Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Tiny Tweak - A Huge Change!

“As for the saints who are on the earth,
They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” Psalm 16:3

Have you seen this common picture representing a perspective or paradigm shift? If you look at it one way, you see an old woman; look at it a different way, you see a young lady.

It’s a tiny shift in your brain, a tweak in the way you see the picture.

God has tweaked my theology this past month. He’s given me a paradigm shift in how I see myself.

A while back I heard someone pray, “Lord help me, a black-hearted sinner.” I liked the phrase and began using “black-hearted sinner” to describe myself. It fit.

In fact, last year I wrote a piece called Grace – it is Amazing! In it, I wrote this line: “Grace is treating each other as if we are all saints, even though every single one of us is a black-hearted sinner.”

My friend Paula Moldenhauer, / a huge encourager of my writing and an incredibly Godly gal, wrote me and told me she loved what I wrote.

But she also told me her thoughts on that one line:

Here’s how I see it: I’m no longer a sinner saved by grace. I am a saint. He has made me completely new. Paul talks many times about the “new man” and how it replaces the old.
It’s just a slight tweak in my theology, but I find that if I look at myself as the new man, completely remade, I have more resilience in overcoming sin as God conforms me to the image of His son. We’re all black-hearted and broken sinners, but when God comes He gives us a new heart - a tender heart of responsive, tender flesh, not hard stone. He moves in and makes us beautiful from the inside out. The LORD showed me I have a new, tender pink heart: it is no longer black.

I filed her remarks away. This month, God brought them back to mind as He has showed me more of how He sees me. I memorized Psalm 16 and whenever I’ve recited verse 3 (see above) I’ve always thought it applied to King David, Mother Theresa and well, people like Paula.

Not so. I am a saint!! If you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are a SAINT. Do you still sin? Yes, but because of what Christ did on the cross, you are not labeled as a sinner, but you are crowned as a SAINT!

It’s a tiny tweak that produces an amazing change in outlook. Think of that picture. No longer am I an old woman; I am the beautiful young lady. I am a victor, not a victim.

When I see myself this way, the confidence of God rushes in my soul and forces those insecurities hidden in the corners to get OUT! I am a SAINT!

And His delight is not just in King David, Mother Teresa or Paula….it’s in ME. And YOU!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pray for those in Sandy's Path using God's Word!

Praying God's Word ushers in the power of God. It's HIS words, right? I put some verses below in italics and then I prayed the words in bold. Join me in praying for our fellow countrymen
facing this Franken-storm.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. Psalm 5:11

Father, Spread your protection over the East Coast today. Cause them that know you to rejoice in You and those who don't to cry out to you.

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. Psalm 20:1

Father, Please be with those in distress due to Hurricane Sandy. May the Name of the God of Jacob protect them.

You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

Father, You are the hiding place that those in fear today can take refuge. Protect them from this storm and surround them with songs of deliverance.

Do not withhold Your mercy from me, LORD; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.
Psalm 40:11

Please, Father, do not withhold Your mercy from those in the pathway of Sandy. May your love and faithfulness protect each one of them.

May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint Your love and faithfulness to protect him. Psalm 61:7

God, I pray those who are inside worrying about this storm will sense YOUR presence. Appoint your love and faithfulness to protect them.

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name, the name You gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. John 17:11

Protect them by the power of Your name!

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked. Proverbs 3:25

Lord God, please give PEACE to those in this disaster. Please wrap them up in Your Love.
In the name of Jesus, Amen!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nothing is More Beautiful than...

Nothing is more beautiful than an old woman dancing

With face upturned to her God.

Years of turmoil and joy blossom into elegant and crooked fingers reaching

For the sky,

For her home, sooner than later.

Her sway is gentle. Old bones and joints need not speed with the

Rhythm to communicate joy. Her body has walked and ran and crawled and inched

And stooped and stretched many a time. The ease of her pace is gentle and well earned.

Nothing is more beautiful than an old woman dancing

With eyes closed and hands raised.

Her white hair a crown, worthy of respect from all. Her smile, the diamond that

Lights up her countenance. That light is a reflection of the Christ who has lived in her heart

For years. He has loved her through battles, disappointments, fears and moments of sacred bliss.

She dances in gratitude, every wrinkle a story.

When she claps her hands to the beat of the song, I want to leave my seat and go to her.

I yearn to thank her for the portrait she’s painted for me.

A masterpiece of hope.

Maybe someday I will be an old woman dancing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's Cooking?

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4:15

You know when you walk into a house and smell something wonderful baking? Take that thought and attach it to a memory and you’ll suddenly be in your Mama’s kitchen or your Grandma’s living room, mouth watering as the aroma tickles your taste buds.

I’m experiencing this sensation, but what’s cooking isn’t banana bread or peach cobbler. It’s me.

Growth comes in tiny centipede steps, unnoticed and stealth-like. But sometimes, you and I can recognize it. It smells like the expectancy of deliciousness for dinner and tastes like a new food you’re trying at a swanky restaurant. It sounds like a distant song a neighbor is playing on their stereo, one you can’t quite place but you know you’ve heard it. It feels like my Chihuahua/pug’s fur, smooth and comforting attached to responsibility.

And it looks like a fogged up mirror. Not quite clear but hinting of possibility and reflection.

To grow means to be intentional about movement in mind, body or soul. It takes purposeful prayer and an open heart. It takes time.

Most of all, it takes desire and willingness.

Too many of us live lives of complacent stagnancy.  And it has nothing to do with occupation. You can be a vibrant and growing mom of young children or student or banker. You can also be a stagnant mom, student or banker.

Realizing that growth is happening is a joy in its own category.  Wonderful and simple.

Want to grow in Christ? Maybe you want a fruit of the Spirit to ripen in your life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Maybe your heart’s desire is to learn a new skill or develop a new habit. You may have an inkling that you need to grow in your understanding of the Bible or in your service of others.


Here’s a prayer you can start with:

Lord, grow me to be what You want me to be. I don’t want to be the same today as I was yesterday. I want to reflect Your Spirit and love more and more. I want to grow and I am willing to do what it takes. Here I am. Grow me.

We celebrate milestones of growth in a baby’s life. Let’s celebrate together as we grow in God’s love.

So what’s cooking in your life?  :0) 

Friday, October 19, 2012

He Could've but He Didn't...

It's Five Minute Friday and I am blogging on the prompt "LOOK" suggested by the Five Minute Friday leader Lisa Jo Baker. Interested in knowing more and joining the gang, go to

Five Minute Friday

I walked my dogs early this morning. I looked up into the Denver sky.

I wondered.

He could’ve made the earth a planet that never moved, but He didn’t. Because of His design the stars are always in different places, each night a new painting on a black velvet canvas.

He could’ve made ants stoic, lazy little creatures, but He didn’t.  They teach us about work and persistence. Ant hills are intricate designs of efficiency.

He could’ve made everything one color, but He didn’t. His creativity demands the joy and variety only teal and chartreuse and burnt orange can evoke.

He could've made weather stagnant. One season all year, but He didn’t. Through the alterations in temperature and precipitation, He reveals to our souls how transformation works so when change happens personally, it’s not as shocking. We understand it as part of the process of living.

He could’ve made us with no freedom of choice, but He didn’t. The moments we choose to love Him and to honor Him as Creator and Friend are moments He cherishes.

He could’ve made me organized, solid, and analytical, but He didn’t. He made me the way He wants me, as an individual. Flighty, emotional and creative.  

And deeply in love with Him. He could’ve made His Son to die for my sins and He did. He made a WAY.

I looked up into the Denver sky this morning and I believed. Again. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Is Your Laundry Basket Half Full or Half Empty?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3 (the first of the Beatitudes)

Noah’s laundry basket philosophy is a mystery to me. The other morning, we had this exchange:

“Mom, I need some clean shorts. Will you do my laundry today?”

I looked at him incredulously. “Noah, it’s Monday. We did your laundry this weekend. There is no way you have worn all those clothes.”

“Apparently I did because I don’t have any, except what I’m wearing.”

Off he went to school, confident that once again, his mother was clueless.

I walked to his bedroom in search of dirty clothes. Sure enough, his laundry basket was full, crumpled up dirty clothes on top. I pulled up the dirty outfit and underneath was a pile of shorts, all neatly folded, yearning to be put in their respective drawers.

I giggled and sighed. “Lord Jesus, are you seeing this?”

Noah and I have this wonderful, painful, difficult, fulfilling relationship. I need him in my life right now to provide joy and lessons on following Christ. God uses him often to teach me about both the tenderness and the pride in my life.

Noah needs me to provide joy and lessons on following Christ. And to provide clean laundry or directions to finding clean laundry in the basket.

We need each other, don’t we? But here is a better question: do we need God? Really need Him?

It’s a question that goes directly to the core of our struggle. Am I self-sufficient? I mean, do I really need God to live?

Many in our country would say a resounding NO.  God is a fairytale, legend and myth.

Many would say YES, but only in dire straits and or in sickness or unemployment. Only when
hopelessness consumes.
Both of these are sad answers; they reflect a world where God is not part of everyday life. When I invite Him to eat breakfast with me, walk with me or go into Noah’s room to look for dirty laundry, HE BECOMES REAL. His strength fills me up over eggs, He gives me goals and dreams as I walk the dogs and He laughs with me when I find neat clothes under dirty ones.

I need the Lord. To be “poor in spirit” is to know we are lacking in our soul. It is to understand my need for God and to ask Him to rescue me from my self-will. Then I allow Him to be real in my life, every day and every moment. Remember the part of the Lord’s Prayer that says “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we realize how much we NEED God, we allow the kingdom of heaven, His Will, to be part of our lives right here on earth.

Noah, who I need so much, came home that day and found his basket full of neatly folded shorts. “Mom,” he called, “thanks for doing my laundry!”

I felt needed and it was lovely. Did I tell him what really happened? Not right then.

Instead I focused on God and heard His laughter in my heart.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Some days, you just gotta let out your inner excited gal! Unless you're a guy, then well, that might end up a bit weird. Today is one of those days I am just happy and excited. What am I excited about? Just life, living for Jesus, enjoying my day, writing my words, conversing with family. 

Goofiness exists in many places. Today it is blooming in my 50 year old heart. 

I hope that today you are just yourself, no one else, goofy or serene, tired or joyful. 

Be you. And I'll be me. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Racing Around like the Father

It's Five Minute Friday and I am blogging on the prompt "Welcome" suggested by the Five Minute Friday leader Lisa Jo Baker. Interested in knowing more and joining the gang, go to

Five Minute Friday

____ Make sure laundry is finished so you can pack
____Go to the bank for extra travelling cash
____HURRY UP and mail that package BEFORE you leave

I am going on a trip soon and so the list of what needs to be done before I leave is stalking me like a starving dog.  I glance at it and race to get that great moment when I cross a task out. The bliss is short-lived because the list seems endless. And of course, the whole stalking thing.

This morning, I choose to STOP. I take a moment to pause and breathe deeply.

It occurs to me that when I finish this list, another will take its place. So why rush through it? Why?

The only time in the Bible that God is shown running is in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father, symbolic of God, races to greet his wayward son in forgiveness.

As far as I can tell, God doesn’t rush around. Yes, He has all those super-powers, but He models the pace that really matters.

The only time He raced was to love and forgive.

The ONLY time He races is to love and forgive.

I won’t tear up my list. For a ADD gal like myself, that would be ridiculous. But maybe I’ll add to it:

_____Make sure Noah feels loved when he gets home from school
_____Ask for and give forgiveness freely
_____Race to love John by serving Him tonight – (Service is his love language)

This list won’t stalk me. It’ll slow me down and help me realize what is important. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

That Still, Small Voice of CONFIDENCE

Me - NOT listening to that voice of confidence!  :0) 

“The thief does not come except to kill, steal and destroy. But I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Recently my friend Loretta and I went to a MOPS group to speak. We have a cool power point presentation to go with our talk and upon arriving at the meeting the leader told us that the projector bulb burned out. She added, “But we could go to the room across the hall just for your talk because that projector works.”

Loretta and I looked at each other.

At this moment, something unseen happened that occurs constantly across our world. The enemy whispered in my ear.

Don’t make any trouble. The moms would have to leave all their stuff in this room and cross the hall. What trouble you’d be making, Robbie. Just do your talk without the power point. Don’t upset things. You want to be liked and this may cause someone to be angry with you.

Without asking Jesus what He thought, I spoke to my speaking partner. “Loretta, let’s just stay in here. We can do without.”

After more conversation, Loretta made a great point. “Robbie, they’re paying us. We’re professionals. The power point really adds. They can walk across the hall.”

This is a tiny example of an attack so very common to every Christian.

Insecurity = self doubt. Self doubt = self sabotage.

John 10:10 says so much. The thief, the enemy, the liar only comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan does this through fear, divisiveness, jealousy and a host of other weapons in his arsenal. His bazooka of weapons is insecurity.

Can you picture it? A host of invisible evil-doers whisper in our ears consistently the lie: Don’t listen to your gut. Don’t take time to trust your gut.

If you are a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you and gives you insight and intuition. He helps you guard your heart with truth and confidence. But the thief wants to steal that. So he constantly suggests to you and me that we should not trust ourselves.

The way to battle is to arm ourselves with truth and the weapons God has given us. Ephesians 6 lists them, ending with PRAYER.

At that MOPS meeting, I should’ve stopped, prayed and listened to His guidance. Period. Instead, I allowed the thief to attempt to steal a moment of joy and confidence.

I agreed with Loretta and the moms had to stand up and walk 20 feet to the other room. Poor women were furious with me. Of course, I’m being facetious. Our talk, aided by our power point, went well.

Today, there will probably be one or more moments when you and I will be tempted to ignore that still, small voice inside our hearts that longs to guide us into the abundant life mentioned in the second part of John 10:10. Situations come up every day in which we need to STOP and pray. I’m not talking about kneeling in the grocery store aisle, although if that’s what you need, hey, go for it. I’m talking about developing an inner conversation. One in which the question, “What do you think, Lord?” is at the ready. One in which we learn to trust our God-given instincts and walk in confidence.

Believe in the Spirit within you and your belief in you will grow. Practice the confidence He gives in the still, small voice and experience that abundant life He offers you today.

Monday, October 08, 2012

It is a Great Day to Praise Elohim!

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

Revelation 4:11

Today is a great day to Praise Elohim, God the Creator!

He created: 

  My Wonderful Dogs, Scooby and Thor! 
Dreams Coming True!

 The Rockies and the Sunsets that Grace Them!
 Friends! Wonderful Friends!
 My guys - John and Noah!
 Simple Beauty!!


Autumn in Colorado! (If you know what kind of
tree this is let me know - it's right outside our condo!)

And one of the MOST FANTASTIC creations of our wonderful Creator: 

It is a GREAT DAY to PRAISE ELOHIM! So take a minute and go for it! 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Five Minute Friday - The Greatest Welcome Ever!

It's Five Minute Friday and I am blogging on the prompt "Welcome" suggested by the Five Minute Friday leader Lisa Jo Baker. Interested in knowing more and joining the gang, go to

Five minute Friday – Welcome

Do you ever wonder about that moment, that wonderful, blessed moment when we get to heaven?

I do. Earlier in my life, I dreaded it, thinking that I didn’t want to consider it because I had so much life to live. When Paul says in Philippians 1: 21-26 that he looked forward to dying to be with Christ, I kinda thought he was crazy. Almost death-wish-ish.  How’s that for great writing? 

But as I’ve aged and fallen more and more in love with Jesus, I find myself looking forward to that day. I don’t want to die, but I’m not afraid to go. In fact, crossing over to a face to face meeting with my best friend, my Lord, my warrior and my God will be better than I can imagine.

And Imagine, I do. In my finite mind I see me arriving to see Jesus first. I don’t notice my surroundings; I just see Him. I start running. Guess what? He does, too. We embrace and I am filled overflowing with a love that I’ve never felt. Simply because of this world that has so much gunk clogging up the flow of real love.

He whispers, “Robbie, welcome home.”

This is when I notice the folks around me. My mom and my dad. Granny. Friends and loved ones who got there first. I burst into tears of joy and the party starts.

To me, heaven is not about the pearly gates and streets of gold. It’s about the face to face reunion I will have with the God of my faith. It will be the best welcome ever. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pum-pum. Pum-pum.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4



The Chicken Heart was getting closer…

Forty-one years ago, I sat in my brothers’ room, the lights turned out and the record player playing Bill Cosby’s “Chicken Heart.” My oldest brother Perry orchestrated the event. He was home from college and ushered his younger siblings into his room to entertain and scare us. For me, it did both. Mostly it scared me, but it was the kind of fear that ended with a laugh.

Last weekend, I took a picture of Bill Cosby as he walked past me to go up to the stage to speak at the Success 2012 conference held here in Denver.  My grin spread across my face, hurting my cheeks and my eyes misted up in joy. It was just cool. SO cool to see this man who’d brought me such joy years ago in a room in Van Horn, Texas as well as through the years watching him on TV.

He spoke about success and I took notes. Basically his message was simply, “Get Up and DO SOMETHING!”

I am a shameless name dropper, so let me tell you that I was star struck to sit and listen to Susy Orman, Michael J. Fox, Larry King, Steve Forbes and John Walsh, among others. All tried to motivate us to succeed through inspiring talks.

But the biggest moment for me was a surprise. On noon of the first day, the emcee announced that in their surveys they’d discovered that folks wanted more spirituality. So leave if you want, he told us, but the next speaker will speak on spirituality.

Dr. Lance Wallnau came to the stage. I hadn’t heard of this guy, but I wanted to hear what the term “spirituality” meant to him. He only spoke for maybe 25 minutes, but I was blown away. God spoke to me and my heart went…you got it…pum-pum…pum-pum.

One of his best quotes:  “When you put your focus on what is coming against you, you won’t win. But when you put your focus on what is coming through you, you can defeat anything.”

He went on to talk about Jesus and the Spirit of God as the ultimate power to come through you. He described a scene from the movie “Gladiator.” The two women I was with didn’t know the reference, but being married to John Iobst, well, I knew exactly what he was talking about. The moment Maximus reveals his identity in the gladiator ring. It’s a powerful scene. The movie is brutal and the bad guy is HORRIBLE, but otherwise it’s a great movie with a strong message about knowing who you are.

Dr. Wallnau’s point was that Maximus didn’t focus on the chariots coming into the ring, outnumbering him and the other gladiators. He didn’t focus on what seemed to be an obviously losing situation. He focused on the power within him and his identity – a general of armies and a courageous warrior. He defeated his foes.

Maximus is a fictional character, but YOU ARE NOT. You are a real human being in a battle. Just as those chariots came out of every door, the enemy unleashes attacks against you and I each day. Insecurity, Guilt, Hopelessness come toward us. Sometimes, it seems overwhelming.

Join me, friend, and do not focus on those coming against us. Focus on HE who wants to come through us with His power and strength and VICTORY!

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that you and I are blessed by God with EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ. WE ARE BLESSED!  Right now, this day, this week, let us rise and live like blessed people, focusing on HE WHO IS IN US!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Guest Post by the wonderful Stacy Voss! FOOD FIGHT!

Stacy Voss is an incredible speaker, Bible teacher, wife, mom and FRIEND! Yes, I am one of the blessed who call her friend. Today Stacy is guest posting on Joy Dance. After reading this, you will probably want more! So cruise on over to her website and enjoy:

Yes, it's true.  I've been in countless food fights.  No place is off limits.  For example, once my hubby and I started blowing powdered sugar off the brownies and onto each other at Cici's Pizza and you really don't want to know about the time we started throwing food at each other at Olive Garden (Who does that?  Apparently, I do!)  My shirt still has stains from the time we launched a full-scale war with birthday cake.  Oh, did I mention it had red frosting?
I can't help but smile as I think about the many food fights I've been in. Each has a story, packed with more memories than calories in a hot-fudge sundae.  So why all the talk about food fights?  Well, remember my last post about Ooey-Gooey Grace? (If you didn't read it, you can scroll down or click here). In it, I talked about 1 Peter 1:13, which says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." What if the grace it refers to is that thing that’s supernaturally given to us right at the moment we're about to blow? What if we let that grace overcome us and then we lavish it on others like the rich frosting oozing over the sides of a fresh-baked cinnamon roll. Ooey-Gooey Grace.
Yes, this queen of food fights has a container of frosting in hand and is ready to go.  2 Corinthians 9:8 says, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (emphasis mine). With this abounding grace at the ready--not grace that comes from us, of course--let's commit to throwing it around like never before. It might look completely different than what we expected, as might the results. For example, the other night my husband said something that hurt me. It wasn't a thousand dollar offense, but it stung enough that it wouldn't go away on its own.  After praying the Ooey-Gooey over my words, I said,  "Hey, that hurt when you . . . "
Allen misunderstood my words and thought I was starting a fight (a literal one mind you, not one with frosting-like grace).  Instead, I stopped and said, "I'm so sorry.  I was inviting you into understanding why I started shutting down on you." It led to a heartfelt conversation that honored each other and our marriage.
What about you? How have your food fights been going? I'd love to hear about them. Just remember, this is about Grace, so please don't bad-mouth or demean anyone as you share.
Happy Ooey-Gooey Flingin'.