God is Your Umbrella-A take on Psalm 121

Here’s a video link: https://youtu.be/rFRUkk_Vok0

or just keep on reading the blog below:

I was thinking about the pairing of a couple of strange things that I hope will bring you some encouragement today. They are essentially props: slippers and umbrellas. I was thinking about how they relate to Psalm 121. 

I want to talk about the umbrella first because I’m thinking fondly about a vacation I had recently,  it was in Florida. We traveled to Marco Island, Florida to meet friends of ours. 

I remember vividly, it was a big day at the beach. I love the coolness of the ocean and I love the sound of the waves.  I love sitting in the sand because I like digging my heels in it as I exfoliate my feet and particularly my heels. I loved the smell of putting sunscreen on and eating while I’m there too! 

I eat the whole time! I just pull out  the cooler and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat . All the while I try to make sure that the seagulls don’t get any of what I intend to munch on.

The point is. I love to go to the beach! I just sit down and relax and watch all the people walk on the beach and do whatever.  

It’s a big event! Getting the sunscreen, gathering the towels, finding my sun hat collecting the right chairs and getting them all loaded. 

One day, we rode our bicycles and we put the sun chairs with the backpack type straps on our backs and we rode our bicycles to the beach. It was so much fun but my husband had to have his umbrella along because he reaches a point where he just doesn’t even want anymore sun! Sometimes he’ll go and be sitting under the umbrella the entire time.  So he doesn’t get any of the sun that we’re all craving! But the funny thing is, I realized, a little bit into this day, that I kind of wanted to get under that umbrella with him. 

I wanted to get underneath the umbrella because I was getting a little too hot and I was feeling a little too crispy and even though I had sunscreen, hat and the whole deal, I was very thankful for the shade of his umbrella.

Okay, so what does an umbrella have to do with slippers? Well, I got slippers from my sister for Christmas. They’re kelly green and cute with these little dangling pom-poms on them. But the important part is the underneath side. 

You need to understand, I have lots of stairs in my house! And if you slip, you do NOT want to slip down the steps because every single step would really kill your tailbone. What was important to me is that the slippers have the gripper things down at the bottom!  I do NOT want to slip! I don’t want to slip! It makes you feel very uneasy, it makes you feel very vulnerable you know that you could get hurt and harm yourself and for days you’d be paying for it. 

So the umbrella and the slippers both related in my mind to a Psalm I love, 121. I have been camping on  this passage. I have been thinking about it as we enter back into more of “real life.”

I’ve been thinking about how it’s an anchor for my life. That God is my keeper. I even did a different video on the fact that he’s our keeper but I just want you to pay attention to the umbrella and the slippers as you read Psalm 121. Think of the ways that God is your umbrella and the ways that God is like your slippers. It may seem trivial but He is so good! And really is caring for us. 

I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.”


I wrote before about God being our keeper, that He keeps us from all harm. These videos were about him being our keeper that he keeps us from all harm and keeps us even when we don’t know we’re being kept but he keeps particularly when you were following him and even when you’re rebellious or you decide, I’m gonna go my own way! he will keep your foot from slipping because he loves you so much and he has a better plan for you than you have for yourself. He keeps you from slipping and falling down the stairs and the repercussions of “hitting every step on the way down” metaphorically speaking! 

Let me pray over you right now. That you would know God is the shade at your right hand, the sun is not gonna harm you by day nor the moon by night. What that means is that God‘s got your daytime covered and he’s got your nighttime covered. There isn’t a shift where God punches out! He’s never away. He’s never distant.  He’s right near. 

In fact Scripture tells us we can draw near to God and He will draw near to us, that’s a promise. He is near. 

Father, I thank you that you are the grippers for slippers that you will not allow our foot to slip and you are the umbrella, the shade at our right hand we don’t have to worry about being struck by the sun in the day or the moon by night because you’re with us constantly 24/7. 

I release peace over whoever is reading right now, that you are kept by God. He’s not only your keeper but he is your umbrella and slippers and he watches over you. So be at peace. Be at rest, in the name of Jesus, amen! Amen!  So go in peace today. I hope that encourages you; have a great day! 

A Change of Venue

“What’s the rest of your day look like?” A friend inquired as we headed to the car after our workout.

“I’m pretty open today, why?”

“I’m wondering if you’d be up for walking along the river I was telling you about? It’s supposed to be a warm day, the water will be perfect and it’s always so clear.” She informed. “Wanna go?”

“I’d love to!” I replied.

I’m really glad that was my immediate response. I took the day off, so to speak. I didn’t write a blog post, but allowed myself the freedom to be out of my rhythm and away from my normal schedule. We’ve all been out of scheduled rhythms for awhile now, I realize. Sometimes a change of venue is what’s really needed, right?

I’m delighted to report:

* The weather was perfect

* Temperature ideal

* Water level – never higher than my belly button

* The plant life and fish – a feast for the eyes.

Allow me to share just a few photos.

Wow! And this is only getting started.
I couldn’t resist snapping this picture since my first book is called “Lily Pads-Stories of God in Display! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-real-deal/id1448869614?mt=2
He was one of three we saw.
I know it’s a weed but really a beautiful one!
Can you say…clear water?
Time to head back…already?
A bent reed He will not break, a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

May I offer a suggestion? Take time to interrupt your schedule and change up the rhythms of your day, because sometimes a change of venue is a really good thing!

























Would You Allow a Thief in to Vandalize Your Home and Rob You Blind?

An onslaught of thoughts, words, visuals, sounds and images all blast us daily, hourly, each moment of the day and every waking second. But will we and should we even allow them access?

Let me ask you a question,would you allow a thief in to vandalize your home and rob you blind?

Duh, I know the answer, no way!

Yet we allow this to happen with our thoughts all the time.

God’s Word has much to say about our thoughts and what we should think about. Allow me to share a few verses here, plus add a true story illustration, then offer some personal ways I combat toxic thoughts.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

AND this massively important one:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

I know people who are bombarded by their own negative and worst-case scenario thoughts. These thoughts, unchecked, can wreak-havoc and vandalize a life.

I’ve witnessed how these thoughts played out to an imaginary end, left the individual robbed blind of the present precious moments as well as the immediate future. (Usually, this robbery is at the hands of FEAR about things that NEVER even occurred. This is what God’s word calls speculations.)

Sometimes speculations creep in or a spirit of dread makes its entrance on the scene and the thoughts become very toxic, even fatalistic.

Whoa! I realize it’s not always this simple, but we must stop the toxic thoughts. We must recognize and arrest the thoughts and stop them from coming in or make them obedient to Christ, otherwise these thoughts, carried it out through the full gestation period, can birth into a full blown movie of a horrifying future. This is not from God. This is a “Spirt of dread.”

We, dear believers, have the mind of Christ. He’s given us a sanctified mind and he’s also told us what types of things we can allow our minds to think about. Thus the above verse Philippians 4:8. Which mentions things that are LOVELY.

Whatever is lovely? That word, lovely my friend used often. She moved miles away so I don’t get to see her regularly but I do see things, hear of events or moments in life and just like my friend, I utter, “Oh, that’s lovely.”

Let me come at this another way, because of the whole COVID-19 coronavirus in the global pandemic, I have had to scan my forehead to take my temperature, fill out a sheet and record my temperature, wipe down everything I’ve touched and fold and place my completed sheet in a sealed, locked box.

This all must take place before going any farther into my own church. As I enter to rehearse for the worship team, I need to complete these steps so that I am considered “safe” to come in, mingle with people, and not spread the virus.

Here’s my point.

What if we took the temperature of our own thoughts, so to speak. What if our thoughts had to go through a screening process. What if our thoughts had to go through a check point before they were allowed to come in and interact with our lives.

What if toxic thoughts that carry the wrong temperature or a potential virus were examined, taken captive and made to obey Christ and were not allowed in. I think that’s what it means to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. That’s what it means to consider whether it fits with the Phillipians 4:8 passage or not.

Related to taking thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, here’s what I try to do. I carry the thought way out to a future point, farther out than when I first received the thought. Then…

I ask some questions:

  • Whose voice is assigned to this thought? (Is it the Accusor’s or the Comforter’s voice? Should it be allowed in?)

  • What is the far-reaching end of this thought?
  • Is it hopeful?
  • Does this condemn me?
  • Do I have hope when I think about this in this way? (God is the God of all hope.)
  • Is this lovely?
  • Is this true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable? 

Finally, let me leave you with some lovely photos from my back deck and a few “lovely” thoughts about Father God:

  • God is good
  • He is a good Dad, He is going before you even right now.
  • He promises never to leave you, never to forget about you.
  • He invites you to cast your cares on Him, because He cares for you.
  • He warns and reassures us all the time. (Warning: The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, Reassurance: BUT Jesus said,” I have come to give you life and life to the full.”)

Wrapping this up…

Don’t open the door to the wrong voice, don’t allow the enemy to vandalize your day, home, or your life and never allow him to rob you blind.

God is a giver of every good and perfect gift. And we can all be gracious receivers. Now that’s a “lovely” thought! 











Want to join my cute honey and me in 2021 for our trip to Israel? 🇮🇱 Check out link below:







Yes, I cried a bit.

As I left my house early in the morning to get to the airport on time I realized I was crying a bit. I was headed to Pennsylvania for a three week summer intensive with Global Awakening. Like a child who goes off to the university and leaves home knowing they will never be the same when they return, I too knew I was about to experience something beautiful and life- changing.

I’m still processing my time away. I think too often we just hit the ground running and never look back or let things sink in…at least that can easily happen to me. I hoped writing this post would provide reflection for me and gratitude to God for all He has done. These photos give a cursory glance of my time at GSI.

Some of my outreach group “Team John” members hitting the streets, we quickly became friends and were unified.
God even knows to have me stand by, this gem, in line on orientation day.
My heart was so full and blessed to meet exceptional “younger ones” on fire for God and desiring the MORE of Him.

We put our learning into practice.

The goodness of God was met with BOLDNESS to cross over “the chicken-line” and minister on the streets. WOW! We saw God come through in big ways.
“Oh, how HE loves us so!”
Hard to explain the joy of the LORD to observers…But it makes the passage in the Bible from the book of Acts, where people thought the disciples were drunk more real.
The variety and excellence of the speakers and teachers we were exposed to over the three weeks was impressive. I felt like I was drinking from a fire hydrant.
Outreach days was a chance to see the fire of God touch people.
Oh, such fun…we got to bless ONE man, then TWO, then the WHOLE fire department!
God is a better door opener than you can imagine. His Spirit leads the way!
Largest class of Global Summer Intensive Students. (150 students GSI 2019)
I’m usually on the other side of the desks…It’s been so long since I was in class and submitting assignments, but I did it!

I watched God provide for me in unbelievable, specific ways! It is all a story for another blog post. On the final day, I headed to “my” car, which was an amazing provision of the Lord via dear friends, I cried a bit. Why? Well, I’m still processing.

I cried partly because I was sad to leave the waters I had been swimming in. It was the perfect temperature for me. I was aware that I was leaving my new friends, also my tears were of gratitude and joy because I was leaving a TRIBE of amazing world-changers who had been encountering the same things I had.

We’d all received so much from the Holy Spirit in His kindness, and through His touch. I also cried because I knew I wouldn’t see many of them again and my heart needed to release them and my tears. So yes, I cried a bit..




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Just Let Her Know

I gladly entered it in my phone’s calendar. Both time and place were decided and I was really looking forward to my coffee date with a friend. The day of our meeting I was still jazzed to be together, but I was actually leaving my house at the time I should have already arrived. I’m sure that NEVER happens to you, or does it?

aged alarm clock antique background
Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

Well, I’m just being real… I knew my friend Anne would give me grace. She’s the type to be more excited about our time together, even though a few minutes delayed, then to have me show up promptly, yet be stressed out and feel condemnation. I appreciate that about her!

Still, out of love and honor for her, I texted a brief message to let her know I was running late. I knew I shouldn’t text and drive, especially in my stick shift car, so I chose the alternative, to voice text her and let her know, I was on my way.

The whole voice texting process was such a debacle. All I was TRYING TO DO was alert my friend, I’m running late, I’ll be there soon… But that’s NOT what I communicated at all.

Photo by Raduz on Pexels.com

I shifted into third gear, spoke into the phone and tried again. I slightly modified the message a bit: “It’s now already 11:00, but I’m on my way… see you soon!”

This time I requested be read back to me it said: “LOVE, It’s O’Clock see you tonight!”

I thought… What? No, no, no she’ll think I thought our meeting was for tonight! I can’t send it. CANCEL message

I sent another message… I said, It’s already eleven, on my way see you soon!

YIKES! But this time the text read back as, “It’s now already seven, on my way! Save me some!“

I cried aloud through a frustrated laugh, No, no, no! She’ll think I want to order something and she is supposed to SAVE me SOME of it! But she won’t know what I want to order!

Finally, I sent a VERY simple text.

When this fiasco happened, I got to thinking about communication, more specifically, miscommunication. I’ll admit, I was a bit frustrated at first because I was late and I was driving and was trying to get my actual meaning across before I arrived.

Then, a moment later, it brought me a lot of joy and laughter. I laughed at myself and also giggled at how convoluted the whole communication debacle became. I couldn’t wait to tell Anne about it, and I did. We had a good time over it!

Other than letting you know there is great freedom in not taking yourself too seriously or being too hard on yourself, here’s my cursory take-away.

  • Never let someone else do the talking for you.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say. (This one has bit me in the butt before.)
  • If it’s communication talking to God, called prayer just straight up tell Him honestly what you want to say, how you are feeling and then let the Holy Spirit make groans for you! He’ll do the interceding before God, along with Jesus who ever lives to intercede for us. I’m so thankful there isn’t the whole get it perfect or He’ll be confused part. He knows us. He made us. He knows our intentions, desires and motives better than we know our own.
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Here are a few scriptures for you to consider related to being known and making our requests known to Him:

  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
  • Search me, God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there’s any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23, 24
  • “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm5:3NIV
people girl design happy
Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com

If the communication involves your children this is my go to verse:

  • “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.” Lamentations2:19NIV

I hope this silly texting miscommunication story helps you and encourages you too. No matter what you are going through, know that God cares and he get your messages. my advice, no matter what you are going through, just let Him know.




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Tune In or Tune it OUT?

The hum of the tree stump grinder and blower was constant, followed by the high-pitched chain saw’s whine as branches were being trimmed and removed from my neighbor’s backyard trees. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to try to decipher what each sound was or whether it would be best to just get up and look to see what was going on.

I made my list for the day and decided to read the final chapters of a book written by an author I will be interviewing in the future for “the real deal” podcast. Usually, I sit in the quietness of my home and hardly have any distractions. Not the case this morning.

I looked out my window, across the street my neighbors had a crew re-roofing their home. An extension ladder was leaned against the house with another smaller one propped up a few feet beside it to a lower section of the roof.

A blue tarp lined portions of the yard and bushes protecting them from all the debris falling from above. Shingles lined the driveway the way pickup trucks lined my street.  This morning was very atypical as there was a flurry of activity. I didn’t know whether to watch or sit down and try to read. I wasn’t sure which window to gaze out first, front or back?


I thought, should I tune in and watch all the transformational work going on around me? Or should I try to tune it out? Golly, that’s the magic question I have to ask myself and decide on often. What do I pay attention to and what should I tune out in my life? 


I was aware of the fact that when I looked out the back windows and concentrated my attention there, I was missing what was going on in the front of my home simultaneously.  I took some photos.

Then suddenly, the other neighbor’s two basset hounds, began to bark, first one then the other. Like I was listening in stereo. Woof… WOOF, WOOF… woof. WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF! I decided to write this blog instead. I got the idea, tuning in or tune it out, from what was happening.

Oh my word, it was comical, it was a cacophony all around me: truck engines roared, dogs barked, men talked and shouted, the grinder growled and blew as wood chips shot through a tube into the tree service truck, additional cars passed by and weaved through the unusually congested street. Next, the wind gushed and activated the wind chime near my front step. It all made a big crescendo for a moment.


Then, over time,  little by little one truck after another pulled away as the tasks were completed.  I cannot watch it all. I will miss something for sure! Isn’t that like the activity of life and even of God? I’m certain that when I see what He’s doing in one area of my life, He’s actually working on another area at the same time unknown to me.

I may think He’s trimming something out of my life and that’s the only activity going on. Only to realize, little did I know, He’s got a crew of angels, people and activity going on in a whole other area. I must tune into this: His grand design is so much bigger than my small little plans.



So today, as the men have now sat down to have lunch break, I’ve decided to finish this blog and pick the book up again to get a few chapters finished. I hope you are able to tune into God’s voice and his activity in your life. I also pray that we both will be able to know what things we need to pay attention to and what to tune out.

We need to and can TUNE IT OUT:

  • fear
  • worry/anxiety
  • hopelessness
  • discouragement
  • panic

How do we do that tune it out?  Don’t concentrate on the above list rather…release the opposite.  These are available and can be released in the Holy Spirit:

  • God’s perfect love- which casts out fear!
  • Peace that passes understanding
  • Hope- the confident expectation of good things to come
  • Courage- doing it afraid
  • Rest and Praise –these are powerful weapons 
  • Thanksgiving- a way to enter His gates 

We can have restful hearts, in the midst of all the spin, because God is always working. He also has a flurry of activity going on all around us. He is for us, he’s not against us, so be at rest.

We can TUNE IN to these characteristics and truths…His:

  • Goodness,
  • Faithfulness
  • Kindness
  • Attention to detail
  • Redemptive work
  • Melody He is singing over us as we sleep
  • Good plans he has for us and our futures.

Yes, my morning was unusual. It was NOT quiet, but oddly enough, my heart was!

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,” Isaiah 30:15a







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Which way should I go?

I shared this phrase before, it’s the tagline from one of my talks: “Look back with gratitude look forward with faith.” This has been instrumental in my life. I have found, as I venture out into some new territory,  I can become a bit paralyzed with thoughts like, what should I do? which way should I go?

It has helped me before proceeding full force into the unknown, to look back at what God has done in my life, with gratitude, therefore I’m able to look forward in faith.


Why has this helped me? Because I have seen His track record and I know God cannot lie, He does not change and He always keeps his promises.

Here’s a WHOPPER of a promise:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8 NIV

This has truly helped me not get my undies in a bunch or adopt needless anxiety over life’s future endeavors. Even now, today as I write this post, I find myself wondering a little bit about the future. During one of my a recent posts, I wrote about the catalyst behind the podcast idea I had.

LINK for past blog

God really went before me! I see ways He has been preparing me for years. I’m happy to announce that January 8, 2019 “The Real Deal”- with Rachel Inouye launched. Eek! I m so excited about it I can hardly contain myself! I’m extremely energized by it because I’m very relational and I get to interview amazing people, share segments of my past messages which have helped to encourage and inspire others.  I plan to have a frequent guest, my girl friend, Gayle join me for “Buddy Time.”  I’m very jazzed by the thought of how God will use it and how He will direct me in and through it. I had the privilege of interviewing my father, Richard Heggen for episode 001 of “The Real Deal.” *See link below


The Real Deal

I’m the type of person who agonizes over decisions. I wonder what I should do? Which way should I go? I have seen how God was moving me into position for this phase of my life for quite a while. So, I look back with gratitude and look forward with faith.

I get asked this question, or ones like it, quite often. What do you think I should do? It may originate from:

  • a mentee,
  • a friend
  • someone I’m ministering to in the moment

I don’t find it necessary to try to answer or solve.  Instead, I find myself just pointing the person to God and sharing this verse because it has been very helpful to me.  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

Let me ask you a question. Is there an area in your life you are wondering, what should I do? Which way should I go?  What is next?  I’ll share the promise of God with you again, but allow me to include the very next verse along with it.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Psalm 32:8,9.

photo of black horse

Yeah, yeah, you figured it out. The next part means we are NOT to be stubborn, like the horse or mule, when being guided by God. Oh, lordy LORD… My prayer becomes: God, please forgive me for my stubbornness from time to time. Golly, I do so want to be easily guided by you cuz I know you guide me with your loving eye on me!

two brown donkeys

Even as I write this blog I am asking for God to guide me as I add the podcast to my regular rhythms of life.

I wonder:

  • Should I keep blogging once a week?
  • How often do I release each podcast episode?
  • Will I have the time to do all I have bit off on this year?
  • How will it work when I’m off speaking in another country?
  • Should I finish the online course I started working on?
  • If I do this, will I get my next book Waiting on Grace finished?  When will I secure an editor? Who is going to publish it? Blah, blah, blah! 

WHEN I get ahead of myself,  I simply look at the track record God and I have had.  It helps me to NOT have to breathe into a bag to prevent hyperventilating. Hahaha! I’m kidding, well mostly!  This is the moment when I remind myself, Look back with gratitude look forward with faith.” AND I clearly hear Him reassure me of His promise… I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

My only response is, “THANK YOU JESUS!”

Soooo…what decisions are you in the midst of making? Are you letting yourself go CRAZY bonkers as your thought train speeds ahead full steam into the vast unknown of the future? Well, I encourage to Look back with gratitude look forward with faith.” 

And REST in the promise of God. Look closely at it…It doesn’t say I MIGHT guide you. No, no, no, it says, I WILL instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8

So press on, dear believer, knowing:

  • You’ve been given the mind of Christ.
  • He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.
  • He will counsel you.
  • His loving eye is on you!
  • You’ve seen Him work in the past. So you can look back with gratitude.
  • He’s out in front of you.
  • You can look forward with faith!

Side note: I want to continue to exhort and encourage more and more people. God continues to enlarge my territory and he is saying, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2

Here’s the ask:

  • Will you listen to the podcast?
  • Will you subscribe?
  • Will you rate and review it? It takes seconds
  • Will you share this blog and/or “The Real Deal” podcast on social media or tell someone about it? (I do trust God but he’s asked me not to shy away from enlisting an army of His soldiers to help me in this because we are better together than alone)

I DO APPRECIATE IT!  It’s so fun to see what God has done! It makes me want to do cartwheels and hoot and holler, “Yay God!” I’m down right giddy about what 2019 holds for us all. It’s gonna be good, because God is good!

The Real Deal Podcast

What are You Waiting for?

I had put it off for weeks or maybe months, I wasn’t overly concerned but had one thing I was thinking should just be checked out. One evening, at prayer group, a health related prayer request of mine led me to blurt out,” Yeah, I am due for an annual check up.”

“So… Rachel when do you want to have made the call by, like next week? “One of the guys asked.

I fired back, “Sure! Next week is fine.”

Accountability is quite powerful. I knew I was going to be asked, “Did you make that doctor’s appointment?’

A definition for accountability immediately came to my mind:  ACCOUNTABILITY-  “account for abilities”  

Rachel, what are you waiting for?  You are able to make an appointment!  My thoughts spurred me on. So I made it the next day. BOOM,BOOM, BOOM!

  • I gladly sent prayer group this text  FYI…Just made an appointment for my full physical!
  • I had the blood work done a few days ago.
  • Although I am not a doctor, I read the results.
  • Today was the day for my physical.



After my name was called the nurse introduced herself and said, “Follow me this way, please.” Then she stopped and said, “I’ll have you step up on the scale to get your weight.”

“Okay, let me take off my coat and boots first. As I unzipped my boots I began to laugh. I said, “I’m chuckling because my husband likes to take off as much as possible when he weighs in.”

To which the nurse commented then inquired,  “I think I know him! Does he take like his pants off and everything?”

“No, no, no… I just meant that he removes his boots and watch and any coins in his pockets too.”

We did all the regular health history stuff and updates to the chart information.

“Oops! I didn’t check your height. Sorry! Let’s do that now!”


“Five foot two…aaand a half!” as she announced it I felt like doing a cart-wheel because at least I’m not shrinking .

The whole physical went really well in fact, when my doctor was going through my blood work results, she exclaimed, “These numbers are incredible!” As she finished she headed me a printed copy and said, “You should frame this paper when you get home!” She spoke through her giggle, “Girl, you should have some cheesecake!”

As I exited she said, “All really looks good, just remember to make your mammogram appointment.” Oh, boy! Here we go again. 


I took this photo thinking, Well, that’s behind me and it was a great visit!

So let me ask you…What are you waiting for? Is there something you are putting off?

  • Could you clear away distractions and make a forward step now or in the morning?
  • Could you invite someone to hold you accountable?
  • What is one little step you could make today? (Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it…”)

Remember the answer to this question, “What is the best way to eat an elephant?” answer. “One bite at a time.”

If I’m being honest with you I still have many things that need forward momentum applied to them:

  •  Steps I need to be taken to make a manuscript a published book.
  • I have loose ends which must be tied up before I can launch a podcast.
  • I have videos that need to be worked on for an on-line course.
  • I have Christmas presents to wrap.

But let me encourage you to get the ball rolling. Overcoming inertia is the hardest part. Once we get started it’s so much easier.  So let’s be encouraged together! God is working in advance and he goes before us in the things we are to do. (one of my recent blogs was about this.)

Oh, and know this, I am  very happy to report,  I have already made my mammogram appointment for early January.



What’s Your Purpose or Mission in Life?

I scooted out to my car, ohgood it’s only sprinkling. You lead tonight’s study so you need to be on time. As I drove to church at dusk I thought, it’s going to be good to see each other, a nice night of Bible Study. Little did I know, it would be a night my passions would be both fueled and satiated.

abstract art background bokeh

Photo by Nguyen Nguyen on Pexels.com

Passions? What am I passionate about? Break-through in any form.  I love to help break down barriers that impede the path to God. I get a fire in my belly and a rise in my spirit when there’s an oportunity to tear down what prevents us from seeing God or ourselves clearly.

When a person steps into who God has made them to be, they become transformed and unleashed. Once they embrace their significance it helps unlock the door to their mission and their life’s purpose becomes clearer. It’s so exciting.


Back to the Bible Study on “MISSION.” We caught up a bit, then recited our memory verse.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

One translation reads: WORKMANSHIP = POEM.

Stop and let that truth sink in. You are God’s poem. His beautiful handwritten poem. He is the master creator. You are His masterpiece and he doesn’t make junk. He wants you to be you! He has prepared in advance the things you are to do.

Here’s a way I think about God’s preparation in life. Long ago when our kids were small, if I asked my husband to give our child or the new baby a bath he’d willingly do it. He was very helpful.

towels bath bathroom

Photo by Thomas Cotton on Pexels.com


bathroom bathtub ceramic clean

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here’s the thing, prior to requesting his help I had:

  • Run the bath water
  • Set out the baby shampoo
  • gathered the towel
  • laid out the new diaper and PJ’s
  • grabbed the small child’s hairbrush and body lotion


Basically ALL my husband had to do was hold the baby so he wouldn’t drown and simply wash him off! I had prepared everything in advance for the task of bathing the baby.  Honestly, there were times when I’d think… I may as well have given the kid the bath myself.

two rubber ducks on water

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s a very simplistic story, I know, but it illustrates how God prepares in advance what we are to do. He made us so he knows what we are hard-wired to do. You are his handiwork/poem and he has things prepared and He is good. So I implore you, don’t get your undies in a bunch.

Back to the night of my study…

It seemed to become holy ground for me. As women chimed in, we helped each other see the way God has formed us, it was beautiful to witness. We read from 1 Corinthians 12 about the body and how we are not the same. We are different parts of the body with different gifts, all with the same Spirit.

One of the reasons I am on the planet is to help people celebrate their significance and the genius of God in them, so as you might imagine, I was so pumped about the way the evening about MISSION took SHAPE.

close up photography of bible

Photo by Don Milo on Pexels.com

So let me ask you. What is your purpose or mission? What are you SHAPED to do? How have you been shaped by God? This “SHAPE” concept is not mine, but it’s one of the chapters of Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life.  Perhaps you’ve read it. Do you know your shape?


  • S- Spiritual Gifts
  • H- Heart-
  • A- Abilities
  • P-Personality
  • E-Experiences

Think about your SHAPE. Whether you do extensive work to write down, reflect and pray or only have time for a cursory glance here, it won’t change the fact that you have been shaped, by God, on purpose for a purpose.

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, whether you play an instrument or make spreadsheets, whether you have the gift of wisdom, teaching, or hospitality, all of your days and painful experiences help define your purpose. You are shaped on purpose for a purpose.

There never has been anyone on this planet like you and there never will be again. You are uniquely created by God. You are His poem, His masterpiece! The way you are shaped helps define more clearly your purpose and mission.

Since I love to help people celebrate their significance and the genius of God in them, I was LIT UP and thrilled the other night.  I was among world changers! Check out who was seated with me:

  • A comedian and compassionate helper of the weak.
  • A sold out university student resolved to follow Christ and call her generation to holiness and to be the best version of herself.
  • A nurse who wears, like Jesus,”the towel” of a servant with style.
  • A wise teacher who ignites people’s hunger for God’s word as they learn to feed on the word of God themselves.
  • A woman sent by the Holy Spirit to the masses.
  • a children’s author called to implore others to “cease striving” and rest in God’s faithfulness.

The key is our memory verse. Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

We’re NOT all alike! That’s the beauty of the way God designed the body. Know this!  I celebrate your significance and the genius of God in you!

So go out BOLDLY in your shape, living your life on purpose!

I Corinthians 12:4-27 for your consideration:

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.

There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.

God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.
The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.
10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.
11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.
13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part!
20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.
21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen,
24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.
26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 



We are Wired for Connection

I have had a rich week. I am super relational, a true people person, and I know that about myself. I will choose people over tasks anytime. This week has been quite unusual though because it was people packed.

We are all wired for connection and we need it for many reasons and I believe it’s  beneficial for the soul. Of course, it’s important to rest and practice silence and solitude, too and I practice those disciplines as well.

Yet I am equally convinced people are in desperate need of human connection because we are wired for it. But many people aren’t aware of how isolated they have become. Isolation is a strategy of the enemy of our soul and its so insidious.

One connection was with my dear friend Dana. I was eager to meet for a face-to-face conversation. We devised a plan to meet at a local coffee shop I had suggested. Dana leads a full life and I hoped that she remembered our plans.  So, before heading out, I texted her to confirm and warn her that I may be a tad late. This is the text string:

fullsizeoutput_95d5 I arrived a few minutes before she did so I grabbed a seat in the back, where we could visit comfortably. I laughed because when she sat down we chatted only for a couple of seconds before Dana, who is hyper aware of her surroundings, got distracted.  We have that in common. I mean that in a good way. Dana is amazing at room decor and making the environment beautiful and pleasing.

She was distracted for a few minutes as she looked around and drink it all in. I made her laugh when I told her she was as flighty as me!  SQUIRREL!

She quickly spun her head around to canvas the walls and saw a few things I had missed. “Oh, boy!  Look at those up there!” She exclaimed.

“Oh, golly I didn’t even notice those three and I’m usually pretty observant.” I admitted.4k+piDrVQB2wBjmjiyVUqQ

We reconnected right off the bat and rattled away as we shared life stories. We talked about the real stuff, ” Sorry, to interrupt you Dana, I’m planning to lauch a podcast and it is going to be this kind of stuff…conversations and interviews and may have portions of some of my talks from time to time. I told her the title and said, “I’m going to want to interview you for sure.”

“Oh, “Rache,” she said through laughter, “I’d probably be better off if I didn’t know we were recording!”

She took a sip of her coffee and eyeballed me a second. I scooped up my phone to snap this shot because she is so dear to me. (I didn’t know until later I’d blog and use it.)


We covered:

  • hormones
  • birthdays and aging
  • social media
  • God’s faithfulness and surprises
  • husbands
  • grown children
  • dear mutual friends
  • our upbringings
  • ministry
  • vacations
  • dreams
  • decorating

It didn’t matter to us that there were two ladies in close proximity, nor an elderly couple who later took their spot. We also had two mama’s with three pre-school boys who ate their macaroni and sandwiches at the booth a foot from us. It didn’t even phase us we just talked above their high-pitched voices and weren’t bothered by their constant activity. We basically closed that back section of the shop down.

It was a beautiful connection. Connection is essential. We are wired for it.

So in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.  Proverbs 17:17

Dana has been such an encouragement to me in my life, ministry and during hard trials in life too. I sometimes begin my texts to her this way: Hey, Barnabas! She is one of many, who play the role of Barnabas, an encourager, in my life and I am incredibly grateful.

Because we are wired for connection and life gets busy, let me challenge you to call or text someone now. Set up some meetings next week with a few different people. Make sure your “meeting” has no agenda, just be together, simply catch up on each other’s lives. You’ll both be glad you did. Sometimes someone just needs to initiate.

To prove the “SQUIRREL!”easily distracted thing I mentioned earlier, I was mid sentence when Dana’s brow crinkled a bit, she squinted briefly and gasped. “There are acorns on your chair! Look behind you. See ’em?”

She was right. Two acorns adorned the chair I was seated in. “Stay put, I’m gonna take your picture” she demanded.

IMG_4354Because the chair was topped that way, she curiously investigated the bottom of the upholstery to see what kind of legs my chair had. I lifted the skirted pieces to expose the legs. She discovered, “Oh, well they’re just normal wooden ones.”

We had a ball together! We showed our photos of places we’d been. We testified of the ways God had been blessing us with serendipitous moments and the personal ways He has been revealing Himself lately.

After we thanked God for His goodness and the gift of friendship, the barista took this photo at our request. The minute she snapped the photo I knew what I wanted to blog about. I want to blog about how we are wired for connection. 


We hugged and I headed to my car. As I began to fastened my seat belt, I noticed the clock. It read 2:00! WHAT? 

My seat belt went CLICK and my phone went DING as I received this text from Dana:


We are wired for connection for sure! So how about you? May I reiterate my earlier suggestion? How ’bout you jingle someone’s line and see if they’d like to get together. Your week needn’t be as people packed as mine, but your life will be richer with human connection, I’m convinced of it. Go ahead, you can be the one who initiates.

BTW: You could also check out Dana’s amazing things on her website: https://burlychic.comI plan to connect with her sometime soon, Lord willing, when I get the podcast going and you can listen in on our conversation. Stay tuned!