Deep Inside by Patti Corbello Archer

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Daydream. Imagine. Encourage. Hope. FAITH.

Years ago I learned what touched the core of me. You know – the place that only you have access to on the inside of you; that place where truth and reality take what is and creates what could be, in me, and if you let it, in you.

I was in my mid 30’s before I found that place.

I was in my 40’s before I opened it up…even to Jesus.

That was when He showed me how to create something inspiring out of tears. Or create maybe even from that place that is beyond tears. It reminds me of an archeologist. They know the facts and dig for what is hidden. One piece at a time. It reminds me of an explorer. They don’t want to just read about life but desire to seek beyond the horizon for what is yet unseen by their eyes.

Sitting in the swing outside this morning, my thoughts recall asking Jesus years ago how he could ever use the broken places in me to be of any value at all in the big scheme of things. Then he gave me the most wonderful answer of all. He said, “I will use the broken places in your life to create a stained glass masterpiece…and I will be the light that shines through.” I never thought that anything broken could be beautiful till then.

Therefore, I have learned to love digging for what is hidden, and seeking for what is unseen among the discarded things in my soul. Like an artist, once found, they become tools for creating messages that are meant to touch you and me.

To daydream is to dance in the wonder of hope.

To imagine is to let encouragement teach escape with love.

To have faith is to know that Jesus journeys with me…and you.

I imagine sometimes Him holding me close while I listen to his heartbeat. No requests, no petitions, just listening to the music of his heart as he breathes. Some people may not think of that.

To me, Faith is knowing that He loves me…loving Him.

Patti Corbello Archer
March 2, 2014

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What’s on your key ring? by Patti Corbello Archer

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Keeping tract of victim memories keeps you locked up with them. The only real freedom a victim has… after they heal, is to forgive and throw away the key. If you keep each hurt, so-to-say each key on your key ring, it is because you intend to open that door of remembrance again. Get rid of it in Jesus’ name. Only the devil calls you there.

Patti Corbello Archer
2/9/14

Moonlight Magic by Patti Corbello Archer

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Dusk tonight was so tranquil I thought as I drove south. There was not a lot of traffic to disturb my view. The sun was no longer visible but left a fantail of purple, pink and blue in its wake above the countryside. It was such a brief glimpse of God’s palette of color. Then I saw it, one single star hanging in the sky. It had been so long since I had taken the time to pause and watch the night arrive. My mind began to recall a saying from childhood, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight – I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.” I couldn’t help but smile. I was about to get my wish.

I had a love song playing on the radio and began to hum along. I tilted down the review mirror to check my makeup before the light totally faded to black. After a quick pinch to my cheek I went back to driving. I had an appointment tonight – an appointment that was long overdue. Living this thing we call life is busy. It is also filled with lots of interruptions that all too easily keep us from the truly valuable things that we should set aside for more heart time.

Well, tonight was my date night and I was determined not to be late. He picked the place. I picked the time. I was so excited to get ready for him. It is too easy in a relationship to forget the spark and take advantage of the love. My heart was beating in tempo to the music and I have to admit I was a bit nervous even though I was confident of his love.

We had an intense talk today so I know the passionate message that will be in his eyes when he sees me. I know what he believes and what he wants. He knows everything about me – truly. There are no secrets between us.

In fact, tonight I am wearing one of his favorite colors – shimmering indigo blue. My dress has one-shoulder and is made of the softest linen I could find. Seven layers of ruffles flutter all the way down the skirt till finally it wisps about the top of my bare feet. My sandals are on the floorboard in the backseat, but if I know him, and I do, then I won’t need those shoes.

I left my hair soft, not filled with lots of spray and gels and my makeup is…just for him. My lips are red, my cheeks are pink, my eyes are lined and my perfume is one that he always inhales. Isn’t that the beauty of love? Doing the personal things that say, “I love you” without the words?

Life has taught me many things. Many of those things I love. And the ones I didn’t left their scars. But I have to say that nights like these, make those scars matter less and less. Every time we meet, he teaches me how to love deeper. He dares me to take wild steps with my eyes closed. He is the one that talks love in more ways than I can even imagine. I respond to him. I fly with him. He is the one that makes me feel beautiful. He is the one that makes me feel loved. No other man has ever made me believe it.

I heard my phone sound a text message. I picked it up and saw, “I am watching for you.” My heart jumped. I saw the beach ahead and pulled off the road onto the sand and parked. I picked up my phone and text’d back, “I am here.”

I got out of my Jeep and stood in the sand, feeling the magic. I shut the door and saw him waiting for me by the water. The ocean waves were making the richest musical sound. The wind twirled my skirt. I began to walk towards him. The only light was the moonlight. No one else was on the beach. I saw his long shirt and pants being pulled by the wind. I saw his bare feet just inches from the water. His cologne reached me and I closed my eyes, loving his scent. I watched his breath inhale deeply as my perfume reached him. He ran his hand through his hair and smiled. He reached me first and spun me around. We laughed together.

Holding hands we walked along the beach loving the time together. We talked about what was on his mind. We talked about what was on mine. We sat in the sand. We walked in the waters edge. We laughed. We shared. After awhile, he stopped and faced me. His right hand took mine and slowly he twirled me around. I melted at the look of love burning in his eyes. He saw my response and said, “May I have this dance?” I stepped forward and leaned my cheek on his chest. I said, “Yes, Jesus, yes.” And he led me to his dance floor.

*****

Each person’s relationship with the Lord is different. I constantly need his presence to remind me to let him lead. Many things cause us to hold tight to our perception and direction in life. But I keep reminding myself that only when my eyes are closed and he is leading will I go on the right journeys.

Jesus is the best dancer, ever.

Patti Corbello Archer
July 20, 2013

Let’s go Ziplining! by Patti Corbello Archer

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Checklist:
Helmet – check
Harness – check
Double harness – check
Gloves – check
10,000 lb cable – check
Trust in Jesus – check
Sense of humor – check

At almost 55 years old it amazes me that I would be willing to Zipline. Now it doesn’t mean that I would zipline over something that scares me, like say, a cave of bats, a million bees, a volcano, a forest fire, or Indiana Jones’ cave of snakes; but I would love to zipline over something amazing and gorgeous.

My life has been a series of ziplining anyway. While it may not have been on an actual cable, it has been adventure and risk nonetheless. I look at some people I know and their lives seem to have been such a steady, even keel pattern; i.e., same spouse, same friends, same haircut, same house, same job, same church, and same routines. It doesn’t mean life doesn’t throw them a curve with money, health, or age, but in general, yesterday’s face will be recognizable in tomorrow’s face for many of them.

I can’t say that for me in a kazillion ways. While my joy and grateful heart in “steady” is in the face of my son, his growing family, my family, and my God, there has been a whole lot of change, adventure, hardship and kaleidoscope seasons for me as a woman.

I think that I have been every physical size known to females – except a few. And some of them I forbid to release under the fluorescent light of a dressing room lol. I have had various colored hair and actually auburn is my favorite – but age seems to prefer silver. I have woken up to 2 different faces as husbands and the thought of a 3rd gives me a real eccentric sense of humor.

I have been Church of God, Catholic, Baptist, and Non-denominational with a strong seasoning of Pentecostal. I am really glad that I have now received just Jesus’ definition of faith.

My favorite food is everything from drive thru, to leftovers, to sandwiches, to fried, and to healthy food. I will eat it all – hungry or not. I reject that spirit of appetite!

Working through the years has been a conglomeration of developed skills. I have handled money, prescriptions, hospital patients, insurance clients, angry vehicle customers, the sick, the grieving and the hurt in ministry, as well as emergency calls as a deputy in dispatch and the inventory and policy police in my current position. Through it all I have handled the phone, the phone and the phone lol.

I don’t like to gamble with money but I guess that doesn’t mean I don’t mind gambling with my health since I have standing appointments in all fast food drive-thru’s. I have more dates with my doctor now but I am about to change that! I don’t trust men easily. I guess with rape, divorce 1, divorce 2, pastoral abuse, and social media make believe relationships, that is certainly understandable. I guess when I get out of the shower and stand looking in the bathroom mirror I should just continue to be grateful that I still retain treasure troves full of love, faith, a sense of humor and an ability to begin new seasons.

I miss wearing good looking tight jeans, high heels, never tiring energy and having a man hold me in his arms and dance… but I love my time to write, my journeys with Jesus in inspirational creativity, holidays and watching my granddaughter grab the world with everything she has got.

I might not have experienced everything wonderful but I have experienced life. And it isn’t over…it is just a new season…
…….

Jesus helps me buckle into the zipline harness and puts my helmet on me. I pull my gloves up and laugh. I ask Him if He is sure the cable is strong enough to hold me. He yanks my hair sticking out from under my helmet and says, “Come on, I’ll beat you to the other side!” A Rocky Mountain valley and 3 lakes litter the ground below us as we took off.

Wheeeeee!

Patti Corbello Archer
June 1, 2013

Reflections…with Love

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Like you, I can’t help but embrace this season as a time of reflection of where I have been this year, but more importantly, where I will be going.  This has been a kaleidoscope type of year.  It has been a mixture of tears, laughter, victory, challenges, illness, healing and basically redefining much of what my life consisted of for a long time.  Wow.  I have…

So many blessings. 

So many opportunities. 

So much family.

So much love. 

And so much Jesus.

I am so excited.  Can you tell?  I don’t have to redo yesterday and tomorrow is still being created uniquely for me.  It is like watching 2012 fly away like sand in the breeze but yet, instead of seeing what is gone I see the treasure than remains.  That’s it!  It has been a treasure hunt of a year!

Just like the precious stones in the foundation that Jesus promises in the new Jerusalem to come, are the jewels in the days ahead – for me – and you.  Let’s whisper to Jesus.  Ask Him what He has for us.  Plan for new always – but be sure to keep care of our current valuables.  Remember His word….be faithful over a few things and He will make you ruler over much.   Matthew 15:21

Glory Hallelujah!  Increase!!  That reminds me.  I want to increase my knowledge.  You know, read books about things I don’t know for one thing.  I just checked out a knitting book at the library.  Yep.  I am going to learn how to knit so that I can create beautiful gifts and keep my hands occupied.  Let’s face it.  If I am holding a knitting needle I can’t hold snacks!  Smile.  I feel called to fast.  Not because of the flesh but just because of what God has put on my heart as spiritual intercession for others.  See, there are many ways to love on others and that makes me very happy.

Take me on a love journey this year, Jesus.  Wow me.  Wow all of us. 

In Jesus’ name,

Patti Corbello Archer

December 31, 2012

Tracks for a Miracle

 Jeremy jumped from the slow moving freight train and landed with both feet flat on the ground just on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas.  As he stood up and straightened his clothes the trains whistle seemed to echo goodbye in the cold night air.  He watched the railcars head off into the darkness and kind of gave’em a little salute as if to say, “Thanks for the ride!”  He pulled his tattered army jacket together and saw that he had lost the last two buttons that held it together.  He groaned against the wind.  He knew he still had a good long walk ahead of him.  He yanked his knit cap down over his ears.  It used to be a plaid cap but was now just an ugly one.  But, truth to tell, he could care less what it looked like – he had learned long ago not to focus on those things that didn’t help with survival.  When you lose so many valuable things, where do looks matter in the scheme of things?  He did have to say that he missed his long reddish brown hair that had kept his neck warm these past winters.  A buddy offered to cut his hair for him just before he left the last homeless shelter.  At the time it seemed important to make that small concession toward conventionality… considering his journey.

Shivering again, Jeremy flipped the collar of his coat up and glanced toward town.  His eyelids hid very, very tired green eyes.  It had taken him four days to cross two states as he searched for rides in empty railcars on trains bound for Texas. There were a lot of people like him on the tracks these days.  Some chatted along the way but most didn’t have much to say because they were lost somewhere between their past and their present…homeless because of a myriad of reasons.  Hobos.  He still found it hard to think of himself as a hobo.  At 33 years old? 

Lost in thought he headed to the south side of town.  Hunched against the cold wind he walked down the alleys instead of the main roads so no one would even notice him.  He was used to preconceived notions about the homeless and tried to make himself invisible.  Shaken by a dog that snarled at him through a rod iron fence, he took a deep breath and switched to the other side of the alley.  Tonight was Christmas Eve and what a journey into irony it was.  He had spent 11 years trying to forget who he was and what had happened and yet was drawn back here, tonight.  He reached the third block into the neighborhood and stopped.  The road sign was covered with ice and he couldn’t read it – but it didn’t matter.  He knew the name of the street as well as his own.  Well, it was his actually.   Gallagher Lane. The last time that he was on this street it had been Christmas Eve. That was the night that he ran away.  That was the night that he had killed Jessie, his twin brother.  Jeremy got lost in the pain as he remembered.

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It had been a holiday accident.   They had been 22 years old and had moved back home from Texas A&M.  They had just graduated and had plans to open a business together by summer.  Jeremy was an Architect and Jessie was a Civil Engineer.  Their dad was a successful attorney and planned to give them their start in business.  They came from a large Irish family that had immigrated in the late 1800’s.  Everyone always got together on Christmas Eve – well, for as long as he could remember.  And the twins as they were called – had been responsible for the fireworks display since they were teenagers. Using their creativity that year they worked unceasingly on an elaborate lighted musical Christmas carousel in honor of their four younger sisters.

 It was meant to be the best of the best.  But it was the worst of the worst.  Jessie must not have noticed the ice that melted right under the electrical extension cord that he plugged in.  Jeremy was the one that found his brother lying on the ground not breathing after all the fireworks had ended. He didn’t remember screaming but he must have.  All he remembered was the look on his mom and dad’s faces as they shoved him out of the way to get to Jessie.  Jeremy had sent Jess to plug it in. Something inside Jeremy snapped and he ran…

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And here he was.  He had been on the run all these years.  No phone calls.  No letters.  No FaceBook or Twitter.  He had never tried to reach them.  He worked construction jobs that didn’t require identification or at homeless shelters across the country so that he could eat.  Of course, he knew that he couldn’t outrun the pain – he just knew that he had to try.   It always followed him and met up with him when he would see brothers together or the unmistakable sound of a carousel.  He never forgot and he never got away from it.  The guilt and sorrow literally ate at him every single day chiseling him into the very strong, reflective and quiet man that he was today.

 

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But a couple of months ago he had stayed and worked at a new homeless shelter in Colorado.  A preacher there showed interest in him.  After a few weeks the preacher began to call on him to help design and build additions to the shelter because of the winter cold on the way.  They became friends.  Then the preacher was in the right place at the right time and Jeremy told him his story.  That’s when the preacher introduced Jeremy to Jesus.  It seemed like he cried for days. Eleven years was a long time to hide from the truth.  Eleven years was a long time to lose yourself because you caused the loss of your brother.  After the tears, hope seemed to rise in the days ahead.

Two weeks passed and early one dawn he went into the kitchen for coffee duty and the preacher was waiting for him.  He said, “Jeremy, do you realize that Christmas is just five days away?”   Jeremy said, “Yes, Preacher – sure.  Why?  Do you need me to do something before then?”  The preacher said, “Actually, Jeremy, I do need you to do something …but not for me.”    

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I need you to take a trip.  There is a family that has been waiting a very long time for something and Jesus has impressed upon my heart that He wants you to go and bring it to them.  Will you do that for me?”

Jeremy said, “Sure, preacher, I don’t mind at all. Traveling is all I do.  Where am I going?”

“Home,” the preacher said.  “Jeremy, Jesus said it is time for you to go home.  He has something He needs you to deliver this.”  He opened his hand to reveal the pocket watch.

“Go home?  Go home?”  It echoed in Jeremy’s mind.  It even seemed hard to say the word.  Choked up, he couldn’t say anything but look at the preacher in shock.  After a few minutes of silence Jeremy turned and began making the coffee.  All the men would be up soon.  Jeremy heard the preacher pull out a chair and sit down.    He fixed them both a cup of coffee and he sat down too.   The preacher had laid the pocket watch in the middle of the table.  It was quiet in the room. 

Before long the men began coming in for their coffee so they could get their chores done.  No one stayed at the shelter without giving back.  That was the rule.    One of older guys said, “Hey, an old pocket watch! Whose is it?”  After a brief pause, Jeremy picked it up and said, “It’s a gift that I am delivering to someone.  I leave in the morning.”   All the guys started telling him not to leave. The preacher smiled.

It was a simple goodbye when he brought Jeremy to the train tracks the next morning.  The preacher wanted to pay his way home on a bus but Jeremy insisted on going back the same humble way he ran away from home.  He needed time to think… and pray.  He pulled his train hopping clothes out and turned to face his past.

 

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It seemed a long walk down Gallagher Lane but Jeremy knew that  the man he was now was much stronger than the boy he was when he ran away.  Time and Jesus had made this journey possible.  He didn’t know what he would face when that door opened, but he knew that he didn’t face it alone.  He cupped his hand around the pocket watch in his pocket and stopped.  He turned and faced the home that he ran from 11 years ago and started up the walkway.  He wondered if they would receive the man he was now in place of the young man that had left.

 The house was all lit up for Christmas and it hadn’t changed that much.  There were a lot of vehicles in the driveway that he knew had to belong to all the voices he heard laughing on the inside.  His heart pounded as hard as the watch ticked against his palm.  It was time.  He knocked on the door.

Several people hollered “Come in!” and “Merry Christmas!” simultaneously but he froze and couldn’t open the door.  He swallowed hard and the door knob turned and began to open.  A little red headed  girl with green eyes  about five years old opened the door and said with her hand on her hip, “Come on in…who are you?  I am Holly and I am the hostess tonight.”  

Jeremy wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.  She looked just like him and his brother Jessie when they were little!  Oh my, he thought!  No telling how many times his four sisters had made him an uncle!  This must be his nieces and nephews running all over.  Jeremy said, “Is your grandmother….” and the door opened and his mother stood there. She looked older and wiser…and for a moment, speechless.  She started to say something then she stopped…tried to talk and then just screamed and grabbed him.

It took about five minutes for the commotion to reach everyone in the house.  Jeremy and his mom just cried and held each other as the crowd gathered.  No one else even knew who he was.   Finally, his mother stepped back to look at him and said, “Jeremy…I never stopped looking for you.”  At her words, the sisters finally realized who he was and they started crying and hugging too.  Then all the kids got scared and began to cry.  He heard his dad’s voice before he saw him.   His dad rounded the corner of the den and froze in his tracks.  He saw the smile he knew in the face he didn’t and grabbed me. 

You never know what going home will be like.  You never know if your fears will be your future.  But I learned with Jesus that night that going home with Jesus is a miracle like no other.   As my Mom and Dad hung onto me my Dad suddenly bellowed, “Jessie!  Get in here!”   I thought my Dad had gone crazy but suddenly I could hear something creaking and looked up to see a Jessie I didn’t know round the corner.  He was fussing about always being left for last when he rounded the corner in a wheelchair.  Gone was the young boy man….and a fine looking man was in his place.  Time stood absolutely still as Jessie and I looked at each other.  Did I tell you that we were identical twins?  Everyone just watched us as I stumbled toward him as he worked to stand up to reach me.   There wasn’t a dry eye left anywhere.

Finally, Jessie sank back down into the wheelchair and I sank on my knees before him.  We were both trying to explain.  And then we laughed.  What a glorious feeling it was to laugh with my brother and my family again.   I don’t know how this glorious gift of tonight was mine.  Then I remembered Jesus and the pocket watch.   I said, “Wait Jessie!” and he looked up as I held out the pocket watch to him.  He held it in his hand and I said, “I am here because Jesus sent me to bring it to you.  He said that it was time for me to go home.  This gift is yours.”   Jessie smiled the biggest smile that I had ever seen and said, “He always told me that He would bring you home.”

And everyone began to talk at once. 

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 A few months later, spring blossomed in the Colorado mountain side.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning and a preacher was outside the homeless shelter drinking coffee on the front porch.  He enjoyed the peaceful morning.  Then he noticed a shiny black Chevy duly towing a construction trailer round the corner of the cliff road and pull down the driveway.  It turned and parked across the front yard.  Preacher stood up to greet them and saw a Texas license plate.   About that time the truck doors opened and two red headed men got out and turned to face him.    It was Jeremy!  Two Jeremy’s!  The preacher jumped straight off the porch and shouted, “Hallelujah Jesus!”

And everyone began to talk at once.

 Merry Christmas from Patti Corbello Archer

May the glory of Jesus light your holidays.

 2012

Testimony….Dig Deep

 

I was at a funeral on April 18, 2012.  Mine.  I was outside kneeling under the live oak tree branches digging a hole into the ground because I had a plan to die.  Let me explain.  You see, several years ago my best friend went to Israel and all I asked her to bring me back from the Holy Land was a handful of the land.  Dirt.  Does that surprise you?  To ME that dirt was priceless. You recall the land that God gave the Israelites…that family that we are adopted into? You know the land where Jesus walked?  Or, the dusty land that was wiped from His feet when Mary cried over His feet?  Or maybe, you will think of His blood dripping on the land at the foot of the cross as He cried out to the Father.  Yes, that dirt, that land…and the reason for another funeral over 2,000 years ago.

Well, on April 18 that land from Israel sat in a small glass container on the side of my bible on the ground.  Through the years I had carried that container from one apartment to another, then to a home that I bought.  I then carried it from the sale of my home to another apartment so I would be closer to my son and his family.  And then I carried it from my apartment to here under the live oak tree branches where I live now.  My son would see my container of dirt every once in a while and say, “Mom, what in the world are you doing with that dirt? “ And we would laugh. 

You see, I didn’t know during all those years what I would do with it.  But I knew that one day I would know.  Like on April 18.  Then I knew.  It was time for a burial.  Just like Jesus, I had to die to what I knew and saw to become what was ahead of me.  There was a price for my future. Now, did it have to be a literal ceremony?  Maybe not, but to me it did.  To me I had to make my spiritual journey touch my flesh one in an unforgettable way.

I needed reminders because my life has had journeys where I not just laughed, cheered and grew – but also where I bled, cried and died deep inside – with scars that left limitations emotionally.  But one day at the foot of the cross I learned that He wanted to exchange all that for a new life.  I then literally watched myself bloom from a fleshly view of living this thing called life to be able to dance the spiritual dance with my Jesus…in my heart, as well as my body.  But even still life revealed new wounds that left scars, provision wars as well as health skirmishes and struggles to find the new definition of me.  You see, I never doubted who He was.  The doubt after the dust settled was who I saw in the mirror.

To that end, God drew me back to a place where one life ends and another begins…with Him anew.  So, I dug that hole and on my physical knees laid my wounded and scared spiritual heart and soul inside.  Then I poured that dirt that He bled on 2,000 years ago…and buried me, again.  Tears dropped onto the dirt but I remembered that His Word said He keeps all my tears anyway.  My funeral ended and I collected my shovel and brushed the dirt off my bible. 

From that moment on I began to look forward to His completed plan for me…not just the one that I had experienced so far.  I say all that to say this, “Have hope my brothers and sisters in Christ, because the new will come.”  Day by day, I have watched the new life and blooms arise from what I buried that day.  Who said that we have to have only one life on this earth.  God’s word says that with Him we can have as many as we are willing to die for.  Once we get to that point, He’s got us covered…literally.

That is called a creative miracle, and our destinies are a perfect place to reveal it.  Otherwise, how do we get there?

Blessings always,

Patti Corbello Archer

July 1, 2012