“And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.”.. This morning I was reading through Luke when these words leaped off the page and their simple reminder woke me up! They made me smile and chased away the tension that had settled in my soul. The stress from the drama of our messed up world mingled with the anxiety of wondering what God is doing in our life was beginning to take its toll. Thankfully, a walk with Jesus through His word reminded me that all is well! The One who loved me enough to step into this crazy world to rescue me has put all my puny cares into perspective with this good news that forever changes everything! If He can do that for me, I think I can trust Him with my life! (Even with all the unexpected twists and turns!) He is, after all, the Master of the unexpected, as we can see in His birth, life, death, and resurrection!

Earlier this month, as I was thinking about this most miraculous event we call the advent, I tried to put my astonishment on a canvas and into words. Of all the miracles in the bible, this one… God incarnate… The Creator of the universe in an infant… confined in the womb of a peasant girl… this is the miracle that amazes me the most!


A Gift to send

How far would Heaven’s love extend

To bring the shadow to an end

The veil to rend, my heart to mend

Awaken hope and grace begin

To buy me back, the Word is penned

Transformed, His Majesty Divine

In tiny flesh of frail design

His hands that hung the stars – confined

Eyes that painted sunsets – blind

Master of wisdom in a fetal mind

So curious, this given Son

This Holy unexpected One

Turning the tables to make darkness run

Defining love as He said it’s done

Victoriously my heart He won

Lord, I ask, please be my guide

As kingdoms shake and worlds collide

In gratitude an ocean wide

Make this wandering heart abide

In joy forever by your side

I pray that as you celebrate the birth of Jesus this week, that you’ll set aside time to walk with Him through His word and give Him the opportunity to awaken hope as He whispers His love into your soul!

As this crazy year comes to a close, we want to express our sincere gratitude for all of you who have prayed for us! Mike is doing great and getting stronger every day!  Please join us in asking the Lord to show us just what He has in mind for us in 2017! We don’t believe He’s finished with us in Italy, and yet, even with the miraculous news that Mike is showing no sign of cancer, his doctors still want to keep a close eye on him, so we’re praying about the possibility of serving in Italy for 2-3 months in the spring and then again next fall. We’ll keep you posted as the Lord leads.

God bless you all & Merry Christmas!




More often than not, healing, redemption and forgiveness, are found together in God’s Word, as if perhaps God meant for us to see them as one, unified work of His Spirit… As if perhaps He wants us to know that He is for us… completely… mind, body and soul.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless His holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~ Psalm 103:1-5

“The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me. ~ Matthew 11:5-6

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:8-10

Throughout the Old Testament and into the New, God has used physical healings to bring about spiritual healing, to show us who He is and to verify His mission to the world.

There is no doubt in my mind that God has healed my husband in order to testify of His power and love, to the people I love and to the world He loves! He is using it to heal me in ways that I wasn’t even aware were broken – drawing me deeper into His presence – The only place where walls come down and defense mechanisms are swallowed in humility and victory.

We stand in awe of God’s power to heal diseases, and rightly so, but that’s not His end game. Our bodies are only temporary tents we inhabit for a very short time, but our souls are eternal and in desperate need of His forgiveness, redemption and healing.

Most of us can recite the Lord’s Prayer … “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” But do we really take it to heart and apply it? Doesn’t it sound like He wants us to understand that forgiveness is a two-sided coin? We all want forgiveness… we all know we need it, but are we willing to ask for it? Are we willing to extend forgiveness to others? Have you ever faced a situation where you asked forgiveness from someone, only to receive silence or more condemnation in return? Forgiveness takes only a moment, but healing depends on it and true healing may take a lifetime. Especially since true forgiveness is two-sided. It requires the humility to ask for forgiveness, as well as the humility to extend forgiveness. Humility is a pretty elusive concept to most of us. We prefer to carry our hurts with us through life under a pretense of faux humility that is nothing more than pride manifesting itself as self-pity. We pack along our bag of offenses like a bag of stones that we’re ready to hurl at our offender in moments of anger. Then we justify ourselves at the expense of relationships that could be healed with God’s help and a good dose of humility. Humility certainly doesn’t come naturally to us, but it is available to us through the help of the Holy Spirit. In fact, humility is so essential that it was the means through which Jesus destroyed sin’s power over us as He paid for our forgiveness, healing and redemption.

“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~ Philippians 2:1-11

Our relationships require humility to survive. Our spiritual healing requires humility to accept our own guilt and humbly receive God’s free gift of forgiveness, healing and redemption.

Humility is also required to ask for and receive prayer, one of the most beautiful (and un-accessed) gifts that God has given us. When someone asks for prayer, they are saying, “I know I’m not enough, but I know that God is!” When someone offers to pray for me, they are giving me the most treasured gift any person can offer, because, for whatever reason, God has chosen to use prayer for the dispensing of His grace, encouragement, healing, forgiveness, redemption and power. We desperately need these gifts in our messed up world, and particularly in our messed up relationships.

Please humbly join us in prayer for healing, forgiveness and redemption… in our lives… in the lives of the people we love… in relationships… in our nation and the world.

We feel so incredibly thankful as we prepare to leave the hospital tomorrow! To help you understand why we feel so grateful, here’s a post our daughter shared shedding light on the sad statistics for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer…

“Not many people can say they have survived Leukemia and Pancreatic Cancer! Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 93% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only 8% will survive more than five years. 71% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just three to six months.”


Praise The Lord for a Great Pathology Report!

Mike’s doctor just came in to give us his pathology report, “hot off the presses,” as he said. He told us that the results showed that there wasn’t anything except the residual scar tissue where a tumor had been in Mike’s pancreas and that the nineteen lymph nodes tested were completely negative for cancer! His doctor said he couldn’t possibly give us a better report and that this kind of amazing results were extremely rare with pancreatic cancer patients! He also told us that he didn’t have to take out any of Mike’s stomach, so his digestion should recover in no time. He told us that he’d have to say that Mike is cancer free!

We feel so extremely blessed to have all you prayer warriors on our side! We serve an amazingly gracious God and can’t begin to thank Him enough for this awesome news!

I Lift my Eyes









One day there will be a “going out”… a day when our Lord will take us by the hand to walk us through a threshold… a day when we will leave our earthly residence to move into our Father’s house. That day we will enter into a glorious embrace with the Lover of our souls and we will be more alive than ever in our eternal home. He will keep us close to Him where there will be no more sickness, tears or death. As for today, He must have other plans for Mike and I. We’re excited to see what He has in store for us and very grateful to serve Him here for a while longer!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come? 

My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

He who keeps you

will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;

the LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.

The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.”

~ Psalm 121

Thank You, Jesus, for loving us and walking us through these difficult pages. Thank you for more time to serve You with Mike! We love You!

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, Mike’s surgery was a success!

They performed the Whipple procedure as planned and his doctor believes that they got all the cancer. Of course there will be more tests to double check, but today we are celebrating and thanking the Lord for this answer to our prayers! We are also very grateful for all of you prayer warriors and we really appreciate your continued prayer as Mike recovers from the surgery.

Unwanted Pages

In between all of Mike’s chemo visits, we savored a very sweet summer, moving from one event on the calendar to the next – birthday parties, weddings, camping, swimming, Mike even hiked seventy-five miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, but sweetest of all was hanging out with our grandchildren, family and friends.

Then one day we turned the page of our calendar and the temperature dropped. We took our grandchildren back home to start school and came home to our cold empty house and a deepening silence as the leaves begin to fall and we wait for the news that will shape the rest of our story.

For months we’ve been praying that God would use all the chemo in Mike’s body to shrink his cancer enough to successfully remove it. By this time next week, we should have a good idea about how God has chosen to answer our prayer. As Mike always says, “He’ll either heal me here, or He’ll heal me there. Either way, I’ll be healed.”

Either way, God is good!

Either way, we will continue to praise Him!

Either way, His grace in exchange for our brokenness, is still the best deal on the planet!

On Friday morning Mike will check into the hospital and a skilled surgeon will attempt the Whipple Procedure (take two) also known as a resection surgery. “Take two” because this is the same surgery that was attempted in Rome six months ago, but it couldn’t be completed because they found the cancer had spread too far. With the pre-op and post-op this will be an all day event, then he’ll likely spend another ten days in the hospital and eight to ten weeks in recovery at home.

Please pray for Mike and his unwanted (but very grateful that it’s possible) upcoming surgery and for both of us as we learn to live, trust and praise through these unwanted pages of our story.

“If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:19

The One Who Steadies

“When the earth and all its inhabitants shake,  I am the One who steadies its pillars.” ~ Psalm 75:3

I can remember where I was when it hit me… the crushing reality that took my breath away, sending convulsions through my stomach and piercing my heart with unspeakable grief.

A couple days earlier I had been in my high school english class, when our teacher asked us to choose a side. “Everyone who believes a woman has the right to choose when she has a family, come stand by this wall and anyone who believes that she shouldn’t be allowed the right to choose and that terminating a pregnancy should be illegal, stand against that wall.” Only two in my class of almost thirty students stood up for life. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. The thought that someone my age could have all her hopes and dreams swept away by one foolish moment hardly seemed fair. It just seemed to make sense that a woman should be free to choose when to become a mother. But as I stood there with the crowd, something (or Someone) told me I was standing in the wrong place. I had never given any thought to the subject. Sure, I had heard about abortion, plenty of times, but usually in political terms and as a teenager, I wasn’t the least bit interested in politics. That sinking feeling that I was wrong compelled me to look into the subject.

As I sat alone in our family room looking out at the billowing clouds rolling over the beautiful North Idaho panorama that was my back yard, I futilely tried to hold back a stream of tears. Nothing could have prepared me for what I read about the process of ripping an infant from a mother’s womb. The reality of abortion hit me like an earthquake, shaking me to the core of my being. In that moment, as I sat grieving with my Holy Father,  I became a Pro-lifer.

Five years later, my husband Mike and I became parents and I felt for myself a tiny wiggly soul growing in my own womb. I certainly didn’t own her, nor was she part of my body, but as I carried her, she surely stole my heart! She was entrusted to us by our Heavenly Father. What an amazing honor and privilege to care for one of God’s greatest blessings! If people only knew! The reality of this little growing life fueled my passion to do whatever I could to help new mommies know the truth. But what could I do? I tried writing letters to the editor of the local paper, but on the rare occasion that one was published, it was so chopped up that it no longer sounded like the loving plea that I intended. After several years (and another blessing of a sweet baby boy) I finally gave up trying. Whenever I wrote about it, the pain in my heart overwhelmed me. My children needed a joyful mom, so I decided to leave this burden at the feet of Jesus and be prepared to speak the truth in love whenever He wanted me to.

Now thirty years later, we find ourselves in a fight for Mike’s life, along with a team of top notch doctors, nurses, friend and family encouragers, and hundreds of amazing prayer warriors. Again, I’m struck by how odd it is that we fight so hard and willingly go to so much expense to save one life and yet we so easily give up on the little ones who so desperately need us… just because we haven’t gotten to know them personally.

Voting for people who support pro-life policies is, without contest, the one issue closest to my heart in any election season. When I hear abortion statistics, my heart and stomach are sickened in much the same way as when I see the heaping piles of human beings in pictures of the holocaust. I am simply not convinced that anyone in the twenty-first century still believes we are merely aborting lumps of tissues. Biologists know the truth. Doctors and nurses know the truth. Anyone who has ever seen a video of an ultrasound knows the truth. When we de-value life on this level, we are sending a very loud message throughout our culture that life has no real value. This one issue absolutely does effect our society’s ethics on every level. Life becomes merely about self- gratification, self-indulgence and selfish choices because that’s the message we’re sending. Nothing is sacred anymore. Is it any wonder that materialism has become our god?.. that we would rather heap up wealth than give out of our abundance to help those in need?… that we’d rather pass the buck and say it’s the government’s responsibility to help the helpless, rather than helping them ourselves?… that so many feel like the world owes them a living and don’t value their families enough to support them?… that our only choices for the leaders of our country exemplify the self-centeredness that has become the stereotype of Americans the world over?

Yes, I do believe that this one issue may be the reason our nation is in such a mixed up, divided mess. So without hesitation, this is the most important issue that I look at in any election.

God is still the highest authority in our land (regardless of our puny opinions of Him or of what is most important to Him). He alone can steady the shaking pillars of our society! God help us… Please!