Sunday, August 12, 2012

Special Announcement

Dear Readers,

I want to let you know about a change that I'm making soon.

Since establishing my new web site,, I haven't been spending much time on this blog. It seems to make sense to shift my blogging over to that site and close this one.

I sure hope you'll join me there!

Many of the topics are related to Biblical sexuality, but I also have a section called, "Reflections on Life." The posts there are more of the devotional type of writing that appears here on My-Own-Little-Corner.

Thanks for understanding.

Blessings to all, Sue

Find me at:

It Looks Dead -- But Is It?

It’s not often that it freezes here in the desert, but last February we experienced a week with temperatures dipping below zero. The palm trees were hit hard, most suffered, many died. In the following months, trees were chopped down all over town. Stumps in yards served as reminders of the once lavish palms, others trees were totally uprooted and replaced. Our neighborhood was filled with the shriveled giants. They looked like huge burnt-out torches. I mourned the loss of these towering beauties with stiff fronds waving like green fans against the blazing blue sky. But today, on my morning walk, I noticed that some of the palms that hadn’t been cut down were showing signs of life. Not long ago these trees looked totally dead, but now green appeared amid their brown tops. It’s hard to tell from the outside if something is alive on the inside. Faith can be like that. We may know someone whose faith has died. Maybe it’s our beliefs. When we were little we sang, “Jesus loves me, this I know,” and believed it with all our heats. But somewhere along the journey of growing up, we were stripped of that simple knowing. Maybe it’s pain, injustice, sinful longings or uncontrollable circumstances that snuck in and robbed us of our childhood treasure. Today that place in us is dried and withered. When faith dies, everything may look dead but there may still be a root of life buried deep within our heart. Don’t be too quick to declare yourself or someone you love as a lost cause. Time brings perspective, wisdom and healing. God is good at resurrections and His love blows like a soft breeze, inviting scorched ones to come back to life. And, if you’ve figured you’re just too far-gone to ever come back to life as one on His children, please reconsider. Let that early, first love, break through the hard soil of resistance and shame and find it’s way into God’s freely given light. Bloom again. Let the green shoots rise up. Rejoice that God is the good Gardener who is eternally patient. He’s never in a hurry to chop down, cut off, or replace those who’ve experienced devastation and damage. He will wait for you to come home again. As long as there is even a tiny seed of faith residing inside, there is hope, there is potential for new life.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Grace Like Snow

Hi to anyone who is out there with time and the desire to read my post. I'm trying to figure out where to spend my blogging time -- here where I've been for a while or on my new website (where I can add posts). But for today, I'm sharing a short (true) story about
a time when I felt totally unable to do -- well, most everything and God showed up to help me. I feel that way a lot and it is amazing that He cares enough to respond and help me. Hope you enjoy -- What depressed me most was I couldn’t think of one real reason to feel so miserable. My closest loved ones and I enjoyed good health. We didn’t face any major financial or personal problems. And, at a young age, I had married the man who continued to walk beside me through the changing seasons of life. Compared to most people in the world, I lived a very blessed life. True, I’d just turned fifty but wasn’t that something to celebrate? Still, the thoughts continued to shoot through my mind inflicting injury to my sense of well-being. “You’re past your prime.” “It’s too late to do the things you thought you’d do.” “You’re a failure.” “You’re not as strong or as pretty as you used to be,” “No one wants to listen to an old woman.” Each morning, in order to have the courage to get out of bed, I sang a little song to myself. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. In all my years I’d never doubted this before but these days I felt totally unlovable with nothing to offer anyone, even the Lord. Thinking that a change of scenery might affect my mood, I arranged to use a friend’s mountain cabin. I headed out with the regal plan to finally take time to write, or at least begin the book that resided within me. For days I stayed inside the cabin in an unsuccessful attempt to create any semblance of a manuscript. Even when I have uninterrupted time and no excuses, I’m still too undisciplined to write. What a failure. Even though I knew I wasn’t a total failure; a look at my successful children told me I’d done a good job raising them, and I enjoyed a small but steady publishing history over the years. But I couldn’t dismiss the accusing thoughts that bombarded me. Each one held an element of truth. And the truth of all I failed to do with the time entrusted to me was so discouraging that I wanted to stop trying. I’d come away to the mountains to write and couldn’t even manage that. So, I decided to go hiking. Feeling old and fat helped me choose a hike rated ‘easy.’ The sky was clear but the air cool, so I wore a coat. My emotional state convinced me to take a small backpack with tissues, chocolate, a water bottle and my cell phone. It felt really good to be outside. My spirits lifted as soon as I entered the empty parking lot near the trailhead. A short path led through the pines to the place where the trail went straight down into a steep valley. I couldn’t see the bottom but had read that there was a stream down there. The sound and look of running water had always drawn and soothed me so I began to make my way slowly down the slope. At last I reached the bottom and felt a rush of joy at the sight of the flowing stream. I took my time strolling beside the water, sitting on logs, enjoying the scent of pine and watching squirrels scamper around the forest. The heaviness of the past few months lifted. “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful place.” A few hours later, my chocolate was gone and I thought it might be time to head back to the cabin for an afternoon nap. It took longer than I expected to get back to the trail that led to the parking lot. By the time I got there I was already out of breath. Then I looked up the very long, very steep path and felt my heart sink. I knew I’d descended into a deep valley but never considered what climbing back out would require. Why did I spend so much time walking beside the stream? Where would I get the energy to climb this nearly vertical path? All the self-doubt and insecurity of the past months returned and settled like a giant weight on my already slumped shoulders. I don’t think I can do this. It’s too hard. But what choice did I have? My car was up there in a parking lot I couldn’t even see. I couldn’t simply stay down here by the lovely stream forever, and my chocolate was gone. Calling 9-1-1 seemed like an unrealistic and embarrassing option, so I began to climb. I didn’t rush, just took one small step at a time. The high altitude and the extra weight I carried combined to make the journey very difficult. I seriously began to wonder if I could make it to the top. It’s too steep. I’m too weak and out of shape. Suddenly turning fifty felt like a death sentence. It meant I was old. I didn’t like the feeling. I didn’t look forward to continuing to age and weaken with each passing year. And this climb up the side of this valley demanded too much from me. I just couldn’t do it. I unzipped my coat, wiped my face with a tissue and took a long drink of water. Maybe I should sit and rest. I pictured myself trying to plop down on the steep incline only to tumble all the way back to the bottom. Then I’d have to start over. And what if I broke something? With the sound of the stream growing faint behind me and feelings of inadequacy looming huge inside, I criticized myself. I’m just a weakling and it’s my own fault for being out of shape. Other fifty-year-olds are probably running marathons and eating celery. Each negative thought and every slow step brought a reminder of how useless I felt. Out of breath, I stopped walking. Sorrow and discouragement welled up. I blinked back tears. Oh, Lord, I need help! I can’t do this. It’s so hard and I don’t have what it takes. I’m not young or strong anymore. I really don’t think I can keep going. No sooner had my prayer been raised to heaven than an unexpected response came floating down in gentle white snowflakes. In wonder, I watched them swirl through the spaces between the trees and dance gracefully in the air surrounding me. A soft layer of delicate lacey flakes coated the dark ground with a sparkling beauty. Like mercy the snow transformed everything. No rain or snow had been predicted that day. This was God’s overwhelming love drawing near. Awestruck at the surprise, I laughed out loud. Thank you, thank you, Lord. You are here with me and you are helping me! Snowflakes frosted my flushed cheeks, coated me with fresh strength and melted my despair. Before long I reached the top, startled at how quickly I had finished the last part of the climb. I stopped beside my car, tilted my face skyward and opened my mouth wide to taste the falling snow. That’s when I embraced the fact the God of heaven was not done with me or with my life. Although negative thoughts had dragged me into a deep valley of depression, His truth had the power to pull me out. God’s mercy falls new every morning giving grace to help move me forward into new possibilities. And when I call out to Him in my weakness, He offers me fresh strength so I can take each step on the path laid out before me until the day I climb out of this life into the next.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The thing about a seminar for survivors of sexual abuse is that most people are embarrassed to attend—even those who would benefit the most.
I’m thinking about the story of the Good Samaritan. He was a man just going about his business when he saw someone who had been stripped, beaten, robbed and left. He didn’t witness the attack, but he saw the results. Most of us are like him. We know someone who has been abused and even though we didn’t see it happen, we can see the results.
Survivors of sexual abuse respond in various ways. Some are so angry that rage defines them. Others struggle with self-destructive behaviors, depression, addictions to alcohol, food, or porn, or they have an aversion to sex or an eating disorders, chronic unexplained pain, cutting or shame. These types of symptoms can often be linked to surviving sexually abuse, but being left alone and never being helped to reach the place of healing.
Chances are you know a survivor of sexual abuse; maybe you are directly affected by the fact that they are still suffering. Will you do as Jesus said and show them mercy? The Good Samaritan didn’t know the stranger that he saw stripped of his clothes, beaten and bleeding, but he decided to get involved. It took time, energy and money but he noticed that wounded person and took him to a safe place where healing could happen.
Let’s not be like the religious people who looked the other way and pretended not to see the person who was just left alone to suffer. No, let’s do all we can to see each wounded one made whole.

Jesus challenges us to move beyond our comfort zone and to notice those in our families, in our pews, in our communities who have been hurt. Let’s not leave them alone; let’s figure out how to help them. Please consider joining us for the Help4Survivors seminar.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Falsh Fiction Fun

Here is a picture of our whole family in July at Aimee and Luke's wedding.

I recently entered the "HIS Writers Flash Fiction Online Contest,"( And was so suprised to win first place. Basically, all who entered used the same first sentence, middle sentence and last sentence to write a short story of 1000 words. Here is my little story.


There she was, Amy Gerstein, over by the pool, kissing my father. I sprinted toward them intent on executing a perfectly aimed splash. “Cannonball!”
When I came up for air, Amy was breathless—and dripping. She sputtered. “Why you little. . . ”
Come on, say it. If she’d actually admit I was a brat, my father would drop her like a weight and their relationship would sink into oblivion.
Amy managed a coy smile. “You little—future Olympian.” Then she slipped gracefully out of her shoes and into the water.
“Amy?” My father sounded as astonished as I felt. “What are you doing?”
She laughed. “Swimming. Join me.”
“But, I’m not wearing a swimsuit.”
“Me neither.” She glided effortlessly through the water and up the steps. “But I think this dress worked fine.”
My father looked like he agreed as he scrutinized her. Brother! I dove. You’re a sly one, Amy Gerstein, but not smart enough to get my father’s money. In honor of my mother’s memory, I’ll see to that.
I enlisted help from my best friend, Maggie. We sat on the porch. “I can’t get rid of her. She even ate the Spam and horseradish sandwich and then pretended to adore snakes when I released Slinky.”
Maggie spit a watermelon seed. “Maybe she’s not like the others, but just a nice lady.”
“My thoughts exactly. But, yesterday, on my bike and nearly ran over Lupe as she climbed out of Amy’s car.”
I leaned close. “Lupe found a diamond bracelet in the back of the car!”
“Your mothers?”
I nodded. “Yes, and it’s supposed to be locked in the safe.”
“Did you tell your father?”
“No. He’s crazy about Amy.” I stood, took careful aim and spit my seed halfway across the lawn. “But I have a plan that’ll prove she’s a thief.” I faced Maggie. “Will you help?”
Three nights later, I smeared a glob of face paint across Maggie’s forehead.
“That’s enough, Ashley. No one will see us anyway.”
I zipped my black sweatshirt. “Remember, no talking when we’re in the study.”
“Right. We just wait for Amy to open the safe.” Maggie paused. “Why’s she doing that, again?”
“To put in the fake bracelet so no one will know she stole the real one.”
Maggie looked confused. “How do you know she’ll do it tonight?”
Sighing, I explained. “Tomorrow’s the first Saturday of the month when my father always checks the contents of the safe. Tonight’s perfect since he’s busy with all the dinner guests. Got it?”
I touched Maggie’s shoulder. “You scared?”
“Me neither but I have this just in case.” I held up the letter opener.
“Looks really sharp.”
“I’ll be careful,” I said, slipping it into my pocket. “Hurry, I hear someone coming up the stairs.”
We raced down the hall, into the dark study and crouched under my father’s massive desk. A moment later, the door opened and someone entered. They held a penlight and located the hidden button. The large painting that hung in front of the safe slid to the side.
My heart pounded crazily, more in pride than in fear. Tonight I would expose Amy as a fake. My father would be so grateful that he’d probably never want another girlfriend.
The thief opened the safe and I elbowed Maggie. We yelled and jumped up from our hiding place. That same moment the door opened and the lights came on. I lunged toward the thief who turned to face me. She held a gun.
“Lupe!” I shouted. She grabbed me, holding the gun to my temple.
Maggie screamed. My father and Amy rushed into the room, stopping when they spotted Lupe, the gun and me.
My father looked pale.
Amy stepped in front of him. She spoke calmly. “Lupe, you don’t want to hurt Ashley. Put the gun down. I understand that things are difficult for your family right now.”
Lupe began to tremble. “Yes.”
I slowly started to remove my weapon.
Amy’s voice was soothing. “Your husband is very sick . . .”
“It’s cancer—” Lupe’s voice sounded strained. “Treatments costs so much and my son . . . ”
“Manuel?” Amy asked gently. “He’s in trouble and so he took all your savings, didn’t he?”
Lupe looked sad. “How did you know?”
“We’ll help you. Please put down the gun.”
I clutched the letter opener and glanced at Lupe. She raised me. I can’t stab her.
Lupe’s eyes darted to my father. “Mr. Stone, I’m not stealing from you. I just need to borrow some things to take to the pawnshop, to help my husband. When Manuel pays me, I’ll return everything.”
My father stepped forward. “Why didn’t you ask me for help?”
“I felt ashamed about Manuel.” A sob rose from deep inside her.
My father continued. “When items began to disappear, I hired Amy. I never imagined it was you, Lupe. You’ve been our trusted friend for years.”
Lupe dropped the gun. “I’m sorry.” She covered her face and sunk to the floor.
When I lunged toward my father’s open arms I tripped. The letter opener in my hand slid through the blue fabric of Amy’s evening gown.
My father caught me. “Ashley! Thank heaven you’re safe.”
I smiled at him.
“What ever do you have on your face?”
“Camouflage.” I looked into his eyes. “You hired Amy?”
He nodded. “She’s a private investigator, posing as my girlfriend.”
“So, she was a fake?”
“Yes.” His eyes rested on Amy. “But it seems that in the midst of all our pretending, we’ve grown to love each other.” He smiled. I realized how long it’d been since I’d seen him that happy.
My father lifted my chin. “In fact, I’ve decided I never want another girlfriend. It’s time you had a new mother.”
Amy blushed at his words. I smiled at her. She’s smart, pretty and fun. And she didn’t even get mad about the tear in her dress.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Take a Walk, it cheap, easy and life changing.

When you take a walk, you see and hear beauty.

In Sunday school we were challenged to find time this week to take a walk with our spouse. While we all agreed this simple activity is more complicated for those with little ones, we also acknowledged the value of actually walking together.
Why is taking a walk good for couples? It’s cheap, easy and takes us away from the normal tasks of life, which take us, and our attention, away from each other.
We found examples of those who took walks. It all starts in Genesis where we read that God walked in the garden in the cool of the day. Wow. So, when we walk, we’re imitating God. Now if anyone in the universe is busy, it God. He takes time to walk, so what’s our excuse?
We also read about how when a man named Enoch walked with God, the Lord simply lifted him out of this life into the next without the usual annoyance of having to die. This event sets Enoch (and Elijah ) apart from all other people ever born yet the only real description we have of this unique man is that he walked with God. I guess that’s all he needed to do in God’s eyes for it to be recorded in His Book.
Then there’s Noah. Now there’s a famous name. When I think of him a song comes to mind, “The Lord said to Noah, build me an arky arky. . . ” He’s a guy who spent many years building an ark, while being ridiculed by others. He also ended up running a zoo and somehow persuaded his family to join him inside just before the door was locked from the outside. Noah impresses me. And while all that he did is recorded in Scripture, the description of who he was as a person is: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” That is what the defining feature that made his life different than those around him.
So, I’m thinking that God delights in those who take the time to walk with Him. Not those who preach to others, not those who build elaborate buildings in His honor, not those who record songs or write books (or blogs) – even though I might like to hear the Lord say, “Sue Cameron blogged for me,” it doesn’t seem like that matters all that much to Him.
What pleases God? What delights Him? What quality in us does He seek? It seems to be those among us who take time away from our normal tasks to go walking with Him. It’s being accessible, present and available to Him as He is ever to us. In relationship with Jesus, or with our spouse, this is time to focus on just being together, to talk, to listen, to walk. It’s simple, cheap, easy—and life changing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Passionate about the next life


On a recent flight I listened as the lady sitting next to me talked for several hours. She felt passionate about the fact that cancer and diabetes result from parasites and that curing them simply requires ingesting the right supplements. She didn’t know that Robert died of testicular cancer or that six-year-old Ethne has type 1 diabetes. It was evident that she had invested a lot of time doing on-line research to uncover these hidden facts, which, according to her, have been suppressed by pharmaceutical companies and the US government.
I did not question her sincerity or even her conclusions, since she has as much right as I to choose her beliefs. But now that I’ve thought it all over I am wondering if she has ever felt the need to consider her spiritual health. Sooner or later, even with the right supplements, she will die--maybe of illness, old age, violence or an accident. And, I’m wondering what my life would look like if I felt as concerned about my eternal life as she does her temporary life.
Gaining and maintaining health is important, in fact I believe it is a matter of stewardship. God has given us this life and our bodies and minds to bring Him glory. So, making decisions to honor our bodies and to do our best to stay, or get, healthy is a part of acknowledging God’s ownership of us.
What would my life look like if I spent more time thinking of my eternal health? What if I considered every decision in the shadow of eternity? Would my days look differently? What if, instead of shopping for the best deal on airlines, car rentals, clothes or gadgets, I invested those hours in seeking first the kingdom of God? Jesus did promise to take care of the things of this life for me. Wouldn’t my time be freed up if I actually let Him? What if I spent those hours seeking Him with all my mind and heart, wouldn’t I be more passionate about eternal things and about bearing the light to a darkening world?
Would I perhaps be so convinced about God’s love for each person, that I would be the one sharing that passion to my seatmate on the next flight I take?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

In Memory -- A glimpse of Heaven!

This month marks one year since our son-in-law, Robert, went on to heaven. This was one of the last pictures I took of him with his girls. We have no doubt that Robert is now with Jesus, waiting for us to join him in heaven. Meanwhile, life on earth continues and we are experiencing God's gracious love. He has brought Aimee a new husband, and the children another daddy. Their wedding is in Austin in July. Luke is a blessing to us all, and an answer to the prayers of so many. Thank you for praying and for rejoicing with us!

About 6 weeks ago, Robert's godfather, Frank Feuille, also went to be with the Lord. Shortly before his death, Frank had an amazing vision of heaven. His wife, Elizabeth, recorded it and gave permission for me to share it with you.

This is Elizabeth Feuille’s last post on Caring Bridge…
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011 8:30 PM, MST

Today Frank left this earthly world and walked joyfully into eternity. His entry was marked by a beautiful conversation that he had with me in the early hours of the Sunday morning preceding his death.
Around 1:45 AM on Sunday, March 13th, the Lord awakened me from a deep sleep. I went to check Frank's blood pressure, and as he was becoming weaker and weaker, his voice was soft, yet the words were definitely recognizable.
I want to share with each of you the following as I feel it will fill your hearts with hope knowing that we have the invitation of eternal life though our Lord Jesus Christ.
Frank's first words were "the countenance of heaven" which he repeated several times. He then said, " I see it now, I see it now, the other side, I see it now, it's just beautiful." He also said, "I do see Jesus, it's exactly like you would expect, exactly as God, so wonderful, Jesus is through God, God through Jesus".
When I asked if they knew him, he replied, "I feel like they know me, I feel each of us is part of a plan they planned." I asked if he were scared, to which he replied, "Oh no, I am not." He told me that, “this is real."
After asking if he had talked to Him, he said, "I feel like I have, I've talked to him."
I told him, “We love you and we’re behind you – go.”
Then he said, " I feel like I have passed through. And I am so happy to be with Jesus. I am so much at peace."
He then told me the names of many family member who he saw, including our dear cousin and our godson Robert who died recently at 28.
I ask if he wanted to be with them and he said, " Of course, I want to be with them."
He told me that I, as well as all of our children, and grandchildren would be there. He said they are going through God just as I am about to do. They are going to die, just as I am about to die, they are going there. Not everyone who believes, only those who believe in Jesus.
When I asked him if he was confused, he assured me he was not (and he sounded completely clear to me) and told me that this was absolutely real, again saying "wonderful, wonderful" and reconfirming that there is a God and there is a Jesus.
He told me that, "I am here and you are coming, and we are going to be a family together."
My final and most important question before he again slept was "How do I get there?"
His answer was definite, "Through Jesus Christ—believe—that is the one and only way to go."
Today, March 14, 2011, I lost my love, my husband, my prayer partner, my best friend, the father of my children and a huge part of my life that can never be replaced. We have been married almost 45 beautiful years, and I can honestly say, Frank Feuille is the finest, most honest, caring, loving, ethical and perfect person I have ever known. I have been richly blessed to have had him now and forever in eternity as my husband. Our separation will be only brief in eternal time, but during this earthly time, it will be unimaginably long for me. I know my days will be filled with great sadness for Frank. I shall try in every way to be the person he would expect me to be, and I shall love him "until" forever. Our words to each other were punctuated by "until" rather than goodbye. 

As yesterday grew long, Frank's time on earth grew short. He became weaker, and we realized the time was near. Dear cousins kept the vigil with Cinco and me and left our home around 10:30 PM. Around 3:00 AM, Frank breathed his last breath and while we held his hands, he took one step over into eternity into that beautiful place he had so joyously described to me earlier.
My sorrow is great, my loss is unimaginable, but I rejoice in the faith and love that this blessed man gave during the 68 years he was on this earth. Thank you Lord, and may your name be praised for sustaining me during this and the future time of my grief for Frank.

I would like to express my deepest thanks to all of you have shared this special walk in our lives, and I pray that all that happened in these last brief 5 weeks will be to the Glory of God.
I am not bitter or angry. My only emotion is that of great sadness. And I know this is part of God's great plan.

Frank's memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 19th at 10 AM at the Church of St. Clements. Frank founded and served as the president of the St. Clement's Mission Board, which serves the poor, and requested that any memorials be sent to serve this wonderful outreach. His service will be one of praise and celebration.
May God bless each and all of you and keep you in His loving care...."until."

With heartfelt love and appreciation,