Hope carried.

kiran-valipa-1290449-unsplashPhoto by Kiran Valipa on Unsplash

My heart is aching, ripped open, and left without words.

The Lord has bound my heart to a sister in Christ, as we walk together neither knew why he was strengthening our relationship. In the wake of a tragedy unfolding—it is obvious now.

There are times we must carry the hope of those we love. Those the Lord has bound us too on this journey of life. Nothing is easy about our walk, the Bible warns we will experience trouble (John 16:33). Yet we are still taking off guard when those we love are faced with what appear to be insurmountable things: death, divorce, and abandonment.

I do not ask Him to take away the pain but ask for spiritual eyes to lift up His will and sovereign plan so that I might agree with Him. I refuse to agree with the enemy’s plan for death.

Rise up caregiver’s heart and stand in the gap, and carry the hope of those that God binds your heart to. Joy will come in the morning.

Prayer: Give us the strength to do what you have called us to do. Help us to say our best yes to You even when we are unsure of the outcome. Teach us how to carry the hope of those who falter. We stand in the gap for our loved ones and plead the blood of the Lamb over their eyes to see Your great work, their ears to hear Your voice in the empty times, their hearts to a depth yet uncovered to receive the fullness of what Christ has for them. Teach us to stand in the pain not unflinching but unrelenting to the lies of the enemy. We say yes to Your sovereign plan. We say yes to provision for our hearts. We say yes to hope and no to anguish, despair, and hopelessness. In Jesus, mighty name. Amen.


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-23 NIV)


Renewal of hope


You God are the great redeemer. I proclaim a renewal of hope and a renewal of calling in your life. Grant them a vision on how to give to the body of Christ. Embolden them to be conduits of love.  Spark, ignite, and re-fire your people to become seekers after Your great love. Empower them to use their giftings. Embolden them to run the race that was set before them by Your resurrection life.

I proclaim there is freedom in Christ. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I proclaim the truth spoken by Christ, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. I choose life for my family and for all those I love and anyone that my heart touches.

As Christ’s perfect love takes, its seat in your life fear and anxiety will flee in Jesus name.

We praise You Jesus. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.  Worthy is the Lamb to be praised.  Let everything on the earth that has breath within it give praise.


Thank you, Jesus.  Amen.


Galatians 5:1 (NIV)  John 5:24 (NIV) 1 John 4:18

Death’s sting- rebuked

Death brings out the heart of those the loved one touched.

honor guard at the funeral( Honor guard for James Roy Roberts Sr. funeral)

For some great beauty emerges grown from the fertilized ground of pain, their forgiveness unleashes hope and dare I say joy on all those within their presence.

Hope in Christ alone the great Redeemer. Hope that they too can forgive. Hope the world contains beauty and they too can find it.
My husband, my love the one who inspires my heart to be more Christ like John Roberts, blessed us with a eulogy at his father’s funeral yesterday. I have never been prouder of him.

Eulogy: written and delivered by John Roberts 10-3-2017

It is my duty and my honor to stand here today before you for him. There is no greater honor a son can give than to present his father’s story.

I believe dads life verse is:
John 15:12-13 (NIV)
Jesus own words……
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

He proved this over and over again by risking his life for his friends.
1. US Army 1960-1962 Sargent. (Provo, UT/ Germany)
2. PFD 1963-1983 (Full/Volunteer) Captain
He taught classes around the country teaching fireman & EMT in firefighting techniques & automobile extrication. Showing them new techniques and tools available.
Teaching other to save and protect lives.
3. Pontiac township school district 90 & 429 / Transportation Superintendent (1980-1999)
He worked with Illinois state school board developing school bus safety & education programs. My fathers highest calling was protection of the children of this community and leading others who families entrust their children’s lives.
4. He devoted time to Livingston Humane Society.
My father’s life work was that of one who loved and laid down his life for others, community, and country.

People try to make salvation so complicated and it’s not.

Let me repeat was Jesus stated & commanded
Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

The real and only question is this…
Do you believe Christ laid down His life for you to call you friend / and to live with Him in eternity. If you have decided, you can’t save yourself that maybe you’re not perfect and that Christ is. Then you are saved.

My father believed Christ died for him and Jesus accepted him as a friend and has brought dad into his family in heaven.

Dad was baptized on March 1st, 1987 . That day he proclaimed to the world that Jesus laid down His life for him.

About 4 years ago to my great honor and relief and joy dad reaffirmed that commitment to Christ when he and I prayed together a simple salvation prayer.

Dad did not need to be perfect to be saved he just needed to know who was.

Like many father and son’s relationships, my father and I’s relationship was not as close as I would have liked it to have been. In the past, couple years I know we drew closer.

Like many father and son’s relationships, my father and I’s relationship was not as close as I would have liked it to have been. In the past, couple years I know we drew closer. See the love a father has for his children is different from that of a mothers. A mother love is that of tenderness and social acceptance. As boys, a mom teaches you to wear clean clothes, not speak in harsh language, try to get along with others, tenderness and acceptance to the world. The love a father is the opposite of that.
My father like his father before him, instructed my brother and I, in a different manner. My father tried to teach us through advice, discipline, and most importantly how to fail falling forward..

Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise

In a Example of this is the “knife”. I carry this knife with me every day. Like the knife my father gave my brother and the one JIM has that was my fathers. All different types but yet the concept is the same. My Grandfather liked pen knifes, my dad like his Scherade & Bucks. I like the newer carbon fiber one. Different from what dad liked but yet at the root the same. Like the one’s Jim bought his sons, like the ones, I have bought for my sons, and when my daughter are old enough I will buy for them. It’s the tool or tools you take with you every day and everywhere. It is the simplest of the tools. This knife has been by my side everyday driving back and forth to work, hunting, fishing, camping, teaching, It’s been to California, Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and all points between; it is knowledge, it is understanding. At the end of everyday it is not about the knife or any of the other tools he bought for me, it’s about what our father gave us and we carry every day with us. Like the knowledge, his father gave to him and he handed down to us.

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

As most of you might have known dads last few months were challenging. The dementia and the cancer ravaged his mind and body. However regardless of the battles my father fought daily in his own body, he still found joy around him. The most amazing of this was the joy found in his family and children. Many days when I or Jim showed up to visit he seem confused, but when we would walk in the room to visit he always knew Jim & I just by our presence. He always knew the grandkids, maybe not by name at first, but he knew they were his…if you look at the pictures in the back you will see a joyous smile on my father’s face. It was a love of the smallest ones around us. I believe my father knew just how blessed he was and still is…and what he has left behind…two sons, three step children, fourteen grand children & step grand children.


Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV)
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.


My father was born the oldest of ten children to Roy & Sara Roberts on August 18, 1937 and returned to his father in heaven on September 27th. He has three surviving brothers: Jerry, Larry and John Roberts. He has four surviving sisters: Thelma Campbell, Sally McCormick, Nancy Arbogast and Debra Zace. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mark and Virgil (brothers)Ron Campbell Dave McCormick(brother in laws)Fran Roberts (sister-in-law), Mark and Jeff Roberts (nephews).
My father’s life was rooted in this community. Not just from the days at the High school, or the fire department. It went much deeper than that. It was rooted in the coffee shops like the old log cabin, the Labor Day parades, Thresher man’s reunion, it was when he delivered parts for Napa to the small businesses around the community. It was in his youth helping Grandpa at the skating rink, and the family shop, it was helping families and friend when in need, it was growing a garden so large that he had no choice but to give most of it away. It was knowing the families that grew and thrived in this community & being there for and with them. My father was not a rich man in the terms of money, but in the terms of faith and understanding of where he came from my father was very wealthy. He loved this town and felt more comfortable here than anywhere else on this earth. He is the fabric that makes up this community. It is also the place that dad, Jim, and I still call our home town. This is where my father raised us.
The story of my father’s life is right here today in this room and in this community. We thank you all for being his life story.

John 15:12-13 (NIV)
Jesus own words……My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

As our heavenly father loves all of us, my earthly father loved all of you.

Despair revoked, Hope revealed! Part two: Being Present


Being Present

The simple message I am about to relay from a dear new friend, a happen stance encounter left me breathless.  Both humbled and awed.  How could I take what she said, and make it into a reality in my life?  Was that possible.

I asked Zoe’s mother, Jen Stolz, what was the one thing that most helped her through the fatal diagnosis and later death of her child?  This was her response.  Choosing to be in the present.  Whatever that present was.  Enjoying every moment of her pregnancy and the few hours she had with Zoe.  She states, “Being present allowed me to experience all my emotions, the good and the hard and allowed me to feel God’s love and presence”.

I read these words and was stunned, they rocked me to my core and left me breathless. Did I ever do that, could I ever do that?  Did I know how to do that?  Maybe there’s a class I can take on that.  Literally all day long I stopped in mid-movement held by the thought of being present. I would go to pull the milk out and be hit in the Spirit.  These thwacks to the gut were simultaneously uplifting and convicting. Being present is a gift we can all receive. Some are better at possessing the gift than others.  I have little to no practice with it. I am always rightfully being told, to be still and sit quietly in anticipation.

Zoe-Faith-anencephaly-3- dads awe

I read one of her husband’s blogs that describes their combined journey of learning the value of being present.  They knew they would never be able to teach Zoe to read, or to ride a bike.  So pregnant Jen took Zoe on a bike ride and read and sang to her.  Jen’s intentional actions of “being present” are quite inspiring.  It leaves me wondering how can I be more present?  Less consumed with what is coming next.  How can I stop playing the “what if” game, tormented with planning and attempting to control life instead of living it?  I declare, that I am going to intentionally live in the present, but I am going to need help.

Lord Jesus, You know how you created me.  I have a difficult time being still and living in the moment.  Lord Jesus I surrender my life to you.  Help me to live in the present and presence of You, in the moments of my everyday life.  Tenderly teach me what you would have me know.  I acknowledge that my children are a gift from you, help me to enjoy that gift. Thank you, Amen.

Please send in comments about how you live in the present, or how you are learning to do so.

Jen writes about the loss of her daughter and her journey in http://www.livinglifelovingit.com/anencephaly-infant-loss-sorrow/

Zoe-Faith-anencephaly-19- family pic smile

Despair revoked, Hope revealed !

Despair revoked, Hope revealed!  Part One

Zoe-Faith-Anencephaly- parents looking at her

Grey wall, stark, ever-present, and monstrous- fear. What have I done? There is no hope, nothing will change. I will cry out forever and none will know my inner heart. None can know my pain or see me.  I deserve this, I brought this on.  Despair and hopelessness are my constant companion.

Jen’s cry went out as Hannah’s did ages ago.  Grant me a child God, not because I deserve it but because your daughter asks. I ask out of a humble heart. Humble enough to know that what the Lord gives belongs to Him.  When Hannah exposed her heart to the Lord, her humble petition was heard. Hannah was granted a son.  Read 1 Samuel chapter one if you are interested in the biblical account of the life of this prayer filled woman.

When Jen and her husband cried out to the Lord for a child.  Days led to years of constant prayers. These petitions were known and heard, God granted them Zoe. Her birth gave life to hope. In Hebrew the word hope comes from the same root word as wait. Times of waiting, create space and time for God to establish miracles within us.  During that time of waiting it was discovered that Zoe had a fatal diagnosis.  She was not expected to make it to her birth. Jen Stolz was taught the fullness of the word hope from her tiny daughter. Against all the odds Jen was given the gift of Zoe.  Zoe’s two hours of life created an eternal ripple both in the spiritual and physical realm.

Jen writes out of a deep well dug by waiting and redeemed by hope revealed. Jen can be found at www.LivingLifeLovingIt.com. She knows of despair, but they are no longer friends. Hope is her constant companion. I don’t know what God has planned for Zoe’s mother and father, but He does not give such a radiant gift, Zoe, to just anyone. Jen’s light will shine, as she continues to benefit from hope revealed in her daughter’s life. I intend to read what God has developed from within her humble heart.  I have much to learn about waiting and becoming, within the process of being present in the life God has given me.

Pray: Lord Jesus, You know us, even before you knit us together within our mother’s wombs. We cannot be fully known by other mortals. Our brief encounters and fleeting looks do not reveal our inner beings. You know our inner hearts and redeem us. Thank you, My Savior. We surrender to You our entire beings to receive from You what You desire for us. In the waiting times help us to see Your sovereign hand. We love and need you, Jesus. Thank you, Amen.

Jen writes about her daughter in http://www.livinglifelovingit.com/anencephaly-infant-loss-sorrow/

Empty vessel

Today I opened up the refrigerator and found this.  My mind flashed into remembrance the feeling of being totally empty.  I must have had a strange look on my face, because my children all came over, to look and see, why the refrigerator was making me smile. (especially this refrigerator)

My husband and I went through a period of intensely painful, betrayal and upheaval that resulted in the complete emptying of ourselves and total reliance on God.  There’s no greater catalyst forward than full surrender.  Few would willing choose this time of upheaval, including myself.  Yet here we are again my husband and I at the edge of everything we are, finding out we are not enough.  Nor can we ever be.

All eyes are on you during that naked and empty period of exposure.  What we choose to fill ourselves with is witnessed. Good or bad.  Everyone is waiting to see.  Some are cheering you on, and some are waiting to witness a good fall.  Either way, you will be responsible for what you choose, no one else.

During the last period of upheaval and emptying we learned how to strengthen and unify our marriage.  How to surrender daily, to determine every course of action no matter how small. And finally that life has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Him.  That no matter what circumstances we are in, we are still accountable to our Lord in every moment and in every step.

Pray: Thank you Jesus, for teaching me what I so desperately need to learn.  I am your open, empty book, create within me Your redemption story.  I surrender my life to Your will and creative genius.  I know that You can, and will do a better job with my life than I can.  Thank you for caring enough to mold me.  I love you.  Amen.

I wonder what I will be taught during this next phase of threshing.  I pray that the chaff will be blown away, soon, and His masterpiece revealed.  I will write about what My Lord reveals, as He unfolds it.

Sometimes seeing an empty vessel is a good thing.  If you have been there and know this bitter, sweetness, feel free to comment me.  I love to hear what God is transforming in other people’s lives.