Showing posts from 2013


  Listen! I am coming soon! I will bring my reward with me. And I will repay each one of you for what you have done. Revelation 22:12 A week ago it was Christmas Eve. Having many little ones in our family I am well aware of how anxiously they awaited the big day, Christmas. As an adult watching the little ones you always hope the event will live up to the hype and anticipation. A few weeks ago my husband and I went on a trip to Tennessee to celebrate a special anniversary. That trip far exceeded my expectations and hopes. But, you never know. When we wait and wait for something, Christmas, a birthday, a vacation there’s always a chance that it will disappoint. Some people live their entire lives waiting. When I get married. When I graduate. When I get the better job, the new car, the driver’s license etc. It’s all going to change when the_____?_______ happens.   Sometimes it does. Some of those things are turning points in our lives and things do change. Even then the ch

Love Trumps Dirt

  When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought   an alabaster jar of perfume and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”   Luke 7:37-39 In reading an incredibly well written explanation of grace, I came across this passage as an example. It certainly speaks to grace and the author made excellent points. I was however, distracted by an entirely different image. My mind’s eye immediately saw images of the Chilean miners emerging from their underground nightmare. It wasn’t the over the top mercy and love of God evidenced in that rescue that caught my attention either; it’s the simple filth of the whol

The Cry of Jesus

  Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2:11-12   Yesterday I had the privilege and blessing of spending the day with five of my eleven grandchildren. The two youngest ones were part of the group. Abram is just short of nine months old and Harper is six months old. Neither of them is talking but both of them are great little communicators. Abram has eyes that speak volumes, even in pictures. His moods and opinions are pretty clear if you can see those big beautiful eyes. Harper uses her whole face but it’s her mouth, they way she opens or purses her lips that give her away. Both of them have a certain head tilt that is equally adorable and telling. They let you know their opinions, wants and needs with facial expressions and noises, not words. Joey, who at nine years old is our oldest grandchild, spent the night with us. Wh

Seeing or Believing

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 It is Advent or what is referred to in the secular world as “the Christmas season.”   During this season I love to watch old movies. My favorites are mostly the ones in black and white but my husband and grandchildren make other requests. One of their favorite movies includes the line, “seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.” It’s corny, incredibly, ridiculously corny in a way that is only tolerable in the red, gold and green of the season but in its own corny way there is a certain profundity.   Think about it, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.” Does it strike a familiar chord? Remember Thomas? He’s the disciple that had to see and feel Jesus’ wounds to believe that Jesus had in fact, risen from the dead. (John 20: 24-28) He was an, I’ll believe it when I see it, kind of guy. Hebrews 11 is the faith Hall of Fame. In it are listed people who believe in impossible c

Before You Were Born

  The Lord appeared to us in the past saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3   Today we will celebrate our youngest son’s thirtieth birthday.   It is hard for me to believe that he is thirty. In my mind he’s still four, pretending to be an old man, with his baby sister at his side pretending to be his wife. As we’ve planned and cooked and created surprises for today I’ve gone back in time. I remember being pregnant, delivering him, the news that he was a boy, a very big boy. So it was quite fitting today that my first devotional reading of the morning included these words, “Before you were born I knew you.” It made think of Jeffrey. Due to his size, 9 pounds, 22 inches, Jeffrey made his presence very much known to me in the months that we resided literally together. I joked about his very active behavior when he began to roll, kick and poke but those jokes changed to a feeling of concern when the movements slo

Always Protected

  He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4   Growing up I was a very timid child. For reasons that aren’t worth discussing I was quite fearful and had no real comfort zone. Still I felt worse when I was away from home. My mother was a big woman, prone to wearing dresses and skirts, most of which were bell shaped or flowy. I loved those skirts! They were my haven. Whenever I was totally intimidated, read that as most of the time, I would stand as close to my mother as possible and pull the material of her skirt in front of me. This morning while praying, I was blessed with the image of God’s giant hand holding the enemy back, off, away from me. As I prayed in thanksgiving I said. “I love it behind the shelter of your huge hand.” That reminded me of the skirts. Note it was not my mother’s presence that gave me comfort. She was not a comforting person, because, God bless her,

Not So Hidden Treasure

  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. James 1:17   Earlier today I read a message about how God goes before us in life, planting little bits of joy, little treasures for us to find. That reminded me of my husband and my grandchildren, not for the obvious reason. My husband makes jewelry, beautiful jewelry created with precious and semi-precious gemstones. The stones he uses aren’t purchased. They are found. What he does purchase is dirt, dirt that he then sifts through to find the gems. The first time he did it at home our grandson Joey helped him. Joey was about four at that the time and would often miss something that was actually valuable. Pop-Pop patiently showed Joey how to slow down and consider each rock. Soon Joey was finding all kinds of things. Last night our grandson Samuel was showing me all the wonderful riches he’d found while going through a buc


While Peter was still speaking these words the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. Acts 10:44   Years ago while leading a Bible study with my husband, I became involved in a very animated conversation about loving our neighbor.   There were both men and women in the group and most of the people agreed that it is easy to love our neighbor when that neighbor is a bit removed from us. It seemed that the closer a person was in either proximity or relationship, the harder it was to love them.   At the time I agreed with that opinion. This morning, reading this piece of Scripture I realized that in some ways my view has shifted. In my very close circle of family and friends, there are several who are just breaking my heart. They are aware of this and continue to do it with no regard for my feelings and yet, I have no trouble l

Don’t Get “Hitch”ed

  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 Recently I had a conversation with friends about getting real with God. Many of us, I would dare to say most of us, want to put our best face on for God. We want to put our best foot forward, totally ignoring the fact that He has seen ever slip and fall we’ve ever taken. The saddest part is that the face we want God to see is often not our own face. We want to be like that person we see as “having it all together.” Big mistake!   Our Father knows us, inside, outside, upside down, while He certainly invites us to grow, to become more like Him, He loves us just as we are. After thinking about that a bit I was reminded of a movie I really like. It’s called “Hitch.” I’ve seen it a couple of times and have a few favorite scenes. The one that comes to mind most often is the dance lesson scene. If you’ve seen the movie you know exactly what I mean and my guess

Always Invited

Always Invited “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned that king has but one law; that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend his royal scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” Esther 4:11 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16   The book of Esther is an amazing story of faith and courage. It is also a beautiful illustration of God’s love and protection for His people. Esther is chosen out of a large group of girls to be a replacement queen. She replaces a woman named Vashti who was foolish enough to defy her husband the king. Esther is well aware of how the king treats the people who don’t do exactly as he says. Still, her people, the Jews, are in deep tr

Where’s Waldo

  Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 Have you seen those “Where’s Waldo” books? Little Waldo is the personification of a needle in a haystack. Somewhere in the pages of pictures, a sea of faces and crowded scenery there is an image of Waldo and the task is to find him. To do so you have to concentrate on the picture look at it so closely that every detail is discernible. Last night I had a conversation with some lovely and amazing women I am blessed to know. We were talking about how easy, how painfully easy it is to get caught up in the world, to see and hear the negative. I shared a little of what I’ve learned about changing my focus, turning my thoughts back to God, back to the Word. The world tells us that we are irresponsible if we don’t care about politics, government, the current news st

God With Us

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel---which means, God with us.” Matthew 1:21 This morning I read a devotional message about God’s majesty. It referenced remembering that God is mighty, sovereign, huge. It easy to get so comfortable with the idea of the constant Companion that God is to us and forget that He is also so far above us. He is such a dear and present friend that it is easy to forget that He is Almighty. After reading that message, I sat with God. First I thanked Him for the closeness I can and do feel with Him. Then I asked to be more aware of His awesomeness, His uniqueness, His majesty. For the last several weeks I’ve been experiencing a personal struggle. I haven’t wanted to ask for prayer from anyone. The struggle seemed to me, like a lack of faith. A few weeks in and I began to see this as something bigger. We hear and read about the battle for our souls. It is pictured as an actual physical battle th

A Lesson From the Not So Elderly*

I can everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 I live in a town where there is a grocery store whose advertising tagline is, “where shopping is a pleasure.” Years ago when my four children, all born in a five year span, were all very   young shopping was a pleasure. We had some great times running our errands.   Still with four small children, it was also an adventure. When my second son started pre-school, I started doing some of the heavier shopping with just my two little ones, Jeffrey and Laura. The two of them were, and still are, quite colorful personalities. Suffice to say there is rarely a dull moment if either of them are around and never a dull moment when they’re together. Growing up they were best friends and they created alter egos, Mr. and Mrs. Biddy. I can only speculate as to where they got the name but they nailed the stereotype of “old couple.” He would wear his dad’s cap and a vest from an old suit and she would wear the hat I wo

God Is Good

  For God did not send his son to condemn the world but to save the world through him.   John 3:17 There is an expression that has been around for several years now, I think it may have started as a slogan for something but it is everywhere now. The expression is Life is Good. It’s on hats, shirts and bumper stickers.   My husband and I even have two DVD players that inform us of this when we turn them on, the company logo flashes and is followed by the words “Life is good.”   Some days I agree. Other days it makes me want to scoff. Oh really? The truth is life is good. And it’s hard, annoying, difficult, wonderful, scary, exhilarating, boring, amazing, painful, beautiful…. Do you feel a bit like you’re on a merry go ‘round? Life is life. Read the Psalms. David would agree with my list of what life is and then some. Life is a mixed bag. God is good. When life is wonderful, fun, happy, etcetera God is good.   When life is hard, awful, mundane, etcetera God is still good.


  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 Who is your best friend? Is that an easy question for you? For me it is and it isn’t. I have two friends that are so dear to me that honestly I don’t know what I would do without either of them. The one has been my friend for many, many years, since we were ten years old. We live far apart now but that doesn’t stop us from sharing our lives, the ups, downs and quite frankly mundane and ridiculous as well. There is nothing that isn’t conversation fodder for us. The other friend, I’ve known for about ten years but she is such a part of my daily life, such a blessing. I look forward to seeing her. We share things from the sublime to the ridiculous as well and like my other friend, she makes me smile, okay, laugh and just generally warms my heart. Both of these ladies are constant, loving, loyal friends. I feel comfortable with them in any situation. I know that my heart is safe

Not Home

  But our citizenship is in have. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord, Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 Have you ever driven by a church and seen the sign that tells you how many people were saved at the last service? I have seen those signs numerous times and frankly, I’m a bit skeptical. Just as frankly, it’s none of my business. Those decisions, real or not, are between God and the people making them. But, that is one way that churches assess their value, measure their effectiveness, weigh their fruit. My husband and I have been visiting/attending the same church for about seven months now. We like it but still have some questions about whether or not it is home. Everyone has a different idea of what is important in a church. For some it’s size, for some the children’s or youth opportunities. For my husband it’s the teaching and for me it’s equal parts teaching and music. I’m not sure what criteria the leadership of this church uses to assess the success


If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead. Luke 16:31 We hear a lot of talk about spiritual maturity and what that looks like. It’s one of those things that cause division within the Christian community. Some people think that a mature Christian always says yes. This is the person who is part of every ministry, every committee and is in involved up to and over his/her head in the lives of the people closest to them. There is the school of thought that says Christian maturity limits behaviors. A mature Christian doesn’t_____________.   Fill in the blank with anything because the details vary. Personally I have struggled with this concept. After thirty plus years of a serious, deep relationship with Jesus Christ I would hope to be a mature Christian but then I meet that person who condemns something that I do and I wonder. That is my own insecurity talking of course but what does it mean to be mature in Christ? That is

Praise and Pray

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.   Psalm 118:29 You do not have because you do not ask. James 4:2b My dear friend Bella and I were talking about gratitude, about having a grateful attitude and I told her that for years I have kept a gratitude journal. I explained how and why I do it and she adopted the idea for herself. The other day we were talking about it and she told me how much she has learned from it. Then she made a point that has stayed with me and I hope will continue with me for a long while. She said that she also keeps a prayer request journal. While I don’t do that as frequently or specifically as I do the thanksgivings I certainly have a few places where my requests or pleas are written down. Bella pointed out how much easier it is for her to write those requests than the thanks. That surprised me as she is easily the most gracious and truly appreciative person I know. But as we talked I knew exactly what she meant.


  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5   Years ago before I knew him, years before I would ever meet him, my husband had his appendix removed. He still has a scar, a very small, very faint scar. I hate it. It really is faded and small but every now and then I notice it and it makes me feel a flash of sadness, a little flicker of nausea at the thought of the pain he went through. He’s told me the story and it was a bit of an ordeal. Still, it was years ago when he was a teenager and as I said, I didn’t know him but because I love him and hate the idea of anything painful or even uncomfortable happening to him, I hate that scar. I was reminded of that today while I was watching a worship music video. To illustrate God’s deep love for us the maker of the video used an image of Jesus on the cross. His head is dropping forward. He