When Visiting Bethel 


We are still on the road so I am writing this up on my phone.  I’m not a gmfan of blogging from my phone…it’s usually messy.    And takes a long time.  

This weekend we visited Bethel church in Redding, California.  If you aren’t familiar, it is is difficult to describe other than, it’s a revivalist church, it’s a healing church, it’s a worship church; sime of the most beautiful worship music has come out of Bethel.  

Here is a link from a song they sang yesterday:  

Many people make pilgrimages to Bethel. Here are some things you need to keep in mind….

1.  Dorothy, you aren’t in Texas anymore (or the Deep South).  The people are nice people but you have approach them.  No one approached us as we stood awkwardly looking around needing help for where we needed to go.  I had to ask about childcare.  They get tons of visitors and I get the feeling they aren’t impressed.

2.  If you want a seat in the main sanctuarty, get there early.  The regulars come 30 minutes early and save seats for each other.  They will let you stand against the back walls during worship and try to grab a seat when it’s time to sit down but chances are you will end up in the over flow room.  

3.  They have four Sunday services.  If you make the trip, go to multiple services.  Different worship teams led at each service and they even played different songs.  My favorite worship time was the 10:30 service, worship was lead by Brian Johnson and Steffany Gretzinger.  On a side note, one of the worship leaders forgot some of the lyrics and told the media team he needed lyrics to the second verse on the back screen.  Everyone chuckled and continued to worship.  Loved this…this happens at every church occasionally and they are keeping it real.  

4. If you can only attend one service, I would go to the 6 pm service.  It’s not rushed so worship is long (over an hour) and Papa Johnson (Senior pastor Bill Johnson) spoke.  After the message, they offer ministry.  They had both a “fire tunnel” and a room to pray specifically for healing.  Take advantage of all the prayer you can get.  We took our kids through the fire tunnel.  They loved it and wanted to go again (I kind of wanted to go again too).

5.  They have childcare for the little ones for ok the services (from what I could tell).  When I picked up my girl from the morning service, they gave me a paper with a prophecy for her.  

I love this!  

6.  There are a lot of young people in attendance.  They are not very churchy. There were both young men and young women climbing over chairs to get to their seats. People would bump into you and not even notice…again, it’s not the South.  The culture is different. 

Main thing to remember….get there early!!! At least 30 minutes. 




For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].  I Corinthians 13:9-12 (Amplified Bible)

This has been on my heart for several weeks but I haven’t had a chance to write about it until today.

This past few months I have been in small group that did a book study called, “Experiencing Christ Within”.  It is a very good study and I recommend it.  During this study, we explored how we see God and how we can live our lives to bring glory to Him.

At some point in the study, God reminded me of this passage in I Corinthians about how we see in a mirror dimly (is what the NKJV says).  Back when Paul wrote this, there were not many mirrors.  They were rare.  The mirrors they did have were not like the ones we have today.  They were normally small and for lack of a better description, they were dingy.

I have an antique mirror that is about 150 years old.  While it is is cool it is not particularly great for doing things putting on makeup.  To be honest, even the mirror in my bathroom has to be cleaned to get a good reflection.  It has to be cleaned off or the reflection is distorted.

There is a message in all of this about the mirror.  Have you ever used a small hand mirror to see behind you.  It is very hard to get a big picture using a small mirror; you can only see part of what is going on.

Mirrors are not the real thing….seeing in a mirror is only seeing a reflection of what is real.  And it’s backwards…a distorted view.

Isn’t that how it is with God so many times.  We have an idea about who He is.  We have some picture of Him but it is small, distorted and sometimes all backwards.

We often need our perspective of God to experience an adjustment.

As we were studying this passage, God showed it to me like this….

It is as if we are wearing a veil.   Think bridal veil.  Maybe not white. The material is see-through but it’s not clear.  Most of the time, our veil has several layers; layers of experience, layers of misguided or false teachings, layers of religion, layers of pain, layers of sickness, layers of loss, layers of grief.  Each layer, changes how you see God and His kingdom.  As God heals you, a layer is lifted.  You think, “Wow, I see so clearly now!”, even though, you still have more layers.  God  reveals a new truth to you and a layer is lifted.   As each layer lifts you see Him more clearly.  Our part is to seek to see Him more clearly.


Some veils are different than bridal veils.  Sometimes our veil is like a plastic bag, it distorts our vision and smothers us.  A distorted view of God can suck the life out of you; it can kill you.  Sometimes the enemy hits you so hard and slaps a piece of Suran wrap (plastic wrap from your kitchen) over your face.  First you get the wind knocked out of you then when you go to breath in, you can’t catch your breath; it’s suffocating.  It happens.  Miscarriage, rape, lose of a spouse, loss of a child, lose of a job, lose of a house, church split, loss of a parent, divorce…all of these things can skew your perspective of God and cause you to lose your hope in God.

plastic wrap

When your vision of God is askew you lose hope.  Loss of hope leads to depression, bitterness, suicide…it’s a dark, dark road.

Get your vision adjusted and God gives you hope. A little bit of faith and a dash of hope can change everything.

Sometimes the veils are thicker in some areas of our lives and thinner in other areas.

We can have complete faith in God for our provision but in the area of Him healing, we are veiled.  We believe in God for salvation but the idea of an abundant life is veiled.   We have faith for others but have a veil seeing God’s goodness in our own lives.

It’s time to start taking the veils off.  It’s time to see God in all His goodness and all His glory. It’s time to see Him for how big He is.

Reminds me of the lyrics to a song that P.J. Cooke used to sing at Promiseland in Austin…

“I have made You too small in my eyes….. Be magnified Oh, Lord.  You are highly exalted…”

Bishop Joseph Garlington said in a message I heard, “Magnify the Lord?  How do you do that?  How can you make God any bigger than He is?  You can’t.  You can make Him bigger in your eyes.  You can make Him bigger in your life.”

It’s time to lose some veils. It’s time to adjust your perspective of God and realize how very BIG He is.  He’s a Big, Big God.   When your perspective of God is that He is big and holds the world in His hands, you realize that your problems aren’t all that big.  He’s got this….whatever your “this” is.

Prayer:  God, where I have made you small, please lift the veil off of my vision.  Help me to see how big you are.  Where I have lost hope, please lift the veil.  Please give me hope. Where I have lost faith, God please restore my faith in You.  Please help me to see you clearly.  Help me to put my faith in You.  You are bigger than any problem I have and any problem that could possible come my way.  You are a big-big God.  You are powerful.  Please help me to trust You.  Please heal me and adjust my thoughts to Your thoughts.  Please give me peace.  In Jesus name, Amen.




It’s all Skittles…or is it Oranges? 


This Sunday was “Kid Sunday” at City Chapel.  Pastor Eddie, our children’s pastor preached a illustrated message based on Matthew 6:33, which says:

 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 


He had a jar and filled half way up with skittles and said, these are all the fun things in life; all the things that we enjoy doing “for fun”.  We can fill up on them but no matter how much we may do them we cannot get full.  Overall they may be tasty but they are full of sugar and no nutrition al value.  

He then took out some meandering oranges and put them in the jar on top of the skittles. The oranges represent kingdom things that God desires for us.  Things like living for Him, reading our Bibles, praying, going to church, etc.  while the oranges are sweet and tasty, they also provide vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need.

As he put the oranges in the jar, many of them did fit because the jar was already halfway filled with skittles….

You see where he was going with this?  

If we fill our life with only fun things, we will not have room for the healthy things.  

He then emptied the jar And started over putting all the oranges in first…yes they fit.  Then he added the skittles and all the skittles fit.  

When you put God first; His kingdom first All the other stuff will be added to your life.

That was the message.  

The past few weeks our church had a fun(we always have fun stuff going on) activity sort of raffle sort of contest/challenge thing going on.  To encourage us to spend more time together, we were asked to go out to eat with other church members and take a picture hashtag it #thechurchthateatstogather oh, and hang onto our receipts. At the end of two weeks they put all the names of the partipants into a drawing and whoever’s name was drawn would be reimbursed for their meal.  Most Sundays we eat lunch out because mama likes a day off from cooking.  Let’s say we actively participated in the challenge thingy.  It was over last Sunday.

This Sunday, a large group of us went to Pei Wei.  I posted on Facebook that we were going because I dislike cliques  and always want others to feel welcome to join us.  I seriously dislike cliques…in high school I took turns eating lunch with different cliques except the druggies because I was afraid of going to jail. Anyway….that’s another story.  I grew up in to 80s and we “just say no” (thank you Nancy Regan). 

Back to lunch…

We were laughing so hard.  Mostly talking about our kids and life.  We were having fun. We stayed way too long.  I said at one point,” we should hashtag this…#itsallskittles.”  We laughed more.  We were rolling.  

As I thought about the lovely day I had today, about how our worship service was sweet…Holy Spirit, sweet, and lunch with dear friends and our small group…my cup runneth  over.   I realized, it wasn’t skittles at all….it was oranges all along. 

Just One More


The Hubs and I watched Hacksaw Ridge last week. Great movie….not for kiddos.

As with many movies, there was one line that hit me.  One line that took my breath away.

In case you haven’t seen it, let me setup the backstory.

The movie is a true story about a young man, Desmond Doss.  He is a Christian who does not believe in violence but he volunteers for the the army during World War II.  After standing up for his beliefs and he insists on going to war as a medic without a riffle or a weapon of any kind.  His unit is assigned to Okinawa, Japan and their assignment is to take Hacksaw Ridge.  They aren’t the first unit on this assignment.  Many have gone before.  The fighting is intense and gory and chaotic (I was able to close my eyes or I might have experienced some PTSD…the movie was intense to watch).   During the battle, the unit seems to make some progress although it cost many lives only to be ambushed at sunrise.  The unit retreats.  As they are descending the ridge, Private Doss hears an injured man calling for a medic.  He goes back into the carnage.  As he rescues one soldier, he finds other soldiers who are still alive.  He begins bringing them to the ridge’s edge and lowering them down.  He keeps going back and finding the injured.  He begins to  pray….”give me just one more.”   Over and over, he prays, “Just one more.”  and he goes back into the trenches to rescue another man.  Even during his rescue, the enemy is going through the same trenches killing off anyone they find alive.

If memory serves (which is super questionable at midnight) Private Doss saved around 70 men who would have likely died without his intervention.  He was the first man to receive the Metal of Honor without firing a shot.

As I watched the scene of Private Doss praying, “One more..just one more.” and leaving potential safety to go back into the danger I couldn’t help but think of my Christian journey.  I wondered what would happen if we all prayed, “God, just one more. Help me reach just one more for You.”

What would that look like?

How would God answering that prayer change someone’s world?  Or change the whole world?

In addition to the movie, I am currently in a women’s Bible study.  We are working through the book, “Experiencing Christ Within“.  I haven’t finished the study but basically it is about trusting God completely and living our lives for His glory, in everything we do.

There are many of us that rarely get beyond our own bubble.  Sure we go to church but we do not consider that the same hope that God has given us is available to others and that we may know someone who needs God. We may be the person who can sow those seeds of hope in their life.

If we want to restore hope and wonder to the world we have to start with our neighbors and our family and our co-workers (I’m always witnessing to my subordinates – I homeschool so that means my kids).

I’ve been thinking about the prayer….”just one more” and today at our Bible study I wrote a note in my book, “God, please help us to restore hope to people.  Help me to be a restorer of hope.” The prayers are really the same…I want to help others experience God’s glory.  How can I help restore hope to others?  How can I help connect others to our Mighty God?

First pray…”just one more” then wait and listen for God to show you the opportunities He has for you.  Then do…do what He leads you to do.

It might be something super awkward like buying someone’s groceries (have you ever asked the person behind you if you could buy their groceries…oh my goodness, it’s awkward) or giving someone a hug or maybe something simple like talking to someone who is lonely.

“One more…just one more.”  Until Jesus comes back, keep going.



Today’s Message


I try to write every day….I usually get to write three out of five weekdays.  Today, I need to start my Thanksgiving cooking and I need to take a dog crate to my mom’s house.  Instead, I am sitting down writing until the battery on my 5 year old computer craps out.  I need to get this computer fixed (around $250) or I need to get a new computer…both options seem like “not an option” right now.  I haven’t prayed about this yet.  If you follow my blog, you know that I am not posting three times a week.  I write and then many items get left in draft mode.  That’s okay.  Sometimes, I am not in a place to “complete the thought”.

Recently, I was using my book as a reference for some material I was sharing.  The material is still good but I think I have matured in some areas and would modify it somewhat.  Why? Because I am more healed today than I was ten years ago.

As I consider what to write today, the message I have is to encourage you, dear reader, to seek your FREEDOM.  Seek your healing.  That is my one message today.  As we enter the last six weeks of 2016, please do not allow another year to go by in which you remain the same and repeat the same ole mistakes and poor choices that you have made.

Stop trying to protect yourself from pain or even any emotion at all.  Get healed and allow God to be your protection.

Stop the anger.  Stop the rejection cycle.  Stop choosing to date someone who isn’t going the direction God is leading you.  STOP.

Take some time to seek God for your healing.

Stop making the same mistakes your parents made while parenting you.

Stop reading the Bible and other books but never applying the truth you read.

It’s time for real change to happen.


Hopelessness is NOT from God.  It is time for hope to be restored.

Stop trying to minister out of your good intentions and your experience with self-healing.

The only real healing is God-healing; supernatural, Holy-Spirit-led-healing.

There are no shortcuts.  Your healing cannot come from other people or a book.  Real healing takes place in His presence.  You cannot vacation your hurts away.  You cannot eat them away.  You cannot exercise them away.  You cannot work them away.  You cannot read them away.  You cannot rationalize them away.  You cannot minimize them away.  You cannot give them away.  You cannot busy them away.  You cannot internet them away.  You cannot pornography them away.  You cannot educate them away.  You just can’t….

You can seek God.  When you ask God to heal you, it is one of those prayers…one of those prayers that He is faithful to answer, every time.

Here is the deal.  What we think needs healing is often not the place God sees as our issue.  God has a way of digging deep.

He goes past the death of that child we loved to the pain of the birth.

He goes past the issue of rejection to the issue of hopelessness.

When did you lose your hope?  Where did you wonder go?  He knows.  He remembers.

He sees the little girl, peeking over the side of the crib looking at the new baby.

He hears the news, “cancer” and feels the pain of chemo.  He knows the pain of a failing liver and kidneys.

He feels the cold hand of a mother, a sister, a friend as they pass into eternity too soon.

He feels the choking nausea of infidelity.

He sees the endless prayers for healing seemingly went unanswered.

He hears the words that were spoken in the dark that shaped a warped identity.

He feels the heart breaking of the news “birth defect”.

He hears the words, “We have bad news….found dead.”

He hears “divorce” and feels the breaking of hearts and families.

He knows the sting of abuse.

He feels, sees, hears, smells and taste the bitterness of rape.

He feels the hearts break as the babies are taken out of the arms of foster loving foster parents.

He sees, feels, hears, KNOWS.  God isn’t bound to time and space the way we are.  Whatever happened to you, God was there.

We get stuck.  We do not often realize it but we often get stuck in that time or event.  We stop growing spiritually.  Our relationship with God just stops.  We go no farther.

He was there.  He was there when it happened.  Ask Him.  Ask Him “Where were you, when this happened?”  Ask Him “What did you think about this?”  Ask Him, “What do you say about this?”

Don’t be afraid.  I have never heard God say, “This was all your fault”, even if it was.  I have never heard God say, “I wasn’t there because you didn’t know me or invite me there.”  I have never heard God say, “I think this abuse was okay” or deserved.

God says, “I was there.  It grieved me.  I cried with you.  I surrounded you with people who know Me and love you.”

God says, “It was never plan for you to be abused.  It made me angry to see that abuse.”

God says, “Divorce wasn’t my plan.  I hate it too.  I want to heal your heart. You can trust me.  Even if you cannot trust other people, you can trust me.”.

God says, “I was there when they brought you the news of that death.  I wept with you.  I felt your loss. Your baby is with me now.   I love him/her more than you can understand.”

Until we get healed, we work to protect ourselves instead of allowing God to protect us.  When we protect ourselves, we do not allow God in (any farther than He already is) and we do not allow other in.

We have to be willing to ask God to heal us.  We have to get to the point of asking God the hard questions.  Ask Him.  He is not too big for your questions.  There is nothing too big or too hard for Him; NOTHING.

Seek healing. Seek life.  Seek FREEDOM.



Momlog 2016: Career Choices


Our girl is 3 and 1/2 now and we have acquired another 3 and 1/2 year old (the Niece).   You can imagine the conversations.  As it goes with kids, we sometimes have to ask the Boy (now 8 years old), “What did she say?”

We have family dinner almost every night.  (Little family/marriage advise…when the Hubs and I got married, we would sit down to eat dinner together every night.  My family valued family dinner.  As our family grew, it has been our habit to eat dinner together every night.  No tv.  No toys or books.  No devices.).   This is part of our family time and when we find out about everyone’s day.

I love to ask the Girl questions.  She is a bit of a character and I never know what she might say. She also has an opinion on many things….already.  The Hubs calls her my “mini-me”…usually when she is being difficult.

At dinner, I asked the typical childhood question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  The Boy answer, “An inventor.”  Then he tells me about some of the things he wants to invent…mostly large weapons.  I plan on living out my final days in luxury (Ironman’s dad was a weapon developer).  The Niece says, “A cooker” (we explain that this is called a chef).  Here is the conversations with the Girl:

Me:  What do you want to do?

TG:  I want to be a “poker”.

Me:  What does a “poker” do?

TG:  They poke bad people.

Me: What do they poke people with?

TG:  A stick.

Me:  Where did you see this?

TG:  In my dream.

Me: what kind of stick is it?

The Boy: is it metal?

TG:  Nope.

Me:  Is it wood?

TG: Yes.

There you have it.  I’m not sure, maybe she just decided to be pool shark?  Maybe the Boy can invent her an iron woman suit with a stick.  She also added that she wants to be an “adventurer”.  We had to ask the Boy what she was saying.  When asked about it, she explained she will go on adventures.   Where does she come up with these ideas? 



2 Timothy 4:2-4

preach the word as an official messenger; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome; correct those who err in doctrine or behavior, warn those who sin, exhort and encourage those who are growing toward spiritual maturity, with inexhaustible patience and faithful teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction that challenges them with God’s truth; but wanting to have their ears tickled with something pleasing, they will accumulate for themselves many teachers one after another, chosen to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions and will accept the unacceptable.  (AMP)

When the Boy was three we went through a season (a long, long season) of teaching him to tell the truth no matter what.  His tendency was to lie even if he didn’t need to.  There are reasons why he was like that…raising adopted children has it’s challenges.  The Girl on the other hand is a natural truth teller.  She has recently realized that she can lie to get out of trouble…for the most part, she tells the truth.  Our little addition (who has a similar background to the Boy), tends to lie even when there is no reason to lie.
I cannot stand being lied to…it’s one of those things that irks me.

As a family and as a parent we have had to adopt a zero tolerance policy toward lying.  What that means is, if you lie, even a small lie there will be a consequence.  Since the kiddos are young, there is some grace in all of it. For example, I usually give them a second or third chance to tell me the truth. “Are you sure that is what happened?”  and “You know you will get in more trouble for lying than for telling the truth.”

All this truth telling tends to get me in a place of being more honest with myself about how I feel and being even more honest with other people. Basically, in teaching the children to tell the truth, I am called to a higher personal standard of truth.  I am naturally a person who sees things as black or white.  I also grew up in a region where people tend to lie to each other to keep peace or make others feel comfortable.

Lying is not okay even if we are doing it to make someone else feel better or comfortable.

Lying is not okay even if we are doing it to “be supportive” of some someone’s choices.

Lying is not okay even if we are doing it to be liked or make friends.

Lying is not okay even if it gets us out of trouble.

Lying is not okay.

We wonder why “offense” occurs.  There are many people who have read books about not being offended, etc.  I haven’t.  This is a personal experience belief.  Offense occurs when we lie to each other about how we feel. “It’s okay.  We are good.  Things are good between you and me.”  When it things are not okay, it isn’t good and things are not worked out.   Be honest.  “It happened”.  I cannot  control other people.  I can forgive.  Does forgiveness “fix” everything?  No. I no longer feel that I have to say, “It’s okay.” if you come to me with excuses looking for me to comfort you when we both know, you could have and should have done things differently.  It’s not okay. You are welcome to make a sincere apology and then things can be “okay” between us. (A little personal rant…makes me feel old too. I want to write something here about how “youngsters” do not take responsibility for their actions any more but we have ranted about the “younger generation” then we lie to them and say “it’s okay”, when in fact it isn’t.  This mess is our fault too. ) 

It occurred to me that as a church, especially in the South, we have failed.  We lie to each other. We say things are “okay” when they aren’t. We support things the Bible doesn’t support.  It’s okay to abandon you marriage if you do not want to forgive your spouse.  It is okay to date that non-believer if you really like him.  It is okay to go for a “girl’s night out at a strip club”.  It’s okay to “live together” when you aren’t married to each other.  Nope.  Shut it down.  None of these things are okay.   If we would tell each other the truth a new level of accountability would naturally occur. No one wants to hear truth because with truth comes accountability. Accountability is a bad word in our trendy churches.  

An example…a couple is splitting up because the husband isn’t a believer (not unfaithful, not abusive…just doesn’t believe).  We rally around the wife and say, “I’m praying or you.”  “You are going to be okay.” “God is taking care of you.”  What about what the Bible says about it?  The Bible says in I Corinthians 7 that unbelief is not a reason to divorce.  Is anyone willing to gently say this?  Or do we blindly support decisions so everyone can feel good about themselves?

When did self-esteem become more important than God’s Word? 

We must stop trying to make everyone feel better about themselves and tell the truth.

A while back I wrote a blog, “If you have to ask“. We do it all the time.  We ask people their opinion about who we are dating, how we are parenting, how we treat our friends, etc so our actions can be justified.  There are few situations for mature believers in which we need to ask other people what they think about it. Those who are new believers, they may need guidance.  If we are providing guidance to a young believer it is even more vital that we point them to the Bible and lead them in truth.

It is hard to be the one to tell the truth.  Most of the time, people do not want to hear truth, they want to be told they are “okay”.  I give you permission to speak the truth in a loving way.  (not that you need my permission).  It is easier to speak the truth in anger than in love.  Love is the challenge.  Love.

If you ask someone for their opinion or you ask for advise, be prepared to hear truth.

If you tell the truth, be prepared for it to NOT be received or acted on. That’s is okay.  We can still be friends. I had a friend ask me what I thought of her dating a man who not a believer (she is a believer)  who also so has some other issues (complicated and private).   I told her, very nicely it was not right in the eyes of God and that I wouldn’t do it.  I told her I love her and God sends good gift, He doesn’t send second best to His kids and I do not believe this man is God’s best.  She is still dating him.  That is between her and God.  She is a grown woman.  I believe she heard the truth and decided that she wants what she wants.  We have all been there. My will doesn’t have to be done.  I still love her. Do I think that it is wrong?  Yes.  Do I think she’s going to get hurt?  Most likely.  Have I been there? Yes.  I did something so similar in my single days that it is not even funny.  I had several friends who told me the truth and then shunned me when I didn’t comply with the truth.  Did this help?  No.  I want to be the connection between people and God, even people who have wondered off from Him.  There have been times in my life when I have needed someone to connect me back to God. I want to be that person for someone.   That’s grace and that is love.

Let us stop telling each other everything is okay when it isn’t.  Especially if “okay” is going against the Word of God (the Bible).  It may be “okay” right now, but when we live outside of God’s Word there are consequences…maybe not today but one day you will understand why God says “no” on some things.  The truth you speak may be what leads someone down a  godly, healthy, fruitful path. 

What about when someone has clearly wondered out of truth or is on the way and they haven’t asked for advise?  Pray and wait.  Pray for them and wait for God to put change in their hearts.  Let God work on them.  God can and does work things out for our good. If you pray for them, God may open a door for you to speak truth.  

Speak that truth in love.