Saturday, December 18, 2010

God’s Scarf

As Shelly and I went to try on our costumes as bell ringers for pageant, I noticed how classy she looked in her all black with a red scarf displaying a bling emblazoned cross. “Shelly, this would be a great costume for us as bell ringers. Where did you get that scarf?” She said, “My daughter gave it to me for Christmas last year. She bought it at a kiosk at the mall. I am going shopping today, I will see if I can find them.” In anticipation, I waited for Shelly’s text to say she found the scarves, but she never sent it. I text her late on Saturday night, “Did you find it?” My heart heard disappointment in her text, “No, but I have one more place I can check on Monday. I went everywhere, but no one carries them.” Both of us resolved that it would not be. It never occurred to me to ask God to join us in this endeavor—a scarf did not register on the spiritual radar in my mind.

On Monday morning, I went to teach my last lesson for the year at the Open Door Mission. My two prayer partners, Kim, Beth and I went out to the cars after to exchange our Christmas presents. Beth gave to every person at the mission an ornament that she personally handcrafted. “I made Christmas ornaments for ya’ll, too.” As she handed me a second gift she continued, “As I walked out the door this morning to come, I heard God say in my heart, ‘Go get the scarves!’ I told Him, ‘But, I will be late.’ I heard clearly, ‘Go get the scarves! So, I went back in and pulled these out of the closet for you.” I was clueless at this point, but when I opened my present, I started to scream and cry. Shelly wore the exact scarf on Saturday. It was a perfect match! As I told Beth and Kim the story, we all jumped up and down in the parking lot delighting in how God takes care of little details. Kim said, “God did this so you would know that His ways are not our ways. He wanted you to know how much He loves you.” I stood overwhelmed by the amazing power of God and at the faithfulness of Beth to listen and obey Him. I said, “We need a total of four! Do you by chance have two more?” Beth nodded her head, “Yes, I do! I have two more in the closet at home! That kiosk was ours. We didn’t open it this year.”

Beloved, do you ever wonder if God sees your needs? He cares deeply about the details of our lives… even the desire for a red scarf with a bling emblazoned cross! My beloved Kim reminded Beth and I that the reason she loves serving in prayer ministry births out of these moments. She waits with expectation to see how God will move and every week the three of us see His hand move in our behalf or in the life of another at the mission. The LORD surprised me this time. I have asked Him to shock and amaze me in my day, but I never knew it could be in this way. I watch with great expectation daily, but this one totally took me by surprise because it was an insignificant detail. In the scheme of spiritual matters, it really did not matter, yet the LORD knew one of His children needed a delightful surprise. If you see me walking around at Christmas, take time to notice my God scarf! It will forever more symbolize to me the value of listening to God and obeying His voice in order to join Him in His ways!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Be Still

I am praying for 2011 that I learn how to "Be Still and Know that He is GOD!" I intend to rest my head upon His chest and be speechless! I will enjoy the beating of HIS heart and hear the rhthym of His love. Will you join me?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fail Proof Love

Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:8

A dear friend, worried that she had offended me, sent me a short email stating that she was concerned as such. Wanting to assure her, I immediately typed a quick response, “Love takes no offense!” I meant it, too. I had no offense with her, but… just as I finished typing the exclamation point I felt that gentle tug in my heart. “Tara, you took offense when Greg raised his eyebrow at you just five minutes earlier!” “UGH!” The LORD caught me! I did take offense when my husband raised his eyebrow at me. This little incident caused a mental check to take place in my spirit. If I truly believe that love does not take offense then have I really loved? I will be honest with you. If someone will offend me, it will be my husband Greg. The very one I have committed my life to love, honor and obey is the very one that can cause me to move over the edge of offense. It is with him that I find this test of love most challenging. It isn’t with the stranger or even friend. It is with the one I interact the most intimately. When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” in my case I know He meant my spouse.

Love is an amazing thing. Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not jealous or rude. It keeps no record of wrong. Wait… I do that, too! God help me to love! Imagine what might happen if we chose to keep no record of wrongs and take no offense. What if we chose to not be… jealous, rude, self-seeking or proud? What if we chose just for today to protect, trust, hope, and persevere? This love is fail proof!

Which action of love is hardest for you?

Father, I choose to love! Help me to love as You love with a love that never fails. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This article is about my Dad! I am so proudo of him. Here is the link to his webpage where you can enlarge the article. The very last paragraph references my dear friend Linda Thorson. She has a new book out that features her poetry and photographs my dad has taken. The book is titled TRIUMPH An Inspirational Journey of Faith. I have provided a link to her book as well. Go check out what GOD is doing! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A dear sweet sister of mine is enduring the reality of her beloved husband going home to be with the LORD. She emailed me today and said,"I believe I just hit the grieving stage of reality....he is never coming back to hold me in his arms and I won't hear him tell me he loves me and he won't be here to just talk about our day or laugh together as we did so often." "Grieve not as those who do not have hope..." but grieve...I am grieving and I know I will see him again it is just learning to go forward without him that is so hard for me. Help me Lord Jesus for I can not do this alone!" I asked her permission to share what she sent me because I know it will help all of us to better understand the grieving process. Despite her pain she wrote a poem to me. I have posted it as well. It is mine and Sandy's prayer that the LORD uses this to minister to those in grief.

From the Heart to Tara (August 2010)

You came into our life not too many years ago.
And why we met, only our God above did know.

What a perfect plan God had for all of us to meet,
He knew I would need you as I stumbled at His feet.

You met my sweet Steve, the man I love so much
And in our hearts your prayers and love did touch.

Steve and I had our highs and also times some lows,
We needed someone and God sent the one He chose.

As Steve and I journeyed down our path of cancer,
You were there with prayers and many times much laughter.

Each time my Steve was ill and laying in a hospital bed,
You were there to hold me close as my tears were openly shed.

I thank our God for the extra years He gave our family,
And then took my sweet Steve home to finally set him free.

Thank you for reading my precious love poem to Steve, from me,
Hopefully witnessing to those of what sweet love and hope can be.

All my love,

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Sitting in a crowd and hearing a “wordy dird” never bothered me. See, I grew up in a home where “wordy dirds” were the norm. Maybe you’re asking, “What in the world is a “wordy dird?” Well, let me tell you what God showed me about the words that come out of my mouth.

I love walking the halls between classes. Three minutes never seems long enough to visit with friends, go to my locker and get to the next class. As I leaned against Marie’s locker, my eyes caught sight of perfect Pamela sauntering up to her locker with Wade, the football captain, on her arm. She unlocked her locker, stuffed in a few things and as she slammed the locker shut, she broke her nail. Her mouth opened up like a cheerleader megaphone and blared: “Bleep!”

I did a double take. Did she just say a “wordy dird?”

The horn blew again: “Bleep! Bleep!”

Yep! She sure did three times now. I thought, so much for perfection. I guess blond hair, blue eyes, designer clothes and the boy of your dreams does not make life perfect. As I stood there, my thoughts traveled in a thousand directions in a matter of seconds. Shock filled me with indignation that someone so “perfect” would allow such an ugly word to come out of her. In that one instant, she no longer seemed so perfect or even pretty to me anymore. Then my breath caught… I am no different then her. I too use “wordy dirds.” Yep, you guessed it “wordy dirds” are cuss words, profane language. Suddenly, I remembered my conversation with my brother about my parents. Heat flashed up my neck as I remembered our words. Tony and I really railed on about our parents just because they told us, “No!” If three ugly words can make this beautiful girl seem ugly to me then what do people think of me when I use such ugly words?

Without knowing it, God began transforming my mind from the patterns of this world. I felt my heart pierce with conviction. The world says such language is cool. God says it makes me look like a fool. I committed to God in that moment to not even say the word “dirty word” and from that day forward, I have referred to them as “wordy dirds.”

Check out Romans 12:2a. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

What pattern of living are we to stay away from? Can you name some patterns that God might want you to commit to let go of today?

Maybe your like me and honestly had never thought about how you look when you speak such words. Have you ever considered how your words reflect your inner beauty and thereby impact your outward appearances, as well? In an instant God changed me. As I watched perfect Pamela walk away with Wade draped over her like a knitted shawl, I thought even though my world has succumbed to “wordy dirds” I will commit to keeping my words pure. Amazingly, GOD has given me the ability to speak with purity… even in crowds pouring out profanity. You might want to pray the prayer I prayed that day…

Father, I never realized that ugly words make me look ugly to others. I want to be beautiful in all aspects of my life. Please purify my language and help me to be pure in speech. From this day forward I commit to only refer to dirty words as “wordy dirds” because I don’t even want to give them recognition in my life. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blind Obedience

When I was in seventh grade my art teacher, Mrs. Parker, invited me to go on a trail ride with a group of friends. I readily agreed because like most seventh graders I loved horses. Because I was the youngest member on the ride, they gave me the gentlest horse available. Ironically, this beautiful white horse was blind! The owner knew that this horse was obedient to the reigns because he truly trusted the rider to guide him on level ground through the gentle movement of the reigns. He would not move if I did not guide him in where to go or what to do. This horse learned the value of obedience.

Recently, the LORD has revealed to me the importance of trusting HIM even when I am blind to HIS orchestrations. I find myself often crying out and asking HIM to show me how HE is at work in me and through me. I realize that this in its own way demonstrates a lack of trust of God’s plan and path. As a child of God, I stand in the promise that GOD will set the path straight. I need not fret or worry about my impact or influence. If I am surrendered unto GOD and trusting HIS plan I can rest in the reality that HE will bring forth what HE has already begun in me and in those in my area of influence. The blind horse provides a reminder for me that my trust is not the path I walk, but in the one guiding the reigns.

The picture above is Mrs. Parker with Boomer today.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

This morning as I prepared for teaching, I felt quite happy. Why? Yesterday, I bought a beautiful shirt to wear to a conference I am speaking at over the weekend. Now, it is not my typical behavior to buy a new shirt when I speak, but I did this time. I really love my new shirt. It is a polyester blend that is so comfy on my skin. It has a simple white ruffle that crosses in layers over a black sheath. It is quite lovely. In fact, I put it on and looked in the mirror quite pleased with my purchase. I thought, “I look good in my new shirt!” As I turned to leave my bathroom I saw a brown spot. “Now isn’t that odd! I don’t remember my shirt having a brown logo!” I looked down only to realize that I dropped a nice fingernail sized dollop of my favorite lip paint. Yep! Lip paint! You know the kind that stays on your lips through talking, eating, kissing, and doing the dishes! I will confess to you I stomped right then and there! I stomped like a two year old and growled, too! UGH! Saying out loud, “Pride comes before the fall!” I had only worn the shirt five minutes!

I grabbed a towel and tried to press it off. It grew and smudged another spot!

Mmmh… Maybe if I used water… nothing! In a frenzy, I walked in circles…
Paint… paint… paint… What will take off paint? I know! Finger nail polish remover… NOPE, only a little fade. I ran to the utility room and grabbed the trusty Shout wipe.… nothing! Useless thing! I flung it aside. Wait, vinegar and water deactivates calcium deposits? Will it break up lip paint? Nope, I still had that ugly lipstick spot.

So, I tried hairspray! NOTHING! TWICE, I soaked my shirt with more hairspray than the ozone deserves! UGH, NADA!!! I still had that ugly stain. I started singing in my mind! I will glorify GOD to the tune of “I will call upon the LORD!” Yeah, I know I am weird. Anyhow, this is when I saw the OXYclean! Well, I might as well give it a shot. As I went to spray it I realized the pink wash clothes that I placed on the shirt to keep the stain from spreading underneath started to bleed on my shirt! YES! I now have a pink stain, too! DOUBLE UGH! I ran like a banshee to grab two white wash clothes. One for on the inside and one on the outside. I sprayed enough OXYclean to scrub my kitchen floor and took my white wash cloth and said out loud, “I WILL GLORIFY GOD, even in this!” I said it over and over! You have to know how absolutely strong and determined I was that the brown lip paint disappear. Suddenly, to my surprise white appeared under my scrub. I inhaled surprise! I looked down and it was gone! ABSOLTELY GONE! The pink was gone. Do I dare hope the brown lip paint disappeared, too? I slowly lifted my wash cloth holding my breath with anticipation and the brown lip paint was gone! It was washed as white as snow!

I am sending this out to all my beloved. Because, even in scrubbing a brown lip paint stain on a polyester white shirt, I will glorify the LORD! Please celebrate with me! HE WASHED IT WHITE AS SNOW! (I know you can’t tell, but I am singing!)

By the way, I will wear it at the conference and next week to class just so you can see I am telling the truth! Praise GOD!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Movement of God through Cherub for Junwoo

On Saturday morning when I awoke to let the dogs out I knew something was not right with Cherub (our dog of 13 and ½ years). She still wagged her tail and smiled at me as she always does, but her body seemed very old. I felt led to pray that the LORD would grant her dying grace. Greg and I left for a wedding leaving the kids with her because we did not want her alone only to receive a text as we were entering the neighborhood that she died. Aside from the fact that our family greatly grieves the sweetest dog on the face of the earth, GOD allowed us to see and observe HIS Sovereignty even in the birth and death of a beloved creature.

Cherub’s mom, Koda, was my dog before Greg and I got married. She never had pups, but when she was almost 11 years old, I told Greg that I thought she was pregnant. When we took her to the vet, he laughed at us until he gave her an exam and low and behold, Koda was pregnant for the first time with five pups. Cherub was the only brindle color of orange and white. The rest were all black like the mom. We kept her for Mikayla, who was only one month old because we believe little girls and boy need to grow up with a pup by their side.

Unknown to us at that time, the LORD had a plan. We have a precious little guy, Junwoo, living with us. He is our foreign exchange student from Korea. He is very smart and loves science. When he first arrived in our house, his favorite thing to do was follow Cherub everywhere she went. In fact, on his first morning in America he laid on the floor beside Cherub’s food bowl to watch her eat her food. The bond was quick. So quick that Cherub and Magi’ our other dog will even obey him to get in their kennels.

One day Junwoo, Grant and I were talking about God and science. Junwoo struggles with the concept of God. He knows science and logic. God can’t be seen and heard. God just simply is not logical. You can’t prove him with your eyes. Junwoo said, “I can’t believe in God until I see God.”

I responded by saying, “Can you see the wind out side?”

“Yes, I can see the leaves moving.” He replied.

“Yes, you see the leaves moving, but you can’t see the wind that moves them. It is the same with God. You can’t see Him, but you can see His movement. When you see the movement of God then you will believe in God.” Junwoo nodded his head in understanding.

Cherub’s death brought great grief to our home. We cried. We thanked God for her life and now we have an empty space in our home no longer filled with her presence. Junwoo joined us in our grief as we all openly shed tears, at times, quite loudly. After a couple of hours of great sadness, we chose to take the children to a pet store to celebrate life. We played with a very sweet white haired terrier. We did not go to buy a pet, but just to enjoy life and laugh as only a baby creature can give. We healed just a bit. God will weave His comfort through the process of time. But, moments before going to sleep Junwoo ran up to me in and asked, “Is Cherub in heaven?” My heart stopped. How do I explain to a little one that has not believed that heaven and hell are real places or even safe places that his beloved dog does not have a soul as man does? I responded by saying that God loves His creation.

I went to bed praying for God to use Cherub’s death to reveal Himself to Junwoo and unknown to me, my Greg prayed himself to sleep asking the same thing of God—feeling the movement of God among us as we went to sleep. As is his custom, Junwoo awoke with a happy disposition. He ran into the living room and said, “I dreamed about Cherub. I dreamt that Cherub and I were outside in the green grass. I had a ball and we were playing catch. It was a good dream.”

“I like it when I have wonderful dreams like that, too!” I answered.

As natural as breath, Grant and Junwoo started to talk of God. I opened my Bible and found the verse in Revelation 5:13 that says every creature in heaven, both on the earth, in the sea and in the sky will worship the LORD. I said, “Junwoo, last night you asked me a very good question. You asked if Cherub is in heaven. I wanted to share with you a Bible verse that comforts me.” I read the verse and then said, “The Bible tells us that God created man different than the animals. We have a soul that can choose between heaven and hell, but animals do not. I cannot tell you if Cherub is one of the animals that the Bible talks about in heaven, but I do know that God loves His creation and the creature. He loved Cherub. He created her. For us what matters is that each of us needs to know that is appointed for each man to be born and to die. Our belief in Jesus enables us to join Him in heaven for eternity.”

Junwoo replied, “I want to be in heaven with Cherub.”

“Junwoo, we choose heaven because of what God did for us through His Son Jesus. You and I, and all people need to understand that we are a sinners (someone who does bad things) and that GOD loves us. You can’t choose heaven because of Cherub. You have to know and understand that our sins keep us from being near God. Do you understand that God loves you? If you were the only person and sinned, God would still send Jesus to die on the cross for you. Jesus was sent by GOD to die for your sins, my sins, everyone’s sins. It is our acceptance and understanding that Jesus did for us that enables us to live forever in heaven. Do you understand?”


Our dialogue stopped for a moment as both boys started to share about what happened when Cherub died. I then said, “Junwoo, if you ever decide that you want to have Jesus as your Savior. Just tell us and we will share with you how to talk to him about it.”

“Yes, I want!” Junwoo replied.

“Are you saying you understand that you are a sinner in a need of a Savior and you want to know how to pray to God?”

“Yes, I want, now!” He spoke while his lip quivered some. The movement of God upon him very clear by his voice and manner with which he spoke—I could see and feel the awe of God.

Grant crawled on the floor near Junwoo as both boys sat for a moment stunned. Junwoo asked, “What do I do?”

I quietly explained. “Junwoo, just tell God that you believe in His Son. Tell Him you want Him as your Savior.” Junwoo waved his hands in front of him looking at me and Grant for clues. We bowed our heads and without thinking folded our hands. He copied our movement and repeated after me, “God, I believe you sent Jesus for me. Accept your gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

Tears ran down my face unashamedly with great joy! “Junwoo, the Bible tells us that when you believe in the LORD Jesus you are saved. The Holy Spirit comes inside you and seals you. You belong to God now. It also says, that when one sinner believes in the LORD Jesus Christ all of heaven rejoices with a party to celebrate!”

Junwoo looked up at all of us and said, “Can you show me again how God created the heavens and the earth?” We opened our Bibles and read Genesis 1 again looking at the wonder of creation through new eyes—eyes that see with spiritual insight and not just the reasoning of man.

“Junwoo, God wants you to be the best scientist that you can be! He will show you great mysteries now that no one else will know or understand. He has great plans for you.” I have told this to my little Korean son several times before, but this is the first time that he understood what I meant.

The Sovereignty of GOD never ceases to amaze. He knew that we would have Junwoo with us and that Junwoo needed Cherub. Cherub’s breed typically lives only 10-12 years. She lived longer. She blessed our family with great fun and friendship as only a loyal dog can do. She never complained about who we are or judged us. She just loved us. We have learned many lessons about how we need to be with each other. The greatest gift she gave us though was Junwoo becoming our brother in Christ. Thank You GOD for using Cherub to help Junwoo see YOU! Thank You, that Junwoo had eyes to see and a heart that was willing to respond to Your gift of eternal life that can only be found through Your Son!

Feb. 6, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I just found this. It is fun to visit old journals. It is something I journaled in 2006.
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. John 3:29

Jan. 16, 2006
Father I awoke with this thought this morning.... Runaway Bride.

How many times do I begin the walk down the aisle to the altar of commitment? I can hear the music playing, "Here comes the Bride, all lovely in white..." I see Your smiling eyes and I'm drawn to Your presence. Slowly, my left foot joins my right foot as my skirts swish with the measured pace. Here I come to make my commitment complete to become ONE with You! The closer I get to You my heart begins to grip with fear... this is too close... too personal... too real... too permanent. I can't make this commitment! What would You expect of me tomorrow if I say "yes" today? Are You going to expect more and more of me? Where will I be? Where will You begin and I end? Suddenly, with my heart pounding I look over my shoulder behind me and I see my past and all those who represent my past. Isn't that really where I belong, with them? They are who have formed me up to this point. They are safe. I know them. You... You're an unknown... my future. I really don't know You--know You! My pace begins to slow as I walk down the aisle. Your loving arms are outstretched and Your smile reaches across Your face. Once again I am drawn, I take another step closer.

But what if I can't honor my commitment? How can I know this is real? You don't even know where I have been and what I have done! If You did, would You still want me? Can I really make this next level of commitment? My pace slows down as my past grips my heart with fear because the thought of revealing all to You is more than I can bear! I turn to look at my past friends again. My mind runs through all the places I have been... dark places... places unseen in the light. You would not understand! You cannot even imagine what I have walked through in the night. I consider walking back down the aisle. My approach to the altar stalled. Voices through my head shout, "He does not love you." "He can't love you! Look where you have been." "He will get rid of you once He finds out where you have been and what you have done." "You can't do what He has called You to do!" "You don't know how!" "You are not able!" Shame fills my soul.

Commitment! What am I thinking? I can't commit to You! I turn slowly and begin walking back up the aisle. I glance over my shoulder to see Your eyes brim with tears Your arms still opened wide calling out, "COME!" "COME!" I can hear You whispering, "Join me at my banqueting table and feast on the delight I have set before You." I falter, longing for Your feast as Your arms enfold me with care. I can't! I can't walk away from the arms that give my soul rest! No longer a runaway Bride I turn and run to my Groom, "Here I am! Here I am! Can You ever forgive me? I need You so desperately! Take me and make me Yours! I am Your Bride and You are my Groom! Take me to Your table. Let me dine with You! I want to share Your cup and eat off Your plate! I want to dance in Your arms until the past is wiped clean! Swirl me across the dance floor in abandon with You! In Your arms all things are possible! I love You my Groom! I am Yours!

With each new commitment it is so easy to become a Runaway Bride. Why do I allow myself to think that You will ever change? Everlasting Father! You will never change! You are endless and safe and secure! COME! I join You this day and every day at Your banqueting table! I love You and I am truly am Yours! As my thoughts allow the adversary to discourage me, forgive me and cleanse me! Purify my heart O GOD! Who shall I fear? I am Yours!

Where are your fears? Where are you allowing them to rob you of the banqueting table and great dance with Your Groom! He is YOURS! He has His loving arms steadily open and ready to enfold you for the Great Dance! Walk down the aisle to the altar and complete the commitment you alone have been called to make!

Precious People, Your ministry is so important and valued! NEVER GIVE UP!

I love you and thank GOD for each of you.
Tara Rye