Learning to stop and be still is absolutely necessary before we can listen and respond fully and gratefully to Life—moment by moment.


When in a new state that actually feels like a new country it was difficult to stop and be still. We got our rental car and made our way to the road that would take us to our hotel. As Bob drove I was watching the fields of lava. Some were smooth. Most were blocks and stacks of slabs. I saw what I thought was an animal and thought no, my mind is playing tricks on me. And when I saw the second one I declared to Bob, “I just saw a goat!” He has learned to come alongside me when I blurt out things like that. When we saw more he became a believer. What in the world?

Eventually we learned there are feral goats on the island of Hawaii. Once thought to be a gift to the people they have become destructive and out of control. They decimate native plants, overrun certain areas, run across busy roads, prove a challenge to control and there are no natural predators on Hawaii.

The British brought most of them. The idea was to populate the island with a food source for sailors on future expeditions. Cook was killed during this final visit. However, British Captain Vancouver explored the islands in 1792 and introduced one male and one female to Kaua‘i. The islanders cared for these animals and used them for meat, milk, and skin. Goat reproduction was rapid, and some animals escaped into inaccessible terrain, founding wild colonies of ibex goats on seven islands. (The article says these are not true ibex.)


The Hawaiian government has encouraged culling the herds through hunting. So no, I wasn’t seeing things when I spotted that first brown goat atop brown lava. Whew! Had me wondering there for a minute.

One day we were driving down Mamalahoa Highway. Trotting along the side of the road, facing traffic, two goats came towards us, beards blowing in the breeze. They cracked me up! They acted as if they know they own this island. It all happened too fast to get a photo. Some of you might be remembering hearing in the Word about goats and sheep.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Matthew 25:31-33 NIV

I saw a great quote just before we left Ohio. God says “Love them all. I will sort them out later.”

So be still. Watch for goats and other animals you might not expect. Respond gratefully to life moment by moment! God will sort out the people at the end, whether you consider them sheep or goats doesn’t really matter. It is up to our Holy Judge.

For the Lord is our judge,
    the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
    it is he who will save us.

Isaiah 33:22 NIV

Most Recent Poem

I was having a spiritual struggle and one person or the spirit from one person seemed to be the biggest challenge. I could not name the spirit but I knew it was there. Finally it was apparent I needed to get alone with the LORD and have a prayer time to throw this thing off. I was prepared to spend many hours if necessary, but surprisingly it only took a couple hours. This is the resultant poem.

Rooftops ©23-4-20 Molly Lin Dutina

Above the rooftops
Beyond my thoughts and dreams
You move by Your Spirit
Unseen yet beyond powerful
Invited by my yieldedness
You ask no invitation
Welcomed by my obedience
You come cleanse my house
Straightening my crooked paths
Wayward thinking
Thoughts that give negative entrance
You swing the Mighty Sword of Spirit
Sweeping away all hindrance
To Your will and ways.

Above the rooftop of my hair
(Which You have numbered every strand)
Your towering angels like ancient trees
Stand guard to alert me to invasion
I am kept by a love divine
I dwell under the shadow of the Almighty
Your wings enfold and embrace me
If I go astray You shepherd me back
If necessary You will even carry my smelly self
Returning me to the fold
Feeding me with the finest food
Brushing out the tangles in my wool
For You love me
You even pour Your love 
Like a bucket of soapy water
Throughout my heart by Your Spirit
No shame remains
After You work within me

May your week be filled with time for prayer and the rewards of having been in His presence.

Psalm 116 and 1 Peter

Turn again to your rest o my soul, for the Lord has treated you well. Have you instructed your soul in this was to be restored? Have you ever read Psalm 116 in terms of your relationship with the LORD God Almighty?

Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord protects the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:5-7 NRSV

When I take time to review my life and my relationship with God I am brought back to a place of rest. Not do-ing, but be-ing with Him. When I peel off my complaints I realize He HAS treated me well, dealt bountifully with me. This fresh realization brings me to a point of wanting to serve Him more, in any ways that He asks.

Have you ever made vows to the Lord? We often hear of people in painful situations trying to bargain with God along the lines of “If You will just do what I want here and now, I will serve You forever.” We are really not in a bargaining position with God. But if You have made a vow to Him from the depths of your being, have you paid the vow?

I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,

Psalm 116:17-18 NRSVUE

As an Associate of the Convent of the Transfiguration in Glendale Ohio I made a vow to pray for the Sisters daily. I promised to support the Convent and their work as I am able.

When the verse says “I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people,” to me it means there will no longer be just me and Jesus. I will live out my commitment to Him publicly, in the presence of all His people.

Are you living out your faith before the Lord only, or also before His people. Have you vowed to be a living sacrifice? That is my word for the year ( you can read back in January when I was impressed to choose that.) There are times this living sacrifice does not want to climb up on the altar, does not want to be a living stone.

Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.

1 Peter 2:5 The Message
and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 2:5 RSV

As a building stone I want to be like Jesus, ‘a chip off the old block’, similar in yieldedness and willingness to obey His Father and my Father.

“Lord help me to pay my vows to You in the presence of all Your people. Help me to serve you with joyous willingness. Show me Your chosen paths for me and I will walk there with You. Amen.”


In the churches there has been a tradition of celebrating the resurrection of Christ, not just on one day but an entire festal season right to Pentecost Sunday, after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven and the promised Holy Spirit was given to the disciples. I challenge you to worship the Lord Jesus for His powerful sacrifice on our behalf. His resurrection power lives in us. Let us praise Him for the entire Eastertide this year!!The song lyrics below capture that in so many ways for me!

What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

You were the Word at the beginning 
One with God the Lord Most High 
Your hidden glory in creation 
Now, revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is, what a beautiful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a beautiful Name it is, nothing compares to this 
What a beautiful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us 
So Jesus, You brought heaven down 
My sin was great, Your love was greater 
What could separate us now?

What a wonderful Name it is, what a wonderful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a wonderful Name it is, nothing compares to this 
What a wonderful Name it is, the Name of Jesus 
What a wonderful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

How sweet is Your Name, Lord, how good You are) 
We love to sing in Your Name, Lord, love to sing of who You are

Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You 
You silenced the boast of sin and grave 
The Heavens are roaring the praise of Your glory 
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal 
Now and forever, God, You reign 
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the Glory 
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is, what a powerful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a powerful Name it is, nothing can stand against 
What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

You have no rival, You have no equal 
Now and forever, God, You reign 
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the Glory 
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is, what a powerful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a powerful Name it is, nothing can stand against 
What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus 
What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

Written by: Ben Fielding, Brooke Ligertwood

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
    and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night,
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:5-8 NRSVUE

My Younger Friend

I just love that I have gotten to know a much younger neighbor who is also a Christian. We share quite a few things from encouragement for our journey to recipes. Last summer we shared leadership during a summer Bible study group. Kassie brings a much younger version of faith into my life. Her videos have skateboards and jeans with split knees! The song in her post called Fear Not is one that I had to put on replay about 17 times. Such comfort to our souls.

She is a school teacher and is enthusiastic with her students. I have yet to visit her classroom, though I want to very much. She also writes a blog and has given me permission to re-post her writing from the week after Easter. Enjoy!

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In the Stillness

In the Stillness

Take a Rest

When I got home from work today and finally sat down to eat dinner, I knew I was down for the count for the rest of the night. I was thinking darn…I really wanted to get _________ done and I really needed to _____________. Then I thought to myself, why?? I am tired! All I want to do is rest, and that is okay!

This verse immediately came to my mind. It’s been bringing me a lot of peace lately, reminding me to not only rest, but to rest with God and to bring Him my burdens and worries. The song below has the scripture in it and is a reminder I need often.

When my troubles are a little too heavy
Who I can turn to, to share the weight?
When my mind is cluttered and cloudy
Who can I turn to, to clear the way?
Who can I turn to, I turn to You

You said Your yoke is easy
You said Your burden’s light
So I’ll let You
Lead me
For all my life

Some days are long, some work is tough
Whatever I lack You make it up
Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light
You gave me life, You give me love
Whenever I’m dry You fill my cup
Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light

I feel a little lighter just listening to that! I love the line…I will let go and follow empty handed! That’s what rest helps us to do. To remember that even if we take a break, things won’t fall apart…and even if they do, we can pick up the pieces tomorrow 🙂

So I took to google images to find a quote on rest and calling it quits for the day…I found this one that I liked…

Then I found this one that was a little too relatable!! Same quote, whole different kind of mood! Haha

I just wanted to quickly write this for anyone else who like me, needs to hear that it is not only okay, but it is necessary to rest!

The song below has been my absolute favorite for the last week. It is so beautiful and it is Scripture!

Isaiah 41:10 KJV “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

We fear not because God is with us. We can rest because we have God. He strengthens us and helps us…He alone holds us up and rest is an act of surrender!

Enjoy your rest…I’m off to rest too ❤

The Work of God

This book is a collection of psalms and prayers with the subtitle ‘A Benedictine Prayer Book.’ I have owned it for a while now, but just recently began using it again. If you need a reading discipline you can cover Proverbs in one month with a chapter a day. You can cover the Psalms in a month with about 5 chapters a day. I broke Psalm 119 into smaller daily sections as it is so very long by itself! Below is my Psalms chart should you want an idea of how I do it.

DayPSALMSPsalm 119DayPSALMSPsalm 119

After covering the Psalms for a couple years I moved on to other devotions. So coming upon “The Work of God is rather like a refresher course in the Psalms . While reading one section with Psalm 115 and Psalm 116 I thought I would like to blog about it.

Compiled by the Revered Thomas McKenzie, Obl.S.B.

Psalm 115 begins with “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your Name give glory; because of your love and because of your faithfulness.” Then it goes on later to command Israel and the House of Aaron and “You who fear the Lord to trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield.” I was taught that when something is written repeatedly in Scripture we are to pay attention to the repetition! Trust in the Lord, He is our help and our shield.

Don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get. When I am feeling weak and needing strength to get through each day I need to trust the Lord and know He is my help. He is my shield.

Why in 2023 would we need a shield? Most often we think of a shield in terms of warfare and combat. Do you realize we are at war every day because we trust and rely on the Living Lord? The enemy of our souls does everything in His power to undermine our trust in God. He began in the garden of Eden by having Eve and Adam question what God said to them. He continues to this day to bombard us with doubts, fears, unrest about God our Father. Yes, we undoubtedly need a shield about us. You, LORD, are my shield.

The next verses declare:

The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.
13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,
The small together with the great.

Psalm 115: 12-13 NASB

The final verse in this Psalm says “But we will bless the Lord, from this time forth for evermore. Hallelujah!

Psalm 118

In verse 22 we read “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

There are interesting definitions for cornerstone. Here are two of them.

  1. A stone at the corner of a building uniting two intersecting walls
  2. An indispensable and fundamental basis.

Jesus is the cornerstone of faith uniting the wall of Judaism and Christianity. He was and is their Messiah. The builders of Judaism rejected Him as the chief cornerstone. He is our Risen Lord and on this rock we build our faith.

Psalm 118:22 was quoted by Jesus in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Acts 4:11 says the same. Ephesians 2:20 says “You are built upon the foundation of prophets and apostles with Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.”

Is He your cornerstone? For everything you do? Is He truly your indispensable basis for life? Does He join your earthly life with your spiritual being? Can you truly declare that you believe “I am an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.”

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

One video re-enactment I saw showed four or five men rolling the stone in front of the grave Joseph of Arimathea donated to Jesus. (I love the statement that He borrowed the tomb because He would not need it for long!) A huge stone in front of that tomb. I wonder if those men knew He was the stone the builders rejected? Did they realize He was the chief cornerstone?

Are you aware that He is a living stone and God considers you one, too?

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 2:4-5 NIV

The Revised Standard version reads “LET yourselves be built into a s piritual house.” Let – allow, yield.

No, I do not mean a plant as featured on the site The Spruce. “Living stones (Lithops spp.), also known as pebble plants, are unusual little succulent plants that have evolved to look like the pebbles and rocks of their native habitats in Africa. These plants hug the ground and grow extremely slowly.” Made me laugh!

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
    and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
    and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

Isaiah 51:1-2 NIV

Isaiah is referring to the ancestors Abraham and Sarah, but we can rightly apply the same verse to our LORD Jesus Christ. We are, in a manner of speaking, ‘chips off the old block.’ As we follow Jesus we are to be like him, a living stone, chosen by God and precious him.

He will use us to build a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood. Oh so much to learn about “offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Absolutely none of that can be accomplished until we accept Jesus as the chief cornerstone of our faith and life.

Resurrection Sunday

Sometimes when I was growing up I got to go to sunrise service on Easter morning. I think my favorite one was held at French Park in Cincinnati. The weather was often chilly and even at times rainy, but we were determined to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord as the sun came up!

My mother worked for many years at a flower shop in Norwood, Ohio. One year she brought home some purple hyacinths and plucked each flower off, wrapped it in wet cotton, wired and taped it. Then she assembled them as an Easter corsage for me. To this day the fragrance of purple hyacinths remind me of her. Though she lived a troubled life I believe her faith in Christ took her to be with Him when her life on earth ended.

None of these things help my soul celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as much as my gratitude lists. When Ann Voskamp wrote One Thousand Gifts I wonder if she knew how the practice would revolutionize the American Christian church? Certainly it changed her life, but do we ever truly know the impact our writing will have upon others? I wonder.

Have you practiced writing down the gifts in your life that Christ Jesus has bestowed upon you? Have you given Him thanks this Easter? Here are some of my thanksgivings.

  • Sunshine
  • Rain in due season
  • Salvation for my soul
  • You give strength to hearts that are true to You
  • Your righteous shall live by faith
  • our home
  • the longevity of my marriage
  • Justice that rolls down and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream
  • God with us
  • You know the hairs upon our heads
  • The Convent of the Transfiguration
  • my sisters in Journey Together in Stitches
  • crochet and knit group at senior center
  • Your Spirit that gives me life
  • Your breath in our lives
  • My children
  • My grandchildren
  • Laundry now on first floor
  • small gardens to delight my soul
  • the bluebirds at the office window
  • rabbits in Angela’s yard
  • Grogu to make me smile
  • Noodle the Corgi that makes me smile
  • music
  • music memories from over the years
  • The Holy Spirit speaking in my soul
  • My Bible and Bible Gateway tool
  • Rheude’s small group
  • Lucky learning to play with her toys
  • Cooking
  • Great Smoky Mountains and spring wildflowers there
  • Medical care
  • freedom of religion
  • clouds
  • spring peepers
  • gifts
  • dark chocolate
  • coconut!
  • travels we have done
  • travel planned to Hawaii
  • blogging friends
  • New Mexico friends
  • Neighbors who are friends
  • running water in our home
  • crocheting
  • sewing for our home and others
  • museums of art
  • Cincinnati Nature Center
  • red winged blackbirds
  • butterflies
  • armor of God
  • Abraham’s example of faith and obedience
  • Andrew Peterson’s music
  • Learning to be a living sacrifice
  • loving husband
  • forgiveness
  • the Great I am
  • firemen
  • police officers
  • electronic books from the library
  • my sister
  • pinwheels
  • soap bubbles
  • even to old age He will keep me
  • black licorice
  • Spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead LIVES in us
  • I can entrust my soul to my faithful creator
  • iPad with keyboard
  • ear buds for listening while walking the dog
  • Living Water
  • Seashells
  • heating pad
  • ocean sounds
  • He walks with me and talks with me
  • rainbow in the sky reminds me of rainbow around the throne
  • the Psalms
  • friends serving in Nepal
  • New Covenant in my mind and on my heart
  • Jesus is made unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption
  • “Pajama church” when you can’t make it to service
  • His still small voice
  • Bob’s sense of humor
  • a good fresh salad
  • piano music
  • people I know I can ask to pray – knowing they will do it
  • cellos
  • live drama performances
  • good ham salad
  • music by Brandon Lake
  • writing poetry
  • Mizithra cheese sauce on angel hair spaghetti
  • broccoli slaw, just yum
  • Spirit of God helps me write

That is my partial list. How about you? Get a little notebook and begin to list your praises and things you are grateful for! It will work wonders for you 🙂

Death could not hold Him!

Holy Saturday

This day is another time for reflection before the Resurrection Celebration. According to Britannica “The observance commemorates the final day of Christ’s death, which is traditionally associated with his triumphant descent into hell.”

The Apostles Creed says”He descended into hell and on the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven.”

He rested on the seventh – God rested.

The video below linked with Andrew Peterson’s music really touches my spirit.

Many churches celebrate an Easter Vigil with prayers and baptisms, lighting of a fire, etc. I think I prefer Peterson’s reflection. I am unaware of anyone making music about what Jesus did when He descended into hell. We know from Scripture He set the captives free.

Whatever you believe about His death, what He did before He resurrected, how His ascension takes place, I pray you will put your trust in Him. He is able to prove Himself to you, even you.

Here is an animation of one person’s idea of Holy Saturday. Yes, it is six minutes long, but I think they captured the ideas wonderfully. Hope you will watch it.

May this last day of Holy Week provide time and quiet for you as you prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus!

Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and Jesus

The LORD has come to earth to build His Kingdom in and through us. It is almost impossible to comprehend the power and the glory He has put forth on our behalf and within us. How can this be?

Even Mary asked in Luke 1:34 “How can this be?”as she pondered God moving in her through the Holy Spirit.

In Cinderella the lyrics between the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella are a back and forth of things sensible people would never believe. Pumpkin becomes a carriage and four white mice are four white horses, etc. They go from Impossible to Possible.

But the world is full of zanies and fools
Who don’t believe in sensible rules
And won’t believe what sensible people say,
And because these daft and dewy- eyed dopes
Keep building up impossible hopes,
Impossible things are happ’ning every day!
Such fol-de-rol and fiddledy dee of course is
Quite possible!

For the world is full of zanies and fools—
Who don’t believe in sensible rules
And won’t believe what sensible people say.
And because these daft and dewy-eyed dopes
Keep building up impossible hopes,
Impossible things are happ’ning every day!
It’s possible! It’s possible!
Impossible  by Rogers and Hammerstein II
Our seemingly impossible hope of redemption through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit are often scoffed at by 'sensible' people, especially 'worldly' people. But God knows better than they do!

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure.

Matthew 11:25-26 CSB

John Piper wrote about this. Here is a link to a short list from his book The Stupendous Reality of Being in Christ Jesus. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/six-things-it-means-to-be-in-christ-jesus

The world says Impossible. God says Perfect! I pray this Lent you have drawn closer to the Father through the power of His Holy Spirit. The changes He can bring to you are more stupendous than a pumpkin becoming a carriage!

Waterford creation

I pray you are willing to be yielded to His power at work in and through you. May you let Him have His way in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to rise up within you and do the works of Jesus through you. May 2023 be your best Easter Season ever!

It is almost impossible to comprehend the power and the glory He has put forth on our behalf and within us. And yet our Father says this is His plan. Unlike the Fairy Godmother, His transformations are eternal. Yield to being remade in the likeness of His dear Son.