Tag Archives: Protection

Happy Birthday Ryan!

18 Mar

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4


Back in the day, it was not in the usual routine of anticipated visits to find out if the baby growing inside was a girl or a boy.  Observations of how high or how low, round belly or round body, fast or slow heart beat … all were used as a means of forming opinions.  But the only one true test was that of birth.   Having only been in labor for 2 ½ hours, I rejoiced with my husband at 1:02 am on March 18, 1986 to find out that we were the parents of a baby boy!  With a little girl already wrapped around our hearts, adding Ryan to our family was a joy beyond words!  Blonde hair, blue eyes, and 2 dimples in his chubby cheeks, he was undeniably a Van Hook.

Growing up with a sister who was quite vocal, Ryan really had no need for many words.  Kim understood the language of little people and did a wonderful job of interpreting his gestures and mutterings.  But it’s safe to say, now at the brand new age of 25, he is well versed in his vocabulary and does well in communication.  Ryan is an assistant store manager for Verizon Wireless in Seattle … looking forward to managing his own store in the near future.  Easter Seals speech therapy to Android and iPhone sales!

Super Mario, baseball and Chuck, Caravans, soccer, basketball, cousins, Work and Witness teams, green chilis, Sandia youth group, Mario and Conrad, Gonzaga,  …

The memories are endless and the future is before him!   

Uncle RyRy and Cole

Now that a new generation has graced our family with the life of Kim and Troy’s own son, Cole, I continue to be in awe of God’s Signature upon my life.  Being a Mimi is incredibly special … a special all of its own!!  So many other grandparents have commented that if they had known having grandchildren was so much fun, they would have had them first.  I do not agree.  Although being a parent has been hard work, frustrating and heartbreaking at times, there is no greater joy to my heart than my own two children.  I love them so!!

I live this day, Ryan, in celebration of you and in honor of God who blessed my life with yours!  I thank Him every day for your life, asking Him to surround you with His protection, His love, His grace, and His mercy.  Morsels of Mercy!!!  Happy Birthday, my precious son!

Until next time,

My Identity List

19 Nov

 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2


As I was thumbing through my Bible the other day to find the scripture that went along with my devotional reading, I began to take notice of all the different items that I have tucked inside the pages throughout.  There are torn portions of various church bulletins that I have jotted down notes on, pages from Our Daily Bread that are memorials to a special day, specific bookmarks that represent an event, and a cough drop wrapper that even years later still serves as a reminder to pray.  Among the many other treasures are three scratch papers overflowing with what I call my Identity List. 

Several years ago in a desperate cry for help, God began to flood my rough and rugged pathway with a steady stream of Light.  This Light allowed me to take one step at a time, secure of His presence in my life.  In my world of extreme uncertainty and heartache, I found Strength, Protection, Hope, Peace, … I found Jesus. 

I started to make notes of scriptures that became my Identity List …

Jesus is my Strength and my Shield
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
Psalm 28:7


Jesus is my Trust
Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.
Psalm 40:4


Jesus is my Refuge and my Strength … and Help
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1


Jesus is my Strength and my Song … and my Salvation
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Exodus 15:2


Jesus is my Lamp
You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29


Jesus is my Maker and my Husband
For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name.
Isaiah 54:5


Jesus is my Glue
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
 Colossians 1:17


Jesus is my Confidence
For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 3:26


Jesus is my Light
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 
I John 1:5


Jesus is my Anchor
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19



This is just a small sampling of close to 75 scribbled hand written notes and scriptures that claim my identity with Jesus.  When circumstances of life toss me around and I feel alone, helpless, and weak, I often open up my Bible to find these scraps of paper for a reminder of my Real Identity. 

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26


Won’t you join me in taking Jesus off the note paper and truly allowing Him to be our Identity?

Until next time,




Spiders and Bugs

16 Jun

Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.  
Resist him, standing firm in the faith…
I Peter 5:8-9


I don’t like them.  Although they seem to run the other way when they see me, their presence just makes my skin crawl and I grimace as I set out on my task to eradicate them.  Just Monday as I was swiping the Bug Grabber across the vinyl siding at the dining hall, I spied a particular healthy looking black spider with a white dot on its back, and I aimed my bug tool at him.  He went tumbling through the air and conveniently landed in the seam between two concrete pads.  I know what he was thinking as he quietly scrunched into a tiny ball of spider fur in that crevice on the porch… he was playing dead.  Well, I went about my business, knocking down more masterfully built webs, along with their builders, if they dared to be around as I walked the long length of the sidewalk.  I saw Granddaddy Long Leggers strategically dot the brick environment, trusting that their camouflaged bodies of brown and dark red would sufficiently hide them till the danger was past.  There were so many of them that I did allow most to go about their day unscathed.  All the while, however, I kept an eye on the trickster spider in the crack.  He eventually pulled himself to the edge of his foxhole, getting enough nerve to make a made dash to safety. Needless to say, he didn’t get very far.  A black crock, size 7, was his demise.  I really do not like spiders and bugs.  Have I said that already?

 Tim & I are employed at a Nazarene district-owned campground/conference & retreat center ~ and it truly is more than employment.  It is ministry.  I have always said that when you are in ministry, you wear not just one hat, but many.  One of which I literally put on while I work outside with the spiders and bugs.  The wide-brimmed straw hat serves the great purpose of protecting my curly locks from being nested in by the likes of those furry black spiders and his compadres as they are displaced by my efforts to clean up the place.  I now go by the alias name of Farmer Jane on Spider and Bug day.

 How about you?  Got any spiders and bugs in your life? The other day, one of my clients was out in a visible location, so I discreetly took care of him.  I walked away momentarily to get my cleaning supplies and when I returned, a thousand gazillion itty bitty clients were swarming that spot.  Do you ever feel that way?  Just when you thought you took care of the problem, it seemed that you were flooded with several more … 

 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
Psalm 25:17-22 


Guard my life scripture says.  Put on your wide-brimmed straw hat for head protection, proper shoes for shielding, supporting, and stomping, and always have your Bug Grabber tool handy!

 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:10-18


 Watch out for the enemy that you thought was swept off the vinyl siding of your life ~ just when you least expect it, it will crawl out of its hiding place, ready to wreck havoc to your soul again.   Resist him by standing firm in the faith  ~  stomp on him!


Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  
Resist him, standing firm in the faith…
I Peter 5:8-9


To pass the time by in an enjoyable manner as I wash windows, knock down the various homes and play areas of our resident bugs and spiders, and then sweep away the remains, I sing!  I sing along with Chris Tomlin, Selah, Adam’s Voice, and others that encourage my heart to worship in all that I do.  To ensure a spirit of victory in the midst of the cobwebs and gnat clouds of life, sing a song of praise! 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:16-17


I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.
Psalm 104:33-34


May my meditation be pleasing to you, as I rejoice in You, oh God.  But I still don’t like the spiders and bugs.


Until next time,