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Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Books Are Going Live!

To all my Beautiful Friends!

You've heard hints and rumors about a couple books with a strange name that sounds something like pist-yoo-o and is spelled PISTEUO!

I've been like an expectant mother preparing the nursery for her baby, painting the walls, hanging pictures, assembling the crib and placing the final touches.

So come and see the nursery! It's at
Everything is ready, except for the coming home photos which I'll hang on the wall once I take them with my iphone!

You may find the book named, PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart-The Devotional at and at barnes& The second book, (which is actually the first one I wrote, but what mother knows which twin will be birthed first!) will be live in a week or so. I've named it PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart-Becoming Joy Full.

I invite you to celebrate with me!

Your jubilant sister in Christ!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


It’s a GIFT from Scripture given 243 times from God’s heart to yours and mine. It's a three-in-one word, meaning “to believe, to trust, to hope.”
It's pronounced “pist-yoo-o."
It's become my life word. I want to live the gift.
I practice every day to do it.

DO  believe and trust and hope.

I look for it. It's changing me. It's changing my life. It's changing my thought processes. it's changing my priorities. It's changing even my health; because faith heals trust issues, and that brings peace where stress, pressure, and anxiety has taken up too much space for much too long, and taken away too much energy, strength, and joy for too many days. Years.

LOOK for every tiny scrap of evidence to believe, trust and to keep hope real.

FIND the evidence. You will find it; because it's there.

God supplies it everywhere.

And many times what you find will be meaningful only to you.

I found mine this morning in a tiny trace of steam. It rose from a group of leaves that huddled tight together on the grass as if to ward off the frosty night. The steam rose beneath the warmth of the sun, and just like that I watched thaw happen. I watched thaw. And, "Jesus?" a trace of steam rose warm from my mouth because, really, is there any name more thawing, more warming, than the name of Jesus? A trace of steam rose and whispered, "The Son thaws, just as the sun is thawing now before your eyes."

The name of the Son, thaws...

cold shoulders,
stiff words,
emotions piled in chilly heaps,
thoughts huddled in bitter freeze and relationships that are like blocks of ice. 

The name of Son, thaws...

And I believe it and hope it and saw the evidence of it right in my own backyard.

Please practice pisteuo with me! We are changed when we live the gifts that God gives us.


It's for you to print. I covered mine in clear contact paper to make it durable. Make pisteuo durable. It's a gift from God to last for the duration of your life, and mine.


 "Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" (Psalm 144:15)

PISTEUO! Blessings!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Only Way I Know to Net Hope, is to Cast Faith

I stood on a chair in a raincoat with gloves cinched beneath elasticised cuffs and the hood pulled up and drawn beneath chin. I held a hiking boot in my hand just beneath a spider that looked too heavy to stay on the ceiling. Gravity would pull, and the spider would plop, and this would happen just before I whacked it in adrenaline rush. I had to sleep in the room, and that was not happening until I  smacked the spider right off the planet. 

I'm so much braver now than I was then. Two little boys later who, more than once, folded their soft hands around plump spider bodies whose legs wriggled free from between their fingers and, "Look Mommy!" and, yeah, I'm braver now. The boys are grown, and two daughters who never once held a spider beneath my nose are also nearly grown; and I'm all grown up, too! Well, nearly.

A spider was waiting at the door just smack dead center of its woven walls. I would have walked straight into it, but moon beam shone on web beams and like that, a pillar of light directed my path in the night.

I stood in the moon beam and watched. I just watched. The spider built so silently. I've never taken the time to watch this master home builder. Homemaker silent and graceful. Sometimes she spun fast in free fall, and other times she hung patiently and waited for a night breeze to blow her to an anchoring. She's a trusting homemaker. She trusts in the free fall and trusts in the slow wait.

It was beautiful and dangerous and convicting to me.

What would it feel like to trust God completely to catch me when I'm free falling; and what would it feel like to fear not the freeness of freedom? What would it feel like to trust God unwaveringly to complete what He began when stillness seems like an interruption of it; and what would it feel like to be moved not by my impulse, but by His?

Well, I wondered these things. I also wondered how to get past the spider because I had the kitchen trash to take out and the bag was getting heavy.

I waited till the spider was not dangling in the evening breeze, but securely back in her web. I swung the trash bag outward as far as my arm would reach just in case there was web I couldn't see. I slipped by, silent and quick and sideways like a trespasser afraid of getting caught. 

Raincoat and Boots

The neighbors are having their roof reshingled. I'm standing at the kitchen sink,watching the roofers rip up the old shingles and pound the new down. I watch with hands in hot suds, scouring last night's dinner from the skillet that soaked all night. I scrub while roofers rip, and we homemakers build loud. But last night's spider? Homemaker quietly productive and I'm sorry to say that I had to knock her home down after I scrubbed the skillet clean and while the roofers pounded. I had to. I did.

I had to because khaki-panted, polo-shirted daughter in choir uniform that truly isn't meant for girls to to be seen in, or for mothers to say things like, "You look cute," and sound sincere, had to get to the morning choir presentation at school. There was no time to sweet talk the spider, "Scootch on over a bit, please." The web went, and we went, and I wonder if I'll see the web again or if the spider relocates.

I go to sleep thinking about the kingdom of heaven. Maybe because there is a theme of homemaking lately and isn't heaven my home? It is. I'm just here right now, but heaven is my home. It's being built silently, patiently, gracefully, and doesn't scripture say that the kingdom of heaven so highly exalted is built for the children of God so lowly humbled?

I've been baited before. And bit. That's what spiders do. They cast out a line as bait, and then bite.

Life, too. Life baits, and bites; but that's okay. It really is, because somehow it's part of making a hope hunter out of me, and the only way I know to net hope is to cast faith.

I would have walked into the web and met spider face to face. But a moon beam cast light across the night and caught the web that would have netted me. "Well, thank You Lord!" He knows my spider story. "Remember?"

"I remember!" He wants to laugh; I just know He does.

"E-hem," I clear my throat. I didn't know as I stood in my raincoat that I was humbling myself. It felt more like an act of bravery for survival.

"Pride is cast down when cares are cast down." I get what He's saying.

I didn't know then that my spider story was a humorous beginning to my testimony of faith.  Didn't know what webs, what baited lines, what bites would hang at the door to my home. Didn't know that the spider extermination garb I donned then, would become something meaningful.

But it has. It has, because shouldn't we clothe ourselves for what we face and for what hangs over us? For battles, for victories, for mourning, and for joy? And shouldn't we know when to change what we put on? I'm not still wearing that ludicrous raincoat with a hiking boot over my hand. I'm not!

Yet, I wonder how long I've worn a spirit of heaviness till the Lord nearly peels it off because I won't change into the garment of praise? The garment of praise is for the spirit of heaviness. He tells me so in Isaiah 61:3.

I'm certain I've worn ash gray much longer than I needed. Sometimes I don't know when it's time to change out of ashes, because sometimes I forget that there is another color to wear. I wonder how often my Father has set out the beautiful and the oil of joy for me to wear come morning.

How often have I waken, put on the drab, and walked right past the beautiful garment of praise and the oil of joy that He carefully set out for me the night before?

I've been wearing the beautiful and the joy for sometime now. I choose to put them on, and as a new pair of clothes fits better as it's worn, so do these garments. They felt stiff at first, but not anymore.

I remember, though, the spirit of heaviness and the ashes. I can't breathe at night sometimes, when dreams bait me because, yeah, I've been bit. Sometimes I wake and my teeth hurt and my arms hug the air out of me till my chest hurts as if I can squeeze cares out of me by sheer strength. I can't.

What I can do is cast cares.

I still have a memory, but I cast cares on the One who cast a moon beam at the door because He cares for me.


I ache for the mother, father, and younger brother who are bleeding from the venomous bite of an abductor. Where is their daughter and sister? I ache because I've felt the weight of another variety of abduction and ashes are  made heavier for the tears.

Will the morning come?

It will.

The Father will carefully set out the beautiful garment of praise and the oil of joy. It seems disrespectful to say it, now, but joy does come in the morning.

I think about the faithful who have gone before us. They were imprisoned, scourged, stoned and I won't be delicate here because scripture says it point blank, sawn in two.

And I think, too, of those who loved them.

How did the mothers, fathers, siblings, wives and husbands of these faithful clothe their souls? How did they clothe themselves, those who loved? Those who cared deeply for loved ones who were bitten by the enemy; and torn apart by ragged teeth? How did they who watched and stammered prayers raw and simple ever change their garments? I must know, because the answer has everything to do with the questions, "Who do I trust? What do I believe?" and "What do I base my hope on?"
I must know, because hope based on anything less than evidence is as impotent as wishing on a star for good luck.

How did the faithful do it? Did they practice casting? I'm sure they did. The cast is for all cares. All.

And somehow the cares themselves get me to the humble.

It's humbling to wake up and untangle myself from my sheets; and it hurts to be humbled. The pain that wrapped me up during the night is humbling when morning comes and I hear, "Humble yourself and cast all your care upon Me, for I care for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).

 "Cast all your cares on Me." He says it as I turn the wooden slatted blinds open. And there they are. Shadows cast down. Just cast down everywhere. Shadows cast like cares on the ground, on the fence, on the neighbor's roof top; because of light.

At high noon the light will be full and will erase shadows, because there are no shadows when the sun is right straight overhead. I'm going to watch it happen today. And at high noon I'm going to celebrate the absence of shadows because I'm casting them now and they will be swallowed whole by
the light.

"There is no shadow of turning with You, Lord." I'm grateful for this. Light still slants for me, because I'm still on this earth that spins while spiders spin.

But I am a child of light and my home is being built in heaven's light and His light is in me even now.

"I cast my cares, these cares, on You." And just by the saying of it, it's done.

"I've lifted them away," says the Light of the World.

written by:Carolyn-Elizabeth

Monday, November 10, 2014

Enough Faith For All The Dark Nights That Ever Have Been or Ever Will Be

I look up into the deep heights at night and remember the great cloud of witnesses surrounding me and cheering me on,"Run with endurance! Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares! Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!"

"Aw-w-w," I simply breath out the breath that God breathes right into me. A breath can be worship. Just a breath. I wonder if sometimes the most beautiful song to Him is one with no words, no melody, but a long inhale as if the worshipper is trying to breathe into lungs the beauty of God; and then a long exhale because His beauty is too much to hold in one breath. Is some of the greatest worship the kind that happens one breath at a time, hour by hour, day by day, year by year till one day the breath just exhales long and the next breath is the one breathed in the presence of Christ, face to face?

I just breathe out the breath God breathes into me, and it is worship. It's worship just beyond the reach of words and just beneath the vast night sky where galaxies burn in brightest in wide-eyed wonder.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then this brown-eyed daughter of mine has a glowing soul. She stood on the stairs, an i-phone in hand and an eye-full of light because she found the stunning in a highly magnified photo that ignited worship within her soul before she knew it was worship.

"Mom, look!" She handed the i-phone to me. "Look!

I wasn't sure what I was looking at. A huge eye?

She showed me another, and another. "These are pictures of what the galaxies look like! Isn't it cool?"

"The galaxies? They look exactly like eyes! They're even shaped exactly like eyes! Just exactly!" Yeah, it's cool. "Look! Look!" Now I'm saying it.

"I know!" She says as we bump heads trying to look closer at the i-phone.

"You can see the pupil! And the little flecks of color in the iris! Look!"

She shows me another, and they all look like eyes, fitted in the sockets of the heavens.

And all I can think is, "For the eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."  I open my Bible because I can't remember where God says this about His eyes. I find it in Proverbs 15:3. "Look! Read this!"

We bump heads over the Bible, now. And amaze.

Wide-eyed Girl

We are soul struck, deeply and in stillness and wonder. It's a Selah moment. A moment of awe that sets a glow in the eyes because the soul is on fire just looking and seeing wide-opened and burning with a worship too intense for anything less than Selah.

Selah. No one has really defined what the word means. It's a pause; a "Stop for a moment and think about what you've just read" word that follows certain passages in Scripture. It's a word that doesn't happen by intellectual assent, but by spiritual ascension because Spirit to spirit is eye to eye. But isn't that part of the reverence of holy pauses? Isn't part of the reverence found in the worship that burns and rises and blazes like holy light right from the soul through the eyes to the one worshipped, as a soul response that happens before the Selah command is given?

I stand on the patio before tucking into bed and look up deeply and widely and searchingly. "I'm still looking, God;" I whisper into the darkness, and feel His presence.

"My eyes  run to and fro throughout the whole earth." He replies in a voice as soft as star hum.

I see a beautiful smattering of stars and hear God tell me again of the saints who have gone before me; of that great cloud of witnesses He tells about in Hebrews 12 who cheer me on in my Christian walk, "Run with endurance! Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares! Look! Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!"

"I'm looking, God. I'm looking." I can't see the galaxies, but maybe I'd fall over dead if I could.

I know I couldn't live to tell about the glory in God's eyes should He blink at me face to face while I'm in this body; and me thinks that though the galaxies are a mere image of the fire glory in God's eyes, it would be a glory beyond what this bit of me could see and live to tell about.  Maybe they are placed near enough to be magnified, photographed, and viewed on a screen, but far enough away to remain unseen by the naked eye because I would be slain by the glory.

"Truly, there is fire in Your eyes." I just stand looking up.

"My eyes are like a flame of fire. I hold seven stars in My right hand. My countenance is like the sun shining in its strength." He's speaking to me from somewhere in Revelations and the words are deep at this moment.

Seven Bougainvillia Stars

"Seven stars. Seven!" Isn't earth's sun a star? It is. And if I remember correctly, its not one of the large stars. "Seven in one hand." I amaze under my breath. I can't hold a spark, not even a spark, without being burned. I can't look straight into the sun without being blinded. "Yeah, God, those galaxies would knock me down dead."

"Yeah," He laughs under His breath. It is delightful to Him, I'm certain, when we have ludicrous Selah moments and state the obvious to Him because we're in wonder afresh over His greatness.

To me, the words, "Look"and "Selah" go together like body and soul. I gaze with both. There is the looking with the eyes in my head, and the looking with the eyes of my soul. I am affected by what fills my gaze.

I gaze at the one who spread the heavens with galaxies that look like the fire in His eyes.

I gaze at the one who gives faith so large that if I could see a complete picture of it, I would see a smear of stars called the Milky Way, or one galaxy magnified a greater number of times than I can count so that it may be seen on an i-phone screen as a single firey eye in two-hundred billion.

This is how I'm picturing faith.

 It's enough faith for all the dark nights that ever have been, or ever will be, experienced world wide.

And isn't that enough to keep hope strong through it all?

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth

Monday, November 3, 2014


I am filled with thankfulness for you. Just FILLED!

PISTEUO! It’s a gift from Scripture given 243 times from God’s heart to yours and mine. It's a three-in-one word, meaning “to believe, to trust, to hope.” 
It's pronounced “pist-yoo-o."
It's become my life word. I want to live the gift.
I've scribbled out  two books about how I am learning to live this gift. It's changing me, because aren't we changed when we live the gifts that God gives us?
If I could, I'd invite "Come on over, friend;" and I'd open my back door because that enters into the heart of my home. The living room.

And you'd curl all comfortable into the couch cushions and wriggle your toes there because in my home both couches and the easy chair have blankets tossed over their arms and we put our feet on the furniture.

I'd serve you something warm and sweet and fragrant in a mug with a large handle, and a glass of refreshing water. And this would be your time. Your turn.

You have given so much to me. You have read my ramblings. You have e-mailed the sweetest words to me. You have clicked the "like" button!

And I am overwhelmed with your generosity.

You have been on my mind for the past couple weeks. I haven't posted a blog because I've been thinking of gifts I can give to you...yes, to beautiful you.

In the cooler months, there would be warm scented candles, colorful rugs, and pillows and a fire in the fireplace.

The space would be lived-in comfortable with books and mugs and my well worn colorful cloth napkins crowding the top of the coffee table.

There would be a pile of informal shoes by the back door, and your coats and purses would rest on the chair there.

There would be flour and measuring cups on the kitchen counter and, today, there is a
Cranberry-Apple Crisp I've pulled fresh from the oven.

I made it with the wild Alaska cranberries my mother picked this autumn and mailed to me.

Today, this is my gift to you.

Cranberry-Apple Crisp
Take some unrushed time today.
Trust God with your schedule, and if you hear Him say, "Go ahead, make a Cranberry-Apple Crisp;" then do it.
I'm certain that God loves the fragrance of cranberries and apples in the autumn, and brown sugar mixed with oats and toasted pecans.
Live the gift today.
Live it full.
Live it slow.
Cranberry-Apple Crisp Recipe
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes at 350
6-8 servings
3 c. thinly sliced, tart apples
2 c. fresh or frozen (or wild) cranberries
1 c. sugar
3 TBS flour
1-1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. chopped pecans
Combine the apples, cranberries, sugand and flour. Pour into a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. In a bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until fruit is tender.
PISTEUO! Blessings!