This is a blog for women (not just moms) who:

(1) Desire to be transformed by JESUS' LOVE, HOLINESS, AND GRACE;

(2) Believe that GOD'S WORD is the true Spirit food for HIS HOLY SPIRIT who lives within us;

(3) Submit to GOD and walk this journey of life with HIM transforming us more and more into HIS likeness.

It's a blog about the POWER OF TRANSFORMED LIVES. Let's begin with yours and mine and pass it on... 1 + 1 + 1...

Since GOD's HOLY SPIRIT lives inside a christian, let's choose to be nurtured and transformed by feasting daily on HOLY SPIRIT food - GOD's WORD - The Holy Bible..

My regular posts stopped in 2013, with a major move and the chronic illness and eventual death of our oldest daughter. Yes, we grieve daily, but I plan to begin posting once or more a week beginning the end of 2017. December 2017 to June 2018 will focus on JESUS' "Sermon on the Mount".

Earlier posts follow daily formats, as follows:

...Sunday in the SON

......Meditation Monday


............Women in the WORD Wednesday

...............Transforming Thursday

..................Family Fellowship Friday

.....................Ketchup and Mustard Saturday.

There's a whole lot here! Take your time to browse.

Please come back and visit often. Welcome!

Because of JESUS, we can be family,



Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

1, 2, 3, and now 4 OR a one, a two, a three, a four...

This week Steve and I traveled to Collingswood for VBS on Sunday thru Wednesday to present our HOW GOD DOES FAMILY materials. In the midst of the week, we had our MASTER FULL MOMS class on Tuesday at Pitman. Between the two, there was a thread of thought...submission leads to TRANSFORMATION. Here it is the last day of July and I started this month on this blog saying that my posts would be centered on TRANSFORMATION!

How's it going? Baby steps? That's okay! It's really okay! Just keep taking those steps in the right direction. And, if you don't, then remember even if you take 3 steps forward and 2 steps backward - YOU'VE STILL MADE A LITTLE PROGRESS!!!!!

As my kids might say, "Back in the olden days when mom was a kid..." I loved to watch the Lennon sisters and the Mickey Mouse club stars on Lawrence Welk. Each week, Lawrence would get his orchestra started by beginning with these words..."a one, a two, a three, a four..." It was one of the very few shows that I watched. I loved that show! Several years ago, Steve and I got to see the Lennon sisters perform in Branson, MO. He loves them because they remind him of when his Sikes' sisters sing and make that sweet family harmony. There is something about the blending of voices that come from the same physical family that makes for amazing harmony: The Osmonds, The Jonas Brothers, or The Von Trapp Family Singers (inspiration for The Sound of Music).

I can just imagine JESUS starting His Sermon on the Mount with "a one, a two, a three, a four..." I can imagine Him thinking that if His followers would learn how to start each new day with His first 4 points, His first 4 steps, His first 4 Be-Attitudes...much like a master choir or orchestra...oh what sweet family harmony we would make! There is something about the blending of lives led by the Holy Spirit of GOD that makes for amazing harmony!

Please join me, as I begin each new day counting:
  1. A one...Being POOR IN SPIRT...selfless...

  2. A two...MOURNING over my sins and those who are thankful that GOD sees me sinless because of the blood of Christ...

  3. A three...being MEEK to the leading of GOD for this new day...submissive...
  4. A four...HUNGRY and THIRSTY FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS....feeding/watering the Spirit of GOD WHO lives inside me...reading/meditating on scripture, listening to/singing christian music, making harmonious connections with GOD's family, doing the right thing with the attitude of Christ...pray, pray, pray...satisfied...

TRANSFORMATION is taking place....


Here are some connections to the music I mentioned above:






Monday, July 28, 2008

Pour it out!

I'm a ketchup lover!
Bottles have been redesigned over the years for easier pouring.
Yet, there still seems to be a lot of ketchup that goes to waste at the bottom of each bottle.
I've tried alot of tricks:
"just keep shaking will come..."
"hit the bottom of the bottle..."
'just add a few drops of water..."
"stick a knife down in it..."
"turn it upside down for 5 minutes and let gravity do it's work..."
"keep working at it...don't give up..."

I'm a self lover!
Many ideas have come across the pike over the years for easier ways to
"be who you were designed to be".
Yet, there still seems to be a lot of "self" left in me when I've tried those approaches.
There's one thing I do know:
God blesses me when I give myself up,
work at being selfless / poor in spirit...
so, I'll keep working at pouring me out....
I won't give up..."
I'm a mountain stream lover!
I've both lived in and vacationed in Colorado.
I've spent many hours "experiencing" its rushing mountain streams,
wondering where they came from and where they were going.
  • Weeks before this stream picture was taken during our Sikes family reunion, Cole and Sara were mourning their sinful circumstance and studying how their sins could be washed away and become "right" with God. Several weeks ago, our Sikes clan cried tears of joy as we stood on this bridge at the Estes Park, Colorado YMCA and watched both Cole and Sara give their lives to Jesus. I've already shared some pictures with you of that event in my July 11 post.
  • Many years before in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the age of nine, I cried tears of repentance as I named Jesus as my LORD and Savior, was buried with Him in baptism, and rose from my watery grave to began walking in a new way of life...eternal life.
  • Eight years later, I sat by a mountain stream and contemplated the untimely death of a non-christian friend who fell off a cliff while rock climbing the summer after our high school graduation. My eyes wept over my sinfulness and the lost!
There's one thing that I do know:
God blesses me when I mourn and pour out my tears over sin!
Psalms 126 says,
"...As the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."


I'm a mighty Mississippi lover!
I've lived three blocks from the Mississippi River!
Yes, I've lived in Crystal City, Missouri - only three blocks from the mighty Mississippi River. I've spent many hours "experiencing" its power and mystery. I've seen it when it's flooded its banks and defied sandbagging. I know its potential to provide energy for millions. I've heard the discussions, "If only we could bottle its power..."
There is one thing that I do know:
GOD is willing to keep pouring out His Holy Spirit power in me
if I'm making room for Him...not competing for space with Him...
in this vessel of me!

Ezekiel 47:4-11...
This scripture gives me a glimpse of how a river might compare to Holy Spirit deep are you willing to go?

"...He led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.

...He led me through the water, water reaching the knees.

...He led me through the water, water reaching the loins. was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen,
enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded.
And he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?"
Then he brought me back to the bank of the river. ..."These waters go...toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh...every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will everything will live where the river goes...."
2 Corinthians 4:7-11

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God
and not from ourselves;
we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not despairing;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

THERAPIES: Physical, Vision, Intensive Learning, Marriage, Psycho- and Holy Spirit

I am convinced that learning to live CHRIST'S Sermon on the Mount, day in and day out, is a big part of my transformation process.

Have you ever had to have PHYSICAL THERAPY or known someone who has? It's amazing how doing a few exercises day in and day out will transform a muscle from unable to able.

I have seen the same thing happen with other therapies:

VISION THERAPY: people who can't read or attend do prescribed eye exercises over a period of time and transform visual skills for reading or attention from unable to able.

INTENSIVE LEARNING THERAPY: people who have trouble with comprehension, memory, decision making, test taking, receiving/expressing information, or a myriad of thinking skills can work through prescribed thinking exercises over a period of time and transform abilities to think, reason, and learn from unable to able.

MARRIAGE/FAMILY THERAPY: couples and families who struggle with their relationships can work through prescribed relational assignments over a period of time and transform their ability to do "healthy family" from unable to able.

PSYCHO-THERAPY: people who struggle with emotional or mental health challenges can work through assignments over a period of time and transform their ability to control emotions and mood swings from unable to able.

HOLY SPIRIT THERAPY: christian moms and dads, women and men, girls and boys who have named Jesus as their LORD and been spiritually clothed with Him in baptism struggle with their christian walk can work through Sermon on the Mount daily exercises and activities over a period of time and transform their ability to "walk by faith and not by sight", via the leading of the Holy Spirit, from unable to able.

In the last few posts, I've talked about the first 3 Be-attitudes. You've been frontloaded a little. Now, here's a daily assignment to jump start some HOLY SPIRIT THERAPY.

  1. BE POOR IN SPIRIT - God, I empty out my spirit at Your feet today...this life is not about me.
  2. BE A MOURNER - God, I grieve over my sins and this lost world...AND weep with joyful thanksgiving over the grace, mercy, and salvation that You have extended to all of us.
  3. BE MEEK - God, take the reins, I give up the control to You.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


As I meditate on the writing of this post, I find it to be the most emotionally stirring evening that I have had in a while. Although I am not a horse woman, I have had a long history with horses. I knew that preparing to write this would include horses but I did not know the extent to which it would affect me. Here are SOME of my horse connections:

1. I lived in Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah in the 2nd to the 4th grades. It is where the army tests their weapons of mass destruction (germ, chemical, and radiological). The security was extremely high for coming on or going off the army post. Yet, each afternoon a herd of wild horses would come up over the ridge and look out over those of us who lived down below. Then, with one huge bound from their fearless stallion leader they were galloping down the hill to eat the grass of our lawns and force all the little children to go inside (army orders). This happened every day from about 4-6 p.m. Above are two pictures of the "wild horses of Utah" that I found online that brought back a flood of memories. Sometimes GOOGLING information does not always give you what you want to hear: there is now a "survivors web page" of those people who lived at this chemical site and are still alive to tell about it....there have been hundreds of animals over the years that have been found dead in "skull valley" near Dugway.

2. I married a man who grew up with horses. Steve rides with ease. He can ride bareback. One of the first times I went home with Steve as his "girlfriend", he saddled his horse and one of his brothers saddled mine - for us to take a ride (I had ridden before - on a guided trail ride). I came off a lot more confident than I felt and before you know it Steve had taken off down the road and ready or not my horse decided to follow. The rest of the story should have been on Funniest Home Vidoes. The horse already knew that I was afraid, so he was not going to listen to me. I yelled! I screamed! I pleaded! I hung on for dear life! I bobbed up and down uncontrollably as my horse raced to catch up with Steve's horse. Then it happened! The cinch strap underneath began to work it's way loose. Little by little the saddle was sliding off to the side. Chaos, panic, terror are what I remember...a rider who had no control over her horse...

3. We moved to work at Cornhusker Christian Children's Home (CCCH) in western Nebraska in 1986. Steve had taken the job as Assistant Superintendent. We had 3 kids ages 1, 3, and 5. I was pregnant with Crystal. CCCH had once been the ranch of the man who invented Kool-aid. Now, it served young boys and girls who needed a home or a second chance in life. It was a beautiful place surrounded by a white railed fence with horses and cows to care for. We lived in the original farm house. Then, one day, a christian family who owned the American Quarter Horse champion named Lucky Stroke called to ask if they could "board" him at CCCH. A very spirited and strong horse! A horse very few could ride. Just what is an American Quarter Horse? If you have ever seen a horse in one of rodeo's timed events, been along for work on a ranch or watched a Western on the big or small screen, 9 times out of 10 you have witnessed an American Quarter Horse. Although, I GOOGLED about Lucky Stroke, I could not find much information, but here is a picture of his father, Sonny Go Lucky, who looks like he could be Lucky Stroke.

4. Something else remarkable had happened at CCCH. Denny and Sheri Swaim had moved there from Maryland to become houseparents. Sheri was a horse woman. In fact, she had been on the Olympic Equestrian Dressage team as an alternate. I knew nothing about Dressage but quickly is an explanation I found online:
The French word for "training," dressage is a harmonious demonstration of the horse's three natural gaits (walk, trot and canter) and its ability to respond to the rider's commands as the horse performs a series of movements in prearranged order. Throughout the course the rider directs the horse to perform movements. They are also judged on the trot, canter, pirouette, piaffe and passage. Riders, who must memorize the test in order to guide their horses through it, may not use their voices throughout the competition. Riding whips are also forbidden in the ring, but spurs are required, allowing riders to demonstrate the ability to convey light pressure to the horse. In order to perform well in dressage, the horse must be calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, showing a perfect understanding with its rider.
Sheri was an AMAZING Dressage rider! It didn't take long for her and Lucky Stroke to almost become as "one". I've done alot of GOOGLING tonight. I found Sheri online...she's a church secretary in Maryland...her and Denny have 3 kids...I found an article she had written in Wineskins in 2005 on abuse she had suffered and her healing journey...we need to re-connect...AND I plan to watch this year's Equestrian Dressage in the Olympics on August 14, 16, and 19.

5. Our daughter, Jessica, is a horse lover! Always has been! One day, standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes, I expected my daily idyllic view over the rolling green pastures to be like any other day...instead there I saw my 4 year old daughter walking under the horses...petting their "bellies". The horses gently allowed her to adore them as I watched in horror. Yet, it was as if she was "one" with them...

  • Some horses defy there to be a rider at all...we call them wild. Some people refuse to submit to authority or others...we call them rebellious.
  • Some horses are so powerful and spirited...very few dare try to ride...we say that they are unwilling to be controlled. Some people are so gifted and spirited...they leave no room for anyone to "tell" them what to do...we say that they are unsubmisive.
  • Some horses are so powerful and spirited...yet, when they submit to the skilled rider....we call them champions. Some people are so gifted, spirited, and wise...they know they must "listen, submit, and follow"...they do and we call them victorious.
  • Some horses learn when to be to listen...when to obey...we call them "one" with their rider. Some people know when to be to listen to the Spirit of GOD, and when to let GOD be in control...when to let GOD be GOD...we call them "one" with GOD.

  • MEEK = power under control...

  • Blessed are the MEEK, for they shall inherit the earth...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blessed are the POOR IN SPIRIT...blessed are those who MOURN...

"I'm ponderin' why God wants you to be like me!"

Yesterday, I shared with you my love for JESUS' SERMON ON THE MOUNT in Matthew 5-7. I asked you to ponder a few things:

1. Is the Kingdom of Heaven something that is important to be a part of?
2. Is the Kingdom of Heaven something that you want to be a part of?
3. Is the Kingdom of Heaven worth the journey from selfish to selfless?

I believe JESUS is saying that the journey starts by becoming POOR IN SPIRIT. Then, He followed His first "Be-attitude" with the second: Blessed are those who MOURN, for they shall be COMFORTED."

In Matthew, it says that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to and includes…
Matt 5:3..... It belongs to those who are Poor in Spirit
Matt 5:10... It belongs to those who are persecuted for righteousness.
Matt 5:19... Some in it are least.
Matt 5:19... Some in it are great.
Matt 6:10... It belongs to the FATHER.
Matt 8:11... Abraham, Isaac, Jacob at its feast.
Matt 11:11... We are greater in it than J. Baptist.
Matt 13:38... It’s sons are the good seed.
Matt 18:1-3.. Unless like little ones, never enter it.
Matt 18:4..... Humbled like child, are greatest in it.
Matt 19:14... It belongs to childlike people.
Matt 21:31... Tax collectors/prostitutes entering it.
Matt 20:21... It belongs to JESUS.
Matt 21:43... It’s given to those who produce it’s fruit.

Dear Awesome Creator, Teacher, One and Only GOD,

This is Patti, here I am again...greatly opinionated, bossy, stubborn, and a joy stealer... You made me...You know what makes me work...You know what's best for me... So, I ask You to grant me the understanding to know that my life is NOT about me. Give me the insight to know that just because things don't go my way that YOU are still in control and You are still good. How is it that the little children are poor in spirit? Help me to ponder the beauty in them that You are wanting me to grasp.

This week as Crystal babysat 3 year old Maggie, I saw once again a child's quickness to say, "I'm sorry!" I observed her readiness to ask for help. I heard the "how?" and "why?" questions because of her need to know more. Then, today, as Crystal babysat baby Lexi, I was reminded again of the great dependence of a baby...the ongoing letting Crystal know when she had a need. Then, there were her eyes following Crystal wherever she went...not wanting her to get too far away.

But, wait, those aren't the only two I've been around this week. What about Tuesday right after our Mom's class and then at lunch at Wendy's? Both places, I saw tears...true heartfelt tears... "I'm sorry! I won't do it again!" "Mommy, wait, don't leave me!" "Where'd my Mom go?"

God, You are already giving me a glimpse:
1. Teach me the poor in spirit words: "I'm sorry! I'm weak! I messed up!"
2. Teach me to humbly ask for Your help and guidance in all that I do.
3. Teach me to be humble enough to ask questions, even if I appear stupid.
4. Teach me to give up my independent spirit.
5. Teach me to realize my continual need for You.
6. Teach me to weep / mourn over my sins and my need for You.

Oh, GOD, thank you for being ready and willing for me to be in the Kingdom of Heaven...thank You for being there, too...thank You for comforting me...Thank You, JESUS...amen

Thursday, July 24, 2008

...for theirs is the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

I am a huge fan of Christ's Sermon on the Mount. I have heard it called the "Magna Carta of the Christian Faith". I like to call it my "Declaration of Dependence". Years ago, Steve and I read a book by E. Stanley Jones called Christ of the Mount. It wet my appetite for continual revisiting of Christ's Sermon. This week, I've really been thinking alot about the first 3 "Be-attitudes" of THE SERMON in Matthew chapter 5.


Hmmmmm...that's how Christ starts out! That's His first point! That's His first "Be-attitude":

"Blessed are the POOR IN SPIRIT for theirs is the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."

Honestly, that's a tough one for a 42 out of 42 Choleric. Yet, that is what He is calling all of us to do when we come to Him. If we want the Kingdom of Heaven, then let's give ourselves up, pour ourselves out, empty our pockets of the 'me' factor...from selfish to selfless....from crowned with worldly stuff to crucified with a crown of thorns....hmmmmm....

By now you might be tempted to think whether or not this "Kingdom of Heaven" is even worth the "poor in spirit" thing. Well, before you give in to the temptation to X out of these challenging thoughts, how about today...just for a few through what Matthew says about the "Kingdom of Heaven". Did you know that the only place in the Bible that the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" is found is in Matthew? So, let's do through the Matthew passages and get a glimpse of this kingdom...and then meditate on whether or not you think it is something that is important to be a part of. If so, then, I guess we need to meet back here tomorrow and talk about that "poor in spirit" thing.

Here are those Matthew scripture references...but before you start, know this:

From the Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers - "The Kingdom of Heaven is always the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God is not limited to the Kingdom of Heaven, until in their final form, they become identical,
Rev 11:15, RV; John 3:5; Rev 12:10."

In the verses below "it" is the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN:

Matt 3:2..... J. Baptist preached-repent, it’s near!
Matt 4:17... Jesus preached – repent, it’s near!
Matt 4:23... Jesus preached it's good news!

Matt 5:3..... It belongs to those who are Poor in Spirit
Matt 5:10... It belongs to those who are persecuted for righteousness.
Matt 5:19... Some in it are least.
Matt 5:19... Some in it are great.
Matt 5:20... Some will not enter it.
Matt 6:10... It's the Fathers and it’s coming.
Matt 6:33... Seek it first.
Matt 7:21... Not all who say “LORD” will enter it.

Matt 8:11... Abraham, Isaac, Jacob at its feast.
Matt 8:12... Subjects of it thrown out.
Matt 9:35... Jesus preached its Good News!
Matt 10:7.... Apostles to preach It’s near.
Matt 11:11... We are greater in it than J. Baptist.
Matt 11:12... It’s forcefully advancing.
Matt 12:25... Will be ruined if it’s divided.
Matt 12:28... It has come, if H.S. drives demons out.
Matt 13:11... It’s secrets given to disciples.
Matt 13:19... It’s message can be misunderstood.
Matt 13:24... It’s like a man sowing good seed.
Matt 13:31... It’s like mustard seed.
Matt 13:33... It’s like yeast.
Matt 13:38... It’s sons are the good seed.
Matt 13:41... Angels will weed out its sin.

Matt 13:43... Righteous will shine like sun in it.
Matt 13:44... It’s like a treasure hidden in a field.
Matt 13:45... It’s like a merchant looking for pearls.
Matt 13:47... It’s like a net.
Matt 13:52... It’s like the owner of a house.

Matt 16:19... Peter given keys to it.
Matt 16:28... Some won’t die before J.C. comes in it.
Matt 18:1-3.. Unless like little ones, never enter it.
Matt 18:4..... Humbled like child, are greatest in it.
Matt 18:23... It’s like a king who wants to settle…
Matt 19:12... Some are eunuchs because of it.
Matt 19:14... It belongs to childlike people.
Matt 19:23... Rich men have a hard time entering it.
Matt 19:24... Easier for camel than rich to enter it.
Matt 20:1..... It’s like a landowner hiring workers.
Matt 20:21... It belongs to Jesus.
Matt 21:31... Tax collectors/prostitutes entering it.
Matt 21:43... It’s given to those who produce it’s fruit.

Matt 22:2..... It’s like a king preparing wedding banquet.
Matt 23:13... Teachers of law & Pharisees shut it.
Matt 24:14... It preached in all the world-then end comes.
Matt 25:1..... It’s like ten virgins who meet bridegroom.
Matt 25:34... It’s prepared for you since creation.
Matt 26:29... Jesus drank in it with apostles.

"My name is Patti and I am greatly opinionated."
"My name is Patti and I am bossy."
"My name is Patti and I am stubborn."
"My name is Patti and I am a joy stealer."

You may need to read yesterday's post to understand the last 4 statements fully...then, again, maybe not!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

"For when I am weak, then I am strong." These are the last words of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

This week in our MASTER-FULL MOMS class we're looking at our weaknesses. We want to be women who are so led by the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD that HE takes our weaknesses and makes them our strengths. These verses also say, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST'S POWER may rest on me."

I hear that in AA each person must say, "Hello, my name is _________ and I am an alcoholic." I have a feeling that should work with all my weaknesses. Since today in class we were challenged to look at 4 of our individual weaknesses that have a negative effect on our husbands and/or children....I think I'll try the AA approach:

"Hello, my name is Patti and I am greatly opinionated."
"Hello, my name is Patti and I am bossy."
"Hello, my name is Patti and I am stubborn."
"Hello, my name is Patti and I am a joy stealer."

Whoa! This is me? Surely not! These are hard sentences to read and re-read. Yet, I believe that scripture is telling me that IF I keep this understanding of me, Patti, in the forefront and allow Christ to lead me, then He will get the glory when I listen and respect others opinions, when I follow instead of lead, when I "don't wanna" but decide that "I'm a gonna'", or when I joyfully put Jesus and others before myself.

I am a very strong Choleric personality. In fact, I score 42 out of 42 every time I take the assessment. Today, in out Master-Full moms class we looked at descriptors of each of the 4 personalities. I could paint a Choleric word picture by using these words: the apostle PAUL, the color RED, the animals LION and ELEPHANT, the DIRECTOR of a play, a DRIVING social style, ACHIEVER, in war a SHERMAN TANK, RABBIT in Winnie the Pooh, LUCY in Charlie Brown, LEADER, and a very DIRECT style. Ask my siblings! Ask my children! Ask my husband! YES! YES! YES!

Does God use Cholerics? Absolutely! Do we have as many strengths as weaknesses? Certainly! Going back to those 2 verses: "... for CHRIST'S sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

GOD, YOU tell me that YOUR grace is sufficient for me and that YOUR POWER is made perfect in my weaknesses. Please teach me to walk daily in the attitudes that CHRIST displayed as HE walked on this earth:
  • Respect for others thoughts and opinions
  • The willingness to follow
  • "I don't wanna' but I'm a gonna!"
  • Joy from a grateful heart
I empty out my OPINIONS, BOSSYNESS, STUBBORNESS, AND JOY STEALING at YOUR feet...fill me with YOUR attitude that will so consume me so that my family and friends will only know that it is YOUR POWER AT WORK IN ME!!! Only because of JESUS I can pray this prayer - amen.

2 Corinthian 12:9-10 “But HE said to me, ‘MY grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST'S POWER may rest on me. That is why, for CHRIST'S sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Transformation of a Contentious Woman!

Transformation means different things in different fields, such as, mathematics, linguistics, and genetics. But, in general, it means a marked change in appearance or character - usually for the better.

On this blog, I've posted pictures of various transformations:
  • butterfully

  • baby
  • seasons
Yet, what does a transformation look like when it takes place on the inside of me? There is a type of transformation that takes place inside of me when I have a change of pace from my normal routine...when I am's
This last two weeks have been full of new adventures for me...rejuvenating....refreshing....possibly life-changing....but I am exhausted:
  1. I went to the Sikes' Family Reunion in Estes Park, CO without Steve for the first time ever....slept several nights on a couch in the "great room" of the lodge. (enjoyed late night teens and college kids AND very early morning breakfast chefs).
  2. Steve and I had our "new book" (still needs many revisions) for our How God Does Family seminar in Boulder, CO.

  3. Traveled to Oregon with Steve to the Structure of Intellect conference but Steve stayed in the cabin for R & R while I attended.

  4. Flew home from this years reunion and conference to our new home in New Jersey.
I'm not the same person that I was two weeks ago. I've experienced new adventures....God has given me much opportunity for bloom....God will use all this to mold and shape me...if I let Him.

I need to pay attention, though! Tired or not...I do want to be God's maybe cranky, sharp with my tongue, snippy/snappy, grouchy are not part of the God's woman picture....anyway, today, in the airport, Steve quoted me these words from scripture...they have my attention:

Proverbs 21:99 "It is better to live in a corner of a roof, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman."
  • It's more food for thought in my transformation process....

  • thank you Steve....

  • thank You Holy Spirit!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What a FAMILY!!

What a family! Bound together by years of memories...bound together by the blood of Jesus. Not too many people can claim of going to their family reunion surrounded by their physical family who is also their spiritual family....but that's what happens here...years of Sikes' getting together and bound together by our love for one another and our love for our LORD, Jesus Christ. What a heritage!!!!

Today I'll share some pictures that will give you an idea of the harvest of many years of MASTER-FULL parenting by Norban and Emma Sikes..The Entire Norbon P. Sikes Clan -4 generations

who passed it on to Jack and Robbie Sikes... Jack & Robbie Sikes clan (just a few of their 102)

who passed it on to Steve and Patti Sikes...this is why we long to be together...this is why we look forward to eternity together... even though Crystal, Caleb, Krista, and I are in the picture above...we are missing and have missed Steve, Jordan, Jessica, and Jacqueline throughout this wonderful reunion week....

Below find a few highlights:
1 & 2...Cole and Sara were baptized into Christ in a roaring mountain stream...

3. Mama Sikes could have been a concert violinist but instead let God work through her to be a MASTER-FULL MOM of 13, Grand-MOM of 45, and Great-GrandMOM of 30...

4. Papa and Mama Sikes (Jack and Robbie) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at the reunion: 12/30/1947 to 12/30/2007.

5. Robbie Lawless, (namesake of Mama Robbie), tenderly takes out 30 splinters out of her son Elijah's barefeet. Sister-in-law Nancy looks on with her kids. I'll talk more about Nancy and Robbie in another blog.

6. Cousins Mindy, Cassie, Crystal, and friend Sara spent alot of time catching up this week. Mindy's new adventure in motherhood is inspiring to the others.7. Caleb and Krista are having a great time this week - it's their first time as a married couple. Krista's pretty close to having all the names down!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm not sure how mature I's 12:10 a.m. and I'm being seranaded by my son Caleb and cousin Logan via their guitars...I'm impressed by several things: these are two genuinely gentle and sensitive young christian men who love the Lord and care about the elderly. Actually, I'm hanging out with them, daughter Crystal, daughter-in-love Krista and nine other of their Sikes' cousins in the great room of the lodge. Everyone else has gone to bed.

During the day today, as the parents sat around discussing their children, I heard comments about how different kids mature at different rates. I heard about how amazingly so and so had grown or what good young moms Mindy, Vanessa, Julie, Jessica, Teresa, and Jenny were.

Two thoughts came to mind:
1. The end of Christ's wonderful Sermon on the Mount, He says, "Be mature as Your heavenly Father is mature." Some versions use the word perfect...but the word mature is so encouraging...He's telling us to grow up to be like our DADDY...or grow up to be like our BIG BROTHER.

2. Years ago, one of the 13 Sikes' kids, Steve's brother Stanten, had just become the father of 7 children of his own. In an effort to help them to grow up to be mature young christian men and women, he created the mature game. Steve and I had already been doing a family contract and jobs cards with our kids. I was so excited about the mature game and asked Stanten if I could tweak it to what I was already doing. I hope the idea blesses you as much as it did my own children and some of these young Sikes' cousins over some very formative years:

On 6 index cards write one letter per card spelling out the word mature. Each child has their own 6 MATURE cards with the goal of spelling the word out before the morning is over. Here's what the letters stand for with an explanation of what each one is telling your child to do:

Meditate ---Some time this morning spend time meditating on God's word, hopefully writing some thoughts in a journal
Attitude ---Keep your attitude the same as Christ Jesus.
Task --- Do your morning task or tasks, to the best of your ability as to the Lord.
Useful Deed---Think of something that you can do to reach out and serve someone-do it!
Read ---- Spend 30 minutes reading in a good book-other than the Bible.
Exercise and Eat Right --- Spend 20 minutes doing aerobic exercise and drink plenty water in the to nourish your body!

Watch each of your children spell it out on the table as they finish each letter. Trasformation will begin to take place over the next few weeks and months as you consistently spell fact, why not you do the mature cards yourself!

Thank God for Stanten...who now has 8 grandchildren

Here is Stanten this week teaching some eager learners a new Bible song.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I have noticed many ways that I've been stretched to grow since becoming a wife and mother...up close to the top of the list is being FLEXIBLE...

Did you know that being FLEXIBLE is a thinking skill? I used to teach thinking skills as part of my teaching job in Texas. It's the second step of creative thinking. If you want to become a creative thinker then you need to be someone who can think of many, many ideas or options. This is called FLUENCY. The second step of creativity can help you to become more FLUENT. Want to think more creatively as a mom? Then, become FLUENT and FLEXIBLE. FLUENT thinking tells me that there may be many options to my difficult situation. FLEXIBLE thinking says don't get stuck in the same category - change it up. I'll get back to this in a minute...

Over and over again, FLEXIBILITY has been required for me to make it as a mom. Get a rubber band out of your junk drawer and do a little experiement with it. See if you can take it around your kitchen and stretch it out around 10 different shapes. What happens each time you stretch it out? Why, it adapts and changes for or to the need of the moment! What happens when you take it off? Why, it returns to its original state! A rubber band is my hero object of FLEXIBILITY.

So, you are having trouble keeping your kids busy over the summer? Too much TV? Not enough learning about playing together or helping others? Make a FLUENCY list of all the things you and your kids need to do before the summer is over: swing in the park, wade in puddles after a rain storm, teach the kids how to play four square or hopscotch, get a game of croquet at a garage sale and set it up for family fun....oh, my, see what's happening...these are all outside play activities...not alot of variety.

Now's when the creative thinking skill of FLEXIBILITY comes in: think of different categories of things you want to teach or do with your children this summer: service, courage, becoming better readers, getting to know some neighborhood kids, better listening and obeying write your own categories at the top of different pieces of paper. Guess what? Your FLUENCY may be getting ready to increase ten - fold. Make a FLUENCY list under each of your categories...feel that FLEXIBLE thinking grow as you write????

Holy Spirit, in all circumstances please fill me with your patience, kindness, gentleness, me see all the opportunites that are out there just waiting to bless my children and my mind to become less rigid and more full of grace...

Today, I'm at the Sikes family reunion and I just learned that Steve will not be coming at all. I'm frustrated, sad, disappointed, and actually really ticked....but with God in my heart, He helps me to re-shape my thinking. He's helping me to see all the options I have other than nursing my wounds: there are people to encourage, people to serve, ways to bend and re-shape myself for the needs of the moment as I look out over this group of 111 of them being the most FLEXIBLE woman I know...Mama Sikes, my dear mother-in-love.

Stay tuned for'll be great!!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I am not in control!

As I prepare to leave for the Sikes family reunion, I remind myself again that I am NOT in control. The best laid plans usually have a few glitches. Plans are like those seeds we talked about sowing yesterday. We commit our plans to the LORD and then wait to see what will happen. I've spent hours, weeks, months on our reunion preparation and blog. Over the course of the last 6 months we have changed plans hundreds of time. God has changed our plans, too. Linda passed away of pancreatic cancer in June and Leslie's mom died on the 4th of July. Steve and Jessica's plans to attend were messed up because of health issues...others have similar problems. Yet, through all the ups and downs, we're expecting 106 of us before weeks end...blessings inspite of painful circumstances...not my timing....God's timing....God is in control.

You and I have dreamed big dreams over the years....especially when it comes to dreaming for our children....but, we are not in control. Many of you have prayed with me for my children's health and wellness. This week as two of my children called me to tell me their stories I was reminded once again that I am NOT in control.

Caleb has some health issues that require him to be on medications. We have petitioned the Lord repeatedly about this but are very aware that the meds are needed. This past week with some glitches between his doctor and a clinic Caleb could not get his meds. In the past, when that has happened, Caleb has ended up in the hospital or with a huge relapse. It's been a rough week for Caleb and his bride...but they have survived and are better for it. Mama Patti didn't have any control over that situation...but God did. Thank You, Jesus. Thank you Jesus also that today is the first year wedding anniversary for Caleb and Krista...7-7-07 to 7-7-08.

Jessica has had a really rough week with her 24/7 migraines. She's called the weather in Indiana this week as the PERFECT STORM for migraines. She's spent alot of time sleeping and has missed some work. Sometimes when she comes in her house she'll leave the keys in the lock or just forget to close her door because she's in so much pain. Monday night, after getting the mail from the mailbox, she did not relock the front door and forgot to turn on the alarm. About 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning Jessica heard people talking in her living room. She opened her bedroom door to find two drunk men there. Her words were firm and strong, "This is my house! You need to leave now!" They did! Mama Patti didn't have any control over that situation...but God did. Thank You Jesus.

Proverbs 16: 3,4,9
Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.
The LORD works out everything for his own ends —

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.

Have you committed your children to the LORD?
Do you trust the LORD to determine their steps?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We REAP what we sow!

This morning, those of you who attend the Pitman church heard Steve preach a powerful sermon on being SOLD OUT for Jesus. He was in alot of pain, so much so, that he is not leaving with us on vacation tomorrow but will stay home to let his back heal. That's difficult, since we are heading for the Sikes family reunion, which he is in charge of...hopefully, he can fly out in a few days. You're invited, after reading today's thoughts, to check out our reunion blog at

I do hope that by now, you've been blessed by at least doing part of our 14 day R.E.A.P.S. challenge. Here are a few thoughts to ponder as we focus on TRANSFORMATION this month. I will interject my thoughts between each of the following verses:

Galatians 6:6-10

"And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with she who teaches." As Katherine and I teach things in our MASTER-FULL MOMS class, we would love to hear from you as to what good you were able to take from the class or from this blog to nurture and encourage the Spirit who lives within you...share all good things with us!

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a woman sows, this she will also reap. I've had many interesting experiences over the last few weeks, a few of which include our basement flooding for weeks during the rains. Bless Nick's heart! He rearranged the dirt in our backyard, brought in more dirt, sloped it away from the house, ordered new gutters, and sowed grass seed. I have watered and watered and the grass was really coming in...looking good! What happened? This weekend I have a whole backyard full of weeds...what on earth?!?!? Oh, grass seed was sown alright..but I guess that doesn't mean that there's still not room for weeds. It's like that in our lives, on...

8 For the one who sows to her own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. You and I really are making an effort to sow to the Spirit...we want God to live in us and work through us as we live in Him. Yet, no matter how much sowing we do, there will still be "weeds" that will pop up. That's just a fact of life; it's just a fact of my backyard! Just don't get on...

9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. I took Mandy's Brian out in our backyard the other day and asked for his landscaping expertise on my weeds. He basically said to keep watering and in the fall sow some seed with some weed and feed AND then by spring we should have a pretty good lawn. Thanks, Brian! I'll try not to get discouraged. If I sow and don't grow weary my grass will come. Same principle for my Spiritual garden...don't give up may take some time...but you will reap if you don't give on...

10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all women, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. I loved the ABCD illustration in Steve's sermon this morning. People of the household of faith loving and serving each other...looking out for each other...honoring each other above ourselves no matter what our matter what our weaknesses...I love the way the Holy Spirit of God can shine through you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Honor People for WHO'S they are or for WHO made them!

His back problem this time doesn't seem to be related to his old diving accident injury but instead some degenerative disc disease bothered by weeks of emptying the wet vac from our basement flooding, hours sitting and counseling and hospital visitation, and "the straw that broke the camel's back" our NYC marathon walk. Prayer, rest, ice, soft tissue work, anti-inflammatories are helping. GOD is giving him "GRACE FOR TODAY AND HOPE FOR TOMORROW."


I ended yesterday's blog with these words: "the life changing TRANSFORMATION that only JESUS CHRIST can give...this TRANSFORMATION includes coming into God's family of believers who HONOR people for WHO'S they are, not who they are." I would love it if I could say that as a daughter of God I always honor myself , my family, and other christians for WHO's family we are in instead of by standards that the world judges them by.


When I was a child there was alot of learning that went on before I learned to stand...then, it took time before I learned to stand firm...then, I, I walked....since then I've hopped, skipped, jumped, and ran. I could have done none of that had I not had the nourishment that my bones, muscles, and other body parts needed to make all that movement happen. In the same way, be sure that once you are born again and the Holy Spirit of God begins to live in you, to get your spiritual nourishment!

TODAY'S NOURISHMENT: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But HE said to me, "MY grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST'S POWER may rest on me. 10 That is why, for CHRIST'S sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Yesterday, in class, we looked at how different personalities have different strengths and weaknesses. Not all of our weaknesses are the same as our husband's, our children's, others....So, let's spend the next few weeks talking about what it looks like when we let the HOLY SPIRIT train us, teach us, and take control of our weaknesses...not our husband's, not our children's, not another sister in CHRIST'S, but mine, yours, ours..

Which one of these applies to you? to me? Did you know that it takes us being aware of our "weaknesses" before we can give them over to, submit or surrender them to, OR pour them out at the feet of JESUS. Let's pray that GOD'S POWER will be made perfect in our weaknesses:


GOD, YOU tell me that YOUR GRACE is sufficient for me and that YOUR POWER is made perfect in my weaknesses. Please teach me to walk daily in the GRATITUDE ATTITUDE of Christ...I empty out my critical/complaining spirit at YOUR feet...fill me with YOUR attitude that will so consume me that my family and friends will only know that it is YOUR POWER AT WORK IN ME!!!! Only because of JESUS I can pray this prayer - amen.


GOD, YOU tell me that YOUR GRACE is sufficient for me and that YOUR POWER is made perfect in my weaknesses. Please teach me to walk daily in the COURAGEOUS OPTIMISM that CHRIST displayed as HE walked on this earth...I empty out my fearful pessimism at YOUR feet...fill me with YOUR attitude that will so consume me that my family and friends will only know that it is YOUR POWER AT WORK IN ME!!! Only because of JESUS I can pray this prayer - amen.


GOD, YOU tell me that YOUR GRACE is sufficient for me and that YOUR POWER is made perfect in my weaknesses. Please teach me to walk daily in the GOD FOCUSED SELF CONTROL that CHRIST displayed as HE walked on this earth...I empty out my restlessness and undiscipline at YOUR feet...fill me with YOUR attitude that will so consume me that my family and friends will only know that it is YOUR POWER AT WORK IN ME!!! Only because of JESUS I can pray this prayer - amen.


GOD, YOU tell me that YOUR grace is sufficient for me and that YOUR power is made perfect in my weaknesses. Please teach me to walk daily in the COMPASSIONATE PATIENCE that CHRIST displayed as HE walked on this earth...I empty out my intolerance and impatience at YOUR feet...fill me with YOUR attitude that will so consume me that my family and friends will only know that it is YOUR POWER AT WORK IN ME!!! Only because of JESUS I can pray this prayer - amen.

BTW, while I prayed, GOD put this song on my heart:

HE'S still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took HIM just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient HE must be,
HE'S still working on me.

1. There really ought to be a sign upon the heart,
Don't judge her yet, there's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to HIS plan
Fashioned by the MASTER'S loving hands.


2. In the mirror of HIS WORD reflections that I see
Make me wonder why HE never gave up on me.
HE loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember HE'S the Potter, I'm the clay.


Please share what GOD is doing for you via a comment!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


This morning our MASTER-FULL MOMS class talked about learning to walk more and more with the Holy Spirit as we learn how to HONOR THE DIFFERENCES in one another. There are so many differences in people: personalities, male/female, birth order, intellect, preferences, health, culture, upbringing...

Last week we had several vans full of teens from the Green Valley church in Noblesville, IN here at the Pitman church for our VBS. Most of them go to Pat Arthur's (Indiana Ave. c of C preacher in Bloomington, IN) session at Spring Mill Bible camp....small world. They did VBS and Patrick Mead, preacher of the Rochester, MI c of C taught the adult class. It was going well when God decided to make His presence known in a powerful way...He took one of our members to his eternal home via a brain hemorrhage. Franny was 46 years old and had only been born again since April 2007. Yet, to those who knew Franny this past year his conversion was truly life changing.

In May, Franny was replacing the upstairs toilet in our house and he and I were visiting. He asked me if I knew his "story" and I said maybe just a little. He preceded to tell me about his relationship with Rich, one of our deacons and the owner of the construction company he worked for. Franny and Rich had been friends for 18+ years. Franny said that there were many things he had done to Rich that were not good and that he was not proud of, yet "through all the times I disappointed Rich, he never stopped loving me." Over the last couple years, Rich has brought several of his workers from his construction company to the LORD, Franny being one of them. Rich and Franny had recently started sponsoring AA meetings in our Pitman church building on Monday nights. More and more people were coming.

Franny was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday many gathered to pray at the building, in homes, and at the hospital. Steve stayed at the hospital with Franny's friends and family into the night. John P. was there, too. Franny passed on on Wednesday night just before VBS was to start with members of his estranged family gathered around him. Estranged family who could not believe the stories they were hearing about this man they had grown up with. One of his brothers said, "I do not even know this good guy that you are talking about."

On Thursday, Steve, Crystal, and I went on a planned trip to New York City with some from Pitman and the Noblesville, IN group. We took a big bus full of 59. We rode over on the Staten Island Ferry, passed the Statue of Liberty, walked to "Ground Zero", took the subway to Manhatten, walked through Central Park, spent time at FAO Schwarz toy store...then walked and walked and walked down Fifth Avenue past Tiffany's, Fox News, many famous stores until we got to St. Pat's cathedral. Then, there was Saks Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Broadway Shows, NBC, ABC, Times Square....getting tired yet??? We were! We did!

On Friday, back in the office, Steve leaned over to pick up a water bottle and his back snapped...oh, no, his day in NYC had exasperated an old back injury. Steve remained in bed Friday, Saturday, Sunday...I have been trying to keep up with things he needed done or contacts he needed to make. On Monday, I helped him dress to preach Franny's funeral service. Steve had been so "out of it" that he did not know that the printed program listed the song: "I Can Only Imagine!" Steve's sermon title was the same. Go God!!! It was powerful. I've been to some extremely inspirational and remarkable services in my life...but this one was really up there...why? Oh for many reasons...but one was...

At the end of the service, Dan Cooper, the other Pitman minister asked for people to take turns coming forward and telling their stories. From an old drinking buddy who want to know this Jesus who had changed Franny's life, one who wants to learn more about this Philippians book that Preacher Dan was talking about, to a neighbor who said she hadn't taken out her trash in the last 2 years because Franny considered that as his way to serve her, to family members who expressed their astonishment at this changed life, to christians who talked about praying with family, being served by him, and his relentless prayer requests for his physical family and friends from his "past life". Whew!!!!

Steve is still icing down his back, visiting the chiropractor, had x-rays, and is waiting for the results...pray for him that he might be able to go the Sikes Family Reunion next week, that he will be able to speak at the Marriage Retreat in Boulder, CO on July 12-13, and then go with Patti to Oregon the next week....BUT most importantly pray for all of Franny's family and friends who need what Franny had: the life changing TRANSFORMATION that only JESUS CHRIST can give. This TRANSFORMATION includes coming into God's family of believers who HONOR people for WHO'S they are, not who they are.