Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warrior Angels

Today I'm guest blogging at a new website called Christian Children's Authors...

“Why aren’t there more children’s books for boys?” Parents ask me this frequently. My answer, “I don’t know.” But it’s a great question especially for Christian children’s literature.

One Saturday night our five-year-old son couldn’t fall asleep. He wasn’t hungry or thirsty so we knew something bothered him. He confessed, monsters were in the house. So we did what every parent would do ̶ the monster chase. We shooed monsters out from under the bed and from inside the closets and behind all his curtains and chased them outside. No more monsters! Certainly, after such a successful monster chase he’d finally settle down, but fear still gripped his heart.

“What if they get back into our house?” he asked pitifully.

(To read more please hop over to Christian Children's Authors by clicking here).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What We Take Away When We Lay It Down

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23: 42-43

When we lay something down we fear walking away empty. We wonder how long it might take before anything replaces our missing something - like those burdens we nailed to that rugged cross, yesterday. How long before new ones come or we don't know what to do without them so we claw them off the cross?

We could learn a thing or two from Jesus and the thief.

One thief hurled insults at Jesus. Jeered and taunted him while he suffered. The other acknowledged Jesus as God's son - recognized his need for him - placed his life in Jesus hands, half expecting to leave this life empty handed.

"Jesus," he said, "remember me when you come into your kingdom."

Instead of serving criminal justice, Jesus offered forgiveness, remembrance and life.

"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

Jesus went beyond forgiveness and offered blessing - kingdom life. And it wasn't just life but eternal life lived in relationship with Jesus. To this criminal, this man who rightly deserved punishment, Jesus said, "You will be with me in paradise."

When we lay it down, put to death that something, we walk away full - full of Jesus - full of hope and a future when God's new heaven and earth are realized. But we must leave our something nailed to the cross; let it die it's proper death so that we may gain new life through Christ.

What is your something that's so hard to lay down?

Monday, February 27, 2012

What I'm Giving Up for Lent

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

We sat facing the rugged hand-hewn cross where hammer and nails laid ready for sinners hands. Late winter sunlight streamed bright through old stained-glass easing the somber remembrance of God's greatest sacrifice - his Son laid down so that we might live.

Shadowed by the cross, my heart begged the question, "What material thing or sinful habit needs laying down?" My ears rang silent as our voices praised and prayed and our hands passed bread.

Then, as though I'd spoken my thoughts aloud, Pastor offered an answer. "If you're going to give up something for Lent, why not give up a burden and leave it at the cross?"

Oh, that would be a sacrifice indeed, for sometimes I cling to my burdens like a child holds onto their favorite blankie. Burdens mull and ferment and fill, making me feel alive until my heart explodes, leaving me standing alone in an oozing toxic puddle of fear and anger. That's not living. That's dying.

Father invites me to lay all these burdens down - to give them up at the foot of the cross. And if I would just trust Him - have faith that He knows what's best - I could live free and full.  

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b

This morning I surrender my burdens at the foot of your cross. I give you all my concerns for those situations I can't control anyway. I lay them all down, today and ask for your yoke which you promise is easy and light. I sacrifice what I know and place my trust in your sovereignty. Help my unbelief. Amen.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Buzzing Around Today

Devo Kids is part of Christian Devotions Ministries whose mission is to entertain children with fun activities and sprinkle it with the teachings of Christ. Http://

Today I am excited to join Kendra Cameron Jarvis at Devo Kids to discuss our shared passion for children's literature and my writing journey. 

Devo Kids (part of is a fun, creative, family friendly website whose goal is to be THE place for families to go for spiritual study, prayer and family fun.

DevoKids posts weekly devotions from Christian writers, authors and KIDS. They encourage children to write about their favorite scripture or about their personal experiences with Christ.  Children or adults may submit art work, art projects, nature events and all around kid-fun.

Click here to see the interview and while you're there, browse the other exciting features at Devo Kids. You'll want to make it a weekly stop!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Separation Anxiety

Today I'm privileged to spend the day with 7,000 moms discussing separation anxiety. Party starts at 10 am (EST) and ends at 6 pm (EST). Wanna come along? It's easy, just jump onto Facebook and type in Moms Together. Click on the *Like* button and join the party!

Discussion will center around questions like:
  • What is separation anxiety?
  • Do you have a significant childhood memory of separation anxiety? How has that affected your parenting?
  • Is childhood separation anxiety normal/healthy?
  • How does separation anxiety affect our marriages? Other family relationships?
  • What's a good age to leave my child with a care giver?
  • What constitutes a good caregiver?
  • Is my child really okay when I walk out the door?
At the end of the day (around 10:00 pm) one of the lovely Moms Together hostesses will announce the winner of my children's picture book, Auntie's House.

See you there!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Promises, Promises

"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'" Matthew 3:8,9

We never practiced Ash Wednesday in our church. I only knew about it by the black smudges on my friends foreheads the next morning at school. From what I gathered, the ashes symbolized a time of self-deprivation by chocolate or some other favorite "sin" for forty days, "Friday fish fries", and the countdown to Easter when everyone returned to their old habits.

Whethere you practice Ash Wednesday or not, today marks the beginning of Lent, when Christians prepare their hearts "through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self denial." While this sounds good in theory, if repentance is not sincere then all our efforts to turn away from sin during Lent are only empty promises, no?

The Pharisees were all about appearances and empty promises. They showed up at Jesus' baptism and taunted John the Baptist. But John would have none of it. He saw right through their fascades, going as far as calling them a brood of vipers and challenging their faith. He said, "produce fruit in keeping with your repentance"(Matthew 3:8). In other words, your actions speak louder than your words. If they truly repented of their sins, then their lives would show it in private as well as in public. But the Pharisees thought, just by calling themselves sons of Abraham and adhering to the Law, they would be saved.

That's like us today, isn't it? Inheriting God's kingdom doesn't come through church membership or the faith of our parents. Faith comes by a sincerely penetant heart, turning away from our old ways and turning towards God, through Jesus Christ.

Romans 10: 9-10 says, "That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

This is the beginning of a pentant heart, the starting point for Lent. This is the heart-soil from which all fruit can grow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing the Way

"I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy to carry his sandals." Matthew 3:11

Did these words of John the Baptist ever trip you up? I've stumbled over them hundreds of times but never asked the question. So, I'm going to ask the question today. Why did John the Baptist call people to repent and why did he baptize them before Jesus' death and resurrection actually occurred?

Growing up baptist and fluent in Christianese, I thought baptism was all "our" idea because unlike other denominations, baptists believed in total submersion like Jesus did (Matthew 3).  But here's what bothered me: if submersion in water symbolized dying to sin through Jesus' death and rising out of the water meant new life as in the resurrection of Jesus, then how did the Jews understand what John the Baptist was talking about since this occurred prior to Jesus death and resurrection?

Here's what I've learned: First, Luke 1: 17 tells us that John the Baptist would "go on before the Lord (Jesus), in the spirit and power of make a people prepared for the Lord." The whole purpose of John's ministry was to soften Israel's hearts to receive Jesus' kingdom message. 

Next, most Jews believed and hoped for a believers physical resurrection from the dead, therefore, Jews understood baptism sybolism. Baptism to these Jews signified repentance (turning away from sin) and committment to God's holy ways, in preparation and sybolizing their future resurrection as God's people.

Tomorrow Lent begins -  the season we prepare the way for our hearts to receive the gift of salvation and celebrate the hope of Resurrection Day. As a family, we often didn't celebrate all of Lent, only Holy Week. But as I grow older, understand more, celebrating Resurrection Day should trump Christmas.

How do you prepare your heart and home during Lent? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Planting Hope in a Cowboy's Heart {between Buffalo & Portland}

"Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" Matthew 22:37-39

My grandfather died and I prepared for my first solo flight. Leaving my husband behind, I clutched my boarding pass, slipped into the middle seat between a balding, middle-aged businessman and a tall, retired Texan cowboy straddling the aisle seat and prepared for take-off.

Ninety minutes into the two hour flight, after reading the contents in the seat pocket, the Texan cowboy and I decided a conversation might be nice.  We exchanged pleasantries like where we're from and why we're headed to Portland. He confirmed, beyond the obvious pointed snakeskin boots and cowboy hat, his Texas origins. And then he asked, "What do you do?" I pulled out a business card, certain that when the Texan cowboy layed eyes on the title "youth pastor" he'd pull the reigns back and stop all conversation. But he didn't.

The pilot announced ten minutes to landing and the cowboy pulled and E. F. Hutton on me. You know, the question that focuses everyone's attention on your answer? (The 1980's commercial that said, "When E. F. Hutton talks, everybody listens.") Cowboy looked at my business card and asked, "So, you're a pastor. What is our purpose in this life anyway?"

People spend lifetimes searching the answer to that exact question and I had ten minutes to make a difference in Cowboy's life (and everyone else listening around us). I didn't have my Bible handy and I couldn't just throw Scripture at this guy so I simply said, "Our purpose is to love God with everything we are and love each other the same way, like Jesus taught us. He created us to live in community with him and one another and to love as he loves."

"That's it?" Cowboy challenged. With less than ten minutes to landing I replied, "Yes, that's it. It's that simple." 

And yet it's more. Oh, I don't mean a list of do's and don'ts or liturgies and sacraments. It's about knowing and being known by our Creator and grasping the height and depth of God's love. It's about Kingdom living - understanding God's Kingdom is here and now and at the same time, not yet - and understanding our place in it. It's all about carrying the hope of life to others - day by day - because of Christ's Resurrection Day victory.

Between Buffalo and Portland, on the way to bury the dead, God's resurrection hope planted life in the heart of one Texan cowboy. That's Kingdom living!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: In Christ, A New Creation

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

New life springs forth from shallow graves.Winter reconciled with spring and death overcome by life resurrected. The sight of newness and vibrant hues quickens my feet and the camera's eye captures my hope:

the old is gone, the new has come ~

No longer must I accept the grave or the old life for upon the cross, on my behalf He bore my sin with one final breath He shouted, "It. Is. Finished!"

His life laid down so we might live.

Jesus fought. The battle won. Death could not hold him in the grave. Transformed, renewed he rose on the third day. Our hope:

~ the old is gone, the new has come ~

In Christ we are a new creation proclaiming hope to all the nations:

"His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Daniel 7:14b

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another Boat

“ 'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus." Matthew 14:29

I've said it here before, I'd rather jump from a perfectly good airplane than dive into deep, murky waters, but for some reason God keeps sending me boats instead of airplanes.

Just when I think I'm ready to soar, God sends me another boat and says, "Get in." I roll my eyes and my heart sinks. "What more, Lord? What more do I have to learn about these deep waters? Why can't I soar like a bird and take an airplane instead?" Saying nothing, he gives me wink, pushes off shore, and we set sail into the deep.

I lean in and take notes while he navigates across glassy seas. After awhile, I finally feel comfortable and safe inside that boat, even while cruising above deep waters. Then he jumps out of the boat and beckons me, "Come."

"But Lord! The ocean is deep, really, really deep. And dark," I argue. "I won' be able to see. And it's cold. I can't possibly jump out of this boat. You know how frightened I am of deep, murky water. Surely, as I'm standing here, I'll die if I jump!"

"Do you trust me?" the Lord asks.

"Do you want an honest answer or just the right Sunday school answer?"

His eyes lock with mine and his silence answers my question. Eventually, I jump out of the boat.

That's where I'm at today - overboard and standing in deep, murky waters instead of soaring above them like a bird. And guess what? I didn't die. My feet are wet and cold. I'm frightened and feel ill equipped and vulnerable. I'm definately afraid of sinking, but I'm alive and my Lord's still out here in the middle of the deep with me.  

Unlike Peter in Matthew 14, I didn't jump before I thought. I thought a lot and I still don't like deep waters. At. All. But, despite my fears and all my reasoning, I jumped anyway because I love him and my heart trusts him. And if I keep my eyes on Him like Peter did for a few minutes, I'll walk on water.

Then, maybe...maybe next time he'll send me an airplane.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Love You With All of My Heart

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Luke 10:27

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Today marks the equivalent to Black Friday for florists, (and maybe chocolatiere's too) when Americans shell out tens of thousands of dollars on cut roses and chocolates to express their love for their special someone. Beginning February 1st, Valentine's orders start trickling into local florist shops, but nothing compares to the onslaught they'll receive today. (Trust me on this. I worked in a florist shop once. So be kind to your florist even if they seem a bit prickly or impatient. They've talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of customers and it's not even noon, yet.)

Now, I like a good dark chocolate truffle and I love it when anyone gives me flowers, especially my husband, but I don't like man-made holidays like Valentine's Day. It puts a lot of pressure on everybody concerned and since everyone else is getting the same gift, the sentiment seems, well, insincere. My thought? If you don't know you're loved except on February 14th every year, then check the temperature of your relationship.

I know, I'm sounding a bit snarky but here's the deal: if you love someone with all your heart (like your Valentine's Day card says you do) then it's a 24:7, 365 committment, not a once-a-year heart (and wallet) indebtedness.

Now that I've put the fear in Valentine's gift-giving, let me go a bit deeper here...and maybe I'm reaching...Don't we sometimes express our love for God like this when we reserve our greatest display of sentiments for him for Christmas and Easter?

When an expert in the Jewish Law asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself " (Luke 10:27). If we say we love someone with all our heart and soul, mind and strength then we can't help but express our love for them every day. Our heart actually aches when we're separated from them and feels at peace when they're closeby. When we love someone with everything we are, we express it at least daily, if not more.

Then, are we doing that with God? If we say we love him with all of our being, then shouldn't we express our love for him more frequently? If we checked the temperature of our God relationship what would it be? Hot, lukewarm, tempid, cool, or down right frigid? What if we got honest with God and asked him, "Do you know I love you?" Would we have the courage to hear his answer? Would God's answer be, "Yes, of course I know you love me. You tell me every day" or, would His answer be like a Valentine's lover? "Ummm. I know you love me on February 14th, but other days, not so much. I sure wish you'd let me know more often."

If we honestly love God with everything we are, then how do we show our affection every day and throughout the day? Here's a few suggestions:
  • Spend designated time alone with him every day
  • Listen more than talk
  • Read his love letters (the Bible) and write him some
  • Share your intimate thoughts through prayer or journaling
  • Let him know you're thinking of him even when you're busy
  • Include him in your decisions by asking his opinion on things
  • Trust his lead
  • If he asks you to do something, do it
  • Talk about him around your friends and coworkers
  • Worship him alone and corporately with other believers
  • Make your whole life an act of worship
Dear Lord,
Forgive me if I take you for granted or blatently leave you waiting for my words of affection. I do love you with all of my heart and with all of my soul. I love you with all of my mind and the strength that's within me. Thank you for your grace and mercy, for your perfect and unfailing love.

P. S. Minus the last two points, the suggestions above work well at raising the temperature in your earthly relationships, too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

When Love Gets Lonely

"It is not good for man to be alone." Genesis 2:18a

I spent last week alone. Normally, I'm okay with that. Solitude suits me and my writing and I don't mind keeping company with my own thoughts. The first few days when Pete's was gone, it's kind of like a vacation - everything takes on a nice leisurely pace - sleeping late, staying up late, eating whenever, watching chic flicks until I can't stand them anymore. But this time, that vacation feeling wore off early.

I felt lonely by mid week, especially at night when silence crept through the dark house. Maybe it was the length of Pete's trip or maybe it was the time of year. In winter there's little for me  to do outside and this year there wasn't even one snowflake to shovel. Inside wasn't much better. After one day of heavy cleaning, I was pretty much done for the week because there wasn't anyone around to mess it up again. The laundry basket took an entire week to fill. And cooking? Cooking is a drag to me anyway, but at least if I have someone to cook for it gives me an excuse to be creative. Cooking for one? Boring! My most creative meal all week was tacos.

All this got me thinking about living alone. I can see how someone could go nuts with no one to share life. It's not that someone else could or should make us feel more complete than God, but even God said it wasn't good for man to be alone.

"The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

God knew our need for companionship and our need to share life with someone who compliments us and God knew our capacity for love because we were made in His image - comprised of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - not even God lives alone.
As I write this, it's Saturday night, 8:42 PM. Pete's texting me. He's lonely, too. We're both counting the hours before his return, Sunday night. Sweet dreams, my love. God speed and grant you a safe journey home. I'll be waiting.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Driving Miss Daisy

"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." Psalm 33:18

Driving Miss Daisy (what I affectionately call my Aunt) isn't always pleasant. She's stubborn and selfish, ornery and opinionated, just like Jessica Tandy's character in the 1989 movie by the same name. Driving Miss Daisy to her doctors appointments and to Walmart for her monthly shopping tries my patience every time.

I temper my conversation after Morgan Freeman's character, (the driver), by keeping my mouth shut and agreeing with a "Yes Ma'am" and "Mm mm hm mm." Besides, speaking my mind only gets me into trouble and proves a waste of time because she doesn't listen anyway.

But yesterday, on her 4 month orthopaedic follow up visit, we got to talking about things broken - how hurt and pain come with the wound and how sometimes we're responsible for it all. We agreed that if we listen - do what we ought rather than what we want - the wound never appears and we remain whole.

We traced the lines that spelled truth right there in the negatives hanging in the light. The lines that bore witness to her brokenness and pain. The lines that spoke of all the hard-lesson days full of regret and caused her knees to bend, buckle, fall to the floor beside her bed. Frustrating days followed, impatiently hemmed in prayer and hung on hope - hope for healing of the wound, restored wholeness and independence. Hope prevailed even when all the doctor ever promised was deformity at best, even when I doubted.

But, she wrapped her wound up tight in hope and presented it to the Healer and let him do his work - the One who knows all about hurt and pain, wounds and scars and lines that speak of brokenness. He bore all those things so he gets it and he takes it. It's amazing to watch him work - to transform all the broken things that misshape and handicap our form - and rattle the mind of a doctor who shakes his head, amazed by the lines that tell the truth.

And the truth is this: God is always the God of hope who takes our brokenness and transforms it into something whole - whether now or later - His restoration always comes.

And, (I hate to admit this), Miss Daisy was right. Her stubborn hope realigned my faith.

So, on this Thankful Thursday, I'm grateful for a fresh hope. A hope that knows God's love reaches down, transforms our brokenness, restores wholeness even in stubborn hearts. God's love never fails. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Love Endures

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25

In the mist of morning stillness I reach over and gently clasp his warm hand under the sheets; the same hand that's held mine for over a quarter century. I lay there, eyes shut, amazed he still loves me.

Memories dance from courtship to early years of marriage, children and hard learning. 

Oh, those hard-learning years when I doubted the most - but learned the most - that love endures. So many desperate days asking, "Is everything going to be okay - are we okay?" And always he reassured, "Yes. Yes, everything is okay. And, yes, yes, one thousand times, yes - we are okay." You see, growing up in a divorced home made me a bit neurotic so with every difficult day, every fight, every financial crisis I needed reassurance that he still loved me and was dedicated to our marriage.

His promise stands the test of time, but it's more than promises that keeps us together (although honoring our vows is important). The secret is loving God first and most and then loving each other. Because when we love God first, we love one another from a full heart. God fills all the emptiness before we face the other so that when we give, we give from the fullness of who God is, not from the emptiness of ourselves.

And when we mess up, forget to put God first, we've learned forgiveness. It's the hardest lesson because pride swallows hard. But when we look through God's eyes pride melts and goes down smooth. Then forgiveness comes easy - from loving hearts - because God's love never fails. And when we love from the fullness of a God who never fails, who always forgives, our love endures.

Sunshine wakens me fully and husband's hand squeezes easy. A new day begins and I know "Every new day he does not fail" (Zephaniah 3:5). God's. Love. Never. Fails.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nothing Separates Us

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
Romans 8: 35, 37

Time and again God proves his faithfulness to those who know and love him. Yet, when faced with our realities and challenges we need reminding. Why do we think God's failed us every time life gets hard?

Is it our lack of faith? Do we doubt God will or can triumph or is it more our stammering heart condition that thinks we're unworthy of God's love? Do we think our circumstances are beyond God's love and therefore we stand separated?

It's easier to lend encouragement to others experiencing hardships; to remind them of God's faithful and unfailing love. But when it comes to ourselves, we place such harsh restrictions on our own condition. We stumble over our circumstances - waste time skirting around God, covering up our heart-truth with "I'm fine" or "I've got this, God" until the truth weighs heavy and we fall flat on our faces.

We acquire what a favorite author calls "soul amnesia." We forget we are heirs to God's kingdom famly through Christ. That we have every right to ask God for help and that, like every loving father, will come running. We need reminding of God's promise that he will never leave us or forsake us. We need recall God is our Jehovah Jireh, the source and provider of all our needs.

So, how do we remember? How do we stand in faith with the confidence that God's got it all under control? How do we learn to trust him in the midst of our reality and encourage our hearts?

First, record past experiences where God provided in tangible ways.

Second, read accounts of God's faithfulness in scripture, especially Romans 8 and Hebrews 11. All these saints experienced long waiting periods but God proved himself faithful to His promises.

Third, place your hope and faith in God's ability to transcend your circumstances.

Fourth, pray with confidence that God's unfailing love will never leave you and that His will always prevails.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:38-39.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dance Above the Grave

"Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave." Acts 2:26-27a 

 In a poignant moment, loved ones huddled together - the toughest moment in life this side of heaven - and lifted voices above the grave. 

Just a closer walk with thee. Grant it, Jesus, is my plea. Daily walking close to thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

And as the notes rang out, and tears choked, two great granddaughters danced innocently above the grave.

It's never an easy thing to lose a loved one, especially one who lived fully, laughed often,  and loved unselfishly. One whose life - every part of it - built a legacy.

Her Maker's fingerprints were all over her - in her smile, her good humor, her touch, her voice, her embrace, her faith, and her worship.  And these things - tangible and intangible - built a family legacy; an unshakable joy-filled faith, passed from one generation to the next.

And this unshakable joy-filled faith - mingled with mourning - could not be contained, even at the grave. For Jesus lived and died and overcame the grave - for her - for all of us. And in his death we find life and if we have life in Him and live in our Maker's presence for all eternity - even before death - what is not to celebrate?  

Dancing above the grave? Oh yes! Oh...YES! Dance! Dance and dance and celebrate and embrace the life lived with Maker's fingerprints passed onto you and me! Celebrate life in the here and now and the here-after. For when we take our final breath we inhale heaven. And we stand face-to-face before our Jesus and meet our Maker...and dance!

In loving memory
{Clara} Bonnie Witham

11/14/1925 -1/24/2012

Just A Closer Walk With Thee Hymn
author unknown

I am weak, but Thou art strong;

Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

I’ll be satisfied as long

As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,

Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,

Daily walking close to Thee,

Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Through this world of toil and snares,

If I falter, Lord, who cares?

Who with me my burden shares?

None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When my feeble life is o’er,

Time for me will be no more;

Guide me gently, safely o’er

To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.