right medicine with the right dosage level things out. When I asked him how a thyroid gets all wonky in the first place, he was quick to tell me that a number of things could cause it, but in most cases, it is due to some sort of trauma, a car accident, loss of a job, family trouble.  Had I experienced any trauma? When I gave him my laundry list of symptoms, he said “That would do it!”

All this to say, a death of any sort, whether it be a close friend or family member, or the death of a dream or a way of life, and in some cases even grieving the lost of a childhood, it must be grieved. If it is not grieved, it can turn on your insides, and eat you up, one symptom at a time.

That was 12 years ago, and now, I am doing fine. There have been a few traumas since, but Holy Spirit has taught me step by step, how to grieve them, and release them to Him so they cannot do the same damage as before.

My Significant Encounter came at a time when I had no other options. I did not know where to look. God gave me the proper people with the proper knowledge, at the proper time, a time when I could acknowledge my lack of ability to “Do fine”.

My Significant Encounter came in the form of these doctors who went above and beyond the call, so to speak, to find the answer to the riddle that was locked inside my body and actually causing it to attack itself.

Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) says this, A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Keep your eyes, heart and spirit open for that Significant Encounter, the one that will change everything.

Perhaps the most Significant Encounter of all, will be the one where you encounter Jesus, and invite Him in to help make you “Do fine”.

Related reading;

http://wp.me/p1Deai-cE  – Significant Encounters Friday

http://wp.me/p1Deai-tW – Distracted Encounters


Psalms 139:13-16  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Heartbeat of God




They can be difficult to find in this age of gadgets and schedules and noise, each clamoring for our attention.

There is a used to be a quote on my desk that told how the secrets of God were often whispered by angels and small children.

Now children have no formal training. They have no degrees. What they do have, before the distractions of life reach their minds, is a pure heart.

Psalm 51:6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Think of it. A wee little one nestled underneath its mother’s heart, safe from all of the outside influences. He hears his mother’s heartbeat. He knows that sound intimately. It is there in the quiet, that he is safest. He can sense his mother’s love for him there. His heart is pure and unblemished by sin.

Psalm 139:15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

What a shock on that little system when it comes out into the reality of a cold, cold room. Full of noise and movement, no wonder he is born screaming!

From that point on, the memory of his mother’s heartbeat begins to retreat from his memory.

While it is true that we cannot go back into our mother’s womb and again feel the sense of safety we had there, we can do one better.

Isaiah 45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Our Father has given us the opportunity to feel safe again. We will be able to hear a soothing heartbeat again. This time is different in that the heartbeat we hear will be His.

Mark 6:31b he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

A problem lies here.

We either don’t know what He has made available to us or worse yet, we won’t receive it.

Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones all those God sends to her! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.

I strongly recommend that if you are one who won’t receive, that you re-evaluate, and give Him a chance.

Try Him for a month. Take Him for a spin.

See if you can indeed receive the peace that I’ve been speaking of.

For those of you, who don’t know Him, seek Him out. He so wants to love on you and give you rest from the noise in your life.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

Then, there are some of you who just forgot. You’ve been overcome by the cares of this world. You grew weary, and you forgot.

Return! Return to Him!

Chronicles 30:9c  For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”

When we grow weary, and I say when, not if, then we need to speak to ourselves from God’s word. That is how He sustains us, and we regain our strength.

Psalm 27:8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.


So. Are you interested in hearing the heart beat of God?


Please enjoy the following music while you while you consider your next move.

Jon Thurlow – A Life That’s Worthy – Your Voice



More on the heart beat of God.

We’ll be exploring what that means, right here, in the future.

Until then remember – You are fearfully and wonderfully made.


Psalm 139 (NIV)

1 You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.

5 You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.



7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.



13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.