Can I get a Witness?

There’s a song that moves me… an oldie but a goodie by Grand Funk Railroad called Some Kind of Wonderful. I love the beat and I love the lyrics. The singer laid it all out there about that woman of his… he testified of her goodness, of her sweetness, and of her lovingness. Well… simply put, she was just clean out of sight. That woman was some kind of wonderful. And really, that singer couldn’t ask for anything more… because through that woman of his, he found everything a man could ask for. And he wanted to know… was there anyone else out there who had a woman like her? And then comes the best part of the song (at least in my opinion). The band cries out, “Now can I get a witness?” Yes, indeed. Was there a witness in the house? Could they find somebody else… anybody else… who could testify?

It was some time ago that I had great passion for singing. Not that I could or can… it’s just that it was my hobby. One of the greatest Christmas presents I ever received was a karaoke machine. And from that day on, for a period of about three or four years, that’s what you would find me doing on a Friday night. A fly on my wall would have witnessed me belting out songs for no less than two hours before my TV. And more often than not, my one woman show spilled over to three hours. I just loved to sing. And Some Kind of Wonderful usually made my song list.

Yes, I loved karaoke more than anything back then. And when the opportunity presented itself – a chance to sing in front of a live audience – my husband was bound and determined I would do so. He had heard me talk about it so often, he was going to force me to go up on stage. And if I wouldn’t pick the song, then he was going to do it for me. And so, I made a choice. Among others (it was a slow night), I selected Some Kind of Wonderful. That song, I could do, for I knew the words by heart. And so, as I took the stage and looked out on that small crowd, I let everyone know that this one was for my baby (referring to my husband). I changed all the “hers” and “she’s” to “his” and “he’s”, and laid it all out there about my husband. That man of mine was some kind of wonderful, and everyone who had ears knew it. Towards the end of the number, I sang out, “Now, can I get a witness?” And after it was all over, the DJ said even he was beginning to believe that guy was some kind of wonderful. And that’s a fact I can testify to. He’s my man, and he’s still some kind of wonderful today.

So… here’s my point. I love a particular song, and I can testify to that because it’s truth to me. It’s real, and you will believe me when I say I love it. It’s apparent. And karaoke… love it. Love to sing. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love karaoke, despite my being unable to sing. My husband can testify to that because he witnessed countless shows. And I love my husband… I can give testimony to that. I love him, and anyone who knows me knows that I love my husband. I can testify about the song, and I can testify about my love for music and karaoke, and I can testify about my love for my husband. And I’m a credible witness because all of that is real to me. BUT… what about God? What about Him?

Is my testimony about God as credible as the other things I testify of? Can I speak of the LORD with all sincerity, and my witness be as true? And if so, do I? Can I? Or perhaps the question is… will I? Is God looking down on His creation just waiting for someone… anyone… to testify. Can I be that witness? Can I tell of His goodness, and His sweetness, and His lovingness? Is He there waiting for me to tell someone about how clean out of sight He is? For God already knows He is some kind of wonderful, but do I? Really? Can I testify? See, the truth is, I am complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). I couldn’t ask for anything more, for I have everything a woman could ask for. I know this. He knows this. Is He looking down on me wondering what holds me back? Is He looking at all His creation wondering, why aren’t they? Is He shouting out to His people – to anyone who will hear Him – Can I get a witness???? Anyone?

Yes, God is great. God is good. He is majestic and holy. He is forgiving and kind. And He loves us. Oh, how He loves us. Will I be so bold as to testify to this? Am I believable? Am I a credible witness? Because that’s what He wants from us. He wants for us to testify of what we know, but first, He has to be a part of our lives. Before we can testify about Him, we need to know Him. Because we simply cannot testify of that which we do not know. So… do you know Him? Can you testify? Come on now… He’s waiting. He’s calling out…

Now, can I get a witness

And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

A Tale of Two Kitties


I may or may not have two cats. One is safe in the house, but the other is nowhere to be seen. It was yesterday at 5:00 that he lay stretched out across my deck in the sunshine. He slowly washed his paws and looked as if he were going to take a nap. And, we left our home expecting to see him when we returned. But last night, there was no flash in the dark… no reflected light off his white tufts of fur. He did not bound up the back yard toward us, which was his usual routine. And so, this morning, my heart is heavy – wondering if I will see him again.

I can’t help but contrast my two kitties, Otis and Molly. For they are different in every way. Otis is young, and Molly is old. Otis is skinny and Molly is fat. He is full of life and energetic, and she is heavy and content to sleep. He delights us every day with his antics, while she is usually nowhere to be seen. He stays outside, and she stays inside. He is a lover of adventure, and she is a lover of the dark. He is highly visible, jumping and leaping and hunting and climbing. She stays covered and hidden and scurries and flees. He is fearless and she is fearful. Basically, Otis uses what he has, and Molly does not. And as of this morning, she is here… and he is not.

Yesterday morning, my pastor preached a sermon using the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25). And believe it or not, it’s my two kitties that bring this parable to light for me. See, although the passage stresses using money wisely to further the kingdom of God, it goes deeper than that. It doesn’t have to be money, it could be anything… the abilities and the talents and the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. And it was Matthew 25:29 that nearly knocked me over yesterday. Because it happens to be identical to a verse I pointed out to my husband earlier that morning – only it was Mark 4:25. “For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”  I told my husband, we need to embrace what we have! Little did I know that I would be hearing more about it at church. And I didn’t realize how personal the sermon was going to be… a message from God directly to me.

He also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!” Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use, it will be measured and added to you. For to the one who has, it will be given, and from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:21-25

This morning, I wanted to see if Mark 4:25 is the same parable that I find in Matthew 25. But it’s not… and it’s the passage in Mark that really brought all this together for me. The parable in Matthew along with the book of Mark completes the picture, and what I find is Molly. She is truly a night-time kitty. Occasionally, you’ll find her during the day, but more often than not, when the sun rises… she’s gone. She’s just too skittish. Years ago, her favorite refuge was our bed. All you could see of her was a lump in the center where she had burrowed down deep under the covers. She stayed hidden. And today, you may catch a glimpse of her tail as she scurries down the steps to the basement. Or maybe if you peer under the beds, you’ll find her shining eyes staring back at you. Or perhaps you’ll find her in her newest hang-out, which we discovered recently when we heard a racket behind the closed doors of our closet. Yes, Molly is a lover of darkness, and will stay hidden most of the day. But, she is making progress. When it’s just me at home, she may venture out into the daylight. But generally, I’ll see her once the sun has set and quietness has settled on our home. This is when she emerges and graces me with her presence. And when I see her, I am delighted by her black fur, her huge eyes, and her big fat belly that nearly touches the ground, swaying back and forth as she scampers from here to there. She’s 14 years old now, so she hasn’t kept her sleek physique. The picture of her is from long ago…


You know… I talk about Molly being a lover of the dark, but in reality, I am the same way. In truth, I have been clinging to the dark every bit as much as she does. I know this to be reality because not that long ago, God showed me something so hideous. Actually, it was just after I made the decision to take a break from blogging. I thought I knew why I was taking a step back, but now, I’m pretty sure I hadn’t a clue. For there was something within me I wasn’t fully aware of at the time. See, on August 1, I said to myself, no more writing! But it was not till August 2 that God revealed what lie beneath…  and that is what needed to come to the surface. For as the Lord says, nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light…

Through the course of my blogging experience, I have often referred to my struggle with darkness. I’ve surreptitiously referred to it as an issue, a pattern, or even a stronghold – always careful – always tiptoeing around the word sin. But sin is sin, and darkness is darkness, and the pages of Scripture leave no trace of doubt in my heart:

The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, walks in darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:9-11

This is the truth about God & me. I love Him the best I know how. I have been seeking Him the best I know how. But there is a part of me that I’ve been holding back… clinging to the hate that resides deep down. I have been stoking the fire for years. And as long as I hold to hate… there will be darkness. This is what I’ve been trying to process for the past three weeks. And for the life of me, some stuff remains in my heart. I’m trying… I really am. And so, I am like Molly… my black kitty who is a lover of the shroud of darkness. She hides out and runs away. She stays concealed, because it’s safe to her. The bulk of her life has been spent in darkness. And me, too…

And then there’s Otis. I don’t know that he’ll return to me and my heart aches. But you know… in one short year, he has lived a full life. He has lived so much more than Molly, for he has experienced a world she will never know. This cat called Otis has embraced life. He has let his light shine in view of anyone who would give him audience. He used what God gave him… with claws as sharp as needles, he scaled great heights and saw further than Molly ever will. With legs as fast as lightning, he covered distances that Molly will never know. With courage the size of Texas, he explored the wilderness behind our home… woods in which Molly will never travel. With the fury of a skilled hunter, he took down countless foes and laid them as gifts upon our doorstep. Otis was a burning lamp, and he did not hide his light under a basket. He used what he had. And Molly? Why, she hides herself away, nestled down in the safety of her darkness – which is her only reality. Molly may never embrace the light, but Otis fully did.


And then, there’s me. I am a work in progress. So much like Molly, but with all my heart, I want to be like Otis. Like him, I want to embrace the light. I want to shine the light. And more than anything, I want to use what God gave me. And so, not long ago, I ventured out. But too quickly, like a scared animal, I tucked my tail up under my body and retreated back into hiding. But alas, there are truths that must be shared. There are things within me that must come out. For they’ve been there so long – buried deep, festering and brewing and bubbling in the dark. But like a volcano erupts forth in violence, so has my heart. And ever since, the lava of wrath has been pouring forth – emptying itself so that no darkness remains. Everything I thought better hidden… everything that held me captive… has finally presented itself to the light. See, I have been chasing the light. I’ve been writing about it, and reaching for it. And now, I can really see…

I thought that morning light had fully broken over my soul. But like one who emerges from the heaviness of sleep, I rub my tired eyes and face the truth. And now I know… what I thought was the fullness of morning light was really just the faintest glimmer of the dawn. But morning light is on the horizon. The darkness of hate shall be left behind. And Otis? He may turn up yet. For he may be out there right now… simply using what God gave him to use… a lamp shining bright.

Everything exposed by the light is made clear, but what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you. Ephesians 5:13-14

Something greater

Three years ago, I turned to God. In a way I never had before. Sincerely and wholly. I was desperate for Him. And then the miracle took place. God answered my prayer, and He sent me to my homeland. It was what I wanted more than anything. And upon entrance into what I considered the “promised land,” I found a dry and desolate place instead. I walked straight into the wilderness, spiritually speaking. And so, God gave me my greatest desire, but there was leanness in my soul. And so… two years ago, I again turned to God. Just as the first time, I was desperate for Him. And once again, a miracle took place. I began to find Him. I mean, really find Him. He began to lead me through His word. And words that always held meaning began to mean so much more. Words that were weighty, became even greater. Because they spoke to me personally.

During the summer of 2011, the thought came to me that I should write. Not just once, but several times… and so I finally embraced it. I was given a dream, and with God’s help, I knew that I could do what He said. But I delayed. What a daunting task for one who had never written before. But in the fall of 2011, an email detailing a Christian writing contest was delivered right into my inbox. This bolted me into action. And so, writing is what I have been doing ever since. Writing and composing… for God. And I’ve been completely and utterly, impassioned and inspired by His lovely words.

My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1

Yes, I was given a dream. And with all my heart, I believe it was the Giver of all dreams who blessed me with the desire to write. But as time passes, this lovely dream of mine becomes tainted. A heart divided, and too much self-ambition has turned this joy of mine into an idol. And God is clear… one cannot serve two masters. And so, for now… I know what I need to do. It’s time for me to give the dream back. God cautioned me several times the past couple of years, but my heart was too thick and my ears were too dull to listen. I was too prideful. See, it was through the words of a long ago prophet that God spoke plainly. Jeremiah may have been speaking to Baruch, a scribe who wrote out Jeremiah’s words, but it was as if God were speaking right into my ear…

And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them… Jeremiah 45:5

Oh, yes. God knows the heart. And He gives dreams. But when the dream becomes bigger than the One who gave the dream, it’s time to give the dream back. I want to hold on to it… because it’s my dream. But, I’m certain God is saying, “Give it back.” At least for now.  And you know the funny thing? As I lay my dream at God’s feet, putting it aside… He gives birth to a new dream. But this one is not mine. This one’s for my husband, who has been given a dream of his own. And so, as I slide my dream to the backburner, perhaps it’s time for my husband to bring his to the forefront. (If you haven’t read The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, please do!)

Believe me, I’ve struggled with this. Because I still have so many blogs in my head, and ideas within the pages of my journal, and so many things I want to say. But there’s no doubt. God has drawn me in this direction a few times now. But I’ve hesitated. I’ve procrastinated. I’ve been holding tight to that dream. Inside, just like a child, I scream, “MINE, MINE, MINE!” But you know… my dream has grown so big, it looms before me. It becomes what I see first and biggest, and so, I see Him secondly and smaller. His voice that was so clear two years ago is not as easy to hear. My heightened awareness to His working in my life has been dulled. And so I have a choice. I can grasp desperately at this dream of mine, hoping it will satisfy. Or, I can hold out for something greater. And that something greater is Him. And the choice is not as hard as I thought. Because I want Him more. He’s the whole point of the writing in the first place. And if I lose Him through the process, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

You know, at the top of this blog it says, “The truth about God & me.” Perhaps I should have typed out, “The embarrassing truth about God & me.” Because I just have to share one more dream with you. I don’t know about you, but I have vivid dreams. And I remember many of them. It was just this past week that I shared one with my husband. In my dream, I ran into Beth Moore (of Living Proof Ministries – great Bible teacher/speaker). When I saw her, I told her what a fan I was. And then, well, here’s the embarrassing part… I dreamt that Beth Moore turned to me and said that she was my fan, too!! Okay… even in sleep, my dream of being a successful writer has overtaken me. Talk about being overly-ambitious! And so, since Beth Moore has been at the forefront of my mind lately, I think it’s appropriate to end this blog with her words. For she has so inspired me in my journey toward God… this is what I read this morning:

“Discontent with selfishness and weary of ego, we finally become willing to lose ourselves to something greater. In doing so, we find Christ as we’ve never known Him and, there, pooled in the reflection of His eyes, startle to discover that a part of ourselves resemble Him.” Beth Moore/Esther study