How Can I Keep from Singing: I Will Serve Thee


And you, my son Solomon, accept the God of your father. Serve him completely and willingly, because the Lord knows what is in everyone’s mind. He understands everything you think. If you go to him for help, you will get an answer. But if you turn away from him, he will leave you forever.  1 Chronicles 29:9 (New Century Version)


I love this verse.  It has such a concrete explanation about why serving Jesus is so important.  I have underlined part of the verse.  When I read this verse, I substitute, “my daughter, Sandy” and the verse becomes even more personal for me.  The messages in this verse are clear:

  • The Lord knows what’s in your mind.
  • He understands what you think.
  • If you go to Him for help, you’ll get an answer.
  • If you turn away from Him, He will leave you forever.

And the truth that comes with the salvation of Jesus:  if you return to Him, He will return to you.   We all have that opportunity until our last breath.


One of the first songs I learned as part of a trio (The Treble Tones at Judson Baptist Church with Bonnie Clark and Rose Russ) was “I Will Serve Thee.”  It was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither.  I love the version done by The Hoppers.  I hope you will enjoy it as well.


I Will Serve Thee”  (The Hoppers)

God “Won” One – The Devil, Zero

Last night (Wednesday), I was privileged to begin a mothers’ Bible study with some really wonderful women.  I could not find a Bible study that I felt met the needs of the young women who expressed a desire to begin this study.  After a great deal of discussion with our pastor at church and upon his urging, I decided to write a Bible study that would bring God‘s love into their lives.  The result is Blessed:  A Bible Study for Mothers Seeking to Know God.


For the past six weeks or so, the devil has just been pounding me with this week’s lie.  I’ll bet you’ve been hit with this one at one time or another.

Lie #5:  You are not the one to do this job. 

This lie is one which God and I handled pretty well together– until Tuesday night.  I did not sleep because Satan just kept hammering me with this thought.  So I spent Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning praying and in God’s Word.


God knew that I’d need a lot of support, so He sent me emails, texts, and phone calls from prayer warriors in my family and at our church to bolster what I already knew — God doesn’t always call the equipped, but He always equips the called.


I actually meant to post this last night, but there was just too much praising the Lord going on for me to get to the computer.  You see, one of these young mothers is my son’s girlfriend, Casey.  She is the mother of my granddaughter, Joshlyn.  As far as I’m concerned, she is my fourth child and I love her so much.  She’s a terrific mother and just a joy to know.  

But we now have a different relationship — she is now my sister-in-Christ!  Yep, Casey is seeking to be baptized and join our church.  (Check us out at )  How is that for a way to begin this Bible study?


I praise the Lord for this blessing, for His loving kindness, and for the wonderful influence Casey has already had on our little group of mothers.  It was Casey’s idea to have a Bible study for mothers and she went out and recruited her friends and family members to come.  She helped me get the materials together and has been the major source of publicity.  I take no credit for this Bible study and give all the praise and glory to my Lord.

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.  They are the people He called, because that was His plan.  Romans 8:28 (New Century Version)


So, there is peace in my home tonight.  For the time being, the devil is speechless.  I’m going to enjoy that while it lasts.  What kind of peace has the Lord brought to you today?


How Can I Keep from Singing: Take Up Your Cross

I had the awesome privilege of having lunch with Kelly today…alone!  Do you realize how rare that is?  Claire is still in high school and cannot yet drive and even though our two oldest children are grown and out of the house, we seem to spend a great deal of time with them during the week.  I don’t mind this at all.  But when Kelly and I can grab some”alone” time, we do.

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For our lunch date, we chose Chick-fil-A.  Chick-fil-A restaurants have flowers on the table and service with a smile.  It’s almost like a fancy restaurant.  I can get the char-grilled sandwich (to stay on my diet) and Kelly can get his favorite — the original Chick-fil-A sandwich.

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If you don’t know the story behind Chick-fil-A, you should check out the life story of S. Truett Cathy, the founder of the restaurant.  Besides inventing the fried chicken fillet sandwich, he was a Christian and made sure that his employees were kind and customer service-friendly.  It was his earnest desire to have a quality product sold in a restaurant that allowed his employees to attend church on Sundays if they so desired.  That’s why all Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sunday.  His son, Don, is the current President and CEO of Chick-fil-A and they still carry out Truett’s wishes to this day.

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Today, the lunch crowd was busy and we had to wait for a booth, along with a few other customers.  When we finally sat down, I looked around at the families with little children who were seated around us.  As is our practice always, we took each other’s hands and bowed our head for grace.  The amazing thing I saw when I opened my eyes, was that almost every family around us was doing the same thing!

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I first thought of the song “I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.  In fact, I couldn’t wait to get home and write this post.  But somewhere between Chick-fil-A and home, our gospel radio station played “Take Up Your Cross” (by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir).  It moved my spirit in such a way that I knew it was a “God-incidence.”   I knew I had my song for today.

I love the words to its chorus:

Take up your cross and follow Jesus.

Take up your cross, everyday.

Don’t be ashamed to say that you know Him.

Count the cost.  Take up your cross and follow Him.

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Let me encourage you to bow for grace when you’re eating out.  It’s a way to show that you aren’t ashamed of the gospel and that you do take up the cross of Christ daily.  And you just never know who will be watching or who you’ll influence.

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir)



Saying Grace in PublicCyberpunk + Blue Twin  (This article was of specific interest to me because it’s about saying grace in public in a society that is different from the United States.)

Friday Five: Quotations and Affirmations 2

I thought I’d share something from my quotations collection for today’s post. If there are themes for these quotes, they have to be strength and courage to make choices. Some have a Biblical connotation, while others are about life in general. A couple of these quotes are from women who have proven to be strong themselves. I hope that you will find something that strikes a chord of strength in you, whether you’re a man or a woman.

1. “A man has to want to be in a relationship with me. I don’t want a man to be with me just because it’s convenient — I am not a 7-11!” (The source for this is unknown, but I’ve heard variations of this on at least two television shows and a movie.)

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2. “You’ve got to make the choice to rejoice!” (Source Unknown)

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3. “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

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4. “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” (Mother Teresa)

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5. “It’s our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” (J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter Series)

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My challenge to you:

Find a scripture that illustrates one or more of the quotes. For example, the Mother Teresa quote reminds of this verse:

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. John 13:34 (NLT)

I’m praying for all of my followersand fellow bloggers this weekend. It’s something I feel led to do. If you have a specific prayer requests, post it in the comments or send it to me privately at

Have a blessed weekend!


Friends Are Like Bras

How are friends like bras?  They’re close to your heart and there for support.  The devil, on the other hand, would prefer that you forget that you have support of any kind.


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Lie #4:  You have to do this alone.

When I feel isolated and overwhelmed, this lie can cause me to abandon any project that God means for me to complete.  To be honest, when I made the decision to start losing some weight and eat healthier, this thought crossed my mind.

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Claire didn’t need to lose any weight and I cannot exercise the way she does — she runs between three and five miles at a time.  Kelly needs to lose some weight, but he’s not come to a place where he’s ready to give up big portions and unhealthy snacks.  I think the reason he feels this way is because he had been on the Atkins diet before his diagnosis with leukemia.  He knows his feelings are unfounded, but he’s got to get over the association of weight loss and cancer.  I could not wait for him to get in a “good place” about losing weight to begin my own journey.  As well as deciding to share with all of you, I sort of made God my weight loss partner.

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.  He keeps every promise forever.  Psalm 145:5-6 (NLT)


I take joy in knowing that God sees me giving my best efforts in making His temple in me healthier. 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.  Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

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I am thankful that my mother continues to weigh in with me each week, although her goal now is maintenance.  She gives me wonderful support on our weigh-in days and gladly takes time for me if I call to talk about something diet-related.  But it’s God who is there watching me on my other weigh-in days.  I go to Him first when I have a concern (Why is the scale hanging on at 193 for the third week in a row?) or a joy (I’m now fitting into clothes I haven’t been able to wear in five years!) in my weight loss journey.

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I have a small group of intimate friends as it is.  They are all pulling for me and encouraging me.  I am so appreciative of them.  Beside Mama, Kelly, Marla, Renee, Jodie, Amber, Robin,  and Aunt Melba have been my sources of earthly strength.  But I have found that the longer I’m successful at this business of losing weight, the less some people want to know about it.  I’m sure there are even some who wish I’d go to Dairy Queen and eat my current weight in ice cream every day for a month.  So I don’t share unless I’m asked and even then, my answer depends on who asks.

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The one thing I’m sure of is that God is happy with my success.  And since it’s His approval that I’m ultimately seeking, I remember this verse:

You light a lamp for me.  The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.  Psalm 18:28 (NLT)

I think David was trying to remind us that while others around us can lift us in wonderful, supportive ways, God gives us our ultimate support and I never, ever have to do anything alone.

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Thank you, dear Blog Buddies, for keeping me in your prayers thus far.


With a Little Help from my Friends

I am not ungrateful.  It’s just…

I have to say thank you to some really nice people who’ve taken time to recognize me for what I write (which is humbling) and what I comment on (which doesn’t seem fair to other commenters because I like to talk and I share my opinion frequently).

I have some gracious friends for sure:

Anne at “My Life Uncut…Almost” and Diane at “hometogo232”  have both been kind enough to send me the “Versatile Blogger Award”  (Anne sent me the trophy VBA and Diane sent me the white VBA — did you know there were three different VBAs?  I did not!  You learn something everyday!)

Anne also has bestowed “The Beautiful Blogger Award” (which I’d already received but am doubly grateful for now) and “The Commentator Award” on me:

Diane also kindly granted me “The Reader Appreciation Award.”

And finally, Sara from “kyllingsara” gave me a lovely nod with the “One Lovely Blog Award.” 

I promise to be more timely with any awards I receive in the future.  Since there aren’t a whole lot of unknown facts about me on this blog (since I tend to share everything), I am going to improvise by sharing some really, really random facts about me (just once — not for every award), and then recognize the wonderful people I’m passing these awards on to.


    1. I direct the children’s choir at my church ( and absolutely love it.  On the flip side of that, I teach the college/career Sunday school class on Sunday mornings.  How’s that for a W-I-D-E age range?
    2. I just got a new iPhone two weeks ago, but truthfully, I miss my Blackberry.  I’m told that this will pass.
    3. I “had” an acquaintance named Sue who was expecting her first baby.  When I saw her after a long, long while (but was sure it had not yet nine months), I said “Oh Sue!  You must be ready to have that baby!  You look like you’re about to pop!”  Sue burst into tears and cried, “I had her six weeks ago!”  Needless to say, I do not discuss due dates with anyone who’s not family anymore.
    4. I once wore a skirt inside-out and backwards to church — Sunday morning and Sunday night.  When I finally noticed right before the night service, I had several people (including my husband and other relatives) say, “Oh, I noticed but I thought it might upset you if I mentioned it.”  REALLY??? Upset me MORE than realizing it had been that way all day?
    5. I still miss hearing Karen Carpenter sing.  *sigh*
    6. I watch Gilmore Girls every day.  I even DVR it.  When they finish the series, ABC Family just starts over with the pilot episode and so do I.  (If 7th Heaven were to ever come back on in syndication, I’d do the same with it.)
    7. I would one day like to write a 365-day devotional book for women or a mystery-romance with a Christian POV (I have a notebook in which I keep my ideas.  But there’s nothing I want to share…yet.)

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I’d like to pass on “The Reader Appreciation Award” to Tim Zauto ( and “Future Flying Saucers” (
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“The Versatile Blogger Award – Trophy”  goes to Sara ( and “The Versatile Blogger Award – Green”  goes to Diane ( and Anne (
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“The Commentator Award” is given to Cindy French (, Bird Martin ( and Terry (
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I’d like to present “The One Lovely Blog Award” to my fellow Fayettevillian (NC), Terra Newsome ( and to April Hawkins (, and Lori Schulz (
If, per chance, you already have one of the awards I’ve given (and I really tried to double-check on this), please know that I value your posts just that much.  I didn’t just pick people willy-nilly.  I tried to match the award to the blog.  Lots of love to you all and I can’t wait to read what you’re posting next.
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How Can I Keep from Singing: Orphans of God

I was watching the news today.  Sometimes the news is really depressing.   There were at least two stories on bullying:  one about a high school freshman bully and one about an elementary student’s MOTHER who choked her son’s bully.

Ten minutes later, there was a story with such redemptive measures that I was speechless.  Rarely I have been touched like I was with this story.  There are no words to express what is on this video.  You’ll just have to watch it to know exactly what I mean:

Boy Inspires Kids — Kids Inspire Us All 

(posted on by midwestcurrans)

I can’t tell you how I cried (and cried and cried).  I cried so hard that when Kelly entered the house, he thought I’d received news that someone we know had been seriously hurt or had died.  I was completely overcome with emotion that a group of kids (without any prompting from parents or teachers) would get behind their classmate like this group of kids from Colonial Hills Elementary School did.  I take it as a good sign for these children’s futures.  There is an excellence of character among these young people that many adults should emulate.  (Especially that mother who choked the bully — what did she think she was teaching her son?)

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It’s good to know that no matter where we all come from, God is our Father and we are all His children.  He doesn’t choose favorites.  He’s always looking out for our best interests.  He will always cheer us on.  And no matter how long we stay away, He will always welcome us home.

I applaud the children from Colonial Hills for doing the Father’s work — whether they realized it or not.

Orphans of God  (Avalon)



Vacationing with Autism” (

An Inspiration!”  (

Grasshopper Meets Worm

My friend, Anne, does these wonderful abstracts.  She holds contests for her friends to name these works of art and then asks those of us who will, to write a poem about the abstract.  This week’s poetry challenge was for the abstract “Grasshopper Meets Worm.”


Grasshopper Meets Worm

 She has wallowed in the dark and dank, a worm,

 Waiting for her chance to wipe the dirt from her face and inch forward.

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She has watched as other creatures

Cocoon and blossom into new personalities

Or jump into a world where all seems possible;

While she, crawling on her belly, has remained the same –

A face without a name.

How she longs for the day when she will belong to the world of the lush and green;

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When she has a grasshopper’s legs – springing into action,

Dazzling the world with a little soft-shoe;

Leaping and bounding on a stage where everything is equal

And no one is crushed by the reality of things that can never be;

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When she is bathed in the center spotlight,

Soaking up the applause of the standing ovation

Even if the clapping only comes from her own two hands

And the only standing is on her own two feet.

“Well done, Grasshopper!”  she’ll cry.

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The challenge isn’t over because she’s extended the deadline.  What do you see when you study her abstract?  Is there a poem in you just waiting to bloom for all to see and admire?  If so, just take a stroll here  for the guidelines and posting instructions.

While you’re there, check out Anne’s blog.  She’s a pretty terrific person with a great story to share herself.


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