Showing posts from August, 2013

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

Let’s Have a “Talt”

  “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 For years I have worked with young people who wear the label “special needs.” I get that as a description I suppose but sometimes I think a more accurate label would be special gifts. So many of them see the world in a way that we not so special people miss. Through the years I’ve heard people say with varying degrees of sincerity that they learn more than they teach when they’re with the children. I can say that with a great degree of sincerity because God has used so many of my little angels to illustrate his love and patience to me. My dear friend Brianna has Down syndrome. She is a delight in ways that words cannot express. One of my favorite things about her, and in general, is when she says to me, “Let’s have a talt.” Now, let me note here that I am quick to make her stop and repeat the word tal k correctly becau

Big, Big Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Are you a planner? I am. I like to have plans. The problem is that often as I begin to plan all the obstacles run through my mind. I begin to think of the myriad ways that my plans might go awry. If the event or issue is important to me that is when worry rears its ugly head. This morning as I was feeling such joy.   I was living the truth of Psalm 118:24. This was indeed the day the Lord made and I was fully ready to rejoice and be glad. Understand this was an ordinary weekday involving work, household tasks, the usual. I was not headed off on a trip, a retreat or a date with my hubby, just a regular day. As I was preparing to leave the house I felt a catch in my joy. The nasty little thought came to me that something in this day was going to steal my joy; something was going to go wrong.   I could feel my mind searching for simi

Just Taking A Walk

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them walking on the lake.   Matthew 14:25 Family stories are so much fun. There are certain ones that we so love to remember that we tell them over and over again. The first one that came to my mind for my family is a time when my son Jeffrey was very young. He made what every adult involved heard as a sassy remark but truly he was just trying to identify his boundaries. He was so little and so darned adorable with his tiny eyeglasses and his slight lisp. On the face of it maybe it isn’t a great story but we love it, in part because there is so much more to it than immediately meets the eye. This story from Matthew of Jesus walking on the water is the same thing to me. There is so much more to the story than the bare bones. Jesus walks out, calls to Peter, Peter takes a step or two and oops, sinks. We tend to focus on Peter. Why did he sink? How did he walk on water even for a step or two? Peter becomes the focus. My s

Love the Sinner

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Luke 6:41-42 We’ve all heard the expression, “hate the sin but love the sinner.” At times I’ve felt that I understood that and that I was doing fairly well in a given circumstance. Like many other truths, it’s the fire, the hot button issues, the agendas that show us how we really feel. In a conversation with a woman I’ve known all my life I came to the realization that she believes me to be a homophobe. At onset I find this amusing, given that one of my dearest, most loved and sadly missed friends was a homosexual. I most certainly did not hate him. I loved him. I cannot say the same for his lifesty