Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Have you ever met a person who has so often “stood in the gap” that you wonder if he/she forgets that is not his/her permanent position?  Do you feel concern that he/she is so used to being a helper that he/she may have forgotten how to allow others to help him/her?  Is there at least a little bit of that in each one of us?  Is it independence or control?  Or is there a difference?  What is it about being a helper that seems to do that to people?  Are we born with it or is it a character development?  Can we help those who are “afflicted”?

From the time my brother was able to hold a spoon, it is reported he sat in his high chair and when someone offered to help him with his food, he firmly stated, “Feed self!”  That seems to say we are born with a desire to be in control or depend on self, wouldn’t you agree?   But that’s only one personality, one case, one toddler.  I’ll let you in on a secret: he was much the same until his death, though life, as it always seems to do, taught him some lessons in having to depend on others along the way!

My mother once told of taking some cooking to an elderly woman in the neighborhood where they’d just moved.  As I recall the story, the woman didn’t want to accept it, stating she “didn’t want to be beholden to anyone.”  Don’t you wonder what, in her background, made her that way?  She refused to accept an offer of friendship.  My mother never explained her reasoning in the original reaching out to me, but knowing her heart, here is how her thoughts went: “That woman is all alone and she must be lonely.  I could just make a smaller dish of baked macaroni and cheese for her to have for her supper.  That way I could meet her when I take it over to her.”  Well, meet her she did, but sadly the path between the houses was never worn down.  It would appear that woman’s situation was more about control than independence.  We could guess that someone or something in her past had betrayed her trust so she wasn’t going to risk such ever again.  Wouldn’t you love to be the person, with God’s help, to help crack that shell?

It seems we’re all like my toddler brother in that we have at least an independent streak running through us like a vein of gold through a rock.  That doesn’t mean our whole self has to be permeated with independence.

Each of us has met someone who has betrayed our trust, but it doesn’t follow that everyone we meet is going to do likewise. How many wonderful friendships will we lose if we control the number of people we allow into our lives because 90% might betray us? 

Most people who are helpers appear to have found that healthy balance of standing in the gap when needed and stepping aside to allow others to be the ones there when they, the original “Johnnies-On-Call” need a listening ear or a helping hand.  Are you one or the other, or have you learned how to balance both?

M. Sue       8-23-2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011


This morning I was where I could only hear the words coming from the television, but I got the picture anyway. A mother and daughter being reunited for the first time in twenty-three years, the mother was saying, “I can’t wait for her to meet her biological siblings!” The thought raced through my mind, I imagine that’s how God must feel about our gathering in Heaven, as I pictured the joy that occurs when a new babe is born or a wayward child returns or is returned to the Family.

Luke 19:10 tells us that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. In recent years through numerous television accounts, we have become even more aware of children seeking their birth parents for a variety of reasons. When the stories are well presented, we feel the emotions involved from both sides as the individuals share their life histories. Many times we shed tears for all that has been lost, while at the same time sharing great delight for the new-found joy in these lives.

Some of the adoptees have had wonderful families while others have been bounced around as foster children, some in very abusive situations. So, too, are the lives God sees us living on this earth. Some of us have been in relationships that go along as smoothly as ships through calm waters, while others are tossed and turned as though through the most ferocious of stormy seas.

At our Heavenly Reunion, all of that will come as no surprise to God. Unlike the earthly parents who have been separated from their children for twenty-three years, more or less, God has never lost contact with us. He has always known exactly where we were and what conditions we were in. But, because He knew that we were going to be forever separated from Him, with no happy reunion to celebrate, He sent His Son, to seek and to save us all.

For just a minute, please walk with me in the footsteps of the lost, seeking, sad child, as we see Jesus coming to take us by the hand, saying, “I am the One you are seeking.”

What will we do? How will we respond?

Jesus also said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23

Will we love Him and keep His Word?

Won’t we immediately say, “I can’t wait to meet my spiritual siblings!”

How about starting right here, right now? And then, our Heavenly reunion will be all that much sweeter!

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 7-2-2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011


The flower and I seemed to have something in common that day. Each of us was at the street’s edge, feeling the effects of being windblown: the flower by the wind of nature and I through the wind of words that, in my eyes, were hurtful.

The desert willow blossom reminded me of how I had been feeling: created to add beauty to the world, but plucked from my place, forced to face a different life than I ever imagined.

Though this flower was one of many the wind had carelessly blown aside, so far it had managed to stay separate. The way the wind was blowing, that wouldn’t last much longer. The curb already had an amazing number of the fallen flowers in its collection.

As I looked at them I was reminded of a lesson I once heard from my dad. Someone had spoken an untruth about him. Another came and told him about it. Daddy, being a man of few words, explained quickly that the person spreading rumors would do well to go back and gather up the bag of feathers he’d just released into the wind!

“…For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
(Matthew 12:34b-37 NASB)

Whether we are discussing gossip or truth, words that hurt are like those feathers or the fallen flowers in the wind: IMPOSSIBLE to pick up and put back! Better never said.

A closer look at the cast-off flowers brought a reminder that even in the midst of destruction and damage, God is ever present. Mixed in with the petals and leaves, was one tiny, bright white bird feather, a shout-out to me that since God doesn’t even miss the fall of a bird, He has never missed any of my heart-hurts. “Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:26b NASB)

“Yes, Father, Thank You for Your uplifting words of love, Your heart-hugs.”

A little later, I was walking in the same area where I’d first seen the blown-down desert willow blossom. Once again, the wind caused the fallen flower to come dancing towards me with what appeared to be an attitude of absolute joy. I plucked the perky flower from the ground, brought it home, and placed it in a small bowl of water to preserve its life a little longer.

I believe I saw a smile on its little face. What do you think?

I know God put a smile on mine!

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-12-2011

Friday, April 15, 2011


Have you ever said or heard someone else say, “It seems my prayers are only going as far as the ceiling”? Reading the following verse recently gave me pause for thought: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” Hebrews 5:7 (ESV) As we consider what we know about the life Jesus lived on this earth, and how fervently He prayed at the end that the cup pass from Him, we also recall He ended His prayer with, “Thy will be done.” Combining “Thy will be done” along with the phrase from the above verse, “he was heard” seems to open up a new thought or two, don’t you think? It is of particular importance when we add, “he was heard because of his reverence.” From additional scriptures we read, it is clear that Jesus understood what He faced in death on the cross; yet, while begging for the possibility of some other way, He yielded His will to that of God’s. He trusted the Father to do what was right and best. He, unlike we, had the power to back out, call the whole thing off, any time; yet, He entrusted Himself to the One He revered to the point of complete submission. I wonder if it would help us when we feel our prayers are going no higher than the ceiling, to remember these things about Jesus. He prayed. He yielded. He trusted. He was heard. God answered. Because God knew best, He answered His way. Because of that, we can come to Him in prayer, knowing we have The One Who has made it possible for God to hear our prayers, by God’s side, making intercession for us. He is listening and He is far higher than any ceiling! © Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-15-2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A long time ago I wrote about how much I wanted a mockingbird family to make its home in our front yard tree. It would make me happy if even just one mockingbird would move in and sing. But, mockingbirds come and mockingbirds go. They sit on the branches and sometimes they even sing a song or two, but as long as we and that tree have been here, five years…make it six come May…no nesting mocker family has taken our offer of free rent.
It just must be the wrong kind of tree. What is the problem with it? Is it too close to the street, too near the front walkway? That doesn’t seem to make sense. We see signs placed in prominent places such as by the main hospital entry warning of mockingbird nests in the surrounding shrubbery! Not enough leaf cover for privacy? Is the bark too rough for little feet? Maybe it’s too smooth? Are the branches too narrow for holding a nest secure? Since no other bird family has built a nest there either, it seems it is simply not a nesting tree.
It has grown straight and tall and provides shade, so it is useful for humans.
It adds an aesthetic quality to our front yard, so is good for the neighborhood.
But, I asked for a mockingbird. It’s obvious: that tree is not good for a mockingbird’s abode.
However, as I sat at my desk a couple of days ago, I looked out the front window, and on that tree, tap-tap-tapping away was a handsome, crisp, black and white Ladder-Backed Woodpecker. I sat spellbound, knowing all I could do was watch. To try to get my camera and be there in time to take a picture, would ruin the scene. This photo would have to be committed to memory. He worked less than a minute, then he was gone, only to return for dessert a couple of minutes later. This image too is captured only in my mind, but in beautiful black and white. After that he was gone, never to return.
After he left, the thought for this article came to mind:
“But God, “I Asked For A Mockingbird.”
How many times do we miss the beauty our Father sets right in front of us because we asked for something else? Think about it. Have you asked for any mockingbirds lately?

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-22-2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The question was asked today: What is your relationship to God?

My response:

The image that comes to mind is me as a little child running and reaching my arms up to my Heavenly Father as He walks towards me, holding His arms down, with His hands palms out in a motion that suggests He is eager to scoop me into His arms. After He has lifted me, He presses me against His chest as He walks along carrying me close. We’re both laughing, but no noise is coming forth…just pure joy shine forth from our faces.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-20-2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I am often reminded of a prayer I came across when I most needed it: “Lord, help me to do what I can, where I am, with what I have.” Tucked in, too, are memories of a woman dear to my heart, which showed me that life’s changes could be weathered.
A number of years ago, fifteen to be exact, I was quite new in this city. My mother had recently died. Russ, the man at church who has a love for the elderly, seeing that love in me as well, asked that I spend some time visiting a particular shut-in. Not wanting to go by myself, I asked another new-to-the area friend from church to go with me. Little did we know that in trying to be givers, what we were about to be given!
Leona Howard was a lady of slight build and when Sallie and I entered her retirement center room, an instant camaraderie flowed. Showing great interest in our lives, she took both of us in as though she had known us for years. She was attached to an oxygen canula almost constantly, but that just helped bring attention to the sparkle of welcome in her eyes as she sat in her recliner.
Sallie and I frequently visited together but there came a day when I went in alone. As I approached Leona’s room, I saw another resident sitting back-to. Her general presentation was so reminiscent of my recently deceased mother that it brought tears to my eyes. I dismissed them prior to going into Leona’s room, but after we’d visited a bit, I started to tell her about it and the tears returned. Though she wasn’t that much older than I, she just reached out with a mother’s hug. As I write about this today, the tears wash my eyes in remembrance of that sweet gesture. She did what she could, with what she had, where she was.
Often when Sallie and I would go in, Leona had been busy using what she had in her hands…the hands of an amazing artist. Though they were proof of what she was no longer able to do, she enjoyed having her beautiful original works of art on the walls of her room. We took great pleasure in not only seeing, but also discussing the origins of them with her as well. Her daughter Betty kept her well supplied with blank greeting card-and-envelope-sets, as well as the colored pencils that Leona now enjoyed using in place of the earlier canvases, brushes, and paint supplies. She used those greeting cards to bring cheer and encouragement to shut-ins. She even shared some with Sallie and me just because she loved us. She had well learned to do what she could, where she was, with what she had.
Because we knew she enjoyed beauty, there came a day when thanks to the thoughtfulness of the prior owner of our house, I was able to gather a bouquet of colorful flowers to take to Leona. As she thanked me, her eyes danced with pleasure but I later learned there was more behind the words than the twinkle in her eyes. The next time I went in, Leona presented me with a signed, hand-drawn greeting card, and said, “I called this, “Sue’s Bouquet.” She had used the flowers and vase for a model, and her drawing was lovelier than anything I had designed and presented to her. As you can see from the photo, it has lasted longer, too! It has been on the bulletin board beside my desk since I created that bulletin board. Other things have come and gone, but that card holds a primary, premier position, not unlike the place Leona holds in my heart.
May we, like she, learn well the lesson of doing what we can, where we are, with what we have.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-10-2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Why do you suppose tears appear on cue when sorrow arises in our hearts? And, if a tear happens to slip into the corner of your mouth before you can catch it in a tissue, have you ever noticed that it has a definite salty taste?

As I lay in bed, with a heavy heart at the obvious approach of death of a dear friend, these thoughts invaded what should have been sleepy time. I am convinced that a tear shed in mourning is never out of God’s sight. There’s a verse that states….

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
(Psalm 56:8 NLT)

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
(Psalm 56:8 ESV)

Consider what we know about salt:

Salt is a pure chemical. Frequently, the first thing offered is “something to calm” the closest loved ones of the deceased. God immediately provides salty tears.

Salt is used as a preservative. As we talk of our loved one who has passed, the tears flow, but those memories are being sealed with every God-given salty tear that drops.

We use salt as a seasoning. Is seasoning connected with mourning? Certainly flowing tears are sparkly gifts that help us swallow the sting of death.

And, as with my dear friend there comes a time, when either because of aging or disease, we are ready to lay our bodies aside. As she put it, we want to “see what’s on the other side.” The antiseptic value of salt means it cleanses and/or makes free from germs. Can we apply that to our freedom from sin when we die because of our present life in Christ? “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NASB

Salty tears: Gifts from God, kept in His bottle, not one is missed.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 2-22-2011

Monday, February 21, 2011


When I was eight or nine years old, I stood outdoors by our country house and prayed that someday I would be a wife and mother, in that order, because, as I explained to God, a baby needed a daddy as well as a mother.
At age ten, I thought I had given my life to God.
At age seventeen, I was sure I had.
Oh, but I had a long way to go!
Now, in the early years of my seventh decade, I still have a long way to go in that life of serving my wonderful, patient, perfect, loving Heavenly Father.
I was blessed with the answer to that early childhood prayer. Soon after high school graduation, I married the guy I had admired since junior high school. We were both eighteen. The day following our marriage, my husband and I went forward after the Sunday morning service to dedicate our life together to God.
A year later our first child was born, followed two years later by baby number two. Three years later, child number three came along. From our start as teenage parents, we worked hard to stay together, to create a loving, God-fearing home for our children. Always, always, my prayer was that each of our children, like Jesus, “grow in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52 NASB)
Throughout life, I sought to use the lessons I learned in life to help others along the way. This is not to say my way has always been perfect. As I just stated, “the lessons I learned in life.” That means I learned as I went along. Unfortunately, there are things I’d like to erase, but cannot undo. Maybe in the long run, that’s not all bad. If I did away with every wrong thing I did in life, where would the lessons be? Would I grow in wisdom? Would I grow in favor with God and man? As hard as the memories and the lessons are, I wouldn’t make the necessary changes without them. Like Paul, I should try to put the past behind and press on toward the prize of the high calling. “…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b, 14 NASB)
It’s the reaching forward that gives me hope. I relate to Paul’s description of the two natures found in Romans 7:14-25. While I understand I still have a long way to grow, I also see God as my loving Father, one who wants me to be at home with Him, not just in Heaven, but also here on earth.
While my early prayer to be a wife and mother was answered, I know Christ is the only perfect marriage partner and God is the only perfect parent. I still pray to learn to love more perfectly.
While my faith is not as simple as when I was eight or nine years old, it has grown to where I don’t feel as much need to explain so many things to God now! Often I simply say, “Oh, God, You know!”
He does, too, you know.
Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 2-21-2011