Friday, August 13, 2010

Time It Customer Service - Just In Time

We returned home from Shreveport after learning our healthy looking, healthy acting son had been diagnosed with cancer. Before leaving Shreveport that Friday for the long trip home my husband, Lee, had the oil changed in our car.

After an emotional roller coaster weekend of knowing our God is faithful, but facing hard possibilities, Monday morning came - and with it a "Customer Service" phone call from the Time It Lube in Shreveport...."not a good time for this" I thought. Oh, but it was.

The gentleman from Time It was so kind and when he heard that our son wasn't well immediately asked if it was okay to Pray!! Wow, was it OK!!! And did he Pray and encourage and Pray some more.

I am certain our Awesome God heard his words, and subsequent prayers this "Special Agent" from the Lord has prayed. I am also convinced that God uses His children to bring about on earth what He has already decreed in Heaven.

This whole story is to remind me, and maybe you, as well, that God gave us each other as great gifts to each other straight from His heart... Our part is to listen and obey - even if it means taking a Customer Service call - that moves Heaven and blesses hearts. This "Special Agent" continues to follow up and pray and encourage by reminding us of God's Promises.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

For Just THIS Time

There it was - for an instant it seemed impossible, but there it was...

Lee and I were tidying up the guest room for a visit from our precious daughter, Melody. It was her first visit since the home-going of her brother and our much loved son, Jim.

While putting away a multitude of Jim's papers, on top of one stack was a yellowed, hand-written letter. "Dear...."--- and right there for an inexplicable reason was a letter from Jim addressed to his sister, Melody, written in his child-like scrawl. Somehow the letter was never mailed to her, but was tucked away for thirty years for just this time.

Because it was so sweet and personal, and is her story, I will only share this part. Besides telling his sister how much he loved her, he also told her of his experience just the day before: On Easter, when he was 12, he was baptized.

Jim wrote to Melody: "It felt so good when I was lifted up out of the water because I knew my sins were forgiven."

His Dad and I had the blessing of delivering Jim's letter that was never mailed with our own hands and hugs to Mel, and were overwhelmed once again with the amazing timing and love of God. His tools of healing are rarely what we expect, but they are always perfect. We so hoped our Jim would be healed, but with a letter written by a twelve-year-old, we experienced first hand a wonderful miracle of heart-healing in the three of us that day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Our Wonderful God

Please take some time for this!

I hope you can cut and paste this video URL and spend a few minutes to watch it. MOST amazing!

Then to bless you, take a breather, close your eyes and listen:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Never Know Who Reads

A friend of mine had an amazing Facebook experience. In light of bad press with so much of our social networking, this is heartening:

You know how many of us will post a snippet on Facebook each morning—a Scripture with a comment or two? Many do it, and often people will post a reply: “I love that verse” or “Wow, I really needed that this morning.” It’s heartening to know someone is being blessed by something we posted. A woman contacted me recently. Here's her reply:

I’ve been reading your devotional posts. You have no idea how God has used the things you say to speak to my heart. I’m a Christian but I’ve been struggling with depression. and afraid to tell anyone because they would condemn me and say my faith wasn’t strong enough. Three days ago, I planned to end my life. I wanted out. I couldn’t struggle against the depression any more. I had already made plans but I read your devotional post about God granting peace in the middle of pain and conflict, and that my adversity wasn’t bigger than God. That evening after work I had a choice. I could follow through with my plans or not. Before I did anything, I pulled out my Bible and read the passage you posted that morning. I realized that God didn’t condemn me for my depression and I poured out my heart to Him. He said it wasn’t time for me to come Home yet. Thank you for letting God use you.

Isn't our God amazing? In this Easter week when many hearts are tender and receptive, choose carefully how you walk and speak; and choose what your FB post says. You never know who reads it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You Never Know Who Sees

My friend, Roxanne, has 7 kids who range in age from 22-3. A couple of years ago, her husband died suddenly of a heart attack. To say things have been tight is an understatement. From cars that break down to faulty air conditioners, Roxanne has battled through repair bills. During the Christmas holidays, it was imperative some construction be done to attack a mold problem. With much consternation, she scheduled the repair work.

Once it was finished, one of the contractors appeared on her doorstep. In his hand, he held an envelope which he gave to her. "Mrs. S, your family has been such a blessing to me and our workers, that we wanted to give you the profits we would've received from our work." Roxanne opened the envelope to find a substantial sum.

What did she do differently in front of these workmen? Not one thing. She and her children lived out their lives in a Christ-like manner. And Jesus blessed her.

Oh that we should all live worthy of His calling.

Matthew 5:14-16 ..: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world... I'm putting you on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (The Message)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

God's Surprises

A Special Gift For Dad

There were only a couple of days before Christmas 2009. He had just discovered that the last paycheck before Christmas was garnished by the IRS for more than what he expected. What a crushing disappointment! But within two hours of this low point of the season an amazing thing happened.

Earlier in the week he had gotten his hands on a special gift for his orange-blooded dad, who played football his freshman year at the University of Texas - an unopened Wheaties box from the BCS Championship of 2005 of UT. On the front was a picture of Coach Mack Brown. What a special gift!

It so happened on this day of disappointment he had it with him at work. When what to his wondering eyes should appear - at Dick's Sporting Goods in Austin Texas - but Mack Brown himself.

A kind reply to a request by a son ended with an AUTOGRAPHED Wheaties box. Yes Mack Brown signed right there beside his picture. The special gift became a special treasure and a reminder of how good God has shown Himself to be in this great year for our son Jim.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Children of Light

My friend, Cynthia Ruchti, produces a radio show and wrote a story which chronicles one of our Wisconsin adventures! Enjoy!


I don’t know if you’ve ever been insanely busy before, but for that handful of our listeners who might have at one time or another been pressed by their workloads or deadlines or to-do lists, we offer this reality-based story that might resonate and turn on a proverbial lightbulb.

I was one of four authors on a research trip. The book on which we collaborated had a deadline that nipped at our heels the whole way. To get a true feel for the setting about which we were writing, we explored backroads and forthroads, ate each meal at a different quaint café or restaurant, picked up leaves and rocks to study their composition and shape, took pictures, read historical markers, collected information of all shapes and sizes distributed by the Chamber of Commerce, the tourism bureau, book stores, artist colonies, and points of interest.

We also skipped our traditional budget-friendly lodging choice and instead shared a room in a charming inn. Research.

The inn had a gas fireplace in the sitting area, a treat we relished. It seemed an unnecessary but welcome luxury until it turned into something more—our saving grace.

After days of gathering facts and brainstorming plot lines, we itched to get to the actual writing. And the looming deadline barked its own orders—WRITE!

Dragging ourselves through the last few minutes of the time we’d allotted for exploring, we headed for the inn and a full night of productivity. We planned to put our laptops in front of us and make their keys smoke with our writing fervor. With pizza on the table and an assortment of hot tea to sustain us into the wee hours, we booted up our computers and—

The power went out. Not just in our room. Not just the inn. Not just the neighborhood. The whole town.

Not to worry, we thought. It’s temporary. These things usually are. No ice storm or blizzard beat outside the windows. Sure, it was a little windy, but…

We understood why the term pitch black became a cliché. Perfect description. In that tourist town, generators were apparently reserved for genuine crises. A thick blackness turned everything quaint into the dark belly of a coal mine.

The gas fireplace stayed lit. It was our only source of light and heat on a bone-rattlingly chilly night. We huddled next to its warmth, hesitant to use our cell phones for fear we’d drain them with no way to recharge. No power. We couldn’t depend on our laptop battery power lasting long enough to create our stories. Again, no way to recharge. And we couldn’t see well enough by the light of the fire to pack for leaving the next day or read the books we’d brought with us or study the plethora of research materials we’d collected.

With no electricity, we lost water pressure as well. Too bad, so sad, we couldn’t do up the dishes in the kitchenette.

After a few hours, the innkeeper’s assistants came to each of the rooms offering emergency glow sticks. We held the glow sticks as if they were more than just a novelty offering green mini-illuminations of comfort. The ridiculousness of their faint light compared to the spotlights we needed sent us into a Grammy-unworthy version of “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine.”

The darker the night deepened, the softer our conversation became—we who had talked non-stop to take best advantage of our short time together as friends and writers. We quieted our discussions, our laughter, our flurry of brainstorming activity.

The fire from the fireplace threw its comforting embrace around us as we sat in the darkness and thought about life.

We told stories from the heart rather than imagination. We encouraged one another in the struggles we each faced. We let our tightly wound centers relax until the sounds in the room disappeared except for the faint lap of the fire’s flames.

It seemed as natural as anything to slip into a quiet time of prayer for one another and for our project. We couldn’t do what we’d planned to do, what we wanted to do, what we thought we should do, what our deadlines dictated. Instead we did what God wanted all along.

We prayed.

We quieted ourselves and prayed.

The power came back on hours after we’d gone to bed for the night. When the lights we’d left on powered up, rather than feel relieved, we quickly turned the lights off, a little sad that the wonder of a firelit night was over.

In the morning, as we slipped back into “normal” life, one of us shared that her morning devotional time included this verse from the Bible. Ephesians 5:8—“For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.”

How much more meaning that verse held after the forced quiet of the night before!

We’d moved cautiously, not daring to venture out of the fire’s illumination. We’d treaded carefully in our conversations. We’d kept our voices low in honor of the sweetness of the hour. We’d slipped naturally into prayer and slept with thoughts of the Lord and His grace overwhelming us.

As we considered the weight in those words from Ephesians 5:8, we sensed the Lord encouraging us to “walk as children of firelight,” with that same unhurried, serene, gratitude-rich peace we’d experienced the night before as we let go of our agendas and technology and our connections with the outside world.

“Walk as if you had no electricity, no deadlines, and no preconceived notion of how your days are supposed to go,” we felt Him say.

“Walk as children of firelight.”

We’ve written radio broadcasts before on the subject of power outages, about staying connected to our power source.

This one’s a little different, though. We pray that you too can feel the urgency in the Lord’s voice when He encourages us through Scripture to “walk as children of Light,” or “as children of firelight.”

We know we need to walk as if we belong to Him, making it obvious that we’re changed, we’re His, we’re redeemed and grateful for it.

But don’t we also need to consider walking through our lives in the same spirit we writers did on the night our plans were turned upside down when the lights went off?

Don’t we need to take a serious look at how peaceful life can become if we let it, if we disconnect from the outside world and the technology that keeps us tethered?

What do people do who have to draw close to the lone source of heat and light when they can’t flip a light switch or plug in an appliance or turn up the furnace? They talk and dream and pray.

Where do leisurely conversations—with others or with the Lord—work into a life that moves from one frenzy to another? Where are the pockets of time with no noise, no sound? When do we drop all activities as if they weren’t as important as listening to Him…because they aren’t?

Do you too sense the Lord telling you to live as if the power were out and all you had was the light of His presence?

You have been listening to THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, written and produced by two women with one desire—to share the Hope that can transform lives!

Does the Lord have to make it impossible for us to do the work we’d planned in order for us to grow quiet enough to do the heart work HE planned for us?

It seems that way, doesn’t it?

What if we intentionally turned off the electricity and turned on the fire? HIS fire?

What if we chose to walk away from the important things on our list in order to attend to THE most important things?

What would happen if a whole generation of His people became “Children of the Firelight”? What could He accomplish in us and through us then?

Listen to that passage of Scripture in the New Living Translation. Ephesians 5:8-9—“For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”

Box 56
Vesper, WI 54489

Take some time to check out the resources on our website, all designed to draw you closer to the Fire of His love for you. Our web address is:

Cynthia's debut novel--They Almost Always Come Home--releases with Abingdon Press Fiction May 1, 2010.