Monthly Archives: October 2015



Larry Howard Jones, who served as the Music Minister of our church in KCMO, always shared the best illustrations about matters of faith when he taught the College & Careers class.

I remember him telling us that at the point of salvation God sees the new believer through Christ’s righteousness. That we could picture ourselves clothed in Christ’s pure white robe of righteousness. That from the point of salvation forward God sees us as if we were just as sinless as Christ Himself.  Not that God is unaware of our flaws, not at all, but He has cast our sins as far as the east is from the west.

So this statement about the butterfly resonates within me. Because, regardless of how God perceives me, regardless of where I am on this road to sanctification, I do not perceive myself as Christ-like.

When we look upon ourselves the image is warped. When others look upon us, the image is also warped. It’s like we are looking at two different sides of a funhouse mirror. We see our failures, our sins, and often magnify them beyond a true representation of our true character. Friends, are often kinder (but not always). They tend to see a more wholistic view of our character but often inflate the true nature of our character ignoring lesser sins.

The media, oh the media, radically enhances a public figures character or viciously destroys it making one Saint or sinner depended upon their agenda. They gloss over or ignore behavior in order to present the viewing public with a predetermined image of a public figure, be it celebrity, politician or a high profile businessman. The media of today no longer reports news it manipulates news and we are often the unwitting victims of the spin doctor.

Only God sees us precisely as we truly are. Only God knows the heart. Only God knows our true motives and if they are pure and righteous or proud and self-serving. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)

Only God has the ability to see us both as we are today and as we will be, when we are made like Christ. Only God can envision us, the as yet unfinished work of His hands, as clothed in the pure radiance of Christ’s righteousness.

This picture of a butterfly and the quote attached to it remind me that I can’t accurately discern my true character. That when friends evaluate my character, I may appear as a pretty butterfly, but to those who don’t like me much, I probably look more like the less attractive moth, but God sees me in every single stage of transition. He sees the metamorphosis – the work in process – the blending of the two sides of the funhouse mirror, still imperfect, ever changing day to day as the Holy Spirit performs the work of sanctification in my life.

But one day, one day, I will be revealed in pure sanctified glory, like the most rare and beautiful butterfly, to everyone, myself included – no more distortion- and that’s how I will be known for all eternity.

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Posted by on October 31, 2015 in Faith



CAM – Burning House


I’ve been sleepwalking
Been wandering all night
Trying to take what’s lost and broken
Make it right
I’ve been sleepwalking
Too close to the fire
But it’s the only place that I can hold you tight
In this burning house

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Links, Music


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Nancy Guthrie, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow

From the While We’re Waiting Bereaved Parents Support Page on Facebook October 16, 2015:

“In times of sorrow and disappointment, everything we believe can be called into question, can’t it? Yet if we turn away from God, there really is no other place to go for meaning or peace. Anywhere away from him is hopelessly dark and empty.”

~Nancy Guthrie, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow

And ain’t that just the truth? There really is no where else to go for meaning and peace. Sometimes that’s a supreme comfort and others, well, when His plans just don’t align with mine, When His plans leave my heart flayed open and aching, sometimes I just want to hide from His presence – which, may be my inclination but certainly isn’t even a remote possibility!

Psalm 139:7-12

7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there, if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Grief, Links


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Why You Never Really Stop Grieving the Loss of a Child

For the rest of my life, I’ll be missing the should-haves. By Lexi Behrndt


The day I realized Charlie would have turned 13 months hit me and hit me hard. Lincoln, my first started walking at 12.5 months. He should be walking right now. And for a moment, I imagined my life as if I were normal. I’d walk out of this room, and there he would be, toddling, getting into things he shouldn’t be, pulling every book off the shelf, just because he could. He’d leave a constant trail of clutter everywhere he went.

I’d walk out of the room, lay eyes on him, and when he saw me, he would smile, a big toothy grin. He’d have six teeth. Drool would be dripping down his chin, a pool around the collar of his shirt. His brother, Lincoln, would be nearby. Lincoln could never resist staying far from him. They would be sharing toys, and I know Lincoln would be getting frustrated and throwing a tantrum in there. I also know that Charlie always laughed the most when Lincoln would throw a fit.

Charlie would be in the perfect hand-me-downs, all the clothes I couldn’t resist buying on the Target clearance racks for Lincoln, Charlie would be wearing them in with the same chubby thighs, bulging belly, and perfect arm rolls.

He’d be saying momma right now. He’d cry my name out when he would get mad, and you know what? I wouldn’t even mind for one second. I’d do anything to hear “momma” just once from that sweet voice.

And when he cried, I’d scoop him into my arms, hold him like the baby he once was, and I’d kiss his perfect lips. I’d tell him that his mommy loves him, and that I’m right here as I rubbed his sandy blonde hair, and wiped the tears as they rolled down his cheeks.

It’s fun to play pretend. It gives my heart a moment of relief. That’s the way it should be — Charlie, healthy and whole and in my arms. Me, the mother of two boys who keep me running constantly with tired eyes, stained shirts, and an overflowing heart. This is the way it should be, except seven months ago, when his little lungs became too sick from congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension, I held him in my arms while he breathed his final breath, and I kissed him for the last time.

I didn’t just lose a baby. I lost a toddler.

I lost a goofy 3-year-old, making mischief, causing me stress, and making me giggle at his silly comments.

I lost a kindergartner, backpack on, running to kiss me with sweaty blonde hair and dirt under his fingernails at school pick-up.

I lost a third grader, helping him with math problems, and still tucking him in at night.

I lost a preteen. Reminding him to put his deodorant on everyday. Reminding him that no matter how insecure he might feel, his mom will always have his back.

I lost a high schooler. Cheering him on at a game, helping him prep for his first big date, watching as he grows into independence as a young man, one that I raised.

I lost an adult child. One who I would love forever, because no matter how old I will grow, he would always be my baby.

All the things Charlie could be. All the things he should be. I lost, and instead I hold a child-size walnut urn and cling to every memory I hold from six and a half months in my arms.

When we lose our children, we don’t just lose them at the stage they were when they passed. We lose them at every stage we missed, and our hearts will forever ache with that knowledge. There’s a whole crock of crap that says grief follows a method. It stays neatly in lines, clean, tame, strategic. When a child dies before a parent, there is nothing normal, neat clean, or tame about that.

For the rest of my life, I’ll be missing the should-haves. His little years. His growing years. The moments he should be making me rip my hair out, then the sweet ones, like the day I take him to get his license. Or the day he tells me he is going to propose. Or the day that he becomes a father. I’ll never get those days. Grief will never be methodical or neat.

And one thing I’ve learned from mothers much further along in this journey than me: grief doesn’t end. Out of a broken, beating heart comes endless love as it ebbs and flows through the constant cycles of grief. Sometimes gentle, sometimes heavy. The reminders are always there. The love is always there. After all, a mother never stops loving the child she carried.

The author with her little boy, Charlie.

From: The Mix

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Grief, Links


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My Redeemer Lives!

Love this song – just makes you want to raise your hands! About 3:45 in listen for her to say “I spoke to Him this morning!” as a testimony that she knows her Redeemer lives! Love that!

Partial Lyrics:

The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary
The worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands
That hold me when I’m broken
They conquer death to bring me victory
Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer
I know my Redeemer
I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
I know that, I know that, I know that, I know that, I know
I know my Redeemer lives
(Because He lives I can face tomorrow)
He lives, I know, I know, I know.
He lives
(I spoke with Him this morning.)
He lives.
(The tomb is empty)
He lives.
(I’m gotta tell everybody)

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Links, Music


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Laughing at my Nightmare

Stumbled across this book on my library’s digital books website. This young man has SMA, a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy (think Jerry Lewis telethon). It’s difference than Gracen’s ARSACS, but both fall under the MD umbrella.

He writes with no small amount of humor and a liberal use of profanity (he particularly enjoys dropping the f-bomb) about growing up and living life with a progressive, terminal illness. (Not all forms of MD are terminal).

The chapters are short, you will laugh out loud, but you will also get a glimpse of how a disabled person views themselves, their fears, their courage, life’s hurdles, and hope amid increasing dependence and diminishing abilities.

It was an educational read for me. I know how I feel, the challenges I’ve faced as a mother of a disabled child, but I can’t crawl inside Gracen’s mind and really appreciate what it’s like for her. I can only imagine and that is hard enough.

Like Gracen, this young man’s disability does not affect his intellect. The book reveals the ways in which people of all disabilities are often grouped together. The author is blunt and not always kind, but his attitudes are reflective of the larger “healthy” community and of a young man’s thoughts and attitudes as he matures. So a parent with an autistic child may find some of what he writes mean-spirited or otherwise offensive. I hope you will recognize Shane is a young man coming of age in challenging circumstances and is simply learning how to live with his own personal reality (nightmare) using humor as his primary coping mechanism.

It’s worth the read if you have any desire to more clearly recognize some of the unique challenges the disabled community encounters.

One more disclaimer: This young man does not shy away from uncomfortable topics including human body parts, urination and sex – all normal parts of any healthy young man’s life. If that and foul language offends you, it’s probably not the book for you.

(Facebook Post 10/2/15)


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Why You Are Deeply Needed

(Facebook Post 9/29/15)

Ann Voskamp has mastered the sentence, in my opinion. One simple sentence that reveals deep truth. Sentences like these and several more in this one blog post alone.

“Parents wear Purple Hearts: the brave who are wounded and die a bit more everyday – and only get braver.”

“You don’t become a parent by bearing a child. You become a parent by bearing witness to his life.”

“We have a God who sees hearts like we see faces, a God who hears ache like we hear voices, and we have a God who touches wounds like we touch skin.”

Follow the link in red below and be blessed!

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Links


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The Jehovah Java Mug

(Facebook Post 9/25/15)
My newest coffee cup!

I thought I needed a reminder of who the Lord is and wants to be in my life, so I snatched this mug up when I came across it at the Day Spring Outlet in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where my daughter is a freshman at John Brown University. Here are the names and definitions on my mug:

Jehovah Nissi – Battle Fighter
Jehovah Jireh – Provider
Jehovah Shalom – Giver of Peace
Jehovah Shammah – Ever Present One
Jehovah Tsidkenn – Our Righteousness
Jehovah Rophe – Healer
Jehovah Rohi – Good Shepherd

I love how The Blue Letter Bible defines each name, providing context and cultural significance as well as scripture references. The names on this mug don’t paint the full picture, but instead provide a concise definition. But the God we serve defies such concise descriptions and we are well served to dig deeper, if we truly want to understand the complex nature and character of God. Follow the link below which provides definitions for every Old Testament name of God.

However, to inspire you to get started and give you some idea of the rich meaning of the names of God, here’s how the Blue Letter Bible defines Jehovah:

“Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.”

I love that – a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. It gives me hope, not that I will ever completely understand the ways of God, but that He will reveal Himself to me more and more as I struggle through life.

I read where John Piper asked himself what would be the best gift God could give to His children. Piper concluded that of all the things God could choose to bestow upon His children, that His supreme gift could be nothing less than Himself. When you consider the fullness of meaning of the many names of God, to be gifted with the full assurance and comprehension of exactly who God is to you individually is indeed an extravagant gift beyond compare.

Some days I need God the Giver of Peace more than I need God the Battle Fighter. And other days, I need God the Provider most. But the best part is that every single day God gifts me with His full character and nature. I get all of Him every day. And day by day, over weeks, months and years, He reveals more and more of Himself to me – or rather, I finally recognize what He had been showing me about Himself from day one.

So maybe this mug will remind me to open the eyes of my heart and be on the lookout everyday for God to reveal Himself, in all His glory, to me.

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith


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To Love is to be Vulnerable – C.S. Lewis

1 John 4:16b “God is love”

Ever considered that God’s heart is just as vulnerable as ours are?

Partial lyrics:
“Love, how many times can a heart break?
Love, how much weight can a soul take?
Love, I don’t know where you ran off to
But love, love, love, I still believe in you.
Yeah, I still believe in you.
I still believe that you’ll come knocking on my door
When I least expect you to
You give me something I can hold
You pull me through, cuz that’s what you do,
That’s what you do love
Yeah, that’s what you do love”

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Links, Music


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To Step Forward or to Forever Stand Still . . .

From the While We’re Waiting Bereaved Parents Support Page on Facebook September 15, 2015:

“Mystery, ambiguity, uncertainty. These are places where we reach an end of ourselves, places where we have to stop, stop and take off our shoes. If we don’t, the mystery, the ambiguity, the uncertainty will one day prove too much for us. If we must have all our questions answered before we can go forward in our relationship with God, there will come a day when we won’t go forward. It may come at Gethsemane. At Calvary. Or Auschwitz.

Or at the death of a son.

For now we see in a glass darkly, but then face to face, and now we know in part, but then we shall know fully just as we have been fully known (I Corinthians 13:12).

So until then, what?
We feel our way in the dark.
Until we find each other.
We huddle together in the storm.
Wet and shivering, but together.
And maybe in the end it will be our huddling in the storm that gives us more comfort than our understanding of the storm.”

~Ken Gire, The Weathering Grace of God

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Grief


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