Are You Sure?

Psalm 34:16

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

But the Lord delivers him out of them all….are you sure? What exactly are we supposed to think about this verse? It promises that the Lord will deliver us from all of our afflictions. And yet people stay sick, people die, and our troubles continue or even get worse.

So it doesn’t seem as if that verse is true. But I believe the Bible and I believe in the truth of the Bible so…then what? Jesus told his followers promised that we would all have troubles but that just as he overcame the world so would we. He overcame the world, but not when he was in this world as a man.

God has a different perspective than we do.  One verse tells us that God’s way are not our ways. And that’s what we need to remember as we experience difficulties in this life. We see things differently than God does. For us, to deliver or to overcome means having the problem go away–to resolve in a way that is positive.

That’s what our prayer is.  “Make it better!”

But that’s not always going to happen. Sometimes deliverance can come in the form of acceptance, in the form of learning, in the form of moving forward in spite of, or in the form of being an example for others.

This is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. At least I know I do.  The treatments for my brain tumors are “done.” So I want to feel better NOW, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. And I don’t mind admitting I’ve been rather irritated about that this week.

When I read the verse this morning, I was instantly reminded that God’s ways are not our ways, but His way is perfect for us–even when it doesn’t seem so. That’s what faith is all about–believing in God’s love and in His promises even when we aren’t getting our own way.

A good parent knows that it’s not good for their children to always get their own way. Well, God is the perfect parent. His way is the right way–even when we don’t like it.

So am I sure that the Lord delivers the righteous from all their afflictions?







The Right Tool for the Right Job!

Earlier this year I released a short non-fiction book entitled GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS: SPIRITUAL LISTENING LESSONS. It’s meant to be light-hearted but with a serious message. Here’s an abbreviated Lesson 6. Only some–if you want all of it, you’ll have to buy it! Click here for the link.

This is it! If you only “get” one lesson, this is the one.  Getting the right tool for this job we call life can and will change your life. I know this because it’s done just that for me.



Psalm 119: 162

I rejoice in your word like the one who finds a great treasure.




The right tools are important. Try mashing potatoes without a masher. Try cutting wood without the right saw. Try painting without the right supplies. No matter what you’re trying to do, the right tool makes it easier and better. And that’s certainly true for life as well. And I’ll share a secret with you. I know the right tool for life.

The most important tool for life is…drumroll please….is The Bible.

The Bible is filled with all we need to know for a joy-filled life. Notice I didn’t say happy life or perfect life. Happy depends on our circumstances; joy depends on our relationship with God. 2 Peter 1: 3 says: His power gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Let’s read that again…His power gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him. How do we get that knowledge? Through the Bible. All the knowledge, wisdom, and power we need is in the Bible.

By learning, studying, meditating, and most importantly applying God’s Word, you will develop not only a more intimate knowledge of God, but develop a more intimate relationship with Him. It is in that relationship that you will find the strength to endure the toughest of times, the patience to wait for God’s timing, and beauty for the ashes.

Did you notice the emphasis on applying? Learning, studying, and meditating on God’s words are all wonderful, but it’s the applying part where your life will change. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says. It’s in the doing where we will find God’s power. If we’re lost in the woods, the only thing we care about is surviving the ordeal. But in life God wants us to do more than survive, he wants us to thrive. And he’s given us what we need to do just that.

But we won’t know how if we don’t read the manual!

Just as you needed to be prepared for emergencies before they actually happen, the same is true of the Bible. The more you learn and understand about God and His character before you need it, the more prepared you will be when the storms of life come.

And they will come, but you can rest in the knowledge that God is with you always. No matter where you are on your walk with God never forget that!





Lesson 2: I’M A SNOWFLAKE!

Psalm 139:13-14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


I have a confession to make.

I’m weird! But so are you! And by weird I mean different from everyone else. We’re all unique. Not one of us is the same as anyone else on this earth. Not even if you’re an identical twin, triplet or whatever.

Just as every snowflake is different so are each of us!

And we’re just fine and dandy with that until somewhere around the age of five or six. Something mysterious happens at about that time. We start to want to be like everyone else!

What happens when we start to remake ourselves in the image of the “cool kids?” We lose our snowflakiness. We forget who we were created to be. Instead, we work hard at imitating everyone else.

But that’s not what God wants for us.

He created us just the way he wanted us to be. He loves us just the way we are. I’ve spent most of my life trying to hide the fact I was a snowflake. Or at least I’d like to think I was able to hide it. There might be a good chance that I wasn’t quite as good at hiding it as I thought.

After all, I did have a book in my hands almost all the time. I felt like I never quite fit in with the people around me. But still nobody wants other people to think they’re weird or to have people look at them strangely, so I made the attempt to blend in.

To be like all the other snowflakes around me.

Now, I understand that those weird parts of me are what allow me to be a writer. And since I love being a writer, I’m learning to accept and even celebrate my weirdness…oops, I mean being different.

We aren’t who we are by accident. God designed us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. And he made us just the way he wanted us to be! Isn’t that an awesome thought? I hope that changes the way you think about yourself.

Give yourself permission to be the person God created you to be.

I’m a snowflake—and so are you!

Isn’t it time to celebrate your specialness, your uniqueness, your snowflakiness?

Share with us something you hated about yourself as a child that you’ve since discovered is really a blessing.

Until next time… GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!



I recently released a short non-fiction book entitled GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS: SPIRITUAL LISTENING LESSONS. It’s meant to be light-hearted but with a serious message. Throughout the summer, I’m going to share some of the book with you. Only some–if you want all of it, you’ll have to buy it!


Ephesians 2:10

For we are God handiwork, recreated in Christ Jesus, that we may do those good works which God predestined for us, taking paths which He prepared ahead of time, that we should walk in them, living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.


Now why would an overweight, old woman (sort of old—60) with brain tumors get it in her head that she should start hula hooping—again—after more than 40 years of not hula hooping? Maybe it was the fuzzy thinking from my brain tumors? I have no idea, but I can tell you how it happened. I was sitting in my chair one day thinking about my weight loss journey or actually my lack of weight loss.

Anyway, back to the hula hoop. One day I was sitting and thinking about the fact that I wasn’t always fat. For a bookworm, I was fairly active as a child. I loved to jump rope, ride my bike, and….wait for it…hula hoop.

Mmmm…when I thought about those activities, I realized all of them helped keep me fit without me realizing it. I was just having fun, but those activities did a lot more than that. It seemed to me I needed to get back to having more fun while being more active.

Jump roping? NO. Bike riding? NO. But hula hooping? That sounded fun and doable!

But what a ridiculous idea. People in their late 50s don’t start hula hooping after forty years of not hula hooping. And certainly fat people in their late 50s with brain tumors do NOT hula hoop.

But the idea had popped in my head, and it wouldn’t go away.

In a way, our dreams can happen that way as well. An idea pops into our psyche out of nowhere or at least it seems that way.  When I was forty, a dream was born inside me that just wouldn’t let go.  Sort of like the hula hoop thing.

The dream to be a writer.

I truly believe God created me to be a writer. I stared writing before I reconnected with God, but it was only afterwards that writing truly became a passion.  As drew closer to God, I began to understand that my desire to be a writer was a God-given dream.  Some fortunate people know what their dream is at an early age.

And for some of us it takes us longer to figure it out. Either way, following that dream will add and enrich your life in more ways than you can imagine. It brings me joy and peace and purpose. What more could a person want?

God-given dreams may seem impossible, and yet you can’t stop thinking about it, dreaming about it, fantasizing about it.

Just like I couldn’t stop thinking about hula hooping. I knew it was ridiculous to think I could start to hula hoop again at my age, but the idea wouldn’t go away.

So, my question to you is do you have a big dream? Take a minute to share it with us and where you are on the journey to it.

Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!


John 16:33,

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

It’s not easy to stay in peace in this crazy world of ours. I don’t know about you, but if I watch the news for more than five minutes, I develop a stomachache, a headache. or start crying. If that’s not enough, then we have jobs, family responsibilities, church, and community activities to keep us so busy we can’t breathe.

 And let’s not forget about life. Just when we think we’ve got everything under control, life happens and proves us wrong. Life happening might take the form of a broken washer, a tragedy, or a brain tumor. For me, it’s actually two brain tumors that were diagnosed in May of 2012.

And yet, Jesus promises us peace. So, how do we get the peace Jesus promised us and keep it in the midst of tragedies? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can share how I’ve done it as I struggled and continue to struggle with my health. For me it comes down to 3 key principles:




 If you believe that God is good and that He loves you, then how can you not trust God in whatever situation you are struggling with? Romans 8:28 promises us….And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I love this promise. This verse gives me hope. I know that whatever happens to me God will work it out for my good. I believe this with all my heart. I’m approaching the third anniversary of my brain tumor diagnosis. Unfortunately, things aren’t going the way they were supposed to go.

But I know God’s got my back. 

Nobody likes problems, but they are a fact of life. If you’re facing a difficult situation (and we all do sooner or later), isn’t it wonderful to know that the Creator of the world is on your side? Just knowing that gives me hope.





So last session we talked about the bad news–just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we are immune to difficulties in this life. So today we’re moving forward with the good news–thought it may not seem that way at the beginning.

Do you know what sovereign means? According to it means  to have supreme power or authority. Another one of the definitions I really loved is  being above all others in character, importance, excellence, etc. Between those two definitions is a fairly accurate description of God.

supreme power-yes

supreme authority-yes

above all others in character-yes

above all others in importance-yes

above all others in excellence-yes

above all others in etc…..yes

Let me just fill in the etc. part just a bit–above all others in love; in goodness; in holiness. (NOTE: Help me fill in this list. What would be some other characteristics that describe God?)

Supreme–above all others. That means God makes the final decisions about….well everything. Only God decides the who, the what, the how, the when, the why, and the where of miracles. He can choose to give us a miracle or not, no matter what we do or don’t do.

It’s HIS decision and his decision alone.

And…and here’s some GOOD NEWS… because of HIS goodness, HIS wisdom, HIS love, it is ALWAYS the right decision.

Whether we like it or not!

Whether we agree or not!

Whether it breaks our heart or not!

It’s easy to have faith when life is good, but we honor God when we choose to love him, to trust him, and to continue to serve him no matter what circumstances come against us. And when we make that choice, we begin to mature spiritually.

In Mark 14:36, Jesus said in the Garden of Gesethmene the night before his crucifixion,  “Abba”, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

YOUR TURN:  Don’t forget  to help me fill in this list. What would be some other characteristics that describe God? Next time, I promise more good news!



Guest Writer–Stephanie Prichard

 My guest writer today is Stephanie Prichard. She is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don have lived in Indianapolis, IN, for forty years, and in retirement have turned to co-authoring novels now that their three children are busy raising a beautiful crop of grandchildren for them.
Stephanie and her husband have recently released a book, STRANDED. To learn more about the book and to enter a giveaway, hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes.

Bully Birds

 Proverbs 19:3

“The foolishness of a man twists his way, And his heart frets against the Lord.”


My husband barely dared to breathe. He sat immobile at the picnic table on our Aussie host’s deck, surrounded by thirteen wild Sulphur-crested Cockatoos perched at one-foot intervals along the railing. The size of barnyard chickens, snowy white except for their black beaks and the yellow feathers crowning their heads, they didn’t move either. Aloof, regal, their agenda clear, they stared at him and waited.

Finally, my husband oh-so-slowly extended his right arm across the tabletop and deposited one sunflower seed after another toward him. The Hansel-and-Gretel trail ended with his hand as the gingerbread house. He opened it wide to reveal a tantalizing, come-hither pile of seeds.

Within seconds, a volunteer hopped from the railing to the table. Step by step, the cockatoo followed the trail, gobbling up the seeds until he was within a neck’s stretch of the gingerbread-house cache. He halted. Looked up at my husband. Looked down at the cache. Ever so slowly, he stretched his neck toward the pile of seeds. My husband’s lips quirked into a smile of victory. Then, with lightning speed, the cockatoo nipped my husband’s index finger and scurried backwards.

My husband’s smile disappeared, but he didn’t move. He pressed his hand all the firmer onto the tabletop and tightened his mouth into a straight line.

The cockatoo crept cautiously forward. He stretched his neck again and latched onto the same finger. This time he bit so hard an electric current of pain shot through my husband’s body. Suddenly it wasn’t so cute that he was surrounded by thirteen combat-ready, sharp-beaked aggressors who coveted his sunflower seeds. He dumped the pile onto the table and left. Chagrined, he stood beside me at the sliding glass door and watched the other twelve cockatoos swoop to the table to join in the feast.

That wasn’t the end of it. A few days later, at a small zoo of native Australian animals, we stopped at a cage labeled Cockatoos. My husband clutched the wire fence and peered inside. Immediately, a Sulfur-crested Cockatoo flew straight over to him. “Well,” my husband said, “at least there’s one friendly cockatoo in Australia.” He grinned as the bird replied with what sounded like a mighty affable “Aaaark.”

And with that, the cockatoo promptly reached over and bit the same sore finger the other bird had chomped. “Aaaark,” he squawked, and with a distinct Aussie accent said, “Good boy, good boy.”

Aren’t we just like those cockatoos? Territorial: “Hands off, God. This is my space. My life. Just dump what’s good on the tabletop and leave me alone.”

…Until something bad happens. And then guess Who gets questioned for His lack of goodness?

If you’re like me, you recognize when you fret against God. But do you recognize the territory where you’ve drawn a line and said, “Hands off. This is mine”?

Thanks, Stephanie, for writing this devotion for us. Congratulations on your new book, STRANDED. Don’t forget to hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes to learn more about her book and to be entered in the giveaway.