About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Star of Bethlehem

So I posted last week about the morning star, short days, long nights. 


... and Jesus' birthday not being the 25th.



Yesterday my three men and I stayed indoors all day, chilling, relaxing, enjoying the peace and quiet of home, and each others' comfortable presence. 


After opening presents we snuggled up nice and comfy in the basement to watch a video that sheds light on the 25th of December. The video is titled The Star of Behtlehem. It is a documentary about the star the Wise Men followed. 



The documentary is a wonderfully interesting presentation of the galaxies, a study of stars and constellation all lined up with history. 

I recommend it for all especially right now as Christmas begins to wind down. We spend a lot of time putting all the emphasis on one day, when in reality the Christmas story took place over a couple of years period.

Get the video. Watch it. You will be amazed and educated. Your eyes will be opened. Meanwhile visit the website.

Shine!   



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Morning Star

                                                                                                      
December 22– my favorite day of the year!

I wish to take issue with whoever determined December 25 to be the day Jesus birth would be celebrated. We all know, don’t we,  little proof exists as to Jesus’ true birth date. I have heard that since He was the "LIGHT shining in the darkness", it made complete sense for Him to be born during the darkest season of the year. I get that.

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year, hence the darkest 24 hour period. For me December 21st represents the times in our lives when trials, hardships, challenges, heartaches, and difficulties rule. December 21st reminds me of emotionally draining experiences that threaten to destroy the desperate.  When December 21st dawns late, I am reminded, “Life is hard. Days are dark. Life and joy are threatened.” And I contemplate, “Is there hope?”

December 22 dawns! Today marks a countdown, the march toward the longest day of the year—the day when the sun shines forever– or so it seems. I live for that warm day in June when the bright and morning star rises early, announcing a new day, a long day, a day filled with SUN!

Today December 22 is a day to celebrate. Into the long dark night a light shines, just a little earlier this day, erasing yesterday’s length of darkness. Today there is a tiny bit more sun.

Hope!

Tomorrow, yet a bit more sun will shine. Each day more light. Each day breaks earlier.

Every day will not be a December 21st day.

After every December 21st comes December 22nd, reminding those of us who find ourselves in shadows, on dark paths, facing uncertain futures—- a day is coming when more light will shine than shown yesterday!

Read what the Bible has to say about the Morning Star:  

 “...we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.”
2 Peter 1:19

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message...  I am the bright morning star.”  Revelation 22:16

Shine!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

God's face


This sunflower voluntarily came up on its own. No one planted the seed. One day this spring it poked itself up through the dirt and began its climb. 

Reminds me of God. 

Where did this sunflower come from? No beginning. Just appeared! 

I have to walk past this giant marker as I come and go from home. It stands as a protector, reminding everyone, this house is watched over by a giant brilliant sunflower! 

Sort of comforts me- you know? 

I crane my neck to look up into its face, sun blinding my eyes. No one has seen God.

What I see when my eyes focus is a little family of bees crawling around on the face of the giant sunflower.
“Seek me and I will let you find me,” God says. 

A relationship with the Almighty. It isn’t complicated. He is closer than we think. HE stands watch over us, inviting, beckoning,

“Come.” 

I want to be a bee- living my life seeking God’s face, taking my nourishment from Him. 

Sweet as honey.

 Seek God's face and may His glory cause you to ~ 

Shine!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Prepared?

Who is getting ready for She Speaks?  I'll tell you a secret. I am already there! I am here in Concord at the Embassy Suites getting ready ~

...and I am waiting for you!

So what did I pack? What did I do to get ready?

I have my one page and elevator talk and book proposal.

I packed my shoes, makeup, hair brush and contact lens solution.

But... most importantly I took a look at all my expectations,

...and then I let them go!

Let go your expectations so God can fill you up. He can't give us what He has planned if we are so filled up and over packed that we are not prepared for our encounter with God.

Sweet friends,

prepare by letting go!

Shine!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mission accomplished!

Yes! I am almost home after having been gone for three weeks!!!

The reason I have been away from home? There are many- since I teach 10 months during the year, if I want to see family, I  go for long periods of time in the summer.

My awesome and wonderfully fun loving mother celebrated her 88th birthday in June so I threw her a surprise party- in her own home. Two of her best friends helped me and we had 18 singing happy birthday to her.

During this time away from home my husband and I also visited his family.

The highlight of visiting family is the time I get to spend on the lake at my mother's home. Oh! I spent so much wonderful time- talking with God, being still, listening to him, and enjoying the works of His hands all around me.

Now I am refreshed and ready to get home.

Tomorrow- I walk through the doors to my house and begin to prepare for She Speaks. I am so excited about the second part of my summer.

Family visited- msision accomplished.

She Speaks- around the corner!

Shine!  



       
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

He came back!

So I thought we ran the sneaky snake off.

First problem with this thinking is that it is false!

If you don't get rid of it- IT WILL come back!  

Sure enough he came back as bold as ever. There he was early in the morning sunning in the same spot where I had found him yesterday. Now he had taken up residency.

What has boldly taken up residency in your life.

Let's see-

Stinking thinking, judgmental attitude, the need to control, chronic sadness over unmet expectations, loss of dreams.  These are just a few of the "evils" that have taken up residency in my life.  I call them evils because each threatens to take my focus off the ONE who can free me from the shackles that steal my joy make my life effective.. 

Today my husband and I had to do battle- real battle. This time we couldn't just run IT off. We had to get rid ofIT - kill IT.

You know what? We stuck with it. We stayed on top. We didn't give up --- and we got the slithering sucker.

This is what I learned - RELIEF at having done the work to get rid of IT. Now I know IT is gone and I am safe. He will no longer meet me each day, cause fear, get in my face, threaten me or mine.

Got sin? Do battle. Fight 'til you overcome, and

Shine .
Monday, June 13, 2011

There's a snake in my pool!

No one wants to wake up to find a snake in their pool! 

This is not a comfortable subject. I don’t want to talk about it - don’t want to tell the neighbors. Don’t want to let the quests in our home know. 

This morning I woke up to find a snake in the pool. It wasn’t one of the little garden variety either.
I knew I should get rid of it so I called my DH to do the honors, fight the battle for his damsel in distress. Chase down that old serpent, slay it and throw it as far as the east is from the west. In our house that would mean- throw it across the ravine. 

So my husband began his vigil. 

As he did, I watched the battle we each face every. 

This is what happened. I saw the snake. He slid into the pool off the connector hose to the vacuum. I chased him around trying to “scoop” him up with the skimmer pole. From time to time the sleazy serpent surfaced trying to climb up and over the coping- to no avail. So, for one split second I turned to call my husband and ask for help to corner the enemy. Wouldn’t you know it? When I turned my face back to the water- he had disappeared!  I assumed he had slithered into the skimmer. That is where my husband set up his vigil- for three hours he watched and waited for the hidden danger to show his face. He never did! 

This is what I learned:

-We never know when we wake up each day what is lurking.
-We may spot evil, danger, temptation, wickedness and call it what it is, but we had best never take our eyes off it. When we do, it will slither away, causing us to think it is GONE!
-We must keep alert and know where the enemy is working. 

I also realized I need to be prepared. 

-Wake up each day knowing I will come face to face with evil.
-Wake up each day prepared to call out that which desires to cause me harm.
-Wake up each day prepared stay focused, keeping my enemy in check, lest he hide nearby and I forget his intent is to ruin my life. 

Is there a “snake” in your “pool?”

What’s his name?  

Shine!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Tribute to My Daddy

Whenever I think of Memorial Day - the men and women whose lives we honor and celebrate because of their willing and selfless sacrifice, I remember my daddy. He was the most wonderful person. I miss him so much. He fought in WWII in France and Germany, ending his tour of duty by helping to liberate the awful terrible death camp: Dacchau. Daddy, like so many of the great generation, never talked much about his accomplishments. He returned from the war, married, raised two little girls into adulthood, provided generously for us, protected us fiercely, and prepared us for the world. I owe a lot of who I am, the bit of confidence I have to my daddy.

After working in the oil industry in South America, where I was born, England, and Norway he returned to Table Rock Lake in Missouri where he retired. Ten years ago he went HOME to be with Jesus. I miss you daddy.  
Sunday, April 24, 2011

2- God raised Him from the dead!

Paul spoke these words in his first public sermon. Acts 13:16
 
"Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of …Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it… Then they asked for a king, and God… raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘ I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.' From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus… And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross
Lambs sold in the meat market of Athens: "Good" Friday. 








and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus…’ ” 
Graffiti on bus in Athens
Many years later, while speaking to the Corinthians, Paul described Jesus as the Passover Lamb. 
The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already been sacrificed for the Passover meal, 1 Corinthians 5:6 
Flowers for sale on a street corner in Athens 





Hallelujah  Jesus is risen to new life ~ 
for YOU and for Me! 

(want to go?Winning With Encouragement Ministries)


Shine!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1- Which way ?


Meanwhile, (Paul)Saul was uttering threats with every breath…eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”  “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Acts 9:1-5 (NLT)

     A mosaic in Berea depicting Paul's encounter with the  blinding Light.

Tomorrow people around the world celebrate a day in eternity unlike any other. As I contemplate the meaning of the week Christians call Holy Week, I reflect on my most recent journey:  

 For the past 13 days I’ve  been on a pilgrimage through Turkey and Greece traveling in the footsteps of Paul, Paul of the Bible, the controversial Jewish priest who progressed from stoning Christ followers  to spreading Christianity. 

During the last two weeks I have learned – the path he cut through Israel toward Rome was a journey worth tracing. His life in word and deed is an example worth modeling. 

I was there for a portion of his footsteps! 

Now I invite you to join me as I retrace my trip:  

Istanbul, Turkey.
 
We flew into Istanbul to begin our pilgrimage. Although there is no mention of Paul having traveled through this magnificent city, we began our journey here in order to make our way into Turkey (Asia Minor in the Bible) where we met up with Paul at Izmir (Smyrna). 

My observations and reflections:

   Sailing on the  Bosporus, passing under the bridge joining Asia to Europe
 
Istanbul is a one-of-a-kind city: the only city in the world straddling two continents – Asia and Europe. These two continents represent vast differences, yet here in this huge sea of humanity two opposite and opposing cultures come together.

So what do I do with the differences? Some would intellectually approach a visit to Istanbul with an openness accepting that societies are different. 

Not me. I am inquisitive. I want to know, “Where did the various and different ways originate? Where did these ideas originate. What made them the authority? Is there a right way? If so, I want to make the correct choice. Which way will I choose? Why?”

As we westerners come to grips with cultural merging, including faith and religion, I find myself challenged to consider my personal convictions. “What do I believe?”  
                                                            
I debate myself: “Have I made my own conclusions? Am I confident in my choice? Do I have reasonable argument for my stand? Have I researched my defense? Is my stand worthy of discussion? Do I practice a man-made religion? Is my faith built on a solid argument?”

The city of Istanbul is like my mind ...

considering the fabrications of man (the law of the minaret: a command to pray five times a day)   
 or the facts of God's creation: His magnificent grace and beauty. 

Have you chosen the path your life will take? Will you choose fabrication or fact?  

Stay tuned for more of Paul's journeys. 

(want to go?Winning With Encouragement Ministries)

Shine
Monday, February 28, 2011

This little light of mine is just a flicker

Air- Today you moved From the Pound to the Palace. Thank you for the countless lessons you taught your family and so many children. Devotion to the Master is the only way to live an abundant and fulfilled life. I hope you would say that your masters were as good to you as you were to us.  We will miss you!  
Monday, January 17, 2011

Movin' on Monday

Today I am dedicating my blog to a new friend – MC.

I recently met MC when Lysa,  who had received an e-mail from her, let me in on MC’s life so I could reach out to her and pray with her as she begins a most terrifying AND gratifying move.

Today MC moves from Brazil to Calgary! That’s a MOVE! She is moving from southern South America on the Atlantic coast to northwestern North America nearly to the Pacific coast. Cultures are different. She will no longer speak in her Portuguese tongue but hear English and French spoken. It's cold in Calgary right now. I bet it's tropical in Brazil! MC's friends and family are all in Brazil. Does she know anyone in Calgary?  

I don’t know about you, but this adventure terrifies me and at the same time excites me! What if God called me to make this move? Would I go? Would you? 

God does not waste anything. Lest you think your little life goes unnoticed by the King who rules the universe, think again! 

I have been allowed the awesome opportunity of creating a place for Latina women within the Proverbs 31 ministry. Consequently, any Hispanic correspondence that comes to us gets passed on to me. (We Americans get so confused about the world that any one in South America who contacts us gets sent over to me. And sometimes South Africans also fall into my basket!) I've met some amazing women!

Oh the joy of listening to stories of mended heartbreaks, victory-over-crushing circumstances, solved problems, restored relationships, women and men stepping into relationship with Jesus. 

So when Lysa and Holly introduced me to MC, I immediately contacted her. We have had a running conversation going on between Brazil and Charlotte for nearly two weeks now and MC is rapidly stepping into my inner circle of close friends. Her story is an amazing one. She is Brazilian, came to California as an exchange student, returned to Brazil, earned several degrees in the medical field, and today is moving to Canada – ALONE, to continue her work. 

Her life has not been without tragedy and pain. Yet she has managed to turn to God who is restoring and healing and redeeming this beautiful young lady.  I know how beautiful she is- she sent me pictures of herself and her family--- I feel like I have been to Brazil to visit her!   

Are you in the midst of a move? Has God plucked you out of your nest and nudged you on to a new place? Has it made you uncomfortable? 

Not one of God’s nudges,  however awkward it may feel for you, is a mistake. He knows the plans He has for you. He knows the outcome He has planned for you.  

When MC woke up this morning she immediately went to her heavenly Father. 

“I could never start my journey without lifting up my hands to worship and praise the Lord. God spoke to my heart from  Jeremiah 29:11  ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

Van, our dear Lord is really our provider, isn't He???!!”

Wandering Friend, if you find yourself moving today or facing a move in your near future, remember, life is an adventure with God. He is the ultimate pioneer. He has gone before you. Now he has returned to take you by the hand. Put your hand in the hand of the Man who is worthy to take you to places that may seem uncharted. Trust Him. He knows where He is taking you.   

Go! You don’t want to miss the incredible journey.

For more encouragement with the moves in your life, you might enjoy previous Movin’ on Mondays posts:


Shine,
Van