New Beginnings

Not Alone: Circumstance

Today determines tomorrow.  Right?  Not for Christ Followers. our circumstance does not define our destination.  I learned more intimately this lesson from studying 11 widows in the Bible.  Some remarried, some did not.  Some were hungry, some married into wealth, some had nothing. Let these women earn your respect, then learn from them, as I have.  Some today are referred to as adulterers, prostitutes, some unnamed and rarely held up as admirable women.   I see them differently. Their stories reach into lives of those not women or widows.  Their example through extraordinary challenges birthed boldness, industry, and courage in […]

Not Alone: Mary

Mary the mother of Jesus was tenacious beyond my imagination.  She embraced her assignment of being Jesus mother and was his first disciple.  Enter her world.   Weep with me as I hear of the murder of my friends infant boys, all because King Herod wants my son dead. I feel as if a sword is piercing my soul!   I remember prophecy about my babe.  Extreme joy mingled with terror.  What next, Lord? My name is Mary.   As you read her story in the Gospels, you see tenacity.  Letting go of her son as followed his heavenly father. Knowing […]

Not Alone: Bathsheba

Do you feel you are in impossible circumstances?  When impossible threatens to take you down, consider Bathsheba and her circumstance.  Her story is told in II Samuel 11 and 12. Enter her world.   Walk with me as two of the Kings men escort me to an obscure entrance to his palace.  My husband, my King’s  elite mercenary soldier, is on the front lines of the battlefield.  This escort makes no sense.  Curiosity in my soul is crowded out.  Dread grips my mind and then wraps its tentacles around my heart. I am being ushered into the Kings bedroom.  I […]

Not Alone: Ruth

Feeling alone?  Let me offer proof that you are not, though you feel that way whatever your circumstance is today.  Consider courageous Ruth.  Enter her life.   Walk with me on the dusty road from Moab to Bethlehem.  I am young, athletic, hungry for a new life.  And smart enough to look away and not make eye contact with the rugged ruffians on the path.  My name is Ruth.   Young, widowed, leaving to be an alien in a strange land, read the book of Ruth. She embraced her mother-in-laws God.  The true God.  See God walking with her.  Her […]

Rebecca’s change

Rebecca’s story in Scripture started well.  This beautiful young virgin had a servant heart and was willing to draw perhaps 100 gallons of water for a servants camels.  She willingly left her family never to see them again, to become Isaac’s bride.   Something changed.  She did not finish well.  Giving birth to twins, she favored one.  Isaac favored the other.  Marriage that started out with love and anticipation deteriorated.  Through deceit, her favored got the family birth right.  And the hostility of the jilted brother.   She sent her favored away for his safety.  The remainder of her years […]

Extreme Rebecca

When looking for a spouse, we have a list.  When Abraham was looking for a wife for Isaac, his son, first criterion was like beliefs.  He sent his servant back to the region of his family.  The servant arrived with camels and gifts and asked God to show him the right girl.  Thirsty and praying near a well, he ask that not only the girl offer to get water for him, but also his camels.  Note: plural.  He was bringing gifts and intended to return with another person and her things.  We don’t know how many camels.   Rebecca appeared […]

Advisory councils

Advisory councils provide the possibility of wise advice and important information to the head of any organization.  Note, I said ‘possibility.’  In reality being asked to be on an advisory council may be a photo op or prestige connection.  It may be that you will never be asked to advise. A wise leader will listen to those members.  Rather than appearing weak, strong leaders seek input.  Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet was labeled a team of rivals.  They opposed, even disliked each other. Yet differing opinions can promote good decisions.   Are you being asked to serve in such a role?  Ask […]

Good leaders

Faith based organizations have leaders.  We look to them, count on them. They are key to the health of the church or faith based organization they lead.  Why does only 1 in 3 finish well?  What brings success?   Successful leaders have a growing vibrant faith in God from the beginning to  end of their leadership.  Jesus mirrored this.  He started with complete obedience and connection with His father.  True on the cross, true today.   Successful leaders are always learning.  One pastor before teaching Lamentation, assembled a group who had experienced different losses, invited them into his home and […]

Greatest stories

Many people who have never read God’s word have heard of David and Goliath, Samson, and other biblical people.  The greatest stories ever told are often based on people in the bible or biblical themes.  I’ve been digging in the priceless stories of widows in the Bible.  In Not Alone, my new book just released, I enter their world, smell the  aroma of the last small loaf they are baking before starvation, walk with them to give two mites, all they have, to God.   These courageous widows are unsung, often unnamed, yet their stories are in the greatest, most […]

Improved prayers

I sometimes feel my prayers are pathetic, repetitive.  Truth is, they are.  I lack clarity, boldness.  I don’t even know what to ask for,  or how I should ask.  I just see the problem, my hurt, others suffering.  Revelation 8: 4 says that angels spread sweet smelling incense on our prayers.  My prayers arrive to the Father smelling better than when they left my lips.   Gratefully, I pray before I know whether I’m saying it all right.  I pray while confused, not even knowing an outcome that is good.  The Holy Spirit knows, directs and fills in my unknowns, […]

Weary in prayer

Have you prayed the same prayer for weeks, months, years and you see no answer?  Is your prayer aligned with God’s will and still no answer?  For example, you are praying for a precious relative to draw close to God.  John 3: 16.  God wants that for every human.   Our pastors words recently were encouraging.  We pray boldly because Jesus is representing us.  Hebrews 4: 16.  Like the Old Testament high priests going to God with the names of his people over their hearts, Jesus carries us, by name, to God pleading our case.   We are bold not […]

Spiritually depleted 3

Every Christ follower experiences times of depletion, times when our spiritual reserves are depleted.  Is it God’s responsibility alone to fill us?  He answers our cry.  But what is our part?   We are given an ordinary body–to house the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 6: 19. I must ask myself at times, ‘Miriam, how are you treating your body?‘  Fatigue, lack of sleep, not enough exercise, those times come, but should be temporary.   Draining circumstances and people.  Those times come.  Some people deplete us.  Pause.  Take a time out from that depleting person. That may be exactly what they […]