Our air conditioner broke. Living in San Diego we need our AC! My husband, bless his heart, needs to be comfortable 24/7. That is just who he is. He runs hot, I run cold so I always have a blanket handy. Saturday our air conditioner gave up the ghost. He called our dear friend Bill who has been in the air conditioning and heating repair business for years. Bill came over Sunday afternoon, did some troubleshooting and gave us the news. With his friends and family discount and him doing the labor for free it would cost $800 to $1,000 to fix. The cost of comfort! Another piece of news was that he couldn’t fix it until the next weekend. That meant we needed to open our windows. Praise God we are not in a heat wave in San Diego right now! The mornings and evenings are mild and it is so nice having the fresh air flow through our home.

This morning I had the opportunity to serve one of the dear senior saints from our church. I have known this woman 38 years. Her mind is rich in bible knowledge and she can crochet like nobody’s business. Just about every baby ever born at our church has been blessed to have one of her lovingly stitched soft infant blankets. Now, advanced well into her 80’s, her body is worn out and she needs physical help. Out the door at 5:50AM I went. She just lives minutes from me. I went in to her home, helped as I could, prayed with her and got her back in bed. That dear woman’s mind is as sharp as a tack. She greeted me with hello as I had to wake her to accomplish my task. She thanked me in the sweetest voice as I tiptoed out of her room. What a blessing to serve her. As I was driving home the sky lit up with a light show. Lightning in the west burst in the sky. I pulled my car over to watch. In San Diego one has to do that because lightning shows are few and far between! 

It wasn’t as spectacular as the image above but it felt like it to this Southern California girl. As I got home I went to the dining room to open the shudders and then the window to let the cool morning air in. The window faces the east. I looked out and saw the tiniest shades of light orange poking through the scattered gray clouds. The sunrise! I was excited to see that. Quickly I made a cup of coffee, grabbed my phone to take pictures and went outside to sit and enjoy the beautiful display I knew was coming. The sunrise did not disappoint. Brilliant orange, pink and red shot through the sky. I sang choruses and hymns as I sat there and watched the display that God had created. 

Gently the sky continued to turn color. Slowly the hues changed. I was seeing the effects of the sun without actually seeing the sun. On overcast days at the beach, if you don’t put on sunscreen, you will definitely feel the effects of the sun on your skin later without actually seeing that hot sun. I came inside and just stood at my diningroom window taking it all in singing:

“Oh that will be glory for me, glory for me, glory for me. When by His grace I shall look on face, that will be glory, be glory for me.”

All around us every millisecond of the day we see the effects of the Son without seeing the Son. The bible tells us in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lords, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (NASB)

Butterflies flit, oceans roar, babies laugh, flowers bloom, people are born, people die, we breathe air, we are free to love, people’s hearts, once hard from sin, are changed in an instant. There is power in the gospel. Jesus is power; He is love. We see God’s creation all around us yet we have not seen Him. One day we will see The Son. He will come for us in that same sky I marveled at this morning. Until then I am satisfied to see Him working all around me every day. I am honored to be serving Him as I serve others giving them the opportunity to see the Son. 

If our air conditioner had not broken I would not have experienced this beautiful painted sky that God created. There is always a blessing, even in broken appliances. We just have to open our eyes to the effects of the Son. 

Look around. He is right there.


Today is a day of remembrance in our family, a day of life going on. One year ago today I got the phone call from my niece Jessica that her 18 year old brother Colton was dead. My brother’s only son, his  youngest child, had been tragically killed in an accident. I was at work coming out of the bathroom, actually. I saw on my phone that the caller was Jessica and I thought it strange that she would call me at this odd time and at work. Hearing the words she said sent me into a tail spin. It’s like seeing someone walking on the freeway (or interstate), your brain can’t take it in, it just does not fit. In disbelief I asked what happened. My brother, where was my brother? I needed to see him, to make sure he was okay. I was no stranger to feeling the full weight of responsibility for him and his welfare. 

Standing there in the hallway in shock I couldn’t help but notice her extreme, almost forced calm. She said she was notifying the family because her mom and dad were not capable of even talking. God bless her for taking on that arduous task. Hurrying to the office I called my sister, husband, my other brother and my kids. Bless my son, he got my niece Brandie and me on a plane that next morning for Sacramento where we spent 10 days in the home of Colton’s aunt, Lesa Johnson. Lesa’s husband Dean had died suddenly 4 years previous. Dean is the younger brother of Elizabeth, Colton’s mom. Lesa, very aquainted with deep grief, opened her beautiful home to us, fed us, loved on us and we on her and her two precious grown boys. Auntie to Auntie Lesa and I formed a deep bond. I admire her steadfast faith in a holy God Who never lets us down. He has a plan and she is safe and secure in that knowledge. Those 10 days are branded on my mind and heart as I experienced a loss as never before. Those days were filled with meeting young adults, just starting to experience a taste of freedom, come together to mourn one of their own. Hearing story after precious story of Colton’s antics in the duck blind, on the deer hunt, in the rice field and on the shooting range was balm to my soul. He was deeply loved. By hearing those tall tales one would know a gaping hole  would be left in that group of bossom buddies.

 In my wildest dreams I never ever expected to see my little brother carrying the coffin of his young son. It was incongruous to say the least. Against one of the most beautiful blue skies I had ever seen wild turkeys came strolling on to the grass of the cemetary as if to pay their respects to once a sharp shooting hunter who gave them a run for their money. My heart was heavy as I watched the casket lowered into the ground. Knowing I would see Colton again brought a spark of joy. Someone asked my brother if he wished he could trade places with Colton. People, stumped for words in a situation like that, say strange things. My dear considerate little brother  thought for a moment then said “no”. That took the inquirer by surprise. He said no because he knew his beloved son was in heaven with Jesus and he would never want to take that away from him. 

In loving memory – collage by Brandie Ledford and Lesa Johnson

Today our family dedicates its newest member, my 17th great-nephew, to the Lord. Archer William was born last March. He made his appearance on earth early by the doctor’s prediction,  but right on time by God’s plan.

The bible tells us in Psalm 139:16, “Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them”. (NASB)  Standing with my extended family in agreement to make sure this little boy is brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord will be an honor. We have come full circle on this October 23. Hold your loved ones a little tighter today. Make spending time with them a priority. Build memories that will last. Be there. Put your phones away. Be present. Go to all of the activities, games, Jr. High choir shows, high school awards assemblies, birthday parties, graduations, last minute pizza  parties. Be there. God knows our days but we don’t. It is not by chance that you were born into your family. Love them. They need you and you need them.

Dedication of Archer William at the Flood church, 10-23-16. Dad Matt Ward, mom Wendie Ward, big brothers Henry and Miles Ward.