Monday, May 15, 2017


Journal Entries:
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
“Dana Berry called from Porter Memorial Baptist Church to see if I was interested in a job.  Set up an interview for Thursday at 5.”
Thursday, May 13, 2004
"I left for Lexington at 1:15-good trip.  I think the interview went well.  Two positions-I would like to work with Trent.  Dana’s to let me know Tuesday-will be a long weekend.  Good trip home.  PTL!!”
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
“Called Dana; still deciding.  Will call by next week; then 10 minutes later he called-I got the job with Trent!  PTL!!!!!!!”
I see these entries as signifying the end of a yearlong journey and the beginning of a new one.  I had spent 2003-2004 in Louisville beginning the healing process.  It’s amazing how God brought so many wonderful people and experiences into my life to help me keep moving forward on the path He had for me.  I know He led me to seek a job in Lexington and the fact that He provided one at a church was truly a life-changing miracle.  I’m forever grateful.
Scripture gives guidance to us:

From the first steps of this path I sought God’s will for my life.  It hasn’t been easy but He never promised that; He promised to be with me and guide me through the work of His Spirit.  That He has certainly done.
I’ve been at this job for 13 years as of June 7 this year.  Just like any other part of life there have been ups and downs, difficulties and easy times, joys and sorrows.  I’ve been blessed with friendships, a church family, and wonderful experiences because of this job.  I’m so thankful for God’s wonderful provision in my life.  All of it, the good and bad, has made me who I am today.  He is so good!
I don’t know what tomorrow holds but God does.  I don’t even know what the next minute holds but God does.  I do know that I feel a sense of expectancy that He is doing a work in my life at this time.  My part is to be willing to go and/or do wherever and whatever He asks me to do. 
I was thinking this weekend about this scripture:

God provides food for the birds.  However, just as this picture shows, they must do their part to gather what they need for that moment.  It’s the same with me.  God has ALWAYS provided exactly what I need when I need it.  He often gives more than I could imagine.  However, like the birds, I must be willing to do as He asks to reap the benefits of His provision.  I must simply take that first step and not worry about what’s next.  He has it in His hands.
I’m excited about His plans for my life.  His word assures me over and over that He only wants what’s best for me.  His ways are always far better than anything I can dream for myself.  I know I’ll walk through blessings and trials but in the end it will all lead me to His wonderful presence.  That’s what it’s all about when everything is said and done.  The song “The Potter’s Hand” expresses this beautifully:
"The Potter's Hand"

Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Savior,
I know for sure, all of my days are held in your hands,
Crafted into your perfect plan.
You gently call me into your presence guiding me by Your Holy Spirit,
Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyes.
I'm captured by Your holy calling,
Set me apart, I know you're drawing me to yourself.
Lead me Lord I pray.

Take me, Mold me, use me, fill me.
I give my life to the Potter's hand.
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me.
I give my life to the Potter's hand.


I love being in Your presence.
When I feel alone remind me that I never am.
You are always with me and always providing exactly what I need.
Thank You!
In Jesus’ Name,

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Life is about:

Thoughts on Listen to Your Life by Valorie Burton
April 27, 2004
“I feel connected when: (clear, focused, moved to action, full of energy).”
  •              I am praising God.
  •             I am alone with God.
  •             I am writing.
  •             I am talking to people.
  •             I am solving problems.
“I feel disconnected when: (frustrated, scattered, overwhelmed, weighed down, confused, unsure, mentally overloaded).”
  •           I am doing my work at my job.  It’s not hard but I don’t enjoy it.
  •           I have to make too many decisions.
  •           I am shopping by myself and can’t find anything.
“My biggest area of discontent and disconnection right now is my job.  If I had written this a year ago I would have said I felt disconnected from life.  The last year has been one of discovery and of being connected to God and the life He has for me.”
I’m glad I wrote this down while reading this book all those years ago.  I don’t remember much about the book itself but apparently this part made an impression on me.  I find it interesting that I would write the same answers today except for feeling disconnected at my job.  I enjoy my job as church receptionist and ministry assistant.  I am excited that tomorrow is my last full time day.  Monday I become semi-retired and begin working part time so I get to continue doing a job I like while having the opportunity to explore new possibilities God brings into my life.  Best of two worlds!
This might be a good exercise to do every so often to evaluate my life.  I see in my connected statements that it’s in my relationship with God that I find contentment and meaning.  That’s still so true today.
When I read these sentences it made me smile inside and out:  “If I had written this a year ago I would have said I felt disconnected from life.  The last year has been one of discovery and of being connected to God and the life He has for me.”  God had done a great work of restoration in my life in just one year.  This brought to mind the verse that says:
This is a good picture of what He has done in my life because that first year represents just a tiny patch in the garden He’s given to me.  Today when I contemplate the life He has restored in me I think of this verse:
Because so many are disconnected they are searching for the “meaning of life”.  I can testify that when one is connected to God through faith in Jesus Christ life has meaning.  Without Him there’s nothing.  With Him there is life abundant “like a well-watered garden”.  Not perfect because we live in a fallen world, but when we’re connected to Him there is love, joy, and peace in the midst of the chaos. 
If you haven’t experienced this precious gift of connection to God I can’t really explain it to you.  The only way to know it is to know Jesus Christ, Son of God, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Alpha and Omega
By Robbie Trice
I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,
Behold the tabernacle of God is with man.
He shall dwell within them, they shall be His people,
and Almighty God will be with them.
He shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
There shall be no more death.
Neither sorrow nor crying, and no more pain,
the former things have all past away.
He that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new.
He said unto me, Write these words,
for they are faithful and true.

And it is done, it is done, it is done, it is done.

He is the Alpha and Omega,
the Beginning and the End.
The Son of God, King of Kings,
Lord of Lords, He’s everything.
Messiah, Jehovah, The Prince of Peace, is He.
Son of Man, Seed of Abraham,
Second Person in the Trinity. (Repeat 4 times)

He is the Alpha and Omega,
The Son of God, the King of Kings,
The Messiah, Jehovah, The Great I Am,
Seed of Abraham.

He is the Alpha and Omega,
the Beginning and the End.
Son of God, King of Kings.
The Lord of Everything.
He is Lord!!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Thoughts for Cheri
April 24, 2004
“At this particular moment I feel at peace, but tired or drained might be a better word.  Does that make sense?  I don’t even want to try to make friends.  I feel like no one wants to get to know me but instead of feeling worthless and unlovable like before I feel like it’s their loss.  Is that an improvement?  Maybe the next step will be to be comfortable with who I am so I can be comfortable around others and not try so hard.  Hey, I think this is one of my epiphanies!  What do you think, Cheri?”
“I’m holding fast to my faith.  I know God has a plan for me and He is working.  I think I just need to relax right now and keep checking job opportunities and apartment possibilities and see what doors He opens.  Sounds like a plan to me!”
“I don’t even want to try to make friends.  I feel like no one wants to get to know me but instead of feeling worthless and unlovable like before I feel like it’s their loss.  Is that an improvement?  Maybe the next step will be to be comfortable with who I am so I can be comfortable around others and not try so hard.  Reading this took me back to the time when I felt invisible to everyone.  For years I believed that no one really knew me or wanted to know me.  I was made to feel like I wasn’t worth the effort it would take to know me.  I felt very unforgettable.  This made me try too hard to make friends and to be hurt when “I felt” unwanted.  I emphasized I felt because I know now that’s where the problem was.  I wasn’t comfortable with myself so how could I believe anyone else would be!
When I speak about being comfortable I’m not talking about being satisfied and not wanting to grow and change.  I’m talking about being content with who God created me to be and with the circumstances of my life at a given moment.  I know now that I can only change and grow when I accept who I am and allow God to work in me.  I cannot do it myself.  I can say with the Psalmist:
If God’s word tells me this I certainly must believe it!  When I accept and believe this I don’t worry about what others think or if they want to be my friend.  I live my life to please God and leave all that stuff to Him.  It’s very freeing.
“I’m holding fast to my faith.  I know God has a plan for me and He is working.  I think I just need to relax right now and keep checking job opportunities and apartment possibilities and see what doors He opens.  Sounds like a plan to me!”  My faith in God is what brought me through this time of testing.  And I do believe it was a test.  God does allow things into our lives to help us grow.  This song says it perfectly.
When I saw what laid before me,
Lord I cried what will You do
I thought He would just remove it
But He gently led me through
Without fire there’s no refining
Without pain no relief
Without flood there’s no rescue
Without testing no belief
Through the fire,
Through the flood,
Through the water,
Through the blood.
Through the dry and barren places
Through life’s dense and maddening mazes
Through the pain and through the glory
Through will always tell the story
Of a God whose power and mercy
Will not fail to take us through
Written by Gloria Gaither, William J. Gaither and Michael Sykes
Hanna Street Music (BMI)///Mal ‘N Al Music (ASCAP)

I’ve learned to love the word “through”.  It’s in those moments that God has worked miracles in my life.  He still is today.
“What do you think, Cheri?”  This is probably my favorite phrase in this whole post.  This reminds me of how wonderful it was to have this young lady in my life.  She would read these thoughts and respond as God led.  Her willingness to obey Him started me on the right path in this sometimes difficult, often wonderful, but always exciting journey. 
I never know where God is going to take me when I start writing this blog each day.  The main lesson I glean from today is that my life is all about my relationship with God, how He created me, how He only allows tests and trials that will help me to come into my life, and how He walks with me through those times.  My part is to call out to Him and listen to His voice.  I can trust His love for me.
If you are His child because you’ve trusted in the blood of Jesus Christ to cover your sins and restore your relationship with Him, you have the same access to His blessings and guidance. 
If you’re not His child, if you’ve never met this One called Jesus, please seek Him out.  He’s waiting for you.  You are loved!

Your love is so amazing.
Thank You for the people and events You’ve allowed into my life that have deepened our relationship.
Thank You most of all for Jesus.
In His Name I pray,

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Thoughts for Cheri
April 24, 2004
“I’m trying to make decisions about my future but since I’m tired of making decisions that’s hard.  I’ve thought about moving to Lexington but am not sure.  If I do stay in Louisville I’m thinking of looking for a two-bedroom apartment.  Don’t you wish God would just say, ‘do this’ sometimes?”
“I don’t like my job and things are tense around here.  I’m trying to get my car ac fixed, my wheels need to be aligned, and my tires rotated.  I need someone I trust to look at my tires and see if I need new ones.  There’s also a small oil leak in the engine. It’s just too many things to decide for someone who wasn’t allowed to make many decisions for so many years.”
“Sometimes I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up the next morning with all these decisions made and done.  Actually the little daily things are harder than the big ones.”
Decisions.  We make them every day.  Of course I made decisions when I was married but almost every one of them was based on keeping him happy or maybe I should say not making him angry.  I never made major decisions, we always did what he wanted.  He didn’t value my opinion.
I went from those circumstances to being totally responsible for just about every decision in my life.  It was a gigantic change.  As I look back over the past 14 years I’m astounded at the number of major decisions I made. 
All of these decisions were made easier by the best decision I ever made in my life and it was made when I was 9 years old.  I asked Jesus to be Savior and Lord of my life.  Since then my walk with Him has grown by leaps and bounds.  I’ve shared earlier in this blog how my relationship with God deepened as I sought to improve my marriage.  That didn’t happen but my relationship with Him has become the most important thing in my life.  It’s only through His love, mercy, grace, provision, and guidance that I’m where I am and the person I am today.  This is why this is one of my favorite scripture passages:
Notice it says “with all your heart” and “in all your ways”.  This is no part time when I feel like it relationship.  It’s all or nothing.  Thankfully God knows me and He knows there are days, moments even, when this is easier said than done.  This is when He’s sent people and/or events into my life to encourage me in my walk.  I’m so very grateful that He loves me so much that He wants what’s best for me. 
If you know God, I mean really know Him in an intimate way because of His Son Jesus Christ, please trust and acknowledge Him and He will guide your decisions.  He never fails.
If you don’t know Him He’s waiting on you.  His word tells us that:
This will be the best and most important decision you have ever made in your life.
Words cannot express my gratitude for Your love that has saved me.
I hope that the life I live will be proof of how thankful I am.
Today I pray for Your child who may not remember the richness of Your love.
And I pray especially for those who have never experienced that love for themselves.
Open eyes, ears, minds, hearts, and souls to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
In His Precious Name,

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Journal Entry
April 6, 2004
“Better today.  I’m reading a book that Catherine recommended about being freed from bondage.  It’s already impacting me.  I felt something today when I was reading-a loosening.”
“Bondage.”  When I read this it makes me sad and glad at the same time.  I was a Christian all those years of my marriage which means I had freedom in Christ.  However, I allowed myself to be in bondage to someone who didn’t love me and who certainly did not have my best interests at heart.  That makes me sad. 
As I reflect on those years I see how God kept me safe from so many harms that could have affected me in so many ways.  One of the first things my sister and friends had me do after learning what my ex had been doing was to see a doctor.  There were many health issues that could have come from his activity.  I remember feeling at peace even before the results showed I was okay.  Somehow I’ve just always known that God would take care of me no matter the circumstance.  I love that He blessed me with that deep a faith.  That makes me glad.
I see opportunities such as graduating from college, going to seminary, serving in so many different areas of ministry, and so much more given to me over those years.  I was willing but God was and is able.  He does love me and has my best interests at heart.  That makes me glad.
“I felt something today when I was reading-a loosening.”  This is an interesting comment.  To be honest I don’t remember this so I’m glad I noted it.  I’m grateful for the many ways God touched my life to break those chains that kept me from truly living.  In this case Catherine took her time to recommend a book she knew would make a difference in my life.  The thing is, she could recommend it to me but I had to listen to her advice and read it for myself for it to truly impact my life.  The same is true of God’s word.  Other people can tell me what they think it says but until I take the time and effort to read it for myself I’ll never really get it.  God speaks to me personally when I read it.  His word touches the immediate and precise areas that need His intervention at different times.  Because:

During these years God was breaking the chains that held me captive.  As I healed I was drawn to the life cycle of the caterpillar and the butterfly.  The caterpillar is in a kind of bondage when compared to the butterfly but its true bondage comes in the form of a cocoon.  Isn’t it something that being confined in that small chrysalis is what leads the caterpillar to true freedom as a butterfly?  It just takes time, patience, and a willingness to struggle to free itself.  It’s the struggle that enables the butterfly to soar on beautiful wings.  That’s how I see my life.  The years of my marriage were caterpillar years.  The years since have been cocoon years as I’ve allowed God to change me followed by the struggle to emerge into the beautiful life He’s prepared for me.  I think this picture beautifully represents what God is doing in my life.  This makes me joyful!

You have set me free.
Teach me to live like it.
In Jesus’ Name,

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Key to

Journal Entry
April 5, 2004
“I hurt so badly-I feel so sad.  I don’t have any reason to get up in the morning-just work and I don’t like my job.  I’m so tired-please God-give me a purpose to my life.  I just need a reason to go on-something meaningful.  I know I have God and that is all that is keeping me going right now.  It’s just so hard and it hurts so much.  I’m going to hold onto Him and keep crying out.  He promises to hear and to reveal His truth to me.  I choose to wait on Him.”
This was such a difficult time for me.  I didn’t want to go back but I didn’t know what was next.  I was grieving the loss of my dream.  I don’t think people who haven’t experienced a divorce understand that it’s a death and grieving is a natural result.  This was not something I wanted and I would have worked to save my marriage even after being told what my ex had been doing.  I believed in my vows and in till death do us part.  Well, for me this was a death.
“I hurt so badly-I feel so sad.  I don’t have any reason to get up in the morning-just work and I don’t like my job.  I’m so tired-please God-give me a purpose to my life.  I just need a reason to go on-something meaningful.  I know I have God and that is all that is keeping me going right now.  It’s just so hard and it hurts so much.”  I felt like I had no purpose.  My kids, who had been my reason for living, were grown and on their own.  There was no one in my life who needed me and while I liked the people I worked with the job was boring.   I wanted a job where I felt like I was making a difference.  I wanted a new start in a new place. 
Day after day I cried out to God for relief from the pain and lack of purpose.  I know that if I had not had a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ I would not be where I am today.  I don’t know that I’d be alive. 
I realized in reading over my journal that I didn’t write about one of the most important experiences of my life that occurred about this time.  I remember like it was yesterday the day my pain became so overwhelming that I just wanted it to stop.  I had always said that I didn’t understand why someone would commit suicide.  No judging, just no understanding of feeling that degree of hopelessness.  This particular day the pain washed over me in waves and I found myself lying in the middle of my living room floor just desperate for the pain to cease.  For one split second I wanted to cease living.  I say it that way because I didn’t necessarily want to be dead, I just wanted the pain to stop.  Thankfully my faith in God caused me to cry out to Him for help.  I still get emotional when I think of this because His very presence filled that room.  I felt His touch as He reached down and wrapped me in His loving arms.  I lay there sobbing as He held me and reassured me of His loving presence.  What a beautiful gift of His comfort He gave to me that day!
I still had more grieving to do, in fact sometimes I still have sad moments today but this moment was a defining one for me.  First of all I understand what it is to feel hopeless.  It’s a scary overwhelming experience.  That’s why it’s so important to me to share the hope I have in Jesus Christ with others.  I don’t want anyone else to feel hopeless when there is hope.
Secondly I know now that God is with me and will not let me down.  This was the lowest point of my life and He comforted me with the tangible gift of Himself.  I need nothing more to live in the hope He gives.  He’s real, He cares, and no one can take that away from me.  I’ve lived it.
This is one of my favorite verses because it guarantees this hope:
Because of the sacrifice of Your Son You alone are my hope.
Thank You for being there in the most desperate moment of my life.
I love You so!
In Jesus’ Precious Name,

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Truth is:

Thoughts for Cheri
April 4, 2004
Deuteronomy 1:29-33
 I tried to relieve your fears:
“Don’t be terrified of them. God, 
your God is leading the way;he's fighting for you. 
You saw with your own eyes what he did for you in Egypt;
you saw what he did in the wilderness,
how God, your God, carried you as a father carries his child,
carried you the whole way until you arrived here.
But now that you’re here, you won’t trust God, your God—
this same God who goes ahead of you in your travels 
to scout out a place to pitch camp,
a fire by night and a cloud by day to show you the way to go.”
“Israel was afraid to follow God’s leading.  I don’t want to be afraid to follow Him as He guides me.  I know He has a plan for my life and that He goes before me to prepare the way, gives me direction to show me the way, and carries me as I travel the way.  Why should I fear anything?”
“As I look back over my life I see the way He has provided for and carried me through the trials and dark times.  I see the ways He has prepared me for all I have encountered, good or bad.  How could I even imagine for one minute that He would fail me now?  I choose now to trust Him with my present and my future and to step out in faith in my heart and mind on the path He has chosen and prepared for me.  I don’t know where it leads but I surrender all to Him.”
This was written on the one year anniversary of the end of my marriage, the day my world changed forever.  I love the imagery in these verses.  I see exactly what God has done and is still doing for me in my life.  Just like He carried the Israelites in Egypt, He carried me in my marriage.  I could write a book on the opportunities, gifts, answered prayers, and so much more that He provided for me and my kids during those years in our “Egypt”.  I look back in amazement at all of the times He allowed me to learn and serve even in the midst of that life.  I’m very grateful.
This day in 2003 marked for me the beginning of my time in the “wilderness”.  I didn’t know where I was going or what I would do when I got there.  I will say for myself that, unlike the Israelites, I wasn’t afraid to trust God.  Satan did try to use fear to discourage me but my faith enabled me to move forward towards my promised land.  I know for a fact that God has gone before me to “scout out a place (for me) to pitch camp”.  I haven’t had a “fire” or “cloud” to lead the way but I have had prayer, scripture, family, friends, and events to guide me as I’ve traveled.  I’m very grateful.
Why should I fear anything?”  God’s word tells me over and over again to not fear, be afraid, or anxious, or worry, whatever term you choose to use.  For me this simply tells me to put my faith in Him and trust His hand in my life.

“As I look back over my life I see the way He has provided for and carried me through the trials and dark times.  I see the ways He has prepared me for all I have encountered, good or bad.  How could I even imagine for one minute that He would fail me now?  Good question.  When something is proven true over and over again why would I doubt it?  There have been people in my life who have been there for me most of the time but because they’re human or because of circumstances sometimes they let me down.  I let people down more than I like to recall.  The only One who has NEVER disappointed me is God.  When human frailties, worldly situations, and my own shortcomings cause me pain or sorrow or disappointment He’s there loving, comforting, and guiding me.  He knows just exactly what I need when I need it.  I’m very grateful.
I keep saying I’m very grateful and I am.  How do I show this to my Father?  I live a life that pleases Him.  I allow people to see the difference He makes in my life.  I’m not ashamed of the gospel and of the Savior who died for me.  I don’t live a “personal” Christian life but I share Him wherever I go in every way I can.  I don’t allow hardships, disparaging comments, or even persecution deter me from allowing the light that is Jesus Christ to shine in and through me.  I give Him all the praise and glory for what He’s done in my life.  That’s what being a Jesus follower means. 
“Don’t be terrified of them. God, your God, is leading the way; he’s fighting for you.”  This is how I’ve chosen to live the last 14 years and how I want to live the rest of my life; unafraid and trusting my God who is fighting for me.  I pray you choose the same.
You took care of me in my Egypt.
You provided for me in my wilderness.
You go before me into my promised land.
I will not fear!
Thank You!
In Jesus’ Name,