Category Archives: Just Saying…

The Power of the Written Prayer in My Life

Only recently, by that I mean in the last several years have I come to appreciate prayers that have been written by others hundreds, even thousands of years before I                Ever needed them.  Perhaps it was my upbringing.  In the family of faith I grew up in, aside from the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”, we were encouraged to speak to God from our own hearts, not simply recite or depend on the prayers of old to guide our way.  I understand and accept this, but know now that the hymns we sing are another’s prayer. The prayers of the saints who have gone before us emerged from their hearts not some desire to have others recite them for years to come.  The Bible is filled with powerful prayers, many I now use in whole or in part when praying.  What prayer, indeed, could be more in tune with the will of God in my life or in the lives of those I pray for than the Word of God.

This discovery of written prayer as a comfort, as a help when they express exactly the needs of my heart, as a guide as to how to pray, has expanded my prayer life rather than narrowed it to an action of meer repetition of words.  Now I find myself writing prayers myself as I pray.  As I did this, I began to respond to prayer requests on Facebook with whatever tumbled out of my heart and into the post.  I did not do this without fear,  for words once written cannot be easily amended.  What if my words offended or fell short of the need?  What if?  What if?  What if?

Then it hit me.  WHO was the audience to whom I was writing?  The one who requested the prayers?  The others who would respond or read the comments?  OR, was I writing a letter to God Almighty on behalf of another?  Once I considered these questions, the realization became clearer,  first I had to get my motivation for intercession in line with God.  So, I pray, Lord, let the words of my mouth, the words I write, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in YOUR SIGHT.

Second, I have learned writing prayers of intercession fills me with even more awe at how God is transforming my prayer life by showing me how praying in the moment a request comes through keeps me faithful.   Although,  I still respond with ‘praying’ or ‘prayers’, writing a prayer right then makes sure I follow through with my promise.

So I am thankful to the saints before me who have written their prayers for me to pray.  I am exploring the power of prayer that might come if I write more prayers down as I come to my quiet time with God.  So in keeping with that, Today I pray:

Lord, the rain is falling and I am clearly aware that we are only getting a smidgen of the rain that been dumped on South Texas this week by Hurricane Harvey.  I lift those people who have lost so much, even loved ones and pets to you.  Hold them close and bring them through this stronger than before.  For those who serve these refugees of the storm, I pray strength, courage, and provisions.  For my grandson in FTX, his squad, his platoon, the three other platoons, I pray the power of your Holy Spirit to be alive in them as they press onward to the goal before them.. Let those of us who wait to hear from them ‘light the way’ with our candles and porch lights and mostly with our prayers.  Lord, for those we know who are recovering from surgery, dealing with infection and illness, for those old folks like us who are weary today after work yesterday I pray that you would renew our strength, heal our bodies, and let us rise up to serve each other with Love.  I praise you for the rain!  I praise you for the blessing of this new day!  Forgive me my sins for they are many and I am trusting that you will.  Set me on the right path and give me the wisdom I need for this day.   Through Christ our Lord, Amen.  And Lord, please protect the momma cat and her kittens who are hiding under our shed….just asking…Amen

This beautiful prayer comes from the Episcopal Church Facebook Page…a favorite site of mine for prayers.




 is back in session here in Western Kentucky.  I love this time of year, although I recall it used to start in September.  I may have mentioned, I loved going to school!  I loved it so much that I was still going until I was almost 35 years old and then my husband went back to school, so I lived the dream vicariously through him until he finished seminary, through my children–hockey, football games, marching band contests and parades, through my grandchildren, soccer, baseball, essays, cheerleading, basketball.

Summer is drawing to a close.  Teachers somewhere are assigning written essays.  So here I am looking back on what I read this summer.  You know the old saying, “A Day without a Book is….something I have no clue about.’  Reading has taken me everywhere, made me a time traveler, captured and held me in awe.  SO




1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Perfume River, Butler—By far the best fiction book I read this summer. The author is a professor of creative writing at Florida State University. His capture of generational family dynamics and the decisions made, the words spoken and the secrets kept beginning with the protagonist facing his nightmares of Hue, Vietnam and his father’s imminent death delivers an emotional wallop…but then there is homeless Bob and the protagonist’s brother who defied their father escaping to Canada to avoid the draft. Complex, but aren’t all families. Terry and I had deep discussions about this book and the characters which were delightful.

2. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Chilbury Ladies Choir, Jennifer Ryan—A book set in 1940 Great Britain as men march off to war and women are left to carry on and support the war effort. Told by different characters from young to mature in a series of letters and journal entries. The only WW2 book I read this summer, believe it or not. Terry loved this one also.

3. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️A Murder in Time, Julie McElwain

4. ⭐️⭐️⭐️The Practice House, Laura McNeal  

5. ⭐️⭐️⭐️The Book of Polly, Kathy Hepinstall




Books in an established series: Suggest that if you want to read any of these author’s series that you start with earlier book in the series. I highly recommend any of these authors but especially Nesbo, Iles, and Silva, but I enjoy all of them.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Thirst, Jo Nesbo–Norwegian author–First book in Harry Hole Series is THE BAT

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Mississippi Blood, Third book in a trilogy set in and around Natchez, MS, Greg iles First Book in this trilogy is NATCHEZ BURNING, but Penn Cage, the protagonist and his family are in earlier Iles Books.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Garden of Lamentations, a Duncan Kincaid and Gemma Jones Novel, Deborah Crombie

⭐️⭐️⭐️The Likeness, Dublin Police Squad 2, Tana French

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️House of Spies, Daniel Silva




Non-Fiction:  Devotional, Inspirational, Memoir

⭐️⭐️Hallelujah Anyway. Anne LaMott


Audio books: What we have listened to in the car—Listed in order of preference. Highly recommend any of these. Good stories, Good narrators

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟Beneath the Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan—A large portion of this book is fact taken from interviews with some of the principals and also much research by the author, some that went on after the book was completed. Some of it is the author’s imagining of conversations, transitions, etc. Once again a little known story of heroism, war, and love. Well worth listening to or reading. It is set in Italy beginning in May 1944 in the city of Milan. Mussolini has lost his grip on Italy and lives with his mistress in a fortress castle protected by the Nazis who have invaded and placed what they hold of Italy under German military law. The Allies are invading south and at the beginning of the book the first Allied assault of Milan from the skies occurs. Pino Lela is a 17 year old boy who loves music, women, and movies. His heroism saved multiple lives, but could not save all the ones he loved. Worth the listen or the read.

From Amazon: A Goodreads Best Book of the Month

“Exciting…taut thriller…Beneath a Scarlet Sky tells the true story of one young Italian’s efforts to thwart the Nazis.” —Shelf Awareness

“Meticulous research highlights this World War II novel of a youth growing into manhood…a captivating read…” —RT Book Reviews

“An incredible story, beautifully written, and a fine and noble book.” —James Patterson, New York Times bestselling author

“Sprawling, stirring, like the richest of stories, and played out on a canvas of heroism and tragedy, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is like one of those iconic World War II black and white photos: a face of hope and tears, the story of a small life that ended up mattering in a big way.” —Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of The One Man

“Action, adventure, love, war, and an epic hero—all set against the backdrop of one of history’s darkest moments—Mark Sullivan’s Beneath a Scarlet Sky has everything one can ask for in an exceptional World War II novel.” —Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Playing with Fire

“This is full-force Mark Sullivan—muscular, soulful prose evincing an artist’s touch and a journalist’s eye. Beneath a Scarlet Sky conjures an era with a magician’s ease, weaving the rich tapestry of a wartime epic. World War II Italy has never been more alive to me.” —Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of The Nowhere Man

“Beneath a Scarlet Sky has everything—heroism, courage, terror, true love, revenge, compassion in the face of the worst human evils. Sullivan shows us war as it really is, with all its complexities, conflicting loyalties, and unresolved questions, but most of all, he brings us the extraordinary figure of Pino Lella, whose determination to live con smania—with passion—saved him.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Suspicion


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Home, Matt Dunn

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Woman on the Orient Express, Jayne Lindsey Ashford–fictionalized account of Agatha Christie’s journey on the Orient Express after her mysterious disappearance and divorce from excellent listen and sent me searching out more about Agatha.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Lake House, Kate Morton

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Camino Island, John Grisham

⭐️⭐️⭐️The Ladies Room, Carolyn Brown

⭐️⭐️⭐️The Late Show, Michael Connelly

Terry and I joined a book club—Listed in order read for Book Club

1. MAY—Victoria, A Novel of a Young Queen, Daisy Goodwin—Historical Fiction Excellent account of a young queen and her relationship with her Prime Minister and later with the man who would be her husband….also a PBS series.

2. JUNE—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💥🌟The Killing of the Flower Moon, David Grann—Nonfiction History—NUMBER ONE for this summer. If you come from Oklahoma which I do, you were required back in the day, at least as far back as my daughter’s day, to take Oklahoma History to graduate from high school. I SWEAR I made an A in that class and yet never knew this bit of history. I lived in Tulsa, OK 27 years before we moved to Kentucky….Tulsa County butts up against Osage County, the Osage Hills. In the early part of the 20th Century the Osage Indians were the wealthiest people per capita in the world. Oil, black gold and the fore thought to retain all rights to underground reservation, made those with head rights and their descendants wealthy. Sometime in the early 1920’s mysterious deaths began to wipe out whole families. Enter J. Edgar Hoover and his new FBI to investigate. A conspiracy that reached enormous proportions began to be uncovered. This book grabbed me from the beginning but it took Terry a little longer to get into it. Nevertheless, he loved it. As he closed the book, he looked over at me and said, ‘It was genocide and no one ever told me about this.’

From Amazon:  An Amazon Best Book of April 2017: In the 1920s, the Osage found themselves in a unique position among Native Americans tribes. As other tribal lands were parceled out in an effort by the government to encourage dissolution and assimilation of both lands and culture, the Osage negotiated to maintain the mineral rights for their corner of Oklahoma, creating a kind of “underground reservation.” It proved a savvy move; soon countless oil rigs punctured the dusty landscape, making the Osage very rich. And that’s when they started dying.

You’d think the Osage Indian Reservation murders would have been a bigger story, one as familiar as the Lindbergh kidnapping or Bonnie and Clyde. It has everything, but at scale: Execution-style shootings, poisonings, and exploding houses drove the body count to over two dozen, while private eyes and undercover operatives scoured the territory for clues. Even as legendary and infamous oil barons vied for the most lucrative leases, J. Edgar Hoover’s investigation – which he would leverage to enhance both the prestige and power of his fledgling FBI – began to overtake even the town’s most respected leaders.
Exhuming the massive amount of detail is no mean feat, and it’s even harder to make it entertaining. But journalist David Grann knows what he’s doing. With the same obsessive attention to fact – in service to storytelling – as The Lost City of Z, Killers of the Flower Moon reads like narrative-nonfiction as written by James M. Cain (there are, after all, insurance policies involved): smart, taut, and pacey. Most sobering, though, is how the tale is at once unsurprising and unbelievable, full of the arrogance, audacity, and inhumanity that continues to reverberate through today’s headlines. –Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review
“The best book of the year so far.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“A marvel of detective-like research and narrative verve.”
—Financial Times

“A shocking whodunit…What more could fans of true-crime thrillers ask?”
—USA Today

“A master of the detective form…Killers is something rather deep and not easily forgotten.”
—Wall St. Journal

—Time Magazine


3. JULY—The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict—Historial Fiction Do you know about the first Mrs. Albert Einstein, who was also a brilliant physicist and who probably contributed the mathematics for the 1905 Einstein paper that eventually won him the Nobel Prize?

4. AUGUST—A Thousand White Women, Jim Fergus –Period Fiction


I have read a couple of others, but these are the ones that stand out.  SO tell me.  I am always looking for a new read or listen, WHAT HAVE YOU READ THIS SUMMER?

A few others I have read since returning to KY from FL

Waste Not Time Pleasing People–CANNOT DO IT ANYWAY.

“Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NCV‬‬

Waste not time pleasing people

Strategizing, manipulating,
Only serves to breed distrust
Of fellow human beings
Or sneering disgust
Waste not time pleasing people
To do so divides the mind
Doing this for one
And the opposite for another
While trying to keep the stories
Straight breeds HATE
Waste no time on this slippery slope
Sliding into the muck of twisted
Agendas that so often court enemies
While ignoring friends.
Speak truth, stay strong, when tempted
To project a self that fits
Conversations with any group of people
Or simply keep your mouth shut
No if’s, and’s, and buts
Choose instead respect of all opinions
Without parlaying favor with politic speech
Pull close those whose grace upends
Any need to parlay them as friends
Choose to please God
By loving people, praying for them
God’s will for all, including you.
Waste not the energy needed
To try and please people

Be a SIMPLE  servant of Christ
So you can love them.




Waste Not a Single Greeting

imageWaste not a single greeting
Planned or chanced

However, meeting
Smile, reach a hand,
Exchange a hug
Look up, look out
Kneel and look
Into the eyes of child
Whether bold or shy
When you look them in the eye
When you are face to face
See with grace
In every one you meet
A precious child of God
Waste not a single greeting
Make that call, send that text
Message someone on Facebook
Waste not any modern means
You have to renew and keep new
Relationships most precious
For which we were created.


“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father.

This is my command: Love each other.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:15, 17‬ ‭NCV‬‬

Waste Not Awe


“Start with GOD —the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬

Waste not the awe
That comes just before dawn
Moments at 4 am when
The dog insists on a walk
Off you go leash and doggy bag
In hand to seize the day
Accompanied by
The hooting of the owl
A crisp clear sky with stars
Only so bright right before
The rising of the sun
Waste not moments
When creation screams
Worship not stars or skies
Or owls in the woods
Worship the One
Who creates, recreates
Who takes the trash like me
From scornful sacrilege
To one who sees the Star
Beyond the stars
Waste not awe
Sunrises, Sunsets,
Be present in God’s Presence
For AWE is the beginning of Wisdom.

imageWisdom cannot be measured by the number of gray hairs or years.

The first breaths of wisdom come at the first quick inhalation: the first time one’s breath catches as the tiny purple Crocus pushes its way up to the sun through the snow or as mouth finds nipple flooding the emptiness with substance and nutrition.

Wisdom begins with awe, wonder, and gratitude. Wisdom begins with the acknowledgment of God. One can be smart, intellectually gifted, one can be savvy, one can even have common street smarts without gratitude, but one cannot be wise without bowing the knee to the Creator.

Waste Not, Want Not–Thanksgiving 2016

image“I wonder if they will finish this road in my lifetime?”

I remember when a question like that one involved what seemed like, well, a LIFETIME!  At seventy one years of age that period of time on earth has dramatically shortened.

Where has the time gone?  What have I been doing?  How many of those years passed without a single thought? Just getting up, getting kids up, going to work, to school day upon day.  I call those the Blur Years.

At this point, I cannot afford another Blur Year.  That doesn’t mean a MEMORABLE Year–The Lord knows that ship has sailed–it means a life lived in the NOW.  A life lived in the gratitude of every moment, a life lived without waste.

That set me thinking, a fairly dangerous undertaking, what am I discarding, ignoring, missing?  What am I wasting?

The cliche would be ‘time’.  BUT that tends to send me into a tailspin of activity, work, frenzy, and frustration.  So I started writing short takes on what a ‘Waste Not’ life would include.  My desire this Thanksgiving Season isn’t to compile an all inclusive list, but to hopefully, spark others to consider those precious and ordinary life moments in danger of being wasted.

Just Saying



October 1, 2016 Hang on, I’ve got you, Girl

img_4473For me, these words of Jesus, set me free. Not words of a taskmaster, these. Not words of shame or ridicule or legalistic rules. Words of a lover, a helpmate, a friend. Gentle entreaties, recognition of the ravages of sin, which he conquered at the end. One who sees me beaten, tired, worn out. Who understands me when I doubt. Come, he beckons, try my way out. Watch my rhythms, move with me, place your toes upon my feet. Though the dance floor is crowded, though others snicker as we whirl about, with each burden shed, with each dip and twirl, I hear him whisper, “I’ve got you, Girl.”

Are you tired?

Worn out?

Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.””
Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Just Saying….