Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alcoholic? Me? Set Free!

Marijo several years after coming to the Lord

We drank while rafting, we drank while dancing, we drank with meals, we drank while hiking, we drank and played games, we drank and barbequed.  That was just our group.  Jim was one we worried about.  Jim was an alcoholic and passed out while playing the piano or in someone’s front yard and didn’t remember how he got there. The rest of us, well, WE didn’t pass out.

When we were broke we bought gallons of Red Mountain wine and had wine coolers.  When we were not broke we drank Bacardi 151 and coke and made mai tais, daquiri’s and ice cream with kalaua and brandy in the blender for desert. We drank when we smoked dope to cool our throats. We drank to celebrate, to relax, because the fruity stuff tasted good and to party.

Somewhere in there I began to get glimpses of who I was and how my tongue sliced up those I loved when I was drinking.  The next morning I would hate myself.  I worked PM shift as an RN – came home and would down a bottle or two of strawberry wine to unwind and relax.

My sister wrote me a 9 page letter, wow, some family news!  She never writes!! WRONG, it was about Rapture and Tribulation, 9 pages.  A nurse’s aide at work kept sharing about their church with me. My sister visited.  She had really changed. She was 2 years younger but you would never guess that before.  She wasn’t bossy and self centered anymore – hum….. I was an atheist If God existed I’d have to “mind” him, wouldn’t I? I wanted to “do my own thing” but I always went over that line I had drawn in the sand for myself. Never mind, God couldn’t exist with the mess the world was in.

Pretty soon life seemed kind of glum. I was messing up with my husband and family and best friends . I was hurting people I was supposed to care about the most, drinking more.  One day before work I was in the bath tub.  Having a conversation with the God I didn’t believe in. “well, if you ARE there please help me, I am making a mess of my life, please take over because I have been doing a terrible job etc.”  It finally came to my attention that the tub water was stone cold and I found out I had been in there over an hour and a half talking to the God I didn’t think existed.  I sensed a peace and a heaviness lifting off me.

I began to go to a Bible study with the nurse’s aide. I was still doing Transcendental meditation and drinking heavily. My husband suggested doing a week without drinking. As had happened before when we tried this, we’d make it about a day and a half and then think up something to celebrate and out would come the alcohol again.

We were going to our best friends’ house for dinner and of course we took wine.  I knew by then that if my lips tingled or I started talking fast I had too much and that was a sin.  All day long the word “fast” had been coming to me.  I knew what that meant medically (and should have listened) but not a Biblical fast.  I really memorized that scripture about a little wine being good for your stomach and determined to have one small glass that night. Well, the cork wouldn’t come out of the bottle.  This was nothing new and you just had to take an ice pick and poke it through and usually the cork popped down OR in worst cases you could dig the cork out, bit by bit, with the pick.  Nothing worked.  This had never happened before.  Well, I was creative and broke the top of the bottle off and strained it through a dish towel so no one got glass in their wine.  One glass. Hum.  Had one and pretty soon I was having another, then my lips tingled and I was gabbing really fast and I knew that I had hurt the Lord.

SO, I had dialogues with the pastor about a little wine being good for my tummy.  I had prayer at the altar with the Body praying with me. I quit.  No DTs. No turning back. No meetings.
Each time I went to the grocery and saw the wine I drooled.  My then husband didn’t quit and would have me pour him a glass of my favorite wine. It was torment. I finally prayed that the Lord would make a glass of wine as appealing as a glass of milk. I hated milk and was allergic to it to boot.  I made it through the holidays without drinking.  Someone bought me a bottle of FREE (alcohol free wine) I had a glass and felt my lips tingling then read the fine print – it has some alcohol, less that 1%, but my body could tell that.
Soon I was pouring my husband a glass of my favorite wine and some dribbled on my thumb, I automatically licked it – yuck, it was terrible. Then I remembered my prayer and the Lord had answered it! It was terrible like a glass of cold milk!!!

Pretty soon I felt impressed to quit cooking with cooking wine, the salted kind so you couldn’t drink it. I dumped it down the sink after I felt the Lord saying “is the cooking wine really necessary?”
The Lord Jesus Christ pulled me feet first out of a bottle and has kept me out for close to 34 years now. HE is able! HE is faithful!

HE has done great things. in Hawaii at my parent’s church I wanted to take communion.  I was praying to know if it was wine or grape juice. A little Japanese lady right in front of me stood up and hollered “the wine is on the inside and the grape juice on the outside”.  My mom told me later that little lady had never said a word in church and mom was blown away that she would get up and yell during the middle of the service.  I was totally moved. That was in answer to my prayer and I was able to take communion without getting back into even that little amount of alcohol. It mattered to Jesus and it mattered to me.
Another time in Youth With a Mission one of the guys told me that I had liberty in Christ to have a glass of wine.  I prayed and the Lord gave me 3 scriptures, chapter and verse, blind reference and I had no idea what they were.  The version I looked them up in said “I have given you grain, GRAPE JUICE and oil, be satisfied with these…..” And the one about Jesus not drinking of the fruit of the vine again until the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the still small voice inside said “if He can wait, can’t you?”  YES, Lord, with your help!!! Never did I pray about drinking a glass of wine again.

Thank you, Jesus, for total and complete deliverance, Your incredible faithfulness and heart for those of us who ask.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Our granddaughter, Serenity, asked her great grandma how old you had to be to become a Christian. they talked. This 7 plus year old child prayed and asked forgiveness and is joining the Body of Christ - we are thrilled. For those of you who didn't know we had a granddaughter, well, that's another story and we have THREE of them!

The Chocolate Mud Ice Queen Lady

The day of this story looked about like this!

We’d just finished a Saturday breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs and ham when my Tour Guide husband asked “what kind of a hike are you up for today?”

My blood pressure had been acting up the past few days so I told him “a long one but flat”. We typically go 4-6 miles on Saturday, take a picnic and make a day of it. I didn’t want a whole lot of mountainous stress this weekend. Since we live in Colorado ,even our “hills” are mountains to the rest of the country, I should have known better.

We packed up and were off for the drive which would take us to the hike Mr. Tour Guide had all punched in to his GPS.

The day was beautiful, no snow forecast, yes, May in Colorado can equal the white stuff, incredible blue, blue skies with puffy white clouds. We saw several herds of antelope on the way dotting the open fields at the 10,000 foot elevation but no babies yet.

We parked and soon realized it was a bit windier than the weather prognosticators had thought and that wind had a definite bite to it. It felt more like winter that it had for the past 3 weeks. We put on layers of fleece, wind breakers, gloves, sun glasses and grabbed the trusty push broom handles turned into hiking sticks and took off.

“Ah, there is just one up and down hill and then we’ll get to a flat, open space. We need to walk around a marshy area and then, see those trees? We can walk along that tree line for a long ways.”

Mr. Tour Guide has this psychology for me. I would rather not be getting exercise at all but know it is “good for me”, walking works. He has been known to say we’re almost there even when we have more than a mile to go. Sometimes this is encouraging, other times it is flat out maddening. Today I was encouraged that there was only one “up and down”. The wind was biting into my windward cheek so I used that hand to shield my face. I was huffing and puffing up that mountain, right, Mick said it was a “hill”.

Distraction worked. I began looking at the tall spruce in the distance some pointing their piney fingers over 50 feet towards the heavens. I thought of our tiny spruce in the front of our house, they were all of 18 inches tall after about 4 years of trying and they’d been a foot tall to begin with. Lord, that means you have had these trees here for longer than I have been alive? My eyes traveled to a gorgeous peak cloaked in shining snow not too far away. I was once again impressed with His handiwork and beauty.

“OK this is where we cross the creek, just put your stick in the middle of this stream, oh, it is deeper than I thought. Use your stick to push off and jump over, you can do that, can’t you?” Mr. Tour Guide, did I mention mountain goat is his middle name, leaped over and was on the other side. Once he saw me with my hiking stick in the middle and getting ready to jump he moved forward.

No, he doesn’t treat me like a “girl” in the woods. He treats me like the capable outdoors woman that I am. We have crossed many streams and creeks without a hitch.

“Help!” I hollered as my left foot slipped on the muddy other side allowing my trailing leg to go into the creek. I was sinking! I had visions of my waterproof boot being filled with muck and mud. Did I mention this was snow melt and the creek had ice on it earlier that morning?

Mick flew around and he slipped falling to his knees and grabbing my flailing arm.

By this time my right leg was wet up to mid thigh. I felt that mud oozing and squishing in my right boot as my Tour Guide dragged me across and up on the grassy/muddy bank where he was.

“Are you OK? Do you need to go back to the truck?”

“You know, if I can sit and pour the water, mud and frogs out of my boot I think I will be fine.”

About that time I heard him say something. He has told me I am cute. He has told me I am intelligent. He has given me much encouragement over the years. I thought I heard him say “you are a trooper” and really wanted to make sure because that is one of the best compliments this outdoors guy has even given me. “Ah, what did you say?”

“You are a trooper.”

“Hey, thanks, I think if I can sit down I can get this figured out.”

I found a bank of dirt to sit on, got the boot off, no frogs, whew.

“Here let me have your boot to dry, in this wind it might take all of 10 minutes.” He took the offending sock and wrung it out twice with enough water and mud to make an interesting pot of tea. Darn we forgot the pot.

 “Do you want me to make a fire?”

I have no doubt he would have built a fire too. With the wind like it was that was all we needed so I smiled and told him I was fine, really.

Picture me balanced on a dirt bump trying to get the wet leg on top of the hiking stick so it wouldn’t get muddier and might dry a little. I knew it was going to take more than ten minutes. Boy it was bitterly windy and cold, in the 30s rather than the 40 the weather prognosticators had said. They were wrong 55% of the time so what did I expect?

“I am going to walk around here and look for rocks while you have a chance to dry. Did you bring your book?”

“Nah, that would have been too organized.”

About 15 minutes later the Tour Guide came back and went over to the bush he had strung my sock out on. “Jo, look, your sock is frozen solid.”

“Why don’t you let me put it back on, I think when I am back in that boot with its Thinsulate my foot will be fine, really.”

Looking down at my still wet jeans, covered with chocolate mud I figured it was time to get moving.
I made a pretty good “chocolate mud ice queen lady” but knew moving would be best at this point.
All in all we were there almost 4 hours. I realized that my old, worn jeans had taken on a brand new stature, starched even and then realized they had frozen too.

“OK, I’m done hiking. Time to head back.” This was after an encounter with long horns that were far enough off so we couldn’t tell if they were bulls. No babies around either and those horns were longer than my arm spread. Thankfully they didn’t come closer. I was getting colder and about to begin shivering.

“Hey, don’t be whining” I am wondering what happened to his trooper? He took a rain jacket out and wrapped me in that saying we would head back.

About that time I began thinking that on the way home one store had chocolate Mississippi mud pies which were ice cream sandwiches. That was my answer, I would give back my “chocolate mud ice queen lady” crown and trade it in to become the “chocolate ice cream lady”!

“I still can’t see the truck”

“Oh, it is just a little farther along that fence line.”

I am writing this piece so you do know that we made it back.

 (C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Reigning Ruler

Hike near the house this month

Month of March
Full of lions
Gusty gales
ROARING, raging

No lamb laying
In mountain meadows
Golden grasses
Frosted freeze dried

THE LAMB lives
Lord within me
Master mighty
Healer of heart

ROARING, raging
Not empty wind
Savior reigning
O’re me, my sin

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Reflections on Vonnie's Monday Manna post

Lake near Yellowstone 2101

Let us never, ever forget that we are forgiven and if that forgiveness is working in our lives it should and can work on the horizontal level too, with all our relationships with family and friends, not just between us and the Lord! I think that peace that passes all understanding is directly linked to our forgiveness switch!


Oh Lord, help me to hear Your voice
And to KNOW,
When I ache and doubt and wonder
Let me yield up my praise to You.
Whenever it is quiet
I think I've done something wrong
And been left behind
I claim the promise of Yours
"I will never leave you,
Nor forsake you.
Lo, I am with you ALWAYS,
Even until the end of the ages."
Lord, help my faith to grow
And my trust in You.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Freedom Isn't Free

Rushing stream near Yellowstone 2010

The price He paid was gruesome
Upon that wicked tree
The death He died so horrible
Purchased freedom for you and me

We need to pause, to think on Him
The costly sacrifice made
Praising and thanking Jesus
For the weighty debt He paid

Giving His life for each of us
Spending all He had to give
Crucified on Calvary
So each of us might live

Ponder upon the debt t’was paid
With God’s own blood for you
As Christ was tortured, bled and died
He did what no one else could do

It had to be done by the sinless one
That perfect Calvary Lamb
No one could die for you or me
Except our great “I AM”

So let us not take lightly
This gift which cost Him all
Listening to His Spirit woo
Let’s hear and obey His call.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Be Still and Know

Near Yellowstone 2010


Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus,
These times with You are sweet
Why is it we fail to meet
Each day...

I chase around doing busy things
And realize I've forgotten
The King of Kings
A lot of the way

I know it wasn't "we"
Who failed to sit
But only me
Coming to you hit or miss
Forfeited peace to pay

Help me to arise
Victor over the sleepy morn
Before the day is scattered and torn
Quiet, to sit with You

Waken me from precious night
Replace my darkness
With Your light
While I sing praises of love to You

I need You, my incomparable Jesus,
I need you anew, to renew.
Help me daily to come
And sit with YOU!!

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Marijo’s Schacht Family Brownies

9X9 inch pan (or double the recipe for cake sized pan) sprayed with pam or prepare pan with oil to prevent sticking.

1 C Sugar
1/3 C melted margarine or butter (best with butter)
2 well beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or almond extract for a different treat)

Beat above together until well mixed

Sift the following and add to the above egg, butter mixture:

  2/3 C Flour
  ½ tsp baking powder
  ½ tsp salt
  6 TBSP unsweetened cocoa

Bake at 350 degrees 35 minutes (24 min in the high altitudes) or until they pull away from the edges of the pan and a tooth pick comes out clean.

No photo - will let the smell waft out and draw you in!

 (C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can You See the Wind?

One of our windy, coolish hikes recently

"Can you see the wind?"

You might think that is a silly question. You can see what the wind stirs up; dirt, dust, debris but certainly not the wind itself. Like electricity, we cannot see it but just touch something in the basement that has a short in it when you are standing in a tiny bit of water and you will certainly feel it. As a grade school girl I did just that while going to empty out the washing machine. I got wet feet from where the washing machine had drained out into the floor receptacle. I then reached for the light switch which apparently had a short. I remember screaming “Daddy, Daddy it feels like bad caterpillars are crawling all over my arm, help me.” My Dad ran down the basement stairs confirming that the switch had some problems. I was shook up, but ok, as my Daddy drew me into his arms to comfort me.

The Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus is much like wind or electricity in that we cannot see Him but he is there with power and His presence to teach and guide us.

I got quiet, then heard Him whispering to me in correction and encouragement in His quiet but most commanding voice:

My beloved daughter, My little one, strive not but rest in My presence. You love the wind blowing on your face and in your hair. Allow My Holy Spirit to blow around you, revive and refresh you. Enjoy My peace, enjoy My presence and be renewed in Me. Be silent before Me and know that I Am your God.

I found some scriptures which spoke of wind and showed some of God’s thoughts on the subject. I also had some others about how God revives, refreshes and renews us. Many times His Holy Spirit is the instrument of this reviving and growth in Jesus.

He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants… (NIV)

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (NIV)

For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (NIV)

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…NIV)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for Your many promises of refreshment, renewal and revival.  You knew we’d need those times and have offered them to us in Your Word. We love you.  We need You so much, it is such an incredible blessing to be called a child of the King!  Lord, we know you “do it” all for us even thought at the present time we cannot see you with our eyes, only with the eyes of our hearts! AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday School Kitty II

Tika Marika Thunderpaws alias "Fat-Cat"

Lily can’t catch me
But Caleb might
I’m running away
Will give you a fight!

What did you say
About Sunday School?
Let’s think about that,
Might be cool!

Lily DID catch me
Put me in a cage
I’ll puff my tail
Pretend to rage…

Where are we going
I don’t like the car
Hope for a short trip
Not very far?

I might get sick,
Am getting way too pale
Watch that door
You almost got my tail!

Tune in tomorrow
For more of this then
We’ll ride to church
Not sure just when.

One thing Fat Cat
Will NOT do
Get water baptized
Yuck and ewe.

Stay tuned for more
Coming soon
The Lily and Caleb
FAT CAT tune

“Mommy, Mommy, this is the day I get to take Fat Cat to Sunday School!! Where is that top I was going to wear?  I want those red ribbons in my hair and around Fat Cat’s neck!!!” shouted a breathless Lily from her bedroom.
“Why are you so excited about taking that rascal cat to church, Lily, it will be nothing but a problem, trust me,” said Caleb walking down the hall towards the kitchen.
Oh, oh, something weird is going on around here, I’d better make myself scarce under that chair really fast, thought Tika Marika Thunderpaws alias Fat Cat as she squeezed under the recliner, Hum, barely fit. Wonder when they shrunk the chair?
“OK, guys, we don’t have a whole lot of time. Here’s the kitty carrier. We need to be out the door in 5 minutes,” Mom was ready and trying to get the rest of us in gear.
Show and tell, show and tell, I think duck and hide would be a much better answer for today.  Now if I can just stay invisible.
“Mommy, Fat Cat is hiding, I can see her tail sticking out from under that green chair but I can’t grab her, help me?”
Oh, NO, that Lily girl is trying to rumple my long fur. Why can’t she just leave me alone and forget about all this cage stuff!”
“Come here you pretty kitty and maybe I will give you a treat. Caleb can you get me a kitty treat?”
Ahhhh, FISH smell, well, that’s more like it and I might even come out for that…..
“Here you go, Lily. Yikes Thunderpaws, you don’t have to bite my fingers to get your treat, slow down! Gotcha! Lily, where is the cage and I’ll help you with this walking dustmop”
“Hey, thanks, Caleb.  There you go Fat Cat, your favorite place to be and the door even locks! Let’s go, Mommy is gathering up snacks in the kitchen for my birthday treat in class.” Lily got to “show and tell” since it was her birthday and Mommy made some special treats for the other children to celebrate with her.
“Yowl, murrrrooooowwww, no, no, no every time I get put into this cage we go to that smelly place with DOGS and the lady in a white jacket who pokes me and rumples my fur and sticks things in me…….HEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPP. Yowl, yowl. HISS!!
“Mommy, look how funny Fat Cat looks all fluffed out. Her tail is HUGE! I can’t wait to show her to my whole class.  Maybe Miss Mary can come in from her class and look too, do you think? I am so glad I got to go into the big kids’ class since my birthday!!!”
Mom was busy driving could only catch a glimpse of Miss Thunderpaws but she did look pretty huge sitting in the cage hissing and yowling.
“Come on, you weird cat, settle down, this might even be fun,” said Caleb in a comforting voice as he tried to pet Thunderpaws through the cage.

“OK, kids, we’re here, let me lift that cat cage and get you to your classes,” Mom was thinking it is a good thing we each only have one birthday a year about this time.

Hum, this doesn’t look like that doggie place…. Maybe I can sneak out and find a peaceful place to hide for awhile.

“Mommy, I am glad we are early and can get Fat Cat settled in before the rest of the kids get here.  You’re going to be OK my kitty,” Lily spoke softly as she stuck a finger through the cage door to scratch Tika Marika Thunderpaws.

“Here’s your room honey, let’s see if Thunderpaws will sit in your lap.” Mommy grasped the kitty who had finally stopped yowling.
Oh, boy, now I get a chance to disappear – I think I saw a box where I can hide as we came in here….
“Mommmmmm, she got loose and is running down the hall!” Lily scrambled to her feet and Caleb was already chasing the calico.
Ohhhhh, here is that box, I am going to leap up and hide in……..SPLASH.
“Ahhh, you rascal cat, that is where people get baptized and I doubt that you swim very well, come here!” Caleb lifted the cover and grabbed Thunderpaws as she sunk down into the water.
“Caleb, how is she, oh, my, when she is all wet she really isn’t a Fat Cat at all, is she?” Exclaimed Lily with tears in her eyes.
“Son, I think you rescued that kitty this morning and kept her from a fast trip to Kitty Heaven.  Thank you for being quick thinking and fast to run and get her.”
Ugh, I am all soggy and wet and my glorious fur is a total mess.  I want to go hooommmmeeee. “Meow, meow, cough, sputter, MEOW.”

Do you think we can get back to my class before all the kids get there, Mommy?” asked Lily as she tried to grab a paper towel to wipe the cat.
“Yes, and maybe this time Thunderpaws will sit in your lap and not try for any more adventures!” Mommy reached the door to Lily’s classroom and said hi to the teacher.

“All of this and we still have cupcakes – this is going to be the best birthday ever!”
Thank goodness this doesn’t happen very often.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

What Does Salvation Mean to a Christian

God's glory painted in the sky!

Could I say that life was good? It should have been. I really did enjoy working as an RN after several times of changing majors in college I finally found one which “fit”. I loved biology, science and people. I remember back to the time I was five and my sister was in the hospital for a prolonged period of time. She had polio before the vaccine and before the big epidemic of 1952 and no one was sure how to treat her disease. We came to visit and she was sobbing. Seems that no one answered her call light and she wet her bed, she was then told if she didn’t stop crying her mom and dad would never come to see her again. As she sobbed out her trauma to us it became permanently etched in my heart and mind. This was the main reason I finally ended up in my chosen career of nursing. I remembered and wanted to make a difference for my pediatric patients, one that my sister hadn’t been fortunate enough to have with her nurse.

I was married to a guy I thought the world of but we were partying too much. We drank each and every day. When we tried to quit for a week we made it only a day and a half. Wine coolers, booze in the blender with ice cream calling it desert, mixed drinks loud music and friends who did the same. I was a mean drinker and would zero in to slice up “friends” with my tongue. The next morning I always felt terrible about what I had said the night before.

Tom and I had lived together 2 years before getting married and had been pretty heavily into smoking marijuana too but had quit that when he decided to go back to school. He noticed that friends who were doing any kind of drugs lacked serious motivation in college. He was maintaining a straight A average.
I was a professing atheist. In retrospect I was professing “there is NO God” a bit too loudly.

Our marriage was stressed with me working 6 days a week, all the drinking we were doing and the fact that I became a “mean” drunk. One of the gals I worked with was a born again Christian. She knew not to talk to me about her Jesus but would tell me about her friends at church and what they did. It was evident from her smile and care for her patients that she knew how to love. She patiently listened to me telling her how I thought that smarter beings from other planets came here and did things on earth with and for the people who lived here. They taught us etc. She would always gently tell me that she hadn’t found what I was talking about as truth.

I got to the point where I was really seeking some answers. I had been into Eastern religions, transcendental meditation, astrology, and things which were really into the occult. It came to the point where I was praying to the god I didn’t believe existed. Crying out and telling him I had made a real mess of my life and asking him to forgive me, to take over the control of my life as I was really making terrible choices yet never seemed able to change.

The Lord Jesus Christ met me where I was. To say he changed me would be a total understatement. I sensed a lifting of a weight that had pressed me down for years. I got a Bible and began reading, devouring the Word. Within 3 weeks the Lord had pulled me feet first out of the bottle of alcohol I lived in without going through any withdrawals. I was a serious alcoholic and totally set free. I began to be kind to my friends. My mouth which had been filled with profanity became cleaned up. I quit swearing and realized I had a choice in vocabulary
God began showing me a bit of my feminine side that I had lost touch with for years. I actually bought a couple “granny” dresses at a garage sale and enjoyed wearing them.

At first I wouldn’t go to church but attended a Bible study that the gal at work invited me to. I learned and asked dozens of questions and studied every spare moment.

God helped me to enjoy my best friend’s infant son. I remember spinning around the front yard holding him and singing to Jesus. I was clean and forgiven. Jesus Christ had set me free and made me new, different, whole. I began to get a glimpse of the fact that He really did have a plan for me and purpose.

That was now over 36 years ago. Walking with the Lord has been a challenge and dynamic that I never regret. I am still learning and growing. Coming to salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ is the single most incredible things which I have ever experienced. It was His sacrifice on Calvary which paid that price I couldn’t pay. He is God and sinless so He could effectively die in my place for all the times I had broken His heart. I had to ask His forgiveness, believe He was God and accept His death on my behalf.
Salvation, can there ever be a more perfect love than that which Jesus has for you and for me?

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Softly Spoken Correction from the Lord Jesus

OK, I have both dishes and clothes washing, the kitty boxes are cleaned, cats fed, got breakfast….. time to grab that cut of tea and go have a “quiet time”. Hum, the tea got cold sitting in the microwave too long. Off to the bedroom to sit in the recliner.
Hi Lord Jesus, thanks for the wonderful service yesterday at church. I am so excited that young lady gave her heart to you! Please be with Mick today while he is driving from job site to job site. Give him a chance to share you with someone who needs encouragement. Please keep him safe in the traffic of Colorado Springs. Direct my day, Lord, I really want it to be your day and not mine.
Sigh, man am I on “fast forward,” sometimes I think my biggest challenge is really getting quiet during my time in here with You. The cup of tea is cold but that’s how I drink it in the summer anyhow, never mind that there is snow in our yard….
Then I hear that tiny, still, small voice:
My child, you strive when you should rest.
You bubble over with requests
When you could just cuddle in My arms.
You strive to hear,
When I AM doing nothing but fondly gaze at you.
BE  in my presence so I can refresh and renew you.
Know that I AM Your God
And you are “my people”. Selah.

I am guessing there is incredible rest in Your arms. Imagine that You’d like to just look at me, spend time with me while I hush. Can You teach me even a part of this?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (NIV)

The Lord Jesus is inviting me to come to Him. Yes, sometimes I am weary and burdened and I wonder how much of that is my own doing? He will give me rest but first I need to come. He can’t give me peace when I am busy buzzing all over this house. And I am supposed to be retired. Maybe I can try to rest in that sometime soon?

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (NIV)

It looks like if I yoke myself to my Lord I can learn. I could use some of that gentle and humble in heart part of Him and the rest? See that slow grin coming across my face? Yep, I can use rest. Even at night rest is interrupted about 2-4 times for potty stops.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (NIV)

This scripture is good but rarely do I miss my meals, once again Jesus is issuing an invitation to come with him to a quiet place and get some rest. Would my home ever be a quiet place? It would if I would stop and quit with the spinning of my wheels.

Prayer: Dear Father, I seem to hear you speaking about rest so often. Open my eyes so they might see and my ears so they might hear.  Please teach me more about what it means to rest in You! AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Crazy Kitten

Hooney and the mouse

Around and round she went
Chasing her toy she stopped
For her little cat-nip mouse
In front of the dog kerplopped!

Cautiously she looked at him
A great golden mass of fur
The retriever drowsily snoozing there
Didn’t even stir

The tiny kitten gazed at him
And blinked her big blue eyes
The huge dog dozing there
Was about nine times her size

Cautiously she raised her paw
And sent that mouse a skittering
Right straight into the doggie's nose
That set his eyelids flittering….

Oh, Ohhhh…….
Tika and the mouse

Friday, March 18, 2011


Mama and the colt

My dust-covered legs ached. We had walked miles and miles with the throngs of others. Yet there was definitely more dust than people. Dust in our noses and mouths choking us as we traveled on. 

She was in pain. Her right hand clutched to keep her upright. With her left hand, gripping her pregnant self, as if that might help the labor.

He rubbed her shoulders, patting her back as he raised his calloused hand to knock. 

"Ah, we need a room, the babe."

"Sorry, this is my best season and we have been out of rooms for awhile now census you know.."

And we joined the dust-covered legs yet again moving to another door. He tried again "Sir, I beg of you a place, the babe is almost here and my wife can hardly sit anymore"

"No, we have no rooms"

"But sir, she can't have the baby sitting on a donkey. Please, isn't there some place?"

"Well, even the sheep have their shed; you can go out back with her."

And we walked a little farther on in time to see several wooly-bahs (I think he called them "sheep"). It was only minutes before the baby arrived and was tight-wrapped. I gave him my manger-crib for a bed. 

As I ate the hay which fell down on the ground, I watched those tiny toes wiggle and knew I would never have another dinner this sweet. Then the wooly-bahs and I heard the most incredible song. We were directed by God's hand to join in. I sang bass; the wooly-bahs sang tenor and the angels.. Oh, my. Could you even call it singing? They were singing three dimensional notes that had a life of their own.

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill towards men" (NKJV) The praise, the tangible joy, the anthem never before sung and never to be repeated. We took part in lauding this infant creator of the universe and King! I with my ey-haw, ey-haw and the bah, bah, bahs joining in. What a wonderful honor and night to remember!

Surely they would come to worship Him, those he had been created to liberate and set free. Several of them came, awe struck humans with crooked sticks, who took care of many wooly-bahs. Our unique chorus swelled. But where were the rest? Didn't they know? Did they have eyes of stone and hearts that couldn't see?

Years later I related this night and our part in it to my donkey grandson. He wanted to see this God-man, this Savior of humankind and worship Him. It was not a surprise to him at all when they came and led him away from his mom to be ridden by the Master. This time maybe the humans would see and know!

Many, many came shouting; "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!" (NKJV)

My donkey grandson was the one He chose saying "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt."

We knew. The Mankind Liberator would be known now and we were part of this incredible history again.

Some did know. They came to the Liberator-God to be set free from their sin. But many of that multitude just days later had eyes of stone and hearts which couldn't see and cried "away with Him, crucify Him". (NKJV)

He died with most not understanding, He didn't come to take on Rome but to liberate humans from sin. It was terrible for three days with much mourning and crying out for those humans who loved Him. 

Resurrection! Then, we all saw Him again. He walked and talked with many, and some actually had seeing eyes and hearts! But not so many called out.

Couldn't they know He was God sent to earth to be one of the humans? He came to pay their sin penalty and liberate them if they would but ask? We just did not understand. 

So I would ask you today, do you have eyes of stone and a heart that cannot see or will you ask and receive the most incredible Christmas gift ever to be given? You don't even have to wait for Christmas, you know! He is listening. He is waiting. He wants only to hear your request for forgiveness to give you your new song to sing.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.