Category: Spirituality

Weekly Photo Challenge: BEYOND

Weekly Photo Challenge: BEYOND



There is life beyond what we know,

Life beyond what we see and feel,

What we see is temporary,

What is unseen is forever.

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”  (2 Corin 4:16-18 MSG)

Broken and Lost


by Diana Rasmussen

We are the broken and lost,

the survivors of abuse.

We hide behind the horror,

of what’s been done to us.

You’d never believe our stories,

if we opened up at all.

The horror and abandonment,

as we watched our lives just fall.

What happened to our laughter?

Where did our hope hide out?

We walk around like ghosts,

who haven’t found a home.

The night is getting darker,

Some days we feel so small.

We want a helping hand,

Can someone shine some light?

I know you hate him too God,

The enemy who stole my life.

You rescued me from his grip,

but can you bandage up these scars


He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;

    he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.

He feels pity for the weak and the needy,

    and he will rescue them.

He will redeem them from oppression and violence,

    for their lives are precious to him. (Psalm 72:12-14 NLT)


Dear Lord,

I pray that you would rescue all of the children/adults who have been abused.  Yes Lord, I am asking for ALL of them.  You came to earth to “do good and heal ALL”; so I am asking Lord. 

You know what happened.  It was not their fault.  They are innocent. Rescue them physically, and then heal the emotional and spiritual wounds as only You can. 

Redeem all of them Lord, for they are precious to You, and to me too.

Home…Soil…Rain…New Birth


Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .

. . . home.

. . . soil.

. . . rain.

Use those words in the title of your post.

New Birth, what are you talking about girl?  No, I am not having another baby, (thank you Jesus)! I don’t even have all those ‘parts’ anymore!  But that still leaves the question; home/soil/rain/new birth????

How are we to be born again?  And why would I want to?  I have to admit, when well-meaning people came to me and told me I could have everlasting life, I said, “What?  I don’t even want to live my life now, why would I want it to last forever?”  Ever felt that way?

But, what I did learn is that I could get another chance, a new life. Kinda like a trade-in, only not with a car.  I could exchange my miserable lonely existence for a new life with God.  A life that would have peace, and joy, and happiness.  Sign me up…

How did I do that?  Glad you asked…  For me I had to acknowledge that I had lived my life without God.  I did what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it.  But living like that kinda left me in the psych ward (more than once), the divorce courts, and the therapists office.  Wow, guess I didn’t have it all together like I thought!

Then, I had to open my heart and mind, and ask Jesus to come in; to my life, my heart, my head; and my past, present, and future.  I needed some rearranging in the thought department, that’s for sure.

The the Bible says to Repent – I had no idea what that meant.  It sounded like more “Christian-eze.  Then I found out that it  just means “turn around”, change the direction you are going, try things a new way.  For me, this meant I would read what God had to say, and ask for His help with things.  I could go just one step at a time…It wasn’t an  overnight thing for me.

Then, I made a choice, to Believe. To believe that Jesus came to earth in the flesh, and was crucified by the “Religious” folks.  He died at Calvary; He was the sacrifice that God needed to pay for all men’s (and women’s) sin.  Kinda like someone else takes the blame at school when you were the one who did it.   But good news friends, Jesus didn’t stay dead.  Yep, he rose again.  And sent us part of himself, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Counselor to help us on our journey.  That’s the “good guy” inside me now.  I am finally comfortable in my own skin; I am home.

And the best part, getting baptized, you know – dunked.  A physical expression of what happens in the spiritual.  That’s where Jesus took all those nasty things I said/did/thoughts along with the hurtful things that others did to me and He buried them – forever.  They are gone, and I finally feel clean.  The Bible says God doesn’t even remember them anymore.  Now that is freedom!

Thank  goodness I don’t have to have this all figured out today.  I am grateful for the “new birth” in my life.  And no, I didn’t have to crawl back into my mommy’s tummy to experience it…What about you?  Are you ready for a change?


 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 

 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:4-8 NKJV)


Dear Lord,

I am praying today for the ones who haven’t met You yet.  The children who are lost, bruised, beaten, confused, and hurt.  I pray that You would step into their darkness and shine Your light.  You are not willing that any of them should perish/die/hurt.  I am not either. Lead us to your hurting children Lord.  Use us in this life to show them that things can change, even if they don’t think so.  Add our faith to their despair, and deliver them.  They matter, they count, they are chosen.

The world has left them for dead.  I ask you Lord, to bring them   new life.  You said you came to bring them life, and life more abundantly; release it now Lord.  Give them hope, a future, and a new reason to live, in Jesus’ Name.

In A Crisis

DAILY PROMPT:  In a Crisis

Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis situations. Are you happy with the way you react?

Ok, I have been avoiding this post all day. Crisis, sometimes I think that is my middle name.  When I read the e-mail this morning I said to my husband, “ok, which one?”  It’s kinda scary when you look back over your life and see how much of it has been in “survival” mode.  I guess my life is a testimony, that God is mighty to save.

I don’t want to “glamorize” the past, so I will focus on the question.  I can tell you what doesn’t work.  Replaying the details in my mind again and again of how I got there doesn’t help.  Blaming others doesn’t help. Trying to check out doesn’t help.  Leaving doesn’t help.  Drinking and using script drugs to avoid it doesn’t help.  Ignoring it doesn’t help. Denial doesn’t help. Yep, I tried all of those things when faced with various storms.  Needless to say, they didn’t work.  The end result was not good.

What has worked for me in a crisis is to pray, and to ask for help.  Both require that I admit I am not in control of the situation.  Not the easiest thing in the world for me.  Like you, I love helping others, but find it hard to receive help.  It wasn’t till I was homeless with two kids that I admitted I didn’t have all the answers.  I was humbled, and God met me in my brokenness. He sent “Angels” to my aid, too many to name. Yes, God uses ordinary, everyday people like you, to be His Angels. And I learned to receive, from God and from others.  Then the waves stopped, the storm was over, and  the crisis passed.  Thank you Jesus!

It’s only in the storms that our roots grow deep.  Thank you Lord, for every crisis you have led me out of.  Thank you that I can learn with each trial to trust and rely on You more.  And thank you Lord for the Angels you sent my way.


Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!  (Romans 15:13 MSG)

Focused on the Goal

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. (Philippians 3:12-14 MSG)


Dear Lord,

Thank you that You never leave us or forsake us.  Thank you for the trials You have put in our lives that have drawn us closer to you.  Forgive us for taking so long.  Transform our minds, from glory to glory, help us let go of the past, and embrace the now.  Let us enjoy each and every moment, the now, with You.  We treasure Your presence, in the calm and in the storm, in Jesus’ Name.

The Spirit of the Lord

Rejoicing in the Word with Isaiah 61.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Toot Your Horn


Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

Things I like about me:

(It only took 48 years, a big God, 10+ years of meetings/therapy, for me to even be able to do this,  hallelujah!)

1.  I’m a good wife and mother, my precious husband and adorable children told me so! Even God loves me, He calls me Beloved.  He sees you that way too.  I am growing in my relationship with Jesus.  We are coming to know each other more every time we spend time together.  I am so glad we are past the “religious” stage, now we can talk anywhere and anytime, and so can you…

2.  I have let go of being a perfectionist.  I used to drive myself nuts, along with everyone else.  I am ok not being right all the time.  I am learning to receive grace and mercy from God.  My heart was so hard for so long.  When you get hurt it’s easy to put up the walls.  But then I was trapped in a cage with myself, that was scary! Thank goodness things change.

3.  I am grateful for the gift of music that God gave me.  I love playing music with my wonderful husband, Bob.  We are blessed to play at Janesville Apostolic Ministries with an awesome group of anointed singers every week. I also write my own songs and have dabbled in recording.  Even though I have a lot to learn yet, I am learning to appreciate the small things, and the process of growing.

4.  I am a giver.  I love to give things away, just ask my husband.  I guess I remember the days when the kids and I lived at the shelter and had nothing.  We left with 2 black garbage bags, the universal suitcase!  These days God has restored my life, and He can restore yours too…

Here ‘s a Free Song  for you that I wrote, called “Peace”  It has sax, I love sax!


From the Song of Solomon 2:10

*My beloved spoke, and said to me:  “Rise up, my love, my fair one,  And come away.” (NKJV)

*My beloved speaks and says to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (AMP)

*My beloved spoke and said to me, Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. (NIV)

*My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one! (NLT)


Dear Lord, 

We thank you, for giving us new sight today.  Help us see ourselves through Your eyes of love and grace, instead of our own.

We receive Your forgiveness today, we receive Your love, we receive Your super-abounding grace and mercy.  We receive Your unmerited and unearned favor.   

We want to come away with You, to the secret place, where we can talk, and just hang out and be.  Your presence changes everything.  Take us away Lord, just like Calgon!

Polite Company


“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Wow, what a question.  That’s really kinda funny.   Here we are blogging about it.  I would have to disagree. I am pouring my heart out to a lot of people I don’t really know lately.  I think that is the fun of it!  And thank you all for listening, I really appreciate your kindness and mercy.  We do talk about a lot of “hard” things sometimes.

Politics and religion; these are two areas where people in general have very strong beliefs.  And there are those instigators that like to argue and stir up the pot. So, I guess I would “test the spirits” when someone asks either question.  What is the attitude behind the question?  Curiosity, interest, or is someone just baiting you and waiting to pounce on your answer.  This happens in both politics and religion.  I think that’s why so many people do not talk about it.  They don’t want to get hit over the head.

Jesus came and specifically admonished the Religious Sect, for their attitudes.  You know the type, the “I’m better than you” or “I’m right and you are wrong” or  “I know everything and you know nothing.” person.  Pride, arrogance, and self-absorption is a turn-off for anyone.  And so is lying.  Once again, “test the spirits”.  Power has a strange effect on people.

My view on politics: tell the truth.

My view on Religion: be real.


When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.  But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability. (Proverbs 28:2)

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. ( Isaiah 9:6-7)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble 


Dear Lord,

We really need Your wisdom here.  Lead us in all things, give us discernment to know the truth from the lies.  We know You hate hypocrites and liars too.  We pray that you would raise up truthful, godly, and humble men and women who are filled with Your Spirit, to lead and represent our countries.  You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and the government is on your shoulders. 

Lord Jesus, heal our nations, we need Your holy habitation!

A Word A Week Photo Challenge: Round

A Word a Week Photo Challenge: ROUND


I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart,
I’m writing the book on your wonders.
I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;
I’m singing your song, High God. (Psalm 9:1-2 MSG)

Starting Over

STARTING OVER:  DP Writing Challenge

(This was written when the kids and I were staying at a YWCA Shelter for Domestic Violence)


by Diana Rasmussen

We are the shelter women, running fast and far away,

For he’s stalking us again, and we are on the run.

We are starting over, trying not to live the past.

We come from every walk of life, every nation every tribe.

We carry around our stories, of how we almost died.

We know there is a God, Christ Jesus is His Name,

He protects and keeps our families, only now without a dad.

We move from town to town, as he stalks our every move,

Police, Court, and Restraining Orders, the truth we have to prove.

Yet one day Lord, and soon I hope, You promised we’d be free.

Can we come now? Just let us in, Eternity to see.

Where no more tears, and no more pain, will ever touch us there.

Hurry Lord, please save us now, before he finds us here.

(If you, or someone you know needs help, please visit the YWCA)

Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headlines!


Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

Truthfully I don’t read much online news. It’s too depressing.  So and so killed this person, the economy is going downhill, this country is at war with this country.  It all runs together after a while.  I am not the best person to ask about world events.  I’ll catch the highlights on the radio or tv.  Plus my husband keeps me up to date, he was the Political Science graduate, I was the Biology girl.

So, I thought I’d write my own headline tonight…

WORD OF WARNING:  Do Not Blog and Cook at the Same Time!

Spoon is Disabled Due to Inattentive Blogger!

According to an unknown source,  somewhere in Wisconsin, a red spoon met its demise as an over-excited blogger sat in the next room typing a blog.

The blogger in question shares, “I was making shells and cheese.  The water started boiling, so I put the noodles in.  I guess I left the spoon in the pot.  Then about 10 minutes later I went back into kitchen to check on things, and well, maybe it was a bit longer, you know how it goes when you are on a roll…”

The Cooking Authorities were called, and the blogger was banned from the kitchen for a period of time, yet to be determined. Family members suspect that the blogger will have to go back for therapy at Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey.  Apparently, this is not the first time she has forgotten things while in the “blogging zone”!

Here is what the family had to say about the spoon and the incident in question:

Adam (12 yrs old):   “Life is like a melted spoon, it’s never gonna be straight.”

Johnna (14 yrs old): “Life is a lot like a spoon melting in a pot of boiling water, leave it in there too long and it will reform.”

Bob: “Blankets are nice, even when the spoon is melted.”

the Blogger in question:   “Sometimes the road is straight, sometimes it’s crooked.”


Place Your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.  (Romans 12:1-3 MSG)


Dear Lord, thank you for the simple things in our everyday life.  Thank you for laughter, and joy, and bent spoons.   Thank you that we do not need to be perfect.  Forgive us for trying to earn Your love and our own salvation.   As we set our thoughts on You, change us from the inside out.  Thank you for your super-abounding grace, your unmerited favor, and your never-ending mercy. Thank you for the blood of Jesus.  We offer up our normal everyday lives and we trust You to bring out the best in us, in Jesus’ Name.