Pondering My “Last Words”

Sometimes I have weird thoughts go through my brain. One of my most recent weird thoughts was, I wonder what my last words will be. As you might have guessed, I experienced something that triggered this thought.

After carefully assessing the situation, my best guess is that I was within a couple of seconds of breaking my neck. It happened in my garage. It was the day I decided to clean my garage, which is something I tend to wait to do until the stacks of debris begin to tip precariously, creating a hazardous situation. As usual, my cleaning tirade got a little out of hand. I decided to dismantle one of the storage racks so I could reconfigure it to be more efficient.

The shelves on the racks are two feet by four feet, and the overall height is eight feet. The rack I decided to reconfigure had several boxes of stone cabinet knobs on the top shelf, along with a band saw, a drill press, and some other goodies I’d jammed in the gaps. I figure there were about 300 lbs. on the shelf, give or take a few.

As I mentioned, the racks are about eight feet tall. What I didn’t realize is that the eight-foot vertical section consists of two four-foot sections, joined together by the shelf supports that hold the uprights securely in position. I discovered this when I removed the shelf supports. Actually, I discovered this when I removed the last shelf support. I was leaning in, whacking the last support with a hammer, when I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of what was happening. The upper thin gauge metal uprights were now sitting precariously on the lower uprights, with nothing holding them together. And I was beneath the 300 lb. shelf. I quickly determined that was not a good place to be.

As I gingerly backed out of my predicament, I was aware that if I bumped anything- even ever-so-slightly – I was toast. Just like in the movies, the whole assembly collapsed just as I got out of the way. The sound of the crash got Rose’s attention, and she came running to my rescue.

Fortunately, I did not need to be rescued. I simply stood there a couple of minutes, contemplating how much difference a couple of seconds can make in the outcome of an unexpected event.  Then I thought about what my last words might have been if I was trapped with a broken neck—but still alive—when Rose found me. The words that came to my mind were, “I had no idea I would die this way!”

I wish my words had been a little more profound. Steve Jobs last words were, “Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!” Those are good last words because they suggest that Steve saw something spectacular…something we would like to see–when our time comes. I can identify with Poncho Villa, whose last words were, “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.” But I don’t want to voice regrets, like Leonardo da Vinci who said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”

While I can relate to both Poncho and Leo, I would love to have had something like this come to my mind, “I have finished my race, and I bid you farewell, my dear Rose, as I enter into the rest which my Creator God has prepared for me.” That would probably have been too many words, and I might not have made it all the way to the end of my thought before I died. But you get the idea. Something with a bit of flair.

Unfortunately, we do not always know when the words we speak will be our last words. Like when we tie our shoes in the morning, or button and zip our clothes, we don’t know if we will be the one who unties our shoes or unbuttons or unzips our clothes at the end of the day. When I’ve breathed my last breath, I hope my family and friends will not have to strain their brains to remember something positive I’ve said, or something God-honoring. I hope the last words they hear me utter will be a pleasing sound in their ears—words that will bring comfort to their hearts—and offer praise to my heavenly Father.

What is Holy Libido? (Part 2…)

As a marriage therapist for nearly twenty years, I was invited into the personal life stories of hundreds of people. I was invited into the profound struggles, and the anguish of life gone wrong. Early in my practice, I mistakenly believed that if I offered godly counsel to those who came to see me for help, their lives would change. But frankly, I saw very little authentic life change. Most clients were happy to settle for a momentary reorientation that made life a little more manageable…for a while.

I think there are a couple of key reasons for this. One reason is that too many people are hoping that the world around them will change to make their lives more suitable and comfortable. Few people I’ve met are truly willing to allow God to do the deep work of healing that needs to be done within them. And the second reason is that too many people seem to be blind to the truth about themselves. We all have the uncanny ability to see clearly the truth about others, but we fail to see the truth about ourselves with as much clarity or keenness.

But there were a few that experienced deep transformation within their hearts, and the change within their hearts inevitably resulted in radical transformation in their lives—and in their relationships. I wish I could say these true transformations were the result of some profound wisdom I shared with them. But that would not be true. The eruptions of transformation were simply the result of God’s Spirit igniting a dynamic desire—or craving—for an intimate relationship with him. It was as if he super-charged their spiritual libido. And along the way of transformation, God’s Spirit began blowing away the obstacles—whatever they were—that obstructed the flow of his Spirit.

So, I have no fantasy in my mind that I will be able to say anything in Holy Libido that will change your life. Not even a fleeting fancy. Every libido-fired transformation I’ve witnessed has been triggered and facilitated by God. He simply invited me along for the adventure…to behold our Creator at work to restore a bit of the original design in a person’s life.

I wrote Holy Libido to share what I believe is the profound possibility of passionate life in God. I pray that you will sense his Spirit stirring something within you as you read. And I pray that you will begin to crave him—deeply—and that you will experience more of the splendor of all that he wants to be in your life.

(Holy Libido will be published in early 2013)

Synergy with Papa God ~

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though He is not far from any one of us.” ~ Acts 17:27 NLT

As I read this verse, one word came to mind: “Synergy.” Encarta’s definition is “the working together of two or more people, especially when the result is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities.”

I was thinking about the season that I’m in right now. They call it premenopausal. I call it paranormal! The swing of emotions that can sometimes be so crazy and wickity wack…makes me dizzy just thinking about it! There are mornings when I arise that my heart feels light yet strong, ready to take on the day. My prayers are bold, crisp and clear. I can sense the Holy Spirit flowing through my body in a strange, electrifying way. I’m dressed with the Holy Spirit inside and out. The synergy of the oneness with Papa God gives me such confidence…such hope!

And then there are times–sometimes mere hours later–that a wave of “other” emotions comes over me. Like a tidal wave of negative energy, it contaminates my oneness with Papa’s Spirit. I find myself flailing in the midst of the surge…desperately wanting to escape its grip. But the cloud of heaviness hovers over me, so ominously, and threateningly. I get on my knees and begin to pray, but even my prayers seem aloof. I hear the words come out of my mouth, but something just doesn’t seem to connect. “Is anyone in there? Can you hear me Papa God? Help me, please. I need you to hold me…just hold me!” These are the cries I utter in the depths of the “low” that I find myself in.

Sounds insane, doesn’t it? How can I go from one extreme to the other in such a short span of time! I can’t explain it, but it’s as real to me as the keys on this laptop. Tap, tap, and tap. Can anyone relate, or am I flying solo here? Is this just a female thing, or do men experience the highs and lows too, perhaps not as intensely as women, because God in his omniscient wisdom (or sense of humor…I still can’t figure out which) “wired” you differently. Nevertheless, do you? UGH, YUCK, SIGH…those words don’t even begin to express the roller coaster ride.

Nevertheless, I am grateful for this time! “What! Are you crazy,” you say? Yes…I’m so very grateful! I’m so blessed to have a Papa God who allows me the freedom to FEEL things…to express things…to have desires in my heart that only He knows. And only He can bring my desires to fruition! He knows me through and through, and He calls me by name! He knows when I need to be held, He knows when I need to cry, He knows when I’m jumping for joy…all of it uncontainable!

And He is there…always there…ready to catch me when I fall, ready to lift me up when I need lifting, ready to dust me off and hold me close and continue on this journey with me. All the while He smiles at this kid (me). He calls His beloved! Imagine that…the GREAT I AM, loves me just as I am! I know this is going to sound a little weird, but I once told my husband that the joy I sometimes experience is what I imagine it might feel like to be in the middle of a sweet jelly donut! Ok…maybe not something you want to imagine, but for me it was all I could come up with at that moment to express my feeling of elation.

Allow me to paraphrase the verse above – “He wired me this way for HIS purpose…to feel my way toward HIM…because HE is never, ever, far away.” So my contentment is in the synergy that arises from the angst, and in the joy He placed inside me. It’s our homing mechanism…our longing to be with Papa God, not just “now,” but for eternity.

“Papa God, thank You! Thank You for gifting us with feelings, for gifting us with Your Holy Spirit that lives inside us who have believed and received You! Thank You for never leaving our side, even when we can’t make sense of things! Thank You for placing the angst inside us that can only be satisfied in YOU! Even when things don’t make sense, even when we feel all alone and desperate for answers…to know that You have NEVER left us alone is such a comfort…such a gift!

I pray for my family and friends today. If anyone is struggling through a circumstance, help them to their knees Papa…help them to surrender…to cast all their cares upon You! Help them to recognize the sacredness of this moment in time…to realize that there is good stuff in the hard stuff, and allow You to work all things for our good, according to Your perfect timing and for Your perfect purpose. In JESUS name I pray!”

Be blessed…IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

Rise From The Ashes and Walk with Him ~

Rise From The Ashes and Walk with Him ~.

Rise From The Ashes and Walk with Him ~

 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT

How often do we lose heart, either because our efforts in ministry seem futile, or perhaps because we have been praying our heart out over someone or some circumstance and nothing seems to be changing. We don’t see fruit in the person we have been praying for, or we don’t see change in the circumstances…not a glimmer.

Perhaps we are all sleepwalking? Caught in the web of the world as the world would have us see it, rather than allowing God’s holiness to penetrate our minds, hearts and souls….to unveil HIS truth through HIS Word so that our hope and our joy would be realized!

We hang on to our efforts thinking that someday our efforts might make a difference. Do we get that? OUR efforts have become a stronghold in our life! When in the world are we finally going to get it!  Let’s read the verse again. This my paraphrase: “EVERYTHING–and I do mean everything–that we need to arm ourselves to conquer the battles we face each day, can be found in God Himself! He is prepared to  clothe us with His armor so that we can defeat the enemy of lies, of addictions, of purity, of sorrow, of a poor spirit….any and every stronghold that keeps us from living a life that would honor God. He has already defeated the enemy. He longs for us to call on Him through prayer, He longs for us to dig in to His holy Word for the answers to all that we wrestle with. He longs to reignite the passion in our hearts so deeply, with such strength, and so powerfully that nothing–and I mean nothing–would dare stand against us. The Holy of Holy has gone before us! He is the Almighty, the All Powerful, the Creator of the universe! The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end!

So whatever the stronghold in your life may be–even the stronghold of our own effort–surrender it now…YES, at this very moment!  If you are sleepwalking through life, fall to your knees and call on His Name! Allow His Spirit that is within you to raise you up from the ashes. Claim victory over your circumstance–by His power! But don’t stop there. Pick up the Word of God and clothe yourself with HIS armor! Come on…keep moving…do not delay….walk boldly in HIS promises! Walk in HIS truth! Rise from the ashes and walk!

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go straight into the presence of God with sincere hearts, fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” ~ Hebrews 10:19-25 NLT

If you and I claim that we believe in God and have received Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, then let us NOT shirk our responsibility! We have been called to be warriors for the Kingdom of God! Whether you just recently received Jesus as your Savior, or have been a Christian for some time now, remember…we are His chosen people! Let us live our lives today as if today is our last day. Let each of us behave in a way that if Christ was to knock on our door, we would be proud to invite Him into our home, into our bedroom, to use our computer, into our workplace….to see that we are living a life worthy of His calling!

“Papa God…You know that the enemy and his minions lurk in this fallen world, wanting nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy all that You have created! Satan discourages, but YOU encourage. Satan mocks us, but YOU rejoice in us. Satan hates us, but You call us Your beloved! You know us by name! So today…right now…we call on Your Holy Spirit that lives within us Father! Ignite a passion in our hearts! Breathe newness of LIFE back into our souls and give us a WANT to WANT You more than anything this world has to offer! Because we know that what is in this world is merely rubble compared to the beauty and majesty of our final destination…our eternity with YOU!  But while we are on this planet, we long to live a life worthy of your calling Papa. Please spur us on with Your WORD. Help us to be bold in our prayers, and help us to not be lazy but to GET UP and start today ANEW with You! Help us take our responsibility to our families…the children you have entrusted to us, seriously…as if life or death depended on it…because it does! Help us to train our children up to be ready for the challenges they, too, will face. Dress us with Your armor…equipped with Your weapons…today! We want to live the rest of our lives prepared by You, and clothed in You! Hear our prayers Papa,  as we  seek you with all our heart, in Jesus’s holy name – Amen!”

Be blessed…IN HIS STRONG LOVE ~ rose

What is Holy Libido? (Part 1…)

Holy Libido is intended to be a disruptive book. It may rouse an insatiable craving—or libido—for the passionate flow of God’s Spirit in your life. The unrestrained flow of his Spirit in our day-to-day lives reignites a hint of the original splendor of what our life on earth was designed to be.

Of all the things in life that have perplexed me, nothing has baffled me more than this: If God breathed himself into us, making us humans in his image, why do we tend to live such disoriented lives—spiritually speaking? If the infinite energy that makes us us is energy that radiates from God himself, it seems to me that we should need to exercise extreme caution so as not to explode with his splendor. But we don’t explode with his splendor. We rarely even sense a quiver of his splendor in our day-to-day lives.

We’re invited to be a part of something so much bigger—so grand in scale—we can only begin to imagine the height and depth and breadth of the plan. Holy Libido is a quest to discover in greater depth what that “something” is—becoming the person we were designed to be. The good news is this: We only need to be willing to imagine the possibility. Sometimes that’s where we begin—simply considering the possibility. Possibly the longing in your spirit is there because God put it there. Could it be true? If so, we can be assured that everything we need to know in order to experience this life will be revealed to us . . . in the fullness of his time.

I have an idea about why our lives are so “ordinary.”  I believe that we accidentally block the flow of God’s Spirit in our lives. Over time, we adapt to the anomalies within us and along our path, and our adaptations impede the flow of life—which is the flow of God’s Spirit within us.

But even though we’ve learned to adapt, we’re not altogether happy about our adaptation. Something within us still wonders if we’re missing something. A part of us yearns – or craves – to experience more of the splendorous image of God in our life. (to be continued…)

(Holy Libido will be published in early 2013)

Thursdays with Augi

“The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begets a wise child shall have joy of him. Your father and mother will be glad, and she that bore you will rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” ~Proverbs 23:24-26

Thursdays and Fridays have become two of my favorite days of the week. Not because they are the end of the week but because we have our one and only grandson, Augi, on those two days. I get to relive days that have long since passed as my two sons are now 29 and 34. I had forgotten how truly precious the young mind can be and how open it is to new experiences and how it views life through unclouded eyes.

When he walks into our house on Thursday mornings he comes in with the biggest smile you can imagine. He either plays hide and seek or rushes into our arms. I sometimes pretend like I can’t see him and I say “I can hear you but I can’t see you!” He waves his arms and says “I here Tata! I here!” It makes me think of how many children there are in this world that truly aren’t seen or heard and my heart hurts. In my line of work, all too often, I see the effects on neglected children and this makes the moment all the more poignant.

Augi is now three years old and his vocabulary is rapidly growing. For some reason he is now saying “Meanwhile back at the ranch….” which causes me to break out into peals of laughter because this saying must go back nearly 50 years or so taken from some TV western of yester year. How did he learn that? Is he watching old reruns of Bonanza and gleaning the lingo from that great series?

He makes me enjoy the simple things of life. Once, when he was about two, he kept looking at a giant mulberry tree we have in our back yard and said “Climb, climb!” I said “Augi, you’re too little to climb a tree.” He said “No, we climb!” Against my better judgment, I took him in my arms and climbed up several branches before I realized how high up we were and that I was wearing flip-flops! I sat there, 10 or 15 feet in the air in the tree branches, worrying about how we were going to get down. Meanwhile, he is looking at the leaves; spotting nests and birds; and enjoying the tree. The saying “Up a tree with no way down” took on a new meaning to me. I carefully made my way back down with Augi safely in my arms and was relieved to touch mother earth with only my flip-flops slightly askew…. Next time I will know better and wear tree-climbing apparel.

Augi reminds me of things I need to do, like fix my old Ford truck. We go outside and he wants to climb in. He tells me “Fix the truck, Tata!” In the meantime we sit in there and pretend we are going to the circus or rodeo. Along the way we encounter bears, tigers, eagles, elephants and other sundry beasts who all want to go with us to the circus or rodeo. They get in the truck with us and Augi yells out “Put your seatbelts on!” We sing a song as we go on our merry way. I am totally into this imaginary road trip and I am transported to my own childhood days. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I can hardly wait for Thursday to come around again. ~ Chris Baca

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” ~Robert Fulghum

(Thursdays with Augi is a guest post written by Chris Baca, President/CEO of YDI Foundation and YES Housing, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico)


One of the perks of being Grandpa is that I sometimes have an opportunity to fill in at my grandkids’ school events. Last week I attended Thanksgiving lunch with two of my granddaughters, Ariah and Camryn. The cafeteria was jam-packed with moms and dads and grandpas and grandpas. It was electrified commotion as little people proudly showed off their honored guests at the gala event.

Just as one girl, maybe a 2nd grader, entered the lunch room, she stopped in her tracks. She was nearly spellbound by the sight of all the lively activity. As her eyes jetted around the room, she exclaimed, “Awwww! I had no idea it would be this much fun. I would have invited someone!” There was a distinct tone of dismay in her voice. I felt sad for her.

And it made me think of the grand celebration we’ve been invited to attend. It is a celebration of perpetual life…in the presence of the Author of life. Can you imagine!

I doubt that we can. Although we’ve been given a glimpse into what heaven will be like, we do not have the capacity to grasp its true essence. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” ~1 Cor 2.9.

Even so, if we truly believed heaven is everything we imagine it to be, I believe it would be on the tip of our tongue. Whenever we found ourselves in the company of someone who was deeply distressed about the world we live in, one of the first things out of our mouth would be, “Yes, but have you heard about heaven? Would you like to know what we have to look forward to when we leave this earth?” We would delight in the opportunity to tell them about the new heaven and the new earth we will inhabit, and we would do our best to describe a life without pain and heartache. We would bubble over in our excitement about an everlasting paradise of communion with God and his people. Our face would reflect the promise of everlasting life—radiant life—for those who receive the gift of life through our Lord Jesus.

Like the dejected little girl at the Thanksgiving luncheon, we run the risk of showing up alone (is it even possible for a fully devoted follower of Christ to show up empty-handed?). The disconcerting picture in my mind is to be standing somewhere near the entrance…wondering in disbelief, “Why on earth didn’t I invite someone to this astonishing event?”

Or we can bring a party!

Holy Libido: Back Cover Text

What if we craved God more than we crave the appetites of our flesh? What if we were obsessed with knowing God more than we are obsessed with our personal entertainment and comfort?

Deep within the heart of many people is a nagging restlessness, a relentless desire for something more than the life they’re living. For some, it’s little more than an occasional distraction, a subtle drone in the background of their mind. For others, it is a relentless hunger that clamors for fulfillment. While the world around us radiates the splendor of a magnificent Creator, the world within us bears little resemblance to anything splendorous. Although we were created to reflect the image of God, we humans are the only creatures on earth that struggle to be what we were designed to be.

Holy Libido will ignite hope within you, fanning into flame your longing for a passionate relationship with God.

Holy Libido will infuse you with the courage to expose—and abandon—the lies of the world.

Holy Libido will compel you to rediscover the original design of humanity—to live life as God’s masterpiece.

Accept this rousing invitation to experience the passionate flow of God’s Spirit in your life. Invite God to release you from the encumbrances that have accumulated along your journey. And discover personally what it means to reflect a bit of the splendor of our majestic Creator.

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