Girl.with.Tattoos

Recently in my story in Boring.Bookstores, I mentioned a young girl, tattooed all over, dressed in black, with a stack of books in her hand on the topic of tarot cards.

I engaged in a brief conversation. Here’s why? I felt the need to help someone who appeared to be heading in the wrong direction. By that I mean, all the books on tarot cards. So I asked about her interest in the subject. She said she loved those type of books when looking for direction in her life.

She seemed sweet, and was not confrontational at all. Her guard was down and she appeared to be comfortable with my asking. So I very gently said I noticed right behind her was the selection of books on religion and spirituality. And I’m sure she might like to take a look at the books in that section as well. She said, “oh thank you.”

That was it. I felt relieved. I felt like I had pointed her in the right direction. I didn’t make the decision for her, but I had said enough. I went to walk away, and she said “I hope you have a nice day”. It made me smile.

To Dream.or.Not to Dream


Here’s a question to ponder today if you have time?   And I completely own this question.  It’s really not for anyone else, other than myself.  I just happen to be sharing outloud.  That’s how it’s done these days. Lol. You can honestly stop reading right now.

But seriously.  

For quite a long time. I’ve enjoyed writing.  And when I say a long time, I mean, I have an article I wrote on the newsletter team in middle school.    Photo and all….its real cute.  I came across it recently tucked away in some old papers.   

Counting from middle school until today, is a very long, long time, to stick with a dream of being a writer.  That’s a lot of years invested. 

I always imagined that if I tried long enough, if I was patient, if I treated people well, if I followed the golden Rule(s), if I crossed all the “t”s and dotted all the “i”s, if I put others feelings and needs ahead of my own, if I loved my family and friends, and a few enemies, if I went to church, if I paid my tithes, if I tried to be a good christian, and if I read all the right “how to” books…then one day, just one day, it would all – click.  

You know what I mean.  The day where that scripture about “All things working together for good”, would click and become a fantastic reality.  It sounds like a mix between religious legalism, a little theology, and the big bang theory. But this is my go to quote…never give up….never! One day all the hard work will come together and make this amazing thing.   

I want to be that person who wrote for her friends or family, and wound up on the NY best sellers list and changed people lives for the better.  You know, a game changer.  Larger than life with a whole lot of love and laughter and a few extras that I’ll probably have to pay for. Here’s why.

I grew up with people around me who NEVER gave up… I mean NEVER!  Not unless you were moving up to the “Deluxe apartment in the sky”.  And no, I’m not talking about George Jefferson. I lived in a “never give up” culture.   And I do mean, dig your heals in, strap on your seat belt, hang on for the ride,  don’t get in my way, and don’t ask me any questions. My culture said …. I’ve got things to do, and I’ve got to make a difference today.  It didn’t matter how difficult things became or the challenges you faced, you kept going, and going.  To every challenge, you had some choices. You either found a solution, you made up a solution, or you became the solution. But you always kept going. Hands down, no questions ask.  Face to the floor, nose to the grind, hands to the plow, feet to the pavement, leaning forward, leaning hard, and getting it done.  

I always wanted to be that guy named Norm.   Do you remember “Norm” who waltzed into the bar “Cheers” – “where everybody knows your name”. How fun would it be to walk in and everybody yell Norm.   I want to be Norm.  LOL. (I can leave the beer out tho, the days of drinking for me are way more than over, I’m way too old now).

But Norm is a cool guy. Everybody knows him, everybody likes him, and when he comes in, he doesn’t even have to order the beer.   It just comes sliding down the bar.

I am actually laughing right now as I write this because I also have another all time favorite idol besides Norm.  It’s Joyce Meyer.   I always wanted to be Joyce Meyer.  She teaches the truth, enjoys her family, life, and ministry, she is extremely successful, and people really seem to like her.  

I just want to burst out laughing right now, because  I just realized my idol is some version between Norm and Joyce Meyer.  

I have totally moved off topic.  But I have completely entertained myself with a good laugh.  My sister laughs at me, not because she thinks I am funny, but because I think I am funny.   

Back to the important dream of being a writer.  I know I am a writer.  But are you really a writer, if nobody reads your writing?  Hmmmm, I’m not sure.  So this has led me to wander if I should give up on the dream of this becoming a writer with the influence of Norm and Joyce Meyer.  

There’s a quote that says, if you keep doing the same thing over and over and keep getting the same results….it’s insanity …. not a time honored persistence that leads to an amazingly successful life.    

So I’ll leave it right there.  I think it’s fair to say, I could keep pressing on, or I could give up and get a new dream.  Our world is so different today.  And in hopes of writing, I do track my stats on writing. For the last couple of years, I usually get a few likes from family and friends. And that’s one of the reasons I do it.  I love you guys!!! Maybe one or two will respond. Nothing major.  I do enjoy the song and dance of writing.

But I do notice a lot of patterns also in our media today.  I can watch a man clean his driveway with a pressure washer for 15 minutes and have 1 million views, or people pull hot wax out of their nose, and the views are again, in the millions.  I have probably watched my fair share of people mowing lawns, and chiropractors giving spine adjustments.  And I know I am watching it with millions and millions of people all over the world.   All I can say is… wow. 

How in the world could this little blog  possibly ever compete with those things. They are so exciting and earth shattering, why would anyone want to miss a man getting hot wax pulled from every portal of his head.  I know, I know, it’s a little bit of a dig.  I’m sorry.  But I’ve said it, so I will try to move on.  Back to finding the happy medium between Norm and Joyce. 

If you’ve read this so far, and I seriously doubt that you have, I hope you got a good laugh today.  The moral of the stories…

“Laughter is good like medicine”.   It’s a proverb somewhere near the middle of the bible, if you want to take a glance.   

I guess I need to start there too and see what the bible says about dreams, visions, and idols.  If you have any thoughts, I’m open.  But try to be kind….someone like myself with only one or two “likes” or “thumbs up” hardly has the ego to handle too much negativity. 👍✌

Taste.and.see


“Taste and see that the LORD is good” Psalm 34:8

I always smile when I start reading this scripture because my mind immediately is turned to food! I know this is not what the scripture is talking about, but I do enjoy a great juicy steak on occasion, or a tasty cherry vanilla ice cream on a waffle cone. Not often, but a nice hot slice of cheesy pizza, is what I want. Some days I even enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a slice of fresh bread. Some days I just get a taste for fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. 

This summer, watermelon became the favorite. It tasted so sweet, I barely had time to share it. I would eat whole watermelons, all by myself. So of course, my taste buds work pretty well. That was not always the case. After taking chemotherapy a few years ago, I lost my taste for food. I could go long periods of time without eating. I’ve been reminded of that recently as Covid-19 began to hit. People began to complain about losing their taste. As a matter of fact, it became one of the major symptoms that let people know they were sick with the virus.

Once the taste buds began to go, food wasn’t as enjoyable as it used to be. I am very thankful that during my chemo days, I would enjoy hot soup and pickled beets.  Something hot or pickled would ‘tickle the taste buds’ and I could enjoy food again.

So back to this passage that tells us to “Taste and see that the LORD is good”.  Maybe the writer of the scripture was offering us a little taste test. The kind of taste test where you close your eyes, taste something, and see what the taste buds say.

Is it something that taste sour? Is it something that taste bland? Is it something that taste sweet?  Is it something that taste salty? Is it something that taste bitter? It reminds me of that game where you taste the jelly beans and try to guess the flavor.  Almost every time you eat jelly beans, a red jelly bean will taste like cherry. A yellow jelly bean will taste like lemon.  A green jelly bean will taste like lime. An orange jelly bean, well of course, taste like an orange. And my all time favorite, a black jelly bean, is liquorish flavored. That is the case if you buy a bag of regular jelly beans. 

Today, there are other kinds of jelly beans in all sorts of flavors. But most of the time, even though I like the taste, I can barely figure out what flavor I’m eating, and it’s hard for me to pick a favorite.

But what about when you close your eyes and think on the LORD? Sometimes our experiences may have jaded our perspective on the LORD. This passage reads like the ingredients on the back of a jelly bean bag.  Ingredients: THE LORD, He is good!  

Some of you reading this passage today, have tried the LORD before. You have wonderful experiences that you can tell. You have wonderful stories that you can share. You have times, when your faith was tested, and you passed the test. Share it!  

We don’t hear much about the LORD these days. But I bet if you taste… you will see that He is Good!  He’s more than peanut butter and jelly.  He’s more than a scoop of your favorite ice cream. He’s more than the best steak you have ever put in your mouth. He’s even more than the best slice of pizza.  He’s so much more. I know while you’re reading this, you are thinking about some experience where you tasted of the LORD and found Him to be good. 

Of course, this passage didn’t come with a warning label. But if I could add just one warning: Don’t spend much time listening to the enemy as he tries to tell you about the LORD. He will spend time trying to make you feel that the LORD deserted you, abandoned you, forgotten you, or he’s angry at you. Don’t believe him. He’s the father of lies.

But THE LORD …. He is GOOD!

fight.breast.cancer

October is always a reminder that women and men…. need to take a little extra care of themselves because it is Breast Cancer Awareness. This may be the only time I mention this all year, but please be reminded to go for your examinations. Cancer is cruel. It’s a tough enemy to fight. I will go a step further this year to say, in my own words…that even the bible says that we should…..Be Alert!!!! You need God in these kinds of battles. You have an enemy, the devil, who is basically, just roaming about trying to find someone to devour. He causes trouble for us all. But don’t get the story twisted, God is not trying to punish you. HE gives us wisdom and insight to go on the offense and take action. Be Alert! Your God does not slumber nor sleep.

The devil is sly. He’s smart. But He’s not the smartest man I know….God is! During these times, let’s be sober and diligent to take care of ourselves. These past two years have been more than enough of a reminder. My prayers goes out to all those who are in this fight. Keep fighting! I pray God go before you and make every crooked path straight, and push every devil back where it belongs. May God’s grace and favor cover you, and may you conquer every place your foot has to step.

Become a Survivor

Boring.bookstores

Recently I decided to hide away in a book store, gazing at all the books, journals and magazines. Over the years, I have developed a deep love for bookstores. I have no idea why, but bookstores and libraries are the greatest hiding places. So I wanted to steal a little time away, and just meander around for a few hours. I was wandering around, when I noticed the lady next to me seemed lost. I couldn’t stand the fact that she looked lost, and there were no employees around. So I ask, “ma’am, can I help you with something?” “Yes”, she replied. “I’m looking for a book by Jeff Foxworthy.” I glanced around and there were no employees at the customer service desk, but I politely sent her in that direction, and let her know someone would help her there. She thanked me.

When she walked away, I started gazing around, and I looked up to see what section I was in. Believe it or not, I was standing at the Comedy section. So I started looking for Jeff Foxworthy. While thumbing through all of the authors to find her a book, I looked up and there she was again with an employee. I mentioned that I was still trying to look for her a book. She smiled, but then I said “I don’t work here though”. She said, “You could.” I noticed the employee was standing a good distance from both of us. So I told her I would leave her with the employee, since it wasn’t my job and I had not found her book. The employee replied, I would love to help you two, but I have to maintain 6 feet of social distance, so I will need some room. The lady and I backed off, and I walked away and left them to find the book.

The situation highlighted the fact that we are living in this new world order. And to answer your question about my opinion, let me be polite. Yes, I adhere to it most of the time, to ere on the side of safety. I don’t always remember to wear a mask, but I now consider health, a luxury for the most part, after suffering from cancer a few years ago. I am profoundly aware of health issues and concerns, and even the concern of others around me. I’m usually the first one to speak up about health issues, especially now that we live in the world of Covid. I know there are many, many experts in the field, who know so much more than I do. But experience is golden. Our differences of opinion is also a luxury. But life experience can leave such a mark in our lives, that we are confronted with those opinions and belief systems. So I want to be a voice of hope, not just vocal. Not because I need to, but because experience has taught me in the area of health, we need our health to survive this world. Please don’t ask me to speak on the politics of it. I will have to let God sort out those things that I don’t understand. But after suffering with cancer, yes, 18 months of treatments, chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation, I make attempts to try and use a little wisdom. In one situation, I politely ask a stranger that needed to assist me in public, to use a mask, and they did so, and even generously accommodated. I’ve thanked numerous people for their services behind drive through windows, in the doctor’s offices and grocery stores. We are living in a difficult time, we are juggling difficult issues, and we are facing difficult challenges. What we decide to do with those challenges in this hour, will determine who we are as human beings.

I believe that people really do desire to be good human beings.

I believe that people do want to do what is right in the wake of trouble and disaster.

I believe we do share a love for the common good of those around us and those who are less fortunate than us.

I believe that if we do believe in a better tomorrow, a better tomorrow will come.

I believe that if you and I desire to be a better people, a better people, we will be.

I believe that if we shake hands whether with friend or foe, a bond is created that can change our world.

I believe that by design, we have a heart beat to be better tomorrow than we were today.

I believe that tomorrow, we will be better.

I believe if we set our sight on changing the world today, tomorrow, the world will change.

I believe if darkness is addressed today, light will spring forth tomorrow.

I believe that love will win.

I believe that true love will conquer.

I believe that there is love in the truth.

I believe there is a small seed of good planted in each one of us today.

I believe that tomorrow, we will blossom if we water that seed.

I believe slowing down today, will bring us a more peaceful tomorrow.

I believe it is well with our soul, when our soul is well.

I believe our whole being thrives from the issues of the heart.

I believe young children make us laugh, and senior adults gives us wisdom.

I believe that money can’t buy happiness, but it sure does buy a great slice of the pie.

I believe that churches aren’t perfect, but the most imperfect church sure makes a community better, than no church at all.

I believe that rulers and authority figures will not always get it right, but without boundaries, we are a reckless and wretched people.

I believe our society is groaning for something better. I believe that something better may be found deep inside of us.

I believe we’re groaning to know a better way, to do a better thing, to be a better human, and to serve and lead a better people.

I believe we were designed for this by the Creator.

If you don’t believe it, the only thing I offer you is “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart,” which is found in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah.

I believe that before we were borne, we were set apart for something better.

I believe we are called to mountain tops and high places. But those journeys to the peaks, begin growing in the valley. We are called to bloom where we’re planted, until we are transplanted to places where we blossom.

I believe that if you and I can agree to believe together, nothing shall be impossible for us.

So, back to the ladies in the bookstore. I don’t know whether they found a book or not. I left the employee to do her job that she was getting paid to do. And then I went to another section in the store. There, on the floor, sat a young girl, under the Self Improvement section. Beautiful long hair, tattoos all over, black leather boots, and in her hands a stack of books on Tarot cards. So of course, I felt the need to strike up a conversation with her too. I just couldn’t help myself. I try so hard to mind my own business, and I just can’t do it. I can’t. Because I know a better way of life, I just can’t help myself, I have to tell people. It’s the craziest thing in the world. It’s like I just can’t let people go on their merry way when I know they are lost. So I won’t bore you with that story today, I’ll save it for another day, but it was a good one.

Whats.in.your.pocket

Have you recently found yourself thinking about your future or suffering from angst because of the current headlines in our world?   Do you find yourself getting frustrated or emotional at the drop of the hat?   I’m hoping someone is honest enough to say, yes….I am.  The truth is, so am I!


When I was younger I had a “happy go lucky” outlook on life.  Life was fun and I was carefree.  Then LIFE happened… to me.  I wasn’t just observing it any more, I was caught in the middle of it.  Some days were hard, rough, and painful.  But not always.  I have very fond memories of people and places that made me feel safe.

I remember as a child, if I had a runny nose or an ear infection, mom would take me to the doctors …. who, by the way, knew me by name.  Doctors knew my name, and my family, and probably most of my friends.  There were only four doctors in my town, and they knew everyone, and they knew everything about everyone.  It was a safe place for me. A place where I trusted the experts to take care of sickness….and they did.  There weren’t so many opinions and options then. People really mattered.

One story stands out in particular about a wonderful doctor I had until I graduated from high school.  I was headed out for a checkup, old enough to drive myself, and my mom slipped a note in my shirt pocket.  When I ask her what it was for, she told me to give it to the doctor so he could go over everything on her list.  

Well….I was a big girl by now, taking myself to the doctor, and before I made it to his office, I had already decided that I was NOT going to give him a note from my mom!   How embarrassing would that be? Surely I can take care of this myself.

So I went, and when the doctor came in, I never mentioned the note in my shirt pocket.  During the normal routine, he checked my eyes, ears, and nose and just about the time I opened my mouth to say  AHHHH….he saw the note.  He takes it out of my pocket with a quick witted ….”What do we have here?  Let’s see what mom sent me?”
I could have fallen over in the floor.   How in the world did he see that note?  I was so embarrassed.  But it was too late.  So he goes over the checklist from mom.


Now that is a funny story today, but it wasn’t so funny when I was trying to be all independent and grown up.  
I survived, but I’ve been reminded lately that much hasn’t changed.  I’m still that young girl, sitting in a world of people that seem to be much smarter than I am, more confident, wealthier, you know….the cool kids who run with the “in crowd”.  I thought I would eventually outgrow that feeling, but I’m still here, trying to act all adult and smart… with a parent’s note tucked in my pocket. 


Truth is, we all do it, and we do it, all the time.   We hide our insecurities in our pockets, hoping no one will notice, as we act all calm, cool and collective.


But I have learned a little since that day.  I now know that there is a Great Physician. And The Great Physician already knows.  He knows everything on the list that He sees tucked in my pocket and your pocket, or tucked away deep in your heart.  I like the fact that He’s the smartest guy in the room.  He knows everyone, and He knows everything about everyone.  With Him, I feel safe.  With Him, I feel secure.  With Him, I feel taken care of.   With Him, I feel loved.   

I like how these few words say so much! Romans 15:33 sums it up  “The God of peace be with you all. Amen.”  It’s comforting to know the peace of God. But what a deeper joy, to know the God of the peace.

Truth.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared, but I feel the nudge too. I am reminded that God’s promises are true.  God is not a man and He cannot lie. God is also not limited to our time. He set time in place, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seasons. But He is completely free to work outside of our limitations. Hold onto the promises of God. He has no limit. He only wants us to join Him in the journey. I feel Him stirring, things I prayed about years ago are coming back into my spirit. I’m being reminded of people in my life who have at one time or another made a positive impact on who I am today. God will work things out for the good. Know that while you fight your fight, He’s fighting behind the scenes … And His victory will be greater than your battle. His power will be greater than your suffering. His anointing will be greater than your trial. His blessing will be greater than your loss. And His blood will be greater than your sin. His spirit will be greater than weakness. His joy will replace your despair. His peace will replace your confusion. His strength will replace your shortcomings, and His love will replace your longing.
Signing off and sending you love from home tonight. 💗

planting.a.little.seed

I am definitely not a farmer in the natural world, but I understand that all things grow from seed planting.  So tonight, I’m going to plant a little seed.  It may be a very small seed, but I am planting it in a very large place.   This seed tonight is for the small group of readers I have abroad.  I have a very few who read my blog from other places in the world.  I thank you!

So this seed is found in a special blog that I follow….

http://www.pastorkemp.com

I have shared a link below of one of my recent favorites. These blogs are building blocks to life, and you will not be disappointed. So click the link and sign up today.  I’m trusting the seeds planted in your life will bring a future harvest greater than you can imagine.

Today could be different

1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

Enough.is.enough

I wish I had more time to write this evening.  I need to be brief and to the point, but someone needs to know…

Enough is enough.

What I mean is …

You are enough.

You are valued.

You are bright.

You are genuine.

You are hand crafted.

You have amazing insight.

You have a beautiful spirit.

You are a wonderful creation.

You are enough!

Enough is enough!

(if you have trouble believing this….say it again, tomorrow, and the next day.)

Fresh.fruit

     Recently I was in the grocery store buying some fruit; cherries to be exact. I grabbed a bag, quickly inspected them, and went on with the rest of my grocery shopping. Even though the cherries were a little pricey, I bought them because I thought they were worth it. Every day, I would grab a few pieces, usually in a hurry, and enjoy them on the run. However, one morning, something happened. When I reached in the bag, I noticed one piece was moldy. So I stopped and decided to check the rest of the bag.   

     I got out the colander and started sorting the cherries. Of course, that “one” was not the only one with mold. So, I started tossing the bad ones and the others that appeared to be going bad.   

     Enough with the cherry story … right? Not just yet. I took time to wash them all, just in case there was leftover mold stuck to the good ones that I couldn’t see. By now, this had turned into a 15-minute project of washing and cleaning fruit. Why? Because I enjoy them and, they were expensive. 

Why does this matter? 

     Without noticing it, the busy world that we live in rubs up against us. It rubs up against our spirit. It rubs up against our mind. It rubs up against who we are. So every day it leaves a little imprint of its mold somewhere on us like lint on our clothes. It can even happen overnight. We pick it up at the grocery store, at the restaurant, at work, or the gas station. And yes, if we’re not careful, we can even pick it up at church. Yes, God forbid, but it can happen. We all carry a little mold with us wherever we go. I hope you are not offended that I point this out, because I struggle with it myself.      

   If we read the bible, we know that at the end of time, judgement comes to separate. This will be forever. However, that time has not happened yet. We have a great advantage to this moment of grace that we live in. We have time, especially for a little washing. The enemy is trying to tell you that you are too busy to care about a little mold. Do not believe him. He is lying to you.   

What can we do?

     So today, take a little time to wash off the fruit. You know, the fruit that the Spirit has given you. Wash off that speck of mold from your mind today – be fresh. Wash off that speck of mold from your spirit today – be free. Wash off that speck of mold from your clothes today – be clean. Tidy things up a little. You will be so glad you did. We all know how to do this. Take a minute to look up a scripture and let it wash over and cleanse your mind today.   

Your prayer can make a difference.

   Say a quick prayer for somebody. Or better yet, say a quick prayer for yourself. Even the smallest prayer makes a difference. Remember, with Jesus a little usually goes a long way (Fishes and Loaves, John 6:10-13). A little fresh water cleans us all up. It gives us a little more shine. It makes us a little more pleasant. It gives us a better fragrance. Isn’t this the kind of fruit you want? I know I do. Yes, it is more pleasant, tasteful, and enjoyable, without all of the mold. Oh, and by the way, good fruit is expensive. It costs. It comes with a price tag. Just ask the man who paid for it….His name is Jesus. He thought you were worth it!