January 19, 2019 Starting off the year right.

Art by Julie Sheppard

Hello Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not written anything for a while now. This last year has definitely been busy and a lot has happened. I have also learned a lot. I started working on’Right Relations’, last year and it does not feel like I have gotten very much accomplished on this project, but it has given me time to reflect on the relationships I have had and the testimonies of how each of the relationships had effected me and my relationship with Jesus, and even my current relationships(none that are romantic). I am praying to share my insights through out this year and possibly help or give hope to at least one person.

This year has started off well. I was able to share my testimony on my last suicide attempt which I have shared here, ‘Testimony, I gave up on life and survived’. Even though I had posted this a few years back I had not publicly shared it, with those who knew me or went to church with. I am grateful I did though because since I gave shared that part of my testimony, I have had people talk to me and share about themselves and how my testimony did help them. I have many chapters in my life and many testimonies of the things God has done for me through some very dark periods of my life, and I have written some down and shared them here. I guess it is coming to the time to share them in person.

All of you reading this have testimonies. You are alive and lived through so many different things, some good, some bad, and some tragic. You have a story to share. I encourage you to so so. Share your testimony, break it down into chapters so you do not become overwhelmed. In Revelation 12, you will read …10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—he who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.”…

Life shared is life given, and that is what you give when you give your testimony. I know how afraid you can be when thinking of sharing yourself with another, and how even writing your testimony can be a draining experience. Pouring yourself out, exposing yourself, and knowing that once it is out there you can’t take it back. Then fear of judgement and rejection begin to work on our thoughts. Afraid that if they learn who we truly are and what we had done in the past they would no longer love or want us in their life. One word of encouragement is, ‘god knows you, and He knows everything you have ever done and He still loves you!’ Proof is in that He loved you so very much that He sent Jesus, His Son to die for you. So that you can live. Yes some may criticize or even condemn us when we open up and let His light into the dark areas of our lives, but His light overcomes the darkness. His love never fails, and He will never abandon you.

So it is now your turn, speak up and share what He has done in your life, and reach out to someone you do not even know that is hurting and give them hope.

P.S. I have not stopped working on Right Relations and I am still looking for testimonies on relationships, both good and bad, that I may include in this work. If you feel led to share with me please leave me a comment and I will give you my contact information. I also would like to tell you anything you share with me if used can be kept anonymous.

Thank you and God bless

Have You Really Looked At The Cross?


I made this cross a while back. The clay did not bake as it had before. Instead it came out black and cracked. I was going to throw it away but I couldn’t. You see various places decorated with beautifully crafted crosses. Some even dedicate a wall in their home to crosses they have collected. Each one beautifully decorated with jewels, or flowers. Some are painted. They are made from various materials. I have made a few myself as gifts. I had looked at this black and cracked cross and thought it would never be a nice gift. It was not beautiful. I could have painted it but it was not smooth and it was cracked. To be honest when I looked at it, I thought it was ugly.

Then I thought about the day Jesus was nailed to a cross. The cross was not beautiful, they had not sanded it smooth. It was rough and stained with His blood. Pierced by spikes driven through His flesh, nailing Him to the instrument of death. When Mary looked up at her son Jesus, she did not see beauty. Her heart was torn, as she watched her son suffer and die. Innocent blood stained that cross. A life freely given to pay the price for the sins of all mankind, no matter when they were born or if they are male or female. He went to the cross without a fight, and then spoke forgiveness.

You know how badly He had been beaten and how distorted his face must have looked like. The pain that He felt. Not the pain of one man did He bear, but the pain of every person who would ever be born on this earth, and all of the sins He took on Himself. He redeemed us, because He loved us.

The beauty is not the cross, no matter how you decorate it. The beauty is the love of Jesus given on the cross. This cross is a reminder of how ugly my sin is, and what my sins cost. So I will be keeping this cross. Not for decoration but as a reminder of how much He loves me.

Right Relations / Thoughts May 28 2018

As I dive deeper into the subject of relationships and see the effort it takes to build good and healthy relationships, and then see how easy it is to allow toxic relationships harm the the healthy ones you have is exhausting me. Yet it is worth the effort if I want to have a better relationship with Jesus my Lord and Savior and with my Heavenly Father. Of course I cannot forget His Holy Spirit. Learning how I relate to others and how that effects my relationship with God is really opening my eyes to the areas in my life that still need so much work. Also seeing the parallels between my life and the lives of those recorded in the Bible is giving me a new perspective on how I view my own life and how much I need the help of the Holy Spirit to overcome my past and even some of my current relationships. The book of Genesis has so many different relationships recorded I wonder how long it will take me to move on to others further down the line, like the book of both 1&2 Samuel, Judges, Job, Esther and Ruth to name a few, and there is still the New testament. All of the relationships recorded from Genesis to Revelation still reflect the relationships we have today. If you have the time you can read from my collection, ‘Letters from God’ fictional letters based on those found in the Bible. The list of both good and wrong relationships can be found through the Bible. Even the relationships found in the parables Jesus taught can we relate to today.

Well It is time for me to dive back into His Word and find my next inspiration for which relationship to write about. I am still looking for testimonies about relationships, both the right and worn and how God worked in your life through them. If you would like to share your testimony leave me a comment and I will give you my email. I will keep your name private if that is what you would like. I understand anonymity with some testimonies is important to the one sharing their story. In sharing how God has worked in your life can be what one may need to find hope for their life. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and God bless and keep you always.

I am a liar

Wow,I said it.I am a liar.How can this be?I am a child of God so how can I tell a lie?Every time I say that I am fine when I am not,I am lying. Does that mean I am a bad person? No it doesn’t,but I am not being honest.It would be better for me to say I don’t feel like talking or I have been better. This way I am being honest with out having to lie.

This does not mean that I pretend that I don’t have any problems or that I am not hurting.I do need to have someone I trust that I can talk to. A person who can help me with my struggle whatever it may be. A person who will listen and be honest with me. Someone who is kind but will not be what I like to call a ‘Yes man ‘. I do not need a person who will agree with me if I am in the wrong.A real friend who cares about more than my feelings. They want what is best for me,and will tell me the truth even when they know I may not like what they have to say.

The truth can be painful and difficult to speak but if we lie we are only hiding in the dark. You can not see the way out in the dark. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light. If I want to get better I need to be honest and tell the truth.

Right Relations / Thoughts April 19, 2018

This project makes me feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew. With so many different types of relationships people have, it feels like I will never be done. I know I am still in the beginning phase of this project and I am certain that the Lord has given to me this task, but I an feeling overwhelmed and under qualified, I can look at my own relations that I have had and the current ones and I see more damaged and failed relations than good and healthy ones. So who am I to write about relationships? I do not know why God has given me this assignment but I understand that how we relate to others here on earth, that we can see, hear and touch, definitely can have an impact on our relationship with an unseen God. We call Him Father, a title that can give us images of an overbearing tyrant, or a lovable and gentle grandfather. These of course are only two examples of how people can see Him. I want to ask Him, ‘Why me?’ I have no degree in psychology or counseling, although I did take course in psychology, it was only a prerequisite for a course I was taking. I am no a professor, I have taught from preschool up to middle school. None of this makes me an expert on relationships, and I am no expert when it come to God either. So why am I sitting here writing to others about relationships?

I think about Gideon. He even thought there had to be a mistake. He was the least of the least of the least. Yet God chose him and used him. Esther was an orphan who became a queen who God used to save her people. Saul had killed many Christians before he had his Damascus experience and he became Paul, a man who wrote a number of books in what we call the New Testament. I however and not close to any of these people.

I see people who come from terrible backgrounds, who had painful childhoods, and they are some of the most successful in their relationships. Then I have seen people who had the loving caring family that raised and cared for them turn into adults who cannot form one healthy and loving relationship for themselves. I do not understand how this works but the one thing I do know is every relationship requires work. Good or bad relationships depend on us. The choices we make, the things we do. Do we give love and return hate in return? Jesus did. He died not only for those who loved and followed Him, He died for those who hated and despised Him. Now that is dedication and more important that is a love none of truly gets. He wasn’t just kind and caring to those who were good to Him. He loves everyone, unconditionally. We on the other hand  are not so loving.

I know of toxic relationships that last what seems a life time, and wonder how? A house filled with bitterness, strife and hatred. They demean and tear each other apart and yet can say they love each other. They don’t break up, and continue to live under the same roof miserable. I wonder how such hate filled people can stay in a relationship, while I see loving compassionate and caring people alone. Hoping one day to find someone who will love them as much as they love. Although I understand the wisdom in waiting. It is better to be alone and single, than get into a relationship with will not only make you miserable but here is one thing I have learned about wrong relationships;  they are good at driving a wedge between you and Jesus. You may still pray and call upon His name, but the closeness you had before this wrong relationship is gone. It is like going from spending time daily with your best friend, to that friend who moved away that you only talk to on the phone. The phone calls become less and less until one day you are wondering how they are doing and how long has it been since you last talked. I know this is also part of the reason for me to write this. A reminder to work on not just our earthly relationships, but our Heavenly one as well. Don’t neglect your relationships, they are important.

I want to thank those of you who have been following me on this journey and being patient with the rough draft that this project is. I am still looking for testimonies on relationships. These testimonies can help others, and I will be saving them for the book so they will not be posted on my blog. I can also make your testimony anonymous or change names if that would make you feel more comfortable. I have shared some of my own testimonies on this journey and I hope they have touched the lives of at least one person and given them hope. What ever type of relationship testimony you have I would be grateful to receive, if you leave a comment showing interest in sharing I will give you my contact information. I hope to hear from you soon, and thank you.

Right Relations / Thoughts April 15, 2018

This morning my thoughts are on how we can so easily let relationships drift away. Even a boat on calm water can drift if it is no securely anchored. Our relationships need our attention and effort if we want to keep them. These relationships that drift away are not bad relationships, and are not with people you quarrel with. They are those relationships that drift away because you have not stayed connected with. I am not saying you have to make time daily to call or talk to these people who you have drifted away from, but we need to make an effort to stay in contact. Make that phone call, write a letter or send a card (make it personal and skip the text or email), or even better go and visit them. People need to know they are important to you and that you care that they are a part of your life. How many of us still have friends from our childhood? I have a few, but to be honest we have grown distant, and not just in location. Most of us have moved to different states and a spread out over the country. We have even lost contact. We got busy and life moved us right along. I am envious when I watch a movie where a group of friends from childhood are still very close, and are there for each other, and wonder how my life would have turned out if we had stayed in better contact. I know many of the choices I made before we even moved away from each other was already putting distance between us. Not that my childhood was great, but I had friends who meant so much to me, and we went through so much together. Even though I had friends that were not all part of the same group, I was a social butterfly and had friends with interests in many different things, but it did not matter how we became friends or which group they belonged to, they were my dearest and best friends. Yet now we are barely acquaintances. We have our own lives and new friends. We may think of each other from time to time, but the closeness we once shared is gone. We didn’t have a major falling out, there was no fighting, we just grew apart for various reasons. There is no one to blame, no tragedy, we just grew apart.

So why am I thinking about this today? To be honest, I was not feeling well when I woke up and had thought about staying home from church. Now I know that Jesus is with me every moment of my day and night, and that I do not need a building to worship Him. I do however see how easy it is to drift away from Him and go my own way if I am not willing to make an effort to gather with other believers who are my brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a part of me that hates showing up when I don’t feel well and that I am struggling with my health or my finances are troubling me because there are bills I am not able to pay, and I do not want to be that person who always has their hand out. I don’t want to be the one complaining all the time, and so I want to disconnect and hide. If I stay home and don’t answer the phone then I can keep from showing the negative parts of my life, forgetting this life is not my own. I gave my life to Jesus, not because I had to or because I was told I had no choice. I gave my life to Him because He gave me His life and showed me how much He loves me. He didn’t stop loving me because I sinned, and He didn’t stop loving me the many times I walked away. He has loved me from before I was born and still loves me today. Yet if there is no real reason for me to stay home, if I can get up on my feet and get dressed, then I need to connect with the others who God has placed in my life and fellowship with them and grow my relationships with them. By doing this I am not just securing my relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but with Jesus who lives in each of us.

Today I am glad I chose to go and worship and here His message,  and Lee share an excellent message and the worship was beautiful. The Lord inhabits the praise of His people and His love was shared by all in attendance. We need each other, so that we can encourage and lift each other up.


Is there a relationship in your life that need tending to?

What effort do you need to make to nurture this relationship?

God bless you and your loved ones, may your relationship with one another grow closer and more loving as the love of Jesus grows in you.



Right Relations / Continued thoughts 4-2-2018

So far I have written a rough outline which is already changing. I have now touched bas on family relations, and the parent child relationship. I have also touched base on commitment and communication as well as relationship status. I feel like I am all over the place and that I have no idea of what I am actually doing. What I do know is that I am being led by His Spirit and He is teaching me so much. Even though I do not feel I am currently accomplishing anything in what I am calling a mess of this project I remembering what a fractal is. It seems random but it shows the beauty of God’s creation. Even when He formed man from the dust of the earth, man was just dirt until God breathed life into Adam. I feel like my eyes have been opened for the first time and I am seeing things for the first time. As old as I am there is plenty I have seen and lived through, and there is till so much of this world I would like to see. Yet what I want to see is changing every day. Scripture tells me to seek the Lord with all my heart and He will give me what I desire. What most do not understand is that as we seek Him our desires change. Things that were once so important do not seem to mean as much to us the closer we get to Him.

I usually like to get my outline just right and research the subject on which I will be writing about before I write anything. Then after I get my notes written down I begin to organize them and start working on what I am writing about. I take notes, write definitions and seek out as much information that I can find on the subject. Then as I write I double check spelling and do a little editing, then once I feel I have written all I need to to finish the piece I do a another edit. Then I share it with a person or two who I feel will be constructive in their criticism and make any corrections they inform me that I need to make. Then the make the final edit. Then my project is complete.

Now here I am writing in what I am calling a chaotic mess. As I look at what I am writing I feel I am all over the place. There is so much in regards to relationships. The types of relations we have make such a long list I do not feel I have listed them all. Then breaking down each relationship has so many variations I could easily get lost in this process. Yet this is all a work in progress and no relationship is perfect. There however is a perfect love and One who loves perfectly. Our Heavenly Father and He is the One guiding me through this process. So in the weeks and even months to come will be continuing to dive deeper and learn more and share my progress an pray that whatever I write helps another. So only God knows what I will be dealing with next, and if it is for my benefit or anothers.