Friday, December 16, 2011


Impact means to drive or press closely or firmly into something, to collide with, to have an effect on, to altar.

Several things in the last seven days have impacted my life and reflecting back I can only describe it as the WITH of God.  God with us and showing His unconditional love and power and tenderness.

Impact #1, Embracing suffering.

Last Friday was Jack Keller's funeral service.   It was the most amazing, uplifting, praise & worship service I have ever attended. Jack's brothers spoke as well as two friends who are pastors. This young man along with his family has shown us how to embrace suffering and live fully for Christ.  Living suffering while thanking God that He saved you and saying "use me for your glory" only results in the suffering being transformed into the face of Jesus, the One who suffered for us.   You can listen to the service or read Jack's entire story at 

"Jack Keller did not lose the fight.....he won the battle. He did not die....he became fully alive.
My most precious and beloved Jack met his Savior - Jesus tonight. He is beholding the Glory of his God....
dancing with the angels and embracing the reality that all of the suffering was fully worth it.....
because Heaven is worth it all
-Sarah Keller, December 1, 2011
Impact #2, Light in the Deepest Darkness
We visited Bethel church in Fargo on Sunday. The message was about shame and guilt.  Do you ever feel shaken?  When we do we feel loss and shame, we live with it in silence, as related to in Psalm 13. Shame is an intense feeling of despair brought on by guilt or by a threat. Shame goes round and round and tells us we are a mess and there is a dense black darkness and isolation. 
Isaiah 9:1-7 tells us in the midst of darkness, there was light.
That God will win, will help, will defeat our enemies.  God will not let me down. Even when others attack us in deceptive, manipulative ways and make us question who we are, even when we mess up (we all want to live so perfect but it's impossible.)  God is and wants to be right in the middle of our mess!  He loves messes!
Mighty God is my herioc warrior and a Just, Tender and Wise Everlasting Father.
This message really blessed my husband.  It was the encouragement his sister had prayed for five days earlier.  You can listen to this at
Impact #3, Victory
"Count your victories," my friend Marlys told me in our phone conversation.  (She the mother of Jack above.)  Marlys has always fed me the Word of God.(along with alot of other good food) Defeat is not in her life - even though her life has been full of battles, struggles and suffering - she looks at life through Christ and His victory.  She said - don't think about how hard life is - take each day and each new situation and think - that was a victory.  It could be as simple as just getting out of bed but you say "I did it - I'll count it as a victory."  Or it might be something almost impossible to comprehend, like losing a child like Marlys did; but you look at the Victory and not the defeat.  This really was the Lord speaking through Marlys and I have already shared this with three other people who it has impacted.  God is mysterious and amazing.
Impact #4, Prayer Power
I met a young man named Nick Hall when he was in college and started praying for him.  Now some 8 years later he is a young evangelist with a fast growing ministry called PULSE.  They had a Christmas event called, "The Reason" last week that was amazing and the music, the deep drive and determination to share the gospel collided within me as I worshipped and listened.  Nick's mention of my praying for him gave me great encouragement and was like salve to my soul which had been injured this year.  The next morning, Cindy, who had stayed in our home, prayed with and for me and it was like your favorite homemade frosting on a cake (that's putting it lightly).  It had such a strong effect, this wonderful things called prayer - bringing everything under His authority and it altared my life to once again come home to His sweet presence and remember He is indeed my Counselor of Wonder and Prince of Peace.
You can learn more about the PULSE ministry by going to
May your life collide with them for the Glory of God.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mercy Come Morning

Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This is one of those books that you know what’s coming, but it is a delight to keep reading and just let the end keep building and developing into a beautiful story that leaves you smiling and satisfied.  The beginning of this book was not a page turner for me, but the story of the relationships and trying to find love and acceptance and forgiveness intertwines so brilliantly and I foun and myself really liking the characters.

The strained relationship between a mother and daughter is not one I could relate to but the author takes us back to the past time and time again to unveil things that were not known or that were forgotten.  The mother, near death as the book opens, has Alzheimer’s and this book does a good job of showing how this disease progressed and how hard it was for the one suffering with this disease and the young daughter, now in her late 30's, misunderstanding and coming to accept and understand.

The love story in this book is wonderful and shows a man who waits and prays and is patient; a type of Jesus figure who loves unconditionally.  It is also the love story between a daughter and her mother, beautifully brought full circle because forgiveness reigns.

This book was first published as “Christmas Every Morning” because it is Christmas time and new life is about to be born – through death and thru the laying down of burdens.  I’m sure I read this several years ago and I do not usually read books twice, but this one was worth it.  Lisa Tawn Bergren is a wonderful writer who gives us the real gift of Christmas through her writings.  One of my favorite parts is when Christmas hymns are being sung and reading the lyrics from these powerful songs.

I received this book free from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for this review.

Monday, December 12, 2011


"To be saved by Christ,
be used for His glory."

Jack Keller
Unwavering grace in the midst of bluntness.