My Manifesto


Writing has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. My first attempt at writing was a version of a mystery I’d read and loved. Shortly thereafter I learned what the word  plagiarism meant. So much for that story.

I wrote often growing up, mostly about what was bothering me on any given day. Those words are long gone, something I’ve regretted. I didn’t learn about proper journaling for many years and I must admit, I’m not very good at journaling every day.

I was brought up in a home where God was talked about. I didn’t much question my belief in there being a God, I just believed. Until late in my twenties. Then I questioned Him a lot.

Coincidentally, at the same time, I realized a few things about myself:

  1. All the decisions I’d made about my life once I left home ended poorly.  I was not the independent soul I longed to be,
  2. I needed help,
  3. I didn’t know where to go for that help,
  4. So I went looking for a church to find answers.

It took a little bit of doing but I eventually found a church I felt I belonged in. Different from the one I grew up in, this church began filling a hole I hadn’t realized was there. Over the course of a few years I realized I was loved and I had purpose. God loves me and He gave me a purpose. Whew! That took a lot to get out on paper!

Purpose in God needs tending because truth takes time. In some instances (ah-hem! Did I say that?) truth can take a very long time to sink in. But, loving Jesus Christ taught me that He’s not impatient and He’s quite willing to hang around with me, waiting for me to understand His love, purpose, and sheer determination to help me get it. Yep, it took time, but I finally got it.

Writing, and a few other creative inclinations I love, was a part of me because that is the way He created me to be. Listening happens to fall into that list of things I do well. Having empathy for hurting people was yet another quality I was given. Finally, after listening to others most of my adult life, as they poured out frustrations, hurts, pains and dilemmas, I began playing with the idea that I had also been given the creative ability to make sense out of people’s lives. Did I believe that right off?  No. Not so easy to think you may have been given a talent to put others at ease even when you’re having trouble doing that for yourself.

I’ve heard the saying that God doesn’t make junk. It was easy to discount for a long time. But when you love to write, you love to listen and help problem-solve, and especially when others tell you they feel better having spent time with you, I ever-so-slowly began to wonder if it could be true.

It has only taken approximately forty years to begin to trust in all this. God has honored my attempts to keep learning about Him and how not to lean on my own understanding. I think I’m making headway and this is what I’ve learned:

  1. I am a writer,
  2. I am a listener and a problem-solver,
  3. I am creative,
  4. And I love to encourage others.

Therefore, this blog is to Just Encourage!

God Has Begun a New Thing


“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

If I were to re-write the above scripture it would say:  “Behold, I have accomplished a fresh work; now it shall sprout and come about; do you know what I’m doing? I will even lay down a new path in the wilderness and a new river in the desolate places.”

This particular scripture was spoken over me approximately 15 years ago as a prophetic word.  Today I am declaring this word over you!  God has begun a new thing.


A chance meeting (only if you believe there are chance encounters with God) over the weekend opened up something new for me. I ran into a man I’d met two years ago. I’ll call him Andy. During that encounter, Andy spoke a prophetic word over a group of believers, gathered for a time of worship and prayer.  It was a good word, one that resonated with me so deeply that I was impressed to ask if I might be able to share it with my church home. He graciously consented to send me that word once he got home and was able to transcribe it.

I emailed him my contact information and waited. In the busyness of his life it took a little time. One day Andy wrote that he had not forgotten me, and he would get to it soon. In the meantime, he asked if I would pray about a situation in his life and he proceeded to tell me a bit about a problem with one of his children. My heart ached for him and I wrote back something I felt inspired to share.

You see, this is how God works in family. In the weakness of one, He will use another, perhaps someone in a similar situation, perhaps one who is doing well or standing in God’s strength at the moment, to speak encouragement to the other. This is what happened that day. I was caught up in a similar situation and at that particular moment, I was walking strong in God’s provisions. That I would respond to this new brother’s dilemma was all the Lord asked at the moment. A short time later, Andy sent the transcribed word I had asked for. And then our correspondence fell silent. Until last weekend.

My husband and I almost declined to go to this meeting but, at the last moment, we went. We’d just arrived and were going down the aisle to find a seat when once again, I ran into Andy. He recognized me and we quickly struck up a conversation. With neither of us remembering the email correspondence from two years earlier, he told me about his life now and he made some bold statements about his relationship with his children today. Andy was walking firmly in the new thing God had provided for him! I asked him how he’d come to this new understanding and his reply was, “I’m not sure when or how this happened, but I’m so comfortable in this place, knowing He has my kids covered!” I had recently experienced a troubling encounter with a family member and I was still hurting and struggling from that time. Andy’s words in this moment ministered greatly to my hurting spirit.

I went home that night and remembered that I wanted to look for Andy’s prophetic word.  I had recently purged old emails and was a bit fearful that perhaps I might have deleted his word. I laughed out loud as I found Andy’s word on the last page of my emails; I had deleted everything prior to about a month before Andy and I began corresponding! I love God’s sense of humor!

As I read our email thread I not only found the prophetic word but also the email about Andy’s child and my response. I was deeply touched, not so much by my words of encouragement, but by the reciprocity of God’s provision. Here were words of encouragement sent to pretty much a stranger in his struggles. Our encounter earlier this evening provided the exact same encouragement to me, almost two years later to the day!

Do we understand the power of our God? How much fun does the Father have, sitting in heaven, orchestrating such encounters? Do He, Jesus and Holy Spirit sit around a table and make plans for this child and that one, providing chance encounters for us, spinning the tale into these delightful times that transcend time, and sometimes bringing us back around to the point of beginning, only swapping participants so we stand in awe at His provision? I don’t even know if this is truly expressing the awe and wonder that I feel as I realized all that had been in play at my meeting and corresponding briefly with Andy.

To top it all off, I shared Andy’s prophetic word with my pastor last night at our mid-week service. He was truly touched by this word. And here’s the kicker. Andy’s word was deep and two years ago it touched me that it was indeed a word for our body of believers. But when I finally received the word from Andy a few weeks later, I never shared it and in fact, I forgot all about it. Not to worry however, because God had it on His timetable and this past Friday evening, He orchestrated to get Andy and I back in contact so the word would arise. It speaks to our congregation now even better than if I had shared it two years ago!

The end of the story is this. I’ve been wrestling lately with a couple of decisions that have to be made. I’ve been wrestling with my life, my future, and what does God want for me. I wasn’t hearing a thing – until I ran again into Andy. And suddenly, the truth of Isaiah 43:19 is releasing something into my life. Right. Here. Right. Now.

I wish I could put into words the deep rumbling I feel in my spirit. It is a transition space similar to that of a child being born. Just before the birth, there is pain and discomfort indescribable. It is the agony of anticipating something joyous and yet you cannot see it, touch it, and it actually hurts! I am in transition and I am waiting for that which I know is going be a joyous time in my life. I do perceive it.


My friend, I’ve learned over the years that when God does something in me, He is willing to do much the same for others. My life, just as yours, is a testimony of all that Jesus Christ has done and is planning to do in my future. Testimony is the spirit of prophecy! What Christ does for one, He is willing to do for others for He is no respecter of persons.

I declare over you right now that Jesus Christ is doing a new thing in you; do you not perceive it? He is making a way through the desolate places of your life, providing life-giving waters where there has been none. You are entering into a new place – now! I pray you will receive this prophetic word over you today and I would love to hear your comments below. Get ready to move – God has begun a new thing!

Receiving Peace


I don’t know where this is, but I’d like to be there right now. It looks peaceful. And quiet. I can imagine the sweet songs of birds and off in the distance a horse softly whinnying. Perhaps the sounds of people talking softly or the giggles of children playing in the last moments of the day before they are called into the house for the night. My spirit longs for the peace of this scene.

“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” John 14:27 AMP

God has been showing me new things recently. My husband and I facilitate a home group and there has been much revelation coming out of our study and conversations. And there in the midst of these discussions God’s peace has come in ways I’ve not expected.

Jesus tells us in John 14 that He is leaving His peace with us, but not as the world gives peace. That causes me to stop. What is He saying?

The picture above leaves me with an impression of peace, of what I believe peace looks and sounds like. In my minds eye, it is what I perceive peace in this world to be. And yet, if I’m understanding correctly, the words of Jesus say this isn’t the peace He left for us.

No, His peace is something more. In His words He instructs us to not allow ourselves to be troubled – or afraid. How many times a day do you find yourself troubled or afraid? Honestly, I have troubling thoughts more often than I’d like to admit.

What is He trying to show us then?  I love the Amplified version because here, if we keep reading, we get a hint. It says, “stop allowing!” I take it there is a choice in this verse.  Jesus left His peace here for us to enjoy but it may not be what we think of when we think of peace.

Where do those troubling thoughts or fear come from? From the enemy of our soul, Satan.  How often does he attempt to cause us grief throughout our days? Often! I don’t know about you, but I find troubling thoughts in some of the oddest places of my life.

I think understandably, troubling thoughts and perhaps even fear can come from the news, perhaps situations we find ourselves in, maybe even in the everyday occurrences of our lives. Then they get compounded by conversations that take directions we didn’t expect, news from our loved ones, our jobs, and so on.

Surprisingly I’ve found troubling thoughts in my social media connections, in realizing that my good intentions have fallen by the wayside and even in conversations with folks I dearly love. Let’s face it. The enemy is quite adept at throwing us curves throughout our days! Why? Because if he can keep us off center, he can keep us from God’s peace!

Thus, Jesus is telling us in this verse that we must work at remaining in His peace.  It’s there for us because He told us He left it for us to partake of. But you and I are going to have to work at receiving His peace.  It means we must ever be on guard at the enemy’s tactics.

Here’s the kicker. When we begin to be aware of what the enemy is doing and all the ways he loves to take us into troubling thoughts and/or fear, we deliver a very gratifying and wicked left hook directly back at him! And that, my friend, feels really, really good!

No, I’m not sitting on that beautiful hill as the sun sets sweetly in the distance. I’m sitting here on my couch in my living room realizing that I’m resting in His peace tonight. I just finished looking at one of my social media sites and something I read disturbed me. But instead of allowing that disturbing thought to take hold, I saw what he was trying to do. I captured the thought, and in realizing and denying it, I just sucker-punched the enemy.

Not tonight Satan! I’m resting in the peace Jesus talked about in John 14:27. And that’s the truth!


Patience is a Tough Nut to Crack!


I feel badly that I haven’t been very reliable in writing lately. The past three weeks plus have been a challenge. I am still with my parents, away from my husband and church home.

Uncharacteristically, it has been raining – a lot while I’ve been here. So much for walking off pent up feelings and frustrations.

My mom has been in the hospital for a week, then two emergency visits in the span of these twenty-one days. So much for routine.

My Dad’s declining hearing has made for challenging exchanges. So much for flowing conversation.

Life is unfamiliar right now as all my routines and responsibilities changed in the matter of a few hours, as long as it took to make a reservation, get on a plane and fly to my childhood home.

I’ve heard the phrase that the baby-boomers are now called the sandwich generation. I’m not quite sure I get it. While we are quite involved with our son and his family, we do not have responsibility in his life, other than we are doing our very best to be good examples for children and grandchildren. I do, however, understand the vagaries of being available for elderly parents. Hmmm, I guess that’s the point; sandwiched between two very different generations, attempting to make connection and sometimes provision, with the folks we love most.

I’ve been here just shy of a month now. There have been mostly daily battles, rising and falling emotions, not unlike the tensions of the tides, rushing in, pausing to determine whether to push forward or to retreat, only to eventually fall back and allow myself to rest in the deeper pools of known waters.

I’ve learned some things about myself. I’m not by nature a caregiver sort of person. When God gave out the gift of hospitality, I must have been off playing somewhere and missed notice I was to be there in line! I did, however, receive the gift of administration. Ample dosages. Maybe a double portion! I can get things done and I’m a fixit person to the depths of my soul. I’ve come to the conclusion the Lord needed me to, once and for all, hear Him in the fact that just because I can orchestrate and line things up, not all things are to be fixed by me. Yes, it’s been an interesting month.

I’m here this morning in an uncharacteristic lull. Savoring. But it’s going to change in a few minutes as the troops are moving in the background and a grocery shop is on the agenda. Once the ship is in motion well, I might as well give in and go with it.

God is good…all the time! While this has been a challenge, I’m alive and well and forging on. My Lord has provided even when I’ve lost sight of my own abilities to cope with these fast-changing hurdles. I’ve failed, but fairly quickly I’ve realized He’s been here through it all. Humbling. That’s ok, I’ll survive.

The grocery store calls. Off we go once again into a day of unknowns. Remember awhile back when I confessed I didn’t like change? God had a good laugh over that one. And this particular morning I’m kind of snickering with Him. I’ve learned I can make adjustments, and quickly if I need to!


Thanks Lord. The patience nut has been cracked!  Blessings on your day.

Be Careful Who (or What) You Worship


It’s been one of those days.  I had a plan.  It was a pretty straight lineup of things.  Tonight as I look back over the day, the path, instead of a straight line, took on the look of a crazy squiggly line, up, down, around, and around, up and over and back again.

Once again I am with my elderly parents, 500 miles from home.  My Mom had a heart attack a week ago.  She’s home again thankfully after six days in the hospital.  God has been so faithful in healing her, in holding my Dad in His palm, and in lifting me up by the prayers of the saints back home in my church.  It’s been a difficult week but we’ve made it.

This morning we ended up back in the emergency room.  Mom wasn’t sure about sensations on her right side and we had to make sure we weren’t dealing with a clot.  After four hours, numerous blood tests and a EKG she was released home: all was fine.

Well, you know or can imagine, I’m sure, what this morning might have felt like for my Mom, Dad and me.  All my plans for the day went flying out the window as fear attempted to rush right into each of our minds.

Being in a different town, away from my husband, home, and my church family leaves me in a sometimes precarious place.  More than once this week I’ve had to face issues I’ve never dealt with before.  In spite of moments when everything in me wanted to either panic or cry uncontrollably, I got through.  Wait.  Correction.  In spite of those moments GOD strengthened and brought me through!

Tonight I decided to attend a prayer and worship time at a church we attend when we are in town at my parents’.  I attended last Sunday when they announced this special time but evidently I got the time wrong – I arrived an hour early!  Sigh.

I sat down to listen to the worship team practice and decided to take a look at my devotional today, the one I missed due to rushing off to the emergency room right after breakfast.  I was met with this verse:

“Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!  There is no want for those who fear Him.” Psa. 34:9

Tonite I’m realizing that fear has been trying oh so hard to throw me off track.  Every day for the past eight days I’ve been confronted, in one way or another, by fear.  So many questions and doubts, all laid into my Lord’s lap because I don’t know where all this is going for my Mom.

No, I must wait for each day to unfold as it will.  And here is where I must choose.  Will I fall into fear’s waiting arms?  No, not this time satan!  I know where that path leads – more fear and torment.

Instead I’m choosing to fear God.  I know He’s not happy when I succumb to the enemy’s ploys.  Why?  Because He has provision for me, no matter what I face.  Tonight I’m choosing to fear my God, as one of His beloved children.  And what does the Word say about that?  Back to Psalm 34, where David tells us that there will be no want for those who fear the Lord.

That’s all I need tonite.  I’m not going to be tripped up by fear!  Instead, I’m here with fellow saints, getting ready to worship our God.  His provision is here tonite, just as it has been all week long!  Accept my offering Lord, of my love to you as I lift my voice in worship to You!

Oh, it’s so good to be in the house of the Lord!  And it is here I’m provided for in whatever comes my way.


This Mountain Stinks

“But I don’t want to go anymore!”  Ever feel that way?  You get up in the morning and you are faced with the same landscape, the same drab colors, the same feeling of, “here we go again.”


So it’s December 24th,  The day before we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  You may feel like your year is ending on a not so spectacular note and you wish you didn’t have to face the same view.  Nope, not even for one – more – day!

I want to give you a Christmas present.  “The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.” Deut. 1:6.

You’ve been here much too long, my friend.  You were brought to this place for a time, not the rest of your life.  Unfortunately, we can end up staying longer than we were meant to and the once beautiful surrounding becomes a too familiar desert.

No, it’s time for a change.  “How,” you might ask?

That reminds me of a saying  I heard a long time ago: How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!

Leaving this familiar place may not be easy but it’s certainly possible.  “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” Matt. 19:26.  You see, you’re looking at this with your own eyes.  Go to Papa and ask Him to give you His eyes, His vision for your future.

As short-sighted humans, we often end up living far longer than God ever intended in places that were only meant as a stopover.  Then, enters the enemy who will jump at any opportunity to steal your vision for the future, by enticing you to agree with faulty thinking.  The result? You end up believing a lie meant to steal your vision of your own exciting future with God.

God has been thinking about you for eons, long before you were conceived.  If He loves you that much, that He would consider you and only you, do you really think His visions for your potential might be so benign, so lifeless?  I don’t think so.

No, Papa God has something wonderful and full of life waiting for each and every one of us.  It begins with a vision He is quite eager to share with you but you must do a little work to get hold of it.  Enter the elephant!  One…step…at…a…time.

How do you get there, how do you find the vision for your future?  Here’s a few ideas.

  1.  Pray.  Ask Papa.  Simple, but effective first step.
  2. Seek, and ask for, prophetic words.  Write them down once obtained and keep them in your vision (I keep mine on 3×5 cards and carry in my wallet.  How can a prophetic word become part of your soul unless you ponder it often?).  Go to your pastor, trusted friends and mentors, conference speakers.
  3. Begin declaring out loud that which you know to be true, statements that line up with God’s Word.
  4. Consider traits you know about yourself.  Most likely your giftings and talents have something to do with your future.  God gave those gifts to you for reasons; explore them more fully.

Change.  Not a user-friendly word.  It often brings up thoughts we don’t like to think about.  But, I promise you that if you’ll embrace change and begin – one step at a time – God will meet you there with His promises to give you a future and a hope.

Our God is a God of hope, of promises, of possibilities!  The only restriction, after you invite Him into your life, is you!  Go ahead, think BIG!  I dare you.  This mountain will never look the same again.


Turns out, there’s a rainbow on that mountain.  God’s promises.  His promises are full of life – for living!  Off you go now.  Don’t look back.  The best is yet to come.  Merry Christmas!


Life Can Be…


…busy.  Too much to do.  A plate so full there’s no wiggle room.  Clicking things off the list can become more pressing than time with people.  On and on it can go.  Let’s face it; life can become a blur.

We’re all guilty at times of this.  As Christians we can become so focused on serving and doing that we lose sight of “the most important thing,” as Jesus so pointedly stated to Martha.

This is a wonderful time of year to be reminded of this truth.  We’re on vacation with family for the Christmas holiday.  We are visiting a beautiful place we’ve never been to before and so there is a tendency to want to go, go, go and take in all there is to experience.  And yet, the reality is we are here together to not only enjoy this place but also to enjoy each other.  Truth number one.

There’s another truth to consider:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.

In my rush to get it done, especially at this time of year, I can so easily overlook my much needed time with my Savior.  Truth number two.

Jesus wants to replace my burdens with His love, peace, and provision.  In my race to win over the tyranny of my list, He waits patiently (perhaps sometimes not so patiently!) for me to remember Him.  I don’t know why it’s so easy to forget He wants to actually help me get through my day or even to help me realize that perhaps parts of my day are just not important!

As a Christian it is so easy to get caught up in “stuff”.  “Stuff” can be negative but it can also be positive.  I have a tendency to say yes to too many ministry opportunities.  They are all good, nothing wrong with any of them.  But, if they take me away from sitting with the One who loves me, then I’m too busy.

This Christmas holiday, I’m trying to wind down from the rapid pace of my life in order to do a couple of things that I believe my Savior wants me to do: take some time with Him, some writing and just “being” with my kids and grandkids.  It feels good!

Will you join me today in taking some time to be with the One who loves you?  He would love that.  I’m off…and then it’s time for a mean game of spoons with the family while it’s raining outside!