Showing posts from January, 2011

Dances With Wildflowers!

Early this morning I read this scripture:

You did it! You turned wild lament into whirling dance;

You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.

I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about You.

God, my God, I can't thank You enough. Psalm 30:11-12

Oh, my friend, this verse tells just a little of what was in many hearts today. There is so much to share that I honestly do not know where to begin. But I will try.

For my husband and me, this story began about ten years ago when our oldest son introduced us to James, a friend he had met at church. I can't begin to tell you what a handsome, intelligent, personable young man James was. The only thing, he had become consumed with drug addiction. I am so anxious for you to know his story and hopefully one day I will be able to post the whole thing.

When we met him, we learned of his plight--of his loss of both parents as a teenager--our hearts broke for him--We were living in Tulsa at the time…

Good News!

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to post.  There is a lot going on here.

Not the least of which is:  Renewal Ranch Opens This Weekend

Remember the Strong Box post??

It has become a reality.  The guys are here and moving in and we are giving them

 their strong boxes.

When my husband brought home the Bibles with their names on them the other day,

 I just started sobbing when I ran my hand across their names.  Finally, we were

dealing with real people not just a mirage off in the distance.

(Getting their boxes ready)
So we are really busy with this awesome venture but I will have a post

early next week showing you pictures of the Ranch.

Thank you for your patience with me as I am trying to find my way

again with this blog and what God wants it to be.


This is a copy of the letter included in their strong boxes--Please feel free to adapt it to use for anyone for whom you would like to provide a strong box.

As some of the Renewal Ranch team members were discussing some items that…

Taking a Step Back

Hey friends,

At least for a while I am taking a step back from my blog. As answers become more clear to me and God allows, I will be sharing what I feel He is laying on my heart. I am going to try to keep up Weekend Worship and maybe one or two other posts a week unless His Spirit directs me differently one way or the other.

     So sorry for such a delay in relating to you my intentions. I wrote most of this post a few days ago but wanted to be sure before I posted it.

     Shortly after I posted a week ago last Monday that I was taking a break, I became very ill and battled that for almost a week.  It was the sickest I've been in many, many years.  It sure made me appreciate my health.

     To those of you (you know who you are) who have contacted me about health issues, you are in my prayers today.

     I do have a bit of good news that hopefully I can get ready to share this afternoon. Actually, it is more than a "bit."  I feel guilty for writing that.  It is miraculou…

Taking a Break!

I will be taking a blogging break for the next week or so.  See you when I get back.  If you need me for anything, my contact information is on the sidebar.

Buried to New Life

Refer to Oswald Chambers post for January 15--white funeral

the justaposition of buried and new life

Weekend Worship at Damascus, Arkansas

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

Isaiah 46:8

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.

Isaiah 46:9

I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

Isaiah 46:10

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord,

Psalm 68:32

To him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens.
Isaiah 68:33, 34

You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
Isaiah 68:33-35

He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed— but he marches on forever.

Habakkuk 3:6

I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LOR…

Simple Pleasure

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

My simple pleasure today was a just a little photography session in my kitchen. I grabbed three apples, a black turtleneck, some vegetable oil, a camera, a scripture off the wall and played.

I had fun trying to mimic some of the pretty food photographs I've seen online and playing with light and shadow.  Just a simple little thing but it brought a lot of pleasure.

I hope your day has included some simple pleasures.  Isn't it wonderful to serve a God who not only cares about our eternal destination but cares so profoundly about the little things in our lives that bring us so much joy.

All Glory to God,
2011-the Year of Living Beyond Myself

Calligraphy: The calligraphy in the last picture is the work of Michael Podesta. You can view his work here.

I am linking to Dayle and the others over at Simple Pleasures.  Won't you join…


I was so saddened today when I was reading about a famous astrophysicist--He was asked if he believes in a higher power. His response was this:
"Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence." This is quoted from Wikipedia, which doesn't make it necessarily true but they are fairly reliable.
Now (imagine a Forrest Gump voice here), "I may not be a smart woman."
I'm not making fun, really I'm not--I just have to inject a little humor to keep from crying.
(Back to normal--whatever that is)
"but I am smart enough to know that if the universe wants to kills us as bad as this man says it does and we are still alive and enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life, someone must be looking out for us…

I Need to Sing with You

When I first saw this picture, a chord was struck in my soul. I didn't know what the melody was, I only knew it sounded faintly familiar but had been forgotten somewhere along the way.

As I continued to look on the beauty of this instrument, the old haunts and refrains of the verse seemed to penetrate the deepest abbeys of my being, and a kinship of memories refreshed brought back the old tune. It was then that the words became melody coupled with the harmony of your voice and I knew I needed to sing together with you the joys and arias of the Lord our God.

Me--I am singing of the joy of lifting my voice together with yours to praise our mighty God today.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
2011-the year of Living Beyond Myself

Photo credits: When I went to China a few years ago, I sat beside a sweet couple from Minnesota who were on their way to Japan to visit the family of one of their former foreign exchange students. We only talked for a few hours but have remained f…

Unfinished Melody

Will this work

monday warmth

Warm Greetings.   .   .   .   .
I am hoping and praying that this beautiful Monday morning finds you basking in the sunlight of our precious Lord.

It is my prayer that you will be encouraged and persevere in your quests to make this new year a great one, full of ambitions realized, dreams becoming substance and hopes fulfilled.

"We will never know the joy of a successful ending unless we've made the choice of a determined beginning."

The goal of living beyond myself is a constant challenge because my human nature wants to give in to all the "easy" outs. It is then I must remember to "walk in the Spirit" and let Jesus guide me because I cannot do this myself.

If I truly believe the scripture below, then I know there is nothing too difficult for our Lord--He can take someone like me and accomplish great things.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bo…

Weekend Worship at Church of the Nazarene, Marshall, AR

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

Turn from evil and do good,
      and you will live in the land forever.
 For the Lord loves justice,
      and he will never abandon the godly.

The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.

Trusting that your worship this weekend leads you to shelter in Him.
I am linking to Spiritual Su…

There Won't Be a Picture With This One!

Well, (I know, a very deep subject but I promise this one is one of the shallowest you will ever read). So much so that you might as well (X) me out right now and be on your way.

But for the brave of heart who decide to stay, it went down this way:

A week or so before Christmas we had an unexpected visitor. In fact, in the four years that we've lived in this house, they had never darkened our door or our floor, or come to visit at all. At least as far as we knew.

One day I went bounding (well, that is a little strong for someone my age but they say that VERBS are what it's all about these days--in writing--you know, it used to be adjectives--well, anyway I have veered somewhat) out into the garage for some more Christmas decorations. Just as I opened the door from the laundry room into the garage, I see our visitor at breakneck speed, probably a millionth of a second, dash to hide from me.

Now I don't know about you but I am like my mother-in-law about this. She used to s…

The Day After

Silver bells now silenced
Flickering candles dimmed
Twinkling lights darkened by attic black
Chorus of carols hushed
Heart heaves heavy
Should be rejoicing
Walk by refrigerator
Eyes are drawn
To small love letter
Three little words
penned by one of seven grandchildren
And suddenly it's Christmas
All over again

All glory to God,

2011-the Year of Living Beyond Myself
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21
Please join Emily, me and all the others at Imperfect Prose.

Nouvei Ami

On the way home from Branson right before Christmas, while I was taking pictures of a church across the street, my husband was checking out this little restaurant, the Skylark Cafe, in Leslie, Arkansas.

It was off the beaten path just a bit but I was looking for churches to take pictures of for Weekend Worship. We had eaten a big breakfast kinda late and it was only 12:30 PM so I was shocked when my husband suggested that we eat there. ~~Not disappointed, though--it just looked like they would have good food.

Leslie is a little town of 482 as of the 2000 census. While we were sitting there waiting for our food, my husband wondered out loud "how in the world they stay in business and who in the world eats there."

I commented that maybe they get a lot of local people, retired people and maybe some folks from over at Yellville, population a little over twice as big as Leslie. While we were still contemplating all of these important issues of the day, the screen door opens and …

2010 Can I Leave the Longings? 2011

Wow! What a year 2010 was. Here are just a few of the many longings I expressed in my postings this year.

I long to be obedient.

I long to be a person of true and sincere intercession.

I long to reflect His character.

I long to walk and talk with Him for eternity.

I long to enjoy freedom, His freedom, to the max--

I long to be totally genuine, with no trace of hypocrisy.

I long to dance.

I long to know Him more through scripture.

and the list goes on and on-------

And I was sincere in what I wrote~~

As I lay all my longings out before Him and before you, dear friend,

You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh. from Psalm 38
(This was the scripture from which I took my theme for 2010)

I have come to believe more than ever

That He is here

To fulfill them all--

To make me what I desire

Only because of the Holy Spirit's longings

He has placed in my heart--

And now...............

Am I willing to accept that

He is willing

To live His life through me,

To go beyond my wildest dreams and expectation…


I wish I could tell you how the holidays spun out for me
How at first I dragged my feet thinking I would not decorate nearly so much as usual--

Kinda afraid to get on the holiday band wagon--
Cause I know someday it won't be the same anymore--
The people who used to ride with me

My mom and dad and Meemaw and Peepaw
Well, they're weren't here this Christmas and haven't been for a number of years now--
But somehow my memories keep them just as vivid as their first nativity celebrated heavenly--
I decided to get on anyway
To go ahead and kick up my heels--
And before I knew it my heart was flying high

Rejoicing with the people God has embedded in my heart at this time and place--
During this season, the almost winter, of my Merry-Go-Life.

Please join Emily, me and all the others at Imperfect Prose.

silver dollar city


merlin carothers


book of churches