Contact Fran:

Apr 19

Well, I almost started doing this little prayer blog — or something similar — on the new site, but it just isn’t ready yet. I almost started turning it into a book, but beyond the initial idea stage, I’m just not feeling THAT yet, either. I lost all the structure and content I had been building for the last month or more, when I was having trouble with an incompatibility between two bits of code on the new site, and now the site is basically just a front page with links to almost nothing. Still, I have had total peace throughout the process, feeling God’s merciful Hand on me reminding me to “need nothing of it”… and I’ve had most of a week in which to just deal with the outside stressors of “family life” at this park, my Mate and I helping each other stay calm and not setting the raging bull back on the warpath, keeping peace as much as is humanly possible. Like my Mate said, if it was any other man besides him who received such threats and acts of aggression, the law would probably have been called in. But he is unafraid of the threats, and he is now off working somewhere in the park for the park owner, our adopted father figure, so it looks like God is slowly working things out for us to stay here a bit longer, give a bit more help and encouragement to these awesome peeps, however much we can. While the blankness of my new site and my lack of CLEAR sight and a working routine feel like they are a little cloud above my head, I still have absolute peace, and an assurance that all is well. I truly DO “need nothing of it“. In case you do not know what that’s about, dear Reader (yes, you!), here’s the story: My first husband and I were homeless with two kids and I was pregnant with the third. We were driving through Arizona or New Mexico somewhere, living on faith, the four (five) of us living out of a van. I remember feeling exhausted and weak, probably not getting quite enough nourishment for two from the food we had been retrieving from dumpsters. But as always, I had my FAITH to keep me warm, lol. I looked out the window at the dry barren landscape (at times quite beautiful!) and point-blank asked my Creator, “HOW could you LOVE such a land, Lord?” and He point-blank responded in my spirit, “Because I need nothing of it.” That has never left me. My interpretation is something like this: If we truly are the beloved children of the Creator of ALL good things, then we truly need NOTHING but Him. No matter how bleak our situation, no matter how impossible things seem to be, we can ALWAYS trust Him to provide for our needs. We should NEVER put our trust more on the creation than the Creator. And that includes our own self and our situation.

 
Psalm 78:2-41 ERV

I will tell you a story. I will tell you about things from the past that are hard to understand. 
We have heard the story, and we know it well. Our fathers told it to us. 
And we will not forget it. Our people will be telling this story to the last generation. We will all praise the LORD and tell about the amazing things he did. 
He made an agreement with Jacob. He gave the law to Israel. He gave the commands to our ancestors. He told them to teach the law to their children. 
Then the next generation, even the children not yet born, would learn the law. And they would be able to teach it to their own children. 
So they would all trust in God, never forgetting what he had done and always obeying his commands. 
They would not be like their ancestors, who were stubborn and refused to obey. Their hearts were not devoted to God, and they were not faithful to him. 
The men from Ephraim had their weapons, but they ran from the battle. 
They did not keep their agreement with God. They refused to obey his teachings. 
They forgot the great things he had done and the amazing things he had shown them. 
While their ancestors watched, he showed his great power at Zoan in Egypt. 
He split the Red Sea and led the people across. The water stood like a solid wall on both sides of them. 
Each day God led them with the tall cloud, and each night he led them with the light from the column of fire. 
He split the rocks in the desert and gave them an ocean of fresh water. 
He brought a stream of water out of the rock and made it flow like a river! 
But they continued sinning against him. They rebelled against God Most High in the desert. 
Then they decided to test God by telling him to give them the food they wanted. 
They complained about him and said, “Can God give us food in the desert? 
Yes, he struck the rock and a flood of water came out. But can he give us bread and meat?” 

The LORD heard what they said and became angry with Jacob’s people. He was angry with Israel, 
because they did not trust in him. They did not believe that God could save them. 
But then God opened the clouds above, and manna rained down on them for food. It was as if doors in the sky opened, and grain poured down from a storehouse in the sky. 
These people ate the food of angels. God sent plenty of food to satisfy them. 
He sent a strong wind from the east, and by his power he made the south wind blow. 
He made quail fall like rain until they covered the ground. There were so many birds that they were like sand on the seashore. 
The birds fell in the middle of the camp, all around their tents. 
The people ate until they were full. God had given them what they wanted. 
But before they were fully satisfied, while the food was still in their mouths, 
God became angry and killed even the strongest of them. He brought down Israel’s best young men. 
But the people continued to sin! They did not trust in the amazing things God could do. 
So he ended their worthless lives; he brought their years to a close with disaster. 
When he killed some of them, the others would turn back to him. They would come running back to God. 
They would remember that God was their Rock. They would remember that God Most High had saved them. 
But they tried to fool him with their words; they told him lies. 
Their hearts were not really with him. They were not faithful to the agreement he gave them. 
But God was merciful. He forgave their sins and did not destroy them. Many times he held back his anger. He never let it get out of control. 
He remembered that they were only people, like a wind that blows and then is gone. 

Oh, they caused him so much trouble in the desert! They made him so sad. 
Again and again they tested his patience. They really hurt the Holy One of Israel. 

 
Hebrews 11:6 ERV

Without faith no one can please God. Whoever comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who sincerely try to find him.

 

Apr 17

Okay, Lord, while I thank you for the crystal-clear look backward in the mirror at how stupidly I have acted myself in the past, I ask you to intervene with your mercy and help this little old dude come to his rock-bottom point quickly and safely, so he can climb back out of the hole he’s dug for himself. Poor guy, he soooooo reminds me of myself, when I felt trapped in my first marriage, feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world on my own shoulders alone, and being an absolute fool, fueling my bitter rage by doing more, more MORE things that I was certain someone ELSE was supposed to have done. He is just as blind as I was then, not realizing how I had sabotaged myself with my own foolish expectations. It is so obvious to me now how this man creates his own problems, gives himself work, creates his little pocket of stress that blinds him to reality. Then just when someone is about to help… and he KNOWS it… he has to run over there and do it himself, to fuel his bitter resentment even more. I remember a specific instance of doing that myself. It SUCKED! Now this poor guy has trapped himself so securely that ONLY humility will help him get out. He has been spiraling out of control for weeks, sinking for months, and recently, my Mate and I have been paying the price, being the target of his rage. Lord, I am so proud of my Mate for refusing to make things even worse for this old guy, despite how much he has disrespected both myself and my Mate. We both are ready to leave this park, to restore peace for this man and especially for the owner and his wife, who have been like parents or grandparents to me here. I feel great peace, like we are firmly in your Hand, Lord. I KNOW with absolute certainty that you will take awesome care of us, faithful Shepherd. I thank you for my Mate, who has helped me grow well past the point where I could do the foolish behavior I am seeing this old dude do, expecting things without letting people know, then digging a pit of self-righteousness and martyr mentality, pushing everyone away and making it impossible for any human to help him. THANK YOU for teaching ME a better way, Lord — how to let things GO and not make foolish assumptions (although I am sure I still must do that sometimes, lol). Please help this little old dude to find the humility he NEEDS to let go of his wrath and self-righteous justification, and grow past it. Intervene and show your mercy here, Lord. And please help my Mate and I continue to hold our tongues and not fuel the fire. Amen.

 
James 1:19-27 ERV

My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. 
Anger does not help you live the way God wants. 
So get rid of everything evil in your lives—every kind of wrong you do. Be humble and accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts. This teaching can save you. 
Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. 
Hearing God’s teaching and doing nothing is like looking at your face in the mirror 
and doing nothing about what you saw. You go away and immediately forget how bad you looked. 
But when you look into God’s perfect law that sets people free, pay attention to it. If you do what it says, you will have God’s blessing. Never just listen to his teaching and forget what you heard. 
You might think you are a very religious person. But if your tongue is out of control, you are fooling yourself. Your careless talk makes your offerings to God worthless. 
The worship that God wants is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. This is the kind of worship that God accepts as pure and good. 

 

Apr 15

Good morning, Father!
Thank you for a fresh new start, a fresh new day, without a rigid plan or goal, able to be free enough to create with the Creator — one of my favorite things to do, my whole life long! I actually remember being 3 years old (FOUR was quite mature to me, in my memory’s eye… and I lived through the horriblest things when I was FIVE, which aged me even faster!)… I remember returning from my father’s place of “work” in Detroit, still bleeding and sore from abuse by big, angry stranger men… and I would head right out to the back pasture, to my little grove of trees on the far side of the creek, where I would cry and sing my little heart out to my Creator — “He who OWNS all this” is the closest adult rendering of what my simple 3-year-old brain could devise — and creating silly heartfelt songs that would HEAL me. It would start out in sorrow and pain and even anger. I would sing about the abuse I just endured, and how my father would not even make eye contact with me, nor would my mother, if she was home… and every adult in my life seemed to know, but not acknowledge anything bad about it, so I considered it a normal part of life I must endure. If you heard me sing, it probably made no human sense, as silly emotional songs even by adults — let alone a 3-year-old — rarely do make sense, lyrically. Yet as I sang, I began to let GO of the anger… then the pain… then the sorrow. And in its place, I found JOY. I would twirl and twist little grasses into ugly little mats or break them and stack them into piles… and I would sing little songs of happy praise to “He who OWNS all this” — my Creator. Lord, you allowed the process of creation and letting GO to heal me then, and I ask you to let it heal me now. I feel frazzled and worn OUT from the emotional turmoil of the past week or so. I have had ZERO time alone — precious “introvert time” that I usually cannot stay sane without, yet somehow I have made it being around my Mate 24/7 in our tiny little camper. I give myself and my wounded state over into your big, capable, loving Hands. Heal me, Lord, and help me to sing silly little praises to you, no matter how old I grow to be in this life. Amen. 🙂

 
Psalm 96 ERV

Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole world sing to the LORD! 
Sing to the LORD and praise his name! Tell the good news every day about how he saves us! 
Tell all the nations how wonderful he is! Tell people everywhere about the amazing things he does. 

The LORD is great and worthy of praise. He is more awesome than any of the “gods.” 
All the “gods” in other nations are nothing but statues, but the LORD made the heavens. 
He lives in the presence of glory and honor. His Temple is a place of power and beauty. 
Praise the LORD, all people of every nation; praise the LORD’S glory and power. 
Give the LORD praise worthy of his glory! Come, bring your offerings into his courtyard. 
Worship the LORD in all his holy beauty. Everyone on earth should tremble before him. 
Tell the nations that the LORD is King! The world stands firm and cannot be moved. He will judge all people fairly. 
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be happy! Let the sea and everything in it shout for joy! 
Let the fields and everything in them be happy! Let the trees in the forest sing for joy 
when they see the LORD coming! He is coming to rule the world. He will rule all the nations of the world with justice and fairness. 

 

Apr 14

Hello, Father.
Thank you for the day of rain and cold that allowed us to have a BREAK from the outside world for a little bit. Thank you for the sunshine this morning, and PLEASE bring about that peace that I prayed for. Heal all the hearts and relationships here, Lord. Let the main instigator repent of his behavior and accusations and be humbled by your righteous Hand upon his heart. I do not wish punishment upon ANY man (or woman or child or animal), but I do wish for YOUR justice to be known and felt and honored, even if we are not living in the timeframe of YOUR kingdom on this earth. I ask you to intervene here where there are your children, and restore goodwill and peace among us. Amen. 🙂

 
Hebrews 1:4-14 ERV

The Son became much greater than the angels, and God gave him a name that is much greater than any of their names. 
God never said this to any of the angels: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” God also never said about an angel, “I will be his Father, and he will be my son.” 
And then, when God presents his firstborn Son to the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 
This is what God said about the angels: “He changes his angels into winds and his servants into flaming fire.” 
But this is what he said about his Son: “God, your kingdom will last forever and ever. You use your authority for justice. 
You love what is right and hate what is wrong.
So God, your God, has chosen you, giving you more honor and joy than anyone like you.” 
God also said, “O Lord, in the beginning you made the earth, and your hands made the sky. 
These things will disappear, but you will stay. They will all wear out like old clothes. 
You will fold them up like a coat, and they will be changed like clothes. But you never change, and your life will never end.” 
And God never said this to an angel: “Sit at my right side until I put your enemies under your power.” 
All the angels are spirits who serve God and are sent to help those who will receive salvation. 

 
Lord, I thank you for all the amazing mercy you show us. I thank you for the fellowship I’ve had in this place, even if we have to leave it because of the evil that has been allowed to dominate some people here. I thank you for the progress I’ve been able to make on my new site, when I wasn’t too frazzled from the external blaming and shaming games. I ask you to help me continue to make progress, and keep helping my Mate relax and not get too worked up himself. Please give him well-paying work to do so that we can finally get inspection on our truck and our registration renewed, and no longer depend on any man. THANK YOU, Lord, for the joy and the peace my Mate and I share in our little world together. I am truly grateful for my two husbands — one eternal, one temporal — my two greatest blessings, with my awesome children close behind. 🙂

 

Apr 12

Lord, this hurts. It seems that everything my Mate does or says, or doesn’t do or say… it backfires on us, and he just gets blamed for more and more things around this RV park. It has gotten to the point where I do not even want to be here any longer, there just seems to be pain and misunderstanding everywhere. My heart races, my adrenaline pumps, and I just do not feel SAFE. I cannot sleep, my head hurts, and it feels like things will never go back to “normal”. I care about each one of these people who seem to be hurting each other no matter what their intentions. It truly seems like the enemy has been set free amongst us, the sower of discord, the accuser of the brethren. Faithful Shepherd, Mighty King, I ask you to intervene here. I ask you to restore order and peace, and bring about lasting change. Let Truth be seen, and let my husband’s Favor be restored to him. Help me to forgive the false accusation against myself (the easy part) and all the heaps of misunderstandings and blames that have been railed against my Mate this past week or more. I ask you to bind up the enemy and bring his mastery of this situation to an END. Amen.

 
1 Peter 3:12-18 ERV

The Lord watches over those who do what is right, and he listens to their prayers. But he is against those who do evil.” 
If you are always trying to do good, no one can really harm you. 
But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, you have God’s blessing. “Don’t be afraid of the people who make you suffer; don’t be worried.” 
But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have. 
But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said. 
It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants. 
Christ himself suffered
when he died for you, and with that one death he paid for your sins. He was not guilty, but he died for people who are guilty. He did this to bring all of you to God. In his physical form he was killed, but he was made alive by the Spirit. 

 
Lord, I do not feel strong. I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach over and over again these last several days. Nothing we do is right, everything my Mate does to help me or anyone else gets him into trouble. I just want to hide inside the camper and never go outside again. If anyone comes to the door, I just want to shoo them away. Stop hurting my man, STOP making him your fall guy! Remember all the good he has done, and be his FRIEND again! I suppose in some ways, this means we are part of the family here. Because we are hurting, and being hurt. Isn’t that what families do best? Heal our hearts, oh Lord. Return your peace and your favor. Let Truth be seen, and honored. Amen.

 

Apr 11

Good morning, Father!
Thank you for a fresh early start to this day, and thank you for the exciting new tools and ideas for the new website… even though I DO find myself with half a day or more worth of “chores” left to do before I can get my focus back on my own work. That’s alright — I trust your awesome timing, Lord. The delays of yesterday may have made things harder for me for a short time, but you allowed it to yield blessed fruit for the long run, so I am grateful! 🙂 Please help me to be a wise and faithful stewardess of the many resources you have blessed me with, including time and my own health and energy. Amen.

 
Isaiah 40:38-41 ERV

Surely you know the truth. Surely you have heard. The LORD is the God who lives forever! He created all the faraway places on earth. He does not get tired and weary. You cannot learn all he knows. 
He helps tired people be strong. He gives power to those without it. 
Young men get tired and need to rest. Even young boys stumble and fall. 
But those who trust in the LORD will become strong again—like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired. 

 

Apr 10

Thank you, Lord, for giving my birthday-boy son a good Mate and career and good experiences and friendships on both sides of the Atlantic! Please give him things that I cannot give him… than no human can give him… blessings that only YOU can provide, Lord. Thank you for blessing each of my other children in many ways as well. Please bring good Mates for them in your perfect timing, and please help each one of them come to know you and get to experience the FREEDOM you provide, Lord!

 
Psalm 119:41-52 ERV

LORD, show me your faithful love. Save me, as you promised. 
Then I will have an answer for those who make fun of me for trusting what you say. 
Let me always say what is true. I depend on your judgment to be fair. 
I will follow your teachings forever and ever. 
So I will live in freedom, because I do my best to know your instructions. 
I will discuss your rules with kings, and no one will embarrass me. 
What joy your commands give me! How I love them! 
Not only do I love your commands, but I also honor them. I will study your laws. 
Remember your promise to me, your servant. It gives me hope. 
You comfort me in my suffering, because your promise gives me new life. 

People full of pride are always making fun of me, but I have not stopped following your teachings. 
I remember the laws you gave us long ago, LORD, and they bring me comfort. 

 
Thank you, Lord, for the good fellowship yesterday, and thank you for helping me accomplish things that I needed to, despite my earlier emotional turmoil. Thank you for stengthening me and making me able. Please help me to finish up all the “chores” today — tasks that take me away from my everyday work, but that also provide enough distance, enough time away from my work to gain new perspectives and insights and ideas and plans. Please help me ease back into a friendly routine of work, help me to make good decisions and create good visuals and interactives and other elements of the new site. Help me prepare for the coming HEAT, and thank you for the nice COOL days that are coming in the week ahead, so that I get this little “breaking in” period with only a few hot days followed by several cooler days. I feel very blessed and very grateful! I trust you completely, faithful Shepherd. Lead on! 🙂

 

Apr 7

Good morning, Father.
Thank you for another cool 60 degree humid morning, reminding me so much of my home state, Michigan. I have very much appreciated this winter in sunny Texas, and I look forward to another winter here again, but I truly do wish I could just hibernate through the long hot summer. Please help me not to worry about that, but just to trust you in all things. Help me to hang on to you and just allow YOU to write this story, and me to just be a character playing out my little part of your story. Help me know how to fill my time, when to push myself to work hard, and when to just relax and let things be as they are.

 
Ecclesiastes 2:20-26 ERV

So I became sad about all the work I had done. 
People can work hard using all their wisdom and knowledge and skill. But they will die and other people will get the things they worked for. They did not do the work, but they will get everything. That makes me very sad. It is also not fair and is senseless. 
What do people really have after all their work and struggling in this life? 
Throughout their life, they have pain, frustrations, and hard work. Even at night, a person’s mind does not rest. This is also senseless. 
There is no one who has tried to enjoy life more than I have. And this is what I learned: The best thing people can do is eat, drink, and enjoy the work they must do. I also saw that this comes from God. 
If people do good and please God, he will give them wisdom, knowledge, and joy.
But those who sin will get only the work of gathering and carrying things. God takes from the bad person and gives to the good person. But all this work is useless. It is like trying to catch the wind. 

 
Lord, I really do not see how you can do any good at all with me, my life, my business, my very BEING here any longer. I don’t feel sad or suicidal, I just feel useless, purposeless. Like Solomon, I feel like everything is vanity and vexation of spirit. Useless. Not even worth the effort of choosing between wearing glasses or contacts at that moment, both of which create their own problems and discomforts. Perhaps I am just tired of making decisions, in general. Perhaps I am desperate for more options or a clearer path — fewer but seemingly more worthy options. I definitely feel like I am at an “uckly duckling” stage again. Please help me survive, and to thrive — for those around me who might need me or derive some help from me, even if I never get to know I did help. Amen.

 

Apr 6

Good morning, Father!
Thank you for the peaceful, lovely beginning to this day, waking up at 5:30am to spend a couple hours with my Mate before he leaves to do a day’s work with a neighbor — and now, sitting by the open window listening to a dove cooing in a nearby tree, and smelling the fresh humid 60-degree air. Thank you for answering my prayer of last night, allowing me to help my Mate be ready for the day and have a good send-off. Thank you for giving me my absolute favorite type of weather for my morning alone in the camper! Thank you for the cats that come and go outside, greeting me with upturned faces from below my open window beside my desk table, knowing each one of them personally and yet not being responsible for any of them — just friends and neighbors like the humans nearby, lol. This may not be paradise, and there is a LOT of evil in the world around us, but I thank you for this little peaceful haven in which to enjoy this cool humid weather before the big Texas heat begins! Please help me work and rest and play and just enjoy feeling blessed, Lord. Amen. 🙂

 
James 3:13-18 ERV

Are there any among you who are really wise and understanding? Then you should show your wisdom by living right. You should do what is good with humility. A wise person does not boast. 
If you are selfish and have bitter jealousy in your hearts, you have no reason to boast. Your boasting is a lie that hides the truth. 
That kind of “wisdom” does not come from God. That “wisdom” comes from the world. It is not spiritual. It is from the devil. 
Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there will be confusion and every kind of evil. 
But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. 
People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living. 

 
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ERV

Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Mind your own business, and earn your own living, as we told you before. 
If you do these things, then those who are not believers will respect the way you live. And you will not have to depend on others for what you need.

 
Isaiah 32:18-20 ERV

My people will be safe in their homes and in their calm, peaceful fields. 
But before this happens, the forest must fall and the city must be torn down. 
Some of you live away from the cities. You plant seeds by every stream and let your cattle and donkeys roam free. You will be very blessed. 

 

Apr 3

Good morning, Father!
Thank you for the best night of sleep I’ve had in quite a long time! Thank you for the peaceful evening, hanging out with the cats outside, then listening to my Mate snore peacefully inside, while I watched some shows on mindfulness and on nature stuffs. I feel refreshed and revigorated this morning! Lord, please help us all to learn how to resist LESS the things we cannot change, so that we suffer less. Help us to reach and stretch and GROW outside our comfort zones, while still staying tied securely to YOU, Lord. Guide us through this evil world, and help us to show kindness and compassion even to those who do not give it to us. Amen. Thank you for JOY, Father! 🙂

 
1 Chronicles 16:23-36 ERV

Let the whole world sing to the LORD! Tell the good news every day about how he saves us. 
Tell all the nations how wonderful he is! Tell people everywhere about the amazing things he does. 
The LORD is great and worthy of praise. He is more awesome than any of the “gods.” 
All the “gods” in other nations are nothing but statues, but the LORD made the heavens! 
He lives in the presence of glory and honor. His Temple is a place of power and joy. 
Praise the LORD, all people of every nation; praise the LORD’S glory and power! 
Give the LORD praise worthy of his glory. Come into his presence with your offerings. Worship the LORD in all his holy beauty. 
Everyone on earth should tremble before him! But the world stands firm and cannot be moved. 
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be happy! Let people everywhere say, “The LORD rules!” 
Let the sea and everything in it shout for joy! Let the fields and everything in them be happy! 
The trees of the forest will sing for joy when they see the LORD, because he is coming to rule the world. 
Give thanks to the LORD because he is good. His faithful love will last forever. 

Say to him, “Save us, God our Savior. Bring us back together, and save us from the other nations. Then we will give thanks to your holy name and joyfully praise you.” 
Praise the LORD, the God of Israel! He always was and will always be worthy of praise! All the people praised the LORD and said “Amen!”

 

Apr 2

Good morning, Father.
Thank you for reminding me to list some things I am grateful for this morning, before I even got out of bed. Gratitude practice SURE helps set the day in a positive light, and it helps me be free and light and creative and cheerful — yay! 😀 Please help me to be kind to my grumpy Mate today, as he gets over the discomfort of this head cold that seems to be affecting most everyone around these parts. Help me as I turn our raw chicken breasts into some nice healing soup, for at least four of us here. Let it nourish our bodies and hearts as well. Amen.

 
Malachi 4:2 KJV

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 

 
Ezekiel 47:3-12 ERV

The man walked east with a tape measure in his hand. He measured 1000 cubits. Then he told me to walk through the water at that place. The water was only ankle deep. 
He measured another 1000 cubits. Then he told me to walk through the water at that place. There the water came up to my knees. Then he measured another 1000 cubits and told me to walk through the water at that place. There the water was waist deep. 
He measured another 1000 cubits, but there the water was too deep to cross. It had become a river. The water was deep enough to swim in. It was a river that was too deep to cross. 
Then the man said to me, “Son of man, did you pay close attention to the things you saw?” Then the man led me back along the side of the river. 
As I walked back along the side of the river, I saw many trees on both sides of the water. 
He said to me, “This water flows east, down to the Arabah Valley. 
This water flows into the Dead Sea so that the water in that sea becomes fresh and clean. There are many fish in this water, and all kinds of animals live where this river goes. 
You can see fishermen standing by the river all the way from En Gedi to En Eglaim. You can see them throwing their fishing nets and catching many kinds of fish. There are as many kinds of fish in the Dead Sea as there are in the Mediterranean Sea. 
But the swamps and small marshes will not become fresh. They will be left for salt. 
All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves never will become dry and fall. The fruit will never stop growing on those trees. The trees will produce fruit every month, because the water for the trees comes from the Temple. The fruit from the trees will be for food, and their leaves will be for healing.” 

 
Lord, I thank you for the healing you provide for your people here and now. I ask you to bless our food and let it heal our bodies. I thank you for giving me things to look forward to, both in this timeframe and the one to come (Isaiah 65:17–>). I also thank you for giving me enough progress in my new website that I am encouraged, and look forward to keeping on building it more and more! Thank you for my first two public interactive, user-responsive wordsearch puzzles, one on dogs (to go with my online “dog breeds card deck“) and one on architecture terms to go with my “types of buildings card deck“). Help me to put the time in to build out those and a host of other fun topics, and please help me to figure out the little problems I am having, little design inconsistencies that are hidden somewhere in the master code. Help my perfectionist self to look beyond those issues and just continue to use what I have to make good things for people to use for years to come. Help me to remember “the Serenity Prayer” and not get too distracted by things I cannot change. Thank you, faithful Shepherd! Amen. 🙂

 

 

Apr 1

Hello, Father.
Thank you for helping all us peeps who are feeling “under the weather” — probably due at least in part to the crazy weather, lol! Still, it was rather nice to be cold again for a day or so, and it is nice to have it chilly again today, with the sunshine making it feel about 10 degrees warmer than it actually is — a good thing, when it is in the mid-50’s! 🙂

 
Zechariah 1:8-17 ERV

At night I saw a man riding a red horse. He was standing among some myrtle bushes in the valley. Behind him, there were red, brown, and white horses. 
I said, “Sir, what are these horses for?” Then the angel speaking to me said, “I will show you what these horses are for.” 
Then the man standing among the myrtle bushes said, “The LORD sent these horses to go here and there on earth.” 
Then the horses spoke to the LORD’S angel standing among the myrtle bushes and said, “We have walked here and there on the earth, and everything is calm and quiet.” 
Then the LORD’S angel said, “LORD All-Powerful, how long before you comfort Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You have shown your anger at these cities for 70 years now.” 
Then the LORD answered the angel who was talking with me. He spoke good, comforting words. 
Then the angel told me to tell the people this: The Lord All-Powerful says: “I have a strong love for Jerusalem and Zion. 
And I am very angry at the nations that feel so safe. I was only a little angry, and I used them to punish my people. But they caused too much damage.” 
So the LORD says, “I will come back to Jerusalem and comfort her.” The LORD All-Powerful says, “Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and my house will be built there.” 
The angel also said, “The LORD All-Powerful says, ‘My towns will be rich again. I will comfort Zion. I will again choose Jerusalem to be my special city.'” 

 
Lord, my head feels pretty crazy again today, like I am not quite “all the way here”. I thank you for helping me shop and get the things we need, and not forget anything of great importance, especially the things my Mate wanted. I don’t know what I can accomplish in this state of physical discombobulation, but I feel so very CALM, almost BLAH, and actually quite comfortable. There MUST be some use for my brain in this state, lol. I am emotionally resilient, at least, lol. THANK YOU for speaking to me “good, comforting words” — as you have given to ALL your people, in your recorded Word, and through your Spirit. Help me to be pleasing and faithful to you and to my Mate. Help me to keep building my new website, so I can serve a great many people in the remaining days of my life, no matter how many they might be. Amen. 🙂


New Crosses page is ready — yay!

 

Mar 29

Hello, Lord.
Thank you for allowing me a little more space this morning, as I’ve felt achy and dizzy since before I even got out of bed this morning. Thank you for the patience of my Mate and the kindness of my adopted “parents”. Thank you for bringing me to a place in my website restructuring that I can just leisurely add new content to it, without needing my brain for intensive decision-making. Thank you for each of my four children, each of whom is a delight to me in their own unique way. Thank you for my broad range of interests, equally fascinated by dog breeds and architectural landmarks, lol. I do not see how I could ever run out of interesting content to create on the new site! 😀

 
James 5:10-16 ERV

Brothers and sisters, follow the example of the prophets who spoke for the Lord. They suffered many bad things, but they were patient. 
And we say that those who accepted their troubles with patience now have God’s blessing. You have heard about Job’s patience. You know that after all his troubles, the Lord helped him. This shows that the Lord is full of mercy and is kind. 
My brothers and sisters, it is very important that you not use an oath when you make a promise. Don’t use the name of heaven, earth, or anything else to prove what you say. When you mean yes, say only “yes.” When you mean no, say only “no.” Do this so that you will not be judged guilty. 
Are you having troubles? You should pray. Are you happy? You should sing. 
Are you sick? Ask the elders of the church to come and rub oil on you in the name of the Lord and pray for you. 
If such a prayer is offered in faith, it will heal anyone who is sick. The Lord will heal them. And if they have sinned, he will forgive them. 
So always tell each other the wrong things you have done. Then pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. Anyone who lives the way God wants can pray, and great things will happen.

 

Mar 28

Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for life, Father — a chance to grow and learn and contribute something to this world. Thank you for spiritual Life — a chance to learn the voice of the Shepherd, and see what you will create in us and with us. Thank you for my husband, the ability to share daily things with each other and share the load of life. And thank you for my Mate, the ways in which my husband is also a best friend, soul mate, spiritual brother, and Head. Thank you for occasional buffeting and challenging from both my Shepherd and my Mate, Lord, for you guys really help me be the best I can be and grow outside my comfort zones. Thank you for making my Mate strong enough to be challenged right back by myself, and humble enough to hear me. Thank you for mutual respect, and thank you for giving HIM a project to work on now, too — with hopefully many more to come!! 😀

 
Ecclesiastes 4:4-12 ERV

Then I thought, “Why do people work so hard?” I saw people try to succeed and be better than other people. They do this because they are jealous. They don’t want other people to have more than they have. This is senseless. It is like trying to catch the wind. 
Some people say, “It is foolish to fold your hands and do nothing. If you don’t work, you will starve to death.” 
Maybe that is true. But I say it is better to be satisfied with the few things you have than to always be struggling to get more. 
Again I saw something else that didn’t make sense: 
I saw a man who has no family, not a son or even a brother. But he continues to work very hard. He is never satisfied with what he has. And he works so hard that he never stops and asks himself, “Why am I working so hard? Why don’t I let myself enjoy my life?” This is also a very bad and senseless thing. 
Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more work done. 
If one person falls, the other person can reach out to help. But those who are alone when they fall have no one to help them. 

If two people sleep together, they will be warm. But a person sleeping alone will not be warm. 
An enemy might be able to defeat one person, but two people can stand back-to-back to defend each other. And three people are even stronger. They are like a rope that has three parts wrapped together—it is very hard to break. 

 
Thank you, Lord, for helping me be so very content and happy with the few things that I have. Thank you for helping me use what I have to create and refine all the programmable cubbyholes on my new website, bringing them several steps further yesterday, to new functionality that I could not have foreseen, and solving problems I didn’t know could be fixed. Please continue to guide me, Lord, and help me to build something stable and secure and productive. Help me to enjoy the process as much as the result, so that I can be wise enough to enjoy my life and my work, and not JUST work hard, heehee.

 

Mar 27

Good morning, Lord.
I don’t feel anything really negative, but yet I am acutely aware how much I NEED you, Lord. I feel vulnerable, almost like evil is just out of arm’s reach, ready to tug at me if given the chance. I’d rather stay safely within YOU, my faithful Shepherd. Help me to not run ahead of you, thinking I am doing something good. Help me to be calm and listen for your call, and keep myself tuned in to your Spirit, allowing you to order my steps and my timing. I trust you and I give you all of myself, Lord — including any little worries that lie just beneath the surface, trying to make me doubt. I give you those and I ask you to replace them with your peace. Thank you, Lord Jesus. I trust you completely. Amen.

 
1 John 4:13-21 ERV

We know that we live in God and God lives in us. We know this because he gave us his Spirit. 
We have seen that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world, and this is what we tell people now. 
Anyone who says, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” is a person who lives in God, and God lives in that person. 
So we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love. God is love. Everyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in them. 
If God’s love is made perfect in us, we can be without fear on the day when God judges the world. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like Jesus. 
Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is his punishment that makes a person fear. So his love is not made perfect in the one who has fear. 
We love because God first loved us. 
If we say we love God but hate any of our brothers or sisters in his family, we are liars. If we don’t love someone we have seen, how can we love God? We have never even seen him. 
God gave us this command: If we love God, we must also love each other as brothers and sisters.

 
Lord, I thank you for filling my heart with your Love, and I thank you for your awesome Spirit! Thank you for the lovely meandering walk yesterday, and all the little late-March wildflowers strewn about. Thank you for helping me get more familiar with all the Elements I have to work with, the tools in my digital toolbox. Lead me forward in YOUR timing, Lord. Amen.

 

Mar 26

Good morning, Father!
Thank you for showing me how I can turn my new website into an amazing cubbyhole MACHINE! I feel confident that I can work out the last little details, and finally start filling in these cubbies I’ve been designing. I look forward to creating with you, Lord, and seeing where you will lead me, and what we can make together! 😀

 
Ephesians 2:1-10 ERV

In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. 
Yes, in the past your lives were full of those sins. You lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers over the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. 
In the past all of us lived like that, trying to please our sinful selves. We did all the things our bodies and minds wanted. Like everyone else in the world, we deserved to suffer God’s anger just because of the way we were. 
But God is rich in mercy, and he loved us very much. 
We were spiritually dead because of all we had done against him. But he gave us new life together with Christ. (You have been saved by God’s grace.) 
Yes, it is because we are a part of Christ Jesus that God raised us from death and seated us together with him in the heavenly places. 
God did this so that his kindness to us who belong to Christ Jesus would clearly show for all time to come the amazing richness of his grace. 
I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 
You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. 
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do. 

 

Mar 25

Hello, Father!
Lord, I am a bit confused this morning. I know you’ve “got” me, and I know you will lead me forward… but I am struggling with knowing what to do, in what order. There just are soooooo many decisions to be made, without a real structure or routine as of yet. I guess it’s just one of those “ugly duckling” phases right now, that I WILL grow out of, eventually. Father, today I ask that you help me appreciate and enjoy whatever moment and situation I am in at the time, without thinking about the future more than is absolutely necessary. I find myself too often cringing at the coming Texas heat, and wondering how I will either live through it or escape it. I get frustrated with myself, allowing my concern for my future to rob me of my enjoyment of the present. It is excellent weather right now. I want to enjoy it! And I want to enjoy the creative process, and not be drained by the pressures of so many decisions, so many unknowns, so much work left that must be done by myself alone. Father, please help me to lift my burdens up to you and LEAVE them there, not taking them back when I think I must carry them alone. That is foolish! These things are simply too much for me to bear! I need you, Lord. Help me to remember that, and not be a fool. Amen.

 
Hebrews 13:20 ERV

I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

 
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ERV

But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are weak can everything be done completely by my power.” So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me. 
Yes, I am glad to have weaknesses if they are for Christ. I am glad to be insulted and have hard times. I am glad when I am persecuted and have problems, because it is when I am weak that I am really strong.

 

Mar 24

Thank you, Lord, for the slightly open window this morning, and throughout the night! It is lovely to wake up to the scent and feel of fresh air in the camper, instead of the stale overheated air caused by having the heater on during the night! My little self worries about the coming Texas heat… and inside I am cringing, just thinking about those over-90 degree days that are coming all too quickly. I don’t know if I will be able to escape any of it, or if I will go north for part of the summer. But at least my people here are WELL aware of my aversion to heat, AND I DO have awesome projects that CAN keep me busy indoors for years even — certainly throughout the whole summer! Still, my little heart mourns for my native Michigan… at least this time of year, and for the next several months (until about October or November). Lord, YOU created me just how I am. You see all that is in me, all that I can and cannot tolerate, all that can stretch me and make me grow. I lay myself into your faithful and loving Hands, willing to be and to go wherever you will for me, Lord. I trust you completely. Help me to be found faithful and pleasing to you. Amen.

 
Matthew 25:19-30 ERV

“After a long time the master came home. He asked the servants what they did with his money. 
The servant who got five bags brought that amount and five more bags of money to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of money. So I used them to earn five more.’ 
“The master answered, ‘You did right. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with that small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.’ 
“Then the servant who got two bags of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of money to care for. So I used your two bags to earn two more.’ 
“The master answered, ‘You did right. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with a small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.’ 
“Then the servant who got one bag of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, I knew you were a very hard man. You harvest what you did not plant. You gather crops where you did not put any seed. 
So I was afraid. I went and hid your money in the ground. Here is the one bag of money you gave me.’ 
“The master answered, ‘You are a bad and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest what I did not plant and that I gather crops where I did not put any seed. 
So you should have put my money in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would get my money back. And I would also get the interest that my money earned.’ 
“So the master told his other servants, ‘Take the one bag of money from that servant and give it to the servant who has ten bags. 
Everyone who uses what they have will get more. They will have much more than they need. But people who do not use what they have will have everything taken away from them.’ 
Then the master said, ‘Throw that useless servant outside into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’ 

 

Mar 23

Good morning, Father!
Thank you for the lovely walk with a friend yesterday, and perhaps one again today. Thank you for the perfect weather, like a Michigan early summer day in March! I do not know what your timeframe for me will be, Lord, but I truly miss my home state, especially the change of seasons from Mid-March to Mid-June, and again in September and October. I pray that you bless my efforts and my income, so that I may be able to afford reliable transportation to travel about the country, and not get stuck in one state for too long. THANK YOU for the progress I’ve been making on FranLaff.com — FINALLY getting enough of the backend prep work done that I can start migrating some content over from Creator’s Heart and Gallery of Crosses. I feel encouraged, if still a bit overwhelmed at times, and still too often frustrated with the learning curve, not being familiar with all the details of working with Elementor, Pods, and other tools. Please continue to guide me, Lord… and help me to get better at pulling away to take breaks that restore my mind, not just exercise my body. Thank you, faithful Shepherd!

 
Hebrews 4:8-13 ERV

We know that Joshua did not lead the people into the place of rest that God promised. We know this because God spoke later about another day for rest. 
This shows that the seventh-day rest for God’s people is still to come. 
God rested after he finished his work. So everyone who enters God’s place of rest will also have rest from their own work just as God did. 
So let us try as hard as we can to enter God’s place of rest. We must try hard so that none of us will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey God. 
God’s word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. 
Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. He can clearly see all things. Everything is open before him. And to him we must explain the way we have lived. 

 

 

Mar 22

Good morning, Lord.
I soooooo need you right now, Father, as I spend my entire days creating with the Creator!! Back in fall of 2012… over six years ago now (hard to believe!)… I started my online content over from scratch, learning how to use WordPress instead of coding every single element of the page in HTML. Before that time, I had been using NO editor, just typing HTML code line by line into Microsoft Notepad. I actually missed the old way of creating my site, but I knew I was ascending the learning curve in order to keep up with the times, to modernize my skillset. Part of what kept me so motivated was that I was enthused about turning my ONE website into a dozen… or at least a half-dozen on the same basic topic, plus several others on other topics that interested me. It was inspiring to branch out into new arenas of play, creating content that reflected so many of my various interests. Fast forward to now, and I find myself reversing the entire process. When I started to compose this post, I realized that it will only be a short time before I no longer do this “the old way” on “the old site”. Soon everything I compose will be in a NEW editor, upon a NEW platform, on a single website (or two) instead of the two dozen I have right now. What is motivating me now is the thrill of creating so many more ViZuals… basing my entire site on visual and interactive elements… even creating different styles and “brands” for each of my major areas of interest… AND I am excited about consolidating all of my various interests into one domain (FranLaff.com)! Not only am I modernizing my skillset AGAIN, still keeping up with the times… but I am able to use a more informed approach, having realized the HARD way that one person simply cannot keep up with two dozen different websites by herself!! More than “the old way” of coding in HTML or even using the basic WordPress platform, what I miss is the way I used to go to my ONE website every single morning, and on and off throughout the day, interacting with every element of the site on a daily basis. I knew every single nut and bolt — every digital line of text and code on that ONE site — and I am once again THAT intimately familiar with the NEW site! I have missed having something I believed in as much as that one original site, and something I spent so much time nurturing. LOL, the only thing in my life I spend that much time nurturing now is my Mate! Heeheehee. 😉 Father, please help me to be patient with the process as I grow my new site forward, while still giving my time and attention to my Mate and all the people you bring into my life. I trust you completely, Lord. Amen. 🙂

 
James 1:2-7 ERV

My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy. 
You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. 
If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be. 
Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to everyone. So he will give you wisdom. 
But when you ask God, you must believe. Don’t doubt him. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is blown up and down by the wind. 
People like that are thinking two different things at the same time. They can never decide what to do. So they should not think they will receive anything from the Lord. 

 
Lord, I feel like I have been tossed about by the wind of my own mind for the last six years. Even as I read those verses and pasted them in above, I was thinking, “Hmmmmm… what will I do with all this content I’ve created on THIS site since that first day, over 3 years ago? Perhaps I should turn it into a digital book, an unedited “diary” of sorts. Yes! and keep the interactive elements intact, the links and occasional videos and such…” And my mind started running on THAT project, and all its little details and possibilities. Lord, YOU created me with so very many interests and a brain that invents new projects almost every day. Please help me to be wise and frugal with my time and energy, accomplishing the things YOU want me to, rather than being blown about by every wind of my own nerdy brain, haha! 😉

 
My desktop in its entirety, right now:
[heehee, so I can enjoy seeing all the apps and bookmarks and all, years from now]