“The LORD your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” -Zephaniah 3:17


I woke up this morning and thought of the above verse.  When I rolled over and saw the glorious sun shinning through the window, I remembered a little song I heard years ago as well….

The song from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood began to play over and over in my head.  Where did that come from???  Take a look at the words:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you, 
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?
-From Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

Then I heard God say, “Every morning I make the sun come up in all of its splendor, casting its beautiful colors across the sky…the birds begin to sing My message to a lost and dying world.  I want YOU to be My neighbor…My friend…My child!”   Then He changed the words a bit and I heard…“Would you be Mine?  You CAN be Mine!  PLEASE!  Won’t you be My child?” 

It’s your choice my friend.  Softly and tenderly, Jesus is whispering your name.  He’s singing over you right now, and inviting you to be His.  Come to Him.  Call on Him!  Become a part of Heaven’s neighborhood.  You’ll never regret it!



I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day yesterday!  Our’s was a blessed time with family…some we hadn’t seen in years, and with friends.  The blessings of God are abundant in our everyday lives if we will just look for them!

I want to share a poem with you, my readers, that I wrote in November of 2009.  The following things are just a few of God’s blessings in my life.  Take inventory…I’m sure you’ll find many blessings as well!  When you recount them all…don’t forget to thank Him!


I woke up this morning, and it was Thanksgiving Day.

I wanted to give special thanks, but pondered what to say.

Then I thought of all the things God gives me every day

The things I take for granted…the “Thanks!” I never say.

See, I’m awakened everyday by a whisper in my ear;

“Wake up you sleepy head!  Wake up my child so dear!”

As I stretch and yawn in the early morning light,

I say “Good morning Father!  Thank You for the sleep last night!”

He smiles and urges me to look upon the dawn,

As He speaks to the dark of night and says,  “Go now…be gone!”

I see the sky…it’s changing as it turns from orange to gold;

Then the sun comes up and warms my face…it’s a marvel to behold!

And then, my bird, though caged he be breaks out in tones so sweet and long,

And sings his praise to One, unseen…a great and glorious song!

The cat sits in the window, his eyes to heaven raised,

And purrs his “Thanks!” to God above…that’s how he gives his praise.

I hear my husband next to me, his breathing soft and low.

He means the world to me…though I don’t often tell him so!

He’s the one I lean upon in this world of constant strife;

I’m so glad God chose me to be his helpmate, and his wife!

I check my sleeping children, still lying in their beds,

And I see faint halos glowing above their little heads.

They’re just small angels given to me, to help me through each day;

When life gets tough and things are hard, they brighten up my way!

My house, though small, is filled with love…it’s full of friends and laughter!

I thank You God, for my beautiful life, of now…and here…and happily ever after!

-Anita Mondragon 11/2009


BEFORE…and AFTER November 20, 2015

On this Thanksgiving Day…I want to thank Jesus for restoring my life! I was once ready for the trash heap…but HE cleaned me up…made me new! Thank You for dying for me Jesus! Thank you for restoring me!

The Gathering Journal

We just finished re-storing an old antique table that our kids gave us.  They know my love for re-storing old things, so instead of throwing it out, they asked if I wanted it.  I jumped at the chance, seeing the beauty and craftsmanship in the tired, weathered piece.  It was a mess when we got it!  Dust, cobwebs, spiders, veneer peeling off in spots; dry, colorless…downright ugly and ready for the trash…in most eyes, that is.  But I saw what it once was, and what it could be again with a little TLC.

Mike and I went to work on it.  We first cleaned it all up with mild soap and water…then, we began to sand it.  The old varnish that was left had to come off.  At first, we had to use very gritty sandpaper, but as we neared the end of this process, the sandpaper we used was…

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Here’s one from Lee! -anita




Every couple of years, Ligonier Ministries conducts a survey (you can see the study results at Thestateoftheology.com) to assess what the general public believes about the issues of theology. This study was conducted again this year, and, as always, there were reasons for concern as well as reasons for being encouraged as the results were analyzed.


Across the U.S., 20 per cent of the population professes evangelical beliefs—this includes key tenets of the faith such that salvation comes only from Christ’s death on the cross and that the Bible is their highest authority for truth. Yet, conversely in this study, 52 percent of professing evangelicals agreed with the statement, “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature,” which contradicts the Bible’s clear teaching that all sin and there is no one good except God [Mt 19:17 and Rom 3:23].


Other disturbing responses were these: 51 percent of the evangelicals agreed that God accepts worship of all religions, such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Further, 78 per cent agreed that Jesus is the “first and greatest being created by God.” These responses, of course, contradict biblical teaching that the only way to God is through His Son and that Jesus is God eternal, one member of the Holy Trinity.


One encouraging aspect of the study findings concerns Millennials (people age 18 to 34) who will make up a significant portion of the overall population in coming years. This sector was more biblically sound in many cases than other age ranges studied: 64 per cent of Millennials agreed that there will be a time when the Lord Jesus returns to judge every person who ever lived. Also, this same group was more pro-life than the general populace: 57 per cent agreed that abortion is a sin. Conversely, however, this group (51%) said that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today.


Relativistic thinking, so prevalent in our world, certainly can be found in the study results:Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth, according to 60% of the evangelical respondents. This flies in the face of biblical teaching; Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is the truth.


So, what do we make of these survey results? Similar to study results from years past, this study shows that the church has lots of work to do, both in the general populace as well as within the sub-group of professing evangelicals. Most people either have little knowledge of biblical truths or hold conflicting views on key topics. It’s fairly amazing that evangelicals could, on the one hand, say that we are righteous before God only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ (91%), yet hold that Jesus is the greatest being ever created by God (78%).


Biblical knowledge comes from reading the Bible, of course, but also from thinking deeply about what is read there. And, also from consulting extra-biblical resources for help in understanding difficult passages of Scripture. In our busy world, many people seemingly don’t take the time to read these words from our great God. If the God of all creation were sitting at my kitchen table and telling me how to conduct my life (both for my benefit and for His glory), I would want to be listening intently and taking notes. Reading/studying the Bible is the way to do just that

-Lee Pierce


This is primarily for us older ladies…hopefully mature in the ways of the Lord.

The older I get, the more I realize that I make snap judgments on folks when we first meet.   I think most older folks do this without knowing.  Then when it is brought to our attention, we say we are just eccentric.

I find myself doing this a lot lately.  I do it…and I must admit, I really hate this flaw I have!

The other day, my mind was “evaluating” someone in a harsh way and I heard God say, “Do you recall the verses in Titus 2:3-5?  Let Me refresh your memory….  They say, ‘… teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.’  That is what I want from you…to be a teacher…not a judge!”

That was quite a reprimand!  But yes…I had it coming!

I have lived my life and am now in my 60’s.  So why can’t I make allowances for younger folks that have no experience?  Why do I berate their actions, and make little room for forgiveness and understanding?   It’s very unfair of me to have this attitude, for when I was that age, I made the same mistakes and wanted folks to forgive me!  Yet, I can’t seem to find it in my heart to forgive them.  Lord, forgive me!

I have purposed in my heart to try to do better.  I want God to use me as a teacher…I no longer want to be a judge!

Today, God gave me an opportunity to give advice to a young person.  When we parted, she said, “I really appreciate your wisdom!”  I said with a chuckle…”No, I’m not wise…just experienced!  Your story and mine are very similar!”

Remember ladies…we are to be teachers and good examples to the younger women.  If we remember where and what we came from…we will be much kinder, and infinitely more helpful!



My great grand-daughter was in the hospital this past week with Kawasaki disease.  She had a severe rash all over her little body, swollen hands and feet..it was awful!  It was effecting her heart and liver….

But God….  He intervened!  Why?  Because there were many prayers going up to Him.  The Bible says in James 5:16, “… pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Now, I’m not trying to make it sound like those of us that prayed are perfect…but since we all have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, we ARE righteous before God Almighty.  When He hears us pray, and ask that His will be done in the name of His Son Jesus, He hears and answers for Jesus’ sake, and ours because we have trusted in His ONLY begotten Son!

Do you have an insurmountable problem?  If you KNOW Jesus as your Savior, you can make your petitions known unto God the Father, and He will hear, and answer your prayers!

Prayer works!  Try it!



Old paper files are now a thing of the past.  NOW, we put all our stuff in the cloud.

I don’t know about you…but I have an old file cabinet I need to get rid of!  ….  You know…it’s that one in the back of my mind!  I’m pretty sure everyone has one.

Mine is chock full of folders that are decades old.  They contain notes on how to get revenge…get even.  Yes…they all have names of the offenders as well.  They list all the hurts and wounds caused by these folks.  Demeaning words carelessly spoken in anger.  Abuse-both physical and verbal.  You name it…it’s there!

If hanging on to all of this ugly stuff isn’t bad enough…I tend to blame every new offender and hold them in account for past violations done to me!  I run to the cabinet and pull out all the old folders of past offenses; AND, I begin a new file with their name on it.

I drudge up all the ugly, and wallow in its dirt and mire.

Forgiveness never crosses my mind.

The room in which I harbor my file folders is too full to add one folder full of good memories.

I have wasted much of my life in this room…

Time to clean out the file cabinet!

Time to let the Holy Spirit shred the ugliness!

Time to give it to the “Cloud” (Heaven), and allow Jesus to replace it with forgiveness!



Here’s another thought provoker from Lee!  Enjoy! -anita


When was the last time you picked up your Bible and read it? Actually read it (not just skim through a passage) and then pondered what you just read and how it applies to your life?


The Bible, of course, is more than just a book; the Bible is God’s own words on virtually every topic that affects our lives! Which is what He intended in the first place. God oversaw the pens of some 40 men who wrote the Holy Scriptures. When Jesus spoke of the Apostles and their words, He said it was not them (the Apostles) speaking but “the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” [Mt 10:19-20]


I never cease to wonder that God, in His great plan for His creation, gave us His own words—His thoughts, His wisdom, His truth—to guide us in living day-to-day. Beyond sending us His own Son to live and die for us, He gave us insights into His own mind!


I came across an interesting phrase the other day: a writer (Dr. Burk Parsons) said, “When I read the Bible, it reads me….” I love to encounter unusual phrases like that which cause me to stop dead in my tracks and ask myself, “Whoa, now what does the writer mean by that?!” His point was that, when we take the time to open and read the Bible, the Holy Spirit convicts us, comforts us, humbles us, and assures us of important truths. Reading the Bible is not just a physical or mental exercise, it’s also an emotional, educational and spiritual endeavor.  Dr. Parsons also said, “Anyone who says the Bible is boring isn’t reading the Bible with a heart of faith….”


Lots of people own one or more Bibles—according to Relevant magazine, the Bible still is by far the most read book in the world with over 4 billion copies bought in the last 5 years alone. I have traveled extensively for work over the last several years. Every time I packed for a trip I felt compelled to put my Bible and study devotionals in my suitcase. I just wanted my Bible there with me, no matter where I was. But having a Bible in your possession isn’t the same as sitting down and reading it and thinking deeply about what it’s telling you.


Dr. Parson noted that people everywhere are constantly looking for a word from God. He says, “If we want a special word from God, we need only open the Bible and read it….” Think about it: the words of the Bible are not thoughts from some author like J.K. Rowling or James Michener, even as successful and widely read as both of those authors are. No, the words of Scripture are God’s words; God is speaking to you and me in the pages of the Bible. I find that wonderfully incredible. I hope you do, too!

-Lee Pierce


Take a look at this from our own, Lee Pierce!  Good one brother! -anita


Are there things you wish you had, but just can’t afford them? I’m not talking about far-fetched things. Like 10,000-square-foot houses or 120-foot yachts; I’m talking about maybe some basic things. A new dress, a newer car (to replace the one that’s falling apart), a new TV maybe… Things we wish we had.

Sometimes, when I’ve thought about something I wished I had, another thought comes to mind to put things in perspective: Most of us – even the poorer ones of us – have more than most of the people now populating earth. Further, we have more life luxuries than even the wealthiest of kings in ages past. Now, I’m pretty sure I know where – or from Whom – that thought comes. God is reminding me of how well He is providing for me and for my family! Just the other morning, as I was showering, it occurred to me to thank God for the blessing of a warm shower when there are so many people around the world who either can rarely bathe or who do so in a cold river!

My thinking was piqued the other day by a recent article in Our Daily Bread. The article topic was on our propensity for forgetting God’s faithfulness in caring for us. The example used in the article was that of the Israelites and their complaining to Moses that they were starving in the desert after leaving the abundance they enjoyed in Egypt. I guess they quickly somehow forgot how onerous was their treatment at the hands of the pharaoh and how miserable was their life as slaves!

Most of us who know a bit about the Bible know that God responded by sending manna to slake their hunger. But He also provided meat [Ex 16:12-13]. Yet the people complained [Numbers 11:4-6]. As I thought about this situation and the people’s ingratitude, I wondered how I would have responded. Would I have been so ungrateful? At least in part, I think about how awesome it would be to see God’s hand wonderfully at work day after day. Every evening there was meat, and manna for bread every single morning. And all of this was not due to the efforts of the local equivalent of the Salvation Army; rather this was God’s hand clearly at work each and every day, right there in the middle of the barren desert!

I guess my amazement comes because so seldom can we know for sure that God has done something for us. I know, of course, that many events in our lives, things we know are near impossible yet they come to pass, are born of God and we should by all means give Him the credit and the glory. But this provision for the Israelites in the desert was clearly all of God and could have come only from Him. A true no-doubter! I guess I would hope that, with that knowledge, I would have been ever so thankful and on my knees in prayer and thanksgiving every day. I hope you can say that, too! He deserves it!

-Lee Pierce


I really don’t know much…none of us do, but the only thing we need to know is that Jesus loved us so much that He died for us so that we could be with Him. That is all you need to know! Know it. Believe it! Accept it! You’ll be glad you did! -anita

The Gathering Journal

I was raised in church…went just about every Sunday since I was two weeks old.  My daddy was a Baptist preacher for over forty years.  We went to church on Wednesday nights for prayer meeting, and Thursday for visitation.  We had special events for teens, ladies, men on most Saturdays.  I spent more time in the church than I ever did at home.  IT WAS MY HOME!

I know many, many scriptures, although I don’t know their addresses (where to find them), but I can quote them verbatim.  I have hidden the Word of God in my heart, and my parents taught my brother and I the scriptures like it says to do in Deuteronomy, I believe, where it says to talk about them in the morning, and when you lie down, and when you walk in the way.  God was brought into every…EVERY situation that arose in our household.

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