Saturday, December 20, 2014


            I recently heard a Christian brother ask this same question at a storytelling festival. Have you ever thought about the phrase, “…and Jesus stretched out His hand?” Truthfully, I had not.

            But since I am a visual learner, I had mentally painted numerous pictures of Him at the Bethesda pool inviting a crippled man to his feet. On another occasion Jesus reached up from the mud toward a blind man’s eyes and restored his sight. He also gently touched an unconscious girl and commanded her to awaken from her lifeless coma. There were loaves and fish to serve, bread to break, and wine to pour. He used His rough carpenter hands to touch people’s lives. Every time Jesus extended His open hand, He invited their response.

            “Do you want to be well?” He asked.
 Many accepted His invitation. All who responded received healing, deliverance, and forgiveness!

            Today when people say “yes” to an invitation, they know it’s frequently an offer to come or go somewhere pleasurable and hospitable. William has been singing a short chorus lately that goes like this,

“Father, glorify Yourself,
Father, glorify Yourself,
Father, glorify Yourself in me.
Whether pleasure or in pain,
o’er my life I give You reign,
Father, glorify Yourself in me.”

            It wasn’t until Bill recently asked me about “suffering” that I recognized the fullness of Jesus’ invitation when He extended His hand to me. It was far from hospitable and pleasurable.

            We all have our perspectives about the sufferings of Jesus. Usually people automatically think of His crucifixion and the natural pain of scourging and the horror of being nailed to a cross. He thirsted for water but was given gall on a sponge. It’s said that in order to breathe, He used His spiked feet to leverage His body up enough to inhale.

            These examples can hardly describe the depth of His physical agonies. Consider the emotional and mental anguish that terrorized Him in advance. So much so, that He sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. What about the incessant mocking? False accusations and a close friend’s betrayal? The judicial interrogations, the disciple’s abandonment and His own family’s unbelief? What about His Father who rejected Him because God couldn’t bear to look at sin? Our sin….my sin.

            Your afflictions may be a terminal diagnosis, chronic physical pain; a lawsuit, office politics or slander in social media; the death of a loved one, a separation, divorce or the absence of a friend when you need them most. Many personal distresses in life are the crimes others commit against us and dealing with the consequences is an ongoing reality. In my past, I found it difficult to admit the crimes against me were self-inflicted wounds from the poor choices I had made. More evil was an enemy that continually assaulted me with temptations to unbelief that God or anyone, for that matter, really cared.

            My life genuinely changed when I discovered an authentic fellowship with the person of Jesus. Now I understand, if only in part. The fullness of accepting His outstretched hand does include suffering. More importantly, responding consistently in faith, trusting and obeying, no matter the circumstances or outcome, matures and sustains my relationship with the Lover of my soul. This is the marvelous mystery of a life in Christ and Christ in me. A well of Living water that I’m invited to drink from and I "get to" pour out to others.

            His invitation isn’t just about the fellowship of His suffering. His outstretched hand provides an opportunity for becoming “partakers” in a community of victorious overcomers. My life changed when I gave myself to a community of like-minded Jesus Becomers who are loving me to wholeness.  From Revelation 3:21:

            “He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to sit beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne.”   
            “Have you ever considered the times when Jesus stretched out His hand to you?” He waits with open ears that hear your every prayer. He waits with open eyes that see every tear. He waits with an open heart that feels your every wound. He longs to grasp your life with the mighty grip of His outstretched hand.  

“Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Him.” 
John 14:6

With an outstretched hand, He is waiting for you.... to choose. 
How will you respond to His invitation?


Friday, October 24, 2014


      In spite of his pressing health issues, my desire to introduce my husband at our family reunion prevailed and we changed our plans to attend at the last minute. A quick getaway trip over a long weekend was “just what the doctor ordered.”
        Afterwards, William and I returned home and resumed the daily routine. Our custom is morning devotions before breakfast. Armed with warm coffee, our Bibles and two devotionals for guidance, we settled comfortably into the wing back chairs by the window. And like most mornings, the reading stimulated dialogue for possible life applications. From October 20 in Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling,” I read aloud,
          “I am your living God, far more abundantly alive than the most vivacious person you know. The human body is wonderfully crafted, but gravity and the inevitable effects of aging weigh it down. Even the most superb athlete cannot maintain his fitness over many decades. Lasting abundant life can be found in Me alone.”
          I finished the page and Bill asked,
           “Kate, what does abundant life look like?”
        It is his way, asking what something looks like to further our understanding. I remembered the Amplified translation of John 10:10 and I heard myself repeating words like, “full, to the fullest, till overflowing.” Our discussion turned a corner when Bill looked squarely at me and said,
          “In my adult life, I’ve never been to a family reunion quite like yours.”
           “What do you mean?”
          “Kate, if I were asked to describe an abundant life, I’d begin with kitchen counters filled with rich meats, vegetables, breads, appetizers and desserts with coffee and teapots that never emptied. As absent soldiers’ pictures stood like sentinels guarding the chow line, proud parents and siblings paid tribute to their military family members as they milled freely about. Against a panoramic view of the Texas hill country, a table filled with homemade craft items and baked goods competed for the highest bid to help fund the next reunion. River walks, tractor rides, skeet shoots, hula hoops and rope toys, scrabble games, wildflowers, centipedes and dragonflies enhanced the menu as well as cows mooing, dogs barking, children laughing, men whistling, and women chatting. Aunts, uncles and cousins alike perused the family albums and told memorable stories to help bridge the generation gaps. These are the conversations that cannot fit on paper or paintings fit for a canvas. This picture of abundant life is a colorful palette of variety that could never be improved with Photoshop."
          For a moment, I was speechless, but it was true. He had just described the reunion. Our family works hard to create these Kodak moments that anyone would covet. I never realized how covetous until Bill shared his observations.  I am a part of a family that can’t be owned, but ours is a true wealth that can be possessed. This is the prosperity of my soul.
          Bill continued,
          “Many people acquire these relational opportunities, but few truly apprehend them. Just like some folks never truly apprehend their divine identity and enjoy a genuine, relational life in Jesus.”
          I confess I have taken my earthly family for granted. Some of these relationships have been white water rapids and others, placid tidal pools. You probably have similar relationships in your life. In either case, an abundant life begins with an invitation “to dive in,” a permission “to look around and see what you find.” But “life exchange” requires a response to the invitation.
         As believers, we said, “Yes” to His outstretched hand when we were drowning. Then the Lord gave us to a spiritual family that continually invites us to safely wade in deeper. Hopefully, you are finding refreshment and leading others to the River of Life. From the Gospel of John, we read,
          “Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood and He cried in a loud voice, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38 AMP                                                                
Come on in, the water is fine!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Your interest this month pushed your position to #2 (behind USA) for the all-time history readership of Woman at a Well Ministries. Thank you so much.

                “Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.” 
1 Cor 3:6 

            I love it when God uses my personal life to teach me about Him. Probably you master gardeners have learned this lesson, but in all my years, I have never witnessed such a marvel. 
            Since my marriage to William last year, I assumed many household duties from our housekeeper. I especially enjoy our personal shopping, laundry, and the outdoor watering of our patio plants. 
            Over the past years, Bill had many friends who endowed their outdoor gardening talents at Aerie Hall. (“Aerie” means a high, hidden and safe cleft in the rock; an eagle’s nest.) Pastor Piersol generously planted beautiful trees and shrubs. While Bob and Nancy resided here, she devoted her green thumbs for transplanting, weeding, feeding and consistently watering all the plants.
            When I arrived as the new gardener, the Texas summer heat had taken its toll and many plants were nearly dead. My own plants struggled with traumatic moves to and from Austin and a few had not survived. I culled through the pots hoping to recover any that showed the slightest life. Some were hopeless. I threw away soil and stacked empty pots in the shed. I pruned other plants radically and simply rearranged the remaining pots under the portico. During the year, I faithfully committed generous drinks of water to our plant life. 
            Following the hot summer, an unusually cold winter froze the remnant. I discarded more plants and dirt and I stacked up a few more pots in the shed. It seemed that deadness generated more deadness with one plant especially. Even so, I refused to give up and I continued to trim its leaves.
            I also watered two dead Dracaena stumps, commonly called “corn plants.” Someone had planted them in the middle of the largest pot with some very lush foliage that flourished as the spring season arrived.

            Midsummer heat cycled back around and after returning from our anniversary trip, I resumed the watering schedule. I made the rounds from pot to pot with the hose and to my surprise, one of the dead Dracaenas had a little bud jutting from the side of the stalk. I had no idea there was the slightest life in that dead stump.

            Soon after noticing these buds, I showed them off to friends and family. One friend remarked,

            “I wouldn't discount that second stump just yet.” 

Even though it appeared limp and mushy, I watered the stump. A few days later, I discovered a new corn plant erupting from under the neighboring soil just as he had predicted.  

             Several spiritual applications for this story have touched my life personally so I saw them immediately. You may see others. First, I recognized the difference between surviving and thriving seasons. I noticed the importance of patience during dormancy, willingness in submission to painful pruning and finally, the stewardship of God’s faithfulness.
             Transformation is a mysterious process. The most notable, profound and celebrated transformations happen from “glory to glory.” If you are in the season of that two-letter word, “to,” you, too, are in good company. Remember that a Saturday occurred between the most revered Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The Gospels divulge little to nothing about what transpired in the disciples’ lives on that Saturday. Can you imagine the pressure and anxiety, disbelief and grief Jesus’ followers must have experienced during this shift in their world? Even an earthquake accompanied the most horrendous evils that Friday, and yet, Sunday came!       
            Transitions are critically necessary for “times of refreshing.” God’s redemptive plan always requires a transition from repentance to recovery. The requirement usually involves some kind of tension in our souls. As long as I consider humility, forgiveness and obedience as merely "options," conflict and uncertainty remain, as does my survival mode. Lost dreams and dashed hopes for a gratifying life, single or married, always appear in the “to and twain” times, but so do the seeds of the most astonishing deliverance! When I am tempted to ask, “Why is this happening to me” I hope I remember the seeds of a dead corn plant that did not merely survive, but thrived because of my willingness to respond.
            God is faithful to provide. He carefully positions and promises colorful, productive maturation in whatever way He sees appropriate. I believe God waters the souls of people where there seems to be no spiritual life. He waters with no apparent motive except Love and His desire to generate prime, wholesome and enduring growth in His children. God blesses the just and the unjust alike to quicken our hearts toward Him. 
            A distinguished Christian author and historian, Philip Yancey quotes H. G. Wells, who was not a Christian, “Every historian’s test is a question, ‘What do we leave behind to grow?’” 

Let all those who come behind find us faithful.

(c) 2014-2016

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Thank you everyone, especially:
Readership this month!  

Readership this week!

   United States 2573
Germany 131
Russia 73
Brazil 29
Sweden 23
Vietnam 19
Ukraine 14
United Kingdom 13
Malaysia 11
Italy 10

        I thought my viewers might be interested to see the worldwide audience of my readership.  One can see from the above list that broken relationships happen all over the world, crossing politics, religions, economics, cultures, races and genders.  We are all broken people who are hurting.  I don't know the original person who said this, but it bears repeating, "Hurting people hurt other people." 
        There came a time in my life when the desire to break that cycle was greater than the pain and satisfaction I derived from hanging onto my hurt.  
        Yes, I did say the word, "satisfaction." I grabbed a sociology credit as an elective while attending Texas Women's University and this is probably the only bit of lecture I retained from the course.  I have slept a few nights since then, but my professor said,

"People gain a measure of satisfaction from their situations or they would change their situation."

        And I was good at nursing my pain and justifying life as I had always known it, as a VICTIM.  Over time, my victim attitude matured into a full-fledged martyr syndrome.  I also fed it well.
        My satisfaction came from a false perception.  As people listened to my woes, I enjoyed and thrived on their sympathies.  My whining and complaining were rooted in a self pity that relished with subconscious delight as many close friends and family agreed with my flights into relational poverty.  Occasionally, my audience slipped into co-misery with me and fed this hunger for love that I perceived as a personal loyalty. 
        While their sympathy was merely a cheap substitute for what my soul really needed, I have realized that God still used this season to satiate my hunger. Although I couldn’t see at the time all the good He was accomplishing, I grew immensely from the experiences of divorce, betrayal and abandonment.  Eventually, because of healthy pastoral and adoptive parental relationships and in other spiritually enriching ways, I learned that sympathy and love are NOT equal.  
        God’s redemptive plan always involves people.   Just as Jesus’ death and resurrection was the Father’s plan for redeeming humanity, “being real with myself about myself” meant regularly crucifying “Victim” and “Martyr” so that Jesus could fully live in me.  This awareness continues to bring about a greater conviction and repentance that has ultimately provided availability to share genuine love with others and an ability to give love, even to me. 
        I am a new creation.  Recently, someone asked me how I came to my faith.  Though I made a decision for Christ as a child, I had a fresh and powerful, life changing encounter with Him in 1997.  Truthfully, the Holy Spirit has worked effectually through these adult years to redeem the little girl who gave her life to Jesus.  Now, I give my life for Him.  There is a difference.
        I am still coming to faith in Christ. Every day, I am grateful for the Lord’s redemptive plan that involves people who genuinely love and care about me.  I wasn’t just an abused, neglected, love-starved, and famished wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.   I was a perishing soul who needed rescue and God in His Infinite Wisdom sent a dear man named William to offer a new way of life to me.  But the laying down of my own life plans in exchange for God’s purposes in sharing my husband's ministry has cost me…everything. 
        The sacrifice of obedience is like that. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Messiah, will cost you everything that you hold dear. It may even cost your life.  The relationships that you are most confident in may falter from a lack of understanding or spiritual maturity.  Your relational bonds may be rooted in a hunger language named “Victim” and “Martyr.”  Those who knew you before may be uncomfortable and may not trust the new person they see. They may be silent or prefer to love you from a distance.   
        One thing is certain.  You will discover how insignificant you are.  Significance and fulfillment are only found in close relationship with God the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live life fully!

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after right standing with God and man, Justice, for they shall be satisfied.” Matt 5:6

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged; Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor 13:5-7

(c) Copyright 2014-2016

Sunday, February 23, 2014


            Today marks a one year anniversary of my first date with a gentleman.  His name is William.  I felt and still feel totally safe and comfortable in his presence.  It has so totally revolutionized my life to know how God has used and continues to use my Christian brother to help me overcome my “uncomfortableness” with males.  Through this process, I have discovered the difference between “males and men” as Bill has discovered the difference between “females and women.”  One relates to human gender, raging hormones, socially biased attitudes and typically unrealistic expectations.   The other is God’s reverent design for sacred marriage since before Genesis unveiled Eden. 
            This morning as William complimented me for yet another of what I considered a “routine and ordinary” breakfast, he expressed his gratitude this way.
            “Kate, I never imagined what my life could be like living with a wife.  You have far exceeded anything I could ever have imagined.  You are a true treasure to me.”
            Now ladies (and gents who cook for your wife), never underestimate the days of small beginnings.  You may consider preparing breakfast a trivial task… sunny-side up eggs, crispy bacon, and home-style biscuits with apple butter, but to your spouse (whether he/she voices a compliment or not), it is a careful, considerate demonstration of compassion and comfort all wrapped up in the imaginary treasure of “red gingham & warm heart butter.”
            None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.  Both William and I have lived long enough to experience how unpredictable, precarious and fragile life is.  As your “honey” is buttering your biscuit with compliments for the seemingly mundane chores of life, welcome the richness of those moments. 


(c) Copyright 2014-2016


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...