Friday, May 31, 2013


Acts 1:14a “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…"

June, time for celebrations! First on the agenda, graduation. This year, the student I’ve been assigned to aide, graduates with his class after four years of high school as a deaf student. With only 20% hearing and cerebral palsey issues, he reads lips and excels as a leader in his classroom. He TA’d in economics, and this last semester, acted in his drama class!  Yes, I am proud of him. 

So, this next week I’ll be helping him navigate all the different events scheduled to celebrate this accomplishment and serving at the graduation ceremony myself, which I am excited about.

There are a lot of events!              

Award Banquets
Senior meetings
Senior dedication video
Grade checks
Final projects
Pick up Cap and Gown
Sunset in the Quad, and talent show
Senior Memories Nite
Senior Breakfast
Graduation practice
Final practice and panoramic picture
All-night Party. 

Do you see anything missing?

I do.

1.a religious service held at an educational institution, usually on the Sunday before commencement day.

It’s not a part of the activities anymore.

We literally send them off without a prayer, a public one, that is. I’m assuming it’s no longer “politically correct.” 

When Christ ascended into the Heavens, his last days were filled with many “activities” with his apostles. He was preparing them for their own “graduation” of sorts, leaving them with a “diploma” of the Holy Spirit. They had the power of knowledge through this gift, a promise that God’s Commencement was internal through the Spirit.  They returned to the upper room, and they devoted themselves to prayer. (Read the book of Acts to see how their “college years” went). 

The class song at my school is by Imagine Dragons,
 It’s Time.  Here’s the first stanza: 

So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don't hold back
Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check.

It is time.

Time to pray.         

Father God, I pray for the 2013 high school graduating class.  I pray for my own school where you placed me these last 4 years, my fellow teachers and administrators. I pray for my Special Ed students, and the student I worked with and their families. What I ask Lord, is for your grace in their life. I ask for your protection, your leading, your guidance and that the Holy Spirit, the Great Counselor, be an integral part of these young men and women, who soon will embark upon a world that refuses more and more to acknowledge You. Help those who know You to stand strong in their faith and to seek Your wisdom in the many decisions soon pressing upon their lives. Go with those Lord who choose to serve this country in the military.   Thank you for the opportunity to serve You in my job.  Amen

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Song of Praise for a Soldier

Isaiah 42:10-13

New International Version (NIV)

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
    you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
    let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
    and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
    like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.

Sing to the Lord a new song


you who go down to the sea and all that is in it, 

you islands, and all who live in them 

Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;

                            Let the people of Sela sing for joy;

                                          let them shout from the mountaintops.
                             Let them give glory to the Lord

                                   and proclaim his praise in the islands.
                               The Lord will march out like a champion,
                                   like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
                       with a shout he will raise the battle cry
                                  and will triumph over his enemies.

Father God, we sing, we pray a song of praise for a soldier today.Thank you for our sons and daughters, our brothers and uncles, our own fathers and mothers, for friends who served, for friends whose children now go, who serve our country as a warrior for freedom. We pray for their security, their leadership, their fellowship, but mostly we pray for their hearts. Fill them with courage, both in the battlefield and as they face the realities of home, a different battlefield. Heal the wounded, Lord. We sing a song of praise Lord, for those who paid a price, gave their all for us in sacrifice; we pray for their families. Lord, bring comfort to those who do not return, but live forever in our hearts. Fill us Lord with the same courage, to soldier on for peace, for forgiveness, for triumph over our own enemies, whatever keeps us far from Home. Let us march to the drum of Hope, proclaiming Christ is Lord of all. Amen. 

Written in honor and memory for my friend Tammie,  her son Josh, KIA in Afghanistan last summer. God Bless America, God Bless our troops. 

Josh and his canine soldier buddy, Sirius. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grace Given, Grace Required

Romans 6:14 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!

Two observations in the commute of life had me pondering this week.

Bicyclists, 15 or more, traveling in lanes of traffic as if they were of the “serious sort” of sport enthusiast pedaled a few cars in front of me, waiting in the left hand turning lane.  No spandex graced their bodies, no aerodynamic helmets fit their heads, no gleaming reflection from sculpted calf muscles pushed their bikes forward.  Oh, and their bikes?  Just your everyday garage sale-find 10 speeds. Young, diverse, street-wise appearance, —“West Side Story” on wheels. They held, staggered in the lane, ready and waiting for the light to signal green and pump up the hill. When that happened after patiently waiting, they exploded around the corner, at ease with the flow of cars, jockeying for position, in obedience and care of the rules of the road. (I wondered if they were from the reform school over the same hill and rewarded this pleasurable outing).
Every morning she glides by in her shiny Mercedes Benz, oblivious of the lane where others wait their turn, or disregarding THAT line, where one has to move with the flow. She waits for a small opening then cuts in at the front of the line, or even worse, continues straight to the signal and makes an illegal left hand turn from the right lane (meant to go straight) in front of the cars legally turning left into the school parking lot. Her way is unsafe, a violation of the rules, and renders us wide-eyed and appalled at her response to our attempt of informing her of this violation. (and we did that twice). 

“Well, I didn’t cause you and accident, so why do you care?”

One group enjoying the privledges of freedom and watching for the signals, staying in the correct lanes; another not wanting to give up what she thinks she deserves, parking her car facing outward for a quick getaway.

For right now, both of these scenarios enjoy the blessing of grace.  But sooner or later that Mercedes might get a little to close for comfort.  I really hope know one gets hurt, but her attitude makes me keep my distance.

Lord, I am grateful and thankful for your grace and I ask that you remind me always to remain humble in any blessing given to me. Freedom in grace does not mean freedom to disobey. We know you are a God that forgives but You are also a God who tells us that to whom much is given, much is required. Remind us when we stray out of Your lane and encourage us to be graceful and thoughtful to others.  Amen

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Better Late than Never" A Mother's Day Story

Luke 12:40 (NIV) "You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Maybe if my mother new this verse, it might have quickend her pace. On this Mother's Day, as I remember my mom and all her outstanding qualities, she wasn't perfect. You could count on her being late--very late! 

Because of her chronic lung condition/allergies, she coughed a lot in the morning. In retrospect, I'm sure it wore her out before her day actually began. By the time she was ready to fly out the door though, she didn't miss a beat. Her hair was styled perfect, make-up applied in just the right order, all her clothes clean, coordinated and thought out with shoes to match! She was a stunning professional business woman. 

 About 6 months before her battle with pneumonia took her from us, we went on a trip together to Las Vegas for my birthday. She was probably late getting to my house, then we went shopping for shoes, then hit the outlet mall somewhere on the road to Vegas, and yes, we finally arrived. I remember the first night staying in the MGM Grand and we slept till 11:00 a.m., got down to the breakfast buffet around 1:30ish and sat and talked while eating BREAKFAST for hours, laughing and sharing some of her teenage stories she hadn't told me--couldn't imagine that by the fall, we'd be planning her memorial. 

What a great time we had walking the strip and shopping, checking out all the new hotels. 

On the drive home, we stopped for dinner at Stateline. When we headed out again very late that night, we found the greatest radio station playing "oldies", well it was 70's music from my era and she tried to guess every band. Surprisingly, she got a lot right and knew some of the lyrics. Did you know I went to the Rod Stewart concert and saw Bruce Springsteen with my mother? She got the tickets!  

On the way home from our Vegas trip, keeping each other awake singing, it was so late. Instead of dropping me at home, we figured it would be better if I just went to her house and she'd take me home in the morning. Driving down the freeway, almost to our off ramp, the red light starts whirling in our back windshield, and to our surprise, the CHP blared the bull horn with immediate instructions:  "LADY, PULL OVER NOW!" 

It scared the peejeebies out of us!   

(Officer) "Are you in a hurry Ma'am?"

"No, why do you ask? Our exit is the next one, State College..."

(Officer replies), " It's 3:00 a.m. and I clocked you at 95 mph." 

After a little lecture and instructions from the officer about speed and safety, he was kind enough to just write her a ticket for 85. 

She couldn't get out of the house on time, but my mother put the "pedal to the metal!"  

Mom and me at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, May 2000 
Thank you Lord for my mother, Joyce. Mom doesn't have to worry about being ready on time, for in heaven she's already perfectly put together. Trumpets, maybe a little Springsteen announced her arrival. When You come Lord, the Heavens will shout with triumphant glory, no bullhorn needed. I miss you mom and I'll see you when the time is right for me. Here's a request when I do: play a little "Sweet Caroline" for old times.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

"Put Another Candle On the Birthday Cake"

Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may present to thee a heart of wisdom."

 Today, is my birthday.  I'm one year short of the big 6-0, holding the line at 59!  (oh, that ryhmes!) Has it been a memorable year?  What gifts have I received? What wisdom have I gained?

Corey left the nest. Momma bird keeps an eagle eye and sometimes squacks at the flight pattern he chooses, but I continue to bow my head and give him over to You Lord, trusting that my faithfulness in prayer will not return void.

"Keep flapping those wings Core.  Mama bird loves you!"

Two road trips further bonded my sister and I to family, some long since dust and others with hearts that still beat to the same song; blood that remembers and treasures.  Grace met us on those trips and guided us on the trails, sang along and answered the call..."Are we there yet?"

"Not quiet, but I'm still showing you the way."

Story time. My time. A platform arose for my authentic self, my vulnerability, my storms of life to be shared. So, I wrote and then I stepped out, well, sat in front of "the land of the living" and spoke of those things, those words written in journal pages, the loss, the grief, the healing. And it was good.

 "I would have despaired..."(Psalm 27) yet God...

New faces sat around our writer's table.  Aspired to inspire. Submissions turn into hard copies and Celebration carries us through the fall and beyond.

Walking for NephCure. Saving kidneys, Saving lives. "Savior, you can move the mountains, for you are mighty to save."

A wondering warrior of a husband perserveres. Music invites him to praise, carries him along the roads. I am never alone. Whispered words of wisdom in nightime scriptures and butterfly friends keep me accountable, engaged, hopeful.

New friends...Oh the new friends! God's wisdom abounds in walks and talks and sharing and caring and laughter and status postings and picture sharing.  Thank you God!

Old friends, same year of birth (or close anyways), my jewels. (cell phone lights up as I'm writing this and a precious gem who lives in Boston is calling me, just opened her card--Blessed). Wisdom now gathers and encourages (and talks a lot!)  It's not singular.

Chaotic world numbers it's days. July 20, Aurora, Sept. 11, Benghazi, Dec. 14, Newtown, April 15, Boston.  I DO despair...but my hope remains in You Lord.

God speaks and directs me to lead. I jump in, feet first. They come, wanting more of you in fellowship  You give us All of You.  (Thank you three special ladies for joining me).

Ruth returned empty to be filled. Her twilight days redeemed;  her legacy brings forth the promised Messiah.

Here's my sandle Lord, I await your Harvest for You are bountiful; beauty from the ashes.  (Ruth 4).

Father God, thank you for your grace that fills each of my hours with hope for this year, with purpose for the next.  May each day you've numbered for me bring you glory until my days are complete. I am grateful and thankful for this year, and may wisdom be gleaned from the fields and planted anew for Your continuing Harvest. Amen.