Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thoughts at the end of a Year

Towards the end of the movie "The Green Mile," right before his was going to die, the hero of the story talks about how tired he is, how tired he is of how people treat one another, how tired he is of fighting evil, tired of being alive. His words resonated with me at that moment. I could feel the weight of what he spoke of. Life is tiring. It is a weight at times. We live in a fallen world and yet we often expect things to get better, we somehow think that life will get better. We forget there is an enemy who has not yet been put away. He is defeated but still roams around destroying on borrowed time. We saints of God are the fortunate ones. We know the joy of forgiveness, feel the nearness of heaven, know that the weight of this world is a temporary one and that we share the load with God. Can you imagine the pain that is in this world? There is the pain of carried sin and the guilt that goes with it, the pain of the consequence of bad choices, the pain of the bad choices of others. I thank God that the Holy Spirit is at work still drawing men out of the mire of their pain. I am thankful to be a small part of that work and that I can dedicate myself to that battle. It is nearing the end of the year, a time for new beginnings. As a believer I can be sure of my calling. It is two fold. First, I am to Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. What an honor that is and what power there is in that Love relationship. The second is that I am to love my neighbor as myself. When I love God it pours out to those I am in contact with. I need to see them saved, I need to love them, I need to minister to them. I need to be that picture of Christ that will make the difference. Who is my neighbor? Anyone I see, anyone I come in contact with, anyone God places in my heart. My neighbor is sometimes nearby and sometimes on the other side of the globe. My neighborhood is anywhere and everywhere there is need. This year I want to dedicate myself afresh to my neighborhood and to my God. I want to be a better neighbor and a better child of my King. As I put together some resolutions for the year (yes, I do that), I want those resolutions to reflect the calling God has given me. I hope you will join me and together we can make a fresh start this New Year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How are you Handling Life?

How are you handling life? This seems like a simple question but is actually complicated. Life has lots of facets to it. Today I talked to two dear people who are walking through pain and darkness. My heart broke for them and their two very different situations. They got me thinking about how I handle darkness. How do I walk when life throws pain and sorrow at me? How do I navigate when it feels like God is silent? I ask this because this world is watching us. Our families, our neighbors, and collectively all people are watching us. I like to think that they are hoping we will not disappoint. I believe that people want more than this life, that they long for God. Most of us handle the small things well, slow traffic, late people, missed appointments. What do we do when our world falls apart, when our marriage suddenly crumbles, when we lose a child, when those around us walk away from Christ? What happens then? As believers we are blessed beyond what we deserve. We have access to the throne of grace, We are indwelt by the very Spirit of God, and we have each other. We are filled with a hope that goes beyond this life and because of this we are equipped to suffer hardship as saints. We understand the truth of this life, this is not all we have or all that will be. Those around us are watching. They want to see if we collapse under the pressure or quit when there is no happy ending. They are watching as we face head on, with feet dug in, and set our shoulders to gracefully handle the weight of suffering and pain. It is that standing firm that speaks louder and becomes a more powerful and effective testimony than any mere words. Of course that does not make the suffering less, but it does bring purpose to it. How do you handle it when your life feels like it has been struck by a train? It is hard. I know that I covet the prayers of my precious family in Christ. I know that I pray for you. If I know you I am praying for you. Together we make up a powerful testimony that will reap a bountiful harvest. We stand strong as we stand together.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I had a bad day. I felt like I was clinging to this edge and was ready to go over. To be fair I am set to move next week, right before Christmas, and we still haven't chosen a rental, and I am not done with Christmas shopping, and very little is packed, and it has been a tough year. On the positive side, well, lets face it, sometimes we don't want to look at the positive side. There is one, but on this day, I want to freak out a little. I think that once in awhile that is okay; at least for today I am going to choose to believe that. Some days feel more overwhelming than others. That is why I am thankful for sleep. It brings closure to a bad day and lets us wake to a new one. Usually I am feeling much sunnier the day after a freakout day, and I am sure tomorrow will be no exception, but just for today I don't feel much like looking at the bright side of things. I will leave that for tomorrow. God knows I need tomorrow and He will bring it. It will be fresh, it will be new, and by then I will be ready to look at things differently. At least I hope so.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What's at Stake?

I'm watching an old Christmas movie, one of those adaptations of Dickens Christmas Carol, and enjoying the warmth of the heater on this chilly day and the familiar story. While watching the ghost of Jacob Marley I was struck with the line, "Don't you understand what's at stake?" It reminds me of how little I keep my mind focused on what's at stake in this life and with humanity. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is a good day to reflect on what has been so graciously provided to me by God and this year was no exception. It was a busy day but I was still overwhelmed by gratitude at what I have, the people I am privileged to know and love, and the opportunities I have each day to serve God. But one thing I don't do nearly often enough is to reflect on what is at stake. For each bad decision I make someone besides me is affected. With each wrong turn I have to struggle to get back on course. Every critical word I speak cuts someone and everytime I give in to moodiness I lose time I can't get back and sink a little from the joy God wants me to have. This list is just what is at stake when I get off track. Multiply that by all who name the name of Christ and we waste what God has given us. The stuff I am thankful for is just stuff. I appreciate it and am thankful for it but it is stuff and can be replaced. Time, energy, opportunities, these are things that disappear. I may get more of them but the results of the ones I waste cannot be realized or brought back. While talking with my Life Trek Youth they all shared how they wanted to live an extraordinary life. They were passionate about it with the passion of youth that still can see all of the possibilities. Well, I don't think God cares how old we are, how much time is passed, or how much we have already wasted. His mercies are new every morning and He stands ready to welcome our decision to commit our all to Him and live extraordinary lives. He can and will use us to rock our world, at least I am counting on Him to do that in mine. It is time for us to wake up and realize what's at stake, to see all the faces around us as God does, people who need Him, that He loves and desires to be in His Kingdom. We have an obligation and a privilege as Ambassadors of the living God to reflect on what is at stake, to know and understand that being lost is real. It is important to let go of our fear, that nameless, faceless beast that keeps us from doing what we know to do and from living the way we know we should live.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I woke up to the rain pouring down outside. It is an unwelcome sight as I must go shopping for Thanksgiving today but it reminded me of how accessible water is for us, especially those of us in Western Washington! But it is not that way for much of the world. Most of you woke up and took a hot shower, brushed your teeth, drank one of your eight glasses of water we are told we must drink, and made some coffee. During the course of a week you will perhaps run a dishwasher, use a washing machine, and in the summer you might turn on a hose or sprinkler. What if you woke up tomorrow and there was no water in your home and all the water using devices were gone? What if you had to haul all your own water, in fact, what if you had no car and had to somehow get water for your family. An average family uses between 250 and 300 gallons of water each day. That is a ton of water Immediately you would most likely lower your water consumption! But even if you had to haul thirty gallons a day and make it work how would you do it. I live close to a creek but it would still be annoying. Thirty gallons a day would be five to six trips and even though I would luckily only have to go a short distance it would still be annoying. Some of you might have to go much further and then there is the problem of what is in the water! I don't know about you but I'm not sure I would feel safe drinking the creek water even if it was boiled.

Welcome to reality for much of the world. 1.2 billion is a conservative guess. About 5 million people die of water related diseases each year. Now look at your family. It is likely that one of your children, at least, would have died before age five of a water related illness. Which one? In much of the world water is not easily accessible. There might be school for children but they cannot attend because entire families spend their days hauling water, getting food, trying to stay alive.

This is not meant to be a sad story to make you feel bad. It is just a glimpse of a reality that you can help change. When you give the gift of water you are sharing Christ. You are giving a cup of water to the thirsty. My heart has been broken lately for those in poverty. I am realizing that even in my financial struggles I am incredibly rich and I have an awesome responsibility. It is hard to share the gospel without meeting physical needs. Christ never meant to separate the two. We go and share the good news, freedom from sin, freedom from captivity, freedom from living for ourselves.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


"Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks, Among all her lovers there are none to comfort her; All her friends have betrayed her, they have become her enemies." Lamentations 1:2 All of the comforts, our lovers in this life, the things that take our time and money, at the moment of our trial will not mean anything. They will be an enemy of sorts because they robbed us of an intimate relationship with God and now we are not prepared for the struggles of this life. I serve a powerful, amazing God who can do anything. Why would I want to waste my life on fruit that is not eternal and yet I do. Way too often. And the world waits. I have way too much and I care way too little. I said that I was going to try and change that this year and I have started my quest. I am reading the book "The hole in the Gospel" by Richard Stearns who is the President of World Vision. I am encouraged by his story, that it is never too late to change direction and to enter into God's work. When darkness enters into our life temporary lovers, pleasure, shopping, hobbies, business, none of those things will comfort us or protect us. We live our lives in the shadow of the mercy of God and it is His mercy that is our comfort, it is in knowing Him that we can walk without fear.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Believing in God came easily to me. I don't know why but I'm grateful. Maybe that is why it is so hard to see the kids in my Life Trek group struggle with basic belief. They are so bright and ask such deep and probing questions. Many of them have known little of what we consider a "normal" family life. They struggle to see God in the spaces they have been dealt. I feel angry with the lack of ability I have to communicate the truth of God for them. My answers to their deep and honest questions felt lame and while I inwardly cried out to God for help I felt like I failed. How do you answer a precious girl who asks if she can get a day pass to hell to visit her mom? How do you explain how God will wipe away all of our sorrows when some of those sorrowful memories are the only memories they have of family? I long for them to see Jesus and I pray for them to see them. My words just seem flat. It makes me long for the days I taught the young Daisies and Prims, where young girls believed every word I said. I love these kids and covet your prayers, that they will see God, that they can believe in Him even with their questions, and that God will transform their lives and make them into mighty warriors for Him.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Rainy Saturday

I love waking up on Saturday morning to the sound of rain and a cup of tea. It seems right. I guess western Washington is a good place for me to live. Anyway, I was continuing to read Jeremiah and was struck at how brutal life was during those days and at the stubborness of the people. I live on a fairly calm little island here; while I may not like some decisions of government here, it is fairly stable and there is no warring king trying to take over. I have never been exiled to a foreign land. I have not seen the mass slaughter of people I love. That does not mean that those things do not exist in my world. Jeremiah faithfully gave the word that God gave Him to a stubborn people who did not listen to him. He was put in prison and attempts were made on his life. I know that people knew he spoke the truth because he was approached by them to hear what God told him. People would listen and then disobey. I was thinking we are often like that. We hear God's word faithfully preached on Sunday, we enjoy hearing it, we know it is true; then we go live our own lives during the week. It is no wonder that in the 2,000 plus years since Christ there are still people waiting to hear the gospel, there are still captives awaiting their freedom, there are still poor waiting to be fed with both bread and the good news. I am not doing my job. Today I am going to leave my quiet home and go buy gifts to put in shoeboxes to send to poor children. It is a very small thing and it occurs to me that I need to find a concrete way to remember the poor and oppressed every day and not just at Christmas. I will be working on that this year. I guess I want to challenge us to hear the word of the Lord, to obey that word and mission that He has given us, to "lose" our lives in order to look at the world around us. It will take deliberte eyes to see what God wants us to see and deliberate motion to do what He wants us to do. I don't believe, however, that there is anything greater than the peace that comes with the obedient life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thoughts on Prayer

I thought I was going to move next week but now I have to wait. How long I don't know. We had found a house we loved and now I'm not sure it will still be available. I was disappointed. Very disappointed. It made me a little crazy in fact. It has taken a few hours to get back to trust. You see, I like to be in control. I never thought I was one of those control people but it turns out I am. I was analyzing my prayers and could see that I really enjoy trying to help God run the universe. I have great ideas about how I think things should go. The bad thing is that I have quit believing in prayer sometimes. I mean, I do believe God does things and that He works through prayer, it's just that I have so often used my prayer life to give God input into how He should run things I have lost the ability to pray in faith. Too often I pray my list and hardly pause to consider what God actually wants me to be praying about in faith and I expect nothing because when I pray in the flesh I don't get much. God is so faithful. He often answers my prayers but I want more. My Pastor challenged me in his sermon this past Sunday to pray in faith, believing, and to see answers to prayer. Do I really let God be in charge and come boldly to Him? I don't know. I went to the prayer room for awhile to sort it out. I told God how tired I was and how so often I feel like I am trying to carry the burdens instead of unload the burdens. I asked Him to show me the difference. I ask Him now to help me understand how to come boldly to the throne of grace and find that help He offers us, and only He can give, in time of need. It may have been a delayed move that prompted me but this need has been here a long time. I need Him. I need His power, His strength, and I need answers to my prayers. I need to quit praying the list and start praying my burdens and my heart. I want to see answers, transformation, miracles, and lots of other little things. I need to grow close to my beloved Savior and be willing to fall upon Him without reserve, without being cautious and doubting. He has given me His word so that I know His will. Do I live as though I trust Him to give me those things that are His will. It is that I am falling short in. It is that which I seek.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Long Journey

I was reading in Jeremiah this week. (I've come to Jeremiah in my Bible reading. I probably would not ever get to it if I didn't read in a somewhat organized fashion which is why I recomend reading in an organized fashion!) In chapter 20 Jeremiah laments the fact that he has ever been born. He is sent to tell God's word to a people who won't listen to him. He is persecuted and hated and weary of being negative. Right in the middle of all his complaining Jeremiah says " But if I say,"I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in And I cannot endure it." verse 9. I love this verse because I get it. Sometimes it is hard to go through life and we want to quit. It makes no sense because God is the very best part of me, He is everything and all and I know He was to Jeremiah also but it still remains that sometimes it seems like it would be easier to just quit. I say "it seems like" because it would in fact be much more difficult. If I quit I would be alone, maybe surrounded by people but still alone. If I quit I love my Savior and I so need salvation. I needed it when I accepted Christ and I still need it everyday. If I quit I lose my life for Paul was right when he said that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I can't quit. In reality I don't want to. What happens is that I lose heart and I don't think that what I do matters or makes any kind of difference. I lose faith that God is working and that His purpose for me. I am pretty sure that is what Jeremiah felt because no one was listening to him or responding. In fact life seemed to get worse for Jeremiah all the time instead of better. He forgot, as I do that we don't always see all that is going on, he forgot that what matters to God is our obedience, not the results of that obedience, and he forgot that so much of ministry requires time and patience. I often forget, I forget when my life seems more difficult instead of less difficult. I forget when it seems I mess things up more than I help. I forget because so often I feel that the strongholds of my life will never be gone. I forget because I long for an easier time. But God is faithful to help me, remind me. Like Jeremiah, I have God's word and the testimony of what God has done in years past. I am surrounded by His faithful witnesses today. I have to say that I am ashamed of how wimpy I am, how easily I get discouraged. What I go through is small compared to Jeremiah. I can't imagine ministering for years faithfully with no response at all. God's word was like a burning fire in him and I relate to that. God is always in my heart and on my mind. Even in those moments of feeling tired he is there and I cannot get away from it. After Jeremiah said those words he continued his complaint. And that is me. I can complain about the futility of serving God while still feeling Him and His words burning inside me. I can both be tired of this life and longing to serve Him better at the same time. Life is an oxymoron of feelings and faith can be hard to hold onto and even more difficult to pass on. It is wearying work and a light burden all at the same moment. I labor each day to enter into His rest and one day I will live in His rest. Life is good, because of God.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gifts and Talents

I often say that I cannot draw stick people. That is a reference to my totally non-artistic hands and mind. It amazed me that one set of hands can create beauty while another set of hands that seem so nearly like the other are fumbly (is that a word? i kind of like it). One person can solve all kinds of upper math problems while I am best at simple math on a simple calculator. Another can create music while some of us can barely carry a tune. Why is this? I know it is because of my Father God. He creates us each uniquely and individually and while it may seem that it is because of genetics that is only part of the equation. I have seen singers in non-musical families and artists come from non-artistic backgrounds. While it is true that God often works through genetics, He is certainly not bound by them! Creation is part of His nature and being and He does it all perfectly and looks back on it and sees that it is good. I will praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made! He knew me before I did and has gifted me for the task that is mine. Too often we waste the talent God gives us either by denying that we have talent, envying the talent that is anothers, or by using them for our own benefit and not seeing God as the author of them. For years I denied that I had any talent at all and envied those around me, dreaming of how God could use me if I could only sing or paint or speak. In other words I wasted what I had by desiring what I didn't. While it may be arrogance to boast about one's talent, it is not humility to deny you have any talent. God has given each of us at least one gifting and that gifting coupled with a passion for God can turn this world to Christ and bring glory to God. I know I need to see this more. Too often I don't think what I do or don't do matters, but it does. God says that He has created us for good works that He planned beforehand. It is my job to cooperate in those works and yours too. His plan is not about us getting ahead or getting period, it is about us being and drawing. Being His children and drawing others to Him. Turn your life, your heart, your hopes, your talents, and your eyes to Him and I know we'll be amazed at what He does with them. I think I will leave the stick people to others! God knows best.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday thoughts

Tomorrow is Sunday and I should probably be sleeping right now. Somehow sleeping isn't working. Today was an odd day. I had pulled a muscle on my side a couple days ago so was spending a day resting. I don't really like resting. I am a person who likes a purpose to my day and just trying to sit calmly is difficult. I didn't even have a new book to read so it was hard. Instead of drawing close to God I felt sort of in a panic much of the day. When you are going through a hard time panic can sneak up on you. I had been feeling pretty good this week, thinking all was heading in a good direction but today I didn't feel so sure. I felt almost frightened and I didn't like it. What if the worst happens? I have a friend at church named Terrianne. She has some disabilities from an accident and often says just what is on her mind. You know, those things that we think but never say! This week she was talking about prayer to me and suddenly said that sometimes she doesn't even know why she prays since it never seems to work and God doesn't seem to want to answer her. I am tempted by those same feelings at times. Life seems to be endless and full of trouble. Of course there are moments of joy and the blessings God gives us. I don't want it to sound like everything is horrible but today was a hard day. Terrianne is a wonderful woman of God and I know she was only voicing her frustrations. Her life is very hard and I know she tires of struggle. I bet there are lots of Terriannes out there, tired of the daily struggle, tired of trials that you have no control over, didn't cause, and certainly did not ask for. I know I feel that way. But then I hear it.... the still small voice of God and I feel it.....the gentle breeze of the Spirit. It is then that I am calmed, that I know, I can trust Him, even if things are hard and don't go the way I want them to. He is here, He has not left me and He won't. He walks beside me even in these hard circumstances and He will not drop me. It is then I get refocused, turn the TV off, read the word, listen to sweet songs on my ipod and write this.....and I feel better. Life wasn't any harder this day than yesterday but I got a little off track and had to get back on. Walk on my friends, get your focus back, worship the King, spread His Good News, rest in the knowledge that you are His Beloved.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Nothing to me is more precious than my salvation and nothing more real in my life than my relationship with God. I get frustrated, however, in trying to pass on that reality in my life and in trying to communicate this truth. I struggle as I share what I know to be truth with both believers and unbelievers. Believers, you might ask, why do I need to share this truth to believers? I am increasingly frustrated by the lack of passion and focus by those who are my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I am also frustrated in my attempts to share my love of Christ with my Life Trek group. I know what we all need. I know what the answer to my attempts to share Christ and the lack of focus and passion for God. I know what I need, what we all need. We need the Spirit's breath in our lives. I need, we need, to seek after that Spirit as though life depends on it because it does. I may have that life. I have been transferred from darkness but not all have. I need the Spirit for my own life as well. I feel myself struggling to have the joy of the Lord and see myself sinking as I look at the need around me. It causes me to not want to look and to turn aside from seeing and I musn't. I must have the Spirit's joy and presence in my life if I am ever going to be effective. It is the Spirit that draws men, not me. Without the Spirit I am useless. Too often life just feels like a fight but I know that I not what God intended. I don't want to live as though I am beating my head against a wall. Jesus came to set the captives free. He left us the Holy Spirit so we could continue His work, to set the captives free. I see captives all around me, in church and out. I need, we need, God's Spirit so that they can be set free, so that His house can be full, so that "whosoever will" has opportunity to come.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Today's Musings

One of the hardest things about living in America is keeping a sense of reality and perspective about my life. I sleep in a home that is kept warm in the winter. I eat every day, in fact I struggle with overeating. I don't ever remember being really hungry, the kind of hunger that loses hope. I have never felt particularly rich, even though I know I am rich compared to most of the world. I choose to look at those who have more and who are not in debt and compare them to me. I don't compare myself to the poorest of the poor. Most of the time I keep myself sufficiently distracted with my own life that I don't see them. About the only time I focus on the poor is during Operation Christmas Child. I am thinking that is pretty wrong. I am thinking that I have more responsibility than that and I am feeling pretty sad. Today I felt this overwhelming grief. We have an offer on our house and are looking forward to being out of debt. I am finding it a struggle to not be enticed by things as I approach having financial freedom. Like those fancy phones you see ads for. But when I think of the monthly cost of maintaining one I wonder how many children that would feed. At least today I did. Most days I don't and I should. I am not suggesting that we go without buying things. But I think that all of our gadgets and all of our things fail to give us any lasting satisfaction. I am not sure how to get to where I should be in the struggle. I want to think about this clearly and rightly and I am not sure what that will look like. I know that part of bringing the gospel is in caring for those who cannot care for themselves. It is in choosing to see life the way it truly is and not just how it is in my surroundings. It is in realizing the deep suffering that exists and not turning my head but instead looking, seeing, and doing. I hope I can hold this thought and find that spot God wants me to be in, where I join in what He wants to do, set the captives free.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prayer Request

On Wednesday evenings our church has Life Trek, an evening of dinner, visiting, and small group ministry. It is a wonderful night and I love being a part of it. I facillitate the High School age group and I love them. I'd like to ask you all to pray for this group of kids and for me as I lead the group. Pray that God will grab ahold of these kids and make Himself real to them in a way that they will understand and grasp. All of them are making life decisions and need God's help. Some know it and some do not. Please pray that they will all come into relationship with God. I and they need your prayers. I often feel old when I am with them and pray that God will bridge the gap between us and He is faithful to do that each week. Pray that I will rely on Him and hear His voice. Please pray that I will follow His Spirit. Please pray for the salvation of these students. Thank you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Isaiah 17:10

I was reading this scripture today and it spoke to me. Mostly convicted me of how often I am contented with buds instead of wanting the full harvest. I thought of how often my thoughts are about church and how little they are about the lost and I am so sorry. With God's help I am going to change that, be less religious and more like Jesus. This is a great word and I wanted to share this with you.
10 You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines,
11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing... Isaiah 17:10
It doesn't matter how creative we are or how entertaining we make our churches. If we do not build it all upon Christ, if we are not passionately in love with God, we may as well not bother. The harvest will be as nothing. We may bring some buds out. I think of those who make decisions at one point or another but do not grow and eventually go back to where they were. Those are not a true harvest but merely buds. We must be the people of God, not the people of a church. We must be people of God, not people of religion. Revive us Oh God, and start with me. Help us to cast off everything that keeps us from bringing lost people to you.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I like to say yes. It is a pleasant word that makes me feel useful and fulfilled. It gives me purpose and life is tedious without purpose. I am so grateful to belong to Jesus that at times I can't believe that He accepts me and loves me. You see, I know the real me, the selfish one with irritating quirks that often drive people nuts. I know how often that I sit at my computer or watch a movie or TV instead of praying and seeking God. But unlike so many others that have been in my life, God's love and care for me are not performance based. He does not reject me over a bad day. It is a wonderful, comforting, and at times hard to believe truth. I am bad enough that I know that no amount of good that I can do will ever make up for it. Thank you God that my sins are forgiven because of Jesus. I used to say yes because I wanted so badly to be good. It doesn't work. Now I say yes because I love God so much and want everyone to know this same God that loves me. I say yes because I do not want my life to be about me or even about my family. I say yes because there are so many that do not have God. I say yes because Jesus did. He set the example for us on the cross. "For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45 I say yes because nothing else gives me more joy or greater peace than saying yes to God.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I am so Blessed!

I am so blessed. Much of the time I am unaware of the blessing I walk in. Often I trudge around, feeling the weight of walking through this life, hardly radiating the joy of the Lord, choosing to dwell on the struggle instead of the blessing. This morning I was irritable. No reason for it, after all it is Sunday and I love Sunday, my girls were home for the weekend and we had a great time together. After church the girls and I were taking the Northwest girls, Nicole and Michelle to lunch like ususal. It was Michelle's birthday and I wanted to give her a great day since she is away from her family so I let her pick where we would go to lunch. She picked Red Robin which is also Melody's favorite and would be a treat. Small problem. It would leave me with almost no money for the week, but I felt a peace about it. My irritation was melting away so I figured God had a plan and that plan included lunch at Red Robin. Nicole called and said that some friends of ours wanted to come along and asked if it were okay which was great. It made for a very pleasant afternoon of fellowship and made Michelle's birthday even more special. After lunch our dear friends insisted on paying for our lunch. I managed to hold it together but nearly burst into tears. What dear friends and what a wonderful God we serve. I had no idea until that moment how stressed I was, which was good, and in that moment all that stress went away as I realized how good our God is and how well He takes care of me. Thank you God for dear friends (Thank you wonderful Shirley family), and for how well you take care of me. We serve such a wonderful God. I am so blessed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Need the Spirit

I am convinced that many Christians, including myself, are missing out on the awesome power, direction, and passion that only the Holy Spirit can bring to our lives. I was reading in Acts 2 this afternoon. After the awesome moving of the Holy Spirit the way the believers lived their lives was radically changed. They were singularly focused on the gospel. Peter did not hesitate, along with the other disciples, to preach the good news of the gospel. More telling is how the believers lived.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
They were devoted to teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer. Then miracles happened. Happy Christians spending their days together, devoted to fellowship. They shared what they had. Whenever there was a need they filled it, to the point of selling their own possessions! And the Lord added daily. People noticed and people got saved. It's not about doctrine. It's about the power of the Spirit resulting in changed lives that people noticed and wanted. We have an awesome responsibility. We are the representation of Christ for this time in history and we dare not rely on ourselves. I need a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit in my life. My life needs to be open for interruption all of the time. I need to be full of the joy of serving God in spite of difficult circumstances. I need to offer rest for those stressed out and fearful and oppressed by sin. I need to walk in love that can be seen. I need to give and share and give up my possessions with a Holy Spirit willingness. I need more of the Spirit of God so that the Lord will add daily to the church all of those around us that need saved. Let's seek God for a fresh outpouring of His mighty Spirit and quit making half hearted attempts on our own.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reflection on Fall

It's been awhile since I last posted. I love quiet mornings as fall approaches. Fall is my very favoirite time of the year. I love the warm days and cool nights and how the trees shed their leaves. I was thinking this morning that when I seek the Lord He often asks me to shed things. It is obvious that we need to shed sin and habits that are not God honoring but He often asks me to shed other things also. One of the hardest things to shed is my own natural self. I have certain traits that Ihave been born with. They were placed their by God to help me in the task that He has entrusted me with here on the Earth. Unfortunately they can also hinder my usefulness. I am by nature an introvert. When I let that rule me it is not good. I cannot be useful to God without relationships. I need to shed that part of me while not losing the part of that trait which is good and God ordained. Being an introvert has helped me to listen to others, it has helped me to notice when people are struggling and having a hard time. I don't want to lose that but if I don't take opportunity to enter people's lives it will all be for nothing. God also wants me to shed my pride. Ouch! I tend to have this feeling that my opinions are the right ones, that my plans are the ones to go with, and that my ideas are the best. That is of course foolishness. Through the years I have changed my opinion countless times,I have made horrible plans and my ideas are far from the best. I need to rest in the place God has me, rest in the knowledge that He will use me, and give up pushing and shoving my way through life. If my desire is, and it truly is, to serve God and to win those around me to Christ, I need to shed my useless leaves just as the trees shed their's in the fall.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Seeking God

My daughter recently got a new and bigger ipod which was pretty cool for me because I got her old one. Minus the music that is. I was very excited and for a few days put lots of songs (38) on my new device. I am sure that 38 songs is actually a pretty lame number but it is a strange mix of songs that speak to me. One of my favorites at the moment is "What do I know of Holy." For me it speaks volumes about my life as a disciple. The older I get and the longer I walk the more I see in myself that I know so little. I am beginning to see that our lives are not about this earth at all which is a bit unsettling. My life is about putting on Christ, being his ambassador, and bringing His Good News to all those around me. I mean, I would have always said that, I think we all say that. But I don't live like I believe that. I have forgotten how lost I once was and how lost those around me are. My life is cluttered with to-do lists and multiple distractions too numerous to name. What do I know of Holy? It is a good question. I have challenged myself to spend the next 40 days seeking God. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do it or what it will look like but I am going to do it. I need more of Him because life is hard. I need more of Him because many around me are lost, I need more of Him because He is life and He is the ultimate answer to every question. I need to learn to fast because the Bridegroom is not here yet. I need to pray for the needs all around me. I need to know Him who gave me life and is the keeper of my days.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"If God were Real"

We were born to serve a real and living Savior. "He who comes to God must believe that He is." There it is, a far from simple concept put into simple words. Most live as though they question this concept. They lives that are far from the adventure God wants them to have. I know a little of this as I so often fail to live the adventure of a life abandoned to God. I have been reading in Hebrews, a book that is rich and one that scares me when I come to it. This time was no exception. I approached it unwillingly and even thought about skipping ahead and coming back to it later. I did not allow that and so entered this book that is rich with the meaning of what it is to be a believer. It tells of our history and of entering into the rest of God. It speaks of being a living sacrifice and throwing off the weight of sin that keeps us from joining the throng of "those the world is not worthy of" in Chapter 11. I loved it as I remembered that I am but a pilgrim here, without roots, planted in God and meant for His glory and service. How grateful I was for those words that make sense of my chaotic messed up life. I am His and He has a purpose and adventure for me. In his book, "If God Were Real," John Avant challenges us to live the adventure of belief. He states truthfully that Christians often make the mistake of believing that going deeper with God means learning more about the Bible, going to church more, or studying with other believers. He believes that all of these exercises actually make us more sleepy in our Christianity and leave still "unconscious of what God wants." The truth is, you and I were born for more than Bible studies and church services. We were called to action. God compares us to soldiers in a battle. He urges us not to get entangled in the cares and affairs of this life and to lift our eyes to an eternal perspective. He urges us to realize the end of those who do not believe and live with passion. It is not easy to go against the prevailing culture and tide of religion but we must. Avant says that we must become "disillusioned" if we are determined to live a life that is genuine and embraces the reality of God. We must throw off the shackles of religion and ask for more. The true and real God of this universe will give us life, adventure, and the joy of doing His work for Him. Because we are soldiers it will not be easy and there will be casualties among us, but we can walk confidently knowing that He has already obtained our victory and we are destined for eternity. God is real. It is time that we embraced Him for all He is and all He desires for us.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Psalm 137:1-6
(1)By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.(2) We hung our harpsUpon the willows in the midst of it.(3) For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" (4) How shall we sing the LORD's songIn a foreign land?(5) If I forget you, O Jerusalem,Let my right hand forget its skill!(6) If I do not remember you,Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth? If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.

Sometimes I feel a bit captive and I will be painfully honest. I sometimes feel trapped in a life I would desperately like to have control of and feel is spinning out of control. Normally I am not much of a control freak; I'm pretty laid back and take things as they come but this past year has taken away much of my love of spontaneity and I find myself longing for a much more "normal" existence. I would at least like a clue of what is coming around the next bend but alas I am asked to walk blindly, trusting that the Lord knows what He is doing. Knowing God knows what He is doing is not too difficult actually but trusting myself to cooperate the way He wants me to is scary. Every day it seems I disappoint myself and I'm sure disappoint Him. The answer for me lies in remembering that He is the God who knows the end from the beginning. My slips and stumbles are no great surprise to Him and I trust that my God has built them into the equation of my life. I so long to get it right and to please Him. I struggle with envy at those who seem to have an easier journey, failing to remember that most struggle and pain is kept privately and unseen. I also feel deeply the pain of others going through trials and at times fail to "sing the Lord's song" in this foreign land we journey through. Sometimes these posts of mine seem so dark but I am posting the journey where I am at. I pray that joy will manifest itself also in my journey and have been praying that God will so fill me with His peace and joy that I will more reflect Him instead of reflecting myself. After all, I am His ambassador in the good as well as the hard times. As always He is good and His mercy upholds all of us daily as we walk with Him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

He Knows

Today I was struck with the reality of how corrupt the world we live in is. I felt the hopelessness that must be the reality of so many today. I also saw my nearly total preoccupation with my own existence and feelings and how little I care for those I do not see. It is also true that I am careful not to let myself not to see too much. There is a wonderful young lady in our church who knows what it is to have much and how it feels to have it taken from you. She knows how life can turn brutal and what it feels to be alone. She struggles with fear, anxiety, and in living her newfound faith in Christ. We share a deep desire to have a mission each day of our lives and we each feel that sense of unease when that mission is difficult to find. She is a joy and teaches me much. I want to be better after being with her. I worry that she will succumb to the struggles she lives.
These past months have been a struggle for me and I also fear that I will let the struggle have me and not live in Christ through it. It is way too easy for me to live in my feelings and to sink a little into the darkness. Most days are good but there are still too many days that are about me. I ran to my refuge today and thank God for the prayer room. It saddens me that so few are using it. I pray that when you are struggling you will find a sanctuary of prayer. Those of you who go to my church I pray that you will avail yourself of this wonderful room. It is a quiet place away from all of the distractions that so easily take us away from God. I prayed until I found that peaceful spot. I realized that this is the answer. When I struggle, when I fear, when I feel that I am useless, when I feel that there is no hope for the despair I see all around me, when I fear that my loved ones will never come to Christ, I can come and pray until I rest in the God who alone is the answer. I am in Hebrews right now and this verse is perfect. "Therefore he had "to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18. He knows every feeling we feel and every temptation we go through. He "learned obedience through the things he suffered," so understands the sufferings of this life. He is here and he will answer our cries.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Day with my Family

Today was our families annual gathering at my sister's in Ellensburg. Melody was able to make the trek over with me which was fun and we had a great time on our road trip! It is always a wonderful time with too much food and way too much hilarity! We are a crazy bunch but I love it. I was asking God yesterday what He wanted me to do at the reunion, how I could be of service to Him. I don't know why I always think this way but I do. It seems like I always need to see purpose in every day and event instead of just being able to let things happen. Anyway, I felt God tell me to listen. You see, I can sometimes hear without listening. I often just hear words without being able to decipher what is behind them. I would love to tell you that something wonderful and divine happened because I was paying attention today. The day was wonderful and full of great stories and what was different was that I found myself concentrating on each of my dear family members as they spoke. It made me feel closer to them and helped me to talk less (always a good thing!). I found myself praying for each of them on the way home and looking forward to the next time we will be together. I am blessed. God has given me a wonderful family to love and I need to pay attention and listen when I am around them. Too often I make life about me, either worrying about what others will think of me or thinking about what I will say. Today it was nice to not worry about any of that and just be together with them.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Heat Reflections

Yesterday, while driving my daughter to work in Monroe, I had the strangest feeling come over me. Suddenly I was cold! Just the day before I had questioned whether or not the air conditioner actually worked. Turns out it works just fine as long as the temp stays below 90 degrees. It seems that after 90 the poor little air conditioner is not able to keep up. It is the same story in my house with our little room air conditioner. It seemed like the unit had quit functioning since the house still seemed unbearably hot, yet this morning as I write this, the room seems almost too cool. It too, seems to function best when the temp stays under 90. I function best at 73 degrees myself and wilt with each increasing degree. For me it still seems unbearably hot but this is summer, my least favorite season of the year! The heat in my life functions about the same way as the heat in my home and the car. When my life overheats from the difficulties and crisis in my life it can seem like the air conditioner, God, is not working. It just seems hot and difficult and unbearable. It can feel like nothing is changing and that nothing ever will. It is a hot, dry, and painful place to be. Like heat, lifes difficulties can make us shut down. It is hard to keep going in the desert. It takes every effort we have to stay focused on God and believe that He is working in our lives and in our situation. But if we endure, when we don't give up, we come to a cooler place, we see that God is working. Like todays weather, it is still hot, the kind of hot that a wimpy western Washingtonian like me does not like, but in the heat we can feel the cooling presence of God. He is there, in the midst of our deepest crisis. There may be a few days when we don't see what He is doing. There are days when we may doubt that He is paying attention to our pain, but hang in there. He is there, the cooling breezes will come. He is in control. He does love His children. Struggles are lonely places. It does not matter whether you have told anyone what you are going through or whether you keep it quiet, they are a lonely place. Others can encourage us, pray for us, love us, and even help us, but they cannot fix or bear the troubles that each of us go through. We walk with God through life, its joys and its sorrows. We bear them together with Him. In your desert spot it may seem that God has forgotten you, but He has not. You may feel utterly alone, but you are not. You may wonder why life is the way it is. It is in that moment that we must believe without seeing, hope without knowing the outcome, trust that the quilt God is creating is beautiful and that my pain is allowed to perfect His design.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It is hard to grasp the concept of eternity. To realize that our earthly existence is but a moment in the vast space that is time is mind boggling. Knowing that we are poised at the presipice where people decide the direction of their eternity is hard to keep in mind when we get sidetracked in living in this moment. But keep it in mind we must. As Christians we must embrace a new urgency, we must choose to see the truth that is somewhat hidden rather than live our moment of this life as if this is all there is. The Apostle Paul rightly states that if we have hope in Christ in this life only we are miserable and so we are. We must be eternally minded or we will miss the opportunity we were born for. When we are saved we are translated into the Kingdom of God and take on a new citizenship. We also take on a new focus in this life. Our time on Earth changes from the business of living to the mission of glorifying God and connecting people to Him. For me that translates into seeing each day as an opportunity and every encounter as part of a divine appointment. The more we approach life with a mind that is set on God the easier it is to see those around us as He does. As I take the time to listen to those around me God shows me ways to minister to them and show God to them. It is life that is so much richer and fuller than living merely by a calendar. It does not happen by accident and I find myself having to remind myself to stop, listen, and see what is around me each day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Soccer Camp, Day 3; Fresh Air

"And now we live, if you stand firm in the faith." So states Paul in I Thess. 3. Sometimes when I read God's word I don't feel like I am finished with it. That was the case yesterday with this passage. This verse kept coming back to me and I read it over and over again. I was struck at how we affect each other by how we live. I am so encouraged when I see my fellow Christians serving God and standing firm, when they make serving God the meaning of their lives and the passion of their existence. It is as if it breathes life into me. I can see what Paul meant by his words. Watching those around me exercise faith and passion pulls me through the afflictions of this life that Paul also addressed in this chapter. It is like fresh air when I am feel the drag and sludge and smog that is this world. This was day 3 of soccer camp and I love working together with other believers to bring Christ to kids and hopefully their families. I was moved by Mr. Matt's obvious passion and call and encouraged by his obedience to that call. I am encouraged as I see the enthusiasm of the volunteers that are laboring in the hot sun and the kids who are turning out and having so much fun. I know it is breathing life into me this week, much needed life. I am glad that I am privileged to work at Adventure Soccer Camp for the week. I feel blessed to have that life of the gospel poured into me and out into the kids who are coming and the other volunteers. What a blessed and exciting week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Soccer Camp, Day 2

I have been reading in I Thessalonians this week. Today was chapter 3, all about suffering and affliction, and of course I wanted to skim through it. Suffering is not fun and I didn't feel much like reading about it today. It was too hot to read about affliction! But I stopped as I read that Paul was comforted in his afflictions as he saw the faith of the Thessalonians. He encouraged us as believers to grow and abound in love for one another. I know why. It is because it is the encouragement of each other that gets us through every affliction in our lives. One other part stood out to me. It was that God is establishing us as unblameable in holiness before God. Sometimes I believe the lie that since I'll never be perfect I don't have to worry about it. Everywhere in scripture God encourages us to press harder, aim higher, work harder, be like Him, and throw off the weight of sin that so easily takes over. This brings me to thoughts gleaned at soccer camp today. Under the blazing sun God spoke to me about himself through this camp. I am not a bit athletic as you all know. But God spoke to me while watching our camp leader, Matt Rainey encourage both the kids and us about being better and striving to be the best we can be. Matt is one of those guys who while encouraging the kids in soccer is encouraging the kids and leaders to excell in character and in Godliness. He uses the sport of soccer to teach us to press higher to be the best we can be. While he is obviously athletic and a great soccer player he understands what is most important and is using what he loves and is good at to proclaim Christ. He is sure to be met in heaven by many who found their Savior at soccer camp. Which brings me to the question. What do we love? What in our lives and gifts can be transformed and used to bring others to Christ? It may not be an obvious thing, but God gifts us and makes us the way we are for His glory and not just for our personal use. This week I have been and am being blessed by Adventure Soccer Camp. It is ministering to me as well as the 45 plus kids. Me at soccer camp, a strange combination but a good one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Small decisions

Today I know I am old. I woke up at 5:30 this morning, sure I had overslept my 7:00 alarm time. Alas,it was too late and I was up. It was hot at soccer camp and I found myself envious of all the younger and thinner helpers who moved so easily and freely. I felt slow and leaden and tomorrow is just supposed to be hotter. Small decisions, made over time, have left me quite out of shape. I could have made different small decisions over time and been much healthier today but alas did not. While I do not have oodles of time like I did when I was younger I can still make better decisions with the time I have left. So it was salad tonight, a beginning of healthier decisions hopefully. There is also a spiritual analogy to this which I am sure you can all guess. We make decisions every day, small ones but still important. Most of those decisions are very small but if we look at them closely they tell us which place we put our God in our lives. My Pastor does not come to work without reading his Bible. That tells me what place God has in his life and gives me confidence in him. I never go to sleep at night without doing the same and rarely leave the house in the morning without doing so. I try to visit the prayer room at least five days each week. I call it my sanctuary for there are no interruptions in that place when I seek the Lord. I need God's direction. How can I know His instructions and will without reading His word? How can I develop wisdom without spending time reading His wisdom and knowing Him who is wisdom? My life is His. I must have His direction, I need it and I will fall without it. I put that boldly because it is true. Some merely fall to the point they are useless and some are taken out completely but without God we fall. Small decisions, made over time, make all the difference in the world. What decisions are you making? What choices are you making by default that could derail your life? The good news is that each day is fresh and we are able to make corrections to our course. It is a good idea to periodically assess those decisions that we are making and do what is needed. I know that I am going to pick up and try again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spit Out

Christians follow Christ. Seems like a simple enough statement, but it is not an easy statement. The idea of a person calling themselves a Christian and not devoting themselves to Christ may seem ridiculous on the surface but in practice the church is full of the half commited. In Revelation 3:15-18 tells the tale of the lukewarm believer and what their end will be. The passage tells how Christ will spit them from his mouth. I recently read a book that shed light on that word for spit. It is a Greek word used only once in scripture and connotes gagging, hurling, and retching. The scary part is that many believe that this scripture talks about Christians but I can't believe it does because of what the rest of the scripture says. It tells the lukewarm one to "buy from me gold refined in the fire so ou can become rich: and white clothes to wear so you can cover your nakedness." If this passage were talking about believers they would already be dressed in white, they would not be "wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, or naked," because they would be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Please don't believe that a person can be a "lukewarm believer." God asks for our lives, all of our lives. We dare not hold anything back. And why would we want to? He is good and gracious. He has saved us and called us with a holy calling. Luke 14:33 says that "Anyone who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." There is no rationalizing around that scripture, no softening it. The good news is that there is no better life than giving up ours for the one He gives! No better life! None! We are called to be His disciples and to live for His glory, the glory of the everpresent, all powerful, creator God who loves us and desires our best, not to waver on the fence, come to the end of our lives and have nothing to give our King.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Restore and Rebuild

I have been reading in the book of Ezra this week and I must confess it is not usually a favorite stop on my journey through scripture. Today I was struck by how Ezra wanted to "repair the walls" and "restore the foundations" of the temple. I started thinking about how often men get off track, how they lose their foundation and find themselves with broken walls and in need of repair. I thought about how difficult it is to stand with a brother whose very foundation is broken, even if that brother wants desperately to be restored and rebuilt. Our foundation as believers is crucial. It is hard to rebuild once broken. Ezra and Nehemiah faced intense opposition as they endeavored to rebuild the walls. It was like a battle. Guards were posted to fight the enemy next to others who did the building. It would have been far easier for the walls to not need repair in the first place. You see, the walls of Jerusalem were broken because of the Children of Israel's disobedience that led to ruin. If the Children of Israel had obeyed they would not have been taken into captivity and would not have needed restoration and rebuilding. That is true in the lives of many believers who are taken captive. God can and does restore but it is not easy. A broken believer loses so much. Trust is eroded. Relationships are affected and those left in the wake can struggle to make sense of it. There is a desire to rebuild that which was broken but it is hard to regain that same place that had been. The picture is not all bleak though. God is the ultimate restorer. Ezra and Nehemiah overcame all opposition and the building was completed. Much like that work is the work God and the body of Christ do in the life of the believer. When other believers come alongside and speak belief and faith against all opposition that comes there is restoration. When the body of Christ lift each other up and refuse to admit defeat, calling upon God, then walls can be rebuilt. When we let patience have her perfect work, then believers become 'perfect and entire', whole and complete. Rebuilding and Restoring is part of what we do for one another, how we show our love to each other and to Christ. It is part and parcel of the story of redemption. It is about the mission of God to set those who are captive, free.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Representing the love of Christ is one the hardest and best part of serving Jesus. It demands a putting away of the self service and self love that accompanies our humanity and picking up the risky habit of loving others before considering ourselves. I have been reading the book "Crazy Love," by Francis Chan. It is one of those wonderful, horrible, convicting but life changing kinds of books that I wish every believer would read. In it the author challenges the reader to take the love chapter, I Corinthians 13 and substitute our name for love. Example: Cyndi is patient and kind, Cyndi does not envy or boast; she is not arrogant or rude. Cyndi does not insist on her own way; she is not irritable or resentful; she does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. Cyndi bears all things, she believes all things, she hopes all things, she endures all things..... You get it! I feel like such a liar when I read this, but Cyndi is supposed to represent this love of God. It is a high calling and an unnatural one for the natural man cannot work the righteousness of God. It needs to be hard to grasp and we need to be totally dependant on God to climb it. It is seeking His Kingdom before our own pleasure, it is loving humanity with all of its baggage and annoyances. It is the putting on of the character of God Himself and it is NOT optional. So often, as he did with the saints of old, he shows up in our lives, tells us to follow Him, gives us little or no direction, and says "trust me." It is a hard walk, this love and obedience of God. But it is a life of great reward, God has said, both in eternity and "in this life also." God calls us to take the risk of love, of following, of being His representative and pulling men out of darkness and onto the same road of joy that we walk. It is not easy but it is peaceful, it is full of joy. I would rather live my worst day with my Lord, then any other day without Him. He is good, full of mercy and peace and He has given us the body of Christ for encouragement and companionship along the way.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Sometimes when life is uncertain it is hard to hear His voice. There are days when it seems that it is enough to get through a day. These are the days when I draw from the well I have drunk from the many years before. It is on these days that it is good that I took the time to know the Savior I profess and that He is my dwelling place. It is on these days it is good that I know my family prays for me. It is good on those days to remind myself of those things God has already done in my life. When the Children of Israel had a momentous event that God brought them through they made an altar of remembrance. I have not built those altars of remembrance. I wish I had done so in some way but I do remember His kindnesses to me. I can think back and remember His goodness and mercy and cling to that memory for the present trial. There is no one like our God! He is mighty and His ways are good. God leads us along this journey. He does not take any days off and while He might not have chosen for us some of the paths we end up on, He does not leave us in our mudpiles, but instead picks us up with forgivness and mercy, washes us clean, and leads us to the path that goes home. Praise be to our God!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Restless no more

Do you ever wonder why life here in God's creation is so unsatisfying in itself? Why our plans and pursuits, our dreams and experiences often leave us so empty and tired? I was thinking of the quote by Saint Augustine, "Lord, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee." We are born with a longing for God. In Psalm 42 the psalmist paints the picture of this longing and passion with the words, "As the deer pants for the water so my soul pants after God." A friend recently asked me what I thought her passion was. She wanted some input from the outside and I was finding it an impossibility to answer. She is artistic so I thought about that. She loves honesty and authenticity. She is fiercely protective of her family. I thought of all these things but realized that they are only parts of her, not the passion of her. You see, there is a passion built into every man, a passion for God. It is the true passion of all mankind and it is our joy and privilege to help people on this journey of life to find that true passion that gives meaning to life. We were born to answer the call of God, to discover the passion that calms our restless hearts and that focuses and directs our days upon the earth. The gifts He gives us become a part of the passion. They are not mere talents to be enjoyed and shared, but gifts to be used with joy for the glory of God. In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell recognized the pleasure God took in his running and used that running to the glory of God. He did not assume that running was to be his all but he also did not cast it aside as not spiritual enough. And God used that running mightily. Running is not Eric's story, God is Eric's story. You see, we are all called, not to talents, or places, or deeds. We were called to Him. I am called to Him. He is to be my passion. He has called me to Himself and my heart is restless unless it rests in Him. There are days of restlessness that are only calmed by connecting with my Savior, there are times of restlessness that come when I am disobedient and sin. Those times are only helped by repentance and connection with my Savior. There are days when I do not know what He has called me to do. On those days I can remember that He has called me to Himself and find my peace in drawing near. I was born for Him, He is my passion and my calling. Whether you are an artist or teacher or musician or any number of other talents, your passion and calling are the same as mine. You are called to Him who calms the restless soul and gives purpose and direction to each child who draws near to Him. My friends passion is the same as my own for He has called each of us to Himself.

Monday, June 1, 2009


You are not where you are or in your circumstances by accident. I can say that with confidence. We are either where God has placed us, which is a good thing. Or, we are in a place we have chosen, not so good. Or, we are in a place chosen by another's selfish choices, not always pleasant but still in God's hands. In any of these situations we can feel bad or good but there is only one place we are free. It is Christ that sets us free. When we are free in Him and commited to following Him then we can be at rest in our circumstances. Even if anothers choices leave us in a perilous place we can be sure that God allowed it and that He has a plan for our good. We can know that if we are commited to Him and find ourselves enduring hardship, that it is for His glory and our good. Freedom leaves us room for joy whatever the circumstance. Freedom trusts in difficulty and rejoices in abundance. Freedom is the only place to live. It is for our freedom that Christ died. It was for our freedom that He sacrificed everything. It is with freedom that we serve God. It is with freedom that we worship our creator. It is with freedom that we draw others to their liberty. I have been set free, regardless of what my circumstances might say! Iwish I always walked in that freedom. Too often I am plagued by fear and doubt. I wonder about the future and agonize over problems I cannot solve. I hesitate instead of putting my total trust in my Savior. I find myself worrying instead of trusting. I am praying for more freedom, to be able to rejoice in every circumstance as Paul did. Until then I wander between trust and trouble, feeling on the verge of unraveling while attempting to move forward on this journey of faith. It is a haphazard journey through a fallen world.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I had a happy-sad day today. One of the girls in my High School class ran away and won't be back. I felt so disappointed and sad. She had just committed her life to Christ last week and I felt sure she meant it. I had been careful to stress to her the importance of counting the cost of committment and what it would mean before she made a decision so I felt so good and excited and now she is gone. I know I should be happy that she has heard the word and knows the way, but I hunger for people to find Christ. I feel driven to draw them in as though time is short. Of course, time is short. Even Paul saw that time was short. The Bible urges everyone that today is the day of salvation and tomorrow is not promised. Ifear for these young kids who feel they have so much time ahead of them to make decisions and do not realize it could be over in the blink of an eye. It was also a happy day. We had an end of the year party, played Apples to Apples and laughed until quite literally, some of them fell to the floor. It was good and I needed it. Leaving I felt lighter, still sad and disappointed, but knowing that my job is to love them, tell them the way and the word, and give them to God. I won't give up on that job and I am determined to see them all in heaven one day. Some days are harder than others but God in His mercy gave me smiles and laughter just the same.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Spirit of God

The Holy Spirit is much misunderstood. He is God, not an experience. He is the source of the power we do not have in ourselves. He is the one who speaks when we have no words. He is the one who quiets the heart when all is chaos and turmoil. It is the Holy Spirit of God that gives the words when we speak to our unsaved neighbors and friends about the hope we have within us. It is the Spirit of God that says no when I go for that second doughnut. He is the same God that wants my good and loves me. It is He who groans for me when I run to God in my pain and fear. It is He who encourages me when I am filled with doubt and gives me energy to go on when I am used up. He is not an experience but a giver of experiences. His presence is sweet. He is the air in the room when I do not want to ever leave church. He is the giver of the annointing when I feel I could hear Pastor speak all day and not get tired. He is the answer when all I have are questions. It is the Spirit of God that drew me to Himself. It is His presence that made me long for more than this world can give. It is the Spirit I petition to surround those I love and draw them to God. I am so thankful for God's Spirit, fully God and with me all of the time. It is amazing that God is with me all of the time, His Spirit communing with mine. He points us to the Savior. He gives us power to speak the Word boldly. He makes us witnesses. He intercedes for us. He is present with us all the time. What a mighty God we serve!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oh How I love Jesus

Oh how I love Jesus! Remember that song? I was reminded of it today as Pastor Sean told us how we could all go to heaven. The simple gospel, living water. Whether for the first time or for the hundredth it is music to the ears and life to the soul. I have always said and believed that whatever happens that God is bigger and that He is faithful. I feel like I am being tested in that right now but I still believe it. I know God's plan is good, that He is faithful, that He does "not willingly grieve or afflict" His children. He is good. Nobody is excluded from His love and each one of us is precious to our creator. His desire to save encompasses us all and His invitation to live for Him is for each of us! We are of all people the most fortunate who call upon the name of the Lord. God has reminded me this week that the promise of blessing is not just for heaven but for this life also. He has promised us life eternal and that starts the moment we are born again. I can live knowing that I can ask Him anything according to His will and He is here for me! I am so grateful to God for His great love for me and for you. I praise God for my brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage me and each other every day. I am thankful for the prayers of the saints. We all need each other. Mostly I am glad that I love Jesus because He first loved me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just some thoughts

Sometimes I lose patience. I get a little frustrated. I lack understanding. It is incomprehensible why anyone who believes in God would choose not to walk with Him. I guess it is because believing in God is different from knowing God. To know God and His character and care and then not walk with Him, now that would be incomprehensible. But I know that happens also. I don't get it. There are a million different excuses and reasons why people reject God and not one of them makes sense. The heaven's declare His glory and all the earth reflects His handiwork. He, from the beginning, loved us so much that He planned our salvation and not a single temptation comes upon us that He has not been touched by and come through. There is not a sin that cannot be forgiven. He hears our prayer and knows our names. I know I need Him. I know He is. I know what it is to doubt and wrestle and struggle. I know how twisted my thoughts sometimes are, that He could love everyone else but not me. I know my own unworthiness. But the truth is written and His salvation is for the whole world and His plan includes me. "He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that fall. He hears me when I call." I am wading through deep waters but He is here with me. I so want that to be true for everyone. Just some thoughts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time with God

We have the most awesome prayer room at church. Today I was feeling that inner turmoil that at times comes upon me and was so grateful I could go there and pour out my heart to God. It is a quiet place with no distractions. When I am there I can't see the housework that needs done or the massive amount of work that I need to be getting to. It is just me and God. I was able to cry out to Him all the things I was feeling and tell Him how deeply I need Him just now and by the time I was done and on my way home my spirits had lifted. Time with God. There is no replacement for it. You can distract yourself with television, movies, hobbies, or housework but they cannot take the place of the presence of God. Nothing changed in my circumstances but He calmed my spirit, lightened my mood, and left me refreshed. Whether you have a prayer room you can run to or a corner of the house that is quiet, don't miss that time with Him and when you feel that disquiet and turmoil of the spirit, instead of distracting it and hoping it will go away, go to that place and cry out to Jesus.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I wish I was one of you wonderful photographers. Tonight I was driving home from Monroe and I saw the glory of God, well, at least a picture of it. As the sun went down and lit up a field of golden flowers,(weeds most likely) it also was shining on the darkness that was the weather towards Sultan. While Monroe had sun today, GoldBar was dark and cloudy. With the sun on it I was reminded of how God shines in the darkness. It was still dark, you could see that the weather was dark ahead but the sun gave it a brightness and beauty that took my breath away. It reminded me of how the sun shines in our darkness because God is there with us. He is. I don't always see it but He is there. This week I was encouraged by several dear friends when I desperately needed it. The words of God about taking each day and not looking ahead were precious to me. We need each other. We are each others sunshine used by God to help each other through the storms of life. Challenge: Take the time this week to intentionally encourage at least two people. Ask God to show you who and how. You will also be encouraged and energized as you do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I came close to feeling like something was impossible today. It was scary. I nearly always believe in possiblilities. I believe in the almightiness of God and the reality that He is always at work. I know the reality of both good and evil. But I believe in the almighty God and He is stronger than the enemy. A lesson in this can be seen in an episode in the life of the Prophet Jeremiah (read Jeremiah 32-33). God called him to do what seemed absurd, utter nonsense. As Jeremiah laid out his concern before Lord in prayer, we hear God ask: I'm the LORD, the God of all flesh, is anything too hard for Me?Yes, He is the God who sometimes calls us to invest in the impossible, trust for the ridiculous and wait for the miraculous. He says to you too: Yes, My child, I am calling you to do that which I've shown you. It seems impossible, but remember that I AM. We are broken men that are serving a perfect God. He is the God of the impossible.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Entering into Heaven's Dance

Life is all about making God known. It is knowing God's story so well, taking it, putting our story within God's story, and then encountering others and telling, showing, and being God's story to them. How wonderful it is when we are not merely saved from something but saved to something. What joy it is to be part of heaven's dance and to enter in and spread the wonder of it all! To spend our days in passion for the God who created us and gave us life. We get mixed up sometimes. We try to do a method or find something that works. That is not what Christ is. It is God sending His Son to restore our relationship with Him and then us joining Him in what He is doing. I am never more filled with joy than when I am sharing my relationship with God and entering into that relationship with others. I am so grateful that I am part of the story and that no matter where this journey takes me, as I stay with Him,it is a good story. It may seem bumpy at times and I may slip into a pit once in awhile but I have Him to wander with me, get me up, shake me off and redirect me. In return I have the privilege of being His expression on earth. It is the heavenly relationship that my heavenly Father and I dance through in life and forever.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Unknown

I don't know where I am going. I feel unsure of what will happen. I am thankful that I have a compass. Throughout the Old Testament I am struck by a common thread. They didn't know where they were going. I mean, think about it, Abraham, plunging into the unknown, Moses wandering in the desert by cloud and fire, Joseph thrown into a pit and left to an unknown fate, Daniel stolen from his home, Esther also, Ruth a stranger widowed and away from her people. These were driven by a common passion, a common thread. They trusted God. I am struggling right now with that. It is not that I don't trust. It is that I'm not sure I want to go through this fire. There is no question that I will choose to go through. I will always choose God. But this is a time I am less willing than usual. This is a desert place. I need God's cloud, his fire to lead me through. I need His reassurance in my life. His peace in time of storm.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I enjoyed cleaning out our spare room today. The girls are coming home in a couple weeks and I have to make room for their storage. It is good to go through all the stuff that I tend to just shove in that space. It makes me think about all the stuff in my past that I just shove back and think I will get to later. I am comforted by Paul's words to forget that which is behind and to press forward. The past is good if we remember it is the past. God takes us from that past and moves us forward. He doesn't leave us in the space we are in. He does what I did in that spare room today. He takes out the garbage. It is not that we forget the past, even though that is the word Paul uses. We still remember it. It is just that God tells us that He removes the garbage. I kept things. I kept what is useful. I kept good memories, pictures and a treasured book or two. I kept important papers. God keeps things too. He keeps our gifts for us to use. He keeps the memories of how He has worked in our lives. He keeps His word that we have stored in us. What He gets rid of is that which is of no use or is garbage. He does not do this unless we cooperate with Him in the process. We often opt out, choosing to keep things that are useless, sinful, or painful memories. It is those very things that Paul wants us to reckon gone. He wants us to picture them as finished and over and then to have us press forward and use the good things we have left. After getting rid of clutter and garbage my room looks nicer and I have room to work and enjoy the space. God calls us to clean out our past and go forward. My house is calling me to do likewise.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Life is a battle. Tonight I heard about 3 young kids who are sleeping in cars out of just one teacher's classroom. 3. 3 kids who don't feel safe, battle fear, perhaps hunger, and who question the future. Tonight I sat in a room of great kids and had to hear them tell me they aren't quite ready to serve God. Tonight a dear friend was struggling. Tonight I know that someone I am learning to love is struggling with a huge adjustment in her life. Tonight I am going through my own personal battle. I felt the warfare all around me tonight. I felt the enemy as he tries to take us, snatch us and our children, fill us with doubt and despair. I felt it and went to the prayer room because God is bigger than the enemy. I am going to pray for these young kids and who knows how many more that are like them. I am going to pray for my small group like never before because time catches us to everyone and the moment of salvation is now. I am going to pray for my dear sisters because I love them. I am going to take my struggle to the Lord. All around us a war is waging. Have you entered the battle or are you content on the sidelines watching. Are you struggling with your fellow soldiers or are you ready to lead a batallion. I am weary but ready. God is stronger than my weariness and his power is make perfect in my weakness. I am plenty weak so I know he can use me as a soldier. Please enter the battle, you are all needed. There is a lost and dying world at stake and wounded soldiers who could use your help and encouragement. Press on, never surrender.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Close your Mind (A Little)

I loved our Pastor's sermon on temptation yesterday. It was relevant to everyone. One part that I especially loved was when he talked about not watching programs that talk about Christianity from a skeptics viewpoint. I have done some of that this year, reading debates between believers and non-believers about evolution and the existence of God. I have to tell you, it is dangerous. It opens up little places of doubt in you about what you believe. When you have truth, study truth. The Bible tells us to be students of the Word for a reason. When you study what is true it becomes alive in your spirit. When you read what is false, done logically, it opens up doubt that God never meant for us to wrestle with. The Bible says that when we come to Him we must believe that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says that He will do! Amen! When you study the truth it is truth that grows in our hearts. When we study falsehood, doubt will creep in. I am making it a point to reject that which isn't true. I will live my life a little close minded. Being open minded can be a tool of the enemy. Not about everything, of course, but about God. My mind is made up and it is closed to other competitors!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Deep Waters

"Agree together, my friends, to follow my example. You have us for a model; watch those whose way of life conforms to it. For, as I have often told you, and now tell you with tears in my eyes, there are many whose way of life makes them enemies of the cross of Christ. They are heading for destruction, appetite is their god, and they glory in their shame. Their minds are set on earthly things. We, by contrast, are citizens of heaven, and from heaven we expect our deliverer to come, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3: 17-20

You have to be careful today, dear brothers and sisters. Not everyone who calls themselves a believer is conforming in life to Christ. In this day, those who are not focused and passionate about God are being attacked and they are falling. Many is the believer whose life is about earthly things, and not set on our God. You must be careful who your example is. You must watch who you pattern your life after.I want to be able to say with Paul, "Follow my example." I know I have said this before but it is something I am most passionate about.

I am wading through deep waters. The waves of life's trial dash so high there are times I think
I might sink, but it is in those moments that I feel the hand of God gripping me and holding me tightly.

I expect my deliverer to come to my rescue. I know and wait expectantly for God to work. This is what I know. There is a God and He loves me. He is personal and He cares for me. He is big enough and rich enough to supply all that I need. He makes me wait a lot. I sometimes feel discouraged. I battle the flesh and doubt that comes with it. I wish I didn't but I do. I get overwhelmed if I look very far ahead. I want to see how He makes this work to my good. I battle fear way too often and have much to learn of trust. It amazes me that most of every day I feel at rest. He is God. He knows that I am but dust. He understands.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love without Conditions

The idea of unconditional love is far more attractive that the actual practice. Think about it. Love without conditions, whatever the circumstance, whatever the cost. I am amazed that our God offers this to us every day. The only condition required for the love of God to triumph in our lives is for us to offer our lives to God. Even without that condition being met God loves us. The word of God says that "while we were yet in our sins" Christ died for us. What does that mean for us? We are called to love like Christ, to love our children, our mates, our neighbors, our friends, our enemies when they hurt us, in betrayal, in their sin, in whatever place they are in. I have had the opportunity lately to see how far I am from hitting that mark in my own personal walk. It is hard to react in love when you are reeling in personal hurt. It is hard to not make everything about me. It is hard because I am selfish, I count the cost to me. People are messy and their sins and failures affect everything around them and regardless of that, God calls us to love. We walk through a minefield in this life, with storms threatening all around us at any given moment. We know we have been translated from death to life when we can walk through those minefields and commit to that same love to each other that God gives to us.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Great, Good Friday

Good Friday, what a name. Good. It was truly good, it was, in fact a great day for all humanity. We who were lost in our sins and our shame. To us, who had no way out a bridge was built, one man, Christ Jesus our Lord, fully God and fully human rescued us, through the deep love of the Father. What a precious day. I hope you all had opportunity to go to Good Friday Service somewhere. The girls and I went to Tricia's church, Cascade and had a glorious time of reflection and worship. I was reminded of these words from Phillipians tonight ad we walked through the stations the church had set up. Easter is a day of victory but Friday is no less. Without the sacrifice there is no Easter victory. To get to the empty tomb Christ had to go to the cross. I thank God for that sacrifice. I thank Him that we can meet beyond the veil, that our God is accessible, that He hears us when we call. Whatever you need today, He longs to hear from you. Whatever struggle you are going through He died for that struggle and He live to make intercession for you.

"But whatever was my gain I count as loss for the sake of knowing Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him." Phillipians 3: 7-9

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Abba Father

I was reminded today of how personal our God is. He is our Daddy, our Heavenly Daddy. He is always accessible and He never turns His back on the child that seeks Him and needs Him. When we ask for bread He will not give us a stone. He may ask us to go through the fire but He will not let it destroy us. He may take us throught the flood but it will not overwhelm or drown us. How good our God is! How gracious and kind. He sends the sun to warm us and when the rain comes He is there with us. He loves us without conditions and only asks that we give our lives to Him. When I think of how we mess it up on our own it seems like such a small thing. When life does not go according to plan, which is most of the time, He uses that time to refocus our attention on Him. He knows that when we are doubleminded we are unstable in all of our ways. How He loves us, ever loves us. How grateful I am for His care. He gives at least one smile to us each day if we will but take it. He sends a friend to pray and encourage just when we need it most. He calms our anxious hearts and hears us when we cry. He saves each of our tears and treasures every heartfelt prayer. What a Mighty God we serve and what a Daddy He is to His children.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Very Present Help

God is a very present help in a time of trouble. I have heard those words this week and they have ministered to my heart. I have found them true and to be a companion for this week soul. My God will supply all your needs in Christ Jesus. I am believing for this word to be just as true and am trusting in Him. I don't know what place in life you are but there is a promise for it. The promises of God are true and in Him Amen, which simply means that they are going to happen, they can be counted on. Whether in a happy place or a difficult one the promises of God are there for you. I am so blest to be the daughter of a King and even though some days are darker than others He takes good care of me. It reminds me of that kids song I used to sing with my girls, My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do! Believe it, cling to it, be comforted by it. Amen

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I have been distracted of late with the crud that is going around. Hubby was home most of a week and is still in grumpiness, poor thing. He does not handle sickness well. It has been a chore of late to focus on Christ and this with Easter coming. I am excited about Easter and am praying for a full house both at home and at church. We have some surprises planned at church that are going to be exciting and I am praying that we have lots of people here to enjoy it. The presence of God has been amazing lately here at Mountainview and I can't wait to see what God does next and I am so glad that God has placed me here. Even with all this rain and snow and gloppiness I feel Spring coming and am excited to see the flowers, plant a garden, and watch the amazing things that God is doing and will be doing! If you don't have a church home come join us at Mountainview! It is an exciting time!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Colossians 1: 1-8 Thanks

I love the formal greetings given in the epistles. Can you imagine if we started our emails or facebook communications the way Paul did? Crazy! These first 8 verses are about greeting and thankfulness. The more I say goodbye to people, I mean the kind of goodbye where you don't see people for months or years, the more I appreciate Paul's greetings. The more I say goodbye to people the more thankful I am for them. The last few years have seen many "goodbyes" in my life, too many for my way of thinking, but they have changed me some. It's not just in the taking of people for granted, although I did that, but its in the way God moves us around and how we are not to be too rooted or tied to any one place. It's how we are His regardless of where we are and we have family in most everywhere we go because of the gospel. This greeting reminds me of how we are at home wherever God takes us because the gospel is increasing, bearing fruit, and is present wherever we are at, because the Spirit of God is in us. I have been at this one place for a very long time, but I am more willing now than I have been for years for God to take me anywhere and do anything with me. Now writing this is a bit scary because you never know what God has in store, but I trust Him. It won't be bad, but good wherever He leads.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


"Be still and know that I am God." I think there is a thought here. To know God requires some stillness. I think I have an addictive personality. You know some of them but I am going to dare to reveal a couple more. I am addicted to noise. Sounds crazy because I love the quiet. I really do. I love to be alone at home. But I don't like it too quiet. I have to have background noise. I don't know how people survived the quiet long ago. It gives me an uneasy anxiety. Even in the car. I will turn on talk radio just to hear another human voice. Often I have the TV on and pay no attention to it at all just to hear the noise. I also like to be busy. Sometimes I think it is this feal of becoming useless, of no value. Some days, when I have been felt unproductive it has frightened me a little. I have read books on the value of being still and slowing the pace of life and they don't feel right to me. But when I read these words, the words to "be still" and understand that there is a knowing God in that stillness that I have not as yet understood, I want it. This week I will be practicing stillness. I will purposely have a quiet stillness on at least a couple evenings after work and purposely seek the God of stillness. I have gotten a taste of it in the prayer room and have been blessed, but want to seek that same experience in my home, with phones turned off, tv off, music off, dogs outside. I want to see if there is something to be found in the stillness. For some of you with kids this is still a dream, but it is hard even when the kids grow up. It is hard because we have grown used to the life we knew with them. It is also hard because we tend to value doing instead of being. I know that I do. We also live for experiences and fill our lives perhaps too easily. I know I did. I almost felt like a sinner if I had two days at home! Christianity and life aren't about doing, they just include doing, Christianity is about God, hearing His voice so we can do what He wants and not just fill our lives with tasks and noise.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

No Safe Path

Have you ever wanted to feel safe? Like you would know what was around every corner so you could be prepared? I love the randomness of life but today God has been convicting me of wanting to be safe. I often will choose a safe path instead of taking the adventure. I was thinking of Paul today and how incredibly passionate he was, how his passion fed who he was, what he did, and how deeply he loved his Savior. I think we love God as much as we allow Him in. It is hard to love God if He is unable to be God in your life, if you avoid the challenge. Too often we reduce God to someone we want to answer our wish lists, solve our problems, and keep us from danger. We do not plunge in and live deeply. The path God leads us on is very narrow and it is challenging. The Bible says that there are few that find it. He says that he who seeks to save his life will lose it. I think we get off the narrow road when we fail to take the challenge of living. I used to think the narrow road was about behavior and God certainly does want to change our character, but now I think that the narrow road is about living our life. It is about letting God lead and following Him. It is about embracing the work he has formed us for and about the plan He has for us. That is the narrow road. We get far too distracted with monitoring the behavior of the believers around us and too little time living the life God has for us. The gospel is hindered when we get off that narrow path. The gospel is hindered when we complain about the lack of safety and the struggles along the way. The path may be hard but it is good. It has the bread of life for sustenance, the living water for our thirst, and the Savior to supply that which we actually need. It is a good life if we will see it. I want to walk that narrow road instead of following the path of least resistance and the highway of desire.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lessons in Numbers

I am reading in Numbers at the present and am enjoying it which seems strange. Today, in chapter 18 God is talking about the offerings for the Priests and the Levites. I was struck at how God gave the priests "the finest olive oil and all the finest new wine and grain that were given the Lord as the firstfruits of the harvest." In fact it goes on to say that "Everything in Israel that is devoted to the Lord is yours." That is how highly God regards those who minister on our behalf. He sets apart the best. Should we do no less? Giving our best to the Ministers who serve us is what God decided to set apart for the priests and it is what we should do also. The passage goes on to say that it is an everlasting covenant. The tithe is a great starting place but I want to start thinking of ways I can be more of a blessing to the Pastor God has given. It is a blessing to God, His church, and to those who minister to us full time. God says "You must present as the Lord's portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you." Can you imagine what the church could do if believers took that to heart and gave to God first, gave to him the best, tithed as God has taught, and offered themselves and their extra in service to the Lord's work? Imagine how many we could reach with the gospel. Think of it, it is why we are here, it is and should be our focus, to serve the Lord with everything and every talent he gives us so that we can reach our world and go home, finally home, to be with Him!