Strength – a poem for Carly

She dug further down in the deep of her heart
And the further she went, the more pain would impart
Past the rejection, past all the lies
For their protection, she casts off disguise

She sees it all
But is blind to her own strength
She sees it all…but her strength

      Upholding them
      Supporting them

      With the strength
      She has from above

In the very last days he spent on this earth
She would fight for the rights of the two she gave birth
Walking the tightrope, shaking with fear
Helping them say all he needed to hear

She sees it all
But is blind to her own strength
She sees it all… but her strength

      Upholding them
      Supporting them

      With the strength
      She has from above

The strength she has from above
From above
She fights with the strength
From above

With the strength from above

Mod Pizza Guy

for the life of me, I can’t figure out why complete strangers or nearly complete, would consider me to be a trustworthy source of information. Why would anyone just go along with what I say? Who am I? Certainly no one they’ve had time to build a relationship or any semblance of trust with. 

So I’ve been asking myself that today, after going to eat at Mod Pizza. The first time I ate there, I asked an employee with tattoos if he needed prayer for anything at all. I think. Honestly, I can’t recall just what the exchange looked like. But it was good. Somehow calming and encouraging. That was months ago. 

He seemed impressed that I remembered his name. People do like to hear their name. I guess I remembered it because my sister and I had just been discussing Sam Smith, as we ate there, last time.

Today I was there with Angel and was about to write down a simple word from God I got for him, and give it to him in my way out, but he found his way over to our area just in time so I blurted out,

I have a message for you.

He whipped around, “Yeah?” intently listening and serious. I said, you may think it’s weird, but… “No I won’t. Go ahead.” So I continued, trying not to break eye contact,

He wants you to know that he cares about even the smallest of things in your life because he loves YOU. It’s a deep love. A love that if you really knew the depth of it, it’d knock you off your feet. So even if something seems too insignificant to bring up to him, it’s not to Him, because it concerns YOU. … 

And that’s about it.

He smiled and thanked me. And he asked my name again, determined to remember mine…even yelling it out again, this time from behind the counter a moment later as we went out the side door. “Bye, Chelan, thank you!”

I have a feeling he’ll probably remember that it means deep water, before he remembers the name, itself.

Later I kept wondering, why he gives my words any credit at all. I’ve only seen him twice in my life. And I have two reasons why he would, that I can think of:

  1. My words give life or they mine gold. They will not discourage. 
  2. My words are accompanied by the Spirit who compels every person to draw near, to hear, to dare to hope for more. They are anointed by God himself. Laced with gold from heaven ~ a bit of God’s glory on each one.

I found myself praying later that there would be no attraction at all there except to the Spirit, & that he would actually be literally knocked of his feet and it would make him remember what I said about the depth of God’s love today and he’d laugh! That would be hilarious-sort of like a backwards prophecy.

Let it be, Lord! Draw him close. Lead him to you, to salvation, to peace, humility, vulnerability, repentance, freedom and redemption in you, Jesus. And lll be open to be your pitcher. Pour out, Jesus. Pour out.

Learning Not to Box – Tracy from Red Cross & Daniel from Xbox

So, the Red Cross called to confirm a donation appt & I asked her right after, “Hey, off topic, but is there anything at all, I can pray for you about?” 

She said, “Hmm. Actually yes! You can pray for me to be able to help care for my neighbor Helen who is 92, & had a stroke. Her sister, 94, died last Tues. Helen’s been my neighbor for 8 years; she’s a missionary’s daughter. I want her strong and in that house of hers as long as possible.

So I got to pray for Tracy and Helen and God gave me a word for Tracy DURING my prayer, that she would be a Voice Of Hope for not just Helen but her whole neighborhood!  She thanked me and said, “Well now I just wanna go and knock on everyone’s door and be that to everyone!” 

Ha! The Lord is so good! 

He meets me every single time I step out! And I’m not the only one. This simple act of asking to pray for someone is possible for every believer and we get opportunities to do it every day by phone in person and even in chat-boxes. 

I was receiving help from an Xbox support person via chat, for over 2.5 hours the other day to straighten out Braylon’s account that had gotten all tangled up with his best friend’s security information. After we were done, I asked him the same thing. I thought, as I typed it, that he might have had emotional stress. He replied right away in the chat box,

“Bless your heart. Thank you. I could use all the positive energy I can get, actually. My mom passed away from breast cancer…and today’s my birthday.”

So I prayed pretty simply for him in the chat, and here’s a screenshot of the end of it.

I don’t even know where he was in the US. I wasn’t face to face or even speaking with him, but God transcends through space, time and proximity. He gives us unconventional ideas, and they actually work!

Give it up for my God! When I stopped putting him in a box, he said, “Actually, this chat-box will work just fine, today, thank you.”

I will keep stepping out because he meets me every time and shines through my every move. My every word. He transcends.

My Kinda Dance – repentance and forgiveness

After Break Free tonight, talking and praying with my awesome friend and prayer-sister Samantha about sex trafficking, I had to stop by Freddies on my way home. I figured I might possibly run into David from about a week ago (, but wasn’t sure. What made me wonder, is that I’d picked a random sermon to listen to on my way home from some church called Victory, in my Podcasts. I’d never listened to one from there before. This guest speaker was preaching all about King David. She was specifically using him as a prime example for us to embrace repentance along with forgiveness.

As Freddie’s was closing, I picked a line to check out and then saw it was his line! But he had to shoo me away to self check out. I left, a bit bummed, but then saw him again at the main doors a few minutes later. I turned to him, “DAVID. I told you I’d pray for you, remember?”

He smiled, and I watched it come back to him. So I asked him there in front of the electronic double doors by produce, what I could pray for him about. He said for a stressful real estate deal set to close March 13th or 18th? to go through successfully. And then he asked me if I had anything he could pray for.  I thought about it…& said sure! I applied for a part time job and want it, only if God does. So direction on that.

He placed his hand on my shoulder and we stood there, basically strangers but brother and sister in Christ, and prayed for each other as his co-workers exited the store every minute or so.

After he prayed for me, I prayed for his real estate deal but added a part that I’d just heard from that sermon: that God would help him to see repentance for what it is – a turning away.  And when we turn away from sin, we are turning toward our God who loves us deeply. I prayed for a desire to always turn away and then turn toward, trusting that there will always be a great freedom found there.

He lit up even more and mentioned that there was power in that prayer, & that he feels like what I prayed for him should be “reciprocated”, back to me. And I received it. Cause I’ve always had a hard time with repentance for some reason. But now I’m realizing its the step to take before asking for forgiveness. Like they’re dance partners.

I was thinking, our hands, if they are still filled with undealt with (unrepented of) sin, they will not be able to be filled with his gift of forgiveness. It’s a give and then get. A bit like a spiritual dance. Move toward God a few steps and give up the sinful action or attitude and then move back a few and get freedom and joy that comes from receiving His forgiveness. And a bonus comes when we gain victory over that area. Praise God!

Now that’s my kinda dance.

On the way home from there, the Lord gave me a new song with these words:

Vs1: There’s an outpouring of your spirit – out of our hearts, out of our homes. An outpouring of your spirit – into the streets, into the public places.

Vs2: There’s an outpouring of your spirit – out of the church, out of our songs. An outpouring of your spirit – into our work, & into the lowly places.


So I will gogogo into my worldworldworld and I will lovelovelove every boy and girlYeah, I will gogogo into my worldworldworld and I will pray – for freedom every day


Freedom freedom be released

From your Kingdom.

 Kingdom be released!


Give me a mind not divided, not distracted.

But the mind of Christ.

Give me a mind set upon you, set upon truth.

The mind of Christ.

David from Freddies

I got to talk to the Fred Meyer checker tonight and it was so fun and just amazing!

He was fairly young, with the name of David, so I just started it off, as I unloaded my groceries,

So, David, did your parents name you after David in the Bible?

He smiled, I don’t know but he is one of my favorite people! Besides Jesus.

We talked about David & how he was a man after Gods own heart (which he loved) and I said that’s you, huh. Not just a name. He replied, yeah. That IS ME.

I got to give him a prophetic word (without saying that’s what it was) related to how God used David to influence the King with his skilled harp-playing that made evil scatter while he played, then I encouraged him to pray for, & step out in more boldness in the fullness of the Holy Spirit (cause he said he loves that about Paul) and I talked about getting with God alone – that’s where it’s AT. And he’s like, YEAH, it’s all about relationship.

As I left he goes, Well thanks, I am so glad we had this conversation! and I said, Me too! Next time I come in, I’ll hunt you down and pray with you. And he goes, OK!! GOD BLESS!

And the whole time, the younger bagger gal was listening and once she asked where I went to church. She’s recently visited Horizon. And her sister in law goes there. I would’ve loved to spend another hour there but I had to get home by 10 to make sure I kissed my kiddos goodnight before they drifted off to sleep.

I just love this kind of living!!

A Good Exit – Amy at the Rest Stop

We’d switched seats, and it was ok with me. After all, he drove the whole way up to Lynnwood, Washington from Newberg, Oregon. I wanted to give him a break.  Braylon piped up from the back seat that was laid flat, “I have to go to the bathroom”. Ricky says to me, “Take this exit right here.” I saw no signs for the exit, just the exit number, so I said back, “Nah, this isn’t a good exit to take. There’s nothing here.” still looking for a restaurant sign somewhere. “No, take it. It’s a Rest Stop.” so I swerved into the far right lane just in time. It was Mile Post 93, 11 miles south of Olympia.

The sky was dark and the air brisk. I stretched and looked around, noticing a woman sitting criss-crossed on the concrete. She held a sign, “A Little Gas Money Would Help. Trying to get to Medford”.

“I’ll be back. Gonna go talk to her.” My sweet, patient family waited for me in the car.

I squatted down by her, saying hello, both our backs against the same brick wall. She smiled back at me. I admitted I had no money to give her but I could offer something else. Prayer. To a listening God.

Amy was a slender, white woman in her late thirties, but looked a little worn out, like difficult times had taken a few years without her permission. We had Medford as a common topic as I’d lived there for three years. I tried encouraging her, that once she arrived, it’d be such a great place to live. To start over. Her husband Franklin was in the car, she told me. Her marriage had gone through some “bumps” in recent months. She added that to a short list of things I could pray for. I asked about her health and she said she was ok, but The Spirit in his quiet way, told me to dig a bit deeper. She told me vulnerably, she had Hep C. “Dudn’t give me much problems, though”.

The conversation somehow curved around to Jesus and I asked her if she would ever consider letting Him in, to take over. Now’s a good time to start fresh, after all, with a new chapter in Medford ahead of them (oh- and their three children who awaited them, at her mother’s house). I pointed out that her cardboard sign read “God Bless”. “You believe in God?” and to that she answered, “Oh yes, I know he’s there. He’s always listening.” “Would you want to pray with me to just invite Jesus to set up camp, or live inside of you, to surrender your life – the good and the bad – to him?” She’d mentioned that she knew about surrendering your life and your will to something, because she’d heard the concept in NA meetings.

“I could pray and to take pressure off, if you believe and agree with me, you could just say, ‘Amen’ when I’m done?”

She threw her hands up as if to say, “what do I have to lose?” and said, “sure!” So I prayed for her, thanked God for loving her from the day she was born, and asked him to take her from here.  When she said “amen”, it was like she meant it. Like she’d turned into a big black woman sitting her church pew on a hot Sunday morning. “Amen!”. I smiled and shifted closer to give her a hug and a blessing, and she wished me the best kind of blessing she could think of at the time – safe travels and good luck.

I keep thinking about Amy. I keep second guessing my words, my approach, what I missed… “did I remember to pray for…” I really did forget to pray for her Hep C to be healed and was so bummed about that for 2 days! But the grace of my God rushes in and gives me a holy hug. I believed for it to be done anyway, from afar. He reassured me of his love for both me and Amy. And that He’ll keep placing more people before me that need to know that same love, as long as I’m willing to be open. As long as I’m looking for them. Like you’d urgently look for an exit off the freeway.

“Nah, this isn’t a good exit to take. There’s nothing here.”  Yep.

I was way off.

My Fatherless Friend

They came to our house yesterday. And I let the surface talk last for as long as I could. When the conversation took a turn to a local senior in high school committing suicide last week, we felt a heaviness and discussed the importance of being there for people, because you never really know the depth of their inner struggles. I looked at her mom who, at those last few words, began to cry. I leapt up from my sofa to hug her.

My friend was crying because her children lost their dad in a nearly head-on collision last February. The anniversary of their loss is creeping up quickly and something or Someone in me said it’s not spoken much about. Speak on it.

I’m tired of surface.

I said resolutely & punctuated it with another hug. Her daughter a Freshman in high school, stood “strong” a foot away. I knew I had to give her a message of God’s love and pray for them before they left. My favorite movie line has always been “Carpé Diem boys, seize the day”. And as mom left the room for a moment, I did just that by the grace of His Spirit and looked straight into the girls eyes, calling her by name.

Your heavenly father loves you so much. I see him like he’s on the porch, just waiting.

She started crying too.

And you, you’re not a prodigal. But like that story, you go away but when you come home to him, know that he’s right there. Arms are wide open. He looks ahead and sees you out of the corner of his eye. He lights up with excitement. It’s you!! He stops what he’s doing and takes off…runs to you and wraps his big arms around you.

I acted as Him and hugged her with all my might. She was still crying.

He loves you where you are and no matter where that is, or what you’ve done, you can go home to him and he will be waiting. Open his word. He will speak new things to you, because his Word is alive and active within you. It’s not about church or the right friends. It’s about relationship with Him.

She may have lost her dad last year. But she will never ever lose her Father. And I’ll be damned if I let one more conversation stay on the surface and not share the Father’s love. The hearts and the healing of His children hang in the balance.

This year, I’m going deeper.