Monthly Archives: April 2013

Power to the powerless…

Written by Berna Swodeck

It all began with a train ride from New Mexico to California. I was still

He gives Power to the powerless

He gives Power to the powerless

being housed by my mother, feeling safe midst the chug, chug, chugging, and the sounds of the wheels riding along the train tracks. I was to be born any minute, and mommy was desperately trying to hold on to my birthing, hoping to make sure the train pulled into the station in time to make it to the local hospital. Palm Springs was the destination, with my Aunt Lucy anxiously waiting with the car to transport me and my mommy to a safe delivery. Breathing heavily all entered the hospital corridors just in time.
Berna Lee was born. She was healthy, with a full head of hair, and sweeping eyelashes. Most of the relatives were still in New Mexico, including her daddy. He would soon follow and they would be a family again. As part of his husband duties, daddy secured a nice little apartment in the city. His 6 foot frame, flashing blue eyes and wavy black hair allowed him to place a deposit for a rental immediately, as the landlady favored him! Mommy and I arrived a few days later. A few borrowed baby items were strategically placed for a family to settle in until spring came. After a little while, there was a knock on the door. The landlady who was so gracious to daddy, asked him a question with a somewhat stern voice, “Who is that lady with the baby that you brought to ‘my’ apartment? “ He answered, “She is my wife and this is my new little daughter Berna Lee!” “Well” she said, “You all can’t live here! No Indians allowed!” So, by the next morning, all packed up, my parents proceeded to another apartment above a store, on the ‘other side’ of town. There was not enough room for a bassinet, or especially a crib, so for the next three months my head rested each time I slept in a cozy dresser drawer.


Life for these 61 years has been spent pursuing my dreams, while I have also felt the reality of someone else’s decision – halting any hopes I might have had. Kevin Spacey recently said in House of Cards that power is greater than money. Although I never chose to have great power, I did find the secret of God’s amazing infusion of power in relationship to Him. Being settled in my heart as a friend of His has given me the capacity to live these years of my life at times powerless to change man at times, or to influence him for the good, but able to remain powerful enough to choose how I would respond. A beautiful bassinet was the dream, but the dresser drawer proved to be a place of comfort. A rejection in life simply became a catalyst for kindness, love and grace. The decision to choose well, the determination to pray and believe, and the perseverance to continue when all else may fail is power, in its greatest form!


Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (New Living Translation)


Berna Swodeck is my older sister that helped raise me when I was growing up. She as been more than an inspiration to me, she has been a light. I love her creativity and wit, often enjoying good food and long talks! You’ll enjoy more blogs from her, this will be one of many!IMG_2532






His Faithfulness Is our shield


Written by Paige Junaeus

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life- when he has provided food, family, health, and happy situations.  But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

I’ll never forget where I was and what I was doing when my husband said to me, “honey you got a phone call.” It was my brother Tim on the other end, barely holding it together. With a crack in his voice he said to me, “We lost the battle!”  Our brother has passed away, he’s gone! That was a very difficult thing to hear.  He was in the prime of his life with a hopeful future ahead of him.

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant. ‘Yea, sounds good on paper, right! I wish I could have told you, ” that’s exactly what happen to me”. But I would be fabricating the truth if I did.

You see, in real times of loss and feeling that God is at a distant, separated or maybe even silent.  Can be a real experience of emptiness in a human heart.  In the case of my brothers death, I was hurt, full of questions and holding on to my faith, all at the same time.  I thought in my mind, God where are you? As I finally found my place of prayer and cried out to the Lord, I immediately knew of His Presence, and realized that He was holding me together. His faithfulness is our shield! His healing is everlasting!

Be encouraged!

Relationships with our children…


Written by
Paulette Suzanne Cloutier
Relationships with our children;
Speak to them~
A blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. Your children need to hear you say:  I love you…I’m proud of youYou can do it!
Touch them ~
Isaac called Jacob close to him, touched him and kissed him. Whatever form it takes (a kiss, a tickle, a wrestling match on the floor), the simple act of affectionate touch between a parent and a child communicates volumes. Jesus knew this, too. We learn from Him that “He took the children in His arms and He put His hands on them and He blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
Encourage your children~
Encourage your children to be all they can be in life; help them reach that potential by enlarging their vision of a God who always does things in abundance; find out their dreams and dream with them.
Remind your children ~
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Use your words to change your children’s future.
Give your children a blessing~
Thank you Paulette, your such an inspiration to us all!

“Let’s talk over a cup of Coffee!”                          

Do you take cream or sugar?

Do you take cream or sugar?

‘Spring brings change!’


Written by Paige Junaeus


“Spring is officially here!” Winter season across the world is about to change. The snow is beginning to melt, the sun is shining brighter each day, and we are storing away our boots and heavy sweaters. People are restoring or planting new gardens in their homes bringing beauty and color to their environment.

This season is a time when we may all rise up from whatever is keeping us down. It’s a time when we can rise above our own weaknesses, limitations, and challenges.   We all can embrace the opportunities that present themselves to us. With the right people around us combined with daily disciplines, you can accomplish all of your expectations and goals.

Through self-discipline associated with will power, hard work, and persistence you can do it! Self-discipline can be defined as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state. There are some days when I just don’t want to work out at the club. However, when I write it down in my daily journal, I take it from my brain to pen on paper.  When I do that, ‘It’s documented!’  I drive myself to the club in spite of my negative emotions and thoughts. Surprising, after my first warm up I’m feeling the environment of the gym, and I continue to work out! Let’s face it, we all love the results that labor through hard work completes.

Willpower is the strength and ability to carry out a certain task, self-discipline is the ability to use it routinely and even automatically. In most cultures, it has been noted that self-discipline is the ultimate path towards success. Step by step, you will succeed!

“Start planting your garden”…