Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Uh Oh...

Today when I was running from my truck to the bus, I tripped and fell and hit my face, left hand, and both knees on the pavement… My hand is swollen and unusable at the moment, so I’m typing one-handed. I’m involved in an important project at work this week, so I pray I’ll still be able to be a valuable member of the team. And my honey and I are spending a few days without the kids in the house, so I also pray that we’ll still be able to enjoy each other in spite of this.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yesterday was a very full day for us. The first part of the day was spent frantically trying to get our house ready to receive company--Linnea's half-sister, Lindsey, from Montana. Everyone was excited (and nervous) to meet her, and Linnea stood looking out the front door window watching for her for about an hour straight. She called at around 1:30 p.m. and said she was lost, so Linnea and I (with Rebecca and Megan in the back seat) went to go find her and have her follow us home.

I have to say... So many of the modern Christians I meet seem stuffy, pretentious and walled-up, and so many of the postmodern Christians I meet seem authentic, down-to-earth, easy to get to know, and comfortable to be around. Lindsey is just like that. She's a tree-hugger, no doubt, but you know what? So am I! So is Linnea. Lindsey fits right in.

Yesterday's adventures:

I was finally able to get posted the rest of the portions of the book "Story" that most profoundly impacted me. It took a while, but I've been wanting to go it for ages and I'm glad it's done now, preserved in an easily accessible format for myself, my family, and anyone else who may be interested in reading them. (see my blog "Echoes.") Thank You, Lord! I also received a couple of emails from a dear friend regarding something she's concerned about in my life, and I truly appreciate that. I haven't had time to thoughtfully read those emails and respond yet, but I hope to today or sometime soon.

Lindsey and Linnea took a year's worth of glass to the Valley Transfer Station yesterday afternoon, and my mom and Megan took the bus for the very first time to the Valley Mall where they window shopped, tried on clothes, and shared a meal which they paid for mostly with change out of my mom's purse. My mom said the two oriental ladies who helped them were chattering to each other frantically in another language, and she said she didn't think she would have wanted to understand what they were saying. Probably something about the inconvenience, or down-right rudeness, of people paying with change. But change is money all the same, and I hope they got over whatever negative emotions they were feeling, if they were indeed feeling any.

From 8:30 to 9:30 last night, we participated in Earth Hour. I work for the City, and the Mayor suggested that a message be sent to all City employees participate in this worth-while event, if possible. So we sat around our table, turned off every non-essential electronic device in the house, and I read my family a chapter out of "Adventures in Missing the Point," called "Missing the Point: Environmentalism." Then I read them 3 or 4 short stories out of the first book of the "Encyclopedia Brown" series. It was so much fun! We were glad to have the lights back on after that hour, though. The little ones were quite restless by the end.

All-in-all, it was a good day. Good is good.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unforgettable Prayer from a Friend

A dear, sweet, precious friend (who asked to remain nameless when I asked her if I could post this) wrote to me and asked if she could pray for me about anything in particular. So I emailed her back about some specific topics, and she sent me this beautiful prayer that I will never forget. I join her in praying these things for myself and for everyone within my circle of influence. I also pray for these things for her, and for those within her influence. May God’s perfect will be done in all things, by His grace, and for His own honor and glory!


March 18,2009

Dearest Lord,

Thank you for bringing Melanie into my life. Her riches in You are so evident in every post and email she writes and I get the pleasure of reading. Her gentleness is greatly appreciated by me and I'm sure by You.

Father, she has made specific prayer requests that I know she has brought to You and You have heard and responded the first time You laid these things upon her heart. But I would now like to add my prayer to hers and Yours.

Father, first for her health I pray Your light into every area where she feels weakness physically. Lord, you created every cell, every sinew and knew her before she was weaved in her mother's womb. Father You care about every hair on her head and you care about every cell in her body. Lord I pray complete health and wellness into her physical body and command Satan to get behind her in Jesus name. Walk in health Melanie.

For her marriage, I pray wholeness and health in their communication with each other. Let their differences be overshadowed by their Love (Godly redemptive Love supernaturally given for those You call Your own) for each other. Let Truth outweigh facts. God I know that you care very much about Melanie's heart and it is You who has placed this prayer of redemption upon her. She also needs and desires a better relationship with her kids. What mother doesn't? Lord, show her daily where Your hand is guiding her when it comes to her kids, also Lord continually show her when you want her to see something inside her kids' behaviors that is meant to teach her about Your love for us. If guilt or condemnation tries to find their way into her life and speak to her in whispers about her failures......Father help her to stand up against them and tell them to get behind her too in Jesus name.

Father, as far as tithing goes, show Melanie different ways she can tithe to you that don't necessarily involve money for now. Show her a new , supernatural way to tithe her first fruits to you. I pray against the spirit of poverty that chains down the sheep of this pasture. (the church she attends) Father, break these chains, and bring new revelation that brings forth fountains of understanding and insight about Your Kingdom riches ( Oh, Lord I pray this for myself too!) Father, I do not believe that we are to be in poverty whether in spirit or in our physical bodies. I believe You have created us as wineskins and cups to overfill so that the Kingdom can move forward into enemy territory and save the lost souls bound there. And if it doesn't take money, it does take Your power....So overfill them with Your power Lord....to stomp on the enemy's head and loosen the grip of darkness in all areas of their lives. ( Again,I pray this for myself too Lord)

Melanie, I speak Peace on your heart and your soul in the Name of Jesus.

I have been blessed to be able to pray for you. Thank you for letting me do that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All Choked Up

A few days ago, I finished memorizing the 11th verse of “O Sacred Head Now Wounded.” Today I printed out the words for the next hymn I’m hoping to memorize, “It is Well With My Soul.” The tears are literally choking my throat as I write this. I feel like I’m saying goodnight to an old friend, and embracing a new one. This is the first song God specifically spoke through my friends to point me towards, namely Danielle and Fred. So as God helps me to commit these beautifully meaningful and time-tested words of truth to memory, He will also be anchoring in my heart a deeper love for these precious people. God is good!

Photo from the internet

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gloriously Fresh and New - The Beauty of Today!

The Spirit is a Creator. Always has been, always will be. That means if we are His, and we stay too long in one place, or remain too long in one condition, sooner or later, one way or another, the Spirit will bring change into our lives. It can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be. Change is scary for some, and exhilarating for others. It used to be scary for me, but not anymore. After all, in such a grand adventure, who in their right mind would ever expect (or even want) things to stay the same? It wouldn’t be an adventure then. (Is that the spirit of Bilbo speaking to me…?)

One new thing that’s happened lately is that I’m taking the bus to work now. All of these years I’ve been afraid of it--afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get to the daycare in time, afraid that I would meet scary people or be confronted with uncomfortable situations, afraid to ask my boss if my work schedule could be adjusted, etc, etc, etc. And then finally something happened that gave me the motivation to bite the bullet and ask her, and she said yes! So yesterday was my first day, and I found out that all of those fears were absolutely groundless. Taking the bus is fun, it’s “green”, it’s relaxing, it frees up my time for other things, and it affords the opportunity to meet and talk with so many different kinds of people. God is so GOOD! J

Something else happened just today… I decided that from now on, beginning today, I’m going to start researching each major holiday as it comes up, to find out who, what, where, when and why. The frilly holidays we celebrate now are but sugary candy, but the roots of them are nourishment of the whole-grain, grown-from-rich-soil variety. God took a history-hater and turned her into a history-lover! I think I’ve found the story I’m going to read to my class tomorrow evening… The story of St. Patrick! Have you ever read it? What a God-glorifying life he lived! I would never have known the history if God hadn’t birthed a brand new passion in my heart for His Story.

Photo by my friend Katrina, who owns the blog "My Father's Beautiful World."


“When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.” – from “Who Stole My Cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson


I can personally attest to this truth. After I finally got over my fear of singing to close friends, and got to the other side of that fear and found the incredible joy and peace that lay beyond the fear, I shared the story with a friend who is not a “believer” (or at least not yet), but is a kindred spirit none-the-less. After I finished telling her the story, she clapped her hands with a huge smile on her face and said something like, “That’s what I think of when I think of resurrection—courageously facing the darkness of our fears, conquering them, and breaking through them into the light beyond.”

There have been several instances of this in recent years, and most of them involved talking to someone. There is a powerful, influential person in my life who I was terrified to talk to about anything that I thought they might not agree with. But then, one day, it happened—I talked to them about a bunch of different things I’d been afraid to talk to them about before. And God used the experience to say, “See? What were you so afraid of? They’re just people. Trust ME.” God is good. J

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Idea for Awana

Since God has gone to great lengths in the last month or so to show me the immense power and infinite value of stories as useful tools in His great plan, this is what I’m hoping to do… During our “Large Group” time (which in years gone by was known as “Counsel Time”), I’m hoping to read stories to the children—inspiring stories and parables that contain truth about many of the various struggles, battles and challenges we all face, and how those battles may be won. After reading the story, I’ll show the children a selection of verses and have them tell me which of those verses are illustrated by the story. My passionate prayer and deep desire is to see them come to a place of being able to apply scripture to their everyday lives, and to recognize and appreciate the glory and value of the Word of God. The more they see its worth, the more they will hunger for it. The more they hunger for it, the more they will consume it. The more they consume it (not because it was force-fed to them, but because they simply couldn’t get enough), the more they will be changed by it, forever, from the inside out. THAT is my prayer and my heart’s cry.

Photo from the internet

A Refreshing Time of Much-needed Fellowship

Keith and I, and Linnea and Stephen, spent the day with friends on Saturday. The kids hung out in the lovely roomy basement stocked with tons of new, fun toys and educational movies, and even got outside to enjoy the fresh air a bit. Us grownups, in addition to enjoying a veritable buffet of delicious food, watched movies together, while we ladies were scrapbooking (or getting ready to scrapbook) at a table set up very conveniently near the TV area. We watched Mamma Mia!, King Arthur, The 13th Warrior, The Holiday, Triple X, and part of InnerSpace. There were several profoundly inspiring scenes in King Arthur, the last one of which prompted me to declare that I was going to start watching movies with a laptop in front of me, so when great scenes like those happened, I would be able to capture them in writing to put on my blog. Someone came up with the brilliant suggestion that I not do that, but instead keep a pad of paper and writing utensil nearby to jot down the times of the particularly meaningful scenes, and go back through them at my leisure to capture the desired dialogues. And that’s what I intend to do! Thank you to that person for the suggestion!

So sometime in the near future, Lord willing, there will be the dialogues of six inspiring (to me) scenes posted on Echoes… Three from King Arthur, one from The 13th Warrior, one from Fellowship of the Ring, and one from Return of the King. In addition to those, there are a couple of excerpts from books I’m reading that I want to post as well, to be preserved for posterity, or for however long the freedom of the internet lasts, anyway.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Platinum Rule

If the Golden Rule is to treat other people the way you like to be treated, then the Platinum Rule (which is the true heart of the Golden Rule) is to treat other people the way they like to be treated. But of course, that might take a little research… J

Monday, March 09, 2009

Poetry - A Newfound Appreciation

Poetry used to bore me. When I read the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, I skipped over most of the poems and songs because they simply didn’t interest me. When people shared poems or song lyrics with me, I rarely read them. Anymore, however, I find that poetry moves me in ways that standard writing never did. Where were my eyes when I was reading it before? They must have been tightly shut.

Now I realize part of the reason I didn’t care to read poetry was because I was lazy. Poetry is an art form that when skillfully crafted and thoughtfully unwrapped has power to awaken, restore, cleanse and invigorate. The unwrapping takes a little extra time, an investment of mental, emotional and spiritual energy, but the rewards are beyond comprehension. There are a few poems from the book “Story” by Steven James, and a few poems that Pastor Eric wrote, that call to deep places in my heart. I hope to post them someday soon on my blog “Echoes.”

Friday, March 06, 2009

Seeing Him

In the building where I work, there are seven floors plus a basement. There’s also another set of stairs going from the 7th floor up to the roof access. So that’s 16 flights of stairs in all. As I’ve been trying to embrace a more healthy lifestyle, I’ve been trying to take the stairs as much as possible, instead of the elevator, and keeping track daily of how many flights I climb. Whenever I can squeeze in the last flight of stairs from the 7th floor to the roof access level, I do it.

After the first couple of trips up there, I noticed a little booklet lying on a table or small cabinet amongst a bunch of junk and debris. After a few more times up there, I was curious enough to pick it up and look at it. Although it is rather faded, the picture on the front of the booklet is beautiful. The title is “Seeing Him,” and it’s written by K.P. Yohannan. I’ve never heard of the booklet or the author before.

But since seeing Him--seeing and knowing Christ--is the heartbeat and lifeblood of my existence, once I saw the title, I knew I had to open it and read it. As I often do, I read the end first, and this is what I read:

“When we can’t see Him or feel Him, we should deliberately look for Him, to see His care and His presence all around us. And if you listen closely enough, if we quiet ourselves long enough…we too will realize He has been right alongside us the whole time… More than you realize, He will reveal Himself in a still, small voice and in so many tiny events and encounters.” (pg 37)

Yep, tiny events like finding a tiny 37-page pamphlet tucked away in a cluttered, rarely-seen corner of my world.

I borrowed the booklet for the weekend and left a note for whomever it belongs to, just in case they go up there looking for it.

Thank you, Dear Father, for your constant presence and care!

(picture from the internet)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Megan's Poems

The sleeping giant within her seems to have awakened…

Heavens Jewels

I got to the place
where there are smells of flowers
I got to the place
where there are gold towers

I got to the place
where the bluebirds sing
I got to the place
where the bells and chimes ring

Heaven is a jewel of life
Many jewels are found there
Heaven is a jewel of life
where there is love and kindness to share

I got to the place
where God sits on His throne
I got to the place
where you are never alone

I got to the place
where Jesus rose up to
I got to the place
where there is room for you

Heaven is a jewel from God
the greatest jewels are found there
Heaven is a gift from God
And God has love and kindness to spare

God is the jewel of Heaven’s throne...

Megan Coe 03/03/09


There is One Man

Walking down this lonely road
walking on my own
no love anywhere
I am all alone

When I ask for help somewhere
they all turn and walk away
no kindness anywhere
no more light of day

There is one man
There's one man out there
He is just
and He is fair

There is no God like You
anywhere else
we need to put our trust in You
not our selves

So many dangerous trials
we have gone through
but we have got through every one
because we have You

There is one man
there is one man out there
He has love
that He will share

You are that man
the one man out there
You are just
and You have love that You will share

You have love that You will share...
You have love that You will spare...

Megan Coe 03/03/09


JOHN 3:16

God sent His Son
to die for us
He was love
He was just

Our confused lives
so many sins we've done
We never knew
You were the one

You carried our burdens
and died for Your love
You died on a cross
but rose to above

You did so many wonders
no one could comprehend
You said You'd be back
and that it wasn’t the end

You were the Lord God
What love you had shown
It was our Lord God’s
and it was Your own

And I say thank You
for You are kind and good
You have taught me well
More than anyone would

You are great
conquering fear
With Jesus Christ
pulling us near

And I say thank you
for you have saved my life......

Megan Coe March 1, 2009



My mamma is dying
Lord what do I do
She’s out of my hands
I’m giving her to You

Tears ran down my face
As I realized she was gone
is this the road
The one I’m supposed to be on?

A leap of sorrow
came and went away
Then I heard the Lord say
There will be another day

And He said

look at it from heaven’s eyes
your mamma’s safe with Me
I am Christ, your God
Don’t you see?

I sank to my knees
not knowing what to do
God spoke to me again
and said I love you

A smile of love
Appeared on my face
I got to my feet
and began life’s race

And He said

look at it from Heavens eyes
you’re where you wanna be
Do not fear
put all your trust in Me

I will look at it from Heaven’s eyes
I’m where I wanna be
I will not fear
And now I see!

Megan Coe 03/01/2009

(Mel’s Note: I don’t know where the “my mamma is dying” came from… I haven’t been diagnosed with any deadly diseases recently. This poem literally poured out of her as she was doing dishes the other day. Don’t know what it means, but God does.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Precious Hymns

These are the hymns I’ve memorized so far, in their entirety. (Or at least, their entirety according to Cyberhymnal…) Words cannot describe the joy and peace that floods all of my perceptions when I’m singing or praying these songs to God. I can’t help thinking that since God is not limited by space or time, perhaps when I sing them, He hears my voice joined with all of the other people now and through ages gone by that are also singing or have sung these songs to Him.

  • The Master has Come
  • Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy
  • Immortal Invisible
  • Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
  • How Firm a Foundation
  • This is My Father’s World
  • O Word of God Incarnate
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • In Christ Alone
  • Our Great God

My Favorite Movies

  • August Rush
  • Amazing Grace
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The first movie is my favorite. I just recently discovered this.)
  • Liar Liar
  • Phantom of the Opera (newer version w/ Gerard Butler)
  • 13 Going on 30
  • The Man in the Iron Mask (newer version with Jeremy Irons)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (newer version with Jim Caviezel)
  • Prince of Egypt
  • The Chronicles of Narnia Movies
  • Joseph King of Dreams
  • Young at Heart
  • Bella
  • Wall-e
  • Mamma Mia!
  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • The Ultimate Gift
  • Smile
  • The Apartment
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Miracle Worker (old B&W version where Patty Duke plays Helen)
  • Just Like Heaven
  • Provoked
  • Not Without My Daughter
  • The Visitor
  • Martian Child
  • The new Batman movies
  • Superman, Superman II, & Superman Returns
  • The Star Wars Movies (all six of them)
  • The Spiderman Movies
  • The X-Men Movies
  • Hellboy II
  • The Harry Potter Movies
  • Bruce Almighty
  • Evan Almighty
  • The Proposition
  • A Walk on the Moon
  • A Walk to Remember
  • Gladiator
  • Mother Theresa
  • Born into Brothels
  • I Know I’m not Alone
  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
  • Pretty Woman
  • Ghost
  • Untraceable
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (old version)
  • Freaky Friday (new version)
  • Parent Trap (old version)
  • An Officer and a Gentleman

Sheesh, the list is a lot longer than I thought it would be. Some of these movies have been so instrumental in my life, they’ve become woven into the fabric of who I am. Others of them are just really enjoyable and/or have a great message. I think all of these movies are worth seeing at least once. (Warning: some of these movies may not be appropriate for children.)

Time for a New Blog

I’ve decided to have three blogs. This one, "In Desperate Need of Grace," (which I still am and always will be) is supposed to be a record of my personal journey with my Creator, and will be used for that from now on. It'll be used for my own writing and personal experiences.

"So It Begins” is a blog dedicated to my journey towards true, balanced, grace-sustained health and fitness: http://soitbegins2day.blogspot.com/

“Echoes” is where I will post poems, songs, stories, parables and blog posts copied from other people and authors that God has used to awaken and renew deep places in my heart and life: http://pursuingtheauthentic.blogspot.com/

In the next few days, weeks, and months, I hope to move everything that was written by someone other than me from this blog to “Echoes.” I pray that “Echoes” will become a place of growth, renewal, and refreshment for myself and any who choose to read it. And as always, and in all things, may God be glorified. And may His glory be recognized, celebrated and enjoyed forever!

(photo from the internet)