Friday, October 18, 2013


          There’s something to be said for pursuit.  I remember the director training days of my Mary Kay Cosmetics career when a motivational speaker inspired us “to look for others like ourselves” ….strong personalities with passion for what we did…passion for helping others look and feel beautiful about themselves.  Yes, these relationships didn’t just happen.  They were pursued.  But what is it about passion that we often feel that there is something wrong in the pursuit?
          This year my passion found its awakened inspiration in numerous unlikely ways.  Two years ago, I found a YouTube video called “Stewarding the Dream” by Matt Tommey, author of “Unlocking the Heart of the Artist” and founder of the Worship Studio. I also heard a message entitled “Seven Mountains” by Lance Wallnau, speaker, author, and catalytic thinker, who stoked a fire that I had thought, was long ago extinguished.  I was a casualty of an inner war that swore “never more” to engage in any intimate relationship, love, and certainly NOT marriage, ever again.   Through recent months and years, I had also abandoned the core message of my own existence, “creativity.”  It was as if I was Eutychus in Acts 20 falling from the window sill while listening to the apostle Paul as he preached on for hours. After sinking into a deep sleep, “Passion” also fell to her death.   My life’s circumstances and adversity had assassinated all her dreams.   
          As I listened with a new resolve to these two messages, I remembered a New Year’s Eve prayer from a special, dear friend who spoke that same “rekindling message” into existence and “Passion” was resurrected to a new life in me.   
          It wasn’t the typical New Year’s Eve bash by any means as our Bible study group met to fellowship over the last meal of 2011 and ponder the hopeful new year.  As we were all departing, my friend, who I had known for about two years in other ministry circles, casually asked my opinion of artistic success in our local community.  My response was lack luster and I am certain it revealed my discouraging dead dreams.  I could feel a wellspring of tears building that, for a brief moment, could not be stifled.  He took my hand and began to pray for “the Lord to ignite the embers that lay dormant in my creative soul.”
          Three art exhibitions, this blog, and more recently, a song I have composed are the direct results from the Lord’s Voice in their mouths to my ears and hands.  One of the assurances from Father God that I have realized is that the music, words, and art pictures will NEVER run dry.  Lots of writers and artists angst over silence and blocked ideas.  They wonder as I have, too, about all the “what ifs.” For example, “What if I have no ideas with real depth to convey? No new innovative concepts for dazzling my viewers?  No new tricks for intriguing and entertaining their eyes and ears?”  “What if, what if, what if?”
          All fear messages begin with those two little words, “What if.”  I should know.  I listened to them as they whispered quietly about my progressing age, my career as I approached retirement, and what I thought initially would be a very temporary, apartment residential status that neared the two year anniversary mark.  Their louder messages produced an incredible loneliness in my self-imposed isolation after a very difficult divorce. The absence of my immediate biological family, coupled with my daughter and son-in-law’s kind invitation prompted a decision to make a geographical move and write a new chapter of life as a “grandmother in residence.”
          The time with my daughter’s family was a delightful treasure albeit a very short chapter.  It was a costly move relationally, professionally and financially.  It was physically challenging, emotionally wrenching for all of us, but spiritually renewing because within a short time, I suddenly returned to my former city to marry my special friend who had spoken the prophetic prayer over me that New Year’s Eve 2011.  Courtship became an obedient response to His call on my life of ministry.
          Little did I know then that his words would someday ignite a new and passionate flame for living a “honeymoon life.”  My new husband continues to rekindle my hope with healing words, teaching words, reverent and nourishing words that nurture the passion for my smoldering creativity that was once bleak and frozen.  We are two people who are living examples of Jesus as He rescues the perishing relational parts of us that were indeed, dying.   His life was a solitary ministry life that similarly “had fallen off the window sill” but had been run over by an 80,000 pounds 18-wheeler truck carrying grapefruit.  He spent several years in rehab learning how to walk again.  We are both still in recovery but no longer walking alone. 
          The day I began writing this post, I watched the morning news from New York City. The network featured a video segment showing the communities in New Jersey that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year. Their residents had recorded encouraging messages to help soften the devastating blows of bombing victims at the Boston Marathon, an explosive blast in West, TX and the tornado victims in Oklahoma which also happened during the same months of my transition.  It was a greater Community encouraging others and refreshing to see in the media.
          The message from the network’s video struck a chord with me.   We all suffer losses in life. Perhaps not because of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, earthquakes, or tsunamis, but they are calamities that implode our lives just the same.  As devastating as these natural disasters are, the loss of lives, homes, families, friends, pets and material things, a pervasive truth that time and process hold dear is still true…there is HOPE for a better tomorrow.  And this is the core message of my blog to you who continue to read and follow my posts.   Whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed, your best days are ahead no matter what life looks like right now. 
          These aren’t merely romantic words to fill this blog entry. Truly, it is my effort at helping you to hear the Voice from on High and embrace the mysteries of a passionate love story meant to be lived to the fullest!  My post today is for those of you who are struggling with all the love songs that serenade your memories of who you once were when “the two of you became one.”  Each melody awakens a time of pleasure and/or pain that ignites or dampens your pursuits of discovery, recovery or rediscovery.  Each lyric may actually be a poem written by the hand of God to empower you to be all He created you to be.  Whether we choose to see Him or not, God is always at work singing Heaven’s Song, dancing with and caressing us.  He desires to reveal Himself to us in countless, different ways that are unique to our design.  His Voice calls to each of us with a Power to transform our lives with His Passion for living as He lived.  Just like many of you, Jesus lost family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors when they didn’t understand, agree or fully embrace His mission. But He didn’t merely lose His life…  He gave His life to establish a Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, a Kingdom on earth that for now is lived by faith, hope and love.
          Do I have all the answers?  No, and if I did, then I wouldn’t need God in my life.  I don’t even pretend to know the WHY of it all.   My husband’s scars are visible for the entire world to see while mine have been hiding away in my wounded heart. We both have made peace with how life has pushed us out of the upper room windows into each other’s arms.  Embracing passion for life is beautiful and I think he would agree, “I wouldn’t change a thing.  Each event was a northern star that pointed me to you.”
          Dear reader, we all have a personal, imperfect narrative of how God is chasing us down and still wooing us back to our unfinished assignments.  This is my story and what I know now is,
“There are canvases yet to be painted, stories yet to be written, and music in the air that is yet to be heard.”
(c) Copyright 2013-2016 


Sunday, September 29, 2013


The post below is a revised copy of the eulogy I gave at my mother's memorial service several years ago.  Its message is still relevant today.  Below the post, you will find two links for photography books of the gardens in my life.  My mother never saw either of these books or the photographs published there, but I daresay that she is walking hand in hand with the Master Gardener Himself and can identify each by heavenly name

          It was springtime and everything all abloom.  Mom and I were doing our usual Monday trek to the doctor’s office, then to lunch, the pharmacy and back to Mt. Carmel.  This day as we passed an outdoor plant nursery, she commented how beautiful the spring flowers were.  “Oh, I could just spend all day in there,” she said.   She voiced her discontent at not having her very own patio for a few potted plants.  Mt. Carmel wouldn’t even allow ivy in the windowsill of her room…for safety and fire hazards, you know.  So, she drooled over the impatiens as we drove by. 

          We finished with the doctor’s appointment and drove the same street back toward town while she told me about the goings on at the Home.  Someone was angry because the designated smoking section had been moved further down the porch.  Then she began to tell me about Mac, whose wife had been moved on to a nursing home and he himself was sick with a bad cold.  Interestingly enough, Mac had been someone she disliked when she first moved to Mt. Carmel.  At that time, he walked with a walker and shoved people aside by hitting their chair legs several times as he passed through to his seat.  Once when she whispered to me, “I just hate him”, I quickly reminded her to hate his behavior, not him.

          She went on to tell me how sick his wife had been, how worried he was about her, and now he didn’t feel well either.  At breakfast, she went to his table and patted his arm to tell him “It’s okay.  You’re going to feel better.  It’ll be all right.”  Another resident heard her words and said, “I sure wish you’d bless me like that.”  This lady, Eloise, had also been hard to get along with until the next morning, Mom patted her arm and said, “Eloise, may the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you today!”  Eloise beamed and asked the other ladies at the table, “Did you hear what she said to me?” 

          Another heart won.   And there was Bro. Henry who she really had a crush on, but he was “taken”.  He and his lady friend, Carolyn were an “item” though her family didn’t approve.  She had money and he didn’t.  He was Hispanic and a retired Baptist preacher and she was Catholic.  But Mom practiced her Spanish each morning with Bro. Henry to encourage him.  “Mi amigo! Como esta?” And then there was Leo, a 91-year old bachelor who fell in love with Mom and proposed daily as she served him his morning coffee and patted his arm.  She gave him attention like he had never known before.  The “love of his life” had married someone else while he was away for 4 years at war in Europe.  He was broken hearted until he met Nelda.  Every day he would ask, “Why couldn’t I have met you 50 years ago?”

          Now just the day before mother’s Monday appointment, I had heard a message of “reaping what we sow” from a visiting lay preacher at my church.  He had shared with us that Galatians 6:7 is a Biblical law that the secular world has adopted and proven as a universal law.  You’ve heard it, “What goes around, comes around.”  It does work, negatively and positively.  He told how he had planted many “anger” seeds, “jealousy”  and “rebellion against authority” seeds, “unforgiveness” seeds, “complaining” seeds, and so on, even some “stealing” seeds in his youth that now, as a successful businessman, he was reaping from employees who stole inventory from him.   He said the most important thing to understand about God’s universal law of sowing and reaping is that whatever is missing in your life,  whatever your needs in relationships are… in order to receive acceptance, for example, one must give it….first. 

          With this fresh in my memory, I saw an opportunity to share with Mom that she was planting seeds of love, mercy, hope, gentleness, acceptance and encouragement in the lives of her family at Mt. Carmel Home.   These were fruit of the Spirit I observed operating in her life.  As we talked more, she looked at me and said, “Why, I HAVE A GARDEN AFTER ALL!”  The intersection of Holly & Staples Street will always remind me of the moment “she got it.”   She finally understood and knew her purpose at Mt. Carmel was to plant and to be light in someone’s dark world.  She bloomed where she was planted.  She realized she had turned a corner.  Her attitude changed and the last few months of her life were the happiest I have seen. I personally believe it was her “life lesson” and when she learned it, the Lord took her home. 

          That’s what I want to share with all of you today.  We all have a choice to plant anger & rage seeds or tender & loving seeds.  I ask you to remember the seeds that Nana  or someone like her,  has planted and watered in your lives, whether it was a meal, a pat on your arm or pop on your behind, an encouraging phone call, a little note, a scripture or smile, a birthday card or her special rendition of Happy Birthday. The legacy is the garden of your life that you will plant and grow depending on how you tend it.  There will be birds that will pick at the seed, the thorns or circumstances in your life may grow up and choke it out, the hot sun may scorch baby leaves of new, tender growth or maybe the seed just fell on the rocky ground of your heart and failed to take root.  There are many here today who will choose to have good and fertile soil.  You have ears to hear, a willingness to respond and a desire to grow and display impatiens, petunias, pansies, agapanthus, snapdragons, begonias, caladiums, amaryllis, wisteria and more! 

          Mom prayed for many years to be healed and she finally received her ultimate healing when she went to be with the Lord.  She did not lose heart in well doing for in due time, she knew she would reap a harvest if she did not grow weary and give up.  There were many times she grew weary and wanted to give up, but she “fought the good fight, ran the race God set before her, and kept her faith…to the end.”  It is our choice to choose what crops we plant. 

What crops are you planting?

(c) Copyright 2013-2016

Monday, September 9, 2013


I pray that you hear the same message I heard one morning as I had my prayer time. What did I really hear that morning? The Father of the Universe really does love ME. And He loves YOU, too. 

Over a cup of coffee one morning, it went something like this.........

Me: Lord, I want to enjoy our relationship…
God: Kate, I don’t want you to just “enjoy” Me…I want you to love Me and seek Me with your whole heart, and even when you don’t enjoy it…even when you are entwined in other’s lives, even when you find yourself in your own pit of despair, even when grief and pain have you in their greedy clutches. Life is not always about your enjoyment. I REALLY WANT YOU. I long for your tenderness and loyalty towards ME. I just miss you and our talks.

Me: Father, I confess that at times, I do spend my time foolishly…I have overslept, checked emails, surfed FaceBook for status updates from my kids, washed dishes, folded laundry, fed or watered plants and animals. Most of my activities have had priority above my intimate time with You, AND DONE WITHOUT A THOUGHT! And I am merely "getting on" with my day…paperwork, deposits, groceries and chores. All I craved was another cup of coffee! That is “first fruits?” (Please never measure me by this, Lord!)
I do realize that my getting up EARLY to spend time with You can be ritualized and pious. After all, aren’t all those religious “Pharisees” watching?” They recommend “follow these rules, apply this formula, do this reading plan, spend at least 30 minutes upon awakening…sacrificing first fruits of my day to the Lord…” I know spending intentional time with you daily is vital, but Lord, I seem to constantly fail at this discipline.
God: Kate, I love you and accept you whether you DO IT or NOT, whether you DO IT FIRST or LAST in your day…I just want time with you. It’s true that I AM jealous of those other activities and the people that you give greater attention to, but Christ in you is your right standing with Me, not how much time or when you dwell in My Presence…I AM  always with you…I NEVER LEAVE, but I DO miss being with you, talking to you...our communion. That’s why Jesus came and gave Himself…so that we could truly have fellowship in the cool of the garden again. Remember? The garden of your heart?

Me: Lord, where do You go when a believer sins? Since You are Holy and cannot fellowship with darkness or occupy the same place with sin, what happens to a believer who submits to the desires of their flesh and uses illegal drugs, for example? Where are You?
God: Kate, this sin is an act performed by the physical body, but actually took place in a heart life first… This beloved’s heart is more “sensitive” to the carnal things of their soul & their emotions rather than to spiritual things. This beloved’s mind THINKS primarily about gaining pleasure from drugs or whatever the sinful behavior is. The emotions FEEL and remember previous euphoria & escape experiences, and this beloved’s WILL desires to obsessively do it again & again. The physical body is compelled and driven to respond in addiction repeatedly. This is the battleground of spirit, soul, and body in every person, believer and unbeliever alike, whether the sin is drugs, sensuality, theft or lying. The root of all these sins is still doubt and unbelief that I, GOD, can be trusted with ALL of life.

Me: Yes, but where are You when we continue yielding to the enemy?
God: …In the same place I was when Jesus bore the shame of ALL mankind at Calvary. I turned My Head then, and I turn away now, too. I see the weaknesses of EVERY sinner merely acting out of this brokenness. All the while, they are unaware that My Remedy has already permeated, infused, and perfected every wound with heavenly balm. This beloved believer may never have truly embraced Me as Healer but has only made a mental decision much like your thoughts about your “to do” list. This believer's soul has not yet completely understood or received the full measure of the gift I have freely given.
Kate, how do I break through your brokenness to reveal Perfection to you? I turn My face towards you again and again. I embrace and caress you, I shout and sometimes scream dreams to awaken you. I whisper and continually sing the Invitation to come and dine with Me.  These days, I use whatever means necessary to get your attention, even a busy "TO DO" list. Aren’t you hungry, Kate?  Today, as every day, the menu is the same: 
   “Salvation” served with generous portions of Forgiveness,
   Health, Deliverance and Wholeness for EVERY area of LIFE!

I hope you like Lamb….

Me: Oh, Lord, I am hungry and thirsty…. But You didn’t mention a Price List for the menu…
God: I purposely left the menu costs blank… All I ask is that you come to My table. My Word says, “I give to the one who hungers and thirsts from the spring of the water of Life without cost.” Rev. 21:6

Me: No cost?
God: Supping the meal with Me does command a sacrifice…the highest anyone could give.

Me: Death?
God: Yes, Kate, you already know. It is you who must die to your self-idols…all those indulging, unhealthy relationships, absorbing thoughts, and self-serving activities.  This kind of life requires dying to your cravings for all those delectable “side dishes” like the seduction of just one more bite. Dining with Me calls for starving your insatiable appetites, saying NO to the lust and greed in your heart for more, more and still more... If you don't get anything else from our conversation today, it is most important for you to understand how I view these idols in your daily life. Remember, I AM the Lover of your soul and essentially, your busyness sets up many opportunities for committing spiritual adultery against Me. Most people misunderstand the sin of adultery and see it only as a sexual sin committed against marriage while I view adultery as ANYTHING that poisons our Covenant relationship. Digest that for awhile. 
We've talked about personal holiness before. Here's the secret. The beauty of Holiness requires the beauty of your sacrificial ashes first. I think it might qualify as "first fruits." In spiritual reality, this sacrifice of your will to satisfy yourself is what it truly means to “take up your cross daily and follow Him.” I know that your daily commitments are vital, but I AM more important than today's TO DO list. I would at least like to see some time allotted to JESUS written on the page. I think you would find such rest and peace there just fixing your gaze on My Name! Maybe even prop your feet up and enjoy another cup of coffee with Me!

Me: You really are inviting me to communion…true communion with the Bread of Life?
God: Yes, Kate! The most basic human needs, hunger and thirst, are satisfied only in a personal relationship with Me through Jesus. He makes you stand aright, straight and tall before Me. Clean, white and without a single fault, too. This is true communion and righteousness, My righteousness that Jesus died to give you. When My Spirit convicts you of your sin and repentance transforms your heart towards Me, I turn My face back towards you. I see My Beloved Son saturating you with balm and binding up your brokenness…again and again.

Me: Oh, how I needed Your revelation today, Lord…
God: Here are a few scriptures to help you along. Kate, look at the table…
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. Psalm 34:15
Are your eyes darkened in your understanding? I want the eyes of your heart to be enlightened to the Truth that will truly set you free. Eph 1:18
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore, neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes. Rev 7:16-17
There will no longer be death, mourning, crying, or pain…He makes all things newHis words are faithful and true. He who overcomes shall inherit these things…life everlasting and joy unspeakable from the Lamb.  Rev 21:4-7

These are My revelations for you today, beloved….

Me: Uh, Lord, is it ok… that I really …don’t eat …much meat….or even like…lamb?
God: Yes, Kate, I know….
You profess to be a vegan most days, but I AM watching you eat that rib eye steak EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT at the Astor’s Steakhouse….

 (c) Copyright 2013-2016

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


(This story is dedicated to Carol and to the many strong, courageous and persevering women in my life. It was originally written in February of 1991 and revised again in 1997 when I found it in a box in the garage as I was "purging" old things. I revised it again in 2010 & 2013. “Thank you” to all of my family and friends who have touched my life during the up and down hills in the race of my life. I am still learning from all of you.)

            I’ve heard it often said that “life is like the sport of running.”   I remember my beginning the sport many years ago in the spring of 1988 when my assistant, Carol, and I were weaving my largest tapestry commission, the “Wilborn ikats,” so named for my clients, Gene & Lorraine. Until that time, my usual workout had been an early morning at the gym, but now, completing the textiles on schedule meant weaving into the wee hours.  There simply wasn’t time or energy left for exercise.  We were often tired, frustrated and needed an afternoon break, so Carol brought her running gear, and I soon purchased my first pair of running shoes.  I exchanged my studio smock for shorts and our roles soon reversed as we hit the streets.  Carol became the teacher, and I, her student.
            “Pace is the key,” she’d say.  Pacing oneself slowly and steadily led to more consistent, successful running.  When I ran alone, I would run without an adequate warm up, and I left the front door running hard.  Half a block away, I’d be struggling, holding my side from pain.  “Run hard….walk, run hard…walk, run hard…”  That was my pattern. 
At first, Carol ran and walked the pattern with me.  She was patient and kind, but I knew I was holding her back.  I frequently voiced my embarrassment and encouraged her to go on without me, and eventually, she did.  But soon, she paced me to run smoothly, ever so slowly, so that I wouldn’t need to walk during the run.  In time, I was running the full distance without stopping. 
“Recover within my own pace” became my self-talk, a chant to repeat up and down hills, or whenever counting paces, breathing concentration and efforts at relaxation had long been spent.  “Why haven’t I remembered that chant?” Holidays, cold weather, illness, and old friends named “Injury” and “Burnout” became easy excuses.  Another running friend reminded me that “runners who stay hurt are those who run too hard, too fast, too far, too soon.” That was me.
Life’s circumstances, my work and relationships have been much like my running career.  I stayed hurt from injury for failing to pause and recover.  I have always run someone else’s race or tried to keep another’s pace.  I have trained, trained, and over-trained….and I have lived out what feels like a marathon.  The divorce from my children’s father after our 14-year marriage was the “marathon of marathons” that depleted all my energies & resources and yet, it provided another opportunity to recover and prepare for another marathon run that lasted 17 years. 
Why is learning a new pace in life so difficult?  Why can’t we remember that even while running the race, there are times to slow down, catch our breath, stretch, re-tie shoestrings, freshen gum, rehydrate, or yes, change course?  Even a step backwards can be a healthy beginning…
I’m sure my old friend and coach must feel similarly.  While I lived through that summer and fall of the divorce, Carol, a certified and licensed occupational therapist, pursued a career goal and moved halfway across the country without her husband, Bill.  After only a month in Seattle, she experienced a head trauma from a car accident that nearly took her life.  We were all told the worst, but I prayed and expected God’s best for her. 
How trivial my life pursuits were in comparison.  Carol returned to Texas when it was safe for Bill to move her, and I watched her push herself in physical therapy.  From 1990-1995, she experienced her own prescription for a healthy, fully-functioning life.  It broke my heart to know she might never pace my running again, and we cried together often when we shared moments as friends, artists, and colleagues. 
Eventually, I moved away to pursue my own artistic goals in Taos, NM and our paths parted.  I designed and executed many ikat textiles without Carol’s help, but I had “Mountain of Two Trees” to overlook my dye baths and guard my silks.  These woven fabrics found new homes in Japan, Canada, from California to Ohio, from the Carolinas to Arizona, with Wisconsin, Montana and Tennessee in between.  I followed my dream and it was an experience I will always treasure.  I ran my own marathon pace there, hard, far, and yes, a little too soon.
Even though I made efforts at keeping my friend informed about life in New Mexico and my subsequent return to a former career in Texas, I lost touch with Carol for a few years.  Then one day, I received a response from my Christmas card.  She had never let go of her dream to live and work where she longed to be.  Carol returned to Seattle where she had been temporarily sidelined for running “too hard, too far, too soon.”   Bill was able to transition his career and join her a year and a half later. 
My art career transitioned from weaving textiles to weaving highlights in a beauty salon.  Cosmetology became the marathon of my life and I am glad to finish the course.  After forty one years, calendars, schedules and clocks still govern the pace of my daily race.  I’m older now, and I often need to slow down, catch my breath, stretch, re-tie my shoes, and refresh my gum.  Most days require a change in direction, focus and attitude.   There are opportunities to listen to a heart’s cry, to encourage a secret longing or pray through a marathon crisis in someone else’s life.   “Willing” has become my new coach.
I have many brave and courageous friends who persevere through their own life's marathon.  My friend, Carol, was, and still is, one of the bravest women I have ever known.  No one was more dedicated to her own recovery than she was through her most challenging “marathon.”  Today, she is working and playing hard, creating art to her heart’s content in a new studio that her retired husband, Bill recently built for her.   She has successfully learned how to “recover within her own pace.”  And yes, she is running again….but sometimes, it’s a run…walk, run….walk, run…walk.  And Carol would say, “That’s okay.  This is me!”

(c) Copyright 2013-2016

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Everywhere I go these days, every person I meet, every message I hear or read, in every circumstance, it seems the message I hear the Lord sharing is, “Trust Me.” Whether it’s about a job situation, a sick child, an aging parent, a son at war, a discouraging diagnosis, a separation from a mate, a geographical move or a future marriage, to name a few, life presents trust issues.

The question is, “Are we going to trust our Sovereign God?” To be sure, many of these situations are unpleasant, stressful, painful, lonely, and certainly NOT to my liking. They may not turn out at all the way I have pictured them in my head or hoped for, but ultimately, the Lord of my life reaches for my hand and asks, “Will you trust Me for the outcome?”

Herein is His Peace that passes ALL understanding. My former pastor and friend, Rick Milby at Abundant Life Fellowship in Corpus Christi, TX once explained Phil 4:7 in a way I have never forgotten. 

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NASB

Pastor Rick’s word picture appealed to me because I've had the opportunity to own several, super hot cars in my life. I can see the silver and black panels and the red pin-striping of my Indy Pace-car Corvette. I can still smell it's red leather interior that fit my frame like a glove. I can also tell you that I set the pace more than a few times between Lake Dallas and Denton in the days before I had kids who brought my need for a “Soccer Mom” van.

Imagine traveling down the highway of Life. You and your human understanding are driving along in the front car, tending your lane, enjoying the lead position, minding and mulling over the scenery even as the route twists and turns. All the while, traffic is stacking up behind your lead and many attempt to pass unsuccessfully. And then, from seemingly nowhere, another car enters the passing lane, and with ease, breezes by to take the straight away and lead the entourage!

This picture is like Divine Peace as He passes all our human understanding when we give the lead position to trust God in everything. The key word is GIVE. We must yield the very thing we hold onto…our need to have the lead-car position in our lives.

The world around us flaunts, encourages, and teaches placing our confidence in ourselves along with our talents and abilities to live successfully. The Lord instructs us through Paul in Phil 3:3 to put no confidence in our flesh…. In other words, don’t be “pulled away” by a lead car called “Confidence” in your humanity.

I could tout as Paul does in subsequent verses. It seems that people regularly remind me of how God has blessed me with a creative heritage, a zeal for music, and a zest for artistic expression whether I have a paintbrush, pen or a pair of scissors in my hand. It’s humbling and I am grateful that He has gifted me in many ways. 

Like Paul, I count it ALL loss in view of a surpassing knowledge in Jesus. I can stand before you today and Father God tomorrow knowing Christ and the power of His Resurrection in my life. I know Him more intimately now through the “fellowship of His Suffering.”

Most of us, me included, don’t like the “suffering” part and we slug along in our fellowship with Jesus because of it. We like those easy and straight-forward highways so we can “punch it and go it alone.” Driving the open roads full speed ahead builds a false confidence in our human spirit and sometimes, God uses a little and/or lot of fellowship called suffering. 

When life throws me a curve in the darkness that I can’t humanly comprehend, I do know that I can trust the Lord to pop the clutch, down shift a gear or two, and take control of my pace car.  My only job is to keep my eyes focused on Him, on the road just ahead, prop my foot on the dash, roll the window down and enjoy the wind's breeze in my hair…

I can trust the “Driver of my Peace car” to hug me and the road nicely… and so can you!

(c) Copyright 2013-2016

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Sometimes, people ask me, “What translation of the Bible should I read?” Without starting controversies regarding accuracies of the newer translations vs. the King James Version, my best response is, “Select a translation that you will READ.”

In today’s post, I’d like to share a few Scripture texts from different translations so that you might get a feel for how the Lord can and does speak during study. I don’t pretend to have a scholarly approach, just a hunger to seek the Truth of the Word, so forgive me if I miss a few obvious points. This message is what the Spirit of God has whispered to me.

I believe in writing in my Bible. Some people wouldn’t think of marring the page with highlighters and an ink pen, but it’s proven invaluable to me when sermon notes warranted remembrance. It was just this sort of note making in my Amplified Translation while studying James 1:2-4 that helped me understand my various trials in a different way. 

Now, if you have ever had occasion to read Scriptures in the Amplified Translation, you know why it is referred to as “The Woman’s Version” of the Bible. Specific words are “amplified” and the meanings of Greek and Hebrew language are expounded to magnify our understanding of the textual content. In other words, IT IS VERY WORDY. At first glance, just gazing over commas, parentheses, and brackets can feel like an Olympic game of “leap frog!” Maybe that’s why it’s my favorite study translation alongside my Mother’s Scoffield Bible. Its commentary and her scribbled notes in the margin are a treasure trove that her hand has left for me. 

Yes, a good word study becomes a challenging hunt to understand what God is saying to His children of that time, across many generations of believers and to my current personal life application. We serve a God who wants to really know us in personal, intimate ways. He is Father and Daddy, and He wants to communicate His love letters to me and to you, too. More importantly, He wants us to really know Him and love Him back.

Let’s examine and compare a few examples of one of my favorite texts, James 1:2-4. From the Living Bible, a paraphrase that is meant to be an “easier read,” we find this:

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So, let it grow and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”

Did you catch the directive from the Holy Spirit writing through the hand of James? Don’t try to squirm out of your problems? I don’t know about you, but I wiggle lots to avoid troubles.

As I have pursued following Jesus in Christian life, I have discovered this to be at the heart of my struggle to maturity in faith. I can only speak for myself, but I know other believers who are also quick to abandon faith in the midst of personal trials. We humans are seekers of a peace without conflict because this is the world’s idea of peace. In so doing, we fail to endure the fiery trials that produce a living, breathing testimony. Without fire, there is no testimony. Without mess, there is no “message” of how God worked to clean it all up.

The American Standard Bible translation adds an overlay. Notice in verse 2, James uses the word, “when” you encounter various trials…not “if.”

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Peter also writes to us in 1Peter 1:6-7,

“In this, you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary you have been distressed by various trials, that the PROOF of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though TESTED by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Though I may not fully embrace a complete understanding while enduring the fire, (actually, most of the time I am oblivious because it feels like the 2-minute warning at the end of the game and my head is buried in a hole at the opposite goal line), I am beginning to see that my trials are the proving ground of my faith. God’s ultimate purpose is to display His Working Hands in order that Jesus is glorified in my life. What is proven in me through these various trials is a reward far more valuable than any Olympic gold medal!

When I eventually studied James 1:2-4 in the Amplified translation, I experienced a new sense of wonder at the work of endurance, steadfastness and patience. 

“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

As I read the words “LET” and “FULL PLAY,” I suddenly saw these words frolicking over one another like a friendly game of “leap frog.” Somehow, this revelation about perseverance became a new landscape for what seemed like my personal Olympic “life games.” As with any hosting nation, there are many years of planning and preparation for the participating countries, their athletes, coaches, sponsors, family members, international fans, advertisers and media support. Great expense and investments bring hopes for even greater rewards in potential commerce and it takes massive collaboration, diplomacy and dedication to manifest the vision of every Olympian. 

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat always occupy the same playground when circumstances and people play “leap frog”. Life happens…we miss the mark. We give up, we disappoint others and ourselves. We fail, we sin. Win or lose, persevering through our trials proves the genuineness of the Gold in us. God uses it all to get our attention, to uproot us from our spiritual dead places, to call us back to Himself. With kind and tender compassion, He brings us back to our inheritance…a Life and Faith in Him that is Alive and Vital.

Yes, God uses it ALL to fully develop His Kingdom, His virtue, character and goodness in His children….because He loves us. And sometimes it takes an Olympic-size trial to work this perfection in our souls…and then again, it might only take a child’s game of leap frog…. 
(c) Copyright 2013-2016

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Dedicated to my bro & sis, Larry and Linda

         Life is ever changing! Just when you think you have a handle on IT, a direction set, and you have applied action to implement and see your plan develop, suddenly God changes the plan by introducing something, someone, or some circumstance that gives pause for evaluation. Confirmations or doubts about the plan result in prayer, conversation and many more reasons to trust God for the outcome of His overall plan…key word, “His.”

         Truth is there are no “sure-fire guarantees” in any direction except that God knows the eventual destination since He is THE Navigator. You can be certain that whatever circumstance alters your plan and detours your course, the occasion has not happened coincidentally. 

         Psalm 139:17 says, “How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!"

         When I read scriptures like this, it surprises yet comforts me to know God is thinking about me. Most of us need more than a gentle reminder, more than a thump on the head that He IS God after all and our “life changes” give Him good pleasure to work His character and attitudes….the fruit of His Spirit in us. 

         “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

         The love, peace, gladness, mercy, perseverance, benevolence, humility and self-restraint that His Spirit accomplishes in us are, indeed, WORK. Whenever HE has written these lines in the poems of our lives, NO ONE can dispute the transformation! We are changed and people all around can see Jesus in us.

         “We are God’s handiwork, His “poema” workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus that we may do those good works that God predestined for us that we should WALK in them.” Ephesians 2:10

         Our lives are made new when we choose to enter the Lifegate named “Christ” to live empowered by His Spirit, to walk humbly with our God. HE orders our steps as we take the paths that He has prearranged ahead of time.

         “Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book of all the days (of my life) were written before they ever took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16

         He knew. 
         He knows the plan and it's a good plan.
         He helps us apply action to implement plans.
         He knows all the desires of our heart, the journey, the destination and final outcome of our days. It only makes sense to relax, rest in Him, and just maybe, enjoy life in the Kingdom here and now!

(c)Copyright 2013-2016

Friday, March 8, 2013


If any of you have ever been the victim of an identity theft, you know what a challenge it is to reclaim and restore what has been compromised. 

         I should know because it’s happened to me twice in 20 years. After all, those who have good standing make the best fraud targets…right? As with any crime, one becomes guarded, often paranoid at guarding personal information. I do what I can to preserve and protect my name and good credit. 

         In my case, the first fraudulent activity occurred after purchasing a vehicle from the car dealership where I worked. Who knows how my personal information was stolen. It could have been a disgruntled title clerk or a bank employee who processed my loan package, but someone had access to my accurate driver’s license information and credit history to create a counterfeit identification. She has used it through the years for department store purchases and even established telephone and utility services in urban areas where I have never lived.

         Each time, I have been the one to file police reports, make countless phone calls to companies, credit collection agencies, sign my name in front of notaries and write the appropriate fraud alert statements for the various credit bureau reporting agencies. These letters have to be written after every address or name change to prove who I am. It’s a real pain in the behind to undo the damage when an invisible enemy has infiltrated your life without your knowing it.

         So, what’s in a name? Think about the names you have been given during your lifetime that may have defined who you are. I choose not to repeat or print in this forum some of the “scarlet letter” names that have somewhat defined my identity in life. And it doesn’t really matter if you call me Kathe, Kate, Kath-a-reeeen (emphasis on the E’s,) Katrina, Mom or Sis, Grams or GaGa, I am still me.

         I remember when one of my grandsons was born. I asked how my kids chose his name only to hear that it was chosen from the Top 10 most unpopular baby names. His was number 7 but when I researched the meaning of his name, I was so blessed to read, “Gift from God.” He is.

         I did some research about my name and discovered that the root word, “katharos” means pure. My parents named me, “Pure.” This Greek word is the same root word used for “catheter.” Now, ask yourself, what does a catheter do?” Its purpose is to remove toxins, poisons, impurities from the body when kidney and bladder functions are impaired. 

         Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5:8, “Blessed are the (katharos) pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Only a repentant heart can truly worship a holy God, and in our praise and worship, we are refreshed, renewed and made whole.

         I must always remember that times of refreshing can only come after times of repentance. Acts 3:19 AMP confirms this, “So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God] so that your sins may be erased, (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord.” Repentance is a spiritual "catheter!"

         I can attest that nothing compares to the rest and contentment I enjoy in communion with the Lord, and that kind of joy and intimacy just isn’t possible when sin is masquerading in my soul. I realized that I had abandoned purity in my life, the very identity my human parents gave me when they named me, “Pure”. 

         It was more than being a strong, self-willed child, more than a teenage rebellion, and more than a mid-life crisis. It was sin. At the very core of my spiritual adultery lurked a spirit of dissatisfaction which led me to search for significance and fulfillment in relationships. I pursued a counterfeit contentment by following after the world’s idea of personal happiness when all along, God’s desire for me was holiness.

         Oh, how I TRIED in vain to be holy and to do holy deeds. My biggest failure was failing to successfully live a deeply satisfying life in Christ. It is His Holiness in me that purifies my life and His Holy Spirit that empowers me daily to lay down all the past regrets, shame and guilt for believing an invisible enemy. 

         And you can be sure if you are a follower of Christ and obedient to the call of God in your life, you will be assaulted by the invisible enemy. Here is the biggest lesson I’ve learned about this. Satan is the ultimate identity thief. It is his method of operation to steal, kill and destroy. This is why it is so important to know who you are in Christ. Once we truly know WHO we are, WHOSE we are, this Truth cannot be stolen away, unless of course, you are deceived to believe a lie.

         Any lie will do, but the lie will always create some form of doubt, fear and unbelief about God, Who He says He is or whether He will do what He promises. The invisible enemy has been cleverly counterfeiting “pretty trees and appealing fruit” since the Garden of Eden. I remind myself often that what Jesus accomplished in the Garden of Gethsemane is far greater than what Adam and Eve did in Eden.

         Today, this is what I know. I am in Christ and His Spirit is fully alive in me. I am His and He is my Maker, Bridegroom, Husband, and my King, my Everything. What sweet names do I hear when Jesus initiates His call to drink from the well of Living Water? …my beloved, beauty, bride, daughter, companion, heiress, vessel, messenger, vineyard, and overcomer.

         I am a pure handmaiden standing holy before His throne of Grace, blameless and without a single fault.

         Now, THAT’S a gift from God!

(c) Copyright 2013-2016


PLEASE NOTE:  This post is not intended to judge the depth of anyone's relationship with the Lord but to share how God worked in MY h...