This picture of reNEWal in nature gives proof of God’s reNEWing power! A tree appears lifeless as all it has to offer are a few long stems, frail and barren, protruding from the ground. As it survives winter with no appearance of life, suddenly those few scraggly, scrawny sticks are reNEWed as blossoms pop forth with NEW LIFE! 

This is what I love about Easter! 

The MIRACLE that we are reNEWed daily!

That “old” is reNEWed and made vibrant again through the reNEWing power of Jesus Christ!

I need that touch as my branches feel sparse and scorched. I need that touch as I feel depleted and tired. I need to know that God promises reNEWal of all things as life ruthlessly takes it’s toll!

Easter promises all this and more!

Not only will my earthly state be reNEWed through the touch of Jesus on my life, but greater, Oh so much greater than that, I WILL BE MADE NEW IN ETERNITY WITH HIM FOREVER BY THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION!

Don’t take it from me, listen to His words of true reNEWal…THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST!

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, The man said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.’ And they remembered His words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.”  Luke 24:1-9

No greater or more powerful words have ever been spoken! 

They are TRUE my friend! 

Jesus Christ has risen from the grave! Because of His once and for ALL sacrifice, we now can be reNEWed daily and forever into eternity!



My prayer this Easter, is that I remember that I am forever reNEWed by His RESURRECTION POWER, and that I thank Him by living a reNEWed life every day!


Speak Truth Love

Can Joy survive discouragement , trials, disappointment , troubles, and even darkness?

The answer is…If our JOY is founded in Jesus Christ, then it can not only SURVIVE anything and everything we go through, it can FLOURISH!

Admittedly, I am a Mountain Top Gal! A “cup half full,” is my favorite beverage! 

I lean into positivity like it is a hot fudge sundae or a delicious cupcake! My husband can be quoted as saying, “My wife is so optimistic that she is not always realistic.”

Problem is, I am not being “unrealistic” for me! I believe with all my heart that it can be done! NEVER SAY DIE! NEVER SAY NO! NEVER LIMIT YOURSELF WITH THE B WORD, ‘BOUNDARIES!’ ‘The Little Engine That Could, is my Mantra, “I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN!”

So what happens to the Mountain Top Gal when reality smashes into positivity?


Living on the peak of the mountain, can land you covered in a pile of rock and rubble after the avalanche settles!

It can be something as small as returning from a family celebration and missing my children and grandchildren all over again.

It can be as gigantic as watching my mom slowly fade away as her original self is swallowed up by Alzheimer’s.

Friends, you can fill in the blanks with me… Health turns to illness, wealth turns to poverty, friendship turns to betrayal, freedom turns to captivity…

What is it for you? If you are living on planet earth, then you too are confronted with the ebb and flow of happiness to sorrow.

Friend, what it takes is a MIND SET SHIFT.

Christ followers have a secret, they can have Joy that stays even in times of trouble, trial, discouragement and disappointment. We just have to shift our mindset to that of Jesus Christ!

Jesus sets the example for us. His JOY not only survived, but it flourished in the midst of his trials. 

Jesus told His followers,

Blessed are you when men hate you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for Joy.
Luke 6:22-23

Look at the mindset shift the early followers of Jesus displayed.

James said it like this,

My brothers and sisters, count it all JOY when you fall into various trials.


Paul and Silas, even while in jail maintained a mindset of joy,

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Acts 16:25

While in prison, beaten and bloody, not even knowing what the next day held, they had a mindset of a joy in Jesus!

That kind of joy is what I want to express and display to those who are, “watching me pray and sing hymns to God.”

Friends, we live in a culture of instant gratification where we expect constant amusement. It is hard to understand suffering producing joy! But when we shift our mindset to that of our Lord Jesus Christ, we too will learn to stop living for just today, and live in the anticipated joy that comes at the end to all who follow Christ Jesus!

We too, will be able to echo the words of Paul,

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race(my life), with JOY!

Acts 20:24



Speak Truth Love

When Marriage is a Blessing!

Have you ever received a gift that was so unexpected and so undeserved that it literally blew your mind?

I’m not just talking about the kind of gift you get on Christmas morning that makes you jump up and down because it’s exactly what you wanted! I’m not even talking about a birthday gift that makes your heart swell four times its original size and burst your heart monitor just like the grinch! 

I AM talking about a gift that is so deep, so true, and so profound that it can only be classified as a blessing from God!

Blessing is defined as: the privileged recipient of God’s favor!

Blessings from God come in all different sizes, shapes and packages! We all have them, I just don’t think we always recognize them as God’s favor to us. Much of the time, that’s because we don’t even understand what a true blessing is.

It is not a gift, in the material sense, that’s here today and gone tomorrow. It is also not a gift in the spiritual sense, that is a fruit of the spirit, to be used for God’s glory and purposes! 

A blessing from God is something He gives you simply because He wants to show you how much He loves you!

You are the recipient not because you’ve earned it or deserve it, but simply because God wants to give you the blessing of His favor because He loves you!

A true blessing from God reminds us that no matter what we go through in life, we have a great big God who truly is in control and loves us more than anything else!

I am the privileged recipient of God’s favor in the greatest blessing that he has given me in the gift of my marriage!

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24-25

Now I know that when the “M” word is used, marriage, it’s stirs up all kinds of emotions. Some of us have found God‘s favor and blessing in marriage, but some of us have found God‘s favor and blessings in other areas! God does not weigh or measure how much He loves us by the blessings that He gives us. He loves us all exactly the same…He loves us all so very much that He sacrificed His Son on our behalf so that we could have access and live with Him forever and ever! No greater love has ever been demonstrated! However, while we are here on earth, only for the amount of time known to God alone, I do believe that He gives blessings to all of us! The point of this Blog is to recognize what a true blessing from God is and to give Him the glory and credit for it!

While my greatest blessing from God, my marriage and my husband, are not perfect, my God is! 


A blessing from God shows His favor and love toward us!

My marriage has had good times and rough times just like everyone else. But the fact that it is a blessing and a gift from God to me is undeniable!

Today, I want to thank God for blessing me with this birthday boy, I get to call my husband!

Taking the time two pause, reflect, and recognize the true blessings God has made you the recipient of, causes us to realize how so very much God truly loves us!

My husband is the greatest adventurer I know! And he takes me on life‘s greatest adventures with him! We’ve skied the highest mountains, hiked amazing trails, explored distant countries, raised children, loved grandchildren, forged treacherous waters of disappointment, betrayal, and loss. Yet everyday, through the highs and through the lows, we have woken up with the same united purpose, love God, love others and serve God until He calls us home! 

This is why, on this very special day, when my husband celebrates the day he was born, I can clearly say, “thank you God for my marriage, my greatest blessing from you! I love you back!”

Happy birthday to the most incredible man I know! I am privileged, honored, and ever thankful to God for blessing me with you!

Friends, I think my grandma was right. She always used to tell me to sing this song and to remember that each and everyday God loves me and He gives me His blessings!

‘Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done!’

Count your blessings today friend and know that you are immensely loved by God!

Speak Truth Love


Friends, I hope that after you have read my title of this weeks blog that you have kept reading! I realize that the word HATE is not a socially correct word to use. I further realize that it is not a very nice “Christian” word to use either! 

I know that it can be misused, overused and used with little or no thought. I also believe that it can be used quite appropriately and accurately if understood properly!

One of my favorite stories of my sister-in-law and I raising our children together when they were young is the story of my niece, who happens to be the youngest of all five of our children combined. She was sitting down one evening with all of us at the dining room table at my mother-in-law‘s to have dinner. My sister-in-law had “outlawed“ the word HATE with her children. I agreed with her on this, it is a very harsh word and children rarely understand the true meaning of it. My niece sat down quietly and politely at the dining room table with all of us already seated there. She looked at the food in the middle of the table and began to pound her little toddler fists firmly on the table and repeat in a very loud voice,” I really, really, really, really DON’T LOVE this food!”

Now, while she gets incredible points for obedience, her meaning was crystal clear! She HATED The food on the dinner table!

The dictionary definition of HATE is,

“to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for, or extreme hostility toward; DETEST.”  

To put this into terms that we can relate to and swallow, it would be “to hate the enemy.”  And I do, truly do, HATE the enemy of our souls, the devil!  And “to hate bigotry.” And I truly do!

To give hate a biblical definition, the Bible puts it this way: Paul says in Romans, 

Hate what is evil, and cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9. 

Given this definition, we must understand what is truly evil in God’s eyes, and hate it, while also understanding what is truly good, and cling to it!  

In our human nature, this is not easy to do. We allow personal preferences–the way we were raised, our likes, our priorities–to become in our eyes and by our standards what is “good!” And on the flip side of that, we allow our fears and our misunderstandings to become things we actually hate. For example, I hate going to the dentist!  Now while I am sure most people would agree with me, there are some who don’t mind it. But in reality, going to the dentist isn’t something to hate, because it produces a good outcome that is for my benefit. Me not liking going to the dentist is not actually hating it. It is just a very strong dislike for something that is not pleasant, but will produce a good outcome for my life.

I have used the word “hate” about the dentist most of my life. But if I am putting it into biblical terms, I do not actually hate it, because I am grateful for the fact that it ultimately fixes my teeth, makes me healthy, and eventually relieves pain. Those are all good things! 

So back to when my niece used the phrase, “I really really really don’t love it,” was fairly accurate! The food on the table wasn’t to her liking. It wasn’t her preference or what she wanted to eat. She didn’t even know the food was good for her. She just didn’t like the taste. Even though she would have preferred ice cream and cookies, her loving parents knew this would not produce a healthy outcome for her little body. 

This brings us to our spiritual nature and the Holy Spirit of God that we have, as believers, working through us. In His strength this is easier to do. Though God doesn’t always spell out what we are to hate in every detail, through His word we can discern what is evil, and what we are actually to hate. For example, we are to hate child sex trafficking. Why? Because it deeply harms children, exploits them mercilessly, and (at least potentially) ruins their lives. Killing innocent people who are non-combatants is evil. Slandering someone’s character falsely is evil. As Jesus says in Matthew 18, for example, 

But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6. 

Here is an example of Jesus hating evil, and calling that person into God’s righteous judgment. 



Think about the things that you hate. 

Does God also hate them?  

If He doesn’t hate them, you may have to rethink and rephrase what you “really really really don’t love.”

Speak Truth Love

What is resting anyway?

I struggle with the concept of Sabbath.

I perfectly understand the Biblical definition, and I agree with it wholeheartedly! But translating that Biblical truth into my life and character is a whole different ball game!

Even when I desperately need rest and spiritual filling, it is still hard for me to “Sabbath.“

I know there is a need to recharge, recoup, relax, restore, and refuel my tired, weary body, mind, Spirit and soul.

Yet demands of life and time restraints keep me from Sabbath! Then there’s financial reasons to not go to a quiet still place, coupled with major character flaws that don’t allow me to truly Sabbath in a home I feel the need to take care of constantly.

And those character flaws I just mentioned, also hinder me from sitting in a beautiful green spot as I do my best to focus while the wind beats on me, the sun bakes me or the bugs bite me! Then my focus is truly taken away and I’m not really resting at all!

What are your excuses? 

What are the habits, the obstacles of life, and the character flaws that keep you from truly having a Sabbath rest?

Maybe you need someone who cares about you, loves you and knows that Sabbath rest is an essential part of a healthy spiritual life!

Enter a faithful friend who knows what you need and cares enough to make it happen!

Getting away to a place where your mind, heart and eyes are free of duties, obligations and responsibilities is key. 

Spending time in Gods creation, reading His Truth, singing songs of worship to Him and resting from work is truly SABBATH!

We ALL need it! God tells us that we do! However, the Biblical mandate to SABBATH is to allow us to focus on God, renew our spirits with His love and presence and to restore our selves back to serving Him.

While it is vital to carve out the important time to Sabbath, it is also vital to not Sabbath for too long!

Quote from the Elijah study by Priscilla Shirer, 

“Comfort and steadiness is what we crave, but overstaying our welcome in one place can rob us of the work God intends to do in us at the next one.”

Sabbath is not intended to be an every day practice. As hard as it may be to get there and truly receive a Sabbath rest, we also must caution ourselves from staying there too long!

You know the old saying,

“Guests are like dead fish: they start to stink after three days!”

So, if we want to maintain a pleasant aroma and still receive rest we must learn to truly Sabbath!

Biblical definition of Sabbath: A day of rest, ceasing from all work, dedicated to the God.

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…Sabbath day of rest is dedicated to The Lord your God. On that day no one in your household can do any work.” Exodus 20:8,10



Returning from that Sabbath experience lifted my spirit and recharged me to serve God with renewed strength! 

I felt like David of old,

He led me to green pastures. He led beside quiet waters. He restored my soul.” 

Psalm 23:2

Speak Truth Love