Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Jeremiah 29:12-14
"Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.  And I will be found by you, declares the Lord..."

Matthew 7:7-8
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find, knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

Moments in quiet solidtude this morning revealed the condition of my heart.  The condition of a soul that had grown cold in her love for her Lord.  Still going about the motions and yet lacking that warmth that only comes from long and often times at His feet being inraptured  with who He is and His amazing love and care over my life.  As a result my reach towards Him and others always becomes more dutiful rather than delightful and the fullness of the flow of His life eclipsing mine seems to be slowed because of the barriers of self sufficiency and task.  In confession and repentance He turned His grace towards me and kindled the fires that warmed this cold soul and sent the flood of His eclipsing life pumping through my spiritual veins once again with newness and vitality.  Oh the grace and goodness of our Savior.....

I have surrounded myself with a few of the books that made much impact in my own discipleship to re-read this year.  Today as I found myself in this position I picked up one of those books and found that Father was orchestrating my steps even through the condition of my heart, He knew what He would bring, He knew what words He would speak, and He knew He would capture my heart once again.  

A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God
"Why do some persons "find" God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His Presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course the will of God is the same for all.  He has no favorites within His household.  All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children.  The difference lies not with God but with us.... I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity.  Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them Godward....Simply that they had a spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives."

Receptivity; having the quality of receiving, taking in, and or admitting, being quick to receive knowledge....

Oh that I/we would come, pray, seek, ask, knock, sit long and often, so that we would possess spiritual receptivity and that it would move and urge us Godward.

Challenge: Where's your heart? Has it grown cold?  How's your receptivity?

Always learning,

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Sunday School Answer

I grew up going to Sunday School.  Little wooden chairs parked at little wooden tables.  The room smelled of spilled apple juice, animal crackers, and play dough.  Week after week I was told stories about Jesus.  By the time I was out of the "little table and chairs" room I could tell you those stories by heart.  And yet they had not penetrated, the Jesus of the stories had not yet captured my heart.  By the time I went to high school I was a hit or miss church going teenager and delighted more in what the world could offer me than what Jesus could offer me.  Sunday School became unfashionable and even when I did go it was more about the entertainment factor.  I remember the teacher asking questions and someone giggling and saying, "Jesus" with an attitude of surely they had a 50% chance of getting it right with giving the answer of Jesus! 

From where I sit now, (in a big chair) Jesus IS the answer and I'm grateful for the room of little tables and little chairs. Through the years He has shown me that whatever I'm facing He is with me and He really is my answer. I don't apologize for those that think it is too "churchy" or not "relevant" enough.   I have experienced more darkness, emptiness, and chaos in my late forties and early fifties than I have in any other time of life.  I need to know Him as He reveals Himself to us in scripture and I believe those around me do as well.

We are walking through Genesis at our church.  How amazing it is to see God reveal Himself even in creation.  I'm doing a study also in combination to what we are teaching through,  The Promised One by Nancy Guthrie.  Thought I would share some of the thoughts that I have been pondering the last couple of weeks.  Because we all need to know that Jesus is our answer.

In the beginning God....  God in three persons.  God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.  All present and all active!  

At creation:  illuminated the darkness, brought order to the chaos, filled the emptiness, revealed the image of God, and established a rest.

Jesus as He walked on the earth:  
Declared He was the Light of the World, John 8:12
He ordered chaos, Mark 4:39
He filled things John 2:1-12, John 6:1-14, Luke 5:1-11, John 4:7-43 (Jesus is about filling emptiness!)
He revealed God, John3:7-8, John 1:18, Hebrews 1:3
He offered an invitation to rest Matthew 11:28

"The Spirit must hover over the void in our lives just as he hovered over the dark waters at creation.  The Word must go out, shining the light of the gospel of Christ into the darkness of our lives so that we can see his true beauty and worth. And when that Spirit breathes new life into our very being and when that Word convinces us of who he is and what he accomplished for us on the cross, we receive the Living Word.  And we are made new" N. Guthrie

For those of us who are His, He desires to be active in our lives in these same ways as He revealed Himself.  First and foremost in bringing His salvation to our lives!  But then as we walk this life out with Him.  

Do you need His Light to dispel darkness in your life?
Do you need Him to bring order to the chaos in your life or in the world around you?
Do you have emptiness that you need Him to fill?
Do you need Him to reveal Himself to you?
Do you need rest?

Ask!  He delights in answering!!

Always desiring to spur you on to love and good deeds.
Always learning....
Much love,

Monday, August 29, 2016

Stationed on the Wall

Father has been pushing on my heart in recent days truth on prayer and my role in it. Many of the thoughts and truths are not new thoughts and for sure not new truths, but fresh once again for my learning.  I have been challenged and convicted.  My prayer life is one of those areas that I don't ever think is what it should be and one area that I am certain I will be growing in until I breathe my last!  You too?

Prayer for us as believers is how we participate, let me re-phrase that, its how we GET to participate with Father as His will is accomplished in our lives and the lives of those around us, the people we love, our cities, and our world.  So what a privilege it is to get to do this thing called prayer and I wonder why I become weary and slack in it?

Every year we travel to Thailand.  The city we go to is ancient.  The original city has a moat around it and just behind the moat are the city walls and it's gates.  Every year I do something that has become a very sweet part of my trip; I physically climb up on a section of the wall to pray. As I sit up on the crumbling ruins I pray over Thailand and the beautiful people that live in it's land of smiles.  I pray over the city that the walls belong to and those that walk it's streets.  The scripture that is pressed into my heart during these moments is, Isaiah 62:6-7 "On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen all the day and all the night they will never be silent.  You who put the Lord in remembrance take no rest and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth."  In context the prophet Isaiah is talking to Jerusalem, calling God's people back to God, telling them that God still wanted to be their God and He wanted them for His people.  And, those that were talking to God on their behalf needed to keep talking, to keep praying day and night before God until He did what only He could do and that is to make them something that was praiseworthy to Him!  On this side of the cross God still has His people, us the church.  He still desires to show Himself mighty on our behalf so that He can show Himself as our God and we as His people. When we are known as His, He will be able to show others through our lives that He is faithful, good, and a God that saves.

On the day I was praying I thought of how many other walls besides these physical walls in Thailand I should be stationed on, walls that I need to be a watchman on and to not stop talking to God about until they become something that is praiseworthy to the Lord.  That's really what its about, isn't it, that He gets honor and praise?  Some of the walls that I know God has stationed me on are, my marriage, our children, and our grandchildren.  The church, the church that I'm in and the global church, that she would be salt and light; light in the darkness and be the salty preserving agent in a world that is decaying.  I thought about other people's marriages also, I believe we need to station ourselves on the walls of marriages that are crumbling, to stand and fight in prayer for them.  Also, other people's children who are wandering away or are yet to come. What an encouragement it would be to enter into standing on the wall with a mom and dad that are battling for the life of one of their children. God has appointed us to this kind of prayer.  It is not a watchMAN but watchMEN, plural.  Giving me the picture that this is something we do together, shoulder to shoulder, or should I say knee to knee.  

Jesus told us twice in the gospels to watch and pray.  I think the two go together and are a prayer plan directly from Jesus.  If we are not watching, if we are not alert, or if we are so caught up in our own world, then our vision is limited and short-sighted. We then don't know what to pray.  Being watchful, being alert, and being a watchman on a wall gives us the vantage point to know what and how to pray.  It is a powerful word picture!  Someone who is stationed, who is praying, never keeps silent, and who is not going to climb down but stay on point talking constantly to God.

A watchman on the wall, to stand for my city, my country, people groups that have not yet heard the good news, to stand against evil in these days of travail, and not keep silent. It's not that God needs me to remind Him, its that He wants me to be seeking Him with and for the people and situations He has allowed my eyes to see.

What are the walls you have been appointed to be stationed on? Do you view them as walls to keep a watch over and to pray continually over until God does His work in each?  He is worthy of our marriages, our families, our churches, our cities, our countries ,and of peoples from every tribe, tongue, and nation to one day stand around His throne and ascribe to Him all praise and glory.

Still learning AND Stationed on the wall,
P.S. would love to hear about your walls and would count it an honor to stand with you

Monday, April 4, 2016

Do you know that you are loved?

When we know that we are well loved we will be able to love well.

I'm not talking about being loved by someone with human flesh on, I'm talking about knowing to the core of my being that I'm loved by God.  Only His love can transform me.

If I don't know that I'm loved or if I question that God really loves me, then I look to other people and other places to somehow show me and or validate that I'm worthy of love. It's like walking around as a beggar, cup in hand, and stretched out.  We reach our cup out to our family, our friends, our co-workers, our jobs, our ministries, and the positions we hold.  With each person or placement we say, "will you make a deposit in my cup to validate me?"  Somehow we have convinced ourselves that validation is the same as love.  It's not!

Jesus loves me, is not just a children's song, its deep theology, and we should get up and sing it to ourselves everyday! Instead of marinating in the things we think we lack, we should bask in the truth of who God is and what He has completed on our behalf.  Then my sweet friends we should meditate on who we are because we are IN Christ!

Lest you think this writer has this perspective 24/7.... I don't!  In my previous post I talked about acorns smacking us on the head and us coming to God to say; "what do I do with this?".  My acorn had family written on it.  Is there anything more distressing than to feel unloved by someone you call family, the people that should love you no matter what? And yet, my family and your family are made up of fleshly, sinful, people...just like me.  When I have these unmet expectations and they cause me to feel blah....I realize I have held my cup up to someone that can't fill it. The yuck I feel is because I am wanting my self-identity to be validated.

The good news is that if we are in Christ we have been made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) The not-so-fun news is that we will be learning to run to Jesus instead of other people until we draw our last breath, it's called the sanctification process.  My definition of a mature Christian is not someone who has it all together or someone who has "got it".  No, I believe a mature man or woman of God is someone who recognizes more quickly their need for Jesus and then runs more swiftly to Him, their true source.  The more we do this; an eclipsing happens in our lives.  Jesus begins to eclipse us as more and more of Him is seen and less and less of us is visible.  The really great news is that we have been given God, in the form of the Holy Spirit!  He lives in us and is our constant leader to truth. I'm convinced that God is less interested in fixing me and all the things that I think are so important but really don't have any eternal value and is more interested in me knowing Him and who He has made me.

We must be people who spend time in the book and in communion with God, we will never know Him any other way.  We must also know who we are because we belong to Him.  I'm not talking about mental assent that only brings about an outward change for a little while, I'm talking about God teaching us and sinking His truth deep within our hearts so that we respond out of that truth.  If we don't, we will walk around like beggars with cups in our hands. And, we will never really love well because we will never know that we are well loved.  Our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our world need people who are so convinced of God's love for them that it overflows and splashes on those around them without us getting our feelings hurt or feeling rejected because self has gotten in the way. If we walked around with our "love tanks" so full of God's love for us, what would change in our churches, neighborhoods, communities, and world?

A few tools that God has used in my life in this area;
1. There is no substitute for God's word, reading it and studying it!
2.  A book by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me
3. The below chart that I have lost count how many times I have gone through it or given it to another.
4. Living in community. Having a group of people around you that really know you, will ask you the hard questions, and will hold truth up to you when needed, because they love you with a God-like love and not a what-can-you-give-me kind of love.  They are flawed...but so am I. But, it's how God intended life to function for His kids.

Always Learning....
Much love,

The lie we want to believe           What God says                             Write the truth
I am unworthy / unacceptable
Romans 15:7, Psalm 139

I am alone
Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:38-39

I feel like a failure/ inadequate
2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Philippians 4:13

I have no confidence
Proverbs 3:26, 14:26, 28:1, Hebrews 10:19, Ephesians 3:12

I am confused/think I’m going crazy

1 Corinthians 2:16, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 1:17

I am depressed/hopeless
Romans 15:13, 5:5, Psalm 27:13, 31:24, Hebrews 6:19

I am not good enough
Hebrews 10:14, Colossians 2:10, Ephesians 2:10

There is nothing special about me
Psalm 139, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 6:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:13

I don’t have enough
Philippians 4:19, Psalm 23:7

I am a fearful/anxious person
Psalm 34:4, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 4:18

I lack faith
Romans 12:3, 10:17, Hebrews 12:2

I am not very smart
Proverbs 2:6-7, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 1:17

I have no one to take care of me
Psalm 32:7, Psalm 91

I am unloved
John 15:9, Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 2:4, 5:1-2

I don’t belong
Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5, 1 John 3:1-2

I feel guilty
Psalm 103:12, Colossians 1:14, 20, 2:13-14, Hebrews 10:10

I have no strength
Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:19, 3:16, Romans 8:9-11

I can’t reach God
Ephesians 2:6, 1 Peter 2:5,9, Hebrews 10:19-20

I feel condemned
John 3:18, Romans 8:1, Colossians 1:22

There is no direction/plan
Psalm 37:23, 138:8, Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 29:11

I feel like nothing will ever change
2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:22-24

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling!

I grew up with the story of Chicken Little running around exclaiming, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling."  She told it to anyone who would listen.  She did have something fall on her head but it wasn't the sky, it was an acorn.  Big difference! We, are so given to this kind of perspective as humans aren't we?  As I have said here many times, God has been about the business of busting my perspectives over the past six years.  Just when I think possibly we are going to take a acorn falls on my head! Often these perspective shifts are truths that I know and yet somehow they have not consistently marinated in my heart.  If they have not taken up residence in my heart, I will not respond out of them.  Instead, I am prone to run around and exclaim; "the sky is falling, the sky is falling."

We have acorns all around us that are hitting us on top of our heads, they force us to respond.  To name a few, terrorism is rampant and appears to be loosed to do whatever it wills, slavery, sex trafficking, no water, no food, and our political conundrum, to name a few.  Then we have our own personal acorns. These are the acorns that fall in our dailies.  When one smacks us on our head it forces us to respond.  The truth is we live in a very broken world.  Sin broke everything! When we let our attention be captured by the brokenness it has the ability to drag us around, dictating how we will respond, think, and feel.  But, we as God's people according to His great mercy have been given a living hope, this world is not our home. And though we live in the consequences of the brokenness, it does not have the power over us to dictate how we live. The acorns/trials that we find distressing us are used by God to proof our faith.  (1 Peter 1:3-12) Fun? Not hardly.... Necessary? God said they were....   Worth it?  Yes! I can be mad at the acorn for falling, let it drag me around, and or let it consume my thoughts and emotions, or I can let God use it to capture my thoughts and emotions to be conformed to His.

I was wrestling with my own acorn and asking God, "what do I do with this?" In His faithfulness He had Jim and I read our devo together this morning.  I don't usually do this, but today I'm going to re-print the words we read. I pray they help some of you that are dealing with some brokenness in your lives and not knowing what to do with it.

Always learning....
Much love,

Excerpt from; New Morning Mercies, A Daily Gospel Devotional

"Living in this present broken world is designed by God to produce longing, readiness, and hope in God.  It's not natural for us to think about our lives in this way, but the difficulties we all face in this broken world are not in the way of  God's plan.  No, they are part of it.  The fallen world that is your address is not your address because he didn't think through his redemptive plan very well.  You are living where you're living and facing what you're facing because that's exactly how God wanted it to be.  The hardships that we all face between the "already" and the "not yet" are not a sign of the failure of God's redeeming work, but rather a very important tool of it.

What we are all going through right here, right now is a massive, progressive process of values clarification and heart protection.  God is daily employing the brokenness of the present world to clarify your values.  Why do you need this?  You need it because you struggle in this life to remember what is truly important, that is, what God says is important.  You and I place much more importance on things than they truly posses, and when we do so, these things begin to claim your heart allegiance.  So God ordains for us to experience that physical things get old and break.  The people in our lives fail us.  Relationships sour and become painful.  Our physical bodies weaken.   Flowers die and food spoils.  All of this is meant to teach us that these things are beautiful and enjoyable, but they cannot give us what we all long for--life.

In this world that is groaning, God is protecting our hearts.  He is protecting us from us.  Our hearts can be so fickle.  We can worship God one day, only to turn and give the worship of our hearts to something else the next.  So, in love, God lets pieces of the creation die in our hand so that increasingly we are freed from asking earth to give us what only he can give.  He works through loss to protect us from giving our allegiance to things that will never, ever deliver what our hearts seek.  This is all designed to deepen our love and worship of him.  It is all crafted to propel the joy that we have in him.  And in so doing, he is preparing us for that moment when we will be freed from this present travail and give all of our being to the worship of him forever and ever.

Your Lord knows that even as his child your heart is still prone to wander, so in tender patient grace he keeps you in a world that teaches you that he alone is worthy of the deepest, most worshipful allegiance of your heart." 

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