Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Letter to Dylan on August 31, 2019

Photo from Postal Museum
I've recently noted how I'd been impressed to write hand-written-receive-in-the-mail-letters to important people in my life.  This is the letter I wrote to my middle son:


I want to make it official, let you see it in black and white, make it known in a way that I aspire for your heart to hear it in your innermost being:

I love you.

I am grateful that you are my son.

Daily I give thanks to God for all He’s done in your life and all you’re becoming. 

You’ve been clean and sober for three years – I couldn’t be more proud of you!  I pray daily that you will continue on this journey of sobriety and all the things it has, and will continue to, teach you.

I respect how you’re willing to do the hard work of therapy.  That you value yourself, your family, and the interior life enough to do the hard work of paying for therapy.  That you’re actually doing the work of interior mining, habit change, facing your demons, and realizing the uncomfortable that come with therapy.   I can see the difference it’s making in you.  I find myself repeatedly thanking God for the wisdom you’re developing with regard to you and Liz’s relationship.  I can see you growing in the ability to give tenderness that is made real by sacrifice.

I’ve always adored how you have a sweet heart.  It makes me happy to see you letting that heart out in the choices you make about how your family spends it’s time and in romantic gestures for Liz.

I respect how you use your God given intellect to constantly increase in your ability to be smart with your money.  I admire how you have a plan for getting out of debt and how you don’t let it get you down.  I’m inspired by your great faith and vision in this area.

I’m in awe of how you keep your eyes on that which is positive in life.  You’ve plenty of challenges but I consistently see you choose to do what you can about these problems, and then live your life with your eyes on the blessings.  You are one of the most positive people I know.  Not in that obnoxious cheerleader way – but in a simple choice made way.

I’m delighted by your silly humor!

I’m glad to see the joy you receive from running and how you’re nourishing both your soul and body with the discipline of daily running that you’re developing.

I’m grateful to see your heart that reaches out for the spiritual.  How you are learning to make time in your life for daily time of reflection.

I respect how you seek to keep toxic people as much away from your life as is humanly possible.

I’m excited for your future.  I know that all the wrong choices you made in the past, and the hard times that have resulted, and the way you’ve handled these hard time – these life events are building in you.  I’m excited to see how God will use what He’s building in you to bless  you and your family, as well as to bless others.

I couldn’t love you more,


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Prayer for fighting the real enemy

Photo from Wikipedia Armor of God
In Shirer's book Fervent, she has a chapter about prayer for fighting the real enemy.  As I read what
she had to say, and looked up the Bible references she provides as well as some others, I felt impressed to write this prayer:

Father I praise You because You are all powerful. You are the High King over all gods.  You are the majestic creator of all.  You hold deep caves and caverns in one hand and grasp the high mountains in the other.  You created the oceans, Your hands sculpted the earth – You own it all!  I praise You because You willingly came to this earth and became one of us.  You identified with the frailty and suffering of humanity, yet You didn’t sin.  You suffered and died in our place.   Salvation and glory and power to You!

I’m sorry that I’ve frequently pushed You and all that You’ve done for me almost out of my thinking.  I ask forgiveness that I’ve too often lived my life for myself instead of with you in the driver’s seat.  I repent from this habit I’ve too often fallen into of seeing only this material world and desiring the temporary pleasures.  I repent of too often becoming discouraged and thinking that the people who think differently than I do about political issues and weighty matters are my enemies.  I recognize the truth that there are principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realm.  That there are demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.  I praise You that You are more powerful than any of these little gods and evil spirits.  I repent of that forgetful, without purpose, selfish way of living. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Holy Spirit that You live within me and empower me to change.

Father, may my mind become renewed so that I can live my life as You would have me to.  May Your holy spirit within me empower me to become alert, and to live with my guard up against the real enemy – not the people who’re being led astray by the real enemy.  Oh Father, help me keep a firm grip on my faith.  Give me the energy and stick-to-it-ness that I need in this life.  May I daily put on the protective gear that You’ve given me so that I can stand against the devil and his minions.  May I put on and wear Your Truth.  May Your Truth undergird my very being.  When lies and accusations are thrown at me by the enemy, may my mind be protected by Your Truth.  Holy Spirit, bring to mind Your words of Truth.  Empower me to not be led astray by lies about myself, Who I am to and through You, my purpose, and the value of others.  Enable me dear God to embrace the power of the salvation and deliverance that You’ve provided like a helmet to protect my mind from lies.  May I dig deep into You and Your word so that I can use Your word as a sword against the enemy.  Fill me with faith in Your word and Truth. Keep deep in my heart that truth that You have made me clean, that in You I am righteous.  May this truth protect my heart.  May Your righteousness be a breastplate over my heart so the enemy’s arrows won’t pierce me. Empower me oh Holy Lord to live righteously; to be set apart for You.  May I not be caught up in this world and entangled in fleshly pleasures.  Help me to enjoy all the good that You’ve given me but keep my deepest heart set apart for you – not for the good things You have, and continue to, give me.  Thank You for the peace You’ve given me.  May I live at peace with myself and peace with others.  May I be a peace maker, a peace bringer.  Father use me to bring peace to this fallen world.  Shod my feet in Your gospel of peace.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Letter to Devon on August 24, 2019

Photo from Zazzle
I'd posted the other day that I felt impressed to write & mail actual letters to some of the

important people in my life.  This is the one for my oldest son:

August 24, 2019


I want to say how much I love you.

Sometimes in life I find that I think good things about people in my head, but fail to ever communicate those thoughts.  I want to make sure I explicitly let you know how much I respect and appreciate these specific things about you:
·       Your love and affinity for Rachel
·       Your diligence to do that which you believe is right even when it’s inconvenient
·       Your commitment to prayer
·       Your tenderness as a father
·       Your pursuit after learning how to be a good father and husband
·       Your allegiance to the principals/lifestyle of honor, duty and country
·       Your enjoyment of learning
·       Your commitment to being a great leader-to take ownership and to invest in those you lead
·       Your appreciation of music
·       Your whole hearted following after Christ as you know Him

I’m sure grateful to be your mother,

Prayer for Passion

Photo from Dr. Lauren Cielo
In her book, Fervent, Shirer starts with a call to praying for renewed passion for God.

This is my prayer:

Father God, I praise You because You are all powerful and nothing is too difficult for You. I praise You because You are holy.  I praise You because You are a faithful God.  Thank You that I can always count on You. Thank You that You love me.  Thank You that because of Your great love I’m not consumed.  Thank You that Your compassions for me are new every morning and that Your faithfulness is great.  Thank You that I’m precious to You. Thank You that You’ve given me the Holy Spirit; thank You Holy Spirit for living inside me. Thank You for all the times Your Holy Spirit has welled up hope, passion, purpose and joy within me.

Father I’m sorry for all the times I’ve sought after indulgences of the flesh and lived my life so that it was all about me.  Gone through my day thinking about me, me, me.  I’m so sorry.  Thank You for Your forgiveness.  Please give me the power to change.

Father, please make a fresh start in me.  Create a clean heart inside me that loves you with every passion of my heart, with all the energy of my being, all of my thoughts, and all of my strength. Oh Father, cut away the thick calluses on my heart so that I may be free to love you with my whole heart and soul and to really live. May You truly be my all in all.  Please restore to me Your strength and passion and the ability to do Your will. Restore to me a passion for You that consumes me.

The plan as I read Fervent

I'm reading the book Fervent by Priscilla Schirer.
Graphic from Worship House Media

My heart longs to be a woman of prayer, a warrior.  I want to pass on a legacy of prayer to my children and grandchildren.

I appreciate the acronym that she presents as a template for prayer: P-praise, R-repent, A-ask, Y-yes (agree with God and His Word).

I've felt impressed to read a chapter, then look up the Bible verses she provides as well as others on the same topic.  Read these verses in several translations and paraphrases.  Pick my favorite translations, or maybe use a few different ones, and type these verses on pages that I spend time reading.

The book is set up so that several of the chapters target specific prayers.  I've been impressed to spend a week, or maybe two or three, meditating on the verses prior to writing out my prayers.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A letter to my son's girlfriend

Last Sunday the Pastor's sermon was finishing the last part of the last chapter in 1 Thessalonians.  As I listened I was caught by that phrase in 1 Thessalonians 5:14; to "encourage the disheartened".  Gosh, the disheartened are everywhere I look: where I work and where I live.  I felt impressed to make that my mission each day.

Surprisingly, what I saw happen was how truly crabby I can be!

But I also got a specific impression to write an actual letter on paper to mail with a stamp to my
Photo from Zazzle
middle son's girlfriend.  She functions like a wife; they've lived together for 3 years and have been engaged for 2 years.   There are things about her that make her not the person I would have chosen for my son, yet, she has a lot of great qualities.  I also know from what my son and she have told me that her mother has made some positive changes in her life and is a good person today but was an over the top critical person when the girlfriend was growing up.  I think that because of this she has a hole her soul that craves affirmation.

So this is what I wrote in the letter to the girlfriend:

"I want you to know how much I appreciate you.

Sometimes in life I find that I think good things about people in my head, but fail to ever communicate those thoughts.  I want to make sure I explicitly let you know how much I appreciate these specific things about you:

  • How you love my son Dylan
  • How you sincerely love Lilly and Lincoln
  • The way you inspired Dylan to get involved with Altig; the career he’s come to value
  • Your creativity that expresses itself through * Doing all kinds of things that make every Birthday special,  * Coming up with so many fun ideas that make every holiday and special event wonderful and memorable, * Bringing joy into every day life
  • The way you look at each child and see their gifts and leanings and seek to involve him/her in classes or events that nourish those parts of them
  • The value you place on being a mother and wife
  • The fact that you accept, (and model that acceptance for those around you), everyone for who they are and don’t require them to be who you want or think is “right”
  • What a great home decorator you are
  • Your sensitive heart that is moved by the pain of others
  • Your willingness to run point on dealing with crazy (Dylan's ex's name was here; she's the biological mother of Lilly & Lincoln)
  • All the extra work you do because of the split custody situation
  • Your willingness to forgive others when they wrong you
  • Your willingness to engage in self awareness efforts and your heart to want to constantly grow, change and improve
  • Your desire for connection with the spiritual part of life
  • Your appreciation of beauty

I love you (girlfriend's name) and just want you to know how grateful I am that you’re in all of our lives,"

May God use this letter to encourage her.

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