Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Michael

Today would have been my husband’s birthday.  

During the three year duration of this loss, I find that every celebration date connected with Michael in any way carries its own set of new emotions. I really never know what to expect.

First of all, I can announce that this year I did get out of the fetal position, and actually get out of the bed to get dressed. I am planning a sleep-over with his favorite daughter, and cooking dinner for his son, and grandchildren that he adored. We are going to celebrate his life and legacy.

Our relationship was far from perfect, but he was my husband and I loved him to the depth of his being.

If you know me personally, you also know that we had a dream. The dream had a name, “High Art Forms.” This was the name of a company that God gave me in a dream in 1988, and did not exist. The dream was to take place in stages.

It has taken 26 years in order for the promises of God to come to pass in my life.  It has taken a village to make this possible – too numerous to name. Regretfully, a large number of them are no longer a part of my life for reasons I may never understand. Truly I am surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.

In the last few weeks the official website has been completed, but I have been hesitant to announce it publicly. The site was developed to announce the dreams one by one.

My first, of a four-book children’s series has been developed into an app, “The Lonely Little Star.”  The bi-lingual app has been approved, and is now for sale in the stores listed on the website.  The iPhone app is still in process.

The challenges to birth this dream have been unfathomable - to the point I have seriously considered stopping here.  Few people knew there was more to the story.  

The stores are limited as to the age range you can list as appropriate.  I opted for the 6+ range in hopes to eventually make this available to schools, home school groups, ministries, etc. since the bullying message is so relevant in today’s culture. In fact this could be utilized for much younger children as well.

One of the main challenges has been in building a trustworthy, competent team. I am thankful for the individual’s abilities that have brought High Art Forms to this point, without all of them; this would not have been possible.

I have felt like Jacob sleeping on a rock, and wrestling with the angel over the decision to progress forward or just camp where I landed… but then there was the dream …last night. I will not attempt to reveal the details here, but surmise it to say, the Lord revealed his heart to me…for the children.

 In the dream, I was weeping and asking him how in the world would the children be given hope? Who would tell them?  Due to the divine nature of the dream, I am re-committing afresh my time and talents to follow this to the end.

In moving forward I need to know for a certainty that I can lock arms with individuals who have a ministry heart. Individuals I can trust to walk step in step, and heart to heart to the end of the ‘orange brick road” in order to reach the children.

In the month’s prior to his death, Michael wrote much of the copy for the site.  In the weeks prior to his death he hobbled down to my studio on his walker and prayed for me and the dream. He prayed that God would thoroughly equip me with the people and resources.

I cannot think of a better way to honor the love of my life.  So with that said, I now introduce to the world, and The Lonely Little Star.”

Happy Birthday Granddad  :’’’’’’’’’’’)
With all my love,

If you do decide to purchase it, I would be eternally grateful if you would take the time to write a kind review.
(t-t-f-n)ta-ta - for - now

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Not Your Expected Father’s Day Message

This is not the slickest picture of my beloved Michael, (not a monogram in sight) but the truest in its’ raw emotion and passion for the God he loved so much, and the company he served for 17 years.

This was our last Christmas as a family as we had previously known and loved it.  The following year began a season of unfathomable loss. 

In twenty-six years of ministry we had the distinct honor of witnessing a fruitful ministry of the miraculous.  We saw the lame walk, the blind’s sight restored, cancer bow to the Name of Jesus, marriages healed, the childless bear children, and people restored to their right mind.

Because of all of the miracles we had witnessed in the lives of others, these past experiences seemed to only magnify my feelings of helplessness, guilt, and inability to stop the impending season of severe pain, grief and sorrow. 

Nothing I had previously experienced prepared my heart to finish out my life as a widow or say good-bye to those I assumed to be permanent fixtures in the landscape of my own little world.

One of the last times I ministered in our home church, I did a teaching called “Giants Have Relatives.” I have to say that was one of the most profound nights of ministry I had ever personally experienced. 

Little did I know, I was preaching my future. 

When you read the account of David, the small shepherd boy, taking the head off of Goliath - you automatically assume that was the end – not so.  After doing an in-depth study, it was revealed this was only the beginning. 

By David closing the mouth  of the giant of filthy lies and intimidation , it put a target on his youthful back from the Goliath’s family…mama – n-em. These blood-thirsty giants tracked this ruddy faced lad into his adulthood.

David’s first mistake…he  assumed that this victory was permanent .  With this false assumption, he discarded the remainder of his stones. In the midst of the admiration of his peers and the victory of the moment, he abandoned his guard.

King David was the apple of God’s eye due to his ability to minister to the Lord Himself, and because of his repentant heart. The fact still remains, he lost his first child, his soul- brother, Jonathan, and  the sword never left his own home.  He died cold and alone.

I am not suggesting at all that you can  suppose to have the same expected end however you may serve the Lord.  

Yes, we have a new and better covenant.  But it is useless to defend yourself or your family if you come under the false assumption that there is still no effort to be exerted on your behalf. The covenant must be enacted – activated with your faith, and your words.

The bottom- line…. Life is going to go on with  or without you. The only choice you have is how  you respond to today.  The past is the land of Never-Again. 

As I reflect on the inevitable changes that have transpired in my galaxy, I have chosen to NOT allow the Giant of past regrets poison my future as I enter the land of “great and brighter promises. ”  For I am fully armed with the promise of my Heavenly Father,  “to be a father to the fatherless, and bring comfort to the widows.”

His love NEVER fails and is not on this world’s time-clock.

It is my sincere prayer, that you would experience an extra measure of peace, love, and comfort this Father’s Day, regardless of where you are on your personal road map of life.

         t-t-f-n- (ta-ta-for-now)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Do Not Mistake Gentleness for Weakness

As Mother’s Day 2014 approaches we mothers often consider what kind of influence our lives have had on  own children. The truth is –we may never know for sure. That is where, not only the repentance for our mistakes comes in, but also our trust and faith.

With that said… out of the prayers and questions of my own heart, I share this Mother’s Day message with you.

 Hebrews 4:15 -Amplified Bible (AMP)   For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

The One who walked on water had to, first, go the way of man – He, too, had to learn to crawl. His mother had to instill in Him the courage to take his first steps.

 The One whose voice carried the authority of Heaven and dominion over the hordes of Hell had to, first, go the way of man - He had to learn to talk.  His mother taught him to speak his first words.
The One whose hands contained the life force of his heavenly Father had to, first, go the way of man - He had to learn to wrap his tiny fingers around his “Sippy Cup”. His mother had to wean him and teach him how to feed himself.

Who taught this child, this man, Jesus, to submit to the will of the Father regardless of the cost?
“Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:1951). Although she did not understand everything happening in her life, she trusted God to make it all clear to her in time.

Mary was submissive to God. She counted the cost. So far as she knew: she would probably lose Joseph; she would become a social outcast; she had no idea how she would raise the Child. Yet she said without hesitation, "May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38).

Who instilled the faith of God in his Son’s pure heart? Mary was a woman of faith. Part of Elizabeth's prophetic response to Mary's greeting was "blessed is she who has believed" (Luke 1:45).Where did Jesus receive the fortitude to bear such great pain for the good of us all?
Where did He, as a child, learn the spiritual discipline that would carry him through his adult life? History indicates that Mary was only twelve years old when she was engaged to Joseph and thirteen when she gave birth to Jesus.“The Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40). Jesus’ knowledge and wisdom would certainly be partly due to the training Mary provided during those early years. By the time Jesus was 12 years old, He was able to amaze the scholars in the temple with His ability to discuss the Word of God (Luke 2:46–47).

Where did he learn about the great powers of God?
Where did he learn to respect the anointing of ministry?

Mary said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5)...
Who taught the One who could have called 10,000 angels the reality and  amazing power of angels?

It was during Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy that an angel appeared to Mary, who was living in Nazareth. Although she was “betrothed,” or engaged, to Joseph, Mary was still a virgin (Luke 1:34). The angel said to her:

“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women! . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. . . . The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” 

Where did the Son of God walking on this earth as a simple carpenter, learn to navigate the harshness of this worldly existence?

Who taught this humble servant  of God to continue his mission,  regardless of the pain and suffering he would endure?
With every drop of blood from our Savior’s brow, , He was counting the cost of his ultimate choice. Undoubtedly, as Jesus, the man, was writhing in mental anguish in the dust of Gethsemane – his mother was home engaging in a battle of her own praying for her child. How was he able to choose God’s will over his own?
Jesus gained the strength to handle the unfathomable pain, disappointments, rejection and offenses that would be his constant companions from his gentle, blameless mother. Scripture does not define what Mary's dreams for herself and her son may have been. 
When and how did the sinless Son of God come to understand that the favor and call of God would come along with false accusations, and betrayals? Where would He muster the strength to endure for the  ultimate victory of the cross?

He was a man well acquainted with grief and sorrow –It was Jesus mother, Mary, who paved the way for his heart to surviveLuke 2:30-35
This child marks both the failure and
    the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
    the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
    as God reveals who they really are.
Who taught this perfect, Sacrificial Lamb to rise above the offenses and persecution in to fulfill the ultimate purpose of his life - to die so that we may live?

Proverbs 22:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.

           t-t-f-n- (ta-ta for now)

Friday, May 9, 2014

As Sponge Bob says, "IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT DAY!" (Repeat Performance)

This week-end is not only Mother's Day, but the three year Anniversary of Modern Orange. I posted on someone's Face Book page that many things can change between the starting gate and the finish line. On November 11th, 2011 the love of my life and #1 fan left this world to be with the Lord. I thought of attempting to write different Anniversary Blog, but somehow this seemed more fitting. Some things bear repeating...some left-overs taste better the second time around.

WELCOME BACK DEAR FRIENDS! The measure of success of any great blog is determined by the number of committed followers. Please consider following this blog and sharing with me your comments. I value your input.


If you are reading this blog, then for sure, you must have some idea of what an ordeal it has been to get this tiny piece of my world into yours. Believe it or not, many, many years of intercession have been necessary for this to take place. Disappointingly, my best cheer leader, my best friend, and my spiritual mentor of 23 years went home to be with the Lord on February 18th, 2010. Two days after my birthday.

The only way my heart can endure the loss is to know she can pray even more fervently for my dreams linked arm in arm with HER spiritual mentor, Jesus the Christ.

In the last several years of her life she confided to me that she wondered if her prayers really made any difference. I, for one, am her living proof.

"What's the big deal about a blog"? This project has been a reflection of my life. It is time for this caterpillar to be transformed into God's original design - a butterfly. I am thoroughly convinced the body of the caterpillar is a disguise hiding the beautiful things to come. No one really pays attention to a caterpillar - they appear too round, too many legs, and too clumsy. A pretty absurd creature if you really think about it. But alas, deep within its heart.....the caterpillar carries a secret. As we get to know each other more intimately, I will trust you with more and more pieces of my heart, my dreams and my secrets.

I was somehow fooled into believing that the most challenging years of my life were behind my husband and me. The Lord totally restored our failed marriage in 1988. We have experienced many triumphs and much heartbreak. But now, we were finally on course to fulfill the biggest dreams of our lives- the deepest desires of our hearts - relocate closer to our children and grandchildren.

Not so. Several months ago the love of my life was diagnosed with breast cancer, a rare diagnosis for a man. Not only rare, but in our case, a total surprise! My husband is a big healthy man, with a big voice, big feet, a big heart, and a big call of God on his life.

Needless to say...our applecart has not only been turned over, but the big fat wheels have fallen off! This past week he has undergone surgery, and as we speak, we are still awaiting test results.

I WANTED TO SCREAM! WHAT'S UP WITH THIS GOD! NOT NOW! NOT EVER! DEV-U-U-G-G-H-H-H-STATED! Did I mention I was devastated? Even the high road sometimes has potholes and can become slippery when wet.

The seemingly, "bullet proof and invincible " power couple that has prayed 22 years for everyone else's problems and healing , career  Agents, who have filed cancer claims for multitudes of clients, were now filing their own. Few people understand the battles we have been through to still be able to put our shoes under the same bed.

I have felt like an emotional yo-yo. Up - down - up - down - tied in knots. All of the promises of God, the love, prayers of family and friends, and my whacky sense of humor has been the buoy that has kept me afloat. I have laughingly compared myself to Sponge Bob in one of my favorite episodes. He starts crying and his eyes turn into sprinklers watering everything and everybody in his path.

Soooo - all this to say - it has become even more important and more urgent that my husband share in the dreams he has so lovingly allowed me to pursue. Sunday night May 9th, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m. we hit the publish button for my blog, MODERN ORANGE. My prior blog rehearses all the drama pertaining to this.

Immediately after MODERN ORANGE became official, my husband grabbed my hand and says, "Come on! I've got something to show you!" Hurriedly, he rushes me down the hall into the kitchen

(which could be a blog unto itself).

I nearly lost my breath! I really, really did resemble Sponge Bob more than ever!

Right there in the middle of the table, next to my orange Mother's Day roses, was an adorable birthday cake, decorated with my favorite orange color, and a single burning candle.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY MODERN ORANGE", written in cursive across the top.

Bobbing up and down in the air was a brightly colored "CONGRATULATIONS" mylar balloon.The balloon was attached by orange ribbon to a chilled bottle of Sparkling Grape Juice!
To top it off...a musical card in almost life-size proportions was my friend, SPONGE BOB!

Making a special appearance to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to MODERN ORANGE!

I could not have said it better! Sponge Bob ends his rendition of the happy birthday tune as only he could by singing..."THE BEST DAY EVER!".

My husband and I ate birthday cake at midnight, savoring every bite. We laughed and cried all at the same time. Both of our sprinklers had been turned on!

Psalm 34:8 The Message: Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see-how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.

                               t-t-f-n (ta-ta for now)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lessons Learned From the Class of 2013 (Part 2)

When you have experienced a difficult year, the temptation is to cover yourself with camouflage in hopes the New Year cannot determine your whereabouts.  The truth is....that is not what you really want. Truly - HOPE does spring eternal.

Continuing on with Lessons Learned From The Class of 2013 (Part 2):

I have learned that I will NEVER stop praying for the healing of others up until the very last breath - whichever one comes first - theirs or mine.

I have learned that your hope, joy, peace can be built on none other than Christ alone.

I have learned to embrace the flawed parts of my life; body and soul.  For that is the sum total of what Christ deemed worthy to purchase with His life.

I have learned that facing my failures have not only become my credentials for ministry or the stepping stones to a different outcome for my future, but the pathway for deliverance (if heeded) for others. Jesus said those I have forgiven much - love me much and that is a fact!

Once you deal with the bitter - your capacity for the sweeter becomes enlarged.

I have learned that FEAR IS THE ULTIMATE LIAR, and offences keep you frozen in time.

I have come to terms with the fact that the "Word" is like a fire shut up in my bones!

Sadly, I have also learned that there are just some things that simply are NOT to be resurrected. There is rest in trusting God's ways are higher than our ways.

I have learned that being alone does not necessarily make you desperate or lonely.

I cherish my sense of humor as part of my heritage - along with the gray hair. The gray hair is proof positive that I survived another year. The sense of humor has served me well as a life preserver.

I have learned the true power of the blessing and covenant relationships.

I am thankful to discover that I can bring beauty and organization into chaos - I can perceive value in what others may deem worthless, broken or beyond repair.

Probably one of the biggest life lessons I have learned in this year's class...murmuring and complaining transforms the ground beneath you into quicksand.  It is then possible for you to lose your life stuck in one spot.

As I close...I was seeking the Lord as to how I should begin the New Year. Although, I had no one to kiss at the closing of the old year and the beginning of the new - I felt a surge of hope. I felt the Lord instructed me to stay up and turn on my front porch lights as if I were expecting a new friend.


Lessons Learned From the Class of 2013 (Part I)

After reading others New Year's comments from what they had learned this past year, I was motivated to complete my own notes in the form of a Blog.  If for no other reason, as a measuring stick as to my own progress or lack thereof this past twelve months. So here are this year's class notes:

I do not shrink from issues that are what I judge to be battle worthy. If it is something I am passionate about, if necessary, will lead the charge knowing full well there could be a high price tag that accompanies this choice.

I am well aware that my passions often lead me to be outspoken. I also am acutely aware that the gifting the Lord has placed within me sometimes gets turned wrong side out! I am also acutely aware that the enemy of my soul would love to place a "Gag Order" over my mouth. But my passion for truth, justice, protection for those I cherish deeply, and the fear of the Lord keeps the words coming.

I have learned that if you allow the fear of man or need of approval to dictate your life - your dreams and aspirations could end up being the dash on your tombstone between the dates of your birth and your death. At the age of 102 you could still be sitting on the curb of "I wish" with your bags packed as your "What could have been" waves as it passes you by.

I have discovered the people that have judged me the harshest are also the same people who never bothered to call or come by for "The rest of my story."  At the same time, I discovered the Lord has healed my heart to the point I can still love, forgive when I "do" know "ALL of the rest of the story."  There is a time to be silent - and there is a time to speak.

It is difficult at best to operate with any part of your body in a sling - especially, your heart. I have discovered that you can completely be transformed but, still walk with a significant limp.  As ugly as they are, and sometimes disfiguring, scars are necessary.

As perfect as Jesus was - His battles produced scars as an ever present reminder of His triumphant victory. It is our Adamic nature that would seek to cover our wounds under a cloak of shame when in fact; they should be worn as medals of Honor.

After these so many years, I am still a dreamer. Your age nor circumstances does not determine your ability to conceive and produce the desires of your heart or the plans God has foreordained for you. Lest you need a reminder, revisit the story of Sarah and Abraham.

I have been reminded that relationships are much like shadows - some are stronger and more apparent.  Others fade or disappear altogether depending on the position of the light. You must be willing to purge and let things/people go.  In the 'process of time' all things fade - with the exception of the love and truth of God's Word.  His promise to never leave you nor forsake you is ever present.

Often times the bad things that have happened in our lives and those we love ultimately serves as the components and ingredients for the recipe of our life - Romans 8:26-28 (MSG) "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."

(to be continued).....  ta - ta - for now