Who is Traveling? (Post 1 in the series, “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

Post 1 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place, and Wisdom”

Today’s highway is paved, flat, barren, and ugly, but adequate and necessary, nonetheless, for our purpose of journey – pulling our little “home away from home,” headed north to our destination, yet 600 miles away. My driver, the man I’ve journeyed with nearly 50 years must scan the road, follow the lanes, obeying the signage and lineage. I choose to observe the landscape instead of the road.

Tall, straight birch and poplar border the edge of the thick, dense woods, filled with pines and hardwoods with wider foliage, but also tall and straight, and as the birch and poplar, all evidencing their struggle to reach the sky, all in search of sunshine. The forest floor beneath them is plush with seedlings and saplings. Green life is unending in these groves of the north. Neither wind nor fire has squelched the growth. We see indication of past attacks of those enemies, as they have tried, time after time to destroy, but they have never fully succeeded. And it’s all because of the new growth, found deep in the womb of the soil, rooting and rising – toward the sun.

The sun is the sustenance of the green life, its reason, its purpose.

Today, as we drive north, the sun is reflecting off the flora around us, revealing deeper and varying shades of emeralds and olives and limes, and sages. Up and down the hills of the fallow path we travel, the trees stretch upward. We sometimes view them at levels below their roots, sometimes above their tops, looking down at an unending pillow of forest jade.

Intermittenly, a sandy trail weaves through its thickness. I wonder who, if anyone, has traveled that trail today, and if so, where was he going? And why?

I travel to reach a quiet spot where I hope to avoid daily routines and distractions. I seek a deeper communion with Jesus. I hope to find rest in the Lord and rid myself of the distress of unrest flaunted by the media. I hope to calm my heart. I hope to listen and to hear.

There are a billion people on journeys today, and I know very few, yet God knows each one. He knows you – your needs – your desires – your hopes. And He wants you to rest in Him. In fact, He offers it.

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Further Reading: Psalm 91

Click here to read Post 2 in this series: “I Own This Property on the Great Lake.”




Take it personal – His purpose.

My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. . . I summon a bird . . . or a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about. What I have planned, that will I do. It is my purpose that prevails. My word goes out and achieves the purpose for which I sent it. Though you walk in the midst of trouble, I will preserve your life; I will save you; I will fulfill my purpose for you.

Though you walk in the midst of trouble, God says. We all have been walking in this midst of trouble in Spring 2020.

He says He will fulfill his purpose for us. What is His purpose for me – for you? His Word has gone forth and He is speaking to us through His own creation. Are you listening? I am. And I am strengthened in faith as I contemplate.

I have never before seen so many photos posted on social media – of nature – of sunrises and sunsets; of beautiful birds; of spring flowers pushing up through the cold soil; of budding bushes; of flowering trees – all of nature, God’s own creation. I am enjoying the photos. And I sense a unity among those of us, the people of His creation, who are discovering these elements of nature more than ever before.

What is the purpose?

As I write this very article, I sit at my old table by the window, facing the storm-battered Maple beside our house. I look up at its small budded leaves, which increase in size and depth of green each day. I observe both male and female Baltimore and Orchard Orioles. Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Blue jays, Robins. Mourning Doves. Rose Breasted Grosbeaks.  Varied species, paralleling our varied circle of human community. Beautiful in God’s eyes.

Placed here with purpose.

Here in Michigan, we delight in the resurgence and arrival of the birds that had left the cold for the warmth of the south many months ago. Now they have returned, and we are listening to their song, amazed by their color, enraptured with their beauty.

What is the purpose?

I look further, to the patio and into what we call Matt’s little woods. I have planted a few bulbs, such as the daffodils or tulips, that surround the edge of the growth of small maples, but I didn’t plant the Umbrellas and May Flowers, the Adder’s Tongues and Blood Roots, or the Cowslips that carpet the floor of the spring woods. They arise to their creator.

What is the purpose?

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I remember my walk through the woods a few days ago. Morels camouflaged amidst the dried leaves carried over from fall.

What is the purpose?

Yellow forsythia. Crab apple. Flowering bushes and towering trees that appeared dead through the long winter have budded in renaissance.

What is the purpose?

Could it be that the purpose of the great beauty of Spring 2020, the most noticeably striking in years, one which has captured our every physical sense, is poured upon us as a reminder from our God that He has not forsaken us as we walk through the midst of trouble. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is He who has created everything good. It is He who has created the beautiful nature we see and enjoy – who has created the depths of the deep waters and the waves in the Great Lakes surrounding our state and in the oceans surrounding our country. No person or entity can control those bodies of water – not a scientist – not a country – not a leader or ruler.

My word goes out and achieves the purpose

for which I sent it. ~ The Lord God

I believe that He sent that Word out all those years ago, in the beginning, speaking into being these elements of nature, knowing that their display in this anomalous Spring of 2020 would bring joy to our lives – at a time we needed it most. I believe that His purpose for us is to be encouraged, to know that He is God, that He is in control, and that we can trust Him. To be reassured that He will never forsake us.

Did He summon that bird that delights us or that budding element of nature to fulfill His purpose. I think so. Take it personal. Listen to Him speaking. Let your heart be renewed in the knowledge of His faithfulness. Yesterday, today, and forever.

Further Reading:

Isaiah 46:10; Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 138:8; Hebrews 13:8

Thank you to Wayne Riley for your beautiful photo of the Oriole in flight!

(May 7, 2020 Flower Moon Photo from CNN.com)

Social Distancing

Social Distancing. Is this term an oxymoron? How can one truly “socialize” while being “distant”? Social distancing is certainly more difficult for some of us than others. But none of us can use it as an excuse not to socialize. We simply need to learn how to socialize at a distance.

Jesus never practiced social distancing. No barriers existed between Jesus and the people.

He was going from Judea to Galilee. The Jews did not “socialize” with the Samaritans, so it was especially unusual that Jesus would go through Samaria on His way to Galilee. But He did. “Smack dab” through Samaria, purposely pausing at Jacob’s Well, near Sychar. It appears He planned it that way to “socialize” with a Samaritan woman – a broken, sinful, spiritually thirsty woman. A woman who needed Living Water. “I Am,” He said.

On another occasion, when His disciples tried to “shoo” the children away, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” He blessed them. He washed the feet of others. He healed multitudes. He fed thousands. He raised the dead. He was God in the flesh, truly above all, yet nothing was beneath Him. He socialized with purpose.

And Jesus sent us to do the same. We are clearly given what is called “The Great Commission.” It involves socializing.

Jesus is unchanging.

He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever.”

And His message is unchanging.

We are accustomed to meeting with people – face-to face. Large groups. Small groups. One-on-one. We are used to going next door to meet with others, or flying across the country.

Now things have changed. But Jesus hasn’t changed, nor has His message. It is the same message:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” He says. We still are commissioned to “go” and “baptize” and “teach.” Only our means of doing so have changed.

During this time of social distancing, small businesses have had to become creative. We call and order paint and supplies from our local Sherwin Williams, drive up, and open the back gate of our Enclave. The employee comes out the door, masked but her eyes displaying a brilliant smile. She loads the supplies into the back of our car and thanks us for our business.

A couple began a new cereal company shortly before the pandemic shutdowns began. Now, they safely and distantly provide samples to potential customers who drive around the couple’s u-shaped driveway.

We have more opportunities today, even while practicing social distancing, than people have had through the ages before us. Telephones and the internet offer a multitude of options to serve and minister to people every day. Zoom enables congregants to gather online – for meetings, prayer, and to socialize. People meet one-on-one, six feet apart in front yards, parks, or driveways. The purposeful are creative.

Social distancing requirements do not obstruct our commission. It’s still the same commission from an unchanging Savior. Be creative, my friend. People are thirsting, now perhaps more than ever. Share the “Living Water.” Go.

Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 13:8

Shelter in Place

It’s a new term to me – first introduced a short time ago when we Americans were told to stay home!

My home is indeed a shelter. In the middle of the Michigan mitten, about halfway between Detroit and Chicago, our country home becomes the perfect year-round shelter. Cool in summer, surrounded by sycamores with leaves larger than dinner plates and abundant maples with deep green leaves – thousands of leaves – all creating shade from the hot sun. Comfortably warm in winter, heated by a massive outdoor furnace, boiling and pumping water through pipes, radiating throughout the house. So the home itself is a greatly appreciated and welcomed shelter, but staying there – sheltering in place, day after day, week after week, month after month – is quite another thing, isn’t it?

Natural disasters draw me home. Man-made or mistakenly-spread disasters, such as COVID19, also draw me home. I feel safe, secure, and comfortable in my home. It’s where I most often want to be. But it’s not where I want to stay or truly shelter.

My body is comfortable to Shelter in Place,

but my spirit yearns for more.

When I became a Christian, I became a new person in spirit. And ever since, my spirit yearns to shelter in the Father. The Psalmist (Psalm 91) refers to that place of shelter as the secret place of the Most High God, El Elyon. And when we dwell, actually reside, in that secret place, we find rest. Rest of mind – peace – assurance. Isn’t rest what we really want? I do.

I look for that secret place.

I yearn for that secret place.

And I find that secret place.

The term secret place most often refers to the way our soul is in relationship with God. It is the place Jesus speaks of when he instructs us to go to a room with the door shut when we pray – a place of solitude with God – a place set aside for time alone with God. It is an intentional decision to spend time in the Word, praying and listening. God meets us there. It is in this secret place we discover Him as “our refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

The stay at home order from our government is nothing like the stay at home offer from God. God doesn’t order it. He offers it.

 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Charles Spurgeon, renown preacher of old, wrote about this first verse of Psalm 91: “The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God . . . all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who [do] . . .  become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow [from] afar.” He refers to those believers who reside in God’s secret place as “constant guests,” remaining under God’s protection.

Psalm 27:5 tells us that in our days of trouble God will keep us safe in His secret place- He will hide us there and shelter us in place.

So, while I am in mid-Michigan, sheltering in place in my comfortable surroundings, my main focus will remain finding shelter, being a “constant guest,” in the Father’s secret place. That’s where I – and you – will find true refuge – not just through the COVID19 crisis, but every day – forever.  

John 3:3

Psalm 91:1,2

Matthew 6:6

Psalm 27:5

Look for Kathi’s other articles: Today’s new language. Informal discourse from a stay-at-home English teacher.

Increasing Weight.

It’s one thing. Or another. You know. For you, it’s a certain situation – a health issue, break in a relationship – whatever. For me, it’s a grandson’s health problems. Healing that’s needed. Restoration that’s promised but still unfilled. For all of us, it’s uncertainty in this unprecedented time of trouble.

Some days are harder than others. The anxiety builds. One situation compounds upon another. And another. The weight increases. It’s not new. It was written about long ago:

Anxiety weighs down the human heart . . .

~ Proverbs 12:25

And it certainly weighs down my heart.

But in the midst of this broken world, with the increasing weight of the burdens it brings, God tells us he will make the riches of His glory known to us – His “loved ones – the objects of his mercy .” (Romans 9:23-25)

And today God did three things to show me that I am His “loved one . . . the object of His mercy,” in order to lighten my heart.

First, He drew me to an excerpt of Max Lucado’s writing. I read,

Healing from anxiety requires healthy thinking. Your challenge is not your challenge. Your challenge is the way you think about your challenge. Your problem is not your problem; it is the way you look at it.

 I also read about Satan – messing with my mind – coming as a thief. You’d think this would have been foremost on my mind, as I had just spoken about it to a group on Sunday. I had encouraged them that although the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, Jesus comes to give us abundant life. Yet, I wasn’t feeling the abundant life – just three days after speaking about it. Instead, the enemy was telling me lies. Now I recognized what he was doing. Through my reading, God reminded me that I mustn’t believe the lies of the enemy. Our Lord overcomes.

Next, God showed me the but part – the second part of the Proverbs verse:

An anxious heart weighs a man down,

but a kind word cheers him up.

Proverbs 12:25

Today I was cheered up by two friends, through a small group text, before I even read this verse! I had asked for prayer. They had granted it. They had encouraged. They had comforted. They had cared. Two friends – like the two hands of Christ. Another evidence of God showing me I am His “loved one . . . the object of His mercy.”

Then God showed me mercy a third time today – through a song He presented – just for me.

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It is Spring here in Southern Michigan, and this year, we have an abundance of birds, particularly Orioles; Cardinals; Red-breasted Grosbeaks; Blue Jays; Mourning Doves; and Redheaded, Downy, Pileated, and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers. We rejoice with others as we share photos on Facebook, boasting the numbers of these beautiful creatures which grace our feeders. So, after filling the bird feeders with oranges and grape jelly, I sat on the porch in the quietness of my country setting. God graced me with a beautiful message through a songbird – which bird, I don’t know. It was resting in a tree a short distance away,. Its melody was sweet, refreshing, and I knew it was meant just for me. It sang this song for awhile before moving on. It was a third sweet reminder that God calls me His “loved one . . . the object of His mercy,” that I am not alone, and that His promises will be fulfilled.

As I write this, opening my heart to you, revealing my inmost thoughts, truths that I would rather hide, the sound of the Mourning Dove resonates across the lawn, through the screen of my open door. It mimics my heart, still hurting, still pouring out its burdens to the Lord, but lighter, nonetheless, having released anxieties to Him, having been reminded through friends and through His Word that I am His “loved one . . . the object of His mercy.”

Trials come to us all, but as a Christian, you are “His loved one . . . the object of His mercy.”  Perhaps you aren’t really sure you are a Christian. Learn more at

Click here to contact me through this website to speak to your group – your event.

Order my books, When Life Roars Jesus Whispers and Shh! Listen to His Whisper! through this website (Click here) or in a message through my FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/KathiWaligoraAuthorSpeaker/

The Cross Still Stands

Our eyes are attentive to our screens, taking in every word, every image. Our hearts are breaking as we watch: Notre Dame Cathedral is burning.

French Catholic Newspaper, La Croix, shows the spire’s collapse on its front page, with the headline: La Coeur en cendres (The Heart in Ashes):

And those words, probably inferring the heart of the church, nonetheless describe our feelings: our hearts are in ashes. We are a suffering people, anyway, our hearts shattered by evil in the world: deliberate killings, deliberate abortions, deliberate hate. Cancer, suffering, disease. We wonder how much more our already-broken hearts can take.

But we keep watching the reports of the fire; we keep listening; we keep hoping.

And we find it. Hope in the final photos – the photos taken after the fire is out – the photos showing what remains. The altar remains, and . . .

. . .the cross still stands! Not only does it stand, but it shines. It radiates. It glows. It reminds us that in this world filled with evil, we have hope – the confident expectation of God’s promises.

Click here to hear the beautiful reminder of what the cross stands for. “It stands to heal and to restore and to comfort those who mourn. . . it stands for hope; it stands for peace; it stands to set the captives free; it’s where the only Son of God reveals love for you and me; It stands to heal and to restore and to comfort those who mourn. . . “

Let the cross bring you hope today. Hope in the very purpose of this Holy Week. Hope in Jesus Christ alone, the Savior of the World.

When your world feels fallen, hopeless, remember – the Cross still stands! Jesus suffered for you and for me. The altar remains open; His arms are open, waiting for you to turn to Him.

Click here to learn how to become a believer.

Today I Celebrate Her Birthday.

Today is her heavenly birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

When she passed years ago, just one month after Daddy, I thought I might adjust to life without them. Then I saw your Facebook posts and heard your words, spoken as you hugged me at the visitations, written on your cards of sympathy:

“It’s been ten years, and I miss her every day.”

“My dad’s been gone 18 years and I still cry.”

Suddenly I knew. The pain would never go away. It was frightening, overwhelming, to think of living with this dire grief for the rest of my life. I could not go through it alone.

“Jesus wept.” I knew He was weeping for me – with me. I not only accepted the compassion of this Savior, but I pleaded with the Father for it.

Then I started digging. Old photos. Memories. Aprons. Dishes. Walking sticks. Blankets. The sight of his binoculars caused a swelling in my throat; the smell of her Ponds Cold Cream drew flooding memories down my cheeks. How can I ever get past this?

I shared my grief with others. They understood. I was not alone.
Many had grieved. Like me. Looking at them from the outside, I hadn’t realized that their insides had once been heavy and weighted. Like mine. Would I ever appear normal on the outside again, like they did?

I did not find comfort in those common feelings of grief. But I did find comfort in knowing that I grieved much because I had loved much. I had years of memories to carry with me on the lonely, painful path ahead, the path I’m still traveling today. Are the memories worth the pain? Is the pain worth the memories?

I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. I’ve stopped trying to distinguish grief and sorrow from mourning. I’ve stopped trying to figure out what stage of grief I’m passing through. And I’ve stopped feeling guilty or shameful that I’m still grieving after all these years – that others have more reason to grieve than I.

It is what it is. A broken world full of suffering and full of grieving people. Not by God’s design but because of the sin of the first created.

It is what it is. A beautiful life, speckled with pain and grief.

But He is what He is. A beautiful Savior who weeps with us and says, “It won’t be long. I’ll gather you. Let me comfort you until then.”

Until then, Mama, ride your beautiful Buckskin mare down the lanes of the farm. And have a Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mama.

Mom on Gypsy, her Buckskin

If you haven’t yet, please read my book, When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers. To order, message me through this site or on my FaceBook Writer’s page https://www.facebook.com/KathiWaligoraAuthorSpeaker/

He won’t “unfriend” us!

Do you remember when you first heard of Facebook? I heard some gals talking. “Are you friends with her?” they inquired of each other. At first, hearing the term friends in this manner was a foreign idea, but it soon caught on, and shortly, I discovered many new friends on Facebook: people I knew but rarely saw, family and friends with whom now I could connect more frequently, and some people I’d never even met before! I started using and enjoying Facebook – and gaining more friends!

Recently, I discovered that someone – actually, a family member whom I absolutely adore – “unfriended” me on Facebook.  

When I realized it, my feelings were hurt. (I wish I wasn’t so sensitive!) But it hurt me because Facebook was the only connection between us since we don’t live close.

Aren’t we Facebook/Social Media people ridiculously silly? We “friend” and “unfriend” people for so many reasons! I’ve seen a mother and son end their Facebook relationship over political disagreements. (I hope their personal relationship outside Facebook wasn’t affected!)

Some people use Facebook to connect with friends, some for political agenda, some to “air” their feelings – like writing in a journal. We all have our reasons and interests.

Facebook has given the word friend an entire new meaning – one we never considered prior to ten years ago. But  the word friend has been around forever and its true meaning was really established and confirmed by Jesus! 

Throughout the gospels, we find that Jesus used the word friend  in His ministry. He referred to those he taught as friend and used the word in His parables, as well.   He called His followers friend. He even called Judas, His betrayer,  a friend when Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. “Friend, do what you came for,” Jesus said. Imagine! Judas – a friend! It’s a baffling thought. But you see, although Judas didn’t receive Jesus as His Savior, Jesus had nonetheless come to save Judas, just as He came to save us all,  and each one He came to save is His friend. Amazing!

Jesus said that some referred to Him as a “friend of . . . sinners,” and this is where it gets personal. He was  the “friend of sinners,” and He is the “friend of sinners,” and that means  He wants to be a your friend and my friend! When we receive Him as Savior, that amazing, supernatural friendship never ends!

Jesus never unfriends us! Aren’t you glad?

Click here to learn how to become a friend of Jesus. 

My Road Home

My road home led to security, safety, and comfort – a place of acceptance and of unconditional love.

In the cold winters of Michigan, the road led to  warmth. Daddy stoked up the huge, round, iron furnace in the basement, and gravity drew the heat up the square-yard grated register in the middle of the living room, radiating the heat throughout the house.  When the thermostat, bracketed on the window trim outside the “picture window,” reached sub-zero temps, we were cozy inside. The long, cold drives from town, or from Grandpa and Grandma’s house were over once we saw the hill ahead and reached the end of our road home, where we found comfort in our big old yellow house.


Because I grew up in the country, of course I rode the school bus. And coming from either direction, the north or the south, the road home took me to a peaceful place , where Tippy, our collie mix, greeted me in the yard, and a place where I skipped up the porch steps into a house fragranced with freshly-baked breads and cookies or of a hot chicken pot pie, baking in the oven. My road home was the avenue to the promise of rest and refreshment.

I grew up, moved away, then settled once again at the top of that hill – this time, in a home, built by my husband and me – next door to the yellow house. In the summer, the road leads me to my place of serenity, amidst the greens of nature, the voices of birds, and the distant sounds of the bleating of sheep and the farmers working their fields. As it did throughout my childhood, my road home continues to bring anticipation of  security, safety, and comfort – a the expectation of a place of  acceptance and unconditional love.

Our driveway – at the top of the hill – in the autumn season.

But perhaps the most beautiful time to travel my road home is in the autumn, when palettes of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, blend with greens to create landscapes, ever-changing from day-to-day, sometimes from hour to hour.

When I reach that place in the road where I look ahead and see the hill, knowing that I’m nearing home, I’m reminded that the Lord  led me through another summer and another beautiful autumn. I’m reminded that He will lead me through the long, cold winter ahead. And I’m reminded that I can trust Him through it all because the place where He leads me is a place of security, safety, and comfort – a place of acceptance and of unconditional love.

My friend, perhaps you didn’t grow up with that place of security at the end of your road home. Perhaps you don’t have that place of acceptance and unconditional love now – at this time of your life. The place of which I wrote is not only a physical place but it is a place of rest and assurance that God offers to each of us. It is a place of security, safety, comfort – a place of  acceptance and of unconditional love we find when we belong to God the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ suffered in your place on Calvary’s cross, so that you can have eternal life with Him, as well as abundant life here on Earth. Just reach out to Him through prayer, believing on Christ alone. Click here to learn more!

The Father loves you and wants to give you a place of security, safety, comfort – a place of acceptance and unconditional love!

Hope for the future; Joy for the present

My soul sank deeper each day.  Into a place I recognized but didn’t want to be. I tried to find a different place, a place of happiness, a place I hadn’t seen in over six years. But I couldn’t find it.

There is a place of joy. I know that place. It is pleasant place and one which sustains.  My soul, protected by my comforter, the Holy Spirit, exists in that place of joy. It is His promise. I don’t have to do anything to attain it. It is mine. But joy is quite different than happiness. I know.

The days passed. The weeks passed. The years passed. Until the point I could barely remember that place of happiness, that place I yearn for.

And recently, for a short time, I began to lose hope – the hope of healing for my grandson, the hope of peace for my family, and the hope of happiness once again.

One morning last week, I looked at my Bible, open from the night before, where I had been studying Psalm 73, reviewing and remembering God’s goodness in the midst of the oppression in the world and His faithfulness in holding my right hand and guiding me.

But that morning my eyes were drawn across the page to notes and highlighting made throughout the years, of chapter 71. My eyes fell upon the words I had written:

I will always have hope!

Psalm 71:14


And then He reminded me, as He whispered to me through His word,

“I am your hope, Kathi, and I have been since your youth. Even when you are old, I will not forsake you. I want you to reaffirm me to your children and to your grandchildren. Though you have troubles, I will restore you and will lift you up. I will restore your honor and will comfort you. Always have hope, Kathi, always have hope.” Psalm 71

And once again, I was strengthened by His Word. Not by my doings or by happenstance, but by His Word. I remember His faithfulness in the past, and my hope is renewed for the future. My joy is in the Lord and His faithfulness. My hope is in Him – the hope of healing, of peace, and of happiness.

The whispers are not for me alone; the whispers found in His Word are for you, my friend. You’ll find them in His Word.

Let the message of this song speak to you today.


Click here to order Kathi’s book, When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers.