Online Bible Study

Online Bible Study

Sunday, April 6, 2014

To the Woman Behind Me in Line at the Grocery Store

My daughter-in-law showed me this article when we get back from Busch Gardens yesterday.  I think she thought I'd love it; however, I'm not sure she can fully understand why I did.

Here's the article:

If you have ever been in a difficult situation (whether it be financial or personal), and people show up to help (in ways you could have never imagined or expected), you can relate to this story.  As a matter of fact, you will NEVER forget YOUR story.  And when you read stories like this, your mind will return to that place/time/memory in your own life and you will feel those same emotions.  (At least I pray you will - I pray someone was there for you too!)

I am so thankful for the numerous people God placed in my path over the years.  When I stop to think about who they were (aside from family and co-workers I have a very special bond with), they all lead to one common denominator:  Northside Christian Church.  I have been touched in so many ways by so many members, I can't begin to list them all!  Some offered prayers, some offered money, some offered friendship, some offered song, some offered leadership, some offered the opportunity to grow, the list goes on and on and on....

Is every member of our Church body Christ like?  Probably not.  Is every member perfect?  No, not one!  Have my feelings ever been hurt by members of Northside?  Yes.  Has satan used my pain to trick me and keep me from attending?  You bet he has!  But I am so thankful JESUS keeps sending me back; so I can be filled again!  I am so thankful.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Biggest Compliment I've Ever Been Given!

One day last week, during a lunch break, I entered the kitchenette in our building and was met by two kind gentlemen who work in another department. I don't remember when or why (what sparked the conversation), but I had a nice lengthy conversation with one of the men a few months ago about family, marriage and children.  It was such an enjoyable conversation, leaving me grateful for our chance meeting.  Every time I'd seen him since that day, I was excited to greet him!

Last week, when I saw him, the three of us began to chat about life "stuff," when he turned to the man next to him and said, (I don't remember his exact words, but cherish his intent) this lady is different.  She is always kind and friendly; what you see is what you get.  He went on to say what a rare quality I had and how nice it was to meet someone like me (and that he hadn't met anyone like me in our building).  As soon as the words left his mouth, I began immediately considering them; attempting to analyze WHY I am the way I am.  

I said to both of them that it could have come from being raised by amazing parents that adored me; or from the joy inside my mother (a Christian who walked the walk, not just talked the talk).  I also shared about my Church family (Northside Christian Church) and how LOVING the members are and how you can't help but FEEL and share HIS (Jesus Christ's) joy.  That our Church focused on the Bible's NEW TESTAMENT - Jesus' command to love one another, not the Bible's OLD TESTAMENT - focusing on human laws and judgement.  I explained from our Senior Minister's leadership and genuine Christian walk, how my life had been changed.  To my response, he quickly agreed; as if to say.... 


Northside Christian Church
Northside's cuurent Sermon Series

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wednesday Night Commute around 9:00 pm

I'm quite certain you tell by the photo above, this was NOT a great night for a drive through the HRBT!  

If you only travel through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) during the work-day hours, you have NO IDEA what fun you've been missing!

Prior to August 10, 2012, I had NO reason to travel through the HRBT after regular business hours.  Although my wonderful son and beautiful daughter lived in Virginia Beach, I was doing my best to be a good mother-in-law (by NOT intruding).  However, the evening of August 10, 2012, that ALL CHANGED!  That was the night I became a GRANDMOTHER!

This picture was taken the Night Harper was born:  Friday, August 10, 2012, around 6 pm

Harper with her PROUD daddy!

I made the decision, shortly after Harper's birth, I wanted to create a very special relationship with my granddaughter.  I wanted my granddaughter to know her grandmother, and for her to WANT to spend time with me.  The only way to do that would be by spending lots of time with her to create a VERY SPECIAL relationship.  If we spent time together, she would KNOW how much her grandmother LOVED HER, and she would want to be with her grandmother too!  (Not to mention, the GREAT TIMES we would have together; she would look forward to my visits!)

Almost immediately, I asked if I could come over and visit Harper one night a week after work.  (I remember when my children were little, it was difficult to take the baby out due to the numerous items you need to carry with you to care for the baby.)  I still didn't want to intrude, but hoped this would be the easiest way for all of us.  They graciously allowed me to come and I have really enjoyed spending time with Harper AND Peter (my son); not to metion getting to know my amazing daughter-in-law!

Shortly after I started my regular weekly visits, CONSTRUCTION began on Interstate 64 (East and West-bound) in the evenings.  Now, I agree it is much better to do the raod-work at night (when the traffic is significantly reduced); however, two and three lanes closed at one time is a bit extreme!  I don't care if there are fewer cars on the road, when you only have ONE LANE to get through, the traffic is HORRIFIC!!!!  I hate to admit, I use to hope for RAIN on "grandbaby night" so construction wouldn't be an option!  But no matter what happened on the interstate (or anywhere else for that matter), I would do whatever it took to spend time with my grandbaby!  (As a matter of fact, it's become a joke at work. On grandbaby night, everyone KNOWS to get out of my way at quitting time!  I'M OUT THE DOOR ON TIME!)

As times gone by (Harper will be two this August), the construction on the west-bound  side of the interstate has reduced.  The bad news, it's MOVED TO THE TUNNEL!!!!

I think the next few pictures will tell the story of my commute Wednesday night!

I want to tell you that I didn't see ONE VDOT EMPLOYEE the entire time I was TRYING to get TO OR THROUGH THE TUNNEL!!!!  NOT ONE!!!!

The commute took a very long time (as THE TUNNEL WAS CLOSED when I left Virginia Beach and opened just about the time I got TO the tunnel).  When the tunnel reopened, it was reduced to one lane for construction.  

I'm happy to report, I sang with the Christian artists on K-LOVE the WHOLE RIDE HOME!  And even though it takes a bit longer, there is NO WAY I will discontinue "Grandbaby Night," EVER!!!  I ADORE MY HARPER BEAR!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You'll NEVER believe this!!!!!

I got a little busy at the office this afternoon and left a couple minutes late.  However, I had my amunition in place for the commute home (just in case).  

When I got home last night, while I was cooking dinner, I took a moment to look for something I misplaced.  I came across a book I read a few months ago and thought it would be extremely appropriate for LONG AFTERNOON DRIVES!  I was SO RIGHT!!!

This is the neighborhood I mentioned in my previous post 
(my drive TO the interstate was a piece of cake which can REALLY be a nightmere some nights)

Notice the TITLE of this book!!!!   THIS is the appropriate book!!

Not sure you can see the text I previously underlined in my book:  
Poor choices usually lead to more poor choices, and all poor choices lead to stress.  
(I'm thinking WORKING IN NORFOLK just might be a POOR CHOICE!)

Can Somebody Please Help Me!?!?
(The Confident Mom by Joyce Meyers)

Made it to the Interstate, FINALLY!


Still on the drive home - but on the Peninsula now!!

FINALLY to Christopher Newport University!

Can you see the SNOW?????

The snow is starting to stick a little bit!

I'm HOME and it ONLY TOOK over an hour!!!

Seriously, I enjoyed the drive home tonight.  The music on K-LOVE WAS AWESOME and I was singing along at the TOP OF MY LUNGS!!!!    Some of the songs were:  SHAKE by MercyMe; Let them See You by JJ Weeks Band; This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham; How Sweet the Sound by Citizen Way; One of Casting Crowns fabulous songs; the list goes on and on.....

Plus my co-worker was behind me and we spent the drive sending humorous text messages back and forth until we were home.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Exciting Update on the Commute Home

At approximately 2:00 pm this afternoon, I was reminded (out of no-where) that I had an exciting evening ahead!  Truth be told, there were a FEW reasons why I was excited, but the MOST exicting reason was the evening commute through the HRBT!

Some of my closest friends know I'm a SCIENTIST at heart (Kristy Collins from Kids' Tech University), so the idea of data collection to prove my hypotheses is extremely excitng to me!  Before you get too excited, I KNOW one set of data does NOT a hypotheses prove.  However, it's a START (and that's exciting!!!).

I left my office, immediately tuning my radio to K-Love!  I was looking forward to the time of Worship, but I was also curious to see how the traffic would be (and if I would be in a better state of mind to deal with the stress).  As I approached the interstate, I could see the traffic was backed up a bit; however, my drive TO the interstate was a piece of cake (which can REALLY be a nightmere some nights).  As I sadly pondered the ease of my drive thusfar (although still enjoying the Worship music), I hit the entrance ramp  to the Interstate and found a pretty significant backup.  I was excited to see I WOULD have a challenge afterall!  I pulled out a few articles of interest (I ALWAYS carry articles and books I want to read - JUST IN CASE I'm stuck for a while) in the event I needed them and when I finally made it to the BRIDGE TUNNEL, THIS is what I saw:


I LOL'ed (in case you're not familar with this expression, it means laughed out loud)!  You see, I KNOW God has a sense of humor and this was my proof!  HE provided me with a good laugh!!!!

In all honesty, we weren't stopped long, so this was NOT a true test of my ability to deal with the stress (while listening to K-Love).  But I did enjoy the drive home (and listened to the news while I made dinner!).

I'll continue to provide updates because I know all the scientists can't wait for the outcome!!

(To be certain I was correct, the following definition for data collection was obtained online:  Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes. The data collection component of research is common to all fields of study including physical and social sciences, humanities, business, etc. While methods vary by discipline, the emphasis on ensuring accurate and honest collection remains the same.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Uplifting Old Habit that needs an UPDATE!

For quite some time, I have had a "ritual" for the long commute to and from work each day (through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel).  It has served me well for many years; until recently!

If you are one of my Facebook friends, you might have seen my recent post concerning ANOTHER disabled vehicle blocking the West-bound tube. Even though I normally don't LOSE IT like that, I'm glad I did.  It made me realize what I was currently doing WASN'T WORKING and it was time for a change!

In the morning, I spend my drive communing with God (in various ways).  I dedicate a portion of the drive to prayer, I sing along with Christian CDs or with the artists on K-Love (a fabulous Christian radio station), and I recite Scriptures.  When I arrive at work each day, I feel AWESOME!!!!

However, on the afternoon commute, I listen to NPR.  It is the only time I truly devote to hearing what's going on in the world - which quite honestly, depresses me.

So what's wrong with this picture?  The afternoon commute is usually the most stressful and seems to need some communing with God!  That being said, I think I'll skip the NPR and spend BOTH commutes with God!  I can listen to the news while I'm making coffee in the morning or making dinner at night. I really don't need THAT much news anyway; but I NEVER seem to get enough of God!

Tomorrows the test drive and I'm looking forward to the commute - BOTH WAYS!  I'll keep you posted!

If you're interested, some of my favorite Scriptures for reciting in the car, which I review every day, are provided below:

Psalm 118:8 (NLT)

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in people.

Colossians 3:23 (NLT)

23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Proverbs 8:9-11 (NLT)

My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
    clear to those with knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction rather than silver,
    and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
    Nothing you desire can compare with it.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.





Thursday, March 13, 2014

I was SO EXCITED when I drove in the driveway tonight!

Don't you love when you ask for something (and you REALLY HOPE YOU GET IT!) and then totally forget about it (probably because you don't think you'll get it and don't want to be disappointed).  Then, when it DOES comes, you are so excited and completely surprised?

When I pulled in the driveway tonight, after the long drive home from work (in addition to a couple of errands), I saw two parcels on our front porch!  I had no idea what they were, but it didn't matter - I got excited anyway!  I'm like a child when it comes to mail!  I LOVE getting mail!  AND I LOVE opening mail!

As soon as I got in the door, I put everything down and tore open the packages!  THEY WERE FILLED WITH BOOKS!!!!!!!  I love to read Christian books and I love to write book reviews!  Well, see the pictures below and, if you're interested in any of the books, my review will be "Coming Soon!"

I am so thankful to FaithWords (a Division of Hatchette Book Group) for allowing me the opportunity to share my opinion on these books!  I can't wait to get started....OMGOODNESS, which one should I pick first?!?!?!?!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Whistler Blackcomb

One of my sweet friends took a vacation recently.  I discovered the location of her ski trip was Canada.  While checking Whistler Blackcomb's Facebook page, I came across these beautiful photos by Mike Helfrich Photography:

Absolutely Beautiful Photos!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

LENT 2014

Lent 2014 begins on
Wednesday, March 5
and ends on
Thursday, April 17

Today is Tuesday, the 25th of February.  The season of Lent is FAST approaching and, once again, I am compelled to DIVE IN!  I hadn’t thought about Lent in years, until I started following the ministry of an amazing Church in Washington, DC by the name of National Community Church (NCC) (  The Senior Pastor of NCC is an amazing Pastor/leader/author by the name of Mark Batterson.  (An example of his leadership – this statement sums it up:  "It’s not about the name over the door, it’s about the name preached inside." @MarkBatterson#ilikegiving)  AMEN!

As a child, I was raised in the Catholic Church by an amazing Christian Mother who led my sister and I in the Celebration of Lent.  Wikipedia defines Lent as:  “The preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the tradition and events of the Bible beginning on Friday of Sorrows, further climaxing on Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday, which ultimately culminates in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  NCC celebrates Lent and they motivate ME to want to celebrate Lent. 

I remember “giving up” ice cream (or chocolate) for Lent as a child; the “giving up” of something I loved in Jesus’ name (the self-denial part).  But it wasn’t until I got older that I started to understand what I believe to be the Spiritual significance of Lent.  A time of intense prayer, repentance and study of His Word; creating an unfathomable bond with the God of the Universe.

I am ashamed to admit I have joined NCC in the Celebration of Lent the past couple of years, but didn’t complete the journey.  I start off STRONG, COMMITTED, ON FIRE FOR GOD! and slowly, but surely, give up.  I want this year to be different.  I want to stay committed for the entire journey!  I want follow Lent through to completion! 

I am going to join Margaret Feinberg – committing to read the entire New Testament during the 40 days of Lent.  Would you like to join me (and hold me accountable)?  You can read all about it here:  Margaret’s blog link:

I KNOW if WE do this, we will be CHANGED FOREVER!

Grab a copy of the Reading Guide here:
Margaret will be sharing what God is teaching on her blog #LentChallenge

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Am Abraham

I have had respect for the 16th President of the United States, President Abraham Lincoln, since I was in Elementary School.  I always admired his perseverance, dedication to learning, desire to succeed, and refusal to give up. 

When this book arrived in my mail box, I couldn't wait to open the package and get started!  They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I have to disagree when it comes to this book. This book cover is as beautiful as the contents of the book!  This fictional story is written so well, it drove me to the internet to conduct research to separate the facts from the fiction of President Lincoln's life.  

The story is written so well, I didn't want to put the book down; but with 482 pages, it took me a few days!  I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book-you won't be sorry!

I Am Abraham Book Summary:

Narrated in Lincoln's own voice, the tragicomic I Am Abraham promises to be the masterwork of Jerome Charyn's remarkable career.

Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President.

Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln's life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd, to his 1865 visit to war-shattered Richmond only days before his assassination, I Am Abraham hews closely to the familiar Lincoln saga. Charyn seamlessly braids historical figures such as Mrs. Keckley-the former slave, who became the First Lady's dressmaker and confidante-and the swaggering and almost treasonous General McClellan with a parade of fictional extras: wise-cracking knaves, conniving hangers-on, speculators, scheming Senators, and even patriotic whores.

We encounter the renegade Rebel soldiers who flanked the District in tattered uniforms and cardboard shoes, living in a no-man's-land between North and South; as well as the Northern deserters, young men all, with sunken, hollowed faces, sitting in the punishing sun, waiting for their rendezvous with the firing squad; and the black recruits, whom Lincoln's own generals wanted to discard, but who play a pivotal role in winning the Civil War. At the center of this grand pageant is always Lincoln himself, clad in a green shawl, pacing the White House halls in the darkest hours of America's bloodiest war.

Using biblically cadenced prose, cornpone nineteenth-century humor, and Lincoln's own letters and speeches, Charyn concocts a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief, whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and sons-Robert, Willie, and Tad-is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn's President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.

Author -Jerome Charyne

Jerome Charyn's Bio:

Jerome Charyn is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him "one of the most important writers in American literature." New York Newsday hailed Charyn as "a contemporary American Balzac,"and the Los Angeles Times described him as "absolutely unique among American writers." Since the 1964 release of Charyn's first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture. Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009. In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn's book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong." Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Read additional book reviews at the official I Am Abraham blog:
Tribute Book Blog FaceBook page:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

LOVE one another

As I begin this glorious Lord's day, I chose to listen to a current sermon by Heather Zempel ( entitled Church:  The Story.  Heather leads the discipleship efforts at National Community Church in Washington, DC where she oversees small groups, directs leadership development training, and serves on the weekend teaching team.  If you'd like to listen to this sermon too, here's the link:  I have posted on Heather before and fear she (and others) may think I have become her stalker!  Honestly, I just love her intelligence, passion and story telling ability-not to mention her ministry creativity, dedication to her volunteers/co-workers and loyalty to her senior pastor.  I want to be just like her when I grow up (that was a joke - I am WAY OLDER than Heather!)

As I listen to her passionate retelling of Jesus' Words:  "Love on another, people will know you by your love of one another," I am, once again, reminded of how VERY important that message is!  I love pondering what it must have been like to stand in HIS presence.  I have always thought He had an undefined magnitude about Him.  If you were blessed to be in His presence, you would FEEL his humility, love, grace, mercy and kindness.  To coin a musical phrase, "I can only imagine."

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you may have noticed my promotion of Lisa Harper's latest Bible Study on the book of Hebrews (IF you read my blog, there is NO WAY you could have missed that!)  When I asked (begged/pleaded) to be a part of the Lifeway Launch Team, I was joined on-line to 100 other Christian women selected for the same team!  What a joy and honor it was to participate!  We were united on a private Facebook page on November 6, 2013; I couldn't believe I was one of the women selected.  

On November 19th, I read the following post:

"I may not be able to do as much as I hoped for the launch. Our home was destroyed in a tornado Sunday. Life is upside down but God is good. Appreciate your prayers as we try to go in this morning and salvage whatever we can."

These were the pictures she posted that day

I have not been able to get this precious woman or her family off my mind ever since.  I asked to become her Facebook friend so I could keep tabs on her life as time went by and so I would know specifically how to pray for her.

I do NOT believe in the word coincidence.  Not for one minute!  I believe in GOD's daily involvement in the lives of His Children.  I believe HE put the two of us together for "such a time as this."  (I just heard Heather close her sermon in prayer using this quote from the Book of Esther - ANOTHER God moment, in my opinion!)

I remember what it felt like, a very short time ago, to lose OUR home (September 15, 2012).  We faced the same (yet different) situation - losing our home to fire.  I can HONESTLY say, reflecting on that time in my life, my faith in humanity was RESTORED and I will forever remember that time in my life as PRECIOUS!  I was surrounded by SO MUCH LOVE by my Church family, wonderful friends, co-workers and by individuals I didn't even know.  As I sit in my brand new home today, lacking absolutely nothing, I feel DRAWN to this special lady and the desire to help her feel that same feeling of LOVE - but I can't do it alone!

Last night, on Facebook, I asked for her new mailing address.  I am feeling LED to shower her with the same LOVE I felt the months that followed or life-changing moment.  As a matter of fact, I think I will begin posting some of the amazing stories from that period in my life on my other blog: (if you'd care to read for fun or if you need your faith in humanity restored!).

If you would like to help, please send me an email ( or private Facebook message.  I will not release her information without her consent, but will follow up each time I am asked for her information.

I asked for Gift Card recommendations, this was her response: there are many that would work. Target, Walmart, Kohls, Lowes or. Menards.  We are not picky restaurant-goers either we like Chilis, Applebee's, Noodles, Chick-Fil-A.

The following picture is her current Facebook Profile Picture: