“We have different gifts according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:6
As the wind whipped my hair around my face, I wanted to pinch myself. I knew I wasn’t dreaming but it sure felt like it. I was standing in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, the same sea where my Jesus had walked across the water toward His disciples. I was afloat on the same sea where Peter, the bold one, had stepped out of the boat in faith before he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. I closed my eyes and tears slipped silently down my face as I pictured my Savior walking toward me on the wind-tossed water. I felt His presence and I was overwhelmed with joy.
That was in March 2010 when I, along with 44 other pilgrims from Claremore FUMC, traveled to the Holy Land for a 10-day journey that led us on many of the same paths that Jesus and His disciples had traveled. Although we experienced a variety of sights, sounds, smells and tastes of this ancient land, the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee was the trip highlight for me. It was a place I never thought I’d be standing, and I knew that my Lord had been there before me.
Since rededicating my life to Jesus in October 2001, I have been surprised by the paths God has led me on. Although I have experienced success in other areas of my life as a former high school teacher, professional photographer and freelance writer, I never envisioned myself as a columnist, especially a faith-based columnist.
However, God had other plans for my life. After retiring from a 30-year high school teaching career in 2005, God led me to Claremore within two months. I could count on one hand the number of people I knew here. I was content living in a small town on Grand Lake in Delaware County, where I knew a host of people from all walks of life through my teaching and photography careers. God had to get me out of my comfort zone so I could grow spiritually.
I have always loved the written word, using my talent to pen poetry and essays and write newspaper and magazine articles. Relocating to a new community led me to pursue passionately the spiritual gift with which God has blessed me. I began writing “A Matter of Faith,” a weekly column, in the fall of 2005. My columns take an honest, and sometimes humorous, look at the struggles we all have with fears, uncertainty, self-esteem and relationships, as well as life’s joys and surprises. Since that time, I am humbled to say that my self-syndicated column has been picked up by12 Oklahoma newspapers. In January 2010, The Cypress Times, an on-line Christian publication with worldwide readership, began carrying “A Matter of Faith.”
My life’s mission is to use my writing to glorify our Heavenly Father. I hope readers will come to know God and His love in a deeper way. My columns are not about religion but about a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. By sharing my testimony and that of others, I pray that, you, my readers will find encouragement and hope and can become all God created you to be.