Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Hubby has always dubbed me, "Ms Rand McNally" as I have such an affinity for maps. In this age, most people are GPS "driven," Not I. I prefer a good ole big fold out paper map or at least an atlas. You see, I like to "see" where I am going. The big picture. It helps me plan ahead for possibilities along the way. i.e. rest areas. Always handy for an OAB lady to know locations of closest bath rooms. Also, I don't want to miss a quaint place along the way that might not show up on the expressway/main highway driven Global Positioning Systems.

Often, I think a spiritual map would be helpful. As topographical maps explore twists and turns and note steep hills, one is able to "plan ahead." The Bible certainly gives direction for the most important destination, eternity---though not quite as clear in the daily of life. I'm sure there is a purpose in that. Too much exact info might lead to worry and dread so God wants us to focus on His presence in each of one's "present" moments. So.....He's given us direction to his heart. The Bible a map of His sovereign will. God's Positioning System.
When we reach those difficult climbs in midst of hard places---when we're struggling through those hard places, God wants us to remember He is there. (Zephaniah 3:7)
By His Spirit and through His people, (Psalm 27:13) God is there to guide us and show us the way. (Proverbs 3:6)
To those fighting their way to the "top" or other side of the bad diagnosis, grief from the death of a loved one or chosen path of a wayward child, know God never leaves or forsakes His loved ones. (Isaiah 41:10)
Find fellowship with other believers on the same side of the struggle. (1 Thessalonians 5:7)
Choose to share your "map" of the same journey with them. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

As my friend, sister in Christ and fellow MAC cancer survivor, Michèle Phoenix, says, "When you get to the "top" remember to call down to those on the way up, not to give up because the view from the top is fabulous. It's worth the climb."

Monday, December 11, 2017


In choosing 3 Rs, I'm not talking about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, though those Rs are crucial for the continuance of our environment. I'm not even talking about Readin', Ritin' and Rithmetic. Though education is certainly an important factor for many an individual's success in life, I'm talking about the need of our society as a whole.
We need to rise up and pray; for Repentance, for Revival, and for Renewal of basic moral fervor, tender hearts and an increased sense of caring within our communities.
Repentance--includes turning away from wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Revival--revive hearts (Isaiah 57:15)
Renewal---renew a right spirit within (Psalm 51:10)
In a prideful culture that is all about self---self-satisfaction and instant-self gratification, the more folks who choose others over self will certainly bless our nation. An outward focus more than an inward focus certainly refreshes and restores folks around us.

WOW another calculation--repentance, revival and renewal of one's own heart = refreshment and restoration for others! A multiplication of sorts.

Not sure I will be able to attend "Prayer for Revival" group meeting at church next, Monday the beauty of the 3RS for prayer is one can choose it  at any place and anytime. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017


As the magi followed the great "light" that rose in the east to find the Lord, (Matthew 2:2) God's word is our light which not only leads us to Him but allows Him to lead us.
Your word is a lamp unto to my feet and a light and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Friday, December 8, 2017


Having only a bird's eye view at a recent UM basketball game, I choose to watch the monitor----that is when I didn't have an eye on one of my 5 grandboys who were with us. Interestingly enough, the ads often caught my attention more than the runaway game.
Disciple Design certainly caught my eye. The design of the ad alone spoke volumes---especially for this perfectly-sharpened pencil loving Christian.
Is there a design for a disciple? 
Allen Bible Church calls it "marks of a disciple"---marks that guide their lives individually and corporately. Their Seven Marks design are the guidepost for church members living out their mission of the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19); loving God supremely, loving others sacrificially & strategically  transforming our world with His truth.

It takes more than a little baptism water to make a disciple----it takes discipline. 

Choosing to disciple seems to go a step further by reaching out to others and coming alongside them in their walk of faith. A divine design for all.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


On this "Wordsmith Wednesday" a son's words recall "Advent, Liles style" for Allen Bible Church.
If “the Ghost of Christmas Past” could take you back to the Christmas of my childhood, you would end up at 1152 Longreen Drive in Memphis.  Approaching the house, you would already hear an “awfully off-key, yet strangely uninhibited” rendition of “We Three Kings” being belted out.

Peek through the dining room window, and you would see a homely Advent wreath with candles lit at the center of the table.  Around the table, you would glimpse a mom and a dad trying their best to lead 3 squirmy kids in a few minutes of reflection that we called “doing advent.”

“Advent” simply means “coming.”  And we did Advent as a family to remember that Christmas is about Jesus “coming” to our world.  God had promised this “advent” of a Savior long before Jesus was born in an animal feed trough.  That’s why we would read from normally untouched parts of the Bible—like Micah and Isaiah!

That’s why we did Advent at 1152 Longreen.

How we did Advent was more fidget than focus…more unraveled than seamless…mostly wiggly with a smidge of worship-y!
I couldn’t sit still then, yet now I can’t shake off lessons that somehow stuck with me.  Somehow by doing Advent God did something in me.

Doing Advent
Liles-style circa 1986!

How will you do advent this year?  How will you prepare yourself or your family to worship Christ the newborn King?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Afte Lucy's question, "Where is the baby?" I have been diligent to look for a manger filled with its symbolic resident. A Nativity with a capital N.
Seeking----as to physically see the babe in the manger. 
This morning I found Him in the hallway at the Baptist Surgery Center......
....as well as outside on the northwest side of the entryway.

Spiritually my prayer is for all to choose to seek Him. As Jeremiah 29:13 reminds me, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart." 

Monday, December 4, 2017


Internet keeps dropping---now I choose to be thankful for "working" WiFi at Baptist Surgery Center this morning as I await hubby's surgery shoulder. (12/5/17)

Book Juggler. Guilty as charged.
Yes, this phrase describes me. Avid reader is a part of who I am.

Right now I have a Susan Vreeland audio book going in the car. Her "literary" fiction books are about paintings and the artist who create them. Sadly, she died suddenly at age 71 in August. 
One book is on the kitchen table.
Two new devotional books are by my prayer chair, along with All Things New, a new Bible Study book, 
Three "short" Christmas books, a gift from Jerrie, are on the end table---at "my end" of the couch.
Three children's books are on hold for me at the library because I want to read, Say Zoop (Tullet), Iggy Peck Architect, (Beaty) and Remembering Vera (Polacco) as I try to keep up with latest books of author's grands might enjoy.
Four books are stacked bedside, on the floor.  
Many books are spilling out of my bedside table.

Am I reading all of them at once? No, not all, but I usually have 3 going at once. 
Reading multiple books is my way. Some books, intense in nature, I choose not to read at night. So....while that's set aside in the PM, I might pick-up a Jan Karon type book. Plus, I almost always have a non-fiction book going---informative but not gripping.
I can only hope it keeps my mind active---sort of like exercising the "little" gray matter by juggling more than one book at a time.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


For Christians, Advent is a time of waiting. Waiting for the Lord. Celebrating His birth at Christmas.
After seeing the movie "Star" with two of my grands we walked through the neighborhood to see decorations.
After seeing lots of Snoopy and Grinch Christmas decorations we came upon a large Nativity tableau.
Peering into the manger, Lucy, somewhat stunned,  asked, "Where is the baby?" My response was that maybe since it wasn't Christmas yet,  they would put the baby in the manger on Christmas Day.
Recently, I mailed Lucy info to explain the way we, her daddy's family, celebrate the 4 Sundays of  "Advent," even including some carols we sing and a small gift to open----as a way of focusing on the One who is the "reason for the season." It's a way pf making the "waiting" for Christmas a little easier.
Tonight we had our first Advent with grandson, Owen. Hubby read the Isaiah 9:6 scripture, "For unto us a child is born..." I shared the story of advent and then he, as his mother had always done on the first Sunday, lit the "candle of faith." We sang , "O Come all Ye Faithful" and then he "Scrooged" the candle out and opened his gift.

What a blessing to choose to celebrate "Advent" with grandchildren.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Ice breaker games are a standard at church mixers.
In years past, we would either have to share a secret that few knew about us or choose 3 words to describe us. Often, to make the game more complex, those words had to be alliterative with our name.
Dotsy (according to the group) = diligent, dutiful and determined. Ugh, I would have much preferred delightful, dainty or dazzling. Oh well.

Siri even defines me as Ditsy.

However those descriptors have changed for me through the years.
During revival times, "In Christ Alone" would have been the 3 words I most desired. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

During my cancer journey my blog readers saw me as a dancing, tea drinking, reader.

Hm-m-m.....recently, at novel. bookstore, I came across the 3 words that best described me this last week through my "fatigue" schedule.
Snack. Nap. Read. Oh well again. (My sweet friend, Susan in LA, always said my epitaph would read, "She's just down for a quick nap.")
The good news is that I can brew my strong morning cuppa identity-TEA, with extra faith protein added to carry me on and sweetened with God's grace. (Lamentations 3:23)

His child is the right identity choice for me through all my seasons. (1 John 3:1)

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Biblically, "the Way" was the Acts 9:2 description of a group of people. Believers of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 32:8 shows the "way" as a direction. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go....."

The gospel of John describes "The Way" as a person. "Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life...." (John 14:6, w/ my capitalization emphasis)

For me, all of the above are the right way to choose.