Life Lessons

Today is my grandson’s birthday–he’s twelve–and has been having some issues in that transition time between childhood and adolescence–doing things he wouldn’t normally to fit in. We can all relate.

It took me back to when I was twelve–glad I don’t have to go through that again! And some of the things I’ve learned since then. So I decided to share the letter I wrote to him.

“Today you are twelve!
In Jewish culture, the one Jesus grew up in, you would be considered a man today. They would call you a Son of the Law. And you would read and recite in Hebrew. You would then be considered responsible for yourself–your choices. It seems pretty heavy to me for a twelve year old, but judging from the Jewish mothers I have known, I doubt if they really get to make too many!

Twelve was a hard year for me. I became very aware that people weren’t as good as I thought. (I didn’t know yet that we were all a mixture of good and evil, that we are born with two natures: one that responds to God and one that responds to evil.) So I became very disillusioned with people–very disappointed in them, quite cynical, actually.

I hope that doesn’t happen to you. It took me years to pull out of it. I may not be completely out of it yet, but I understand it at least. Some happy things I have learned since then, that perhaps you can learn from and avoid a lot of pain and pitfalls for yourself, are:
1. Making good choices are so important: good choices make a good life and prevent pain.
2. Mistakes are not sin, (unless you allow them to separate you from God, so take them to God no matter how you feel–He is kind), and failure is not final and seldom fatal, but both are good teachers if you can embrace the pain.
3. God is all good, there is no evil in Them at all–none, nada, zip. They won’t ever let you down. They can’t. It’s not who They are. But there will be times when you feel like They do. They know suffering here can build character. And They want you there–happy forever. They want you fulfilled and happy here too, and will use most anything to get a relationship with you.
4. Doing what you want (aka rebellion or indulgence) usually brings suffering long term, once you’re past the flash of gratification. Typically, it works against the laws of your being. But if it pleases you to please God, you can do as you please.
5. Taking care of your body is so worth it. It makes your mind work better, makes your attitude brighter, promotes motivation and dreams, and it really makes getting old easier. (How many grandmas do you know who can stand on their heads at 66? And who take no medications?)
6. Discipline is not a bad thing, and self-discipline is a great gift to give yourself. Put good self-care in now and later it will come automatically, leaving energy free for creative endeavors.
7. Nobody will ever love you like Jesus. You’ll never be sorry for investing there. That is one of the decisions I reaffirmed at twelve, and I’ve never been sorry.

Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day and year!
I was looking for a book for your present, when I heard God say, “Why not give him yours?” Somehow I thought mine were too…but I guess not. It certainly is bringing two of my great loves together–you and God. Hopefully, the books will get there today.

I love you,
Grandma Boo”

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Experiencing God

I’m hesitant to post this because it is so personal. And then I had the thought I’ve posted plenty of negative personal things in he said/she said detail, so why not something positive? You’ll understand after you’ve read it.

So I was on the plane, in the middle seat, flying back from a great sisters’ trip, and decided to journal for my time with God which I’d missed. Our pastor has encouraged us to journal on scripture–especially the ones he is preaching on. We write what God is saying, and then what He is saying to us specifically.  He’s just started a new series on Mark. This is Mark 1:8 “I immerse you in water, but He will immerse you in Holy Spirit.”

“I love the thought of being completely immersed in You, Ruach! (Hebrew for Holy Spirit, pronounced Roo ak.) The closest I have come to realizing it is sitting in Your lap, leaning against Your chest in the morning–I’m just waking up, still sleepy, and snuggled up as I have often seen my daughter’s children do after a nap. I love that loved, relaxed feeling. I want to feel that relaxed, that loved, all the time. I want the love to ooze out of me as Val described her friend.

“I know I’m not that comfortable with people or myself yet, but I’m better. Thank You that at least I can see a bit of improvement. I know You don’t usually let us see our improvement because it doesn’t bode well with us–over time we get careless, thinking we don’t need You. I want to always know I need You, but I want more just to want You, and that precious time with You–want to let You flow through me.

“Make me not have to need people’s feedback and approval. At least this trip I don’t think I gave offense to anyone! Thank you for that. And thank You that the meeting with my nephew and nieces was so special.”

And He answered!

“I am so proud of you, and so grateful for your heart. You wanted to share your love–My love–with others in getting them all together. I know that. And I did let you see that I understood your motive by inspiring the writing of that text to C.”

Thank You.

“You are so welcome My Love.”

You see why I was hesitant to share it. But if it helps just one person open up to God in experimental, experiential relationship, then it is worth it. He will be just as affirming, sweet and gentle with you too.

The only religion worth anything is a relationship with God that is real to you experientially.

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15 Ways to be Happy During Trying TImes

Exercise–get your blood moving.

Sunshine–changes your mood and elevates Vitamin D (especially important for depression) 15-20 minutes a day on large skin areas–arms, legs, back, or face (If you’re in cold country take a supplement).

Enjoy one thing–switch tracks, get out of the “aint it awful” groove.

Make good stick–Spend 10-30 seconds on something positive to anchor it in your brain.

Ask a question–Is what I think true? Really? Do I KNOW it? Or am I imagining or being a “mind-reader”?

Put bad in Perspective–in 5 years…in 10 yrs…will this matter?

Change your Thoughts–Your brain can only hold one thought at a time –let go of the negative and find a good one.

Take back your power–Choose –Change your attitude.

Smile–It changes your mood.

Breathe–7 seconds in, 7 seconds out–for 20 minutes. Doing this daily can change your life. It’s the #1 antidote for stress.

Plan time with a Friend/Make a friend.

Try something new–learning is positive and gives new perspective.

Get a Relationship with God–all you have to do is ask.

Spend time alone with God–meet Him in your living room, nature, Holy books.

Pray–talking to God always works if you are willing to learn to live in faith.



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A Perspective Excerpt from Love’s Playbook 5

I’ve decided to share a couple of pages from the book I’m working on. It’s book five in the series: Exodus and the plagues. This is a break in the story for a new perspective.

“Whether or not Satan can create brings up an interesting question. Does God create destructive elements—in this case flies? Egypt has historically had the dog fly. It is large and venomous with a painful bite. And this one God instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh would not come on the Hebrews because God would make a distinction between Egypt and His special people.

It’s possible the first three hadn’t affected them either, but this is the first time God specifically tells Pharaoh it won’t, to make sure he is aware of it. Does God protect his own people from God? Or from enemies?

Back to the original question. It is true Satan doesn’t have ability to create life from nothing. But we have all seen how he can twist God’s gifts to create aberrations. Look at the suffering and disease he has created from sex. Or just the diseases he creates in us from ignorance and from taste, let alone viruses he creates. Remember in this series how Lucifer was given the chance to study the laws of nature and see what he could create. No doubt, he learned a lot about nature and its laws.

At that time he was still under God’s influence, and getting to fulfil his dream. He had not yet defected and activated the law of sin and death. But imagine what he must have done in the lab after he had activated entropy. He is called “the destroyer” in Exodus 12:23 and also in the book of Hebrews (2:14). He would destroy all of us (or have us destroy each other) if God allowed. It’s who he has become.

This is the first plague where it says the land was corrupted—literally the Hebrew is “the land was destroyed.” Would God have done this? Or would he have allowed the dark side to do their thing? I think it is the latter. I don’t believe God is the creator of evil. I think it is the absence of good as death is the absence of life.

Yes, They allow it to exist for choices, but They are winning the “right” now to banish evil, keeping it only as a personal choice forever, because it brings death. God has allowed Satan to have the power of death as long as he is kept alive. When God stops shielding him, he and all of his will cease to exist. Evil can’t exist in God’s presence. Revelation 20 says death and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire which is simply a metaphor for the dark side rushing into God’s unbridled energy to take his new city. (See Rev. 20:7-10.)

So why haven’t we questioned this before? We didn’t have the perspective. Our collective consciousness thought God does what He wants to because He is God, and thought the fear of God was literal along with other metaphors. Most people served God from fear—not what God wants! Now we know that another translation is more accurate: fear is best translated reverence or respect.

So why did God allow this? Because to protect our freedom there has to be hooks to hang doubt on. God can’t make everything completely plain until someone asks. Some things had to be shrouded in mystery until we started questioning and searching for a better understanding.

I don’t suppose I am the first one to question or understand this, just one who dares to interpret scripture this way, write it down and publish it.”

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Interference–Bad and Good

So the day after my post on anger, my little sister texted to ask if her sisters wanted to do a seven-day fast with her for our kids. We said yes; I was thinking maybe I’d fast from sugar, which isn’t a big deal since I don’t usually eat it, and then thought I should ask God. I did and He said immediately, “Fast negativity and blame towards your husband.” So I agreed thinking it would be good after our week.

No sooner had I agreed, than I got hit with little sleep and a load of resentment and blame like you would not believe! It was so intense, I knew it wasn’t just me, and choosing wasn’t cutting it! So I called for back up and got it, but that evening got slammed again and had to shout out to God again.

It wasn’t too rough after that, except I had trouble sleeping which always makes it harder. And at the end I got slammed again, but got through it. I thought I’d done pretty well. Not perfect but well.

The very next day my husband nicely confronted me that I seemed to have gotten more negative and he couldn’t take it. I recognized this was engineered by the dark side, so noticed, but didn’t hook in–didn’t even comment.

But five minutes later he was getting popcorn and I remarked that he couldn’t be hungry–we had eaten lunch not that long before. He exploded that I was like a warden, and I exploded back that he should shut up because NOW I was hurt and angry. I went into the other room and lay down on the bed and talked to God. Emotions are so crazy! So strong, so irrational, so quick!

I had somewhere to go in an hour, and had planned to do something or other and all I got done was processing. I felt so bad, so stupid, and knew that our date night, and the next two or three days were ruined. So God gave me a picture of what I could do–kneel by his chair and say, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to be negative.” But I said, “I can’t. I can see it would work, but I can’t do it.”

So He asked if this was worth it, and I thought about how the evening would go down and the next few days, and said, “No, it’s not, but I can’t do that. So if YOU can do it (get me to) go ahead, but I know I can’t.”

I was watching the clock–I had ten minutes, then five, then three, but it took less than one–on my way out I didn’t kneel, but I laid my hand on his arm and said, “I don’t want to be negative, I’m sorry,” and I left–amazed. I was free! My whole attitude changed, and it was the truth–I don’t want to be negative!

When I went home everything was normal. No pain. No lost time.

You don’t have to feel it, you just have to choose. God can do it for you.


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Reaction to Ivanka and Trump

I thought I’d published this three weeks ago, after the convention, but I guess it didn’t come out. Ivanka’s speech for Trump was amazing! I haven’t liked him from the beginning. He seemed like a hot-head who doesn’t have self-control or filters– “a loose canon” I think I’ve heard him described. Not someone you want representing your country as its leader. I’ve been amazed at his appeal, and then concerned. Is this really what the majority of people in our country are like?

I couldn’t believe it when it got down to him and Hilary. I’m not comfortable with her either. Although truthfully, I think many presidents have great dreams and ideals, and find out when they get there, that special interests and big business choke the democratic process. I don’t think they can do nearly what they plan to. Throw in a congress in opposition, you can do less. But then that is the system of checks and balances, and thank God we have it!

I like Obama’s even-tempered reasonableness. So I was curious what Trump was going to in his acceptance speech, and first I heard his daughter, Ivanka. She was a class act, coming across as real, genuine, factual and emotional. Not over-the-top emotionalism, but engaging and believable. She made him sound so real and credible, she drew me in. Well maybe… I was thinking. She made him glow. She was glowing, talking about “My father…my father…” At one point I even thought this is a speech Jesus could give about His Father!

The one thing that made Trump credible to me was his children. If you have four successful adult children who like you, and will support you, that speaks well for you, and it impressed me–especially since his wife isn’t much older than them. And then to hear them speak as well as they did, well they could be bought or threatened I thought, but then I heard that his daughter worked for him and has for ten years, and still said those things. She couldn’t be lying. I was caving.

I said to my husband, “He would do himself a favor not to say anything.” But that isn’t realistic, I guess.

And then Trump started off his speech trumpeting about Obama and Clinton and all the mistakes and screw-ups they’d made! It was a real downer. It was so typically political it made me sick. I thought he was supposed to be different. Why can’t you at least make the comparison general and tasteful if you have to do that? He finally did get around to saying some things he wanted to do, but then so does every candidate.

He ended strong, even managed to get in a dash of humility and gratitude. His confidence is impressive if slightly over the top. A bit narcissistic sounding, like we’ve got Trump, who needs God?

I have to say it almost makes you want to see if he can walk his talk. His best asset is his daughter. If he wants to win he should have Ivanka do all his speeches. Better yet, let’s elect her!

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Working Your Way Out of Anger, Fear, Hate, Blame…

It’s so crazy how far you can grow and still fall back into the same old stupid patterns with their same old stupid powerful feelings in a minute.

Actually the slide doesn’t start in a minute, but once it has begun a minute is all that’s required for another thought to take you from 0-60. Maybe even a second. It’s unnerving.

And worse is the incredible surprise that this can still happen after all the work and repair and growth–after all the good things that have happened! And then comes the shame and doubt. I will never get it. I will never be a good person, good wife, good mother… 

The truth is you will always be a human; some triggers will get healed if you ask for help or have an understanding partner, and some will not because you won’t be able to get to their source, and some might be hormonal. But the point is don’t get discouraged; we are all in the same boat and we all need forgiveness. We had an episode like that this week, and the anger is what startled me. I would give it to God, let it go, and another thought would come and in a second I would be all caught up in it again.

I was so gratified to talk to my friend who I thought was way past that and discover they had had the same thing this week!

The more awareness you have the more control you will get–that’s how it starts to get better. But you may not eradicate reactions completely. You will always have to say I’m sorry, if you let loose and express your feelings. Thank God I didn’t get that far. There was plenty I wanted to say, but I’m glad, now that I’m through it, that I didn’t. I only had to say sorry to God. And I know He (They) are always so happy to hear it and take me back to sanity. They never get tired of helping us even though we get tired of asking for help. It’s so embarrassing, but God is never shaming.

Ruach (Holy Spirit) kept giving me little thoughts to grab on to when I was so angry, and then I would calm down; and then another negative would come and off I’d go. Finally I remembered to choose, but I almost wanted to be angry. But was it worth it? Yes! Well no, I know what anger does to your body. No, it is not worth it. And then I started telling myself. Just choose. All you have to do is choose. Even when you know what to do and have told people 1000 times, it’s hard.

What always gets me out is writing. I got my devotional and my journal and spent some time alone with God. That smoothed it all out. I fought it for at least 12 hours, but why? Just because I’d been wronged! So what.

God said, “Have you given me control of you life? Do you think I can handle it?” Sometimes I actually say no, because I know They don’t control other people’s choices. But can They work around that? Yes, they are very creative. Peace is worth it. Trust is worth it. He is worth it! But we have to listen and choose.



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What God is Like

I’m on vacation at home. It has been a wonderful week with two of our grandchildren! I haven’t worked like I usually do, and have focused on just relaxing and enjoying them. It’s been a great experience. God helped me realize one morning that most of my life I have been focused on making people right rather than knowing and enjoying them. It’s the way I viewed Him for many years.

Now I see Them(One God–three persons) as wanting us to know Them and walk with Them in relationship through the process of every day, no matter what others do or what happens. To experience Them every day–Their love, Their kindness, Their goodness, Their laughter, Their joy, just Their presence, in all of everyday life, no matter what others do or what happens. And it is beginning to make me see and treat others differently. It’s about time! Safety and control were always so huge.

Our influence for good in the world comes from drawing not pushing (God told me that), from making God look good because we are so good to be around and we are clear and comfortable about identifying ourselves as Theirs. I really can’t even comprehend that yet!

Could it really be that powerful? Do I know–see–encounter–experience enough people that it would really make a difference if I was just full of God’s goodness? If I just lived with Them and soaked in Their love? If I just focused on the good in everything and everyone?

I’m not put together that way, but God seems intent on me getting this. Right now I’m thinking of people who raised their kids erring on the side of love, people I thought should provide some discipline. I’m not talking about giving-in or neglect, but truly focused love, and in adulthood the kids turned out well.

I think of Jesus who drew people to him, inviting. He never told us to go make Christians, he said go make followers (disciples). The only way you can do that is by drawing, making them want to follow. It seems to work for the dark side. Isis plays on the desire for power and revenge, expressing discontent, anger, and hate AND in the name of God! They draw many malcontents from our society.

And what does it take to experience God’s goodness that way? The only thing I know for sure, at this point, is choice. The second thing I suspect is some time alone with God, getting to know Them. Ruach (Holy Spirit) is closest, and Jesus is the easiest place to get to know God. That’s why this year I’ve added to the titles of God-in-a-Box, “Know God in a Year #…” because this may be the most important choice you will ever make.

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Your Resident Genius

We watched the President’s get together Thursday night. I liked it. He was open, relaxed, unbiased, direct, and inclusive. He was supportive of all groups represented, non-threatened, and non-threatening. He was honest about the problems, and yet encouraging and hopeful.

David Muir did a great job of setting it up and moderating. It was the first time I had seen a President do that–like a town hall meeting only better. Getting diverse people to sit together, share, ask and listen is huge. Kudos to David if it was his brain child, almost like group therapy, just a little more structured, and a little more wow factor. They were invited to be in a group with the President of the United States! They could even ask questions if they had made arrangements to. An experience they will always remember.

This week I read a description of the advantage we have as God’s children. We have a resident genius living with us–God’s Spirit. Why don’t we use Him? He is always with us, waiting for us to talk to Him. Why don’t we ask Him questions? Or ask His perspective on what we are going through? How does He view what we are struggling with? What are His plans for keeping us safe? You can have an audience with the King every day! Just by choosing it. Really. I do.

Some days it’s richer than others. And it will morph over time. I started by purposeful breathing. And then added talking and listening at the same time. Now I curl up next to a big pillow like I’m on His lap. Some days its all about me, and that’s it. But I always end up better. Other days, many of them, I get His thoughts, His perspective, on what I’m working on or wondering about. It’s great! Even better than having the honor of sitting in a group with the President!

As I said last week, Jesus warned us it was going to get ugly–it did again this week–in France, and my oldest sister finding out she has cancer. So many people grieving and in fear! We need our Resident Genius to get through this, to keep our hearts strong, warm, and well. Don’t let your heart get cold because of evil. God wins! It isn’t all good, but it will be.


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Wisdom from Age

Let me tell you about my friend who just visited. He’s 88 and loves life. He wants to live to be 120, especially now that he “learned not to control.”

He said, “I wonder why I was like that?” His wife died seven years ago, and he’s wondering why he felt that everything had to be his way.

He’s building a house. Also helping his girlfriend with her goat farm and properties, is interested in everything, loves learning. In short he has a great attitude even though he’s a bit hard of hearing and his ankle hurts from an old  injury when he walks . You would never know it except that he limps.

I’ve know him for 40 years, haven’t seen him in 6 or 7, and he was so happy to see me, he was like a kid. It was heart warming. I wish he’d had more time to talk so I could find out what brought this great transformation. I’m guessing it was suffering.

He’s always been interested in everything and learning, but there has come more softening, more other-centeredness, more acceptance.

Those are the gifts suffering brings, and losing a spouse will bring them. Glad I haven’t had that experience yet, even though coming close brought its own gift.

Oh and speaking of suffering,  Job is in preorder stage on Amazon. I’ll post the cover and link here since some of you have asked where to get it.

I feel like I have just graduated from a university course on suffering. And what did Job learn fromPlaybook Cover Kindle RGB 04  intense suffering? That it’s better to go through it with God  than without Them.

Suffering is getting bigger  and more widespread, as we saw this week, soon there won’t be anyone, if there is now, who hasn’t been touched by intense suffering. I’ve said it here before, Jesus warned us to get close to God because the increase of evil activity will cause many hearts to grow cold. Suffering is a timely topic! Suffering brings out who we really are. Forces us to make choices. Brings understanding.

And there are several other important perspectives we can learn from Job. I think that must be why I was so impressed to make it the next book in this series of finding an all-loving, all-good God in scripture. Take care of your heart.



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