Showing posts from December, 2015

Time Share

  In my Father’s house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will also come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3 The other day while my son and daughter were visiting us, my husband received a promotional letter in the mail. He carried it into the kitchen and asked if any of us were interested in a cruise. Of course we all said yes. Otto then went on to read us the several great options we had for trips, including a few different cruises and one trip to Hawaii. Our son Paul laughed and asked how long the time share presentations would last. He joked that out of that week in Hawaii at least one full day would be spent with the promo people. He’s probably right. As my former salesman father would be quick to tell you, there’s always a catch. Sometimes it’s worth listening to the hour or so presentation for the gift at th

Tidings of Great Joy

  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them and they were terrified. Luke 2:8 In writing about the birth of Jesus, Brennan Manning describes those who initially greeted the baby as “turkeys, losers and dirt-poor shepherds.” No one of notoriety stood or knelt in the stinky stable. No king, no prince, no president, no celebrity, no pastor, just simple shepherds. Simple. That seems to be the way Jesus liked it from the very beginning to today. So, if you're a nobody in the world's eyes, rejoice! This is our day! This day, this glorious day when we celebrate the event that changed the world and is still changing the world, this is our day. Those of us who work and pray, pray and give, who live in light of the events of that amazing night, this is our day. Manning also uses the word “shipwrecked” to describe the follow


  In the same way I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10 This verse is from the parable of the lost coin. It is sandwiched in between two other parables about loss, the lost sheep and the lost son. All three parables reference the rejoicing, the celebrating, when something lost is found. Celebrating. It is December 22 nd , and therefore, I've been concentrating on celebrations for a few days now. I've been baking, planning and wrapping. This morning the pile of wrapped gifts were a bit of a distraction to me in my quiet time. They are in my office right in front of my prayer chair and they easily cause my mind to wander. I said to Abba, “I'll be happy when those are out of here and I'm not distracted by them.” Then I thought, oh, but then the celebration will be over. Quickly I realized that the real celebration, my relationship with my Savior will never be over. Thankfully, Abba was quick to co


  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14 There is a worship song that I just love. I can’t say it’s my favorite because before I could finish typing that ten others would cross my mind as “favorite.” In any case the name of the song is “Great I Am.” The lyrics say just what you would expect from the title that God is indeed the great I AM, holy, powerful, unique, awesome, in the truest sense of the word. I love that song! The bridge includes the truth that the enemy runs from God, that even the mountains tremble in His presence. All true. Listening to the song just a few minutes ago, hearing the words repeated “the great I AM” something occurred to me. I Am, what? As Christians we don’t ask that question because we know or think we do, what that means. It’s the name of God Yahweh, the great I AM. But indulge me for a moment and think about it. God is the great I AM. If anyone else said to any

Use Your Words

  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Matthew 2:10 KJV When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:10 NIV Words are incredibly powerful. There are many verses of Scripture that make that very clear. While in the desert during his time of being tempted Jesus responds to Satan by beginning all of his remarks with, “it is written.” (Matthew 4:1-11) How and what we write and speak says a lot about who and what we believe. Do you suppose when the Magi saw the star, the incredibly, beautifully bright star they said, “Ouch! My eyes! Oy vey! That light's a little overwhelming.” No! My guess is that their reaction was much more like, “Oh my God!” in the truest sense of those words. “They rejoiced,” the verse says, “with exceeding great joy.” I'm a word girl and so I prefer the King James version of that verse, “with exceeding great joy.” Not a little celebration, a huge, loud thing that I can't help but believe was exceedin

Share Hope

Share Hope Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8 While we wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13 Yesterday the headlines brought us news of another celebrity dead by his own hand. I found out about it through a text message from my daughter. My response to her was, “How incredibly sad.” It is tragic, truly. Thinking about this man who “had it all,” except, he didn’t. I was reminded of people much nearer to me who have chosen the same end and in particular of my neighbor, ironically named Faith, whose life ended the same way five years ago, just a few days off from this death. The morning my neighbor died I was sitting in my chair enjoying my quiet time with God when I heard a loud boom. My first thought was gunshot which immediately seemed ridiculous but turned out to be true. Just behind where I was sitting a woman approximately the same age as I, took a gun and ended her life. Why? I do not know. There w

Christmas Everywhere

  When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. Luke 2:10 (This was written a year ago but is so precious I had to repost it. Abram is now almost three and has welcomed his little sister Margaret into his life. He still finds Christmas, and pretty much all of life, “amazing.” I wish more people had his attitude and his humor.) Our heavenly Father, from whom all blessings flow (James 1:17) has blessed my husband and me with ten precious grandchildren. It might be a bit biased to say that they are the sweetest, cutest kids ever but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Just the other day our youngest grandson Abram came to see us. It was his first time at our house since the arrival of the Christmas decorations. Walking in to our living room he stopped and said, “Grammy, it’s Christmas everywhere!” His voice was filled with the awe and wonder. As he moved through the house and saw more and more decorations he repeated his sentiment again adding, “It’s a

The Light That Shines In The Darkness

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 I love this verse. I love to read it and sing it. I love to hear it read and sung. It's huge and so powerful. I t was written long before that child, Jesus came into the world. It is a prophecy that we have all seen fulfilled. Take a look at the second verse from the same chapter; “ The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Now look around, here in 2015, in the shadow of the Paris attacks, of San Bernardino, while we still mark time and recall events in reference to 9/11/2001.... What do you see? Do you see that much of our society, too much, is people walking in darkness? What then, is the responsibility of those of us who “have seen a great light?” I&#

Spiritual Giving

Calling all his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44 Lately I have read and heard a lot about grace. I have also heard about works. Oh how people love to quote James 2:17. It makes us all feel as if we have some stake, some control of our salvation. That to me, quite frankly, is laughable but it wasn’t always. For years I tried to think of ways to earn the favor of God and all I can do today is praise Him and thank Him for setting me straight on that one. So, the questions beckons, why do good works? I think I’ve learned that answer from three of my grandchildren, in particular my granddaughter Faith. Last year our family, as a group, chose to bless the World Vision organization as a part of our Christmas giving. Everyone would contribute and everyone would choose gifts

His Ways

“ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 Several years ago there was a campaign with the slogan, WWJD, what would Jesus do. At first glance that seems like a great idea. If we all stopped to think, what would Jesus do, we'd make better choices. Sure, if we could even begin to know or understand what Jesus did and how he did it. We don't. So we did what humans tend to do, we made up our own idea and based it on a small part of Jesus' personality. The WWJD campaign suggested that we be meek and mild, like Jesus, always calm and caring. Sometimes that is exactly what is called for but it negates a large part of the person of Jesus. There was no gentleness when he was flipping tables at the temple. No meekness when he called the Pharisees hypocrites, blind guides, a brood of vipers (Matthew 23:13-36). There was no meekness there because Jesus knew exactly who he was and exactly who they were. Just as he

You and You and You

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town David a Savior had been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 The other day I was listening to a modern version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and something stood out. In this particular version the singer sings the words, “He’s coming back for you and you and you and you….” As I listened I began to smile. I heard a very different voice, the voice of a young friend of mine who lives with a mild version of autism, among some other challenges. My little buddy fixates on certain songs or movies and repeats them over and over for a time before moving onto the next one. Right now one of the songs he loves contains the line, “You and you and you and well…..all of you!” See the connection? While listening to the promise that Jesus, Emmanuel is indeed coming back for you and you and you, I thought of his willingness to come for us at all. We

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 some people who believe in impos
Shivering And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-12 ( note: This was written in 2005. Faith and Isabelle are now ten years old and sometimes have to be convinced that a jacket is necessary. This week the temperatures in sunny Florida have remained quite warm. We do have predictions of temps in the 60s. The girls better find those jackets!) This morning I was singing along with one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Do You Hear What I Hear.” As I sang the words “a child shivers in the cold” I was shivering too. It is important to mention that it was 52 degrees at the time, not exactly freezing. While my formerly Y