Wednesday, October 30

in hebrews,
discipline is a long-distance

this i understand well
because i am a long-
distance runner. it is not
easy for me to take on a five-
or-10 mile competition. with
my long legs and stretched-out,
narrow physique, i don't even pick up speed
for 10-12 miles.

marathons are my style.
26.2 miles. i have always
needed time to build momentum.
i always started each race very
relaxed and easy. as slow as
8-minute miles for the first
four or five....before picking
up speed; a fast rhythm.

the gun would go off.
my heart had been nourished
by God's Word. i always paid
my dues. would run 10-12 miles
every week day....and a 20-miler
on saturdays. they would all be
deposited in the bank until the day of race.  
when legs started flying,
and feet would start slapping the
pavement all around me, i would
start withdrawing from my bank 
account everything deposited
there in the previous months.

my upper body had become
strong by the way i used my
arms.....and, at the end of
every, single marathon, i would
come across the finish line
and throw up. all the training
miles now used. the account
now depleted. another race
completed; new lessons learned.

will i ever, again,
after all the surgeries
on my feet, be able to really
run again? only Jesus knows.

"strip down.
start running (again). and
never quit. no extra spiritual fat
no parasidic sins. keep your
eyes on Jesus, who both began and
finished this race we're in. study
how He did it..because He never
lost sight of where He was headed.....
that exhilarating finish
in and with God...the Cross,
shame, whatever.:"

"so don't sit around on your
hands..clear the path for long distance runners
so no one will trip and fall.  
help each other out and run for it!"
hebrews 12..the Message

i've had a hard run this last year.
but my passion for men's
souls burns with holy flame.
i don't want anyone to miss this
magnificent Savior. He's the
clean, morning sun..and the
afternoon breeze. He's every
song there is to sing...and all the
dreams painted across the sky.

life is all about the Race.
all about deliverance and 
freedom. Jesus owns the
story. the glory. every breath
is His, pumping through our
run. our love and passion.

we're out on this course
together. side by side. it's
long distance so let's set our
pace so we can make it to
the end.

let's not judge,
but cheer each other.
i love you!!!!

Monday, October 28

sunrise is coming ...
for you and for me.."

dry air after dripping humidity.
a rainbow arched across a sky. 
multicolored promises of fresh
hope after howling storms of
doubt and fear and full-blown
failure. loss and regifting.  
something we truly loved, and taken....then given back.
from blind to sight.
ravaged pain to healing promises
for smiling tomorrows.
everything is an equation.
however shattering equated to
how lifting and shining at opposite end.

"isn't the love of Jesus
something wonderful?
wonderful, wonderful He is
to me!"

oh I long for all of
You. more!!!!
another monday.
new week. new month.
a cast like mine soon
removed. pain because my
foot is twisting inside.

"to be like Jesus....
to be like Jesus...
that is be like Him".

let's see what coffee or
tea or lemonade of the
heart can do for us in our
journey with Jesus today .....
this week.

"trust in the Lord
with all your heart...
and lean not on thine
own understanding.
in all thy ways acknowledge
Him...and He will direct thy paths."

Sunday, October 27

an old,old hymn.
"I will not forget thee..."

when i was very small..
a young child...and someone
harmed me,You were there.
watching over me.

I will not forget thee.

when my father moved us
to hawaii, and i was eight,
and blue-eyed and white-skinned,
and ridiculed...You smiled down
on me. You had shaped me in
my mother's womb...with jan, a remove my isolation.
You comforted us when we had
brutal days, and walked home
from the bus stop, crying.

others might forget, but You
did not. You did not ever forget.

 in college chapel,
when we sang,
"my stubborn will at last i've
yielded..i would be Thine,
and Thine alone..." and i
surrendered the rest of my
life to You,You remembered,
and You have stood by me every
day all these years of mountains and valleys 
and fire and flood. You
have never abandoned or forsaken
me. when i've fallen and sinned......
and failed You...You have remained
close. You had already paid the
price; worn the thorn-covered
crown; hung on the roughly-
hewn cross...and had nails  
plunged into Your soft flesh. You
never forgot Your mission to
redeem us...and offer deliverance
to all who hunger for it. and

"there is a River...
that flows from Calvary...
come to the fountain that
never shall run dry."

i have raised four, beautiful sons.
lost a husband to cancer. been
a single mother. suffered sorrow
and loss as everyone has. i am
broken and have failed miserably...
but You always hear my moans...
and lead me out of desert lands...
to where rivers flow and choirs
sing and all our tears are washed
away. we are picked up, and
set on solid rocks.

rains and floods may come
and go...but Jesus doesn't
forget the road or the yearnings
of our bowed spirits.

He just doesn't forget.
never. ever.
"great is His faithfulness..
Lord, unto me...".

we might forget.
even often.
but Jesus never will.

"God is our Refuge and Strength.
always there in times of trouble."

Friday, October 25

"worship the Lord your God,
and only Him. serve Him with abso-
lute single-mindedness..."
"the devil left. and in His place,
angels....came and took
care of Jesus' needs."

"there at the jordan river, those
who confessed their sins, were
baptized into a changed life.

"...a fire within
you....going to clean house..
and making a clean sweep..
everything new in its proper
place. God will place everything
true in its proper place..."

this is what i long for.
i want to be like Jesus.
love like He does. laugh and
play kick ball...with neighborhood
children...oh, i want a clean
heart. untarnished. caring more
about others than myself.

i'm silly.
i seem to worry
about what others think.
do you ever have that complexity?!  
scrubbed clean.....i want to shine
like a copper kettle.

i'm sick of this cast...left leg.
of this noisy walker. of my
lazy mind that drapes myself
over the slip-covered couch,
and pretends that if i forget, all
the business of my life will
slip away, and be lined up in order.

thank you for pain.
for what it is doing to
my misconstrued thoughts
and backward confusion.
i'm running, Jesus. with joy.
wait up, for me. for all of us
that are lagging behind....oh!
we need a Savior. You, 
yes, You....our Savior.

Thursday, October 24

the philosopher...

"prayer does not change God...
but the one who prays..."

transform me.
enlarge my vision.
plant the roots of love
and utter compassion and forgiveness 
deep within the innermost, winding halls
of my soul. quiet me.
soften my judgement.

and may i run to you.
and never stop burying
my face into the soft folds
of your favor .

running the Race.
fighting the wars of division
and contradiction. warriors
for salvation's cause; for the
music of Redemption.

that souls may be set free.
amen. amen.
that souls may be
set free.

as we pray for you,
and you for us....
let freedom ring.
let freedom ring

Wednesday, October 23

amazing, unexpected.
surprises. the impossible
breaking into melting, beautiful

reaching for the sky.
tapping the sparkling
stars. events sprouting wonders only
the giant God of the universe
can weave in and around
what feels terrifying and

jan has been hospitalized
for a week. crushed vertebrae
in her spine. excruciating pain.
surgery scheduled for last
night. part of her cancer affects
her bones. a bone, when it breaks,
usually bends away from the spine.
jan's did the opposite, and
punctured a hole into the fluid of
the backbone. if the surgery wasn't
perfectly executed, jan could be
paralyzed the rest of her life.

neither of us does well with pain.
we each fell asleep, crying. 
pleading for miracles....for each
other. my leg with a cast; multiple
fractures in my back. and jan
facing serious possibilities.

each day,
jan injects herself with a
form of blood thinner. for years,
she's struggled with blood clots.
yesterday morning, with nurses
not thinking, she had that
injection. if the specialist
hadn't suddenly caught that
on jan's chart, she would have
had a serious bleed during surgery,
and been paralyzed the rest
of her life.

"and we know that all things
work together for good to them
who love God; who are called
according to His purposes...."
romans 8:28

yes...oh,  yes...
isn't the love of God
magnificent! amazing!
something majestic!
clap your hands. dance
and skip and bow. the vast
love of God, amazing.

tuck your fears away.
trust in the never-failing
faithfulness of the living,
the awesome Redeemer.

Sunday, October 20

in flannel, p.j. bottoms.
a long-sleeve, black,
cashmere sweater.
hair pulled back in
tight ponytail.

to battle
every single moment
of this day.

no phone calls.
no food fixed.
comfort in the arms
of Jesus. wrapped in
His strong arms of care.

i'm a runner.
to the house next door.
across the parking lot.
but for the second time
in a year, i'm reduced to
a walker. one leg carrying all
my weight. a tendency to
fall. 3wks. to go before i can wear
a boot. i'll feel i'm wearing
jimmy choo's heels. smile.

for every brave
survivor of a health problem.
for jan, with cancer.
do we ever appreciate anything
enough until we lose it?

let's make that our prayer:
"Jesus....may we love the
air on our skin. the colors
in every rainbow. the orange
and pinks spread across the
horizon of every sunset. good
health. sound sleep. the miracle
of every child. our pets. freedom
to worship...."

"Lord, be glorified.
be glorified.
be glorified
in us!!"
"may we live in faith...
and not sight. faith that
there is nothing too hard
for you. nothing that can't
be forgiven. that warm smiles
can bless everyone. that your
arm is never too short."

bless You, Jesus.
and may we most of all
never stop praising You
for the glorious Cross that
delivers us from all our sin..
and sets us free.

"we walk by faith; not
by sight.."  2nd corinthians

faith is believing the sun is very 
soon to rise....though, at this 
moment, the darkened sky
swats out every thread of
light that begins to break through.
there is not even a knot of hope
that we can grab onto.

watching the sky.
stretching our sight as far down
the road as possible...
pacing. praying. crying out.
refusing to bend our backs or
shake our fists....because all
we have ever known about
this journey called life Christians...
is that Jesus never
fails.and if answers are going
to live, our faith must not be
compromised by sight!

i had to believe years for the birth
of our first child...with many
deaths and losses along the
way. to really see the power of Christ 
doing miracles against all
odds. Jesus brought us three
more. no amount of sight
could have done this.

the Spirit of God whets our
appetites by giving us a taste of what's ahead.

He puts a little of heaven in our
hearts so that we'll never settle
for less.  

cramped conditions?
fight on! 

our mission?
cheerfully pleasing God.
His Word carries the first
and last by pure, clean faith alone.

faith has never been so
difficult for me as today.
both my feet not properly
fixed by surgery. multiple
fractures of ribs from a fall.
faith. not sight.  just rock-solid

Jesus demands faith over
sight. trust over seeming
loss. what we think we see 
is nothing. Jesus says
faith for the unseen cancels
out all else.  

i can see the sunrise
even if the black waters
lap everywhere.

colben, brandt, jasmine

Wednesday, October 16

good days.
happy, roll-in-the grass
moments. laughing hard.
my memory bank of fun so as
dark clouds lazily crawl in,
my joy cannot be quenched.

last night,
carefully, i was trying
to maneuver my walker into
the living room. one accessible
leg...both arms occupied, guiding
the walker...and a health-shake tongue twisted
around one lip, i suddenly started
to lose the shake as it was 
slipping out of my fingers.

i was batting the air to grab the
glass when my feet flew under
the walker, and i crashed with
such force that i knew my tailbone
was crushed...and glass shattered.
i can barely sit down today.

the other side of dance and morning sun is darkness.  
a pain that pinches our joy....and steals
our contentment. life hands us
some of both. sometimes,
hand in hand. i'm not keen on pain.
it even scares me. but it keeps
my backbone straight and my
heart tender and kind. and Jesus
is busy, day and night, sewing
the holes of resentment back together 
"where moth and rust
cannot corrupt...and thieves
cannot break through and steal..."

don't throw away the magnificent
with the dark and heavy. it takes
both roads to reach the summit...
and celebrate the New Jerusalem.

Tuesday, October 15

i think Jesus has just
helped taylor earn a very
good job. woo-hooo!!

and he called his brothers
to check on them.  
"mom! i think brock seemed
happier than i've ever seen him.
get it, mom...really happy!!!
and brandt and jasmine and
colson appear well, too."

"sorry to miss you, mom.
we'll talk later. how are you,
mom? love you, mom."

beat the drums. dance around
those with fresh
hope. turn the choir volume up.
pull out the pipe organ. don the
choir robes. tap the shoes.
there are times in our lives when
the sun shines brighter. beautiful 
flowers of fresh surprises seem
to keep popping up all around us.

hold steady...
feel the ebb and flow
of life's rhythm.
times of joy. celebration.
taste these moments. laugh
easily. allow peace to roll
over you. storms are coming.
clouds will some day

hold on to the beautiful surprises
when they come...and draw from
their memories when the tides
change and courage is demanded.

"i'll tell the blessed story...
as i lay my burdens down.
'Jesus led me all the way."

Thursday, October 10

"when i was desperate, i called out,
and God got me out of a tight

"God's angel set up a circle
around us while we pray.

"open your mouth and taste...
open your eyes and see me.
how good God is.
blessed are you who
run to Him.

"worship opens doors
to all His goodness...."

psalm 34
the message.

God always meets us
more than half way.
taylor needs him to.
brock really longs for
this mercy..
colson pleads for Jesus
to stretch his hope....
and brandt and jasmine
and my baby doll, colben,
have seen more of God's
mercy so this is a place of
God's shining.

do nothing of significance  
every day without a moment in
God's loving comfort.

"if ever i need you' tis now,
oh, Lord. i come. i come.."

arms spread wide..
into the tight embrace
of Jesus.
join me. we need
the strength of each other.

Wednesday, October 9

love is something you do.
there is a young couple, with
six children, and every time they
get ready to leave after
visiting me, the husband
silently moves through my house
and collects every garbage
container of trash, and takes it
out with them as they leave.

it's not as if my place is sloppy.
it is simply a gesture of doing
their part of clean-up for the visit.
every visit. and the husband
does the work!

sarah, the wife, is 36yrs. old.
i am her best friend. one day, she
was lonely for me.

"ann, if i pay half the cab fare,
can you cover the rest?"

"of course," i responded.

we are all recovering addicts.
she has just had a hysterectomy,
and had to be on a lot of pain medication.
we will be going through detox together. not
because we have walked away
from recovery, but have each been so ill.
had to take meds momentarily,
and refuse to abandon the
sweet taste of deliverance. and
God's best. the road to recovery.

sarah said to the cabbie,
"i'm 36 and my friend is 68,
but who cares?!!"
sarah makes me feel so special!

another gal is in her 30's..
single mom. we've got so
much in common. raising
children alone. hanging by
the edge of our teeth financially.
she drives me to sacramento,
to doctor's appointments. sat
in my hospital room to keep me
from being alone. to not feel
my pain and physical agony so

my children will tell you
that if there is one thing Jesus
and i have called them to it is
to give their love away. a fast-food
lunch to a bent, dirty soul
resting on a curb. a smile at
someone who walks by. to give
some of every penny Jesus gives
them to others in need.

to play ball with a child.
to hug an unattractive, elderly
man. to stop and laugh with
someone who seems sad. to
hug a child. to squeeze until
they giggle.

to feed another mother's
child. to help a crippled woman
cross the street. we do one thing
with everyone who passes by.
we build a wall or a bridge.  i
want to be a bridge-builder
for Jesus. to change the world
every single day. in even a very
small way. yes. love is something
we are..and something we do.

"all for Jesus..all for Jesus...
every day and every hour..."

Tuesday, October 8

i remember, years ago, when i
was addicted to pain pills,
there were so many things
that i missed.

how clean and vibrant
the sky was. how great it
felt to feel the earth between
my toes on warm look
everyone straight in the
eyes, with no guilt and shame.
no double standards. and...
that sweet taste of freedom.

it's all of this,
and more...that has made
the last seven months so
foreboding and terrifying. i
have had to take medication
to walk because none of the
bones would fuse on the bottom
of my left foot.

and i've known i would have
to detox off these pain pills.
where? how would i cover
expenses? finally, i returned
home from the hospital last
week with one leg in a cast.

"do NOT allow leg to even touch
the ground for six weeks!"

everything had depended
on Jesus. what a hard, glorious
adventure this has been. if you
are fighting an addiction...a large
piece of cloth that has wrapped
itself around your neck...and
subtly, obscurely begun to imprison
you...and squeeze the air of
freedom and deliverance right
out of you, then i ask you to take
my hands.  step up to the altar
of God who promises to remove
the self-loathing paths of our
brokenness.  and seek with me,
that the Lord...the Power greater
than ourselves...will lead us to
the peace and sun again.

i'm watching for you.
i'm watching and waiting.
"His truth is marching on."

Monday, October 7

to run the Race.
to look people in the eye
and say, by the clear
conviction shining in your spirits,
that you are not afraid to run. to
fall flat on your face....
and not be so shamed that
you will stay down. will roll around
in the embarrassment of
all your imperfection.

you will always rise
again. bruised and bloody
and limping...and yes....maybe
shamed and raw and exposed and
eyes slightly downcast. BUT,
you will stand on your shaky
legs. first, you will only walk.
stumbling along the side of
the road...but slowly, you will
pick up your pace. your legs
stretching. and glory will begin
to shine along the edge of the
horizon. and glisten in your pace.

the faint echoes of choirs.
i can hear them. coming from
the redeemed. i am one of those.
the last year has knocked me
down. over and over. these
blogs have embarrassed me
beyond words. painting, across
the skies, how poverty-ridden
my soul is. my faithless spirit
of raw fear...rather than relentlessly
clinging to Jesus' powerful
promises...shames me.

i've been so scared.
have shared my children's
struggles, with their permission,
so you would know we are broken,
like everyone else..yet worried
that i haven't instead guarded
their hearts more carefully.

after all the physical suffering,
i must now face all it will take
to expunge these chemicals
from my addicted body. not
for a second have i considered
these pain pills once more
the answer to my earthly struggles
and sorrow.

but i am so terrified.
how to do it. who will
help me. can i wait until
my ribs and foot are healed?

i ask you all to forgive me for
not representing Jesus better.
oh, what a beautiful, magnificent
Savior He is. i'm so ashamed
of not being a tougher warrior
of the faith.

for you who have contributed
funds to help Jesus and me
change my neighborhood..
and all the love poured out 
in your all
have fed my soul. you have
painted such love across my
children's hearts. you have
been Jesus to the five of us.
our years as warriors have
been difficult...and i've not
always done it right, but with
all my heart and soul, i have

may we march with Jesus
leading us....and everytime we
stumble, and fall, may we rise
again. forgive ourselves and
others, and shout the victory
cry. i so love Jesus and you!!

Friday, October 4

i had a friend that
i truly cherished.
her hair. her poise.
the way she loved others.
she did beautiful things for
my sons and me...and we just
adored her unconditionally.
we were family.

we longed to make her happy
because that's what she did
for us.

someone knocked on my
door the other day. laughed
and visited. no negative words
were uttered. we shared what
we love in each other. spoke
about what we love in others.

our favorite things to chatter
about were our children....and
what gifts they are...and our
dreams for their futures.

when Jesus got up to leave,
and thanked us all, we were
so amazed. suddenly, we recognized Him. 
tears streamed down our faces.

i looked at Him...
and then at you all,
and i wanted to love you more.

"more, more about Jesus..
more...more about Jesus..
more of His saving fullness
see..more of His love who
died for me."

Thursday, October 3

to another day   
where the damp earth
and crowded places 
grow quiet and prepare  
for the hours to come.

it happened a week ago.
7p.m. my surgery on my foot
where the bones never fused.
first, a five inch chunk was cut
around my hip bone to be placed
where weak bones were.

i promise i won't carve my blogs around feet......
and bunions and callouses.
but the wonders of' running
in the mountains of life with Jesus.

returning home. my casted foot
that is not to touch the ground
in 6 wks. came crashing 
to the floor, pounding cement
4 times; twice knocking the air
out of me. breaking several ribs.

so we fight the demons. robed
in black. we lay our victories at
Jesus's feet....and march on
to hear the victory Choir.