Monday, June 30, 2008



If you are new to the blogging world you may not be familiar with the ASSEMBLY OF GOD BLOGRING. This is a place where you can find many blogs of the same faith. My friend Sharon Hoosier administers this blogring and is doing a great job! Currently, there are over 50 different blogs that are ministering thru cyberspace spreading Gods love and goodness on this blogring. The amazing thing about this circle of friends is that in someway each one of these blogs is associated with Assembly of God faith: either a Pastor, or a Pastors wife, or lay people.

The B.O.W. award is given after being nominated by either a reader or another fellow blogger. I am honored and humbled to have received the first of these awards. My friend Christelle over at BELOVED MAMA nominated my blog for this award and I humbly say thank you!

Please take time this week to check out the Assembly of God blogring and find out what other AG friends from around the world are blogging about. While there you can also read my interview for the Blog of the Week award. Find other AG blogs and my interview HERE!

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement of the writings of my heart!

Blessings, Laurie

Sunday, June 29, 2008

TEARS OF LOVE...June 29th devotion

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: What is most likely to bring you to tears?

  • 37% of voters said that a moving worship service would.
  • 31% voted and said that a sad song or a sad movie would make them cry.
  • 18% of the readers voted that a sweet act of kindness moves them to tears.

We all cry from time to time. The reasons we cry vary. The degree of our tears can also vary. It all depends on the circumstances. We cry because we are in pain. We cry because we are happy. We cry because we are sad. We cry because we remember. We cry because we try to forget. We cry because we are moved by someones act of love.

No matter the reason for the tears, the outcome usually is the same. Tears cleanse. Tears bring relief.

My favorite outcome of crying is the healing that takes place. Sometimes the healing is emotional, but for some of us crying is a healing that takes place in our hearts or a spiritual healing.

Recently, I was reading in the Bible the account of the woman who was found in sin but yet the tears that she shed led her to such a wonderful act of service.

Luke 7:36-48 "Then one of the Pharisees invited Him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. (37) And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house. She brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil (38) and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil. (39) When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, 'This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching Him -that she's a sinner!" (40) Jesus replied to him, 'Simon, I have something to say to you.' 'Teacher,' he said, 'say it'. (41) A creditor had two debtors. One owed 500 denaril, and the other 50. (42) Since they could not pay it back, he graciously forgave them both. So, which of them will love him more?' (43) Simon answered, 'I suppose the one he forgave more.' 'You have judged correctly,' He told him. (44) Turning to the woman, He said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave Me no water for my feet, but she, with her tears, has washed My feet and wiped them with her hair. (45) You gave Me no kiss, but she hasn't stopped kissing My feet since I came in. (46) You didn't anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. (47) Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that's why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.' (48) Then He said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' "

Christ's love and forgiveness changed this woman. How much change had happened prior to this moment and how much of the change happened IN this moment is not clear to me. But, I know that a life changing moment was happening for her to weep so many tears that she could use her own tears to wash Jesus' feet! This was a woman with passion.


What motivates you to tears? Sometimes tears are shed for purely selfish reasons. This was NOT the case with this woman. Her motive was purely out of love for God and a thankful heart for what He had done for her.

WHAT PASSION HAS GOD GIVEN YOU? do you have pure motives as you seek this passion?

NEXT TIME YOU SHED TEARS, remember that our tears can be the greatest gift we give someone...strive to be like the passionate woman in this story and give your tears to Christ in a spirit of love and thanksgiving!

Thank you for joining me for this weeks devotion, it is my prayer that your heart is challenged from Gods Word today!

Blessings, Laurie

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: please take time to vote in this weeks poll, "What are you most likely to do when something takes you by surprise?"

**Come back tomorrow and check my blog for an Assembly of God Award that I am most honored to have received.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THANKFUL THURSDAY...planted seed

"May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation - those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God."

We are starting to enjoy the reaping of our harvest with our vegetable garden. Fresh cucumbers and fresh juicy tomatoes!

SEEDS...are nothing but a bundle of potential! Just waiting to be planted.

Prayer is like planting a seed...God's answer will come, just like the flowers that will eventually come up from the earth. We must be patient, wait for the proper time until we can enjoy the color and fragrance of the first blossom.

Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I give thanks for the things that are planted...

=I am THANKFUL for the seeds that are planted that grow into beautiful flowers!
=I am THANKFUL for the seeds that are planted that grow into trees that bloom and give us shade!
=I am THANKFUL for the seeds that are planted that grow into fruits and vegetables that give us nourishment!
=I am THANKFUL for the seeds of salvation that was planted in me many years ago that gives me promise!
=I am THANKFUL for the seeds of prayer that have been offered up on my behalf that give me hope!

Don't become discouraged if God seems
slow to answer your heart's cry.

Keep on praying, and planting,
and someday there may be a whole
garden blossoming to His glory!

With a GRATEFUL heart;

Blessings, Laurie

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A PIECE OF MY HEART....surprise visit


For most of us, it depends upon who appears at the door. Recently, we had a surprise visit from a relative that we had not seen in a long time. Upon arriving at home late one evening, we found a note on our front door. It was from my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Diane from Wisconsin. They were passing thru on their way to visit New Orleans. They were staying at a local motel for a night of rest. We called them and made plans to meet for breakfast in the morning. Uncle Jerry is my birth father's brother and I had not seen him in several years. WHAT A LOVELY SURPRISE VISIT!

Aunt Diane, Laurie, Uncle Jerry

Sometimes God will make a surprise visit. He brings messages and purposes that we never anticipate. Throughout the Bible, God made surprise visits:

8 God confronted Adam and Eve with a surprise visit
8 God brought a special task for Abraham
8 Moses had a surprise from God through a burning bush
8 God gave surprising military assignments to Joshua and Gideon
8 Following His Resurrection, Jesus made surprise visits to His mother and His disciples
8 Paul had a surprise visit on his way to Damascus

God is very interested in the details of our lives. He still makes surprise visits. To all believers. For many different reasons. God longs to know us intimately.


He does nothing casually, early, late or without purpose. He is in absolute control of this world. He loves you deeply and has a very definite purpose for your life. Never underestimate what He is willing to do in your life.

When God visits, you may not understand the details of His purpose, but seek to respond to His visit like Joshua:

"What has my Lord to say to His servant?" (Joshua 5:14)
When God shows up, you will know that His love is the greatest thing there is, and serving Him is your greatest task. Next to that, nothing else really matters.

Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you

and that's a piece of my heart today;

Blessings, Laurie

Sunday, June 22, 2008

RAIN MAN...June 22 devotion

Thank you for joining us for this week's devotion. It is my prayer that your heart will be challenged by Gods Word today!

Last week, I shared my heart with you about forgiveness. One thing that I have learned about forgiveness is that it is a choice that each of us can make.

In the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, readers voted on the following question: "What would be difficult for you to forgive?" The top 2 responses were...

57% of those polled said they would have a difficulty to forgive someone who hurt a loved one.
35% voted and said those who did not ask for forgiveness, that would be difficult to forgive

Forgiving one another is a choice we make. Clearly, forgiveness is something that we as Christians struggle with from time to time.

Another choice that we make is TRUSTING. Sometimes our language does not reflect that we trust others. We might say, "I can't trust you" or "I can't trust people". However, the reality is that we can choose to trust or not to trust. A more accurate statement would be for us to say is, "I CHOOSE NOT to trust people." or
"I CHOOSE NOT to trust God."

We might make the choice to NOT TRUST because we don't want to risk being disappointed or hurt, or because we refuse to surrender complete control. Not being willing to trust is actually a serious disablility in life.

TRUST IN LIFE IS VITAL! If you got on an airplane, you would trust the pilot and those who built the aircraft before you were about to fly. Not trusting in aircrafts reminds me of the movie RAIN MAN, with Dustin Hoffman, who played the character of Raymond. Raymond could only remember the crashes he had heard about and he was not able to trust the airlines. If you remember the movie, you will recall that Raymond and his brother had to drive everywhere because of this mistrust.

Some people are exactly like that in their relationships. We recall how many people have "crashed" and we feel we cannot trust anyone. Trust is vital in all human relationships.

Belief in God also requires trust. Mary, Mother of Jesus, is a great example of trusting God.

LUKE 1:30-35
"Then the angel told her; do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (31) Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. (32) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (33)He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. (34)Mary asked the angel, "How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?" (35) The angel replied to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy child to be born will be called the Son of God."

Mary made a choice to trust. She simply trusted the promise. She did not ask what she was suppose to tell Joseph or the gossipy folks of Nazareth, she just simply TRUSTED GOD!

To Trust Others?
To Trust God?

Casting Crowns sings a beautiful old hymn "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus" Mute my music on the side bar of my blog and listen to this video and allow God to speak to you today!

It is my prayer that this week, you will lean upon God for His understanding and allow Him to teach you to trust once again.


Blessings, Laurie

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: Please take time to vote in this weeks poll, "What is most likely to bring you to tears as an adult?" YOUR OPINION MATTERS! Find the poll on the side column of my blog.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"MY FATHER'S EYES" ...conclusion

If you are just joining me, you need to go back and read my last 3 posts. This has been a 4-part story as I share my story of forgiveness and restoration all this week. Thank you for all of your comments and emails. It has encouraged me so much. For those that have contacted me in regard to your own experience of a Father that is missing in your life...I dedicate this last posting of my reconciliation story to you! May God fill you with peace and forgiveness that is out of this world, and may you find the "eyes of your Father"!

My THEN SINGS MY SOUL song is a special song that helped me alot during this time of reconciliation. After reading my story, you might be saying "Wow I don't know if I could have done that". Well, can I tell you, in my own strength I would not of been able to! I give God ALL of the praise for what He has brought me TO and brought me THRU! My video that goes along with my story is "VOICE OF TRUTH" by casting crowns. For too many years I listened to voices that told me I was no good! I was worthless without a father! My dad didn't care about me! He didn't love me! are unlovable! But that was all a big, fat lie from the enemy. God had a different story to tell and I am so glad that I listened to what He had to say.....

It was Christmas eve day, my family and I had traveled to Wisconsin to spend the holidays with my in-laws. As my family sat at a local restaurant with my sister-in-law, I received a phone call from our oldest son who had to stay back in Arkansas.

"Mom, your step mom just called!"

Somewhat confused, I answered "I don't have a step mom!"


The letter!
He got it!

Wow. I didn't think this all the way through. I didn't actually think he would call. I didn't actually think he cared. What was the chance of all of this happening?

Was it CHANCE that out of a list of four names, that my letter arrived at the correct address on the first attempt?

Was it CHANCE that my oldest son happen to be at home to intercept the phone call from Florida on that Christmas Eve?
Was it CHANCE that just a month prior, someone in our church gave us a week's vacation using their condo which happens to be in Florida!
Was it CHANCE that this condo is located only 30 minutes from the address that I sent my letter to?

I don't believe in chances. Not really. Every step of the way was GOD'S PLAN. God knows exactly what He is doing. His ways are MUCH greater than our ways!

ISAIAH 55:9 " For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

As I hang up the phone with my son, so much emotion floods my heart.
I just can't believe I found him!

A short time later, my cell phone rings.
A phone number I don't recognize. It's him. I can't bring myself to answer it!

Should I have answered the call? I ask myself. What would I say to him?
How is the weather? So, what have you been up to for the past 40 years?

December 25, 2004
Christmas Day

My cell phone rings. It is that same number who called yesterday. It is him. It is my Dad.
This time I answer it.

Hi. Great, you got my letter....
after 20 minutes of small talk. Weather updates. Christmas greetings. A silence and then the strangest thing came out of my mouth...
I love you Dad!

WHAT! Where did that come from?
IT'S A GOD THING! The strangest thing happened to me at that moment. The past 40 years of anger and confusion of how a Dad could leave his daughter and not look back just totally evaporated. Instead of anger and wanting to ask WHY, my heart was filled with compassion and love for this man I had never met. Definitely a God thing!!

For the first time in 40 years, on this special Christmas day, I heard on the other end of the phone, my Dad say, "I love you too" and then I heard crying. My first conversation with my Dad ended when his wife gets on the other end and tells me that he can't talk anymore because he is crying too hard.

OK. Merry Christmas. Great to talk to you.
I hang up and realize the miracle God had just performed in my life. Uncontrollably, I fall into the arms of my sweetie and cry like I have never cried before. Once again, God had not failed me!

Two months later, my husband and I flew to Florida to spend a week at a condo that someone in our church had given us to use. The condo was just a 30 minute drive from my fathers house. It was a Sunday morning, and we had agreed to meet for breakfast at a local restaurant. When we had arrived, all of the staff had already heard our story from my Dad and his wife, Martha as they had been anxiously awaiting our arrival. As I looked into the eyes of my father...I truly saw him as My heavenly Father sees us...with love and forgiveness. It was difficult for me to stop looking at him during that visit. There were so many questions I had. So many lost years. For some reason, none of that was important to me...the thing that seemed most important was saying "Daddy...I'm here"!
Larry (my Dad); Laurie and Clayton

It has been four years since our first meeting. I still keep in touch with my dad. I have only seen him one other time besides that initial meeting, but I keep in touch with him on the phone and in writing letters. He is now in a nursing home with failing health. He is in the latter stages of Parkinson disease and many times when I speak to him it is difficult to understand him. But every single time I speak to my Dad, just like that Christmas Day in 2004, we end our conversation with him crying and me saying "I love you Dad."

Laurie with her Dad at Gulf Shores on vacation in 2005

THE VOICE OF Casting Crowns

(you have to mute my music on the sidebar before listening to this video)

Want to hear other great WORSHIP-filled blogs,

VISIT AMY at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

Praise to God for all He has done...

Blessings, Laurie

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MY FATHER'S EYES....part three

Thank you for joining me as I share my grateful heart on this THANKFUL THURSDAY. Today, I am thankful for the difficulties, for the trials, for the heartbreak and I am thankful for broken relationships. Without them, I would not be the person that I am today! I would not cling to the Cross like I do! I would not understand Gods Grace, His love and His forgiveness. I am so grateful for the good that my God has brought out of every situation in my life. Instead of asking I am asking God to be glorified in it all!

Today, I am continuing my personal story of forgiveness and restoration, this is part 3. Be sure to read PART ONE and PART TWO. God restored a broken relationship with my birth father after 40 years of separation. It gives me great joy to give this report of great victory....
On the morning of December 23rd, an elderly couple sat at their kitchen table in the small apartment they shared in sunny Florida. They anticipated this Christmas to be a very special time of family time and memories. As they sat sipping their morning coffee and shuffling through the morning mail, they came across a Christmas Card with an unknown return address. Martha asked her husband Larry if he knew anyone from Arkansas? He replied "No, I can't think of anyone". Martha put the card aside, and continued on to the other mail. Curiosity got the best of her as she came back to the card and opened it up. Inside the card was a picture of a family. "Well, this sure is a lovely family. Wish I knew who they were". "Do you recognize any of them, Larry?" Martha asked Larry. Larry said, "No."

This truly would be a special Christmas for Larry and Martha as they begin to read the letter that was included in this Christmas card from the unknown family in Arkansas:

December 19, 2004
Dear Larry and Martha;

Hello. My name is Laurie. You may not know me but you may remember me as Laurie xxxxxxx. I was born 41 years ago to Loren and Judith xxxxxxxx.

I have spent a good part of my life wondering about my natural father. What he looks like, what interests in life he has. I wonder if he has wondered the same about me? I am not getting younger and the older I get the more I realize that life sometimes brings regrets and that is the purpose of this letter. I do not want either you or I to leave this world with any regrets of never knowing each other. No expectations are really attached to this letter but just a desire to make contact and let you know about me and hopefully you in turn will let me know about you.

I am married and have been married to a wonderful man for the past 23 years . He is a pastor and we serve at a wonderful church in Arkansas where we have lived for the past 12 years. I have my own business which I started last year. It is a cleaning service business and I am very happy and successful in that. We have four wonderful, beautiful children. David is 22 years old, graduated from High School and currently living at home. He hopes and dreams of working with kids in Africa someday. Jeremy, our second son is 19 years old and is a senior in High School. His aspirations are to graduate and pursue Political Science. Our third son, Jordan is 14 years old and is a freshman. His lifetime goal and dream is to be in the Navy. Our daughter, Anna Marie (her name comes from your Mothers name) is 9 years old and is in the fourth grade.

I wanted to take this opportunity to say that I am a Christian and I have a personal relationship with my Jesus Christ. Since Christmas time is about giving, I want to let you know that the greatest gift I ever received is God's love and forgiveness and this Christmas time I would like to extend the same to you. (John 3:16) If I could wrap a gift and put it under your tree, it would be my forgiveness and love towards you. No matter what turns we have taken in life, God has reminded me that there is a beginning and an end. Not only was God there in the beginning of my life but you were also there and I do not want to get to the end of my life without ever knowing about you.

If after reading this, you find that there is a empty place in your heart for the daughter that you have not known, please do not close the door. I would very much like to hear from you and hear about you.

Have a blessed Christmas!


What chance that the first name on that list of four possibilities would be the eyes I was looking for? God had a special delivery this Christmas of 2004. As Larry and Martha read the letter, tears flood their eyes... the first of many tears to come. I had finally found the eyes of my father!



Do you have a thankful heart? Visit IRIS for other THANKFUL THURSDAY postings, you will be blessed from all of them!

With a THANKFUL heart;


"My Fathers Eyes" part four ... Daddy, I'm here (the reunion)

Monday, June 16, 2008

MY FATHERS EYES...part two

This is PART TWO of my personal story of how God placed in my life forgiveness and restoration. After 40 years of separation, I began a search for finding the eyes of my birth father. (see part one of MY FATHERS EYES)

PSALM 37:4
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."

I believe with all of my heart that the Psalmist David was right on with these words. God truly does desire to give us the desires of our heart.

For me, it had been 40 years of wondering and hoping about my birth father...

-what did he look like?
-did he like ice cream just like me?
-what was his favorite color?
-did he wonder about me?
-what color were his eyes?

God, my heavenly Father, heard my cry. He heard my prayers. He heard my questions. He saw the desires of my heart. For a period of time, God was stirring in me a desire to find my birth father. I tried with all I had to shake the feeling because the thought of coming face to face with a man I did not know scared me to death. I didn't breath a word of this stirring to anyone, not even my soul mate, whom I tell everything to. One day, my sweetie could tell something was deeply on my mind and asked the question I was so hoping he would not ask: "What are you thinking about?"

Without thinking, (you do this when married 20+ years) I shared with my hubby that I was thinking about trying to find my birth father. Surprised at this, I thought without a doubt he would say "why now?" but instead he said "I think you should."

So the search began.

...I had a name.
...A possible state he lived in.
...The year he was born.

A computer search found not just one but four with all of the same information. It was Christmastime, so I thought this would be the ideal time to make contact. So I started with the first name on the list. I had decided I would work my way down the list until I found the eyes that I was searching for.

A Christmas card, with a letter introducing myself and a picture of my family was sent to the first name and address on my list. It was now in Gods hands. I felt a huge relief to of sent the letter. My part was done. Even if I never heard from my birth father, the ball was no longer in my court. I DID MY PART! I knew I would never hear anything back, after all, 40 years have gone by and I am sure my birth father has not thought about me in years.

Yet, God stirred in me to find this man whom I have never met. I was obedient and now it was done. I can now get on with my life....


I was soon to find out that the obedience was not in the CONTACTING but rather the obedience was in the FORGIVING!

The power to forgive reminds me of a comic book or a superhero. Forgiveness is so beyond our natural ability and instinct. Forgiveness definitely sounds like a superhuman quality...quite extraordinary! Perhaps when someone experiences and displays the power to forgive, they should be given a special costume. On second thought, we would all look ridiculous in polyester tights!

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you,so you also must do. (14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."

Until we EXPERIENCE God's forgiveness
it is difficult to EXTEND forgiveness!

WHAT FORGIVENESS AIN'T....For so many of us, forgiveness is often times misunderstood and we reject it as an option because of what I call FORGIVENESS IMPOSTERS!

IMPOSTER #1: Forgiveness Forgets
We can not link forgiveness with some form of amnesia. Forgiveness may not involve forgetting.

IMPOSTER #2: Forgiveness Denies
Authentic forgiveness does not mean you ignore the anger or deny how much it hurts.

IMPOSTER #3: Forgiveness Minimizes
Forgiveness does not say, "Don't worry about it, it's no big deal". It is a big deal. Forgiving does not minimize the offense.

IMPOSTER #4: Forgiveness Excuses
"oh I know you didn't mean any harm." Toughen up and don't just excuse the offender. The person may not have meant to hurt you but it doesn't make it alright.

IMPOSTER #5: Forgiveness Restores
Forgiveness does not always restore a relationship to what it once was.

WHAT FORGIVENESS IS...when you understand the definition of forgiveness it will be much easier to forgive.

1. FORGIVENESS IS: Acknowledging the hurt
Denying that you were hurt will undermine everything. It all begins with accepting that you were hurt.

2. FORGIVENESS IS: Keeping your eyes open
No pretending. No playing games. You are aware of the hurt, you see the pain, you know who did it. Yet you are still willing to forgive.

3. FORGIVENESS IS: Showing mercy
Retaliation is what they deserve, but mercy is the fruit of forgiveness.

4. FORGIVENESS IS: Keeping no record of wrongs
You may not forget a hurt for a long time after you have extended forgiveness, but burying the list and not bringing it up is part of the forgiving.

5. FORGIVENESS IS: An attitude
Forgiveness really begins with a choice you make. You think forgiveness and act forgiveness. Forgiveness comes out of you because it is what you see, what you think and what you believe.

6. FORGIVENESS IS: A lifestyle
When forgiveness becomes a habit, it has become a lifestyle. You don't have to weigh each situation and decide if you are going to forgive....forgiving is part of you.

7. FORGIVENESS IS: A process
Forgiving sometimes takes steps to complete. Take one step at a time and you will be successful!

My ROAD TO FORGIVING began that day I mailed that Christmas card to a man I never met. God had more in store for me than to just mail a letter, God wanted me to see the eyes that I had longed for...

check back on Thursday, for THANKFUL THURSDAY. I will post the letter that thrust me into this journey of forgiveness and restoration. PART 3 of "My Fathers Eyes" will reveal my birth fathers reaction to the letter.

With a FORGIVING heart;


Friday, June 13, 2008


This is my testimony. This is my story. This has been my life. I am sharing from my heart in hopes to minister to others that may be hurting. It is my prayer and desire to give God glory for ALL that He has done in my life. SHARE DON'T STEAL. Feel free to forward my story to others, but if you use part of my writings in any other way, please be respectful of my copyrights, and give credit where credit is due.
(Part one)


"You are just like your Father!!" ?

Last week, in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "What characteristic of your Father do you most resemble?"

The top 3 answers to that question were:
1. 46% of those who voted said they have the same HABITS as their Dad.
2, 33% polled said they have similar HAIR as their Pops, (as much or as little).
3. 26% of those voting, said they have the same EYES as their Father.

I have always heard that you can tell alot about a person thru their eyes. In the eyes of a Father, you can see all the way to his heart:

  • JOY at a daughters dance recital
  • PRIDE at his daughters graduation
  • DISAPPOINTMENT when his daughter crashes the car
  • SADNESS on the day his daughter marries and becomes someone Else's "girl"
  • HAPPINESS when his daughter declares she is pregnant with his grandchild
  • LOVE and RESPECT for the godly woman his baby girl has become


As a young baby; my father walked out on me and my 2 brothers and my Mother. When he left that day, he took not only his belongings, but he took his heart and he took his eyes with him.



"In the mall, I would pass an older man and wonder, "Is that my Dad?"

"At the park, I watched Dads playing with their kids and wondered, "Does my Dad have hair like him?"

"What does my Dads voice sound like?"

"Do I look like him?"

"Does he think about me?"

"Why did he leave me?"

"Didn't he love me?"

I was always looking in the eyes, searching for the answers to those questions of my heart.

GENESIS 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."

This scripture would become very real to me as days and years passed. As the realization set in that I would never know the eyes of my Dad or his heart; I clung to the arms and heart and eyes of a different Father -MY HEAVENLY FATHER!

1 JOHN 3:1 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God."

1 JOHN 4:19 "We love Him because He first loved us."

It was in the arms of my Heavenly Father that I found what I had been searching for, for so long. It was in the eyes of my Lord that I found acceptance, love and forgiveness.

Every step of the way...thru the trials, the joys, the Fathers eyes (my heavenly Father) revealed His love and approval for His daughter.

So on this Fathers Day weekend, as I reflect on what characteristic my Father has passed down to me...I realize that I do indeed have my Father's eyes. Eyes that see past pain and look for love. I AM my Fathers daughter...finding love through His (God's) eyes!

If your relationship with your earthly father is not (or was not) everything you had hoped it to be. I want you to know that there is a Father in Heaven that loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you, so you could experience a love and forgiveness that nobody else on earth is capable of extending. If you will accept this love and forgiveness, God will indeed place in you the ability to love and forgive others. It is an unmeasurable love. A love that is eternal. A love that no man is capable of. God, your Heavenly Father loves you and He will NEVER leave you.

CLICK HERE to find out how you can have a relationship with this same loving Father! Email me at or leave a comment if you have any questions or desire prayer for a broken relationship.

STAY TUNED...for the next couple weeks, I will be sharing a few things that my Heavenly Father has taught me about forgiveness and restoration. NEXT: "FORGIVENESS:WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT AIN'T"...a reunion with my birth father.

Blessings, Laurie


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I am joining IRIS and all the other participants in THANKFUL THURSDAY. Today I would like to express my thankful heart for THE QUIET.

All week, I have enjoyed the quiet around the walls of my house. The two children left at home are away at Church Camp this week. Five days of nothing but silence!

No fighting. No arguing.

No name calling. No fussing. No outbursts.

At times, the silence and quietness almost drove me crazy! I never thought I would miss the noise around this house, but I do!

No laughter. No ballgames to attend.

No one to watch TV with.

No one to pick up after. No hustle and bustle.


Today I read MARK 4:39:

"Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still!' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm."

The state of quietness can be refreshing. The PRESENCE of God can be found in the quiet. When we get still before Him, I am so thankful for His calming peace that floods our spirit:

* I AM THANKFUL for His peace in the middle of my storm

* I AM THANKFUL for His healing touch in sickness

* I AM THANKFUL for His wisdom when I can't see the answer

* I AM THANKFUL for His calming when everything is confusing

* I AM THANKFUL for His love when nobody seems to care

* I AM THANKFUL for His grace that He gives so freely

How long has it been since you experienced

the refreshing quietness of God?

CLICK HERE to read other thankful hearts on THANKFUL THURSDAY.


Blessings, Laurie

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This time of year, you can find all kinds of garage sales.

Growing up, I learned at a young age what a good bargain was. My Grandparents worked at a flea market, this is how they earned a living. I can remember Grandma buying out a local gift store and then reselling the items at the flea market. It was always so much fun to go visit Grandma and Grandpa during a "SALE WEEKEND". We would help behind the stand (usually until we got under their feet) and then off we would go to check out the auction line.

My Grandma knew a bargain when she saw one, and she did not sell junk! She sold china and collectibles, and she knew exactly what it was worth!



* No matter what time you advertise it, people show up at your door hours before hand, sometimes even the night before!

*No matter how cheap you mark items, it is never cheap enough for some people! 50 cents for an American Eagle shirt with the tag still on it (org. $21.99).. "Would you take less for this?"

Garage sales are a great way to get rid of your junk! Have you ever heard the saying, "your junk is someones treasure?" Its true! That old record player that has been sitting in the garage for the past 12 years ...someone is looking for one and is thrilled to find one at YOUR garage sale!



1 CORINTHIANS 6:20 "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's"

Jesus Christ died on Calvary, over 2,ooo years ago for your junk. He paid the ultimate price, with His life. His blood shed on the cross was a price that He was willing to pay for you and for me. He didn't try to plead with the Father for a bargain, you were worth it all to Jesus!

Even though your life was full of junk (lying, bitterness, envy, drunkenness, adultery, stealing, lust of the eye, murder....) Jesus saw BEYOND our faults, beyond our junk and saw beauty and something precious! He knew exactly what your were worth! You were worth everything to Him, so much that He died for you!

Dear Lord: Help us to see people thru Your eyes, help us to see the beauty in those that seem unlovable to us. Help us to see past the junk, and open our eyes to see the worth that each person You created has within them. Thank you for seeing past the junk in my life, and extending Your grace, Your love, and Your forgiveness to me even though I am unworthy. I praise You and give You glory! AMEN



and that's a piece of my heart today;

Blessings, Laurie

Sunday, June 8, 2008

GREEN EYED MONSTER...June 8 devotion

AMBITION is one of those terms that can mean something very good or something very bad, depending on the context.

If we say that someone "has no ambition", we are not generally complimenting them.

If we describe a politician as "ambitious", that is not a compliment either.

Like many things in life, what seems like an appropriate dose can be fatal if you get an overdose. A medication like an aspirin can relieve a headache or help protect against heart attacks, but with the incorrect dose, an aspirin can cause the stomach to bleed.

Ambition is the same way. It can help you reach your highest potential; but taken in excess, it can cause havoc on an organization and leave relationships bruised and destroyed.

How does one know when
they are overdosing on ambition?

When you see a person's face turn greenish, you can be sure they are not feeling well. Something has happened to throw their system out of whack. Spiritually, the same thing can happen when we become "green with envy".

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question, "In what area of life do you most tend to envy others?" The top 3 results were a 3-way tie....

28% of those polled, said they envy others family life
28% voted physical appearance was something they envied
28% of others said they envy professional success of others

Envy is a symptom that says our ambition is no longer healthy and has turned selfish. Instead of focusing on us being the best we can be, selfish ambition starts focusing on tearing down the person who is performing well, so we might not look so bad.

If you turn on your television set, you will find a variety of "reality" shows. One of the first ones I remember was the show called The Apprentice. This show offered a variety of young would-be entrepreneurs to compete with each other to impress Donald Trump and win a high-paying executive position. All of the contestants were quite ambitious, many of whom were cut-throat in their approach. Those who participated in this show displayed a confidence merely because of the success of Donald Trump. Trump built a billion-dollar empire.

Jesus Christ, however, is building an eternal kingdom. Selfish ambition has no role in the kingdom of God. Look at a few examples in the New Testament that found this out...

* JAMES and JOHN ask to sit at the right and left hand; but Jesus shot them down
(Matthew 20:20-28; mark 10:35-45)

* SIMON, a magician who was concerned with his own personal greatness, sought to buy the gifts of the Spirit, but Paul angrily turned him away (Acts 8:9-25)

Healthy ambition is fed by a
spiritual wisdom that comes from God.

JAMES 3:17
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good-fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy."

To be a servant leader, we need to nurture healthy ambition. We need to avoid destructive and selfish ambition. We need to see ourselves accurately. If we find ourselves envying others for their creative talent... seek to submit your ambition to Jesus Christ instead of allowing the GREEN EYED MONSTER to surface.

"To get the best out of who we are, we cannot "dismiss the organist" and expect the organ to play itself. We have to let God direct our ambitions."
- PAUL TOURNIER, Christian Psychiatrist



It is my prayer and desire that this week we will strive to submit to the One who made us and knows us best, and that thru our ambitions that the best of who we are will emerge!

Have a GOD-filled week!

Blessings, Laurie

I will begin a 3 - part study on forgiveness. Please stop by and check out my FATHERS DAY special blog entitled, "MY FATHER'S EYES". During these next 3 weeks, I will be sharing my testimony of God's restoration in my life.

Please take time to vote in this weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, "what characteristic of your Dad do you most resemble?" YOUR OPINION REALLY DOES MATTER!

Friday, June 6, 2008


After posting this week on THANKFUL THURSDAY about the change of seasons, My dear husband asked me this question...


WHAT??!! Do we live in the same house? I guess he was relieved when I said "empty nest" instead of something else (like separation).

I thought it to be fitting to follow up today on THEN SINGS MY SOUL SATURDAY with Nicole Nordeman's song EVERY SEASON. It's message goes right along with what I am feeling about my change of season...




Whatever season you find yourself in...

there is joy and peace and so MUCH MORE to come!

Continue to have a WORSHIP-full heart. Visit AMY for more THEN SINGS MY SOUL SATURDAY postings!

Blessings, Laurie

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

THANKFUL THURSDAY...change of season

We are in the middle of my favorite season here in the south. Not too hot! (90's isn't too hot for you, is it?) I love the warm sun, the smell of flowers blooming, the sound of grass being mowed and the chirping of the birds early in the morning. A WONDERFUL SEASON.

I could say the same sentiment about every season, because there are some great experiences in each season as the weather changes. Today, I join IRIS and other thankful hearts over at THANKFUL THURSDAY as I express my thanks for the changing seasons....

SUMMER: THANK YOU for the early morning coolness; for the afternoon bbq's; for the all day swimming fun; for the fresh garden vegetables; for watermelon to eat; for baseball games to attend; for ice cold lemon-aid; for home-made ice cream; for vacation time at the beach.

FALL: THANK YOU for the beautiful art of colors changing; for the cooler weather; for the sound of leaves being raked up; for volleyball games; for camping trips; for Harvest Time; for Pumpkin Pie and Turkey; for Family time during the Holidays.

WINTER: THANK YOU for the beauty of freshly fallen snow (even if it is alittle bit here in the south); for ice skating, for snowball fights; for Holiday shopping; for eggnog; for Christmas baking; for the smell of pine; for the giving spirit.

SPRING: THANK YOU for new blossoms on the tree; for tulips blooming; for long walks; for bike riding; for fishing trips; for no more snow to shovel; for the sunshine; for the celebration of life.


With each season, there is a blessing and so much to be thankful for. The same is true in the season of life. With each season we experience - whether it be marriage, having children, empty nest, becoming single (whether thru divorce or death), old age and retirement ...there is growth in change.



With a THANKFUL heart...

Blessings, Laurie

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MISTAKEN IDENTITY...a piece of my heart

I picked up a book the other day at a local bookstore to take with me to the beach in a couple of weeks. I am not much of a reader for pleasure as I am for books for studying. However, I knew I needed to have something to carry down to the beach with me on vacation.

As I was sitting out on the patio the other day, I thought I would pick this pleasure book up and get a head start on reading it. If you have not read this book and looking for a good cry....YOU HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK!

Picture this...I am sitting out on the patio, as I turn to page 2 and all the way to the fifth chapter...I am sitting, I am reading, I am crying. As I turn each page, I wipe my face that is wet with tears. (this would not have been a good scene at the beach!!) AMAZING STORY.

You may remember the story. It involved 5 lives that were lost in a tragic accident involving students and faculty from Taylor University a few years ago. Of the five lives that were lost, one pronounced dead was Whitney Cerak. There was one survivor from the crash, who was taken to the hospital with very critical injuries. Laura Van Ryn, laid in ICU for the next five weeks. Her family at her side, encouraging her and praying that Laura would come back to them.

Whitney's family
...held her funeral
...grieved and mourned

Laura's family
...kept a bedside vigil, praying for her recovery
...expressed joy that she was spared from the accident


JAMES 4:9 " Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom."

This book reveals the unwavering faith and hope that two families possess. Their lives are intertwined with mourning and joy. The mourning of Whitney's family soon turned to joy while the joy of Laura's family turned to mourning.

So much can happen in 5 weeks. After weeks of her parents praying, Laura began to respond....only to find out that the young girl whom they have held a bedside vigil for was not their daughter...IT WAS WHITNEY!

written by Don & Susie Van Ryn and Newell, Colleen and Whitney Cerak with Mark Tabb

And here is a piece of my heart....No matter what circumstance you find yourself in. No matter how dark or bleak. Stand on the Word that says your God will never leave you nor forsake you. He is still in the miracle business and your miracle is just waiting around the corner. It may take 5 weeks or 5 years, but God has a plan and desires us to walk by faith not by sight!

Blessings, Laurie