Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thrilling Guest Thursday: Jill Carattini

This week I am introducing you to a writer that I only know through her postings on A Slice of Infinity, which is part of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry. I subscribe to the daily blogs that are generated by his ministry. Jill Carattini is a regular contributor. She links literature and life experiences to spiritual lessons. No wonder I enjoy her posts. This week my friend Marijo, who also enjoys A Slice of Infinity, encouraged me to read this post.

Click on In the Room to read this inspiring story that reminds us that God often surprises us with His presence.

Last night I attended a worship service, and we sang a song unfamiliar to me. The opening lyrics echoed what I had read in this post: "We wait for You. We wait for You. We wait for You to walk in the room." Doesn't your heart race when you are waiting for someone special to arrive? That's how I felt last night waiting, looking around the sanctuary, longing for Jesus to enter the room. He did enter by the invisible presence of His Spirit. But oh, how I long for the day when he arrives in the clouds. When we all will see him in all His glory! Come, Lord Jesus, Come! I want to live expecting Jesus to arrive at any moment. I revel in the fact that I can experience His presence now, and I long for the day when this life is over and a whole NEW life begins with Jesus forever!

The title of the worship song is We Wait for You (Shekinah Glory Come)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rest: Peace of Mind or Spirit

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it."

Isaiah 30:15 NIV
North Point Marina

The Intuition Diaries

The first day of our trip a small craft advisory kept us at rest. We weren’t able to leave the marina as the waves were too high for safe travel. The next day we embarked on the first day of boating, we were well rested after a day of eating, napping and exploring the North Point Marina grounds. On our day of rest, we celebrated Les’ birthday. I made Les dinner and I told him that I had a surprise…I was going to take him on a trip around Lake Michigan. He laughed.

For his birthday dessert, I made brownie waffles with strawberries on top.

We left the marina early Monday morning to cruise the 67 miles to our next port. While we puttered along the Wisconsin coast of the lake, I was thinking.

 I often ask Les what he is thinking and he will reply, “Nothing.”

I find this difficult to believe because my mind never seems to rest. I noticed while I was busy thinking that I either recall the past or project into the future. One minute I am thinking about all the fun times we had on previous vacations, and then the next thing I know,  I am wondering what’s for lunch or where will be headed the next day.

I asked Les about his ability to think about nothing. He admitted that he enjoys the present. He explores the scenery around him. He pays attention to the charts and the direction the boat is headed. He lives in the moment. I admire him. I can do this occasionally, but it truly takes discipline for me to rest and remain in the moment.

The trip today started out calm, and about halfway through our trip the waves started getting choppy. This caused the boat to bounce, which caused me to get a bit uneasy and queasy. I tried everything to enjoy the moment, including taking a nap.

 After my nap, Les asked if I wanted to drive and I declined. About an hour away from our destination, I decided I did want to drive and Les gave the helm over to me.

I was amazed at how I went from restlessness to restful once I had something to concentrate on. Rest takes many forms. It can be sleep, which actually renews our bodies. It may be just letting your mind enjoy the scenery around you. For me I need something to help me rest, so I rested my mind on the task at hand.

Once we got to Port Washington, Wisconsin, I was feeling relaxed. I was at rest, free from anxiety. We continued our rest by wandering around the town, eating a late lunch at Beanies (best fajitas ever!). We ended our day by riding our bikes on a local trail and eating ice cream for dinner.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Tuesday's Pics
Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.
Psalm 4:6

When was the last time you saw
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living?
(See Psalm 27:13)


Monday, August 27, 2012

Running the Race

Monday Musings

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 20:24 NIV

Earlier this summer I made a decision. I agreed to do a biathlon. I completed a 5K run on my birthday weekend, so my next  step was to do a 5 mile run/22 mile bike race, right? A pretty big jump, but I was up to the challenge. Of course, now as September 16th draws nearer, I’m not so confident.
With the race being a couple weekends away, I determined that this week, I would continue my training. That means I should be running at least every other day, as well as squeeze in some bike time. Alrighty then, here I go.

Last night I set the alarm for 6:00am, rolled out of bed by 6:15am and was out the door running by 6:30am. It was a good run and as often happens while I run; thoughts churn through my idea generating mind. I mulled over familiar Scriptures, tried to pick up a strain of a praise song. These thoughts are sort of like stream of consciousness prayer.
At one point, I was remembering a phrase from a worship song (I think) that went something like this: “God is God, and I am not.” Good reminder. I started smiling inside. Then this little rift of rhyming phrases ran through my mind as praise to God: “You sustain me, maintain me, retain me and explain me.” I almost giggled out loud. God explains me. That’s a good one. I repeated the phrase to myself, so as to remember it when I came home. These words give me something to chew on and look up definitions for more revelation later.

As I directed my steps around the block one last time, I passed a women walking. On the back of her shirt there was a cross logo and the words “Running the Race,” just the encouragement I needed to power up the last hill towards home and a cool down walk.
All praise to the One who sustains, maintains, retains and explains us. Thanks be to God!





Friday, August 24, 2012

5 Fives Friday

The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

(Psalm 90:10-14 ESV)

Five is not a magical number. It is mentioned in Scripture mostly to mark the amount or age of sixty-five. For some reason we are fascinated by numbers. People will say certain numbers have biblical significance, and they are correct because certain numbers are repetitive in the history of Israel and even into the New Testament. Twelve tribes, twelve disciples, you get the idea.

But five is not like that. It's an odd number. However, I like the sound of "5 Fives Friday" and I do have a practical point to my rambling if you can bear with me.

Last week, I was running at a local park, and I was getting tired of running, so I started a cadence count in my head: "1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4...etc." That motivational counting soon became boring, so I added a 5. "1-2-3-4-

5... POW!

I got a little surge of power, so I kept counting to five and I kept running and I finished my workout. Cool!

While counting my thoughts lighted onto another idea for getting my to-do list done. Why not list 5 Fives each day and see how much I accomplish on the list? Then I trimmed my goal back to why not just do it once a week and work my way up to 5 days a week. So I have been listing my 5 Fives at least once a week now for the past week. And it works. One time I even listed a sixth 5.

So here's the challenge: Make a List a of 5 Fives and Do Them! Feel free to comment on this post to let us know how it goes.

Here's my list for today:

1. Read 5 pages in the Bible.
2. Drink 5 glasses of water.
3. Take 5 minutes to unload the dishwasher.
4. List 5 gratitudes.
5. Count to 5 before I answer a question. (Remember counting engages the rational side of our brains!)

High five! See you next week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thrilling Guest Thursday: Kelly Greer

On Thursdays, I would like to share encouragement from fellow bloggers and writers. Today, I'd like to introduce you to my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Greer, aka, Plays with Purpose.

Please click on the photo or the imbedded link and read a wonderful story of God's unexpected provision in her post titled: God, Help Me to Give You a Wide Berth!

Her blog is called Ain't No Mountain Too High.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Routine: The Travelled Way

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
the Lord's name is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3 KJV

The Intuition Diaries

Routines were to be left behind, while we vacationed on Lake Michigan. Or so we thought.  We found out at the beginning of our trip that routines are important whether we were on vacation or not. Just like the rising and setting of the sun, routines have their purposes. Every time we take the boat out, we follow a checklist. Read more if you want to hear how we neglected a crucial routine, but were graced with GRACE!
At the beginning of July, we drove away from St. Louis, towing our boat, the Intuition. We arrived late afternoon to our destination just north of Chicago on the western shore of the lake. We checked in with the marina and proceeded to get the boat ready for our adventure of following a clockwise circuit around the shores of Lake Michigan.

We were out of our normal routine. Les was thinking about getting the extra kicker motor on the back of the boat. (This motor is our backup if the main engine fails.) I was thinking about how to arrange the extra food and other items inside the boat, so we wouldn’t be tripping over stuff for the next few weeks. It took about an hour to get everything transferred to the boat, so we were pleased with our efficiency.

Next stop—back the boat down the ramp and find our boat slip. We have a checklist for this procedure, but for some reason neither one of us pulled it out. Familiarity and past successes at this mundane part of boating became an embarrassing oversight.

Before heading out to sea, it is prudent to make sure the engine fires up and everything is working properly. So we took our usual steps (sort of) and tried the engine. NOTHING! Was the battery dead? Why is the bilge pump running? Did the fridge drain the battery on the road trip here? We were baffled.

We went back to the bilge pump question. Why was it running? Its purpose is to bail water from the cockpit of the boat or any water that is in the bottom of the boat. Under my breath, I was praying for wisdom. We opened the floor hatch and noted  water in the bottom of the boat, which the pump was dutifully offloading. All of a sudden, we remembered…the plug…did anyone put the plug in before we entered the water!? Nope, we totally skipped that part of the checklist. We scrambled and pulled the boat back on the trailer, let the water drain. Then promptly put the plug in.

The grace part: In our rush to get to our destination (the slip at the marina); I had knocked the throttle out of neutral. The engine only starts in neutral. The checklist states: “Check to make sure the throttle is in neutral position before starting the engine.” If the engine had started, we would have had a more serious problem on our hands, like how to get a sinking boat out of the harbor.

After figuring out the plug problem, we consulted the checklist, which solved the engine failure. I put the boat back into neutral, and the engine fired up immediately. What did we learn? We learned to trust the routine and always look at the checklist. After our humiliation subsided, we laughed at ourselves and thanked God for watching out for us in our foolishness.

Sunday Morning Sunrise

North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, IL 8.10.2012



Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Tuesday's Pic

Do you lean towards a balanced life or a rhythmic life?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Turning Point: A Point at Which a Significant Change Occurs

Monday Musings

This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
(Isaiah 48:17)

Significant change can occur instantly or over time. I have been travelling to this particular turning point over the past twenty-four years. I remember the day the journey started, July 29, 1988, the day Kurtis John Rohlf arrived into our lives. Our first baby, and a couple years later another boy joined us, Bradley Keith Rohlf. Each arrival changed our lives, bringing joy and heartache and fears and hopes. Today they are young men, sharing an apartment and seeking their destinies.

Their departure finds hubby and me alone, with time and space and new challenges and dreams awaiting us. Last year, I completed my Bachelor of Arts in English. My turning point has arrived. I am moving towards a new season of pursuing a road I left behind when I chose to have a family. The road up to this point has prepared me for the next part of the journey.

Trust has been the foundation of this journey. Trust in a Savior, called Jesus-Emmanuel-God-with-us, the one who never leaves or forsakes me. My constant companion at each turn, this God-Man communicates unfailing love to me daily. And not only to me, but He loves every person in this whole wide world.

I got a glimpse of Jesus loving my nephew, Peter, recently. We were at our local water park. One of the highlights of the park is the lazy river, so our first visit there this summer, we gathered my nieces and nephews and a few tubes to float away our cares. The three younger ones each fell off their tubes, and Peter refused to return to the lazy river the rest of the summer. Peter is almost seven. He has a twin brother, an older sister (11) and a younger sister (5). They moved to our neighborhood recently, bringing much joy to us.

Just before school started, we decided to have another family outing at the water park. Everyone else wanted to go in the lazy river. Peter was reluctant to go. While the others lazed around the river, I decided to coax him one last time to try it again. They have double tubes, so I reassured him that I would go with him. He finally agreed, when I said he could bring his goggles. Just before we stepped down the step and into the tube, Peter stopped in his tracks. He placed his hands together and stated simply: “I’m going to pray.” He asked God to not let him fall out of his tube. I smiled and hoisted him on the tube. His anxiety returned, and he took a breath counting to ten out loud. I settled into the tube next to him, and pushed us off into the lazy river. Peter took another breath counting to ten again. (I was pleased that he was counting because I taught him this technique that I learned from a friend. She told me that counting to ten is not just a technique to calm down, but the task actually engages our rational side of the brain, thus overriding our emotional responses. Try it, and see how it works.)

We were on the lazy river, Peter resting calmly on his side of the tube with his arms propped behind his head; classic relaxed pose. It was a mere few minutes after his prayer and counting exercise that he remarked “I trust God with my whole life.” What joy! This confession birthed out of his rational mind brought me renewed hope. It is a rational choice to trust God! And the emotions follow—peace, hope and joy!

I will mark that afternoon as a turning point for Peter and me the rest of my whole life! By the way, Peter didn’t fall into the lazy river that day. He actually got the courage to hold on to the sides of the tube and dunk his goggled face under the water. J

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coming Soon

And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land
that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”
(Joshua 1:10-11 ESV)

Life is eventful! Full of events that keep us occupied and often running out of time for the things we really desire to accomplish. Can it be August already? I stood at the corner today watching my sister send her kids off on the school bus. Her youngest entered kindergarten. Where have the years gone?

Our boys flew the coop in January to rent their own apartment. Summer has been hot, hot, hot in St. Louis. My husband and I escaped for a few weeks to celebrate our new season of life. While out on Lake Michigan, we relaxed. And I renewed my passion for art, nature, writing and all things creative. As the school year begins, I don't have any children at home to mark the transition. I am not taking any classes myself. But I want to take this time to start anew.

I redesigned the background on my blog, removed some clutter and refreshed the photos. I am getting ready to roll out some daily postings on August 20th.

Monday Musings

Tuesday's Pic or Book Review

Wednesday Word of the Day

Thrilling Guest Thursdays

5 Fives Friday

To find out more about this excitingTurning Point at Nourishment for the Soul, come back on Monday!