Saturday, January 16, 2016

Heart's Prayer lessons from Yesterday

I still hear the prayer in my ear, it reaches straight to my heart every time I bring it to remembrance.

Her voice was aging, but the strength in her spirit was heard each time she prayed the words, "My Soul Loves You Jesus".  Over and over she would pray it... until she was lifted to a higher place, a holy place that was above her earthly petitions.  Far beyond the worries that were holding her heart hostage for the day.  Up to the heavenlies where she could commune with her Heavenly Father...

it was time to pour out her love on Him...

then listen to his voice, his direction.

It was time to commune with the King.

This is one of my fondest memories from my youth... and a prayer I remember to this day.

Let me give you some back-ground on my experiences at the pew... and alter.

From my earliest memories, we were in church no less than four times a week (Sunday School on Sunday morning, Sunday night Evangelistical Service  Tuesday night Bible Study and Friday night Youth Service).  Mom said I attended church when I was three days old.

Since my grandfather, Thomas Forsythe, was the head usher and unlocked the church doors, we (all the grandkids) were excited to 'go early' and get to practice before church started.  So, when church started at 7:30 PM, we would be at the church at 6:00 PM. 

We had no formal music teacher present, but the older would teach the younger during the week and we would gather to 'put it all together'.

During the week me and my cousins Marla and Nila (The Wellsburg Trio) would make sure we had the newest Rambos or Singing Goodman's album.  There were more artist at that time, but I think we were almost unaware. 

You see, this was before iTunes and You Tube.  Seems almost a forgotten world now when you try to imagine.  We did have radios and if you could 'tune in' to a Gospel station, we learned the wonderful trick of taping the songs as they played on-air.  I think a few of us even called into the stations and requested songs so we could tape them... fun times!  Treasure Island or Big Wheel (Yes, before Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target!) would carry just a few Gospel albums and we were overjoyed when a new one arrived!  We would learn every song on an album. 

During the week, The Trio would practice (Acappella sitting outside or on rainy days, inside) each song we were learning.  What a wonderful training we had... God gave us the gift of harmony, and we were so happy to blend it back to him!

Grandpa Forsythe also made sure we all had a musical instrument to learn for Jesus!  When we got about six or seven years old he would ask, "What would you like to learn to play?"  He loved music and had a passionate prayer for his grandkids to have talents for the Lord.  God answered that prayer profoundly... Every one of the ten grandkids that were raised in church with him are singers or musicians today...or both.  From praise and worship leaders/singers, musicians, record producers, choir leaders, soloist and more... God heard!

So being in church when the doors were open were a 'given'.  No excuses.  When you fell in love with Jesus you were faithful. 

We learned to give God ALL!  Our time, our talents and our hearts.  HE deserved our best of everything!

The practice time was shut down at 7:00 PM for prayer.  The prayer rooms were then open till church time...

This was the time I would enter into the ladies prayer room and here her pray, "My Soul Loves You Jesus".  I moved me then and still moves me today...

This prayer came from my Pastor's wife, Sis. Gertrude Porter.   Yes, there were many prayer warriors there... always faithful, always believing. 

Those powerful prayers taught me so much.  First, I loved feeling the power in the room!  They sent their petitions up, thanked God for answering and then praised him for it all!  I learned to do the same... just by listening and feeling their heartbeat.

So today, when I pray and  pour out my heart, I too can say. "My Soul Loves You Jesus".  When I do, I feel the surrender of me and feel his answer... "Child, I love you too!"

My sweet prayer warrior

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Free Spirit

free spirit (definition) n. One who is not restrained, as by convention or obligation

In this age of 'busyness', we all long for some "free time". Personal time that we can waste at our whim.

If you don't think BUSYNESS is a word, look it up (I DID!), :)

Here are some of the busy definitions that made me smile (actually laugh out loud):

  1. Busy as a bee —Geoffrey Chaucer
  2. Busy as a dog with fleas —Anon
  3. Busy as a fiddler’s elbow —Harry Prince
  4. Busy as an oven at Christmas —Michael Denham
  5. Busy as ants in a breadbox —Anon
  6. Busy as a ticking clock —Anon
  7. one who had always a multiplicity of tasks on hand —Charlotte Brontë

As jobs, family, obligations (the multiplicity of tasks!) seems to take every bit of our strength, attention and time... we long to be... FREE!

Have you ever said, "I wish I could..."? Go ahead, admit it! We all have wished for those moments of tranquility, reflection... our "Calgon... take me away" times. When you close your eyes while relaxing, where do you wish to be?

What makes you feel FREE?

Recently, I was reading in Psalms concerning "restoration" and loved the ending of this scripture passage...

11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:11-12, King James Version)

When you are restored and "well again", the scripture then tells us that our spirit will be 'free'.


I tried to picture a FREE SPIRIT! I imagined laughter and dancing, skipping, with more laughter... and I felt a kindred spirit.

My soul longs to be free! I hope yours does to.

Don't get bogged down for so long that you forget what "light-heartedness" means! That you forget to look up and see the stars at night... or listen for the frogs singing before dusk.

May you find joy, may you find peace and most of all, may your heart and soul be FREE!

These are the things I wish for you...

Friday, April 22, 2011

One Year.. Stronger for it

Life gets busy... like "REALLY BUSY" sometimes. Full. Hectic. Crazy. And not just with jobs and family... but with pressures, needs, demands and expectations.

I have not written a post on this blog for over one year. Where did the time go? I tried to search, dig deep into my feelings during this last year... there were so many highlights, that I staggered at my emotions. How do you share when the 'lessons' are so private, so real, so 'raw', that you are almost afraid to acknowledge them?

But this we all know, through it all, He is with us.

When learning and 'training ourselves' to lean and depend on Jesus, we KNOW that he is with us in the Valleys and on the Mountain top. But it is a whole different journey when these valleys arrive.

Storms. Anguish. Aloneness. Misery. Grief for attacks against us.

I'm the first to want to take the higher ground. Be the optimist. Think positive... ignore the negative. But there are times that 'hardness' cannot be ignored. It is present... in our face... constant... wrapping our hearts in chains. The severity and tightening of the bands around our heart, seems unmovable.

I feel that now, more than ever, we need to let others know that they are not alone. Encourage each other. So that no-one feels abandoned.

Abandoned. Alone. Such lonely words. Conjuring up pity and self-loathing that should NEVER determine our in-ward thoughts.

So, how do we handle the 'hard times', 'worst of times'? These are the moments, experiences that try our very soul. Yes, we all are tempted. But we need to know that we can be over-comers.

No, there is not any "magic answers". Just Faith... the Godly Faith that God gave us a measure of. Oh how strong Faith is!

May you find that Faith. Faith that keeps walking. Faith that believes when there is really no reason for believing. The "knowing" that once the weight is lifted, we will be free again.

Free to smile. Free to pursue those trails that God opens up. Free to tell of "How I got over". Free to see the whole picture and be able to encourage others.

When the sunshine returns after the long drought,

I hope you leap.

I hope you dance.

I hope you smile ever so brightly.

I hope you are able to take what you have learned and "rise above the circumstance".

I hope after the storm, you are "Stronger for it".

One year later, I can say... "In my weakness, He is strong". And it that strength, what lessons we learn... please pass them on.

What have you been through this past year? Grief? Betrayal? Rejection? Fear? Disloyalty?

But you are still standing...

Encourage yourself, save yourself. Encourage one, save many.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Postcards from Heaven

While I was "antiquing" with my wonderful Minnesota girlies (Lori & Greyley), it gave me a chance to look through some wonderful old postcards. Not only were there STACKS of them available (I'm talking hundreds in a couple different antique malls), there were some REALLY OLD ones! Not only were the post dates (1909, 1914, and more) fun to look at, but the one cent stamps were interesting too!

Some of the postcards were from places... cities, towns... just like the most common ones we send out today from vacation spots to let those we know back home how much fun we are having! (You know, all the 'bragging' and sympathy remarks... "Wish you were here!" LOL)

Some were actual Christmas Cards... so beautifully illustrated.

I remember years ago looking at pictures of my Grandfather's family put on postcards. Oh, how lovely they are! (You know the ones, where everyone is dressed in their Sunday best and NEVER smiled! right? :D)

So, to all the "Post Card Lovers" out there, let's share something today... a little bit of encouraging, hope, faith and love. Get you out some cards, postcards, stationery, whatever you have... and send out some 'connections' to someone today! Reconnect.

I have been meditating on the feeling of self-pity. You know the best way to 'kick the blues'? Just reach out to someone else... when you are sending all that kindness, your self-pity will disappear.

Jesus sends out love letters to us... old ones (in his WORD), constant ones (the preaching of his WORD) and the NOW ones..... when someone uses their hands and hearts like HIS! I love when I feel his touch... through someone sending me some "Postcards from Heaven".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keeping your options open

The more 'days' I see, the more amazed I am! God just "out-does himself" with each new piece of knowledge that I acquire. His wisdom and ways are truly past finding out!

I look at the many types of animals and vegetation, the beauty of the spectrum... the beautiful rainbow peeking through a rainy sky and I am just 'awed' by the complexity and simplicity of our Savior. He just goes above and beyond in everything he does! No wonder we are such complex creatures! In HIS image for sure!!!

How many different types of birds are there? REALLY! Just trying to figure that one out is mind-boggling!

When I met up with some of my friends this past summer for lunch (enjoying some good fish at Coleman's in Wheeling) we all had on reading glasses! I shouldn't be surprised since we are 'women of a certain age'.... and 'no, do not ask...because we will not tell'. I'll just say that we are all within about four years of each other!!! I just have to report that I am on the "younger end of that graph!" :)

There we were, Suzie (who now lives in Texas with her four children and their families!), Me (living in Grantsville, WV), Teresa Glover (living in the Weirton, WV) and Michele Forsythe (my sister-in-law who lives in Wheeling, WV).

We had such fun laughing and catching up!

As we all had out glasses laying on the table, it was the opportune moment to get the picture I took above. Each of us had such different tastes in colors and design.

Take Michele, pictured above... she "color coordinates" her glasses with her attire. I so love that! You will find her wearing striped, polka-dotted or brightly colored glasses to accent her wardrobe.

This just brings to mind all the ways that God opens up his pot of "endless opportunities" to us. He has so many options for us to enjoy in this life! Some will choose solids, others stripes and others may select a rainbow of colors!

We follow HIS his path and leading, but HE allows us joy along the way. Don't forget to look for it! What makes you laugh? A child at play? What gives you satisfaction? Calling a shut-in or visiting an elder? What makes you smile? Doing something extra special for those you love? Reaching out with his love with your hands.... many possibilities...

God's loving attributes can be obtained in many ways.... keep your options open!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I remember the first time I saw the sign on her bedroom door. Grandma Thel (my Great-Step-Grandma Thelma Virden) had it hanging in her bedroom at Dad and Nan's house. She made no excuses for praying... anytime, all the time.

It was easy to give a soft chuckle when Grandma Thel would start praying in the middle of a TV show that got too violent... and you would be moved when you heard her say each of her family's name in prayer before she fell asleep at night.

To know her was to love her. She was one of those kind-hearted people who ws "easy to love".

When she went to be with Jesus, the family asked me if I would like one of her little treasures... of course, she had collected little gifts and knick-knacks from everyone and everywhere! I remember asking them for her little "Shhhh, I'm talking to God..." sign. To me it symbolized her to a "T".

Quiet times with Jesus. What do you receive in those "secret moments"? Let me tell you, they are priceless lessons. You can glean happiness, strength and receive the faith to move spiritual mountains in just a few moments 'in his presence'.

And those quiet answers, you gently send my way
Are just as great a miracle that comes in mighty ways
You don't have to move the Earth, to let me know that you're still there
Just send a quiet answer to my prayer....
[Song I heard Kelly Nelon Thompson sing MANY years ago, sorry, I do not know the authors name!]

The Word tells us:

5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Matthew 6:5-7, King James Version)

Many things will change in life... friends come and go, family members go home to be with Jesus, your children grow up and venture on, but one fact is constant...

You can find HIM still where he has always been.... in that secret place that you and HE share alone. I hope you find your "SHHHH" place and find lots of peace and comfort there...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Preparing a Place

Watching, waiting and anticipating....

When I am expecting company, I 'wear out the carpet'! Checking the driveway again and again. What time did they say they would arrive? Wonder if they are close? Will they get here soon? Is all ready for their arrival?

I think of the passage of scripture that Jesus gives us, telling us of his "preparation for our coming" to his house.... our home in Heaven...

1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3, King James Version)

As God is preparing a place for us, shouldn't we be preparing a place for him? A place in our heart, our lives, our jobs, our hopes, our dreams? Is he a part of everything?

Every time I start to "prepare the house for company" I get into my "hospitality" drill. What do they like to eat? Are they allergic to anything? Are they diabetic (since we have so many in our friends and family circle!)? What are their favorite hobbies and interests? Are they like to drink coffee, tea or cappuccino?

As I was getting my guest bedroom ready for some company that we are expecting this weekend (Yeah L&G!), I was in the "wash the sheets" mode. You know the drill. Making sure no "dust bunnies" were in the corners, dusting, taking out extra "items" that get stored in that room (how DARE I call any of these articles JUNK!).

The bed is old (Yes, Suz, that is the set Mom bought off of you and Jr after the fire!), the walls are green (excuse me, they are BRIGHT LIME GREEN... the last color we painted them before Shelly left for college!) and the carpet is WAY beyond time for replacement... but it is part of our home. Our place of refuge and rest.

While I was "preparing" the room, I thought of another lady in the Bible who prepared a place for a prophet to stay....

9And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 10Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 11And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned
into the chamber, and lay there. (2 Kings 4:9-11, King James Version)

How fun it is to know that you are "giving your best" to allow someone else to be comfortable. I'm sure the little lady shared that sentiment. A bed, table, stool and candlestick. Just because she may not have had "new items" did not keep her from providing them.

In my house there is old, new, borrowed (and blue! No, this is not a wedding, I just love that saying!).... I have very ECLECTIC tastes! I LOVE antiques. I have the wonderful old items from my family (the hand-me-downs), newer collections, comfortable pieces and 'deer-heads hung on the wall' in homage to my dear Hunter Husband! But you know what? Aren't we all that way? Many parts of our life are there for sentimental and emotional values instead of prideful ones.

So, with my new pillows and worn out carpet, would I be like the lady in the Bible to share what I have? Or would I say, 'mine is not good enough'....

Our lives should be given wholly to God ... open to share. Not be ridden with hidden parts for shame or embarrassment. I'm sure the prophet was so thankful for the space provided. So thankful for the open heart that provided this 'resting place' for him.

I think of Heaven. I think of the 'resting place' that God is preparing for us. I would follow him there even if there were no streets of gold or walls of jasper... no mansions, no gates of pearl. That he wants to give me all this, it just fine.... but I just want to see him. Gaze into his wonderful glory and thank him with every breath. What a wonder!

May I give him what I have and not worry about what I do not!

I want to give you a place Lord
in my heart and in my life
A place where you can feel welcome
loved and adored
Even though I know I cannot give you
a small part of what you deserve
You give me nothing but approval
and love me even more

Give all... receive more than you could ever imagine.

Heaven will be such a place... a 'prepared' place. Just for me... and you...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Strong Enough to Cry

Many think and even believe that crying is a sign of weakness.

Did you know that Jesus cried? (John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible) ~ JESUS WEPT.

Cry/Crying –verb (used without object)
1. to utter inarticulate sounds, esp. of lamentation, grief, or suffering, usually with tears

Crying ~ when you suffer to the point that an outward expression occurs.... tears begin to flow.

Tears come for different reasons and sometimes at unexpected times...

Have you ever cried when you were really MAD or frustrated? Scared? Lonely? Hurt?

Ecclesiastes lets us know that there is a 'season' or 'time' for all things... and "a time to cry" is one of those times...

I love this quote...

[ You don't always have to pretend to be strong.
There's no need to prove all the time that everything is going well.
You shouldn't be concerned about what other people are thinking,
Cry if you need to, it's good to cry out all your tears,
Because only then will you be able to smile again. ]

What happens AFTER you have allowed yourself to have a good cry?

I cannot speak for anyone but me.... crying makes me feel clean.

[ I love walking in the rain, because no-one knows I'm crying. ]

After I have released my heart in the form of tears, I feel a refreshing, light-heartedness that brings on something that is utterly amazing to me...


"weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning". Psalms 30:5 KJV

I love JOY. It is one of my favorite 'fruits' of the Holy Spirit. It is just the berries! :)

So, don't be too proud... if you need some joy, have a good cry... you may just find that the joy comes quickly... or when it does come, get ready to laugh.

Laughing and Joy are twins! :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Although today considered a toy, View-Master began it's commercial life in 1939 as a home-entertainment medium intended for adults.

My first experience with a View-Master was the Christmas of my 6th year... Second grade! When I returned from Christmas break, my teacher asked us to do a 'show-and-tell' of something we received for Christmas. I was SO excited! Of course, my View-Master would be the coolest gift anyone got from their family (I already knew there was no Santa, our presents were under a Manger Scene, not a tree).

For Sissy's (my grand-daughter Aliyah) second birthday, Mamaw Mildred and Aunt Karen got her a View-Master with some extra view cards. It was so much fun watching her learn to use the viewer...

My girls talked about playing with View Masters when they were little. Their cousins had one and they really enjoyed flipping through the view cards... oh, the stories that unfolded! I am so glad my kids loved to read, listen to audio stories and play with this type of educational toy.

In life, we see what we want to see. Wouldn't it be nice to only load in the view card that we want to see? We all would like to "weed out" the bad, uncomfortable parts.

I am just asking you today, "Do you see what I see"? Is your heart still open and aware? Don't close yourselves off... even though it hurts, let your heart 'see' the needs around you....

Pop in a new view card everyday... the one called "Real Life". It's ok, even though it may be scary, God is viewing it all with you! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My one and only...

Long before the movie phrase came out, "You complete me", my honey and I were living the concept. We are the other "part" of each other. He is my life partner and best friend. I want to introduce you to a very special guy, "my better half", Glenville Paul McBride, Jr.

Glen (Jr) is the cutest, sweetest, most honest, dependable, handsome "hunk" on the planet..... and I can say that because he is MINE! My one and only....

In this day and age, it is very old fashioned to say, but here I go..... we are faithful partners. So when I say, "My one and only", I mean that in EVERY sense of the word.

He "gets' me. He takes into consideration each part of my multi-faceted personality and embraces each one. Believe me, that is no small fete! I can be complex...and that has not scared him off. We have now been married 27 years! As of October 23rd. We are in it for the long haul... no exit options! I only say that because we "mutually" respect each other. Don't get me wrong, if someone is in a abusive or demeaning relationship, saying "goodbye" might be the best option for sanity. I'm just happy that for us, God helps the love and respect remain. A must for longevity in a relationship...

We've come through some tough times. All our days have not been sunny, but we have endured them "together". God's amazing love has been woven into our lives... He will forever be our "thread".

My job had me away on my Anniversary this year...I arrived home at 8 PM that evening. My honey had me some gorgeous roses waiting...

On Sunday, I made dinner at home (Taco Salad and Waldorf Fruit Salad). The day I realized that just "being together" was better than any Anniversary Dinner out or gift, was the day I became a happier person... the greatest joys are shared, not purchased!

Monday was the special day, though.... I came home from work and found my sweetie making HOMEMADE BISCUITS! All this time I thought I was the cook in the family! Just had to take these pictures... how adorable is that?

Through our years together, God has blessed us with two beautiful daughters, two great son-in-laws and a gorgeous grand-daughter. Truly blessed, we are!

Our song is "Just you and I" that was recorded by Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gayle.

Just you and I sharing our love together
And I know in time we'll build the dreams we treasure
We'll be alright, Just you and I

And I, remember our first embrace
The smile that was on your face
the promises that we made
And now, your love is my reward
And I love you even more, than I ever did before

We made it, YOU AND I

As a young, single girl, I used to worry about finding a life partner. I asked God~ "How will I know? How can I pick a guy who will be with me for the rest of my life?" God let me know that my sweetie was the one... now, looking back, I'm so glad I listened... keep talking Lord, and leading us. We have trusted you this far and will continue to... thanks seems too small a word...