Burning Ones

I Am Hungry Lord. Listening to this on Spotify! You will be blessed! Fill me up, Lord! My time has not passed! God let the dry bones live! I have not been on here for a few weeks. So much is happening, some good, some challenges and just plain too tired and distracted. I had to share this. As I sat here at my computer, writing this, I have been listening to the Burning Ones (Good, Good Father) playlist. Encouraging Word, powerful, anointed song. I NEEDED this today, perhaps you do too. God Bless.

Ever feel discouraged, like your life just didn’t go the way you wanted it too. Ever wonder where God is or where He went? Has it been hard to look up, well this will greatly encourage you. He has not forgotten you. He loves you and IF you’ve never known Him, or felt His touch…it’s not too late, no matter how old you are, or what you have done or NOT done. It’s time for healing and hope to arise. GREAT is the Deliverance of the Lord. Open our eyes Lord, Open our hearts and our ears to receive from You.

He Knew Me

While working in my office, which is a total mess and  needs organizing (it gets worse as I tackle it); I like to listen to Christian music or worship. I am very eclectic in what I listen too, and there are times I just have to listen to one of my favorites, Jason Crabb. Many of my friends, especially the younger crowd, are not too interested in Southern Gospel, but there is a sweet spot in my heart that can only be filled with this genre. Needless to say, as I sit here, I could not focus on my task at hand, and was pulled into the sweet Presence of the Lord. What a wonderful distraction! Here are just a few of my favorites by this young man that stops me in my tracks…and just pulls me ‘upwards.’  God Bless…Karen


This song has often brought me to tears: ” While He was on the Cross, You were on His mind.  He knew me, yet He loved me. He whose glory makes the heavens shine. I’m so unworthy, of such mercy, for while He was on the Cross, I was  on His mind.”


I think we can all relate to this song. It was written by Jason Crabb’s father. I believe in being real and transparent. I don’t mean we should spill all your woes and sorrows all over people, be discreet…but sometimes we just need relate to others so they can see we are no different than any other human being in this world, Christian or not; only difference is we are saved by Grace, and we have an Advocate and a Helper in Christ. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect or pretending to be, lets shake off the ‘holier’ than thou facade we often try to project and just be the ‘light’ God calls us to be.



This song has been the cry of my heart so many times. I have wept as I listened and worshiped. The Words of the song say it all.

Lilly of the valley, let your sweet aroma fill my life
Rose of Sharon show me, how to grow in beauty in Gods sight
Fairest of ten thousand, make me a reflection of your light
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Lead me Lord I’ll follow, anywhere you open up the door
Let your words speak to me, show me what Ive never seen before
Lord I long to be your witness, cause you can take whats wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Lord I see your world thats dying, wounded by the master of deceit
Groping in the darkness, haunted by the years of past defeat
But when I see you standing near me Lord, shining with compassion in your eyes
I pray Jesus shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Oh Yes
Lead me Lord Ill follow, anywhere you open up the door
Let your words speak to me, show me what Ive never seen before
Lord I long to be your witness, cause you can take whats wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Yes, Daystar shine down on me, oh, oh, yes Daystar shine down on me oh, oh,
Jesus shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night (repeat 2 times)



Fear Or Faith In God — Pure Glory

Featured Blogger: Pure Glory



by Hazel Straub Fear or faith develops where we make the biggest investment. When we believe a negative word, fear grabs and pulls us down. Our faith and trust in God must grow bigger than fear. In the natural, we have tests and due to a failure, think that devastation is our portion. We have to decide […]

via Fear Or Faith In God — Pure Glory

Aging Gracefully

Hi, there folks.

This is me through the years starting as a baby – high school graduation (last picture). A lot of life, love and laughter. I look at these pictures and wonder, where did the time go, and who is that ‘stranger’ looking at me in the mirror every morning and every night: Okay, okay…sometimes I look more often, but at my ‘age’, I see every line and wrinkle; perhaps against all odds, I’m hoping  that the latest ‘anti-wrinkle’ cream I am using is REALLY going to produce a miracle like it says it does. So far, no such luck. Nope. Not til Jesus comes to take me home will I be without ‘spot’ or ‘wrinkle’, says so right there in the Bible. 😉 Well, maybe I’ve taken it out of context…but sometimes if I don’t laugh, I think I might cry, and believe me, after the cataracts came out a couple of years ago, I came close. One day I thought I was looking  pretty good for my age, and the next day ‘bam’, right between the eyes…, I mean right between my eyes, those little crinkly lines, not to mention every crevice and spot on my face suddenly became much clearer! Of course, the up side was seeing colors and everything  more vibrant and alive…who knew that the ‘orange’ facial scrubber I was using, was actually ‘hot pink’, and the shirt I thought was orange was a ‘hot pink’. Thinking how many times I thought I was wearing black with matching black shoes, to find out one was black, the other blue?

Let’s be real here! In a few days I’m going to turn 64 years old. I’m trying to embrace who I am NOW, not yesterday, bite the bullet (we really don’t have a choice), continue to laugh, love and live. The Bible says there’s enough trouble today, so don’t worry about tomorrow (paraphrased), He’s going to be there for all my tomorrows as He was for all my yesterdays, and today! I think it is wise to plan for the future, but it’s never wise to worry (and this is something I have to lay at the feet of Jesus daily…some days I win, others I really struggle).

Forgive me for rambling just a little bit today (you know us ‘old’ folk do that from time to time, eh)? I got to looking at some of these old photos today of myself through different stages of my young life. I started out pretty cute; chubby and wrinkly…and I was thinking to myself, how ironic that I’m probably gonna end up that way too, yeah…chubby and wrinkly, though if someone calls you ‘cute’ when you get older, it’s usually more about your ‘behavior’, or some quirky habit you’ve picked up unknowingly as you’ve aged . Not too long ago I read a police report about an ‘elderly’ woman, 63 or 64 years old, whose car was rammed into by a desperado who was driving a stolen car. I thought to myself, “Elderly?”  What were they ‘talking about?’ I was 63, and that sounded so foreign to my ears! Never would I consider myself or call myself ‘elderly!’ I cringed at the mere thought of being called  elderly at the ‘young age of 63.’   NO WAY was I going to accept what the dictionary (and some of our society) labels ‘elderly!’

  1. (of a person) old or aging.
    “she was elderly and silver-haired”
    advanced in years,
    long in the tooth,
    past one’s prime;
          hoary; in one’s dotage, decrepit, doddering, doddery, senescent;
          getting on,
          past it,
          over the hill,
          no spring chicken
         old people,
         the aged,
         senior citizens;
         retired people,
         golden agers;

Hmm, Some of these descriptions I can accept, but long in the tooth? Getting on? geezer? decrepit, doddering? I think NOT! Doesn’t sound like me at all, nor most of my ‘elderly’ friends! Not yet anyway, and when that time comes, and I do see it coming, I’ll let you know, or as my sister once said to me, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you!’ 😀  In the meantime, I’m going to dance the dance of life, and celebrate everyday as a gift from God. As His Word says…I will rise up as an eagle, and my youth will be renewed as I wait on the Lord.

In all seriousness, though, aging gracefully is a struggle for many in our youth oriented culture, and has been for me too at times, especially when you feel ‘young’ but the ‘number’ keeps creeping upwards. Inevitably, we all age but one of the most beautiful of women I’ve ever known was my mother…she was graceful, her smile, the way she moved, gentle. She was always there for my siblings and I, and knew when to call and when to come. This is true ageless beauty; to love others and have a giving heart.   God’s word says it best in 1 Peter 3: 3-4:

 3 Don’t focus on decorating your exterior by doing your hair or putting on fancy jewelry or wearing fashionable clothes; let your adornment be what’s inside—the real you, the lasting beauty of a gracious and quiet spirit, in which God delights.


You Are So Beautiful To Me

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The wrinkles on a time-worn face
Can be symbols of God’s grace,
If through our laughter and our tears
His love has freed us from our fears. —D. De Haan

“Even to your old age, . . . and even to gray hairs I will carry you!” (Isaiah 46:4).

Yes, we can be assured that God will always be with us through every season. My advice: Love Deeply, Forgive Quickly, Laugh Loudly, Be Thankful. In our lives things are constantly changing, but we can be assured that our God NEVER changes and that His love for us is not dependent on our performance, nor what we look like on the outside, or even the crud on the inside. He just loves us. God used this song, ‘I Am’, along with the picture of mama touching my heart gently, to reassure me when I was in the throes of grief, that He is always with me. He is the one constant in life. The words to this song say it all.

I Am


Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest
The tide can change so fast,
But I will stay
The same through the past,
The same in future, same today

I am constant; I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I’m the only one who knows your heart’s desires
Your heart’s desires

Oh weary, tired and worn,
Let out your sighs
And drop that heavy load you hold
Cause Mine is light

I know you through and through;
There’s no need to hide
I want to show you love
That is deep and high and wide


Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest

Send Your Rain


Come and quench this thirsting of my soul, Dear Lord

Heal me

Save me

Let me feel Your gentle rain

upon my face

within my heart

Wash me clean

Remove the sludge:

the sorrows and the cares

of this world

that have kept me from moving forward

My hope is in You

In You alone

Like a refreshing rain

saturate me in Your Love 

and in Your Presence

Let me not lose heart

in the storm

You are my Portion

The Lover of my Soul

The Joy of my Desire

My Deliverer

My Strong Tower

In You I live and move and breathe

I will Praise You with My whole heart

My Prince of Peace



Having Done All… Stand














Ephesians 6: 10-18 (AMP)

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God.

18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

It Is Well/ You Make Me Brave

There are times when a song will go to the depths of my heart and touches my spirit in a very profound way.  It draws me into His Presence.


“It Is Well”

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regardThrough it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name [repeat last line during 3rd run]

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
[repeat 3x]

It is well it is well with my soul [x3]
ahhhhhhh (softly)

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.

The Lighthouse

A few years ago, I started learning to edit video’s (by no means am I an expert but a few were special to me). I will feature some in my blogs. This was made during my trial and error time, so others could have done better, as I said, I am no expert, but this particular video spoke volumes to my heart and spirit.

The video features Kimberly and Roberto Rivera : a song called ‘Amore’. They are singing in the spirit. I found this clip when I went looking for sea animals (dolphins, whales), while desiring to do another video for a friend. This came to me as I was searching and I knew I had to attempt to do a video with this song about Jesus, the Lighthouse. There have been times in my life, where the waves of despair and sorrow have threatened to overtake me, to leave me in a state of hopelessness: no light in sight, sinking, desperately clinging to God’s Word and His Promises .  During these seasons, where my faith was being tested, it was as if I was standing on a quagmire of  shifting sand, flailing at times, trying to stay above the water as not to drown. Had it not been for the mercy and grace of my Abba Father, the loving support of family and friends, and my faith in the Lover of My Soul,  Jesus, I would surely have succumbed to the darkness I felt swirling about me.

It has always been JESUS  I clung too that finally led me to safe harbor even in the midst of the storm; He has done this time and time again in my life. There will be smooth sailing for awhile, and then another storm will arise, such is life. Thank God there is Joy in the journey, and it’s not dependent on our circumstances! There are many scriptures in the Bible telling us of how Jesus is the Savior…the Light of the World. What a tragedy if the ships ignore the lighthouse or cannot see the light…and crash upon the rocks and lives perish. King Jesus is the One that will guide us to safety and will lead us to heaven. He and ONLY He is the Light of the World, and when we are going through the ‘storms’ of life…He has promised to be with us, to guide us and keep us safe.


The LightHouse


View From the Bottom Rung (by Vander H. Atwell)

Vander H. Atwell is my father. He is soon to be 84, and pretty spry for his age and downright puts me to shame. Longevity runs in the family, the oldest member of his family is 90 years old, my Aunt Pluma, then there is Aunt Oleta, and Uncle Billy. Daddy, is the third born. He is a widower, and now a newlywed by about a year at the writing of this. He is an amazing man, not perfect, and there are a few things we don’t agree on, but he is and will always be my ‘hero’. He’s a writer, philosopher, professional quality mandolin player, retired logger and mountain man, and more. I love him with all of my heart, and if you can’t tell I’m bursting with pride.

He writes an opinion piece called ‘View From the Bottom Rung’, at least twice a month for a local paper in Arkansas, The Press Argus. Though it can sometimes be political in nature, he most often writes about life, and especially how it was days past. He was born in Arkansas around 1933, the third born out of four siblings, two older sisters and one younger brother. His father, Roland Atwell, a Baptist Preacher, and his mother Minnie ‘LaRue’ Atwell, were also farmers and lived in Crawford County, in the vicinity of Mountainburg, Arkansas. In those days they would have been called ‘Hillbilly’s, which was not considered a compliment by many. Today, it’s often associated with Bluegrass music and good ole, down to earth country folk, pot lucks and so forth. In fact, I am quite proud of my ‘hillbilly’ roots and the wonderful people I call ‘the salt of the earth’ kind of folk.

My father, upon finishing the 8th grade, did not return to school, though I know not why,  I would assume it was to help out at home and the family farm. I think it always bothered him that he had not continued on in his education at the time, but it actually spurred him on later to take educational courses through the mail. He is a natural born story teller. When he writes, he often paints a vivid picture of how it was as a young ‘lad’ back in the early days of his childhood. His lively hood until he retired several years ago was that of logger, timber faller. He grew to love the mountains of California, and much like a professional sailor longs for the sea, my daddy still , at times, longs for the mountains. My siblings and I were able to visit the camp sites at times growing up and I still love the smell of the pine trees in the mountains. One day I hope to compile many of my fathers writings and stories and put them in book form. He’s a brilliant man. I will share more about my mother and father in the days ahead. It will be random as there is so much. I will highlight my fathers various articles, and other writings on my blog as well as feature video’s of his musical past time.

The following was written by my dad and posted in the Press Argus Newspaper, on April 29, 2017. As I read this,  images came to my mind as if I was watching the movie ‘Old Yeller’ as I envisioned a much younger boy growing up in a very different time and era, running through the backwoods of Arkansas. You can find the article if you google it…but I was unable to get the link to work…(still a newbie on here unfortunately).

By Vander H. Atwell  

Arkansas in springtime is a beautiful place to be. Yes, it amazes that even through the stifling heat of its sweltering summers, the timbered hills and spreading flatlands retain their prideful green luster. in all my 55 years in Northern California surrounded by the state’s vast evergreen forests, nothing like the constant and consistent sea of green that is Arkansas in season.

Even though the Lady’s beauty endures through the scorching summers of the hot humid U.S. South, there is an extra special richness of color in the state’s springtime awakening; a soft, lush chlorophyll driven glory that reflect the miracle of birth and the promise that comes with renewal of life.

How I loved those idyllic times when the budding of my own life blended with an Ozark spring; lazing in a sea of cool green grass gazing up at pillowed clouds wandering like sheep against a backdrop of deep blue sky. Small islands of “pushups” (miniature flowers of white, pink and blue) thrusting themselves up through a soft green blanket spread out over hill and dale, various insects crawling or flying about, most of them new to the world as me, scurrying about in their industry much too preoccupied with their own society, their own exclusive little universe to pay attention to mine.

It was not the spreading blanket of green or patterns of miniature flowers growing thereon that caught the fancy of my faithful sidekick “buster” the family dog who always seemed at my heels on those idle moments I wandered about soaking up the wonders of the earth ‘neath my feet and the heavens skyward of my searching eyes: It was an ant or some other creepy crawler scurrying just beyond the forward thrust of his resting paws that caught his attention and ‘bugged’ him no end.

The dog lay quietly at first, adverse to confrontation but as the insect charged his position, shifted ever so slightly and was soon intently focused on the critters determined industry shifting his head side to side, wrinkling his brow in puzzlement as the cerebral processes became increasingly stressed. Most times creepy crawlers were allowed to pass without incident, but other times, depending on the dog’s patience, or lack of it, came a snap and a bite in which case the unfortunate interloper was caught up and spit back out in a somewhat wet and disheveled condition.

Buster was a brown mixed breed male that showed a pit bull lineage. His first years were prone to terrifying seizures, or “fits” as we called them back then, but eventually outgrew them and by the time I was 6 to 8 years old considered the tenacious beast invincible and trusted him explicitly. A nervous sort exploring the countryside alone might find himself a bit intimidated but not with the pit trotting alongside exploring every brush pile rabbit hole or rock fence along the way. The tenacious animal once tackled an upset Hereford bull that walked through a fence onto our property, grabbed an ear and survived the ‘ride’ bruised but not beaten. Often pranked by his young human pals yet always forgiving, in my time, for my time, my Lassie, my ‘Old Yeller’ together exploring the mysteries of a world only recently discovered.

By my calculations, I was 5 years of age when my parents settled on the narrow Boston Mountain spine called Burkett Ridge; in those distant times the “world” consisted of two 20-acre plots joined, one belonging to my father, Roland Atwell the other to my mother’s uncle, John LaRue. Neither of the plots was ‘move onto’ properties at the time of purchase but had acreage ready for cultivation and room for expansion into parts of the land not yet cleared of brush and trees.

Each built a two room log cabin, the material to build including logs and wooden shingles for the roof were taken from the surrounding forest; the windows, glass and frame, ceiling and flooring of tongue grooved pine boards about the only pre-processed material used in the construction.

The kitchen took up one full room, cooking was done on a cast iron wood burning stove while heat for the un-insulated shanty was a light-weight sheet metal wood fueled stove called a King heater. The King’s thin sheet metal sides were often forced red hot in an effort to warm the airish two-roomer, especially on those frigid days’ temperature dropped so low it produced ice crystal skies, buckets of drinking water froze solid during the night and dampness inside the house turned to ice-glazed walls ere the dawning. Stoked to such intense heat the King burned out over the winter and each following autumn had to be replaced with a brand new store bought. No direct heat was had for a two-room lean-to added to the house later on: air conditioning to relieve the misery of the sweltering dog days of summer was doors left open.

The worse the misery of a cold hard winter cold, greater the joy of springtime.Rebirth of stubbled fields began with miniature wildflowers pushing up through seas of new grass; it came with the arrival of butterfly meadows, lush foliage of newly leafed forests freshly painted with the green pigmentation chlorophyll tempered with a dusting of yellowish pollen; the freshness, the wonder of it more than compensation for being cooped up inside for weeks on end by winters wicked bite the cold misery of evening chores and sleeping beneath tons of quilts and blankets while the sweep of cold nighttime winds wearied one to sleep with weird vibrations, mysterious rattlings and ghostly whispers from the dark cold abyss.

Sanitary conditions were nigh onto primitive those first years on the ridge. The positive of it, was that the immune systems of the ‘hill people’ were so robust from exposure to various vermin any disease that attacked was at serious disadvantage. Got sick you ‘rode it out’ on the back of ancient remedies handed down generation to generation. One survived albeit, not much for the relief of pain and suffering endured.

Not only was there no running water in the old “cabin on the hill” there was no well from which to fetch it, rather, spring water from a robust “seep” a couple of hundred yards down over the slope back of the house. Inconvenient at the least since water for drinking, cooking and bathing had to be carried a distance up-hill in two-gallon zinc buckets or in empty one gallon Karo syrup cans.

Eventually a well was sunk back of the house and beyond it an open-side storage shed/chicken shelter. The shed, constructed of scrap lumber, was used as a place to discard used-up junk that might later be salvaged for heretofore unseen purpose and to accommodate the dozen or so yard hens that served the table with both eggs and meat.

Later still, ‘volunteer’ peach trees sprouted and grew from seeds thrown behind the shed, which, betwixt the shed and the foliage afforded a bit of privacy to replace that lost as the old outhouse, set off a ways to the western most side, weathered, withered and finally collapsed into the ground.

There were other than the comforting presence of an old dog, and a stretch of grass mixed with low growing flowers on warm and sunny afternoons to occupy the time of a lad newly introduced to the general creation. Nearby was a section of ‘new ground’ cleared for cultivation the year before, or the year before that. In springtime a field of small “saplings” grew from the stumps and roots of cut trees and each spring before planting time, the acreage was brushed, sprouts cut, piled and burned ere a plow point broke the ground or the plot given over to pastureland.

The springtime ritual of cutting, piling and burning was a favorite chore, if any labor at all might be viewed favorably by a youngster who’s feet coveted the freedom of game trails, and whose hands sought their own creative devices. Rather the mind drifted to the idleness of day dreams and adventure; amongst the sprouts we cut, piled and burned were saplings forked at the top, excellent to cut and use as slingshot stalks (back when automobile tire tubes had the ‘snap-back’ elasticity of real rubber) and from short pieces of budding hickory shoots one could unsheathe his old ‘Barlow,’ slip a section of bark and carve himself a wood whistle slick as store bought.

Wicked little darts were made by attaching a needle like pin and paper rudder, (fore and aft) to a matchstick, a ‘tractor’ that moved on its own from an empty spool of thread, a piece of bar soap, matchstick and rubber band, a Jews Harp of sorts from string and a small pliable branch. Ground snakes, lizards, salamanders and June bugs were a part of a lad’s youthful distractions, foraging for dew berries, black berries, huckleberries and black haws, part of the action.

As my youthful friends and I grew older the more daring became our adventures the more dangerous became our creations. How we survived climbing trees, scaling rock outcroppings, swinging like monkeys through stands of persimmon, jousting wasps and exploring snake dens may be best attributed to providence. Looking back, how else to explain it?

Today the honey locust over the back fence here at my home in Alma blossoms the whitest of white while, in stark contrast of color, swarms of large black bumble bees the size of a mans thumb gather pollen. Beds of Iris’ ring the lower yard roses dominate the upper, a low cover of small orange wildflowers push themselves up through a cover of Irish green lawn. An ideal place for a boy and his dog to while away a lazy summer afternoon.

Yes, we may dream our way back to yesterday and yearn for worlds of un-ending springtime: but the old dog is gone, the time of making slingshots and whittling whistles past: The magic of the seasons is still there but then was then and now is now and lawns have to be mowed.