Monday, February 19, 2024

What Next?

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” — Psalm 71:18, NIV

Recently I announced that I am retiring early from the best job I have ever had, serving as Church Office Administrator to a beloved congregation who have become family to me.  To some, the decision does not make sense — I am middle-age, healthy, at the top of my game, and well-paid.  I am good at what I do, and enjoy it most days.  So, why now?  What next?

Why now?  It’s a simple answer, really.  I want more time — more time with family, to take care of my home, and to nurture my body and soul.  I have worked in many positions over the past forty-plus years meeting the needs of others, and it is time now to take care of the people and projects that matter most to me.  Losing my mom and brother, being separated from my other siblings and family, and realizing that we are all getting older have heightened the sense of urgency to retire so I can have the freedom and flexibility to prioritize what is truly important.

What next?  That’s a question only God can answer.  There are a number of things I’d like to accomplish in retirement — write another inspirational book, become a better musician, spend more time with family and friends, and volunteer for causes near and dear to my heart.  More than anything, I want to continue growing in my relationship with God, to see where He leads, and to do what He would have me do.

Retirement will be an adventure — thrilling and challenging and fulfilling.  Having no idea what to expect, it will be a time of walking by faith in my God, who will supply what I need to serve and thrive from day to day.  My heart for ministry has not changed — God is simply moving me to minister to my family, friends, and neighbors while I still have the health to do so.

Copyright © by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Trust God No Matter What

This (2023) has been a year of unprecedented hardship and heartache for so many.  Just as we emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, global warming and gun violence blindsided us and took the top spot in the news. Mental health issues, addiction, chronic illness, financial hardship, unprecedented natural disasters, war, human trafficking, and immigration have all escalated as well, making ever more certain the reality that we live in a fallen world that is careening toward death and destruction.  But there is hope!

Those of us who know God, know that we can TRUST GOD NO MATTER WHAT.  We know that He remains in control, sovereign over all, and that this world is not all there is.  We have the hope of heaven and the assurance in His Word that in heaven, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, ESV).  Praise God!  What a lifeline He has given us in the midst of a stormy sea!  His is the Unshakeable Kingdom.  His is the peace that surpasses all understanding, promised to those whose mind is fixed on Him.  “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3, ESV).  Although circumstances may be unbearable at times, we can have joy knowing that God the Father cares for us, that Jesus still saves, and that the Holy Spirit lives and moves within each of us who have called on the name of Jesus for salvation.

Many people, including me, believe that we are living in the last days, but no one truly knows how long “the last days” will last or when Christ will return for His Church.    Even Jesus doesn’t know the day or hour of His return.  In Matthew 24, Jesus said, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only…Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (vs. 36, 44). 

Are you ready?  Have you received Jesus as Savior and surrendered your life to His Lordship? Are you reading His Word and living in the light of His promises?  Are you actively engaged in worship and fellowship with a Bible-teaching church?  If not, I pray you will invite Jesus into your life today by acknowledging your sin (we are all sinners, by the way), seeking His forgiveness purchased for you on the cross, and receiving His salvation.  It will be the best decision you ever make.  Then look for a Bible-believing church where you can be taught and built up in your newfound faith and enjoy the fellowship of likeminded believers.  As one separated from my own family, I wouldn’t take one dime for my church family!  I know that when things get tough they will be there to pray for and encourage me.

But what about those who don’t know God?  How can we who believe reach the ones who have no hope?  We need to live out our faith with authenticity, love others as Jesus did, pray for them without ceasing,  give and serve to meet their needs, and be obedient to God’s Word, not only as it pertains to us but also as it pertains to them.  God’s Word has much to say about the lost and how we are to treat our fellow humans.  Sadly, we sometimes fail to exhibit the winsome character attributes of Christ by choosing what the world values rather than what Christ values and teaches, and in so doing lose the opportunity to reach and impact those who are lost.  How tragic for them and shameful for us!   

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace…You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.  (2 Peter 3:9-14,17-18, ESV).

As believers and Christ-followers let us resolve to TRUST GOD NO MATTER WHAT.  May our faith in a good, gracious, loving Heavenly Father be the light that draws the lost to Jesus and brings hope to others in these troublesome times.


Copyright © 2023 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 2, 2023


Although INTENTIONAL is not my one word for 2023, it is a word by which I try to live my life each day.  It is a word which many of us would do well to consider as we enter a new year.

Being intentional means more than merely setting goals.  It also means working with focus, determination, and commitment to accomplish those goals, and to do and be what we desire.  For those with weight-loss goals, it means making healthier dietary choices and sticking to an exercise regiment.  For those who desire to build a nest egg, it means spending less and saving more.  For someone like me, it entails making a to-do list then actively working to accomplish the tasks listed on it so that my work hours and leisure time are both productive and enjoyable.

Being intentional also implies that the thing you intend to do is something that truly matters to you or would make a difference in the life of someone else.  One of the things I want to be intentional about in 2023 is spending time not only with those I love but also with those who are lonely or sorrowful.  This might not necessarily mean I will physically visit -- though I do as often as I can -- but also that I keep in touch by phone and letter or email.  Life is too short not to share God's love with others who really need to know how much He loves them.

What is it that you would be intentional about this year?  I can think of nothing better than to be intentional about growing in your relationship with the Lord by committing yourself to a daily quiet time of prayer and Bible study -- not for the purpose of knowing Him more, but to love Him more and experience His love for you.  God desires to have an personal, intimate relationship with you and He made that possible by sending Jesus to die for your sins so that you might have access to God by faith in Him.

2023 can be a year of true adventure and abundance if we will prioritize our love relationship with Jesus.  We know that the enemy will continue to wage war against us and our families, country, and the world, but Jesus promises us a fulfilling and abundant life in Him.  

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, ESV).  

As a Christ-follower and lover, I can attest to the fact that even when life is hard, His love and grace are sufficient to carry us through.  Why not be intentional about the one thing that will yield the greatest blessings you could ever imagine?  Let this be the year you fall in love with Jesus and His Word.

Copyright © 2023 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 1, 2023


WORSHIP is my one word for 2023.  

Worship is not something I am convinced I fully understand, nor what God intended it to be.  My prayer is that by the end of 2023 I will know what it means to worship God in spirit and in truth. 

Just as our understanding of God is limited, so is our concept of worship.  For many of us, worship involves preference, such as music style (contemporary, traditional, blended), body posture (hands raised or not), and location where we worship (in church, at the beach, in the quiet solitude of our hearts).  For some worship must include music and for others, worship doesn't involve music at all.  

Is there a wrong way or right way to worship?  Who is worship really for -- God or us?  If we are honest, we have made worship about us and our preferences, and we have allowed worship to divide our churches and our hearts.

Matt Redman so beautifully captures the essence of this struggle in his song, "The Heart of Worship." 
When the music fadesAll is stripped awayAnd I simply come
Longin' just to bringSomething that's of worthThat will bless Your heart
I'll bring You more than a songFor a song in itselfIs not what You have required
You search much deeper withinThrough the ways things appearYou're looking into my heart
I'm comin' back to the heart of worshipAnd it's all about YouIt's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made itWhen it's all about YouIt's all about You, Jesus

We learn to worship in various ways and through the experiences along our journey.  We go through seasons where worship is everything we think it should be, only to find ourselves in seasons where worship seems lacking.  For me, that has certainly been the case as I have moved from a particular worship environment to its polar opposite in terms of musical style and content.  I still struggle with this at times until I remember that it's not about me.  Worship is about Jesus.

"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."-- John 4:24, NIV

Lord, as I embark on this journey of discovery in 2023, I pray for a deeper understanding of worship and a more intimate relationship with the object of my worship -- Jesus.  Thank you for Your Word, the Spirit of Truth, and the privilege to even speak the name of Jesus.  How I love you, Lord.  Let my life praise You.

Copyright © 2023 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Ordinary or Extraordinary? It's Your Choice!

The last time I wrote a blog post I was enjoying a period of early retirement.  I was between jobs,  praying that God would show me what to do in that season.  I hoped that writing another book might be part of his plan but I couldn't quite seem to find the inspiration or motivation to write anything more than my daily journal entry.  My life of leisure was short-lived and I returned to the best job I've ever had, doing work that God has uniquely equipped me to do.  

Will I ever write another book?  Probably not, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Despite the fun of  book fairs and book signings, meeting fellow authors, and having a sense of accomplishment, I have found that embracing the ordinary in this season has probably been the most extraordinary journey of my life.  More than ever I believe that God's words are true:

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -- Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) 

If you feel your life is an ordinary mess, you're in good company!  Embrace your ordinary and look for God's little touches along the way.  They're there.  For me, they're in the hearty laughter of a son at the end of a stressful work day, the quiet beauty of a daughter who inspires others with her creativity, and in the heartfelt song of a spouse whose love of singing cannot be contained.  You might find God's touches in the hands of an aging parent, the shoulders of a compassionate friend, and in the stranger that bought you a cup of Starbucks on a morning when you really needed a second cup to give you courage to face another day.  

It has been said that life is what we make it.  I confess I fail miserably at making a good life most days.  I prefer to leave that job to the One who knows me best, loves me most, and has promised me a life of purpose and peace as I keep my eyes fixed on him. 

Copyright © 2022 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Still I Wonder

As I settle into my sixties and a season of "early retirement," I find myself wondering how long this season will last or whether God will call me back into the work force one last time.  After resigning from my previous job earlier this year to take care of family matters and assist with a kitchen renovation project, I began spending many hours in prayer and studying scripture to try and ascertain what God's plans for my future might look like.  I still don't have a clue.  I only know that if I am called back into the work force I want it to be in a position that He has uniquely qualified me to fill.  For now, though, I am content to be on call for whatever might arise in the course of each day, whether that be transporting a friend to an appointment or taking care of more mundane tasks around the house.

The past few months have been delightful.  I am immensely grateful for a closer walk with God and the flexibility to travel, spend time with family, and just "be there" for my husband and kids.  Being a homemaker has always been my favorite job, and retirement is something I look forward to, when the stress of being ruled by clocks and calendars becomes a thing of the past.  

The prospect of returning to past jobs has no allure for me; I'm not the same person I was when I worked in those particular positions.  Still, I can't help but feel that I am supposed to be doing more.  I trust that in His perfect timing, God will issue His call in an unmistakable way.  Time is short.  More people need to hear the Good News of salvation and experience God's love.  It is my hope that somehow He will position me in a place where I can be of service to others and a vessel of His love and light to those struggling to find their way in this dark world.

Copyright © 2021 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

So Much to Ponder

People are pondering many things these days -- why COVID is still with us, why there is so much hatred, and why there is so much violence in our land and around the world.  Recently, the Kroger store in my hometown of Collierville, TN, was the scene of a horrific mass shooting that resulted in the death of a dearly-loved member of the community and serious injuries to more than a dozen others.  The shooter took his own life as he concluded his vicious assault.  No one knows why.  We are all still numb with shock, utter disbelief, and unbearable sorrow.  Even though I no longer live there my heart is broken.  I shopped in that store for fourteen years prior to moving out-of-state, and my son worked there during high school.

Many of us follow the news these days -- perhaps a little too closely -- and wonder what could possibly happen next?  Sadly, something will come along to eclipse recent events and shake us to our core again.  I find it all a little overwhelming, don't you?  Overwhelming, but not surprising.  After all, the Bible tells us there will be days like this.  In 2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NIV), we read:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God --
The stories and images just this week have nearly overwhelmed my heart -- senseless gun violence, border agents herding immigrants and refugees like cattle, battles over a vaccine designed to help us recover from this pandemic, and devastating wildfires started by a suspected 30-year-old arsonist.  Where is the justice?  Where is the humanity and compassion that we need these days just to survive and be part of the solution rather than the problem?

Lately I have had to deliberately turn the channel and listen to something else besides the news because the news is mostly bad.  Mostly.  It has been said that if we didn't have bad news, we'd have no news at all.  We look for truth in media only to find none.  Therein lies the problem.  We are looking to the wrong source for the truth and good news we so desperately long to hear.  Perhaps it is time to turn off the TV, put down the newspaper, silence the podcasts, and reach for our Bible.  Most people own or have access to God's word, but how often do we actually read it?

In John 16:33 (ESV), Jesus gave his followers a warning and a promise which applied to those who followed him then and apply to us who follow him now:  
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."

This is not the only passage that deals with the troubles common to man, or the problems we face; there are many others.  A quick look in the concordance at the back of your copy of the Bible will reference such things as money, sin, adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, injustice, slavery, murder, poverty, and depravity -- things we read or hear about virtually everyday through print and TV news, social media, and in conversation with those around us.  

The Bible is also filled with God's promises of hope, peace, justice, forgiveness, redemption, supply, healing, restoration, and joy.  But the most exciting promise for me is that Jesus will return to our wretched world to take his followers to live eternally with him in heaven, and heaven will far surpass anything we could dream of!  In Revelation 21:3-4 (ESV), we read:

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Those of us who have confessed our sins, professed belief in Jesus, and received his free gift of salvation -- his death on the Cross in our place for our sin -- have the blessed assurance that we are forgiven, that he has indeed overcome the world, and that he will return to take us home to heaven one day.  Do you know Jesus as Savior?  If not, I pray you will open your heart to him and receive his salvation.  He loves you and wants more than anything for you to know the joy and peace a personal relationship with him will bring.

Life on earth is not going to get any better, at least not according to my Bible.  But through a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we can be assured that he will be with us in every trial we face (Isaiah 43:2), his provision will meet our every need (Philippians 4:19), and he will return some day to take us to the home he has prepared for us in heaven (John 14:1-4).  Oh, the wonder!  Just ponder it.

Copyright © 2021 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

What Next?

“Even when I am old and  gray , do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” ...