Tag Archives: Jesus

Are You Still Dreaming… Or Are You Ready If Jesus Comes Today?

Last night I dreamed The Rapture came… and it happened just like that… just like the Bible says it will. In the middle of eating and drinking, I’d gotten up from the table, and suddenly screamed, “What was that?!” I felt as if a cat had scratched the bottom of my feet. As I looked down, expecting to see a black furry cat under the table, the sensation in my feet caused me to rise. But I wasn’t the only one. My precious little daughter, and my dear, sweet friend, Kim were rising too…

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17: 26-30 English Standard Version).


I’ve always had very vivid, detailed dreams. And though I often get frustrated at feeling I can’t hear from God, He often speaks to me through dreams. In this dream, my family was upset, because we had moved to a huge, beautiful new mansion; and someone had broken in and stolen, of all things… our giant Christmas tree! Also gone, was our alarm unit. It had been torn from the wall, and the thief had escaped with that also. In the dream, we just so happened to be having an open house for all the neighbors, and we were leery of a few strange characters who seemed all too suspicious and creepy. They were showing up looking like cartoon characters, and they were offering odd tokens and weird foods.

In the dream, my husband and adult sons had decided to go outside, and take a look around at the grounds, checking for signs of foul play. Meanwhile, I lamented the new house to my friend Kim, who was sitting at the table next to me. I told her we shouldn’t have moved there. Her comment in the dream both shocked and convicted me: “Well you did say you didn’t like your house…” Immediately the words from our friend Rick’s sermon came back to me: “Your life will move in the direction of your strongest thoughts!”


Rick was the wonderful guest pastor at our church last weekend. He had discussed how powerful negative self-talk could be, because it comes from the enemy. He had given us the tools to capture negative, destructive thoughts: “Identify the thoughts, take them to Jesus, find out if the thoughts are true or false!” Are your negative thought true? Are they backed by scripture? If not, change the negative talk to a biblical truth. Rick had expressed how important it was to get rid of the devil’s thoughts, which are lies; and to instead focus on the truth of God’s promises. 

My dream echoed my real-life experience, as I realized how negative I’d been when things had gone wrong in the house. In my dream, I asked God to forgive me for my bad attitude, and to help us figure out what to do in our hopeless situation. Most people can relate to how violating it feels to have something stolen. You wonder who it was, why they did it, and will they come back? It’s all the more reason to have a Savior who promises to watch over you and care for you. In real life, things had been going wrong continuously and quickly with our real-life house. A lot of things had needed fixing; including our real-life alarm system! I’d become filled with regret at the decision we’d made to move, to the point of wishing we were back in the house we now rent out; which is beautiful, but too small for our family. It felt like it took forever to accomplish any project in our new home. When I awoke this morning, I realized I’d have to repent in real life as well!

In my dream, we’d been eating, drinking, visiting with friends and (albeit strange) new neighbors, along with taking care of business, when suddenly I began to rise up into the air. Kim was rising up too! Where’s my daughter? She was there beside me! She was rising right beside me! I pulled her close to me. “It’s happening, Baby Girl! It’s really happening! We are going to be together forever. Stay with me. Don’t go looking for anything!” “Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house” (Matt. 24:17 New International Version).


We went higher and higher into the air, still in the giant house. We were safely away from anyone evil, as we hovered near the ceiling. I scanned the dark floor below for others, getting a sense that many of the new neighbors were not rising with us. In a moment of panic, I wondered where my husband and sons were; but then I was filled with immediate peace. They had gone outside, which is why I didn’t see them. They were not to come back in. “A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat” (Matt. 24:18). We’d meet the rest of our family soon. I knew their hearts, and I knew they were saved. As we hovered, I yelled out to anyone listening: “Don’t go back for anything, don’t go looking for anyone!” 

For the Bible tells us Jesus will come and get us: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matt: 24: 23:24).

I woke up from that dream before Jesus came to get me. But the amazing thing is I knew he was coming: for me, my family, and my friend. And I knew Jesus was coming to get everyone else who had recognized their sinful nature and asked Jesus to come into their hearts. I was also ready with a clean heart. In my dream, I had humbly asked God to forgive me for being ungrateful, when my friend had pointed it out to me. I wasn’t afraid. I knew my loved ones were going where I was going… because my loved ones know Jesus. And in real life, I know I need to always repent for my ungrateful attitude… even if things are going all wrong. And in real life, I know my loved ones are going to Heaven when it’s time… just like me. 

Are you ready if Jesus comes today? Yes? Then  no matter what problem you are encountering today, the silver lining shines bright for you. Your problems will disappear when you get to Heaven. If Jesus comes before you die, he will take you there! Matthew, Chapter 24 contains a detailed account of the return of Jesus, with clear, concise directions to follow. If you don’t know Jesus, the silver lining lies in your inviting Jesus to live in your heart today, so you can begin a relationship with God’s Son! Here’s how to make that happen now: HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

Dreams can be crazy, but they are also the way we sort through problems, questions, anxieties, hopes, memories, and yes… our dreams!  Most dreams come from our own mind, evil dreams come from the devil; and prophecies and messages and joyful dreams come from God! Today I’ve shared with you a dream God gave me to share; so you can know His Son in real life, and have eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. “See, I have told you ahead of time” (Matt. 24:25).


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When You Have an Absent, Abusive, or Abandoning Father… God Cares

Fathers are meant to love, guide, encourage, protect, teach, comfort, and lead us. So what happens when a father doesn’t fulfill his responsibilities? Emptiness happens. Depression happens. Doubt happens. Confusion happens. Children lose their way.

A neglectful father leaves his children to fend for themselves. They may have to fend for food or clothing, or they may have to fend for attention or guidance. Boys with neglectful fathers are known for being angry. They have missed out on having a man teach, lead, and guide them. Girls with neglectful fathers are known to look for love in the wrong places. They missed out on the protection, comfort, and safe haven a father should provide for them. Neglectful fathers are selfish and lazy. They don’t make an effort to ensure that their own flesh and blood will live as healthy, warm, and self-assured human beings. They aren’t there to meet their children’s deepest emotional needs, and they aren’t even aware that their children have needs at all.

Children of neglectful fathers are also often responsible for their younger siblings at home, when they have their own schoolwork to complete, and their own jobs to attend. They often work multiple jobs while going to school, so they can take care of themselves. They are so focused on survival, that they don’t even get a chance to find out who they are, or what they want to gain out of life. Their goal is to be self-sufficient, in order to leave home as soon as possible. It takes a long, long time for these angry, lonely children to heal. Some never do… unless they find Jesus.

A physically and emotionally abusive father cannot protect his children. He can be abusive in a variety of ways, and he can be abusive both directly and indirectly. A father who beats his children into submission by using physical power and fear, is not a good father. A child would be better off without him. A father who hits his wife, and not the children, is still an abusive father, causing his children confusion, anxiety, fear, helplessness, and vulnerabilility. He is teaching them sinful patterns that they will take with them and use on their own children, unless intercepted by The Holy Spirit.  A father who turns a blind eye to the fact that his wife abusing one, or several of his children; and does nothing about it, is also abusive. He is an accomplice to his wife’s cruelty for allowing it; for not taking his rightful, godly place as head of the household to make it run as God planned. He has neglected his responsibilities as a father. Physically and emotionally abusive fathers are self-centered, and dangerously angry. They lack self-control and self-esteem. Children who have physically and emotionally abusive fathers are children who run away, quit school, get caught up in addiction, have teen pregnancies, and don’t finish school.

A father who abandons his children leaves them as orphans. He may abandon them by physically walking out of their lives, or he may abandon them emotionally by “checking out.” He may spend all his free time on the golf course, or he may actually spend it at home in front of the TV set; never even getting to know his children at all, even though they live in the same house as he does. The abandoning father is selfish and self-centered. He thinks about, and cares only for himself. The children of an abandoning father grow up and move away, without ever having a relationship with their father. There is no relationship, because one never existed in the first place. Abandoning fathers often find themselves bewildered as to why their children never call or visit, but their children know the truth: their fathers walked away from them a long time ago. Some fathers physically walked away from their children and never looked back. These fathers are complete strangers to their children, and vice versa. But all types of abandoning fathers are still unknown to their children, even if they pop back into their lives “once in a while.” The abandoning father has missed out on the greatest gifts in his life… his children.

Neglectful, abusive, abandoning fathers have often come from neglectful, abusive, abandoning parents themselves. The pattern can repeat for generations without having been broken by the power and authority of Christ. The Silver Lining is that The Holy Spirit is able to grab hold of the heart of a father who is listening for God and searching to make things right and good. When this father pursues Jesus, God begins to put a stop to the toxic patterns. Jesus can break these bad, sinful patterns any time he is invited into a father’s life. Jesus can heal any of our wounds left by an absent, abusing or abandoning father.

When Jesus is invited into our hearts and minds, we are given power and authority over the pain, rejection, and lies which have been taught to us as children. God can heal us from our broken pasts. God helps husbands in Christian families to become good husbands and wonderful fathers for their children, through Jesus Christ. Jesus creates true, long-lasting change within the fathers who belong to him. He offers complete forgiveness, wipes away sin, and helps Christian fathers to become more like him each day.

Jesus also helps us to forgive our earthly fathers who have hurt us; helping us to turn them over to The Holy Spirit. This allows us to walk forward with God with a clean heart, so we can live our lives without pain, focusing on His calling for us, instead.  Jesus can even teach orphans how to be good fathers to their children on earth. Jesus also restores broken relationships between children and their fathers who have hurt them. But God must be at the center, because Jesus is the only one who can truly heal our deep wounds. This is because sins are only cleansed by his blood, and forgiveness is only offered through him.

For those with a father unwilling to allow Jesus to restore his heart, God is a Holy Father to us all. God can, and will, fill that void with his infinite love. The Bible tells us that God promises to love, guide, encourage, protect, teach, comfort, and lead us. God is able to redeem our lives from the pit. He helps broken fathers make amends with estranged sons and daughters when all seems lost. God creates a new generation, and He makes all things new. Fathers, let Him lead you; and show you how to be the godly, loving head of household you were called to be. Then your family will be sheltered under His great and mighty wings.

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17 New International Version).

Whomever you are, know that God is your Heavenly Father, and that He knows you and loves you; both eternally and unconditionally. Call upon His name, for Jesus is the answer:  yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Invite Jesus into the center of your family, and experience the presence of the Holy Father of us all!

“And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).


Invite Jesus into your heart today, and change the generation of your family and its future generations!  HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

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When the Tables are Turned, is it Abuse… or Righteous Anger?

The table was shoved over in a fit of rage when I was around eight. There’d been a bit of squabbling at the table, as happens between eight-year-old and four-year-old kids, but nothing out of the ordinary. It came as a complete shock. It was apparently the last straw; the one that broke the camel’s back. The flimsy card table in our tiny Italian kitchen was suddenly flipped over. There was a scream, and tomato rice soup was flying everywhere. What just happened? Our entire lunch was on the floor; the table upended on its side. And suddenly it was silent.

As I surveyed the red creamy soup splattered all over the walls and in puddles on the floor, we began to cry. My little sister started yelling, “My tooth! My tooth!” In a flurry of activity, we ran to kneel on the floor beside her and look into her mouth. Fear. Had the table smacked her in the face on its way down? Then, suddenly relief, as the discovery came… “It’s a piece of rice! It’s just a piece of rice!” 

I guess it was the relief, because it surely wasn’t joy, that brought the nervous laughter. Suddenly we got the impression it was not so bad after all. In fact, it was all quite funny. But it was actually only funny, because we were trained to believe it was so. The brainwashing had set in long before. I knew what to do. I was supposed to laugh along; make light of the situation. That way no one would get mad… and I wouldn’t get into trouble. And then we could all put a smile on our face and pretend it had never happened. 

What was that after all? Was it abuse, or was it righteous anger?

Well, let’s compare it to another scenario from a time long before. Instead of little kids bickering at the kitchen table, there were money changers in the courts of God’s Holy Temple. And they weren’t innocently sitting at tables eating their lunch. No. They were sitting at tables exchanging foreign money. And instead of having a little argument to top it off, merchants were also selling sheep, cattle, and doves to be sacrificed. Instead of children facing an angry woman, the merchants and money changers came face to face with an angry man… an angry man who just happened to be the Son of God! 

Jesus didn’t shove a flimsy table of food to the ground; he shoved multiple tables, scattering tons of coins: here, there, and everywhere! If that wasn’t frightening enough, he created a whip out of cords, and sent the animals running hither and dither from the temple’s courtyard! Merchants and money changers were in his Father’s House, and Jesus was mad as a hornet! Did you know that Jesus yelled too?! “To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market’ ” (John 2:16 New International Version)!

What was that after all? Was it abuse? Or was it righteous anger?

Well, if you had to choose which situation to witness, which one would you pick? I know which one I would choose. For the silver lining is in knowing that my Savior is good, and perfect, and pure. Though the scene with Jesus was extra dramatic, I would have surveyed the whole scene with peace, instead of anxiety. I would have sat on the sidelines knowing that his corded whip was not for me, nor the righteous anger, nor the disciplinary action. I also wouldn’t have been forced to fake laugh, and pretend I was okay. This is because my confidence is in Christ. My Savior knows what he is doing, has a purpose for it all the time, and it is always good.

I can see myself as a small, skinny eight-year-old girl, about the age of my daughter, sitting on a wall in the courtyard. I’m watching Jesus; glad that he is clearing the temple of the bad guys. I’m sitting in my ratty brown robe, barefoot, swinging my legs against the stone wall, waiting for him to finish his work. I can hardly wait for him to toss down the whip and head over to me. Everyone is gone; the merchants, the buyers, the money changers, and the animals. It’s just me left.  As he comes towards me, I bow my head, but it’s not out of fear. 

It’s out of reverence. It’s because I know he’s getting ready to pull me into his comforting, warm embrace of unconditional love. My head is down because I know his hand is going to touch the top of my curly auburn head, and he’s going to say, “I love you, my child. There’s nothing to fear.” But I’m not afraid anyway. And when I look up into his beautiful, dark face, and smile into his kind, brown eyes;  I nod my head. I can’t talk, because I’m overjoyed. But he understand me. He can read my mind. He knows I’ve remembered. He knows that I, just like “His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:17).

Prayer: 

Dear God, turn the tables in my life. Where I am weak, make me strong. Cleanse my mind of the lies I was taught as a child. Fill me with The Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the truth. Instead of bitter anger, help me to continue to forgive those who have sinned against me, just as you have forgiven those who have sinned against you. Remove the deceit from those who have become blind to the truth. Bring instead, wisdom and discernment, to those who seek Your Face. 

Years later, I’m on fire for You, Lord. My speech, and my body have experienced the shaking strength of righteous anger, and in it I did not sin; just as you my Savior, did not sin in the temple courtyard. I am zealous for you, Jesus. I’m zealous for others to make their home with you in Heaven. It consumes me, and I don’t care if the world hates me for it. Even if I’m the only one left sitting in your courtyard, I will wait for you to come get me. I want to live in your house forever. I want my home to be wherever you may be. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for your eternal love. 

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11).

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Be of Good Courage, Christian Graduates! God Promises You a Great Future!

It’s graduation time! This year is especially meaningful to me, because my twin sons are included among the 2017 graduates. As homeschoolers, my husband and I have watched them pursue their interests from a young age, with the freedom and time to really develop and excel at their God-given gifts and talents. For that, we are immensely grateful.

It hasn’t been an easy journey, and it’s been far from perfection. In fact, our family has suffered greatly over the years. My husband and I have had to allow Jesus to heal us from abuse, abandonment, and neglect experienced in our own childhoods. Yet, during these stormy times, we found the silver lining: God taught us important truths to pass on to our children. Now our children won’t have to enter adulthood believing the same lies we were led to believe; lies which cause God’s precious children to struggle with depression, fear, anxiety, rejection, and more. Our children won’t have to build walls to protect themselves. Instead, they will have the tools to help them properly communicate, and they will understand that Jesus is a true friend who will protect them, and he will always be there to help them get through the trials in their lives.

Our twins had the combined experiences of some extremely difficult and painful circumstances: fighting for their premature lives at birth, a near death experience from an asthma attack which involved being medivacked from one hospital to another, a traumatic dental injury on a boat, and chronic illness with severe pain and suffering.  And there were more hard times. Yet Jesus was there for my boys. God saved them, healed them, and the whole time… had plans to prosper them! God has plans to prosper you too!

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God prepared our family for what we were going to endure, by giving me a desire in my heart to homeschool my children. I already had more than seven years of teaching experience in the public school system, and the school system where we lived continued to let us down. Homeschooling relieved so much of our stress, and it gave our boys more freedom to explore their own interests. They could move ahead or take their time. They had more breaks, no extra homework, lots of field trips, new friends, and much more family time. They could eat when they were hungry, and they could even do their school work in their pajamas! However, our plans were not to get sick and have our lives turned upside-down.

But God had a different path, and therefore, a different plan for us. The devil had planned a disaster, but God had given us homeschooling; so instead of “getting behind,” we were able to adjust our schooling to fit our chaotic lives. Our boys were miraculously able to learn above and beyond what they would have learned had they attended public school. It wasn’t that they did all the same curriculum as everyone else; it was that they learned things that were different… more like quality over quantity. They still took all their regular subjects, but did so without being overloaded. There was more time for exploring subjects which really held their interest, rather than choosing from a list of electives. There was more time for building elaborate Lego villages, or using the bricks to make actual working clocks. It was such a joy to see what they’d come up with next!

All of this was occurring as we desperately shuffled our calendars, attending never-ending specialist appointments with the whole family in tow; including a new baby. There were many days when school was done in bed, and days when it took every bit of strength just to force down a health shake while lying on the couch. There were many days of dumping bags and books onto the floor, grabbing more bags and books, and heading off to yet another appointment. The house was trashed; and we were exhausted, sick, overwhelmed, isolated, and often… hopeless.

In the midst of the hard time, and at the beginning of the hardest time of all, God had given us our beautiful, baby girl who brought us the brightest sunshine and joy during our darkest days. Before she came, I was excruciatingly ill with my pregnancy; almost as ill as I had been with my twins, except this time without the ruthless, never-ending vomiting. Even back then, my nine-year old twins were using their gifts and talents to teach themselves music, art, computer skills, outdoor survival skills, and so much more. They also helped care for me when I was ill, and when their baby sister came, they eagerly learned life skills; how to carefully care for an infant, how to cook, and how to do laundry. Most of all, we learned that we were meant to be a family; we needed each other, and we loved each other.

During the stormiest trial, God had been creating the silver lining just for us. Our boys taught themselves piano, guitar, and drums; and they practiced everyday. They both enjoyed art. Our son who was then ill, was into video and visual effects. He splurged on an expensive computer program with a student discount, so he could teach himself graphic design, animation, video editing, and more. He was allowed the extra screen time, because the computer helped to distract him from the pain he endured from his disease which had no cure: Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

Our other son began drawing intently for hours up in his room. As we dealt with his brother being sick, along with his own long-awaited dental surgery for a serious injury, he found an escape into the beautiful world of art. He explored drawing with different types of writing instruments, and shocked us when we discovered the fine, detailed drawings he had created with pencil, colored pencil, and pen. He also was into studying wilderness survival skills. He read best-selling books on survival and prepared a backpack full of everything a hiker would need for an emergency. He loved spending time in the woods and could identify all types of trees, snakes, and bugs. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge about all kinds of wild animals.

Today, I stand here even more amazed! After my son received a miracle healing from Jesus, curing him from Eosinophilic Esophagitis, we still had to deal with my own chronic illness. God gave us answers there too, using a couple of specialists who confirmed its root; severe allergies to more things than I could have imagined. Hence, immunization therapy began for three members of our family. Recently, came the long overdue surgery for a collapsed disk in my back. God has brought us through so much, and He will continue to bring us through whatever else comes our way. We only need to trust Him. We are so excited about the plans God has to prosper our young men as they graduate. We know God’s plans are always good! My husband and I are in awe over the art, photography, music, web design, and entrepreneurship presenting itself as our young men graduate; especially with everything they have been through in their past.

We know our sons’ accomplishments are not because of us, but rather in spite of us; and that everything given to them has come because of the grace of God. We are now discussing business plans, and the recording of an EP. They now play drums; along with bass, acoustic, and electric guitar in our church worship band. Our son who is an artist has now advanced to beautifully crafted drawings in ink, and a vast knowledge of art history which blows my mind. Our son who is a computer expert has now advanced to learning code, and is getting paid for web design. All my anxiety, worry, and fears were for nothing!  Why am I even surprised at what God has done? After all, God always keeps His promises! And God has promised my sons a bright future as they walk with Him on the path which lies ahead!

Even in trials, God promises to take care of all of His children, which is why I’m so excited to see what the future holds for my young men! This is why my two young men can graduate, while walking towards the future with strength, courage, and confidence in Christ. This is why all Christian graduates can walk towards the future without fear, even if they don’t yet know what they want to do with their lives! God already knows what you will do in your life, and his plans for you are always good! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11 New International Version).

Thank you, God! Thank you that no matter what hardships we go through here on the earth, we don’t have to carry doubt, or be afraid. Your plans are always good, and you always prosper those of us who are your children… those of us who have a relationship with your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the confidence we have in him; both for today, and for the future! 

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Give God Your Failed Plans…God Prospers and  Encourages Us with Silver Linings, Smiles, and Truth

Sometimes you’re feeling down, maybe really down… and your eyes light on something out of the blue… something that makes you smile. Today it’s one of my daughter’s simple deer drawings. The notepad is lying open, because she’s working on her book, in my room, on the floor… because she never likes to be alone. They are all over the house, the books she creates… millions of them! She’s already the author and illustrator of many animal books about puppy dogs, deer, and lions!  If you’re struggling today, I hope this brightens your day; I find that children’s art always makes me smile. I love the innocence and cute charm of their simple pictures, don’t you? 

Today I can choose to look for the silver lining… the many gifts God gives me in spite of my struggles. There’s a mockingbird chirping outside of my window. Her mate has been feeding her yellow flowers all week long. It’s been so much fun to discover the male sitting atop our shed, being the lookout, then sailing into the woods, only to return and dash in to please her feeding her the delicious food he has found just for her. She’s chirped for him to come when she’s hungry. We’ve watched in awe at how he’s taken care of her. We laughed as I tried to capture the beautiful moment, only to see her “poop” on the deck. My daughter and I laughed until we almost cried! It was the silver lining in a moment that was not perfect.

I had perfection in mind for this weekend, with everything laid out exactly how it should go. But I forgot, as I still sometimes do, that my God doesn’t work like that. Everybody has free will, and because of that free will, there will be interruptions and problems which may interfere with my plans coming to fruition. But God’s plans always come to fruition, and His plans are the best, no matter what it looks like on the outside. I know this is how God works, but I forgot this weekend. I became extremely discouraged when a family argument prevented us from getting something completed that I felt was extremely important. 

And now as I write, God is at this moment revealing to me that He allowed it; not only because our family needed prayer time more than project time, but that He wanted me to see that this is often the struggle my husband has. My husband wants to “check things off the list.” He is learning that his list often does not coincide with what God wants him to do first. Well… in experiencing this frustration for myself this weekend, I realize now that God allowed it, so I could experience all the emotions my husband experiences when he doesn’t get to “check off that important item.” This helps me to better understand my husband, so I can keep praying for him. It also provides my husband an opportunity to empathize with me, because he knows exactly how it feels when something doesn’t get done.

God has a different checklist in mind than ours. His checklist is less about things getting done, and more about people’s hearts being changed to be more like Jesus. It’s a guarantee that if it comes down to a project getting done, or prayer time for hearts to be changed, God is going with the heart. Maybe we need to be less about getting things done, and more about spending time with God so he can change us. Yes, God cares about our projects too; but He cares more about our individual walk with Jesus. He cares so much, that when He knows a stormy argument is going to cause an upset, He provides the silver linings along the way; to give us hope, and to encourage us so we won’t give up! 

During the weekend which did not go as planned, God planned His gifts ahead of time, because He knew I’d need them to keep my spirit afloat when I felt myself sinking. Because of my abusive childhood, I tend to get extremely discouraged when there’s a family argument. I begin to listen to lies that tell me no one cares and that I’m not loved. As a child scapegoat living in a completely dysfunctional home, I was blamed for everything; neglected and ignored, told I should feel guilty, and that I ruined everything. The problems were not even about me. But when circumstances come along that feel familiar, so comes a spiritual attack, and I will feel myself drowning in discouragement. Though I’ve learned to battle the lies with the truth, sometimes I forget to use my power and authority in Jesus Christ and tell the devil to sit on a tack! 

The only way to chase away those lies is through prayer. Why? Because we can’t count on our emotions. Evil spirits lie to us, and strive to cause strife, division, and isolation in our families. But as my husband reminded my whole family last night; because our kids are fed and clothed and live in a nice clean house, some people may think from the outside that our family has it all together; just as people might have thought my family had it all together when I was a child. However, the truth is that all families struggle, but there is a vast difference when Jesus is in the middle of a family, as opposed to when he is not. My husband remarked that though Jesus was not at the center of my family when I was growing up, Jesus is at the center of OUR family now! All five of us have received Jesus into our hearts, and we all desire to have a relationship with him. 

Therefore, Jesus has always been with our family, even when we’ve been on different walks in our pursuit of him, and even when we haven’t understood how a healthy family functions. For, neither of us experienced God’s truths taught in our families; the truth that we are completely forgiven for all of our sins, the truth that we can battle lies with prayer, the truth that we are loved and cherished by God unconditionally, and so much more! We are creating a whole new generation for our children and children’s children; as we all pursue God and learn together, and find that we are loved beyond measure! Because our family pursues Jesus, and because our family prays together, we can have hope, and be encouraged that God is taking care of us through it all! 

And God knows we need tangible proof of His love for us. After all, we are only human. A huge silver lining that carried us through this weekend was an on-the-spot invitation from our dear family friends, as we left church. It came when George said, ” Hey! Do you guys wanna come over later for a barbecue?” My daughter couldn’t wait. She was watching the time, and asked if our friends still had their cats. They did.

It was the most delightful evening we’ve had in a long time: laughter with friends, delicious grilled chicken, and another unexpected guest to add to the fun. My precious friend, Kim, even served homemade strawberry shortcake in honor of my boys’ belated birthday. She also served my husband’s favorite; rhubarb sauce. We even had the heavy whipping cream at home, which we were gratefully able to contribute, because my husband had bought some the day just the day before. We don’t normally have this item in hand, but we bought some to use with our new ice cream maker. God even cares about the tiny details! The night ended with everyone hanging out near the chicken coop. The chickens’ silly antics made us laugh. Their individual personalities came out, and many of them enjoyed being carried or sitting on laps! It was just a really special night, when another family made our family feel important and loved. God orchestrated that! 

I know that it’s these silver linings on which God wants me to focus; not the hardships, even though it’s difficult when you  feel those strong emotions, and the lies feel so true. Though yesterday was tough, there was an absolutely glorious sunset last night, reminding me that God is Lord above us all; watching over everything and everyone. And right before I went to bed, a text message came from my pretty, cheerful friend, asking if she could take my daughter today for a play date. It couldn’t have come at a better time, and with a girlfriend my daughter absolutely adores! Now I will have some time to write, clean, and be creative; which I’ve been trying to do, but just have not been able to find a slice of time that works for me. Even though things are far from perfect, the silver lining which shines brightest, is knowing my family is pursuing Jesus through it all… every single day… together. 

I pray for you to find the sweet silver linings today, which God has already gifted to you in advance, because he wants to bring a smile to your face. When things don’t go as planned, don’t be dismayed. Remember this: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jer. 29:11-12 New International Version).


I’m going to meet with God today, and ask Him to brighten my day, and the day of anyone who reads this message of hope, truth, and encouragement. Today, I pray God reveals many of the silver linings He has prepared just for you, in Jesus’ name. May God continue to brighten my day… and yours!  

Boys at War… a Welcome Home Poem

I wrote this poem in 2003. So many U.S. Soldiers, both men and women, were leaving for Iraq, to fight in a war while the rest of us lived our lives in comfort and peace. My friend’s son was one of the soldiers who fought in Iraq. I presented her with a copy of this poem to encourage her and give her hope. I prayed with her, and together we asked God to bring her son safely back home. God heard our prayers, and every Memorial Day is a sweet reminder of God’s great mercy. But many soldiers were not as fortunate.  Many died, and many came back with severe physical injuries, and emotional injuries too. We don’t always understand God’s plan, but the silver lining is that God is good, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

That same year in 2003, I had the honor of my poem being chosen for a reading at our small town’s memorial service which took place under the gazebo in Rose Hill Park. This poem is called “Boys at War,” as a tribute to the men who have gone before us, when only boys were soldiers heading off to fight in a war. But this poem is still meant to honor ALL those who have gone to war on behalf of our country, both men and women, who have sacrificed their lives for the rest of us. This is for the soldiers who have made it home, and the soldiers who have not. It is to thank you, because we understand, that freedom is not free.

Boys at War 

Say a prayer, for our boys are at war.
What in the world are they fighting for?

Just that… our world… to keep it free.
They fight for you. They fight for me.

They risk their lives to save our own.
They’re in our hearts; they’re not alone.

God bless our boys, and let them know,​
America’s proud and loves them so.

Protect their heads down to their feet.
So they’ll come marching down our street

To flags and shouts of, “Welcome Home!”
Where freedom rings, so they can roam.  

And for the boys who don’t return,
Our tears will fall, our hearts will yearn.

Dear Lord, we know that some will die,
And they’ll be welcomed in the sky.

Comfort loved ones filled with sorrow.
Thank you, God, for our tomorrow.

When we’ve lived past 97,
We’ll bring flags with us to Heaven,

Smiling at each soldier’s face,
We’ll rejoice, and then embrace.

At that parade with lots of noise,
We’ll all yell thanks to God’s Brave Boys!

© 2003 by Angela Royse Pelleman

No matter what happens here on Earth, soldiers and their loved ones who receive Jesus, will one day be reunited in Heaven! 

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ ” (Rev. 21:24).

A Love Beyond Beautiful Birds

My daughter woke me this morning, so I could enjoy this beautiful gift! If God created even the birds to love and care for one another, then imagine how much more He loves and cares for US!

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” (Matt. 10:29 New International Version).​​​

In His infinite love, God created beautiful living creatures, and He gave them a natural instinct to care for one another. But God sent His own Son to die on a cross for you and me! God’s glorious, infinite love for human beings extends beyond that of any other creature in the entire universe. When you feel alone, unappreciated, and insignificant; look towards the silver lining…  In God’s eyes you are of great value and worth. Remember that the love God has for you is immeasurable!  

God is The Potter

Today is my birthday, and I’m thankful to God for giving me life, and offering me the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Because Jesus lives in me, The Holy Spirit changes me every year, molding me to become more like Jesus. 

When you’re a Christian, getting older is a reason to celebrate, for we gain wisdom, and we get closer and closer to living eternally in Heaven with our Savior.

God, you are my Potter. I am your clay. I’ve been dropped, broken, and repaired. But the silver lining is that Your light shines through the cracks. Thank you for creating me. Let my life inspire others as you shape me into a beautiful masterpiece. 

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Is. 64:8).

Two Cocoons: a Love Poem… My Premature Twins on their Teeny Tiny Miracle Journey 

Two Cocoons

When I see your tiny red naked bodies

clad only in diapers the size of a Kleenex,

I think that nothing is more fragile, and

you’re just like the wings of a butterfly.

 

While one of you cries out like a hungry kitten,

the other cries out like a bleating sheep.

It hurts to see you suffering,

but I know God is good.

All the other newborn babies are giants

lying near your skinny, premature bodies.

I long to hold you in my arms,

my two little boys, and breathe in your warmth.

 

Already, you both have heads with hair.

Your daddy smoothes it down for you,

making you look like little men. He holds

your hands in his, no bigger than his thumb.

Deep blue eyes peep out to take a

look around at the world, but bright

fluorescent lights make you pinch them shut.

You frown, and we laugh at the wrinkles between your eyebrows.

And with our laughter, and time,

comes more light. This light from

God brings changes, which give

us more hope and double happiness.

Bare naked bodies are leaving soft downy hair behind.

Wrinkly elephant knees are going away.

You’re filling out, and I’m so filled with joy

that my milk is helping you to grow.

 

I can see your ribs beneath your skin,

starting to disappear, and your tummies are poking out.

The hollow of each chest pulls in,

as you both use all your strength to breathe.

I marvel at the sight of your hands in mine.

You can barely curl them around my

magnified pinky, but you try, and you succeed,

and your knuckles turn white, because you don’t want me to go.

 

When you are both finally four pounds,

you still look like peanuts in your isolettes

or happy lima beans when you are all curled up.

You are happy that you are no longer bare,

but wrapped up snug and safe,

like caterpillars in your cocoons.

I’m your mommy,

your butterfly,

holding you tight,

and I can’t wait to fly you home with me.

© 1999 Angela Royse Pelleman


“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 New International Version). 

My babies have grown up before my very eyes. Today they are 18 years old, and no longer boys, but young men. I thank God for bringing us through our many trials. Their very lives are a miracle, for they were born 2-1/2 months early, at 29 weeks. The older by just 15 minutes was only 2 pounds, 15 ounces. His twin was not much bigger, at 3 pounds, 5 ounces. The older spent 1-1/2 months in the NICU, and his brother came home after two months. Our family was finally together!  Both babies spent five months attached to heart and lung monitors, and the second twin needed an oxygen tank. We had to learn CPR.  It was not an easy road for them, nor for our family; but God has never left our side. There has been trauma and severe illness along the way, but our God has been Faithful; and He has given us miracle healings through Jesus Christ. My young men are overcomers; victorious because their strength lies in Christ alone.

I am grateful for the many gifts and talents which God has bestowed upon them in His infinite mercy, grace, and love. As homeschoolers, they are now graduating from high school, and we look forward to what God has planned for their futures. God has given them some amazing gifts and talents in the areas of art, music, computer science, and politics; and we are excited to watch them fly!  But what gives me the most joy, is the comfort that both of them have knowledge, wisdom, and discernment in the Word of God. They chose to give their lives to Jesus at the tender age of four. So, as I struggle with a bit of sadness for having to say goodbye to their childhood years, I look towards the silver lining: My young men will always be children of God! They can go to Him in their greatest times of need, for they have privileges which are only given to children of God, through Jesus Christ. They have God’s protection and the ability to approach His throne without fear. They are cleansed by the blood of Jesus for their past, present, and future sins. Rejoice!

Thank you God for watching over my children who are men today. Thank you for watching over them as they get ready to make their way into the world as adults. Watch over them, guide them, and give them extra wisdom and discernment. Cover them with the blood of Jesus, and surround them with your hedge of protection, in Jesus’ name. Be their spiritual eyes and ears, as they go about working, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Give them courage and strength to reach the lost. like King David; bless them, Lord, and make them men after your own heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, and I thank you for the privilege of raising these two precious souls, who received you so young; and were baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit! Amen! 


“Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15).


Before Your Loved Ones Die, Give Them Jesus… Expect a Miracle!

I can’t believe it’s been six years since my friend Donna Dehart passed away. I love this photo of the two of us giggling, trying to play the Wii (and failing miserably) on Christmas Day, 2008. It’s the only photo I have of the two of us together. 

Donna’s daughters were at their dad’s on Christmas Day, so we had the blessing of having her spend Christmas Day with my family.  We enjoyed good food, love and laughter, and the fun of playing with Christmas toys! That Christmas, Donna gave me a beautiful gift. I opened a small, delicate ceramic angel box; and what was inside, took my breath away: Donna had written wise sayings on teeny tiny pieces of long paper, and she had curled them around a pencil. Then she had lovingly placed them one by one, into the angel box… just…for…ME! One of the sayings said, “Expect a miracle… Expect a miracle…”

Even though I knew Donna struggled greatly with chronic illness, I had no idea God would take my friend home just three years later. Donna was adamant that Jesus was a great teacher, and that was where it ended. She was stubborn when it came to her beliefs, so I decided to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for my friend; so she could see Jesus living me! We had lunch dates, painted in art class together, met at the Farmer’s Market, shared secrets, and had spiritual conversations on the phone. 

Finally,  against everything she said she wouldn’t do; she began to attend my church, where some of my friends had been loving on her and ministering to her too. We also formed a team to help her with house repairs, and another friend fixed her vintage car; which was in the garage more than out, and ran on a few bucks and a prayer! My sisters and brothers in Christ let our love speak for itself. 

Donna didn’t have much as far as earthly possessions, but she had a contagious laugh and positive attitude that filled me up. She had a fierce love for her daughters, and great empathy for animals without a home; so great, that she gave them a home at her own house! Though we didn’t always agree, our friendship was one of respect, trust, loyalty, and love. Donna did believe in Jesus and his death and resurrection, but she would only let me witness up to a certain point. I had to trust that God would reveal Himself through compassion from our church, other godly organizations, and her Christian friends. 

When she lay in the hospital, close to death, and unresponsive; I thought of the silver lining… Expect a miracle. I prayed an intercessory prayer for her. I held her hand and whispered in her ear, and I asked her to receive Christ if she had not. I told her it wasn’t too late, and she could receive Jesus without talking. While still whispering in her ear, so she could hear me above the noisy machines working hard to keep her alive, I asked God in his infinite mercy to let her hear my prayer. I asked God to lead her to say yes in her heart, and to have peace, so she could go to Heaven. I told her I would meet her there, and I kissed her goodbye. And to this day, I… expect a miracle!

We never know how much time we have with our friends and family here in earth. Tell them about Jesus while you can, even if it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do! People need Jesus, and they are more ready to receive him than we realize. Out of every act of friendship, telling someone about Jesus is the most loving thing you can ever do! 

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).


Here’s how I think of you, up in Heaven, my dear, precious friend! Peace be with you!

This is the poem I wrote and read for Donna’s memorial service:

Dear Donna, this is what I know;

that lots of people loved you so.

 

You truly had a heart of gold,

so kind to others: young and old,

 

Accepted people as they are;

It’s why you’re still a shining star.

 

Down on his luck, you’d find a friend,

Make up a bed, and take him in.

 

A dog or cat left out to roam

Could find your house and call it home.

 

I’ll not forget your loyalty…

You named a chicken after me!

 

Nature, music, animals, art:

Happy passions of your heart.

 

But even more, you loved your girls,

Who brought you pride and filled your world.

 

Long black hair, and a great big smile,

Always time to chat for a while.

 

Your hearty laugh would make my day,

My troubles would just melt away.

 

A flash of green erased my frown;

Your Ford Galaxy on the town!

 

 When my heart hurts, I’ll feel a tug,

and give myself a “great big hug”.

 

My friend, why did you have to go?

It’s hard, but now I think I know.

 

God must have had some extra paint.

He looked until he found a saint.

 

He thought He’d free you from your pain

And since you loved the sun and rain,

 

He’d give you something fun to do,

And make you feel much better too.

 

You’d paint His rainbows with His brush

To be enjoyed by all of us. 

 

When orange and purple clouds roll by,

I’ll know you’re painting in the sky!

 

 ~Angela Royse Pelleman

   © 2011