Tuesday, July 29, 2008

King of the Mountains

During the month of July, Jim and my attention is directed to watching Le Tour de France. Yes, the cable channel Versus televised the individual stages for 21 days, pretty much all day long. And yes, you can bet, if we were home, le Tour was on the television. We kind of lose touch with other world news as we focus our attention to a sport we love... cycling.

The winner of Le Tour de France receives the coveted prize the maillot jaune or as it's more commonly known "The Yellow Jersey". Lance Armstrong made The Yellow Jersey a household name with his 7 Tour wins. And this year, Carlos Sastre was the much deserved winner of the maillot june.

There are other jerseys awarded throughout le Tour. Apart from winning the Tour, each race stage has three further classifications: the points or Sprint competition (green jersey) , the King of the Mountains jersey (the polka dot jersey), and the best young rider jersey (white jersey). At the end of the 21 stages the leader in those categories win the respective maillot.

My favorite jersey is the King of the Mountains Jersey. Pehaps it's because I have a penchant for Polka Dots - it's very fashionable, or more likely it is because of my great love for the mountains, what they mean to me and what God did for me on a cold, crisp March morning 6 years ago on a mountaintop in Colorado.

The "King of the Mountains" wears a white jersey with red dots (maillot à pois rouges), referred to as the "polka dot jersey". The King of the Mountains competition is calculated by points awarded to the first riders at the top of designated hills and mountains, the greatest number of points being awarded for the hardest ascents

I started to think about King of the Mountains and of course my focus went toward THE KING of the mountains - Our Lord Jesus. Enduring the cross to ascend to heaven... I would say, that's the most difficult ascent I can think of. He didn't just make it to the top of the mountain - He was there when they were created! And he will come with glory out of the mountains again!

11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter."[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16

I have a jersey that is a polka dot jersey... I am wearing it in the photo (I am in the front) From now on, when I put that jersey on... I will think of my Jesus. Mighty to save! White, with red... not polka dots... Jesus wears a white robe dipped in blood! He created the mountains, he ascended far above the mountains, out of the mountains he will come again! He is the King of the Mountains... He is the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Absent from Blogland...

... but none of you are far from my heart!

It's been a while since I have posted. I have a few posts brewing in my heart and some thoughts on paper, however the last 2 weeks have been the type of weeks in which I am really thanking God He got me through. Jim's dad was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday the 15th and came home that Friday. Monday the 21st he went back in... came home on Thursday. Between work, the hospital and our other activities I have not been able to sit down and truly put my thoughts on paper and type them into the computer.

Yesterday I was praising the Lord for renewing my spirit. I could tell that the events of the past two weeks had cause me to become weary. Not just by the circumstances, but also allowing myself to get so caught up in the monotony of waking up in the morning, starting the coffee, doing the crossword and failing to truly devote time to prayer. Oh yes, there were brief prayers in the car, moments at my desk, time of prayer after reading a blog post and just a simple cry to Him to get us through the day. I realized I had been distant from my God... and praise Him that He was not distant from me. Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me!!!!

Our Epistle reading from worship yesterday was one of my favs, and I believe one of the most beloved of many Christians... even with all the tough things going on... God IS working all of this together for good!

Romans 8: 28-30

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[c] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[d] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Watching a loved one's body slowly deteriorate is difficult. But we know the glory that God has in store... it's still a work in progress. God is still working out His plan. He began the good work and will bring it to completion with glory! We are still praying for that peaceful release. Although it will be bittersweet when that time comes, what joy will fill our hearts knowing that not even my father in law's physical death will separate him from the love of God which is Christ Jesus, for we know what God has already done in Christ... so no matter what the circumstance.. all things work together for good.

God bless each of you this week. I pray I find time in my busy schedule to publish a post I have started that was inspired by Le Tour de France. You know how crazy I am about cycling!

Have a wonderful Monday!
With Love,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


May the blessings and prosperity that come only from the Lord be with each of you today and always! With Love on a Word Filled Wednesday!

Lemon Blueberry Cake

2 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) softened butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

The glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-tube pan.

Spread the blueberries in 1 layer on a sheet pan and freeze for 1 hour. This will keep the berries from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest at high speed until light in color. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix at medium speed until the batter is smooth and well blended. Add the sour cream, another cup of flour, and the baking soda. Mix at low speed until no traces of flour remain.

Combine the frozen blueberries with the remaining cup of flour. Fold this mixture into the batter, which should feel very thick.

Spoon the dough into the prepared tube pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan.

To make the glaze, mix together the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the cake. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from it's pan.

Yields 16 slices.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well I did it! I rode 160 miles on Saturday! RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) truly started out as a rain ride. With the threat of thunderstorms all day, there were a lot of long faces early Saturday morning. Lightening was flashing in the sky and there were lots of eyes on the hotel lobby television watching The Weather Channel. Just as we decided to head to the start line (lots of riders had already done so) the sky opened up and the rain fell. We waited, patiently. My friend Kate said we have to use our heads and not let the emotion of wanting to ride interfere w/ our safety. By being patient, we did not end up soaked like many, many riders who had gone out to the start line. We waited half an hour, the sky lightened, the rain lightened and we rode out.

The first part of the ride was wet, but the overcast sky kept me cool. I was quite grimy from the grit of the road, but it didn't matter. By about mile 70 the sun came out, temps rose and so did the humidity. I must tell you, it was hot! But I kept on pedaling. After a long day in the saddle I finished 456th and averaged just under 18 mph. Out of over 1500 that started the ride, only 911 finished. I was right in the middle of the pack - not bad for my first time out.

At about mile 150 there was a steady uphill that was about 3 miles long. With each stroke I was whispering "help me God" all the way up. And help me He did. Let me tell you, He heard from me all day. I talked a lot to Him. And it is to His glory that I finished. I thank each of my sisters who took time to pray for me. Believe me, those prayers were felt! You are all a blessing to me!

Now, let me tell you about the picture. This is a photo of the RAIN Ride Dan Henry. A Dan Henry is a marking in the road that guides the riders along the way. (Dan Henry (born 1913) is a bicycling legend and inventor of directional pavement markings)
These directionals are so important to any organized ride as they guide a cyclist from the start of a ride to the finish. Without these directions a cyclist can get off track, lose his/her way and endure a difficult time getting back on track or lose his/her way completely. I thought about the parallel of a Dan Henry to a cycling event and Holy Scripture to our earthly lives. Scripture is our guide, our marking on the road of life that keeps us on track to the finish! Our Divine Instruction Book.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
~ Psalm 119:105
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
~2 Timothy 4:7
Those markings were my guide along the route of the road - 160 miles - One Day - One Way.
I thought about the words one way - There is only One Way to the finish of our earthly life that gives us the heavenly reward we so long for...

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
~ John: 14:6
Scripture is our Dan Henry, Jesus is our One Way, and the finish - our Heavenly Home!
Almighty Father, I thank you for your Divine protection not just on Saturday, but everyday of my life. I thank you for Your Word that gives us our direction, I thank You for Your Son who gives us salvation! Thank You for the many people who offered up their prayers for my safety this past Saturday. I thank You for giving me the ability to cycle so many miles and the opportunity to see You in all the things I do. Amen

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Some of you may know that I am a cyclist. This Saturday I will be participating in RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) - the ride is 160 miles - One day, One way. Any prayers you could offer this week as I prepare as well as on Saturday as I ride would be greatly appreciated. I will be spending 8 + hours in the saddle. That's a lot of time on a bike. So far this year my longest ride is a century (100 miles) It's going to be hard, but I know that I can do all things with Christ - He Is My Strength! I am excited and nervous. On the road it will be me, 1500 + other cyclists and God.

A bike ride is kind of like life... exhilarating, painful, fun, full of twists and turns, ups and downs, but with a wonderful reward at the end. It's funny, no matter how difficult the ride... no matter how much pain I endure during a ride - it's always worth it in the end. Just like life's lessons... no matter how much pain... God makes it all worth it in the end. It's to His glory. And it's to His glory that I ride this weekend! Because of the gifts He has given me I am able to do a ride like this. There are times when I am on my bike hurting and I pray over and over, be my pedals Lord, be my pedals.

As I prepare I will be in prayer and in His Word. I love the chorus to the song Word of God Speak... and since I am doing a ride called RAIN - I pray that His Word pours like rain into my heart, mind, soul and speaks to me along the way... and that I can enjoy the beauty of His majesty on this one day event in my journey with Him.

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
(from Mercy Me's Word of God Speak)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day


Father in Heaven there is no greater freedom than than the freedom we have from sin and death that You have given to me in Jesus. I praise and thank you especially today for that gift!

Today, being the 4th of July - America's Independence Day, I am reminded of all those who have sacrificed for my freedom, following the example of Jesus. I pray that I do not take my freedom, both physical and spiritual, for granted. May I always remember that my freedom was purchased with a very high price. The cost of Your son, and the cost of many sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters.... may you comfort those serving, comfort those missing loved ones.

Lord I want to live a life that glorifies You, to be a blessing in someone elses life. I thank You today, that in this Country I can worship You freely! Amen

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Battle

I am not sure how any of you feel about near death experiences. Needless to say we have heard of many, many accounts... interviews, books etc. I had never given too much thought to near death experiences until a few months ago when a family member shared this story with my sister and my mother.

Last fall my dear relative suffered a heart attack. During the ambulance ride to the hospital my relative (keeping name private) flat lined three times. He shared this experience:

While in the ambulance he recalls fading out. The interior of the ambulance was not visible. He remembers being in a room that had 2 doors and he could hear what he thought was 2 men arguing. This happened 3 times. He faded from the ambulance to this room w/ the doors and the men arguing 3 times. The last time he faded back to the ambulance is when he could see the interior of the ambulance. He did not die.

His comment to my mom and sister was "I don't believe this experience was religious in nature"

When I heard the story I jumped up and down and stated, well actually I think I shouted (for those of you who know me personally I am sure you can visualize how animated I was) "how could he not realize what was happening" Jesus was fighting for his soul even up to the moment that death was near! Those two voices (in my opinion) were God and Satan in a spiritual battle for this man's soul. The doors - well, I am sure you can figure that out as well. A choice! Choose life or choose death. Choose Christ... or not. I am not sure where he stands in his faith. I am not sure if he believes as I do not know his heart. However, given his response, I am assuming he does not know the Lord. At this point, he has gotten a second chance and I pray that he will come to know what is at stake, that it was worth fighting for, and he chooses Christ. I ask that you say a prayer for him too. What a witness he would have. Sharing Christ... sharing that Christ is battling for us... it didn't end on the cross. It didn't end with his rising from the grave and asending to heaven. Christ didn't just "do" he is still "doing" even for those that haven't accepted what he has done and what he still wants to do for us!

John 3:16 tells us:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:17 goes on to tell us:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Christ came to save us not condemn us. Christ came to give us life - eternal life. AND... he's willing to fight for us until the end. Even when we haven't recognized what he did for us and is still willing to do! Wanting us to be with him for eternity.

I love the witness of this story... that I can tell someone that Christ is battling for us even as we approach death. Even if we haven't accepted his salvation he still is battling so we say yes I believe! I pray that someday the witness of this story can be my relative's personal witness. That he comes to know Christ. That he comes to understand what Christ did for him!

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
~ Matthew 18:12-14

Our Father is not wanting anyone to be lost! He will fight for us until the very end!

Gracious Father, I thank You today that You sent Your son to save us. I thank You that Your love for us is so deep that You will continue to battle for us every day of ours lives. I thank You that You love the lost ones and I too will rejoice when a lost sheep is found!