Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21


Jeanne Wiger’s brother James, to whom she was extremely close, passed away at an advanced age. The siblings had always said, when one died, the other would not be able to last for more than another year. Jeanne, older than James, now found herself gravely ill. She underwent major surgery, and thought she would die soon, just as she and James had always predicted. But God had other plans for her. Jeanne’s bond with her brother released her from “the death message and (challenged) her to explore the hidden meaning in ‘saying hello after you have said goodbye.’” Jeanne calls this “The Fourth Act,” or “to live in a way that identifies, develops and activates new, unused or unrecognized life skills and opportunities.”


In Jeanne’s book, The Fourth Act (Third Child Press, 2013, available from the author), there are many examples from her years as a practicing marriage and family therapist of people who were given another chance at life when they thought they were certain they had no time left. The book also contains many stories from Scripture of God’s mighty saints who did great things when they relied on God’s strength and not their own. As I read this wonderful book, filled with tales of courage and practical ways to develop a “Fourth Act” in one’s own life, I realized that I had been given a chance like this following my survival of a sexual assault at gunpoint at age twenty-five. It doesn’t matter if the new opportunity comes as a result of serious disease, profound loss, unexpected trauma, or our own costly mistakes. God is always there, if we are looking for Him, and He gives us a “pass” to move on to the next miraculous stage of our lives with His blessing and His strength and love. Jeanne calls her experience “The Terrible Gift,” which she thought would be her death, but ended up being a wonderful opportunity to write, teach, and heal. What will be your “Fourth Act?”


Saving Lord, Your prophet Isaiah said You are “the Lord your God, Who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17). Help us to see new opportunities in our lives when we least expect them. Amen


To purchase The Fourth Act, contact the author at .


spreadsheetAnd I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19


Back in the Dark Ages, when a newly-hired computer technician came into my office and plunked down my very first “personal computer,” I asked him what I was supposed to do with it. “Come to the training session this afternoon at 2:00,” he said, as he connected sinister-looking wires and cables. So I did. During the training, we were given a lesson in basic computer operations and enlightened about the infinite capacity of computer memory. “Your personal computer can store numbers in such mass quantities that the paper it would take to record them would reach all the way to the core of the earth and back out the other side!” I was impressed. I couldn’t even keep the numbers in my checkbook straight.


Sometime later, when I read today’s Scripture passage, I was reminded of that first revelation imparted to me about computers and numbers. But suddenly, computers didn’t seem nearly as impressive as the love of Christ! The Apostle Paul prayed for Christ’s followers to be “rooted and established in love,” and that love was so “wide and long and high and deep” that it was truly infinite! In all of space and time from everlasting to everlasting, there would never be an end to the love of Christ that each of us can count on all the days of our lives and throughout eternity.


Since my first experience with a “PC,” there have been many advances and changes in the world of electronics. It used to take a whole room to produce the same technology we now have on our phones and other hand-held devices. Most of us rely heavily on electronic devices, but perhaps we’d be better off to place our trust in the One Who created all things. He will never “go offline” or abandon us in our hour of need. And He is plugged in and ready to operate any time day or night!


Creator God, stir in me the knowledge of Your never-ending, infinite and eternal love! Amen


vertigoJesus said to him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Matthew 4:11


“Not again!” I said, as I stood up and felt the room spinning. Every few months, I am surprised by a bout of vertigo, an inner ear disturbance for which there is apparently no cure. I must seek treatment as soon as possible, needing a physical therapist who knows how to coax the wayward crystals in my inner ear back into their proper place. No one knows why, but these crystals will, unprovoked, float into one of the ear canals on their own, causing dizziness, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Life slows to a crawl or a complete halt until the condition subsides and the wayward crystals decide to behave again…at least for a while.


Vertigo hits me at the most inconvenient times. Once, I was in charge of a large day-long workshop for writers, but I was relegated to a chair in the corner where I gave orders while hanging on for dear life. Another time, my husband had a medical emergency in the middle of my world spinning, and I could barely get to the phone to call an ambulance. And last year, I missed the birth of my first great-grandchild because I was in no shape to drive to the hospital. It feels as if Satan himself is laughing hysterically at me as I spend two or three days—or more—curled in a ball in bed.


When I have recovered from these bouts, I often think of Jesus on the mountain being tempted by Satan. The human Christ may have felt as though His world was spinning out of control as Satan bombarded Him with one temptation after another. “Hungry, Jesus? Make some bread out of these rocks,” Satan said.  “Jump off this mountain and show us all how You can fly!” “You can have everything You see all around You for Yourself, if You only bow down and worship ME!”


But Jesus would have none of it. To combat Satan, He used the most powerful weapon on earth and in all the realms of heaven: God’s holy Word. When life spins out of control, we have that very same weapon at our disposal.


Healing Christ, help me remember to turn to Your Word when my life seems out of control. Amen


Iautocorrectn the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26


These days, most of us can relate to the frustration of Autocorrect deciding for us what we want to say when we are using electronic devices. The two worst culprits in my life are my “Smartphone” (which clearly thinks it knows better than I do what word I am trying to type on the itty-bitty keyboard) and my e-reader (which has, really, had a superior attitude about its advanced vocabulary since the day I took the little bugger out of the box). So today I decided to let the chips—or the letters—fall where they may. I typed a whole message on my e-reader without making any attempt to correct it. This was the result:


Dear Tug,


Image my surmise upon recipes such a loser gift from YouTube! Words canyon description my grated. Thin you some much.


You fiend,



Not a satisfactory thank-you note, if you ask me! We can’t possibly allow these “smart” devices to make decisions for us. We must be vigilant before someone gets hurt.


Thank goodness God doesn’t treat us this way! Even though He truly is all-knowing, He’s too much of a Gentleman to—ahem—lord it over us. God gives us our brains so we can figure a lot of things out for ourselves, and that’s called “free will.” But God also provides many ways for us to “do” life better by using the tools He places at our disposal. God’s Word, the Bible, contains many lessons to be learned, from a list of ten excellent laws to live by (Deuteronomy 5:6-21), to clear and concise platitudes about wise living (the Book of Proverbs), to the words of Christ Himself spoken when He walked among us (various portions of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, often highlighted in red). If we spend some time getting into the Word, we will find some favorite passages that stick with us for when we might need them. And if we are having a lapse of memory, our Old Friend the Holy Spirit will be there beside us to pray for us when we cannot.


Lord, thank You for providing the best words for us to choose: the ones in the Bible. Amen