Tuesday, December 19, 2006



All my roses have gone to bed for the winter. They no longer produce for me the lovely velvet petaled blooms. They no longer give their fragrance. Too bad. I enjoyed the blossoms.

Now I see the dead stumps I've yet to trim back for the winter. But will get to them this weekend. The thorns attached to the stems will not bother me for now. I have no reason to pick anymore roses.

I've decided to consult a specialist in roses. One who can tell me what to do about producing better varieties next year. One that can tell me how to prepare my soil and eliminate the varmits that serve to keep me from enjoying the beauty of the truest most beautiful roses. I found a blight in my variety.

I love all colors and had thought about getting a black rose. But I've already had one of those and am never going to get another. They give less beauty than one would think---even though they are different. So I shall stick to common varieties that flourish and enjoy the world I'm in without threatening to take over the rest of my garden.

And while the specialists do their job, I'll do mine. I will breathe rose-free air till Spring. There's alot to be done. That is what must occur in order to get those roses without thorns. And with the Rose of Sharon, there is no thorns either. He produces the best without the thorns. And I am grateful for His space in my garden. I pray He lives in yours. selahV

Monday, December 18, 2006


I don't know about you, but I know a lot of people who don't get paid what they are worth.
Throughout my life, each job I held paid far below the amount most folks paid for the same position. But somehow, I survived.; God provided. And looking back I find that each and every job was preparing me for the next phase of my life. For that, there is no compensation.

As I watch people suffer around me, in a far worse situation than myself, I am reminded how truly blessed I am.
But on top of that, I am reminded that those who cause the sufferings, fears, injustice and pain for others will most certainly get their reward for their actions. The Lord says in His Word, that the wages of sin is death.

This sin may not bring death physically. But sin severs relationships. Sin destroys lives. Sin robs people of joy, peace and happiness. And sin will pay out what is due on pay day. Only God determines that moment. There is no doubt our sins will be found out. Even if we think we have hidden them well, they will be brought into the Light.

When Light penetrates darkness, what is unseen in the dark, is seen in the Light. While I don't want to see anyone punished, I don't want the unjust to go unpunished. I am grateful our Savior provides a way for us. I am grateful that Jesus can be better trusted to pay in full what I rightfully should pay and reward me for what little I may be due according to His riches in glory. Until then, I know who I can trust and most certainly who I cannot. Has something to do with discernment, I think.

In blogland, we face many many perils. Internet is both good and unfortunately very bad. There are those who lurk in the shadows of our typed letters and think their tracks are covered. They are not. They think no one is listening. They are wrong. They think no one is watching and no one will discover their evildoings. Some may feel they are righteous in their actions for some way they have been wronged. But that is a LIE. And when we buy into that logic, we are as bad as the evil one who we battle. Not in flesh and blood, but in realms, powers of darkness, and with principalities we cannot see.

The amazing thing is how God's voice thunders His warnings in the wee small hours of the morning. In the stillness of the night. In a whisper that will wake the dead. And when that voice speaks, His sheep know His voice and respond in obedience.

God is ever-present. Ever-watching. He neither slumbers, nor sleeps. He will protect and He will provide. And He will always, always pay just wages in every situation. And that is why I can sleep.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Hi there! You may notice I have changed my profile picture. That's because a friend suggested I put up a picture which more closely matched what I am and what I look like. My other picture was deceiving. It was taken when I was younger. (I won't tell how much.) So in order to present a more truthful persona: "HEEEERRE'S SelahV!"

I have a dear friend who just had a facelift. Everyone's saying she looks wonderful. Not fair. I'm younger than her. Now she looks younger than me! LOL. So, since I can't afford a facelift, I decided on a nose-job! What say ye?

FOLLOW UP: I didn't get exactly what I wanted for Christmas the other day. But, my husband didn't have to dig a hole for a mailbox either. He bought one of those new-fangled jobs you pound in the ground and insert the post. KEWL thing! Love the advancement of man. And the good news is that I get to hint for another 6 days. Yep; he shops on Christmas Eve. Cracks me up. That's a man-thing! Well, not really. I think it is a gene-thing. Cause my daughter does that, too. She got it from her dad.

All this brings me back to the title of my blog today. "I AM WHO I AM." That is all I can be. God made me the way I am. Sorta. He wants me to reflect him in all I do and say. And this goofy face is not to be construed as a reflection of God in any way shape or form. But it does tell us that He loves us just as we are. And He will change us into the likeness of His Son...in His time, as He sees fit, the way He sees fit. And for now, He thinks I'm a hoot! [copyrighted, selahV, 2006]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006



It's hard to be a man in a man's world. Men have different ways of dealing with each other...conversing. Even their analogies are different than women's. They are born to battle. To compete. To win.

They think differently, too. When I ask my husband a question, he almost invariably answers with a question. I find myself actually answering his question and never really getting an answer to mine. We laugh about it alot. Sometimes I say, "Can I ask you a question?" He replies, "Why, what do you need?" Lately, I start with, "Honey, I want to ask you a question, but when I do, I want you to answer the question with a yes or a no." He replies, "Why?" I begin laughing and he begins laughing and we know that it is because of the "trap syndrome".

All men have it. (Maybe I shouldn't say all, but from all the ladies I talk to? Most men have it.) They think anytime a woman asks a man a question that they are setting a trap. They think we are baiting them; that the first question is going to lead to a second. That the second leading to a "Gotcha!" It may stem from Eve giving the fruit to Adam and telling him to eat. After that, man could never trust a woman again, I guess.

This makes it really hard to communicate in a man's world unless one becomes like a man. Well, I've tried that too, but I don't like it. I don't like answering questions with questions. What if you ask the wrong question? Will you ever get the answer to your first question? It seems if one is to be part of a man's world, one must think like a man. But then we have another problem. Ego.

Men have bigger egos than women. They have a different kind of pride. We women have no pride. We get lost; we stop and ask for directions. We get sick; we go see a doctor. Our pride is in communicating effectively, nurturing effectively, and feeling right about what we feel right about. A man's pride often is in communicating to win a debate, avoid a debate, accelerate a debate or confirm they are correct in a debate. I might be wrong here. Just a woman's observations, ya see?

Anyway, most of my understanding stems from experience in trying to communicate with one of the most humble men on this earth for over four decades. It includes trying to win the approval or at least one word or phrase of approval from the highest authority of man given me before my husband--my dad. It includes surviving as the only girl among two elder biological brothers, one elder stepbrother, and one younger stepbrother. It includes multiple relationships with male step-cousins who inhabited the same house as I lived in for the majority of my teenage years. I also had the honor to raise a little boy through every stage of his life and watch him grow into one of the most loving, nurturing, boy/men I'll ever know.

So, I do have a bit of experience with communicating with boys, men and also, the inescapable inability to communicate on multiple occasions. I've also been afforded the grand prize of watching my stepmother's total failure at communicating anything she felt important. (Which after a spell, she felt nothing she had to offer was worthy of communicating, so she settled in to her sewing bench and used up millions of miles of thread to communicate with material.)

In this world dominated by men, and now infiltrated by women, I'm afraid some of us, who have timidly or boldly dared to venture beyond our sewing benches, are still talking with boys instead of men. This is the dilemma we ladies find ourselves in when trying to exist in the world in which some misguidedly say we are equal. Therefore we communicate as mothers to the boys, daughters to our husbands, and sisters to most of the men--and women only to women.

Describing the relationship a sister has with brothers provides more examples than this one blog could endure. Suffice it to say, I was forced to play centerfield without the benefit of a glove, pushed into more closets during games of hide-and-seek and left for hours so they could do what boys do--be boys. And lately, while I am finally beginning to meet some "real" men whose egos are firmly rooted in the security of their Father's Word, I'm also struggling to see my way out of this darn dark closet. And only a woman could relate to what junk is stored in here.
[copyrighted, selahV,2006]

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Last night the Lord shouted at me.

Yes He did! Thunder pounded like a base drum in the sky above my roof. Lightning splashed the blackened sky like paparazzi bulbs on Oscar night. I heard God as clearly as if I'd been sitting in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and penned Psalm 29 myself. "The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of Glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters."{3. "The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic."{4.

My windows rattled. Whipping winds tossed brittle leaves and ice against the panes. It was as if God were tapping with a whispered tone, "Hey, SelahV, let Me in. I want to share some thoughts with you." But I typed on. "The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning."{7. But I typed on. "Tap, tap, tap," my window-pane repeated. My fingertips paused; I thought for a while.

How great is my God. I love thunderstorms. I love lightning's panoramic display.
My daughter's dog whined and broke my reverie. She poked her cold nose on my bare ankle. She needed to go out. But she did not like the ice-ladened grass. Timidly she stepped as if walking upon crusted leaves was like thin ice on Moosehead Lake in Maine. I laughed. She was so comical. I wonder now, is that how God looks down on me when I'm afraid to walk on slippery slopes or unchallenged territory? He knows the ground is secure. The ice is but cellophane that He removes before I take a step.

Today I laugh again. For in my feeble attempt to post my blogs last night, some cyber thief snatched them up each time I hit "save or publish". Today I visited several blogs before I came to write. So many folks complaining. Their thought-filled posts had experienced the same fate as mine. How absolutely annoying. But oh so funny.

Amid today's lighted cloud-filled sky, ice and snow still falls in Oklahoma. Already today, I've tried to post. I've pushed the save and publish buttons. Gobble gobble crunch crunch were the silent sounds of my work being eaten and deposited into the cyber bowels of satan.

I got ticked for a few seconds, then laughed at how funny God is. I, in my finite self-filled humanity, thought I'd done something really grand, and God comes down and snatches it up before anyone ever gets a chance to read it. So do I get mad at my computer? My internet service provider? My electric company? Or my blogspot/google gurus?

Nay, none of the above. The sin of self originated with me and the Lord just purged my sweet adorable pride with a bit of cyberoptic humor. It's then I read the last line in Psalm 29 and I sat still and knew..."The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace."{11. What joy is found in God's sense of humor! What peace His voice restores when thunder shouts and lightning clears clouds of night with the Presence of His Word. Pause, think on these things today, my SelahV [copyrighted, 2006, selahV]

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Do I really?
Do I really bring the Lord my life? Each day? Upon waking? Or do I hold my life close to me?

Horde the moments. Neglect His plan and purpose. Where can I go? Where can I go? Where can I go but to the Lord?

I can go where others have fallen. I can walk in the way of the ungodly. I can stand in the path where sinners walk. I can sit down where the scornful gather. OR..."I can dwell in the house of the Lord forever. All the days of my life. And in my days of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock." Psalms 27:4,5

I got up this morning. Let my daughter's lapso apso out. Pushed the button on my coffee pot. And went to my computer desk. I'll check email, I thought. After that, I clicked on some favorite websites. I highlighted a link I'd never visited before. She shared her life verse with us...with me...with anyone who cared to read it. Then she posed the question: "do you have a life verse?" I had no problem answering that.

God gave me a life-verse within days of my introduction to Jesus in 1976. I was twenty-eight. Pauline Burke's mother of some eighty-plus years, served it to me. I was hungry. I sat at her feet and listened as she shared her story. As a child she was taught to memorize scripture. Called it "Gathering Pearls." Sister Burke told me her life-verse. She repeated it from memory just like she was saying hello, my name is...: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

Proverbs 3:5-6.

I loved it. I was so confused. I didn't understand Jesus very well. I couldn't imagine an innocent, sinless man-slash-God giving up His life to attone for my wicked life. I was scared. I couldn't imagine how I would ever be able to live up to the commitment I'd just made to live for Jesus, to make Him Lord of my life. I wrote that verse down and when I got home, I underlined it in my Bible. I wrote the verse on little note cards and posted it throughout my house. Refrigerator. Mirrors. Telephone.

I memorized that verse. And God has been so faithful to me. Through the turmoil of my life. Through separations. Death. Uncertainty. Financial difficulties. I learned to "trust in the Lord"--not man, not circumstance, not wealth or poverty. Not my heart...but His. I trusted Him.

I learned not to "lean on my understanding" of society, government or man's rebuke and life's perplexities. I learned to "acknowledge Him" when others sneered or laughed or mocked. I learned He would indeed, "direct my path".

He's led me through dark valleys, beside still waters. He's restored my soul, and the joy of His salvation. Time after time after time. He's placed me in places I never wanted to be but when I learned to submit to Him and be obedient to His will, He has shown me the purpose for which He saved me. Part of that purpose is before you at this moment.

May He guide you to do what He wants you to do with it. Let go and let God. The world is at your fingertips. SelahV
[copyrighted, 2006, selahV]

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Some people live to find fault. They can read every line of the Bible and say it is of God, yet disagree with it, too. Some folks can disagree upon doctrine, but agree upon a portion of scripture, yet still view the other is wrong simply because the other person said it. I find this absolutely mind boggling.

I lived with arguments my entire childhood. Often I would go into my room and cover my head with my pillow. But that didn't work. I still heard it. Daddy would leave. But the argument didn't. Mama would go on and on and on and on about how awful daddy was, how horrible my biological mother was, (even though she never saw her or spoke to her). I came to realize that my stepmother wasn't happy unless she was finding fault with someone. She wasn't satisfied with answers unless answers agreed with her. And even then she'd find something wrong with the way folks agreed with her.

After she divorced my dad, I still kept in touch with her. Time after time I'd travel nine hours one-way to help her with something she said no one would help her with. Time after time I would discover upon arrival that many church folks and even some relatives had tried to help her, only to be rebuffed for not doing it her way. She had a few pet people in her life that could do no wrong. Their thoughts were pure, their words were sound and their motives beyond reproach. And even though those pet-people ordered her around like a dog and had absolutely nothing good to say about her, she defended them, praised them and worshipped them.

Recently I had an email from a blogger (I'll call him/her Gen) who asked me why I never commented on thoughts he/she had regarding a certain group of Christians (I'll call them AZ). Gen hasn't had good experiences with the AZ group. AZ's come across as know-it-all folks to Gen. Gen says he/she can't talk to AZ's. AZ's look at Gen and Gen's friends with low regard. AZ's see black as grey and white as ivory. Gen sees black as black and white as white.

After several emails I finally told Gen, I just didn't know what to say. I gave up trying to tell folks what color life was a long time ago. I'm simply colorblind to all the fabric of their arguments. It would have to be threadbare in the light of Jesus before anyone could explain some things to some people and then those people would argue with Jesus.

Folks are hard to live with when they have their minds made up about something. My dear departed stepmother called them bullheaded. Proverbs calls them something else. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is quickly known; but a prudent man ignores an insult." Pr.12:15-16. A bit further down it says, "There are those who speak rashly like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

I find that folks who constantly put down others and point out others' words as false, unnecessary, or without foundation are like the "one who troubles his own house. They will inherit the wind". Eventually no one will listen to them. Eventually they will be ignored. Eventually everyone will turn to the folks who will reason and listen and hear.

I've discovered something vitally important to those who enjoy blogging and reading blogs and responding to blogs. Sometimes you can step into some mudpuddles.

For newcomers, let me suggest something. If the bloghost has something you are interested in, read it. If you want to comment, comment. If you feel attacked, don't go back for more. Just stop reading them. That's what I do. And if your comments are rebuffed (even though you meant them with the most sincere intentions), forget about it and move on. For "anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad." Pr. 12:25. There's enough negativity in the world without subjecting yourself to someone's when you don't have to. So if you find yourself in a quagmire of mud, fault no one but yourself.

Encourage someone today. Make someone's heart glad. If all you have to say is something negative, do the world a favor, keep it to yourself. Life is short. Time really does count. So make it count for something special for someone today. [copyrighted, 2006, selahV]



Well, the following is a comment I made to an Anonymous Blogger's comment to one of my previous blog comments to a fellow blogger. To clear that statement up, I am going to begin at the beginning.

I wrote a blog entitled: IT IS MORE BLESSED TO RECEIVE. I had a comment by an anonymous blogger who signs her comments, BJ. I responded to her comment. Then I had another comment by another anonymous blogger who signs her comment, Meg. I've tried many times to respond to Meg's comment and others on other blogs I have, but to no avail. Either everyone in the world is blogging today instead of eating Turkey dinner, or beta blogger just hates me. (I even went to another site entirely and tried to comment from that one and it wouldn't let me). So here I am blogging about not being able to comment on my own blogsite. End of explanation to the reason I am writing the following message to Meg:

MEG: This is the tenth time I have tried to respond to your comment,
hon. My blogger comment won't let me blog back for some reason. If
it doesn't work this time, I am going to post a new blog just to comment to you
and others who have contacted me via email.

First, let me say, welcome, Meg. Thanks for dropping in.

I guess all I had to say in my blog, "More Blessed to Receive" was of little
interest. But the comment I made to my friend, BJ captured your thoughts enough
to spark a comment. Glad you did. Though I apologize that it took an
issue of which controversy surrounds to stimulate your visit. Nevertheless, here goes:

Lord help those 7.50 an hour folks, Meg. I am with you. I just bought some lovely
little gifts at Goodwill yesterday. I do my best never to shop at
Wal-mart. Unfortunately, as soon as the minimum wage increases, those making 7.50
an hour will simply be closer to what minimum wage is going to increase to. The increase won't guarantee a person making 7.50 will also get an increase. Indeed not!

Instead, inflation will increase to accomodate the wage increases. Senior coffee will probably go up at McDonald's to 50 cents. Gas will rise again. Postage stamps will be hiked. And price of a candy bar that is smaller than last year's will jump 10%. Manufacturers will raise their prices, (which are already too high in my opinion).

And the business owners and employers will justify their 8% increases with the fact that they had a 3% increase in employee wages. And worse still, the employees still won't have adequate insurance, but the CEO's will be able to take long vacations in Paris and Cayman Islands. And the Corporations will still make generous donations to their
favorite charities which don't benefit their employees one whit--but will enhance public opinion, politicians, lobbyists or spark greater controversy.

What will happen to the $7.50 an hour person? He'll have to do like I do. Give up eating
out. Shop for all clothing at yardsales, Goodwill, and other thrift
stores. He'll have to wash out his coffee filters till they get holes,
reuse the coffee grounds for four or five pots of coffee and eat beans and rice
at least 3 times a week. He'll have to put all those throw-away cameras in a safety deposit box till he saves up enough to get the film developed to make scrapbooks.

And when his back molar breaks and the oral surgeon wants 800
dollars to do a rootcanal, and the dentist wants 600 to do a crown, he'll have
to wait till he has a fullblown abcess in order to get it pulled at the local
"free" dental clinic that operates one day a month to "extract" teeth only.

Then if he lives through that, he can go back to work at 7.50 an hour and maybe even
find another job to offset his pittance of an income.

By the way, if anyone thinks that the immigrants are doing us a favor by taking those minimum wage jobs that no one wants...they are mistaken.

My son owned his own tile business before the good Lord called him home to lay the "streets of gold". He employed a young Mexican fella and paid him 9.00 an hour plus bought him meals and gave him rides with him to work. Then he helped him study to pass his test for citizenship. Often my son was underbid for jobs by contractors
who paid illegal immigrants less than minimum wage and didn't give a flip as to
whether they were illegal or legal.

It's the employers fault that we have the problems today with illegals. And it's the Mexican government's fault that they aren't fixing their own economic issues. And it's NAFTA's fault for taking all our factory-jobs to Mexico and forcing those people to work for nothing so we Americans can get their goods for less because we Americans can't
do anything but want bigger and better Televisions to watch smut on nearly every
one of the 120 stations we subscribe to. (I'm venting now, Meg...not at you, love. You are just an innocent bystander who asked a simple question and threw a little gasoline on my slow cooking charcoal grill.)

And furthermore, it's our (we gluttonous Americans) fault that the playstations across America are in small supply to accomodate our ridiculous "camping out" in front of their stores. Those companies know if they make something bigger and better and only make a few of them, that it will cause a surge in popularity and folks will be standing in long lines, camping out and trampling over each other to get the FIRST ones off the assembly line. (Even if they could get one with ease come December 29th).

We are a "got-to-have-it-now" generation. I know. I've been one of those. I was raised by one of those.

But I don't want it now anymore. I simply want Jesus. And the rest can go where it belongs...in the dump.

Wow...I can't believe your simple little question could stir up so much in my Thankful little mind, Meg. I truly appreciate you stopping by and pray I didn't blow you into next year. Just got carried away. I, too, "need" more money to just get by. But I have all MY needs supplied. If they weren't God would help me out someway. It's my wants that keep tripping me up. Ya know?

p.s. If you come back again, Meg, I promise I won't take a whole blog to answer your question. Unless of course, my stupid comment thingy is still prohibiting me from answering you via the comment section. Happy Thanksgiving! selahV

[copyrighted, 2006, selahV]

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I broke an antique French plate Friday....or was it Thursday? I don't remember.
I was applying mascara and my elbow got too close to the Victorian transferware hanging next to my mirror. I nudged it just enough for it to pop off the wall. It plunged onto an antique English gingerjar that housed my Q-tips. Yep. Broke the gingerjar, too. Funny thing happened at the moment I broke it. Didn't bother me a bit.

I thought, wow. My heart didn't even skip a beat. I just looked at the broken pieces and thought, Lois Miller. Then I said, nah, I can make something from these broken pieces. I can make a shabby chic serving tray. But then Lois Miller popped into my mind again. I continued putting on my mascara and went to lunch with my friend, Barb. I figured I'd clean up that mess later.

As I drove to Atlanta Bread Company, I thought about my expensive plate and gingerjar that I'd paid far less than they were worth. Value? Maybe a hundred and fifty dollars. Now? Worthless. Broken. Useless.

I was reminded of a time I broke my stepmother's china cup and she went bonkers. She ranted on and on about that being her favorite cup. I cried. I was eleven. I tried to glue it back together. Of course, that was stupid. Who can drink coffee out of a cup that's been glued together in eight pieces? I'll never forget that cup and how I felt for breaking it.

But that is good. Cause when my children were growing up and they accidently broke something or spilled something, I didn't go bonkers. I thought about how tender their hearts were--how I didn't want to put any chips in them.

That's why I thought of Lois Miller. I met her years ago when I managed an Antique Mall in Evansville, Indiana. She rented a case from us and we sold the incredible jewelry she created from broken china. Pendants, bracelets, earrings. She now has her own
website. Folks actually bring pieces of their mother's and grandmother's china and she creates keepsake memories for them to wear. I had bought several pieces from her. I've never once worn that jewelry without a compliment and the inevitable question: "Where did you get that?"

When I got home from having lunch with Barb, (which was so much fun, because Barb is so inspiring), I came into my office and looked up the email for Lois Miller. I hadn't contacted her in quite a while. Wasn't sure the email would be correct. She replied right away. I asked if she'd like me to send some broken teal china to her. She was elated! Now can you imagine? Broken china.

Unlike my stepmother, Lois was thrilled when I offered her broken china. I didn't even have to glue it together. And it's the same with Jesus when I offer him my damaged life. He is thrilled. I don't have to glue it together, either. He does it. And someday He's gonna show me all the stuff He's made from my broken pieces. Isn't that wonderful?
[copyrighted, 2006, selahV]

Friday, November 17, 2006


I've never made a Christmas list. I'm one of those people who pass hints to folks all year long and double my efforts of dropping hints in the month of November. Inevitably, I still end up with wonderful things I didn't want. But that's okay. Christmas is about receiving...not giving, anyway. WHAT? I know, that's not what your momma always told you. But it's true. Hear me out.

One year I wanted something, I can't remember what because it never bothered me after I didn't receive it. But what I got instead? The most darling pair of plaster hearts with Abby's (my then year-old granddaughter's) impressed handprint. And a matching heart of her 4 year-old sister Brooklyn's hand. I can't even think of anything I could have wanted more, not even the group picture of all my grandchildren wearing Santa hats. And that was the last Christmas my entire family was together.

Then there was one Christmas (which were very few in number) that my husband and I couldn't make it to Oklahoma for the family celebration on Christmas Eve. In the mail in Kentucky, I received a wonderful too-large Teeshirt with all the grandchildren's handprints on it. Oh what a wonderful warm hug I received when I wore it. I'd been missing them so much.

Then there was the time my then ten-year-old son wrapped his school project in tissue and gave me one of my greatest treasures. A plaster mold of his hand. Imprinted on that right hand is the scar left over from when God saved him and his hand when he was hit by a schoolbus at the age of five. Today, I get to hold that hand anytime I want. It occupies a very important place on my bookshelf in my dining room. It's nestled in the midst of other memorabilia that Chad once held in his adult hands. A book, WILD AT HEART, a seashell he collected for his daughters. GOD'S LITTLE DEVOTIONAL BOOK FOR DADS. His Bible. A flat carpenter's pencil with imprinted teeth bites from holding it in his mouth after marking a tile he had to cut. A rawhide necklace with a cross of nails he never left home without.

No longer will his strong hands massage the taut muscles from my shoulders while I make his favorite pie for Christmas dinner. But God knew this day would come and He provided that little plaster hand for me to hold and remember the good times.

Amazing how much a gift can mean that you never even dreamed of receiving.

Today, I see all the nutty people camped out in front of Wal-mart, Best-Buy and other places. For what? A playstation game. A game that pulls the user's mind into it in such a way that the world could explode around them and they wouldn't notice. A dinner table ladened with twenty-four hours of mom's devotion is devoured in one bite so one can return to the magic-playstation. A box of dominoes lies buried in yesterday's memory box of family laughter of building long trains together. The persistent toddler's plea of "daddy will you play puzzles with me?" is not heard. A teenage daughter's lament that life isn't fair because this was the day her forever-loving boyfriend broke up with her, doesn't even register in anyone's mind.

A baby could cry or giggle or be born. Who would notice?

I hope everyone reading this will think a bit more about what they receive this year at Christmas. I am so grateful I received the Saviour born in Bethlehem so very long ago. And though we may debate the actual time of His birth, we mustn't debate the reality of His birth, Death and Resurrection. Nor the reason why it is far more blessed to receive than to give in this case. [copyrighted by SelahV 2006]

Monday, November 13, 2006



I will forever love that song. It carries such a harmonious melody of God's divine love for His creation.

I think about the beauty in my flower garden. The purple hues of cosmos. The brilliant red of geraniums. The delicate pinks of impatience. The vibrant yellow of mums. The varigated greens of stems and leaves.

I think about the height of giant sunflowers. The fragility of roses protected by thorns. The swaying of daisies in a summer's gentle breeze. The giggles of tiny violets shaded by stately zinnias. Their individuality forms such a myriad of grandeur.

I inhale the perfume wafting in the air. Roses, lilacs, lavendar and sage. Can one be valued more than the other? I suppose that is the case. Some like peppermint, others cinnamon. Some prefer sweet hyacinths to musty geraniums. Some prefer concrete to dark composted earth, too.

The difference is that one is man-made, the other created by God. And in thinking about the harmony in red and yellow, black and white, I am reminded not only of my beautiful garden produced by my Father. I'm reminded of the diversity He's given me in friendship. Mexican, Chinese, African and English. How great is their contribution to my little world of me.

I consider the wheat that flourishes around me. Methodist, Catholic, Church of Christ, and Pentecostal. What joy my brothers and sisters give me as they grow in rows nearby my Baptist garden.

I pray for the tares the Master Gardener allows to grow among us all. I do not worry or fret over them. For the Master has a plan. His design is so superior to mine. I water too much. I prune too harshly. I fertilize unnecessarily. And plant too late.

But my God knows exactly what to do with the efforts I give freely and sometimes grudgingly. He knows when to coddle. He knows when to withdraw. He knows all there is to know. He's written the Book on perennials and annuals. He has it all timed just perfectly. A time to wither, to fall to the earth, to die. A time to rest, restore, burst forth and live. And then over and over again we sing the melodios song: WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE. [copyrighted, 2006, SelahV]

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Recently I was told about an article in the Baptist Press regarding Ted Haggard, a prominent minister, whose sins were exposed for all the world to read about and hear about. That article dealt with some wise thoughts on forgiveness and judgement. Some felt it was horrific timing because of the election. Personally, I don't think there is any time that is a good time to have our depraved nature made public. It's hard enough to confess our sins to our brothers and sisters in Christ. But to be put on display for the entire world, saved and unsaved? Well that is the ultimate humiliation. Some have said this casts a terrible light on Christianity in general and ministers in particular.

As I consider the situation, I see it this way. Satan and his demons are in God's created world doing what they were given power to do by the Holy Almighty God. They are here ruling over our world. They are tempting, deceiving and preying upon every weakness we as human beings have. We, as born again believers, must live in the world even as we are set apart from the world. (All the more reason to put on the whole armor of God every day.)

We, in our born-again spirit, will always battle the flesh. Our flesh and The Spirit are at war. So at times we lose the battle to our fleshly sinful nature. Someday we will battle the flesh no longer. We will die, our flesh will return to dust, and our spirit will be all that is left. And praise the Lord for that!

Jesus, in His humble obedience to the Father, conquered death and wiped out Sin. His death on the cross took all our sins upon Himself....paid the penalty for our sins and attoned for our wretchedness. It amazes me that He did that and took care of it, paid the penalty for it...long before I was even a thought in my parents minds. (which I wasn't, because my mother tried to abort me before I was born...so she had no desire that I see the light of day).

I don't know Ted's heart. But God does. I don't even always know my heart. The Spirit reveals things to me all the time that I am amazed is in my heart. But any goodness is definitely not of me. Apart from Jesus, I am nothing. What He chooses to do through me, is again His doing. So what Ted did in his basement 21 years ago that grew to the mega-14,000-member church, was not of Ted but of God.

Sometimes we fail to remember that. We are the servants. We plant. We water. But God gives the increase. We are called to be faithful to Him. Some of we faithful do far more than Ted did, yet never see the fruit of our labor. Perhaps that is because God knows how proud we are....I have no idea. All I know is that He calls us to be faithful to what He calls US to do. I can't be faithful for Ted. I can't be faithful for you. I can only be faithful for me. And I admit, I do a pretty poor job of that.

On the flip side, some of us do far worse than Ted has done and it is never revealed to public scrutiny. We wallow in guilt and misery and fear. I say all that to say this. I don't know what God is going to do with the Ted Haggard situation. All I know is that God always makes something work to His glory. I hate to see any Christian brother or sister find themselves in the place of complete humiliation. But then again, I think that is what we all need. Broken humiliation. Because until we are all broken and exposed for who and what we really are...God is not satisfied with us.

May God heal the heartache in all the hearts who are close to Ted Haggard's life. May God gain glory and honor and praise for what will come from this. May I not be found gloating or judging or piously praising the Lord that I am not like Ted Haggard or the man who exposed him. May I abide in the Vine and allow Him to flow through my branches and produce the fruit that only He can produce. And may all we do as brothers and sisters in Christ point others to Him as He seeks to work all things together for His glory. [copyrighted, 2006, SelahV]

Friday, November 10, 2006


I just finished writing two blogs. Then I deleted them. I thought, why bother? What difference does it make?

To my knowledge, I've had exactly four people who have read my stuff. Shouldn't I be doing something more important? I could be jumping on the trampoline with Haylee Jae. I could be Christmas shopping. I could be baking apple pies.

Why do I bother? I really don't know. At this moment, I comfort myself with the thought, I write because I must. But to be perfectly honest, I just don't know.

Why did God give me this talent? What good is a talent if it isn't used? I could bury it like I've done for about ten years. I could just go back to sending out greeting cards. I could leave all my thoughts trapped inside my mind. It worked for ten years. Isn't writing kinda like being proud of oneself? Doesn't it carry a subliminal message that I have something to say? That folks oughta listen to me? I don't know. It's a struggle. And I'm just gonna have to pray about it. Because today, I just don't know why I bother. So I'm gonna go bake some pies.