Saturday, June 29, 2013

WHY I WROTE MY BOOK~The reason behind the book

My first thought upon waking this morning was that I really should tell my readers what led me to write my book, THE MEETING PLACE: Moments with God at Lookout Point.  I want to encourage you to buy a copy, not because it is exceptional nor fancy, not because it would go to my ego or increase sales. NOT FOR ME. FOR YOU! Because this book has something to give, that is real, that will touch you or move you. It is written for those who have suffered.  It leads to a place of comfort. Let me explain.

I hurt. What took me to the Lookout in the first place was the pain in my heart. I found myself there, surrounded by its beauty on Good Friday morning in 2009.  The pain came from a broken heart, something that had happened six months before and continued on and on, causing me a sadness I could not remove.  He had been the best friend I had ever known in the male category. I found in him a kindness and thoughtfulness I had not known before. He made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. When he looked at me, the term “adored” comes to mind.  I had been divorced for five years, and he was the first one I allowed to come close. The damage I had sustained years earlier had destroyed a part of me, that part that believes in one’s own value and the tender graces that make up a woman of God.   

No, people couldn’t see it, yet it was there.  I had kept myself from dating so I could become well in my person before opening that door, if I ever would. Besides, I was too busy with church, family, and work! I never had done the singles thing, I had no interest in it.  It was my daughter in college who wanted me to get out of my rut, and wanted to see me smile again.  She decided to help me move forward with an on-line dating service which matches personalities and interests. She did this while I was cooking Easter dinner, asking me a myriad of questions as she entered my responses. E-Harmony soon matched me with him. We lived in neighboring towns.  We were friends for many months before becoming closer, not even sharing affectionate gestures until the relationship solidified half a year later.  He wanted to do it right, to establish our friendship and caring first.  Life had hurt him, too. Only in recent years had he turned his life to God and been given a new start and purpose. We experienced a rare connection on many levels.

God knew what I needed in giving me this friendship.  This man helped me. Through his kindness and care I found my inner womanhood I had lost so long before, who had felt so unloved and unwanted. His care was pure, deep, true. Yet, I couldn't go there completely. Even though he treated me well and was good to me in a gentle way, I was the one who ended our relationship. 

A fool or wise? It ended because of our church differences. I didn’t think it could work. I found myself being pulled in two ways, my love and caring for him in one way, and my love and caring for my church and its beliefs in the other way. I had promised myself to God, and I knew God's plan for me had to come first.  Before the breakup I found myself debating our differences in my mind. Some of it was over biblical things like doctrine and theology.  This man was also pursuing God’s direction in His church, it was leading him toward shepherd status. As I thought it through, I believed it was best for him to have a woman by his side who interpreted scripture the same as he did, someone with the same theological positions. I didn't know how deeply it would hurt me, how much I cared, nor how it would be like grief and sorrow in the aftermath.

Later God showed me that when He is in something He makes a way. And that I could find a home in a liturgical church and be at peace. But, I was short-sighted at the time, worrying about losing certain ways of worship found in my church’s approach and delivery. In time, God used this to open my eyes to the central truths about scripture and to see the universal Church in a new light.  He showed me many other things through my intentional reading and times of prayer. I grew from this experience in many ways. It broadened my understanding in rich and amazing ways. I opened a new door and walked through. This would not have happened without my lost friendship. I saw something I had missed out on in my past spiritual teachings and experiences. But that is another story.

What had seemed right at the time, took a turn the other way.  The man who had grown to mean so much to me chose to let my friendship go. What I had done seemed like a form of betrayal.  It was then that I realized that in my honesty I had been misunderstood.  But, the damage was done, the relationship irretrievable, and it was over between us. No longer would this friend be a part of my life nor would we have contact.  Not in a million years had I thought that I would lose this friendship. I hadn’t expected this result.  I had believed we would be friends for life regardless of the status of our relationship.  

The door was shut.  It became clear to me in the months to follow, that my love for him ran deep. I realized that I could judge him, but what good would that do? What he had done for me in being a part of my life though only temporarily, far surpassed anything else, trumped the closed door.  I wanted this friendship to renew.  I wanted his forgiveness most of all. I wrote him and shared my thoughts, tried to explain.  In the next few months, I saw him a couple of times, and I asked his forgiveness. I felt my feelings stir and collide.  And, I understood that my heart was not free.

What do you do with that type of sorrow, the regret?  You can’t ignore it.  You can’t give into it when it feels like a dark shadow following you around making your days sad and lonely. You have to do something or go crazy. I realized I was in a state of grieving. In time I surrendered it all to God and trusted Him to help me. I prayed often and fervently.  And, I turned to my writing to help assuage the hurt.

Because of this sorrow I found myself at the Lookout. I made a commitment to one-hour weekly visits to its overlook during my second visit to Lookout Point in Paradise, California.  These would be one-hour visits.  I would observe, think, pray, and seek God, writing my thoughts throughout the process.  In turn, He would minister to me.  My love of nature with its sense of wonder would propel this forward into a thing of beauty. It soon became the best hour of my week.  I'd sit there or walk by the railing, thinking and praying.  Soon thoughts would begin to form and I'd write them out in long-hand in a spiral notebook.  It was hard to squeeze the time in but I made myself do it.  I asked God to speak to me.  He did. He gave me many wonderful considerations.  In a form of consolation, He spoke to my inner brokenness and need.

 A few months into it I reread my journal entries.  I typed out a few for a friend whose husband was suffering with cancer and sent them off via email.  Later, I decided to compile them into book form, thinking they could help people. My heart’s desire was that the writings would show the way to intimacy with God.  I find God to be very real and extremely caring.  
My first shipment of books arrives, October 11, 2012.
Amazon Link is HERE
Comments received:

I tried to get through your book quickly and learned it is like eating too much of a rich desert. So I slowed down and read a few pages at a time giving myself time to meditate upon your words. Indeed they are rich and deep. I can see many books in your future. You encourage me more than I can say. . . The Reflective Prayer was a "speak to the heart" prayer. What I like about it is it can fit any occasion. . . The depth, tone, and richness of the words moved me deeply.”                                      
                                               L., writer

My Mom picked (your book) up first and it is really ministering to her heart. Every time she puts it down to go to bed she comes to me, crying and saying, this book is so good." She loves how you look at God and I believe it is really encouraging her with this walk in life with Dad (he has Alzheimer’s). It has been hard so thank you for being used by God.”          
                                                C., missionary

I read you book and I was so blessed. It was amazing! I so enjoyed your sincere intimate walk with God and sharing daily struggles and listening to our Father, being faithful to trust him.
Since I have not read an entire book in many years (I read so much at work) this is my testimony of how special your book is. I usually start reading and am asleep in minutes, but I could not stop reading your book. God Bless you for sharing your faith in this beautiful way. . . I will be sharing with my family and friends.”                           
                                                K., insurance agent

I have just started your book.  I am in Awe.  I am already convinced you met God and listened to HIM. You have touched my heart greatly as I read your message and God’s message.  Your writing is amazing.  You capture me with each day.  You bring tears to my eyes as I read your pain. Your truths are God’s Word. I know with all my heart this book came because you have gone through the fire. I will read this book slowly and I will allow God to speak to me.”     
                                                K., hostess

What a wonderful  writer, you are!!!  Your book is not one you can just sit down and read.  The kind I love! in the spiritual, as well as, statistical. I think I've read all of Malcolm Gladwell's books,  The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, etc.  That's why I've always been drawn to Christian authors like C. S. Lewis.  You can't just "sit down and read any of his books" . . . Your book is one of great depth and vision; such detail and so personal. . .I had my friend read aloud while I was driving, she said,  ‘what is this, who is this?  I want one!’  so I will get her one and some of my other friends, too. . . You have a wonderful way of seeing God in nature and loving it enough to explain it, giving a sense of vision to the reader.”             
                                                C., real estate agent

Nice review by Dan Barnett of your book in the Chico E-R (newspaper) yesterday! I am reading it and it is blessing me so much.”                                                                                 K., radio personality

Thursday, June 27, 2013



Being abandoned hurts our inner person. Abandonment harms and destroys our trust in people. Abandonment alters the view of self and changes the outlook. The self view that is interpreted says that we are unwanted as a person, not worth wanting. The emotional damage has fall-out that impacts the person and the person's relationships. There are many ways humans are abandoned by other people. None of them are without repercussions.  Knowing someone didn't want us or wasn't willing to fight for us is a devastating thought. We compensate, or get angry, or act out our feelings.  Some choose to over-perform, to show their worth and value to others, trying to dispel the inner belief that they weren't wanted by someone who should have wanted them. This pain is often unacknowledged or unrecognized.  A person goes on with their life, doing the best they can.  Until the pain surfaces and cannot be ignored any longer.

Interventions come in many forms. Psychologists and counselors do their best to help the suffering understand the out-working of abandonment.  Psychological therapy is useful and helps with understanding the processes and inner workings of feelings of being unwanted, the natural result of being abandoned. However, understanding is not healing. Counseling helps...a lot. Behaviors can modify, can overcome, and can compensate. Yet, they do not remove the pain nor cure the hurt, they are unable to heal the emotional wound.

I experienced abandonment three times in my marriage.  The pain was beyond belief. I had not been raised with these sorts of things. The innocent became less innocent. She became a person in control on the outside but deeply wounded and devastated on the inside. The pain felt like an assault on my inner person.  Although I came to understand many things about my mate (his stuff) and myself (my stuff), for many years, in my ignorance, I did not know why I could not seem to experience joy or happiness.  I had forgiven and I had followed God, but the hurt remained.

There came a day when I gave it all to God. I chose to remember the times of abandonment and hurtful words that had been spoken to me years before. I asked God to come in and heal my hurts, heal my memories, and to release me from their pain. I cried in deep anguish of heart, the sorrow so real that my heart physically hurt and I gasped. It was then that God gave me a picture of His love. I saw the painful sword that was imbedded in my heart, deeply piercing my heart, bleeding drops of blood year after year. He slowly removed it from my heart. God lifted the sword and formed it into Christ's cross, where my suffering was borne by the One who accepted my pain in His sinless flesh, bearing my shame and my hurt in order to set me free. God assured me that He had healed me, that the pain had been removed, even though the scars would remain forever.

The release was complete.  A few weeks later I began to notice a change in me. A whisper of joy entered into my being.  It had been years since joy had been part of me. The delight grew in tandem with my belief in a good God. A God who not only loves and forgives but also heals and restores.

That happened ten years ago. At times the pain will resurface at odd and unexpected moments, but it no longer has power over me nor do I feel dead inside. I have been fully released from its devastating effect on my emotions. Praise Him!

~ To Be The Glory~

Thursday, June 20, 2013



Life has many blessings. The more we look for the blessings in our moments, the more we will find them.  This week I have experienced more than my average quota of blessings.  You see, my out-of-town family has come around for a time of good conversation, dining on summer food fare, lively discussion, and even some working together toward a common goal.  We've come from Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California, to spend this precious time as a family.  This past week I have enjoyed times with four of my five children, all of my siblings, a cousin and her family, my aunt, a niece and her two toddlers, my son-in-law, and my two grandchildren plus my parents and others as well.  I counted twenty-five at a BBQ dinner I hosted this week.  It is such a blessing to be together.  My brother recently said to me that we have a heritage, a shared meaning as a family---something we are fortunate to have and will always cherish. He was commenting that our children are fortunate as well, to have this rich heritage.  He is right.  Not everyone is so lucky, or blessed.  I thank God for this.

In three more days the last of the out-of-towners will be gone.  The house will seem silent, empty, and sad.  I'm already missing them---and only the first set has left.  It is called "love."  Love brings us close and holds us tight.  Love binds us together.  Love keeps us from fighting and from holding grudges.  Love makes us generous and forgiving.  The way of love keeps my siblings and me from suffering from the "me" complex, always being careful to not offend or hurt each other.  We defer to each other.  It is a tremendous gift of beauty we are willing to extend to our family members.  My own children, as well, have this same courtesy and love for each other.  Although their love is quiet, less expressed, it is unselfish, kind, active, and alive.  Four of them are young adults, but they understand that family matters, and that love is an action verb.  I experience delight in watching them connect and respond to each other.  Our times together are rare, making this a significant part of being in proximity.

We have our problems, too, but the problems pale in comparison to the blessings.  

Thank you, dear God, for this week of blessings, for my family, for their love and encouragement, and for the graciousness of their love and affection.  Thank you, for Your part in making us strong, and helping us when we are weak, for protecting us during the hard times, and for answering our prayers for each other.  Father, God, You are the Greatest Blessing of all.  Amen

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day

To all the Fathers who give unconditionally, your children have been blessed by your example one hundred times over. Thank you.

Monday, June 10, 2013



A friend came to visit. 
She said that she is learning to extend grace to those who tend to annoy her. 
I love it.   
To consciously make the choice to view that irritating person 
with grace when they get on your nerves.
          EXTEND GRACE

My friend also said, 
you can tell where your hope is by the things you say.
Is your hope in the government? 
Is it in your financial security? 
Is your hope found in God?  
A good reminder for me. 
I can get too caught up in the here and now, my fears and concerns.  

Thanks my friend, 
for these two reminders.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton Quote


"When the spirit of God finds  a soul in which He can work, He uses that soul for any number of purposes: opens out before its eyes a hundred new directions, multiplying its works and its opportunities for the apostolate almost beyond belief and certainty far beyond the ordinary strength of the human being." page 392. Seven Storey Mountain

"I was free...I belonged to God, not to myself: and to belong to Him is to be free of all the anxieties and worries and sorrows that belong to this earth, and love of things that are in it. What was the difference between one place and another, if your hand belonged to God, and if you placed yourself completely in his hands? The only thing that mattered was the fact of sacrifice, the essential dedication of one's self, one's will, the rest was only accidental" Page 406

" You rest in Him,and He heals you with His secret wisdom." page 417

#Seven Storey Mountain, #Thomas Merton

Thursday, June 6, 2013


MERIDIAN MINUTE  no. 11 ~Delight~
Fort Bragg, California, Pacific Ocean coastline

“(The LORD) brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Psalm 18:19


From my perspective, to delight in someone or something is to experience the object with an inner joy. I find many things to be delightful. These things uplift me, make the day brighter, encouraging my deeper self in a place of happiness and contentment. Often times as I work in the walnut orchard I will observe a dandelion reaching its white head as it stands alone. I delight in this. I will see a nest with eggs in it. I delight in this. I see a flock of turkeys scratching at the base of the trees. I find delight in watching them. A hawk or an owl swoops out of the tree as I come too close. I joy in seeing it. My daughter works by my side as we move sprinkler pipe or pick up scattered sticks off the orchard floor. I smile to myself as she chatters away and I enter into her teenage world. These are small little delights. There are bigger delights, like having someone tell me that something I have said, written, or done has helped them in some way. A friendship that has a connection of the soul, soul mate quality, is one of the greatest delights I have ever known. Such a friendship includes full acceptance in a reciprocal fashion.

In this text it is King David who is penning these words. He has been haunted by his enemies who seem to pursue him relentlessly. “He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Ps. 18:17-19 NIV  David is saying that God delighted in him. I was thinking about the implications of his statement. It is hard to fathom that God in Heaven could delight in us. . .in me! We have the capacity to bring joy to God. This is an emotional word. DELIGHT. Even the saying of it is like a pretty flower, it has a lovely sound to it. One delights in something that brings you satisfaction, happiness, joy, and pleasure. Relationship that is close, satisfying, rich, will have this same component in its center. God delights when His children look to Him, call out to Him, rest in Him. David did this. He loved God, his words document this fact over and over again. God brings him out of the trial and puts him into a safe place. He senses God’s love for him as he reflects back on the experience.

In my Bible this verse has a black ink dot to the left of it. I put the dot there one time when I was reading through the Psalms. I selected one verse in each Psalm that spoke to me in an uplifting way, one that encouraged me. I remember that experience. Often there were several verses I could have chosen in a chapter, so I would think carefully over them to find the one that seemed to have a content about it that made it stand out. Now I can glance through the Psalms and read all the verses with a dot by them when I am desirous of an encouraging word. I also have underlined one specific word every time I come to it. I underline the word “love.” This draws my attention to the context in which it is placed and makes me think of how love relates to the message of that particular passage of Scripture. These are small helps to guide me in my thoughts as I read a portion of God’s Word, making it personal and practical in my understanding.

I think it is wonderful that God delights in us. We are objects of His affection. The experience is especially rich when we turn to Him with open arms and open hearts leaving our opinions and self righteous ways behind. What a wonderful hope is ours when we turn to Him and find our true joy in His salvation and love. 
 Praise Him!

Monday, June 3, 2013



Lilac bushes at the home place, 2012.

“This is what the LORD says:

‘Stand at the crossroads and look;

ask for the ancient paths,

ask where the good way is, and walk in it,

and you will find rest for your souls.’

But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
                                                  Jeremiah 6:16

Where is the good way? We come to various crossroads in our lives, time and time again. Choices need to be made. What should one do? There’s this and that, and that and this. Sometimes lists are made. The positives are thought and considered, the negatives are thought and considered. If it is a spiritual matter, it is of great concern. When it is a major decision like choice of college, career, or employment, the crossroad is a major intersection. “Lord, where is the good way?” One choice can become one of on-going repercussions throughout a life time, significant even if little concern is given to its consideration. Relationships can be this way. They have crossroads too, where choices must be made. These are not always easy to determine ‘the good way.’

As I write this, it is the time of year of graduations. Over the years I have been to many of them: pre-school, kindergarten, sixth grade, middle school, high school, college/university, master’s and doctoral ceremonial events. Often for the person, the next step is under consideration. Where is the good way? is being asked. God says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it.” So once the asking is finished, the course is determined as a wise choice (the ancient paths), it is then to be faithfully undertaken. When it is walked in accordance to God’s ways, there will be a sense of rest, the soul will have a sense of rightness. The resting is active and it is peaceful. Jeremiah the prophet, wrote these words. I find them to be easy to visualize. The crossroads in life, and choices that have been made by me, are most easy to see looking back at them. Most have turned out differently than expected. Being at a crossroads is an interesting place to be for any person. Sometimes it is at this juncture where faith becomes sight.

Then Jeremiah stated the unfortunate part, the people of Israel made a wrong choice. They did not choose the good way nor did they follow the ancient paths. They did it their way. The words seem to have a bit of defiance in them, an emphatic statement.“We will not walk in it.” Even before one leaves high school behind, choices are being made. Significant choices as to how one is going to live their lives. It begins very early in a life. “Where is the good way?” Asking this type of question will keep the error of false living at bay. It is like looking in the mirror and seeing the truth of who we are. Cutting corners in our spiritual life can be revealed, things like where we are dishonest or self focused and have not realized it. Societal mores will be in opposition to this type of trajectory. For society is not in favor of the ‘good path.’ It is in favor of ‘the end justifies the means.'

I prayed this verse this morning. I asked God to show me the good way. Why should I pray this at this stage in my life? Very simple, really. I don’t always know what God has for me or what is the right way in a given situation. Sometimes there are two ‘rights’ at a crossroads. I must choose the one God says is right for the path He is opening up for me. It may be the road less traveled, making all the difference.

In the praying of these words with a sincere heart, ‘show me where the good way is’ , I will myself to know God’s way. In His response to me, I center myself in His divine will.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Are we?

Are we following the Church or are we following Christ?

It is a good question is it not?  

As Louie Ricci used to say, "Christ is the answer."  

Christ is the answer,  the reason, the purpose, the truth, and the reality. 

The Church is only as good as to how closely it follows the way of Christ, the life of Christ, and the purpose of Christ.  

The Church  must do everything it can to keep itself in line with Christ's teachings and Christ's ministry.

Read again the way Christ lived His life.  It may change your perception. 

 It may change YOU. 

Are we following the Church or are we following Christ?