Memories renewed by a simple “Honk”

Walking through the house this morning, I heard a car “honk.” I didn’t know if it was on TV or a car going by. But it brought back some memories. Perhaps you can relate.

Growing up, we lived in the country – a gravel road. Few cars went by during the day. When a car came down the road, one of us would often say, “There’s a car coming.” We stared as it went by. It was notable!

If the passerby knew us, sometimes even if he didn’t, he or she would most often “honk.” It was a “hello.” Of course, my dad and mom did the same thing as they drove. Travel was much slower in those days. Rarely did Daddy ever drive 50 mph and that was only on a big road, a “highway” like US 27 or US 12. No, he drove slowly, commenting along the way on wildlife, farmers in their fields, discussing various changes in the scenery with my mother. I learned much during those drives. Landmarks, not addresses, marked our travel.

Travel was limited. Of course, Daddy drove to work every day. He worked at Federal Mogul, and he left the house shortly before 7:30 am. The office opened at 8. He arrived home at 5:19 pm every day. Mama drove, too, when she worked. Those were the rare times we had two cars. We didn’t often make trips to town. Errands were written on paper, along with grocery lists (usually on reused, back side of envelopes), and our rare trips to town included buying groceries, laundromat (during the times Mom didn’t have an automatic washer), sometimes a trip to J.C. Penney, and occasionally a fun trip to Otto & Sons where Daddy shopped the hunting gear and we kids browsed the massive toy department.

We jumped in the car every Sunday – after church and a quick Sunday dinner – and took the long drive from our home on Quincy Grange Road in Butler Township to Grandpa and Grandma Nutt’s house on Grass Lake Road, northwest of Kinderhook. Daddy occasionally honked the horn when we arrived. There, we spent the afternoon – oh, the stories I could tell would fill a small book. But for now, I’ll only share the memories of the long drive. After hours of visiting and investigating the old barns, buildings, and garden areas with my brother and cousins, we once again hopped in the car and drove the long route back to Butler Township, to the even narrower graveled Bidwell Road to Grandpa and Grandma Locke’s house, where Daddy “tooted” the horn a bit louder, drawing our Locke cousins out from their places of play around the yard and out buildings. We spent the remainder of daylight with our Locke cousins, playing outside until the familiar whistle of the theme song of “Lassie” drew us into the living room.

My childhood travels to and from our graveled Quincy Grange Road residence centered around a vehicle, filled with a family of five, a bushel of love, and touting a horn that spoke a friendly “hello” to all. Occasionally today, I hear it – if only in my memories.

Photo is taken Summer of 1959. Mom at the wheel. Becky, my little sister and I in the back of our new yellow and white Ford Fairlane.

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

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

A New Normal

The New Normal

I don’t like it. And from what I gather, I’m not alone.

I’ve been thinking about it. Someday I’ll go back to the grocery store – without a mask. I’ll get my hair cut and colored. I’ll hug a friend, a neighbor. Or will I? Will it ever be the same? Experts tell us it won’t. It’ll be a new normal.

I haven’t liked the new normals of the past. The empty nest when the kids left home. Life without Mama after she passed. Life without Daddy. I really don’t want a new normal.

While I wait, I walk around my house. I cook. I bake. I order groceries. I send out sympathy cards. I pray. Oh God. Give me wisdom. I can’t seem to focus without your direction.

So much to do. Spring cleaning. A lifetime of photos to sort – to scan – to organize. A devotional book to write. A Bible Study to promote. But no motivation. It rains. It hails. The sun shines. I step outside. I walk. Work in the garden. Plant. Breathe in the fresh air. Soak up the sunshine. I pray. Oh God. Give me wisdom.

The wisdom is found in the Word. He is the wisdom. I listen. He speaks. I hear “Jesus whispers!”

“Kathi, you are coming to a crossroad. This is where the paths meet. This is where wisdom takes her stand. This is where you take your stand. Wisdom is crying out to you. Stand at these crossroads and look at your past. Ask for the ancient paths, the paths where you have found wisdom before. Ask for the good way. Find it. Walk in that way. It’s where you’ll find rest for your soul.” *

A crossroad. I have a choice. I determine my new normal. I want to be wise in choosing the path I take out of this time of isolation. Of lockdown. Of stay-at-home. Wisdom is crying out to me. Am I listening? Am I heeding the message?

I look at the past as the Word says. Good decisions. Bad decisions. I’ll be wise to learn from both.

I consider the ancient paths. Hebrews, chapter 11, begins by telling us that the “ancients” were commended for their faith. Then it gives example after example of those who exhibited tremendous faith. This is where I start – in the Word. A bit further, in chapter 13, I read to remember those who spoke the word of God to me – to imitate their faith. So as I consider the past, I ask, Where have I seen wisdom in action? Who displayed wisdom? Who modeled it? I think of those strongholds of the faith- Corrie tenBoom, who hid Jews in her home during the Holocaust and was herself punished in a concentration camp. She walked in “the good way.” I think of missionaries through the centuries. I think of Reverend Lindner, who led me to Christ – who faithfully taught children about Jesus. As I look at the “ancient paths,” I think of countless, wise models of wisdom. Those who have taken the “good way” God tells me to take – as I choose the path at this “crossroad” in my life.

What have I learned during this time of isolation? I’ve been comfortable, but I’ve observed others who are not. I’ve known people with COVID19 who have recovered; and I know one who suffers unbearably from it. I’ve spent days filled with anxiety; I’ve spent days filled with contentment. But all of those days are filled with a sense of uneasiness. None have been “normal.”  Families are struggling. Friends have lost their loved ones and cannot have a funeral. Drive-through funeral visitations have become a norm in my community. I sit at a social distance with my own flesh and blood in order to speak for a few minutes. I FaceTime or Zoom with my family that live away. I’ve learned that although the expression, “we’re all in this together” is tossed around with the purpose of bringing hope and encouragement, hate is nonetheless sown, as well, and it germinates and produces an ugly poisonous plant. Politics always seem to have the trump card in every discussion, and the rules change as the game progresses. I’m truly not fond of facing a “new normal.”

This isolation – the lockdown – will end. I’m at a crossroad. And you are too. We face a “new normal.” I don’t want to choose the comfortable path that I used to think was the most important thing in this world. I want to have learned from what we’ve been through. I want to reach out – physically and in spirit – to those who are struggling. I want to play by God’s rules. I want the seed I sow to produce a beautiful plant – one that glorifies God. I want to choose the “good way” and walk in it. And as I hear “Jesus whispers,” (the Word of God) I’ll find rest for my soul in that “way.” Rest is what it’s all about. Not the rest I get at night when I sleep. Or the rest I encounter when I sit around the house these days, lacking energy or purpose. But the rest I read about in the Word. The rest He promises. The rest I desire. The rest of my spirit. The rest that brings me peace, knowing everything is well, knowing my future is secure. (I wrote a bit about rest in another recent post in this series:

Your future is before you. Let’s not be overly concerned about finding the “new normal,” but be more concerned about choosing the right path at this crossroad; the “way” – the “good way” – and walking in it.

*Proverbs 8:2; Jeremiah 6:16; Hebrews 11; Hebrews 13:7

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.

I have been fearful during some of these days of the COVID19 pandemic and isolation. But today I am not frightened.

I have had a significant amount of anxiety during this COVID19 pandemic. But today, I am not anxious.

Today, I am angry.

I am angry with the thief who is killing and stealing and destroying. I am angry with the demons who serve him and do his dirty work.

And today, I am sad.

  • I am sad that we can’t meet with our church family and celebrate the life of our friend who has passed – to hug his family and tell them how we loved him – to sing “The Days of Elijah” while we dance the aisles, as he did – to feel the tears drop down my cheeks as we all sing one final “I’ll Fly Away.”
  • I am sad that my cousins cannot sit with their dying mother at her hospital bed – sad that she cannot feel the comfort only those children can bring – feel the warmth of their cheeks on hers, their wet lashes returning the comfort hers once gave.
  • I am sad that I cannot gather with my extended family at the graveside – to honor and say farewell to a blessed cousin – to hear sweet stories about her – to tell her children and grandchildren how much she meant to me.
  • I am sad that our friends cannot comfort their dying father in the nursing home – cannot wrap his hands in theirs and pray him to glory.

None of these things can happen because of the thief. So today I am angry, and today, I am sad.

But like any other day – those of fearfulness, anxiety, anger, happiness, or – like today – sadness, I look to Jesus. And I listen.

He whispers,

“Kathi, don’t let your heart be saddened. Don’t be troubled. I’m preparing everything.  I hear you, and I will deliver you all. Now is your time to comfort from afar.  I am close to your friends and family in their suffering and loss. I am their comfort. “

So I trust Him: The God of Comfort.

(From Psalm 34, John 14, 2 Corinthians 1)

My Great Defender

I’m always fascinated – and thankful. Over 100 years ago, women marched. And because of them, we women today have not only the right to vote but equal rights overall. Those marching women changed history for all women in our country, positively affecting women in other countries, as well. It was the huge step for women. They stood together with very few men supporting them. They were our early defenders.

As significant as those women were, no one in history has done more for women than Jesus Christ. No one.

He healed them. He healed their loved ones. He listened. He met their needs. And related to my beginning statements about women’s rights, He defended them. He stood for them when no one else did. The greatest barrister ever.

They composed a large segment of His followers. Although they most likely did not yet recognize the fullness of His Deity, they undoubtedly sensed it, as evidenced in the manner they served Him and sat at His feet in worship. They followed the Savior.

One woman, in particular, had been married five times and lived with at least one other man, as well. Not one of those men had yet her needs. She was spiritually thirsty.

Some women grow up recognizing that no man will ever meet her needs, nor does she care. Others, as they mature, sometimes early – sometimes later, come to this realization, grasping the understanding and moving on. We don’t need a man to be happy. We are strong.  I am woman. Hear me roar. Yet for others, it’s a difficult, disappointing discovery, especially for those of us who were expecting it, who were enthralled but misled by fairy tales and Hallmark movies, duped by countless social media posts revealing unending smiles and accounts of unlimited ventures of happiness. Reality hits. We most often move forward. In any of these instances, outwardly, our bodies may reveal no signs of dehydration. Yet inwardly, we all are thirsting – not for a man but with a spiritual thirst, unquenched by anything or anyone in this world.

It seems we are born with a thirst for a true relationship, one of unconditional love and acceptance. A true commitment. And why wouldn’t we be? Just as we were separated from our mother’s body when we were born, the world has separated us from our true Father – our Maker – the one who knew us in our mother’s womb and who has loved us since.

My thirst is for Him – the Living Water.

I am that woman at the well to whom Jesus purposely met.

I am that woman He loves unconditionally – no matter my past.

I am that woman who says, “Please, sir, give me some of that water.”

I am that woman who drops my empty bucket and says, “Jesus, I thirst – Quench me. You’re all I need.”

(John 4:16-26; 7:37; 8:1-11)

Click here – Let Him quench your thirst. 


Look up!

Look up! You’ll see His glory.

The heavens declare the glory of God . . . (Psalm 19:1a)

You’ll see it in the skies – the sun, the stars, the clouds, deep into the huge expanse reaching far beyond our sight.

It’s there. His glory!

You’ll hear these heavenly elements speak. Day and night, they are declaring, speaking. And as they speak, they teach us, revealing knowledge, making God known to us, reviving our souls. His voice is heard and He is made known in every corner of the earth, reaching every land, every tribe, every language. No place is hidden from His voice – from His glory. Whenever and wherever you see the skies, you see God’s glory.

It’s there. His glory!

Father, I look up because I want to see your glory. Open my eyes to every aspect of your creation that I see when I look up. Open my ears to hear your glory. Let me hear your Word speaking to me. Day or night. Light or dark. I join the heavens in praising you.

(Praying from Psalm 19:1-7; 89:5)

Only a few days left . . .

This newest giveaway is worth $700,000. It’s a beautiful home – Urban Oasis 2019 – and it could be mine! I love everything about it! If only I could win the Sweepstakes! I receive the email reminders. “Don’t miss today’s chance!” it states. “There’s only a few days left.”

I dream. Just as I have every year.

I envision my entire family (20 of us) driving or flying to Minneapolis (or to Whitefish, Montana or to Raleigh, North Carolina) – spending a few weeks of utter bliss vacation. I’m realistic enough to know that we can’t afford to keep the home. We’ll sell it shortly. Meanwhile, the cash award included will pay the taxes; we’ll drive the Mercedes, and enjoy a lavish vacation.

The Dream Homes, Smart Homes, Urban Oasis Homes, Green Homes – I’ve dreamed about them all! Each is striking. Will I want to take a few pieces of furniture or decor before I list the home for sale? Take it back to my Michigan home or my little Florida cottage? To replace an older piece? To remind me of my short-lived extravagance?

Those of you who know me know that I love decorating. I look at the photos, take the “virtual tour” of each home, visualizing my family in each. It’s fun – sort of like reading a book. I’m traveling to South Carolina, Arizona, Florida, and Colorado. I’m imagining a place and a time of rest, of no troubles – no problems, of my family close to my side – all safe and healthy and happy.

And for a time, I have no cares or worries, no concerns about our upside-down nation, no thoughts of my unanswered prayers or of unborn babies dying or of children suffering.

Then I discover that the present sweepstakes has ended. I have not won. So I hope for the future. I look toward the next sweepstakes.

It’s all a bit like life in general. Hopes and dreams. Wanting to live in an unbroken world where all children laugh and play, where all people cherish life, honor each other, and honor God.

But I don’t really have to wait for the next sweepstakes. I only need to wait for Jesus. He will gather me, as He promised. The Bible tells me He has it all planned. Above my greatest dreams. It’s a little bit as though Joanna Gaines has decorated the house – I know I can trust her. I know I will love whatever she designs. God has that and so much more planned for me. I can trust Him. It’s above and beyond winning the sweepstakes or hiring Joanna Gaines.

So I can rest. And I can dream. And I can trust. And I can imagine the unbroken world He promises in His Word. I can visualize my children – all children – laughing and playing. My family close around me. Not a care of a problem or even a bit of anxiety within me. I’m sitting and relaxing. My heart is full, and I’m resting in His promise . . . There’s “only a few days left.”

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

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