Tag Archives: friend

Dear Friend

Credit line (HTML Code): © Iurii Sokolov | Dreamstime.com Title: Old love letter Description: Love letter and antique quill on a black background Photo taken on: March 26th, 2010 ID: 13697480 Level: 3 Views : 389 Downloads: 5 Model released: NO Content filtered: NO Keywords (Report | Suggest) fashioned pen paper nostalgia copy old history handwriting love quill romance calligraphy letter manuscript antique mail reading retro writing memories


Dear Lydia,(fictional name) I've thought a lot about you since our coffee day last week. Not in a 'creepy' way , but in how can I direct your steps to follow and love God, because I know that is your heart's desire. After seeing you I read an interview by Jen Wilkin, the author of Women of the Word. The interview was about books on her shelf, what she is reading and the authors that have influenced her life. Here is her brief list.
  • The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer... I have read this since college and read it almost every year.
  • The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink
She has also been influenced by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, G.K. Chesterson and Augustine. She also read R.C. Sproul, Wayne Grudem, James Boice and John Stott. I like Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem and was encouraged as I read the scriptures pointing me to Jesus.
...keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.,,...therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees... Hebrews 12:2, 12 Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land." Hosea 6:3
So, dear friend, shall we start together in knowing God and looking to Him every second of everyday. I am making Colossians 1:10 my new life verse because I want to walk worthy of the Lord. I want to be fully pleasing to Him and bear fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of our Great God. Love, Jody This letter is not fiction, but the name is. I wrote it earlier this year to a friend who asked for some reading material to help her focus on the Lord. This letter is a result of that request. 

Dusty Women-Lori

9-24-2015 Lori and I had to have been first friends. You can read all about that below. She also helped me with the initial beginnings of Dusty Women, which you can read about below too. Lori recently returned from a trip to Uganda. Not a missions trip per se, but a vision trip of what God is doing in that part of the world. Please read about her travels here, this is a story you don't want to miss. She is a woman of God who inspires me on almost a daily basis. We mostly text a few times a week, or an occasional email. And a fellow coffee drinker when we get to see one another. She brought me something all the way from Africa.  She inspires me in so many ways in her walk with Jesus. She has a way with words but her text to me this morning was one of her best. 

I knew you would savor every drop as you savor our living Lord! Lori 

coffee 2014 Several months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want to be like so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5 I wanted a catchy title other than God's Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said
what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we're from but where we're going? I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.
I love the fact that she said we need to be defined by where we're going not where we've been. As Paul says in Philippians 3:12-13...
forget what is behind.
Lori Somers is my next interview in the series of Dusty Women.

206491_205490752807805_3098552_nI don't even know where to begin with my friend Lori. We've known each other...forever. Her mom and mine have been friends since 5th grade and they are in their 70's. In fact, Lori's arrival changed my mom's wedding...kind of. Her mom Sharon was to be in my mom's wedding on July 30 and Lori was born a week prior to that. My mom went to plan B. Now that she and I are in our 50's our story together is very...long. But this post is about her journey not mine or ours, I will save that for another time. When looking for a picture of her there weren't too many to choose from that were just of Lori. Most of the time she is surrounded by 5 grandchildren or walking the dusty roads of Africa. In her spare time she works full time to take care of business, love on her grandchildren and feed her passion to love the least of these. Wouldn't you agree her smile is contagious? The interview follows this picture.

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Lori, would you describe yourself in 5-7 words?

L=Loving  O=Organized  R=Resourceful  I=Intelligent  How about four words? Eli made this for me when he was little and I think it fits pretty well.

Would you briefly describe how and when you were rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred in the Kingdom of God? (Colossians 1:13)

At the time God's saving grace wrapped me in righteousness I was 14 years old. I really didn't understand or know the depths of God's mercy and grace at that time. But I have lived through the depths and seen God's glory reveal itself over and over again. God never changes. His love never fails. I am rescued from the domain of darkness every single day. God's Kingdom awaits me, and He is preparing a place for me. He wrestles me in the valley so that I can proclaim victory in areas of my life that would never produce fruit. Praise God!

What do you enjoy about being a mother and grandmother?

Being a mother tests your resolve and makes you decide what is important. The best part of being a mother is the love. It changes who you are. The best part of being a Grandma is the freedom to play and enjoy every moment without an agenda.

What advice would you give to a young mother struggling to just get through the day?

You have to set aside what the world thinks is important and focus your mind and energy on the attributes of Christ. Phil 4:8 will get you through rough conversations, rough emotions and raw days where nothing goes right. See your family and children as God sees them. Pray for the eyes and heart of Christ to serve your family. The world tells you that if your feelings are intact and it feels good, do it. But wisdom tells us that "right thinking leads to right behavior which leads to right feelings". You can get into trouble if you start out with getting your feelings in order.

What does God's Word mean to you?

God's Word is truth. It makes me alive. It challenges me to have a clear mind and heart in order to speak truth into others.

What does the body of Christ mean to you?

The Family of God is the way God wraps his arms around you when you are hurting, distraught, or when you need someone to make you accountable. The body of believers also rejoices with you in truth and victory!

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla Cake; everything else chocolate In addition I asked Lori one more question regarding her life in Christ. She has clung to her Savior's hem getting a lot of dust on her as she seeks to follow Him in everything. Lori, what do you mean when you say
Letting freedom and redemption flood my heart and soul. Not just saying it but believing it.
Its one thing to know in my head I am free. Free from past sin, guilt, chains that bound me to a marriage that was over long before my pride would allow me to acknowledge it was over. I told myself I was free from that, but I kept my windows and doors locked, curtains pulled. That is not freedom. You have to live like you're free and let it flood your mornings, your afternoons and your bedtime. God's redeeming grace tells me its okay, you don't have to look back. And you don't ever have to go through that again. I wanted you to learn to depend on me fully. And I'm redeeming your life, your heart and your service for greater things. I have delivered you from oppression and unlove. God is saying "move with me, lean into me, and let my grace pour over your heart and your life." And I have to be obedient to those words, and those actions. We want logical and black and white words. But Jesus tells us that is no solution at all. He beckons me to come to Him, weary and heavy-laden and He will give me salvation rest, away from my self-made decisions, to trust Him.  I've moved from saying those words to believing that freedom and redemption ARE mine as I follow Him down a new road.

Dusty Women-Debbie

Several months ago I came across Titus 2 Tuesday blog posts. Inspired to do the same thing I set out to make a list of my own questions. Women who have encouraged me to be a radical follower of Jesus. Radical in the sense they love God with all the heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves. They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want to be like so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5 I ask about coffee or tea and vanilla or chocolate to find out who I will be drinking coffee and eating chocolate cake with!! I wanted a catchy title other than God's Women, so I asked a friend for help and she said
what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we're from but where we're going? I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.
I live in New York because of Debbie..well I should say her husband is responsible and God of course. Rob had sent his resume' to a church in Kingston New York 17 years ago. Allen, Debbie's husband, would not let us say no. After many months of praying and another phone call from said elder, we said yes and moved to New York. Debbie has been a faithful, loving and caring friend for 17+ years. We have both moved from the church that brought us together, but I still count her among my dear sister's in Christ. Some of my fondest memories spent with Debbie are of us sitting at her kitchen table on the farm, drinking coffee. She was the first of many friends I tried to convince I'm a friend before I'm a pastor's wife...could you introduce me as your friend first? I also convinced her by dusting furniture for her. Debbie is a brave woman...she raised 5 boys and lived to tell about it. She is now a grandmother, loving every minute of it. No picture of Debbie, but you can head over to my Facebook page and find her under Debbie Bailey.

Debbie, would you describe yourself in 5-7 words?

I love God and family.

Briefly describe how and when you were rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of God. Colossians 1:13

During a VBS in 1972, I walked forward to receive Christ as my Savior.  At that time I was a pre-teen, looking for stability in my life. My parent’s recent divorce and my mom’s change from alcoholic to God’s daughter impacted my life deeply. The pain of my childhood took years to heal; yet, God has heard this girl’s prayer for forgiveness and has amazingly brought me through many trials and setbacks as well as blessings and times of peace and contentment.  As I look back on the 40 + years since that day, I can only see how God has kept me and how He has continued to sanctify me. Over and over God has proven Himself faithful to this, at times,unfaithful girl.

What do you enjoy about being a mother?

The calling of motherhood has been a means for my sanctification. So many times God would bring to mind the very words I spoke to my children and He would gently remind me of the very issue I was dealing with as I was disciplining one of my sons.This culminated in releasing my sons as they became young men, making their own ways.Through the tears, I was reminded that my commitment to raise my sons was my commitment, not theirs.  God would deal with them as His children, just as He continued to mold me into His beloved. I often found it interesting that my husband did not necessarily share my shaky faith in regards to our sons. Allen would often remind me of the truth of the matter, making me wonder, why Allen was so practical, when I was having pity party. God knew what He was doing when He joined us together.

What do you enjoy about being a grandmother?

Another one of God’s blessing. The best part about growing old is…. GRANDCHILDREN! The worst part is living so far away from them.

What encouragement would you give to a young mom struggling to make it through the day?

No matter how busy your day, squeeze in time (5-10 minutes, if that is all you have) to recharge your batteries. Spending time alone reading your Bible or doing something you enjoy. And put into your budget, money for you & your husband to spend time together. There have been times in our marriage that we would visit McD’s for a coffee before or after our weekly grocery trip. It is possible to save for a weekend away by planning & saving just a few dollars a week. An empty nester?  Let God plan those empty hours. I have always been amazed by who or what God brings into my life. Our children need us in a much different way now, and in our case, God has brought us 4 beautiful daughters-in-love (Thanks, Jody for this!).  And now 7 grandchildren.

What does God's Word mean to you?

God’s Word is Truth. I know I can believe what I read in the Bible when all seems to be falling down around me. If God’s Word says I will provide all your needs (IT DOES SAY ALL!), then even when the cupboard is bare, I can trust him.  God’s Word has so much for us, spending time reading; meditating, memorizing and sharing will build those spiritual muscles. Can you tell I get excited about God’s Word?

What does the body of Christ mean to you?

I can not put into words the countless times God has worked with and through the Body of Christ to minister to me and our family. For me, the Body is as necessary as breathing. But God has also made us a part of the body of Christ and He has many things for us to do. My husband & I were members of our local body for just a few years, yet one of the elders asked if I would be willing to chair the committee for their 150th anniversary. As one of the newer members, I was given the task to put together a celebration of God’s faithfulness. God never meant to have us sit on shelf (or in our pew week after week)!  Listen carefully, He will instruct you in the way He has for you.

Coffee or tea?

Yes, I am very much a mood eater (I have had to train myself to eat good food). So I like my coffee in the morning, iced, and flavored, but I like a cup of tea at times as well.  And nothing beats a tea party with the granddaughters.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Yes, see above. But added to that vanilla ice cream and only dark (the darker the better) chocolate! Read the series Dusty Women here.