Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Born in a stable,
Buried in a tomb;
The earth He created
Became His room.
© M. Sue Moore

He [Jesus] was in the world,
and the world came into being through him;
yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own,
and his own people did not accept him.
John 1:10 -11 NRS

Monday, November 15, 2010


Once upon a time…
That’s a good way to begin a story of make-believe, isn’t it? This is not a make-believe story. This is a true tale.
Once upon a time, there was a woman of more than three score years plus ten. One night as she was headed to bed, she had the bright idea that she must find a cute, soft, little, gray stuffed elephant to buy. Miss Sadie knew exactly where she would go the next morning as soon as the store opened. She was so excited with the thoughts running through her mind that she had difficulty going to sleep.
A few days prior, Miss Sadie had given away two adorable squishy elephants to a precocious kindergarten girl named Kate. If the woman already had those elephants, you may wonder why she gave them away. She made the decision based on a perceived need. She felt Kate could make good use of her wonderful imagination by having the two appealing elephants “discuss” important matters with one another. The woman envisioned the young girl holding one small elephant in each hand while encouraging their face-to-face conversations.
The little elephants were named Ava and Eva. Ava wore a pink bow above one ear and Eva had an aqua bow over hers. When she passed them to Kate, Miss Sadie explained the bow colors showed her which one was which. The tiny twins had lived on a desk in Miss Sadie’s house for a couple of years. They were there because they used to “write” letters to her grandson who also owned a cute, soft, little, gray stuffed elephant. His Ellie used to come to visit with Ava and Eva until he got too old to bring her with him. After that, the twins had stopped writing letters. And now it seemed they would be happier living with the cute little girl.
In the past, Miss Sadie had used some special children’s stationery with elephants on it. The stationery was outlined in different colors. Some was lime green, some light yellow, some pink, and some blue. Each piece had a drawing of a little elephant dressed in fancy corresponding colors of clothing of different styles. There were also matching envelope forms to print, fold, and glue. Now, she had big plans for using that stationery again.
The time was right. Miss Sadie was ready to find another elephant so she could give her a name, set her on the desk, take her picture, have her “write” stories about herself, and send letter-stories to Kate and the elephant cousins each week. The woman planned to be sure the little girl knew that Ava and Eva were twins and encourage Kate to make up her own stories about them, too. Knowing that the little girl was already an imaginative storyteller, Miss Sadie knew it wouldn’t be long until the kindergartener would be able to write her own stories.
Once Miss Sadie had the idea of finding a similar small gray elephant, she knew the search was going to be difficult. She figured it could be impossible to find an exact match to the twins, but she was a woman who would not give in to the thought of its being impossible. Too many times in her life, the impossible hadn’t been!
Morning finally came. Time for the store to open arrived and Miss Sadie went inside. She took a shopping cart and went directly to the stuffed toy shelves. She didn’t see any tiny, gray stuffed elephants. She didn’t see any elephants at all. She took one of the big boxes down from the top shelf and dug through all the stuffed toys. No elephants. She put the box back and took another down from the shelf to look through. Ah, there was an elephant, but he wasn’t very cute. Yet, he was a stuffed elephant. A stuffed, male adult elephant…not soft. She put him in the shopping cart and thought, “He might be okay, but I am going to keep looking.” She continued her search through box after box, until she had dug through more than ten boxes and several shelves, high and low, front to back. She pawed through tiny stuffed toys and big stuffed toys. She thought she might have to settle on a cute little black bear or some other bean-filled soft toy, but when she moved a large teddy bear aside, hidden underneath was a cute, soft, little, tie-dyed looking purple elephant! The floppy ears were purple with a white floral design on them. Each of her four feet was covered with the same fabric. After all the searching, this little elephant in Miss Sadie’s hand was more than a dream come true!
Miss Sadie just stood there for a minute, wanting to tell the world, “Look what I found!” In all her joy, she knew a few people would understand her complete joy; most would join in her happiness, but not really “get it.” She knew it was all part of a plan that came from more than her mind could fathom. She had a plan, a good plan, as described in the above story, but once she held that little purple elephant in her hand, other stories began to blossom that never would have come about with a cute, soft, little, plain gray stuffed elephant.
Miss Sadie believed God was in the little things. He didn’t hand a little gray elephant to her on a silver platter just because she wanted one; no, she had a plan, but He had a better one. He knew what she wanted, but He didn’t immediately answer in the affirmative. He watched while she searched, but He gave her strength to do it. And then, He watched and rejoiced with her when her hand and eyes simultaneously landed on that little purple and white elephant. He knew, without her saying so, that she was thankful. She knew that He had shown her again, that “once upon a time” can be a true story.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 11-15-2010

"Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent"

Saturday, October 9, 2010


There have been times in my life when I have been too overwrought with sorrow or concern to formulate a worded prayer. I have taken great comfort in being able to believe with all my heart that God knows me better than I do; therefore, He completely understands and will help take care of my needs. His Word reassures me of this in Romans 8:26-27 (ESV): “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” But…have you ever thought about the answers you have received to prayers not prayed?
There was an occasion when my husband and I had to ask for help in transporting my bedfast, ninety-year-old mother from a nursing home in Ohio to one here in Texas. My husband had received a long-desired job transfer. We could not afford the hospital-style airfare. We did not have money for ambulance care for that kind of mileage. What could we do? We prayed for an answer. This was before in-home computers, so we snail-mailed friends who were with Sojourners, a group of retired RV-ers. These are folks who spent silver-haired years repairing church buildings, helping with Vacation Bible Schools, doing whatever they could wherever they were needed. (It’s my understanding they still do.) My letter went to their Texas home, but finally reached our friends sojourning in New Hampshire. They called. “There’s a couple here, with a brand new RV that sleeps six. They have to be in Mesquite, Texas a few days after Labor Day. They will come through to take you and Mimi there. Here, I’ll let you talk to Billie.” I talked to Billie. With gushing thankfulness, I gave her directions as we made the upcoming plans. When I hung up the phone, I turned to my husband with the announcement, “Well, we knew to ask for transportation. What we didn’t know to ask for was a nurse. Billie is a retired nurse!” The prayer we didn’t even know to pray had been answered.
More recently, my prayer was that the empty house next door be sold to someone compatible. I prayed that, though I knew God might have someone incompatible in mind because I needed to learn some particular lesson! If that were the case I was willing, and He knew that. Even so, it didn’t hurt to ask for my heart’s desire, someone who would be easy to get along with. We live in a patio home. In our neighborhood that means one whole wall of our house is the property line of the neighbor’s side yard. The only window on that wall, in the dining area, measures about three by four feet, and is filled in with thick glass blocks. We needed good neighbors. The sold sign went up but we seldom saw anyone around. One Sunday as we were getting out of our van, a sweet little woman appeared from next door, saying, “Hi, I’m your new neighbor. I locked myself out. Could I use your phone to call my husband?” She saw that we were using the lift on our van for my husband’s motorized scooter. After we explained his need because of the effects of diabetic neuropathy on his lower limbs, her eyes brightened as she responded, “I’m moving here for my job as a caregiver for a healthcare system. I’m a diabetic specialist. I’ll give you my phone number and you call me if you need me anytime, twenty-four hours a day.” Another time, another prayer answered: a good new neighbor, but again, here was an answer to a prayer not prayed, a health-care specialist on call next door!
Have you caught yourself saying, “Whew! That was close!” when you realized there was a near-miss involving your vehicle in heavy traffic? Would you consider that an answer to a prayer you didn’t pray?
Oh, how about other occasions when you find yourself thinking, “It could have been worse.” Is that a time to consider there has been an answer to a prayer you didn’t pray?
We can be thankful for the promise we find in our beginning scripture, that the Spirit intercedes according to the will of God. God provides amazing ways to surprise and delight us with answers to prayers we don’t have the wisdom or forethought to pray.
Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 10-7-2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So many times I have seen Jeremiah 29:11 quoted and have repeated it myself: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” We have taken that scripture very personally and applied it to mean to ME. (That is taking it out of context because it was written for a group of exiles, not just one person. However, I am sure God does have things planned for each and every one of us as individuals so I won’t argue the point. The NLT version of Psalm 40:5 says: “O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.”)
This morning as I was doing my daily Bible reading I noted just before that favorite verse of Jeremiah 29:11, another to which we ought to sit up and take notice. In verse 7, God tells Jeremiah to give this message to those in captivity, “And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
At the present time, few folks seem satisfied with the status of the political situation in the United States. Considering that and having just read God’s admonition to those in exile, started me thinking about another scripture that maybe we ought to pay more attention. It seems to be human nature to want to discuss our grave concerns about the state of our nation and voice our complaints loud and long. We tend to talk to anyone who will listen; let’s face it…we’ll talk whether they will listen or not! We write letters to the local newspaper editors and pen guest columns. We editorialize on blogs. We become masters in the field of verbiage yet fail to make full use of the greatest opportunity of all. I Timothy 2:1-4 is so clear in detailing what needs to be done and why: “ First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Now if we look back to that favorite verse from Jeremiah, would you agree we have heard it repeated more frequently in recent years than the ones from Timothy? Why do you suppose that is? Have we become so selfish that we want to grab it all for old Number One and let the other guy look out for himself, let him do his own praying? Are we just simply heedless? Uncaring? What? Look back at the earlier verse in Jeremiah and the ones in Timothy to catch the reminders that that isn’t God’s way. He wants us to reach out to consider the plight of others, and He explains that what is good for them is good for us. It seems we, as a people generally, have become so busy looking inward that we can’t be bothered with looking beyond our own selves to what’s good for our fellow human beings, not just for this world, but for eternity as well.
We need to remember to learn to look and love as God does. He does have plans for us, to give us a future and a hope, but it’s not for us alone. He has a desire for all to be saved, to come to a knowledge of the truth, and He has given us the admonition to pray, not just for self, but for all. And that means all.
Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-22-2010

Friday, August 13, 2010


Before the creation of the world, because He knew mankind would need a Savior, God made a plan and chose to send His Son to be the perfect unblemished Lamb Whose blood would be available to wash away the sins of the world. A long time ago I chose to accept this wonderful Lamb of God as my Savior.

Ephesians 1:3-6
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

Think with me for a bit about what this means: Jesus chose to leave Heaven to live in an earthly body, knowing the kind of death He would eventually die. If you were already in Heaven, can you imagine choosing to come live on earth, knowing you would die such a painful death?

Jesus talked of His life being His own, to lay down and to take up again; He willingly chose to lay it down. He chose to allow the nails to be pounded into His hands and His feet while He also chose to yield His body to those who nailed Him to the cross. Jesus could have walked right through the crowd as He did on another occasion, (Luke 4:28-30) but instead, He chose to be obedient to the point of death.
John 10:17-18
"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."
Hebrews 5:8
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”

God does not force us; He has blessed us with the same opportunity of freedom of choice He gave His beloved Son. Do you realize what God did when He placed that opportunity in our hands? He gave us tremendous power! We can choose!

When these thoughts first started working through my mind, a couple of lines became kind of a mantra to help keep me in line when I am tempted. A simple example would be: In the morning when I head to my laptop computer…do I first choose to click on the Internet icon for e-messages or do I click on my Bible Explorer Program for my Daily Bible Reading in order to get my day started right? Inside I say, “Jesus chose; I can choose. Jesus chose; I can choose.” Interestingly enough, just those few words help remind me to make the right choice. Maybe it’s because I am really a control freak and I want to be in charge; however, in reality I know my being in control is a myth because ultimately God is in control, not me anyway. Whatever else it is, it is a reminder of the power God has placed inside of me, the power to choose!

Oh, it feels good to be able to say…and know…

Jesus chose…
I can choose…

Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-13-2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Our firstborn, Beth Zimmerman, writes a blog that has over 200 regular readers. That is the known number. I suspect someone reads a particular post and sends a hyperlink to a friend saying, “You need to read this one,” and a new follower is born. Having done so myself and having recently read one of Beth’s latest blogs:
as well as the comments, I certainly hope that is the case. (Did you notice how easily I slipped that in? )
As a result of having read and pondered this particular posting on Beth’s blog, along with the comments, my thoughts have turned deeper and deeper towards relationships within families. As she mentioned times have changed, but as she and so many others point out, they cling to God Who has not, nor will not, ever change. What a blessing in a world filled with uncertainty and constant change to know we have The Solid Rock on which to stand!
In the beginning, God had plans for relationships. Before there were mothers and fathers, He said, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Did you get that “BEFORE there were mothers and fathers” part of my statement? Sounds like God had some kind of plan, so bear with me here.
First, let me explain my understanding of the phrase “for this cause”: It seems to me to mean because He made them male and female to become one flesh in marriage. (Not a popular stance in the eyes of some in today’s world, but that is the who God created us to be.)
Next, I would be remiss if I left those of you hanging who have grave concerns over abusive relationships in which you unexpectedly found yourselves. First, you answer to God alone. I do know the marriage relationship is compared to Christ and the church in Ephesians and the examples found there are laid at the feet of both the man and the woman. I’ll quote the last verse only here but heartily encourage the reading of the entire passage found in Ephesians 5:22-33: “Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.”
Now, let’s go back to the idea of husband and wife putting each other BEFORE mother and father. My guess is we are all equally familiar with scripture that teaches us to honor our parents, but just where do we draw the line…or do we? Any loving parent understands there are occasions when a celebration has to be canceled (postponed) because a child unexpectedly runs a high fever, breaks a bone causing a run to the ER, or some other such disaster, but what about the more subtle interruptions between husband and wife? After 52+ years of marriage, I can even say once a new little dog came first! Thankfully my husband was in full agreement that it should be that way or I would have had a very difficult decision to make…but you know what? Husband would have made the first cut because 52+ years ago I promised to love and honor him.
We may laugh a little, but what about the interference of other people we love who are in our lives: God-fearing, well meaning, sometimes genuinely helpful loved ones? Perhaps our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters? Do our parents let us go when we marry? Do our children interfere in our relationships? Probably one of the best things that occurred when John and I married was our move to another state. No running home to Mamma at the first argument. (I’d never seen my parents argue and I thought it meant the end of my new marriage! Boy, did I have a lot to learn!) Thankfully, when we lived closer, both John’s and my parents were hands-off except for visits although I am sure there were occasions when every one of them would love to have had a word or two with each John and me!
However, as we aged, the time came when my widowed mother, at age 87, came to live with us at our invitation. I make a point of saying, “our” invitation because it was total agreement. We had a lovely, roomy house in the country, but in a state far from her original home state. She happily agreed to come and within two years, another move followed for us, along with some mini-strokes in her. That, combined with the stress of her care and my misunderstanding of all the changes in her, forced the decision for a nursing home for her. It was either my husband or my then 89-y-o-frail mother. That decision haunts me to this day; however, the teaching I could hear from her from past years came through loud and clear, as it still does today, “Your husband comes first.”
I didn’t abandon my mother although it feels like it. I still spent inordinate amounts of time trying my utmost to get the care she required until the day she died… including another move to another state. I know I did what God planned from the beginning, in that I put my husband before mother or father, seeking to honor Him and His Word along the way. Mother and father, son and daughter, other loved ones have their places, but let’s remember, as difficult as the decision sometimes is, it is the husband and wife God planned to be one.
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-7-2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Because my desire is to follow Christ I have set a standard in my actions and words that starts in my heart. Since I first learned of my Lord’s love and chose to follow Him I have learned much from His Word about who He created me to be. I have let Him, others, and myself down many times, but as with a toddler learning to walk or even for a frail elderly person struggling to maintain balance, He has provided helping hands along the way. Where I am weak, He is strong and when I am low, He lifts me up. He holds out His arms and says, “Come unto Me,” and I gladly stumble into His warm embrace.
“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
When I started my walk with Christ I saw it pretty much as just Him and me but looking back over the many years between then and now, I realize more and more that many people have been a part of God’s workmanship that has gone into helping me become who I am today. Following time spent in fellowship and worship with my church family, I come away with my heart overflowing with thankfulness as I remember that even before the creation of the world God knew exactly what each one of us was going to need so He planned for us to have this Family while we are here on earth. We are here “to do good works” to teach, set examples, physically help, and spiritually encourage each other.
While we are blissfully involved in our Family Circle though, there are those on the outside who longingly observe the attitudes displayed…the helping hand offered with no expectation of being repaid, the infirm taken to medical appointments, yard-work done for seniors, lunch shared with the lonely, and really happy people even though their circumstances are less than ideal. A great desire arises in the hearts of others, particularly those who are searching, to have what they see in Christians. Our friends, co-workers, and neighbors know we are Christians and because they see what we have, they know they want to join hands with our Lord and us as we walk side-by-side on this path. (If you have a doubt about this effect, please remember that God sees into hearts; we don’t. God is all-powerful; we aren’t. He can work through us in ways that amaze and astound…even us! When our children were in their early to upper teens, we moved next-door to a family with two toddler boys. We grew to love that family dearly and while it should not have been, it was a happy surprise a few months later when the young mother asked if she could come to church with us. She wanted the older of the two boys in Sunday School. Actually, I should have been the one to invite her, but God was working even so! This young mother saw God’s effect in the lives of our family and wanted His Love to permeate her family in a similar manner. Where I was weak, He was strong!)
As surely as it is impossible for me to do everything everywhere all the time, with God it is possible; He has brought and continues to bring people into my life to help fill in the chinks in my armor, to cheer me on to finish the fight, to help fill up my soul. Though I still manage to mangle many of the good things I set out to do, even when I falter He sees my heart and because He loves me, He never tires of saying, “Come unto Me,” and I never tire of falling into His strong, loving embrace.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 6-9-2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010


From the first time I became aware of the verses in John 18:4ff, I have been in love with the story of Jesus’ stepping forward in the Garden that night when He was betrayed and asking, “Whom do you seek?” and the events that followed.
“Whom do you seek?” When the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene,” He responded, “I am He.” Just picture the dark, flickering torch-lit shadows of the garden at night and all of these men facing this One Who chose to neither fight nor flee. They were so astounded they drew back and fell to the ground! What was it about this man’s demeanor that brought about such a reaction in these men? Can you see them as they started to stumble their way back to their feet while he once again asked, “Whom do you seek?” And again, they responded, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Once more He told them, “I am He.”
As I partook of communion this morning I was transported back to that night in the Garden, to those men, to that question and that answer. There was more meaning to that question, “Whom do you seek?” and answer, “I am He,” than they realized…until after the crucifixion. We know that at least one man, a centurion, became very aware because he was standing right in front of Jesus when He breathed His last and he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39) I wonder about the many other men who fell to the ground in the Garden; do you suppose they ever thought back to, “Whom do you seek?” and, “I am He”?
This morning during communion when I thought back to that night, the memory of His asking, “Whom do you seek?” wrapped around me like a comforting quilt. In a turmoil-filled time, with insecurities seeking to unsettle the very core of the person I have spent a lifetime trying to become, “Whom do you seek?” was a very powerful message of peace that reached deep into my soul because I know Who it is that I seek. I found Him a long time ago and have sought to walk with Him faithfully although too frequently I have released His hand and let the comforting quilt fall from my shoulders. Today I realized I simply needed to remind myself to keep listening for His voice as He asks me, “Whom do you seek?
I love that story!

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-9-2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010


When I drew my first breath,
my MOTHER was with me.
When I was a little girl,
my MOTHER took care of me.
When my children were born,
my MOTHER helped take care of them and me.
When my MOTHER became a widow,
I helped take care of her.
When my grandchildren were born,
one of my children came to help take care of my widowed MOTHER
so I could go help take care of my other child and her children.
When my MOTHER grew old,
I took care of her as long as I could.
When my MOTHER drew her last breath,
she was not alone.
I was there.
Because she was my MOTHER.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-8-2010

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. I Timothy 5:4 (NIV)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


My father was born one-hundred years ago today. April 17th doesn’t go by without my thinking about him, so even though he is not here in the flesh, today is no different except to think of the date in terms of the century’s marking it as a milestone.
Although I wonder what he would look like and be like as a senior citizen, Daddy will never grow old in my eyes, because he died without warning from a massive heart attack just before turning fifty-seven.
Being twenty-seven at the time, in my shock, I recall riding in the back seat of a car through the city where my parents lived, seeing a much older man on a sidewalk, and angrily thinking, “Why is he still alive and Daddy dead?” As though someone had shone a bright light in a dark room, that was a turning point in my grief, because the thoughts that tumbled swiftly behind said, “But Daddy doesn’t have to deal with the sorrows of this world anymore.” I could envision the straightening of his slumped shoulders and the tears drying from his eyes because he, like the Apostle Paul, had carried the weight of the church in his heart over the years since his becoming a Christian.
As time softened the blows of Daddy’s departure, I knew I had more reasons to look with thankfulness over the few years I had had with him. Daddy was a man of few words but when he spoke, as with the financier, people listened. I do not recall Daddy ever telling me he loved me but he showed me by laying down his life for me in ways I wish today I had noticed instead of, as a child/youth, taking for granted. During my pre-teen/teen years, he worked as a machinist where his work required that he stand all day. Frequently he rode a bus fifteen miles to work, often walking through severe Maine winter weather great distances in the early morning hours, in order to make the bus connections to be at work on time; the return trip was better because the bus route came closer to our house by that time of day. Between the metallic dust and the public smokers haze acceptable during those years, he suffered chronic sinusitis. At the end of many of those days, he’d look at my mom and say, “I’m not new anymore,” referring back to a childhood comment I’d made on one of his birthdays. I don’t know how old I was, but I had said, “Daddy’s old,” to which Mamma had replied, “Daddy’s not old!” My response had been, “Well, he’s not new, is he?”
During his years at that machine shop, he used his lunch hours to hold Bible studies with the men who wished to partake, and as a result, Daddy became more determined to go into ministry fulltime, which is what he was doing when he died so suddenly. As a result we found notes he’d made for his next Sunday morning’s lesson, so we knew what he had been thinking minutes before he died. We have many of his handwritten Bible Study/sermon notes. More reasons to be thankful.
Daddy was there to pose beside me with a smile while I wore my high school graduation gown and cap and to greet me with pride following an award surprise. I married at nineteen: Daddy was there to give me away and pray at the wedding. We have three children; Daddy met, loved, and played with each one, although our youngest turned three about the time of Daddy’s death. I saw his eyes shine in admiration at my mothering abilities. The last Thanksgiving he lived, our family, including my brothers and their wives and kids, gathered at our house and he and I shared a private smile over some dates I was filling with walnuts. He said, “You’re going to save some for me, aren’t you?” (Meaning leave some with no walnuts because they caused canker sores in his mouth.) Through the years when I have missed Daddy, I have thought about that last Thanksgiving and while I hated that he had to leave us so soon, I have been thankful he is with God, freed from the cares of the world, that would have included seeing how old age infirmities affected my mother, and I have always been thankful that although I never told him enough, he knew that I loved him.

Many happy returns on this day of your birth;

May sunshine and gladness be given;

God in His goodness prepared you on Earth

For a beautiful birthday in Heaven.


Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (NASB)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-17-2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010


In a conversation with a friend, she brought forth the fact that she realizes she cannot fix everything, that she has to turn it over to God in prayer, and leave it in His capable care and caring.
Because I, too, am a “fixer” personality, in my mind I kept returning to that conversation and this morning as I woke with it on my mind, I thought back to my childhood. I grew up in central Maine where as a young child I really loved riding my tricycle. One spring day when I sat on its seat, ready to ride our long semi-circular driveway, my knees bumped the handlebars. That was not going to work. I hopped off, ran into the house, told Mamma the problem, and before I knew it, Daddy arrived with some tools in hand, loosened a special bolt and nut, raised the handlebars, tightened the nut and bolt, and I was off on my very merry way with no more bumping knees! What joy I had that day and I was set for the rest of that spring, summer, and well into the fall when the tricycle went back into storage for another season.
You have probably guessed that by the following spring when my tricycle came out from its winter’s wraps, once again my knees hit the handlebars. This time I had no worries though, because I knew my daddy could fix the problem. I was confident when I told Mamma of the problem, only to learn that sometimes problems cannot be so easily fixed. Mamma explained that, yes, last year, Daddy had been able to raise a portion of the front of the tricycle so the handlebars were lifted but what he had done was as much as he could do; there was no extra height left. At that moment, even as a child trying to imagine wild scenarios, I understood that sometimes the answer, for that thing in particular, has to be, “No.”
With that response came disappointment; however, I knew the love of my parents was as great as it had been previously and I was aware they saw my banished hopes. I doubt such a thing as a larger tricycle was available but if so, money wasn’t, so they couldn’t automatically say, “We’ll get you a bigger tricycle.” What I do remember is a used scooter appeared as a riding replacement for my tricycle and it was to be shared with my brother who was three-and-a-half years older than I.
When we are children, we need someone to turn to for help with troubles too big for our minds and bodies to handle. And maybe it’s because we have had capable human examples before us that we have become adults who feel we should be able to take care of it all including fixing everything that comes down the pike, until, like with the tricycle, there comes something that just can’t be fixed by human hands, and then what? Where do we turn, unless we have made a practice of knowing from where our real help comes? Let’s not wait for tricycle troubles to arise before we practice calling on the help at hand, using every resource available, and, here is a point not to be missed, teaching our children to do so as well.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (I Peter 6:7 NLT)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-4-2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Because the thoughts of many are turned to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus during this season of the year, FaithWriters blog challenged the members to write a 100-word essay from the perspective of a Bible character mentioned in the Easter Story. I liked the challenge; however, even though I felt I fell short of the challenge in more than just the 100-word limit, I entered a portion of this and I would like to share the following with you based on John 18:3ff and Mark15:39:

Being a centurion opened my eyes to many things, but never so much so as what occurred during the past few days.
Because I command many, I was dispatched to Gethsemane one night and once Judas had given the betrayal kiss to the One we were to arrest, that very man stepped forth and asked, “Whom do you seek?” When answered, He said, “I am He.” Many of our number drew back and fell to the ground. However, we arrested, bound, and took Him in where He was tried, convicted, and hanged.
Later standing by the foot of His cross, having witnessed His complete demeanor, how could I help but know and say, “Truly, this man was the Son of God!”?

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-3-2010

Monday, March 29, 2010


Recently I came across some faded flowers or what some would consider flowers past their prime. By themselves the words would seem to tell tales of lack of attraction, but the more I saw of those flowers whose blooms had lost their luster, the more beauty I saw in each one.
Dandelions came before spring to our West Texas yard brightening the drab gray-brown grasses with brilliant bits of leafy green topped with bright, well, dandelion yellow blossoms. I have always liked bright yellow. I have yet to live down the fact that there was a time in my life when it was such a favorite color I somehow talked my husband into helping me paint three of four of our living room walls a muted shade of that color. And, it was off-set on the fourth wall by a soft yellow background wallpaper filled with a Jacobean design of loden green leaves and muted red flowers. A few years prior to that I had crocheted a dandelion yellow cape for our pre-teen, dark-haired, deep brown-eyed daughter and when a dear friend saw it, he asked her, “Couldn’t your mother find yellow?” Wherever it is these thirty-some years later, I suspect the yellow of that yarn hasn’t faded one iota, but the yellow of the back yard dandelions left almost as quickly as they came. One day they were there and then the rains came. As I went to the back yard one morning, there were some dandelions with a few remaining bits of dandelion dust stuck here and there but what really got my attention was the leftover symmetry of basic beauty that held what had once been a dandelion flower. That morning as I stood in the rain-dampened grass, I discovered a tiny green, many-pointed star-shaped flower base of gorgeous green, not the deep green of dandelion leaves, but almost a light neon green that said, “Look at me! Aren’t I beautiful, too?” It didn’t take me long to get my camera to take a picture of its beauty. Finally, many shots later, I was satisfied. I even found the perfect Bible verse to go with it! “The flower falls off; but the Word of the Lord abides forever.” (I Peter 1: 24b-25)
Is it possible that we look at God’s Word like I first did at the dandelion dust on the faded flowers, thinking, “Oh, I’ve seen it all before” until I looked a little closer and found that bit of beauty that was right in plain sight? Yes, the flower does fall off, but His Word abides forever; a flower that never fades, but with closer inspection becomes more beautiful.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-29-2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


What image enters your mind when you read or hear the following verse from I Corinthians 12:26 ? “ If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
That was one of the verses in the reading from our night’s Bible message a few evenings back and afterwards as we discussed it, I asked my husband if he, like I, chose to dwell on the positive, rather than the negative portion of that scripture. In thinking about the scripture in relation to the church family, while my thoughts went to the recent rejoicing with a local youngster’s winning a major spelling bee, the author of the article had written regarding the suffering of a fellow human being and the compassionate concern of another to do all in his power to alleviate the stress and strain brought about by his condition.
What did that rejoicing image in my mind say about me, that I want to overlook the suffering part and just go on through life as if everything is always blue skies and rainbows? Did it say I always have a cheery outlook for everything? The answer to each of those questions is a resounding, “No!” although I suspect deep down it does say I would rather have fewer shadows and lots of sunshine on the road of life for myself and for others.
There’s a story in Mark 14:1-9 that tells of the woman who poured a vial of very expensive perfume over the head of Jesus. This is just prior to Jesus’ death and we are not told what prompted her deed, but she was scolded for doing so by some of those present. They spoke openly of how it could have been sold and the money used to care for the poor, but Jesus spoke in her defense, praising her, saying, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
Imagine being a part of the scene: Weeping with those who weep? Jesus was facing death and He knew it. Rejoicing with those who rejoice? The woman was praised by the one they called Rabbi. Does her example cause each one of us to want to be more aware of sharing the suffering and rejoicing opportunities that are in our daily lives? We can’t do everything for everybody but let’s remember to apply the lesson from Jesus’ own words: “She has done what she could” as we go about our daily lives always ready to share the suffering with our brethren as faithfully as we rejoice in their good times.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-23-2010

Friday, March 19, 2010


I like to laugh and in my lifetime I have seen some funny cartoons and heard humorous jokes on both sides of the political fence; however, recently there continues to circulate an e-mail under the guise of a joke that has reference to scripture and prayer as well.
The fact is this so-called joke takes one Bible verse out of context to create “humor.” Heard by the wrong ears and taken the wrong way, it sounds like a threat to the one who holds that office; therefore, it could be conceived as a punishable crime. However, people are making it into a joke by saying, “I can pray this for the one with whom I disagree.”
In this Christian nation, I have received this message many times over, and finally I looked at the further verses in that passage and wondered, “How many others have thought to do this? Do they realize what these verses say?” I further wondered if people realized all of this, would they/could they continue to propagate such under the appearance of a joke?
In an effort to help folks understand the full impact of the circulating joke, before you automatically hit forward the next time you receive it, please take out your Bible, find the scripture referred to and read not only the verse referred to but the following couple of verses as well. Figure out if you, as a part of God’s Family, really want to be a part of “praying” this way when God “desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-19-2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I made a personal phone call a few days ago that went kind of like this:
“Hello, T~ This is Sue Moore.”
“Oh, Hi, Sue! How are you?”
“I’m okay but we’re having some family issues right now. Is D~ around?”
…and the lovely lady with whom I seldom have contact, went to call her husband to the phone.
Because of her husband’s work, I wonder how many times this particular woman is looked right past as people move directly on to greet her husband effusively. She has to have a pretty positive self-image or her life/their life will be one of many unhappy moments.
When I was young and foolish, I thought I would enjoy being the wife of a minister. My husband was capable of bringing lessons from the pulpit but I was woefully unprepared for being a minister’s wife. Thankfully he chose a different occupation, but even so, I was unprepared for dealing with much of what attracted me to him in the first place. As a student, the youth who became my husband was a class clown. In the classroom, he drew laughter from faculty and students alike. While students were left shaking with laughter, teachers were left sitting at their desks shaking their heads in an effort to clear them of the wonder of what they had just witnessed as that particular student left the room he had commandeered during the recent few moments. How blessed I felt when Mr. US Navy returned on leave and chose me, Miss Mousy Goody Two-Shoes, out of that whole class of the 226 members to be his date and later his wife. If the online dating-mating had run our personality tests, I suspect they would have run us out as totally incompatible. After we married there were times I began to think so, too, until I made the decision to be all that I could be. No, I didn’t decide to join the Army! I had simply come to the conclusion that to stay in a quiet corner while he was getting all the attention meant I could continue that way, or I could learn from him and become a personality who also gathered people. And gather people I did…and I grew…and I liked it, and me! The blessing is he found the new me fascinating and not only likeable, but lovable, so the monster he created continued to grow under his tutelage.
I still was not ready to be a minister’s wife, however, nor do I think I ever will be. The wife of a minister of any kind (pulpit, youth, counseling) has to be a very special person, because as I stated at the beginning, folks often pass right by her as though she were invisible in an effort to get the attention of her husband. Think about it: have you ever done similarly to what I did a few days ago?
The personality of the man who used to garner the attention of whole high school classrooms hasn’t changed all that much. He still draws a crowd and I still stand by the sidelines at times. Sometimes people see me, sometimes they pass right by, and I understand. I suspect that is how it is with the wives of these ministers. I hope so, because I really did “see” you that day on the phone, T~.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-17-2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


In reading recent prayer requests, I am reminded once again, of how many and varied, are the trials in this world. I am so thankful for Jesus’ comforting, parting words to His disciples found in John 16:33, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
As I read the prayer requests, I often become aware that the reactions are as diverse as the requests. Sometimes it is difficult to see past our troubles when they seem like sky-darkening thunderclouds that keep roiling over and over and over, threatening our very existence! We hear the noises that surround us and look for places to hide. As we hug our arms to our own bodies, we don't leave an open space that allows others close enough to offer reassuring hugs that say, "I am here. You are not alone." Our weeping becomes so loud it doesn't let us hear God's quiet voice of comfort saying, "I will never leave you."
In our pain we turn into ourselves much as a roll-up bug (a.k.a. pill bug) does when touched and just as when the wind blows one of those little creatures away, so we just go wherever the wind blows us in our self-imposed protective little ball.
Maybe we fear no one else can possibly understand how we feel. Perhaps someone has passed our concern off as “nothing to worry about” or “You’re a Christian…where’s your faith?” and made us think God judges us that same way? Is that how you would look at your child’s worry, real or imagined, or would you understand where it came from…your child? “If you understand and know how to take pretty good care of your child, how much more does God know how to understand and take good care of you?” (My paraphrase of Matthew 7:11)
Sometimes we have convinced ourselves that because we are Christians, we shouldn’t be feeling this way… we are questioning, depressed, and not as spiritually strong as we once were. And who do we tell…because we’re supposed to be strong Christians, right? Maybe when we are feeling far away from God, a word-picture gleaned from the 15th chapter of Luke, verse 20, would help guide our own return: “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Close your eyes…imagine that’s you and God your Father! That story is there to tell us that God loves us that way!
Also, here’s a reminder that there can be physical reasons for some of these feelings; don’t dismiss that possibility as unimportant. Not enough rest can influence physical feelings, as can a chemical imbalance, or even lack of enough bright light in our lives! I am, as a dear friend once put it, a sunshine-activated personality! I need a lot of sunshine (or bright light) to stay on the sunny side of life. Once we get the physical side of life under control, the rest often falls into place helping us to more clearly see that the real persons we are were not filled with all those questionable qualities. We’ll no longer feel the need to roll up and shut out the very voices that call to us to say, "I am here. You are not alone."
And, yes, even though in the world we will have tribulation, we can take courage because He has overcome the world, and “He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU.’" (Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-10-2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010


A couple of days ago was our grandson’s first birthday but as far as I know there was no celebration with cake, no special one-year candle with flame to watch him blow out, no tiny fingers to dig into the frosting, and no picture-taking of this momentous event. I wonder if anyone in his immediate family was even aware of his one-year-old birthday, and were it not for my special reminder calendar, it probably would have slipped past my notice, yet it was a very special day that should never be forgotten, the anniversary of the day one year ago when he chose to become God’s Child.
How is it that we human beings make remembering the day of our physical birth one of such importance and yet few have even an inkling of the date we enter God’s Family? A partial answer may be that we have parents and medical personnel who dutifully record the physical details of our births. When we become Christians we are individually old enough to answer the question, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” and thus, we should be able to record our own statistics; yet, it seems we seldom do. However, if we know the date, we seldom follow through with a yearly outward celebration. Is this because we feel it is a matter of a more personal nature, or just as we let the world know we rejoice in the fact we were physically born and are celebrating however many years of life, should we not let our countenance show our rejoicing over the number of anniversaries accrued since the original celebration of our spiritual birth?
Maybe it’s time to consider having a special cake with candles including flames to blow out, and frosting to stick our fingers in, and yearly celebration picture-taking remembrances of our Real Birthday, as a renewal reminder of the commitment we made whether it was one year or fifty years ago.
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God…”
I John 3:1a (NASB)
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 2-20-2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


How many times have you done what you perceived a kindness for another that turned into a totally unexpected blessing in your own life? A recent experience of a few days ago brought that thought to my mind and I’d like to share it with you.
Because of the happy welcome we received at Christmas, our church group was invited to return to a local care facility to sing again, to and with the residents on Valentine’s Day. This time the songs chosen centered on love, particularly the love of God for each individual. It was delightful to observe the residents as they not only recognized the songs but also how many of them joined in and sang the old story along with us.
Residents were being brought in before and during the songfest and right after arriving in the dining room where we were gathered, a long-legged man in a wheelchair decided he was ready to leave, so placed his feet over the footrest of his chair and paddled his way towards the doorway. A woman resident who had come in with the assistance of a walker, left her seat and promptly took off after him, grabbed the handlebars of his chair, and quickly back-walked him (and herself) to the area he was supposed to be. He seemed acquiescent and malleable as could be about the whole thing and since the woman didn't bring harm to herself by her hurrying walk without her walker, the whole scene tickled my funny bone! I managed to control my mirth but felt this unexpected pleasure was truly a gift from God.
Though none have topped that, there have been other experiences in the past couple of weeks that, as I look back I see as God’s gifts to me as well. One very special one was a hug from a 5-year-old girl who I later learned was a foster child who had been in 6 foster homes in 7 months prior to the most recent one where she now had been for 3 months. Maybe she saw that I needed a hug and here I thought she was looking for one! On a different day while at the post office, I was able to verbally thank a military member for his service to our country. His response surprised me as he reached to shake my hand, while saying, “Thank you.” Obviously he wasn’t used to being approached by a grandmother-type person letting him know he was appreciated and he appreciated that. Ooh...it felt good to be in my shoes that day and judging by his response, he might have said, “Likewise!”
I thought I was doing these things because God wanted me to be His ambassador where I am, yet He chose to use these times as opportunities to turn my gifts back into treasures for me. What a God we serve!
"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38 NASB

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 2-16-2010

Monday, January 25, 2010


Most of us have sung, “I’m a pilgrim and I’m a stranger; I can tarry, I can tarry but a night…” I believe the words of that song were written to enrich our minds with the reminder that our time is temporary on this earth.
A few days ago I read lines penned by a missionary of reality hitting that she, her husband, and their young family had really moved so far away and that this formerly foreign land was now home. When first married she and her husband had spent a couple of years in that country so it was not an entirely new culture, but during the intervening years they had returned to the states and spent several years in preparation for returning there. During these in-between years, children were born, precious time was spent with family, old friendships were renewed, and close fellowships with new people were developed. Then, along came the move.
In describing the dawning reality of this foreign land now being home, this young woman’s mention of the difficulties connected with being separated by such great distances from close family and friend connections reminded me of my own transient lifestyle of so many years due to my husband’s work-related moves that resulted in our criss-crossing the country on numerous occasions. When one of our reassignments had been issued I told a dear friend, “I don’t know why we have to keep moving. Surely God knows I know what it means that I am a transient on this earth!” By then I felt I had learned the lesson very well and now, even when our moving seems to have stopped, I believe the lesson is so deeply imbedded as to never leave me.
Just as the young missionary woman will learn to live in the new land and be at home away from the land of her birth, and as I have learned to adjust to home being in so many places that are not my original homeland, we all adapt to living in this world. For some of us, we become so “at home” in this world that we forget that this is not our real home. Once we have become God’s children, we know that He has prepared a better place for us to call “home.” It’s where He is and it’s where we should long to be. Just read what Jesus says about it:
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." (John 14:1-4 ESV)
Moving so much has helped me learn the lesson that I am a transient on this earth, so in my thinking, it is simply a part of who I have become. I am thankful for the life lessons that have helped me better understand the words when I sing, “I’m a pilgrim and I’m a stranger; I can tarry, I can tarry but a night…”
Are you singing with me?

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 1-25-2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


One day I found a feather…
It was so soft and small
From underneath a baby bird
It must have made its fall.

I picked it up and smoothed it out
As I held it against my hand.
I closely studied its numerous barbs
Only the Creator could understand.

Each barb so tiny I could not count,
Nor separate individual “hair,”
Yet each one has a purpose ~
A reason for being there.

Some feathers are for warmth
And some feathers are for flight;
Some feathers provide cover
For the baby birds at night.

So who can make a feather?
And who can plan the needs?
It’s way beyond the human mind
To comprehend these deeds.

Is it so difficult to say that
“God is The Creator!”
And thus admit to self and more,
That there truly is none greater?

I’ve saved that tiny feather…
It is so soft and small;
I “see” God smile as from a baby bird
That feather made its fall.

And landed where I found it
To collect it for my taking…
For memories and reminders of
My Father’s great creating.

©Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 1-15-2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


In this morning’s e-messages I received one regarding encouragement and when I got to the part about the encouragement of a smile’s being contagious, my thoughts immediately went to, “A joyful heart is good medicine...” from Proverbs 17:22 (NASB).
Coupled with that, for the first time I figured out how that that scripture doesn’t apply to my heart alone! While in actuality I know my attitude affects that of others, here all these years I have looked at that particular scripture so personally, I never stopped to consider how in it’s application, my happy heart is good medicine for another! Actually when I looked up varying translations of Proverbs 17:22, I found that the New King James Versions states my thoughts more succinctly: “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”
Considering all of this causes me to ponder the possibility that perhaps like the saying, “Love isn’t love until you give it away”, a happy heart isn’t really happy until you share what’s inside as well.
Do you want a heart filled with joy in 2010? Try giving away some joy from yours.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 1-5-10