Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14


My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hubby's Home!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

My hubby has been home all week on vacation. I guess this is what you call a staycation. We stayed home. He has been worn out from work and it has been an emotional couple of weeks for us losing a dear friend of ours.

The week consisted of laying in the hammock, swinging in all three swings, rocking in the rocking chairs, taking naps, eating out, more hammocking and swinging and rocking. In the middle of all that was The Truth Project, a study with our small group that my husband is leading. He helped me on the book I'm working on. He went swimming. We are reading a book together. Then back to the hammocking, swinging, and rocking. I could almost hear my hubby letting out a serene aaaaaahhhhhh and I did hear the occasional snore.

My only complaint . . . . .

I kept it to myself ;)
well. . .except for that wet, dirty pair of shoes he put on my new rug!
Are you weary, burdened, anxious, just plain ol' worn out tired?
Jesus says,
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Enjoy this piece of music 

Thank you Father for rest!
May we enter back into work, ministry, and life with a renewed spirit.

(Did you notice the field of daisies?)
*You would have to read two posts back to get it*  ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tennis Shoes

 This was during my 2nd interview with Greg, homeless at the time one year ago.
We must have looked so different to them, the passerbyers at our downtown square; me, a small middle class white woman, he a big, dark homeless man. I looked down and saw our shoes.
Two souls created by God, both wearing our tennis shoes. I was thinking; Jesus died on the cross for both of.  Jesus loves us both the same.  We both have the freedom to make choices.  In his young life, Greg walked down one path, I walked down the other. 
I didn't know it at this time, but God was going to use these visits to bond the two of us together and form a friendship like none other I have ever had.  It was going to hit me straight in the heart, the good and the bad, the struggles and the laughter. . .the love for a big dark man that I did not see coming.  And later, it hit my husband too, straight in the heart.
5 weeks after meeting Greg, he chose that path I had chosen 38 years ago. Praise God!!! Neither of us ever dreamed he would be gone from this world a year later. 
My husband and I are experiencing that straight in the heart grief that I know will pass with time.  What gets me through it is knowing without a doubt that Greg is walking on streets of gold.
I wonder if he's wearing tennis shoes.
I think not.  He is on Holy Ground with the Savior.  I think his shoes can be retired.
Me, on the other hand, will keep wearing mine and keep walking downtown.  Greg would want me to do just that. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Water, Rivers and Fire. . .Maybe a Daisy or Two

Losing our friend Greg has done a number on my husband and myself.  The memories just roll over and over and over in our minds.  The good memories of wonderful conversations in the park, sitting with him in church, cheering after he arose from the baptismal waters, the lunches out together at McDonalds, the lasagne dinner in his apartment with friends.  And then the extremely sad memories of watching him struggle and battle through the addictions and the despair of a lost daughter and his fighting between good and evil.  Keith and I had never seen that kind of struggle before.  It's not pretty.  It's heartbreaking!  Would we do it again. You bet! 

Some of the best things in life, the biggest blessings do not come easy.  Sometimes you have to walk through the muck and mire to get over to the other side to experience a beauty that otherwise you would never experience.  I'm reminded of the scripture Isaiah 43:2. . ."When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

When we walked through this journey, God was with us.  Keith and I knew how to hold on to God and not let go.  Greg was brand new at this faith thing and had so much to learn.  He had not experienced this kind of love and grace and mercy in his life until this past year.  He stepped out in faith to ask Jesus into his heart and he knew where he would spend eternity.  But he struggled to hold onto faith in this world full of sin, addictions, and wordly things slamming into his life.  Keith and I tried to teach him and love him through it all.  Greg thought he was not worthy.  We told him he was.  He was a child of God and so very worthy.  The devil kept screaming into Greg's head and he was trying to hear from God and we could literally see the battle.  Greg succumbed to his old ways of finding comfort in a bottle, but the thing is, it didn't comfort, it just dragged him down deeper and deeper into despair.  In that despair, he broke more and more over his daughter being gone.  Keith and I believe that not only did his body give out, but his heart could not take the agony of despair anymore.

I use to tell Greg the verse that helped me when I was in despair over my son leaving was Isaiah 41:10. . ."do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  I used to visualize me holding up my hand to take HIS right hand.  I told Greg one time to do that when he felt bad.  I don't know if he ever did or not.  But I know on August 20, 2012, his last night on earth, Greg did take the hand and was led into the kingdom of God. 

Greg didn't have time to learn to walk through the fire and waters with God.  How long does it take us to learn that?  I can tell you, it took me awhile.  But through all of this, Keith and I feel blessed to have walked this last year with Greg.  And Greg told us many times how blessed he felt to have real friends who loved him uncondionally and accepted him, warts and all.  And Greg is fully blessed now, that he is in the presence of the Lord.

Keith and I will learn from this experience and we will hold dear the memories of Greg.  He will always be in our heart and as Greg strolls through heaven with God, we will remain here in our faith and move on, whether that be through the water, rivers, or fire. 

We sure wouldn't mind though, if just once in awhile, to have a field of daisies instead ;)

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Man and Beast

Some people do not like squirrels, and that's ok.  But for one man they were a blessing.  How can a squirrel be a blessing, you may ask?  For one who lived in a storage shed, not much breathing space inside, extremely uncomfortable and lonely, it was refreshing for him to get out and go to our downtown park to feel the breeze and breathe in fresh air.  He would go early in the morning before many people came into work.  It would be just him and the squirrels.  He would always have a granola bar or a bag of potato chips and he would feed these squirrels.

They got a salty breakfast and he got friendship and companionship from them.  He told me that when people did start coming into town, they would walk past him and not even acknowledge he was there.  He told me he could be a bug and they would just step on him in passing.

 Greg was lonely and hurting and the squirrels gave him something he needed that he had not been getting from people at the time.  Greg was homeless and the squirrels didn't care. 

One day while he and I were on the bench downtown, I was telling him about a book I had read and the challenge the author put out there to list 1000 blessings.  I told him about the concept of when we recognize the blessings, we draw in closer to God, the giver of the gifts.  Greg got excited and said even he could do that.  I asked him to name some and right off the bat without even thinking he said, "The squirrels".  I smiled and asked "How are they a blessing?"

Greg replied, "You know, I haven't lived a very good life and I'm sorry for that and I just want to be able to give back, but I can't do anything.  I don't know how.  But I can feed the squirrels.  That's a good thing, right?"  Again, I smiled, with tears stinging behind my eyes, and said, "Yes, that's a very good thing!" 

Later, after going home, I kept thinking about Greg and the squirrels.  Man did not want much to do with him, but the squirrels came to him all the time and Greg got joy out of feeding them.  They made him smile.  After awhile, Greg wanted me to feed them.  I was scared of them at first.  But he kept telling me how to hold the chip and not flinch when the little furry guy would come up. After many tries, the squirrel finally got my chip and Greg and I hollored, "YEAH!"  I think Greg was  tickled that he taught me something.  Greg taught me much!  And I will be trying to put it into words as time goes on.

Squirrels and blessings. . .only from God!

eating Greg's potato chip
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Our Chains Are Gone. . .

Repost with a new ending. . .

Thinking of my new friend Greg, who spent so much time in prison in the past, I pondered again. . .we look so different from one another and our paths in life are so different from each other's, but are there any similarites? Greg at one time, actually many times, was behind the prison door. So was I. His was made of iron, mine wasn't but it still trapped me. My bars were the ones called shyness, extreme shyness, timidity and insecurities that held me locked in silence; hid me in the background. . .right where I wanted to be. Actually, no, I didn't want to be there, but it was too scary to come out.

Slowly though, over time, God began to work on me, pulling me out of my comfort zones. Prison bars and comfort zones do not seem to go together and yet I think we get comfortable in what we know even if it is not best for us. Those kind of bars lock us in where blessings cannot easily reach. But God knows what is best and He knows how to reach past the bars.

Over the years, I've come out of many comfort zones. God led me out of the doors that the enemy tried to keep closed. Sometimes still, even though it's been many years, I still feel sometimes I'd rather be back in the comfort zone; all eyes off me, blending into the background, but God says no.

" ...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven"
Matthew 5:16

I used to have trouble with this verse, because I use to think that if I let them see the good deeds, it would come across as bragging. . .look at me. This was the last thing someone like myself wanted. But God began to show me that this verse is not about me, (so narcissistic), but it is about Him. He wants us to show what He has done through us. . .it's all about Him and THAT, I can do!

Prison can be different things to different people. And the prisoner can be so well dressed, put together exquisitely, appearing very successful, and even walking through church doors every week and yet stand behind bars, bars invisible to the outside world but are very real to this individual. And they can be just as strong as Greg's steel prison bars were. . .bars such as unforgiveness, anger, resentments, addictions, feelings of inadequicies...____________(fill in the blank).

I've discovered as a believer that Jesus has already unlocked our prison doors. But sometimes we're still standing in the cell as if it is still closed. The door is open. . .freedom is right there. . .it's just a matter of stepping forward and out that prison door. I think many times we don't see that open door because we are focusing on ourself which means we are looking downward and inward. We need to look up and out and see Jesus on the other side of that door reaching His hand out to take hold of ours.

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous Right Hand."

Over the last 10-12 years, I have been learning to take that Hand and walk forward.

Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would find myself purposely sitting on a park bench and more than once, next to what was a big, bad, dude, ex- convict, asking him about his life and sharing Jesus! But Jesus is who brought us together and made us friends. Isn't that just like God. . .to bring two unlikely people together to talk about HIM! Greg is not behind steel bars anymore, but he has been behind others; bars similiar to the ones I had and also the bars, chains of addictions.  I'm praying he will realize soon that he can be totally free. He just has to walk forward, reach out and take the Almighty's Hand.

Psalm 146:7
. . .the Lord sets the prisoners free.

Greg was set free August 20, 2012. He reached up and took that Mighty Hand and walked into the kindgdom of God, a place with no bars.  I keep humming now that Greg has been freed. . .'My chains are gone, I've been set free. . . . .
I'm being set free too.

How about you? Are you sitting in some kind of a prison cell? Look up! The door is open! Walk forward and take His hand. Freedom is right there waiting. The blessings are waiting! Go For It!
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Greg Is Home With The Lord

Our bench is empty now.

Greg died on August 20, 2012.  I met him just over 1 year ago on the park bench downtown when he was homeless.  He was an answer to a 6 month prayer I had prayed.  It was not an accidental meeting.  It was a divine appointment! You can read about this here.

We along with my husband bonded and a friendship was born.  We looked like an unlikely pair, but then who says what a friendship should look like.  Some would try to say, but God loves every face and so should we.  My husband and I loved Greg.

Greg after many months was able to move into an apartment and we and some friends of ours had the joy of moving him in.  It was a great day. You can see that day here.

Many joys and sorrows were shared with Greg.  You can read about one of the greatest joys we shared here.

And then another joyous day, you can see here.

There are many more stories of Greg. If you would like to read them, please  just go to the right of my blog and find the "search button".  Type in Greg and I believe all the stories will pop up.  Or you could type in Voice of the Homeless. . .some of Greg will pop up along with others. 

Thank you to all who prayed for Greg.  Greg is with Jesus now.  He always said he wanted to be with Jesus and he wanted to have peace.  He has both now.

I will be writing a more fitting ending but can't seem to wrap my brain around all the words in my heart right now.  But I will get them out some day.  And I will share.

We loved Greg and he will be missed!  But rejoicing that I KNOW I will see him again one day and what a day of rejoicing that will be!!!

I pray I can share everything one day with the world.  It begins in this book I'm holding.

It's all about Greg and others who God lead me to and the joys of meeting them and having new eyes to see with. Please pray with me that God would lead me to say what He would have me to say and then guide me into getting it out there on the shelves.

I still have tears to shed, but I know this season of grieving will pass and a new season will dawn.

Greg, you will be missed.  I love you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Reach Out and Touch

My mom reminded me of a song I used to play on the piano when I was a little girl and later when I became an adult, we used to sing it together. As I read the words again, I thought how appropriate it went with pictures I have from the last three years of our blanket ministry. . .

Thought I would put the two together and share as I am thinking about starting the 4th year and the new people I might meet and reflecting on the ones I have met. These are just a few of them. If you happen to meet someone new, or old, think about this song and "Reach Out and Touch"


Reach out and touch a soul that is hungry,

Reach out and touch a spirit in despair.

Reach out and touch a
life torn and dirty,
A man who is lonely, if you care.

Reach out and touch that neighbor who hates you,
Reach out and touch that stranger who meets you,

Reach out and touch the brother who needs you,

Reach out and let the smile of God touch through you.

Reach out and touch a friend who is weary,
Reach out and touch a seeker unaware.

Reach out and touch, though touching means losing
A part of your own self, if you dare.

Reach out and give your love to the loveless,
Reach out and make a home for the homeless,

Reach out and shed God's light in the darkness,

Reach out and let the smile of God touch through you.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessons and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18
Reach out and touch someone

( if you live in or near the Bowling Green Area, please start to pray about donating blankets and sleeping bags for this coming winter. I will begin to take them at anytime. New or GENTLY used ones are welcome.
Not only do these go to the homeless but the very needy. Schools and hospitals have called me asking for blankets and we have been able to give to everyone who called because of the generous donations in the past.)

The composer of the music and the words is Charles F. Brown.
Copyright 1971 by Word, Inc.

continuing the counting of eucharisteo

                                                                       roof over my head
                                                                        walls around me
heat for the winter
air conditioning for the summer
plenty of food
family around me
soap for my body and hair
toothpaste and toothbrush
shoes for my feet
clean clothes
car to get me around
comfortable bed to sleep in
blankets to snuggle in
church home to gather with others in
people who care about me
love from my Lord

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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Entrance

In August of 2012, the excitement built in my town.  There had been rumors for weeks.   People talked.  People speculated.  People dreamed.  As it got closer, we noticed crews coming and sprucing up our already beautiful downtown square

The day of August 16, the rumors were known to be true.  These things usually don't excite me, but now that I have a camera, I saw this as a photo opportunity.  I kidnapped my next door neighbor the minute she drove in from work and we took off for downtown.  She didn't even have time to change her shoes, she grabbed the tennies and flew into my car.  I knew she would be hungry after working all day, so I had a small container of mixed fruit for her to eat as we drove down the back winding roads.
I didn't want my captive to be hungry!

We entered our downtown and was disappointed not to see what I had wanted.  So we decided to just start walking and ran into some pretty interesting characters.
This is Grizzly
and this is Charlie
 They are just pretty cool dudes.  This is how they get around town
If that's not cool, I don't know what is.

Our town was SO excited for this big entrance that it was shouting from the marquees and all shop windows

This is the kidnapped neighbor.  She doesn't look too upset.

Then we spotted our favorite ice cream man, Mr. Chaney.  Such a nice guy and makes WONDERFUL ice cream in SO many flavors.  There's even one called the Purple Cow

We were about ready to go home when he heard the helicopters flying overhead and then we heard the policemen saying, they're about here.  We decided to stay.  And then we heard the sirens, and here it came around the corner

I think she got over being kidnapped!
That's the best neighbor a girl could ever have :)

As I said, I don't ususally run to these kind of things, but being a camera girl, I thought this would be a fun thing to go chase, and it was. 

As I was laying in bed this night, I pondered about another grand entrance, one that hasn't happened yet.
This one is rumored about all the time and has been for years and this one I know for certain to be true.  But the coming of this one, no one has a date for.  It will come unexpected.  Will it be grand?  There won't be a police escort or sirens, but the bible says a trumpet will sound. There might be singing in the clouds. . .or the entrance could come quietly after the trumpet.  Matthew tells us "The Son of Man will come in His Fathers glory." That will make it more glorious and more exciting than any other entrance because of who will be entering. I'll be ready if I'm still here with arms opened wide . .will you?

google image

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 24:30-31

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon," Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
Revelation 22:20-21