Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lessons In Trusting


Its a word we use, it sounds spiritual, and to be sure it is spiritual.  But the spiritual part comes not by speaking the word in trite sentences or pat answers,  but in living the word and wrestling around in the mud with the word. It means to be attached to something secure, to be confident, to rely on, a sense of well-being which results from knowing the rug won't be pulled out from under you. And yet, it does feel like the rug is being ripped out from under you when you have to "trust".  The well being comes from knowing that what is being laid down on is not a rug.
much more substantial than a rug.


All of who He is and all of what He is capable of doing. That's what we lay down on, that is trust, that is well-being.  When we get into bed at night, we never ask ourselves, "I wonder if the bed is going to hold me up tonight?" No, we climb in and never give it a thought.  A laying down without question of "if " I'm going to be held.
O, you and I are going to be held!


With all of who I am. All of my mind, all of my emotions, and all of my physical body.  All of me is to lay down on all of Him.

In recent days as He has offered me more lessons in trusting. I have chewed on these words and wrestled with trust again.  As I have been practicing the laying down part and rehearsing the all of who He is part, He has spoke to me gently and peace has replaced fear. To be sure the lesson will continue and I'm not sure it will ever be easy or look pretty.  Lessons in trusting come to us in all sorts of packages.  Some packages are harder to unwrap than others. It really is never about the package but about the One handing it to us.

Still learning to abide and to trust,

Words to chew on, words to lay down on....
Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 26:3-4, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Psalms 61:1-2, Psalms 9:10, Psalms 13:5, Psalms 56:3

Monday, January 11, 2016


Navigating; to move on, over, or through
                       to position on a course
                          to pass over
                            to walk or find one's way in or across

Navigating; isn’t that what we are doing?  Trying to move on, or over, or through something?  Don't we want to be positioned on a course? Some of us want and need just enough light to walk and find a way in or across what we are facing.  Our lives are filled with decisions that have to be made and steps that have to be taken.  It can be overwhelming at times. There have been times that I have been paralyzed, thinking if I make the wrong decision that somehow I will be out of God's will and taken off course.  This comes from a faulty perspective that was ingrained in me from the time I was a little girl.  The thought that God's will is like a tight rope and I must make every step with perfect precision or the results will be disastrous. Somehow thinking that once off the tight rope there is no recovery.  From where I stand now on this journey, I clearly see that kind of thinking doesn't mirror at all the character of the One who I am following.

It's more like white water rafting!  There is a guide in the boat and you are in the boat WITH him.  He guides and directs you as you go down this river called life.  Sometimes you can't hear him because the water has captured your focus and you choose to go right when it might have been better to go left.  When you get to the left, you realize it, you turn to your guide, and he with the perfect precision that only he has, directs and guides you so you can navigate the water you find yourself in.  The point is, you are still in the boat with the Guide and you have never left the river! Harder paddling? Sometimes.  Messy waters?  Often. Could have been easier another way?  Possibly.  Mistake? I'm not convinced.

We get so hung up on making a mistake mostly because we don't want other people to think we have made a mistake. Been there.  And, Jim and I have had people think that we must have fallen down and hit our heads on a few occasions, when we knew we were following.  In navigating and participating with your Guide, you have to able to live with people not getting or understanding your course. The only way you do that is by seeking to keep your ears open to the Guide.  Our decisions do set trajectory in our lives and should be made with as much light and wisdom as can be granted us.  But, we won't always make the right decisions.  We are going to have water in our ears sometimes and go right when we should have gone left.  The One we follow is all about speaking to stormy waters and making them calm, making beauty out of ashes, and making things for our good and ultimately His glory. Let that soak in and breathe deep.....

All of it then is material in His hand.  In my seeking to have my perspective swallowed up in His, I have been reading about and drinking from men and women's lives that participated with Him and the navigation of their lives.  The constant awareness of Him the guide is evident in every life.  And, the thought that God is using it all and can use anything to accomplish His purpose is what is ingrained in them. These things kept them moving instead of paralyzed by the rapids that raged around them.  What I am convinced of is that all is not lost by a misguided turn and He is still in control.

One of those lives from the 1700's wrote this,
"You seek perfection and it lies in everything that happens to you- your suffering, your actions, your impulses are the mysteries under which God reveals Himself to you."

I'm asking God to navigate me through this portion of the river, to position me on the course to run my own race, and to show me how to find my way into more of Him and less of me in the coming year. Can you open palm the entire course to Him?  The waters you have already come through and those that are still up ahead?

Still learning to abide,
Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 119:105, Romans 8:26-32

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Easily Offended

We are living in a time when everyone is getting offended!  Our culture has put us in a choke hold with political correctness.  In my opinion, which really doesn't mean squat, the reason we are  offended is because we are self-absorbed.  It is easy for many of us to say amen to that, but not so fast.... What about us, those of us who call ourselves Christ followers?  Are we easily offended?

Just this morning Jim shared a situation with me and I immediately became passionate about why the situation was wrong.  I gave strong argument to how it needed to be corrected so that it could be set right and the dangers of what would happen if not corrected.  After he left, I thought why did I have such a strong reaction?  I recognized that I strongly reacted because it threatened me and it threatened a place that I have let my identity be found.  I became offended with those that I felt were not as passionate about something as I am.  It's so easy isn't it?  And, to sound righteous while ranting?! (this is something, much to my shame, I'm very good at!) We believe we are following the Lord, doing what He has asked us to do, and everything is great as long as there are others alongside us doing it also.  The minute we feel alone we can either become arrogant and say, "they just don't get it" or question what we are doing, become frustrated,and want to flee.

As a woman who has lived in bondage because of where and what I let define my identity, I believe I/we must constantly be asking ourselves some questions.  Who or What do I believe I can't live without?  Who or What has my attention?  What evokes strong emotion in me? Is that where I'm getting my identity? Why am I so easily offended?  What disturbs my peace?

In Christ Alone, I love to sing it, I believe those words, but how that moves itself into the cracks and crevices of my daily life is still a learning process for me. It's a battle!  One that takes sitting long and often at Jesus' feet. (there are No Substitutes for this!) Before we get so riled up about our culture, political correctness, and everyone being self absorbed, (except us of course!) let us consider how we are easily offended and often put a "righteous" spin on it.

Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have those who love your word, nothing can make them stumble."

Amy Carmichael
"If I have not compassion on my fellow-servant, even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love."
"If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points: if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting "who made you to differ? and what have you that you have not received?" (1 Corinthians 4:7) then I know nothing of Calvary love."
"If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

Painful reminder of my desperate need.....
Laid bare....

Still learning to abide,

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Drinking from the saucer

I had a conversation with a dear friend about the "flow principle" the other day.  I'm convinced we will will be learning this principle as long as we walk this earth.  

I have included a link that contains five minutes of words about abiding and drinking from the saucer. I pray it encourages you this day, wherever you are, and with whatever circumstance you find yourself in.

Still learning to abide!

Much love,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It Is Well

The words "it is well" have been gently pushed into my heart over the years by the hands of a loving Shepherd.  How does a woman say, it is well, while living with chaos, hurt, loss, sickness, insecurities, and uncertainties?

Instead of writing this post I have linked a teaching that I did recently on 2 Kings 4.

Still learning to abide and still learning to say, it is well, when things around me are saying something else and when my own body is screaming different words.

Much love,

Friday, October 9, 2015


Our daughter had really long and thick hair when she was growing up. (Still does actually,not down to her waist but still just as thick!) When she was little, some of the most dreaded and dramatic moments in our home was when it came time to brush out that mane after bath time! Oh, the wailing and nashing of teeth....  Then this product came out that would actually de-tangle hair, with just a few squirts of a spray bottle, all of the tears of brush out would go away.  Truly, I thought this was an answer to my prayers and a gift directly from God!!

Wouldn't it be great if we could de-tangle our lives with just a few squirts of something magical from a bottle?  A scripture that has been rolling around in my head from 2 Timothy 2:3-4,
"Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier."  We get caught don't we?  I get caught too.  I get caught with too much of the worlds food and not enough of the sustaining and life giving food of the Spirit.  I get entangled in social media, events, what other's are doing, and the list can go on.  It isn't as easy as a few squirts, it takes discipline to fast or limit those things that have crept in to steal our attention.

If you know me you know I read a lot of Amy Carmichael, missionary to India.  I have posted some of her writings on this subject.  If you find yourself tangled like me, I pray her words will speak to you as they have me in recent days.

"Those of us who are God's emissaries are to treat the world (not just its corruptions, but its legitimate joys, it's privileges and blessings also), as a thing to be touched at a distance.  We must be aware at all times that if we are caught by its spirit, or fed by its meat, we will lose our sensitivity to the very breath of the Highest and will no longer receive the manna that falls from heaven to feed our souls.  It is not that He forbids us this or that indulgence or comfort; not that He is stern, calling us to a life of harsh asceticism, as if that would make Him more pleased with us.  No, it is that we who love our Lord, and we whose affections are set on the things that are heaven for us today-- we voluntarily and gladly lay aside things that charm the world, so that we may be charmed and ravished with the things of heaven.  Then our whole being may be poured forth in constant and unreserved devotion in serving our Lord, who died to save us."

"No, there is no harm in recreation, if by that you mean a pastime that will re-equip you for future work, and will not cause a leakage of spiritual power."

"...quite without our realizing it certain forms of "recreation" have taken hold of us and hinder rather than help."

"We cannot allow ourselves to be entangled, and at the same time believe that we will have spiritual power."

Excerpts from the book entitled, God's Missionary.

Still learning to abide and not be tangled.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Do you need help today?

Are you discouraged?
Is your marriage on shaky ground?
Do you have children that are rebellious?
Are your finances a mess?
Are you lonely?
Do have a big decision to make?
Is your life chaotic?
Are you afraid?
Is life not what you thought it was going to be like in this season?
Are you facing illness?
Is suffering in your life?
Is your heart broken because of loss?

We all face the questions like the ones on the above list.  Many of us can say an affirmative, YES, to one or more of the questions.  The Lord in His faithfulness brought a familiar scripture to my mind this morning as I was crying out for help.  

Psalm 46:1-2
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea..."

Our God who spoke the world into existence, who authored salvation and a way for man to be redeemed, and who is Lord of Lords and King of Kings, this same God says He will be my help in the time of my need.  This beautiful scripture is not referring to just any kind of help; no this is God size help.  It could read God, our Refuge and Strength, is abundantly available for help in tight places, or places of trouble, or when the time arises and I find myself in need!  

Often when I find myself in one of those "tight places", it is because I have not looked to Him as my refuge, but tried to provide my own covering.  My own strength and desire to fix it has stepped in, instead of me relying on His strength. And, instead of crying out for His help, I have gone my own way seeking out another form of help or relief.  

Later in chapter 46 of Psalms, we see another very familiar verse.  One that I fear many of us have decorating the walls of our home, but quite possibly don't have hanging in our hearts.

Psalm 46:10
"Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth"

The key to reaching to Him as my help, to taking refuge in Him alone, and exchanging my strength for His, is to learn to be still and to place Him in His rightful place.  To know He is God is much more than a mental assent to truth, it is to live as one who is under authority.  This truth dislodges the lie that we are in charge, that we can fix it, or that we have the strength to change something.  He will be exalted above all.  The question is; is He exalted above me?  Is He exalted to His rightful place in my life?  

Not sure what you are facing today, but He does.  Would you hold that thing, that question, that hurt, that impossible situation, out to Him with palms open and facing upward?  Will you get still before Him?  Will you cry out to your Refuge, your Strength, and your Help, and place Him where He rightly belongs?  

Oh, Lord dislodge me from the place of authority in my life.  You are God, and there is no one besides You.  Forgive me for thinking that I'm in charge.  Lord, I need Your help and I need You to show Yourself mighty over my heart, life, and the situations that are such a struggle for me.  

I am praying for many that are facing great trials, big decisions, and heartbreaking situations right now. Sometimes we just need to know that someone else knows and is praying.

Still learning to abide,