Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started









Labor Day itself was designed to honor the Labor movement that brought relief to so many workers who were abused and over-worked by those in power. Many have come to think of it as a day where you have a break from labor, pause, and relax, and, perhaps, reflect.

It’s a good time to slow down and think about what life is really about — a pause, a “selah,” before we turn to the many responsibilities that come with the fall. The homework this week is lighter —  I want you to slow down and experience God!

Last week there was such a sweetness when Meg came on an apologized for going too fast after I had told her to slow down and chew on the questions. When I told her that it was more important to experience God than to finish the task, several of you jumped in and said, “Me too! I go too fast!”  Honestly, we all need to remind ourselves to slow down and experience God. Though it is a secular song, I love the heart of the Simon and Garfunkle song that begins”Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last…”   We can be so busy in our Christian lives that we miss God — how wild is that?


Can you identify with being so busy, moving so fast, that you miss God? If so, what are you learning about ways to “slow down” and experience Him?

This week I’m having you meet one of our faithful bloggers — Joyce Keim Peterson. (See below) After you read what she has written, take the time to affirm her!


We can also miss God when we aren’t looking for Him. This week’s lesson is one of my favorite stories and a GREAT one to act out if you have children.

But Peter continued knocking

1. Read Acts 12:1-5 and describe the background for this story.

2. Read Acts 12:6-11 and name some of the ways Peter experienced God.

3. Read Acts 12:12-14 and describe what happened and how and why Rhoda responded as she did.

4. If possible, tell about one time when God answered a prayer and you could hardly believe, because of joy!

5. Read Acts 12:15-17 and describe what happened.

This week I have been with two of my dearest friends. For the six summers since Steve died, we have gotten together for five days at my cabin. We discuss books (this year Bonhoeffer and One Thousand Gifts), we pray, and we read over our journals from the year before so we can be alert to how God has answered prayer. We are always amazed. I’m thankful for our journals, for without those reminders, we truly may have missed “Peter at the door.” We’ve seen God answer prayers for our own spiritual growth, for removing besetting sins, for stronger marriages, for the gift of babies, for quickening in our ministries… Peter has been at the door so many times!


One of the most fruitful devotional habits Steve and I practiced with our five children was one we learned from Karen and David Mains. It’s called The God Hunt. Our kids loved it and we did too. It was a way to be alert to God in your life. So we are going on a God Hunt this week!  What I’d like you to do, is see if you can spy God at least once every day and come on and tell us about it.



A. So often we pray for His help in trouble, or His gifts. He is gracious and gives us abundantly. What is a way He met you in trouble or gave you what you requested this summer?

B. Sometimes we pray for our own character or the characters of those we love. If you do that, what is a way you have seen Him meet you?


The year of the babies! Mesmerized here by a dancing Grandma! 🙂

In my family this one was hard to miss. My three daughters and daughter-in-law did not plan this nor did they plan to all have daughters. But how can we ever forget or stop rejoicing at the obvious hand of God. These are the four babies last April. This summer they all turned one. Joy, joy, joy, joy!

If you think about the story in Esther, for example, the hero is neither Mordecai nor Esther, but God, who orchestrated everything so that the Jews could be rescued. That is the way the story of Esther must be read — and we would be wise to look at the story of our own lives in the same way.

Be alert!

Just this week I ran into a distant young cousin at the airport. Surprised us both. But I knew it was God, for she has always been one who has seemed open to God. And now we are in contact again. He is on the move.

A. As you look back, what unusual circumstances or timing made you think, in a particular situation, that God was involved?

B. Be alert — watch for unusual circumstances or timing this week and be ready to report.

3. I spy God because of unexpected and undeserved grace.

We fear we are going to fail an exam, and we get an A! We are sure the policeman is going to give us the ticket we deserve, and we get a warning. We have a near miss with an accident, kindness from a stranger, or a rainbow on a stormy day. My dad used to tell me, “Be alert to be amazed.”

When a person gives us grace and we don’t deserve it, we should recognize that ultimately that unexpected grace is a gift from God. For a person cannot extend grace unless she has received it. One of my favorite stories from you was one from Elizabeth. Her young daughter had pushed the boundaries all day and then Elizabeth, who is very much into health food, took her out for ice cream. Her daughter was mystified and asked why, “since she had been bad all day.” Elizabeth told her that her love was unconditional. Grace. God’s unexpected grace.

Last month when I came back to the cabin after a speaking engagement on my birthday, there was my oldest son, surprising me. This was unexpected grace in many ways. He and his fiance did so many things to surprise me. It was particularly sweet because my relationship with them has had lots of rough spots — because I have hurt them often through my perpetual attempts to change them. (If you are new to this blog, you will learn that one of the idols God is working on in my heart is control.) They both love the Lord deeply, however, and have given me grace. This homecoming was certainly evidence of that — and a surprise!

A. Can you think of a way in the last year when you received unexpected and undeserved grace?

B. Be alert for the same during the week.

4. I spy God because of His help to do His work in the world.

He gives each of us gifts and calls us to use them, but we cannot do anything without Him. Often the world, the flesh, and the devil stop us — but He is the Overcomer. How beautifully we saw this lived out in Rebecca’s life. He has given her the gift of a beautiful voice, but she was so overcome by the fear of man that is stopped her from being what He called her to be. She even posted pictures of the big stage at her church so we could empathize with her fear! But then, God did a work in her, helping her bask in His approval instead of looking for man’s. She then posted a wonderful video of that Sunday — singing her heart our to the Lord and living evidence of His help to do His work in the world. If you missed it, here it is: http://vimeo.com/27992059

Here I must say that you, my sweet sisters on this blog, have been such a gift to me, and truly, His help to do His work in the world. It was not my intent when I began this blog, but it has been so sweet for you have given me friendship, encouragement, prayer, and stories that I am often using — I repeat them at times on this blog, and I may ask you if I may use them in my writing. I didn’t expect any of this — but I thank you for your hearts, for your perseverance, and for your pressing into God. We do need one another, and you have certainly been a wonderful gift to me, making a three-fold cord. (You, me, and the Lord.)

A. How has God helped you to fulfil your calling in this world — as a mother, a nurse, a teacher, a wife, an encourager, a friend…?

B. What is one (I know there are many) way a woman on this blog helped you to fulfil His calling on your life?

C. Be His work in the world?Be on the alert and be ready to report how you spy Him this week.


This is a wonderful free sermon — will help you slow down and think about what life is really all about: Link






During the last Stonecutter study we met many of you, and I didn’t get to post Joyce, who has been with us for a long time. So this week I’d like you to meet her — and I will do this again sometime.  I know Joyce personally for I used to live in her town in Nebraska. I have always been impressed with her spirit despite many trials that would flatten most people. She is one of our greatest encouragers and prayer warriors. How thankful we are for you, Joyce!


My passion is to become more like Jesus. I feel, I’ve wasted so much of my life before really living for God. I wasn’t raised in a christian home, but I gave my heart to Jesus in my 20’s, during a very abusive first marriage. My second marriage , we had three children and after Kendra was born with CP and epilepsy and mentally challenged, he left me for someone else. My husband now, Maurice (pronounced like Morris) and I have been married 21 years now, and Kendra is the only one at home and she is 24 years old. His wife left him also with two kids and I had three and he was the most worried about taking on a disabled child! Well the older kids fought and there was so much jealousy between them (but are close now) , and Kendra and Daddy became inseparable! Maurice is the Daddy God wanted for Kendra. Maurice calls us “his girls”, even our doggy, Penny! And he is a wonderful Husband and Daddy. Everything does work out for the best! I feel so blessed. Trial’s do make you grow closer to the Lord.

I’ll be 62 this summer and caring for Kendra is my ministry I believe. She is our Love and Joy here on earth, as is our older kids, but God is number one and we are trusting him each day.

The study on Idolatry has truly opened my eye’s to all the many idols I have. If I had to choose the one I’ve been praying for the most would be my idol of food…..running to it instead of Jesus for comfort. I’ve learnt so much from all of you and am aware of how I am only harming myself, my body, “The Temple of the Holy Spirit”.

When I was in the hospital for 4 days recently, I was praying much of the time when alone. During one of those prayers, I felt a hand on my shoulder and opened my eye’s to find no one in the room. I know it was the hand of Jesus and I felt like he was saying to me, “Trust me”.

I worry so much about who will take care of Kendra when we can’t anymore.

I pray so much for all my sister’s in Christ, here , and Dee, on this wonderful study. I’m not very well versed or wise, as most, but I am a prayer warrior for everyone that needs me to pray, and love being an mentor to anyone I can help. And I do have great empathy for anyone hurting or going through hard times.

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. How do you put a picture next to your name again?

      1. thanks Dee!

  2. 2a when we where looking into adopting Lily I was very scared that her disability would be more then i could handle and that her age would make her unable to bond. I found an article about her orphanage on line and left a note on it to the girls that had been there asking if anyone had met her so i could ask some questions, i never heard anything and 4 months later we did deside to go agaid and do the paperwork for her and not another child on the waiting child list. fast forward a year…another mom happens to see this note i put on this very random newspaper article, sees lilys name, recognised it from Her daughters referal letter as her best friend (I have NEVER seen china put the name of a childs friend on a referal letter before…NEVER) This mom goes to the wuhan yahoo group that I had joined and asks if anyone knows wu guiann (lily) I “happen” to see this (I have only looked at a couple of times) an hour after she posts it and we are skyping within the day and lily and her bestfriend from her foster home are looking at each other! you can see the entire story on my blog if you want. I have 100s of stories like this.
    2b paul and I are reading a book called a praying life. It is so strange how a lot of what he says in the book is what Dee is teaching here. writing your story, going on a God hunt every day and seeing HIM in the big and little things. when i keep my eyes open I see HIM everywhere. Paul and I are doing an experiment for our 20th anniversery. we are praying about where God wants us to go and then waiting for one of those last min. deals to come up and going wherever. this should be interesting:) we are going to wait intil a week before to book it. the fun has been praying about it together, if nothing else, it has been fun praying together about it. Paul tends to get very disapointed in things so this time he can talk to God about it instead of blaming himself or me if its not all her wanted it to be:)
    the big Godhunt thing this week has been my big kids thanking me for homeschooling them! when they were homeschooled before they were sure school would be sooooo much better. now, because i let them go, they know what it is like and are so thankful. what a change in attitude!!! we wont talk about Emma….God gave me her to make sure I stay humble!!!

    1. Cyndi
      Was your story featured on Chris Fabray’s program? It’s sounds similar to one I heard on a Christian radio program several months ago?

      1. no, i don’t think so:) God takes a very specail interest in addoption I think, and he does things like this all the time. I am amazed at all the miracles i hear about like this!

  3. Good morning ladies!

    I am encouraged to read everyone’s postings; I missed a couple of days due to work, and my closest friend had surgery yesterday and I was at the hospital with her.

    I wanted to add this, as to how women on this blog help me to fulfill His calling…
    For Dee, because she has led me, and all of us, to go deeper with God; to ponder and reflect His ways, teaching us to pray through the Psalms and music. I also look at the example of Dee and Steve’s marriage as the way God designed a husband and wife relationship to be. I haven’t had too many healthy examples (of marriages) to imitate, in fact, very few. It’s a blessing and a privilege for me to get to peer into the mystery of such a marriage as theirs, as Dee has shared with us from their life together; of how God made it such a beautiful partnership.

    For Tammy, because she just doesn’t talk about forgiveness, she lives it. Tammy has put real flesh and bones on the issue of forgiveness; she wrote above of how if she doesn’t forgive, she keeps herself in a prison, unable to have the abundant life God wants her to have.

    Joyce, I was so moved by what you posted above about the joys of having your perpetual little girl with you forever, yet the heartache of worry of when they can’t be on their own and take care of themselves. YOu always write from your heart.

    I’ve been praying for God to help me be sensitive to His presence this week, as we are on a God Hunt. Sometimes at the end of a “usual day” of housework, errands, etc… I wonder, where has He been? I have to confess some days I feel a little disappointed. Yet, I know I shouldn’t. I know He heard and answered many prayers for my friend yesterday; her surgery, though very long, went well. I got to sit with her and her pastor for a couple hours before they took her in. It was a good experience for me, too; she goes to a small church and the pastor knows everyone personally. So he goes himself to the hospital when people are sick. He has a really great and wacky sense of humor! I’ve never known a pastor personally like that, as I go to such a big church. It taught me that pastors are just ‘real’ people, like us; I so hope to find a smaller church like that where my pastor knows who I am.

    1. Thank You Susan for seeing the real me. Sometimes I wonder if what I say here makes sense to anyone else.

  4. 4.C. Be His work in the world?

    Others may think it strange what I am about to say but you my sisters see my heart and will understand. My 14 year marriage to an abuser prepared me for my current caregiving assignment. My client’s husband is an older version of my ex and just this morning he was going to berate her for drinking too much Maalox and having much movement. I gently told him no don’t do that. She has had a difficult week and doesn’t need to be fussed at for anything. Now if he does it later when I’m not there I can’t control that but if I can stop unnecessary verbal violence I will speak up. I’m not glad I was married to an abuser but I’m glad I can say I know what’s it like to live with someone who fusses at you all the time.

  5. 3. this entire year has been undeserved grace! God has been so very faithful with Lily’s transition, very few 10 year olds bond as well as she has and I am so grateful!
    A. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. God has given me much grace when I am proud. I struggle with pride, i think I am right almost all the time:) this has made me not very easy to live with at times! Im not sure why God has been so very patient with me but I am so thankful that he has. I tend to blame everone else when something goes wrong….it could never be me!!!
    the biggest thing God has done to help me be a better everything is take me down a few notches, to assure me that he loves me even if I am wrong (because of course under all that pride is a very insecure little girl who has some how come to believe that unless she is perfect she is not lovable) As i began to believe that HE loved me no matter what I have become a much better mom, teacher and wife.
    B. so many of you have encourage me and spured me on when this year got really hard! thank you!
    Elizabeth, it has been amazing to find a woman who thinks so much like I do! your encouraging words always hit a special place because you are so much like me that you know just what i need to hear:) and Joyce, knowing all you have gone through in your life and how you love kendra gives extra meat to your words of encouragment!

  6. Thank you all for your encouraging and sweet words this week, but I have to say it is all of you, especially you, Dee, that spur me on and keep me going in a straight and narrow way. Even when I don’t respond like I should, I never miss a comment because you all are like family to me and I love all you sister’s!

  7. Just want to let everyone know that the interview with the new caregiver went well. My client’s husband allowed me to conduct the interview and introduce her to his wife. I felt like a human resource manager. After explaining all of the duties expected and showing her where supplies are kept I needed to check my client so I asked Cindy if she would like to see how I move Miss Jean because I cannot pull on her left shoulder because it was injured when she was in the nursing home. Anyway, when I discovered there needed to be a change Cindy put on a pair of gloves and jumped right in to help and even took over at the end. All of her nursing home experience kicked in and it was sure nice to have an extra pair hands. She also is willing to stay at night when I need to take a break. I’ve been staying every night since August 19th and having relief will be wonderful. Most importantly, my client now has help the mornings I cannot be available. Thank you all for praying for this situation.

    1. Prasie the Lord Tammy!

  8. Dee
    Give Dr. Leslie Vernick a hug from me. Hope y’all are having a wonderful visit!

  9. God hunt-Angela and I sent out the Event invites for Stonecutter-so far 15 have said yes! 🙂 God is at work!

    1. Yay!!

  10. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE-A-WAY FOR THE WEEK? my take away this week has been going slowley and actually experiencing God and also the God hunts. I was like Elizabeth in that i was looking for some huge I spy and it wasnt coming but i saw many little ones. Praise The Lord

    PLease also pray for me in that our fall schedule starts this sunday and so does Sunday School pray that i wouldnt be shy and sit back and let everyone answer the questions but if i know the answer to SPEAK UP!

    1. I’m the same way, Meg! I’ll be praying we can both “speak up”!

      A. Can you think of a way in the last year when you received unexpected and undeserved grace?

      I love the picture of you and your son, who surprised you on your birthday, Dee! A year ago, Aug, my oldest daughter, Kyla Faith (33) and her husband drove from Cheyenne to surprise me on my birthday, too and it was so wonderful!!! I couldn’t figure out why my husband bought a big birthday cake, as we were not planning a party or anything! Then they walked in at midnight!!, just as my birthday was starting! It was so great and I miss them so much, as they moved to San Diego and I have not seen them since and may not for another year. It’s that letting go that hurts so bad:( But I’m so thankful they have each other and are happy and both have good jobs. And I’m praying they will be able to have a family one day. At least I have my son in Kearney and he is single and 30 and loves his mama! He’s so handsome and sweet and loves Kendra so much, too. Am I blessed or WHAT??? Trevor loves Maurice, too. I didn’t mean to leave him out. Does anyone know a sweet, christian girl around 30? Trevor would kill me if he know I said that, here! If he dates a girl, I start making wedding plans!! Not really! But would like to!!

      Looking forward to Stonecutter!

  11. Sorry, Dee, I didn’t mean to make this Dee’s dating site! I was just jolking;)

    1. Yes Lord, Make us the woman You long for us to be! Women set free, to be all you created us for–that we may glorify Your name! In Your Precious Name we pray!

    2. Oh Yes, Lord, Please! Amen

  12. Dee, this had teeth..what a prayer. Lord, I agree. Lord, may we hunger you and not what you can give.

    One thing I love about re-doing studies on here is that they are never stale when we do them a second time-they are always new and refreshing. I know God is going to meet us again somehow.

    This past week the UGLY idol of approval reared his head again-I am SO stubborn-yet God made me aware which is 1/2 the battle or 3/4’s of it. He has brought me so far in this area-so I praise Him and I am confident he will bring me yet closer in and I am ready to walk through this with Him even though I know it will be painful. He has given me stones of remembrance- I have many. 🙂

    1. Oh dear Rebecca–I have so loved hearing your songs–we play “you” a lot 🙂 and it reminds me how much the enemy must want to attack you–for you have such a powerful gift, and testimony. Lord, I pray Your protection over Rebecca. Thank You for her ministry–use her for Your glory.

      1. Elizabeth, YOU are such a sweet encourager to me. 🙂 I am so thankful to God for you, sister!

      2. Yes, Lord, Please protect Rebecca and her family from the emeny

  13. What’s your take-a-way for the week?

    My main take-a-way for me is Dr. Keller taking me deeper into the Greek found in John 1:1. Meditating on this particular scripture in a new way helps me see that my life has deeper purpose. What someone else says, about how they think I should be living my life, no longer matters unless I know it specifically lines up with God’s Word. Here’s my paraphrase of John 1:1:

    In the beginning was Tammy’s reason for living, and Tammy’s reason for living was with God, and Tammy’s reason for living was God.

    Having the opportunity to slow down inwardly and focus on the true meaning of life has meant the world to me. I have been working long hours and relief has finally been sent. I’ve had a taste of what Jesus must have dealt with when he spent long days with crowds following him clamoring for a touch of his healing power. My main prayer first thing in the morning now is, “Lord, give me nerve to face this day.” I am most grateful when the day winds down.


    This week, you all witnessed God’s divine power in my life. Susan spoke four words to me I have been longing to hear the entire 47 years I have been on this planet. “We CHERISH you here”. God has answered the deepest cry of my soul for NO ONE has ever spoken these words to me before. I never need doubt his unfailing love for me the rest of my days!


    1. You are cherished, Tammy! Stay with us sister’s!

    2. Tammy–LOVE you paraphrase of John 1:1–going to write that down for myself to remember 🙂

    3. Tammy, I echo Susan’s comment to you and agree wholeheartedly. We cherish you here! Thank you for blessing us with your heart. I am so glad you are back!

  14. My take away so far is that we are doing a God Hunt in our family this week. I explained what it was to the boys and they want to do it. Jake was being goofy though, so we will see if he understood what I was asking them to do. 🙂

  15. Oh and also, I had an I Spy this morning.

    I asked Isaac how He has seen God provide for him in regard to his autism. (that was the topic we were on.) He said, “He loves me for who I am, not for how strong I am, not for my Autism, He thinks I am special.” My prayer was simple for Isaac-to believe God loves Him. Precept upon precept, line upon line.

    Then I asked how he has seen God take care of him. He expressed, although not in these exact words, that if God hadn’t given him therapy when he was young he would still be trapped in his body unable to communicate, have relationships, feel loved by others, and just be human. He remembers being stuck inside his body when he was young. He used to think we were robots until last year. 😉 He couldn’t figure out why when we talked we made certain facial expressions, or why we talked back and forth the way we do.

    Oh and Isaac has made friends this year!!! He told me he tells his friends he has high functioning autism and it helps them understand why he doesn’t communicate or respond the same as they do sometimes and they stop teasing him and actually start giving him a break and accepting him for who he is. I think that information is really helpful to his friends. God has so cared for, loved and given Isaac favor among the people he is around. The teachers love him. He is so laid back and gentle.

    1. Rebecca, this is an amazing and profound testimony to God’s faithfulness, supply and healing. While He did not just touch Isaac and heal him right away, He has been with him through it and used it to grow Isaac spiritually while adding a degree of healing. It is also an opportunity for his friends to give grace. A beautiful tapestry of God’s work. Thanks!

    2. Rebecca–this is BEAUTIFUL! What an amazing testament of His faithfulness. I love hearing how He has revealed Himself to Isaac, tenderly drawn him to Himself, and built up his confidence in Christ-wow! That was so encouraging to read. When I think of all that I want my children to know without a doubt, it is what Isaac said so well “He loves me for who I am…He thinks I am special.” LOVE that! Well done faithful servant, you have taught him this truth 🙂

      1. Oh Elizabeth, you really do bless me so much girl!! Yes, God is good and God has so amazed me how He is working in Isaac’s heart. 🙂

  16. Rebecca, that is so wonderful. God really is working on Isaac!

    My take away is simular. God is working on Kendra too. In her little girl mind, she is reminding mommy to take her pills for me, three times a day for seizues, and put on my seat belt when we go somewhere, and to pray every night, or anytime she feels lead to. She is really becoming responcible and wanting to learn more about God, through books, songs and her little Veggie Tale movies and prayer. The God Hunt, I spy game is wonderful for her and myself too! It really helps us to think how the Lord is blessing us each day:) We will keep doing it, thanks for the tip about it, Dee!

    1. She’s playing her little christian songs now in her play room and it thrills my heart:)

  17. The number is up to 19 saying yes to the Stonecutter tomorrow, and 24 maybes. 🙂 Angela, I am so glad you did the invite too as most of them are from your invites!!! Great job! God is good!

  18. Ladies

    I am really nervous about starting the Stonecutter tommorrow also starting our sunday school class we are doing daniel by beth moore. Please pray for comfort and peace and that i would trust in him. Thanks

    Love you all!

  19. The prayer that we share with each other is as much of a blessing as the study itself. Meg, I am so praying for you and your studies. You are hand in hand with the Lord!

    I think that I would like to take a different approach to prayer for my oldest son Alfred. I have had it in my head that difficulties would cause him to come back to the Lord. But now I sense a leading to pray earnestly for him in the path that he has chosen. Right now he is writing his personal statement for admission to law school. I went to him tonight as he was working and told him Ruth and I are praying specifically for this statement that it would be well written and speak to the heart of those reviewing it at the school. It was good and he was happy. He opened up and talked about how it is going. In the past, any talk of prayer just shut him down but now he seems more open. All of this is to ask you if you would pray with me, specifically for this statement that it would bring him favor and admission to the right school. Lord, I honestly think I see the heart and mind of a lawyer in this young man and I pray that his gifting from You would shine through in this statement. I know that our legal system is broken and if it is Your will that he be a part of it, I pray that he will be part of the change and not broken by it.

  20. “He opened up and talked about how it is going. In the past, any talk of prayer just shut him down but now he seems more open. All of this is to ask you if you would pray with me, specifically for this statement that it would bring him favor and admission to the right school. Lord, I honestly think I see the heart and mind of a lawyer in this young man and I pray that his gifting from You would shine through in this statement. I know that our legal system is broken and if it is Your will that he be a part of it, I pray that he will be part of the change and not broken by it.”

    Anne, this sounds so encouraging! I am praying your prayer for him right now!