Are You A Risk-taker?

It has been a while since I posted. Since late last spring, I put my writing aside so I could enjoy the outdoors and spend time traveling.

My grandson’s high school graduation was one of the highlights of that time. I am so proud of him, and it reminded me how quickly the years pass. It seems like only yesterday that he was a baby. He has grown up to be a fine young man.

One of the speakers for commencement was a young pastor I have seen on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) a few times. Although he was speaking to the graduates, his words could also apply to me. Rich Wilkerson is an alumnus of my grandson’s school and well-known. His message to graduates centered on taking a risk even if you fail. The part that caught my attention was the survey he mentioned.  People 95 years old were asked what their biggest regret on life was. They collectively said if they had to do life over they would take more risks. I immediately began to reflect on my own life.

Of course, Rich did bring God into the discussion. Relationship with him means we do ask God for help making decisions. Rich usually speaks to a younger crowd, but if you want to see how he motivates the younger crowd check out this video:

When I had some quiet time, his message kept me thinking. The Bible is full of people who took huge risks in their lives in obedience to God. The two that stand out are Daniel and Esther. Daniel did not conform to the Babylonian diet or bow down to Gods other than the one true God. He risked his life, but he obeyed God.

Queen Esther is my favorite. She was of Jewish birth and married to Persian King Ahasuerus. His grand vizier Haman plotted to kill the Jews. The King had no idea Esther was a Jew. When she found out Haman’s plot, she could not approach the king without being called. Despite that fact, she took a risk and did it anyways. She had to save her people. The King extended his scepter and she did not perish.

The same principles apply today. With God’s help, we can do more than we ever imagined.

Recently, I heard the same message preached from Mark Batterson who has written many outstanding books. I have read his book entitled if and think he makes profound points. With faith, there is hope. God wants to open doors to new possibilities. Age is not a factor.

Recently, I enrolled in a new fitness class for seniors. I took a risk because I don’t know anyone there. What I found was a great bunch of people. One woman is 87 years old. She goes to classes four days a week. Yes, many of them have physical issues and a few have had replacement surgeries. They amaze me. There even is a boxing class for people who have Parkinson’s disease.

I have driven past this gym countless times. One day I decided to check it out. We laugh and have fun while improving our strength. It isn’t an easy class either, but it is making us stronger which will improve our health. I am so glad I didn’t put it off any longer.

God wants to open doors to new possibilities.

How about you? Is there something you always talk about doing that you don’t? Is there a trip you’ve wanted to take? Is there a group that you’ve thought about joining and haven’t? The list could go on. Is fear holding you back?

As I have said, many times since beginning this blog, time is precious and passes so quickly. There are so many places to help people in need or to experience something new.

Whether a big or small risk, ask God to reveal a new venture or then provide the courage to do it. What do you have to lose?

Until next time,

Posted in Faith | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Words

Ever just sit on a bench at the mall or in a park and listen to people? Times have changed and what used to be inappropriate language at home is common place. Television shows are not even filtered anymore. Is this really what we want for future generations?

Recently I participated in a small Bible study group that read a book called Zip It. I must say the title alone intrigued me. We had a small group and each week we read five selections. The conversations were fun and we learned so much from each other.

It is not just vulgar words that are wrong. Words that injure others or belittle them are just as bad.

It didn’t take much soul searching to find times when I let my emotions take the best of me and used words that I have regretted. Think about it. Do your emotions take over your mouth like mine did?

Words can affect other people. As a teacher I always tried to give my students words of encouragement. So many came to school with baggage that I didn’t know about. It influenced their behavior in school and as a teacher I had to choose my words carefully.

As a Christian, I am learning that my thoughts also influence what I say. The way I think is influenced by what I put into my mind. What I watch on television or read can affect my thinking.

I am trying so hard not to judge. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you can’t know why they do what they do. But it doesn’t me anything goes with language.

We live in an age where everyone is accusing every one of something.  A teacher I worked with was recently falsely accused. He never said a harsh word back. He has been cleared totally, but false accusations flew around on social media. Written words on the Internet don’t go away. Yet he still believes that God has a plan for him and he is just letting it go. He is a fine example of what Christian behavior looks like.

I know that there are many famous people deserving  punishment for things they have done in the past. I get it and I have some things I could bring to light, too. I just worry that many will join the movement with false accusations.

Words have power. Power to change a life or destroy it. Parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, Girl Scout leaders – the list goes on and on – have power in their words.

I have mentioned Ruby Bridges before, but her story fits here. She walked through a hostile crowd everyday going into her school. They shouted terrible things at her and threw things at this little 6-year-old because they did believe in segregation. Everyday she stopped to pray before she went through the crowd, but it wasn’t revealed until later that she prayed for her accusers. She didn’t cry or whimper, she just walked with the US Marshals into the school where even the staff treated her unkindly. What an example for us all.

Words have power. Power to change a life or destroy it.

Jesus had a lot of accusers, too. In the end they did the same thing to him. Many of his mighty works were used to accuse him. It didn’t stop him from doing good. On the night he was betrayed he stood accused again and he still didn’t say anything. How difficult this must have been knowing people  were trying to kill him. Yet he paid the price for them anyway.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

This study was a great one. It opened my eyes to my own behavior. She has a second book called Keep it Shut!  I just might want to see what more she has to say.

How about you? Keep a journal of  your words for a while. Do they need to change? How about your friends? Are their words uplifting? What kind of words do they use?

Just think about it. Take the forty day challenge. In the end, it will only matter what God knows to be true.

Til next time!

Posted in Christian Life, Faith, Family | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Memories that Last

Recently I attended my uncle’s funeral and I got another reminder on how short life is. My uncle was only nine years older than me. My most vivid memories were when he was a teenager and he chased me out of his room. Seems like I always was in his stuff. Now all I have are his pictures.

It had been a long time since I had seen my cousins. We stopped having family reunions because my uncle was the one who organized them. Now we only see each other at funerals. Even then not everyone comes. I had so many second cousins – I had no idea. They didn’t know about me either. Life passes so quickly.

My other uncle is still living. As I chatted with his daughter I realized she didn’t have any pictures from her childhood. She was reminded of that when she saw the photos from my uncle. Her comment made me think about a box of pictures I had at home. They belonged to my mother (who is in a long-term care facility and not able to tell me about them). I promised her I would look.

I couldn’t wait to look through those pictures. They were just a mess. They are yellowed and faded, but I found some wonderful pictures to send on to my cousin. Memories I had, too. I was a teenager when my two cousins were babies. It warmed my heart to see my grandmother holding them.

Those pictures were just another reminder that it is important to label pictures. Retirement is a wonderful time to do that. I will guess the years. I am even going to try fix the faded colors myself using PaintShopPro. Once I’m done I will send them to my cousins. At least now she will have something to share with her children.

Life is short. My friend is doing genealogy and she tells me how important it is to date things and keep documents.

Those pictures were just another reminder that it is important to label pictures.


Thinking about my children, they put most of their pictures in the cloud. So what happens to them? I may be odd here, but I like pictures in an album of some sort. Shutterfly does them at a reasonable cost, plus you can always get a coupon.

It’s not too early to think about Christmas gifts. Maybe this spring is the time to get started. It also might not be a bad idea to put them on a USB drive in a safe deposit box in case something happens.

I’m always talking about leaving a legacy.  Family pictures are part of it!

When my children turned 40, I scanned their pictures and put them in a power point. Did you know you can insert what is called a Photo Album in power point and it will put a border on them for you? I then took the slides and inserted them with the other pictures I had. I added captions by inserting text. The nice part is you can save the slide show as pictures and print them out into a book or put them to music on a CD.

Best part – it was fun! My family appreciated seeing how they changed over time.

So where are your pictures? In a box? In a scrapbook? Are they labeled? Will people know where they are?

This generation is always taking pictures so pictures must be important. Leave them some memories that will last a lifetime.

Til next time,


Posted in Christian Life, Family | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

True Champions Beyond the Game

On February 4, 2018 many Americans watched an amazing Super Bowl game. Talking to many people before the game they rooted for the underdogs simply because that’s what they were called. They just didn’t want to see the Patriots win again.

Honestly, I did not know much about the Eagles and the stories I saw on television didn’t focus on what I thought was the real story. For me, the real story started when the coach was on the podium and was asked to what he attributed his journey, he did not waiver to give credit to his Savior Jesus Christ. Then two team members, including Nick Foles, also gave glory to God.

They were such an inspiration to me. We live in a day and age where Christianity is frowned upon and even in some cases, people are brought to court for their beliefs. None of these men hesitated with their statements.


In this video clip, the players talk about their journey of faith as players working together and how they have shared their faith with teammates. They just don’t talk about it, they are living it out in the locker room and on the field. They aren’t pushy with fellow players, but won’t hide it either. It is not a divisive thing in the locker room. I love the way they encourage couples to study the Bible together.


When I watched the clip I heard some important ideas. They challenge themselves to always see the bigger picture and who they really live for each day. They aren’t without challenges in their personal lives and they lean on each other while encourage themselves to support each other both on and off the field.

Carson Wentz was so supportive of Nick Foles, even though Nick took his place. His life goes beyond football.  He lives out what he says he believes in. He has even set up a foundation to support one of the missions he believes. Many other players have their own ways to give support to the community as a way of living out their faith.

I loved the portion of the video where I saw players kneel on the field. They aren’t afraid to let fans know where their heart belongs. I have noticed other teams do this at times and that is a bold faith. A faith we are all called to have.

Many other players have their own ways to give support to the community as a way of living out their faith.


I loved the stories before the game of players on other teams that also have made a tremendous impact on their communities. JJ Watt is one of those players. His goal was to raise $200,000 for hurricane victims. Instead, he raised $37 million. What a testimony!

What about you? Still thinking of ways to live out your faith? It’s never too late and this country is in need of more stories like this.

Looking at the nightly news reminds me that this world could use a little more faith. If it isn’t a sex scandal dominating the news, it is a mass shooting. Yesterday was a terrible shooting close to where my grandchildren live. How many more of these can we take? Isn’t it time to turn that around? Communities need hope and help.

I have mentioned so many times before, retirement is a great time to invest in other lives and agencies. I say  from personal experience.

But don’t wait until you retire. It can be a very rewarding experience.

As a country let us focus on positive stories. We have pulled together in recent natural disasters and there are so many unsung heroes. Yesterday’s shooting was another example of how a community worked together in the face of tragedy. They did their best and responded so quickly to the call.

My heart and prayers are with those families. My prayer is also for some way to help stop this violence. We need more people like this football team that reach out to their communities. We all can help.

Til next time,


Posted in Christian Life, Faith | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dare to Dream God-sized Dreams

Despite the frigid air outside, this first month of the year has been incredibly busy. Like the title of my blog, LifePartThree, my life is filled with new activities.

Books I have been reading by Pastor Mark Batterson and Allen Arnold have inspired me to dream bigger. Some people at my age have just slowed down, but for me that doesn’t work.

Last time I wrote about doing life with God this year, and I have to say I am enjoying it. I remind myself every morning to start my day that way and now it is becoming a habit.

Books, books, and more books!

Reading Mark Batterson’s books  has made one thing clear – as a Christian we need to dream big. He was not talking about dreaming for material things.

Dreaming with God means life will change. I believe to change you need to be teachable. Books help me do that. The Bible is my anchor for the day, but I also read constantly. I know the only way to be a better writer is to read great books and to study how they write.

Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t work. Some people choose not to ever work again, and others try to pursue something different. I was amazed when I got the AARP Bulletin (January/February 2018), it was all about older people changing careers long after turning 50. The article included people who became anything from a physician to a fitness trainer. Several had to go back to school or went for the first time. Some were even told it was impossible but proved them to be wrong. They all are happy with their choices.

What is something you wanted to do earlier in life that you just didn’t try? It is never too late to try.

I can relate to that. My teaching career started when I was 35 because I chose to raise a family first. In my late fifties I totally changed my classroom teaching by engaging in online communities and learning from them.  I presented at a state conference and began doing workshops with a co-teacher. During this time I also became proficient in my technology skills and changed from classroom teaching to being the technology teacher for the district. That was my dream job. It was a bold move and I loved every minute of it.

Since retiring I have tried many other new things and life has been busy. According to Batterson  dreaming God-sized dreams requires imagination and will be something you can’t do on your own. It is risky and people will advise you not to do it.

When I started dabbling in writing novels I knew it would be hard. The process of getting a story with a beginning and an end is not easy. That is only one step in the process. That’s why people give up.

What are your dreams? Batterson says we need to keep praying for God to help us realize our dreams. In one of my favorite books The Traveler’s Gift they talked about people giving up on dreams because of impatience. Don’t give up.

The opportunities out there are amazing. A local church can offer opportunities to grow in faith. There are groups to do just about anything from dancing to quilting. I have friends who play pickle ball and love it. But those things are activities to keep us busy.

Dare to dream. What is something you wanted to do earlier in life that you just didn’t try? It is never too late.

Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 65. Grandma Moses started painting at 76. John Glenn went out in space at 77. The list could go on and on.

You don’t have to do something big. But things like mentoring or reading in a school can make a huge difference in someone’s life while enriching your own. Just passing on the legacy of reading can change a life. Use your imagination and make a difference!

Posted in Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Way to Approach the New Year

Every new year I start by making resolutions. You probably do too. Seems like it is always the same and by February I have broken most of them. This year I have a new approach.

Last year, I wrote and self-published my novel As Angels Sing. With it I experienced what life as an author would be. I love writing and I wish I had started earlier, but I know that this book and the others I am working on really come from my faith journey. When I sit down to write I feel inspired by the spirit within.

Everyone has a story to share. Our lives are a story. But I wonder how many people are trying to do life alone without faith? I look back at my life and see periods where God wasn’t the center of my life. Those were the times life was the hardest. I was always striving to achieve and perform for other people. Life was busy but I really wasn’t happy. I ended up as a single mom and my life was empty until I went back to my faith.

When life gets out of control most people turn to God. I was no exception. But he brought me peace during the most difficult of times.

My teaching career and my family were truly gifts from God. Now writing has been something he has put on my heart. I want to leave a written legacy of my journey so others can learn from it.

The new year is the perfect time for anyone, young or old to invite God to be the center of life. Instead of trying to do life alone, do it with God. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life will be easy, but it does mean you will not be alone.

When I attended the ACFW (American Christian Writers) conference in September, I took a workshop on CHAOS. My life has been like that at times. The presenter (Allen Arnold) wrote a book called the story of WithIt may be hard for some people to understand because it is an allegory, but the premise has changed my thinking. What if each day you asked God to do the day with you instead of just listing all your needs?

Our church is doing something called My One Word. I chose the word with because the main character in my book had Proverbs 3: 5-6¹ as her life verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Most of my life has followed that verse not noticing that one word – with. Life doesn’t always make sense. That is why we need to do life with God. The journey so far has taken me places I never thought I would or even could go. He is very creative.

So what dreams are you dreaming? What resolutions do you want to keep? What are you having difficulty with? He is ready to help with your career, your family, your marriage or just your soul. It’s not about doing things for him, it’s about doing life with him.

Don’t face this New Year alone. Open the only book that has been a best seller for over 2,000 years – the Bible.  Begin doing life with God. Open your heart to him. He’s waiting. He loves you and will never let you down!

The journey so far has taken me places I never thought I would  or even could go. He is very creative.

My wish for you this year is that you will use this approach for life and find much happiness and fulfillment this year.♥♥♥


¹Bible Gateway, 3%3A5-6.

Posted in Christian Life, Faith, Family | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are We All Homeless?

My husband and I couldn’t wait for the movie Same Kind of Different as Me to come out. I reviewed the book last year and really enjoyed it. It got me thinking so much about homeless people.

The movie was based on the book and didn’t focus on the parts of the book I would have, yet the story was just as powerful. The director chose what to emphasize and that was the homeless man. His story and how his life was changed by the one persistently caring woman is a lesson for us all.

This is a true story and by choosing to care about one homeless man, so many lives were changed and I am not talking about just the homeless. I can’t give away what happens to the characters, you will need to read the book or watch the movie. I also need to give you a spoiler alert-bring tissues.

There were some key messages for us all. Kindness can change lives. These characters helped each other to be better people. Sometimes we don’t immediately see how what we do affects others, both good and bad.  A smile can change a person’s day. Not judging people by appearance or their life situation can help those less fortunate.

I have to admit, being around homeless people seems a bit scary. I know from personal contact at our church rummage sale, they are not all friendly. But what I have come to realize is they are just like me. I’m probably not friendly when just going to a sale. The same must be for those served in a soup kitchen or homeless center. Until we have a relationship established, we aren’t friendly. Relationships take time.

In the movie some of characters tell their tragic stories. Grief, job loss, illness or a number of life events often started a series of events that went out of control.

I understand that. Life has tossed me a few curves and faith was the only thing that kept me going.

Do you realize that when Jesus started his ministry, he was homeless? He never worried where he was going to sleep or what he would be eating. Think about it – he walked everywhere, too. That had to be difficult.

He said we are all homeless.

Denver made a statement that was so powerful and really got me thinking. He said we are all homeless. As a Christian, I believe that to be true. My home really is my heavenly home.

How about you? How do you feel about his statement? Makes you really think doesn’t it.

The Christmas season is here. Think about where Jesus was born. He wasn’t born in what was considered a home. His life wasn’t about things. It was always relationship.

Let the Christmas season be a time to help those less fortunate. In the movie, love and compassion changed the lives of so many people. The best part about it is in giving we receive so much more. Ready to receive some blessings?




Posted in Christian Life, Faith, Literature | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you have blinders on?

My husband and I attended a new church recently and I found the message delivered by this young pastor really spoke to my heart. He described how on a recent group mission trip to Detroit the group passed a homeless man on the street while traveling to their destination. They didn’t stop and that weighed on them all. It was like they had blinders on. The next day they made sure they had food in the van to give out if they passed needy people again. His question was – Do we go through life with blinders on and only focus on our own agenda?

Thinking about what he said, I had to question myself. How many times do I pass people who could use some help, but don’t see them? Maybe I do see them and ignore them. Maybe stopping would change a life.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t be safe. Safety is an issue. But the Bible is pretty clear about helping the hungry and the needy. Someone in one of my Bible studies said give them the money and let God take it from there.

Maybe it is not a question of passing someone on the street. I began thinking about opportunities I have to help people and I don’t.

Maybe stopping would change a life.

Retirement does leave time to do the things I love. Even though I already volunteer during the week, I decided to be open to anything different. It didn’t take long to find a need.

A dear widowed friend was telling me about how the person who was supposed to paint his house didn’t show up. Before he can sell it, the painting needs to be done and it was very upsetting. Since it is already almost the end of October, time is getting short. Although I don’t paint (I wear too much of it), my husband does. We decided to help out. I packed pictures and my husband painted. Boy, was it appreciated and really helped out.

As Christians we are called to serve others. Sometimes we see a need and don’t help because of the inconvenience. What if our friends did that to us?

My cancer wasn’t convenient for me or my working friends, but they were there for me. I didn’t need to ask.

What if more people took time during their hectic lives to reach out to those in need. I don’t mean just at shelters or agencies. If you’ve never volunteered, that might be a good place to begin.

It might be as simple as visiting that widow down the street. Do you know how alone she feels? Or how about raking her leaves? Simple enough. Could be just sit and have a cup of coffee. What would that take?

Making an effort to do one thing a month would be a great start. How about it? The world could should use it.


Posted in Christian Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where are your pictures?

Today is my grandson’s 18th birthday and I couldn’t be prouder. He has turned into such a wonderful young man. We have enjoyed watching him grow, but I have to admit time has passed too quickly. Check it out below this post.

I have been going through pictures for weeks and made a quick slide show to highlight his life. It made me think about pictures in boxes.

Why do we just take pictures and put them in boxes? Or we leave them in the digital world without ever doing anything with them.

I used to make scrapbooks of pictures from our trips. Now we just take them, post them to Facebook and we’re done. Sometimes they stay in the camera and we don’t do a thing with them. We have gone to some great places and I wonder why we don’t do anything with the pictures.

We visited our friend yesterday because her mom passed away. She was getting ready for the post graveside family event. There was a table full of pictures. Some were those old kind that were faded and yellow. Most of them were not dated or labeled with names.

Although my friend spent quality time with her mom, those pictures are all that is left. Now she wishes they were labeled.

One of the best things you can do for your family is leave photos with labels. It is part of the legacy you leave. I wish I had labels on the back of my own photos or my grandmother’s that I have in a box.

It is never too late to start!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize a free slideshow design
Posted in Family | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Answered Prayers


We prayed as a nation over a week ago, and today I was reminded of another important event. The September 11 attack on the twin towers was also a horrible thing to watch. But our nation pulled together during all the events. Those lost have not been forgotten.

The hurricane situations over the past couple of weeks have cause us all to be alarmed. The devastation and destruction of lives and communities has caught our attention.

One good thing that has happened is that people are working together to help others. People are praying for communities. We have so many people sending money and supplies. Others are giving of their time.

Although alarming numbers of people were asked to evacuate in Florida, it was done ahead of time for safety issues. Watching the storm on the Weather Channel made it clear that residents needed to move. The governor and the agencies involved have done an outstanding job.

My family is safe, but without power. It was a rough week. The debris and power lines in the streets will take quite a while to fix, but lives were saved by advance planning. The governor stressed things can be replaced, your family can’t.

Storms pass, but the destruction remains. We need to continue to pray for all those affected and we also need to be thankful for the prayers that God answered. May he continue to help these areas heal and rebuild.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

America has pulled together again to help those in need. I will continue to pray and give thanks for all those give of themselves without expecting anything in return. They have worked around the clock. Words can not express the gratitude we all feel. 



Posted in Faith | Leave a comment