Grandma’s Weapon

“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”                                                                 – Mahatma Gandhi

Upon returning home from visiting relatives in southern Idaho, I’m thankful for the opportunity to once again see my 93 year-old Grandma.


About four years ago, chemotherapy for Lymphoma exhausted Grandma. So she opted out of treatments. At that time, we thought we were saying our final good-byes until heaven.

But Grandma’s family and church family kept praying for her. I recall my seven year-old (at that time) daily pleading with God for her healing.

Grandma’s cancer has been in remission ever since.

I’m not advocating a prayer formula. Sometimes God answers “yes.” Sometimes He says “no.” Sometimes He says “wait.” Other times, healing and rewards don’t come until heaven (Hebrews 11:37-40). But God’s grace and presence is always available to the seeker (2 Corinthians 12:9).

My Grandma has been an amazing lady—a Proverbs 31 kind of lady. Her closeness to the Lord results from persistent prayer, Bible study, and obedience. Her life is graced with wisdom, integrity, strength, and resourcefulness. Love, joy and peace also characterize her hospitable life.

Grandpa made these clocks. Grandma painted them. They gave them to their Great Grandchildren.

Grandpa made these clocks. Grandma painted them. They recently gave them to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. . . . A reminder to pray at all times.

When I think of Grandma, I’m reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Grandma persistently prays for each of her family members. (For more on persistent prayer and faith, see Luke 18:1-8.)

How many times has the Lord protected myself and loved ones from unknown dangers due to her prayers? I don’t know, but my guess is a lot. I credit her prayers for saving me from what could have been a potentially abusive relationship before I married.

God upholds and works on behalf of his children.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  – James 5:16

We’re not promised a trouble free life, but we can rely on God’s faithfulness and strength when troubles arise.

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”  – Psalm 50:15

How is your prayer life? Where or whom do you turn to when troubles come?

Works God Requires

School is out and for the summer. My kids are electrified.


Wish I felt the same. Actually, I am excited to go biking and camping with Eric and the kids, and visit relatives. With baseball season extending through June, then swim lessons and basketball camp, summer will come and go all too soon. I began planning my next posts, afraid my writing will become jumbled with my kids being home. (My desk is the kitchen table. Sigh.) So please be patient if I become more scattered—makes for a good excuse anyway! 🙂

Since I haven’t written much about “Service,” I thought I would explore there. And I am, but not sharing what I envisioned in terms of hands-on ministry ideas and examples, at least not yet. The Lord keeps reminding me of the following passage:

 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”  – John 6:28-29

In this passage, pisteuō is the Greek word for believe. It means not just to credit as real: “Even the demons believe (in one God)—and shudder,” James 2:19. But this term also means to trust; be persuaded of; place confidence in. It implies reliance upon.

God’s satisfaction with us is based on our trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, not on the works we do.

Yes, “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26), but our service, obedience, and following God are not substitutions for salvation or earning God’s favor. Rather, our service to God verifies our faith in Christ.

My next few posts will center on God’s saving faith through Jesus, the eternal God.

I have been blessed and challenged in sharing God’s truths here, as well as encouraged by reading several others’ posts. THANK YOU to everyone who has encouraged me in this pursuit. The Lord laid this blogging thing on my heart when my husband was sick in the hospital last winter. After some prayer, He made it clear what I should write—which I’m thankful. (Trust me, you don’t want to read about my daily tasks or what we ate for dinner.) 🙂 Anyway, I enjoy digging into God’s Word. I love how the Holy Spirit speaks personally to the sincere seeker.

Is there a topic you are interested in? What are your summer plans? Anyone planning a vacation? Camping? New job? New hobby? Old hobby? Any prayer requests? I would love to hear from you!

All For One

Before my 10 year-old attended camp, my husband and I told him: “Remember, you represent us.”

Translation: “Behave!”

Before the apostle Paul taught about spiritual gifts to the Ephesians, he admonished:

Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”   – Ephesians 4:1

Translation: “Behave! You are Christ’s own. You represent the King. Therefore, be humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful.”

About five years earlier, Paul appealed to the Corinthian church to be unified. Their spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries instead of God’s intended purpose of building and edifying the church.

How important is unity to our Lord? On the threshold of His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for us―future believers:

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you, (God the Father), sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  – John 17:22-23

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul continued on this thought:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit―just as you were called to one hope . . . .―one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”    – Ephesians 4:3-6

I counted nine ‘ones’ in the above two passages. Working together in unity is extremely important to God. Thankfully, our oneness doesn’t make us clones. Wouldn’t that be boring! God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities.

As the body of Christ―God’s church―we can accomplish far more together than we ever could individually.

God’s oneness of believers is opposite of society’s definition of being number one (Luke 14:19). By seeking God’s approval we can avoid the  superstar syndrome.

How can the church be one and avoid division with our diversity? I would love to see your comments.

Sublime Design

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”   –   Psalm 139:14


You are not a mistake.

Psalm 139 testifies to God’s grand love and design for us. God is in the business of molding all our circumstances, confusion, shattered dreams, past mistakes and sins into a beautiful pattern―for those who love God (Romans 8:28).

The following acronym is helpful for me in determining my vocational work and place in God’s kingdom-call:


Desires: Consider your interests. Pay attention to stories and songs that stir your heart. I empathize with lost and hurting people. I also love God’s Word and desire to share His freeing truth. What are your heart’s desires?

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”    –  Psalm 37:4

Experiences: What do you know? What skills do you possess? How has God helped you in past challenges? I went through a difficult time in college. I’ve shared how God used and helped me through that painful season in Faith Writer’s book, Trials and Triumphs, along with 39 other writers. I would love to hear your story!

Spiritual Gifts: These are gifts given from the Holy Spirit, meant to be used in service of God’s church (Romans 12:4-5). The Holy Spirit empowers believers to contribute to the church’s unity and growth: both in numbers and in maturity. The following passages mention these spiritual gifts: Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; and 1 Corinthians 12:28-30.

Individual Style: Are you more compliant or dominant? Introverted or extroverted? Detached or compassionate? Cautious or Adventurous? I fall in the middle of introverted and extroverted. I am more compassionate, conscientious and adventurous than not. How about you? What are your dominant personality factors? God wants to use your unique style.

Growth Phase: God wants us to be lifelong learners in His Word (2 Timothy 2:15), in our kingdom-call, and in our vocations. What steps are you taking to grow in knowledge? My first priority is reading/studying the Bible and prayer. It’s where I learn to hear God’s voice/direction. Next, I want to grow as a parent and wife. I also want to develop my writing and photography skills through practice and classes.

Natural Abilities: God has given everyone abilities. I am not mechanical like my husband. But I have a vivid imagination. He helps me with the nuts and bolts. I help him see endless possibilities. 🙂 What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at?

God has good plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11)

Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”   –  Psalm 139:16

The following link will take you to a Disney favorite, “When I Grow Up” by Colin Hesterly. Enjoy!

God’s Masterpiece

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  – Ephesians 2:10


While our efforts can’t earn salvation, our gratitude for Christ’s free gift should result in acts of service. We are not saved just for our own benefit, but to serve Christ and build up His church.

You are special! In Christ, you are God’s work of art, His poem. And God had you in mind for a specific job(s) when He created you.

God has blessed you with abilities and, (if you are His child), spiritual gifts. No one will ever possess your unique set of talents, ideas, abilities, feelings, and exact physical traits.

God’s plans for you are as unique and special as you are. God knows you inside and out (Psalm 139). He will not only use your strengths, but also use your surrendered weaknesses for His glory (2 Corinthians 12:10).

From Jacob’s 12 sons to the 12 disciples, it’s clear: God specializes in using ordinary people in extraordinary ways. And in God’s economy, the seemingly insignificant tasks―when done with the right attitude―honor Him (1 Corinthians 12:22-25).

The Christian life is full of paradoxes. In a society where self is glorified and competition reigns, the idea of serving God and others fly contrary to our selfish desires and comfort zones. But when we place Christ first and follow His lead, we position ourselves to experience His abundant life; the greatest fulfillment. If that isn’t enough, God also uses our obedient faith steps and rewards our efforts, even though He knows we’ll mess up at times (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Reading the Bible, prayer, trust in Christ, and listening to godly counsel are the keys to knowing God’s directives.

What are some of the good works God has prepared for you?