I Found Something Better Than Netflix

A field of fireflies coming to life at dusk.

Waves flowing in at sunset on the sandy shore.

An immense waterfall crashing down a mountainside.

A full rainbow after a storm.

A serene lake reflecting the surrounding majestic peaks.

Rock formations so grand and intriguing they’re begging to be climbed.

Intricate trees with mazes of branches that reach for the heavens.

Sure, I enjoy a good crime drama.
And I like laughing at a well-written sitcom.
But my favorite thing to watch?

It’s streaming live, for free, 24/7 – just beyond my screen.

The God show.

Guess What I Did?

11 years ago, I released my first book.

Now it’s available under my own imprint – Nenn Pen, Ink

New and improved look!
New content!

Random Thoughts

Check out the details below…

Fear and Doubt.
Loneliness and Despair. 
Apathy and Distraction. 

Through poetry, scripture, and photography, Random Thoughts provides a glimpse into these inner conflicts and offers hope.

Anyone facing the challenges of change, growth, relationships, or career will find their hearts on these pages.

  • Poetry takes you to the heart of the turmoil.
  • Images capture the essence of the emotion.
  • Commentary and scripture provide direction.

Thoughts and emotions are acknowledged, stirred, guided, and “derandomized.”

Available now – check it out!

In Over My Head

The deep end of the pool was only 5’ 6”.

But I’m a mere 5’ 4”.

So, even on my tip-toes, my head would be underwater if I ventured into the depths.

So, I didn’t venture.

Even when my adorable nephews wanted me to. I was happy to play with them in the water – but not in the deep end.

I did what I always do when I go swimming. I stayed where I could safely touch the bottom at all times.

In case you’re wondering – yes, I can swim. And no, I’ve never had a near-drowning experience that permanently scarred me. However, I’m not a very strong swimmer. And I just don’t feel safe knowing I can’t plant my feet and stand up if I need to. 

And yet…

When those same nephews wanted to go swimming in a lake, I had no problem jumping off the dock with them. We had a blast playing on the splash pad – falling on and off, going in and out of the water. We swam around in the little cove by the lake house we rented for our family vacation. I felt confident and safe, despite the fact that the waters were probably far deeper than the pool. I couldn’t tell you just how deep, since we couldn’t see or touch the bottom.

So…why did I feel so carefree in an environment that should have been scarier? In much deeper, murkier waters, probably filled with creatures swimming next to me unseen? What made me feel so confident? So safe?

A life jacket.

Tucked around me and fastened securely, the life jacket made venturing into deep waters a breeze. I knew that no matter what we did (my nephews each had one on too), we couldn’t sink. I had no worries about needing to touch the bottom. I wasn’t stressed about keeping my head above water. I could relax and enjoy our time together, regardless of the depths around us.

My life jacket would keep me safe.

Recently, I was listening to a song that brought these memories to mind – and gave them new meaning. The song was Oceans, by Hillsong. Do you know it? Here’s a few of the lyrics:

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.

Hmm…deeper than my feet could wander. Sounds like one of those scary places where I can’t touch the bottom.

“Made stronger.” Really? Out there in the deep unknown? Could I really feel stronger? Confident? Safe?

It all comes down to the next line. “In the presence of my Savior.”

As I listened to the song, I suddenly got it: The Lord is my life jacket.

He surrounds me. Secures me. Keeps me afloat. With Him, I can swim like I did at the lake. With confidence. With joy. With a carefree spirit, knowing I’m safe in my life jacket.

Oh, how I want to apply that to every day – to every moment!

Whatever comes my way, it’s ok – I’m wearing my life jacket.

Whatever challenges I face. Whatever storms come. Whatever people say or do. 

It’s ok. I’m wearing my life jacket.

How much more free I would feel! How much more confident! If I just remember I have that life jacket on – all the time!

When relationship struggles take me in over my head – it’s ok, I’m wearing a life jacket. When work projects take me in over my head – it’s ok, I’m wearing a life jacket. When life takes me in over my head – it’s ok, I’m wearing a life jacket.

The Lord is always with me. He’s got me. He is my life jacket. 

Will waves come? Yes. Will I sometimes end up with a mouthful of nasty water? Yes. Do I need to be aware of rocks, and speed boats, and snakes in the water? Yep. Life still has challenges. Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble.” But He didn’t stop there. He continued with “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

He has also told us, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

To the full!

Jumping-off-the-pier full! Swimming-in-deep-waters-without-fear full! Facing-each-day-with-peace full!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

He gives us peace. Confidence. Security. Joy.

We just have to put on the life jacket. And then remember we have it on.

The song goes on to say:

I will call upon your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in your embrace
I am yours and you are mine

Yes. That’s what I want to do. That’s what I can do. Rest. Relax. Enjoy the swim. He’s right there with me.

Lord, help me keep my eyes on you and not the waters. Help me remember that I can rest in your embrace. I can jump boldly into whatever each day brings. I can go into life knowing I am wearing a life jacket. Knowing that you’ve got me.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
– Psalm 3:3

Got a light?

I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. My husband was standing mere inches from me, but there wasn’t even a hint of his handsome blue eyes in the darkness.

We were in Hannibal, MO – or more accurately – under it.

Inside Mark Twain Cave, we were exploring the caverns made legendary by Tom Sawyer’s adventures. This guided tour was at the top of my must-do list for the weekend, so…into the depths we went.

And that’s how we ended up in utter darkness.

Have you ever experienced a complete black-out? I don’t mean five minutes when the power goes out during a storm. I’m talking about absolute darkness. Not a shred of light. No hint of sunshine. No glow from candle or screen. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Dark.

That’s exactly what we experienced.

The guide took us through narrow passages (all well-lit), pointing out unique rock formations and famous signatures that graced the cave walls. The names included Jesse James, which, the guide claimed, proved that this cave (unlike the dozens of other cave tours that make the same claim) really was one of his infamous hideouts. Hmm…

Anyway, after about a half-mile hike through the tunnels, we arrived at a cavern. Here, our group had room to diverge from our single-file formation and spread out a bit as we listened to our guide spin a few yarns. After hearing about an eccentric mortician who used the cave to experiment with preservation techniques, she informed us we would now be plunged into blackness.

The guide gave us plenty of warning. She stood next to the main switch, waiting for each person to turn off their phones and hide them away so our modern electronics wouldn’t ruin the effect. When we were ready, with one simple flick, she took away every beam of light in the cavern.

In the darkness, she proceeded to explain what would happen if we remained in that state. Apparently, void of any light, our minds continue to search frantically to make sense of our environment. But no matter how wide our pupils get, there is absolutely no light to let in. No shapes will form. No reference points can be found. And, after about three days of this…we will go insane.

At that point, I was thankful for the phone in my pocket…just in case nothing happened when she flipped that switch back up.

But, by and by (I picked up that little phrase from Samuel Clemens himself), we were bathed in artificial light once again. LEDs and incandescents guided us through more passages, until we made our way to the cave exit and into the brightly-lit gift shop.

At the time, I enjoyed the unique (and a little disconcerting) experience. Afterwards, we moved on to the next tourist-trap activity and enjoyed the rest of our weekend getaway in Mark Twain’s home town.

It wasn’t until a couple weeks later that something hit me. I was standing in pitch black for maybe a minute. And even then, I had a light source just inches from my hand.

But…some people live in that darkness—spiritually.

Day in and day out, they are going through life without the light of the Lord.

They don’t see their need for Jesus – his love, his forgiveness, and his guidance.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Trying to make it on their own, they are stumbling around in the dark, eyes frantically searching for something to fix on. Some grasp at illusions in the darkness. Others try in vain to make their own light. And, just like the guide said each of us would do, some snap.

They are in desperate need of light – even if they don’t realize it. And it’s my job to share that light with them.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

By God’s grace, I’ve been walking in His light all my life. When I was six years old, I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and “come into my heart.” As I’ve grown, I’ve come to a better understanding of that phrase and what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. But from that moment on, He’s been my light. His spirit lives in me, so even in the deepest shadows, I have light.

Which means I don’t really know what it’s like for people who have been entrenched in darkness all their lives. To not know the warmth of God’s presence. To not have his word as a lamp for their feet and a light for their path (Psalm 119:105). To have no ray of eternal hope to pierce their darkest moments.

But the cave experience gave me a taste.

And it was heart-wrenching.

Lord, help me never forget what it was like in the darkness. Help me let my light shine.


The situation seemed hopeless.

No one could be found. No one.

No one who could do the one thing that needed to be done. The one thing that would set things in motion…that would set all things right.

So he wept.

And wept.

But then…

Someone said to him the simple but powerful words that would change everything. The good news that would dry up his tears and make him rejoice. The powerful proclamation that said it all.

“Do not weep. Behold, the Lion…”


As we approach 2022, I keep going back to this scene described in Revelation chapter 5.

All of heaven is waiting to read God’s will. To see what He has in store for the end of the ages. To see His will carried out. But no one is worthy to open the scroll. A scroll that is held tightly closed with God’s seals. And it brings John to tears.

But then…

John is reminded of a profound truth that I want to remember in the coming year, and always.

If a situation looks grim. If I feel defeated. If all hope seems lost. If I am tempted to despair.

I don’t have to weep, or worry, or wonder.

This simple reminder tells me: Don’t look at the situation. Don’t focus on the trials. Don’t fix my eyes on anything else. No matter what is going on in the world around me…

“Do not weep. Behold, the Lion.”

The quote continues, describing Jesus further. But these first six words form a phrase that has pierced my heart. It’s this simple instruction that I want to keep in my mind in every moment.

When I feel like weeping, I can look to the Lion…for answers…for comfort…for encouragement…for hope.

The Lion, who has triumphed. The Lion, who is worthy. The Lion, who takes away the sin of the world. The Lion, who loves me. The Lion, who is always with me.

I can always look to the Lion. He has everything I need. He is everything I need.

He’s right there.

He’s right here.

I just need to behold Him.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Lord, as I enter a new year, I don’t know what’s in store. But you do. Please keep my gaze fixed firmly on you.

“Behold, the Lion.”

Holly or Holy?

I originally posted this Christmas 2011. I shared it again in 2014, but I thought I needed another reminder, so I am reposting it again this year.
Thanks for visiting me at NennPen. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!

This season, will I…

be surrounded by presents
or be surrounded by His presence?

have childlike wonder at the magic of Christmas
or wonder at the child – the meaning of Christmas?

watch a Christmas movie
or watch Christmas move me?

see snow fall
or His kingdom reign?

take my wishes to Father Christmas
or my prayers to the Heavenly Father?

sit by the crackling fire
or have a Holy Fire within me?

shop ’til I drop
or drop everything for Him?

enjoy a sleigh ride
or remember Jesus slain?

sing Christmas carols at people
or actually care for people?

have a piece of pie, good desserts
or know peace on earth, good will to men?

sit in awe of the Christmas tree
or stand in awe of Calvary’s tree?

wish all a Merry Christmas
or think of Mary’s Christmas?

hang beautiful lights,
or see the light of the world?

manage my time
or spend time at the manger?

attach a bow
or bow my knee?

Such an amazing gift,
this season, this reason.

This Christmas, Lord,
may I be wrapped up in you.


I’m excited to announce the release of my first children’s book! I hope you – and the little ones in your life – enjoy it. I pray it brings you lots of grins, and giggles, and good times together!

Here’s the scoop:

There’s a T-Rex in my closet, and I don’t know what to do!
There’s a T-Rex in my closet…maybe one, or two!

And…the child’s imagination is off and running. What’s that T-Rex doing in there? And just how many dinosaurs might be hiding behind that door? Will you be brave enough to open it up and see?

  • Great read-aloud and read-along for ages 3-7.
  • Engaging story encourages counting.
  • Child-friendly font helps little ones learn to read.
  • Fun, colorful illustrations for smiles and giggles.

Is there a T-Rex in your closet?

Find out here!


It’s not easy. When you step off the playground, out of the classroom, and into the world of career and family, friendships are harder to define, develop, and maintain. What do healthy adult friendships look like? How can you be a better friend? And is it possible for imperfect friendships to glorify God?

These are the questions that boggled my mind and burdened my heart. And when I went to God with them, He gave me answers. He used the friendships in my life and truths from His word to teach me a lot about this complex topic of friendship. Now I’m sharing the results of those lessons with you! I pray that it will bless you as you navigate the relationships in your life. These pages are filled with laughter, tears, jealousy, betrayal, joy, loss, hope – and everything else that goes along with this topic.

You’ll find answers to tough questions and insights to guide you on the winding road of friendship. Scripture, testimonies, and practical applications help you discover how to establish and maintain biblical friendships and how they can bring glory to God.

  • Learn what the Bible says about friendship
  • Discover how to be a better friend
  • Learn how to glorify God in friendships
  • Discover how to be a friend of God

Special features:

Friendship Quiz “Which Bible Friend Are You?” – Are you a Jonathan? A Ruth? Take the assessment to find out which biblical friend you most resemble and how this affects your relationships.

Chew & Do – Dig into a different aspect of friendship with each chapter, then use the Chew & Do sections for personal reflection, discussion, and immediate life application.

Small Group or individual study – 13 brief chapters are ideal for a quarter-long study for women’s, men’s or mixed adult groups.

What is biblical friendship?

Discover the answer.


Didn’t make it to the well today.
Too much to do.
Busy, busy. Later, yes, later.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Feeling thirsty,
but don’t have the time.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Supplies running low.
Maybe tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Don’t think I need to.
Probably I don’t need to.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Throat is dry, but I’m ok.
Don’t want to make the time.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But I’m well supplied
With other things.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Unsatisfied, feeling dry.
Dehydration taking hold.
Did you make it to the well today?
Loved ones start to ask.
No. Not needed. I am fine.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Now I’m wondering why.
Body aching with longing.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Feeling parched and empty.
Oh but for a sip, but no.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
The drought in me goes on.
My heart a desert land.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
I am afraid I’ll never go.
Do I remember the way?
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But how I long for just a drink.
Brittle bones, cracked skin.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Not sure I could make the journey.
Too far. I’m too far.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Is there hope left for me?
So dried out and weak.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But now I know I must go
To satisfy this thirst.
Trying to make it to the well today.
But, too feeble. Too frail.
Can’t make it to the well today.
Through cracked, parched lips, I cry
“Lord, have mercy on this dry and weary soul!”
And it begins to rain.

 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water
welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14


My husband called from the other room, “Look out back! There’s a rainbow!”

Since I enjoy rainbow sightings immensely, I rushed to the window.

Here’s what I saw:

It was beautiful, so I stepped outside to get a better look. And I’m so glad I did!

What a blessing from God to walk into my yard at just the right time to catch a glimpse of this:

I had the perfect view of a full rainbow painted right over my neighborhood.

I texted my neighbors to let them know their house was “somewhere under the rainbow.”

It was glorious!

Thank you God, for that moment. Not only was the rainbow beautiful, but it reminded me of how beautiful God’s promises are.

The rainbow itself is one of his promises:

I have set my rainbow in the clouds,

and it will be the sign of the covenant

between me and the earth. 

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth

and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 

I will remember my covenant between me and you

and all living creatures of every kind.

Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds,

I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant

between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Genesis 9:13-16

And gazing at the rainbow’s array of colors made me think of many other beautiful promises of God:

Red: Jesus’ blood, spilled for us – the promise that we can be forgiven and washed clean

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

Orange: The sun – the promise to be our light

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Yellow: The flowers of the field – the promise that God will meet our needs

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:28-33

Green: Growth – the promise to flourish

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

    whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

    that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

    its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blue: Water – the promise to quench our thirst with living water

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14

Indigo: Royalty – the promise of the King to adopt us into his family

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

Violet: The King – the promise to return and reign forever

 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 11:15