July 25, 2016


 It’s been a wild ride the last couple of months. I am so fat and out of shape that walking to my car makes me sweat bullets. I think I’m having mini anxiety attacks because I find it hard to breathe. God says “Be anxious for nothing” but I’m not doing so well in that. It’s funny but the idea of cancer and surgery doesn’t bother me.

There been a campfire devotional taught for 3 weeks of the 4 where the speaker describes Jesus taking him into the place prepared for him in heaven. Jesus pulls back this curtain there is this fantastic pen and ink drawing of his life. It has some colored highlights and is absolutely beautiful. Jesus reviews his life with him and then they start to leave when a gust of wind raises the corner on another curtain and a flash of brilliant color shows through. Jesus doesn’t really want to but at the speaker’s insistence pulls back the curtain on an incredible, Technicolor masterpiece. Jesus tells him that it was what his life could have been had he listened and obeyed God’s voice.  And he’s a pastor.

I’ve mostly wasted my life making bad decisions from birth. I love my kids and am proud of their kind hearts but they are so wounded. One has such anger issues that they prevent having loving relationships. They’ve been so hurt but in spite of my failures they are good people. They don’t love Jesus and are angry at God. They are so foul-mouthed and angry that it hurts my soul. Because of the lousy fathers I picked for them and my failure as a Christian witness.

I worry about my grandbabies going to hell but the father of one of my grandsons attacks Christianity and religion so vehemently on a regular basis that I’m scared to tell him anything. I’m afraid to talk to them about God. I’ve never been good at it. I’ve always been so overwhelmed by my failures that I just figured they’d laugh in my face and I’d make God look bad.

So after listening to this same lesson about the murals, in my mind I can see Jesus pulling off the Kleenex and revealing the post-it note that is my life to reveal the words,”Mexico ” in pencil. I’m almost too ashamed to go to heaven but it has always been my only hope.

Back in early spring I asked the Lord to just get me through this summer. Before I had any idea of the cancer. It was like I could feel myself losing life everyday. I’m so tired I’m ready.

I dread seeing that post-it note of my life but there’s not much I can do here anymore. I can sit in one place and work the computer. I’m grateful that God lets me use my one ability to still serve Him. Maybe my post-it note will have a little colored Mexican flag. :)


My Drug Of Choice

July 23, 2016

If you see it in the store, buy it for me and I’ll pay you back. It’s not the Puffcorn. It’s hard to find so when I do I usually buy it all. 

It’s $1.49 now. I should probably go to Celebrate Recovery and try to get off it but not right now. I haven’t hit bottom yet. I’m sure Bill W has something to say about it. I’ll ask him later. Call me Cleopatra – the queen of denial.

Just A Quick Nap In The MRI Machine

July 16, 2016

By Wednesday I should have scientific proof I have a brain. Lord willing, this will be clear of the cancer and the surgery will take care of everything.

I’ve been light-headed lately and having trouble catching my breath. I’m sure it’s anxiety. The Lord said “Be anxious for nothing”  I’m upping my prayer game and begging him for an extra measure of faith. This is where the rubber meets the road. Can I walk my talk? Not without his help, that’s for sure.

I’m so blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support.

Please pray for my friend Joan. Her cancer metastasized to her brain. She is my example in this. I met her the first time she signed up for a Mexico trip and have loved her ever since. Please pray for her and her husband Charlie. Thank you.

Saved By Praise

July 13, 2016

So, if they’re going to cut out the cancer they’re going to remove a section of my lung. They had to test my lung function. This was scary because I had one of these tests a couple of years after my initial cancer surgery and I didn’t do very well. The doctor frowned a lot.

I was so afraid that if I didn’t do well on this test, they wouldn’t be able to do the surgery. I was so worried I began having an anxiety attack. Trouble breathing. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

The tech was really nice and we started the test. After the first go-through he said, “You’re a Singer, aren’t you? You sing at church.” 

With a shocked look on my face I nodded.

“Thought so. You guys always do well.”

I’ve been singing and leading worship for most of my life. The first time I sang special music at church I was 3 years old. I lead worship in children’s church with my Aunt Gladys at 10. If there was a choir, I was in it. Music used to be the biggest part of my identity. It was my worship language. I always felt like God smiled when I sang.

I asked him “How’d you know?”

“You needed a 70 to pass the test. 100 would be good. You got a 137. Singers, divers, musicians know how to breathe.”

Not only was God smiling when I sang, he was probably laughing that while I was praising him I was saving myself.

God has always taken care of me.

The Breathing Test Came Out Amazing

July 12, 2016

I was so scared. If I can’t breathe well enough south they be able to do the surgery. Oh Lord I’m old and fat and out of shape. Help!

I needed a 70 to pass and I got a 137. Hallelujah! 

Lung Function Test Today

July 12, 2016

So being the raging hypochondriac that I am, I’ve been feeling short of breath.

If you see this, pray that I pass this test. It might be important.

I have a brain MRI on Saturday morning. Does anyone have a brain at 7:00 AM? I’m going to need caffeine.

You Can’t Take the Blame

July 10, 2016

In a previous post below I told of being forced by God to stay in one place and be blessed by the wonder of His creation. Look below for Just In From Utah.

While it was a terrific time, it also left me with little time to plan for the monthly gathering of our prayer groups at church. I was blessed to lead my fellow prayer warriors in worship. This was a non-denominational Christian church with the usual kind of service. Sort of straight-laced but loving. I thought just for something different I would ask a dear friend, schooled in the old ways to lead us in a liturgical service. I was really looking forward to it.

Then I got stuck in the desert during what should have been my worship planning and practice with my guitarists. All the rest of the 8 hour drive home I tried to think of songs that we knew, that would fit with the service my friend was going to lead us in…nothing. I was panicked. I prayed and prayed while going through our music library but nothing. I had been sensing that this service was supposed to be very special. That God was going to move in a very obvious way – but I was going to let Him down with my part.. I finally got to the church a couple of hours early. I liked to set the stage for worship with various candle arrangements. We usually kept the lights dimmed and lit the service with candles representing the many prayers of the groups that were meeting for worship. I digress.

After I got the candles set, I sat in the corner and reminded God that He still needed to give me the worship songs and by the way, where were my guitarists? I must have looked like a deer in the headlights when my precious friend and mentor Carol walked in. She always helped me with the candles. I told her what was going on and she told me that maybe God didn’t want music for this service. I almost hyperventilated.

Then she said something that changed my life.

“Judy, if this service goes perfectly and people are incredibly blessed, can you take the credit for it?”

Shocked, I told her of course not.

“Then you can’t take the blame either.”

Freedom flooded my soul.

By now it was about 6:45, only 15 minutes before the service was to start. A good friend of mine decided out of the blue to come to our service. He had previously been the music minister at the church. I picked a few song sheets that I had brought and he said he’d be happy to play. His guitar was in the car. We quickly strummed through some standard choruses and thought they fit. We knew them well. Everybody did.

At 7 PM my pastor friend walked in and behind him was my best volunteer guitarist. We all settled into our places, the candles were lit and all the prayer warriors turned their hearts to worship. 

From the first note and the words of gathering God’s people in, something started to happen. We were no longer in the children’s church room – we were in God’s holy temple. As we said the ancient words of the liturgy spoken by the great cloud of witnesses that had gone before us for 2000 years, we were the church. Somehow we were joined by other voices of the neverending praise that is constantly before the throne of God. By communion time, all of us were on our knees, some on their faces. I was crying and singing and praying as led by my blessed pastor friend. The room seemed to be filled with the smoke of incense. I’ll never forget that night.

I try always to remember what an incredible thing God did and allowed me to be a part of. He showed me that He will take full responsibility for everything we hand over to Him and in my inability, bless me. He gets all the credit.

I know most of you believe I’m a little crazy and I won’t deny it…but it really happened. I can give you the names of people that were there. Sane people. People who know…

God has always cared for us.

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